31 December 2010

Dream Pizza

I just ate an entire large pizza from Panago yesterday, while continuing the neverending cleaning out of my closet. And watching all of the episodes of Hellcats (filmed at UBC and feat. Craig Anderson!). Dream pizza.


Frozen tourtière from Tango's. Incidentally much more authentic than the 'steak pie' I had at Maison du Québec during the Olympics.

27 December 2010

Leftovers Roundup

Leftovers Roundup: Christmas Day prawns; Breakfast black beans; Christmas Eve dill; Really Old red pepper.


Salmon and asparagus leftovers.

26 December 2010

Pimm's Cup Top Chef Marathon

Christmas Day Top Chef Season 6 Marathon. Sponsored by Pimm's Cup.

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve Kitty.

Christmas Eve Tree.

Christmas Eve Orange Juice Two Ways: Campari & Orange (left) and reduced in a glaze with honey, dill and grainy dijon mustard (right).

We made this recipe.

23 December 2010

TV; Garlic Porcini Gnocchi with Cottage Cheese

Probably the best thing about being sick was that I got to watch all the episodes of Eastbound & Down. I have also been keeping up with Top Chef.

Tonight's dinner was inspired by Ashley's dish in the potato Quick Fire Challenge (Season 6 Episode 3). She made fresh gnocchi with Hen of the Woods mushrooms, roasted garlic and homemade ricotta cheese.

I sautéed some garlic in butter, added some microwaved store-bought gnocchi, sprinkled it with porcini mushroom & parsley seasoning, mixed it with cottage cheese and topped with ground black pepper. A WINNING DISH.

Saltines & Ginger Ale

Jay brought me saltines and ginger ale for dinner last night. In return I got him sick. By the way I can't say for sure, but I wouldn't be surprised if this episode of Christmas carol(yell)ing on Sunday night had something to do with me getting sick all over again:

22 December 2010

Sick Banana

Tuesday night: Sick. Ate a third of this banana. Also some rice crackers and bread with cheese.


Monday night: Pizzalita. Meh.

19 December 2010

Trini Corn Soup; Passion Play

I made my mom's Trinidadian Corn Soup for Patrick's Christmas party. It usually has chunks of kolbassa, but because I knew some of the attendees don't eat animals, I made it vegan, using Yves "veggie ham" instead. I'm also still waiting for my mom to give me the recipe for the dumplings that go in it, so in the meantime I substituted some cut up pieces of gnocchi, microwaved in some water for a few minutes. Surprisingly, this actually worked.

Some cups of soup "in action" at the party.

Also I ate some of this stuff.

And there was mulled wine.

And there was eggnog.

And there was a passion play:

Bubble World; sushi; PPPYCAG

Saturday's lunch date in Richmond involved a trip to Daiso...

...and Bubble World, where everyone was grossed out when I ordered brown rice matcha bubble tea, but it turned out to be pretty tasty.

I also ate marinated pig intestines, only to later be haunted by this sticker in the bathroom.

For dinner Jay brought me a TNT California roll, then I bought us some Pizzo pizza.

Also this weekend we invented a drink, and in honour of the watching of Top Chef, Season 6, it is tentatively named Peanut Please Pack Your Claws And Go. Recipe: Fill a glass with sparkling wine. Add a splash of Campari. (Optional: Imbibe while watching an episode of Top Chef.)


Cookies for dinner at Liz & Claudia's Cookie Party! ("Christmas Cookies" performed by Aaron Cumming.)

Featuring Liz's non-cookie chocolate mint soufflé cupcakes...

Some gingerbread men and birds' nests...

and Chocolate Drop Cookies, another Furbacher cookie recipe. (Basically, little cookie-shaped cakes.)

On tap: Gary's Cotton Candy Vodka.

17 December 2010

Slider & Leftovers; Czech Cookie Fail

I ate a leftover Surrey White Spot slider for dinner. Also some leftover moussaka.

Then I butchered a classic Czech recipe for vanilla crescents, due to a poorly written recipe! (I blame my parents.) Measurements were a mix of ounces, grams and cups. There was baking powder in the ingredients but not in the method, and egg yolk in the method but not in the ingredients... and it called for a suspiciously low amount of butter, which I then went a little overboard and ended up doubling.

They look ok here... but they don't taste like a Furbacher Christmas. Substantive editing is proving to be a lot more work than I could have imagined... I should have paid more attention as a kid, instead of just licking the bowl.

Coffee & Scotch

Wednesday night was work Christmas party time again, followed by some double-fisting of coffee and scotch. A good night.

14 December 2010

Pie Plate Salmon Tart (feat. faint vanilla-y-ness)

"Pie Plate Salmon Tart?" NEVER HEARD OF IT. But apparently this is one of our family recipes. Maybe from before I was born? I was really just planning on eating leftover moussaka tonight while working on editing, but when I saw this recipe and realized I kind of had all the ingredients, I wanted to try it to see if I remember eating it.

Pie Plate Salmon Tart

(Mom's notes):
Delicious. Good for a brunch or appetizer, or a meal with veggies.

2 Tbsp butter
2 onions, chopped
one 7 oz (199 mL) can pink salmon, undrained
1 tsp lemon juice (or vinegar)
salt and pepper
2 slices bread, cubed
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs, beaten

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Heat 1 tsp butter in a frying pan over medium high heat. Add onions and cook until they start to brown.

Mash the salmon in a bowl. Mix in lemon juice, salt and pepper, cubed bread, milk, eggs and cooked onion.

Melt the remaining butter in a pie plate (or small pan) in the oven. Transfer salmon mixture to pie plate and bake for 30 minutes.

