Monday, October 31, 2005

Pan Seared Tofu with Chimichurri Sauce

I love tofu. I don't view it as a meat replacement, but as one more good thing to eat. This recipe came from A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen, which I covet.

Pan-Seared Tofu with Chimichurri Sauce

"Chimichurri is a brilliant green potent sauce served throughout South America, typically with grilled meats. In this recipe, tofu is just seared so that the flavors in the sauce remain fresh."

Recipe By: Jack Bishop, A Year in the Vegetarian Kitchen
Servings: 4
1 cup packed fresh parsley leaves
2 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves
2 medium garlic cloves, peeled
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (divided)( yeah right! Used WAY less oil than this)
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 pound extra-firm tofu, cut crosswise into 8 ½-inch thick slabs and blotted dry between several layers of paper towels
Place the parsley, oregano, garlic, and pepper flakes in a food processor and grind, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, until finely minced. Add 2 tablespoons of the oil and the vinegar, and process, scraping down the sides as needed, until the ingredients come together to form a rough-textured sauce. Transfer the sauce to a small bowl and stir in salt to taste.

Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the tofu and cook until golden brown, 6 to 7 minutes. Turn the tofu and cook until golden brown on the second side, about 5 minutes.

Transfer the tofu to a platter. Spoon the sauce over the tofu and serve.
Tagged with +

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Cashew Chicken Curry

Haven't had curry for a very long time, whhich is a shame, because it is one of my favourite flavours. Tried this recipe and REALLY enjoyed it. Of course, I revised it, so I will post my revised version..

Chicken Curry with Cashews

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups chopped onions
2 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
3 tablespoons curry powder
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
580 grams chicken thigh, no skin, R-T-C
14 1/2 ounces diced tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
3/4 cup cashews
3/4 cup fat-free plain yogurt

Heat olive oil in a 5 - 6 quart wide heavy pot over moderately low heat , then cook onions, garlic, and ginger, stirring until softened, about 5 minutes. Add curry powder, salt, cumin, and cayenne and cook, stirring 2 minutes. Add chicken and cook, stirring to coat, 3 minutes. Add tomatoes, including juice,and bring to a simmer, then cover and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked through, about 40 minutes.

Just before serving:
Pulse cashews in a food processor or electric coffee/spice grinder until very finely ground, then add to curry along with yogurt and cilantro and simmer gently, uncovered, stirring, until sauce is thickened, about 5 minutes.

Curry, without yogurt and cashews, can be made 5 days ahead and cooled completely, uncovered, then chilled, covered. Reaheat over low heat before stirring in yogurt and ground cashews.

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 341 Calories; 20g Fat (51.0% calories from fat); 18g Protein; 25g Carbohydrate; 6g Dietary Fiber; 35mg Cholesterol; 1149mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1/2 Grain(Starch); 1 1/2 Lean Meat; 2 1/2 Vegetable; 1/2 Non-Fat Milk; 3 Fat.

Nutr. Assoc. : 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Tagged with +

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Feeling sorry for myself...

I have a cold/sinus thing. I can be a bit of a whimp when it comes to colds and I revert back to a whiney child. And all I want are childhood favourites like grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup. And that is what I got today (spoiled, aren't I?) ~ well almost. Cheese Quesadillas and Tomato Soup were close enough.

Weekend Cat Blogging

Its that time again. Another guest for me, The Black Cat. I was very worried about this little guy. She was very nervous and scared, no collar, cowering in the backyard. I brought her some of Aggie's food, thinking that I might be able to entice her into joining The Big Party and she just wolfed it down, then vanished. I hope she is ok...

I am feeling all sick and gross and lazy and don't want to spread my germs around at the party, so I am going to direct you to Eatstuff where Kiri is having his big birthday bash and I am not going to post any of the links today.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Leftovers IV

Still plugging away at those turkey leftovers, 18 lbs of turkey goes a LONG way! Today's offering: Chipotle Turkey Enchiladas

The recipe was originally for Chicken Enchiladas and is courtesy of Lori (Lorilei) from the CLBB

3 half-breasts chicken, cooked and cubed (I used about two cups of shredded turkey meat)
9 oz sharp cheddar cheese, grated (7 oz low-fat cheddar which wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be)
3/4 c minced onion

2T butter
2T flour
1 c beef broth (reduced fat, reduced sodium of course)
1 c water
1 t cumin
3 cloves garlic, minced (too lazy, so I left these out)
1 t oregano
3-4 canned chipotle chiles, seeded and minced (I went with one, but it was a monster chipotle ~ filled half the can )
2 T adobo sauce from can
2 T sour cream (kept this full fat from fear of splitting)

Melt the butter in a skillet. Stir in flour. Cook this roux until it is light brown. Remove pan from heat and slowly stir in broth. Place pan over medium heat and whisk in water. Add the spices, garlic, chiles, and adobo sauce. Simmer uncovered for 20 minutes. Whisk in sour cream.

