Thank you for the amazing 8 years here at A Baked Creation, we can't thank you enough for the memories! But we've decided to move over to a new site - Sincerely, Syl. Please join us there for future posts on all the things you loved here!


Saturday, February 15, 2014

Zucchini and Potato Hash

This was the first brunch I made at our new place. Simple, semi-healthy (come on, there's zucchini), definitely filling, and easy to make. I woke up early and started prepping all the vegetables before Howard even rolled out of bed. Then I gleefully whipped out the skillet pan we "borrowed" indefinitely from his parents. Who doesn't love seeing char marks on their vegetables in the morning?
Zucchini and Potato Hash
(Makes enough for two!)

2 medium potatoes or a handful of baby potatoes
2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 of a yellow onion
Salt and pepper
1 medium zucchini
2 eggs
  1. Rinse potatoes under cold running water to clean. Then pat them dry. I like to keep the potato skins on, but if you like to peel them, go ahead. Cut them into 1-2 cm thick cubes.
  2. Similarly, wash the zucchini, pat to dry, and dice them into 1-2 cm thick cubes.
  3. Peel and chop your onion (watch out for tears) and set aside.
  4. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat.
  5. Add in the onion and potatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Stir until the potatoes are almost cooked through, about fifteen minutes.
  6. Add in the zucchini and stir on medium heat until it is soft and the potatoes are cooked through, about seven minutes. Test it by stealing a zucchini and potato before your partner wakes up. Season with more salt and pepper to your liking.
  7. With a nonstick frying pan, fry your eggs! I like mine sunny side up. Howard likes his scrambled (not as pretty, therefore not photographed).
Serve with bright coloured juice and enjoy!

Tips: The smaller you dice the potatoes and zucchini, the faster they cook. Watch the onions, they like to burn when you're eyes are closed - or blinking. Have your frying pan ready so that you can swap it over the already hot stove to fry that egg up.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Cook the Cover: Canadian Living March 2014

Hello! Some of you may have noticed this little badge on the side of our blog and wondered what it was all about. I am happy to say that A Baked Creation was chosen to be a part of Canadian Living's Blogger Network. We will be working closely together on various projects this year and I can't wait to share them with you!

First, this is what I'm hoping to be a regular segment while I am a part of the team. I will be cooking the recipe from the upcoming covers of the magazine, giving it a test run, and sharing my thoughts and tips with you. I hope that sounds good to you, we're basically your guinea pig and troubleshooter before you pick up the magazine and get cooking yourself.

What I loved about this recipe was that it wasn't using anything I wasn't familiar with. Most of the ingredients are a staple in my fridge and pantry so it was only a matter of picking up a few items to get the meal ready.

Souvlaki-Style Pork Tenderloin with Mixed Vegetables
Shopping List: pork tenderloin, dried oregano, salt and pepper, extra-virgin olive oil, sweet potatoes, red onion, garlic, chicken broth, zucchini, sweet red pepper, lemon, and plain Greek yogurt.

By the way, I must be one of the slowest prep cooks in the city. But take the time to cut all the vegetables into little cube-like shapes, it will help with the suggested cooking time!

My sweet potatoes looking like a bowl full of cheddar cheese here. And can I say how much I love sweet potatoes? I've been making beautiful orange potato wedges for dinner these past weeks.
Love how colourful this plate is! Turns out that red onions are actually purple.
Fresh lemon juice for the recipe and we even added a splash to the garlic yogurt sauce.
Time to put this dish to the test! I placed it in front of Howard who was surprised and impressed at how easy it was to create a souvlaki-style meal. Not knowing beforehand what I was cooking, Howard really enjoyed the garlic yogurt sauce (he's a huge fan of tzatziki and could probably use it with most meats we cook) with the pork, it even prompted him to find out how one makes tzatizki from scratch. For a guy who refused to eat Brussel sprouts the night before, he happily ate his vegetable medley this time.

One of my favourite part of the recipe is that this makes enough for four, meaning we had enough left over to pack for lunch the next day! We are always looking for dinner recipes that carry over to lunches that we can take to work.

So give it a go! Brighten up your winter nights with this easy-to-make meal.

See what other bloggers thought about the recipe here.

