31 December 2008

A Vatful of butter chicken

Bonus points if you get the title.

It will take more than 17 months to have me looking forward to New Year's Eve. Thankfully, I busied myself with butter chicken.

A number of minor screw-ups. The chicken wasn't fully thawed, the wrong cuts were thawed, too much chicken, couldn't get the balance correct. Three and a half hours. Meh.


28 December 2008

Some nights only frozen processed pepperoni pizza will do

And as usual, Beelzebub turned it into charcoal.



26 December 2008

Turkey Pot Pie Extravaganza

This is one of my little private traditions. Taking Christmas dinner leftovers and turning them into pot pies to be had on cold, tired winter nights.

'Nuff said.


25 December 2008

Christmas dinner

After much backing and forthing as to venue, the family meal was here at the condo. Beelzebub is not to be trusted with anything as important as the holiday bird, so Mum took care of it (along with gravy and stuffing), tinned cranberry jelly along with my favourite corn fritters. I provided the rest. Three hours of merry-making between six of us....the menu:

Roast Turkey
Corn fritters
Garlicky mash
Maple-glazed, Roasted Carrots and Parsnips spiced with cinnamon and cumin
Brussel sprouts with sausage
Little Penguin Chardonnay-Riesling
Egg nog with brandy
Chocolate Fruit cake, soused in Kalhua

Yes, some of us were a bit glooshy afterwards.

Supper was the traditional Chinese takeaway with the exbf...this year's installment included

Shrimp rolls
General Tsao's Chicken
Shanghai Noodles
Chicken Fried Rice
MooShoo Veggies

Good Lord, we're full.

Leftovers for a while


22 December 2008

Chicken and potatoes

In the run up to Christmas, I'm depending upon easy...

Ovened shakey and bakey chicken with spiced potato wedges...lots of both...will have leftovers for a couple of days.


19 December 2008

Team Christmas lunch

I love our Christmas lunch -- always at a half-decent restaurant, this year at a swanky-lite grill not too far from the office (which was good, given Snowmagedon, as Environment Canada deemed it).

Winter squash soup with bacon and creme fraiche
Tempura fish with frites, served with a slaw and a wasabi tartar
Coffees...no room for dessert.


18 December 2008

Company Christmas lunch

There's only so much one can do when feeding the masses, but my friend in internal comms who organised the doo did a fabulous job...

Mashed potatoes (with real potatoes)
Cranberry sauce
Roasted carrots and parsnips
Rolls with butter
A flipping amazing cheesecake which was almost too good to be mass-produced


15 December 2008

Not quite breakfast for supper...

...but but close enough.

Back bacon with mashed potatoes and spiced cabbage.

Thank goodness Mum had me over otherwise I'd probably not have eaten.


14 December 2008

A month's worth of Christmas baking in one weekend

Ironically, Beelzebub mostly behaved himself.

Seven fruitcakes
7 dozen molasses snaps
5 dozen chocomint crinkles


10 December 2008

Morning after and evening after

Breakfast at Over Easy with Ivonne, as blogged on CA.

Dinner...hot dogs.


09 December 2008

Pre-concert meal

Trying to find someplace to eat near the ACC just before the concert, without a reservation wasn't as bad as it could have been. Only a 20 minute wait at Jack Aster's.

Crab and lobster dip (shared)
Open face steak sandwich with fried onions and French fries
half a pint of Guinness

The others had
Garlic bread
Peppercorn rotini
Grilled salmon on greens


07 December 2008

Ladies who lunch

Decided to have a friend over for lunch--has been ages since I last had someone over for a meal. Since she's vegetarian, I was able to step out of my comfort zone (meat) and not do what so many will do when feeding someone who isn't a carnivore (pasta).

Sweet potato chipotle soup
Bleu cheese streudel with pickled pears
Frisée with balsamic dressing
Apple pie

We were happy. At some point I'll get the photos up on CA


15 October 2008

Turns out election night nibblies are also debate nibblies

Watching the US Presidential candidates debate. Put ditto marks for food from last night to this night.


14 October 2008

Election night vittles

Okay...apart from the DB challenge had very little that could be thought of as food tonight.

Discovered sour cream and dill chips...very good...dipped in low fat, but high sugar, asiago and artichoke dip. Ice Cream with caramel sauce.


12 October 2008

Thanksgiving lunch

A day early but it's better this way.

Full turkey lunch at my parents--turkey, stuffing, mash, corn, carrots, bean salad, cranberry jelly. Made a sweet potato pie for dessert.

Enough food for 10...there were four of us...lots of leftovers


05 October 2008

I should really count how many times I apologise for neglecting this blog

Add a +1 to that tally.

For a project, which will be discussed later, I wound up making 4kg of potatoes au gratin. My big problem is that I just throw things together and don't really measure....but I needed to sort out exactly what I do and take extra care to make it replicatable. I think I succeeded.

To go with all those potatoes: porkchops in a satay-like sauce and braised broccolini with mushrooms.


20 September 2008

Jammy Saturday

The last of the summer fruits have now been preserved. One litre of blueberry jam and 1.5 litres of strawberry. V. yummy.

Also v. tired. Didn't feel like cooking so grabbed a bruschetta from the market and added a few slices fo salami to it. Yum.


15 September 2008

Ike the spike

Well, that' s what I'm calling it.

Air pressures brought on such a headache...not much of an appetite but I ate anyway--lunch was last night's leftovers and supper was half an spinach, bacon and mushroom omelet with cheese (the other half will be sandwich filling for tomorrow's lunch).

Caffeine with acetaminophen usually sorts out a bad headache...this one was a doozy...I kept to the one extra strength tablet, but had three medium coffees. Blah...felt sloshy all day.


