30 November 2008

Red Pepper Salad

A few random veggies culled from the Capers salad bar, topped with tomatoes and red peppers, and roasted red pepper dip and goat cheese.

Dinner x 2

Last night's festivities were bookended by two dinners: Drunken Prawns at Vina Vietnamese Cuisine, and nachos at The Foundation.

28 November 2008

La Casita

Here is a mildly embarrassing photo of myself not knowing my photo was being taken, and also a testament to the horrendous quality of iPhone cameras. Tonight we dined at La Casita, and I ate what is usually the best thing on the menu: the Ceviche Tostada. This time they overdid it with the lime. It still remains delicious in my memory, from previous visits. Also consumed: mango peach margaritas, on "special." Photo by Janos Sitar.

27 November 2008

Week of Polenta

Basically the same ingredients as yesterday, but tossed together with abandon. Plus tomatoes. It was better the other way.

26 November 2008

Polenta Pepper-Rounds

So, this dish was basically invented to avoid the shame of posting, "Yeah, I just fried up some polenta slices again. Yum." The invention was inspired by a recipe I saw for polenta pizza (thanks to Janos for the polenta research). These were surprisingly delicious and easy.

Polenta Pepper-Rounds
pre-cooked polenta
roasted red pepper dip
spreadable goat cheese
red pepper
shiitake mushrooms
olive oil

1. Slice polenta into discs about 1/4 inch thick.

2. Fry in olive oil until crispy, and set aside on plate.

3. Chop red pepper and mushrooms into bite-size pieces.

4. Toss in the frying pan in olive oil. (Peppers first; they'll take about twice as long as the mushrooms.)

5. Meanwhile, spread red pepper dip on the slices, followed by a dollop of goat cheese.

6. Top with red pepper and mushrooms.

25 November 2008

Fried Polenta

I sliced up some of this polenta and fried it in sesame oil. I was feeling lazy and didn't bother with a recipe. Yep, just polenta fried in sesame oil. I think I am in love with sesame oil.

24 November 2008

Mahi mahi II

As evidenced by this week's frozen pizza, the best President's Choice items seem to come in twos. I tackled the second mahi mahi fillet this evening, this time pan-searing it in sesame oil with toasted sesame seeds and garlic. It was much quicker and tastier than the previous attempt. Note: sesame seeds like to jump around on high heat. My kitchen is now crawling with the little critters. A random walk also resulted in these mini-cupcakes, which I had planned to bring to the coffee station at the office tomorrow, but it's looking like that's not going to work out.

23 November 2008

Terrible nachos

Nachos: terrible, terrible nachos over the Grey Cup at The Calling.

Salmon teriyaki; banana split

Dinner tonight at the Clubhouse on West 2nd: Salmon teriyaki and various tempuraed things, and a banana split. Note: Not all banana splits are of the Dairy Queen aesthetic. After having held a job at three different Dairy Queens and perfecting the creation of this iconic dish (soft-serve curls and all), I was not aware that this is the case. You live and learn.

22 November 2008

BBQ Squid Body

Tonight we ate at [the sushi place at Oak & Broadway]. I had gomae, gyoza and ika yaki ("BBQ squid body"). It's looking like it will be a weekend of Japanese food. Stay tuned for more tomorrow. Photo by Richard Sexton.

20 November 2008

And, pizza

Happily, these President's Choice pizzas come in packs of two.

19 November 2008

Simple Soup

It was Simple Soup night. Everyone brought one ingredient and chopped it up then sat back and drank wine while it magically turned into a delicious soup.

Marlis's list of ingredients for Simple Soup
split peas & soup stock
10 carrots
2 peppers
4 big onions
few potatoes
6 stalks of celery
fresh parsley
for dumplings - 4 c.flour
fresh bread
extra flour for baking powder biscuits

18 November 2008

Mahi mahi

This past summer I somehow stumbled across a PETA video narrated by the entrancing Alec Baldwin, and made the knee-jerk decision that perhaps it was that time again, the time to try being a vegetarian. The experiment lasted about six days, included some confused and profound questioning moments with egg salad sandwiches -- how can an egg not be meat if it grows up to be meat? -- and ended with a visit to a Thai restaurant wherein I revised my self-identification to "pescetarian" so that I could eat some curried prawns.

So my time as a pescetarian went on for a few weeks more. I was invited to a BBQ, so I brought along some frozen President's Choice mahi mahi. My friend however brought a local grass-fed steak fresh from the Pemberton Valley, grilled it up rare, offered me a piece and that was the end: the last of the Baldwin influence disappeared in a delightful burst of bloody meat. Wine was drunk, steaks were chewed and the mahi mahi sat slowly thawing on the picnic table all night. I still brought it home with me in the hopes of cooking it the next day, but it sat in my fridge for a week as I was distracted on a daily basis by such things as halves of Starbucks sandwiches, and eventually I had to throw it away.

Following a trip to the local No Frills, tonight was attempt #2 to make the mahi mahi. I had no idea what to do with it, so I did what I'd normally do with salmon and threw it in the oven with some olive oil, chopped garlic, fresh dill and lemon juice. It was not terrible. I served it with some canned asparagus bits which I've had in my pantry forever, and which by the way are so close to disintegration they are a waste of matter. Dessert was, and likely will be every night until I run out of one or the other, more frozen yogurt with the lovely sour cherry preserves.

17 November 2008

Pizza Cherries Football Guinness +

. . . yeah, I don't want to cook. The following things were consumed this evening: Arrested Development, President's Choice chicken & red pepper stone-baked pizza, vanilla frozen yogurt with these sour cherry preserves, Monday Night Football and a Guinness.

