31 March 2007

Another Friday Night Dinner.

G's family has Friday night Shabbat pretty regularly, but as the new baby was on the way last night, G's parents asked us to join them for dinner at their favorite restaurant, Winfields. It's a place that's packed to the gills at 6:30 and completely empty at 8:30, with little bowls of jello left on all the tables. No, it's not that bad, and last night, my food was actually really goood.

G's Dad had the calamari, with special instructions to the chef to not make it to dry, but still crispy. He said it was excellent, and it certainly looked really nice...but I confess, I didn't try it. G's Dad said what made it great was that there were lots of tentacles. Mmmm.

G ventured away from the fried foods and had the prime rib dinner with roasted potatoes. Now, I don't enjoy prime rib. As a general rule, I am not all about huge slabs of red meat, but G said it was pretty good, with the grimest vegetables ever.

G's Mom also had the prime rib, and seemed to enjoy it. I had the philly cheesesteak sandwich. It came open face, too full to close, with battered french fries. Now, let me start by saying that I do not enjoy the battered french fries. Given the choice, I will always go for the stand alone tuber, but these were good because they were hot and fresh. The sandwich didn't have a ton of meat, but lots of cheese, mushrooms and caramelized onions. Their bread is garlicky and delicious, and the whole combination was just what this stressed out girl needed!

Oh yeah, and there was a pickle.

For lunch on Friday, I did have a fantastic club sandwich and pasta salad from the cafeteria in my building. I don't like eating in the cafe downstairs because it means that lunch is at my desk and I don't leave the inside of the building all day, but Friday demanded it, so I had the sandwich. It was so great. The bacon was crispy, the chicken was fresh, the cheese was cheesey, the bread was toasted, a little mayo, some not fishy tasting tomato... rock it. By the end of the day, it was a total sandwich day, but I ran those carbs off this morning (ha ha).

That pic turned out pretty good! I am really trying all sorts of different things with my camera to get clearer, crisper pictures. I am monkeying around with the food mode, but it seems that regular mode with the image stabilizer is the best.

Anyway, tonight for dinner...I am making home-made mac and cheeeeeeese.

Lots o' News!

It's been quite busy here. G's sister-in-law gave birth to a beautiful baby boy last night, so we've been at the hospital taking pics. Family and friends can go see them on flickr. He's just fantastic, but thus far, he's without a name!

But new baby's are great and all that, but the blog must go on! It's H-1B season and work has been a bit mad trying to get files out the door for immediate delivery. Thursday night was a late one, so G and I opted to have Korean BBQ for dinner. The restaurant is really dark, so it was a bit difficult to get pictures. I managed a few...

The meat... it is a bit grim, really, how icky the containers are, but whatever. It's all from your own meat, and everything tasted really fresh. Basically, for $12.99 you get beef, pork, squid, fish, salmon, chicken and ox tongue. You also get miso soup, kim chee, tofu, potato, onion, zuke, rice, bean sprouts and sauce. Not too shabby, really, though it used to be $10.99, but then my Mom talks about buying hamburgers for a nickle, so I guess things change. But this place is all you can eat, so we get lots of meat and I can down the rice and tofu, so it's all good when you are hungry.

I took a pic of the grill, but it's kind of grim...

All in all, good clean fun. The restaurant was absolutely packed, which is fun when you're tired and are trying to draw some energy from others... phew. Good times.

28 March 2007

Meatballs and potato? Oh yeahhhh....

Tonight's dinner was actually mostly made yesterday. It was supposed to be last night's dinner, but unfortunately, the urge for Shwarma ran G and I both over, so it had to be Shwarma. We went to my favorite shwarma place, Doner Kebab House on Yonge Street. I did my run before we went and I was so hungry by the time I got there, I just chowed down!!! I let the blog down. *shame*

Anyway, I came home and made the dinner for tonight. It was a Chianti Meatball recipe from the March issue of my favorite food magazine, Olive. It was meatballs made out of ground beef, onion, garlic, black olives, bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, egg, etc, then tossed in oil and baked for ten minutes, then you dump in some chianti, stir her up, bake for another ten minutes, then in goes a big tub of diced tomatoes, fresh basil and sugar, bake for 25 minutes and hello dinner! In the recipe, she makes it with either pasta or rosemary roasted potatoes, and as G is from some strange land where she doesn't like pasta, we had the potatoes.

