Friday, February 28, 2014

a pretty productive week

this week was a whole lot better than last week. things still aren't resolved with nova scotia power but at least nothing blew up. i really appreciate all the comments, feedback & concern regarding my electrical plight. 

production went according to schedule this week & i have three new main courses on the menu. 

there's a whole lotta pork. it's all from getaway farm & when i picked up my order i even had a little extra love ;)

the first order of business was a new batch of sesame ginger pulled pork. it's been awhile since i've had this one on the menu, but it's always a top seller. i braised the pork shoulder overnight with 5-spice, garlic, ginger, soy, rice vinegar & brown sugar until meltingly tender. it's served up with sesame roasted broccoli, rice (mixed up with some braising liquid), bok choy & chillies. it's got a smidge of a kick but it's not overly spicy at all.

i made a fair bit of it!
small $10  large $20

then it was on to sweet & spicy pork meatballs. it's sort of funny but this is literally one of the very first things i learned to cook, back in the day before i would touch raw meat & replaced the meatballs with cooked sausages (about 20 years ago!!!). this is inspired by many afternoons watching 'wok with yan' on cbc. it's more of a grown up version than i used to make with red curry, some fun spices & fresh ginger and coriander in the meatballs. the sauce has pineapple, peppers & chillies. this one packs a bit more of a punch than the pulled pork.

oh yeah, it's also gluten free & dairy free!
ps: there are 8 meatballs/large, they're just buried under sauce & veggies.
small $10  large $20

then it was time for something vegan. lentil shepherd's pie is back, also known as 'gardener's pie' in some circles. the bottom layer is braised lentils with carrots, celery, zucchini, corn, mushrooms, kale & tomatoes. the top in a winter vegetable mash with potatoes, sweet potatoes, cauliflower & parsnips with a touch of nutmeg to round it out. it's vegan & gluten free.

small $9  large $18

for salads this week, there's broccoli, greek quinoa & vegan potato.
today for lunch i had leftover quinoa from last week. since it's chilly out, i like to heat it up...and melt parmesan cheese all over it. it makes a great side dish option or hot lunch if you're not so much in a salad frame of mind at this time of year.

& it's fine in the fridge after a week!

here's the creamy vegan potato salad:

people are often confused as to how i can make it creamy & keep it vegan. i make an emulsification in the blender that is essentially 'vegannaise.'

this is technically another you could serve warm if you so desired.
as always, salads are $5 each for a 375ml container.

don't forget i have tons of soups, lots of other mains, bbq sauces & baked goods. just consult my blackboards & freezer door for all of the menu options (i think there are 44 in total).

ok now it's cake building time!
hope to see you all over the weekend at the market :)

Friday, February 21, 2014

is winter over yet?

i am so over winter.

last saturday night we had quite a storm in prospect. i was awoken at 2:30am to find the sky lit up. lightning? nope, it was just the wires outside my house getting crossed, the insulator splitting on top of the pole & electricity surging down the pole & in to my house. so much electricity that the telephone pole actually caught on fire & my house smelled like burning electrical. awesome. 

if you've been on my facebook page today, you know my stand up freezer (laden with product) & my oven were fried. many thanks to nova scotia power for denying liability & NOT covering any of the costs of electricians, appliance repairmen, or new appliances... oh wait a second, no thanks at all. gotta love being at the mercy of the electricity monopoly.

i've since replaced the oven but am waiting on a freezer. thankfully all of my product was saved... oh & thankfully my house didn't burn down, but i will definitely be a little disorganized trying to find stuff in coolers tomorrow.

that being said, we have a wonderful weekend to look forward to at the market. on sunday the market is having it's first annual winter picnic & i'm having a SALE!!!

there will be a special soup's on promotion with lots of prepared food vendors participating. i won't be doing any hot soup, but i will be offering $2 off all of my vegan & vegetarian soups for ONE DAY ONLY!

so for $5 you can get:

carrot, apple, ginger
beet, parsnip & pear
curried butternut squash
white bean, lemon & kale
indian-spiced cauliflower
hearty tomato vegetable
roasted pepper, tomato, chipotle

The $7 soups are:

chicken stew
beef stew
seafood chowder
thai turkey & rice

and i have a new one. it's green curry chicken with coconut milk, sweet potatoes, bok choy, chillies & cilantro. it's very similar to the thai turkey & rice except it's creamier (but dairy free) and paleo.

this week i also made a new batch of beef shepherd's pie. it's made with getaway farm beef, cheesy mashed potatoes, a touch of chipotle lime bbq sauce, peas, corn & carrots. it's also gluten free!

small $10  large $20

beef bourguignon is also back on the menu...and also gluten free!

it's super tender, red wine braised beef with pearl onions, herbs, tomatoes & garlic. it's paired with blue cheese mashed potatoes & roasted veggies (carrots, brussels sprouts, kale & swiss chard). it's good, stick-to-your-ribs, get-through-the-rest-of-winter grub. i made a few paleo & dairy-free ones too.

small $10  large $20

there are three salads this week.

broccoli is the same as always.

sweet potato is back. avocado, lime, cilantro, chipotle, peppers, green onions. it's paleo, dairy free & gluten free.

