Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Out for supper!

Our auntie's been doing so much cooking, tonight's a night for taking her out -- and she decides where.

The place she chose is called The Mandarin, and apparently it's quite famous in the Hamilton region.

I can't think of anyone who wouldn't have been able to find food they liked. It was the most enormous buffet I've ever seen. I'll probably have to go to Vegas before I find a bigger one.

The photo shows the results of one of the trips I made. I stuck with Asian fare -- it just seemed too bizarre to have roast beef and mashed potatoes or fried chicken and French fries.

We learned that tomorrow, to celebrate Canada Day, the restaurant will be feeding people for free. I'm going to watch the local news for reports of that. I suspect the line-ups might go right up the mountain. Good thing there's a mellow-faced Buddha to preside over things. And look, someone even gave him an after-dinner mint.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Pasta with just about everything

And here I thought that I was good at using up bits of this and that. The Dear Man's auntie (where we're staying) is a true pro.

Tonight's primavera-style pasta had the last of the vegies from the weekend over top. But there was also some thinly sliced bits of leftover steak and a whack of shrimp from the freezer too.

Another gorgeous salad. And hey, if we're good, we might even get some more fruit and baklava for our dessert!

I guess the posting time is still crazy. Working on that...

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Family supper

Kind of an indoor picnic tonight. Nearly all the brothers and their partners.

The same sort of wonderful foods we had last night on our arrival, with the addition tonight of a fabulous dessert: baklava (homemade!) with fresh Ontario berries (blueberries and strawbs) combined with chunks of mango.

No wonder we come and visit here every year, eh.

Oh yes, the time now is more like 7 pm EDT.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Late, light supper

And just the right amount after a long plane ride.

Helen had a lovely plate of vegies and dip. Gorgeous cold chicken. The perfect welcome meal for the humid heat of Ontario.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Clearing out the fridge

We're flying back east tomorrow to spend some time with family. So tonight's a night for clearing out what's in the fridge.

A salad and sort of a fritatta -- using most of the vegies and doing a good job towards the end of the box of eggs. A smidget of ham, last night's potatoes, some baby zucchini from the front yard garden. The salad has the last nudge of blue cheese and even a few leftover kidney beans. Not much in the way of fresh goods will be left to hand over to our pal who's driving us to the airport!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

West Coast treats

Tonight we have company, all the way from Denmark. What a great excuse for extra-good food. So we're having fresh B.C. salmon. Wild. And done on the barbie, the best.

New potatoes and mushrooms, with parsley and chives from the kitchen garden. A salad of local greens and vegies.

I like eating from our environment. We grow some mighty good things around here.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Another crazy day

Good thing for the treats I've stashed in the freezer over the winter! Tonight's supper is pasta with tomato sauce and meatballs. The sauce and buffalo meatballs are from February, so it's the right time to be using them up.

There's still lots of spinach and other yummy greens, so a big salad to go along with it is easy.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Piled high salad

After a very full day -- filled with both accomplishment and frustration -- it's an evening for an easy supper. Besides, tonight it's just me.

Not all of the chicken I cooked on Sunday went into the tortillas. Some of it went into a nice, chunky chicken salad. The Dear Man took some in a sandwich for his lunch today. I get to mound the rest on a bowl of greens and toss on a bunch of sunflower seeds for extra crunch.

Just the thing to curl up with in front of some mindless tv show.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Bit of a mishmash

But it's kind of been one of those Mondays, so stuff like that sometimes happens. The phone rang like crazy today, some of the calls were even long distance. Two treks uptown, one to finally settle up my taxes, ugh. So a little consolation from some no-effort food was in line.

The last of the moussaka and a bit of the Mexican rice went into the microwave for a quick ride on the round-and-round. Along with a splot of cottage cheese as a faux sour cream and some salad on the side, this'll do it.

Sunday, June 21, 2009


The first day of summer proved to be one of the coolest days in a while, and called for a supper in the oven.

I'm used to having family suppers being 'bi-lingual' (serving vegetarian and more omnivorish tastes), so tonight was no different.

Most of the foods were fine for the veg-types; only one dish required a double-take. The chicken (with spinach and cream cheese) enchiladas had a counterpart using tofu 'chicken breast' product as their base. Where the chicken one was baked in chicken broth, the tofu one was baked in a vegetarian broth.

The refried beans didn't contain lard or chorizo, just beans and onions and garlic and seasonings and oil.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Still in Greek mode

Only tonight it's moussaka -- Western style, with ground buffalo.
It's a little cool today, so it seemed sane enough to have the oven on while I played around with the strawberries.