14 September 2008

This really is the poor cousin blog, isn't it

Gosh if I ever had a bloggy child that wound up in bloggy therapy about parental abandonment issues this one is the clear winner (or loser).

I'll try and do better.

Tonight's supper was a hodgepodge dinner...shrimp, carrots and bell peppers on rice stick noodles, sauced with a homemade peach-peanut sauce, doctored with ketchup, chillis and soy. Tastes much better than it sounds.


21 August 2008

Well...I won't be buying meat from that shop again.

Decided to marinate and freeze some chicken wings for relatively easy suppers. Got the marinade done -- similar to the pork chops earlier this week. Opened the wing container (actually it was a bag--should have been my first clue) and it smelled like something that was freshly deposited in the cat box.

Just more proof that I should only buy dry goods and things like tin foil at that particular shop.



17 August 2008

Sunday lunch

My parents are still quite pleased about the condo--proof is how they are more than willing to host a lunch at mine. Well, it only makes sense as there's a bit more room for a proper sit-down dinner.

Anyway, they had some family friends in from Toronto and we had lunch here. Mum asked that I take care of dessert--made the August DB challenge, along with blackout cake. She then asked me to take care of the meat--pork chops. Made a char siu-ish marinade that worked out quite well. Will tweak it for some chicken wings to be frozen in portion sizes. Also made curried courgette fritters and garlic aioli. Unfortunately the fritters didn't come out quite well enough and they absorbed a lot of oil, even though the oil was hot enough.

The rest of supper was a veggie biryani and green beans.

Repeat all the above for supper.


28 July 2008

Not hungry

I just haven't felt like cooking or eating.

For the most part, I headed over to my parents' for supper, but I really didn't eat very much.

Still not in much of a mood, but I did make Michael's favourite ribs yesterday. They didn't turn out quite right.


18 July 2008


Normally I'm pretty good about getting in the right amount of food in for meetings--just a few scraps left--a few cookies, maybe a couple of sandwich halves. Either people weren't hungry, the food was unappetising or a bit of both....well, it is industrial cafeteria food isn't it?

Anyway, a 3/4 day meeting over and a lot of food left over--took it back to my cube and sent out the "free food" call. Funnily enough people came and were disappointed...apparently they thought I'd brought in some home-made goodies and weren't impressed to see industrial caf food. A few people came, saw and left.

The thing is I hate waste. So I picked through the leftovers and brought home the more appetising bits:

Spinach salad with feta, strawberries and red onion
Butter croissants
Two sandwich halves
a box of cookies.

Too bad the baked goods have that horrible preservative taste.


17 July 2008

Lunch out

It's been ages since I last had a decent restaurant lunch. That's not to say there aren't good restaurants around, it's just that I brown bag it 95 per cent of the time. The other five per cent I usually grab something on the go (caf fast food).

Had an account rep come out from Toronto to meet with me and my most marvellous manager. We decided to have lunch (the manager couldn't make it), so we went to a newish restaurant in the area--newish because it's only been around for about a year and a half...difficult to get into. Because it's not the standard roadhouse fare, all the office workers want to go there, so you can't just do an impromptu lunch...

Anyway...had a bison burger with southwest aioli and frites. VERY filling but very good. Squeezed in some dessert--an upside down lemon meringue pie: little blobbles of meringue topped with lemon curd, then with cream and then shortbread biscuits. Blueberries were hidden throughout. Was very happy...full, but happy.


14 July 2008

Dinner at friends'

Tonight was a treat. Spent time with some old friends of mine and the exbf's--haven't seen them in a couple of years.

They provided supper: gazpacho, barbequed venison with potatoes and a tossed salad.

I provided dessert the strawberry cream cake I mentioned in the last post. My only booboo was putting it together on Sunday as opposed to today--the berries started bleeding. Oh well...still tasted yummy.


13 July 2008

Strawberry Cream Cake

I've been pushing myself too hard and am now paying the price. Feel very tired and somewhat icky.

Lunch and supper were both found in the freezer...pizza slices.

That said I did some baking. Went over to the parents' and baked a couple of sponges and brought them home to make a strawberry cream cake.

You can see it here: Savour the Season: Strawberries


07 July 2008

Well, I needed a break...

Okay, if you read Confessions of a Cardamom Addict (the caramel dipped, crispy rice coated apple of my foodblogging life) you know that I was busy with a post-a-day project leading up to Mmm...Canada: the savoury edition. I think I uploaded about three weeks worth of content in a week. As a result, this site took a bit of a hiatus (well, apart from the wonderful post by Gayleen).

Then I needed recovery time.

I did eat...but ironically not entirely well.

The post-a-day week had me relying upon fast food pretty much every night: Harveys a couple of times, Quiznos, McDonalds, KFC and other things I can't remember right now...oh wait there was a Viet take-away one night. And several unsuccessful attempts at getting Newfoundland fries.

Last night's supper was cooking from the next cookbook to be reviewed.

Tonight was supper via mummy. Roast beef with veggies and potatoes. Dessert was an apple crisp with ice cream.

At some point I'll post the grocery purchases...


23 June 2008

Mmm...Canada: Pizza, Feta, and the Original Kraft Dinner

The search for Canada's national food identity has been going on for as long as I can remember. No less a public figure than Pierre Burton looked into it for the CBC and decided, in the end, that our national food was pizza. Everyone eats it. Everyone loves it. Maybe not everyone, he admitted, but he presented as evidence the Saskatoon phone book which, at that time, was not a huge tome and which contained seventeen pages devoted to pizza. If a mid-sized city in the middle of the prairies could be so devoted to Italian food, what better proof could there be that Canada was all about pepperoni?

