Sunday, January 31, 2010

Dinner in High-Light & Low-Light

Pork Chorizo Sausage
Fried Mushrooms
Boiled Nugget Potatoes w/ Butter, Salt, & Pepper

Friday, January 29, 2010

The Ethical Eater

As I have said before, I believe that eating ethically is the best choice to make, over eating locally or organically. Likely, eating ethically will largely involve eating locally and organically. I agree with Michael Ableman, don't eat local just for the sake of eating local, or because you feel bad for the local farmers. Make the best choice for you. I believe that choice to be an the choice of eating ethically. It's difficult, a huge challenge for most in this day and age of the horrific proliferation and power of monocultures, GM foods, factory 'torture' farms, and the like. But it is totally possible. Make the ethical choices that you are able to. If you can only make one, make one. Drink organic milk. Eat organic apples. Abstain from eating factory farm meat. Eat organic, free-range/run eggs. Visit a local organic farm. Go to Avalon Dairy! Volunteer at the UBC Farm. Become a part of a community garden. Watch The Future of Food. Stop eating McDonald's.

In more direct relation to the title of my post, if you are interested in eating ethically at home when it comes to meat and dairy, here are some links to some great local farms that will allow you to do so:
Rabbit River Farms: (Organic/Free-Range/Free-Run/Vegetarian Feed Fed Eggs)
Avalon Dairy: (Conventional & Organic Milk, Butter, Eggs, Cheese, etc.)
Rockweld Farm: (Organic Feed Fed, Antiobiotic-Free, SPCA Certified Chicken)
SPCA Certified Farms (BC & Alberta):

Enjoy your ethical eating!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

All I Do Is Eat

While the title of this blog is not technically true of course-even the biggest gorger isn't literally eating all the time-food, eating, and cooking are often activities my brain and body are engaged in. Today, however, I feel as though all I've done for the last six hours is eat. Here's the ingested:

One sandwich (two slices spelt bread, mayo, crushed garlic, black forest ham, three/four slices of red peppers, two pieces of lettuce)
One celery stick
Small bowl of Moka Liberte yogurt
A bunch of Original Doritos

Staff Meeting Snacks:
One carbonated juice
Uncounted number of garlic/parsley olives, Hardbite Rock Salt & Vinegar potato chips, Almond Nut Thins with Zucchini Dip, Nut-Granola thing

One Chorizo Pork sausage
Three boiled nugget potatoes w/ 1 tbsp of butter, three ripped up chives, drizzle of mayo, with salt and pepper
One carbonated juice

Two mugs of green tea
Two mugs of water (maybe another?)

Not to worry, this isn't going to become some lamentable diet blog. I'm not Bridget Jones either in weight, psychological issues, hilarity, terrible taste in men, and crazy mother having delayed mid-life crisis. It just came to me to get it all out on "paper" what I had ingested in the last six or so hours. Although, I can see if I was to attempt to change my diet to a healthier one, writing it out like this would be an extremely helpful tool.
Thinking about giving Avalon Dairy a visit in the next few days. After all, 41st and Wales isn't that far from me: just a short ride on the 20. We'll see.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Another Leafy Lamentation

I am injustice.
I dress in too much salad dressing.
I need more unsuspecting leafy victims to drown.
I am related to "excess". 
I vacation in unsuspecting glass bottles in the cupboard.
My job is to ruin Jess's salads.
I desire to leave a black mark on salads forever..