It was good. Not fantastic, not sure I'd rush out and make it again, but for a change of place and a really easy recipe, it was a-okay.

I tried to take an innards shot... looks terrible, so not doing that... next time.

The plate above could have had some veg other than the blessed potato, but, better luck next time.

26 March 2007


I forgot my lunch at home today, so the options around my office are a bit limited and I ended up at Wendy's. I allow myself the luxury of fast food once a week, so this week it hit a little early!

I had the single with cheese combo. The Wendy's next to my work is excellent. The food is always fresh, the fries are always perfect, it's just really good, and it doesn't seem as expensive as the ones in the downtown core.

Since I am still working my way around the camera, I opted to take pics despite eating by myself in a business suit in a food court.

The hamburger somehow manages to not be too greasy, but they did not heed my request for no mayo. Oh well... the sandwich was quite nice, and I enjoyed every little bite of it!

Since I had the combo, I got the aforementioned lovely fries and a drink. I love the fries container here in Canada, with the lovely little cup that sits up all on it's own. So civilized.

Plus, serving sizes in the mighty north are smaller, so that's nice too.

Ahhhh, good times.

G and I went to a public policy lecture given by Tim Flannery tonight. It was amazing, and I was really taken by many of the issues that he discussed, including stating that the environment is a moral issue, full stop. I read his book and really enjoyed it, but seeing him live really drove him how important it is to keep going. The only time that I felt the crowd really disagree with him is when he said that one available technology that we may need to use is nuclear power.

I don't like the idea of nuclear power, either, but he was saying that there are some places where cities have developed that don't have the ability for geo-thermal energy, or wind or solar power, and really will either have to shut down and migrate away, or look at some sort of non-coal alternative. That might be nuclear power. But uranium just never seems like a good alternative to me...

That being said, I highly recommend The Weather Makers. It's a really good read on the negative impact we have made on the environment. Nothing to do with food, but there it is.

25 March 2007

Watercress Soup and Indian Buffet, Ahoy!

The weatherpeople promised a warm sunny Sunday, and boy, did they fail to deliver. It's one of those days where the weather is so grim and unexpected that the day feels surreal and you just feel completely out of sorts. Or at least, that's how I felt, and at one point G turned to me and said, 'Doesn't this day just feel like the last day of the world or something?' So maybe it's just us, but it's REAL.

Our plans of a lengthy bike ride were squashed, so G made a great warm lunch of zuke and watercress soup with toasted turkey and cheese sandwiches. Still mucking about with the new camera and the food mode, so bear with me...

Then for dinner, we opted to go out for Indian Buffet. We went to "Little India" over on Gerrard street and had dinner at the Skylark. I took pics of my food on "food mode" from my camera... and it was too much for the brightness of the restaurant, though I didn't notice it really until I got home. So new camera lesson learned. And to the person who left a comment about the new camera, thanks! I am trying to get the hang of it, but think it's just going to take taking a bunch of pictures until I sort it out!

Anyway, I am going to put a few of the pics I took up...just so you can see what I mean about the frightening colours. Believe me, the food was not frighteningly coloured, it was my photog skills...

Or lack thereof...

That being said, the Skylark was fantastic. Lots of times when we go for Indian buffet, everything tastes similar if not the same. This buffet was totally different from that. I had the most delicious butter chicken, rice, naan dripping with ghee, chana masala, daal, saag paneer, and veggie pakora. The food was all distinct, the flavours were strong without being overpowering, and there was a full restaurant that represented almost comically the melting pot that Toronto is. I do like how the sandwich board sign out front reads, "About 30 years"... we're not sure, but we think it's maybe 30 years... so easy going!

On an unrelated note... on a recent trip to the St. Lawrence market, we saw this van...


24 March 2007

I got this lovely new camera and I start with PIZZA pictures!!

So I have finally done it. I bought a new camera. I found the camera I had been eyeing, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ1 on sale for a reasonable price since the new models had just been released, and I had to snatch one up for myself.

