Toddlers wouldn’t know good food if it hit them in the face. (And if you’ve ever seen a toddler eat, you’ll know that’s exactly what it usually does.)
Feeding kids ain’t as simple as it used to be. Back in my day (I cringe that I’m old enough to say that), I remember plenty tuna casseroles, stir-fries and macaroni and cheeses. No one had the time to slave over stoves like Moms did in the ’50s and ’60s, so quick and easy were the name of the game after a hard day’s work. And even though parents have less time than ever in 2016, we’re a lot more discerning in what we eat. We scrutinize nutritional guides. Scour ingredient lists. We do everything in our power to make sure we’re not giving our families food we’ll come to regret later.
So you’ll need meals that’re both quick to produce and good for you—good thing Old El Paso’s dinnertime options provide just that!
Though the little ones are too young to appreciate theme days like Taco Tuesday, Sarah and I appreciate planning our meals well in advance. Nothing’s worse than hearing “What’s for dinner?” before you’ve even had a chance to think about the answer.
And so our second Old El Paso dish was Skinnytaste’s Crock Pot Chicken Enchilada Soup in Old El Paso Tortilla Bowls—a meal with minimal cleanup! Being the efficient chefs that we are, we used much of the chicken from our last recipe for the meal! Interested in how we made them? Check out the recipe below:
Writing these weekly wrap-ups do more than just help me remember the hijinks I get up to each week — they also keep me well aware of the time that’s trickling through my fingers, and how quickly 2015 will be a foggy memory instead of the current reality. 2016 brings new goals, more family, and while I never know what’s around the corner anymore, I’m sure plenty of opportunities I’d never imagined possible.
Which is all the more reason I need to get this 2015 stuff off of my plate so I can tackle 2016 with a clear head!
Rasslin’ Big Smoke Burger’s “Urban Cowboy” for Hellmann’s Burger Route
I happened over Hellmann’s Burger Route by chance while visiting the Village’s Fresh Burger, surprised that I hadn’t heard of an event spanning more than 30 restaurants across the GTA! This simple discovery changed my November lunch hours, taking me places I usually found too far to visit.
This week saw the first trip (of many) down to the CF Toronto Eaton Centre’s Big Smoke Burger to get my grubby man-sized paws on their Urban Cowboy, which I’m pretty sure is the best fast food burger I’ve ever tasted. No lie — this isn’t even sponsored. I went back another two times to get it, knowing it’d likely be unavailable after November. I waited in line for this burger — Casey Palmer don’t wait in no lines. Too bad it’ll likely be gone by the time you read this ?
When Butterball decided they liked my last post enough to order up a second helping (and yes, please expect many turkey and Thanksgiving puns from here on in), I was game for pretty much anything they wanted to try. The last time we’d danced, I wound up hanging with Team Andretti as we watched all manner of vehicle drive ludicrously fast down by Exhibition place. As a parent, husband and homeowner, it can be tough to find the time for hitting events, but when they’re cool enough, you make time.
Which is all a roundabout way of saying a courier caught me by surprise when he showed up at my door with a 6-kilo turkey to hand over!
So, context. In the nearly 8 years we’ve been together, Sarah and I have tried to cook a turkey but once, so put off by the disastrous result that we never tried again. An undercooked bird, a handful of tantrums and a hazy period where I went vegetarian for a bit purely out of spite later, it’s a task I put squarely out of mind until one point in the future where either set of parents decided they no longer wanted to host family dinners and tasked the kids to do it*.
But a big part of holidays is about family, and now with one of my own, it’d probably be for the best if I learned a thing or two about putting a holiday spread together — I mean, it’s the least I could do for the people who’ve put up with me this long, right?
For #100HappyDays Day 26, the word was “productivity”. After clearing out some outdated tech for electronic disposal, getting my old Fish ‘n’ Chimps comics prepped for their return to the Internets, and whatever household chores were on the list, it was time to hit my in-laws’ to celebrate my Dad’s 64th birthday.
While far more exhausted than I thought I’d be (I guess an 8-hour night of sleep won’t fix a week of rotten sleep habits…), I always enjoy time with family and my mother-in-law’s home cooking! (I can tell you that cottage roll’s gonna be a regular commodity from home from now on, I kid you not!)
The weekend’s won’t likely be relaxing, but great times are still ahead!
#100HappyDays Day 26/100 — I’m off to bed early, since tonight is the worst night of all for nocturnal types like me, where Daylight Savings Time steals an hour away for whatever ridiculous reason.
“Spring forward, fall back” my butt 🙁
Tell your wife, tell your kids, tell your husbands:
After making surprising time on the QEW/403 (yet again), with 45 minutes to kill, Christine and I figured that coming to The Martini House without trying the martinis was criminal in some social circle, so there we were getting all fancy and stuff.
Round one of the booziness!
Ingredients: SKYY vodka, X-Rated fusion liqueur, gin, sour lime, white cranberry Tastes like: Taking a delicious drink of grapefruit juice
Round Two of getting our martinis on!
Christine had this made specially, with Ovation chocolate as a garnish
Ingredients: Limoncello, Sour Puss Lemon, lemonade Wasn’t a huge fan of this. Apparently they used to make it with Europa Meringue Liqueur and it tasted way better, but the LCBO discontinued it and now it tastes way different. Thanks, guys 🙁
Let the Games Begin
The boys joined us by our second round at the bar (which is good, because we’d reached the point where Christine was calling her drink fancier than mine and calling the bartender a mixologist…), and we cozily made our way into a space by a wonderful couple (who I hope didn’t mind how noisy a night they had ahead of them!)
Remembering the awesome food I’d had when I’d visited Boston, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to have a good lobster bisque. In a mug. With a croissant. (I love croissants!) It was a big serving, delicious, and any soup I can drink with a handle is a drink that’s great in my books!
Had I known that I could replace cream corn with mashed potatoes (or “smashed potatoes” as the menu says), I would’ve definitely ordered the Smokey Beef Short Rib, but c’est la vie.
The carbonara was pretty good, but I would’ve liked it with some spice. (What can I say — my parents are Jamaican!) It was a good portion; hard to finish — I think martinis fill you up? Who knew.
Vanilla Creme Brûlée
Without the capacity for cake, I was in the mood for something light — and the vanilla crème brûlée hit the spot. No complaints on this one!
If you want to check out some of the other options that The Martini House has to offer during the Taste of Burlington festival, check out the Martini House’s Taste of Burlington menu 0r some shots of other food options below!
Wonton stuffed with Ontario grain fed beef, dill pickle spear. Smoked ketchup and con queso dipping sauce
Ontario supreme of chicken finished with Amarula drizzle, smashed potato, vegetables
The Martini House proudly communicates its vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options, and that it uses locally-sourced Ontario ingredients.
Crispy calamari, jalapeno slivers, chipotle aioli
Justin felt he had to be different and was the only one at the table who ordered this. Hater.
Slow braised Ontario short rib with Dr. Pepper glaze, homemade cream corn Looked SO delicious when it came out. Had me thinking twice about my fusilli 🙁
So much food, so little stomach!
Three Cheers for the Taste of Burlington!
The Taste of Burlington festival runs from February 27th through March 10th and features 23 of Burlington’s eateries with $20 lunch and $35 dinner menus. If you’re looking for a little adventure outside of your Torontonian stomping grounds, try Burlington this week! Your taste buds just might be surprised!
[disclaimer: The Martini House comped us some delicious food and drink on the premise that we were bloggers and would cover the drinks and hijinks of the night — which caught us completely off-guard as we thought we were just getting our dinners covered — but they’re just that amazing!]
Tell your wife, tell your kids, tell your husbands: