Thursday, December 30, 2010

Happy New Year...Trends and Blogs I LOVE!!

Print Friendly and PDF Tomorrow is New Years Eve. This is exciting, and frightening, as my 48th year is fast approaching! How can you spend 48 years on this planet, and have it feel like time is moving twice as fast, the older you get? When I started this blog, I did so without reading other food blogs. Lately, I have given myself permission to take the TIME to read other blogs. I have found some that I LOVE...and I would like to pass them on, so you can enjoy as well:


I also came across an article from The Washington Examiner, written by a woman with a blog called cherryteacakes, on The Five Hottest Food Trends For 2011. click on this link, and check it out, you may be surprised...I know I was!

Happy New Year!

Applesauce Muffins! Baked them MYSELF!!

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As you can tell by the photo...I'm not much of a baker. We had 3 professionals in my family, so there was really no need for me to take it up. If I get a yen for something fresh baked, I consider the recipe VERY CAREFULLY. It has to be quick, use 1 bowl, and a minimum of measuring equipment. This muffin recipe met the criteria, and you still see the mess. I assume the P-Man will clean it up in the morning...After the 10 minutes of measuring and mixing...I am SPENT!!

I made some homemade applesauce last week, and set aside one jar for baking. I wanted some kind of fruity muffin or cake...and today was the day. I got the recipe from a website called catcancook...and only made 2 substitutions: I deleted a 1/4 cup of white sugar, and mixed my flours 1 cup white, 1/2 cut whole wheat. They turned out great. After 20 minutes in the oven, they were moist and fruity, and perfect with coffee.

I will throw them in the freezer when they are cooled. I think they will make a great snack in the New Year!

Cranberry sauce...from SCRATCH!!

Print Friendly and PDF I didn't make a turkey for Christmas. The P-Man and I had a nice big breakfast, and SPAGHETTI and MEATBALLS for Christmas dinner, while we lounged in front of the TV and watched the 7th episode of The Big Bang Theory...during a 24 hour marathon! We had little mini bottles of champagne, and overall it was a GREAT Christmas!

Don't ask me why...but I decided to make cranberry sauce. I love cranberry sauce, and for weeks now, I have seen jars of every kind, on many shelves, in many food stores. I just couldn't decide whether or not to buy I was unsure whether I was going to eat TURKEY! When I was out picking up vegetables, I saw a bag of fresh cranberries, and decided then and there, to make some of my own. I found a recipe on, that included fresh orange juice, and a whole cinnamon stick, and a pinch of ground cloves, that only took 20 minutes to cook. I poured it into a bowl, and stuck it in the fridge, and ate it the next day with some turkey sausages, brown rice and broccoli...and it was DELICIOUS!! It was so fresh and cinnamony, that it completely overshadowed the tasty little sausages. I am thinking about using it as a jam, with some peanut butter on an onion bagel for breakfast! I am thinking that I should poach a turkey breast JUST for sandwiches, so I can slather it on bread, and let it mingle with some mayonnaise in a fabulous non-leftover turkey sandwich!

I really don't know what I was waiting for! This cranberry sauce was a Christmas miracle...turkey, or NOT!!

cold green bean salad with cheese

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I have been struggling with my weight lately. I am up a few pounds, and feel the need to make friends with vegetables again. I bought a bag of green beans the other day, that looked as green and fresh and crisp, as ones found at a summer farmers market! I knew immediately, that it was time for an old favorite..." Salade De Haricots Verts Au Gruyere." courtesy of one of my FAVORITE cook book author: James Barber (this recipe came from: James Barber's Immodest but HoneEating Cookbook.) I have made this recipe a thousand times, and it never comes out the same. The quality of the beans, the kind of cheese I use, the type of herb I use in the dressing...It's the difference between baking and cooking. You can improvise...and STILL eat it!

The basic recipe is simple: Some blanched, barely cooked green beans...still a bit warm. A GREAT vinaigrette...preferable containing a good amount of dried tarragon, and some cubed, flavourful cheese. Blend everything together, and serve it at room temperature. You can add a poached egg, or shrimp, or salmon, or chicken...or not! This recipe has served me well. I hope you can find this cookbook at a yard sale...I still take it down and read it when I am completely devoid of inspiration. He was a genius. His writing is funny, and reassuring, and the recipes make you want to give them a try. His philosophy was simple. Everyone should be able to feed themselves, and perhaps even someone else. When I was first married, these recipes gave me hope that a fancy dinner party, or a celebratory dinner for 2 was as easy as reading a story. His recipes are full of life, and love of food. I think he would be pleased that people are still reading his stories, and cooking his recipes.

Long live Green Bean Salad!

Lamb chops and baby spinach salad

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I have been on a little Holiday break. Today was the first time I have turned on my computer since December 23rd! I went through my e-mails, and was amazed to see many of my fellow Food Bloggers posting every day! I recently joined an on-line community called FoodBuzz, and have made a few new friends, and have jealously read some beautifully written blog posts and have looked at some glorious food photos.

I dedicate this blog to my peeps in the foodie world!

I know it is the time of turkey, turkey, and MORE turkey...but I was craving lamb!
I marinated some loin lamb chops in some olive oil, garlic and fresh oregano, salt and pepper, and started to make a spinach salad. The spinach is a bit of a pain, if you don't buy the pre-washed sacks...but I can't seem to do it. I think I have trust issues...especially when the bag says it has been 'triple washed'...Yeah, RIGHT! After the salad was washed and spun dry, I sliced some fresh white mushrooms and some red onion...super thin. I made a dressing with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, grainy Dijon mustard, salt, pepper and tarragon.

I pre-heated my broiler to high, and grilled the chops for about 15 minutes. I think they were a bit over-cooked...but this has got to be the first time I have used the broiler on my 4 year old stove. I would say 10 minutes, with a couple of minutes rest time would have been perfect!

I assembled the salad, drizzled on the dressing, added the chops, and presto! A nice light winter supper.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

more applesauce photos

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More photos from my applesauce journey...

