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...