September 01, 2004

Dinner: Cream of Broccoli

Tonight before swimming I had Cream of Broccoli soup that I made yesterday along with some more shrimp chips. The soup was made tasty with leeks, pancetta, old cheddar along with the usual suspects, carrot and onion. As always, I made the soup too thick, so I thinned it down.

Next time I make it, though, I'll fry the pancetta first and then remove it so that it doesn't get pureed. I'll also cook the broccoli softer before adding it too the soup. Finally, I'll make sure to have some chicken stock on hand - the beef stock tastes fine, but dulls the color of the soup.

Posted by JAY at 04:34 PM | Comments (0)

Dinner 2: Curried Chicken

Sigh. I suck.

Well, I cooked this for tomorrow, but I should know better. I ate a good sized helping tonight, too. This one got some nice Chinese ginger seasoning. It's a bit too spicy, though. I missed on the curry powder when I was shaking it from the bottle. Tomorrow I'll go grocery shopping and pick up some more chickpeas to mellow it out a bit (and maybe some peppers and spinach).

Posted by JAY at 09:14 PM | Comments (0)

September 02, 2004

Impressionists at the AGO

Went to see the Turner/Monet/Whistler exhibit at the Art Gallery of Ontario after work today. It was... impressive! (Ba-da-ching! Oh, quit yer groaning, it was funny.) The audio tour was really well done too - I highly recommend it.

It was interesting to see how they represented atmospheric effects with oil and watercolor washes. Although many critics at the time were outraged by the lack of detail of the Impressionist style, the paintings are positively realistic compared to the abstract art of today.

I bought a cheap print of a Turner watercolor and a postcard of a Whistler Nocturne. Monet's flourescent oranges didn't turn out at all well reproduced, so I passed on them.

Posted by JAY at 10:54 PM | Comments (0)

Swatow


Although I'm usually clueless about where I am, my stomach has a very good memory, and it reminded me I was near Swatow - one of my favorite restaurants. A few wrong turns later and I was there! (For future reference: Get off at St. Patrick's, west on Dundas past the AGO and turn right (north) on Spadina. (Or take a Spadina streetcar south from Spadina station.)


Anyway, I had the "Special Soup" (read, organ meats, noodles, fish balls, fish slices, pork balls and shrimp balls in a killer broth) and the Swatow fried duck (135 on the menu). The duck this time was even better than the duck last time, and not just because I had it to myself! It was moister. I packed a few pieces to go home with me.

Posted by JAY at 11:19 PM | Comments (0)

September 03, 2004

Dom's Italian Dinner

After going swimming (perfect week - 3 swims, yay!) I had dinner. Dom brought me a delicious zuccini/pea/meatball sauce and noodles, along with some perfect dunking fennel-seed flavored bread that his mum made.

So that's what I feasted on tonight.

The meatballs were (huge!) all nice and moist and well flavored... mmm!

Posted by JAY at 08:00 PM | Comments (0)

September 05, 2004

Trev's Wedding Party

Trev and Rucell got married on Saturday!

It was kind of a surprise invite to the after-party, but a lot of people showed up and a good time was had by all. Rucell knocked herself out with the cooking - they'll be eating leftovers for a while.

The food was delicious! My favorite fried dessert made an appearance, fried balls of sweet rice and coconut milk (it's name sounds vaguely like "karaoke"!). Trev and his father had their favorite - a tasty egg soup flavored with crab.

Several people who I hadn't seen for a long time were also there: Narvada and family, Marcel and his iBook, etc. Yay!

Posted by JAY at 07:44 PM | Comments (0)

September 09, 2004

GMail Accounts

Anyone want a G-Mail account? They're expanding their beta and I've got some invites... leave your email in the comments if you want one...

Posted by JAY at 09:03 PM | Comments (2)

September 11, 2004

Baby Brandon

Sean and Jackie had their baby Brandon near the beginning of this month and it looks like the Baby Blog is up now! Congratulations!

Posted by JAY at 01:07 PM | Comments (0)

Mmm, fennel bread!

I just sent Dom a "begging email" asking him to get the recipe for his mom's fennel oil biscuits (I'll have to get the Italian name for that, too...)

I had one microwave and then oven warmed today with some frozen split pea soup (which I have to make more of) and they were PERFECT together. Mmm. I've been trying to eat out all the leftovers from my fridge/freezer, which is why there haven't been many food posts lately.

Posted by JAY at 02:13 PM | Comments (0)

Curry Prevents Leukemia in Children

Seriously!

Apparently the pigment in turmeric, the spice that gives curry it's yellow color, inhibits leukemia cell multiplication and protects against enviromental damage (cigarette smoke, processed food).

So feed your children curry! (recipe)

Posted by JAY at 03:10 PM | Comments (0)

Peppercorn Steak Dinner

Strip loin steak with peppercorn sauce and potato tonight, together with the texture impaired leftover brocolli soup.

I got really good browning on the steak, so I made the sauce by deglazing the pan with water and adding a tiny starch slurry. Strangely, the steak itself was not very tasty - it didn't have much beefy flavor. Good thing I made the sauce.

