Friday, February 22, 2013

gobble gobble

so, i know it's not a holiday of anything, but i decided to cook a turkey this week. i love turkey - especially from shani's farm - so i got a 20 pounder.

i butchered it, roasted the bones, made an overnight turkey stock and braised & roasted the meat for several different applications. by using up every bit of that bird, it becomes really cost effective and extra tasty at the same time.

the first dish was a new batch of the turkey & dressing pies.

it's white meat & gravy combined with peas, carrots, sprouts & herbs on the bottom. then it gets topped off with potato bread dressing - mashed potatoes, homemade bread, dried cranberries, onions, celery, sage - so its like a complete turkey dinner in each bite. i have a hard time keeping these ones in stock, so i made an extra big batch this time.
small $10 large $20

then i made a dish that i have literally been thinking about for years - turkey curry. i remember the first time i saw 'bridget jones diary' and they were going to the boxing day turkey curry buffet... coincidentally the first time bridget meets mr. darcy... anyway, at the time i thought it sounded revolting but after a bit more consideration i figured - if you can make chicken curry, why can't you make turkey curry? so this week i did.

it's not just turkey, there are chickpeas, potatoes, butternut squash, roasted cauliflower, green beans, tomatoes, lime & cilantro. it accompanied by a quinoa-rice blend and is lactose & gluten-free.
small $10 large $20

the last of my turkey made its way into a batch of hearty chicken stew. the broth is made with my overnight turkey stock so its got some pretty serious flavour. then it's packed with veggies - potatoes, turnips, parsnips, carrots, onions, celery, peas - and finished with a touch of lemon & fresh herbs.
$7/500ml container

my soup selection is getting a little out of hand at the moment & i probably won't have to make more for quite some time. here's a full list of flavours:
curried butternut squash (vegan, gluten-free)
carrot/apple/ginger (vegan, gluten-free)
beet, parsnip & pear (vegan, gluten-free)
indian-spiced cauliflower (vegetarian, gluten-free)
roasted red pepper, tomato, chipotle (vegetarian, gluten-free)
miso mushroom (vegan)
baked beans (vegetarian)
white bean, lemon & kale (vegan, gluten-free)
seafood chowder
chicken stew
beef stew

the selection of main courses has also gotten slightly ridiculous & far surpassed the space on my blackboard. in addition to the new turkey mains i have:
beef shepherd's pie - small $10 large $20
italian braised beef - just a couple smalls left $10
sweet & sour pork meatballs - small $10 large $20
chicken, leek, broccoli & bacon pies - small $10 large $20
chipotle turkey - just smalls left $10
chorizo & seafood paella - small $11 large $22 (i think there's only 1 of each)
lobster mac & cheese - small $12 large $24
fish cakes & baked beans - 4 fish cakes & 500ml beans for $15
swiss chard & artichoke fettuccine - small $7.5 large $15
vegan lasagna - small $10 large $20
vegan curry - small $9 large $18
lentil shepherd's pie - small $9 large $18

keeping track of everything is becoming a bit of a problem so please bear with me as i try to find everything & work on streamlining my menu ;)

on to salads. i have a new salad this week! it a vietnamese black rice salad.

it's dressed with sesame oil, rice vinegar & chilli-garlic paste. for veg, there's nappa cabbage, snow peas, cucumber, carrots, celery, red bell pepper, green onions, basil, mint & cilantro.
the other three salads remain the same - broccoli, sweet potato & beet.

and finally sweets! i'm not sure if everyone saw my posts on twitter & facebook but this week i'm starting CUPCAKE HAPPY HOUR! my cupcakes will be half price on sunday afternoons from 2pm-4pm or while supplies last. so i'm hoping you'll come for the cupcakes but stay for the soups, salads & meals... or even just a chat!
flavours are:
pink grapefruit
red velvet-raspberry
banana-peanut butter
double chocolate
paleo with coconut or chocolate

the other sweets are unchanged - breakfast cookies, triple berry cheesecakes, maple walnut shortbreads, hello dollys, snickers brownies, chocolate bars. still haven't gotten around to making more passionfruit tarts, but i must say, it's sorta nice not getting up extra early to make italian meringue!

that's all for now, hope to see everyone over the weekend.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

vday recap

after last year, i wasn't sure if i would ever attempt meal delivery again. time management, organization & logistics have never been my strong suits, but i thought i'd give it another go & hopefully learn from my mistakes.

i have to say, i'm glad i went for it. i had almost double the # of orders with about 1/2 the stress!

there were lots of contributing factors. i had help planning my route several days in advance so i was able to confirm orders, give tentative delivery times & get a better idea of where i was going... and print it off! last year i was driving around with my laptop in the passenger seat figuring out where to go - not really a good scene.

i also had a better handle on my prep time & was able to get on the road much earlier in the day, make it all over halifax & dartmouth and be finished before rush hour. making the dessert sampler really helped with this. while it was a lot of work prepping all the goodies, it was much smoother when it came to packaging & putting together each order. making one tray & a couple containers of cupcakes was ultra-efficient.

each household got 2 chocolate bars, 2 chocolate truffles, 2 salted caramel blondies, 2 red velvet minis, 2 pink grapefruit minis & chocolate covered strawberries. according to most people, the sweets were the highlight of the meal.

i think another major improvement was purchasing a large, reusable bag for each house. i labelled each bag with the recipient & their order. when i was packing things up to hit the road, i was about a million times more organized than last year. then when i was running around, i could grab just one bag at each stop instead of rooting through coolers to find every component to every course. i even loaded my car up in chronological order cuz i'm just that much of a nerd. 

i think the biggest lesson i learned last year was that packaging takes an absolutely ridiculous amount of time.

this is a cross-section of one fridge. all the desserts were in another one. let me just say, i hate filling all those little cups!...and keeping track of what goes where...and making sure i don't forget anything. not gonna lie, there were a couple of hiccups along the way, but still a vast improvement over last year.

at the end of day though, it was worth all the trouble. everyone was so appreciative. i got cards & treats along the way and lots of thank you texts & e-mails. all-in-all it was a good day... except for the four hours i spent doing the dishes at the end of it all ;)

thanks again everyone for all the orders!

next up: saint patrick's day delivery - corned beef & cabbage, guinness stew, soda bread... 
i'm kidding.

