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I know this sounds terribly disinteresting, but I think pita pizzas need to make a comeback. The concept still reminds me of childhood, when it was typical birthday party fare for my sisters and I. Today was another long day of shooting (tomorrow will be longer), and Mike, sensing opportunity, suggested Inglewood pizza. I first decided to stop (I had to run to Superstore on the way home anyway) and pick up a couple of frozen thin crust mushroom Dr. Oetker pizzas, which are fantastic, but when I got to the frozen pizza section, guilt set in. I didn’t have time to make dough, and I hate those par-baked bready pizza crusts. So I grabbed a few mushrooms and a bag of pre-shredded cheese blend: part skim mozarella, emmenthal and Parmesan. Something I don’t usually buy, but I figure $6 for novelty cheese is better than $12 for Dr. Oetker or $25 for pick-up. It’s all relative. I like to keep whole wheat pitas in the freezerContinue reading

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So tired. We started shooting season 2 of It’s Just Food today, after a late night last night. We managed to get through only one episode – Cakes – instead of the two we planned on. I walked in the door at 9:55, just in time to read W a few stories and kiss him goodnight. Having only been around cakes all day (carrot, chocolate zucchini, white layer, cupcakes and cheesecakes) and having sat down for maybe 5 minutes since the alarm went off, I really needed something steaming hot and full of vegetables, that I could eat curled up in bed. A few days ago I had mixed up a batch of hummus – possibly one of the easiest things on the planet to make, provided you have a food processor – so I tore into a whole wheat pita and just dipped into it, straight from the fridge, while I heated up a bowl of black bean soup. Remember the day I made quesadillasContinue reading

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I have far too many kinds of animals stuck between my teeth right now. Tonight I was lucky enough to be one of the judges (along with Shelley Boettcher and dee Hobsbawn-Smith) at the Lawson Lundell Celebrity Hors d’oeuvres Competition, a fund raiser for ATP. So, in all seriousness, without an iota of exaggeration, this is what I ate for dinner tonight: Shelley and I met for a couple drinks at Escoba first. Some fantastic wine I can’t remember the name of (Shelley? are you reading this?) and a Carne Flatbread, which was enormous and cheesy, topped with chorizo, calabrese, capicolla, double smoked bacon, tomato sauce and peppered fresh baby grape tomatoes. Because we were both starving upon arrival, we decided to try the dessert tasting plate, just for research purposes: chocolate mousse, apple spring rolls, Saskatoon berry ice cream, and coffee chocolate truffles, along with a fantastic dessert wine that I wrote down the name of, but now can’t find in the depths ofContinue reading

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One of my favorite things to eat in the world are gooey quesadillas. They are also, conveniently, a snap to make, can be done in under 5 minutes, and are the best use of virtually any kind of leftovers; poultry, beef, pork, shrimp, beans, veggies. Roast chicken, of course, is ideal. Since I always have a can of black beans in the cupboard, a few scattered on top always work. I had a few depressed mushrooms in the bottom of the fridge, so those got sauteed and added as well. Any sort of cheese ends you have rattling around make the glue to stick it all together. My friend Nicole popped by last night to sit at my kitchen table for a quick visit, and told me about the outstanding quesadillas she had eaten at the Post Hotel: three-ply, she called them. I didn’t have the gumption to go for a three-tiered quesadilla, but I love the concept, and even more the comparison to toiletContinue reading

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Emily and Ben were over for dinner again tonight. To make things easy, I pulled a pair of chickens out of the freezer this morning; they weren’t fully thawed by the time I had to go pick them up at school – no matter, roast chicken is very forgiving. I patted them dry, rubbed them with oil, sprinkled them with salt and pepper and put them in at 350 for about an hour and a half. That’s all you really need to know to roast a chicken – pat the skin dry first if you want it crispy, then rub it with soft butter and/or oil, and sprinkle it with salt and pepper. Paprika too, if you like, or rub curry paste under the skin. If you have a lemon, halve it, squeeze some overtop and throw the rest inside the cavity. If you have garlic, throw a few cloves in there, or rub the skin with a cut clove. Timing wise, I have neverContinue reading

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I suppose I should have made something special to commemorate Day 50, but I was too cold and tired after walking home from a downtown meeting, at which I bombed an important presentation. This was not planned (the bombing nor the walking); Mike was going to come pick me up, but he had the cel and there are no pay phones left in this city since everyone and their dog has a cel phone! So I was without a hat or mitts or even a proper coat, and it quickly turned from nice to freezing. To make things worse, since I was not at my best at said presentation, which was a big deal, I talked to myself as I hunched down the sidewalk in the cold. Or rather, tried to shut my brain off. Stop. Stop it!! My mind is so relentless with its barrage of dispiriting accusations I have to use my own voice to drown it out. I started to notice peopleContinue reading

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I’ll never understand why battered frozen fish pieces are considered a convenience food. How convenient are they, when they take 25 minutes in the oven vs. 10 for a fresh fillet of salmon? This is real fast food. I adore asparagus, and my favorite way to cook it is to roast it until the tips turn dark and crunchy. It occurred to me that both could be done at once; the asparagus started (on a rimmed cookie sheet, drizzled with oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper) and then pushed aside to make room for the salmon during the last 10 minutes of cooking time. But we had lots of both, so after 20 minutes in the oven, we slid the salmon on its own sheet onto the rack above. Easy peasy. I threw some brown and wild rice in a pot to boil for 45 minutes (I always cook both together since they have the same cooking time, and in lots of water, like pasta,Continue reading

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Confession: this was lunch, not dinner. Does it count that it was the most memorable meal of the day, and in fact one of my favorite meals of all time? Because we went to Mike’s mom’s for dinner, and my thinking is if you don’t have anything nice to say, maybe stick to the lunch story. Sue went back to Vernon at about noon, so before she left we poached some eggs from the market – todays’ eggs came from one of the colonies, but when the lamb farmers are around we get our eggs from them – so big they have to be staggered in their carton and it’s impossible to close the lid, most of them with a double yolk, each the size and color of a plump dried apricot. I had just baked a crusty loaf of no-knead bread, which we toasted and buttered thick slices of and slid the softly poached eggs on top. (Note: I do not add vinegar toContinue reading

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When Sue visits, we spend the vast majority of our time talking about food, reminiscing about food, flipping through cookbooks, cooking, and of course eating. This weekend we did no cooking for once, but instead spent the day at cookware stores and I finally took her for a Vietnamese sub at Thi Thi, the place that started it all, who still has hands-down the best Vietnamese sub in Calgary. (Satay chicken wins slightly over satay beef.) Later tonight we ditched W and went to Brava Bistro, where we learned that the lobster gnocchi is (miraculously) better than the lobster poutine (we had to try them side by side, for comparative/research purposes) and creme brulee is definitely the Best Dessert Ever.

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