31 January 2010


Neverending weekend! Updates to come tomorrow night.

30 January 2010

Chill Winston and more

The night began at Chill Winston after work with one of my favourite $9 drinks, a Darwin's Argument. Made of Banana liqueur, Butter Ripple Schnapps, Baileys and something else that I forget. I also had three seared scallops with corn bacon purée. $4 per scallop. And then another Darwin's Argument. An expensively tasty snack. Photos courtesy of Setareh Ashrafologhalai

Later consumed:
- Cat Amongst The Pigeons Shiraz Grenache: my new favourite wine
- A Baltika Russian Classic Beer
- Vegetable Thins and white cheddar
- Leftover pizzettes
- Lucky Beers at the Astoria

28 January 2010

Mushroom-Basil-Roasted-Red-Pepper Pizzettes

Around 11 pm I decided it was a good idea to make homemade pizzettes. (Last appearing in my oven this past June. The dough recipe is from my cooking class.)

I had some dried mushrooms in the cupboard and leftover roasted red peppers and basil, so how could I not?

I thought I had enough flour, but not quite. So the dough was pretty sticky. I used more cornmeal to compensate.

Topped with mozzarella, extra-old white cheddar and blue cheese. For future reference, the making of these takes just over 1 hour from start to finish. It is always easier than you expect. (My motivational speech to my future lazy self.)

27 January 2010


We ate at Temple. This was my first visit, so I'm not even going to pretend I know anything about it. All I know is the food was both free and delicious.

More of the Same

Tuesday: Leftovers.

25 January 2010

Coca Cola Pork Roast with Peas & Rice

Tonight I took part in the Food Network blog's Cooking Club Challenge. The directions are a bit vague, but from what I understand, this was supposed to go in a slow cooker overnight. I don't have one of these, so I made do with my French oven over the course of the evening, and ate a lot of Multigrain Vegetable Thins while I waited.

Here's the recipe, from the CCC blog:
Pork Loin Roast With Rice And Peas
Yield: 4

1/4 cup butter
2 cloves garlic (or 2 teaspoons prepared garlic in a jar)
2 chopped onions
3 pounds lean pork loin roast
1 cup ketchup
3/4 cup brown or cane sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup raspberry vinegar
1/4 cup blueberry vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce
1 cup apricot jam (or 1 cup dried apricot)
1 can of Coke (optional)

3 cups basmati rice
6 cups of water

2 cups frozen baby peas
2 tablespoons water

1. Heat butter in large stove-top frying pan at medium heat.
2. Add garlic and onions. Sauté until onions are translucent. Remove from heat.
3. Place pork loin in slow cooker.
4. Combine following ingredients in a bowl: ketchup, brown sugar and molasses.
5. Add cider vinegar, raspberry vinegar, blueberry vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, hot pepper sauce and apricot jam.
6. Add 1 can of Coke (optional)
7. Add sautéed onions to slow cooker.
8. In the morning return centre pot with cover to the outer crock and set on low heat.

1. At supper time combine rice and water in a microwave-safe pot or casserole. Cover and microwave rice at high for 10 minutes, then medium 10 minutes. (Reserve half of the cooked rice for lunches and Asian Stir Fry meal).

1. Place peas in stove-top pot with a small amount of water at high heat.
2. When it begins to boil, turn heat to low. Stir and heat through.

I've never made a pork roast and know nothing about different kinds of roasts. This was a rolled roast that I purchased from Gelderman Farms, trusted pig farmers of the Fraser Valley (they also farm blueberries, FYI), at the Winter Farmer's Market a little while ago. The roast was frozen so I defrosted it in the fridge overnight.

Here we see the coming together of ketchup, molasses and brown sugar.

Next, some CrAzY additions -- apple cider vinegar, raspberry vinegar, apricot jam and COCA COLA, to name a few.

Lump of pig in a giant syrupy soup, mixed with onions and garlic. The oven was set to 225°F, and I put this in at 6:45 pm, basting it every half hour or so.