That being said, today was the first really challenging run in my running clinic, so I feel really tired and a bit blah, so the first food pic from the new camera is of pizza, and it's definitely delivery, not DiGiorno. I tried out the food mode, which is basically just a macro setting for low light, but it looks pretty crisp on my screen...

I also took some pics of Bello, the most handsome boy in the world!

He's sitting in my junky office. Must clean. Thank goodness tomorrow is still the weekend! Get up, clean, run, bike ride, clean, clean, clean. Good times.

22 March 2007

Mousakka and Spag

On Tuesday, we got the new CSA box. It's an excellent one... watercress, mushrooms, shallots, lettuce, cabbage, potatoes, and apples!

It's a little yellow, sorry, I tried to fix it in gimp, but so far, still learning!

Anyway, last night was G's mother's birthday, and we had tickets to Phantom of the Opera. We decided to have dinner at Penelope's, a Greek restaurant right across from the theater. It was okay. I had mousakka and potatoes, and it was nice, though G's dad complained that it had cinnamon in it, though every one I have ever had has had cinnamon in it, so I am not sure why he was upset by that...

Of course, I took a pic (some of the last as *hopefully* this weekend I will get my new camera!)...

The green beans were weird. Kind of limp, but I couldn't stop eating them! They were obviously sprinkled with a little bit of crack. No time for dessert, as we were off to the Phantom. I tell ya, it has been a crashing realization to suddenly discover that I am actually not a fan of musical theater. I left with a headache from the screeching numbers where everyone sang on top of each other and no words were understood by the likes of me.

Tonight, I stayed late at work, came home for a quick run in order to squeeze a tiny bit of outside time into my day, and then made a big pot of spaghetti bolognese. We had a little bit of whole wheat linguine, and a little bit of non-whole wheat linguine, so I mixed them together. Expecting only a marginal spike in blood sugar as a result. Hee hee.

G has these great pasta bowls that we had dinner in. Yum yum.

So that's the week in food.

19 March 2007

Dinners of the past few days...

The other night for dinner, G and I both got home late and we came up with the idea for making an open faced omelet. We had some mushrooms and spinach from our CSA box left to eat, and G made this fantastic omelet with toast...It was delightful...

Mmmmm. Tasty too.

Then there was the dinner of boerewors sausage and mashed sweet potatoes with rutabaga and peas. Of course, you gotta have the HP Brown sauce on hand, but the boerewors was so good that I didn't need it.

I like how this picture looks like it's in a 1970's time warp. We're all manner of Life on Mars in this one!

Otherwise, we are trying to eat healthier and all that, so we're trying to eat at home more, though in reality, that's not as exciting as having someone else cook and clean up for you! When G cooks, I have to clean up, and it's a bad end to a usually good meal!

Ahhh... it feels like a shower!

We recently attended a baby shower for G's sister-in-law who is due with her third child any second now! The food was great, and I failed with all the frivolity to take photos of most of it,
but we had to take pics of this fantastic cake...

It was so delicious. The fondant was quite thick and sweet, but it had a butter cream icing underneath, and a thoroughly fantastic white-raspberry swirl cake. It was really nice.

G made some fantastic fruit kabobs for our contribution to the cause...They were really nice, lots of fruit on sticks. Ha ha. We used this great plate that G's Mom brought us from Portugal, and most of the kabobs got eaten, though I think our niece ate about ten of them!


To continue G's line of good eats, she made this apple pie on Saturday. Let me just say that this was an excellent pie. It's G's Mom's recipe from Rhodesia, and the pastry tasted exactly like snickerdoodle cookies. We took the pie and ate it with some of G's family... not a SCRAP left! Good viddles, G.

17 March 2007

Why a Food Blog?

I've been asked by a couple of different people why I decided to start a food blog, and I thought, where better than the aforementioned food blog to explain?

When I was a kid growing up in a mid-sized town in the sort of Souther US, I never ate anything too crazy. If mom talked about making hominy, it was like she was putting a grilled cuttlefish on the table, there was just no having that sort of weird food. We were a small family, just my mom, brother and I, and I think mom had no desire to fight about food. Really, whether we went to the drive-thru's of Taco Bueno, McDonald's and Kentucky Fried Chicken in one night so everyone had what they wanted for dinner was the least of our worries!

