(mostly) daily photoblog

Posts tagged “Food

New recipes…Yay!

My wife and kids gave me the book on top of the stack for Christmas.  I’m excited about trying some of the recipes.  They look really good.  All I need is a food processor and a new life in the kitchen will start.

Is there anyone else who’s excited about new recipes?  Or Jamie Oliver?  Or Jamie Oliver’s recipes?

Here’s my NOON hour food prep

I roasted a turkey today.  My family was coming over and my parents are leaving in three days for Guatemala for six months.  They started working there years ago and have formed their own missions organization, Love Guatemala, wherein they show love to people through meeting practical needs – housing, water filters, clinics.  We (kind of) had Christmas today, as they’ll be away when Christmas actually occurs.  I’ll miss them a lot, so it felt right to do a big family dinner.  I made roasted potatoes, carrots and parsnips, stuffing and gravy.

So, I roasted a turkey today.  I like to cook and doing a turkey is fun.  I know, that makes me weird.  What you see above are the herbs that were combined with garlic and olive oil and then massaged into the bird, under the skin and then over.  The oil adds a nice golden-ness to the turkey.  The herbs are Italian parsley (I’m not sure what makes it Italian), thyme, rosemary, and sage.  I love fresh herbs and the chopping is particularly satisfying.  Something about wielding a big knife that appeals to the neanderthal in me.

Oh, and this week’s Photo Friday Challenge is “Noon“.  Seeing as I was chopping these around noon in order to get the turkey ready for dinner, I thought this might meet the challenge.

Smooth and beautiful

That’s it.  That’s all there is to say.

Have a nice sleep.

WordPress Photo Challenge: Hidden

When I read the topic for this week’s photo challenge, I was stuck.

I thought about taking a shot of this lovely, vintage door someone near our house restored and used as a gate to their backyard.  It makes me think there’s something great hidden back there and I can just see a hint of it through the old glass in the door.

I thought about trying to snap a shot of my kids hiding somewhere in the house.

Then, tonight, I opened up the fridge and had a flash of brilliance.  The fridge.  I’ve had those moments when I’ve said to my wife, “Have you seen the eggs?”  Then she finds them behind the margarine.  Or, “Do we have any peppers?”  “Yup, they’re in the back.”  “Back where?”  “They’re in there, I know they are.”  Two weeks later there’s a nasty smell and then I find the peppers.  Or what’s left of them.

Between the crispers and the shelves and the…well…there’s just too many places to hide in a fridge.

Hidden.  The wordpress photo challenge.


Here Fishy Fishy…

If you’re a fisherman (is the p.c. version of that “fisher-person”?), then you know already that it’s fishing season here in the Fraser Valley of British Columbia.  Everyone I know is talking about how they want to get on the river and fish, or what they caught this morning before work, or how many “pinks” are running right now.  And me?

I like it when others do the work – catch it, gut it, filet it, flash freeze it and vacuum seal it – and then let me throw some olive oil and lemon peel on it, slap it on a cedar plank in the BBQ and eat it.  That’s where I shine.  The cooking and eating end of things.  I’m not really into the whole fishing “thing”.

That said, I haven’t been fishing since I was 14, so maybe I would like it.  Hmm…I wonder if anyone’s got some waders I could borrow?


BTW, extra credit if you can tell me what inspired the title of this post.  Seriously.  I’ll be impressed if you can remember where you first heard that phrase.

Breakfast: the tasty way

I’ve been eating smarter lately and dropped 10 pounds (still have 30 or more to go).  I’ve been eating oatmeal every morning for breakfast with strawberries or honey as my sweetener.  I’ve been eating brown rice and more fruit and veggies than I really want.

But Saturday mornings?  I get to eat a big, fat, salty scramble.  I was going to make a frittata, but I forgot to buy more eggs; I only had two in the fridge.  So I made a ham, yellow and red peppers, cheddar and egg scamble with a bit of fresh milled black pepper over the whole mess.  This is the scramble before the eggs.   It was delicious.

What’s your favorite dessert beverage?

Mine is the Root Beer Float.  I don’t have them very often, but when I was a kid my parents would take us out for lunch at a place called “The Pioneer Steakout”.  They served my favorite lunch meal, the hot hamburger sandwich with fries and gravy, and I would beg my parents to let me order the more expensive Root Beer Float.  In my mind, if I could get the Root Beer Float, I’d have a drink and dessert in one order and we never got to order dessert at restaurants.

This afternoon, after lunch, I made my own float and then took a few shots of it.  That’s it, above.  I particularly like how the ice cream is starting to melt down the cup.  But it brings to mind this question:  what’s your favorite dessert beverage?

Cue cheesy product placement…now!

