31 December 2009

Year of Pizza

New Year's Eve started out with a slice of Pizzo pizza, and was later punctuated by visits to Uncle Fatih's. Pizza New Year!

30 December 2009

Raw Canvas

I had the last of the lamb stew and bread for dinner, followed by dessert and drinks at Raw Canvas in Yaletown . . . including a Green Fairy (absinthe + ouzo + creme de menthe + orange blossom) and cheesecake lollipops. (Lighting provided by Janos's iPhone)

29 December 2009


Leftover stew for dinner! Epis bread and two kinds of cheeses for dessert. Yeasty Cinematheque popcorn in bed.

Homemade Epis Bread & Lamb Stew

I made up for yesterday's laziness by baking some bread today. Here it is pre-baking.

And, post-baking.

Also, I made lamb stew.

I'm pretty excited to start tearing up my Women's Weekly STEW: Braises & Casseroles in the new year, but before I start I wanted to tackle the recipe I learned in my cooking class last summer.

I used some really cheap spring lamb shoulder chops, on sale twice over. Seasoned with salt and pepper, then braised. Mushrooms were sautéed in the braising pan, and then it was deglazed with red wine.

In the pot: onions, browned; and then carrots, turnip, mixed yellow, red and blue mini potatoes, and garlic.

Some flour and tomato paste were mixed in with the veggies, followed by the wine and some chicken stock to cover. The bouquet garni consisted of bay leaves, rosemary, thyme, parsley and orange peel.

28 December 2009

Pizza Pockets & Grenache Syrah Mouvedre

I bought a bottle of red wine to make lamb stew. Instead, I drank a glass of it with some pizza pockets. LAZY VACATION DAY.

26 December 2009

Trinidadian Rum Punch

I have a lot of leftovers in the fridge to work my way through. I had the weird chickpea curry thing for lunch and more spinach linguine marinara for dinner. But here's a recipe for the drinks I had later, handed down from my mom (I THINK I got this right...?). This is one of my favourite drinks from my childhood. I mean, my childhood since I was old enough to drink. I was a late bloomer.

Trinidadian Rum Punch
rum (Barbados Mount Gay Rum was as Trinidadian as I could find)
orange juice
bitters (several splashes/to taste)
ground nutmeg (sprinkled on top)

This should be served on the rocks, if you are the kind of person who maintains a population of ice cubes in your freezer.

Christmas Dinner; Popcorn

A traditional Christmas dinner was followed by the traditional Christmas Day movie-watching, feat. popcorn.

Christmas Eve Sushi

Behold the delicious Christmas Eve spread. At a sushi restaurant on Hastings that starts with a T, I think.

23 December 2009

World Music Dinner

Dinner was weird. I had high aspirations, using up a bunch of stuff from my cupboards, but combined too many diverse ingredients that should have never come together, and ended up with something a little too eclectic.

I roasted chickpeas and garlic. Then I sautéed chopped onions, celery and red pepper. Then stirred in a bunch of baby spinach. Then I poured in a bottle of President's Choice Indian Madras Cooking Sauce, mixed in the chickpeas and garlic and served it over Israeli couscous.

There was maybe one too many flavour going on -- the celery should not have been there. Maybe I should have put some tomatoes in there instead. The couscous and chickpeas were similar shapes and sizes so when you put them in your mouth you didn't know which one you were getting . . . but the textures are not even different enough to make that a good thing. One is chewy, and one is . . . kind of chalky. Ummm I don't know what else to say about this. I should have just had spaghetti.

22 December 2009

Salad of Small-Chopped Things

Tonight's salad theme was: chop everything as small as you can. I chopped up carrots, red peppers, celery and some prepackaged broccoli slaw. At this point I got tired of chopping and gave up on other potential ingredients. I mixed in some chickpeas, blue cheese dressing and shredded Asiago.

21 December 2009

Spinach & Chive Linguine Marinara

Tonight I had spinach & chive linguine with homemade tomato sauce and shredded Asiago. I actually made the sauce yesterday for lunch. It's based on a recipe I learned in my cooking class. With added black olives to make it Mediterraneany.

Also in the sauce: 1/2 onion and 1 red pepper, both finely chopped (sweated until golden); 3 cloves of garlic, sliced (sautéed until soft); 1 can tomato paste (cooked 3–4 minutes -- just until the colour deepens -- to unlock the flavour); 1 can whole plum tomatoes (crushed and stirred in, then simmered for about 20 minutes); seasoned with a little salt and a lot of basil.