Some homous and a funny kind of mixed-up salad. Oh yes, fresh local strawberries for dessert.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Lazy Friday

I was out to a luncheon at a restaurant today. While I was there, I decided to be lazy and order something to take home for supper. An appetizer of calimari sounded like the ticket. A couple of pitas and some satziki even came along with it.

So tonight, while the calimari and pita warmed up in the oven, I made an odd sort of pseudo-Greek salad (blue cheese instead of feta, no olives) and then spooned out some homous.

Sort of Greek, very Friday, very lazy.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Living off the lot

The city lot, that is. You've probably heard of the 100 Mile Diet. This summer we're aiming for something more ambitious. Our goal? At least a few meals that qualify for the 100 Foot Diet.

We're starting tonight, in a very small way. I'm adding wild lettuce that grows in the yard to the salad and to the pesto. Besides the wild greens, the pesto contains basil and oregano and parsley from the kitchen garden and some coral mushrooms picked last fall.

I know I'm not going to be growing olives to make oil. And not growing wheat to make the pasta. Still, I like being aware of what we're eating and where it comes from.

As for the chicken livers cooking on the barbie, I may well not want to know where those used to live.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Invited out

A last-minute invitation can be a lot of fun. Luckily, when the phone call came, I hadn’t even started cooking.

And the meal is something we haven’t had in quite a long time (probably not all of 2009), crunchy tacos.

The protein part of the fillings was deliciously seasoned tofu (shredded) along with refried beans. As for the toppings, there was guacamole, tomatoes, cheese, olives, salsa, lettuce -- even green onions. Si, si!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Easy Fish ’n Chips

In the ongoing quest to empty the freezer, tonight’s supper sees us using up a packet of frozen fish and the last of a bag of frozen French fries.

Earlier today I steamed up some straggly green beans (also from one of those hidden spots in the back of the freezer). I added the unused black beans from Sunday’s beans ’n rice dish to make a bean salad. It looked a bit dull (besides, isn't it traditionally three-bean salad?), so I opened a tin of chick peas and added a few of those, then used the rest of them to make a new batch of homous.

An easy supper – and what a good thing, as I’m off to two meetings!

Monday, June 15, 2009

West meets East

Our leftovers from last night formed the basis of this interestingly fusionesque meal.

I chopped up the jerk chicken and stir-fried it with onions, garlic, orange pepper and baby bok choi. For sauce I used the end of last night's coconut milk and some Thai red curry paste, along with fish oil. Topped with fresh cilantro from the garden, it smelled pretty darn good.

Served over last night's Caribbean red rice 'n beans, this was a fusion of East and West. Oh yes, and complemented by a 'salad' of cut-up vegies with the last of the most recent batch of homous. World-wide supper!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Sort of Caribbean Sunday

The Dear Man made up some homemade jerk sauce (going so far as to chop his own hot peppers), so we're trying his marinaded chicken tonight -- slow-cooking on low heat on the barbie. If he hadn't been working so hard to bring back the lawn in our little backyard, he'd probably have wanted to dig a pit for cooking it.

In keeping with the theme, I made some coconutty beans 'n rice. A bit of carrot for colour and a salad. Ah, home again!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Awards dinner

Yesterday and today were days spent at a conference. Tonight's meal was the awards dinner, though I'm not sure the supper deserved an award. At least we got to choose what we wanted, so I passed on the most oversteamed-looking vegetables and came up with a pretty nice feed.

Still, I was certainly among some very fine company, seated with some of Canada's very best writers.

Last night's supper

Yes, I ate a fine supper last night -- just wasn't anywhere near a computer. And now this one won't accept pics from my camera. Until later, trust that I'm not starving.

As you can see, there really was a Friday night supper.

A warm June evening, walking with friends along Vancouver's Commercial Drive, Cathy spotted a place that looked like it would be good for conversation. Turns out, it was also terrific for food.

Heather and I shared -- always a good way to get the chance to try more than one thing. The combination of vegetarian spring rolls and paneer salad proved to be perfect.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Something standard, something special

Anyone who's visited this blog very often knows how reliant I am on pasta. After all, along with chocolate, isn't it one of the major food groups?

Once again tonight, it's the smooshed-up avocado green pasta dish. With its friend the green salad, they're what I call the standard part.

The special? That would be the fresh oysters, cooked up with a schlurp of hoisin and hot sauce. And who knows, are they really an aphrodisiac?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Another ladies' night

As I know I've said before, we're probably not your traditional 'ladies' -- although really, who knows what that term might mean.

