Saturday, February 28, 2009

No Photo Allowed

No, that isn't some message from Blogger. It's a rule from the place where I ate supper tonight.

I'm part of a group that does weekend writing workshops with men in a nearby penitentiary.

When we're there, we eat prison food for our midday meal, but bring in a treat for supper for the men. Lunch today was chicken salad on white bread, a noodley salad and honeydew melon for dessert.

The treat we bring is always the same: fried chicken from the place run by that military-sounding person. I'll admit that's not exactly my idea of a treat, but for men who eat prison food, day after day, and often for years -- it means a break. And if we can give them that at least, it's fine with me.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Everything-but-the-kitchen-sink pasta

It's Friday, so it feels good to use up a lot of the bits from the fridge. This pasta is whole wheat linguini tossed in olive oil with garlic, some cauliflower, orange pepper, mushrooms, and avocado. The whole thing is touched up with the last of the pesto base I froze with the last of the basil in September, the juice of a lemon and of course, Parmesan cheese. I also tossed in a bunch of walnuts for some crunch. A couple of our delicious bockwurst and a salad make me happy I'm once again having supper at home. A relaxing Friday night -- yes!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Freedom to Eat

Actually it's Freedom to Read Week, and tonight I was part of an event to observe that. Being out meant eating supper in a restaurant again tonight.

I picked one of my standby restaurant meals, beef dip. This was served with a huge pile of coleslaw that had big slices of nicely spicy red pepper. Must say I'll be glad though to have supper at home tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Sometimes there's something I just have to have. Tonight it's two foods -- salmon and quinoa.

But not a piece of fresh fish, it's the tinned stuff I'm wanting. I always figure that craving this kind of salmon means I'm running low on calcium. I love biting the tiny bones that always figure in it. I make a funny, old-fashioned dish I learned from an ancient Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook. Whoever gave me that book would have never dreamed I'd still be using it.

As for the quinoa, it's one of the foods that always seem like 'real' food. There's something extremely satisfying about it, especially with lots of cumin in it.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Mystery supper for free

Here it's already after five and I have no idea what's fer supper. Why? Because we're going out -- and to a place where I don't know the menu.

We have a couple of gift certificates that will expire on Saturday, so we're doing our part to cut down on corporate greed by spending them.

After supper, we're going to the cinema -- and again, this is courtesy of a gift certificate for two admissions and even popcorn and drinks!

I'll check in later to post a picture of whatever it is I order.

P.S. Turned out that I got teriyaki noodles, which were not only yummy, but such a big portion I have lunch for tomorrow. I only wish they'd let me take home the beautiful plate it was served on!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Rainy Monday

The day started out nice, but turned grey and rainy. So tonight it's an oven supper -- meatloaf and baked potatoes. They say you're not supposed to play with your food, but really -- and especially for a rainy night, this click is worth it -- fun with potatoes!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

And the Oscar goes to . . .

It’s an annual thing – both the Academy Awards Ceremony and a gathering of the same friends. We wear big gaudy jewellery, mark ballots with our predictions, and always eat a themed meal based around titles of the films up for Best Picture.

Because one of our group doesn’t eat meat, the main course won’t be Steak Oscar, but rather, a variation I’m calling Fish Oscar.

Other items on the menu will be “I’m gonna toss him like a salad” Salad (thanks to Rocky the Ram in The Wrestler) and

Slumdog Samosas
The Strange Case-erole of Benjamin Barley with Button Mushrooms
The (Cookbook) Reader’s Vegie Mix
Frosty-Nixon Frozen Yogourt
Milk Chocolate Sauce for “Sunday” Dessert

The big question remaining? Who’ll predict the most winners and win this year’s pool?

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Saturday Night Lazy

With the Man putting toppings on a pizza from the store, all I have to do is snap a pic and then dive in. Let's see, he's put on olives, pepperoni, orange peppers, mushrooms, garlic and cheese. Just exactly what a Saturday night oughtta be...

Friday, February 20, 2009

Everything-left-in-the-fridge Casserole

There were some nice chicken thighs left over from last night, as well a good cup of the lemony oil they had baked in. I heated the oil and added a chopped-up onion, then tossed in all of the leftover already-cooked rice. When that looked pretty well combined, I added the leftover carrots and poured the whole schmozzle into a casserole dish. With the chicken thighs perched on top, I figured a good heat-through in the oven would make it even yummier. The last two pieces of last night's squash warmed up in there at the same time.
Since there was also some cauliflower hiding in the fridge, I steamed that and then used a butt-end of some cheddar to make up a cheese sauce. For a Friday night, probably in front of the tv, this should be just fine. Besides, using everything up made it easy for me to wipe down the drawers and shelves. I'm set now for doing a shopping and filling it up again!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Special dinner for a special guest

