31 October 2006


Far too busy a week.

Am surviving on omelettes and meals I've frozen eons ago. This weekend's bakefest was alluded to by Mr. Bean: three loaves of raisin bread, some cookbook testing-reviewing and of course Hallowe'en treats for the office. I will say that I'm quite happy with the way my Hallowe'en treats came out. I'll blog about them soon--hopefully tonight--on Cardamom Addict.

Baking these goodies reminded me of when people would hand out home-made treats around here. It's not that long ago when people stopped. Unfortunately with accidental (and purposeful) tainting, mini chocolate bars and chips and pop and whatnots are now the preferred "treats."

As we rarely get trick-or-treaters, only one bag of Twix bars is in the house. I am looking for a sentimental favourite in the stores, though. Cannot find any of the mollasses toffees (Hallowe'en kisses) this year--I thought they were a staple at this time of year. Was at the TFE's grocery store last night--noticed the only things left in the candy aisle were raisins, Kraft caramels and plain chips.

Edit: Here's the Hallowe'en treat post: http://cardamomaddict.blogspot.com/2006/10/me-all-halloweeny-2006.html


26 October 2006

Note to self

Choco-covered coffee beans are potent candies. Do not eat any after 9pm...


23 October 2006

Quick supper

Given how infrequently I eat pasta, I feel as if I'm eating a lot of it.

Got in late from work. Need to leave in 30 minutes for the TFE's so as to watch the yummy new Doctor. Thank goodness I had some meatballs in the freezer along with some fresh broccoli and brussel sprouts. As the pasta water boiled, fried the little balls-o-meat and then, in the drippings added some onions and garlic. Tossed in the veg--gave it all a shake and let them steam for a while. when done, added some tomato sauce that was in the fridge, put the cooked meatballs back in and kept it on low. Added cooked spaghetti (well, spaghettini) and some cheese. Made enough for lunch tomorrow, so that's all sorted.


22 October 2006

Nursing a cold

This is a nasty bug. It's settled into my chest like a bad party guest who is immune to the subtle and not-so-subtle hints that he should leave...is still on the couch. I have as much energy as a dust mote.

But I must get into the kitchen today. I am very tired of subsisting on stale raisin bread and orange juice when at home. While away last week, I dined on fine and passable meals, but I need something easy...and soft...and sweet. Out came the bowl and in dumped flour, eggs, blueberries, milk, baking powder and out poured blueberry pancakes. I don't think I should have made the back bacon...it tasted off.

Need to finish up the recipe reviewing. I so desperately want to make so many things from this book, but I know I won' get them all done.

The cats are still unhappy about Mousie's disposal. Given they have walnut-sized brains, I'd have thought my feline friends would have forgotten about him by now. Makes me wonder if they are the ones who let him in in the first place.


21 October 2006

My kitchen visitor

Before I left for the conference, Mousie returned. Not a problem, just set up the trap and wait until he's had his fill and gets bored and leaves again. It's not as if he'll be caught.

I came back to find that Mousie is no longer with us.

The cats are quite upset.


16 October 2006

Baking up a cold

Overdid it this weekend and worsened my cold--a deep, chesty cough has settled in, but what else does one expect from me?

Spent the weekend baking--Saturday was the only day I could get anything done for World Bread Day. Went through the beautiful "Home Baking" by Alford and Duguid for inspiration, but decided that all that was needed was a hearty loaf. Found it in Edna's Schmecks, via Neil's Harbour Bread. I made one small modification: used milk instead of water since I had too much unused milk in the carton and it was due to go off on Monday. Good thing I did as it was as thick as buttermilk this morning. If I had the time I'd make pancakes or make some cakes, but I'm out of town for most of the week and I need to get homework done.

Afterwards, felt too tired to do anything, so TFE and I retreated to the very drafty booth in the pub--probably a good contributor to this cough.

Sunday I was industrious and did some cookbook reviewing. Great book--a near-perfect pie (by my standards) and wonderfully moist brownies. Great writing contributed to probably the best pie crust yet. The romantic in me fell for the backstory of the brownies...not a disappointment.

Woke up feeling horrid. Tired and horrid. Needed easy supper tonight after a long day at work. Mushroom and cheese omelet hit the spot.


12 October 2006

Waxed paper wrappers

Sometimes the only relief from an unending parade of turkey leftovers can be found in a waxed paper wrapped takeaway burger and overly salty fries, served by a cocky twit of a cashier.


09 October 2006

A hearty lunch

Cooking for a bit of a crowd today. Decided to get with the spirit and make an Oktoberfesty lunch, loosely based on a meal I had at a festhall last year.

