28 February 2010

I didn't eat this

Here is a photo of the salad that I intended to eat on Friday, and yet as of Sunday night, still have not eaten. Instead I had more nachos, chocolate banana bread, and Martini Rosso.

26 February 2010

Waves; Nachos; Fudge

Dinner #1: Tandoori chicken panini and Earl Grey tea at Waves. Much later I made a giant salad, but I didn't eat it because I was surrounded by nachos and fudge.

25 February 2010

Black Bean Avocado Burritos

Last night I observed the making of burritos in my kitchen.

The burrito mash consisted of black beans and avocados mashed together and mixed with tomatoes, sautéed onions, cilantro and cayenne pepper. Topped with salsa, sour cream and cheddar cheese.

23 February 2010

Kale & Avocado Massage Salad

I've made this salad many times, and sometimes it's really good and sometimes it's not. So I decided to return to the source to relearn how to make it.

The main difference this time is that I used the juice of an entire lemon, rather than just half.

ALSO. I was making this before my yoga class, and I was going to be late so I ended up eating a bowl of it before adding the tomatoes and chickpeas. It was just as good this way -- maybe even better -- with just kale, olive oil, salt, avocado, lemon juice, and green onions. Simple! Simple and avocadoey and GOOD FOR YOU.

Cookbookyssey #6: Grazing

Grazing: A Healthier Approach to Snacks and Finger Foods
by Julie Van Rosendaal
© 2005 Whitecap Books

Grazing is just as good for its recipes as it is for inspiration. I used it as a guide a couple weeks ago when I made my black bean & red pepper potato skins, and it has other great ideas for finger foods, quesadillas, skewers, and snacks that you can riff off of at will. Which I guess was the case with last night's creation.

Mini Toad-in-the-Hole

I must have read this recipe half a dozen times, but for some reason interpreted low-fat chicken sausage as chicken hot dog weiners, and so that's what went into these miniature toad-in-the-holes. They're like little hot dog cupcakes.

Because I used hot dogs, they got completely dried out in the first step.

It turned out that they didn't require any pre-baking before adding the batter; in the first batch the weiners were like dried out carbon vessels exuding a subtle whif of rendered chicken with every bite.

I tried another batch skipping the pre-baking; these turned out much better. Except I was full from eating almost all of the first batch, so I couldn't eat them.

I'll try to do another recipe from Grazing, as this doesn't really do the book justice. But I have to say, when I had the second batch as leftovers for lunch today, they were pretty tasty.

Coeur de Québec

I finally got out to la Maison du Québec on Sunday night, located in a little pavillion city around the corner from Science World (aka Sochi [Russia] House), where you can also find the Ontario and Saskatchewan pavillions.

Both of these had line-ups, but there was no line for Québec, as everyone was sitting out in front of it watching the Canada/US hockey game. I arrived just in time to see the Americans break the tie with their third goal of the night.

But even in the face of impending doom, fans still got excited when another goal was scored for Canada, culminating in a few rounds of The Wave. It's impossible not to get caught up in the fanfare when you're standing in the middle of an Olympic house.

The food at la Maison was, in a word, disappointing. I ordered tourtière -- a mere steak pie, according to the Québecois folks that I shared a table with, and not the Real Thing. They ran out of salade de betteraves marinées, and instead gave me a simple garden salad. And I ordered a cider but I'm pretty sure that was ice wine they gave me. That, or I definitely do not recommend Québecois cider.

But the people and the entertainment made up for it. Canada's defeat was immediately atoned for by an intimate concert featuring Québec's Coeur de Pirate.

I'd also been disappointed to not find the poutine, tire d'érable or (especially) maple cotton candy that other food blogs had promised from the Québec House. So on the way home I sought out a bag of regular cotton candy among the many vendors parked in between the casino and the Plaza of Nations, and ate it while walking home alongside The Flash, who was competing in his own made-up sports such as Parking-Meter Hurdles and Running-Between-Pylons.

Life is busy.

Updates later tonight. Featuring La Maison du Quebec; The Flash; Poor Man's Toad in the Hole and more... EXCITING

21 February 2010

Pizzo pizza; fake Japadog

Pizzo Pizza: their tomato sauce pulses through my veins.

