Wednesday, September 30, 2009


I suppose followers of this blog must sometimes wonder about how often we have pasta. My reply? I've always considered it one of the major food groups (along with chocolate and ice cream).

Yet again, it's the mooshed-up avocado for sauce, but the pasta's not our usual whole wheat or multigrain.

Tonight it's store-bought 'fresh' linguini, and creamy white. Amazing how just a different shape and texture can alter an old favourite -- in this case, enhancing it, though it probably helps that I tossed in a couple of additions. We had one of the homemade bockwursts left from last night's barbie, so along with some mushrooms, I sliced it up and added it to the mix.

Salad, of course. And with luck, maybe one of those other important food groups for dessert.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A recipe for sunshine

Although I can't guarantee it for anyone else, today's planned corn on the cob seemed to bring the sun out from behind the clouds. Most of the day was downright blustery, but just before supper, the skies magically cleared.

There were a few buns left from last night's burgers, so the homemade sausages on the barbie made much-better-than-average hot dogs. And yes, we had the promised (and worth the wait) corn, as well as a salad flecked with blue cheese.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Best-laid plans

Drat. Sometimes they just don't work out the way we'd hoped.

This morning looked sunny and bright, so I thought, Yippee, burgers on the barbie! I even bought two ears of corn for the occasion.

But then. just a little while ago, it started raining -- and not just a fuzzy drizzle, this looks like the real thing.

That was enough to make me turn on the oven and slice up some potatoes for baked fries. Only right after I popped them in there, I remembered the corn!

The Dear Man is such a trouper, he made the burgers outside anyway, claiming they don't taste the same otherwise. He also cooked up one of the eggplants from the garden, so instead of sliced cheese topping our burgers, we've got sliced eggplant. Not as weird as some toppings -- in Australia, the traditional add-on's a fried egg.

Oh well, tomorrow night it'll be corn and somethin'...

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Something light for a busy day

It's been a busy day here -- things to do in the city, a pickup at the airport, and then finishing off a project I've been working on here at home.

When it got dark enough to turn on some lights (earlier and earlier these days), I decided it would probably perk me up to eat something.

Break time meant something quick (just me tonight, and that project I'm working on is sooo near completion...), so one of those hurry-up stand-by meals just sort of happened.

A tin of tomato soup, mixed up with milk -- then, for comfort's sake, a bunch of broken up crackers.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Early birthday celebrations

Tomorrow is the day that's actually the Dear Man's birthday, only he's not going to be home for supper tomorrow night. Instead, he's spending the day doing what's dearest to his heart -- playing golf. He's participating in a tournament and a fancy dinner is part of the event.

I've got heaps to do tomorrow too, so it's just as well to have our celebratory meal tonight. Dear-hearted man that he is, his request was a simple one: he wanted an assortment of takeaway from the local Greek place. Really, how hard was that? It's no wonder he's known as the D.M.

Dessert (not a birthday cake) was also super easy. A couple of pieces of baklava, accompanied by a first-time (for both of us) taste treat, fresh dates. The dates didn't taste anything like what I'd imagined. More like tiny, rather juiceless apples. Still, they went perfectly with the honeyed baklava.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Wild Friday Night

I'm sorry to disappoint, but the wildest thing about tonight is probably the addition of the wild mushrooms to tonight's pasta sauce. We found a small but interesting assortment of mushrooms in the forest last weekend.

The ones we're using tonight are cracked boletes. They have a rich flavour and nice texture, and provide a good contrast to the spicy sausages that also helped flavour the sauce.

And hey, who knows. It is Friday. It may still turn a bit wild after all.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Short order supper

If my mother were alive, she'd attest that when I was little I liked doing things for myself. An example of this was placing my own order when we went out to eat. Apparently my standard choice was a grilled cheese 'sammich' and a glass of chocolate milk.

Tonight sees me hosting an event where four writers will be doing short readings of their work. To ensure I get out of here early enough, supper's a short order affair.

It's the same order as long ago, grilled cheese, though I'll admit the 'sammich' is a slightly more grown-up version -- on multigrain bread. There's even a sliced up tomato tucked inside.

