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A few weekends ago the family gathered for brunch, and my brother in law brought a quiche. It wasn’t a frittata, but it didn’t have a pastry crust either – its base was made of hash browns. Brilliance! Eggs and veggies and cheese nested in grated potato, baked and served in wedges. His was asparagus and goat cheese and we devoured it all, and then I went home and made one, just to see. So simple! You grate a potato or two on the coarse side of a box grater, then get it started in a hot skillet, crisping up the bottom, before filling it and sliding it into the oven. You work in a little extra in the way of vegetables, but it’s still starchy – and perfect for people who can’t have pastry. Genius.

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I realize it’s Monday morning and you’ve likely started the day with something practical, like steel-cut oats, having got all the bacon and whatnot out of your system over the weekend. But we all dream of sleeping in and lounging over brunch, right? It helps to have that golden beacon shining from the end of the week. I seem to be in Easter mode early this year – perhaps because it hasn’t snowed since the day W received his much-coveted snow tube in the mail sometime mid-January (it still sits sadly in the front hall, unused) – and maybe because Easter arrives so early. Two weeks! Easter or not, the warm and suddenly longer days jolt me into brunch mode – and although most weekend mornings I like to spend extra time in the kitchen baking something to nibble with coffee, this past weekend there were more crammed around our little table in the kitchen (even though I (finally!) managed to clear some surface areaContinue reading

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I fear this blog is becoming my excuse for making carb-heavy weekend breakfasts on a weekly basis. This time, though, my excuse was a quickly hardening crusty loaf that took up altogether too much real estate on the countertop, and there wasn’t even room for a bun in the freezer. My neighbour had been chatting her overnight French toast up on Facebook, and thus the seed was planted. (Aside: I also appear to be stockpiling frozen blueberries, for all those smoothies I haven’t been making lately.) I baked this the day before we left for Seattle, and brought a bowl of leftovers cold with us when we left the house before dawn, eating it in the car in the Tim Horton’s drive-thru in lieu of take-out. Essentially this is less-sweet bread pudding; the fact that the bread is torn or cut into chunks before soaking in an eggy bath classifies it as such. Not that it matters. What’s in a name? If you want itContinue reading

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I eat lunch at my desk a lot. The commute from my kitchen may seem perfectly suited to lunching on big quinoa salads (always my plan, rarely reality) and freshly cooked this or that. Mostly I wind up eating toast. It’s really an enjoyable spot to eat – with Twitter on and this view out the window, it’s almost like being on a park bench. Kinda. Except for all the papers. Eggs are popular, with the aforementioned toast or quickly sautéed greens or draped over leftovers. I ran out of gumption to poach eggs sometime about two weeks ago, and one day decided to bake some instead. I didn’t want to coddle them. You know, that wouldn’t do them any favours. I cracked two into a ramekin, poured over a spoonful of half & half, salted, peppered, and sprinkled with Parmesan. Baked at 350F for 15 minutes. (This is how the first few went: at 10 far from done; 20 cooked hard, but delicious withContinue reading

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Wait – don’t go. Hear me out. Last week I made a resolution to use the food I have in my kitchen, rather than go shop for more, deciding what’s for dinner depending on my mood or the (near-constant) desire to try something new. I go for milk and eggs and come home with bags full of whatever was inspiring or on sale at the time, and then can hardly cram it into my cupboards and freezer. I think this is pretty typical, considering the fact that walk-in pantries and chest freezers are standard issue in most houses. I hear a lot of people refer fondly to their fridges as that place produce goes to die. And it’s true – in North America (Canada very much included) it’s estimated that we throw out 40-50% of the food we buy. Half! Can you imagine the spending on groceries that takes place across the country on a daily basis? And that half of those purchases are tossedContinue reading

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I’m back to my McGyvering ways, this time orchestrating a meal around two leeks that I did not want to compost. I tend to get stuck at potato soup when I come across a leek, but this time the sight of them triggered the memory or a recipe I had set aside. I found it. I had Gouda! I had bacon! I started to make it, cooking the bacon, then the sliced leeks, until crispy, thinking it was essentially a frittata, wondering why it was called a pancake and why I had set it aside, anyway. Then I noticed the flour in the batter – ah yes, a pancake. A light, eggy pancake, something similar to those puffed apple pancakes, only savoury. Exactly the sort of thing I’d file away in my mental card catalog.

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Have I shown off my garden yet? I’m loaded – with spinach and chard, that is – between the CSA box and the boxes in my back yard, I should have X-ray vision or some such superpower by the end of the summer. Which is coming up all too quickly. I punched “chard” into the search box on Epicurious the other day, looking for more inspiration (but really just procrastinating), and these frittata bites jumped out – they suggest cold squares for a cocktail party. I wound up doing my own thing, but kept the sausage-chard-feta combo, and it was loved by all. (Except W, who struggled unsuccessfully to separate the green stuff from the rest.) Bonus: two huge bunches of chard went into this – it always amazes me how small it gets once it wilts. You could cook a bunch down to a spoonful and just eat it, like a real-food vitamin pill. One Year Ago: Browned-Butter Blueberry Muffins (made with saskatoons)

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I thought I might actually lose some weight this week. Ha! Instead I’ve become hooked on peanut butter toast, those chewy-salty peanut granola bars, and Oreos with 2% milk. When your very best choices are the snacky things, you tend to go a bit overboard. Or I do, anyway. Damn you, Mr. Christie. You make good cookies. I’ve been running on fumes this week. (Literally-I haven’t managed a shower in two days.) I haven’t been keeping up with the conversation here or at the Week in Their Kitchen blog as much as I’d like to. Today I didn’t have much time to spend trying to figure out what to do. I thought it was going to be a can of soup night. But I pulled out the thickly sliced zucchini and mushrooms in tomato sauce I made earlier in the week, thinking I’d put it on pasta. But it was so nice and chunky… I warmed it in a little baking dish, made some wellsContinue reading

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It would appear I’ve erased the photos of our 24 hours in Banff; not sure how I managed this, but I have. It’s amazing what I can accomplish when I’m not even paying attention. So I can’t even show you the blast from the past photos from our old-school Banff overnighter – we had a sleepover at the Banff Park Lodge last night, and dinner (strawberry margarita and Loco Gringo Salad – hey, it’s tradition) amid snowboarders at Magpie & Stump. W had his first introduction to chocolate bear claws and Rundle rock (chocolate dipped sponge toffee named after Mt. Rundle) at The Fudgery in the Sundance Mall. (As kids, this was our post-ski stop before the drive back to Calgary or our hotel; my sisters always got candy apples, but I chose fudge or something chocolate-and-caramelly – I wasn’t about to get suckered into fruit on a stick, disguised as chocolate.) M and W spent much of the evening/morning in the pool, and IContinue reading

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