Saturday, December 25, 2010

festivus?

so this is christmas...


when you're jewish, christmas is just like any other day of the year, but with a few inconveniences, like, everything is closed. 
since everyone else is sipping hot cocoa and opening presents under a fir tree, we have to make due with whatever is in the fridge and giftless shame.
here is the lunch my bro and i prepared for my dad as a belated bday. we're good, simple folk.
middle eastern treats like tahini, olives, and zaatar with greek feta and spanish onion salad and toasted rye bread is the kind of cultural mash-up you can expect when the grocery store isn't open.





pineapple carrot cake with coconut cream cheese frosting.
(my bro is totally "famous on my blog")


HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD! (and jesus).







Wednesday, December 22, 2010

my fave things

coffee that's thick, without any sweetenin',
muffins with crunch, to sink your teeth in.
yellowy cornbread, jalapeño, green onion,
these are a few of my favourite things!

ground coffee. boiled water. french press.
cornmeal. whole wheat flour. oil. egg.
baking soda. baking powder.
salt. honey. yogurt. creamed corn.
green onion. jalapeño pepper.
muffin tin. 350 C.








Wednesday, December 15, 2010

apt pupils

i think women should know how to cook.
there. i said it.
i think men should know how to cook too, so don't get all "that's so sexist" on me.
it just so happens that i have two very clever and amazing girlfriends who have little interest in cooking and fall well below standard kitchen competence levels for their age group.
if you ask me, they would do really well if they only applied themselves.
a little remedial cooking sesh at my house will have hopefully unearthed a new passion for these ladies, or at least taught them how to make 3 things.


1. fruit & nut baked brie in a puff pastry shell. 
it's a rich looking appetizer (or dessert, if you're that way inclined), and it really only requires assembling already made grocery store items. easiest.
under my watchful eyes, friend one and friend two rolled out a square of puff pastry and chopped up some pecans and apricots, placed a wheel of brie in the centre of the pastry, and covered in pecans, apricots, currants, brown sugar, and a dash of cayenne pepper. they then wrapped it up by folding the pastry over top and brushed all around with egg-wash. in the oven at 350o C for 25-ish minutes. i'm giving them an A. but how can you really go wrong with those ingredients? 


oh, nothing to see here...
KAPOW!!!


2 & 3. for the main course we made gnocchi (that fun to pronounce potato dumpling pasta thing) and a creamy shrimp and asparagus sauce.
gnocchi from scratch is a bit of a process, but fun to do when there are a few other sets of hands around. we made ours with a combo of sweet potato and regular baking potatoes and with whole wheat flour. the potatoes need to be boiled or baked before, then skinned and mashed. add the flour, egg, salt and pepper and you have a very sticky situation on your hands.
with floured hands we rolled tablespoon-sized pieces of the dough into individual little football shaped dumplings and then scored them with a fork for authenticity. we then boiled them in salted water for about 3-4 minutes.
group mark: A-. there were complaints about sticky hands, and inconsistencies in dumpling size, but great effort nonetheless!

the cream sauce was easy as. fresh garlic, thyme, rosemary, chili flakes and ground nutmeg in a hot pan with olive oil. then chopped asparagus and shelled shrimp. finally, whipping cream (my favourite-and fattiest ingredient) and sim simmer, who's got the sauce for my dinner?
ladies scored an A+ for jumping right in to pull the shrimpy legs and tails off!

for an overall grade of A, these gals passed with flying flavours!

whole wheat gnocchi from scratch.
believe in yourself, and you can achieve anything!



Tuesday, December 14, 2010

keep warm and carry on

i don't want to sound like a broken record, but i hate winter. 
not because i don't like fluffy snow, or frozen lakes, or sparkley icicles. those things are all pretty cute. 
it's because in order to make snow fall, and lakes freeze, and water turn to stalactites, the temperature apparently has to drop to -28celcius and stay that way for like, a hundred days. and this is upsetting.
my only weapons against weather of that barbaric magnitude are; warming foods, subcutaneous fat, and animal furs. they're all necessary i tell you, but i'll stick to the least controversial.

when skinning a rabit pelt...just kidding. food it is!




carrot soup is a good way to start raising your core temperature and defrosting your fingertips. make it with lots of garlic, and spices like cumin, and heat from chili flakes. it'll warm you better than an electric blanket.
for the garlic croustilles, slice a baguette or whatever bread you have, brush with olive oil and freshly pressed garlic, and bake in the oven for a few minutes.