As always, there was a great assortment of yummy treats: two kinds of chicken (one baked in salsa and cheese), a couple of salads, some swirly rolled-up tortilla nibblies and an amazing pear with carmelized onion concoction topped off with brie. Wow!

And this was just the first go-round. Later there was a sushi assortment, followed by Jane's divine strawberries dipped in chocolate. And to think I'll be away for the next gathering!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Hot stuff

Another perfect day calls for yet another barbie. Tonight it's a couple of honkin' big steaks, though who knows, bits of them may turn up in some later-on stir-fry.

The Dear Man's not only done up the steaks, but he's cooked up a patch of vegies (onions, mushrooms and green pepper). Those bright green ones lurking at the back of the barbie could be dangerous. They're the base of his famous hot peppers in sauce.

We're also having a big green salad and some of those au gratin potatoes, cheater-style (the ones that come in a box and need rehydrating). I've added a bit of chopped onion and a snipping of fresh chives from the garden. All in all, a pretty spectacular supper for a plain old Tuesday evening.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Say, whaaa??

What's that in the pot? Could that really be supper?

I thought that taking a photo of last night's reheated lasagna would be too darn dull. Sure, we're having a fluffy green salad with it, but pictures of leftovers yet again? Bo-ring.

Instead, you get to see what happened when I decided to cook up a sauce from the rhubarb that wouldn't quite fit into yesterday's pie. Seems I left it on the stove a leetle too long...

The most amazing part was how easy it was to clean up. After a bit of a boil with baking soda in the pot, it came out almost perfectly. Burnt rhubarb burger, anyone?

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Double lasagna

Family can be the easiest people to make supper for. Tonight was double in the easy department, as they pitched in on helping me do some seasonal cleaning.

In April, I made two lasagnas -- one buffalo, the other veg. Since I'm thinking about defrosting the freezer before berry season hits, I'm trying to use up what's in there.

Using both of the lasagnas cleared most of a shelf -- and all I had to do was put them in the oven!

The dessert used up the last of the rhubarb, nearly the rest of the raspberries, and most of the last of the 'frozen dessert products' -- orange sherbet. When it comes to emptying the freezer, a willingness to try odd combos helps. Happily, everyone seemed to think it tasted fine.

Getting there!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Nothing could be easier

...unless, I suppose someone were to feed me.

Leftovers from last night, every bit as delicious today as yesterday. All I added was an impossible-to-resist fresh tomato.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Friday night barbie

While this weather holds, we're doing yet another barbecue. Tonight, we're even joined by good friends.

Besides the chicken and bockwurst and spicy prawns cooked on the barbie, there's a macaroni salad and a lentil one. Dressing on the lentil one is partly of walnut oil, so it's even extra heart-healthy. There's a spinach salad with chunks of walnut on the table. Over here on the counter is just where we serve up the main shovelfuls.

I had fun making sort of an atomic flower on top of the lentil salad. It looked pretty brownish and plain, so I layered slices of half-pepper and stuck some parsley and a chive flower in the middle. Even if not terribly symmetrical, a fun decoration (and edible).

Dessert was going to be berries and ice cream, but our pal brought beautiful chocolate treats. Couldn't have done better if she'd had ESP!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Hot night, cool supper

This afternoon, I made a macaroni salad -- even though it's really for tomorrow night's supper. Now that it's nice and chilled, I added a bit of tuna to it, then used the rest of the tuna (tinned) and mixed it with celery and mayo for an easy (and cool) sandwich.

With some cold juice, outside on the deck -- yes, a summery supper, just for me.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

After-movie supper with friends

We went to a late afternoon matinee (the new Star Trek) with friends. After the movie, we all went out for supper.

When you're eating at a place like the one we went to, it's always better to have a few people order different things, so you all get to share bits of this and that. Such a good way to sample a whole range of flavours.

We had Fish (Bombay style, with garlic), Chili Paneer and a batch of mixed vegies (Imperial) as well as steamed rice. Enough for everyone to get happily full and still have a lunch left over for tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Between periods pasta

Score's tied 2-all. Fastest pasta sauce ever. White sauce with mushrooms, bits of spinach, chunked green onions. Last of the shitake tapenade tossed in for flavour.

Green beans as a side, green salad (of course). That tired old baguette from the weekend transformed to garlic bread.

Go, team!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Easy Monday

The Dear Man ran a few errands uptown and came home with some luncheon meat. That surprise, combined with the summery weather, made sandwiches seem like the right choice for tonight.

With a bit of potato salad from last night, a pickle and the last of the beets, a supper that's satisfying and best of all, easy.