Posted by JAY at 08:14 PM | Comments (0)

September 12, 2004

Lisa's Moving Day

Helped Lisa move into an apartment near her teaching placement. It was quite the family drama filled day, but thankfully I missed most of it thanks to living away from home!

The apartment is pretty nice, though it's on the 3rd floor of a building without any elevators. It was pretty expensive, though... mine's both bigger and cheaper. Hers, though, has a balcony.

Got dinner at Swiss Chalet.

Posted by JAY at 06:43 PM | Comments (0)

Recipe: Yorkshire Puddings

Ok, I think I've got it down pat now! This is the first time that I've made it with my crappy old electric oven, and it still turned out great. They puffed nicely and left nearly all of the oil behind in the pan when I removed them - no sticking. I didn't have enough eggs, so I made 2/3rds of the recipe. 8 puddings. Guess how many I ate? (Hint: all of them.)

Recipe below...
Yorkshire Pudding
Whisk together in order:
  • 4 eggs (1 cup)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1 big pinch salt
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Let the mixture stand covered at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Heat the muffin pan for about 7 minutes.

Put about 1 tsp of vegetable oil/clarified butter/beef drippings in each of the 12 hot muffin molds. Heat the oiled pan for another 7 minutes.

Briefly whisk the mixture before dividing it among the muffin molds (about 1/2 full each).

Cook for 10 minutes (until puffed and golden) and then turn the heat down to 350 degrees and cook for another 10 minutes.
Remove them from the muffin tray and serve hot.
Posted by JAY at 10:52 PM | Comments (0)

September 13, 2004

Fried Pork Chop

Recipe: 10 Minutes Pan Fried Pork Chop

This was SO good. You either need to have a really big pan or cook them one at a time. Take 1 boneless butt chop and cut it in half. Season both halves generously with salt, pepper and italian seasoning.

Flour both sides thoroughly, PRESSING both sides of the chop into the flour so that it spreads until thin and almost doubled in size. Heat a bit of oil until very hot in a skillet. Fry for about 3 minutes per side, turning down the heat if necessary.

The one chop should feed 2 people - it looks much bigger when flattened.

Total time including cooking is about 10 minutes.

Posted by JAY at 08:23 PM | Comments (0)

September 14, 2004

Pork Stir Fry

Dinner was a pork and bok choy stir fry. I also tested out a potato-leek soup. There's enough of both left back for lunch tomorrow. For lunch today I fried the other 1/2 of yesterday's pork chop (mmm, good!).

Posted by JAY at 07:27 PM | Comments (0)

Sick. Bleah.

Bleah, I've got a cough and throat tickle all day.

I'm currently drinking tea that's piping hot and syrupy with sugar.

Trevor, you're dead.

Posted by JAY at 08:12 PM | Comments (2)

September 15, 2004

Ugh, Bugs!

I opened my door to put out the garbage and what do I see?

This freaking HUGE spider has built a web spanning the upper corner of my door. I guess that it grew really fat with all the bugs that it gets with the outdoor light.

Ew. I killed it, of course.

Posted by JAY at 09:34 PM | Comments (3)

September 16, 2004

Dinner with Linda

Linda came over for dinner tonight. I made a potato-leek soup, some yorkshire puddings and we had ice cream and cookies for desert while we talked about everything under the sun - work, real estate, spending habits...

It was a fun evening!

Posted by JAY at 10:39 PM | Comments (0)

September 18, 2004

Potato Leek Soup Pic

Here's the soup with some yorkshires that I made today. The soup was left over, so I just fried some bacon and used the fat for the yorkshire puddings. Mmmm... of course, then I ate 7 of them and I still feel bloated, even hours later.

Posted by JAY at 10:18 PM | Comments (0)

Weeee are the Champions

Went and played shuffleboard with Trev and Rucell. I teamed with Rucell and Trev played solo. Rucell and I beat Trev :)

I may have to rethink my strategy of splitting up couples, though. I thought that would be best so that they couldn't blame each other if they lost. However, that led to some interesting tactics on both their parts...

Ah well. It was close, anyway.

Posted by JAY at 10:25 PM | Comments (2)

September 19, 2004

Movie: Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow

Saw Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow with Rucell and Trevor today. It was a really fun movie and I enjoyed it a lot.

The plot is straight-forward - save the world from a mad scientist! The witty dialogue elevates it to something a bit more special. Gwyneth Paltrow occasionally grates a little as the plucky reporter while Jude Law is dashing as the hero pilot. Their comedic chemistry is very good.

All of the sets are digital and the result is surprisingly immersive and stylish. I've a minor quibble about how the cars glided smoothly over the roads but other than that it was perfect - just realistic enough.

Enjoyed it a lot and would recommend it.

Posted by JAY at 08:40 PM | Comments (0)

September 22, 2004

Work Presentation

Did a short (morning) presentation for another IT team. Just going through the basics of logging on and VBScript. It went well enough - I was a bit worried that there wouldn't be enough laptops to go around, but they were there. It was pretty short notice - I just got told about it last week.

The heartbreaking part was that the presentation was right across from Dhaba but I wasn't hungry enough for a buffet meal. Wah! The other sucky part was that I had to leave at 6:30am to get there and I was still a couple of minutes late.