animal flesh is also pretty warming. i got this organic/local/well-loved, etc. piece of steak at a nearby butcher where the helpful young man behind the counter recommended clodhammer steak (also known as 'mock tender').








what i wanted: 
-to grill the meat (rare).
-to flavour with garlic, salt, and pepper.
-not to have to chew so much.
what i got:
-all of the above, and a more flavourful steak than other tender cuts.
bonuses:
-the meat is super lean.
-the price is right. clodhammer is cut from the shoulder (chuck), so it's not considered as fancy-pants as a tenderloin steak.

served up with: 'sour cream and green onion mashed potatoes' (baked with a parmesan crust), steamed asparagus with lemon juice, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper ALL OVER.
and a glass of red. 

winter can kiss my fur.




Friday, December 10, 2010

let me entertain you

entertaining can be broken down into 5 vital components (in english, et en français):
-appetizers/hors d'œuvre
-starter/entrée 
-main/plate principal 
-dessert/dessert
and the most important of all -the draannkss
wow them with gastronomical delights in any language (you pretend) you can speak, but if you want your guests to leave with a REALLY good taste in their mouth, get them drunk.


here's what went down last night. i had some ladies over and this was our pre-theatre dinner. in return for a warm meal, my dinner guests were forced into becoming my blog-tographers. (thanks! the pics look great!).
inspired by hanukkah, i call it: the 9th crazy night. crazy GOOD!
exhibit a: grapefruit vodka martini with mini cheese puffs (puff pastry rolled out and filled with olive tapenade, capers, crumbled feta and grated cheddar cheese - rolled sushi-style, cut into medallions, placed cut side down on a baking sheet and topped with a little egg wash *would have liked a sesame or caraway seed on top, but had none. oh well.)








exhibit b: baby spinach salad with pomegranate and toasted pine nuts. dressed in a simple balsamic vinaigrette. (switch to wine - lots of).






exhibit c: crispy yukon gold potato latkes with smoked rainbow trout mousse and seared scallops - those are chive flowers as garnish.
the latkes are standard issue, grated potato, onion, egg and flour, fried and then baked for extra crispness.
the mousse was an experiment which turned out not too shabby. i blended smoked trout, cream cheese, sour cream, whipping cream, spanish onion, and lemon juice.
scallops were pan seared in butter and fresh thyme. 

exhibit d: les beignets avec strawberry jam and a dusting of icing sugar. ya, jelly donuts.
oh. so you think you've eaten donuts before?
think again. these aren't the cakey crap you get at your local coffee shop dive. 
these are airy, yeast-risen, still hot from the deep fryer miracles of life! (and ya, yeast is alive, yo.)
because i love these so, and i want you to make them, i'm giving you the real live recipe, straight from my safta's kitchen!


activate some dry yeast (1/2 tsp) in lukewarm milk (3/4 cup), then make a dough with white flour (2½ cups), 1 egg, a touch of sugar (2 tbsp), salt (pinch), butter (1 tbsp), and cognac (1 tbsp for you, and a glass for me..)
mix in a bowl. make a ball. cover with a towel and let rise until it's doubled in size. punch it down and let it rise again. roll it out to about 1 inch thick. cut into circles with a glass. (use a small cup for minis like these. fry in 2 inches of oil (i used rice bran, but canola will do) for 10 seconds on each side (they turn brown reaaally quick, so be prepared to flip 'em over). let them cool for a moment on paper towel and then serve with your jam of choice!


got it?



Thursday, December 9, 2010

green salsa & ham

as a youngster, i never really appreciated mexican food. my only exposure to it was through taco bell, and that stuff's just nasty. even my one trip to mexico in my late teens didn't produce any memorable dining experiences. too much rice, huevos, and beans. not enough good.
i guess there is something to be said about all the wisdom that comes with old age. the switch has flipped and i now know; mexican food is sooo super yum! (sage words). 

pulled pork takes some pre-planning since it needs to cook for 5-6 hours. i bought my pork shoulder in the morning and readied it for the long shvitz in the crock pot. 
- brown the pork on all sides in a hot skillet, then throw it in the slow cooker (set to high). 
- in the same skillet add chopped onion, garlic, tomatoes, jalapeño pepper, tomato paste, brown sugar, cumin powder, worcestershire sauce, and fresh lime juice. cook a bit, then add it all to the pork in the crock poterino.
that's either steam, or i'm mighty fast at pulling pork.
also, check out the circa 1960's crocker.

