Friday, July 29, 2011

quick amendment

i just packaged up all of the pulled pork & the containers fit two portions so the price will be $10/container. also i forgot to mention, i made a new batch of roasted red pepper, tomato, sweet potato & chipotle soup this week - the usual $5.

it's the long weekend!

in honour of the long weekend, i'm doing another round of build your picnic/bbq. if you're heading out for the weekend or having people over & don't feel like slaving in the kitchen than i'm you're gal. everything will be $5 each & you can choose as much or as little as you like.
options are:

- getaway farm pulled pork shoulder, hickory smoked and with a tangy pineapple bbq
-baked beans
- mustard, tarragon & horseradish potato salad
- quinoa salad with loadsa fresh herbs, lemon, cherry tomatoes & cucumbers
- fennel, radish, celery & coriander slaw
- 'old school' creamy coleslaw
- dinner rolls ($1) or cheddar cornbread ($1.50)

this week i also made a fresh batch of salt cod fishcakes so fishcakes & beans ($12) will be back on the menu.
there's lobster mac & cheese - large $24 & small $10
shepherd's pie - large $15 & small $7.5
there are just small sausage & cheese curd pennes left $7.50
quinoa 'jambalaya' with chorizo, shrimp & chicken $20
thai, coconut, green curry chicken with green beans & snow peas $18
slow-smoked pork side ribs $12

and i'm sure i'll come across a few more treasures in my travels getting ready for market tomorrow...

for the next couple of weekends you'll also see another smiling face at my table - my friend lynne has driven down from ottawa to give me a hand - hooray! she is the most enthusiastic baker i have ever met & just help me get all of the baking done already - miracle of all miracles!

there will be red velvet, chocolate, rhubarb, carrot & vanilla cupcakes with raspberry, chocolate, strawberry, caramel & blueberry frostings; lemon meringue tarts (given that the heat doesn't destroy my meringue like last saturday...); oatmeal, white chocolate & cranberry cookies; snickers brownies & macaroons.

we've also been scheming and next week is going to get a bit of a shake up - according to bon appetit magazine 'lime is the new salt' so next weekend we are planning a lime dessert explosion - should be pretty radical!

ok break time / jumping in the ocean.
see ya tomorrow!

Friday, July 22, 2011

menu for the weekend

so i just sat down - it's been a long one.

the fresh option this weekend is a brand new batch of lobster mac & cheese... i actually still have to go & package it up. i'll have smalls ($10) & larges ($24). i also added broccoli to this batch, so it's a wee bit healthier.

the salad is marinated vegetables - cauliflower, carrots, celery, red peppers, red onion, broccoli in a zingy, mediterranean vinaigrette ($5).

i still have a few shepherd's pies - both smalls & larges.
there is 1 chicken, leek, broccoli & bacon pie left.
several quiches - bacon, smoked salmon or vegetarian.
thai green curry chicken with peas, beans & coconut.
quinoa 'jambalaya' with chicken, shrimp & chorizo.
there's 2 chicken parmigianas as well.

alas, i'm sold out of fishcakes - there's beans but no fishcakes. depending on my motivation levels i may have some for sunday...

ginger beef
vegan stew
vegetarian chili
cream of broccoli
potato, celery, pear & gorgonzola
root vegetable puree
seafood chowder
carrot, apple, ginger
thai chicken & rice

i have the usual assortment of sweets. this week i made a straight up vanilla cupcake that will get blueberry icing. i also made the rhubarb ones again - best batch yet - and those will receive strawberry frosting tomorrow.

mac & cheese beckons. see you over the weekend.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

2011: the summer of awesome

 recently i've been having so much fun & really enjoying being back in nova scotia. things have changed so much since i've been gone & it's so awesome to be a tourist in my hometown again.

there is really great local business in halifax now - perhaps the shopping has become too good (i spend too much)... but at least i'm buying from small business owners and boosting the local economy...

these owls are the print of my new favourite top from biscuit general store on argyle street.

this is my new fav dress from the same shop.

i also shop a lot at if only surf shop on queen street - this ultra retro tank is from there. 
i probably shouldn't be giving away my secrets... but i need to give mad props to local, small businesses (please, just don't buy everything in my size).