Note: The original recipe used margarine, because we are a family from the '80s. Does anyone use margarine anymore?

I didn't have high expectations, because I used a fortified rice beverage instead of milk, which has a faint vanilla-y flavour to it and is in general not very good.

And indeed, some of the bites had a faint vanilla-y flavour. So let this be confirmation that one must never use a fortified rice beverage with a faint vanilla-y flavour when cooking something savory.

Finally: I only had three little shallots, so I used those instead of two onions. So I don't think I quite achieved the necessary onion-y-ness. (Which was especially needed to combat the vanilla-y-ness.)

I still don't remember this. Could the faint vanilla-y-ness have changed it that much? Possibly. Seriously. I should have just walked down the street to buy some milk.

13 December 2010

1319 Haist Street Moussaka

Hey guys. I have the week off. I am spending it working on my family cookbook. I've collected about 75 recipes from my parents and I'll be finally getting around to editing them this week. So if I manage to be productive, Furbacher recipes will also be the focus of my posts for the next week.

I want to test as many of the dishes as I can to make sure they taste right. I've never made most (if any!?) of these recipe before. I guess I wasn't the most helpful child in the kitchen. But I definitely know what they're supposed to taste like, so I will let my taste buds be my guide. I wanted to start out easy so today I made Moussaka.


1 large eggplant
olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1/2 – 1 lb ground lamb
2 tsp marjoram, or more to taste
salt & pepper to taste
1 tsp parsley
2 medium tomatoes, cubed
1 cup grated mozzarella

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Peel eggplant and slice thinly. Add 1 cup of water to a large pot and place slices in it. Bring to a boil for about 5 minutes. Drain, reserving liquid.

Heat oil in a large skillet, and sweat onion. Add meat and spices and stir until browned. Add tomatoes, eggplant and some of the reserved liquid. (Don’t let it get too wet.) Simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes until tomato and eggplant have become slightly mushy.

Pour into a 9- x 9-inch baking dish. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and bake for about 30 minutes. Serve with rice.


• I used 1 lb of the ground lamb. The flavour of the lamb really makes this dish. It doesn't need much more seasoning besides the marjoram and a little salt and pepper. In fact I didn't have any parsley so I just left it out.

• I also forgot to buy an onion but I had half a red onion, so I used that. Also I used extra old cheddar instead of mozzarella.

• How thin is thin? I sliced the eggplant about 1/4 inch thick. Because of this, I think I didn't have to simmer it as long on the stove... only about 5 minutes before putting it in the oven.

• There is a movie called Attack of the Giant Mousaka, which depicts the city of Athens at war with a giant piece of moussaka, mutated from a regular-size serving when hit by a ray from an alien space ship.

12 December 2010

Keeping The Pizza Dream Alive

I wanted to make the most of it while my pizza dream was still fresh in my mind. I considered trying out the Garden Veggie from Panago, but decided to stick as close to the details of my dream as possible, using the most memorable toppings... and so I built my own Panago pizza: Italian thin crust, passata tomato sauce, green olives, green peppers, hot banana peppers, pineapple and mozzarella.

The result: Living the Pizza Dream! The marriage of salty olives and sweet pineapple makes this a pizza you can really be proud of while watching reruns of the Top Chef Season 4 finale.

Not The Pizza Of My Dreams

Spurred on by my pizza dream, I decided to make it a reality last night. But because the details of the two pizzas were so murky, I decided to leave my pizza fate up to Panago's menu.

Two descriptions popped out at me: Garden Veggie, feat. black olives, mushrooms, roasted garlic, pineapple, green peppers, fire-roasted tomatoes, red onions and mozzarella.

The other was Italia Classic, with pepperoni, Canadian ham, red onions, sautéed mushrooms, green olives, green peppers and mozzarella. Because I changed the black olives to green in my dream, I decided to go with the latter, Italia Classic. It was fine. But it was not the pizza of my dreams. Maybe next time I will try Garden Veggie.

Pizza Dream + Safeway Red Dragon Roll

Friday after work I was napping and having this great dream about delicious pizza. There were two kinds... one had something like green peppers, hot peppers?, Maybe mushrooms? and olives... first black but then maybe I changed them to green in the dream. There was also some kind of meat involved... and I think the other was a "Canadian" style which involves bacon and I forget what else... maybe onions. Maybe tomatoes? Oh, one of the pizzas had pineapple, too. I ate a slice in the dream but I was still starving at which point I awoke, pizzaless.

I did however have this dragon roll which I'd bought on the way home at Safeway, so I ate it. But it was kind of depressing and not too good. The night later improved with Doritos and red wine.


Thursday night solo Gastown dining at Brioche: a glass of wine...

...and Sicilian meatloaf with Greek salad. The perfect place to eat a winter dinner alone.

08 December 2010

Seared Gary Tofu with Green Beans

My friend Gary went to SXSW in Austin, Texas this year and brought me back this BBQ sauce. I've been really wanting to use it but not feeling too carnivorous lately (despite the fact that I ate a cheeseburger for lunch today).

So tonight I used it on tofu, which I ate with green beans. Capers makes really delicious seared BBQ tofu but it costs about a thousand dollars per piece, so I'm happy I figured out how to make something a lot like it...

I seared the (extra firm) tofu pieces on each side in some grape seed oil and a bit of the sauce, then tossed them in more sauce and put them in the 200°F oven while I prepared the beans -- blanched; cool water-bathed; sautéed in butter and squeezed over with lemon juice.

By the way the sauce is REALLY GOOD. Thanks Gary!
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