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You know it’s Christmas when you have leftover dip, hambone pickings and Clodhoppers for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We had an amazing afternoon with Tagyn and Diego at A Christmas Carol – Diego, whom I drove crazy asking to say “dulce de leche” and “Feliz Navidad” about 50 times (he’s 7 and speaks Spanish) brought me a batch of homemade shoe soles – like small, oval, sweet pancakes native to Mexico, with a ketchup-shaped bottle of – something I’ve forgotten the name of and just realized the bottle is on the back seat of the car, and I’m in my PJs and it’s a hundred below outside – it’s like dulce de leche, only darker and better, with a cooler name. We dipped into the stash when the lights went down and squirted caramel on our shoe soles and tried to eat them without getting busted. Up to that point, you understand I had eaten exactly this: leftover biscuits toasted with butter and mandarin jam,Continue reading

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A tiring day. Cooked brunch for 25 at an event that combined yoga class with vegetarian appetizers – a sort of class/sit down brunch for which I made a lot of things, one of them veggie samosas. A wonderful Indian cook – Tahera Rawji – taught me the easy, cheater’s way to make samosas – using frozen hash browns. If it’s good enough for a real Indian cook and cooking teacher – a cookbook author even – it’s good enough for me. I’m sorry I don’t have a photo – since it was during the day I didn’t think to bring my camera. (So it wasn’t really dinner, either. Although it was the most substantial thing I ate closest to dinnertime.) Then at 5 I made dinner for 12 at the home of the guy who was the highest bidder on a private in-home cooking class/dinner I had contributed to a silent auction – you may have read about our fundraiser earlier this year for Nicole Pageau, an Edmonton woman in her 60s whoContinue reading

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As promised, I hauled out my Crock-pot today. (Partly to celebrate the shiny new ones that are en route to Maureen and Theresa! I am heeding the request to post winners’ names. Sorry I’m so late.) And last night I pulled out a boneless leg of lamb that had been taking up altogether too much space in the freezer. When outside it’s the same shade of grey all day long, so that you can’t tell what time it is until it begins to get dark at 4 o’clock, and the gritty snow and slush require you to halt the dog upon entering the house and wipe down his muddy paws every single time he has to go pee or sniff something, it puts me in the mood for a dark, sticky, robust, slow-cooked stew, preferably served over a mound of warm carbohydrates. I’ve been thinking about braised lamb shanks, but this caught my eye as I flipped through magazines in the car on our driveContinue reading

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It turns out I am a grown-up, after all. I spent last weekend choosing a new washer and dryer. When it arrived yesterday, Mike and I were so excited that we sat in front of it and watched the water level rise through the window, as if it was a TV. Today I took the dog to the vet and drove home in the rain and rush hour, listening to the CBC news. Then I made a practical dinner; something I actually planned ahead this time. By the time I got home One day not so long ago while I was attempting to do inventory in my freezer, I pulled out a small chunk of lamb, thinking I’d do something with it. I didn’t, so cubed it, tossed it with some spices in a plastic bag, sealed the bag and tossed it back in the freezer with ROGAN JOSH written on the outside. (I think I am finally beginning to learn that what goes inContinue reading

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If this wet, grey, hail-y weather continues, we are in for a whole year’s worth of cold weather comfort food. The smell of this shepherd’s pie bubbling made me crave crunchy leaves and Halloween. To be honest shepherd’s pie isn’t normally in my repertoire, but as I was pondering what to do with this leftover roast lamb (hash was my first thought… my mom used to make the crispiest hash with leftover roast beef, potatoes and onions – like a wedge of burger and fries all crisped up and smothered in ketchup) I was simultaneously working on an article on meals you can freeze ahead. Shepherd’s pie is traditionally made with lamb, and I saw it as another opportunity to chip away at my stash of sweet potatoes while making it healthier in the process. Typically SP is made with raw ground meat, but it can just as easily be done with finely chopped leftover roast. Honestly, you could make a shepherd’s pie out of anything –Continue reading

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Stop rolling your eyes. It would never in a million years occur to me to pop a leg of lamb in the oven on a plain old Monday night. But on Saturday morning I pulled the thing out of the freezer when I invited my sister over for dinner, and forgot about it when she went out of town and I decided to make Otsu instead. Which in turn got bumped for chicken shawarma. See what happens when I plan ahead? So I spent altogether too much time this morning perusing recipes in an attempt to do something lamb-worthy; after all, the chunk of meat was $18. Then again, that’s less than ordering pizza, so what’s all the fuss about? I was too mad at the rain to grill kebabs, and in the end decided that since it was a nice, even, bone-in piece of leg without the shank, I’d just straight-up roast it. Roasting a leg of lamb is very similar to roasting beefContinue reading

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Every time people I know move, I am the eager recipient of boxes of old cooking magazines they may have stored in their basements. These then get transported into my basement, or my parents’ basement, to be dusted off and moved again when we do. Mike loves this. Likewise, I am always the one lugging magazines out of church and garage sales for a quarter apiece. Then they get stored in our basement/garage/bedroom until I have a chance to flip through them and pull out the most interesting pages. Their final stage of decomposition is when said pages are piled into my big yellow milk crate for sorting, and the rest gets recycled. As I may have mentioned, my parents are moving, so a box of Saveur magazines have been returned to their rightful owner. I stumbled upon this recipe for ground lamb and peas in yogurt: aha! a use for that chub of ground lamb and unreasonably huge bag of peas taking up prime real estate in myContinue reading

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Happy Food on a Stick Day! In honor of this beloved holiday (honestly, who comes up with these? and to what panel do they apply for approval?) we did all sorts of food on a stick this morning at CBC. The favorite were the lamb kebabs. (OK, the bacon wrapped peroghies on a stick were probably the favorite, but the lamb was well-received too.) I made sure there was some left over. These are really just a meatball mixture made with ground lamb instead of beef (although you could use beef, or half and half) and spiced with cumin, garlic, ginger, cinnamon, with currants and crumbled feta stirred in. You could turn it into meatballs if you like, or take a small handful and shape it into a sort of log around a bamboo skewer. Grill them, broil them, or cook them in a skillet in a little olive oil – awkward, but the only option when you’re working on a hot plate set on aContinue reading

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