16 November 2008

One giant smoked cow rib

I'd planned on making dinner for real tonight, but then wound up eating 'lunch' at 3:30 at the Café Crêpe, and couldn't muster an appetite for cooking. So instead it was leftovers again: one giant smoked cow rib, from this week's BBQ photo shoot.

15 November 2008

Take-out Japanese; Claudia-cake

Take-out Japanese. Sesame Tuna and Spicy Calamari and Yam Fries. And following an epic Milkies performance: birthday cake from our very own birthday-cake-chef Claudia. Chocolate with peanut butter cream cheese icing and chocolate peanut butter ganache. This cake formed the high water mark of Claudia-cakes. Photo by Marlis Funk.

14 November 2008

Homemade chicken fingers

Again, half a leftover sandwich from lunch. This time from Subway. Followed by delicious homemade (breaded and masalaed) chicken fingers by Marlis Funk.

13 November 2008

Half a Starbucks sandwich; Zakkushi

I've fallen on tough times in the realm of cooking. What can I say. These things happen. Leftover from lunch, I ate half a Turkey & Cheddar on Sunflower Bread Starbucks sandwich.

Later: 2 bottles of sake and several grilled Japanese meats with Hughie at Zakkushi Charcoal Grill on Denman. Including DEEP-FRIED CHICKEN SKIN. And green tea-dusted ice cream with red bean --- something.

12 November 2008

11 November 2008


Day Two of the BBQ Secrets Deluxe! photoshoot found me feasting on seared calamari with tomatoes and basil, grilled pineapple with caramel sauce and black pepper, grilled polenta diamonds with goat cheese and roasted cherry tomatoes, cedar-planked grapefruit with honey and ice cream and a steak sandwich with Gorgonzola.

10 November 2008


BUNNIES. "Annie's Homegrown Macaroni & Cheese Bunny Pasta with Yummy Cheese." Don't be swayed by their cuteness. It's no Kraft Dinner.

09 November 2008


Cheese. Made with 1 litre of milk and 1/8 cup of vinegar. Meant to be mozarella, but due to impatience, more of a crumbly paneer. Still, there is some satisfaction to be had from using chemistry to change the state of matter from one thing to another. A glass of milk becomes a meal.

Sushi; My face smells like icing

Dinner was terrible yet cheap sushi from Kingsway & Clark. Ridiculously spicy tuna rolls. The yam tempura was good though. A slightly more interesting food experience of the evening involved face-painting with coloured icing at a no-talking party.

07 November 2008

Beans & beer

How can I feel better about another episode of beans-with-random-ingredients leftovers? By adding a beer to the equation.

06 November 2008

Two Chefs and a Table

I finally made good on longstanding plans with some coworkers to check out the fairly new Two Chefs and a Table, which I stumbled across a couple months ago in the middle of industrial Gastown. The place is tiny, with hard wood, white painted brick and floor to ceiling windows, and a handful of tables in one cozy open space that basically shares the same room as the kitchen.

We started out with the fondue, followed by the sablefish entrée with olives and roasted cherry tomatoes, and a glass of Sangiovese. The sablefish was excellent. For dessert: fresh pastry with apples and chocolate gelato with bananas and sour cherries. Small portions overall; smaller still since we did a lot of sharing. But again, that sablefish... so good.

Check out the Martiniboys review here.

05 November 2008

White Spot fries; leftover beans that just are

Working away on the BBQ book design today found us roaming the streets in search of burgers, and we settled on White Spot takeout. It was fairly disappointing, but at least the fries got to make a reappearance at dinner this evening. Also in attendance: beans-with-random-ingredients leftovers. Beans-with-random-ingredients is not that exciting as leftovers. Actually, it is never exciting. It just is.

04 November 2008


I ate a piece of pizza. Note the red, white and blue napkins.

Tandoori salmon salad

With the leftover tandoori salmon from the shoot, we made a salmon salad with mixed greens, pomegranate seeds and cilantro. And some kind of balsamic dressing.
"Isn't that too many flavours?"
"Maybe you're too many flavours."

...it was not too many flavours. It was perfect.

02 November 2008


I spent the entire day on the set of the photo shoot for Barbecue Secrets Deluxe!, and ate some of the most delicious BBQ I've ever tasted: smoked duck, grilled venison tenderloin, planked tandoori salmon and a classic cheeseburger. Pictured above: an up and coming food stylist in training.

01 November 2008

Take one can of beans; add random ingredients

This is currently my signature dish: tying together various random ingredients with a can of beans. This dish was originally inspired by Liz Pearson and Mairlyn Smith's "Marvellous Mexican Beans," one of a trio of "Take One Can of Beans" recipes from their book Ultimate Foods for Ultimate Health. The original recipe calls for chopped red peppers, diced onion, minced garlic, one can of beans in tomato sauce, salsa and diced cilantro. Whenever I tried to make it I was always missing at least one of the ingredients, and just started throwing in random ingredients instead. No matter what gets mixed in, it always turns out surprisingly good. Mix in various rerun episodes of Arrested Development playing in the background while cooking, and you have a typical Michelle evening of domestic bliss. Tonight's particular creation was served with buttered baguette slices.

1 green pepper, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tomatoes, diced
bunch of spinach
3 Tbsp marinara sauce
1 tsp sambal oelek
1 can Charro beans
cilantro, diced

Nachos & Salsa II

Getting back to my roots from before this blog turned me all Betty Crockery, it was night two of nachos & salsa. Slightly less shameful, I guess, because the Tostitos were Multigrain, and the salsa homemade (though not by me).
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