When I started on the peas and rice, I removed about a cup of liquid from the roast and reduced it on the stovetop to thicken it up.

I took the roast out of the oven at 9:45 pm. I let the meat rest, covered on a rack, for about 5 minutes or so, and then carved it up and made that picture you see up there at the top. And then ate the picture.

Variations of note: I used canned peas instead of frozen. Green Giant "Sweetlets," to be precise. I only made a cup of rice. I added a bottle instead of a can of Coke. And I couldn't find blueberry vinegar, so I just doubled the raspberry vinegar.

Verdict: Pretty good. Quite sweet. Great falling-apart-texture. You don't need a slow cooker, you just need to be ok with eating really late.

24 January 2010

Cookbookyssey #2: The Seasoned Vegetarian

The Seasoned Vegetarian
by Simon Rimmer
© 2009 Mitchell Beazley

I love that Simon Rimmer is a vegetarian chef and yet not actually a vegetarian. It makes this book all the more perfect for me, a lover of both cute animals and delicious meat. Under Simon's tutelage, I can live a little more of the vegetarian lifestyle, but not feel guilty when I choose to dine on deep-fried chicken skin at the local izakaya.

It was tough to choose just one recipe this time -- so many look so good! I will have to come back to this book when my, uh... two years are up. Or maybe I'll just cheat and do more. Among the most intriguing: Sweet Figs on Toast, White Gazpacho, Peppered Mushroom & Stilton Pie, Vegan Lancashire Hot-pot, and Raisin, Pistachio & Honey Cheesecake... to name several. I decided to go with an herbed frittata, because it looked pretty easy, and I've never made frittata before.

Dill & Basil Frittata with Roasted Peppers

The deliciousness factor of this meal is the layering of roasted red peppers between slices of frittata.

These are easy to make, and while most directions say to let the charred peppers steam in a plastic baggie (which I likely would've then thrown away), I tried a tupperware container this time and it worked great.

So, the frittata is eggs, cream, and extra-old white cheddar, salted and peppered and herbed with fresh basil and dill.

We used about 3 times more basil and dill than the recipe called for, and it seemed like the perfect amount.

Cooked on the stovetop for about four minutes until almost set, and then finished off in the grill for about a minute. Sliced up, layered with roasted peppers, and topped with shredded Parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil.

Mushrooms & Cheesesteak & Potatoes (eventually)

I had leftover stuffing from V Cuisine night, so I bought a couple more portobello mushrooms and did them up. Also I ate some nachos.

So that when the time came to eat these potatoes we roasted, we were full. But they made a good breakfast.

Party-meals: I drank a Brasserie d'Ecaussinnes Cookie Beer and ate a couple of Liz and Claudia's Philly cheesesteaks.

Role Mach Tour

A two-day Role Mach tour found me sampling some of Nanaimo's finest this weekend.

Grid legend:
1 - ferry pizza (you don't have to stand in line for it)
2 - Wendy's baked potato and frosty
3 - Shipyards's bar tab at The Cambie
4 - free coffee was procured at the local casino
5 - gig poster at the pizza place
6 - a bag of chips appeared
7 - Aaron's A&W poutine
8 - Tomato Bacon Eggs Benny at Tina's Diner
9 - no ferry trip is complete without a slice of lemon meringue pie

21 January 2010

Red Nachos; Oatmeal; Coconut Bun

Some fluorescent red nachos with salsa and sour cream for dinner. Followed by a bowl of oatmeal. And some of C Chad's New Town Bakery coconut bun.

P.S. I'm headed to Nanaimo again tomorrow, so likely no updates until the end of the weekend again!

20 January 2010

Cookbookyssey #1: V Cuisine

Over the holidays I reorganized my bookshelves and discovered that I own over one hundred cookbooks. From all of these, I have probably used about five recipes in total. So in effort to infuse meaning into the stuff that takes up space in my apartment, I have decided to cook one recipe from each book. I will do this hopefully at least once a week. At this rate it will take me about two years, and in that time several more publishing seasons will go by and I'll probably own another 50 or so books. But I don't want to be too ambitious and then fail, so, once a week it is.

