Category Archives: Dinner Parties

Happy Birthday Admiral!

I just got back from a wonderful vacation to St. John’s, Newfoundland, but while I was away I missed the Admiral’s 1st birthday!  I’m a bad owner, I know.  :( But anyways, I thought this occasion was cause to go back and pull out some of the best work The Admiral has done in the past year!

By the way, with 91 posts and almost 5000 hits, I’d say The Admiral has had an admirable first year!  Thanks for reading!

So let’s do a top ten list of The Admiral’s greatest hits:

10.  The first post was a good post, in my opinion!  I’d happily eat these chicken pot pies any day of the week. Quintessential comfort food.

Chicken Pot Pie

9.  As proof that sometimes I do eat vegetables, I had to include the Steak and Potato Salad with Spicy Caesar dressing.  Every part of this salad is delicious, but the dressing and the homemade croutons really puts it over the top for me.

Steak and Potato Salad with Spicy Caesar dressing

8.  The BBQ burritos were an amazing meal one summer night at the cottage.  I’d eat them at any time of the year, don’t get me wrong, but they are a perfect cottage compliment 🙂

BBQ’d Burritos

7.  As a tribute to my severe love of all things carbohydrates, I had to include this recipe for Three Cheese Risotto.  It’s everything you want it to be; rich, creamy, cheesey and extremely bad for you!

Three Cheese Risotto

6.  It’s all about the icing with this chocolate cake.  Make sure you use high quality chocolate, and then prepare yourself for chocolate cake ride of your life.

Chocolate Cake with Caramel Milk Chocolate Frosting

5.  This Baked Brie recipe is one that definitely gets the most hits.  I’m not the least bit surprised either.  You gotta try it to believe it!  Guaranteed potluck hit!

Baked Brie with Tomatoes, Garlic and Basil

4. These Green Chili Chicken Tacos are dynamite.  You’d think that frying the tacos would make them greasy, but actually it just makes them extremely delicious.

Green Chili Chicken Tacos

3.  I was skeptical at first, about a pizza without any sort of sauce, but I thought it couldn’t hurt to try it at least once.  Turns out I’ve “tried” this Potato, Bacon and Leek pizza multiple times since then; it’s truly a glorious creation.

Potato, Bacon and Leek Pizza

2.  It’s no surprise that there is a pasta recipe near the top of this list….it’s really the fresh made spaghetti that sets this dish apart from the rest.  And the stuffed and roasted tomatoes serve as the ideal topping.  A dream dish 🙂

Roasted Stuffed Tomatoes with Fresh Pasta

1. Pho Bo takes the “cake”! I don’t know what to say other than this Vietnamese noodle soup is just delicious.  It’s all about the broth, which is surprisingly easy to make and customize to your liking.  You MUST try it!

Vietnamese Pho Bo

Did I miss anything that you would have included in the top 10?


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Southern BBQ Dinner Party

My, my, my, this was a FEAST!  In honour of some good friends getting engaged, they hosted a group of people at their house – how does that work exactly?  Shouldn’t it have been the other way around? – anyways, they fed us all so much food I’m not sure anyone needed to eat the following day.  The theme was Southern BBQ and everything was hearty, meaty and saucy .  Wait until you see this menu!

Let’s start with the appetizers…

The spinach and artichoke dip with Tortilla chips was savoury and cheesy.  Two very high ranking food qualities in my world!

Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Then there were maple, dijon & bacon chicken wings….yup, bacon grease used to cook the wings.  Check!

Maple Dijon & Bacon Chicken Wings

I contributed some good old BBQ Stuffed Jalapenos.  Tried, tested and delicious.

BBQ Stuffed Jalapenos

Cheese and crackers and other nibbley things scattered the table.  My first of more than one plate of appetizers….


Now onto the main course…..not that there was much real estate left in my stomach.

Ribs.  Enough said.


There was mac and cheese too – it had a delightfully crispy bread crumb topping and nice zesty cheese flavour.

Mac and Cheese

Can’t forget the homemade cheddar, bacon and jalapeno cornbread….

Bacon, Cheddar and Jalapeno Cornbread

And the coleslaw…to go with the pulled pork…


There’s still more!  The Baked Beans, were excellent, I’m definitely making them!

Baked Beans

I didn’t get an individual shot of the pulled pork, but that part they contracted out to The Smoque Shack.  Dynamite, as usual. And super fresh buns only improved the situation.

Here is a shot of all the main course goodness:

Main Course Spread

My plate.  Isn’t gluttony grand?

Main Course

At this point I was a blimp.  But wait, there’s more.  It’s just not a Southern BBQ dinner party without multiple desserts.

Like Cookie dough cheesecake, for example.

Cookie Dough Cheesecake

And fruit!  There was at least one healthy aspect to the evening!

Fruit Tray


Assorted Cookies

And squares…. I believe these were also cheesecake, but I can’t confirm because there is just noway a person can consume all this food.


And last but not least……Skittles!


Such a fun and delicious night!


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Birthday Celebration Food!

I rarely pass up an opportunity to celebrate something by eating delicious food.  My birthday is no different.  And although I forgot to take pictures of my birthday dinner with friends at Ceylonta (it was great by the way), I took lots of pics of my birthday celebration dinner with my family.  Recipes to come!

There was all kinds of deliciousness, starting with a cocktail called “The Sunburst” from the Fall 2011 Food and Wine magazine from the LCBO.  I wish I’d gotten a picture that showed the star anise better – it was such an unique garnish, and was a great compliment to the other flavours.  But what can I say, I was more focused on consuming than photographing in this case.  My older brother did a great job of whipping these up – unusual ingredient alert:  Apricot Jam! They were so good, I’ll definitely be making them again.

Note the awesome moustache glasses – I picked these up off Etsy last Christmas!

The Sunburst

Let’s take a look at the whole spread.  Such a colourful table!  MMMMMMM  Pho Bo!

Hungry family digging in!

Don’t forget the wine!

Birthday Feast

There were rice paper wraps to satisfy my never-ending craving!  There are just so many fresh flavours and textures in these.  And putting peanut sauce right on the wrap is also a must.   DO NOT FORGET THIS STEP!!  The rice paper can be tricky, but the trick is to dunk them in warm water right before you use them.  Otherwise they get tougher to work with, and don’t taste as good.

Rice Paper Wraps

And then there was pho of course!

Delicious Dinner Pho Sho!

Don’t forget about the cake!  My younger brother, Drew, killed this one.  He made buttered almond cake which is definitely my favourite cake of all time. Yup, favourite.  It’s sweet, smooth and nutty flavour put it above all other cakes for me!  (I promise to post the recipe soon.)  Check out this thing of beauty:

Buttered Almond Cake

It was a double decker!

Double Decker Buttered Almond Cake

Happy Birthday to me indeed!


Filed under Dinner Parties