Saturday, January 31, 2009

Supper with friends

Tonight was dinner with our friends, Dave and Jennifer. When I asked what we were having, Dave said that he and Jen had whipped up some enchiladas. Silly me, for not asking what 'some' meant. Turns out they'd made dinner for fifty. Good thing they have such a big house.

But as they say, a good time was definitely had by all!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Friday night fish fry

Okay, that's not really true. These fish came out of the freezer and were baked in the oven. Same for the chips that went with them.

Still, it's fun for me to think of a Friday night fish fry. When I was little, our grandma used to take us to the tavern around the corner for delicious fried fish and chips. Weirdly, in those much more innocent times, the tavern bore the now-impossible name, the Gay Spot.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Recycled, Reheated

There are other places where I've staked my claim as one of the queens of recycling. But I reckon tonight's supper ought to qualify me for another blue star on my crown.

George's workplace had a potluck lunch today (actually a 'Crock-Off' of slow cooker items). He took a slow-cooked beef stew with root vegetables (onions, potatoes, carrots and parsnips). Although there was a bit left over, there wasn't really enough to feed both of us big-eaters. So I sliced up the rest of the mushrooms from the fridge and let the slow-cooker pot work its magic for a while. At the last minute, while we cooked up some egg noodles and tossed a salad together, I added a big dollop of sour cream. The result was a sort of stroganoff, albeit with stew vegies tucked into it.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Curried shrimp

Besides the fact that this is a good way to use up some of the bits in the fridge, tonight's the night we're going with friends to see Slumdog Millionaire. Something curry-ish, even if not very authentic, seemed like one of those set-the-mood things.

Rice with cumin and peas, plus a salad -- and now the four us are rollin' out the door.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A homely meal for a cold night

By homely, I mean the way the British use the word -- homey or cozy -- comforting.

It's cold outside, so in-the-oven food seemed like a good idea. The oven always seems to do a better job of deep-warming the food. Besides, it helps warm up the kitchen.
Last September, George and John made sausages (to be precise, bockwurst). They made packets and packets for the freezer, one of which we're having tonight.

I also cooked up a box of store-bought au gratin potatoes, but doctored them up with a bit of chopped onion and a sprinkling of dried honey mushrooms (ones we picked and dried last fall). Some beans and a salad, and we have ourselves a wonderfully comforting 'homely' meal.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Gung Hay Fat Choy -- and G'Day!

To celebrate the Lunar New Year, we prepared an assortment of dim sum tidbits. Not from scratch, these are another one of the miracles from the freezer of our local produce store. We had spring rolls, packets of sticky rice, and a variety of dumplings: chicken with vegies, shrimp, and several kinds containing pork.

For dessert, the celebratory feast acknowledged Australia Day, with a decidedly local spin on Pavlova. Besides topping it with kiwifruit and canteloupe, I used some hand-picked B.C. raspberries (frozen last summer) and some blackberries picked from our backyard last September. Oh yes, and a bit of blood orange -- both for colour and a bit of drama to suit the start of the Year of the Ox.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Restaurant extravaganza

Almost embarrassing to go out for such an overpriced meal, but a local restaurant was having a promo on seafood, so we decided to celebrate New Year's Eve again. After all, tomorrow is the Lunar New Year.

The lobster was messy, but pretty darn sweet. Besides, we were celebrating!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Invited out for Saturday night!

Our friend Mary invited us for a beautiful dinner of baked salmon, roasted peppers, and a wonderfully rich potato dish. I'm going to do my best to get the recipe for this variation on scalloped potatoes. It's not only delicious, but sounds like one that's easy to put together in advance. When I get the recipe, I'll add it to this entry.

Even though I've said this isn't a cooking blog, now and then, there's something that just has to be shared. Sort of like a fine dinner with good friends.

Friday, January 23, 2009

A quick bite

...and out the door!
I'm helping with an event tonight, so it's one of those grab-something-fast nights. I was able to pop some chicken thighs into the oven, so all it meant was grabbing some buns from the freezer and throwing a salad together. I'm outta here!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Ladies' Night Supper

That's quaint-sounding, I suppose. Though I do believe our bunch is anything but quaint.

We get together every month or so for a spontaneous potluck. I think it happened only once that everybody brought the same thing. Unfortunately, it turned out to be cheese and crackers. I guess it must've been a tough week at work for everyone.

My contribution for tonight is a stand-by that travels well. The little carrier unit that it's resting on (which folds completely flat) was a gift from one of my sisters. No doubt she's forgotten it, but I still use it faithfully. It makes it easy to carry a dish and keep it upright. It's also insulated enough that it keeps the food warm.


