REVIEW: Irresistibles Chicken Carbonara

A box of frozen food, specifically Chicken Carbonara in the Life Smart line from IrresistiblesI decided recently to buy a few of the “lighter choice” frozen meals to try, as I understand they’ve come a long way since I last tried them.

The first one I bought was Irresistibles Chicken Carbonara in their Life Smart line. They were on sale for $1.88 each if you bought three at a time, so I thought, “Why not?” Normally, I’m leery about these pre-made meals that have chicken in them. The reason: most of these pre-made meals seem to have pre-fab chicken-like meat substances in them. The texture is usually rather disagreeable to me, so I usually avoid these like the plague. But I thought that if the chicken was nasty, I could pick them out and just eat the rest and chalk it up as experience.

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Canada Day breakfast: chicken maple sausage patties

A plate holds two maple chicken sausage patties overlapping each other with a side of tomato slices.HAPPY CANADA DAY!

Why not celebrate with two posts in one day? 🙂

I had a surplus of extra lean ground chicken in my fridge this weekend and knew I needed to cook some of it up today (along with the roast which is already in my slow-cooker). I could make burgers for lunch, but then, I hadn’t had breakfast yet. Canada Day without breakfast?! How about brunch? Even better!

By noon, I had whipped up two pounds of this ground chicken into 18 chicken sausage patties based on Sophy’s Chicken Maple Sausage Patties #1 recipe on Spark Recipes. My version is very similar, but I made a few adjustments based on what I had on hand and dietary needs.

Three tablespoons of maple syrup bumped up the sugar content a bit more than I wanted, so I cut back, for example, and still found that we could taste the maple-y sweetness in  them. We’re also not fans of cayenne, so I omitted that and the coriander because I didn’t have any on hand. But what a special way to celebrate Canada Day, imo!

Here’s how I made mine:

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Breakfast comparisons: egg sandwiches

A plate with an English muffin egg sandwich, tomato slices & nectarine slicesHAPPY CANADA DAY!!

I love long weekends such as this, for more than one reason. But one of those reasons is that I love having the time to make myself a decent breakfast. This weekend has been no exception. Saturday, I craved one of my guilty pleasures.

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Low-carb adventures: Homemade chicken sausage patties

A breakfast plate of chicken sausages, an egg, half of an English muffin and some raspberries.As previously mentioned, I’m trying to watch my eating habits a bit more than I have in the recent past but I’ve found myself craving my old stand-bys. So this was a recipe I tried out of a craving for sausage. I had some ground chicken in the fridge and figured I’d give it a go. Surely, this would also mean the sausages would be lower in sodium, as they’re not pre-processed.

These are based on Rachel Ray’s Chicken Sausage Patties recipe on the Food Network’s website. The only adjustment I made was instead of pan-frying them, I popped them in my George Foreman grill for 6-8 minutes, flipping halfway through (as mine cooks hotter on the top than the bottom for some reason, so one side gets brown faster than the other).

Pop over to the Food Network’s site to check out the recipe. Hers says it makes up to 12 patties. I somehow got 15. And the nutrition values below are per patty.

I definitely give this one the two-thumbs up!

Nutrition Info

Serving: 1 patty

Calories: 112
Carbs: 2g
Fat: 5g
Protein: 15g
Sodium: 166mg
Sugars: 1g

PC hors d’oeuvres in review: mozz sticks & spanakopita

A multi-coloured tray holds two dishes. One holds a homemade marinara sauce (a spoon set into it), and the other holds two types of hors d'oeuvres: spanikopita and mini mozzarella sticks.As we did last year, hubby and I stayed in for New Year’s Eve. We actually prefer it because we can stay in our comfy clothes, don’t have to fight with traffic or weather, and don’t have to worry about one of us staying sober to drive home. If we pass out on the couch, who cares? 🙂

Last year, I did a lot of food-prep myself, creating homemade pizza rolls and mozzarella sticks, along with a crockpot butter chicken dinner (which we saved for the next day because we were full on appetizers).

This year, I decided that pre-made hors d’oeuvres was the way to go for a lazy New Year’s Eve!

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Jack & Lois – a Hamiltonian hidden gem

A homemade classic cheeseburger with bacon on a toasted garlic bun.301 James St. North
Hamilton, ON L8L1H3
(289) 389-5647
jackandlois.com
(Dine in or take out)

I recently had the pleasure of visiting this cute little hole-in-the-wall establishment on James Street North (at Barton), not once, but twice.  I was involved in the McMaster 24 Hour Film Festival and we had the gala at a nearby theatre during the artcrawl this month. The after-party ventured over to Jack & Lois’, as one of our judges was the owner, Eric. I had never heard of the place and really have to say that I enjoyed it so much that I took my mother and husband back there a mere two nights later. It was simply that good.

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Dinner @ the Grand Olympia (Hamilton, Ontario)

A green salad in a 'collar' of long strips of cucumber, dressed with balsamic vinaigrette and some crispy egg noodles.I recently went to a wedding reception at the Grand Olympia in Hamilton, Ontario. Many weddings I’ve gone to, I’ve remarked on the ceremony, the bride’s dress, the lovely decorations, the weather and so on. It’s rare that I bother commenting on the food. Even my own wedding, I barely remember what the food tasted like. I couldn’t even recall the caterer at this point. I’m sure that it was good, but I barely tasted any of it. In truth, I was just so wound up that I couldn’t eat. Other weddings I’ve been to, the food has been rather unremarkable. Not bad, but nothing to write home to Mom about.

Now, with that said, I’ve been to some weddings that were potluck and those were pretty awesome.

But I have to tell you, the food at the Grand Olympia was rather incredible, and so, you get a blog post about it. Continue reading