30 September 2011

Crystal Pumpkin Time

Capers pumpkin tart
My first pumpkin-flavoured thing of the season! A pumpkin tart at Capers. With my hippie-friend Sonya, keeper of the giant Quartz.

29 September 2011

SHiNDiG Cask Ale #3: Belgian Wit


Week 3 of SHiNDiG had the best bands maybe and the best beer definitely so far -- Granville Island Brewing's Belgian Wit: "A special brew by Vern Lambourne -- spiced with coriander and Curacao orange." So fresh and tasty, it glows.

I bought bought a bottle of this beer in the store earlier this summer (was it ever summer?). It looks like this. But drinking it from the bottle, you'd never guess how luminescent it is. The bright yellow of the beer really enhances the drinking experience.

25 September 2011

French Toast For Dinner


It's French toast! The perfect breakfast -- or, in this case, Friday night dinner -- that also tastes like dessert.

You may think that two pieces of French toast won't be enough for a meal, but. It will. To make four French toast slices, we used four eggs and 2/3 cup milk. One website also recommended adding cinnamon and vanilla essence, but we didn't feel like getting all fancy.

We made the mistake of starting to soak the first two slices in the egg & milk mixture before the pan had fully heated up. So by the time it was (kind of) ready, the bloated slices were almost starting to disintegrate. I let Jay eat those ones. The next slices were just quickly pressed in the egg mixture, then flipped and dipped again.

Maple syrup: Organic Canada No. 3 Dark. ONLY THE BEST (and most expensive).


Even more expensive: Sweet Sippin' Canadian Maple Whisky for dipping. Surprisingly good. But you don't need a lot of it. Which means someone will end up drinking a shot of eggy alcohol. MMmmmm.

21 September 2011

SHiNDiG Cask Ale #2: Strawberry Cream

Shindig cask ale
Last night's SHiNDiG was a lesson in punctuality. I arrived near the end of the first band, thereby just missing the end of the evening's cask ale, a Strawberry Cream Ale from R&B Brewing.

Jay came to my rescue, allowing me a couple sips of the last drops of his glass. It tasted reasonable; thick and mild and with a few tiny stray strawberry bits at the bottom. But drinking the dregs of someone else's brew doesn't really give you an accurate read on the quality of the beer. Next week I'll be early!

20 September 2011

Beauty + Pity × Cream Puff

Beauty Plus Pity
Last night: cream puffs and a makeup-clad Kevin Chong at the Penthouse. You know, just your average Monday night.

Beard Papa
P.S. It was part of a launch for this book:

18 September 2011

Curried Tofu & Sweet Potatoes with Green Beans


I think I somewhat improved on my Curried Sweet Potatoes & Green Beans dish by adding tofu to it. The tofu needs to be seared on its own to make sure it has the right crispy texture to offset the mushiness of the sweet potatoes. The seasoning: curry powder, coriander powder, cayenne pepper, coriander seeds and cumin seeds. Lemon juice and butter get mixed in with the beans.

I'm still not that great when it comes to cooking sweet potatoes though; they either turn out slightly undercooked, or overly mushy. I've been sautéing them in a pan with the spices, then adding some water to make sure they cook through. I guess the trick is to not be lazy and check them more often to make sure they're just cooked. Or maybe I'll try roasting them next time...

Except that I'm kind of bored with these curry spices. I need a new delicious spice combo. Suggestions welcome!

17 September 2011

A New Form of the New Forms Sausage

On Thursday I decided that dinner-making time was nap time, but managed to simultaneously direct Jay to recreate the New Forms Festival Sausage -- using tomatoes, onions and garlic, minus the aioli, plus some hamburger relish -- with the veggie dogs he brought over. The result: a veggie sausage that actually tasted good. I was impressed. And unlike its predecessor, it didn't sit like a ball of lead in my stomach for the rest of the week.

16 September 2011

Seagulls, Skunks & SHiNDiG


I arrived early for Painting On The Beach so I sat on a log to eat my pizza. I was immediately swarmed by a gang of loud and hungry seagulls, who expected me to share. I wrapped up one of the pieces and hid it in my bag.


This lady sat there and did that for about 20 minutes. Then she started following around the above pictured seagull and biting at his beak, until eventually he threw up some food onto the ground for her to eat. I was amazed. He regurgitated a bit more, then decided it was too much and ate some of it back again.


With my pizza hidden, the seagulls lost interest and left, and were soon replaced by my friends.


Here is a painting of what English Bay looked like, around that time.


Soon I took my other slice of pizza from my bag and started eating it. Just then a beach skunk came along and approached my pizza-scented bag. Everyone else ran away, but I just sat there, the closest I have ever been to a skunk. I really wanted to pet it, but I decided against it.