What Burton didn't know was that Saskatoon pizza is unlike pizza anywhere else, because Saskatoon's Italian restaurants are unlike Italian restaurants anywhere else. I grew up in Saskatoon and was nearly ten years old by the time I realized that Italian restaurants are not typically named "Athena" and "Delphi", and they do not typically offer baklava for dessert. Saskatoon's Italian restaurants, by and large, are owned by Greek restauranteurs and offer frajolaki as well as extra large loaded pizzas. With feta, if you'd like.

Pizzas in Saskatoon are substantial propositions. You don't face them casually, or alone. Rather than with sauce, cheese, and the toppings scattered on… well, the top… Saskatoon pizza involves a full layer of everything you've ordered. A layer of ham. A layer of pepperoni. A layer of sautéed mushrooms and a layer of green pepper and on it goes, until you get to the top where a thick layer of pizza cheese pins everything down. These are slices, or squares, you lift with both hands. I'm not saying this is an ideal way to make pizza. It's not delicate, and it's certainly an invitation to a heart attack. I'm just saying this is how it was, and that Burton didn't know what he was saying, really, when he held Saskatoon's pizza obsession up as a typical thing.

Burton, though a northerner and a westerner by birth, had been in Toronto many years by the time he filed that report. He was surrounded by Italians who ran proper Italian restaurants. How was he to know that Saskatoon was quirky, and Greek?

But this is the question, again and again, that we face when we try to determine Canada's national anything. What part of Canada do you mean? And what will you find when you get there?

This country is huge. Only Russia is larger. We know this, but there are so few of us and we're so accustomed to connecting across our distances that we don't always grasp it. Saskatoon is farther from Toronto than Madrid is from Copenhagen, yet no one is trying to find a food that ties Madrid and Copenhagen together. Clearly, that would be ridiculous.

What's more, we think we know each other's communities, and tastes, and specialties, because we do know a little about them. Alberta beef. PEI potatoes. BC apples. Yes, those things exist, and they are flavours of their regions, but you see them for the broad strokes they are when you're having excellent Ethiopian food in Calgary. It gets complicated on the ground.

So, do we abandon the search for a flavour of Canada? You might think, based on what I've said so far, that I would recommend it. We're too large and too diverse a nation to capture that way. Oddly, though, I do think there's a flavour of Canada, and I think Saskatoon's Greek pizza is a hint to what it is.

When I think about Canada and food, I don't think of maple or salmon or buffalo sausage. I think of feta on pizza. I think of every holiday celebration at school, when I would load my plate with Cantonese sticky buns and Italian scalidi and Ukrainian holobchi and whatever else my friends' parents had cooked for us. I think about the neighbourhood I live in now, where I'll visit a Caribbean grocery store and a Portuguese bakery on my home from the 7-Eleven. And I think about how a friend of mine is supposed to be sending me some kick-ass bannock, and how she tries to convince me that moose is the best steak around.

To me, the flavour of Canada, savoury or sweet, is everything, and lots of it, sometimes in strange combinations. You can dip holobchi or satay in pretty much anything and see how it goes. You can get comfortable with all kinds of food, not in a self-conscious "I am an urban sophisticate" way, but in the way that you're comfortable with anything else you grew up with, including Kraft Dinner. Which, by the way, Canadians in Europe have shipped to them, because they can't get it there —not the real thing—and they can't live without it.

That's my Canadian food. It's everything. It's baklava after pizza. It's Kraft Dinner. It's leftover satay thrown into Kraft Dinner. It's whatever I'm having for lunch today, which will be whatever I'm in the mood for. And it will be good.

Gayleen Froese,
Alberta, Canada

21 June 2008

This week's grocery bill

$2.76 4 tins black beans (on sale; saved $0.30 per 540ml tin)
$0.99 1 bunch fresh Italian parsley
$2.03 370g pluots (4)
$0.40 6g garlic bulb (1)
$2.66 1x425ml barbecue sauce (on sale; saved $1.66 per bottle)
$5.66 172g Cantonnier cheese
$4.31 120g Prestige goat cheese
$3.82 142g Manitoba Madagascar Green Peppercorn Cheddar
$6.65 785g boneless leg of lamb (on sale; saved $6.66)
$3.29 1 bag natcho chips
$2.59 1L homo milk
$ 1.84 500g organic vanilla yoghurt (on sale; saved $1.85)
$2.69 1 jar pickles
$0.99 1 bunches green onions
$2.49 1 punnet strawberries
$1.70 170g bananas
$4.38 200g sliced mozzarella
$7.99 400g turmeric
$2.99 15 g organic, dried curry leaves
$3.99 200g black mustard seeds
$4.99 200g chilli pepper powder
$2.99 400g golden raisins
$4.99 200g cumin seeds
$3.99 200g coriander seeds


20 June 2008

McDonalds night

I can't remember the last time I ate at McDonalds. It was late and I was running around...plus someone brought ubersweet treats into work. I needed to balance out all the sugar with salt.

Tried the new angus burger...yeah...not doing that again. But I did have overly salted fries.

Dessert was a cherry turnover.


16 June 2008


Even though I've several servings of the chicken left, I had a huge craving for scampi. I'd never made it before, but I figured it was pretty simple.

Shelled and de-pooped shrimp sauteed in butter, olive oil, garlic, a few spoons of diced tomatoes, white wine and fresh parsley.

Served over pasta.


15 June 2008

Bacon-wrapped asparagus with oven barbecued chicken

Thank goodness the weather has cooled down a bit. It's almost perfect chicken roasting weather.

At the last minute I decided to joint the chicken and powdere it down with rub. Popped the pieces in the oven and basted in chipotle barbecue sauce.