a quick 6 hours later, that pork shoulder is relaxed to the t's. 
with a fork, flake apart the meat into tasty, melt-in-your-mouth shreds. mmmmm.






next! you can buy salsa verde in the store, but then i might point and laugh at you. just kidding, i don't care. but if you want to impress someone by telling them you made your own salsa verde, then go for it, because it's super easy to make (as long as you have the ingredients and a food processor).

you will need:
tomatillos!! aren't they cute!?
two l's make a y.
these can be found at latin food stores. they look and smell like a large green cape gooseberry but they're tomato all the way.
remove the papery outer layer, rinse, cut in half and place cut side down on a baking sheet. broil in oven for 10 minutes (until tops are brown).
combine with a bunch of fresh cilantro, garlic, white onion, lime juice, pinch of sugar and jalapeño and zap in the food processor. refrigerate.
voila! green salsa.


the finale. corn tortillas with pulled pork, salsa verde, re-fried beans and guacamole. 
¡Olé!
not the prettiest of foods. but so very tasty.



Wednesday, December 8, 2010

morning glory

not to be mean to pancakes, but they are no more than a vehicle for transporting maple syrup into my mouth. 
having said that, i can trickily make my pancakes out of healthy ingredients instead of the usual white flour fluff, and it doesn't make a difference to my breakfast enjoyment levels. i bet even particle board would taste ok were it doused in that sweet ol' tree nectar.
this morning i made p-cakes with rolled oats, half a grated carrot, an egg, cinnamon, and 2 spoons of chia slime. (ya, chia. of the ch-ch-ch-chia fame). you can get chia (a.k.a salvia) seeds at health food stores and the directions for making the slime are on the back of the package but basically add water to a bit of the dry seeds and 'watch them grow!'. not like in the commercials where they sprout into grass, they just expand and make a gel over-night. it's really good for you. i swear.


i spooned a med. sized pancake amount onto a hot non-stick pan then cooked for 3 or so minutes on each side or longer because the carrots needed to soften the @#$% up.
i also made a berry coulis by heating up some frozen berries in the same non-stick pan. easy clean-up.


needless to say, the maple syrup was scrumptious.
slurp.


double your pannies and make a stack.



Tuesday, December 7, 2010

soup'a dupa

'tis the season to be jolly. and by jolly, i mean rotund.
the amount of shameless gluttony that takes place around this time of year warms my little heart. but it also enlarges my fat ass, and since i'd rather taste soft doughy rolls than have them on my back, i try to take days off between festive meals and have lighter and healthier fare on my 'off days'.


i made some beef stock in my slow cooker a couple of weeks ago and now it's sitting in murky anticipation in my fridge. 
bouillon, today is your lucky day.
all i had to do was warm it up and then throw some chopped kale and mushies in there. healthy supreme.
to trick my idiot stomach into thinking it was eating carbs, i threw a whole bundle of shirataki noodles in there. these noodles are made out of some kind of fibre. 
sure, they have a mouth-feel akin to chewing on rubber bands, but they also have like, no calories.


a hearty meal that will let me get back to business tomorrow. 
fly.
i won't lie, my idiot stomach wanted ice cream after, and i obliged.
what the eff? it's the holidays, after all!


Thursday, December 2, 2010

move 'strich, get out the way!

i've been horrible. i know.
to the three and a half people that read my blog, i sincerely apologize for my prolonged absence. i hope no-one went hungry.


a couple weeks back i found myself feeling rich in st. lawrence market. this is never good. it's the kind of sentiment that leads to buying ridiculous things, like more gourmet mustard than any one human being would ever need. 
(in my defense, i had a hard time choosing between 'sweet and smoky' and 'amazing maple'-so i got them both along with some other flavours for good measure). 
with the kind of money that would easily feed 2-3 families were i shopping in chinatown, i had acquired some fancy cheese, fancy olives, fancy sausage, fancy mustards, and an ostrich steak (fancy, i know).


the fancy dinner i made looked like this:


i told the ostrich steak about the pan. rarrrrrre.


this was my first foray into cooking ostrich meat, and i went into it much like i do with everything else in my life; ill-prepared and overly confident. it's tough. 
seriously. i had to chew, spit out, and re-chew, like a careful mama bird. except i was doing it all for myself. and i was eating a really big bird. 
weird. 
not really. 
but the post dinner, TMJ induced headache was enough to make me swear off ostrich for good. 
or at least look up a recipe next time. 
ho-k!