Posted by JAY at 03:36 PM | Comments (0)

Movie: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter ... and Spring

Southlake Cinemania time again. This Korean movie takes place entirely around a floating Buddhist temple with a tiny cast of characters. As its title suggests, the film follows the cycle of life through the metaphor of the seasons.

The cinematography is amazing. The serenity of the lake and mountains sharply contrasts with the uncontrollable emotions of the protagonist, a young monk.

In many ways, this movie is simplicity itself - a tale of corruption and redemption stripped down to its barest essentials of plot and character. It manages to be religious without being preachy and gently introduces the viewers to the core Buddhist concepts of the Dharma Seals (Anatta, Anicca and Dukkha).

Posted by JAY at 06:42 PM | Comments (0)

September 24, 2004

Mini-Golf

Dave picked me up from work on Friday to go see his new condo. Unfortunately, the sales office was closed. So we then decided to go hang out at the Pacific Mall in Markham - but hen his office called and needed him to come in.

So we went to his work place, where everything seemed fine and there was nothing to troubleshoot. After we went to Dave and Buster's to play shuffleboard, but the tables were all being used for party buffet tables. So we went and played indoor glow-in-the-dark mini-golf. I enjoyed it (even though I lost) though Dave thought it wasn't so good - he's been to others before though - so he had others to compare it to. Being my first time, I wish I had a camera!

We ate dinner at Lonestar in Richmond Hill. The food was ok, but a bit pricey for what I got (about $20 for a steak sandwich and fries).

Posted by JAY at 11:04 PM | Comments (0)

September 26, 2004

Recipe: Roasted Cauliflower and Pancetta


It may not look like much, but it tasted SO good. I eat oddly on the weekends. This would be more of a side dish, but I had it for a snack. Pat got me the fresh cauliflower straight from the farmer's field and I had the pancetta (italian bacon) in the fridge. It takes no time to prepare and about 1/2 hour to cook with no supervision.

The cauliflower browns slightly and gets a rich nutty flavor that's enhanced by the smoky flavor of the pancetta.

Recipe:
Divide the cauliflower into medium sized florets by using a sharp knife at the base (rather than trying to chop from the top, which would be messy).

Arrange the cauliflower in 1 layer in a shallow pan/tray/skillet.

Drizzle with olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper.

Arrange a layer of pancetta (you can substitute bacon) on top.

Cook in a preheated 350 degree oven for about a 1/2 hour. You should see some light browning on the cauliflower.

If I had some parmagiano reggiano I might have grated some on top, but it tasted lovely as is.

Posted by JAY at 01:23 PM | Comments (0)

2 Min Pasta Assembly


Sigh... the cauliflower opened up my appetite. I went to lick the pan and realized that there was some good fond (brown roasty bits) there. Out came the leftover penne pasta (thanks Dom!). Out came the leftover mushrooms and onions from my steak yesterday. A quick heat and toss with some extra salt and pepper and voila! A 2 minute pasta dish!

Posted by JAY at 01:43 PM | Comments (0)

Food Thoughts...

Depressingly (or not) I realized as I was going though the fridge that I still have more pasta, a pot of cheese sauce and all the makings of a carbonara sauce (butter, cream, eggs, bacon - the 4 food groups!).

Must... resist!

Posted by JAY at 01:47 PM | Comments (0)

September 27, 2004

Exercise-Eat...

So I managed to swim today for the first time in a while - I figure I'd better get in some exercise because there's a meeting tomorrow at a buffet dinner. Of course, when I got home from swimming I started eating.

I've been eating a lot these days. Cathy thinks that I must be getting ready to hibernate.

Posted by JAY at 11:31 PM | Comments (0)

September 28, 2004

The Eating Meeting

So we got to the meeting nice and early and I totally pigged out on Chinese food - mostly meat. 3 plates of food and 1/2 plate of dessert later and I was almost groaning!

Sean was kind enough to drive me home, so I got home relatively early (yay!).

I'm not quite sure what the meeting was about.

Posted by JAY at 08:58 PM | Comments (0)

September 29, 2004

Brain Dead

This morning I couldn't find my stupid wallet. I was sure that I had it last night when I used the subway and after searching the apartment I went so far as checking the freezer, fridge and picking through last night's garbage. (Yes, I am that absentminded.)

I mean, my apartment is not THAT big.

Anyway, I just found it. I must've taken it out of my pants pocket, put something in it and then put it back into the pocket - except I got the wrong pocket and since I never use that pocket, I didn't check it for the wallet.

Sigh.

Posted by JAY at 09:57 AM | Comments (0)

September 30, 2004

Carbonara

I could only resist for so long...

Cream, egg yolks, butter, pancetta and bacon - mmm. Didn't have any parmesan, but that's ok, it's pretty rich as it is.

Leftover pasta, so I'm limited to only a bit.

Posted by JAY at 06:37 PM | Comments (0)

All... Gone...

Wah - my itty bit of carbonara is all gone! And I want more!

Posted by JAY at 06:43 PM | Comments (0)