Monday, May 05, 2008

Bites v 5

Saturday was the 3rd farmers market of the year. Pretty much the same as the week before - mainly plants with a couple of baking stands. We bought some whole wheat buns and a rhubarb plant.
After the market we had planned to go for a walk in the park, then pick up some lunch stuff at the deli and have a picnic in the park. It was too windy, so we went home and I worked in the yard. When we were done, we had a jug (or two) of beergaritas. And then suddenly, somehow, Saturday was over.
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I love zucchini and I made these little baked zukes last month. It started off as a Jamie Oliver recipe from Cook with Jamie, but he made a vinaigrette with herbs, and I didn't have all the stuff, and Scott wanted garlic, so it became just zucchini tossed with garlic and olive oil and baked in the oven. They were really really great, and the next day I chopped up some of the leftovers into a salad.

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This recipe was what I made for dinner on Valentines day. Savory Bread Pudding with Spinach, Gruyere and Shiitakes from Food to Live By, that I received from Lis last year. I'll never be able to thank her enough for this great book.
We couldn't find any shiitakes, so we used brown mushrooms. We also cut back on the amount of spinach. It was really great, and we ate the leftovers for breakfasts.

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Coral Broccoli that I bought from the deli downtown. Tasted pretty much just like cauliflower to me.
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I don't really like pork chops anymore, I think they are too lean and no matter how careful I am they are always too dry. I had some in the freezer I wanted to get rid of. Thankfully I found a bbq crockpot recipe to use them up.

Here's the recipe from Chicken, again?. Very tasty and I like any recipe where my crockpot does most of the work.

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I am thinking of changing the name of this blog from i like to cook to "i want to cook everything that the cookbook junkie blogs about". Catchy, huh? I think I've got half her posts bookmarked. I love anything sweet and sour, like her Sweet and Sour Meatballs. Don't they look yummy?
They really were. Here's the recipe for Sweet and Sour Meatballs.

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Donut King opened here in Kamloops in December. The owner is a former Tim Hortons franchisee. He's opened his store in a former (not his) Tim Hortons location on the corner of Summit and Columbia. The big difference between Donut King and Tim Hortons? Donut King makes their donuts fresh daily, on premises. Tim Hortons donuts are made in a factory, frozen, and shipped to the stores where they are heated up.

I had to buy donuts for an early morning meeting a couple of months ago. I'd heard rave reviews about Donut King, so I picked up two dozen donuts. They were still warm.


The verdict? OH MY GOD. Those are some mighty fine donuts. I scooped a couple to take home to Scott after work. He nearly had a fit when he saw them - one was covered in toasted coconut which apparently is his favorite donut. That was news to me, but we don't eat that many donuts. Isn't the box so great?

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It's been ages since I shared a del.icio.us recipe of the week . My recipe count on del.icio.us has hit 305 which is frankly ridiculous. I need to stop bookmarking and start cooking what I've already saved. Back in February I spotted a vegan pate recipe over at one of my weekly reads the urban vegan. It sounded really interesting, and the ingredient list was so short and simple I couldn't believe it. I showed the recipe to Scott and just like that we were off to the store to pick up mushrooms and pecans.

This could not be a simpler dish to make. Toast your pecans in a large pan on top of the stove. Then whizz them into toasted pecan flour. Slice up your mushrooms and garlic and cook them. And cook them. And then cook them some more. Deglaze with sherry.


Then toss them in the food processor with the pecan flour and some olive oil. I added some extra sherry at this point just because I could.


We let it cool and later that night served it with crackers. (Go look at uv's picture of the finished pate, it's much nicer than mine.)


There are no words to tell you how great this is. It's nutty from the toasted pecans, it's earthy from the mushrooms. It's boozy from the sherry. And it's even more amazing the next day.

A million Thank You's to the urban vegan for sharing such a delicious recipe with the internet. It's so damn good.

Recipe:sherry-infused pate.

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I tried another recipe from the most recent Rachel Ray magazine. Unlike the Asparagus Popover that we liked so much, this one was a dud. The turkey meatballs were pretty easy to make, but were so bland. There wasn't much seasoning in them, so Scott added some Italian blend. If he hadn't these would have been much worse.
A couple of days later we heated up the leftovers in some pasta sauce for meatball sandwiches. They were ok. I wouldn't make this again.
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Normally the end of April would/should be too warm to have the oven on for 3+ hours to make stew, but that wasn't the case here in Kamloops. So I found a nice sounding stew recipe in Mastering the Art of French Cooking - Carbonnades a la Flamande (Beef and Onions Braised in Beer)




This was tremendous - definitely the best stew I've ever made. I added more brown sugar than called for, the sugar was hard so I just threw in a clump, and I really enjoyed the sweetness it added. I'm hoping the warm weather is here to stay, so I won't be able to make this again until at least November!
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I was very fortunate to receive an advanced copy of Comfort Food by Kate Jacobs (available on May 6):
I loved this book! I was excited to see that Kate is originally from Hope, BC (although now lives in the US) which is practically down the road from Kamloops. This is Kate's second book and her first based on cooking. Because I'm afraid I'll give too much away, here's the official blurb:
In this smart, delicious novel by the bestselling author of The Friday Night Knitting Club, a celebrity chef shows her friends and family the joy of fulfillment— and manages to spice up her own life at the same time.
Shortly before turning the big 5-0, boisterous party planner and Cooking with Gusto! personality Augusta “Gus” Simpson finds herself planning a birthday party she’d rather not—her own. She’s getting tired of being the hostess, the mother hen, the woman who has to plan her own birthday party. What she needs is time on her own with enough distance to give her loved ones the ingredients to put together successful lives without her.
Assisted by a handsome up-and-coming chef, Oliver, Gus invites a select group to take an on-air cooking class. But instead of just preaching to the foodie masses, she will teach regular people how to make rich, sensuous meals—real people making real food. Gus decides to bring a vibrant cast of friends and family on the program: Sabrina, her fickle daughter; Troy, Sabrina’s ex-husband; Anna, Gus’s timid neighbor; and Carmen, Gus’s pompous and beautiful competitor at the Cooking Channel. And when she begins to have more than collegial feelings for her sous-chef, Gus realizes that she might be able to rejuvenate not just her professional life, but her personal life as well. . . .

I really enjoyed reading Comfort Food. I loved the writing, and the characters. I loved the plot twists, those I saw coming and those I didn't. It was a really fun read and will have a permanent home in my bookcase. There's also a companion website to go with the book, with information about the book, characters, recipes, and games and quizzes. I'm proud to say I received top scores in the quizzes, thankyouverymuch. Check this book out! I don't think you'll be disappointed.

8 comments:

Cristina said...

mmmmmm delicious....

mimi said...

wow, what great photos! so many yummy looking dishes! love the idea about baking zucchini whole.

Sara said...

Cristina - except for the turkey meatballs, yes. :)

Mimi - oh they were so good! I'm going to try cooking some whole on the bbq next.

The Cookbook Junkie said...

I love the way you post what you buy at the farmer's market every week. I may just steal that idea!

I'm glad you liked those sweet and sour meatballs. They're one of my husband's favorites.

Niall said...

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Sara said...

CJ - your meatballs are fantastic! Scott loves them too. Thanks again for sharing such great recipes with us.

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MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

I must try the sherry-infused pate, that sounds really fabulous - toasted pecan flour . . . just thinking about that makes me drool.