But yep, I still like a glass of chocolate milk to go with it!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

First barbecue of the season

Autumn, that is.

The Dear Man cooked up some chicken thighs on the barbie. Have to admit, I love the smells of that.

Besides the usual green salad, I made a tabbouleh too -- using lots of parsley and mint from the garden. Some fresh homous and pita breads and we're even eating outside. Why? Because we can -- not a situation we can count on much longer.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Not quite Julia

After seeing an old rerun of Julia Child's cooking show, I got inspired to try making some real omelettes -- not my usual poor excuse of scrambled eggs with peppers or mushrooms cooked in. The fact that we had a few fresh chanterelles to put into them seemed like a clear go-ahead.

Once I'd started cooking the mushrooms, I discovered we only had two eggs, not the four I'd had in mind as waiting in the carton. Still, I was committed, so pulled out some additions to make the meal work.

Because this has been an outdoors kind of day (sunny and beautiful!), I knew that appetites would be big, so I also cooked a few slices of bacon and some pre-made broccoli bites. Sliced tomato and avocado worked just fine as a salad. And in the end, though I don't quite have the knack of Julia's wrist action with the skillet, I think this supper worked out just fine.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Golden foods for a golden day

It's official. Today is the last day of summer '09. And a golden day it has been. The light streaming through the trees seems bent at a whole new angle.

So with all that golden light, coupled with the choice of leftovers available (bits of turmeric chicken), it seemed like a night for golden food.

What qualifies as golden? A curry that's filled with bite-sized drumettes as well as the aforementioned chunks. I also added onions, mushrooms, and an eggplant from the garden that needed rescuing from the slugs.

There's even a fleck of gold in the salad, as there was a chunk of yellow paper that stepped up to volunteer.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Adventures in laziness

I'm almost embarrassed to report yet another lazy supper.

Still, we were out in the forest for most of the day, foraging for this and that, both edible and for the garden. Even though we weren't as successful in finding mushrooms as we've been other years, both of us took a lot of photographs, so that made the day worthwhile. And really, all that marching about in the fresh mountain air is hard to beat.

Anyway, as soon as we got in the door, we put in an order for pizza. Just enough time for shampoos and showers, with supper delivered to the door.

As an added bonus, we even found a coupon for a free Caesar salad. Double-easy, double-lazy. Yes!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Linguinus Serendipitus

Okay, so my Latin is almost on the level of Pig-Latin. Still, the taste of tonight's pasta was truly one of those fortunate accidents we call serendipitous.

I was assembling a bowl of last night's leftover salmon, trying to ensure there weren't any bones in it (I failed, of course). At the same time, the pasta was cooking and I'd put a pan of olive oil on the stove with some sliced up garlic -- all in the name of slightly softening the garlic.

But next thing I knew, the garlic bits were crispy golden. Oh well, sez I, you're not starting over.

It turned out that the almost-burnt bits imparted a wonderfully smoky flavour to the oil and made what would have been a very ordinary Saturday night pasta into something memorable.


Friday, September 18, 2009

The joy of friends

One of my favourite things is sharing a meal with friends.

Tonight, we're enjoying the company of a couple of our favourite Albertans and celebrating with an 'orchestrated potluck'. Mary brought extravagant bread products, while Pam brought a wonderful salad with a 'miracle' dressing (mainly lemon juice and maple syrup). We cooked up a salmon and some pot stickers.

Lots of great conversation, and all the while, two dogs curled up on the floor, apparently appreciating the sounds and smells of such a fine evening.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Easy supper, lazy night

Last night was busy, tomorrow's going to be too. So tonight it's one of those stand-by suppers when nothing in particular screams "Try me."

Pre-packed broth (commercial, not homemade) is always better with some chopped-up garlic and fresh parsley cooked into it. Then to make it a meal, I added store-bought wontons from the freezer. Fresh chives from the garden and sliced broccoli serve as the evening's token greens.