But that being said, I remember some meals being on regular rotation, spaghetti with meat sauce (ground beef and Ragu jarred sauce, pasta and Kraft parm), chicken fried steak, old el paso taco mix tacos, fried chicken, smoked sausage and macaroni and cheese, slices of steak cooked in soy sauce with mushrooms, etc. I loved (and still love, make no mistake) Kraft dinner and Chef Boyardee.

I remember the first time I went to the restaurant, The Olive Garden. It was my friends birthday, I was in high school, and the menu seemed, sad to say, exotic. I ordered ravioli because it was something I recognized, and was shocked by the offering. A few small ravioli's, cheese only, with this sort of thinish "fresh" tomato sauce. It was not the Chef, no sir.

Now let me explain that this was in no way my Mother's fault. I was a picky eater and loved eating at restaurants so much that I was mortified that I would order something I didn't like and be denied the joy of eating it, so I tried to stick with what I knew. I would go to steak houses and order the hamburger. The horror.

Then I went to University. My first foray into "weird" food was my friend's version of Fetuccine Alfredo. I was in love. Creamy, rich, cheesey. Oh my goodness oh my goodness. So it became my staple (and while I lost the friend, the recipe lives on with only the most minor of differences).

From there, I began to move towards Indian food, Thai, etc... And it just kept going. I began to love cookbooks, and started buying them, but, in all honesty, made very little from them. All of a sudden, I was eating this wide range of food and enjoying all the different tastes and textures. It seems so silly now, but Oklahoma was not the hotbed of ethnic foods.

Then, I moved to Toronto and my life kept sort of moving along, and I started travelling more and now I am a person who can say, "I ate cassoulet with duck confit at a small restaurant in Chinon, France!" (Not to mention that I got to Chinon, France on a bike, having started the trip in Montrichard, France.)

Now, I have this great love of food in all its forms. I love reading books about food, cookbooks, and I can't get enough of food magazines. I buy an obscene number of food magazines each month, including Donna Hay, Olive, BBC Food, Cooking Light, Delicious (when I can find it), etc. etc. Then I started reading food blogs. I began reading Slashfood, then moved on to the Food Pornographer, the Girl Who Ate Everything, and so on, to a slew of blogs that I now read regularly, including the ones to the left.

So, I thought, I have work that I enjoy, but food is something I am passionately interested in, and since I started this blog and I began reading more about sustainable agriculture, and all that, I have found just an unquenchable interest in this hobby. No one may ever read this who isn't my indulging friends and family, but I don't care in the slightest. And I know that it's not perfect, and my pictures still kinda suck, but it's going to get better, and more sophisticated, just like my palette.

And here's a food pic, just because, at the end of the day, this is still a food blog.


14 March 2007

The Edge of Fifteen.

This year, the time change has seemed particularly brutal, being early and all, I suppose that makes sense. It is pitch black when I get up in the morning, and while it's nice to leave work with a shred of sunlight, the mornings are wearing me out. So, in the interest of sleepiness and not having time to upload photos, I decided to share a foodie delight from my last vacation in London.

We went to Jamie Oliver's Fifteen. Oh yeah. I had to wake up at some unholy hour like 3:30 or something to make my reservations for the trattoria, but I am so glad I did...

We were given this amazing table in the end of the top floor of Fifteen. It had this long wooden bench type booth that looked out on the whole restaurant. It was a little weird because it was right next to the bar and bread station, but we were given impeccable service, and when there was a small kitchen fire, we were far enough away to not get smoked out! Here's what it looked like last September...

I am embarrassed to say that I do not have a picture for the first course... I had the most delicious lasagnette. It was this slow cooked pork ragu with ribbons of lasagna pasta and cheese. Honestly, it was so mouth wateringly delicious, I still can think about it and get hungry!

For the second course, I had a most amazing swordfish with fried zucchini spears. It was amazing. The swordfish was firm and well cooked, the zuke was lightly fried with this aioli sauce that just knocked my socks off. Our dining companion Chris had the steak and said it was one of the best ones he had ever had.

Swordfish? Why of course!!!

For dessert, I had a creme brulee, which is one of my favourites. Oh yeah, I am so old skool. But I really do love it. It was really a wonderful experience. The price was expensive, but I have to confess totally worth it.

