30 July 2007

My Darling One. My Love.

My Darling One. My Love.

Michael, here known as The Fussy Eater, passed away on Thursday 26 July 2007. It was sudden and totally unexpected. He was 40 years old.

He was my biggest fan, my most ardent supporter, and he loved me unconditionally. He was so giving, so kind, and so good to me. I don't know what I did to deserve having such a wonderful person's life intertwine with mine. We re-connected more than three years ago, and have been inseparable ever since. Until now.

I miss you so much. I hope you know how much I love you.


A very special thank you to Alanna, Birdie, Elisa, Elise, Heather, Jeannie and Aaron, Jory, Kalyn, Ruth, Shuna, Susan and everyone else at BlogHer who in their own ways helped me this past weekend.

To my readers: I need some time, and I don't know how much. I hope you understand.

16 July 2007

The weather's cooled down

So by special request, pizza is made. Two pizzas, to be exact.

One: Italian sausage, roasted peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes (and cheese and onions and garlic)

Two: Roasted peppers and aubergines, spinach, mushrooms, grilled courgettes and leftover sausage (and cheese and onions and garlic).

Yumm...played around with the gluten content in the dough --2/3 strong flour + 1/3 plain flour seems to be a good way to go...

These will show up on Cardamom Addict after Blogher.


03 July 2007

No, I haven't been cooking much over the past month

All my real life commitments took over my life, leaving me little time to blog or cook.

In fact, these are all the things I can remember cooking:
Chicken stir fry and pot stickers
Chili that was later turned to cottage pie
Bagels for the Daring Bakers thingie

The rest was bought:
grocery store sushi
grocery store seaweed salad
dim sum
really scary things the office caf "made"
dinners out
takeaway Chinese
takeaway Vietnamese
pizza slices
fast food salads

Oh, and I ate a lot of grapes...lots and lots of grapes.


03 June 2007

It's too hot to cook

A horrid summer approaches but I'm not in the mood for summer fare --you know, light, raw...

Before the weather turned I cooked up a bit of a storm. Made roasted orange pepper soup (it's really such a shame that these are in season when it's too hot to roast them...or make soup). Very simple: roast the peppers, add them to boiling stock then puree.

I also made the last roast chicken of the season--again, simple, just lemon, garlic and salt and pepper. Matched that up with some lemon-asparagus risotto and all is well with the world.

Leftover chicken was put to use in fast foods: chicken natchos and a green chicken salad of sorts.


20 May 2007

I haven't felt like cooking for two weeks


I'm tired and cranky, so I've been relying on convenience foods...which make me more tired and cranky. I'm trying to snap out of it, but I don't know how successful it is. Wound up doing some cooking for a cookbook review. Not bad.

Tomorrow am doing the traditional Victoria Day dim sum...for brunch and then ordering in pizza for supper and the Heroes season finale.


09 May 2007

Beef stir fry

I've been eating a heckuvalotta meat lately. It's really not my thing and my body isn't too happy. I need to get some veg back into my diet...but I still want some beef.

Stir fry to the rescue!

Yellow capsicum, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, onions and mushrooms with wiggly noodles and steak. The sauce was a mix of nam pla, soysauce, red wine vinegar, garlic, ginger, basil and a bit of hoisin...



27 April 2007

Easy food

If you read Cardamom Addict, you know that my computer was out of commission for more than a week.

Unfortunately this week, my tum has been really off this week. Risotto is good. Meat is bad.

Tonight's supper is pasta in tomato sauce...


11 April 2007

Easter Supper aftermath

For once I didn't have loads and loads of food leftover from Easter. If you haven't seen what we (TFE, the exbf and I) had, click here.

Anyway I took Easter Monday off and pretty much survived on sandwiches. The gourmet shop brought back the Parisian ham I so adore, so on Saturday I bought some along with some smoked gouda--that was lunch. Supper was a veggie burger. Yesterday I decided to use up some of the Easter leftovers. I had some chicken legs with backs attached in the freezer, so I roasted them--butter, s&p and rosemary, with a squeeze of lemon. Beanie even got some.

Today I'm not faring so well. Upset tum (the chicken was fattier than usual), and I gave in to some delicious-looking lasagna at the caf...supper is ginger ale.