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A variation on beef dip

Big crusty buns make so many things seem to taste better.

This is really just a stir-fry -- made with a few strips of beef, some green pepper and onions -- stuck on crispy French bread buns. A bit of Swiss cheese over top for the thrill of some fat. Some not-as-diluted-as-the-tin-suggests broth for dipping. A few chips and some little vegies on the side.

There you go.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A North American kind of night

While we ate tonight, we watched this morning's inauguration ceremony in the U.S.

Our supper was sort of a North American fusion. Leftovers, used up in a different sort of way.

Because I'd used only thighs (on sale, of course) for Sunday night's chicken Cacciatore, the meat was easy to de-bone. I had six corn tortillas left in the fridge, so I rolled the chicken and sauce into them for enchiladas. Since there was still a bit of chicken and sauce left, I used a flour tortilla and made the last bit into a burrito. A bit of tomato juice in the fridge magically became the sauce I could bake it in.

Topped with some sour cream and the last of the lettuce (and some salsa with the last of the cilantro to pep it up), it made for a satisfying supper to eat while watching a most satisfying and hope-inspiring event.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Monday souper soup

Another soup from a box, only this time not one that's pre-cooked in a Tetra-Pak, but one from a mix. Some kind of New Orleans gumbo-thingie that was languishing in the pantry.

The directions said to add shrimp and okra (as if I might happen to have fresh okra on hand!). Instead of using just shrimp, I substituted a packet of frozen mixed seafood that was in the freezer. Besides shrimp, the mix contained squid, cuttlefish, octopus, and clams.

For greens I used the tiny centre bits from the last of the celery and a handful of frozen green beans. Then, at the last instant, I added a bit of chopped up cilantro. It was looking too tired to be part of the salad, but added a nice flavour to the soup.

All in all, not bad, though a dish that might be tricky to repeat!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Family Sunday dinner

This meal was probably only called 'dinner' because there were eight of us. A pot of chicken Cacciatore cooked itself for much of the afternoon. Everybody made their own plate of food, serving their chicken and sauce on top of tortellini.

I used up a few green beans that were in the fridge and came up with enough various vegies to make some vegies and cream cheese for appies, as well as a big salad. There was freshly made homous or butter for the bread.

Berries from the freezer (picked last summer), some pears warmed in maple syrup, and ice cream for dessert. Oh yes, and the 99cent packet of cookies.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Sattahday night fun

Tonight it's pizza, but not delivery. And no, not homemade either.

Our grocery store offers pretty good oven-ready pizzas. The one I bought had cheese and pepperoni, but we always dress them up with treats that are on hand. Tonight's additions include bits of ham and salami, mushrooms, peppers, and chopped-up garlic. The finishing touch? Some finely grated truffle. One of the bonuses of foraging for mushrooms in the fall is being able to add such delectable seasonings all year long.

The perfectly portable supper to curl up with in front of a movie...

Friday, January 16, 2009

Two nights in a row?!

Again, we were invited out to see friends for a suppertime gathering. But tonight's meal could hardly be called supper. This was a full-on dinner.

There was ham, scalloped potatoes (with cheese), carrots, broccoli, salad, and even homemade bread. Plus every kind of trimming you could ask for.

It felt a lot more like an old-fashioned Sunday dinner, but really, what a fine evening. Burp!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Supper with friends

We took in a late afternoon movie with friends, then went back to their place for supper. Because one of my goals with this blog is to record 'what's fer supper' every night for a year, I brought my camera along.

This shows just part of what we were offered. Besides these colourful bruschetta and tuna melts (both on whole grain focaccia), there were two pots of soup to choose from. One was made from roasted carrot and brie, the other was a delicious pumpkin and squash combo.

Three guesses where I hope to visit more often this year!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Mid-week, sorta Greek


I'm sure no self-respecting Greek makes it with buffalo meat. I've praised the virtues of its flavour and leanness before, so I won't again tonight. The base of this, of course, is a thick layer of baked eggplant. Plenty enough for lunches tomorrow and then some.

The salad has some pseudo Greekiness to it too, mainly in the form of a heap of feta cheese.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Tuesday night's weird combo

Vegetable pie (whaaat!) and oysters. Don't cringe. Both are delicious.

The recipe for veggie pie came from a girlfriend years ago. It's really just a bunch of vegies (onion, garlic, cauliflower, carrots) stir-fried and seasoned up a bit. Only then the vegies get tossed into a pre-baked pastry crust (hanging around from holiday cooking) and covered with a couple of whisked-up eggs and a sprinkle of cheese. While we don't have it very often (or maybe because we don't), it's always satisfying.

