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Ta da! (Honestly – I didn’t even arrange the rosemary in this photo – it just came out that way.) I’m really – for sure this time – bringing back Sunday Dinner. I don’t mean that in the sense of reintroducing it to the world – I know this is something people commonly do – and yes, we’ve been eating dinner on Sunday nights for quite some time, but the tradition of bringing the extended family around the table for something that might even require actual napkins (as opposed to the omnipresent roll of paper towels) is something we’ve fallen out of the habit of. Not that it ever was a big thing in the childhood of my memory – throughout our twenties and most of our thirties we’d go to Mike’s parents house for Old Shoe Cooked in Beer, which we’ll just say didn’t foster the grandest memories. I’ve always wondered what it might have been like to marry into a big, food-loving ItalianContinue reading

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For the boys, anyway. Uninspired but wanting to get rid of the wad of poorly arranged chicken thighs from my freezer, I skinned them and threw them in the slow cooker with a carrot, celery stalk, red pepper, lots of garlic, chicken stock and a couple handfuls of lentils and barley. The dry beans and grains absorbed almost all the liquid – almost like I planned it that way – but I couldn’t give the ratios here; aim to have the liquid come about halfway up the chicken, make sure the dry stuff is stirred in rather than propped on top, and you’ll be fine. As for me, well, Chef Giuseppe Di Gennaro from Capo cooked for me tonight. There might have been some other people around too – I didn’t really notice. It was the Avenue Magazine Food Awards, where they revealed the much-anticipated March issue (and Paul is on the cover! Yay Paul! Yay Rouge!) which is famous for its list of theContinue reading

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One of my New Year’s Resolutions (or – thoughts I tend to get more of at this time of year regarding what I’d like to do more or less of) is to eat more soup. It’s important to have achievable goals. And to eat more vegetables. Here is yet another extreme leftover makeover wherein the sloppy seconds almost trumps the original: any soup started from a meaty ham bone, particularly one containing black beans or lentils. This ham first made its debut while the family painted across the street – a great easy meal for a crowd that costs less than ordering pizza. Honestly. (Ham – $15. Biscuits from scratch – $1. Having your sister move in across the street – priceless. Although that really doesn’t have much to do with the ham, but it sounds nice.) Also – do pizza leftovers take care of dinner another night? I didn’t think so. Pizza crust soup is nowhere near as appetizing. Ham & Lentil Soup 1Continue reading

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Have been reduced to a bobblehead with a wonky neck spring. Brain function reduced to a trickle. Discovered don’t have a waist upon trying on Julia Child outfits (Oxford-style shirt, tied apron, which makes me look more like Paul Prudhomme) in front of full-length mirror. Ghoulash for dinner. Wanted to tell you about it. V. good on brown rice. Leftovers. Better after a day or two in the fridge. Freezes well. One Year Ago: Beef Stu, Garlicky Cheese Biscuits and Blood & Gutscakes

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While I emceed an event, M and W had leftover turkey chili (I think – they might have eaten Ichiban and Cheezies in my absence) – a recipe I had to make as soon as I saw it. It’s not your traditional chili – although it does have beans (black) it’s more loaded with chunks of butternut squash and apples, with a curry quality brought on by a can of coconut milk. Très fall. Apparently it’s pretty fab made with leftover roast turkey – I had some ground in my freezer, but I’ll be sure to make use of turkey leftovers in a couple weeks (HOW DID OCTOBER SNEAK UP ON ME LIKE THIS?). Or sooner, because I just discovered you can cook a whole entire turkey in your CrockPot. Oh yes, and you don’t have to debone it in order to cram it in! I’ll fill you in on the details soon – experiment #1 is chilling right now in its pot in myContinue reading

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My sister dropped off sick kids this morning and left them to languish on my couch all day while W tried (mostly unsuccessfully) to rouse them and I tried (mostly unsuccessfully) to get stuff done. I had bought some skinless chicken thighs and drums to test a “faux fried chicken” recipe, but instead decreed that they should spend the day in the CrockPot becoming butter chicken. So I threw it all in, the drumsticks partially frozen, even, without bothering to brown anything first. (Which isn’t necessary, but does boost flavour.) At 5 I stuck a pot of brown rice on to boil, and stirred a bit of plain yogurt and a bit of cream into the finished chicken. After cooking all day the meat self destructed upon being stirred; I just plucked the bones out. You could start with skinless, boneless chicken, but any meat cooked on the bone has far more flavour. This was good for a laugh today. One Year Ago: Cinnamon BunContinue reading

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I am quite slow on the uptake. That memo probably took awhile to get out. I have been meaning to revisit the Thai chicken thighs since a conversation broke out on the topic months ago. I have just now gotten ’round to digging some skinless chicken thighs out of the freezer and throwing them in the slow cooker with a cup of salsa, a couple big spoonfuls of peanut butter, a squirt of soy sauce and lime juice, and a small spoonful of grated ginger. Served over leftover rice, fried up in a little canola and sesame oil with some frozen peas. V. tasty. In fact, my parents popped by tonight after a meeting and almost finished the leftovers cold, at the kitchen counter, standing up. My Dad asked what was in it. (This is a v. good sign.) Seriously, this is about as easy as it gets. It looks a little watery at first, but give it a chance – the sauce will cookContinue reading

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I’m not really sure what we had for dinner tonight, to be honest. Or whether we technically did have dinner – we kind of skidded right through and suddenly it’s after 10 and I’m making creme brulee and curried squash soup, which would have actually made a fine dinner. I have two events tomorrow that require food, and because I didn’t get the final details of one until around 4 I headed out to grocery shop over dinnertime, thinking I was smart to go during the Grey Cup. It seems a lot of people had the same kind of smarts. I made some chicken drumsticks for the occasion (Grey Cup) – threw them in the Crock Pot and sort of forgot about them, except for the occasional waft that crept by my nose. I am a big fan of chicken wings, but not a fan of all that skin and fat, which is really all there is to a chicken wing. If you pull theContinue 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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