But one pizza slice is not enough, so outside the Biltmore I ate a fake Japadog.

20 February 2010

Pasta & Porter

More tortelloni. And some of this beer. Also some other beers.

18 February 2010

Pres Choice Tortelloni

Presidents Choice beef & vegetable tortelloni and a bottle of Phillips Black Toque India Dark Ale.

Au Petit Chavignol; Tent City

Dinner at Au Petit Chavignol was book-ended by visits to the Olympic Tent Village, of course.

Cheese fondue, duck rillettes and housing for all!

16 February 2010

Olympic Houses Fail

Pre-yoga: PIZZO PIZZA SLICE. Post-yoga: We let loose in the convenience store and emerged with chocolate coconut granola bars, Smart Food popcorn, a Matcha Green Tea Chocolate Truffle bar, and Dan•D•Pak Crunchy Peanut Snax Mix, all of which fueled our wandering around the downtown amusement park that is The Olympics. Also we drank cups of hot chocolate handed to us on the street by a random stranger in Yaletown.

P.S. We tried to go to the Slovakia Pavillion, but it costs $115 to get in. This covers all you can eat AND all you can drink plus some live music. But is also $115. The Irish House was ridiculous: imagine all the people you see at 3am on a Granville Saturday night all gathered together in one long, hooting line-up. We never did find La Maison du Québec, and waded through the crowd at LiveCity Yaletown shortly before the barricades gave way and a lady broke her leg.

15 February 2010

Saxony House: "Let the Saxon way of life simply melt in your mouth."

Tonight I ate at the Saxony House, which has been beckoning to me from across the water in the Stanley Park Rowing Club all weekend.

Live mountain folk music was provided by the house band, which has a German name that there was no way I was going to remember, which according to the Saxony House menu translates as "Legacy-Hunter".

My intention was to compare the Saxony House roast pork and sauerkraut with my dad's, but I ended up eating marinated pork steak on a bun with fried onions and hot mustard, while shifting my focus between the band, speed skating and figure skating.

I was surprisingly still hungry after this, and they let me have a half-order of Bacon "Bemmchen" (breadslices) with onion rings and Schlettauer gherkins. Served on a spread of creamy bacon fat, this is most definitely the star of the Saxony menu. (Also relatively cheap; a half order of three slices was only $3.50.)

I washed these down with a pint of Köstritzer Black beer. It was $9 for a pint, but it's ok because I was also paying for the discovery of a Really Good Beer.

Cookbookyssey: Show & Tell II

Mauve sent me some more photos of Michelle-Meals-inspired cooking. This time of Eric Akis's Red Onion Soup with Brie.
My changes: spelt bread, goat brie and vegetarian "beef" broth. So yummy! I used the Cat Amongst the Pigeons wine. I think I might prefer this soup to the other... but it might be because of the cheese. And yes, I'm sending you pics again.

Looks delicious! And nice choice for the wine. I should get back into the cookbook groove so I can inspire more cooking from Mauve. Except, with the Olympics taking over Vancouver, I'm trying to make it out to some of the countries's pavilions to eat their food. Stay tuuuuned...

Valentine's Pizza Day

We dressed up all fancy for Valentine's Day and then walked down the street to get some pizza from Uncle Fatih's. Peanut set out to make the trip with us, but only made it a few steps outside the door.

Caribbean Hut Pizza; Campari vs Cinzano Rosso

It being self-proclaimed pizza weekend, we decided to check out Caribbean Hut Pizza on Hastings. Except, none of us ate pizza. I wanted to try the roti, but decided to go, of all things, with a Persian Wrap -- mashed lamb with beans, potatoes and veggies. It was ok.

Later I conducted a taste test between Campari and Cinzano Rosso, knowing basically nothing about either. I once had a drink made with orange juice that was mixed with one of these, but I can't remember which (probably Campari, since it has a recipe for this drink on the back label). We didn't have any orange juice, so I mixed them both with a bit of lemon and sugar. I think that Campari, a type of bitters, wins as a stand-alone drink, though weighing in at 25% alcohol, it is quite a bit stronger. Cinzano Rosso, which is an amber vermouth, is lighter at 15% alcohol, but with more of a fermenty after-taste. Both are pretty great though. Both also have their own extremely fancy and ridiculous flash-heavy websites.