The Fanny Bay oysters, from Vancouver Island, are one of the foods that would qualify if we were following the 100-Mile Diet. Hours if you're travelling by car (and ferries), but not that far at all if you take the route the gulls use.

Both of these cooked up in the oven together. Something I always love on these still-too-wintry days.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Soup from a box

That's how exciting our Monday supper was. Soup from a Tetra-Pak -- in fact, two boxes' worth to serve two people. Somehow, those companies' idea of 'a serving' and mine don't coincide.

Then, because their version of broccoli soup seemed pretty dull, we chopped up a bit of some ham that was in the fridge. While that didn't exactly transform it into tasting homemade, still, it helped it to fill the space. Besides, that last dribble of hot sauce improves just about anything.

Sunday, January 11, 2009


Same old same old as last night, but who's complaining? I tossed a bit of olive oil in with the ravioli and baked that like a casserole in the oven to heat it through. The pasticiatta went back onto the stove in its same old pot. Green beans were nuked and still tasted fine. We always seem to have a salad too; tonight was no different in that respect either.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Saturday night -- company!

Celebrating with friends, we had an Italian-style pot roast called pasticiatta. This is a recipe from an old cookbook created by ladies from the Catholic church in Sault Ste. Marie. I probably never make this roast exactly the same way twice, but that could have something to do with the vague ingredients for all the recipes in this book. I can still read some of the pencilled-in secret addenda scribbled in to its pages by loving relatives.

I served the meat with spinach-and-cheese ravioli (store bought, of course, and even marked way down), green beans, salad, wine and and a huge portion of camaraderie.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Friday Night Lazy!

There's a local Japanese/Korean restaurant that makes these giganto huge dinners. They offer a little bit of everything -- soup, sushi, tempura -- the works. The one thing I hate about this is that the dinner comes in about five different styrofoam containers (which seems like such a horrid waste and garbagey faux pas).
Still, I reuse the containers when I can, and of course, we serve it all up on real dishes. Lazy and easy and perfect for a Friday night.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

A pot of chili

But not just any old chili. This one's made with ground buffalo -- no hormones or antibiotics, just beautifully lean meat. Two kinds of beans, lots of mushrooms and onions and celery. Just enough spice to make it zing!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Actually Orthodox Christmas today

So what do we have to celebrate such an event? The ultimate in leftovers, homemade soup from the bones of those Cornish hens. To make it a bit more festive, the soup is full of won-tons. And no, those aren't homemade -- the local produce store carries them in their freezer, along with other dim sum treats.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Rainy night soup

Leftover squash from Sunday, cooked up in some broth with a bit of potato and lots of cumin. Whirred with the mini-blender, right in the pot. Because it's the nicest cheese in the fridge right now, it's topped with slices of spiced gouda, but any melty cheese would do. Cozy food.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Monday Night Leftovers

But not so bad as the term 'leftovers' might suggest. Half a Cornish hen each, with some slices of baked eggplant on the side. Salad, a bit of bread and homous. Yum!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Orthodox Christmas comes early

Technically, followers of the Orthodox religion will be observing Christmas on Wednesday, January 7th. Because our family will be working that day, we're celebrating early.

Since everybody had turkey so recently, we're having Cornish hens, packed with stuffing filled with chanterelle mushrooms we picked in the fall. Other accompaniments are mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, and a bacony red cabbage dish I cooked yesterday, so the flavours could blend.

With the family all in attendance, what a happy feast!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Meat sauce pasta

It's always so easy to have a nice supper when the freezer has leftovers waiting in it. Whenever I make tomato sauce, I try to make too much so I can freeze some. Milk cartons are perfect because their square shape makes them fit anywhere without wasting space.

This package even contained two juicy Italian sausages. With salad and a bottle of wine, what an easy Saturday night supper!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Fish burger Friday

Served up with homecut (baked) chips and beans. Tinned beans were touched up with a dollop of molasses. Fish burgers contained such added attractions as tartar sauce, guacamole and lettuce. Oh yes, and a swipe of Cheez Whiz. Junky good food for a cold Friday night.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Year's Day

Last night for New Year's Eve, we had a seafood feast that included King Crab.

Tonight's supper uses the shells to make the broth base for this warming and yummy Crab Bisque.

Although considering it wasn't really the Joy of Cooking's version, maybe it should just be called Crab Bisk.