With it, I had:
- a warm potato salad--olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper and rosemary (I think it's been a year since I last made it).
- bacon-wrapped roasted asparagus
- corn

Yummy yummy.

Dessert was this month's DB challenge dish.


13 June 2008

Grocery shopping

I've been meaning to record my grocery bills for a while...

$2.89 One dozen XL eggs
$0.79 One head, Romaine Lettuce
$2.54 330g pluots (four)
$0.65 430g carrots (four)
$2.50 570g asparagus
$0.88 310g oranges (one)
$4.69 454g unsalted butter

Dinner: sausage on a bun; dessert will probably be ice cream...


12 June 2008

Summer Party

Okay--didn't make this, but I ate it. Went to a summer shindig. For whatever reason, I expected traditional BBQ fare, but it was pretty much kitchen fare.

Taco/Fajita bar (both chicken and beef)

Dessert table with
ice cream cake
butter tarts
Nanaimo bars



10 June 2008

Cheap Ticket Tuesdays

The economy must be bad if Cheap Ticket Tuesdays are back. Not the $2.50 I recall from my youth, but $4.20 is a better price than the usual $10.

After seeing the new Indiana Jones movie, the exbf and I headed out to Harveys and got burgers, fries, onion rings and pop.

I figure the evening cost us about $10 each. Not bad.


09 June 2008

June's Milk Calendar Recipe

I made it.

I ate it.

I'll post about it on CA later.


07 June 2008


I really need to read menus much more carefully before I order. Mind you, I had a headache and the reason I got takeaway was because I was tired and my head was throbbing.

Wanted the steamed rice wraps stuffed with pork and with bean sprouts and slices of Vietnamese sausage...got steamed rice wraps with bean sprouts and slices of Vietnamese sausage. Number 110 vs 111.



29 May 2008

Sausage and potato bake

Have been thinking of this all day...Incredibly simple and totally devoid of veggies. Oh well.

That said, my surrogate sister showed up with a box of ramps and rhubarb from her property along with her very own mapel syrup...am very excited to do things with them...


28 May 2008

Not cooking today

Found some of the good Jamaican patties in the freezer. Unfortunately, I over nuked it and wound up with something very hard and burnt in places. Oh well. May need to nibble on something later...need something more...

Took half the Opéra to the office--they finished off for me.


27 May 2008

More cookbook reviewing

I'm so behind in the current book. Made the requisite soup. V. good. Hope to have the review up int he next 10 days on CA.

Also finished the May DB challenge. It turned out quite nicely but OH SO SWEET.


25 May 2008

Hamburger day at Harvey's

I guess last year's day was successful and they brought it back this year. Well, it was successful as far as I'm concerned--it reminded me that they exist and I've eaten there a few times in the past year. Well...it helps that the..ummm..skanky...one closed down several months ago. Hated going in there...so I stopped. There's a much nicer one about 10 minutes from my new place so it was a more pleasant experience.

Free hamburger (mine had lettuce, onions, relish, ketchup, mustard, mayo, pickles and hot peppers), a small pop and then split a poutine.

Wow...that was a lot for lunch.

Still full. Had a scoop of banana-fudge ice cream for supper...had to have something.


24 May 2008

Cheater's Risotto

I heard of a makeshift risotto a while back...super easy and no-stirring. It was also supposed to take about 3/4 the time of real risotto.

I tried it.

It took more time and just as much effort as real risotto.

It was horrible.

Won't be doing that again.

I still have two, maybe three servings left.


19 May 2008

Holiday eating

Normally I love long weekends as it gives me a chance to do a lot of cookings--bulk cooking, meals that take a long time to prepare, cookies, cakes..

For some reason, I did very, very little real cooking this weekend.

Friday: poached egg with fried mushrooms, a slice of ham and a potato pancake with a toasted English muffin (all but the poached egg were leftovers).

Saturday: beef nachos--sauteed 500gs of ground beef with a chilli seasoning packet, then nuked it with cheese and onions on tortilla chips.

Sunday: put my back out mopping, so had some Buffalo wings that were in the freezer. Oh, also made the Victoria Sponge.

Today: Blueberry scones for tea with a new friend. Supper was chicken (in an experimental--buy yummy maple-Dijon-chili marinade), stir fried broccoli and carrots with rice.


15 May 2008

Breakfast for supper

It's been ages since I had pancakes. The situation has been rectified. Unfortunately, I forgot to add melted butter to the batter. Surprisingly enough, it didn't impair the final product too badly (is that a good sign or a bad sign?).

Made some potato pancakes as well, as well as back bacon.

Very happy.


11 May 2008

Curry con Bolognese

It started as chili and then turned into a curry and finished as a bolognese.

Not bad...may need to work on this...


07 May 2008


Ever since I was little I've disliked hot dogs. Sure, I ate them when offered, but I really dislike their taste and smell. Plus, well, my tum doesn't like them...

This week I had an odd craving for them. It makes no sense to me. Oh well, found some in my parents' freezer (I was NOT going to buy some). Made mac'n'cheese with weenie bits.

I still dislike hot dogs.


04 May 2008

Finally did it

Decided to tackle Dories' Perfect Party Cake again, but "tested" it with AP, my regular cake and pastry flour and the Swans Down she uses.

Either I'm doing something wrong or there's something amiss in the recipe


02 May 2008

Winging it

I think I've decided that Friday nights I have no interest in actually making food, just eating it. Or something that's reminiscent of food.

The cheapygrocers had a kilo of frozen, precooked Buffalo Wings for $10. Paired a half-dozen wings with carrot sticks...

Just what I needed.


28 April 2008

12-hour fast


Normally I'm NOT hungry, but if I know I'm not allowed to eat or drink I get hungry or thirsty...really hungry or thirsty.

