A Moroccan Dinner


Really, we have to stop meeting like this.

I was a very bad omnivore today. Breakfast was a cheesecake brownie (on the upside, it was from Brûlée) eaten with great guilt on the sidewalk in front of the gym I used to actually go to while waiting to cross the street. Honestly, why can so many calories be ingested in so little time? Then Mike brought me an ice cap, and later, fueled by panic and adrenaline over a looming deadline, I ate three chocolate chip cookies all warm and gooey from the oven. (They were for an event. Quality control is very important.)

Dinner was a Moroccan meal, the theme chosen by the highest bidders on me at an event to raise money for Brown Bagging for Calgary Kids. (Yes, I was auctioned off – tonight we coined the term “charity whore”.) I couldn’t have been sold to nicer people – they had nice friends, even, and made nice pomegranate martinis. I made a lot of things. Baba ghanouj, muhammara and fresh naan, Moroccan spiced olives, Spanikopita triangles, a Moroccan Vegetable Stew with Harissa Yogurt Sauce, spiced carrot salad, lentil-barley salad, grilled lemon chicken satay and a couscous salad I’ll definitely make again (except that oops – I just realized I forgot the cilantro); the couscous itself was quickly stirred into a simmering mixture of chicken stock, ginger, garlic, cumin, turmeric and cinnamon, along with a handful of raisins, then lidded and left to absorb all that flavour, fluffed with a fork and tossed with peppers, pea pods, cucumber, olive oil and lemon. Yum.

And lamb popsicles – a couple racks of lamb cut into chops, then doused in olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and bashed rosemary overnight and tossed on the grill for just a couple minutes per side. Dessert was my usual mini pavlova and spiced nut tartlets I made by using a butter tart recipe and adding chopped dates, walnuts, almonds and cashews and a pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg to the filling. And a pistachio honey cake that tasted a little too much like a sweet, gummy sponge, although everyone else seemed to like it.

No wonder I’m so bagged. And now it’s quarter to one AM, and I have to be up in around 6 hours to do some more whoring around.

I’m going to be lazy – one last bag of Pike Place Roast coffee and a $25 Starbucks card is up for grabs this week. (One of my very favourite things to get, come to think of it – fresh beans and free coffee!) Starbucks is very first on my agenda tomorrow morning. (Congrats to Aimee, who got a copy of Big Bad Bantam Rooster last week, and Carolyn who won some goodies for her no-knead bread idea, and Nancy who got a copy of the new Grazing.) Lets go back to posting what we had for dinner last night. (Unless you want to tackle one of W’s questions of the day: What do rhinos think?)

One Year Ago: Pizza and Chocolate Sorbet


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54 comments on “A Moroccan Dinner

  1. Rose
    June 13, 2009 at 2:48 am

    Hi Julie,

    That’s what always bugs the heck out of me….how could a piece of cheesecake or brownie or whatever contain a half days calories? On that note, I ate more chocolate chip cookies than you for ‘dinner’ last night along with peanuts and some turkey sausage. That was my ‘Stanley cup watching’ food.


  2. Robin
    June 13, 2009 at 3:42 am

    Last night we had the 90 minute no soak beans from Nick Kindelsperger on the Paupered blog. They were delicious with chopped tomatoes, red onion, cilantro, a little Italian dressing. This is my new way to cook beans. So quick and easy.

  3. Heather
    June 13, 2009 at 3:48 am

    I had spinach salad with walnuts, feta cheese, sundried tomatoes, boiled egg, sunflower seeds (and avocado – because it was ripe) and a piece of garlic bread. Dressing was olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, dijon mustard, garlic and smidge of mayo. Oh and a Bloody Caesar.

  4. Sophie
    June 13, 2009 at 3:52 am

    What a lovely & fabulous looking dinner! yummie all the way!

  5. Anonymous
    June 13, 2009 at 4:14 am

    Dinner sounded great! Good choices! Loved W’s question – co cute! I read an article in the paper last weekend discussing the male and female brain. It said that unlike women, men have the capacity to have periods completely devoid of thought. So, when you ask the “what are you thinking about” question, they can be entirely truthful answering “oh, nothing”!! ;-} Now, I wonder if male Rhino’s can do that!

  6. Kathryn
    June 13, 2009 at 4:25 am

    What a busy life you have, Julie. You manage it so well.

    Dinner last night was at a restaurant (Le Select Bistro) before going to the ballet — steak frites — not so interesting.

    I know what rhinos think: what’s for dinner?

  7. Kathy
    June 13, 2009 at 4:31 am

    BBQ’d chicken breasts, rice and mixed vegetables. Finished just before the huge thunderstorm that hit our area last night around suppertime.

    Julie your Moroccan dinner sounds absolutely divine. One of my favorite cuisines.

    I wish a had just a tenth of your energy girlfriend! The fatigue that comes with having a chronic illness is a bitch, I tell ya.

  8. ladyloo
    June 13, 2009 at 4:48 am

    I got to use the first red tomatoes of the season in a caprese salad, with basil from the garden as well. Then, bu request, I made spaghetti with a Velvetta sauce (they are big into Velvetta down here *shrugs*).

  9. margo
    June 13, 2009 at 7:04 am

    Dinner was salmon marinated in a mildly spicy homemade tomato marinade then grilled (everyone loved); plus I perked up a tired bag of Costco parisienne salad with a few fresh greens, an avocado, tomatoes, red pepper, and a vinagrette made from Saskatoon vinegar, olive oil, honey and dijon mustard. Veggies: sauteed snap peas and celery, then added leftover peas and carrots to heat through… and brown rice. Pretty easy, since I’d made the marinade for the salmon two days prior.

  10. angiebean
    June 13, 2009 at 5:24 am

    That salad looked amazing! I am going to try it this weekend.

    As for dinner: I had a dinner date with my husband: Chicken and snowpeas with chicken fried rice.

    What do rhinos think: Well we know they don’t talk, so they probably think in images: Food, water, sleeping hole, etc. The real question should be do they think in color or just black and white.

  11. Carol SB
    June 13, 2009 at 5:30 am

    Ha ha! As anyone who watched “The Gods Must be Crazy” can tell you, rhinos are all about stamping out fires wherever they find them. It’s ALL they think about (except when, you’re right Kathryn- “what’s for dinner pops” into their minds)
    We had homemade burgers (on homemade buns!) with bag ‘o’ salad.
    Can you tell I had Friday off?

  12. Rachel Feuer
    June 13, 2009 at 5:36 am

    I had wonderful grilled portabella mushroom quesadillas last night at a local Mexican restaurant.

    As for rhinos and their thinking, I would imagine they are thinking about their next meal, just like us.

  13. Vivian
    June 13, 2009 at 5:57 am

    Hmmm, I think if I were a rhino, I’d be wondering what that big honking thing IS at the end of my snout and why have I had to try to see around it all my life?!! Dinner last night was nothing spectacular: some skewered fingerling spuds interspersed with chunks of feta/spinach sausage on the grill. Not a leafy green in sight! Wonder if the daub of Dijon could be counted as a “veg”?

  14. Dana mccauley
    June 13, 2009 at 6:33 am

    Mmm..cheesecake and lamb – sounds like a great day! I took a page out of your book and wrote about one of my typical eating days yesterday:


  15. June
    June 13, 2009 at 6:34 am

    Hey guys – re “anonymous” comment re devoid of thought, if you have 10 minutes to spare and need a laugh, ya’ gotta see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GuMZ73mT5zM. Other than having these lamb chops, it’ll make your day. Wow, just think how good your day will be if you do both.

  16. Mary
    June 13, 2009 at 6:34 am

    For dinner I had 2 turkey bites, hummus, and a flatbread. Have just started weight wathchers again this week to try and lose that last 20 pounds from pregnancy once again, oh, my son just turned 18, can I still blame it on being pregnant!!!!!!!

  17. Christina
    June 13, 2009 at 8:01 am

    First off, I have to laugh at the start of your last paragraph “I’m going to be lazy” …. Julie, you are NEVER lazy! I don’t think you and lazy are in the same universe! LOL You have one of the busy life’s I’ve ever read about! I WISH I had your energy!
    Anyway, dinner last night. Homemade Taco’s. I used the recipe that brings me back to my childhood, it’s the recipe my mom used when I was growing up. It’s a mix of spices that makes the best taco’s you’ve ever had in your life!
    And lastly, if I had to guess at what rhino’s think it would be probably the same thing as I’m thinking the majority of the time “I’m hungry … what is there to eat around here?”

  18. Shelley
    June 13, 2009 at 8:26 am

    Dinner last night was goat cheese covered grapes rolled in pistachios, pita and halloumi saganaki, mashed potatoes, lamb and fresh mint sauce. Apricot tart with whipped cream for dessert.

  19. Elaine
    June 13, 2009 at 8:58 am

    I’m going to second Carol SB on the rhino answer; I swear, I didn’t know what funny was until the hubs and I had been up for more than 24 hours traveling, someone accidentally dropped a lit cigarette, and the hubs ran over to stomp on it shouting, “rhino! rhino!”

    Now that I write it out, it strikes me that maybe you have to be sleep-deprived to appreciate the humor.

    Last night was taco night; I’d marinated chicken in chili, lime wedges, olive oil, and cumin. Served with homemade cilantro salsa, an assortment of taco veggies, and sriracha-spiked yogurt.

  20. sue.d
    June 13, 2009 at 9:57 am

    Had Greek lamb kebabs from Grazing, along with asparagus, tzatziki and brown rice. Very yum, and no doubt better than what rhinos are thinking about for supper (mmmm…parched dry grass…)

  21. Jen T
    June 13, 2009 at 10:14 am

    Costco meal – best cheap date ever!

  22. robyn
    June 13, 2009 at 11:13 am

    Last night’s dinner was shared with my sis in law and niece, so it was even better! We had striploins on the bbq, potato salad, grilled zucchini and LOTS of cider!!! 🙂

    Rhino’s thoughts……hmm, tough one!

  23. Delaine
    June 13, 2009 at 11:27 am

    Kubbie burgers and pasta salad. I am very pregnant amd very tired so anything easy at our house!

  24. Melanie
    June 13, 2009 at 12:44 pm

    I’ve been on a big bad moroccan trip myself and am addicted to a similar couscous salad – it is so good on it’s own but has also been fab in wraps! Yummy!
    Supper at our house was BREAKFAST!!! I let the 10 y.o. pick – she said this would be her fave so we had blueberry pancakes, sunny-side eggs, and italian sausages! We asked if we should have fettucine for breakfast – of course she looked at us like we don’t know anything! Gotta love those 10 y.o.’s!

  25. marce
    June 13, 2009 at 2:47 pm

    Dinner last night was mango chicken pasta. Mangoes, roasted tomatoes, dijon mustard, a bit of salsa, a few basil leaves all sauteed after the chicken bites and finished with a few chunks of peppered goat cheese. It was delicious. Left-overs for lunch. Moroccan dinner is on the menu for this week. Yum. thanks for the on-going inspiration.

  26. Shobha
    June 13, 2009 at 4:31 pm

    Ok, I hate to admit this but we had…. KFC. My hubbie is really sick and I couldn’t take one more day of cooking and dishes and putting kids to bed. So I took them to KFC and we headed over to the spray park. We ate outside and they played and ate. I threw away the bag and supper was done. It was lovely.

  27. pauline
    June 13, 2009 at 5:21 pm

    Julie that meal looks so bloody good. I love love lamb. How do you do it. Do you ever sit still I know working and lovely little W keep you hoppin. Oh yer dinner was take out pizza not great but I never feel like cooking on a Friday. Tonight was much better marinated Pork tenderloin on the barbacue and a new potatoe salad recipe, and triffle mummmmmmmm so good.

  28. Sarah (Coffee Beans and Curry Leaves)
    June 13, 2009 at 5:35 pm

    I love the sound of that couscous recipe!

    Dinner was chicken enchiladas with roasted red pepper sauce – I went for the quick and easy on a hot day.

  29. Kirsten
    June 13, 2009 at 5:48 pm

    The kids and I were unexpectedly on our own for another night so we had popcorn and smoothies while watching the Flintstones. (They take Flintstones vitamins and I thought maybe they should see the real thing!) No complaints and not very many dishes even if it wasn’t high class.

  30. Denise
    June 13, 2009 at 5:51 pm

    This is for W. Rhinos are probably thinking ‘Why are those silly people staring at me?’
    Love your blog,Julie.

  31. Sherry
    June 13, 2009 at 5:58 pm

    We had Costco Ricotta/Spinach Manicotti with classico tomato sauce and I made some mini meatballs to go with it. Also, I tried to make the Olive Garden salad dressing that didn’t turn out well at all. Maybe it was because I kept trying to make it taste better til it was, well, yucky.

  32. the other allison
    June 13, 2009 at 6:02 pm

    Inglewood Pizza of course (Friday….ah.ah)
    Rinos, thinking? I’ll ask my husband…

  33. Natalie (Michigan)
    June 13, 2009 at 6:36 pm

    baked – bean tortillas and chicken….

    Rhinos think — I googled it for kicks…. who knows what you will find online… all I found were some dumb jokes:

    Q: Why do rhinos have horns?
    A: To tell other animals to get out of the way.

    Q: Can rhinos see well?
    A: Ever seen a rhino with specs?

    Q: What do you do if a rhino charges at you?
    A: Pray.

    Q: Why don’t rhinos eat meat?
    A: Too much cholesterol.

    Q: What do you call a rhino without a horn?
    A: Quiet.

    Q: How do you spell rhinoce… rinocero… rhinosera… you know?
    A: How would you know if I spelt it right?

  34. Sarah
    June 13, 2009 at 9:48 pm

    Have you read this book to W?, it has Rhinos in it, and although you don’t know what they’re thinking, they make very sensible wardrobe choices, which really says it all…
    Title: Greedy Zebra
    Author: Mwenye Hadithi
    Illustrator: Adrienne Kennaway

  35. Erin M
    June 13, 2009 at 11:06 pm

    wow what a menu sounds delish. Dinner last night was Chicken and mango salsa, rice and corn on the cob. Hmmm what do Rhino’s think. I’ll have to run that one by my little guy…he seems to have all the answers 🙂

  36. Margaret L
    June 14, 2009 at 5:20 am

    Lamb chops, homemade pasta and sauce, with salad. All eaten outdoors. Yum.

  37. Lindsay
    June 14, 2009 at 5:26 am

    Last night we ate at a pub – chicken burgers, fries and gravy.

  38. supersu
    June 14, 2009 at 5:30 am

    ha ha ha….rhinos think what ever they want!

    i attended gallery calorie for the first time ever yesterday and wanted to say thanks to you for mentioning in this blog…..what a wonderful event! we got there late so only scratched the surface of it, but will be sure to do it up big next year. nothing better than eating and drinking for a good cause! hope the fund raising end of it went well.

  39. Rebecca
    June 14, 2009 at 7:53 am

    We had a salad made of chopped cooked chicken breast, black beans, green onions, celery, chopped romaine lettuce, yellow tomatoes, and carrots, tossed with a bottled dressing and garnished with chopped hard boiled egg and sliced avocado. And a big glass of red wine. It was really good!

  40. Dianne
    June 14, 2009 at 9:50 am

    Parmesan crusted pork chops, rice pilaf and a green salad.
    BTW, that couscous looks great!

  41. Natalie B
    June 14, 2009 at 11:20 am

    Last night we had leftover homemade tomatoe soup – I always add a dose of heavy dream and lovage is a must… mmm lovage

  42. Barb
    June 14, 2009 at 1:33 pm

    Fried chicken and coleslaw.

    I think rhinos think about cooling off in the nearest pond where they can chomp on leafy things from the bottom.

  43. Jenn
    June 14, 2009 at 1:47 pm

    Rhinos think about…….eating, sleeping, drinking fresh cool delish water, and perhaps getting together with fellow rhinos to do all the above things. Sweet life, isn’t it?