Let us begin:

V Cuisine: The Art of New Vegan Cooking
by Angeline Linardis
© 2007 Whitecap Books

Panko-Stuffed Portobello Caps

I intended to deveganize this recipe by adding some cheese on top at the end, but I forgot. And it really didn't need it. Tastes great -- and no animals harmed! Or even milked!

The stuffing is a mix of sautéed onions, red peppers, celery, garlic and parsley, mixed with sage, oregano and panko crumbs, held together with some vegetable stock. I sprinkled more panko on top, and baked at 475°F for about 10 minutes.

19 January 2010

No Dinner

Tuesday night: Leftover spicy tuna sashimi; Kundalini yoga; banana; Bronx Cheer; cashews; beer; Oh Henry!; red wine.

. . . sigh.

18 January 2010

Downtown Sushi

The newly renovated Downtown Sushi, now with Better Service. Miso Soup, Edamame, Agedashi Tofu, Spicy Tuna Sashimi.

Note: Mind your Sushi Etiquette.

Some Food

Supper was a mélange of nachos, Doritos, Coke, a protein bar, leftover rigatoni and half a leftover white chocolate scone. Sunday!

Poutine & Canadian

Saturday night I ate some Canadian things.


Friday I spent the day in Nanaimo eating foods that someone else was photographing. Among my favourites...

Blue cheese-stuffed figs wrapped in prosciutto

Seafood bouillabaisse

Sausage-stuffed mushroom caps

. . . all of this followed by requisite overindulgence on the ferry. I can't take a ferry and not consume lemon meringue and chocolate milk.

Not Dead

Just a busy weekend. Updates to come later this evening!

14 January 2010

Three Lions Café

After-work drinks at the Three Lions Café on Broadway and Ontario.

Butter Chicken pizza. Delicious! Really!

Nachos ++

I baked bread again. The same bread as ever. I think I'm ready to graduate to the NY Times No Knead bread recipe.

Nachos with black olives and salsa and poor man's guacamole for dinner. And Malbec and Tsing Tao. And Moon.

And new spice shelves!

12 January 2010

Rigatoni with Italian Sausage and Vermouth Sauce

I devised this meal to use up the cream and tomato paste, and some of the rigatoni in the pantry. This was one of those rare occasions where I just kind of guessed things might go together, and it actually worked. It was loosely based on the idea of vodka sauce; the vermouth was a last-minute idea, and the best part.

The sauce is made of 1/2 onion, 2 Italian sausages, most of a can of tomato paste, about 1/4 cup dry vermouth, a can of whole plum tomatoes, about 1/3 cup cream and a bit of salt and pepper. Topped with shredded Parmesan.

11 January 2010

Chocolava Chagrin

I ate the last of my leftovers for dinner. Leftovers from a long time ago. You know, just leftovers. Then I made some of Julie's Chocolavas. Except I accidentally used three whole eggs instead of just egg whites. And thought it was a good idea to add extra salt. Giant crystals of pink sea salt. And as usual overbaked the first batch. Also, I used two vanilla beans instead of 2 tsp vanilla extract. I don't really taste the Great Vanilla Difference. Though it has been over a year since I last ate one of these. And also all the other mistakes. Made these cookies. Just ok.

10 January 2010

. . .

It turns out I am basically made of Pizzo pizza.

09 January 2010

Wheat Thins, Pizza

Thanks, Wheat Thins, for being there when I needed you this week. Also for dinner: a slice of Pizzo pizza.

Sandwich, Nachos, Tequila, Pizza

The night began with a half of a leftover sandwich from lunch -- the Keniaze Café, best lunch diner in North Van -- followed by a blur of Foundation nachos, tequila and frozen pizzas.

08 January 2010

Phyllo & Crackers

Well, that disappeared fast. Also, I ate a considerable number of Wheat Thins this evening.
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