Edmonton-food

I’ve spent a lot of time in Edmonton this year – more so than usual – and because of this happy coincidence I’ve had the chance to eat my way around the city, which is a Very Good Thing. For a long time, Edmonton was known as the chain restaurant capital of Canada. This isn’t the case anymore – Edmonton is a city of great restaurants and farmers’ markets and local producers and coffee shops, and an impressive slowfood convivium. Some of my very favourite food people are doing their thing there, and I feel the need to share some of the things they make and do, in case you find yourself in Edmonton. I wish I could just tug on the highway and pull the whole city closer. (Below are chefs Blair Lebsak of Rge Rd, Ryan O’Flynn of the Edmonton Westin, and Brad Haffner of The Local Omnivore, plating dishes for the A Seat at Our Table long table dinner about a monthContinue reading

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This is shorter and sweeter than I intended to be tonight, but I need to share my new favourite thing before too much time passes and I forget – it’s instant ramen with a bit of butter, egg poached right in the broth, and melty cheese. Cheese (the processed, wrapped in plastic kind) is a Korean thing, and far more delicious than it sounds – unless you think it sounds delicious, in which case you’re bang-on. LA food truck chef Roy Choi shared his recipe for doctored-up ramen with the New York Times last year – it’s his staple, his grilled cheese, his bowl of cereal. And although packaged ramen has never particularly been my thing, it kind of is now – I want to go out and stay out late and have too many gin and tonics just so I can come home and make a bowl of this – I imagine it tastes even better at two in the morning. The processed cheeseContinue reading

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For those asking… here’s the Turtle stuffed shortbread via Instagram until I have time to post it properly! Turtle stuffed shortbread! Beat 1 cup butter with 1/2 cup icing sugar and 1 tsp. vanilla. Beat in 2 cups flour, 1 1/2 Tbsp. cornstarch and 1/2 tsp. salt. Wrap dough around Turtles, bake at 325 for 20 minutes. Happy holidays! #Christmas #baking A photo posted by Julie Van Rosendaal (@dinnerwithjulie) on Dec 12, 2014 at 11:01am PST

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There’s a very good reason I haven’t updated you on the kitchen situation in a very long time: it’s moving at glacial speed. It’s mostly my fault – every time an obstacle pops up, shooting gallery-style, I employ my ignore it and it will go away tactic, and it hardly ever does. Sometimes, these obstacles cause the process to actually move backwards, like that time I took a random handful of paint chips in various shades of white down to my oven, which is still in the showroom, to match the colour, and picked the one that was closest, which it turns out was not remotely the same, and so when they sprayed the cabinet drawers and installed them, they were a shade of beige silly putty. Who knew there were so many shades of white? I mean I thought I knew, but I didn’t really. And even when you do manage to choose a shade of polar bear/snowstorm/mashed potato that suits, once we getContinue reading

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Those of you who have been hanging around awhile may remember when we acquired a weeks-old black dog with white socks and a star on his chest – Lou, who we adore, even when he gets skunked and even though he hasn’t always been a good dog. (Fortunately he has outgrown puppyhood.) (Cuteness in puppies must be a means of self-preservation.) These days, Lou likes to wait until we’re asleep, then climb up into bed and stretch out the length of the bed, nestled into the pillow with his paws up over his head. Or sneak into my side of the bed when we go out, leaving fur and muddy evidence on my pillow. Living with him + the squirrel in the tree in our back yard is like living with Wile E. Coyote and the Roadrunner. This spring, Lou was hard at work testing recipes for In the Dog Kitchen, which just arrived from the printer! (!!!) It’s so pretty. It’s making its wayContinue reading

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(Pork, squash and apple chili! Will share this soon…) The sudden, abrupt arrival of fall this year has made it tough to readjust to early morning schedules and the after school dinner crunch. When you’re forced to go from (relatively) lazy mornings and dinners on the patio to school bus pickups and extra-curricular activities, at the same time navigating school lunches, after school snacks and proper dinners, it can be tough. Throw in shorter days and cooler weather, figuring out what to eat every day can be more of a challenge. (I heard there have been record numbers of deli roast chicken pickups this week.) It’s tempting to be lured by the drive through or to rely on the pizza delivery guy to feed everyone, but there are ways to streamline dinner prep, with the help of some wonders of the modern culinary world. London Drugs asked me to choose a few of my favourite things from their appliance section that I’d 1) actually use,Continue reading

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It’s going in the right direction! Slowly. Baby steps. This is the current state of my kitchen. We expected it to be a slow process, and it is, but I don’t mind the breathing room. A big part of the reason it took me so long to do a kitchen reno was the pressure to design my own kitchen. Yes, it sounds dreamy. Yes, I’ve often imagined what I’d do if I had the opportunity to redesign a kitchen space. But the pressure to make the right decision! It’s like getting a tattoo – not as permanent, I suppose, but expensive to do over if you don’t want to live with it. I can’t even make up my mind about what to order in a restaurant. Knowing what I like when I see it is different than visualizing what could be done with my own space, which is long and narrow and really fairly limiting. I don’t have a designers’ eye – my mom canContinue reading

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I don’t exaggerate when I say choosing a stove is more important than choosing a car. (To me.) Some people are surprised when they see my kitchen for the first time – long and narrow, nothing fancy, with an old electric GE oven that was here when we moved in and well-used (in a family with three boys) before that. That oven has cranked out so much over the past 8 years – 3 cookbooks, recipes for stories, family meals, obsessive testing of various edibles – and I’m sad to see it go, but I knew it wouldn’t live forever. We’ve been halfheartedly shopping for a stove for the past few years – every once in awhile we get the gumption to go out and look, perusing the dinged and discontinued back of the store sale items as well as the top of the line, until W drags his heels and complains loudly enough to convince us to abort our mission for another time. WeContinue reading

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I realize DIY is the norm for most people – regular civilians are out there building their own decks and patching their own roofs – but we’re not as handy as we aspire to be. Even my parents are super handy in comparison, and designed and built their own house when they were ten years younger than we are. We are not those people. We’ve been staring at those chunks of missing drywall, wondering who we can call to come be our handywingman while we try to patch it up even enough to be flat, not pretty. Too bad they can’t be patched with dough or sheets of gingerbread. Knowing that everything had to go – we’re starting again from scratch – we began with the oven, since it was the catalyst that brought the kitchen down in the first place. I’ve known this was coming for years – I’ve stopped cleaning the oven, thinking we’re going to buy one any minute, and it hasContinue reading

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