Tag Archives: food

Day Eight: Our Breakfast

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J:

jessie 8

“Tortilla, with egg, a little bit of cheese and salsa.  I have late starts on Wednesday, I can make eggs!”

M:

maggie 8

“Coffee.  Always coffee.  And this is a breakfast bar that I love to make; oats, honey, pb, banana, hemp protein, flax seeds, cinnamon, etc.”

A:

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“Breakfast of champions!”

Strawberry Season, by j

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(*We’re taking a weekend break from our photo challenge.  Mostly because I can’t be trusted to be home on a weekend night now that I’ve gotten rid of Saturday shifts)

With June comes STRAWBERRY SEASON!

I wait for the news from the local strawberry field that picking has begun.  After a tequila soaked Friday night a friend and I made plans to go out and pick some of those beauties up.

So, after a full night of sleep I was picked up by my friend (with her 6 month old in tow) and we traveled across the city to the strawberry farm.

It was packed, filled with families and older folks who wanted strawberries.  We opted for the “already picked” strawberries- we could have gone into the field but who does that?  I vote that we wait until the six month old can walk and have him do it for us.

When we got to the strawberry line it wasn’t too long.  But before long it we stopped moving.  And then a very earnest 18 year old climbed on a ladder and made the announcement- they were out of the strawberries, and we would have to wait for the pickers to go to another field and start picking.  We were in for a 20 minute wait.  We had absolutely no issue with that, especially since we weren’t the ones picking them.  And we had a very smile-y baby to play with while we waited the extra 20.

But the crowd did start to grow behind us.  And the 18 year old made another appearance, giving an update to the throngs that had arrived behind us.  He then went on to tell us that these strawberries (Albion) are “eating strawberries” and not for making jam (that should be made with “Wendy” or “Jule” strawberries).  Also, they would be limiting purchases to 4 quarts (1/2 flat) to each person. We heard the groans of the strawberry deprived behind us.

They were also pushing the homemade strawberry sundaes at 10:30am. Which some of the older folks were not impressed with.  Some of them thought a pre-lunch sundae was inappropriate.  I’m all:

We were served fairly quickly, and we bought a flat with the aim to split the 8 quarts.  Happy time!

And then as were were walking to the car through the mass of people waiting to buy their strawberries, my friend carrying her happy baby and me carrying 8 quarts of strawberries.

As I passed one surly character I heard him say: We’ll THAT’S more than 4 quarts.

I couldn’t stop myself.  My response: Settle down, it’s four each and there are plenty of strawberries for you to pick if you want.

Boom.  Walk away, don’t look back.

Who do you think you are?  If you are really itching for some strawberries either a) get up early or b) get yo’ ass out there and pick your own berries.

If I could do it with a mild tequila hangover I’m pretty sure you can make it happen.

So, I went back to pick up my car at my friend’s house (the tequila drinking forced me to cab it home the night before), and came home with these puppies:

pop strawberries

And so I did a few things right away- froze a quart of whole berries, sliced a quart for breakfast (ok, let’s be honest, ice cream), covered a few in yogurt and froze them, and left a quart for snacking.  And for the last quart I made something exciting.  Something I haven’t had since I was a kid- I made my own popsicles.

Better than that, I made 3 ingredient popsicles.

pop ingredients

pop top layer

Pretty simple, sweeten plain yogurt with Fort Frances honey, slice some strawberries and layer the heck out of it.

Freeze them for a while, and this is what you get:

popDelicious.

 

 

Day Four: What’s In Our Fridge

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J:

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Homemade everything- marmalade, mulligatawny, French lentils. Plus a lot of Dijon mustard, berries, Pelligrino, apple juice (left over from the visits from the cousins), my favourite plain yogurt and some Palm Bays (the new key lime/cherry).”

M:

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“There’s some hemp protein powder, but other than that, we stick to our staples: beer and maple syrup.”

A:

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“My food: ketchup, mustard (love the condiments), salad greens, milk, old grapes.”

Day Two: The Lunch We Ate

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J:

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“Quinoa! Starting to make a big quinoa salad on Sunday nights for lunches- quinoa, red pepper, red onion, celery, chickpeas, dried cranberries, chicken (for extra protein). And almonds. Sorry A.”

M:

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“Chicken spinach wrap, banana and strawberries, vanilla yogurt, pb oatmeal cookies. I like to hit up all those food groups.”

A:

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“Snack pak: choice of champions. Also, half a sandwich saves on bread.”

2013, by j

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As it’s been 2013 for three weeks, it’s time to take a look back on the first few weeks of the year.

How did you wake up on January 1st, 2013?  With a hangover?  Did you watch the first sunrise of 2013? Did you get a sweet sleep in because of the holiday?

Well, then lucky you.  Because this was what I woke up to:

pizza

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

M decided to make a pizza for breakfast.  So I got to wake up to the smell of the house burning down.

January 2013 also is the beginning of the end- of school for me.  One last term and I will be finished my Masters of Social Work.

grad

June 7th.  The end it in sight.  I was all:

And then I searched around and saw this:

tuition

And when I told my total tuition to my mother she then told be add in about $70,000 for the two years of lost wages.

$18,668.28 + $70,000 = $88,668.28

And then I was all:

And then I got ridiculously nostalgic and proud of myself when I found the list I made in my old apartment about how to get my life in order:

list

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Awesome.

What else has been going on?  I am loving “Bow Grip” by Ivan E. Coyote, and I love this quote:

bowgrip

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This month’s book club will be featuring this book, lots of wine and food and the two newest additions to BC.  I’m thinking about getting this wine (that I saw on a LCBO jaunt with dad last week).

wine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And January sees the start of Londonlicious.  I went out last night with some lovely friends to Avenue.  The only crappy thing about Londonlicious is that if you’re spending money of the cheap menu you’re service is a little slower.  Slow like sitting down at 7:30pm and getting your starter at 9pm.