    Last night for dinner I had the most fantastic smoked ribs, with an apple salad that I tossed up (apples, mayo, a dash of pepper, fruit cocktail, sunflower seeds and a dash of dijon mustard for a little kick), fresh berry shakes and a watermelon-lime sorbet that I made

    …mmmmm….the only thing missing was a cool breeze…

  44. Jenn
    June 14, 2009 at 1:52 pm

    PS: I remembered this old thing from way back when…not appropriate for W, but more than appropriate for his mummy!

    Rhino Shooters
    1 part Patron XO Cafe
    1 part Amarula
    1 part Grand Marnier

    Layer in a shot glass.

    This is FAB with biscotti or candied nuts. Its def a deserty type drink


  45. glenda
    June 14, 2009 at 2:52 pm

    Supper last night? – a frosty coffee concoction (yum! thanks my friend), leftover beef on a bun and beans – before hopping in to the car for the three hour drive home!

  46. Donna
    June 14, 2009 at 4:15 pm

    Supper Friday night-
    A corporate retreat near Invermere BC
    Skewered beef and chicken with peanutty dip,
    cheese (including some great blue), crackers, bread, melon cubes and beer and coffee and bailey’s.
    Rhino’s thoughts -love the reminder about “The Gods Must be Crazy” -very funny movie. Rhinos are grumpy, aren’t they and don’t see too well. Maybe “I want to be alone”
    Don’t know -I’ve never met one.

  47. Nancy
    June 14, 2009 at 4:24 pm

    The weekend was girls’ weekend at the cottage, 6 moms who really needed the break from hubbies and kids! So dinner was…several “Wimmen-ade’s” – the signature cocktail (or sigcock as we called it the rest of the weekend), followed by Julie’s fig and olive tapenade with various scrumptious cheeses, then thick t-bones with garlic chive mashed potatoes, grilled asparagus and an avocado and grapefruit salad. Followed by more cocktails, wine, and late in the evening, bbq chips and chocolate bars. MMMM.

  48. Sue (London, ON)
    June 14, 2009 at 5:01 pm

    Dinner last night was a protein shake when a friend called to say she was picking me up in 10 minutes to see Ryan Reynolds’ new movie only to get to the theatre to find it was already sold out!!

  49. Lesli
    June 14, 2009 at 6:11 pm

    You are busy – take a break, Julie!

    We had steaks, mashed turnips, and then an invented risotto of peppered Boursin cheese, sweet potato and green onions…strangely tasty…(this is what I had on hand – usually, I’m a pretty strict sausage and parmesan risotto girl…)

    Happy Cooking!

  50. erin
    June 15, 2009 at 6:39 am

    Dinner yesterday was a family potluck – chili, beans, chicken drumsticks, turkey, ham, potato salad and veggies and dip. Pie and apples dipped in cream cheese and caramal for dessert. Yum!

  51. rea
    June 15, 2009 at 7:38 am

    bbq chicken, brown rice and assorted vegies.

    what would a rhino think?

    1. does this mud hole make me look fat?
    2. i wish i could wear those little kitten high heels with the frou-frou on the toe, just once, and look utterly and completely feminine
    3. i hope i’m a bird in my next life so i can look down on the savannah and see all that goes on from above. then, i could land on a rhino and take a nice long rest on their strong back

  52. amelia
    June 15, 2009 at 3:42 pm

    Dinner yesterday was a super delicious birthday bbq – cedar plank salmon, sausages, maui ribs, grilled zucchini, fruit, banana cream pie & birthday cake…the list just goes on and on. Bday bbq’s are just one of the great parts of summer!

  53. Erica B.
    June 15, 2009 at 4:13 pm

    Dinner friday night was a decaf and lots of thinking …Tues night I fly back to Calgary after visiting with my Gran all week.

  54. Tagyn
    June 16, 2009 at 7:12 am

    We went on a little weekend getaway to Drumheller and on Fri. night we had Bernie burgers, not bad and the kids enjoyed the place!

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