The insurance company wants my vitals tomorrow morning before they say yea or nay to a new insurance policy. So...as fo 45 minutes ago, I've stopped eating and drinking...

My last meal? Fried eggs with bruschetta topping and chili sauce and toasted wholemeal bread with butter. Was still hungry afterwards...had a little mug of warm milk (always stops hunger) and two cookies.


27 April 2008


I think...

I try hard not to waste food or buy more than I can eat before it goes off. Lately I've not been too successful, but I guess agflation has given me a little more of a boost to mend my ways.

Had a chunk of salami in the fridge that's due in a few days, so I decided on pizza. Unfortunately, my dough didn't turn out as well as it usually does--too much flour, I think--so I decided to roll up all the fillings --tomato sauce, cheese, mushrooms, onions, bell peppers and salami. Worked out really nicely--was a lot more filling than I expected...which is fine, I guess.


26 April 2008

DB challenge and penne quills

Wasn't sure if I could participate, but I needed to take my mind off things so I rolled up my sleeves and completed this month's DB Challenge...which is good because it's "due" on the 27th...posted on Cardamom Addict.

Supper was hunter's stew kinda meal. Wholewheat penne quills sauced in bruschetta topping, hot pepper rings and some leftover chickpea and black bean salad. Not wonderful, but not horrid.



22 April 2008

For a reason that escapes my logic...

...you mark your workaversary (and every other event) by bringing in your own treats...people don't bring them in for you, you have to provide them to others.

Highly unfair as there are several moochers...Doubly unfair for me as I get calls wondering why they weren't told I was bringing in (homemade) treats...my response should be "And who are you? Have we met?" since the calls usually come from people who desperately want to be on "the" list...

I guess I should consider it a compliment--kinda like being keeper of the guest list of "the" club or having a regular table at a swanky restaurant that so I can just bypass the queue and and start gnawing away at something....

Anyway...tomorrow is the workaversary (number seven). Made 10 dozen cookies--half are butterscotch pecan, the other half are Nutella chocolate chip. Recipes to be posted on Cardamom Addict later.

Oh, not all the cookies will go to the office...am holding back about 60 per cent....


20 April 2008

"It was piggie of me...but I do not regret it."

I so wish I could really blog about the latest offering from a publisher before I put the review post up. Yeah, it's my rule and no one else's...so it's my own fault.

Okay...so you'll know this about the book: there's a jerk pork and a bean salad recipe. Also served the corn pudding, some fried onions and rice with them. Dessert is an apple crumble...or is it a crisp? Don't know the difference.

Anyway, from the exbf:

"You know, I really wanted seconds, so I got some. It was piggie of me, I know, but I do not regret it."

I guess dinner was a winner.


19 April 2008

Best laid plans

Never try and cook while migraining. Nice weather brought bad air pressure.

Gave up on the original plan of jerk pork with bean salad and corn pudding (that will be tomorrow).

Made pizza (I can do the dough in my sleep). Also made the corn pudding as I realised I could do it for Taste of Yellow.


14 April 2008

Weird bug

I feel as if I have the stomach flu. But am not...umm...releasing stomach (or other) contents. My body just aches. Am so tired. My eyes are burning and my throat is sore. Probably remnants of the boat load of stresses and the foul mood from the other day.

The exbf took pity on me and bought me some sweet and sour soup from the Chinese restaurant near my parents' place. It's very good...but not as spicy as I remember.

He's eating the left over chicken supper, btw...


13 April 2008

Sunday roasted chicken supper

Decided to practise my chicken jointing skills today. It's been a while since I used them. Besides, the chicken cooks faster when its in pieces, as opposed to whole

Nothing too out there--salt, pepper and thyme. Placed the chicken over sliced fennel. Love fennel braised in chickenny goodness. The potatoes didn't fair very well...tossed them because they were really meally. Made some rice instead. Also some peas.

Dessert was the last offering of the latest cookbook to be reviewed. V good, but sweet....


10 April 2008

Too tired to cook

Not exactly sure why, but I woke up at about 2am and didn't get back to sleep until 5:30...or 6:30am. Needless to say not enough sleep was had. I really shouldn't have been driving, but I did. Decided at the end of the day I shouldn't be cooking.

Dinner was Chinese takeaway...sweet & sour pork, those really thick noodles, broccoli beef and spring rolls.


08 April 2008

&(*?%*&*(?% mood


It's amazing what some people get away with.

I do believe in karma. I do believe in karma. I do believe in karma. I do believe in karma. I do believe in karma. I do believe in karma.

Would take solace in food, but alas, my comfort eating staples are lacking at the present time.

Made due with pizza, bacon-flavoured crips and a can of cola--not even the type I really like, but my dad left me a case before he left...and I normally don't keep any pop in the house.



06 April 2008

Jambalaya-ish pasta

I've finally gotten the horrid taste of the dairy calendar's jambalaya calendar off my tongue.

But I still have a bottle of cajun seasoning. Looked in my fridge and it was definitely time to use the last of the kielbasa, so decided to make a jambalaya-ish pasta.

Yellow and red capsicums
the last of the jarred tomato sauce
hot pepper rings

Much more succesful than the easy jambalaya

05 April 2008

Maple Syrup...

Went off to the Maple Syrup festival yesterday. Didn't see as many syrup vendors as I usually do, probably because of the temps. Was able to get a couple of litres of Number Two, but absolutey none of the Number Three.

Not a veggie in sight--Breakfast was a large Timmies and a choco mint doughnut; Second breakfast was the pancake breakfast (oh YUMYUMYUM), lunch was a back bacon sandwich. Supper was a burger and bacon-flavoured crisps with cookies and cream ice cream for dessert.