Now, when I was reading my favorite food magazine, Olive, last night, I saw an advertisement for 'Jamie Oliver's Beef' at one of the big groceries. Honestly. Sometimes it is a bit too far with the Jamie Oliver gestalt, but at the same time, he is probably one of the reasons why I am on this food blog quest (well, and the Girl Who Ate Everything and the Food Pornographer, both links are right over there to your left!). I had read cookbooks and was an ardent fan of Cooking Light magazine, but Jamie Oliver really upped the ante for me. I think that's probably true for a lot of us. Anyway. Olive, BBC magazine that rules the schools. Go get it.

10 March 2007

The best manicotti ever... and I made it!

Today was a wonderful warmer day and I decided that I wanted to make dinner as a relaxation exercise... so of course, I had to pull out Giada's cookbook, Everyday Italian.

I jotted down the ingredients and G and I headed down to the St. Lawrence Market. We started out with a little snack... Parm on a bun...You can't resist these cheerful posters...

And it was delish! There's a place downstairs that I can't remember the name of who gets all the press for Italian sandwiches, but I have to say that I am partial to Carousel Bakery in the shopping section. You can taste every element of the sandwich, and it's so satisfying. And their gigantic for $5.

Now, we were ready for shopping. I decided to go to the fresh pasta stall.

I got sheets of fresh pasta that I could parboil and then roll with the filling inside. They had lovely sheets of spinach pasta, so I snatched them up and got a lovely container of fresh made marinara sauce.

It was so packed at the market, that it was difficult trying to navigate around the market! But we managed.

From there, we decided to get some fresh beautiful cheese. I needed ricotta, moz and parm. We had the parm at home, so there was no reason to look for that.

We went to the cheese store, which I can not remember the name of because I am like that, and bought our bounty. Look at this beautiful cheese...

Honestly, you could go cheese-wild in there. It's so fantastic.

We had to make one last stop for some ground beef. There's a great meat stall, Brown Bros. Meats, that's our go to for ground beef and chicken. Meat was purchased, and we headed home.

The recipe is really easy and straightforward. G and I couldn't believe how delicious the manicotti turned out. I think the magnificence really was a combination of the terrific ingredients and solid no fail recipe.

It was a thing of beauty straight out of the oven...

And the beautiful insides...

SWEEEET! It was so tasty. The pasta was really tender, the sauce was sweet and savory, the innards were cheesey and meaty and garlicky. It was really just a great showing all around. Good job manicotti!

06 March 2007

Beet Risotto and Carrot Soup

Dinner last night was a feast for the eyes and belly!!!

It was one of those nights where everything lined up perfectly. I had to work late (okay, so not so perfect) and we had lots of beets and carrots leftover from our CSA box. It ended up in G making dinner for us, a delicious carrot ginger soup and beet risotto. Now the bad news... I was so stomach growling hungry that I forgot to take a picture of the risotto until it was in today's tupperware for lunch! Oops.

The soup...

And here is the risotto, not in the pretty white bowl, but just tucked away in the little Ikea tupperware:

Now, I find a good few things odd with this... 1) It looks like Cocoa Rice Krispies, and it isn't and 2) it's made with beets and I HATE beets. Fully. When I was a kid, my grandfather grew beets (among other things) and would pickle them. We had them frequently with holiday dinners and the like. I really have always disliked them, they are so earthy or something. But, the beet risotto is incredibly delicious.

Today, we received the second installment of our CSA box from Wanigan. It was better than the last one... don't believe me? See for yourself...

Look at that food!!! There's organic spinach, organic lettuce, organic shitake mushrooms, organic rutabagas, onions, potatoes and the dreaded parsnip. So we had set out a small piece of steak and were trying to think of something to make for dinner that would utilize some of our new stuff but wouldn't let the steak go to waste...

And here it is... VOILA...

We had our organic leaf lettuce, hard-boiled eggs, red pepper, tomato, steak, cabbage, steamed potatoes and hemp seeds. It was fantastic! We had it served like this...