Apples and Applesauce

Print Friendly and PDF The P-Man and I made a quick trip to the Okanagan in October to have Thanksgiving dinner with his parents. The following day, we decided to leave after a late breakfast. As we were driving to the local DENNY'S...I saw a sign that said 'Farmer's Market.' After we ate, we decided to go, as it was the last market of the season. WOW!! What a bounty! It seemed as if every vendor had decided to sell everything that remained from the season. There were HUGE bags of carrots and beets, potatoes...and APPLES!! We stopped at a stall selling 35 pound boxes of apples for 6 DOLLARS!! I couldn't believe it. The smell coming from that box of apples was intoxicating. It smelled sweet,and tart, and slightly lemony. I had to have the whole box. We loaded them into the trunk, said our goodbyes, and hit the road South.

We have been eating those apples for the last 2 months! I had them in the trunk of my car for the first month, and my whole car smelled like apples! When the forecast called for frost, I helped the P-Man lug them up the hill and to our apartment. I have kept the last of them in the spare bedroom in front of the cool sliding glass door. Now my spare bedroom smells like apples! The remaining apples are starting to look a little limp. They were so good, I couldn't let them go to waste. I decided to make some applesauce.

I looked for a recipe online, as I was unsure if I needed to peel them...and if I should add lemon, or sugar, or what. I found a recipe at simply recipes, and it worked really well. The applesauce had the texture and complex fruity taste of the apples, with a touch of zip and sweetness, from the addition of cinnamon, salt, lemon, and a bit of dark brown sugar.

After about 40 minutes of simmering, the whole apartment smelled like an apple pie factory! After the mixture had cooled, I ladled the applesauce into 6 glass jars, and froze 5 of them. I intend to have some over Christmas with some festive roast and remember that sunny afternoon in Vernon.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Fusilli with chicken rose sauce

Print Friendly and PDF I prepared a delicious roast chicken this week. I decided to put some of it into a pasta dish. I boiled some fusilli with a generous handful of salt. I sauteed some garlic and chili flake in some olive oil. I added about 1 1/2 cups of diced cooked chicken, and a jar of good tomato sauce. I cooked it until the chicken was heated through, and the pasta was done. I added some 1/2 and 1/2 to the red sauce mixture, and tipped in the fusilli. I added a couple of handfuls of baby spinach leaves, some freshly grated Parmesan cheese, and about 1/4 cup of the reserved pasta water. I turned off the heat, and stirred everything together. Once the spinach was wilted, I served it up. It was really tasty. The touch of cream made it nice and rich, and the chicken was a nice change from ground meat. The P-Man enjoyed it so much, that he volunteered to clean up the kitchen. After pouring most of the leftovers into a container for his lunch, he found a bowl, and ate the rest of the pasta while loading the dishwasher.

I will take that as a compliment!

Special Party Olives

Print Friendly and PDF The P-Man and I are headed to a Christmas Party tomorrow night. I have been asked to bring some olives. My friend J. had dropped by one night last summer, and we sat out on the patio with a bottle of wine, and ate ALL the leftover food I had prepared for a party the night before. She said the olives were her favorite. These olives were a recipe from an old cookbook from local foodie Caren McSherry. I thought I wrote the recipe down, but couldn't find it. I then tried Caren's website for it, and couldn't locate it there either. So I am relying on my memory to recreate them. The recipe goes something like this:

250 grams of 3 different olives in brine...with pits.(drain the olives)
a generous shake of chili flakes
2 large cloves of garlic, chopped
fresh rosemary, oregano, and thyme, roughly chopped, about 1/2 cup
1 lemon cut into thin slices and then quarters
good, fruity olive oil

Mix everything in a big bowl, and add about 1/2 a cup of olive oil. I leave the olives to marinate in the fridge for a few days, giving them a stir a couple of times a day. Serve them at room temperature, and let everyone know about the PITS!!

They look so beautiful, they kind of sell themselves at a party! I used to HATE olives, as the only ones I had ever eaten had come out of a can or a jar. When I started working at Delitalia, I started tasting them, and they are definitely one of my favorite snacks, now.

According to Weight Watcher's new Points Plus Program: 10 small or 6 large olives,(about 1 oz) is only 1 point!
I'm looking forward to tomorrow night!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Another week...Another Chicken!

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I LOVE my new cocotte! It is absolutely PERFECT for roasting a chicken. I inherited my mother's old blue speckled roaster, and have been using it for a LOOOOONG time. With nothing to compare it to, I never dreamed how much nicer and FASTER a chicken could cook AND taste...simply by switching up my standard cooking equipment. I believe that the local second hand shop will soon be in possession of the old blue roaster.

I generally like certain flavours in my roast chicken. I was out of celery this week, so I substituted a whole head of garlic, cut in half. I make sure to always add onion and carrot, and to sprinkle generously with salt, pepper, and Herbs de Provence. I aways put a bunch of whatever fresh herb I have in the fridge. This week it was Cilantro. I also quarter a lemon, and shove it in the cavity with the fresh herbs, to steam in some citrus flavour. Once the chicken has been drizzled with some olive oil, I pop on the lid, and slide it into the oven for about 2 1/2 to 3 hours...for a 6 lb chicken.( 350 degrees)

This chicken was DELICIOUS!! I intend to take all the meat off the carcass today, and maybe make a chicken/tomato/roast garlic pasta sauce for some penne I have in the cupboard.

The P-Man will be PLEASED!!!

Baked Portobello Mushrooms

Print Friendly and PDF Sometimes I fantasize about being a vegetarian. It's a real fantasy, as I can't seem to eat any of the 3 meals in a day without MEAT! I think I was brain washed at an early age that if you didn't eat protein ( ie: MEAT) you would become weak, and fall down in a faint. Did I also mention that my mother was a 'tad' neurotic? Did I also mention that around the time I was born, she was in her early 40's and was diagnosed with diabetes?