Apart from creamy scalloped potatoes (with cheese..lots of cheese), I roasted Oktoberberfest sausages on some spiced carrots. The beauty of this meal is that everything cooks at the same oven temp. Just popped it all in and baked it for an hour. The accompaniments were (of course) sauerkraut and sweet mustard.


07 October 2006

Behold the wondrous Greening

Apple pie day today. Went to the market and bought about five kilos of apples for a total of about $10. Talked to a small grower who had a variety I'd read about but never saw in the stores. Among other types, she grows Greenings (which she calls Granny Greenings). They look an awful lot like Granny Smiths--small and green--and they are similar to Granny Smiths --tart and good in pies--but they aren't as puckering. Don't think many local growers have them. She also grows Cox Orange Pippins, but I've missed them by about two weeks. This year's crop wasn't the greatest, thanks to the rains, so I will have to wait for a year or so. From her, I bought the Greenings and some little Golden Delicious. Went to Martins and picked up some Honey Crisp and Galas as well. A mixed apple tart is always more pleasing than a mass from a single variety.

I don't know what got into me, but after making a decent pastry the other week, I decided to fiddle with the recipe. In hindsight I probably shouldn't have. I'm sure it will be fine--won't know until tomorrow. I wound up using half the apples to make a giant, 10" deep dish pie. I barely had enough pastry for the pie. The top of the coffin collapsed, leaving the little ceramic pie-vent bird nekked to the world. Poor little thing.

Just finished creating a new ice cream -- honey-cinnamon. It worked out rather well. Not cloying, as I often find honeyed puddings, but subtly sweet with a good, nutty cinnamon flavour. It is the colour of milky coffee. It's a perfect compliment to the pie. Not sure if I'd have it on it's own. The flavour is fine, but not sure if it can hold it's own...it needs to be part of a mutual admiration society of sort.

Was guest chef at TFE's for supper. Recipe testing for the next Canada Eats review. Everything turned out very well. I have one more dish to make up and then I'm done with this book (apart from writing the review, that is).


06 October 2006

Mid-Thanksgiving puttering

For reasons only truly understood by her, my mum has decided to have two Thanksgiving meals this year. The first was last night, so I am living off leftovers: roast beef, potatoes, veg...I have no pie, though...hmmm...

The real meal takes place on Sunday and I'll be making an apple pie for it...much to my mum's delight and chagrin. She hates pastry and I love it...Am currently trying to figure out the perfect apple mix for the pie. I've also decided to make a honey-cinnamon ice cream for it. All will be done tomorrow...

On top of that, I'll be recipe testing at TFE's tomorrow. Just sorting out the shopping list...


04 October 2006

This is what happens when you sleep in...

It seems like ages ago that pasta was a really regular occurrence in my diet. Noodles, lasagnas, stuffed pastas were happily devoured. I don't know when I slowed down on my strand slurping. No, my love affair with pasta didn't meet its downfall when the low-carb craze kicked in--as if I'd follow something as silly as that--I think I just got bored and tired of it. Now, it seems as if noodles and their friends only show up when I can't think of something else to have, or need something that's super easy and there's nothing in the freezer to reheat.

Today is a pasta day. I still have loads of the ratatouille left over. I originally wanted to put it on pizza, but with the dark, dark mornings, I'm having trouble getting out of bed at a decent hour, therefore couldn't get a good start to the dough before I left for work. Oh well...the veg will be used for the pasta...I'll add some mushrooms and cheese to it...quick, hearty and filling...just before I run out the door...


01 October 2006

Oven-roasted goodness

It's cooling down again. The skies, although bright, are grey. It's also raining a bit--spits and spats. Today feels like October...which is good, because it is October.

I don't know why but on Sundays my main meal seems to be lunch. Today it's porkchops slathered in a spicybarbeque sauce, baked in the oven along side potatoes tossed in olive oil and spiced with salt, pepper and coriander. Steamed veg accompanies. It's good, simple and a bit heartier than I've been having lately.

Supper is the above, but a smaller portion. I've made the oven-roasted ratatouille--it's aromas are permeating everything. I've made too much of it (if that's possible) and I had to split it into two baking dishes. I'll be eating it for a few days. Am thinking of picking up some puff pastry and rolling the leftovers into a struedel. I think, given my time (and lack thereof), I'll use this for my CBBP2 entry.

Mousie is awol. Neither the peanut butter nor the bacon fat have been nibbled. Chances are it found some other food store...the cats are useless beings when it comes to these things. For all I know, they are hiding mousie.