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...
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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...