Needless to say, it took me YEARS to feel a meal was a meal, with out a big piece of steak, or a fat pork chop on the plate. Now that I am at the end of my 40's, and have only fainted once, when I was about 10, in Las Vegas, in 110 degree heat...I thought I would experiment with a few vegetarian dishes.

These baked portobello mushrooms were very tasty. I sauteed a bit of onion, garlic and celery with some salt, pepper, chili flakes, and LOTS of dried Oregano. When the mixture cooled, I mixed it with about a cup of ricotta cheese, and a couple of tablespoons of freshly grated Parmesan. I de-stemmed the mushrooms, and rubbed them all over lightly with Olive oil. I then piled the cheese mixture on top, and broiled them on high for about 20 minutes.

They came out slightly charred on the edges, and full of juicy mushroom goodness. The ricotta as a base made them nice and light, and the seasoning was PERFECT. I served them with a spinach salad, and didn't feel at all light headed... Maybe there IS something to this veggie-life thing!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Rockaway Taco: A film by Todd Selby

Print Friendly and PDF When you are 'into' find ways to do more than just eat and cook. I recently attended a panel discussion at the Museum of Vancouver, on Vancouver's New Food Writing. I was astounded that considering the 5 people on the panel were all writers, or bloggers, or had written cookbooks, the discussion was not only flat, but I was kind of offended how they all just seemed to be there to promote their 'THING'...whatever that was. I left with the conclusion that if this was a fair representation of Vancouver's food writers/writing...I can't believe that's all we've got. Article after article on SPOT PRAWN SEASON...and yet ANOTHER author feeling the need to write about her relationship with food, while living in PARIS...yawn...

I have been surfing around, looking at different websites in hopes of creating my own next year. It is a little difficult for me to do this, as I have a terrible affliction...I seem to be interested in SO MANY different things! The first website I visited today had a video on it, called Rockaway Taco. The website belongs to a fairly famous photographer named Todd Selby...who refers to himself as THE SELBY.
I found this video charming and real, and it made me want to have a taco, AND learn to surf. It is related to I thought I would pass it on.
Do yourself a favour...wait for a really rainy or snowy day and then watch it...I think I LIKE the SELBY...

Salmon with a winter marinade

Print Friendly and PDF I love salmon. Even though the fresh salmon are done for the year, the frozen salmon is very good quality. I play around with different marinades, but my base is usually equal parts coarse grain mustard and real maple syrup. To this salmon, I added a few salty capers, and a spoon of curry paste. You only have to marinate it as long as it takes to pre-heat the oven to 400 degree...and a small piece like this only takes about 10 minutes to cook through.

Really, Truly FAST Food.

a quick little cucumber salad

Print Friendly and PDF I had to make something GREEN to go with my Shepard's pie lunch. I have to admit the fridge is looking somewhat BARE. With the P-Man's arrival home this week, a decent grocery shop, and a fresh fruit and produce run, are top of my to-do list! What I DID have left in my refrigerator was about a 1/2 an English cucumber, and a bunch of cilantro. I also had a little bowl full of sliced green other words, I had the makings of a yummy little salad.

I sliced up the cucumber and added some chopped cilantro, green onion, salt, pepper, sugar, a sprinkle of red pepper flakes, and the juice of about 1/2 a lime.(Usually I add white wine vinegar, but I found 1/2 a lime cowering at the back of the vegetable drawer!) I gave it a good mix, and let it sit on the counter for about 30 minutes.

I ate my Shepard's pie, and then ate the salad. the acidy tang cut right through the richness and heaviness of the potato/meat dish. I was amazed how much bite those few flakes of red pepper gave the salad...but the sugar really balanced all the flavours out. Even though the day was grey, this little salad made me dream about Summer...

Sort of a shepherd's pie thing for lunch

Print Friendly and PDF I had a bit of ground beef/tomato lasagna misture left over from my lasagna making this week. I also had some of my potato/turnip/yam mash. Put them both together, and you get a nice hearty lunch. I have no idea what to call this concoction, but it sort of reminds me of shepherd's pie. I liked having something so meaty and soft to eat this week, as the rain continued to pour down from morning until night.

It was kind of a happy accident...but I boiled up the last of my potatoes from the bottom of the plastic bag this morning, and am thinking about doing a PROPER Shepherd's Pie for the P-man's lunch next week...

Seigel's Bagels Smoked Meat Sandwich

Print Friendly and PDF I STRUGGLED through torrential rain and horrible traffic to get into Vancouver on Wednesday night. What did I get for my troubles? Rain soaked hair and makeup, and a 40 dollar parking ticket! The event I had been sooooo looking forward to, a panel discussion at the Museum of Vancouver on Vancouver's New Food Writing was a bore. The wine was crappy, and the food was strange and scary. What saved my evening, and gave me the strength to carry on? A delicious, hot, salty, tangy, soft and slightly greasy, Montreal Smoked Meat sandwich on a poppy seed bagel! You can see from the photo that I had already devoured half, before I remembered to photograph my lovely sandwich!

Seigel's Bagels on Cornwall Street in Vancouver can cure whatever ails you! ( In my case...all of the above!) I took a dozen bagels home to freeze. 4 onion, 4 poppy, and 4 multi grain, and after eating my sandwich...which was, by the way, ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS...I headed home with the seductive smell of salty onions perfuming my car.

Monday, December 6, 2010

And Finally...JELL-O

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The P-Man is one lucky guy. After this crazy day, with every manner of kitchen mishaps, and blog mix-ups...I still mustered the strength to make JELL-O. The P-Man has been travelling in the far East...and as far as I know, he is not overly fond of the food...and even told me a harrowing tale of being offered TURTLE PUDDING for dessert! UGH!
I have been eating JELL-O for most of my life. I remember having my tonsils out at 5 or 6 years old, and being offered JELL-O AND ice cream, when I could manage some food. I have tried making different flavours, and using different preparations that included, Cool-Whip, and fruit juice, and sparkly water...but in my opinion, there is only one JELL-O flavour worth risking some terrible form of JELL-O cancer for, and that flavour is RASPBERRY.

Lasagna, AND JELL-O! The P-Man is one lucky Monkey!