31 March 2008

Rotini and cheese

I don't know why, but I was struck with the idea of making macaroni and cheese for supper. I've made it from scratch once or twice, but it's not a staple in my kitchen. Unfortunately, when I think of it, my mind conjures up fluorescent a orange cheese-like substance whose origins are powdery. I know Canadians love the blue and yellow box, but I'm not a big fan.

Came home from work and rummaged through the fridge--I have lots of bleu cheese, but not a lot good melty cheese. Made the white sauce and tipped in a mixture of mozz and Guinness cheddar, along with a good spoon of grainy Dijon. Coated the rotini in it and baked it off for a little bit.

Remembered the leftover fried mushrooms from yesterday's roast beef supper and mixed them in, after baking the pasta. Nummy...


30 March 2008

Enough takeaway

I've pretty much lived on takeaway since Friday.

Friday lunch was spent with two work friends at a very yummy dimsum buffet. Lots of goodies--nuclear orange chicken (or pork??), siu mai, black bean aubergines, noodoes, spring rools, broccoli, beef and onions. For supper, decided to head out with a friend. We saw the new Simon Pegg movie (Run, Fat Boy, Run) but as we wanted to see the early show, we ate in the food court. New York Fries with the works. It's been years since I had that. Not quite to my memory, but still okay.

Spent Saturday running about. At the end of my shopping (2pm) was so hungry, decided to pick up a sandwich from the grocer's. Not back--chicken caesar with periperi in a wrap. Wolfed it down before heading over to the parents' to do some baking.

Have totally given up on Beelzebub. Got a cookbook from Penguin for posting consideration and completed a cake and some muffins. I'd forgotten what it was like to bake in a reliable oven. Also reminded myself as to what cooking on a gas flame was like. Oh, I so want a gas oven. Slowly working towards it. By the time I was done, it was well past supper time. There isn't a lot of food over there, so on the way home picked up a burger, onion rings and a root beer float from the A&W.

Today will be differnt. Roast beef dinner. Will stud the meat with garlic, and pat the outside with dried mustard, black pepper and flour. Will serve with some carrots and peas and other lovely veg...


27 March 2008

I feel like chicken tonight

Needed to supplement the remants of Easter supper, so took the lazy route and took out the chicken wings and had them with the cornbread, roasted potatoes and roasted veg. Oven-heavy, but Beelzebub seems to be okay with meats and casseroles and veggies than with the more delicate stuff.


23 March 2008

Yes, I have been eating

Just not writing about it--too many other things on the go.

Let's see..

St. Patrick's day was beef and Guinness stew. I need to divide the recipe...there's only so much stew I can eat in a week.

Also did the March Milk Calendar recipe. Not as bad as the February one, but still, it could be better.

Apart from a few take-aways, can't remember what else I made, apart from this weekend.

Yesterday made a caramelised onion pizza with black olives, anchovies and roasted tomatoes.

Today combined Easter Supper with the exbf's birthday, so supper was his choice. His selection was ribs (quelle surprise). So, supper of chicken and ribs, cornbread and roasted potatoes (sweet and Yukon gold) with feta cheese. Dessert was apple crisp with pralines and cream ice cream.


08 March 2008



Snowstorm-induced migraine plagued me yesterday. Cannot remember what, if anything I ate. Feel better today, so did my baking--blueberry buttermilk muffins. Unfortunately, Beelebub is still tempermental, so the bottoms are all burnt. Blah.

Supper was meant to use up a couple of kilos of chicken thighs before they went off...wanted to drop them off in the parent's deep freeze, but the roads are just horrid. Made a recipe from Eat, Shrink and Be Merry, totally avoiding all the goodening of the dish keeping all the lovely fats in.

Have no idea what I'm going to do with all that chicken. Exbf ate some, Beanie will eat some...but still so much left over...


06 March 2008

Eating on the run

Wound up heading into Toronto for an evening meeting-like thing. Ate half a ham and cheese on the way, in hopes that it would stave off the hunger pangs. By the time the session was over, was very hungry. Intended on meeting a very lovely and darling blogger for a snack, but alas work kept our darling puff of cream chained to her desk. Went home, eating the other half sandwich on the way...stopped off at McD's for something very greasy and oddly satisfying...


04 March 2008

Butter Chicken

I researched and read. I even called mum (who was of little help--she's never made it). The results are here, on Cardamom Addict. Still eating it today...one more serving left. May make more and freeze it...if there's room in the freezer.

Yes, the song thing is true. All of a sudden I was overcome by an urge to make and eat Butter Chicken when listening to The Smiths...


01 March 2008

Grocery shopping

I don't know how I did it, but I managed to use up six hours grocery shopping...and only brought home four bags of food, plus two 10 kg sacs of flour.

Did a survey of flour prices -- one shop charged more than $13 for 10 kg! Given I'm used to paying $8-9, I was shocked. I wasn't the only one loading up on flour. I returned to one shop two hours after I first visited it and it looked as if the hoards descended, leaving only the smaller bags.

Too tired to cook when I got home...got Vietnamese takeaway for supper...mmm....love bubble tea.


28 February 2008

Buzz buzz buzz

I think I'm vibrating.

Two cups of coffee (lately I've not had any)
A fresh apple fritter, dusted in cinamon sugar.
Birthday cake
Three Timbits.


Did the only thing I could to combat that.

Salt and grease. Went to A&W, got their sirloin burger (okay) and poutine.

Feeling a little more salt-sugar balance now...


25 February 2008

Fending something off

Have been shivering for more than a day. Think my inability to sit and rest is catching up with me. Chilli peppers usually do the trick...hot wings for supper.

Don't think it will do much good this time...