The Arts Council where I help out is sponsoring a reading tonight. The author and her husband are here for supper. They present a bit of a challenge -- or at least some thought -- as he's diabetic and she has a number of allergies. To stay healthy, she practises a special rotation diet, so I needed to know what today's elements were. Happily, we were able to figure out a meal that would work for all of us: baked chicken, basmati rice, carrots, squash, and of course a green salad.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Dried and smoked and honeyed

Well, maybe not exactly. That title just kind of rolled off my fingers and is a bit more dramatic sounding than the reality of this meal.
This supper is really some whole-wheat tortellini in white sauce, but the sauce is dotted with smoked oysters as well as dried angel-wing and honey mushrooms -- ones that we picked and dried last fall. There were four spears of asparagus left from last night's supper, so those got nuked and tossed on too.
We had a great walk on the beach earlier, and worked up good appetites, so probably anything would taste delicious.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Bit of a mishmash

Today was a crazy busy day around here. I'm just lucky that in amongst the errands and work, I made it to the store to buy a few things -- bread, milk, lettuce, a couple of pork chops. I heated up the leftover potatoes and vegies from Valentine's in the oven and tossed the pork chops in there at the same time. The microwave looked after the leftover lamb gravy from Saturday -- which worked fine over top of the chops and potatoes. Asparagus at least provided a touch of something fresh. Of course, there's a salad, but isn't there always? Oh, and the applesaucey-looking bit on the side isn't apples at all. It's quince sauce, made with fruit from a very productive tree in our yard. And best of all, the sauce is another of the treats in our larder that's made by the Man in this house.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Swim-don't-sink soup

Tonight I'm participating in my local community pool's annual fundraiser for the Heart and Stroke Fund. The event is a running marathon -- only we won't be running on land, we're water runners. Deep-water running has become my activity of choice and I do my best to get to a session at least twice a week. The last while has been sporadic, as it's taken me so long to ditch this rotten cold. Still, I figure tonight might make up for a few missed sessions. Wish me luck!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Pub supper

Once in a while, something completely lazy and junky is a treat. Tonight was pub supper, with burgers filling the bill. Mine was a charred chicken breast (intentionally charred, Cajun style I think it was called), while the Man had the giganto burger, fully loaded with mushrooms and bacon and who-knows-what-all else. After a day spent out in the gusting fresh air, this supper was nicely satisfying. And better yet, no clean up!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Romance with Surf 'n Turf

The 'turf' part of Surf 'n Turf usually means steak. But as with so many of our suppers, tonight's is a variation on the theme.
My valentine and I met while we were both working in Australia. Conveniently, both of us lived near Adelaide in the state of South Australia. While we were there, we discovered the joys of lamb. It was inexpensive, always fresh, and invariably delicious. So lamb is often a part of our celebrations. And tonight is no different, only it isn't chops on the barbie, it's a lovely little rack.
In 2002 we went back for another year in Oz. Only that time, we lived in Queensland. One of the best foods we found there was the Moreton Bay bug. First off, it's not an insect, but a spectacularly tasty seafood treat. Since I can't find those here, we're 'making do' with little lobster tails and, of course, a pot of melted butter.
And on Valentine's we have to have a sweet-tooth-indulging dessert. But tonight that's all-Canadian: raspberries from the freezer (that I picked last July) and Nanaimo bars.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Hurry-up supper

Is there a supermarket anywhere that doesn't have pre-roasted chickens for sale? This is a super-busy night for me (combing my hair while I type this posting), so easy chicken was the answer. I also grabbed some grainy buns and a fresh avocodo that felt perfect (I was right!), so here were the fixin's of one mighty fine sandwich. Zoom!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Nice and easy Thursday

We were invited out for easy supper tonight. Family, so there was no dressing up -- the kind of invite where all you need to bring is your appetite.
The house smelled great because the slow cooker had been working all day, making a pot of chili. Kidney and Romano beans, thick with corn and lots of yummy bits. Instead of meat, the chili had a shredded tofu-based 'fake chicken'. Traditional family cheese-product additions were enjoyed by all.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Using up leftovers

With the leftover squash from Sunday, I made a nice, thick soup. Because there was a bit of cauliflower left, I threw that into the pot too.
On the side, we each had a piece of the leftover spanakopita. Hard to classify what kind of supper this is -- something for Wednesday, I guess.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Stewsday night supper

Tonight's stew is all-veg, with a heap of Thai red curry paste stirred in for excitement. Oh, and a bit of coconut milk, just for a dash of the tropics. The vegies were quietly living in the fridge, waiting for an occasion where they might get cooked up together: garlic, onions, eggplant, cauliflower, mushrooms -- and a few chickpeas to thicken it some and add a protein boost.
We're serving it over top of mamaliga (that's the Romanian word for it). Others might call that polenta, or even just cornmeal mush. Whatever -- it's a nice neutral base for the spicy topping (and one that holds its warmth beautifully, down to the last bite).