Winter mash

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For at least a week now, I have had a sad little turnip sitting in my crisper drawer. Every time I open my refrigerator, there it is...looking at me. I decided to make a winter mash up. I peeled my turnip, and a couple of small potatoes. I placed them in a pot, with an unpeeled sweet potato (the orange one. I can never remember if it is a yam or a sweet potato!)put in water to cover, and let them boil. The turnip was the last to get tender, but when it was, I drained them. I warmed up about a cup of 1% milk, with a knob of butter in the microwave, and added it to the potato/turnip mixture. Then I threw in about a tablespoon of grainy Dijon mustard, and the same amount of creamed horseradish, salt and pepper, and started to mash.

It took some elbow grease...thank goodness I have been doing some arm/shoulder exercises...but I got a relatively smooth mash. It had a nice bite from the horseradish, and a bit of tang from the mustard. The sweet potato gave the whole mixture that nice root vegetable sweetness that I LOVE.

I ate a bowlful, topped with some of the leftover meat sauce from the lasagna, and found it to be a lovely sweet, sour and meaty combo. I have a piece of salmon in the fridge. Just in case the P-Man hogs the lasagna, like Garfield on a Monday...I have a Plan B!

Lasagna for the P-Man

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The P-Man has been far, far, away on a business trip. He is arriving home tomorrow. While he has been gone, as is my usual routine...I ate what I wanted, when I wanted, and didn't make set meals. I could have, of course, made spaghetti for a welcome home meal, but decided to make something I haven't made in awhile...Lasagna.

I started by sweating about 2 cups of chopped celery and a large onion, with a large clove of garlic, and a whole bunch of dried basil. When the veggies were soft, I added a pound of lean ground beef, salt and pepper, a few chili flakes, and turned up the heat. When the beef had some colour, I added a jar of organic tomato sauce, a good squirt of tomato paste, and a splash of red wine, and let it simmer. After I boiled some lasagna noodles, and let the sauce cool, I was ready to put it together. I started with a layer of noodles, spread on some fresh ricotta, some meat sauce, and sprinkled on some grated Parmesan and provolone. This was repeated until the dish was full, and after a slight delay, due to a filthy,greasy oven, It baked at 350 degrees for half an hour.

It came out bubbly and hot. When the P-Man and I eat it tomorrow...I'll let you know how it turned out...

The NEW Weight Watchers PointsPlus System

Print Friendly and PDF As this witty tea towel suggests...some of us are more comfortable in the kitchen than others! As a lifetime member of Weight Watchers, I read an article in USA today regarding the launch of their new program with some interest.(Nov 29th-by Nancy Hellmich) It was entitled: Weight Watchers Knocks Off Points Plan: New system makes fruits, veggies free.I love the idea that the folks at Weight Watchers do all the nutritional investigating for me. You know how it is with food: Is butter better for you than olive oil? Is an avocado fattening, or high in vitamins, or both? Every day, there is a new study coming out with conclusions from a study done 10 years ago. How can you make sense of it all?
The article is great, you should read it. One of the perks of being a lifetime member, is that on my next weigh in, I receive all the new material on the new program for free. I am looking forward to seeing what it is all about.

If you have been trying unsuccessfully to lose a few might be the time to give Weight Watchers a try. It really worked for me.

Whoops a Daisy!

Print Friendly and PDF This plunger should be a clue that I am having a bit of a crazy day in my kitchen, AND at my computer. For the first time since I started blogging, I wrote a food blog on my retail consulting blog! Just think...a struggling retailer turns to my incredibly well written and insightful blog for some advice...and what do they find?? A recipe for Asian style chicken soup with soba noodles! YIKES!! So, I don't feel confident enough with my computer skills to transfer it over...and I must say, it's a darn good blog I am going to direct you where to find it. Please google and read all about the delicious soup I have been eating...

Whoops a Daisy...says it all!

Lasagna and a dirty oven

Print Friendly and PDF I am having one of those days in the kitchen. The P-Man is arriving home from a LONG business trip,tomorrow. As I have to work tomorrow, I sprung into action and made him a delicious lasagna...but that is another blog! I turned the oven on to preheat, and when the bell rung to say it was preheated, I opened the oven door to a nasty cloud of greasy smoke. You can not imagine how unhappy that made me. I shoved the lasagna in the oven, but after a few minutes, all I could imagine was the P-Man trying to choke down his welcome home dinner of delicious, smokey, greasy, tasting lasagna! I couldn't stand it. I took it out, shut off the oven, and looked for some cleaner. I have one of those modern ,annoying self-cleaning ovens. Well, I had no time for that. After the oven was cool enough, I attacked the greasy, crusty mess on the bottom of the oven with everything I had. It finally took a butter knife, and a mixture of detergents to get it to the pristine state, as seen in the photo.

I dutifully turned on the oven again...and am glad to report...the lasagna looks, and smells like lasagna...not like 'DIRTY OVEN'!!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Don't Forget about LUNCH!

Print Friendly and PDF These Tea Towels were on display at DIGS in Bellingham. I think someone could make a fortune in Canada with a tea towel line featuring a POUTINE THEME!! Hey, maybe I should get on that! I know that I tend to wax poetic about how much I LOVE breakfast. This blog is dedicated to giving some LOVE to lunch! I like to eat. That is certainly no secret. I take 3 meals a day for granted, and get a little huffy when I am only able to fit 2 meals into a day. ( Such as when I am power shopping in Seattle with a person who is a little tight with her money, and this person insists that we eliminate lunch in favour of a 4 pm 'HAPPY HOUR'!!) But really, I'm not bitter...

I came across this great article on the Food Network website called: " Don't forget about lunch." and I found it to be a good reminder why eating in the middle of the day is a sensible and healthy choice.
Check it out, and let me know what you think...