For my wife and son, this may be the greatest reason to visit the north coast of Oregon: the Tillamook Cheese Factory.  I’ll admit, their ice cream is unparalleled and the tour of the factory, wherein one has the opportunity to watch fifty pound blocks of medium cheddar move on a byzantine labyrinth of conveyors, is pretty cool.  Even the cheese taste-testing, with its squeaky cheese and pepper-jack, is pretty great and the Peanut Butter Chocolate ice cream, and the Root Beer Float Ice Cream and…

You know what?  I think my wife and son are onto something.  I’d like to head to Oregon again.  Now.  Just for ice cream and cheese.  Anyone with me?





I love burgers.  I shouldn’t.  They are full of fat and salt and other things that I’m sure my doctor would not like me eating.  Yet, I love them.  The sloppier the better.  Preferably the kind that I have to hunch over to shove into the gaping maw that is my mouth.  Mmm…

Hey. New Photo! I did it!

I took this photo while I was at school today.  In fact, I’m still at school.  My friend Kris and I will be attending a scholarship dinner tonight in Abbotsford, so we decided to stay late, get some work done (or in this case, some photography), go to dinner, then go home.

This is a “lug” on the side of a conga drum in our band room.  I, once upon a time, wanted to be a drummer.  What I found was that my feet work or my hands work, but they don’t like to work together.  Yes, I can walk and move my arms, but anything more demanding than that and all heck breaks loose.  So I accepted my lack of coordination and moved on.  My obsession with things that make loud noises, however, has never been stronger.

Anyway, I’m off to Indian food for dinner.  Or, in other words, I’m off to show my stomach who’s boss and ingest more butter chicken and rice and naan bread than I really should.


This is a delicious but bad photo

There are many things that are bad about this photo.  The colors aren’t great.  There needs to be some serious dodging on the sausage so you can actually see it.  The angle is not very good.  The horizon, because of the angle at which I shot this photo, is not quite right on the top, but it’s okay at the bottom.

On the other hand, grilled veggies and Mennonite farmer sausage is the best comfort food of the oncoming summer.  Yum.

Grill, baby, grill

Mother’s Day, 2011:  cold, cloudy and desperately in need of a barbecue experience.  I’ve become quite enamored of grilling vegetables.  The variety above was new to me.  I’d never grilled cauliflower before (and I should have steamed them or boiled them slightly first) and broccoli, well, let’s just say that I’m not married to it yet.  I love broccoli, but I’m not sure that I’ll grill it again.

I used to believe that the only thing on my grill should be meat.  Meat, meat and more meat.  Now, veggies are threatening my inner carnivore.  I’ll keep you updated.

Cake is awesome!

This cake was great.  Tasted great.  Looked great.  Felt great – wait…what?  That’s not right.  It’s a cake, not Pat the Bunny.

Anyway, I’m so proud of this cake that I thought I’d post another photo of it.

Did I say that it tasted great?  It was.

I trapped the Easter Bunny and mounted him on a cake

Actually, it was my job to make an Easter/Birthday cake for our family Easter dinner today.  Here’s how I did it:

1.  Friday:  I baked four 9″ chocolate cakes and placed them all in the freezer, wrapped in plastic (I only used three of the round cakes for what you see above).

2.  Saturday:  I asked my wife as nicely as I could to make a ridiculous amount of buttercream icing.  After I removed the cakes from the freezer, I placed them one on top of the other and trimmed the whole stack to a good circle.  I “dirty iced” the three cakes  and placed them back in the freezer.

3.  Still Saturday:  We colored the remainder of the icing yellow and green.  I chose two Wilton icing tips and filled my icing bags.

4.  Minutes later:  I removed the iced stack and started “basket weaving” the yellow icing on the sides.  When that was done, I starred the top four rows, dropped a big glop of yellow icing in the middle and placed the Lindt Bunny and the Cadbury Mini Eggs.

5.  Ta-Da!  Done.  Only hours of work to make this little beauty.  Then, back in the fridge overnight and off to my sister’s house today.

It tasted good.  Want some?

Ooh, baby. That’s a sexy muffin top.

Haha.  Did you know that “muffin top” just made the Oxford Dictionary?  Seriously, it did.

I did some baking tonight and these oatmeal chocolate chip muffins are really good.  Nobody in my house really likes pecans, so I had to avoid them even though I love them.  Other than that, these little babies are perfect.  Moist.  Tasty.  A little bit of chocolate.  Mmm…

Anybody interested?  I only made 12, but I might share…or…not.

Why does making (and eating) food make me so happy?

Well, my daughter turned 10 today.  She wanted cheesecake for her birthday instead of the traditional birthday cake (much to the chagrin of my brother-in-law, who loves the cakes my wife makes).  Instead of going out and buying one, I suggested we make one.  I suggested that we make mini marbled cheesecakes.  She was very excited about that idea.  My daughter is a person who loves to spend time with others; it’s how she shows love.  If she loves you, she’ll just want to hang around and do stuff with you.  Gifts are good, but not as good as time.  So we made what you see above.