I had a little Caesar dressing on mine... wooooo, it was good! We had our lovely salad with the rest of the carrot soup from last night... I am not a huge fan of salads, and really do love salads that have lots of things in them, especially eggs... So this was fantastic. The meat was from Cumbrae's, which was very tasty and only took a minute to cook. Yeah for good dinner on super cold Toronto days!!!

04 March 2007

Eggs Benny take 1000.

Breakfast is one of the easiest things to make at home, but I do so love to go out and have breakfast. So this morning, as I felt ready to take my first steps out of my home for the first time in days, G and I decided to stop into a local restaurant on the way to run some errands, and I as it was the first time I had eaten breakfast there, I had to order the eggs benny.

It was okay. The eggs were well cooked, the peameal was actually grilled, so it had this weird smokey flavour that was unexpected for breakfast, the sauce was only slightly lemony (a definite plus), and it had one little piece of sliced tomato on each half, so good. The potatoes were a little overly spiced, G didn't like them at all. But she had an omelet that she enjoyed...I tried my hand at a little mosaic to show y'all...

It was definitely tasty...And not terribly expensive, though I do not understand why one red rose teabag and hot water from the coffee machine in a little silver pot costs $2.25. That's crazy. But for the food seen above, the aforementioned tea, and an orange juice, we paid about $25. Made me long for a good English fry-up. Maybe it's the cloudy weather.

New job, favourite pasta!

Tuesday was my first day at my new job, so G and I decided to celebrate at one of my favourite restaurants, Cafe Volo. The funghi e pollo is one of my most favourite meals, so of course I had to have it! It's a creamy pasta sauce with pieces of chicken, mushrooms, etc., and it's just so lovely. I was so excited to have it, having not been there in a bit that I dug right in. Fortunately, neither G nor I could finish our big bowls of pasta, so we mixed them together and took a pic of that! Voila!

Tasty tasty.

We bought some steak from a little store in our neighborhood and made steak and mash one night. I had it with this brand of canned peas that I lurve. Canned peas?! I know, I know. When I was a kid, I would kick them until they were a total mush, NOT realizing that mushy peas is a common food for our friends across the pond! Anyway, what a great meal. This pic is brilliant, because it shows the steam comin' off my peas...

Well pick my peas, but that was a delicious dinner!

I am thinking of getting a new camera. It's a Panisonic Lumix DMC-TZ1. If anyone has any experience with this camera, let me know. Post a comment or shoot me an email.

New job and new sick.

It's been a bit since I posted... Last week was supposed to be my first week at my new job, and it was in one sense...(completely personal post, don't read if you don't care!)

I started on Tuesday with complete laryngitis. It seemed odd, since I hadn't really been sick, just cold symptoms for a couple of days, but whatever, go with the flow. So I went to my new job without being able to talk, and it went well. Then the next day, I was feeling a bit worse, voice was better, but still wasn't feeling what anyone would consider to be well. Then it hit me. Woke up Thursday, eyes completely stuck together, coughing, chest hurt, voice better, but feeling totally crappy, so I took a shower, and when I got out... I freaked.

My eyes were DEMON red. I have never seen anything like it. But I am a trooper, so I go to work, shut the door of my new office, and try to just soldier through. But I was extremely embarrassed. Mortified would be the best phrase for it. Then the boss came in and said, 'Look, I know it's your first week and that you don't want to go home sick, but go home. You need to get better!' So I called my doctor, made an appt to see her that afternoon and took off after getting a couple of things done in the office. I went home and decided that I just needed sleep, a massive snow storm hit, I decided not to go to the doctor.

Then I got out of bed and looked in the mirror. Demon eyes oozing, coughing up ick, naw, I thought I'd better go to the doctor. I get to the doctor's office, walk in her office, she turns to look at me and says, "Ooh, don't touch me, you're contagious!" Turns out, I had a chest infection and an eye infection in both eyes. So she gave me some rx, and sent me out the door while washing her hands in hot water. THANKS!

So the bad news is, I had to call in sick on Friday, but the good news, after two and a half days in bed and tons of medication and many glasses of water, I am much much better. My eyes look normal again, I am coughing a normal amount, and I can be out of bed for more than ten minutes without feeling like I am about to pass out, so it's all good. Tomorrow, I am back on the job, and going to have to do ALOT to make up for this past week. Wish me luck!!!


Related Posts with Thumbnails