24 February 2008

Sunday Supper

Feel really productive for only being in the kitchen for a couple of hours.

Did Nigella's breakfast bars, substituting almonds for peanuts. Have breakfast for about two weeks now. Thank goodness.

Also made porkchops, gratineed potatoes with mushrooms and onions, and roasted tomatoes. Now have meals for a couple of days (yay). Dessert was the last of the cherry ice cream with the crumbles from the breakfast bars.

Wanted to make an apple pie, but was too tired. Vegged out on the couch for the first time in ages...Hagia was pleased with the petting time.


23 February 2008

Rolling down the aisles

Spent far too much time in the shops yesterday and totally blew my budget at the same time. Sigh...at least the pantry is not as anaemic as it's been as of late. Unfortunately I'm storing some of the bare essentials in the dining room as I've run out fo shelf space. Just inefficient use, j'spose.

Anyway, while I was looking for brown sugar overheard the following:

Guy: I need some raspberry vinegar.

Gal he's with: Why would you need that?

Guy: For salads.

Chickie, who probably thinks iceberg is the be-all and end-all of salad leaves: Why would you want raspberries in your salad?

Guy, who obviously knows something about food: <> Do you see the peanut oil?

Gal, in an exasperated tone: And what do you need that for?

Guy, with more patience than I'd let on: For the deep fryer.

Gal, who probably thinks Velveeta is real cheese: What? Why can't you just use vegetable oil like everyone else?

He's definitely not with her for her culinary skills...


21 February 2008

Midweek treat

The charity shop removal van came this morning for some of Michael's things--furniture and kitchenware I can't use. Because the guys only work mornings, I worked from home (and got a lot of things done). Decided because I could actually do this, to have fresh pizza for supper.

Made the dough before I headed out the door. Came home six hours later to a lovely, soft dough. Topped it with the last of the jarred spaghetty sauce, some crispy bits of bacon, onions, mushrooms and mozz.


19 February 2008

The price of flour is going up

The farmers and millers should at least break even, yes...but it's the trickle down aspect...by the time we pay for a loaf or something in the shops...

Sigh...Maybe I'll buy a few 20kg bags now and put off the price hike on the staple.

Comiserated over leftover-filled quesadillas.


18 February 2008

Cooking for another event

Which of course means I can't write about it.

It was good though :)

Hope to post about it on CA sometime next week.

17 February 2008

Banquet Burgers

Had the oddest craving today. All of a sudden, I wanted a great big banquet burger. Hadn't thought of those in years. I probably last had one when the exbf and I were still together...and we broke up what...a dozen years ago.

Anyway, had most of the fixings--and all the ones that count, IMO: real cheese, bacon, burger, mushrooms, onions...

Filling it was. Probably fodder for a Canadian food series I've been mulling over.


11 February 2008

-30C with the windchill

That's what the weathergirl told me when I woke up.

That's flipping cold.

Came home from work--still cold, but not that cold--tired, lazy and hungry.

Opened a tin of New England clam chowder. Will polish off one (maybe two) of the doughnuts I made yesterday for Tartelette's "Time to Bake the Doughnuts" event. They turned out much better than I thought. Don't have a phobia of deep fat frying, but I hate the smell of frying oil. Could never work in a chippy because of that.


10 February 2008

Me and Corrie and brekkie

Sundays have become bacon day around here. Probably wise as I could probably go through a third of a packet a night.

Anyway...I'm sitting in front of the TV, CBC's Coronation Street on (via West Coast feed), with a cup of coffee, a plate full of bacon, mushrooms and the last of the gingerbread waffles.

Was to head over to my mum and dad's to complete the next DB challlenge...all I'll say is it's a time-intensive one this time around, and if I start now, I won't be done until about 9ish tonight. Will do this next weekend.


06 February 2008

Waffles for Pancake Tuesday

connectivity issues prevented timely postings...sigh...

To see part of last night's supper, read today's Cardamom Addict Post.

The rest was:
scrambled eggs, fried mushrooms, sausage and tomato relish. The candied bacon was an utter failure.


03 February 2008

Beelzebub gets a workout

Now that things have settled a bit, I'm sort of settled back into my Sunday groove. After getting caught up with Coronation Street, I spent the afternoon in the kitchen.

It's been ages since I last made pizza, so I rectified it. The dough was my standard, but it didn't turn out that well--took forever to rise,and it didn't rise by much. Mind you, didn't use the usual yeast--didn't find it at the new grocery of choice. Only bought a three-pack to try it out. Not impressed, but will continue to use it until it's all gone...then will return to my brand of choice. Anyway, wound up with a thin-crust--would have liked a little more softness to it. Oh well. Topped with bruschetta, red capsicum, red onions, mushrooms, kielbasa and mozz.

Let far too much milk spoil this week--very odd since I usually run out a day or two before my weekly shop. Anyway, it was only a day off--used it in a cake, instead of buttermilk. Adapted an Alton Brown chocolate cake recipe--turned out well.

The last thing didn't use Beelzebub--prepped some pie pastry. Will make an apple pie tomorrow for a sick colleague. Hope it turns out. The pastry didn't feel right--maybe the fat was too warm. Will see tomorrow.


02 February 2008

Stale cookies and warm milk

Am starting my Lost series three recap marathon.

Well, not a true marthon, but it's pretty much all I'll be watching for the next few nights...except maybe Tuesday--such a political junkie..

Anyway, need some snackie foods. Forgot about some cookies I brought home from a work training session on Tuesday. A little stale (which in a weird way makes them taste better than when they were fresh), but with warm milk all is good...or at least adequate.