As Salty laments over his involuntary parting with Sidekicks, 
Jess laments over her involuntary life-long struggle to stop
salad dressing from brutally murdering her salads.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

A Root and a Cause

The root: potatoes. The cause: discovery and success of ways of cooking them well. The problem: my lack of cooking experience with potatoes. When it comes to root vegetables, I do neglect them. I've never been a huge potato fan, but I do like some fried potatoes every now and again, some buttery mashed potatoes, some French fries. One day I'll venture into the unknown world of turnips and rutabagas. My success since I began my journey into food this past summer with potatoes has been average I would say. I made some yummy mashed potatoes in the fall, but also one or two that didn't quite work out: not enough fluff, too much milk and the like. I've also made some great breakfast potatoes over the last few months, but have discovered that not every type of potato works for that dish, not at all actually. It would seem that the big earthy russet-type potato works well, but not the nugget potatoes I have. I keep meaning to boil them and then mix them with some butter and/or mayonnaise and green onions, but I keep, well, not doing so. If anyone has any suggestions for great easy potato recipes, I'm all ears. I think I need help.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Ginger ale is the cure for all my ale-ments

Nothing like a bad pun in the title of my blog to start this post off with a fizzy bang! Fizzy, you know, like ginger ale is fizzy. Haha. Oh dear. Well, the "tone" of my blog thus far can be explained by the fact that I am suffering from: a) fatigue, b) cold, c) awful headache, d) weakness, and e) general overall grumpiness. But, strangely enough, I now all of a sudden feel nicely tired, don't have a headache, and am not so grumpy (between this sentence and the former, I went to go use the washroom and the magic of relieving oneself did the trick). Knock on wood. 
I wanted to post about ginger ale because it is my go-to cure-all, feel-good drink. When I feel nauseous as hell after a bad car or airplane ride, all I want, all I can possibly imagine stomaching, is a bottle of Canada Dry (only Canada Dry!) Ginger Ale (w/ or w/o Green Tea) and a bag of Original Doritos. That's it. And it always makes me feel better. Spotless record with 100% success rate. Whether that is just a placebo-type effect or an emotional one or a real physical cure, it doesen't matter (however the carbonation in the ginger ale makes you burp and that helps nausea). After not eating for almost 9 hours (and oddly not feeling that hungry), suffering from a horrific three-point headache, exhaustion, and cold-caused blah-iness, I went to Shoppers Drug Mart with one purpose and one purpose only: buy juice, Doritos, and ginger ale. And I did. And I had some, and I feel better. So this whole thing makes me think about comfort food: cold pizza for one, grilled cheese for another, homemade pie, vanilla ice cream, whatever it is, everyone has a go-to comfort food. My mum cannot live without her tea and sausage rolls. Anthony loves his cookies. I'm sure there is a book out there on the philosophy and psychology behind comfort food and why it is so good at what it does: comfort. Childhood links, culinary tastes, knowing what works for you and what doesen't work for you; the reasons must be multiple and complex, just as we are. 
To end this post, I ask that if you have been/want to help with the situation in Haiti, don't forget there are many animals who have suffered as well and they desperately need your help as well, and you can help them. Thank you.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A Bite-Size, No-Frills, All-Guarantee Recipe to A Great Salad

Green lettuce (ripped up into bite-size pieces; Romaine lettuce could do here as well)
Chopped red peppers
Any other manner of favourite veggies
*Red wine vinegar (to taste)
*Salt and pepper (to taste)

I owe this really to my boss/co-worker at the Vancouver Farmers Markets, Ms. Jen Pleadwell. A couple weeks ago she was eating a delicious homemade lunch of borscht and salad, and I commented on its said deliciousness. We entered a discussion about food, fresh ingredients, good knives, salads, and the like. The golden nugget of truth that she provided was that the salad was just some romaine lettuce and red wine vinegar. Most of us will already know that the standard homemade dressing is olive oil and balsamic vinegar, with some crushed garlic and salt/pepper to personal opinion and taste. But, you see, red wine vinegar on its own with some salt and pepper is all you need. I bought a 1L bottle of Italian red wine vinegar for $3 from Santa Barbara Market on the weekend and it is awesome both in taste, quality, and value. I really recommend it. I've made two, delicious, simple, straightforward salads so far and I have been very pleased with it. It has really motivated me to get back on the leafy salad bandwagon again. In all truthfulness, that is why I bought it, to get me eating some fresh vegetables again. This is something that both the cash-strapped and cash-abundant can afford, trust me, because I am so very much in the former, unfortunate category. So, rip up that lettuce, splash that vinegar, and shake that salt 'n' peppa.