Friday, November 19, 2010

keep it in the fam

my mom's mom is awesome.
she knits socks, enjoys swimming every day, and doesn't lay it on thick when i'm too busy to call. 
the absence of guilt in a jewish grandmother relationship is a pleasant and welcome rarity that i am lucky to know.
growing up, my 'safta' (as i call her), had very little in the way of money. but she came from a happy and healthy family (of 12 kids!!) and her mum must have taught her right because she's sharp as a whip and can cook like a gem. 
this rice and lentil pilaf, known as 'mejadra', was passed down from my great-granny, to safta, to my mom...you get the idea. whenever i make it i wonder if anyone outside my family would find it as amazingly enjoyable as i do, or whether that's just a matter of repeated exposure and good memories.
there's only one way to find out...give it a try!
my great-granny knew what was up with 4 food groups and complimentary proteins.
i make a long-grain brown rice for the nutritious bonus, but i think the OG (original grandma, duh) made it with white rice back in the day...rinse half parts rice and brown lentils, and then cook like you would normal rice (use more water for brown rice).
slice and fry a cooking onion in oil until it's practically burnt to a crisp....i don't know, it just tastes better that way.
make a 'middle eastern' salad with finely sliced tomatoes, cucumber, red pepper, green onion, and grated carrots and radishes (i didn't have radish, but it's good). my salad is not so finely chopped. i'm too impatient for that kind of task. anyway the salad skills seem to be a 'guy' thing that run down the dad side of my fam. 
fine, i'll tell you about it. 
my dad's dad used to make a salad out of those ingredients that we called: (loose translation alert!!) 'shredded little salad'. point is, we had a name for it, and my bro picked up this skill and can also spend a good 45 minutes cutting little pieces of tomato into uniform tomato molecules. so, OCD is good for some things i suppose.
yogurt on the side makes it a meal. 
shablam!





Wednesday, November 10, 2010

puttin' on the shnitz

it was dumb of me to stay out this late sans dinner, but i guess i lost track of time while feeling up the incredibly soft throws at pottery barn.
anyway, i got home at 9:12pm. starving.
and i swear, not a word of a lie, that i was finished eating dinner by 9:37. that's 25 minutes to prepare and eat dinner. all i'm saying is, if you don't have 25 minutes to devote to making a fresh and delicious dinner, then i don't know how to help you. i'm also saying that a certain rachel ray can kiss my a with her idiotic 30-minute meals. boom.


shnitzel, (the only food item my paternal grandmother [may she rest in peace] knew how to cook)-(kinda), is basically (for all of you non-jewish or eastern european folk) a large chicken finger. 
*read outside the brackets for the annotated version of that sentence.


rather than using the traditional breadcrumbs or crushed corn flakes to coat the chicken, i opted for a coating made of nacho chips that i zapparooed in the coffee grinder for a couple seconds. nacho-bit coated fried chicken. nuff said.
you'll need a thin piece of chicken breast. you can buy a regular one and then force it into thinness by pounding it down, or do it like me and buy 'scalloppini' chicken breast-cut nice and thin.
rinse your breast (ha) and pat it dry with a paper towel. then dip it in a beaten egg followed by your choice of crumbs. (i added cayenne pepper, black pepper and sea salt to my nacho crumbs, but you can add any dry spice to any kind of crumb).
then all you gotta do is lay it flat on a hot pan with a bit of oil in it for 4-5 minutes on each side. 
ha! now you're laughing!


make this dinner remotely healthy with a big fresh salad and dijon-lemon vinaigrette





Monday, November 8, 2010

eff winter

nothing marks the decline of so good into so sucky quite like the turning back of clocks does. i've previously mentioned my dislike (read: contempt) for the cold weather and wintertime...well, 'falling back' an hour is the penultimate sign that for the next 6 months there will be no more skirts and sandals, tanned skin, smiles, or happiness. of course the first step towards dealing with the loss of something as precious as sun, warmth, and the ability to leave my house is like the first step to dealing with anything unpleasant; denial.


