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There hasn’t been much cooking going on this week – much of the past 10 days has been divvied between visits at two separate hospitals, driving between said hospitals, and queuing at their parkade exits. (Everyone is fine! Or will be. Don’t worry.) What I was supposed to be doing for the past 10 days was finishing up a book manuscript that’s due in Two! Weeks! Fortunately there has been enough to distract me from almost certain panic. One silver lining: I’ve been using up all those containers of frozen this and that, most of it unlabeled, that I’ve squirreled away in the freezer. The other day I actually found, without effort, enough space to put a loaf of bread in the freezer, which around here constitutes a small miracle. Some nights it has been a game of dinnertime Russian roulette, we’ve hit a couple drive thrus, and one day, having been present for the arrival of extra cheesy hospital food mac & cheese atContinue reading

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NYT mac & cheese 1
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I apologize in advance for the photos, which don’t do justice to the deliciousness of this M & C. Thankfully, the winter solstice is coming, and then we’ll start to see more daylight after 4pm. So this mac & cheese. It came from a book I’ve had by my bedside for months, that I finally picked up the other night and read a story out of. It’s a compilation of the best food writing of 2006 (probably the year I put it beside my bed), and the story I read on this particular night was written by Julia Moskin for the New York Times. (I have to say – I like her photo better. More cheese?) The difference between this particular recipe and the bazillion of other macaroni and cheeses out there: you blend up the cheese and milk and then bake it with raw macaroni, rather than boil the noodles and mix up a white sauce with loads of grated cheese in it, whichContinue reading

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Skillet fondue 1
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Every year we have a Christmas party with the theme Polyester & Cheese. Our friends came up with that winning combo years ago at their Christmas party, and we adopted it. Who doesn’t love a party where the pièce de résistance is a table loaded down with cheese? And you have the opportunity to get decked out in totally flammable polyester? I wanted to take this recipe for a spin before the party – partly because I knew on party night it would be dark and I’d be distracted and might miss my photo opp, and partly because it was Grey Cup Sunday yesterday, which practically screams for cheesy, dippy things. I’m not much (at all) into football, but I’m very much into cheesy, dippy things. I got my skillet ready, all full of chunks of melty cheese, then topped it with a bam of chopped garlic and a few fresh herbs and a glug of olive oil, and slid it into the oven asContinue reading

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This post could have been mighty impressive and star-studded, photo-wise – instead, I’m offering up some yumminess and asking that you use your imagination. Ready? So this weekend, if you haven’t already heard, I made lunch for Darth Vader. I did! For reals. Also – Sir Patrick Stewart (Captain Jean-Luc Picard) and the entire cast of Star Trek-Next Generation, and on Sunday – Adam West! And his wife, both of whom were lovely. Yes, I did in fact make lunch for Darth Vader AND Batman in one weekend, and yet my six year old boy is not sufficiently impressed with the fact that this is what his mom does when she goes to work. At least (very) occasionally – I should stress that this is not the norm. (Although in past years I have cooked for Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner – some cook for kings, queens and presidents; I cook for captains of the Enterprise and miscellaneous sci-fi stars. Also on the list: Elvira,Continue reading

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It’s a good day today. It’s the day I get to kick off a week long giveaway, in which every single day I get to stalk someone down and thrust into their hands an enormous box of cheese, tied with a bow. That’s right, for an entire week, right up until Christmas Eve, I’ll be committing Random Acts of Cheese! Except that they won’t totally be random – I’m not Ellen DeGeneres – although I kind of wish I was… no, in this contest, you get to choose someone who you want to win. Get it? And then it’s a surprise! It’s all about giving, and cheese, and making people happy when they least expect it. And what could be more happy-inducing than a surprise box of cheese? Not that there’s anything wrong with chocolate, but Pot of Gold is so 1986. Check out all that cheese! (Yes, I moved it after taking that photo. Lest Lou think Christmas came early for him.) Calgary Co-opContinue reading

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Ah yes, I am Canadian. You can tell by the fact that I had poutine for breakfast. Three kinds, even. In honour of Canada Day – which is, impossibly, coming right up – I give you poutine you can make at home. I know you’ll need a day to locate cheese curds – you can find some at Springbank Cheese (which has no connection with the Springbank outside Calgary, I’m afraid – it was named after a cow. Sorry. They are in Ontario though.) or at Say Cheese! at the Crossroads Market (both sell packets of St Hubert’s poutine mix too), or really any good cheese dealer. It must be curds though – don’t go grating mozzarella on top and defacing a Canadian icon. I used that new French fry technique I told you about – and as they simmered themselves to golden perfection on the stovetop (pure poetry, that) I went about assembling toppings – I made some topped with pulled pork and barbecueContinue reading

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This is me and my pal Pierre A. Lamielle (wouldn’t it be cool to have the initials P.A.L.? I thought so too). He wrote a cookbook, then flew to Paris and got a big fancy award for it. Which he totally should have – Kitchen Scraps is bloody brilliant. It’s like no other cookbook you’ve ever seen – totally readable in bed, good for a laugh, each page a literal work of art. Stories, jokes, morals, humour. Whorehouses, the three bears, cupids, Roman soldiers with six-packs – it’s got it all. So to celebrate I got a copy to give away for that happy event of days gone by we used to call Free Stuff Fridays. I figured it would only be fitting to make something from his book for dinner tonight, but Mike had a show, W has a birthday party (he got his first real invite from a kid at school – not a relative or friend of ours – sniff) and IContinue reading

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One of the many benefits of making your own crusty loaves of bread on a regular basis is a plethora of bread ends to turn into the very best croutons ever. Honestly, I have been spoiled forever and will never buy a box of them again. Not that I ever really did before. So I made some. And remember those spiced nuts I put away for a salad later? Well this is it. I had so been looking forward to a big salad since that no-shop drought… Mike went and bought a box of organic salad greens. I finely cubed a butternut squash and roasted it, and had some soft goat cheese. The whole thing was orchestrated like a perfect salad symphony. And when the time came to assemble it, I pulled the box out of the back of the fridge. W had been playing with the temperature control, cranked it up as high as it would go, and the greens were frozen. Solid. SoContinue reading

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