New Template? Yay, or Nay?

Testing out a new template here. It's too late and I've been on the computer for far too many fucking hours tonight, so I'll delay the decision to tomorrow. I think I'll go back to the original. Any feedback for those few who may read my blog between now and tomorrow?

The Return of the Chef

A little dramatic? Well, perhaps. But I always had a flair for big, sweeping, vivid language. Well I've been blog-less for almost two weeks now. I guess I just haven't felt the creative juices rushing of late. I've had some ideas: Schweppes vs. Canada Dry: The Battle of the Ales. Ginger Ales, That Is. Most obviously Canada Dry wins. Schweppes seriously sucks butt. Tasteless, no bite, no sharpness, too much carbonation that is somehow weak and "fluffy", for lack of a better word. Another idea: The Best Pizza Slice in Town: The Search Continues. I'm pretty sure Megabite and Uncle Fatih's has FreshSlice beat in my books, greasy hands down. It has been a while since I've eaten at Numero Uno however. I like the piles of toppings that Megabite and Uncle Fatih's put on their pizza, lots of veggies. But what puts them over the edge, their golden gun, is the crunchy sesame seeds on the crust. And I mean, let's be honest, Megabite at the Broadway-Commercial Skytrain station has it made: blasting pizza-filled air out of their store onto unsuspecting, innocent passersby on the street (or starving commuters on the other side) guarantees their success. Even if I'm not hungry, which never seems to be the case when I walk by there, I want their pizza. I mean, want it. 

Anyways, I digress, as this post was mostly to show off two recent accomplishments of which I am personally very proud: one of which is most obviously culinary, while the other more personal and longer to create. Enjoy.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


I needed a basic, quick cream sauce recipe and I found it here. I think I would add a bit more cream (only a bit!) and a bit less parmesan cheese. It's okay if you don't have parsley; I didn't. But I know it would add some awesome zesty punch to the sauce. Do you like my professionally precise measurements, "a bit"? On the road to culinary stardom already. But, really, in the end, when you really know what you're making, you can play around with portions and measurements, and it stays in your body memory anyways. You never forget how to walk right? You never need a manual to tell you how right? Well, eventually, you won't need one either when you cook. You just remember. You just know. Comforting, isn't it?

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

JapaWhat? JapaWho? Japa-Dog!

Japadog: Destination point for both visitors and residents of Vancouver alike. Has been on my culinary must-have list for years. Finally, today was the day. I came, I saw, I ordered, I ate, I loved. I didn't actually know until today that there are two Japadog locations, luckily for me I was close to the Pender stand today. It seems they've upped their prices a bit, but hey, why not? Get as much money as you can from the dumb Olympic tourists who are already flooding the city. Plus, they are worth it. I ordered the Ume dog: pork hot dog with layers of criss-crossed white and red onions, topped with Japanese plum sauce. Delish! Hot dogs don't normally sit well in my stomach, mostly because of the high salt content of the dog and the wheat of the bun. However-Hallelujah!-this was not the case with The Ume. It felt pretty damn good. And it was really tasty. (The lone young man working there was super sweet too!) I didn't add any extra condiments, but I think I will next time. The Ume just seemed perfect on its own, with plenty of sweet and delicate flavour, which likely would have been marred by ketchup, mustard, and the like. One more culinary goal checked off the list. One more item had on Vancouver Magazine's 101 Things To Taste (Before You Die).
On a foodie side note here: I just read about The Milk Truck, a new and upcoming mobile food service in the city of cities, New York, that will be serving gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches. Oh...My...God. That may be the very first place I go when I go to New York (which is a hypothetical trip, but one I will go on in the next year I have promised to myself). Wow. This is the best idea ever. New York, New York. A faraway lover that I have never met, only known of through others who have loved you as well. When will we meet? When will my unrequited love be exchanged for a full-on affair? Ahhh. Until then...

Japadog (Burrard & Pender) on Urbanspoon