Heat some oil in a skillet. Lightly fry a corn tortilla to soften it. (I just heated a dry skillet and put the tortillas in until they started to soften ~ no oil needed) Place it on a plate and fill with 1T cheese, 1T onion, and 1T chicken. Roll and place in a 9" x 13" dish. Repeat 12 times. Cover the enchiladas
with the chipotle sauce. Top with any remaining onions and cheese. Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes, just until the sauce bubbles.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

More Walking, Healthy Spirits and Los Jarritos

I last left you at 18th St and Tartine Bakery. From there, I kept going till I hit Dolores Street, then turned and started to climb. My journey took me to Castro and from there, more uphill. Here is the view from Castro and 16th looking up 16th St.

Two blocks later and I was ready to pack it in ~ I was hot, thirsty and my feet were killing me. I spotted a corner store and nipped in to ask directions for the bus and to buy something to drink.

Once my thirst was quenched, I started to look around the little store and realised it had one of the most eclectic collections of groceries that I had ever seen. Imports from England, Ireland and Somewhere in The Middle East shared the shelves with an amazing collection of wines, beers and spirits. If you ever find yourself in the neighbourhood, I would reccomend checking it out. Healthy Spirits is located at 15th and Castro

Refreshed from my stopover, I felt I could handle the walk back to The Mission, and started down 15th. Somehow, the route I chose sans map was far more direct. And I even stumbled on a copy of Ma Cuisine in a secondhand bookstore, Forest Books (translated, of course). Once I reached the right area of town, I decided a Corona and a snack would be in order, and I found myself at Los Jarritos on South Van Ness. Really bright, colourful interior and jukebox to boot. And of course, Coronas.

Despite the fact that the chips and hot sauce were free, I ordered a quesadilla. Not the most earthstopping piece of food, but more than generous portions and it was really good if you poured the hot sauce from the chips all over it. I couldn't even touch the beans, rice and salad that came with it.

I was so happy to crawl into my friend's car for the journey back to Oakland ~ my feet couldn't have taken another step... well ok, we did stop at Trader Joe's and Rainbow Grocery. But that was almost too much for me.
Tagged with +

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Cafe Bella Vista, Tartine and Walking San Francisco

After my hearty breakfast, I walked to the BART and took the train into the City. My friend is a teacher at a school in the Mission District and I was headed there to meet her for lunch. I arrived at the 16th Mission station very early, and took the time to make sure I could find the school before I set out to explore the neighbourhood by foot. I spent a couple hours wandering down Mission Street and the surrounding environs, getting yelled at in the Skechers store by a security guard and purchasing two pairs of shoes at Payless (Ahhh cheap shoes). When the lunch hour rolled around, I was famished and ready to take on anything. We opted for a place two blocks from her school, Cafe Bella Vista. A clean, sunny room greeted us, along with a menu that was so hard to choose from. I settled for a sandwich, or rather:

Bocadillo de Lomo de Cerdo con Mermelada de Cebolla, Pimientos Asados y Aioli
Pork Loin Sandwich with Onion Confiture, Roasted Red Bell Peppers and Aioli, served with Garlic Fries

I don't know what the pork was marinated in, but it had a sweet flavour that was accentuated by the sweetness of the onion marmelade and roasted red pepper. I only managed half my sandwich, and had the other half wrapped up for another day. The highlight, however, were the garlic "fries" ~ thick cut, perfectly cooked and seasoned with just enough garlic and parsley, I would go back JUST to order those potatoes.
I left my friend back at her school and set out, with a hand drawn map in hand, to try and make it to Haight and Ashbury. I hadn't gone too far when I spotted this really unique painting on the side of a furniture store (which I would shop at, if i could)

Another block or so, and I discovered this very busy little bakery called Tartine. Still full from lunch, I couldn't resist going in to peek

I ended up purchasing four little chocolate friands and taking them away for an after dinner treat.
A more comprehensive blogger review of Tartine can be found at Becks & Posh

Monday, October 24, 2005

San Francisco Breakfast Day 1

Woke up to a beautiful sunny day in San Francisco (Well, Oakland actually). I decided to have breakfast in my friend's neighbourhood before taking the BART into the city.
At the reccomendation of her roommate, I chose Temescal Cafe, named after the neighborhood designation.
Breakfast was poached eggs with toast and jam and a strawberry banana smoothie.