Eventually the skunk bid us farewell, and we painted into the night.


Later I headed to the Railway for the first night of CiTR's SHiNDiG, where I tried this week's cask ale, R&B's Cucumber & Mint IPA. It was a nice try, but in the end it tasted just a little too much like salad. My goal this year is to make it out to every SHiNDiG, not just to see all the new bands, but also to try the cask ale that is featured every week.

15 September 2011

Fun with Vegetables!

I made some delicious things yesterday out of vegetables.

Szechuan carrot soup
I found a new carrot soup to add to my repertoire! It is Szechuan Carrot Soup; made of carrots, onions, celery, garlic, stock, milk and President's Choice Memories of Szechwan Spicy Peanut Satay Sauce. (The bottle with the panda on it. Get the full-fat kind! A cursory glance at labels suggests that the "Blue Menu Light" version has a million more mg of sodium. And that the full-fat one is more peanuty.) Topped with cilantro. Another winning soup from one of my favourite soup cookbooks, For The Love Of Soup. Will I make it again? YES. YES!


I also made a zucchini salad with my Spirooli. I salted the zucchini noodles to draw out the water, then rinsed and drained them, squeezing out the excess water. I also chopped 1/4 of a red onion and marinated it in the juice of two limes with a bit of salt. I mixed all this together with a couple chopped up tomatoes and a giant handful of cilantro. Pretty good. Will I make it again? Maybe.

14 September 2011

New Forms of Sausage

New Fine Mist Forms
The New Forms Festival at the Waldorf this past weekend was epic.


Even epic-er: this spicy chorizo sausage with aioli and tomatoes that they served. I didn't need to eat for several days afterward.

13 September 2011

A Farewell To Blueberries

It's official: summer is over. How do I know? Blueberries are no longer on sale at the Save-On. They've gone back up to full price.

It was a good run. Between these tomato & blueberry salads and all the green breakfast smoothies I ingested in the past month, I think I ate more blueberries this summer than all the blueberries in the rest of my life combined. Anyway. I think this was my last tomato & blueberry salad of the year. Farewell, sweet salad.

10 September 2011

Italian Zucchini Soup

Zucchini soup
Since I've started going to the market every Saturday to do my composting, I have an endless supply of zucchinis. Because they are so cheap! (I got two giant ones for $1 last time.) But I needed a break from the ole zucchini noodles, so I turned to For The Love Of Soup for guidance. Behold: Italian Zucchini Soup.

08 September 2011

CHILI BEER. Tastes like nachos!

CHILI BEER! Tastes like nachos.
Chili beer! This spicy brew tastes like nacho cheese! In the best possible way. Layla brought back a bottle from Arizona and it is amazing. Does anyone know where I can find this in Canada?

07 September 2011

Chutney Villa


It was such a busy weekend, I almost forgot that we went here on Friday night. Chutney Villa! Guess what, they have really tasty chutneys. Onion chutney! Coconut chutney! Banana peach chutney! Mango chutney!


Pile them all on top of a deep fried pancake-shaped mush of veggies and potatoes and you have some serious deliciousness.

06 September 2011

What did we eat at Ma Dang Coul?


First up: soju! It is a rice-based distilled beverage, around 20% alcohol, and according to this Wikipedia article, it is not unlike a sweet vodka. The colour and taste of the lemon soju reminded me of Calpico.


Next: REALLY Spicy Squid! Bi Bim Bap! Seafood pancake thing! Exclamation marks all around!


Finale: private karaoke at Fantacity feat. edamame because you have to buy food to drink, and too many pitchers of beer. And too many renditions of Kissing a Fool.

05 September 2011

Tomato, blueberry & avocado salad

Tomato blueberry & avocado salad
Since I discovered the combination of tomatoes and blueberries, I have pretty much been living off of these salads, making the most of the season while it lasts. At one point this week I ran out of goat cheese, and tried substituting avocados. Yep: delicious.

01 September 2011

Homemade Mac 'n' Cheese with RyePA


Homemade macaroni and cheese, people! We almost just bought a box of Kraft Dinner but I couldn't bring myself to do it. For that I am grateful.

This was made with chopped onion, peperoncino, mushrooms (about 2 Tbsp each) and a clove of garlic, sautéed in butter with smoked paprika and cayenne pepper. Then I mixed in 2 Tbsp flour. Then 1/4 cup beer (Phillips Krypton RyePA), and then tempered in 1-1/4 cup milk.


Then we mixed in this mound of cheddar cheese and a bit of basil and dill, followed by some diced tomatoes.


We stirred in the cooked macaroni, put it in a casserole dish, tossed on some more cheese and panko crumbs and broiled it in the oven.
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