December 31, 2006

My Fantasy Meal

I have had some fantastic meals in my life. Some are because I think I have fabulous friends and family, others because I am pretty darn good at choosing quality restaurants, and finally because I know quite a few really good cooks.

Food, ambience and great company make for a fabulous meal. Here is what I would love to have for a meal in my little fantasy world.

Ambience: outdoors near the ocean in the early evening so that we could watch the sun set; tonnes of candles and wildflowers; a large round table so everyone could see and hear one another.

Chefs: A combination of Mark McEwan, Nigella Lawson, Thomas Keller and Mario Batali.

Guests: 10-15 people at the most. People that add to stimulating conversation without trying to dominate it. Friendly, funny, smart people that I love and care about.

The Menu: 10 -12 courses (like at French Laundry) - with matching wines/digestifs/apperitif
It would include the following ingredients in some shape or form: foie gras, short ribs, duck, gnocchi, ashed goat cheese, truffles, chocolate, sweet potato, Kaffir lime leaves, fennel, butter, cream, spinach, porcini muchrooms, tuna toro, chorizo, risotto, tomatillos, polenta, fresh breads, lobster, fresh crab, avocado, mango, beets, parmigiano reggiano, gorgonzola, basalmic vinegar.

December 27, 2006

Play With Your Food

* Check out the amazing watermelon carvings at this website -

December 24, 2006


I adore entertaining - in all shapes and forms. It rarely stresses me out and I love being able to plan and prepare for something that I know will make people happy.

Over the holiday season this year I have not had as many parties as usual. I did have my teaching staff over for an end of 2006 party and I had my family over for brunch as well. I am hoping to have some of my girlfriends over in the next week for a relaxing evening of appetizers and cocktails - we'll see what happens though.

Here are some of my menus and recipes from the past week.

Mexican Buffet Dinner for 12

*Shredded Beef with Corn and Flour Tortillas
Gaucamole and
Tomatillo Salsa with Nacho Chips
"Jicama" Coleslaw
*Spicy Chorizo and Onion Potatoes

Gift Exchange Brunch for 4

Gingerbread Latte
Prosecco Mimosa
Cranberry Apricot Yogurt Parfait
Cornmeal Waffles
Brown Sugar Glazed Bacon

Shredded Beef (For Tacos)

1/2 large can of whole tomatoes, chopped
1 bottle of beer
Juice of one lime
3 lb roast of beef (inexpensive cut)
1 t cinnamon
1/2 T cumin
1 t chili powder
S&P to taste

Combine all of the above ingredients in a crockpot and cook on low for 8-10 hours (or high for 5-6 hours). When the beef is cooked, carefully remove the roast from the pot and place on a cutting board. Using 2 forks, shred the beef into bitesized portions.

Pour the remaining liquid into a small pot and simmer on medium-low heat until the mixture is reduced by half. Stir the reduced liquid and beef together.

Eat with warm tortillas and your favourite toppings.

Spicy Chorizo and Onion Potatoes

10 red potatoes, cleaned and cut in half
4 large "hot" chorizo sausage, sliced into 1 inch pieces
1 large red onion, sliced thin
2 T + 4 T olive oil
1 T white wine vinegar
S&P, to taste

Boil potatoes in a large pot of water until they are fork tender. Drain potatoes and cut into bite sized pieces - return to pot.

Saute onion in a large pan with 2 T olive oil, until onion has softened. Add chorizo and saute 7 minutes more. Add vinegar and stir - take off heat.

Add sausage mixture to potatoes with remaining olive oil. Combine with S&P and serve warm.

December 13, 2006

Cooking Club - Brunch Theme

Last week our Cooking Club met with our new member, Rosemary. How fitting that she would have a food name! We came together and made brunch. It was super fattening - as most Cooking Club meetings are - but very tasty.

Here is the menu:

Dana - Sausage Au Gratin with Potatoes and Beer (see below)

Melanie - Cheese Biscuits & Passion Fruit Mimosa

Jillian - Baked Eggs and White Truffle Mushrooms in Ham Crisps (see below)

Danielle - Black Forest Waffles

Sausage Au Gratin with Potatoes and Beer

4 c water
Pinch salt
1 c cubed carrots
1 c cubed turnip
2 c cubed potato
1 t butter
1 lb sausage
1/2 c chopped onion
2 T chopped parsley
12 oz beer
2 c chicken stock
1/2 lb sliced provolone cheese

In a pot bring the water to a boil. Add salt, carrots, turnip & potatoes. Cover and Simmer for 10 min. Drain and set aside.

In a frying pan, melt butter and cook sausage for 2 min. Add onion and parsley - cook for 2 more min.

Preheat oven to 375 F. Place sausage in dish and cover with potato mixture. Add beer and chicken stock. Garnish with cheese slices and bake for about 20 min.

Baked Eggs and White Truffle Mushroom In Ham Crisps

Active time: 45 min Start to finish: 1 1/4 hr

¾ lb fresh cremini mushrooms (3), trimmed
I oz dried porcini mushrooms, rehydrated
1 teaspoon butter
3 tablespoons crème fraîche
1 tablespoon finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon white truffle oil
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
12 slices Black Forest or Virginia ham (without holes; 10 oz)
12 large eggs

Preheat oven to 400°F.
Prepare mushrooms: Cook mushrooms in butter with salt and pepper in a large heavy skillet over moderately high heat, stirring, until mushrooms are tender and liquid they give off is evaporated, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in crème fraîche, parmigiano, and truffle oil.
Assemble and bake: Fit 1 slice of ham into each of 12 lightly oiled muffin cups (ends will stick up and hang over edges of cups). Divide mushrooms among cups and crack 1 egg into each. Bake in middle of oven until whites are cooked but yolks are still runny, about 15 minutes. Season eggs with salt and pepper and remove (with ham) from muffin cups carefully, using 2 spoons or small spatulas.

Cooks' note: • The eggs in this recipe are not fully cooked, which may be of concern if salmonella is a problem in your area.

Makes 6 servings.

December 6, 2006

Off topic

Okay, okay - I know this is supposed to be a food blog but I just want to hop on my soapbox for a bit. As women living in a patriarchal society, we get screwed in many ways. Does that mean that we should sit and whine about it? Heck no! Doing something to create change is important. That is why the above website is a good one. Check out "The Women Are Angry"
for more information about Canada's current government and it's stance on women's issues.

December 3, 2006

You may want to avert your eyes.

On someone's reccomendation I recently came across this site which proudly discusses the Weight Watchers food plan from 1974. It is like a food horror film!!

My God, were they trying to scare people away from eating so that they would lost weight? Disgusting - just horrible. There is no reason, ever, that anyone should have to eat food like this.

And just what is Caucasian Sashlik??? (It looks much more appetizing in those pics.)