Thursday, February 25, 2010

And The Gold Medal Winner Is...

It's a tie! Dark & milk chocolate are both the winners of Daily Dalliances with Food's first weekly poll: "What's your favourite chocolate?"! Not a huge surprise, although I expected one or two more votes for white chocolate.  So rich and creamy, perfect with bits of cranberry and nuts in it too. My vote went to dark-is that cheating? voting in my own poll?-as it seems to be more refined (and healthier!) than milk chocolate. But the bitterness that is often found in high-quality, high-cocoa mass dark chocolate is not too everyone's taste.

Next poll is...what is your favourite comfort food?
This is mine. What's yours?

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Quickie #2

Just finished eating midnight dinner. That's what happens when you work evening shifts. Made a quick-ie  pasta and was most impressed with results. Ingredients are as follows:

boiling water
kamut penne rigate
lean ground beef
chopped red peppers (equivalent of one big pepper)
minced garlic (three cloves)
chives (two)
olive oil (drizzle)
parmesan cheese (two tbsp. sounds right)

Nourishing and nicely filling. Inexpensive and quick. First real meal of the day.

Good night.

Friday, February 19, 2010


No, not that kind of quickie. I'm off to work and just wanted to leave a quick-ie post:
Just made spelt pancakes from scratch. Have never made pancakes from scratch before. I would give them a 3 out of 5. Better when they are small pancakes, as opposed to one large one. I'd put a bit less salt in them next time. I also need to be more patient with them, as not all of them were entirely cooked through. Although they did seem to cook through after a few minutes out of the pan. You can find my base recipe here. Minus the strawberries. Although come to think of it, I have pure strawberry jam and I could add that next time.
Yo-ho, yo-ho, it's off to work we go!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Preparing for a battle? Drink this.

Alright, so it won't get you jacked up like Red Bull or 'roids for that matter, but let's be honest, neither is good for you. This, however, this elixir, ambrosial drink, was thought to do it for you for ancient South American warriors. And they knew a thing or two about building dominant civilizations and fighting bloody battles. The drink: Drinking Chocolate. Not to be mournfully confused with hot chocolate, especially the instant powder-boiling water nightmare-inducing North American drivel. This is the real shit, drunk in Mexico, Latin & South American countries, Spain, and other Mediterranean countries who know their chocolate.

There are different variations in making drinking chocolate-some ask for cream, some ask for white sugar, others brown sugar, others still different-but you will always need these four ingredients: dark chocolate, cocoa powder, sugar, and milk/water. Now, I can't imagine making it with water. Some find it too rich with the milk, but I think that could only be the case if you used Homo milk, which I haven't drunk in over five years and before that probably the same. 1% works perfectly well, giving the drink its necessary richness and creaminess, but it won't render you immobile and incapable of normal brain function as a result.

I successfully made delicious drinking chocolate three times in the last two days. Not quite as rich as the drinking chocolate at 49th Parallel on Fourth, but a bigger serving and the cayenne kick put it on a level playing field. (If I may say so myself. I never said I was modest.) I may try Xoxolat's offering today when I head out to that side of town today. What a ego-stoking feeling though to know that I can make great stuff in my tiny basement kitchen that is just as good if not better than what I can get in chi-chi-boo-boo cafes in town. Stir, drink, and enjoy:


  • 1 oz (30 g) 69 or 70% dark chocolate (3 squares of a standard 100 g bar)
  • 1 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup (175 ml) milk
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper (or spice of your desire: nutmeg, cinnamon, and/or ground cloves would work)


  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat the milk, chocolate (break into small pieces), cocoa, and brown sugar.
  2. Once the chocolate starts to melt, gently whisk to combine ingredients.
  3. Just bring the mixture to boil.
  4. Add desired spices and whisk again until combined.
  5. Pour and enjoy.

Monday, February 15, 2010

We Find The Defendant...

Guilty for culinary achievement in the highest order! The chili was a hit, as you can plainly see on Anthony's face (the unamused look would be because he hates posing for photographs, but he did it for me anyways, and that is why-among many other reasons-he is the love of my life). I love you Baby.

What an incredibly easy recipe. Four ingredients: ground beef, canned diced tomatoes, canned red kidney beans, and chili seasoning mix. Does all the work for you. But, of course, with any recipe, personal flair and experimentation is lovingly welcomed. My replacement for the chili seasoning mix (which you may remember was left in the grocery cart mistakenly) in cayenne pepper, cajun seasoning, salt, and pepper worked tremendously well. I added a bit extra of all of the spices as the chili cooked; it all depends on how spicy you want your chili. I didn't want it so spicy I couldn't taste what I was eating, but I wanted some kick to it. All in all, a solid 4 out of 5. I may add some more tomatoes next time and scoop the tomatoes and beans out of the can instead of pouring straight from it, so there's a bit less liquid in the chili.

Tomorrow night: cornbread from scratch and hopefully some collard greens. With chili, of course. The Deep South in East Van. Night, y'all.

The South Comes To East Van, Y'all

I want my baby back baby back baby back,
I want my baby back baby back baby back,
Chili's Baby Back Ribs.

Ok, so I'm not making baby back ribs, nor am I dining at Chili's and I never have. But, I am making chili from scratch! Woo! One snafu though: I didn't realize until I got home that the Old El Paso Chili Seasoning packet that I bought wasn't in my grocery bag and I didn't actually even purchase it. It might still be all on its lonesome in the basket next to the self-serve cashier I used. A moment of silence please. A moment of silence.

