Sunday, May 30, 2010

Fairly Simple Supper

If you've got a grill! One of the best investments I have ever made in my kitchen is my baby Weber - or the Weber BabyQ 100. Don't let the adorably cute name fool you! She is one lean, mean, propane-burning machine! For those considering investing in a bbq for a small space, I highly recommend the Weber model! I had done an extensive search last year, and I can confidently say that I made the right choice.

I present to you - grilled pork loin!

Mmmm. Oh yeah.
Take one pork loin (ribs optional) - take a paring knife and trim the fat. Also, while you've got the knife in your hand, pierce the loin liberally. Create a wet rub and lather liberally, remember to jam the rub into those knife crevasses as well!

(mmm...glistening caramelization...)

My mix that day: grapeseed oil, 3 cloves of crushed garlic, zest of 1 orange, 1 shallot finely chopped, dried thyme and salt and pepper.

My theory with grilling larger pieces of meat is to let it cook - let it sit on the grill on one side for about 10 min and then turn. Let the fat and meat sear and release - it will happen! Don't agitate the meat too much or it will become rubbery and dried out. Turning it evenly will ensure consistent cooking as well - remember to let the meat rest for the juices to resettle!

Pair with a crisp summer (or spring) coleslaw and a slice of reheated lasagne.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Long Weekend Projects

Some work on installing a new deck for the summer. Others - it is working on a painting.
For me, it's building a 20-odd layer lasagne.

Yes. You read that right - 20+ layers of noodle-y goodness packed into a casserole dish.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Happy Feet

As I type this, I am nibbling on a bit of "Oregon Brittle" - basically hazelnut brittle that I purchased on the Coast. It's delicious and crunchy with a savory tang that is both surprising and satisfying. I have been reflecting for the last few days on what I made this weekend - macarons! Yes, I did it! I finally made French macarons!

French macarons are pretty unique - they are almond-meringue sandwich cookies - usually intricately flavoured and brightly coloured. They are something I have always wanted to make - but it's never been high on my priority list. Let's face it - from what I have heard, they sound like a real pain to make and I have read so many disaster stories from other brave bakers. But after making a batch of ice cream, I had egg whites to use, so....why not?

I used a basic recipe & tutorial taken from Bakerella. If you are inspired to make macarons, I would highly recommend her method and explanation. It was very helpful and informative and I appreciated having a little bit of hand-holding through this first run.

Saturday, May 8, 2010


Last week I took a four day trip to Portland and the Pacific Northwest Coast with a couple of friends. It was terrific trip that was fabulously cliche - lots of laughs, food, wine, and DVDs in an impossibly chic hotel downtown. I'm sure some girls, err...spoons, have done this trip when they were in their younger years but I think at the age I am at, I really appreciated the trip on another level. Perhaps it was because we weren't painfully frugral - granted, we got the hotel at a fantastic rate, but it is ALWAYS a luxury to stay in a 5-star hotel, to eat at the hippest restaurants and be driven to the restaurant in town in a 1930s classic car. Oh yeah, it was one of those trip. And it was fabulous, and I am sure I won't have another until one of us spoons gets hitched to a fork and we get to relive it all as a part of the sending-off festivities. But I have over a hundred photos to remember it by, I thought I would share some of them here.

A glorious shot of the Pacific Northwest. It's not your typical picture, especially from the parts where I am from (more mountains), but I love the bright sky, giant looming clouds (rain always imminent), and tall trees.

(above left: my dinner at Clemente's in Astoria - local halibut and seasonal veggies, above right: my fantasy for the last few months - tacos from a food truck - this one is an asada (steak), below left: a Bacon Maple Bar from Voodoo Donuts - never has the marriage of salty and sweet been so satisfyingly dirty, below right: the 222 breakfast at Kenny & Zuke's)

If you're wondering where this spoon went - Astoria and Portland! If you're in the area, please take advantage of the wonderful food culture in Oregon. I think this part of the world takes particular care and investigation into where their food comes from and process between nature and your plate. It's an...ideology, I suppose, that I have been particularly interested in and it was wonderfully refreshing to hear, see, and experience people (in the restaurant industry or not) really take ownership of what goes on your plate. After all, you only get one body - take care of it!