The cafe itself is cozy and cool at the same time with a real community feel to it and lots of natural light. When I find myself back in the area, I will probably stop in for another breakfast.

Sunday, October 23, 2005


Flew into SFO on Sunday (Oct 16) and managed to make my way to my friend's house in Oakland, thanks to the assistance of a couple of strangers on the BART and Em's exquisitely detailed directions. She has such a beautiful and tranquil backyard and I couldn't resist palying with the multi exposure option....

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Scottsdale Day Two

This picture should really go at the end of the day ~ stunning colours, eh? The sunrises and sunsets in Scottsdale were gorgeous. I wish they came out a little better on film!
Anyway, we started the day with a hike up the Echo Canyon Trail of Camelback. Or at least we tried. 4 of us succeeded, 3 did not (including me ~ I made it about 1/2 way up) and 6 didn't feel the urge to punish themselves on a Saturday morning. The description I found on an Arizon site helps to clarify things:

Summit Trail (Echo Canyon)
Length: .1.2 miles one way
Elevation gain: 1,264 feet (summit is 2,704 feet)
Difficulty: Strenuous and difficult

Enter at Echo Canyon Parkway just east of Tatum Boulevard off of McDonald Drive. Parking is extremely limited at this trailhead and waits for a spot on weekends can be substantial.

This is a very strenuous trail recommended only for experienced hikers. The trail ascends through some spectacular sandstone rock formations and offers unparalleled views from the summit of the greater Phoenix area. The Echo Canyon area is open sunrise to sunset.

Here are some images from that hike:

And some of the brave souls:

After the hike, we rewarded ourselves with a shower and a trip to Penzey's! I was so excited for Penzey's and managed to get out with having only spent 66$ USD!

The pre dinner snacks were very good, but my particular favourite was the following dish, roasted garlic and Cambozola melted in the oven served with slabs of ciabatta or other wonderful bread. And yes, we ate ALL that garlic.....

Is My Blog Burning??

Almost. My kitchen day was going so well until I decided to tackle a chocolate souffle. First my souffle dish was too big for my recipe. I decided to wing it anyway. Then I got really cranky because I had MEANT to buy a new souffle dish today and totally forgot, so really, it was my fault and I had to eat some extra chocolate (86%~mmmmmmmmmm) to boost my endorphins. Then as I whisked my yolks into my chocolate, it siezed. I kept going, blindly hoping it would work. The end result was more Flourless Chocolate Cake than souffle, but it still tasted good and Rob even had seconds.

I served it with a sinple Creme Anglaise made from the leftover egg yolks. The creme anglaise rocked ~ too bad the theme isn't Egg Custards ;D

Okay, going to try this tag thing:
Tagged with: +

Weekend Cat Blogging

Guest Cat today is my friend's cat Kitties (don't ask about the name). Here she is caught in the act of drinking out of the fishbowl (fish is long gone, BTW for all you worried pescaphiles)

The official round up can be found at Eat Stuff, hosted by the adorable Kiri and lovely Clare.
The babies at The Food Pornographer (which is my newly discovered blog of the week)
Video game anti-hero Bowser
at the appropriately named A Cat in The Kitchen
The Lucky Kitty from Les Carnets de sbmarie, par Marie de Paris
Beautiful Bailey at The Moveable Feast
Anne and Glinda cuddling at Anne's Food
Tigger at Look Hunny I Cooked

Blogging By Mail Part Two

Oh how I hate blogger, randomly deleting my posts...
Anyway, Blogging By Mail. This is my delicious parcel from Clare of Eatstuff.

And my Parcel to Lulu in Manhattan made it ALMOST in one piece.
Unfortunately, I picked up a parcel at the post office yesterday. It was the parcel I sent out for the FIRST Blogging By Mail in July and was stamped unclaimed.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Leftovers Part The Third

Back to those T-day leftovers ~ this one is a Cooking Light recipe: Turkey Jambalaya. I'll post my modified version. It really is one of my favourite ways to use up leftovers.