Don't Forget About Lunch.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Little Cheerful

Print Friendly and PDF Last week was Black Friday, so my friend J. and I were headed to Seattle to shop. We decided to stay a night at her family cabin on Lake Whatcom to break up the long drive. As a sort of 'warm-up' we headed into Bellingham to have a bite to eat and a shop around. The P-Man and I used to have a ski cabin on the way to Mount Baker. We used to go to Bellingham all the time. That little cabin has long been sold, and I can't remember the last time I was in Bellingham. It looked relatively unchanged. I am even happy to report that the little store where I purchased my ' Princess Diana-Like wedding gown ' 25 years ago, is still in business! HA!

After a night in J.'s cabin, ( Just us and 4 or 5 little mousies running around hopped up on peanut butter, and the thrill of not being caught in a trap!) we headed into Bellingham for a hearty pre-shopping breakfast. We settled on a funky little cafe called 'LITTLE CHEERFUL'. This place had ambiance, up the wazoo! The photo is of the swinging doors leading into the busy kitchen, full of 4 or 5 young men churning out some seriously yummy food. The waitress was hilarious, and managed to remember the 5 daily breakfast specials that included things such as steak and eggs, crab cake Benedict, and something that included prawns. The only thing funnier than the owner, running around like a mad fiend, in his bare feet and well worn Birkenstocks, sporting a Jerry Garcia beard, was the menu. The menu actually had a whole section devoted to hash browns, with assorted things mixed in, like tofu, or hot peppers. J. had one of the hash brown things, and pronounced it delicious! I had a pretty standard egg, sausage, pancake breakfast...and it was fresh and hot, with real maple syrup and buttermilky pancakes, fluffy eggs and tasty, not too greasy sausage.

My love of breakfast lives on! Little Cheerful is definitely worth the drive...Rock On, Bellingham... to check out the very funny menu!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Winter Food??

Print Friendly and PDF This is a pretty little bowl full of delicious, sweet, ripe mango. I am not a huge fruit eater. I grew up eating a Macintosh apple almost every day, and have a love for raspberries, even though I spent a summer picking them for cash when I was 15! Mango, is a new thing for me. I started by putting it into a smoothie, and never looked back. It has turned really cold here. Something about an Arctic Front...or the worst winter in 52 years or something horrible like that. Taking a break from all of the winter fruits and veg, and adding something tropical to the morning oatmeal, just feels RIGHT!

As Homer Simpson would say, if he lost about 50 pounds: MMMMMMM MANGO!!!

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Dentist...and Comfort food...

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I had a dentist appointment at 10am today. Not a HUGE deal...but I am surprised how much going to the dentist makes me feel like a kid. I always try to postpone, or cancel my appointment, or make up excuses not to get my teeth cleaned like clockwork, every 6 months. My dad was a baker, and I was a chubby little kid who loved sweets. My dad's cousin was my dentist, when I was a kid, and I really liked him. He pulled out my 2 front teeth because they were rotten, when I was about 6...and when I was about 16, I went to a new dentist, and I SWEAR...he filled EVERY TOOTH in my mouth. I suppose I feel at my age...what more is there to do? Well, cleaning them regularly, comes to mind! So back to today...I walked up to the dentist. It wasn't raining...and in my mind, I think I was hoping that maybe I would be late. No such luck...I was RIGHT ON TIME!! I endured an hour of scaling, poking and prodding, and went out front to pay, and to make another appointment to have my top teeth cleaned. I suggested Friday...they said they were CLOSED on far so good. Then she said, "you know, one of our other hygienists has JUST HAD A if you would like to stay..." and like a deer caught in the headlights, I said YES!!

I will spare you the details of another hour with my mouth open, and a masked woman scraping more than a years worth of crud off of my top teeth. When I finally was at the front once again, to pay, once again...I was told not to eat or drink anything for 1/2 an hour. Great! I had had a nice bowl of oatmeal at 7:15 am, and it was now 12:05. I decided to pick up a few groceries on my walk back down the hill. What did I want for lunch?

I wanted Macaroni and Cheese, with sliced ham. If you substituted Kraft Dinner, for Macaroni and Cheese...that was my favorite lunch for most of my teen years. With my jaw and teeth aching, and my stomach growling, I walked home in a drenching rain...I arrived home and put a pot of water on to boil. I dumped 2 packages of Annie's Organic Shells and White Cheddar into the water and waited. I prepared my plate...a couple of slices of old fashioned ham, and a sliced cucumber. I waited for my shells to get to al dente. Finally, they were drained, butter and milk were added, as well as the standard cheese packets. I added some pepper, and slid the hot noodles onto the plate, poured myself a glass of ginger ale, and went to sit on the couch to eat my lunch and watch the food network.

I also made a pot of chicken soup, and just started making the taco filling for some soft flour tortillas, that we may or may not eat tonight...You see, the P-Man has to get a tooth filled at 6 pm. What do you want to bet he will want SPAGHETTI when he walks in the door?

Sunday, November 7, 2010

This weekend I COOKED!!

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I paid 25 dollars for a chicken yesterday. How's that for an opening line!? I have been busy lately. My focus has not been on cooking or eating at home, and the scale, and my bank account has been reflecting that fact. I have been building my business, taking on-line seminars on Social Media, and helping a friend enter an Interior Design Competition! ( ) PLEASE VOTE FOR JANICE HUNT!!

This beautiful photo of a meal was taken at Le Vol Au Vent. Michel was featuring Sea Bass with Bearnaise sauce topped with shrimp...It was remarkable, and rich, and I loved it! I ate 1/2 and took the other 1/2 home and ate it for lunch the next day. The P-Man has been opening the fridge for a week or so now, and lamenting the fact that there is no food in it. I have also not been extremely interested in grocery shopping. You know things are bad, when you open your fridge, and are temporarily blinded by the glare off of the proliferation of white Styrofoam take out containers!

