Saturday, February 19, 2011

Thank You Korea - Piggy Dolls

I'm glad I'm not the only person who was tired of tiny wimpy Korean girls singing about their "first love story".

I am a BIG fan!

Friday, February 18, 2011

but I'm here 'til the end, and after that, our souls will be friends too.

Two of the most delightful ladies to ever come out of Newfoundland had me over for dinner the other night, it sure was grand ... 

... and delicious.

After a few cups of tea, and some really nice words it was time to get going. But even though it may have been a little late for a walk, I couldn’t bring myself to get on a streetcar. The weather was just too inviting. As a Canadian, you take notice when the temperature flirts above the zero mark, especially in mid February. If she smiles at you, you smile back and enjoy it while it lasts. I’m glad I did. Look what I found in Trinity Bellwoods....

Isn't that sweet?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

always on my mind - Turkish Yogurt Sauce

I remember Nigella Lawson once said that when she gets the urge to travel but can’t, she turns to cookbooks. I am very much the same. I’ve always read cookbooks like novels; you can generally judge how much time I spend in a room by the number of cookbooks I leave behind. At the moment I am currently surrounded by 3 new library finds, one from West Africa, another about Halal foods, and the last is a really beautiful book featuring recipes from Morocco, Turkey, and Lebanon. It’s a nice little spread.

The purpose of this post is perhaps more selfish than usual as its main intent is to provide a safe place for an almost embarrassingly simple recipe. It’s just that it’s too damn good to lose and I think I might be a little obsessed. I’ve used it on top of plain cooked vegetables, a dip for cold veg, instead of mayo on a sandwich, instead of that spoonful of yogurt on your lentil soup, it really does go everywhere, and it gets better the longer you let it sit in the fridge.
Based on Claudia Roden’s Recipe

 Turkish Yogurt Sauce
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (you aren’t cooking here, so please skip the canola)
  • 250g Greek style yogurt
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
  • A few good shakes of smoked paprika (if you don’t already own some, I highly recommend getting some)
  • A shallot or a very small little runt of an onion, finely chopped
  • salt & pepper 
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped flat leafed parsley (it’s always best to buy the flat leaf stuff because it’s much easier to wash and the grit doesn’t get stuck in its pretty little curls) 
  1. Mix everything together in a bowl.
  2. Let sit, at least an hour or so. The longer the better. 
  3. Put a little extra parsley and a drizzle of olive oil on top to make it look fancy if you want to impress someone.

This recipe began life as an eggplant puree thing, so by all means go ahead and make the original version, complete with 2 - 3 eggplants roasted in a 475 F oven for about an hour, stripped of their skin and squeezed of their juices when cooled and finally pureed with the everything else … but it was a lot of extra work that didn’t necessarily benefit from the eggplant. I think the eggplant would be better served roasted in slices and then topped with the sauce instead.

For your whistling pleasure ...

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

not even the rain has such small hands

baking is science for hungry people - cake pops

Isn’t it nice when you stop by a friend’s house on a Sunday afternoon and they pop open a bottle of wine and start doing this?

The lady that runs Jumbo Empanadas and I are old friends back from my county days. She has always been a go-to for ridiculously delicious food, which is a quality I deeply admire in a friend.

By the time I found my way to her house, google maps I wag my finger at you for failing on walking directions, she had already followed The Kitchn’s directions and baked a cake then mashed it up with some cream cheese frosting. My job was to help roll the cake into chocolate balls. It was messy. It was delicious.

More wine while the cake firms up in the freezer … then, time to dip them in melted chocolate. Did I mention how great it is to have a friend that does this sort of thing for fun?

God, they were delicious.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Sunday, February 13, 2011

add this to that .... lentil soup

Add this ....

With a little of this ... Ou! You pesky lemon, always jumping in all my photos!

Turn up the heat and add a few other flavours ...

.. and you get something that looks a little like this ..

I know it’s not terribly imaginative to suggest a recipe for lentil soup in the middle of winter, but that’s what I am about to offer.  It’s the perfect food for this time of year insomuch that it’s delicious, warming, and kind to your wallet. I didn’t have any in my fridge when I made this, but I usually like to add a handful of baby spinach or rocket to my bowl just before I ladle in the soup. Give it a few minutes and stir it around, the greens will have become a little greener and will have wilted nicely. Leftover cold soup is usually on the thick side which I like as a dip for veggies.
Red Lentil Soup with Lemon
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, more for drizzling  
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • A healthy pinch of smoked paprika, or whatever delicious stuff you use to add some heat to your dinner
  • 5 cups of chicken stock
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon, more to taste
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 4-5 spoons of plain yogurt
Put the kettle on and start boiling some water for your stock, unless you’re fancy, and in that case use your fancy stock that’s already mixed up and delicious a little later. I’m not fancy.
Next, in a large pot heat the oil until it’s warm and then add the onions and garlic and sauté until golden, about 4 minutes. Mix in the tomato paste, cumin, salt, black pepper, the heat, and lentils and sauté for another 4 or 5 minutes. I like to give this part a little time to toast the lentils a little. Be sure to mix it around and every now and then.

Hopefully your water has boiled by now and you’ve made your stock. Add it along with the carrots. Bring to a simmer, then partially cover the pot and turn down the heat to low. Simmer until lentils are soft, this usually takes somewhere around 30 minutes. Taste and season with salt if necessary.