Turkey Jambalaya
(CL, Nov 2001)

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
2 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
black pepper
1 cup uncooked long-grain rice
2 cups chicken (or turkey) broth
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
2 cups shredded cooked turkey
6 ounces andouille sausage (or smoked sausage), chopped
2 tablespoons sliced green onions

1. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add chopped onion and garlic; sauté 6 minutes or until lightly browned. Stir in bell peppers and next 5 ingredients; sauté 1 minute. Add rice; sauté 1 minute. Stir in broth and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Cover, and reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes. Add turkey and sausage; cover and cook 5 minutes. Sprinkle with green onions. Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 1 cup).


So many images of Scottsdale ~ I had to compress them into one. My first day there, most of my friends hit the spa and I chose to stay behind with one other person and lounge by the pool. The weather was phenomonal, the scenery mindblowing. I saw cacti! and an olive tree in the yard of the house we rented. But mostly I floated in the pool basking in the amazing sunlight and dry air.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

DInner Tonight

My take on Greek Chicken with Capers and Orzo, a cooking light recipe. I won't reprint the original, but it can be found by searching the Cooking Light site. Here is my version:

Greek Chicken with Capers and Gemelli

2 cups uncooked gemelli (like open ended macaroni)
Cooking spray
16 oz boneless skinless (organic) chicken thighs
Zest of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon garlic powder (i crushed some dehydrated garlic)
2 tablespoons capers
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons extravirgin olive oil
cracked black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large red bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup finely chopped green onions
2 cups shredded swiss chard

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting fat. Drain.
While pasta cooks, heat a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add chicken; cook until done. Remove chicken from pan; cover and keep warm.

Combine lemon, oregano and next 5 ingredients (through salt); set aside.

Recoat pan with cooking spray. Add bell pepper, and sauté 2 minutes. Add onions; sauté 1 minute or until peppers begin to brown. Add swiss chard and wilt slightly Return chicken to pan. Stir in caper mixture, tossing gently to coat chicken. Add pasta, stir to combine. Serve immediately.

Yield: 4 servings
Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 335 Calories; 11g Fat (29.1% calories from fat); 15g Protein; 44g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 27mg Cholesterol; 369mg Sodium. Exchanges: 2 1/2 Grain(Starch); 1 Lean Meat; 1/2 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 1 1/2 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates.

Flying Away

One week ago today, I boarded a plane in Vancouver, pictured above and headed off on my wee vacation. Here is a view from the air, much more attractive than my five dollar turkey and swiss airplane sandwhich!

After an uneventful flight, I landed at LAX and tried to work out where to get my connecting flight to Pheonix. Easier said than done! After traipsing around in the heat ( it was hot by MY standards), I finally arrived at Terminal 8. I was hot, I was bothered and I had an hour to kill, so I decided to find a drink. The Desert Pear Margarita seemed to be calling my name and I answered. 11$ USD later and I was suitably refreshed ..

The short flight to Pheonix was on a tiny 50 seater and the highlight of that journey was the snack

Tami, if you are reading this, sorry I ddin't touch base with you, but I had zero internet after I left Vancouver. I was wishing I had your phone number.
Tomorrow, Pheonix and Camelback Mountain .

Sunday, October 16, 2005

On the road....

Yes, I am currently away from the homefront, posting from a laptop on a friend's kitchen table. I will back on Wednesday, and I have so many food and other fun things to share....

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Leftovers Part 2 Sweet Potato Crackers

Used my leftover chipotle yams to make these crackers and they are awesome ~ nice and crispy crunchy...
(Linked through the title to the recipe)

Monday, October 10, 2005

Leftovers Part One.

So many leftovers, so few days before I leave fro my little vacation....
Breakfast was turkey, brussels sprouts and stuffing hash with a sunny side up egg on top. Now I need a nap.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Thanksgiving Dinner Part Two

Well, the evening was a roaring success and I managed not to start crying until the door had closed on our departing friends (they are moving across the country in a few days and I am going to miss them like crazy)
The bird was HUGE! Rob ordered an 18lb free-range turkey and there are so many leftovers.

All the mains turned out really well, the one year old especially liked the stuffing. Then dessert came along. I have been hearing about this cheesecake for 5 years now and it lived up to the hype.

The recipe can be found on epicurious.

Thanksgiving Dinner Part One

I am quite excited _ cooking Thanksgiving dinner for guests for the first time. Just some close friends and their one year old, but guests nonetheless.
Green Salad with Sesame Dressing, Pecans and Dried Cranberries
Alton Brown's Roast Turkey
Herbed Bread Stuffing
Mashed Yams with Chipotle and Lime (something along these lines)
Brussels Sprouts with Chestnuts and Bacon (sort of)
And our guest is bring her famous Bourbon Pumpkin Cheesecake.