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post by Canadian Living and I received compensation for it. There was no requirement to produce a positive review of this recipe. All opinions are our own.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Looking Back: 2013

Happy New Year!

Better late than never? Yes, I think so. Although we can technically say we're still celebrating the Lunar New Year (thank goodness there's two back-to-back new years for us).

2013 was a big year. Howard and I hit a lot of milestones and took many first steps together in our relationship. Normally, we would each share our top picks from the year, but since we had so many great ones, we thought we should share them together!

Chronologically speaking, 2013 started off great. As per tradition, we counted down with close friends and went out to try someplace new. Sure, the food wasn't great and the drunken atmosphere wasn't our scene, but we had fun that night! There were many Winterlicious experiences and dinner parties. Weeks passed and our close friends all introduced new additions to their family and to our group. These bundles of joy have cheered us up and we applauded them on their many small achievements (smiling, laughing, being able to hold Sophie the giraffe, flipping, sitting, and now they're moving from milk to other foods) throughout the months. What's more, Howard and I were blessed to be named godparents!

The summer went by in a blink and we continued our Summerlicious lunches and dinners. We finally went looking for a home and were taught many tough lessons from the real estate business. No such luck as we looked at tiny units after tiny units. How do people find affordable housing out there?

Autumn meant we would be embarking on our annual road trip to New York City. This year, we went on a macaron tour and feasted on some great desserts. Then, (even though I suspected it) Howard moved us into our next big step in our relationship by proposing in Central Park. Eeeee! Sparkly! Also during this trip, we found new favourite restaurants: Mile End Deli and Missions Chinese Food.

Back home, we answered many unanswerable questions about our upcoming wedding (which we still haven't started planning!) and continued our search for a place we could call home. Ladies and gentlemen, it did happen. We finally came across a place that we liked. Rushed to get a mortgage approved. Started looking for furniture and dreamed about future upgrades. Got our keys on the closing date. Cleaned the place from top to bottom. Waited for power to be restored and ice storms to pass. Settled disputes about parking spots, range microwaves, and cracked toilet tanks. S-l-o-w-l-y started to move in.

Tips for buying a home. Get a good real estate agent. You'll have many, many questions about the process and they should be able to answer everything to your satisfaction. Get pre-approved for a mortgage first. We were in no rush to buy and was casually looking at listings that we thought we would like, but when it came time to finalize the offer, you'll want that mortgage ready! Check and double check for anything that may need to be fixed or replaced before closing. Use your viewings and visits wisely. Get a good lawyer!!! We found our lawyer to be terrible at communicating with us and answering questions - they didn't seem to understand that first-time buyers need clarification sometimes!

So as you can see, we managed to keep ourselves busy from December to January. Sorry for the silence and lack of posts here! But so many great things have happened and we couldn't have done this without the support of our family and friends. Seriously. We want to thank everyone for their housewarming gifts and even tokens of congratulations for our engagement and new place.

Some of you may know this, but as a baker, I rarely cook! We are slowly learning our way around a new kitchen and learning new things about making savoury food. Roasted cauliflower - I like. Spaghetti sauce that lasts us a week - I'm on the fence. Pork cutlets - I love. Flank steak and salad - I love. Frozen lasagna for lunch - I try to avoid.
So in addition to baked goods, if we find something that works, that tastes great, and is easy to make, we'll be sharing it here with you.
I peeled string off beans for the first time last month and was so proud that I took a photo. Now you understand the level of noob I am at cooking. Heck, the first few weeks after we officially moved in, it took me almost two hours to get dinner ready. By the time we cleaned up and was ready for bed, it was way past my bed time. I think we're getting better are preparing quicker meals and packing lunches, it just takes practice and experience!

Sprinkles in the Southwest Giveaway
In efforts to keep the New Year joy going, I'm also hosting a giveaway for two cookbooks written by two fellow bloggers. One sweet and one savoury. Let me know in the comments below which one you'd like to win before midnight on Sunday, February 23, 2014. US and Canada only (sorry international friends).

Sprinkles! Recipes and Ideas for Rainbowlicious Desserts by Jackie Alpers
The New Southwest by Meagan Micozzi

UPDATE: Congratulations to Stephanie, winner of The New Southwest. Congratulations to Dominique, winner of Sprinkles! Please check your inbox for an e-mail from me.