Anyways, I am going to have to improvize tonight-that's what cooking and life is all about!-so I'm using salt, pepper, cajun seasoning, and cayenne pepper instead. Which incidentally is pretty much the extent of my spice collection, beyond two unopened packets of thyme and bay leaves. Tomorrow I will make a real Southern meal: chili (probably leftover from tonight), cornbread, and collard greens. I'm so psyched.

I actually wanted to make the cornbread tonight, but I didn't have enough money for baking powder and I wasn't astute enough to just borrow a couple tablespoons from my mum today. Oh well. Tomorrow.

Alright, off to make the chili. I will report back with results. Hold your breath. (Actually don't because who needs to hold their breath for chili? It's impossible to muck up. Maybe wait in suspense instead.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

A Cup of Tea

A cup of tea is good for the soul.
Chamomile gently soothes,
While peppermint refreshes.
Chai gives you a bit of spice,
The Earl of Grey is the epitome of nice.
I need my tea like you need your beer,
When I drink my tea, there's nothing to fear.
Quiet, calm,
Reflect, meditate.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Olympic Men's Hockey, Belarus vs. Sweden Tickets Available!

Alright, so I'm pimping out my blog to try to sell two AWESOME Olympics tickets. So sue me!

Olympic Men's Ice Hockey
Belarus vs. Sweden
Feb. 19, 12-2:30, Canada Hockey Place (GM Place)
$275 FOR BOTH!
Watch the Sedins from centre ice!
Must go now!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Eat. Yogurt. Moan.

Food Orgasm: Vanilla Liberte Yogurt with drizzle of Fraser Valley Wildflower Honey.

Eat. Yogurt. Moan.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Dinner in High-Light & Low-Light #2

Green Leaf Lettuce
Chopped Red Bell Peppers
Roasted Garlic Cloves
Chunks of Brie
Red Wine Vinegar
Salt & Pepper

An Egg A Day Keeps The Doctor Away

Alright, so there is no such saying. It's just a riff off of the original, "an apple a day keeps the doctor away". Neither is really true, but the point of all this is is to discuss my relationship with eggs.

Unlike Julie Powell, I have always eaten and loved eggs: scrambled, eggs benedict, omelettes, quiches, sunny side-up, soft-boiled, egg salad sandwiches, and on and on. But, sometime in January 2009, Anthony and I learned that his cholesterol was a bit high. Not dangerously so, I mean, after all, he is a pretty healthy young man. But, we did consume a lot of eggs.

Eggs while high in cholesterol (in the yolk) are also one of the healthiest foods out there. They are not high in calories, they are full of really important protein that gives you long-lasting energy and improved brain functions, they are an excellent source of easily-absorbed iron, and the list goes on. (Although, after a quick inspection of the "Health Care Professionals" section of, perhaps the cholesterol in the egg yolks are not as bad as I thought. Further inspection is required. Doo doo doo doo doo doo, Inspector Gadget!) Regardless, the point is that they are healthy and as long as you're not a vegan, you should eat them (not the vegans, the eggs).

Now, for quite a while now, I can't get this one piece of nutritional advice I read in a magazine (probably Glamour) about eggs: eating six whole eggs a week is healthy, but you should not go over this amount. Yes, advice found in mags is often questionable; however, there is a lot of valuable tips as well. To me, I think eight whole eggs a week works best. Think about it, most people (including myself) usually eat two eggs at a time when they have eggs. Not one or three (I personally couldn't stomach three eggs at once), but two. So if I eat eight whole eggs a week, two at a time, once a day, that is four days a week with eggs, and three days off. That would describe me. Although I have never actually set the six eggs/week goal on the fridge or something, I would keep it in my head as a very lofty goal that I may or may not reach. Eight eggs, however, was something I could do.

I'm not one for diets or ridiculously constrictive eating habits. I love good food to much for that, I value my personal health and happiness too much. But, I do recognize the value of diversity in your daily nutrition and diet. That is part of the reason I try to at least have two days a week when I don't eat eggs. On those days, I'll have oatmeal with milk and honey, and maybe some fruit and yogurt instead. Or, baked beans and toast. I remember a friend suggesting a tofu scramble as a high-protein, hearty, and healthy breakfast alternative, but I never got around to making it. I bought the tofu and then I never ate it. I'm the type of person who has to have a big breakfast or else I just get hungry right away, and if I don't eat breakfast, I'm miserable. So if any of my few cyber-readers out there has any egg-less breakfast suggestions that are easy and filling, send me your thoughts.

And in case you're wondering, yes, I did have eggs for breakfast today.

Monday, February 1, 2010


This is a more 'Dear Diary' style post. Financially I've been struggling for a long time now, with a couple months here and there offering relief and breaking even. I'm not dumb with my money; rather, I've been quite smart about it in the past year or so, especially the last six months. I'm just not making enough. It's too expensive to live in this city. It's too hard to succeed. Job hunting constantly sucks. I'm under-employed. The first half of this months looks really good work-hours wise, especially with the opening of BonChaz downtown where I will be working. All the same though, when I get down like this, and I'm feeling fairly low right now, I start to question choices I have made, things I have and have not done, opportunities that I have let go by me, maybe not. Thus, still being awake at 1:45am. I'm writing this in the hopes that I will feel better once I've got it all out on cyber-paper. It's too much work, this thing we call life. I won't say if only it could be easier, because life at its core is a challenge and I am grateful to be alive with all the love that is in my life. But, I do wish sometimes that it could be easier, nonetheless.