03 April 2007

I haven't cooked in days...

...probably since last Thursday...and I can't remember what I made then.

Friday was supper on the go...but I did make a squidgey chocolate loaf for a friend.

Saturday started off with some experimental ice cream for the same friend. Lunch was on the go and supper was party nibblies.

Sunday was brunch at a nice little local restaurant and supper provided by TFE.

Yesterday I baked some fish...then realized the potatoes weren't fit for human consumption. found a few salad leaves. Also put a few bananas out of their misery...

Today I made a stir fry--one of those kitchen-sink deals: chicken, broccoli, onions, carrots, red bell pepper, wiggly noodles, black bean and passionfruit sauces. Not bad.


26 March 2007

Feeding the four-footed beasties...

Given the cat food recall going on right now, I'm wondering what it is I can feed my darling little kitties. I've been buying the stuff branded for the bigscarymegamart, but now that the manufacturer has expanded their recall, I've switched back to what the vet sells...at least for now.

I know...not people food...but it's stuff I'm feeding the little furry ones...


19 March 2007

Here comes the birthday boy

Yesterday was the exbf's birthday (yay him!). Normally we head out to a restaurant of his choice to celebrate. Not this year.

His request was for me to make him the supper of his choice. And his choice? Barbecued ribs. I've only ever made them once before (a few weeks ago) and apparently he really liked them. He also asked for my mum's corn fritters. Which meant I had to call India. Nottaproblem, I usually call once every week or two. I must admit, because of everything else in my life right now, I went to the bigscarymegamart and picked up some coleslaw and potato salad.

His birthday cake? Well, I must admit I vetoed his first two wishes for much the same reason. He wanted a shoo-fly pie and then waxed lyrically about a Cadbury Creme Egg cake (not a cake with little eggs on it, but a cake made of fondant, held together by a chocolate shell). I, of course, get migraines from working with that much sugar, so I said "no." He flipped through Dorie's book and chose the chocolate chunk devil's food cake with marshmallow icing. I have to say that mine looked nowhere near as good as hers, but I've never been good at making big fluffy cakes.

We ate like little piggies and then had a humongous sugar high for hours...it was all good.


10 March 2007


Last night The Fussy Eater and I headed out to Wilfrid Laurier University to hear the great Stephen Lewis speak. Laurier's student PIRG is hosting a weekend-long conference and secured Mr. Lewis for an evening. I was amazing--a gifted orator whose insight into world affairs is amazing. There are very few people who can keep 1500 people of all ages entranced for an hour and a half. Afterwards he signed copies of his book, Race Against Time--I brought my copy and he mentioned how nice it was to see the older cover (it's since been re-designed)--tee hee...If you don't know him, I suggest you visit his Foundation's web site to get more information.

Anyway...given time constraints, TFE and I decided to have supper at a Chinese restaurant across the street from WLU. Being Lent, I had the cashew shrimp and the aubergines with garlic and chillies. Being foods that contained shrimp and aubergine, which TFE won't eat, I had the dishes all to myself. Lots of leftovers...

Tonight I added some skinny-skinny rice noodles to the shrimp dish, along with some other flavours. Very nummy. I've enough of each dish for two more servings.

Am finishing up the last recipe to try for Canada Eats. A pie is in the oven and the place smells amazing....


04 March 2007

Has it really been that long since I last updated?


One week of computer woes and a whole lot of things to do...means this blog gets neglected.

Okay...where to begin...

Ate out *a lot* -- three Chinese New Years, a night at the pub, lots of takeaway. Made ribs, soup, pizza, cornbread..well...a cross between cornbread and corn pudding...

Got very frustrated grocery shopping--poor-quality produce, torn bags of flour and shoppers who were oblivious to others pushing trolleys...

I think that sums things up for the past two weeks...


01 March 2007

To drive the cold winter away

I always assume if I know about any sort of storm, it either won't show up or it won't be as terrible as the weather forecasters try to make it seem.

This morning's radio show rattled off a long list of school buses that weren't running, delayed trains and schools that gave their children snow days. Quite honestly, I thought it could go one of two ways: the storm wouldn't be as voracious as the traditionally over-reactive radio personalities would want us to believe, or it would be really, really bad.