i went into full denial mode last night and made the most summery dish i could think to make.
i happened to have shrimp and all the other ingredients i needed, so it was just a matter of closing my eyes and channeling summer memories, like eating fresh ceviche on the sunny deck of a catalina in july. ahhh, the life. it was there that i learned that ceviche (a citrus-marinated seafood dish) can be made quite easily at home (or on a boat).


this is how it's done. son.
cut shrimp up into bite-sized pieces (use cooked and peeled shrimp if you're scared to use the raw stuff, but the acid from the limes is meant to do the job of 'denaturing' the protein-ya, be safe!). place them in a flat-ish container and cover them in fresh-squeezed lime juice. lots of it.
mince garlic and chop fresh cilantro, jalapeño pepper, tomato, grapefruit, avocado, and throw it all in there with a bit of sea salt. cover and set in the fridge for a long time, like, 24 hours. it'll keep for a few days. when you take it out to eat, it'll be nice and fresh. 
cold and spicy and low-fat so you can still look good in that bikini. everything you need on a scorching hot day like today! i'm not crazy.
ps. in case you want to acknowledge winter, this is the ultimate cold-combating food. vitamin c, zinc, fresh garlic....holy!

ceviche. soooo much more fun to say than 'salsa'.


Friday, November 5, 2010

i'm stuffed!

sleepovers. YAY!
they're everyone's fave. if you aren't a fan, then you're obviously some kind of monster. 
tussles, tickles, cuddles, talking 'til 3am....appropriate or not, sleepovers are the best! and the best of the best is having breakfast with your special sleepover buddy the next morning. 
this morning was the best of the best of the best! a sleep-in with a cuddly (rhymes with panda) and my favourite breakfast (french toast) made even better...STUFFED!


this was actually the first time i've ever made stuffed french toast and it turned out pretty delish. 
i used sliced wholewheat bread - toasted. made a mixture out of ricotta cheese, apricot jam, chopped dry dates, and cinnamon... spread the mixture on one piece of bread and then made a 'sandwich' with another piece of bread...dipped the whole thang in batter (egg + cream) and fried it in a skillet for 3-or-so minutes on each side. 


friends forevs! 
and please don't spoil the moment with "table syrup".
we live in canada, get the good stuff.

  

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

vp-t

vegetarian pad-thai is so ubiquitous on restaurant menus around the city, that maybe its acronym could be used instead of that long-winded name to save on ink costs. just a thought.


i'm not complaining about having the option and i appreciate the culinary cultural diversity, but getting vp-t at a restaurant is almost akin to ordering a bowl of kraft dinner. for one, it's usually comprised of 99% rice noodle (the cheapest ingredient) laden with super amounts of tasty (read: fatty) sauce. heavy on fat and refined carbs, and low on veg and protein. not so nutritious. in fact, it's probably the most caloric thing on the menu, (yes, maybe even more than that burger you're eyeing).
anyway, as much as it's a pain in the butt to clean up after, vp-t is cheap and easy to make. if you've never tried making it, you should. 
'cause i said so.
the nice thing about the home-made version is that you can customize it to your liking and load on lots of veggies to fill you up and make it an actual healthy meal.


do this:
fry minced garlic and cubed firm tofu in cooking oil, sesame oil, and some soy sauce. add whatever veggies you like (i used broccoli and red pepper) then throw half of your sauce in (all natural peanut butter, sesame oil, garlic, that asian hot sauce paste, fresh lime juice, garlic and ketchup-mixed well). 
cook your vermicelli rice noodles, 5-6 minutes should do it. then drain them. 
beat an egg and add it to your stir-fry. let it cook a bit, but do not omelettize your stir-fry. add the noodles, remaining sauce, and  get it all mixed up good.
the topping gets messy, but it's so necessary. chopped fresh cilantro and green onion, grated carrot, and fresh mung bean sprouts. it's like a salad on top of your meal. 
garnish with lime wedges galore. and crushed peanuts if you've got'em. trust.
pshya right! kd wishes.

afterthought out loud

forgive me if i didn't give dinner much thought the day after slaving over a hot stove to make an indian feast. geez. you're so demanding.
but hey. not giving dinner much thought does not have to equate to a bowl of cereal at 8pm.

i got home late from the gym knowing one thing only; i want bacon. for 2 reasons.
1. because it's bacon and thus, the tastiest food. 
and 2. because there is no greater sin than letting my delicious organic bacon go rancid in the fridge.
here is how my thought process progressed from that moment to the completion of my dinner.