So far, the turkey is brining, the salad is made

the yams are roasted

and the stock for the gravy is simmering away

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Saturday, October 08, 2005


Make way for a non-foodie, slightly whiney post... stop reading now if you don't want to hear it...

Anyway, as you all know, I started a new job. I love it, but I find it has taken over my life!! I get up at 5 am, leave the house at 5:30. I walk in the door around four, start supper and hang out with Rob for a little bit. By 9, I am ready to crawl in to bed and start it all over again. I check my email once a week if I am lucky, I haven't had the time or energy to blog, and I am rapidly falling behind everything. I just sent out my blogging by mail package a week late, I have a million berries sitting in the freezer waiting to jam, I haven't written to friends in ages...aaaaaaaaaaaargh.
Hopefully it is an adjustment period ~ i'll get used to the 5 am start and life will start to normalise.
I do have a bright spot on the horizon ~ in a few days I leave for a week long holiday with stopovers in Arizona and San Francisco!

Weekend Cat blogging

This is our girl sleeping. She likes to fold herself up like a pretzel, back legss tucked under the front. She looks so darn cute when she does it...

Rima at Carnets de Marie
Pekoe at Belly Timber
Bella and Tasha at A few of My Favourite Things
Houdini at Middle-Fork
Dueling Kitties at masak-masak
Nepal at Sens du Gout
Glinda at Anne's Food
Tigger at Look Hunny, I cooked
Rosa's "devils" at Rosa's Yummy-Yums
Ike at Restaurant Widow
Romeo at Basic Juice
Chelsea and Spencer at Je Mange La Ville
Patchy Cat and Foodie Farmgirl hosting at Farmgirl Fare
And Kiri, surviving moving at Eat Stuff

Sunday, October 02, 2005

corn tamales, chipotle rubbed chicken, aleppo pepper green beans Posted by Picasa

Weird Food Part 2

Or is it? A few months back, I posted one of those things that I like to eat, but that I thought others might be grossed out by. turns out, I am not so weird after all!
Anyway, here is my next entry. I have no idea where this came from, I have an excess of gravlax and everything else was hanging out in my fridge

Boiled Eggs, New Potatoes with a creamy Dill and Dijon sauce, Gravlax and Pickled Onion.
It was realllllllllllly good.

South Park Silliness

I had fun last night playing with this character generator which I found on Something so Clever. Above is Rob and below is me. Note the angelic halo and the chef's knife. I thought it was a striking resemblance ;D

Saturday, October 01, 2005


Alysha of the Savory Notebook tagged me for the 23/5 meme. Basically, you find your 23rd post, 5th sentence. This was mine:

We got stuck with a substitute --.
Very eloquent, I know. I went back sometime later and edited the post to change the name of the substitute because I found out someone had gotten to my blog by searching his name....

My tags will be.....

Zarah Maria at Food and Thoughts, Dawna of Always in the Kitchen and Catesa of Look Hunny I Cooked.

Weekend Cat Blogging

Once again, Agnes is begging for the frittata. I missed the shot where she casually stretched her front paws out and tried to touch Rob's plate.

Here are the other munchkins:
Bella and Tasha at A few of My Favourite Things
Adorable Adoptables at Masak-masak (good thing I don't live there, I would be seriously tempted...
Smokey Edith at Anne's Food
Gorgeous Lixue at Look Hunny, I cooked
Cleo at Sens de Gout
Salsa at Papilles et Pupilles
Trina and a stray at Indy foodie
Collection of Curious Cats at Tigers and Strawberries
Scapin and Zadig at Le Blog de Juliette
Grover Jay at Restaurant Widow
Lyle at Basic Juice
Tinker at Middle-Fork
Patches at Farmgirl Fare

And Kiri has fallen off the wagon at Eat Stuff and is enjoying his bad habit :D

Farmer's Market

Farmer's Market Season is almost over, so I crawled out of bed early to take advantage of one of the last weekends at Trout Lake. It was a beautiful marning, a soft mist rising off the lake, no sign of the torrential rain from a few days ago...
I scored lots of goodies, including a few treats for my Blogging By Mail partner, for whom my parcel will be woefully late...

When I got home, I threw together the traditional breakfast frittata. this week it featured Gravlax, capers, red onion, potato and dill, with a few slices of brie melting into it. Quite possibly teh most elegant frittata I have ever made.

Now, does anyone know if I can freeze gravlax? I was given a huge slab of it ( I actually prepared it for a TV demo one of the chef's from my school was doing and he let me take it home after) and there is only so much cured salmon a girl can eat....