The original class recipe, for the record so I don't have to check my notes next time, used a shallot instead of onion, no red pepper, and TWO cans of tomatoes. And ideally the tomatoes should be seeded (or is it deseeded?) because simmering the seeds can turn them bitter, and ALSO the tomatoes and tomato paste should not contain any salt or citric acid as a preservative, because if tomatoes are picked when they are ripe, the sugar present in them is enough to preseve them and nothing else needs to be added. These cans are harder to find but allegedly worth it; however my non-seeded, citric acidic tomatoes still made some tasty sauce.

Food by Jesse

Sunday night Jesse made dinner for several generations of Ubysseyers. This is what Jesse looks like when she's cooking risotto.

Wine; Pizza

Saturday night: wine for dinner; Pizzo pizza for dessert.

19 December 2009

Pizza Pops & BEER

It is with sadness and regret that I must admit that my dinner last night was two deluxe pizza pops. (I am also eating the same for breakfast right now. 2pm breakfast.) Beer for dessert.

17 December 2009

Salad & Cheesies

Salad for dinner. Followed by handfuls of Baked Cheese Crunchies at a Milkies recording session.


Office party fooooooooooood. Featuring: CHEESE. Mauve Pagé photo.

16 December 2009

Apple Pizza Bread

Tuesday night: An apple in the shower; a pizza slice next to the Commodore; a slice of multigrain bread backstage. Maybe next week I'll start cooking again! Maybe.

14 December 2009

Night-time Bake-a-thon

Tater tots or marzipan?

b) marzipan.

I used mostly store-bought ground almonds, but decided to grind some of my own (ie. press into the side of a bowl with a ladel) to give it more texture. Was that a good idea? Time will tell.

Grace suggested a method for tempering the chocolate. I half-followed it. It may or may not have somewhat worked.

Also I freestyled with the almond extract so I've no idea what to expect... but anyway. First time! Family recipe.

Bunnies or whales? Time will also tell.

13 December 2009

Bake-a-thon Fail

We had a late start to our all-day bake-a-thon, partly due to eating all of the following foods . . .

I made Sonya try her first smoked oysters.

Sautéed in garlic and butter.

. . . so, she ate one, and I ate the rest.

The customary annual watching of Love Actually was done, with some cold chocolate soup (failed chocolate pudding).

This is how we bake in 2009.

. . . and the resulting gingerbread-person orgy.

12 December 2009

Salad ++

Salad for dinner; midnight pizza slices; Ben Lai birthday cake and ice cream; FIREBALL; Guinness; Guinness.

Chicken Shawarma

Last night's dinner was a chicken shawarma from that place on Denman, the name of which I can never remember.

11 December 2009

Apple Salad OJ Pizza Pop

Accidental 3-hour nap; apple for dinner; midnight salad; also this orange juice. And ok, I ate a pizza pop.

09 December 2009


Wow, in the last third of this year I think I've eaten more red cabbage than in my whole life. Also in this salad: celery, grape tomatoes, snap peas, broccoli, carrots, radishes, red peppers, spinach, flax seeds, toasted almonds and blue cheese dressing.

Catfish Cookies Danish Banana Pocky

Last night was a healthy mix of leftover catfish, these brownie cookies courtesy of Sonya, a suspicious looking Cinnamon danish (see last Tuesday), a 7-eleven banana and a bundle of Pocky at the Shindig finals.

Parmesan-Red Pepper Basa with Red Pepper Risotto & Almond-Parmesan Broccoli

I consulted Google about what to do with a bunch of frozen basa fillets and some red peppers, and it gave me this recipe. The internet also told me that basa is a catfish that hails from the Mekong River Delta in Vietnam and the Chao Phraya Basin in Thailand. It's a plant eater, so part-time vegetarians can feel slightly more at ease about eating it.

Parmesan-Red Pepper Fish
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup milk (which I didn't have, so I used water)
1/3 cup panko
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (or to taste)
1/4 teaspoon pepper (I forget if we actually added this)
1/4 teaspoon salt
2-4 boneless fish fillets (I, as you know, used basa)
3 tablespoons butter

In three shallow bowls, put: 1 - the flour; 2 - the milk or water; 3 - the panko, Parmesan, red pepper, pepper, and salt.

Coat the fillets with the flour, then the milk, and then the bread crumb-Parmesan mixture. Press the mixture into the fish.

Melt the butter in a large skillet, and sauté fillets until golden brown and flesh flakes easily with a fork.

We topped the fish with some sautéed red peppers, and served it with President's Choice Red Pepper Risotto and steamed broccoli with toasted almonds and Parmesan.
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