mmm, bacon. it still smells ok. good. what else is in the fridge? bacon and carrots, ew. bacon and broccoli, ew. ...hmmm, bacon and pasta? ya that's yum. pasta and....pesto! yes....this basil is starting to turn brownish...and parsley. perfs. toast some pine nuts, cashews, walnuts...throw those bad boys in the food processor with the basil, parsley, olive oil and garlic. that's so legit. 
this box of pasta is at least 2 years old... what the hell am i saving it for? whatevs, dry pasta never goes bad, right? ...fry my little bacon! add the al dente pasta and fry it in bacon fat?...oh, clever. that's good. the dinner gods are smiling down on me today, oh yessiry....
crispy bacon-grease pantacce pasta... you complete me. 
in with some pesto. mix-y mix-y in the frying pan...op, on the plate with sea salt and fresh black pepper on top...and...a glass of red vino. how did that take only 20 minutes to make? 


i'm. in. heaven.
pretty much.





Tuesday, November 2, 2010

love me tandoor

indian food is delicious. that's a fact.
making it at home isn't that quick n' easy, but it's doable, and can look quite impressive when you've got company.
the flavouring ingredients that comprise the beginnings of pretty much every indian dish are: garlic, ginger, cumin, and turmeric. if you've got those in your kitchen, you're set. you may also want to have cardamom, cinnamon, and some kind of curry powder if you really want to get serious about this whole cooking thing.
as well, you MUST have basmati rice in the house. in general, but also specifically for indian food.
in my fridge i keep a couple of jars of chutney and tandoori paste that patak's (http://pataks.ca/) makes, because they really have their recipes down pat.
if you've never cooked indian, start with the basics, make a curry or rice and daal (cooked lentils). if you feel ready for more, then start experimenting. 
there she is, all baked up.
she could have been really tasty on the bbq as well.
there are lots of recipes online. don't fret.


the inspiration to cook an indian meal came from my little thawed-out cornish hen. i wanted to cook her differently than usual and 'tandoori' came to mind. i used patak's tandoori paste mixed with yogurt to slather the whole bird, then stuck her in the fridge overnight.




to accompany henny on her journey to my tummy i made: 
-spicy red and green lentil daal
-mushroom curry
-creamy saag
-raita
-and (obvi) basmati rice

the fruits of my labour can be seen below with a slice of store-bought garlic naan bread. 
no i didn't bake my own naan. 
seriously, enough is enough.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

beet it

when you find yourself hungry and far from home, you are automatically at the mercy of the nearest food court, coffee shop, or stranger with candy. it's the worst.
there are few things i dislike as much as consuming crappy food that i was forced into buying by my own hunger.
so, how do i avoid being circumstance's pitiful sucker? i plan ahead and pack a lunch!


ok. maybe you aren't going to collect any street cred by carrying around a lunch bag with you in public. but think about how adversive you'll look sitting in that mall/park/wherever, and eating your delicious lunch in front of envious losers who got a sad bagel from tim horton's.
that makes you a f@$%-ing gangster.

yellow beets!? purple carrots!?
what does it all mean!? 

i think i kept it pretty real with a 'yellow beet, apple, goat cheese, and honeyed-walnut' salad. (also dubbed the 'throw-all-the-crap-you-have-in-your-fridge-on-top-of-some-mixed-greens' salad).


i roasted, peeled, and julienned the beet... sliced an apple... threw some walnuts and honey in a warm pan for a couple minutes... and crumbled some goat cheese.... all on a bed of mixed greens and herbs... into one of those handy-dandy little kitchen items called "tupperware".
you can also take another little container and put some home-made vinaigrette in it to dress your salad later (otherwise it gets soggs). vinaigrette: honey, dijon, lemon, balsamic, olive oil, salt, pepper

close the lid, and away we go!
*i sealed the small pot of vinaigrette to the left with 
plastic-wrap and a tight elastic band....it worked!   




better than a bagel.

word.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

breaky for din

often after a night of heavy drinking, one feels they are entitled to subject their body to further abuse by way of a greasy, crappy, and affordable breakfast.
i'm all for it, but the true remedy for a hangover is actually an hour of brisk cardio activity and a bottle of gatorade. i digress.
why wait until you feel sicky to reward your body? i say; start your night-of-regrets off proper, with breakfast for dinner!!
not only will you enjoy it more now than you will tomorrow, but it's also the perfect pre-game meal containing lots of fat and carbs that will coat your tummy for later. you know, lattttter.
hello happy piggy! so glad you had a nice upbringing.

my friend LD and i had plans to hit the town, so i made organic bacon. ya it's worth the extra $.
buttered rye toast.
an egg.
and garlic hash browns from left-over roasted fingerling potatoes (see 'purps') fried in paprika.


and only half the portion you get at your local greasy spoon!
bottoms up.