Friday, February 15, 2013

oh what a week

miraculously i'm finished everything & sitting down at a reasonable hour on a friday night.

i am a happy camper.

the valentine's day deliveries went much smoother than last year... by a long shot! that's not to say it was 100% flawless but hopefully by next year, i'll be perfect. when i have a bit more time i'll write a full report on my adventures :)

during all of my prep, i was able to make extras of certain things and freeze them to add to the market menu.

there's the velvety cauliflower soup. it's got lots of indian spice going on but it's not spicy hot. there's cardamom, star anise, fenugreek, ginger & a touch of curry & a hint of lemon. it's gluten-free and vegetarian but there's dairy so it's not vegan.

there's also a whole bunch of the swiss chard & artichoke fettuccine. it's with roasted garlic bechamel, sun-dried tomatoes, parmesan & mozzarella with an herby breadcrumb crust.
small $7.50 large $15

and i was also able to make a few extra of the paella. it's saffron rice with roasted peppers, peas. tomatoes & smoked paprika. it's studded with sweet william's chorizo & shani's farm chicken.

here's the base:

and then it's topped with mussels & lobster.
small $11 large $22

so, since the snowstorm put a damper on last weekend, i made TONS of salads this week because i'm hoping everyone's in withdrawal ;)
broccoli: bacon, almonds, red pepper, red onion, dried cranberries, creamy dressing
sweet potato: peppers, tomatoes, green onions, cilantro, lime, chipotle
quinoa: asparagus, green beans, artichokes, pinenuts, lemon, whole grain mustard
beet: wheatberries, radicchio, asian pear, balsamic, greens, goat cheese

as far as baked goods go, i was able to make extras of the chocolate bars from the valentine's menu. it's a flourless brownie base topped with thick ganache with touches of cinnamon, cayenne & honey.

the cupcakes are vanilla, pink grapefruit, red velvet, carrot, banana, chocolate & paleo choco-coconut.

there are also cookies, bars, cheesecakes & brownies. i skipped the passionfruit tarts this week - too tired. i did, however, make a batch of cheddar cornbread muffins. they turned out extra yummy - i've already eaten 4!

ok sleep time (it's 8:49). see you tomorrow :)

Friday, February 8, 2013

impending apocalypse

alrighty so, i'm in the city camping out at my best friend's house for the weekend. i've baked lots, have lots of salads & the freezers are stocked to high heaven. however, if i wake up & it's a complete gong show, i'm going to spend the day making snowmen & having snowball fights and not driving to the market.


i really hope to be there tomorrow but i can't make any promises.

ok so i made a lot of food this week nonetheless. it was a veritable vegan extravaganza. it's been awhile, but vegan lasagna is back on the menu. it starts off with a really robust tomato sauce with mushrooms, peppers, zucchini, eggplant, olives, capers & fresh herbs. then it's layered with pasta & a crumbled tofu, swiss chard & nutritional yeast mixture and finished with cauliflower 'bechamel' and fresh tomatoes.

these took FOREVER to make!
small $10 large $20

i also made a giant batch of vegan curry this week. it features potatoes, sweet potatoes, cauliflower, green beans, spinach & tomatoes. the curry itself has lots of cumin, coriander, coconut milk, lime & cilantro and it's served with quinoa & basmati rice.

small $9 large $18

there are also two new batches of soup this week. one is roasted red pepper, tomato & sweet potato. it has lime, chipotle, cilantro & a touch of sour cream. it's vegetarian & gluten-free but not vegan. the other is seafood chowder, it has mussels, haddock, tilapia, smoked haddock, potatoes and dill in a clam broth.

all soups are $7/500ml portion

since the forecast is so dire, i cut down the salads a little. there are only three flavours this week - sweet potato, broccoli & beet.

in anticipation of the storm i cut down sweet production a fair bit this week. the selection will be almost the same but not in the usual quantities. there are brownies, bars, cheesecakes, cookies & cupcakes. i skipped the tarts since i won't be able to make meringue in the morning.

ok sleep tight & let's hope this storm doesn't live up to its hype.

Friday, February 1, 2013

down to the wire

apologies for such a last minute blog update. there just aren't enough hours in the day.

new on the menu this week is sweet & sour pork meatballs with pineapple, peppers, coriander & rice.

it's based on a dish i used to make when i was little but kicked up with lots of ginger, coriander, cumin & chinese 5-spice.
small $10 large $20

this week i made new batches of baked beans & white bean, lemon and kale soup.
each $7/500ml portion

there are all the usual salads: sweet potato, broccoli, beet & quinoa. the quinoa got a greek makeover this week with cucumbers, oregano, tomatoes, lemon & kalamata olives.

and there are loads of sweets.

cupcake flavours are: vanilla, pink grapefruit, red velvet, carrot, banana, chocolate & paleo chocolate-coconut.
there are snickers, maple walnuts, hello dollies, breakfast cookies, passionfruit tarts & triple berry cheesecakes.

& on that note, i'm going to sleep. see you soon!