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I love my job. I really, really do. But most days are a Tasmanian devil-like whirling dervish of recipe testing and photographing, and usually what we wind up eating for dinner was left over from some show or had just been photographed for a magazine. Ironically as a food writer, I don’t often work with ingredients when they’re actually in season on account of the lead time. On Canada day this past July I was making gingerbread and mince tarts. Today I was working on Valentine’s day stuff. Some days I just want to make dinner with no ulterior motives. Today I was working on a cocktail party story that involves meatballs, and so I took the opportunity to take a little detour and make pork meatball bánh mì – Vietnamese subs – that I’ve been wanting to try for about a year now. The recipe looks long but they’re simple to make – and in fact they could potentially be made ahead – theContinue reading

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Sorry, that’s Saturday morning breakfast, not Friday night dinner. Come to think of it, dinner was apple cider and Kinnikinick cookies at the very first Calgary Food Summit in honour of World Food Day, where I spoke a bit to the group of 130 and was involved in lively discussion/brainstorming session on the issues of food security and policy and everything related to creating a sustainable food system, trying my best not to touch anything or anyone and washing my hands so obsessively they now look like they should be attached to a 90 year old. By the time I got home last night I felt on the verge of a full-on flu smackdown. (I couldn’t manage to hold myself upright at the computer, looking desperately around my cluttered office for something good to give away, and finally crawled into bed and called it Free Stuff Saturday mornings.) W is up and down, a little more feverish again last night and kept falling asleep throughoutContinue reading

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A. brought tomatoes from her in-laws’ garden in BC. Mom brought a loaf of crusty sourdough. There was bacon in the freezer. We couldn’t rightly not have bacon and tomato sandwiches for dinner. (Mike and I shared this – it’s enormous – I’m not a total glutton. Well, maybe a little bit.) One Year Ago: Pulled Pork Pizza

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And a new toilet. Mike and I installed one our very own selves. (Since then, Mike has been running around the house in slow-mo – arms in the air, singing We Are the Champions. We planned to do it at around dinnertime, knowing that our handy neighbours would be home around then in case we needed backup (we did, due to our 100 year old house’s extremely wonky floors). After, we drank cold Strongbow with our friends/neighbours on the lawn as our assorted toddlers played with pushy things and W tormented one of their cats. And when we finally came inside it was pushing 8, so W had Raisin Bran and dried apricots, and I cooked up some bison bacon I had bought earlier specifically for the occasion of a perfectly ripe, buttery avocado, and turned both into sandwiches on toasted grainy bread. Bison bacon is very lean – much like back bacon, only leaner, and quite salty. A perfect pairing with soft avocado. SoContinue reading

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Made high tea today for donors attending the Family of Hope Tea at the Alberta Children’s Hospital; wee sandwiches with the crusts cut off, lemon scones with berry jam and cream, my Mom’s nut balls, vanilla bean meringues and lemon curd tartlets. I made it home (through rush hour) by 5, but after milling about with the neighbours out front it was suddenly 6, and so we had the last of the egg salad for dinner. Egg salad, in my opinion, must be eaten on soft white bread, spread with soft butter. Crusty bread and rolls are the natural enemy of egg salad, causing it to squirt out the other end upon biting. All teas must have small sandwiches, and among them must be egg salad and cucumber (I did mine with chives and fresh mint from the garden), but plain old egg salad, though I love it, seemed dull. So along with the mayo I stirred in a bit of curry paste (powder wouldContinue reading

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I haven’t been fully awake since arriving in Tofino, but haven’t managed to sleep much either. I’ve been hanging on the edge of full consciousness, spaced out, feeling like I could curl up and sleep for two days. In this state I’ve had little interest in cooking despite the fresh air and open kitchen, and haven’t prepared anything beyond oatmeal for breakfast and toast with peanut butter. If my Mom wasn’t here, I’m sure I’d let myself live on eggs on toast and spoonfuls of peanut butter all week. I think I may have coming-home syndrome, something I’m not all too familiar with having spent the majority of my adult life in the same city as my parents, and as such not really ever having the opportunity to really come home to the house I grew up in to stay and sleep and be cooked for and taken care of, an experience I always envy when my friends go home for Thanksgiving or Christmas. When I walkedContinue reading

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Good news: I think I’ve found my new favourite way to eat broccoli. We had a head in the fridge that needed out of its misery. I briefly pondered broccoli-cheese soup or Classy Chicken… I don’t dislike broccoli, but I must say I’m rarely inspired by it. I’ll eat it on a veg & dip platter, mostly because those little trees can hang on to a lot of dip and I feel virtuous for it. (The broccoli part, not so much the dip.) I was pondering the fact that my favourite way to cook vegetables is to roast them, and yet I’ve never roasted broccoli. I’ve never heard of anyone else roasting it, either. (Which is not to say it hasn’t been done – I’m certain it has!) So I cut it into fairly small florets and the stalk into chunks, tossed them with oil, spread them out on a baking sheet and roasted them at 450F for about 20 minutes. Then I grated a bit ofContinue reading

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The boys, anyway. I left at 3:30 to teach a class in Red Deer with Erin, and didn’t get home until well past midnight. (It’s pushing 1 now, and I have to be up at 5:30 to go to the Eyeopener tailgate party at CBC. I have the sausage and beer, so they can’t really start without me.) W is on a pizza kick, and I didn’t want to make it too easy for them to order one (or more likely two) in my absence. These are like pizza pockets if they had pizza pockets in Europe, which I’m sure they do. (Not really calzone; more compact and less stuffed.) I thawed a wad of pizza dough and baggie of roasted peppers (they freeze beautifully if you buy a bunch to roast while they’re in season and cheap, or if you visit Vancouver and buy a suitcasefull for 65 cents a pound and just wear all your clothes at once when you come back on the plane) andContinue reading

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I am not liking this getting dark at 5 o’clock business – it is not helping at all with my dinnertime photo sessions. I may have to revert to Lunch with Julie. Remember that beef tenderloin steak I brought home from Murrieta’s? It turned into two mighty fine grilled sandwiches. Thankfully (or perhaps not considering how many mini chocolate bars remain in the house) my gut forgave me and I got my appetite back. I attempted a sort of Philly cheesesteak by sauteing a half onion and red pepper with some garlic and sandwiching them with the thinly sliced steak remains and a bit of grated cheese between two slices of grainy bread drizzled on the outside with olive oil. I mean – look at this! It always amazes me how much you can get out of leftovers from a restaurant – I used to make a habit of asking the server to pack up half my meal as soon as I got to thatContinue reading

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