and now that local produce is finally coming into season - despite the wicked weather - it just makes me stoked as a cook.

yay strawberries - and now raspberries & cherries are ripe as well - wicked.

nothin' says summer like an epic lobster roll. this dude totally fulfilled his destiny in that respect...

my rhubarb has taken over the world - i have so much, i need to process & freeze it all. it's just so great when it is an awesome deep shade of red - not watered down & greenish. i'm super lucky to have inherited an incredibly mature rhubarb patch - it's in cupcakes now.

i've also been making several fresh salads each week.

this is the strawberry, beet, goat cheese, candied walnut & pickled shallot concoction i had on the menu last week. the beets are from elmridge, strawberries noggins, greens selwood, & everything else - chez moi. i made a tangy tarragon vinaigrette to go with it and it just screamed summer (i ate all the leftovers).

getaway farms is also in the midst of setting up a 7 day/week full on butcher shop at the market. the market is really coming into its own - along the lines of toronto's st. lawrence market. to be able to easily access local, grass-fed beef on a daily basis is truly monumental in halifax. all winter i had been doing a beef & barley soup, but for the summer i lightened it up. last week i made a ginger beef soup - along the same lines as a vietnamese pho, minus the noodles - and i really like it.

fresh & crunchy! 

summer & sunshine just change the way i want to cook entirely. beach weather inspires fresh, crunchy, spicy, healthy & colourful fare. we may not be having the best summer of all time - but we can still eat like we are :)

Friday, July 15, 2011

all stocked up

yesterday was great. the freezers are brimming, the boxes of bbq sauce are full, and all of my mise en place is ready for today so i can pump quiches out ultra fast. now my only worry is oven space - and the fact that i have to head to the city for a delivery this afternoon... caffeine here i come!

this week i was in a quiche sort of mood. i'll be making 3 flavours: roselane bacon, foxhill parm, garlic scapes, caramelized onions; sweet william's smoked salmon, spinach, dill, goat cheese; & roasted tomato, kalamata olive, arugula.
$17.50 each
they will all be baked in 9 inch pie plates so it should serve 4 with a side salad or 2 on their own. and speaking of side salads...
i'll have two salads this week. the first is baby beet, strawberry, goat cheese (or maybe dragon's breath - not sure), arugula, candied walnut & pickled shallot. the second is the same quinoa concoction as last week: quinoa, cucumbers, tomatoes, roasted red peppers, tons of fresh herbs.
$5 each

yesterday i also overflowed the freezers with product. carrot, apple, ginger soup will be making it's triumphant return. there's a fresh batch of vegetarian (actually vegan) chilli, this one isn't as spicy as the last batch - just a wee bit of a kick. then there is also a new concoction - ginger beef. it's sort of a take on vietnamese pho minus the noodles - i was very worried about them becoming soggy & overcooked in the reheating process so i just left them out. the broth is clear with lots of ginger and garlic and then packed with veggies and finished with lots of fresh herbs - basil, cilantro & green onions. this one is perhaps my new favourite...
here's a list of all the flavours i have this week:
carrot, apple, ginger
root vegetable puree
cream of broccoli
potato, celery, pear & gorgonzola
vegetarian chili
vegan vegetable stew
baked beans
thai turkey & rice
seafood chowder
mexican pork posole
ginger beef

i also have 1 spring pea, asparagus, parm & potato gnocchi soup left.

in the freezers there are slow-smoked pork side ribs, shepherd's pies (smalls & larges), chicken parms, green curry chicken with basmati dinners, lobster mac & cheeses (just larges), fishcakes & beans, sausage & cheese curd pennes (smalls & larges), jambalayas, and small portions of moroccan meatballs & sauce on their own... this probably won't all fit on the blackboard so if there's something you're interested in and don't see it up there, just ask :)

for sweets, i have the usual repetoire: lemon with blueberry, carrot with cream cheese, caramel with strawberry, red velvet with raspberry, double chocolate, snickers, macaroons, lemon meringue tarts, & oatmeal cookies

this week i also finally got my garden planted - just in time for ridiculous wind & cold here in prospect... but we'll see how it goes and hopefully soon i'll be cooking with the 'localest' of ingredients.

and just a little reminder - i've moved permanently to the base of the stairs by selwood green, le vendenne, seablooms & the fish shop - it's my own little nook or 'sanctuary' if you will. hopefully i'll see you all there this weekend!