The thing is, as soon as I bit into one of the first we refrigerated, after all the time spent mixing, creaming, spooning, melting and baking, I felt an overwhelming sense of calm and subdued joy.  I love the work that goes into food, but I feel in a way that I do not for anything else when I bite into a good, tiny cheesecake.  Or when I bite into a piece of home-made flat bread I’ve just finished cooking on the barbecue.  Or when I bite into a perfectly roasted potato (thanks, Jamie Oliver).  I worry sometimes that I have an addiction to food, but I don’t know if that’s it.  I get no joy out of eating something bought in a store, already cooked or baked or manufactured.

I think it’s the sense that “I made that, and it’s delicious” and I wonder if people in bygone eras felt that sense of satisfaction.  Is it just that so much of our food is already made for us that we feel such great, ego-boosting happiness when we make something ourselves?  Did my grandma, who made everything from scratch except the Jif Peanut Butter and Pringles that adorned her cupboards, ever think “I made that!”  I do, and maybe, now that I’ve thought about it more, it’s a little sadness that goes with my happiness.  Hmm…

Presenting…the COSMOPOLITAN (cupcake)

My daughter’s birthday is this weekend, but she had her birthday party tonight.  She (we) took all her friends to a local Colour Me Mine where they got to pick out pottery and paint it their own way.

I, being the awesome father that I am, offered to pick up part of the dessert for the evening.  I went to one of our favorite, if not visited enough, cupcake places called Tracycakes.  The little morsel captured above is called the “Cosmopolitan.”  It is a delightful little cupcake filled with cranberry jam and topped with delicious pink icing.  It’s a tiny A-Bomb of cakey sweetness.  Mmm…

Jamie Oliver’s Potatoes, via me.

The wait is over.  There they are, in all their potatoish glory.  The crispiness on the outside is from the butter and the other stuff is garlic cloves, clementine peel and sage.  And they tasted great.  In fact, I’m going to check right now if we have leftovers because they look yummy.  By the way, if  you wish to try this recipe, go to Jamie Oliver’s website.

Oh, my darling Clementine

I made my favorite of Jamie Oliver’s recipes tonight, Perfect Roast Potatoes, and it calls for Clementine peels.  I did not know what a Clementine was until I made these potatoes (I’ll show you what they looked like in tomorrow’s post…oooh, suspense!).  It turns out they’re “a variety of Mandarin Orange” and they’re super sweet and delicious.

As for the photo, I desaturated all colors except orange when I processed this shot and I liked the way it looked.  Also, now I’m hungry for Clementines.  Oh my darling, Clementine.  Do you think they were singing about the oranges?  “Thou are lost and gone forever, Oh my darling, Clementine” (because I ate you, haha).

I’m hungry. Is anyone else hungry?

I’m sitting in my living room, watching Tina Fey on Late Night with David Letterman and I was looking at my photos from Montreal and I saw this.  I don’t even know if the WINGS on the building is referencing hot wings or honey garlic wings or sweet chili wings but I want all of those things now and all I did was look at a photo that, I’m pretty sure, I took because I liked the look of the fire escape ladder.  Shut up, stomach.  I don’t need to feed you right now.  Especially wings, which will send me to nightmareland and my wife will make me sleep on the couch or in the basement.

Anyway, what are you hungry for?

Cooking in summer is a delicious endeavor.

I moved to a new house a little over two weeks ago and as a result of the move I got to buy a new barbecue.  It’s a Cuisinart.  I know, I couldn’t believe they made barbecues either.  But it’s pretty sweet (and huge).

I love to barbecue.  There’s no extra heat in the house; dishes are cut back slightly; I get to eat outside (and I think everything tastes better when you eat it outside).  I’m getting pretty good at knowing how my barbecue cooks, but I’ve recently started cooking vegetables on the barbecue.  My little sister, Alison, showed me a grill-top wok when we were out shopping and I picked one up when I bought the new barbecue.  It works great.  So far, I’ve done baby potatoes tossed in seasoning and olive oil and the dish you see above.  The potatoes took forever.  Seriously, I think I sprouted new grey hair while waiting for them to cook.  I should have boiled them beforehand and then finished them on the grill.

The veggies you see above were done in this order:  carrots were blanched in boiling water for about seven minutes, and then tossed into the bowl with the mushrooms and yellow and red peppers.  I tossed it all with olive oil and garlic salt.  I placed the asparagus on the grill at the same time as the wok, and after eight minutes I placed them inside the wok as well and tossed the whole mess a few times throughout the grilling process with a pair of locking tongs.

It tasted great alongside some lemon-herb chicken breasts.  Now that I’ve raised the expectations for dinner, however, I’ve been informed that I’ll be doing even more of the c0oking.  Anyone have any good recipes?

Pentax K20D; Pentax DA 18-55mm AL II; f5.6; ISO 400; 1/50 sec.

Since 1645

My country hasn’t even been a country for as long as this soy sauce company has been around.

Pentax K20D; Pentax M SMC 50mm; f1.7; ISO 400; 1/50 sec.