Monday, February 9, 2009

Monday night surprise

This was one of those nights when I had no idea what was going to be for supper. It seemed as though we'd been eating just about everything known to man. Besides, I'd worked all day and didn't feel much like getting creative in the kitchen.
Luckily, last summer saw me filling up the freezer. So tonight I pulled out some lamb dolmades (I'd made them using some of the plentiful supply of grape leaves over the neighbour's fence) and a panful of spanakopita. The meal was rounded out with fresh homous from the weekend, and a salad with some chunks of feta tossed into it.

All in all, not a bad surprise.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Family birthday celebration

It's Cheri's b'day on Tuesday, but today is the closest day that works best for most of us.
Our tradition is that the birthday person gets to request what the meal will be. Cheri's made it easy for me -- spaghetti and meatballs. Maybe not quite what you're thinking, as the meatballs are made from ground buffalo. Oh yes, and the pasta isn't long and white, it's rotini and it's whole wheat. There's a green salad, of course, as well as a sliced baguette and some slow-baked acorn squash to warm up the house and to provide another base for the tomato sauce.
The angel food cake came out a little wonky, but it should taste great smothered with berries from the freezer -- blackberries, blueberries and raspberries. Oh, and the pink icing is the result, not of red dye, but of juice from a blood orange.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

A Saturday night splurge

Although really not such a terrible a splurge at all. We wouldn't be able to order in a pizza for the same price, and there are all these wonderful courses. . .It just always feels a little extravagant to order in.
We did this last month and now we're doin' it again. Everything from miso soup for warmups to teriyaki beef as the main.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Not exactly pizza

For an awful lot of Fridays, we had a tradition where we'd have pizza for supper. I'm not sure what broke this habit, as tonight's supper proves that something inside me must still want it -- look at it, all that cheese and sausage. But because I was too lazy (busy with other things maybe?) I didn't go out to the shops today, so we're not having the partly-made pizza I often buy.
Instead, we're having a mac 'n cheese casserole, admittedly with a few special touches -- what I like to call the 'Betty Greco' treatment. She always jazzed hers up with finely chopped onion and hunks of fresh tomato. I had a bunch of those tiny grape tomatoes that were starting to look a little tired, so the tomato bits in tonight's version are much more bite-sized, and not quite as chunky as they might normally be. Alongside of the casserole, I'm baking some more of the wonderful homemade sausages. And of course, we'll have a big green salad. Ah, it's the weekend!

Thursday, February 5, 2009


A Reuben sandwich is usually corned beef on rye, with trimmings. We don't have any corned beef, but there's that beautifully slow cooked pork from Tuesday, so I shredded it up and piled it onto dark brown bread, and then topped it with the leftover kraut. Melting some spiky white cheddar is going to be the crowning touch. If these look good now, you should have seen how big they were when they got folded in half.
These sandwiches might be more closely related to the other kind of Rubens -- you know, that guy who's the basis of the term 'Rubenesque' -- a term I might have to apply to myself if I eat too many of these!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Back to normal -- hungry for green

So green it is!
Green pasta -- Whole wheat linguini with avocado topping (basically guacamole, olive oil and Parmesan cheese mooshed into the cooked pasta),
Green salad (so what else is new?) and
Green asparagus (not that bizarre white stuff you see in gourmet shops).
Yep, it must be spring.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The curative power of food

I like to decide 'what's fer supper' by following what I'm hungry for.
Last night, I needed the fire of that green curry. It felt as though it was burning away the germs of this cold.
Likewise, tonight I'm needing sourness. So, what better than a slowly cooked pot of pork ribs and sauerkraut? Not everybody's cup of tea, but topped with homemade dumplings, this is just what I need.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Pamper-Me Monday

Since I'm still feeling awful (must be the Groundhog Day flu), the Darling Man went out and bought us a delightful takeaway meal from the local Thai place.

Fish soup, green curry chicken, even a pork dish -- plus both pad thai and rice! Enough that both of us will have a fabulous lunch tomorrow too. Really, with treatment like this, who'd want to get better?!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

A healing Sunday supper

After too many months of not so much as a cold, I seem to have fallen from my usual state of wonderful health. The dreaded winter flu bug has struck me down.

Since the Man is off at some footballish event, I have made myself a bowl of healing soup. Pre-made broth, enriched with a couple of chopped-up garlic cloves. Transformed into a meal by the addition of wontons and a floret of baby bok choy. After picking at food for the rest of the day -- pots of tea, a tin of sardines and too many tiny oranges to track -- this looks like a feast.