However, if you are waiting this long (with lovely company) this is how you act when you see your food coming.

But it was a damn good starter:

chicken livers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I tried chicken livers for the first time.   Mmmm.

pork

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A dark pic of the pork tenderloin with quinoa.

And then…

creme brulee

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Creme brulee.  On the J scale of Creme Brulee it ranks high.  This was near perfection.  Yup…it ties Le Papillon.  8/10.

This weekend also marks the third draft of the chapter I’m writing with a friend…slightly terrifying.

chapter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ridiculous.  And the most  exciting development of 2013?  M’s previous post mentioned…we’re going to Florida.  We weren’t sure if we were going to be able to make it work.  A and I only have Reading Week in February, and flights during March Break…are you kidding me?

But then…it came together.  Flights were booked, at a ridiculously cheap price.  And A decided to go for it…she’s returning to Florida, after 20 years.  I haven’t seen her this excited…since Christmastime.

She was all:

And then she found out that a ticket to Disney World is about five dollars short of $100.

The sisters have also decided to get a tattoo.  If A had her way we might be getting these sleeves:

Just no.  No.

Just no. No.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But, there is only one theme park that I am entertaining visiting.

Oh yes.  Harry Potter World.  I assume it will be incredibly busy.  So I will get all Snape on their rear ends:

SEVEN WEEKS, SISTERS!

SEVEN WEEKS TO GO!!!

The best things to put in your mouth, by j

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As our second week of vacation draws to an end it’s time for me to dump all the photos I took while I was Christmas baking. I went a little nuts.

First up? Cookies and biscotti.

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I’ve memorized this recipe when I was about 11 years old. Do not try and substitute the margarine for butter. This recipe requires the chemicals of the margarine.

Then I started on the fruitcake biscotti.

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What really made it this was the booze.

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It calls for a few tablespoons of Grand Marnier. But that was no where near enough. I dumped a whole bunch in there.

And voila:

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The trick is to under cook the cookies. I HATE crunchy cookies.

Then I wanted to try my hand at truffle making, so I made two.

First with these:

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Then with these:

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And then they turned out like this:

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And this:

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Sidenote: would not recommend the peppermint chards. Even after about 15 minutes the peppermint candy got a weird texture. I rolled the rest in cocoa. The lemon ones just kind of made weird blobs.

And then the most important candy making: the crack (aka peanut butter cups).

Let’s start with this stuff (also go to your gramma’s because A is deadly allergic to nuts. She ruins everything).

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Oh yes. That’s some fleur de sel. I didn’t use a recipe- just my own brand of awesomeness.

Melt your chocolate (I used semi sweet for the tiny cups and milk for the big ones). And paint some muffin liners. Most recipes I found said that you should use a pastry brush. I just used a spoon.

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The do the first freeze.

Ta da.

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Then mix some peanut butter and icing sugar and put a layer in the frozen cups. Put that in the freezer for another 20 minutes.

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Then pick your second filling. Because if your making these you may as well go full out. I chose strawberry jelly for half, dulce de leche for the other half. Freeze that too.

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Then put a final layer of chocolate on top, and sprinkle with some fleur de sel. And freeze one. Last. Time.

Package them up, give them away.

Be warned, they might send you into a sugar induced coma. But they are awesome. They are also huge. So share them. Or don’t. No judgement.

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My Christmas Shame, by j

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I thought I had inherited a skill from my mom.  She does this AMAZING thing, where she makes a recipe once and it turns out fabulous.

Or she tries a recipe for the first time and makes it better.  And then, as if to give a giant swear finger to any nervousness she might have, she makes these first time recipes for dinner parties.

I thought I had developed this skill.  And so I approached a rather tricky and temperamental recipe with my mother’s bravado.  Salted caramels.  I decided to go with Ina Garten’s recipe.  She usually solid when it comes to butter/cream concoctions.  Here’s what happened:

First, I gathered everything.

caramel ingre

Then I put the corn syrup, sugar and a bit of water into the pan, thusly:

hot ingr in pot

And I turned on the heat.  First it starts to look like this.  It should be said I did NOT stir this pan- at all.

boiling 1

Here’s where it gets funny.  You have to watch this like a baby.  It needs to get some colour.  I read several recipes before trying this, and no one was able to give definitive explanation of when it’s time to turn off the heat.  Some described at “golden” others preferred the term “warm”.  It was difficult.  So, here is where I decided it was good enough:

sugar boiling light

I left it for a couple more seconds/minute and pulled it off the heat.  Then I added the cream and butter (which I had melted and heated through).  Every recipe I read that when you pour in the cream it will react “violently”.  Seriously.  We couldn’t decide on a term for the colour we want the sugar, but we all called this reaction violent:

cream in sugar boiling up

Yes.  So very violent.  Then I followed directions at this point and put it back on the heat and used the candy thermometer.  According to directions I needed to cook this to 248 degrees.

140 degrees

140 degrees

 

200 degrees

200 degrees

240 degrees

240 degrees

Then it was time to pull this stuff off.  And put it into a pan to cool, then I would cut it up, sprinkle some fleur de sel and impress everyone.

This is what ended up happening:

hand holdingknife caramel

I was not impressed.

But I would not be defeated.  This time I turned to Jacques Pepin’s recipe for caramel sauce (maybe if I was going for sauce it would be better?).

I thought wrong.  Here is my second attempt:

second attempt

One friend told me it looked like beef tenderloin.

My father told me he “knew I had messed it up” and proceeded to give me tips on how to make it the next time.

I have been momentarily defeated.

I will try again.