Well...the roads got bad. We were told to use our judgement about staying in the office...I made a few calls, changed my voice mail and left a couple of hours early. It's a good thing I did--my usual 15 minute drive took more than 45: trucks were slipping, people weren't able to stop safely.

More-than-ankle-deep drifts tipped into my boots with every step. I've been home for three hours and I've shovelled more than once. Snow made way for tickaticka ice pellets and soon freezing rain will appear. Winds are rattling windows and doors. Tomorrow will not be fun.

This is perfect soup weather.

I'm in the midst of trying out recipes for my next
Canada Eats cookery book review. And I found the perfect soup, in the words of Loreena McKennitt, to drive the cold winter away: bowls of broth, ladened with kale, bok choy and Asian noodles, spiked with chillies and flavoured with nam pla and honey. Served boiling hot, it's a perfect meal.


14 February 2007

Garnet velour cakelets

Last night I reattempted a Red Velvet Cake, but decided come up with my own recipe. It worked out very well, I think. But since I've never had one before, I don't know if it comes close to what I'm trying to emulate. Doesn't really matter, I suppose.

Here's a link to the post on Cardamom Addict.


11 February 2007

Adventures in the grocery store

Nothing excited me. Absolutely nothing. The greens were tired and the cheesese were dull. Because of growing troubles, the citrus was really unhappy. I did pick up a nice slab of bacon, though...

One thing I couldn't get over were all the signs for the Big Scary Megamart's Blue Menue line of "healthier" prepared foods. The line "Do you know how healthy your food is" (or something like that) made me wonder what's in their processed foods...



07 February 2007

I heard the chicken singing

A simple roast chicken is always a favourite. Unfortunately, I didn't get home from work early enough to roast the bird whole, so I decided to practice takeing a chicke apart and broke it down into 10 pieces (separated the meaty bit from the other bit of the wings). No brining. Just slathered it all in butter, salt and pepper and then spritzed a lemon over top. Roasted it to a lovely golden-mahogany.

As much as I love the taste of roasted chicken, I'm particulary enamoured by its sounds. When it's ready it sings a sizzly little sorprano. The other sound I like is the crackle when the fork's tines pierce the skin and plunge into the flesh.

I made one of many un-named glops to go with it: hot Italian sausage, sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts. It plays against sweet and salty, firm and soft. It's just good.


04 February 2007

Big pasta for supper

One thing I dislike about buying big pasta is its bigness. Not the size of the individual pasta pieces, but the quantities in which they are sold.

I needed some rigatoni for the Feb cookbook review. Unfortunately I could only find it in 900g bags. Now I feel compelled to use it up--partly because I haven't the space to store so much of it. There's only so much pasta a gal can eat.

Made a twist on a recipe I saw on TV. I think Nigella called it her "big pasta bake" I added ham and onions to the mix--not bad, but it will still last for days.


29 January 2007

Playing with knives

After months of searching, I found a knife skills class. Years of watching TV chefs chop, mince dice, julliene and chiffonade *in that way of theirs* made me yearn to attempt the same.

The four-hour intensive class was taught by Dish Cooking Studio's Charmaine and Elena--very fun and encouraging people. As with the other session I'd taken, we broke into groups and prepared a meal.

I took a solo project: ratatouille. Lots of chopping. I took my favourite knife along--I'm comfortable with it and I find many other knives too heavy. The instructors approved. One of them asked me if I cook a lot because apparently my method of doing things was that of someone who knew their way around a kitchen (lala!). Then I got to cut up a chicken (something I've never been good at).

Because of this course I've decided the next addition to my knife collection will be a Santoku. It slices very nicely.

By the end of the session we feasted on quite the meal: braised fennel, cabbage salad, Belgian frites with aioli, two types of chicken, flank steak, lemon gremolata and (of course) the ratatouille. Very filling and very tasty.


25 January 2007

Has it really been that long since I last updated?


Went grocery shopping on Saturday--the results to be posted on Cardamom Addict as part of Food Maven's event. Am very happy to find out that the health food store carries organic produce, dairy and meats. Yes, there's a premium to be paid, but some organic goods are actually less expensive than at the big scary megamart.