Monday, July 11, 2011

ottawa adventures

on saturday, june 25th, i ran away as soon as the market closed and drove really quickly to the airport. when i boarded the plane it was a mere 10 degrees, rainy, dreary and didn't feel a bit like summer. when i got off the plane in ottawa an hour & a half later it was like i was in a whole nother world - sunny & hot (just the way i like it).
my trip was a whirlwind of food, friends & good times. i never, ever, ever cook for myself anymore so it was so nice to head to some of my favourite spots - and a friend's new place - and enjoy all of their awesomeness. the restaurant community in ottawa is a small and tight-knit one and definitely something i miss being a part of.
i grabbed a cab straight to the wellington gastropub for a friend's birthday dinner party. the casual vibe and focus on local & seasonal ingredients at the gastropub make it one of the best in the city and somewhere i've always enjoyed frequenting. one of the best things i have ever eaten in my whole life (maybe the best) was prepared by chris deraiche of the gastropub: butter poached lobster on french toast with maple syrup & hollandaise - it was years ago but i can still taste it now. on the 25th, we dined in the white room - their private dining room - and it was awesome. i started with a bright, crunchy salad followed by pan-fried sablefish with a white bean ragout and then some pascale's ice cream for dessert. pascale's ice cream is completely decadent, addictive & ridiculous. it's so rich you can chew it, her flavours are super creative & it is the best ice cream in the universe as far as i'm concerned - if ever in ottawa, find her. there were also cupcakes and a radical buzz lightyear cake prepared by my friend lynne - perfect!
the next morning i was back at it - brunch at my friend marysol's little gem - edgar. i worked with marysol at the urban element and i always admired her wicked style & attention to detail. edgar has only been open since the fall (after i left ottawa) so this was my first visit. it was fabulous, i loved everything about it and it was completely packed the entire time i was there - yay marysol! i had the huevos rancheros, they hit the spot like nobody's business and they were exactly what i wanted. the kitchen is open, it's tiny & i can't even believe how much food they are able to pump out. marysol is actually someone who encouraged me to write a blog. mine is nowhere near as nice as her's - she eats bears - you should definitely check it out. edgar is so busy her posts aren't as frequent as they used to be, but i definitely suggest you to take the time and read through all the past posts, you won't regret it.
then it was off to oysterfest. i love oysterfest. i love oysterfest a whole lot - even though i'm allergic to oysters... i used to be the sous chef at the whalesbone with my bud, chef charlotte langley. it is a rocking little joint, filled with great people & great music (all vinyl, all the time) and every year they throw a wicked party. oysterfest is an all day party complete with tons & tons of fresh shucked oysters, delectable walleye burgers & pulled pork sandwiches. there's a highly entertaining oyster shucking competition, tons of live music & i think every single person i know in ottawa was there. it's like every good restaurant around the city must close for the day so everyone can head to oysterfest - so much fun! i wish i had some pics but at least a local blogger was also there to take care of that - check this out.
the next day was chef appreciation night at oz kafe. the last monday night of each month oz kafe hosts a guest chef, puts out a table d'hote menu & all of the chefs about town converge on this little restaurant/bar/cafe/best place in ottawa to hang out. for this i remembered the pictures. first course was a duck-elicious charcuterie board - i love duck!

duck rillettes, cured meats, smoked breast, grainy mustard, pickled vegetables - this is how i like to eat.

what's that you say? oh ya know, just a crispy duck cracklin' spearing the pot of duck rillettes - so yummy.
second course was the raw bar.

oysters on the half shell, cured salmon with creme fraiche & caviar, and little quenelles of albacore tuna tartare. the whalesbone also works as a sustainable seafood supply shop & all of these goodies came from them.
then we got into the meat.

in case you haven't noticed, i've got a thing for bbq. these ribs were so tender and the sauce was delectable. i got a little messy.

but that's not all.