The nice thing about Weight Watchers being a lifestyle thing, instead of a diet, is that you can always start making small changes to get yourself back on track before any real damage is done. To that end, the P-Man left on a business trip on Thursday, and I have been slowly deciding what I want to eat for the next week, and have been gathering the groceries to prepare the recipes. Back to the 25 dollar chicken. I have a great new dutch oven that I have never used. I saw someone on the food network prepare Chicken en Cocotte..and knew I had to get a tasty chicken to do it properly. This chicken was larger than most, at 6.25 pounds, but I am expecting the meat to be used in a variety of ways, during my busy week. I found a recipe that said to bake it in the oven, covered for 2 hours ( a 3 lb chicken ) I cooked my big boy for 2 and 1/2 hours, and it was a little overcooked. I guess my dutch oven is extra efficient! This morning I have cooked a huge pan of braised red cabbage with balsamic vinegar and apples courtesy of I left out the bacon. I also blanched some fresh green beans, and have a casserole in the oven of pearl barley, garbanzo beans, chicken stock and onions.

The P-Man will be arriving home on Monday around supper. I know he will be CRUSHED by the lack of SPAGHETTI on the stove, but sometimes you have to use tough love...especially with addicts!

It looks like the sun has come out, and with the time change, I was up at 6am instead of 7am, so I've done a ton of work already.

I believe lunch at the beach would be a nice reward...Slainte has live music at 2, that gives me enough time to wash the 'braised red cabbage' smell out of my hair, and see if I can still get into my skinny jeans!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Pretty Little Brussels Sprouts!!

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I thought I would show you some sexy little veggies I roasted up this weekend. I picked up this bag of Brussels sprouts for 89 cents! They did require a bit of trimming, but because they were quite tiny, they were sweet and tasty with only a splash of olive oil, and a bit of salt and pepper. They only took about 20 minutes to roast at 350 degrees, so it was really no big deal.
Have you had your sprouts, today?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Fall food...Summer Weather!

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Halloween is OVER!! It is November 3rd today...and I just got back from a lovely 3 hour lunch on the OUTDOOR PATIO at Slainte by the Pier!! What is happening? I thought that we BC'ers were due for the WORST WINTER in 55 years!!!??? It must be at least 19 degrees today, complete with crystal blue skies and a soft summer-feeling breeze. I had the delicious halibut bites and a Caesar salad, at Slainte. The halibut was the same...maybe even enhanced by the sunny day...but the Caesar salad told another story. Lettuce in November is nowhere near as tasty or as crunchy or as fresh tasting as lettuce in June. No amount of tasty dressing or soft, garlicky croutons can disguise that fact.

I have been cooking with fallish veggies for a month or so now. To me, that means Brussels sprouts, cabbage ( red and green ) and beautiful squashes, especially butternut. I just put a couple of potatoes to bake in the oven, accompanied by a tray of wildly orange butternut squash, anointed with fragrant olive oil, sea salt, pepper, and a dash of chili flakes. I baked some lamb chops on Monday night, and yesterday did a couple of pork chops with chili and mustard.

The P-Man is on his way to Europe tomorrow on a business trip, so I will be dining solo for 5 days. The weatherman is calling for 3 or 4 days of pouring rain...thank goodness for cooking, and the tastes of fall. Maybe I won't notice he has left me...
Yeah, right...

Friday, October 29, 2010

Museum of Vancouver: Home Grown Exhibition

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I was in the big city last weekend, and walked by this VERRRRY SCARRRY display of SPOOKY candy/caramel apples. Halloween is this weekend, so I felt a proper FRIGHT would be in order! I absolutely love the MUMMY apple...crazy and creative...courtesy of The Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory on Robson Street.

I am constantly amazed at how important,and hip,the topic of FOOD has become. I was recently at an Interior design show in Vancouver, and The Museum of Vancouver had a booth. To tell you the truth, I didn't even know there WAS a Museum of Vancouver. It was nice of the lady at the booth not to call me an idiot, but to simply point out that they have gone through a Re-Branding. The other really interesting thing about them is that the exhibition that is on now, until January 2nd 2011, is called: " Home Grown: Local Sustainable Food ". I hope you will click on the link below and visit their website, but I will give you a little 'teaser'

" Home Grown is a photographic exploration of local food production and sustainable farming in Vancouver and the surrounding region, presented by MOV and FarmFolk/CityFolk,

What is also very interesting, is that TIDEScanada is sponsoring a speaker's series about food called Food and Beers. I am going to the December the 8th one, called Vancouver's New Food Writing.

It's great to be part of such an exciting and dynamic group as the FABULOUS FOODIE movement. Long may we eat, and drink, and grow food, and write about food and, and, and...

Friday, October 22, 2010

Spaghetti and ?

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This is the person who I constantly make spaghetti for. This person would rather be eating spaghetti than swimming in this pool. the P-Man. I had an evening engagement last evening, so I thought the P-Man would find it comforting to come home to an apartment that eventhough was empty...contained the smells of his favorite meal. I took a bit of time in the morning to pick up some fresh ground turkey thigh, and when I got home, I tried to create a tasty yet DIFFERENT sauce for the beloved spaghetti. I started by sauteeing the standard onion,garlic, celery and carrot, I added the meat, and a huge handfull of dried basil, as well as a bit of ground chili pepper,salt and pepper. I then added a prepared jar of you know what sauce, some Italian stewed tomatoes, AND a can of drained and rinsed chick peas. I added a bit more basil, pepper etc, and set the pan on very low. I had time to simmer it for a few hours, so I changed out of my now very oniony smelling cooking clothes, grabbed my sunglasses and a magazine, and headed down to Le Vol Au Vent for lunch. After a few too many glasses of wine...AND one of the most tender, flavourful, luxurious, sumptuous,( well, you get the picture!)braised lamb shanks I have ever had the privelige to suck the meat off of...I decided I better stagger up the hill to see if my apartment was full of smoke! My sauce was I threw it in the fridge to cool, sent an e-mail to the P-Man, regarding the menu for the evening, and headed out to my event...A WINE TASTING!! HA! Way to get a head start...I told myself...The P-Man was sleeping when I returned home a few hours later...but if he has any say in it...tonight the leftover meal of choice will be??? SPAGHETTI...OF COURSE!!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

New tastes...Great tastes...Bagels all around...