Made my version of a pizzaladiere. Love the contrast between the soft, sweet onions and the salty-sharpness of the kalamatas and anchovies.

Finally put the Barbapapa-shaped Flavour Shaker to use. Still testing, but so far made a passable curry...am curious as to other things it's capable of...Again, results to be posted...


20 January 2007

Chop chop chop

My wrist was feeling a bit better...and I was getting really tired of pork, so I made a stir fry. Nothing glam--broccoli, onions, carrots and mushrooms with those wiggly noodles. Saucing was pretty basic --soy, fish sauce, sugar, chili sauce, ginger and garlic. Yummy.

Too much for my arm, though. Back to the tensor...


17 January 2007

I'm an invalid, again

So there I was, kneading some dough by hand because my mixer was making whiney "Please don't make me do this" sounds. I love kneading dough--the entire tactile-feeling-cum-frustration-venting exercise it is.

Unfortunately, something went wrong and a few hours later, my knuckles and wrist were swollen and sore. Not carpal tunnel, it feels more muscle-based than that. I've been slathered in Tiger Balm and alternating between tensor bandages. I've mastered the GI Joe Kung-Fu grip look.

Anyway, dinners have been rather simple, given my wrist: pork chops stuffed with apples and sausage with potatoes on the side. Made up a big tray of each and have been surviving on left overs.


11 January 2007

Fast Food

Given everything that's happening with Cleo right now, I really don't know what time I'll be eating my evening meal from one day to the next. Suppers have been haphazard, with at least one serving of soup in there....

My champion went home today and is doing as well as he can. He's royally miffed at the exbf for abandonning him at Dr. B's...but he's more than happy to purr for me when I checked in...

After running some errands, I came home much later than the norm. Tonight's supper is a faux quesadilla--the last of the roast beast layered with salsa, cheese, spinach and onions all microwaved up for some adequate eats...


08 January 2007

Kitchen Sink Soup

The blogger "upgrade" is done and I'm still fiddling with things. Need to figure out how to re-insert the banner. I'll do that later.

Wandered through my morgue of a fridge, determined to find the makings for supper. Remnants of dinners past are in plastic containers everywhere. Some things wound up being tossed: the horrid mustard sauce, something that was at one point a dulled fuschia and is now a lifeless browny red.

Decided to make a soup out of what I could: rapini sauted in garlic, chilli, onions, tomatoes and curry leaves (plus lots of spices) along with the half-serving of mushrooms and onions. Opened a tin of tomato soup, added twice that of water and the rinsed contents of a tin of chickpeas. Added some cumin and let everything simmer. There's enough soup to last about a week, which is fine--need to get more veg in my diet right now as I'm still recovering from the carneval that was Christmas-New Years.

Must admit this soup was inspired by that very cute David Lieberman on Food Network...he did something similar this weekend...


05 January 2007

Busy as a...

...hive of bees...even if they are made of marzipan.

Just a heads up, I'll be switching to the "new" Blogger format this weekend, so your reader may have problems picking up the feed.

If you don't hear from me by Tuesday, please check in--I know some of the Blogger blogs I follow dropped of my rss reader after they made the switch...

If worse comes to worst, you can always check the home page at www.sensualgourmet.ca as my wonderful Web guru is keeping an eye on things...


PS -- Yes, I used this as an excuse to re-post my favourite foodie pic from 2006...
add this page to del.icio.us

02 January 2007

New Year's nosh

The ususal Indian feast for New Year's was shunted for a roast beef dinner. I made dessert -- a chocolate-chocolate gingerbread (a la Nigella) to help use up some of the leftover hard sauce from the Christmas pudding. In her meal-making tizzy, I wound up being drafted into making Yorkshire puddings. Why? We haven't had them in several decades, but for some reason, she decided we needed them. I was also called upon to make a mustard sauce for the beef.

I think I did more--all of it last-minute--including finding a bottle of wine on a day when the LCBO is closed...wound up getting a bottle of Champagne from their cupboard...the bottle may have been as old as I. Given it wasn't chilled, we put it in the freezer, which killed the fizz. Oh well...it was more like ice wine than champagne. Given how warm it is, I don't think our Niagara vintners will be able to make much ice wine this year, so I guess this will be as close to it as I'll get...