bacon-wrapped tenderloin (tournedos) & scalloped potatoes topped with crumbled cheetos - yes that's right - cheetos! hilarious & delicious.
i was dining with a fellow food blogger - lynne frappier aka the twisted chef. when out with other bloggers things like this happen:

comedy gold! lynne is actually coming to visit for a few weeks to be my sous chef/partner in crime/sanity saver. we will be blogging machines i'm sure & should come up with fun new ideas in food while she's here - we both reeeaallllly love to bake.
the last course of the night was molten chocolate cake with ice cream & ganache. we were dining al fresco & night had fallen by that point so no pics - sorry.
then there was just one more day to jam pack with food & good times. i was meeting up with all the urban element gals at murray street for some afternoon meat & cheese. i never liked cretons until i tried them there - so awesome. they are also the proud owners of the best terrace in ottawa and steve mitton, the chef, is pretty much a charcuterie genius & an all-round awesome guy. the restaurant has been so successful that they've opened up a second location a few blocks away, called murray's market, where they do lots of fun stuff - including prepared take home foods - fancy that! i am totally envious of their setup. they let me explore a little & this is what i found.

my bud kyle dry-aging some epic beef.

and the biggest walk-in fridge i have ever seen filled with all sorts of goodies. the shop is upstairs and downstairs they have this massive prep area and huge cooler. i must repeat: i am totally envious of their setup.
then it was back to murray street as it just happened to be their 3rd anniversary party. yet again, all of the chefs about town congregated in one spot, more food, more live music, more awesome. a veritable who's who of people who know what's up with food. good times were had by all. 
i love my little kitchen by the ocean, but i definitely miss the camaraderie and sharing of ideas that happens when you hang with other people in the food industry. maybe someday that will happen here too... until then i'll just keep flying back for oysterfest every year.

Friday, July 8, 2011

le weekend

ok so next week i promise to stop neglecting my blog and actually post some photos of my recent kitchen adventures - here & in ottawa. it's just been a little hectic: ottawa, oysterfest, tasting menus, canada day, my birthday, mahone bay, friends in from out of town, caterings, deliveries.... weeeeeee! definitely a lot of fodder for upcoming posts.
but for now, this is all i got :)

i'm just about to jar another batch of chipotle lime bbq sauce, so i will have all four flavours for the weekend.

the fresh main course this weekend is thai, coconut, green curry chicken. the chicken is from shani's farm and is accompanied by fragrant basmati rice with kaffir lime. the veggies are haricots verts, snow peas & green onions with loadsa cilantro, basil, ginger & lemongrass. has a bit of heat, but when eaten with rice it's nothing too serious - personally i love it on it's own. serves 2 - $20

i also just whipped up a vegan, gluten-free side salad. it's mediterranean inspired with cucumbers, tomatoes, roasted red peppers, quinoa, tons of fresh herbs, lemon & a garlic/oregano vinaigrette. $5

haven't quite put the finishing touches on my carrot, apple, ginger soup yet - but it should be good to go by sunday.

no strawberries & cream tarts this week.... but i did make caramel cupcakes with a local strawberry, cream cheese icing. there's also lemon with blueberry, red velvet with raspberry, carrot with cream cheese & double chocolate.

just a reminder that i've made the permanent switch to my spot at the base of the stairs by selwood green, seablooms & the fish shop so don't look for me in the centre anymore. i've created a sanctuary & i quite like it!

here's a taste of what's to come next week...

ok bbq sauce beckons. a demain.

Friday, July 1, 2011

finally, picnic weather!!

happy canada day! the sun is finally shining and i'm in the mood for picnic fare.
this week's menu will be a tons of small options that you can pick & choose from to build a meal.

slow smoked getaway farm beef brisket - grainy mustard & horseradish $10 (i love it!!!)
celery root & granny smith remoulade (fancier, french-style coleslaw) $5
new potato salad with creamy blue cheese dressing, radishes, celery, tarragon $5
marinated vegetable salad $5
crunchy asian slaw $5
sweet rolls $1 (personally i would build little brisket sliders with these)

also made another batch of getaway beef shepherd's pie. so i have smalls ($7.50) and larges ($15)

i know the soup selection is getting a little low, but seriously there is not one speck of room in any of the freezers to make more this week. hopefully i can clear some room this weekend and make more next week.

i'll have the strawberries & cream tarts again this week, and the rhubarb cupcakes (they're still wacky... but less wacky than last week). 

ok back to work, maybe if i bang out all my prep i can catch some fireworks later... maybe.