* this post is dedicated to my dear brother, who just ate meat for the first time in 8 years, today.
**it's good, right?



Tuesday, October 26, 2010

i'd date me


have a gander at the photo below. 
if you have a mouth, it is likely salivating. 
ew, stop.

i may have majorly rolled the dice by cooking up bivalves for a date a day after being food poisoned.... 
but let me tell you, it was well worth it. 
this seafood pasta was simple and fresh, and not so hard on the eyes, either. dinner for 2, coming right up!


i'll cut to the chase:
(all the ingredients are highlighted for shopping list ease)
  • in salted water, boil some whole wheat spaghettini (the size between angel hair and spaghetti) cook until al dente/not too soft. strain in a colander, replace in pot. add a bit of butter, loosely chopped fresh basil, sea salt and cracked black pepper to the pasta. set aside.
  • in an oven-proof skillet, heat olive oil, add 3 cloves chopped garlic, 1 chopped chili pepper (if you like heat-leave the seeds in!), and a bit of orange zest. cook for 30 seconds.
  • add cleaned and sliced calamari, and scrubbed clams & mussels (don't take any chances with foodborne pathogens-seriously) and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  • add chopped flat leaf parsley, grape or cherry tomatoes, juice of half a lemon, and some white wine to the skillet and then pop it in the oven at 350°F for 15-20 minutes or until all the bivalves have opened up.
  • plate pasta in a wide bowl, scoop the yum yum seafood on top and then cover the lot in a few ladle-fulls of mmm-mmm juices from the pan.

you will have no regrets.

vom-burger

i'd previously mentioned a hankering for a burger this week, and i figured i'd live a little and indulge the craving.
having picked up some extra-lean ground beef on my last shopping excursion, i fashioned me a little burger;
beef, an egg, sliced jalapeño pepper, fresh coriander, cumin powder. all tasty stuff.
i grilled the burger to (my idea of) perfection and melted a couple slices of brie cheese on that puppy. 
for the topping i fried some cooking onion and mushrooms in oil with fresh cracked black pepper, and a touch of white wine.
the bun is a tiny little sesame seed topped dinner roll. 
notice the small size of this burger. 
(eating yummy food is a-ok, you just gotta eat less of it!) 

oh, hi broccoli! sorry you were sequestered to the back of the photo.

before you pee your pants from all the suspense, i'll tell you why i called this little effer a vom-burger.
it's because i vommed a few hours after eating it.
great story, right? perhaps not. but the moral is....beware of beef.
i, for one, am no longer going to buy ground beef from sketchy 24hr grocery stores.
ew.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

hello 'lova

move ova

last night i was invited to my friends' house for dinner. 
i said i'd bring dessert. 
so, there i was, all prepped to blow their minds with my 'harvest pavlova', when my effing meringue decided to collapse and break apart. with no time to create a second dessert or re-make the meringue, i put my trust in the hands of the confectionery higher-ups and hoped that it would at least still taste good.
and it did! here it is after the 3 of us had a go at it. 

the proof is in the pavlova!

here's what i did:
meringue- egg whites and sugar (basically) there are plenty of recipes on the www. i made this meringue with white and brown sugar to make the flavour malty and the colour darker. for pavlovas you want to cook the meringue so that the outside is crisp and the inside is a soft marshmallow-y texture.
whipped cream- it's whipping cream that's been whipped with some sugar- duh
salty brittle- i cooked up some chopped almonds, cashews, and dried apricots in butter, sugar and course salt and then spooned the mixture on some parchment paper to cool and harden. *you can see it broken into bits on top of the whipped cream.
i like the combo of salty with sweet, but it's an option. if the nuts were salted i probably would not have added more salt.
fresh blackberries and golden raspberries on top.


done like...dessert!