Using an immersion or regular blender or a food processor, purée half the soup then add it back to pot. Your soup should be somewhat chunky.

Reheat soup if necessary because cold soup is gross - then stir in lemon juice and parsley. Serve soup with a spoonful of plain yogurt, maybe drizzled some good olive oil and dusted lightly with a little extra of your chosen spicy secret ingredient.
Makes enough for your mouth and about 4 others.

You should always whistle while you work.
Here's something to get you through chopping those onions.

Jenny and Johnny "Big Wave" from PEDESTRIAN.TV on Vimeo.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Hello Mother, Hello Father

I had two surprise visitors last weekend.
Have I ever mentioned how much I love surprises?

And yes, in case you were wondering, my mom always looks this adorable when she crosses the street.

And yes, in case you were wonder, a hotdog is no match for my hungry dad.

And yes, in case you were wonder, Rodney’s is ridiculously delicious.

I miss them already.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Look Over There

Notice anything different?
Look to your right.

That’s right!
Now go explore.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

It’s useless, but so many things you want are.

She asked.
She didn’t ask me, but she did ask.

I took this photo a few years ago when I stopped to sit after a busy day of wandering around Boston for the first time. MMMM Pie.

Miranda July is at the top of my favourite-people-I-will-most-likely-never-meet list. She is an amazing writer/filmmaker/artist who draws you in with her wonderfully intimate and quirky works and makes you feel as though you’ve been best friends for ages. She‘s kind of my idol.
Over the weekend I picked up a copy of Lula magazine. I’d heard a lot about it and since I am a sucker for big beautiful fashion magazines, I thought I should finally listen to the pretty Swedish girl. Umm…. thing is, I wasn’t that impressed. Something about a few of the interviews was a bit too self indulgent - musicians interviewing other musicians and talking about how wonderful they all are, and then endlessly name dropping too obscure bands and la di da di da … but then I saw Miranda’s article.

 I also sort of loved "Doll Parts". If only that green dress were mine.

Initially she asks an artist “the kind of things that best friends would tell each other, because I was pretty sure we would be best friends and I didn’t want to waste any time with formalities.” The artist responded that she was too busy and would rather just forward along an old list of answers to questions she had thought up years before.
For shame.
Nick Cave wasn’t too busy. His answers were alright, but you know, he’s a boy and this is a girly magazine with girly questions.
I wish Miranda had answered them herself.
Oh well.
Anyway, the questionnaire finished with a photo request from Ms. July.
I had to oblige.

“Do one or more of the following:

1. Take a picture of yourself holding the last thing that was given to you and say who gave it to you and the circumstances.

My parents came up for a short visit this past weekend. It was really nice. I’ll show you some photos in a day or two, patience please. We said good bye in the parking lot next to my apartment under a thick veil of snowflakes. My mom was all sweet smiles from the car wishing me luck. My dad came around and gave me a quick awkward hug then put some money into my hand. He got in the car and off they went. I waved until I couldn’t see the car anymore.

2. Take a picture of yourself reading whatever book you are reading at the moment, with the book covering your face.

I’ve heard from a few reliable sources that if you read something by Jonathan Franzen it will change your life. I could do with a little sprucing up.

3. Poke a hole through a piece of paper, take a picture of yourself with the paper over your face, your tongue or nose through the hole.

Oink! Oink!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Phone - Albany

I went down to Albany the other week for a few days.
Someone had made the long, long bus trip up here a few times and now it was my turn to awkwardly sleep on the Greyhound.

Can you see a pattern?

Albany is .... well, the word bleak came to mind more than a few times.

Also, and this is very important,friends should never let friends, enemies,
or anyone else they do or do not know go here..

 I don't really want to talk about it, but just trust me when I say it is terrible and you should stay far, far away from it.

But don't worry too much ....
 ... the cellphone made out alright.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Excelsior! - Community

If you haven't seen the new episode of Community, 
stop whatever you are doing and 
watch it.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

“Your birthday is a special time to celebrate the gift of 'you' to the world.”

I met Larry my first year of university. It was pretty memorable night. I was working  for the school’s tv show, and Larry and I were sent to interview a band that was a little too old to be touring the university campus circuit under the pretext of “new music night”. The band was enjoying a small amount of success, and it had gone to their heads. Larry managed to kill that pretty quickly. Instead of entering the interview knowing about as much as you could gather from a quick scan of google, Larry decided to just walk in and ask them instead.
“ What’s the name of your band again?”
“ Can’t you just sing me a little bit of your song? 
I might know who you are if I hear the song.”
It was awkward.
Hilariously awkward.
Thankfully, he hasn’t changed much.
Larry is also one of the main reasons I picked Busan. He was already in Korea teaching English and assured me it barely ever snowed there. Oh Korea, have I mentioned how much I miss you lately?
Ah ... but back to Larry.
Larry had a birthday.
We celebrated.

Ever wonder how many gummy bears you can fit in your mouth?
Larry can do about 50.
Then we all headed over to Koreatown for a little singing.

Just like old times we brought our own booze ...

... and just like old times we got yelled at.
It was fun.

You're a great friend but if the zombies chase us, I'm tripping you

A friend of mine is ready for a zombie attack.
Are you?

If Only

   Photo: Dedon Collections

I really, really, really, really want one of these.

Pretty Litttle Box BOX

Isn't my lunchbox pretty?
You'll have to go to Hawaii if you want to same same with me,
or you could just make me jealous and buy this one.