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Dinner tonight will be cooked not by me, but by the good folks at Saint Germain in the Hotel Arts tonight. I have a meeting. Of the very best kind (dinner). But I did make lunch – does that count? I bought a bunch of cilantro last week, and even though it was only 38 cents, I hate when produce goes slimy and ends up in the compost bin. I chose this recipe because a) it contains cilantro, b) I still have some leftover shredded turkey, although this would also make great use of a roasted deli chicken, and c) I love the title. Also on my good-title list: Happy Winter Fudge Cake, from Laurie Colwin’s book of food-related short essays: More Home Cooking. Bang Bang Turkey Very adapted (except the name) from Feast by Nigella Lawson Measurements are approximate – it is a salad, after all. Chopped iceberg or Romaine lettuce Fresh cilantro and/or mint Cucumber, sliced into ribbons using a vegetable peeler GratedContinue reading

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The remains of our Christmas party ham (really just the bone with a few scraggly bits hanging on for dear life) is taking up altogether too much real estate in our freezer. Outside I have another problem altogether – the warm weather has thawed the 4 L of turkey stock I had out on the patio. So, the obvious solution when paired with too much stock and a ham bone: make soup. This is also a good idea because the house has become quarantined; Willem has had a nasty cough for days that landed his 2 year old cousin, Hugo, in the hospital, and we spent last night nursing W’s high fever. So today we’re cold and tired, and a big bowl of soup with ham and potatoes and spinach, topped with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese, was a very good thing. I made two kinds: Ham and White Bean with Vegetables and Spinach, and Ham and Pea. (It’s amazing how far a carcass willContinue reading

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(It’s just a fancy name for bow-tie pasta.) Tonight I was lured by a recipe in the December issue of Cooking Light (one of my favorite magazines, and they have a great recipe database on their website too): Farfalle with Creamy Wild Mushroom Sauce. This name just makes Bow-Tie Noodles with Mushrooms sound very shi shi la la. It was OK, but the saltiness overwhelmed everything that might have been good about it. Normally I have a really, really hard time following a recipe, but this time I added a teaspoon of salt to the mushrooms as they cooked, just because they said so, and who am I to question their recipe? They have a fantastic magazine and do know what they’re talking about. But after adding the 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese, which is salty in itself, it was just too much. Mike the Saltaholic loved it though. Tip: if your husband adores salt and shakes it on with reckless abandon automatically, beforeContinue reading

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I wasn’t even drinking last night. Maybe it was the Sundayness of today, it being the first normal, school-night Sunday in weeks, that made me crave bacon & eggs all day long. I wanted to go somewhere with all-day breakfast, but with W in tow that usually means Mike and I taking turns chasing him around the restaurant after his food keeps him busy for maybe 5 or 10 minutes. (No, not all at once.) It turns out nothing else can satiate a bacon and egg craving, so I made some, with back bacon I had leftover from making breakfast for Ralph Klein on BT last week – I did a bacon trio: side, back and turkey. (No one went for my blind taste test idea.) The eggs I bought on Friday from the lamb stand at the Crossroads market are so big they don’t fit side by side in their carton, and so far every one has had a double yolk. Most of theContinue reading

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I just got home from the library, where I loaded up on do-it-yourself blogging books. I’m determined to figure out all the technical stuff and design me a fun blog. Keep checking back, to see if/when/how I actually pull it off. Mike’s going to play a show tonight and we had a late lunch at Spolumbo’s (Mama’s meatloaf sandwiches), so dinner was some greens (those bags and bins of washed mixed greens are the best convenience food invention ever) and the rest of last nights’ pizza. Round 2 is always better, since usually there are only a few pieces left, making it impossible not to stop at just the right amount.

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No offense, pizza guy. We’ve rented The Bourne Ultimatum, and instead of ordering Inglewood Pizza, which I always eat too much of despite my best intentions, we’re going to make some using the jar of sun dried tomato pesto I bought earlier in December for some reason I can’t recall. (It’s alongside the regular pesto, beside the pasta sauce at the grocery store.) We make pizza all the time, probably at least once a week. Mixing together the dough takes hardly any time at all, and you only need to let it rest on the counter for an hour while you figure out what to put on top. Usually it’s a fridge cleaning affair; tonight we’ll get rid of the tomato pesto, a couple bison sausages, the last of the feta, some grated part skim mozzarella, and anything I can coax off that rind of Parmesan. Although shrimp would be great too – one of my favorites is a combo I stole from Earls –Continue reading

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SONY DSC

Since my sister, a single mom of 3 and full time teacher, doesn’t have a whole lot of time, ever, she invited my other sister and I over for a movie tonight. Since Mike’s band is practicing in the basement tonight, it’s a good time to split. We’re all bringing something to eat, the stipulation being it must be edible using only our fingers. (Part of the appeal of couch snacks is that they are eaten with your fingers – otherwise it just feels like you’re eating dinner with your plate on your lap. Which I suppose you are.)

This was something I came up with years ago while losing weight: couch snacks that count as dinner. Because I love eating in front of a movie, and I really don’t need to eat more snacks right after dinner. There is this misconception that if you stop eating at a certain point in the evening, like 7 or 8pm, you’ll lose weight because the time of day during which you ingest calories has something to do with it. Not really. It works because it eliminates all the evening snacking people tend to do – it’s when most people have the biggest appetites. I could munch all evening long.

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Not the best start to my year, is it? But this is what happens in real life.. some days you get to ditch your husband and 2 year old and go play grown up at JAROblue for a couple hours while your friend is in town from St. Louis. Fortunately I already made that curried yam & red lentil soup, which Mike and Willem are devouring now with some chewy, crusty bread I baked this morning. The no-knead stuff, naturally, which I will post again someday when this site is properly up and running. As I mentioned yesterday, Nigel Slater intended this soup to be made with a fresh pumpkin, flavored with chilies and turmeric, and topped with onions sauteed with a few more chilies. His photo is astronomically more appealing than mine, but this is what I’ve got. For the next few months, the fact that it’s pitch-dark at dinnertime is not going to bode well with my need to photograph food. [print_link]

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I’m determined to not miss this boat, and actually get my first post in on the first of the year. I can’t start slacking off before I even begin. So I have three hours and 2 minutes, or in Willem time, the second half of Ratatouille. About a year and a half ago – I “threw my hat over the fence” (a phrase my Grandad liked to use – the idea being that if you throw your hat over the fence, you are then forced to climb over the fence to pick it up) by saying I was going to launch a new website called Julie Does Dinner, that would be a sort of reality cookbook for those looking for meal ideas, recipes, product info and the like. I was going to launch it two Labour Day weekends ago, then on my birthday, then last Labour Day weekend. It has turned into one of those “I’ll start next week” plans, one I became particularly goodContinue reading

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