Easy and lazy, just right.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Tonight's the night

It's a big event for me tonight -- a book launch, so the Dear Man has been kind enough to buy us some takeaway for an early, easy supper.

Up, up and away!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Elaboration on a Beef Dip

Usually a beef dip is just a roast beef sandwich with some dipping sauce by the side.

Tonight's version of same is chunked up rouladen (from Sunday) on a bun, with a bowl of hot beef broth on the side.

The bacon and onion and dill pickle add a new dimension to one of my old faves. I'll have to remember to do this one again!

Monday, September 14, 2009

West Coast treats

I'm not sure what the occasion is, but we seem to be having a mighty fine supper for an ordinary Monday night. Fresh salmon steaks (wild, of course) cooked up on the barbie, fresh green beans, and freshly-dug potatoes from the kitchen garden. Chives and parsley from that same patch of dirt -- mixed in with butter and smooshed around with the potatoes, mmm-mmm!

There's salad, of course, with a homemade dressing based in soured milk. Sounds disgusting, but it isn't at all.

Cheers to eating locally, especially when it tastes this wonderful!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Sensible food

Today was one of those deal-with-the-bounty days. We picked the last of the plums, sliced and froze bags of them. And at last count, there were 20 jars of jam on the counter.

So I was glad I'd had the sense to start a supper way earlier -- one with the good sense to cook all by itself.

I've always called it rouladen. Thin (usually thinner than the pieces I had today) pieces of beef rolled up with bacon, chopped onions and a bit of dill pickle. Then cooked slowly with the gravy getting thickened a bit at the last minute.

A blend of various rices with mushrooms and sliced-off-the-cob corn serves as the side. A green salad topped with bits of bacon (I cooked up the pieces I didn't use in the rouladen) and we're set.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

With friends

It’s an evening when we’re sharing an early supper with friends. One made lasagna, I made a salad of mixed greens, someone else is bringing garlic bread, and the fourth one – well, it’s her place, so she doesn’t have to bring a thing.

We’re eating early, then heading out as a group for a concert, where I’m hoping there’ll be a chance to get in some dancing. After all that eating, we’ll need some exercise!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Two Part Feast

As if making up for being deprived of seeds and grains this week, we celebrated my ability to eat again by getting our best-deal-in-town takeaway again. It offers more than a little bit of nearly everything I love.

The first part was miso soup, tempura, and assorted sushi treats. The second course was beef teriyaki, rice and a mix of vegies.

I couldn't eat all of it, but made a valiant try and enjoyed every variety-filled morsel, especially the sesame seeds, rice and other grainy-type treats.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

No solids allowed

And boy, does that make for a day's worth of boring meals!

Supper is a bowl of clear chicken broth. The only thing green in the meal (besides me) is the Jell-O -- and I'm not sure whether it counts as dessert or salad.

Doing just a small bit of physical work late this afternoon, I realized how little energy I had. This realization made me very grateful for the fact that hunger isn't an everyday experience for me.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The joy of another ladies' night

Ah yes, the ladies who aren't really ladies.

We had another of our famously unrehearsed potluck suppers. The meal ranged from assorted sushi to a yummily thick chicken soup. There was also a pesto tortellini, crusty buns and cabbage rolls.

But most of all, lots of great girl talk among friends.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Reworked leftovers, Ole!

With everyone going back to school today, it felt like a shift -- if not to a new year, at least to a new start. Yet supper tonight is a rerun, of more than a few ingredients.

Even after a burger went out the door for a workplace lunch, there were still a few more left. Where they already had cheese on 'em, I got inspired to make some variation on Mexican food.

I pulled out some pre-made sauce (from the packets I bought when we were in Mexico during March) and used it to make a pan full of enchiladas. Some have the cheesed-up buffalo meat, others have cheese and onions. There's even one that's completely experimental: stuffed with mushrooms and lamb (a small chunk of lamb had been hiding out in the freezer).

With an avocado, the last bit of lettuce and a couple of garden tomatoes for the Dear Man, looks as though we've got ourselves a nice, warming supper.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Burgers on the barbie

Although we use the barbecue all year long, tonight feels like we're nearing the end of its busy season.