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I have written before of my love for Siegel's Bagels. The P-Man and I headed into the big city last weekend, and I had to stop. You reward card was FULL. I was entitled to 1 DOZEN FREE BAGELS!!! To celebrate, I thought I would branch out and order a new flavour. If you've never been to Siegel's, really, What's wrong with you? Their bagel selection is something special. Always your old favorites like onion, and poppy seed. Occasionally, new flavours that are worth a try. After scanning the bagels behind glass, like a hungry kid at the movie concession, I decided to try 4 Rosemary and rock salt, in addition to my 4 multi grain, and 4 poppy seed.

After a nice day in the big city, we headed home to a bagel dinner. I lightly toasted a Rosemary and rock salt bagel. I spread it with some of Siegel's delicious lite veggie cream cheese, and added a couple of slices of ripe, red tomatoes, picked up from the Vernon farmers market, and a couple of chunks of baked salmon, from the night before's supper. By the time I walked out of the kitchen with my open faced plate of goodness...the P-Man was swiping up the extra salt and rosemary from his now completely empty plate, and heading into the kitchen to put another bagel in the toaster!

The Rosemary flavour was so intense when it was warmed in the toaster. The rock salt just added extra ZIP...especially because I used tomatoes, and thankfully DID NOT salt them. As I settled in to watch a little tv before bed, I was contemplating the morning joy of scrambled eggs, with a buttered poppy seed bagel...

Siegel's...I Love You!!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Yew on Sunday...Yummy Fried Chicken!

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The P-Man and I like to go into the big city and do some shopping, AND eating on Sundays. What luck, Yew Restaurant at the Four Seasons Hotel has 1/2 price bottles of wine on Sundays! Our experience last Sunday was not perfect. The P-Man ordered an omelet with truffle oil and goat cheese and arugula. It arrived with truffle oil...and that was it. They didn't charge him for it. Poor thing kept thinking that maybe the goat cheese and arugula were just HIDING somewhere in the middle of the hot fluffy omelet. It took him a whole other glass of wine to get over the disappointment!

I had better luck. I ordered the fried chicken, and it was hot and crispy, and well seasoned and moist and you get the picture? It was like some little old Southern grandma had flown into Vancouver to fry some chicken...just for ME! I can't even really recall the sides...oh yes, it was a snappy little salad with arugula and watermelon and cheese, I think. The chicken stole the show...I just ate the salad to be polite!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Sorry little Piggy...I'm a little OFF my food!

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I spoke to my dear cousin Winnipeg yesterday. We had a chat about this and that, and somehow it came up that SHE DOESN'T LIKE TO READ ABOUT PEOPLE TALKING ABOUT FOOD!! Considering I write a food blog...I found this little insight quite disturbing. Once I recovered from the shock, I began to consider what she said. You know what? I kind of agree! I think that food...and talking about food has become some sort of neurotic obsession. Especially with North Americans. I read an article recently in British Elle, that said that people treat food in such an absurd way, that they have forgotten the basic feelings of fullness, and hunger, and the simple DESIRE to eat something. With all of the bizarre food fallacies floating around...not to mention the ridiculous diets and foods that are GOOD FOR YOU...OR BAD FOR wonder people are scared to eat!

I have had a bit of a cold this last week or so, and I haven't really felt like eating. I have, on the other hand, been CRAVING certain things. Certain tastes, like sour cream, and nectarines, and chocolate, and beef. I have done my best to eat whatever I have been craving, and I am starting to feel better. I had a large feed of Sushi yesterday. I was sooo hungry walking down the hill...unable to find a ripe nectarine, and worried that Taka Sushi was closed, as it was only 3:15. I found it was open...and when I got home, I sat down, and ate every bite. I also drank a whole pot of chai tea, with hot milk...and felt revived.

I feel better coughing at all. My stomach is starting to rumble. What's for lunch?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

BBQ on the Bypass...Getting PORKY with it!

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Having lost more than 40 pounds on Weight Watchers, a couple of years ago, BBQ on the Bypass could have been a trouble filled food event for me! On the contrary...I volunteered at the event, and ended up being so busy with a variety of duties...I barely had any time to eat! I did manage to eat a most delicious bbq'd beef brisket sandwich on a soft roll, with crunchy coleslaw on the side...but that was IT!!! The event was sponsored by Well Seasoned, a gourmet food store on the Langley Bypass. I have been doing some work for WS, and have heard about this event, and wanted to experience it for myself. It was a great day, despite the weather in the morning. Judging by the delicious smell of smoking meat, and the crowds of happy people walking around with bbq sauce dripping down their chins, I would say, a good time was had by all!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The September Issue and a little DOLCE GELATO

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We have had a bit of a reprieve from winter. September has been warm and sunny! I have been down at the beach for lunch a bit too much, Jack at Slainte put it: " So Cathy, How are you enjoying your RETIREMENT!" Yikes! The truth HURTS! HA!
I have been taking my Social Media class on Monday nights. I don't know why, but that one act has sort have been my tipping point. I feel as if I am running around like a crazy chicken with no head...or...spending 3 to 4 hours a day chained to my computer investigating this strange new world of Social Media. Either blogging has suffered...and I do apologize.
My new goal is shorter blogs, and more photos, and lots of links to everything and anything related to my new social media life.

Here goes:

I am becoming positively ADDICTED to the Halibut Bites at Slainte by the Pier. For a little under 9 dollars, you get a lovely deep bowl full of the most perfect little deep fried...but not at all sweet tasting morsels of snow white halibut. Each bite then has a dip in the most creamy and delicious, tangiest, tartar sauce, and the whole experience is topped off with a spoonful of sweet,green,mushy peas! With a glass or two of a crisp Sauvingnon have a perfect lunch. ( I do on occasion add some shoestring or yam fries, or salad...but the fish is what I LOVE!!)

How convenient that only 3 doors down from Dolce Gelato. I am always looking at the new flavours...but I have lived in White Rock for almost 10 years now...and the CHOCOLATE is what turns me on. A scoop in a cute little cup, with that little plastic spoon makes me feel like I hardly ate anything! The smooth rich chocolate flavour that keeps me purring like a kitten all day...lets me remember why I never grow tired of the best Gelato I have ever eaten...