31 January 2008

Diving into the freezer

The last time I made a bolognese, half of it wound up in the freezer (the other half wound up in me). Nothing really special--meat simmered in tomato sauce, with whatever herbs and spices I feel like. If I'm lucky, a glass or two of wine find their way in as well.

Spent too long at the office and then too long sorting out my bookkeeping to pay bills. Too tired -- and hungry to cook something from scratch. So into the freezer I go, and out I come with the sauce.

So, meat sauce and pasta with buttered bread for supper (and will have the same for lunch tomorrow too). I guess I should have a veggie with it or put some in the sauce...but...well...just didn't feel like it...


27 January 2008

I am a lady who brunches and lunches

You'd think that since I have a week off from work, I'd be updating these blogs a bit more often.

Being a lady who brunches and lunches took up enough time that I just didn't have time to post. Oh well.

Tuesday had a couple of girlfriends over for a good natter. Of course this meant that the cookbook experimentation continued--thumbs up all around. Apart from the experimentation, sandwiches were served--curried apple and chicken salad on French-style artisinal wedges and Parisienne ham with brie on rosemary foccaccia (made by a newish bakery).

Thursday lunch was brought in by a dear friend...well, delivered. She was going to make a masala chicken, but changed her mind ("It would be like bringing coals to Newcastle"--her words, not mine). About an hour after she arrived, two wondrous pizzas came in--a white pizza with cold bruschetta topping and then a quattro staggione. I could have eaten both all by myself...

Saturday an old friend came in from the Big Smoke for brunch. Unfortunately, I thought he'd be in on Sunday. Which meant I wasn't totally ready. A quick trip to the shops and I picked up some essentials (bread, flour, butter, spices, garlic and maple syrup) and then returned to my kitchen where we made brunch together: gingerbread waffles, fried mushrooms, creamy scrambled eggs. All this was accompanied by some wondrous sausages he brought in from the St. Lawrence Market: lamb w. rosemary and pork w. apricot.


24 January 2008

Daring Bakers Challenge completed

Yup, it's done.

Won't be posted until Monday.


20 January 2008

Using friends as guinea pigs...again...

I've a small pile of cookery books sent by publishers, hopeful that I'll say something about them on one of my websites. Given the past half-year, I've not been in the mood to review anything and since my cooking hasn't been very successful, I thought it best to wait until the food I made was, well, edible.

Anyway, don't want to tip my hand on the book or the recipes I tried, but I did have a couple of people over--two friends who've been willing to take calls at pretty much any time, day or night. One is currently trying to sort out the study and the wireless connection...it will be a multi-day project, I think.

Anyway, apart from the tested recipes, The main course was a roasted chicken. Nothing fancy: an organic bird, well buttered and seasoned (s&p with thyme), and the top was spritzed with the juice of half an orange. It's gaping void was filled with the same, but also onion, garlic and the other half orange and the rind of the spritzed orange. I then placed the bird on a bed of thickly-sliced sweet onions and then roasted it. Made a sauce from the drippings and then served the roasted onions and garlic as one of the sides.

V. good.


17 January 2008

Beanie would be pleased if he could get some...

One of the things my mum said before she left was to cook what was in the freezer--makes sense as they are gone for six months. Mind you, they have a deep chest freezer, so I don't know how far I'll get.

Have had a hankering for chicken and pasta so made a really quick creamy-pesto chicken. Sauteed onions, garlic and mushrooms, and chunks of chicken all swathed in a basil pesto and cream sauce. Yum.

And yes Beanie thought I was making this just for him.


14 January 2008

Chili Day

Perfect day for chili...or is it chilli? Can never remember what spells which. Anyway, it's cooled off again and I'm in the mood for some bulk cooking. Made a big vat of chili--not my best by far, but definitely not the worst. I need to develop my own chili seasoning mix as I'm never quite satisfied with the packets and my mood for chili only strikes when I don't have any of the seasoning mix in the house.

Oh well.

Tins of kidney and black beans, niblets, stewed tomatoes, a load of meat along with minced onion and garlic. Doctored the seasoning but it still wasn't there...must put in cocoa next time to see if that helps...


10 January 2008

New Year...

...new beginnings...

Hello everyone. I trust your holidays--sacred or secular--have you safe, happy and well-fed.

It's been ages since I last wrote to you. I'm not going to bore or trouble you with the intimate details of my existence as a widow without consideration these last five and a half months, except to say that although transparent meanness and opportunism still thrive, kindness, although plentiful, can still surprise you in the most unexpected places.

Over the past half-year or so I've received hundreds of messages, either in email, voicemail, cards, visits or messages on this site. Thank you all so much for your thoughts, wishes and prayers. I've also received many notes from people waiting patiently for my return. I've thought of you and this site often, but I knew I wouldn't be able to return until my life settled a bit--thank you for your patience.

I wish I could tell you that I found solace in the kitchen. Unfortunately, as many know, you can tell what my mood is by the food I cook. After a particularly bad batch of brownies, my Dear Little Mummy said "You're just too sad to cook."

To be honest, I tended to avoid the kitchen in any meaningful way. I couldn't even look at cookbooks or read any of my favourite food writers or bloggers. I couldn't even watch cooking shows (but I now have several hours of Jamie Oliver and Heston Blumenthal on the PVR).

The only thing I could make with any degree of competency was jam--pretty simple: stir, stir, stir, boil, boil, boil, stir, stir, stir and pour...and eat.

I am happy to say that my scullery, while not in full buzz, now sings more often with the happy blurblings and sizzlings that marks a proper, working home kitchen. The dish that put me back on track? Nigella's Easy Sticky Toffee Pudding (more on that later).

I don't know how things will go and I will ease back into blogging. I hope to pick up my Savour the Season series in the next few weeks and probably figure out a theme or two....but right now, I'm just pleased to be back.