Campari wins again here, for its interactive menu of cocktails, each of which lists a recipe and shows a step-by-step video narrated with a British accent of a bartender mixing the drink. (This is also available as an iPhone app!) Several of these drinks consist of both Campari and Cinzano Rosso. I may never drink anything else again.

Pizza Weekend

I ate Pizzo pizza on the way out Friday night... actually stopped there and brought the pizza home. The pizza was unusually fresh and it was strange to not be walking while eating it, as I usually am. Later on the way home I ate a delicious thin crust artisanal slice of Goldie's pizza on Pizza Street. In other Friday night pizza news, we discovered that Uncle Fatih's on Denman Sreet is now open for business!!

12 February 2010

Cookbookyssey: Show & Tell

My most recent Cookbookyssey venture inspired a couple of my readers to try the recipe themselves.

This photo was submitted by Mauve, who used a full can of low-fat coconut milk, rather than just one cup. Which reminds me, I also used the whole can, though mine was made with regular coconut milk (about 72% more delicious fat). Mauve also points out that this recipe is both vegan and gluten-free. Thanks Mauve! I love the presentation.

Here's a note from Jan, sent along with this lovely photo:
Like you, I was pretty discouraged in the early stages of simmering. I even considered abandoning the dish and throwing away the contents of the pot. However, after blending half the stock, it started to look better and I continued to follow the recipe carefully. Near the end the flavours started building and at the very end I had a very good soup. YAY!

I'm most certainly not a food stylist or food photographer and I shot this image as I was flying out the door for the day. Here it is -- for what it's worth.

Thank you for inspiring me to make this soup. It's easy, nourishing and tastes good. I'm definitely going to make it again and again.
Thank YOU, Jan. This soup looks better than mine! I have such talented readers. Feel free to send me some snapshots of your own adventures in the kitchen. LET'S SHARE.

11 February 2010

Black Bean & Red Pepper Potato Skins

It was Get-Rid-of-Leftovers night, featuring potato skins!

I baked two potatoes, then halved them and scooped out the innards, brushed with oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper and a bit of chili powder.

Filled with a mixture of chopped red peppers, tomatoes and black beans. Baked at 400°F for ten minutes.

Topped with a mix of shredded old cheddar, Gruyère and mozzarella...

And back in the oven for another few minutes to melt the cheese.

Served with salsa.

10 February 2010

The Corner Suite Bistro De Luxe

Last night we ate at the newly opened Corner Suite Bistro De Luxe -- chef Anthony Sedlak's new restaurant on Thurlow south of Robson that features a raised bar and cute aqua seafoam chairs, and is periodically dappled with swirling red and white fire engine lights from the busy fire department across the street.

We drive by the restaurant on our way home from work every day, so we've been anticipating its opening for a while now as we watched it progress through various stages of construction. Onto the food...

Complementary Gruyère puff pastries to start. A nice touch, and these are essential to your endurance because it takes a looooooooooong time to peruse the very thorough drinks menu, The Genuine Article -- a sort of mini bible of cocktails.

After prolonged deliberation, I settled on a Los Angeles, and was not disappointed. Rye, lemon, sugar, Cinzano Rosso, maraschino and egg white. We were served bread with olive butter while we drank and waited for our meals.

I had a small bowl of seafood chowder. It was very good.

Next up was a crispy pig’s ear, served on sweetbreads and a bed of kale with onion soubise and shallot & parsley sauce. I most definitely did not know what sweetbreads were until now. This course was incredibly rich but a really good mix of flavours.

The menu features a daily special called the twenty four seven, which is a three-course meal for $24.07. While I didn't have that, I did manage to get them to serve me the twenty four seven dessert of the day, a white chocolate crème brûlée.

Finally, I had to order a cappuccino, because it was made by the province’s only Venus Century 100-Year Anniversary espresso machine -- one of only 100 that exist in the whole world. (The Pope also owns one.) It tasted Pope-worthy, I guess?
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