and the quinoa salad is the greek version this week. zucchini, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, olives, basil, garlic, lemon, feta. this one is gluten free as well & i packed up a few without the cheese so they're vegan & dairy free.

ok back to the kitchen, still have a cake to decorate. i hope to see you all over the weekend & that you come take advantage of the soup promotion, i love sunday visitors :)

ps: please send nasty thoughts to nova scotia power on my behalf.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

better late than never

well it's saturday night. i'm finished with the crafters pop up market & now just have a sunday at the seaport to get through before my weekend starts :)

today went great. i've had a bit of practise being in a couple markets at once, so things go quite a bit smoother now. also, a big shout out to leslie (aka my voice doppelganger) for holding down the fort for me at the seaport!

it's nice to have a change of scenery every once in awhile though, and to get a bit more exposure on the dark side. here's my set up from the market at two if by sea today:

ckdu was on hand spinning fun tunes all day, there were loads of lovely crafters to chat with & lots and lots of delicious anchored coffee. the next crafters market is the first weekend in april & will be back at the olympic centre. for all of these markets i take my usual assortment of sweets, a small selection of frozen goodies & lots of salads to feed the hungry crafters.

i actually should have brought more salads with me. i sold out quite early but didn't sell out at the seaport. i have 3 of each left for tomorrow.

broccoli: bacon, almonds, sunflower seeds, cranberries, red pepper & red onion

quinoa: curried hummus dressing, peanuts, lime, cilantro, crunchy veggies.

vegan potato: green beans, celery, radishes, fennel, dill & dijon.

this week i also completely replenished my soup stocks. i made 5 new batches & the freezers are overflowing. there's curried butternut squash:

indian-spiced, creamy cauliflower:

white bean, lemon & kale:

beef stew:

and roasted red pepper, tomato, sweet potato & chipotle which i forgot to take a picture of.
there's a list on my freezer door now stating which ones are vegan, vegeterian, paleo & gluten free. there's pretty much a soup to suit every dietary restriction!

one last thing, passionfruits made their way back in to my kitchen this week. 

i have a new item, lemon-passionfruit shortbread bars, just in time for valentine's day!

speaking of which, you have two days left to get your valentine's dinner delivery orders in. i need to do the food shopping, plan the delivery route & prep all the grub so they need to be in by monday night please & thank you.

and on that note, i'm going to sleep - yahoo!!! hope to see you all at the market tomorrow.

Monday, February 3, 2014


i am so sick of this whole tgif thing. fridays can be pretty rough for me.  in fact this is what i looked like last friday:


thank god it's monday (#tgim i'm starting a new twitter hashtag).

friday is the busiest day of the week for us weekend vendors followed by a few hours sleep before we arrive at the market to set up at 6am.

last week was slightly psychotic for me & i didn't get around to posting my menu on friday. since today is my weekend (sort of... i went grocery shopping today) i thought i'd take some time to recap what i was up to last week.

i bought a turkey from shani's farm. the thai turkey & rice soup has become one of my most popular & has been in very high demand. i bought a 15 pound turkey & didn't need it all for soup so i decided to make a batch of turkey & dressing pies as well.

i started off by butchering the turkey, roasting the bones & making a delicious, overnight turkey stock. half the stock was set aside for the traditional pies & the other half got a bit of thai-inspired flare from cardamom pods, star anise, 5-spice, ginger & lemongrass. then came the veggies: carrots, celery, red bell peppers, chillies, baby bok choy, bean sprouts & cilantro. i finished it off with jasmine rice, sesame oil, coconut milk & lime. this is the end result:

it's gluten free & dairy free! $7/500ml

then it was on to the turkey & dressing pies. the turkey stock was thickened in to a rich, herby gravy & combined with onions, carrots, turnips, parsnips, celery, brussels sprouts & peas. then it was topped with cranberry & sage dressing with sourdough bread & mashed potatoes. comme ca:

a convenient combination of all your favourite thanksgiving dinner flavours.
small $10  large $20
(there are still lots in the freezer for next week)

then it was on to salad prep. the quinoa had greek flavours:

and the beet had roasted roots & pears & kale:

i also followed up the saturday market with a catering gig. so then it was on to that prep. that's the beauty of dealing with perishable goods, all the work has to be done at the last minute, hence ridiculous fridays.

i was frying buttermilk marinated chicken:

searing beef tenderloin:

baking mini yorkshire puddings:

and decorating cakes:

this one is carrot, maple & walnut with cream cheese frosting for the catering.

and this is a vegan, gluten free special order chocolate cake.

the next morning it was off to the market to sling some cupcakes. every week they're a little bit different, but this happened to be a particularly good one :)

and as soon as the market closed it was a mad dash to get all the catering grub ready.
the menu was really tasty though so it was fun:

chipotle pulled pork sliders on sesame seed milk buns
fried chicken on homemade biscuits with lettuce & ranch
beef tenderloin on yorkshire puddings with blue cheese bechamel
quinoa salad
beet salad
mini cupcakes
carrot cake

then it was home, unpack, make more frosting & get ready for the sunday market.

today i slept in, went shopping, ate chicken wings & relaxed.