Thursday, September 16, 2010

This week: FOOD=SANITY

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I am having a computer meltdown. To be more specific, my brain is about to explode from all of the new concepts and ideas I am learning about. Things that happen outside the world of my quiet little apartment in White Rock have not really been a huge concern to me. For the last 2 days, I have been getting a taste of what it is like in the worlds that encompass Face book, Twitter, etc,etc. Just when I thought it would be safe to go back to my familiar little blog, To chat about what I made to eat yesterday...I am assaulted by ANOTHER big change. Blogger wants me to set up a g-mail account to access my blog(s)...and when I tried to log in with my newly established g-mail account and password...THEY TOLD ME THAT I DIDN'T EXIST. After 4 unsuccessful attempts, and a throbbing, aching neck...I snuck in through the back door, googling cathyeats and signing in the old way! Yikes!! I feel like a criminal in my own BLOG!!

I must keep repeating my 2 day old mantra: I love social media, I love social media, I love social media...

I believe the only thing that has kept me from abandoning the laptop, and running screaming into the night had been some darn good food.

I started with a delicious meatloaf on Tuesday, made with the aid of a Cooking Light recipe...but I was missing so many ingredients...I really ended up winging it. I think the star ingredient was a nice big portobella mushroom, chopped small and fried up with some celery and onions, a dash of Cajun seasoning, and a good sprinkle of marjoram. I added everything to a pound of lean ground beef, an egg, some stale bread and some milk and gave it a good mix. I topped it off, after 45 minutes in a 350 degree oven with a mixture of mild salsa,ketchup, and a bit of tomato paste. Moist, and delicious it was. The P-Man let me know that he LOVES MEATLOAF...and the leftovers are even better.

I baked some brown soda bread this week. I very seldom EVER bake, but this recipe caught my fancy, and it was really easy. Besides the running out in the middle of assembling the bread to pick up some baking soda, the process went quite well. It came out a lovely toasty brown color, and contained both white and whole grain flour, wheat germ, buttermilk, and steel cut oats. We ate some, and froze the rest. It was hearty, and had a lovely crumb, with just a touch of sweetness. The P-Man ate his with herb cream cheese, and I opted for butter and jam. The recipe came from the March 2010 Cooking Light Magazine, and was called Brown Soda Bread.

I had to purchase some of the abundant salmon that seems to be everywhere this season. I chose a side of salmon, and covered it with a marinade of maple syrup,coarse grain mustard, and mild red chili paste. We ate the salmon on top of a lovely pile of mixed greens, with ripe avocado, and a tarragon vinaigrette. YUM!!
I have to go back to work tomorrow, so my last dish this week was a sort of pasta toss. It started with onions and fennel chopped small, with a nice fat garlic clove, fried in some olive oil. I then added a can of drained and rinsed chick peas, and a small can of stewed tomatoes. I added a good amount of dried basil, and a sprinkle of chili flakes. I had cooked some orzo earlier, so I dumped it into the pan with the veggies, and added a couple of tablespoons of herb cream cheese, and a good handful of grated Parmesan, as well as fresh pepper, and a sprinkle of salt. It was great! It was hearty and delicious. It could have been creamier, with the addition of some wine or stock...but it has turned cold and rainy...I think the P-Man is gonna LOVE it!

We have enough leftovers to get us through the weekend. I'll probably be eating at the computer...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Is what you want...always what you need?

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I really like the idea of a scooter. Not an old person's 'personal mobility device', but a real sporty, zippy little a VESPA! It somehow doesn't matter that I have never even sat on, let alone driven a Vespa...I just think I want one. This reminds me of food. How much of what we eat, depends on the power of suggestion? I was in Vancouver the other day, and I sat beside a woman who was eating a hot dog. I personally hate to admit it, but I happen to LIKE hot dogs. Perhaps it was that first foot long hot dog, eaten in the revolving restaurant, high atop the Husky Tower in Calgary. Who knows. Sometimes, I want a hot dog, like I sometimes want a Vespa. This particular hot dog looked and smelled so good, I quizzed the lady on where she got it. She told me that it was a turkey hot dog, and she purchased it from the new storefront location of JAPADOG on Robson Street.

That was a week ago, so yesterday, I headed into Vancouver a couple of hours before my class to do some shopping...and to get one of those delicious looking hot dogs. I had no trouble locating the place. Spiderman has his spidey-senses...I have mine. I walked inside, and it all went very wrong. It didn't SMELL right in JAPADOG. I don't know about you, but I know what a hot dog place is supposed to smell like. It's supposed to smell kind of smokey, and salty, and sometimes like onions frying. When I used to have my store in White Rock, I used to get a once a week hot dog from Montgomery's Cottage Lunch...and that place smelled like the best hot dogs, with a little grease and malt vinegar thrown in! JAPADOG smelled like...I don't know what. There were these HUGE photos of their hot dogs, but even those had weird un-hot-dog like names like the MEAT! Only in very small print, down at the very bottom of the sign, was a note that they also had all beef or turkey hot dogs. I stayed another minute to see if my nose would adjust to the smell. When it didn't...I turned around and left. All the little Japanese girls standing in line looked at me like I was crazy...but I the sad truth was...I didn't want a hot dog anymore.

I ended up at the Art Gallery Cafe. It was the end of the day, so my choices were severely limited. I had a diet COKE and a ham and cheese sandwich on WHITE BREAD. As I sat there, unhappily, munching on a sandwich that kept sticking to the roof of my mouth, causing me to very unladylikely, PRY THE DAMN BREAD OFF THE ROOF OF MY MOUTH...I silently cursed the siren's song of the hot dogs of my youth.

I finished my Diet Coke, and hoped the aspartame wouldn't give me a seizure. I walked down the steps of the Art Gallery towards my class. I was off tomorrow...maybe I could walk down to Montgomery's....