It's cool enough that I've sliced potatoes and am baking them as 'French fries' in the oven. The Dear Man is doing the buffalo burgers outside, while all I have to do is scoot around organizing a bit of lettuce and condiments.

It's certainaly an easy supper, even if there's the slight aroma of nostalgia accompanying the meal.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Something crabby

Anyone who’s read this blog a few times knows I hate throwing out food – that I just about always seem to find some way to use whatever didn’t get eaten during a previous night’s meal. Tonight’s no different, only I’ll admit I had trouble coming up with what to call our supper-in-a-bowl.

After a bit of research, I’m still not much clearer as to what it is we’re eating tonight. Calling it a bisque isn’t really correct, because let me say it right off: I did not grind last night's crab shells with a mortar and pestle.

From what I can tell, it’s probably not really a chowder either. Whatever it is, we’re eating it and not surprisingly, it tastes pretty darn good.

A few garden potatoes went into the pot, as well as a fair bit of parsley and chives picked from out back.

Along with the soup/bisque/chowder, there’s a green salad topped up with the crabmeat we couldn’t quite finish last night.

Once again, aside from the bread (it’s the flour that makes it so difficult – wheat really doesn’t like to grow here), we’re dining within the bounds of the 100-mile diet, including a few of those tidbits that qualify as part of our 100-foot diet.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

End of summer feast

It's hard to think of any food better than fresh Dungeness crab. The little darlin's were tap dancing in a bag not long ago at all. A quick trip to the steaming pot and they're ready for supper.

Along with sweet B.C. corn, a Caesary salad and crusty bread, it's another almost-annual gathering of friends, marked by celebrating with the best of local foods.

Friday, September 4, 2009

So many choices!

We spent today at the PNE, the Pacific National Exhibition. It started out 99 years ago as an agricultural fair, but today the farm aspects seem a small part of the show.

With so many differenct kinds of food -- everything from little doughnuts to emu burgers (and just about anything else you can think of in between), we settled for two combo dishes from a Vietnamese eatery. The styrofoam plates and plastic forks never add anything positive to a meal, still -- it was easy enough to 'do' the dishes.

We did a bit of exchanging this for that, so both ended up with a sampling of some very tasty foods.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

From nuts to nuts

No soup in the equation, just pasta, slathered in pesto -- and the pesto's full of nuts, another of the about-to-become-forbidden fruits.

The basil out back is nearly bursting out of its pots, so I picked a lot of leaves today and even made a few 'base' batches for over the winter (oil and garlic and basil leaves only). When the time comes, I'll add cheese and some kind of nuts, as I've found that neither of those freeze very well.

There are nuts in the salad, and even in some brownies we snagged at an art show we dropped in on. Totally nuts, eh.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Good 'n grainy

I hadn't really meant for the photo to be so grainy, but I guess that's one of the things that can happen when you're in a hurry. All a result of the fact that I’m needing to go out to a community event tonight.

Because I only have one more day before I need to take a break from grains, I decided to have a rich abundance of them tonight.

The vegie stir-fry is served over top of seasoned bulghur, with sides of corn and tomatoes (both about-to-become-forbidden foods).

For dessert later, I’m planning on a big bowl of blackberries – ones I picked out back earlier this afternoon. I figure, for as long as I'm allowed, I'll indulge in all the seedy delights I can!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Still summer pizza

It was much more than changing the page on the calendar. This afternoon there were a few splatters of rain. And when the breeze picked up, I even saw some colourful leaves swirling down. So the signs are definitely here.

Still, a visit with friends who live by the beach reminded me that summer's still with us, along with the bounty it brings.

The friends were generous about sharing the season's ongoing crop of figs. The figs are perfectly ripe, so besides the one I ate on the spot during the picking, I used a few of them to make our evening's salad.

Figs and sliced pepper and chunks of blue cheese. While I played at making that, the Dear Man picked up a pizza to go with it. A few slices of easy pizza and all that luscious fruit made for a nice still-summer supper.