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Sunday, 31 October 2010

Sinful? Sunday!

somerville kitchen special feature: One week's worth of delicious munchies from The Empress (see October 8 entry - And The Winner Is...). Power Point slides from the original contest entry.

It is Sunday, it is Halloween and I am with my favourite people and animal. The jardin is filled with gigantic rosemary bushes so it was not difficult to find enough sprigs for stuffing the chicken. Honey glazed sliced carrots with toasted almonds, but a somerville kitchen rule is that mashed potatoes are made plain and only plain. So the parsley and dill were skipped. The gravy was homemade with chicken drippings and mushrooms. Added to the menu were home-made whole wheat bread, a couple of salads and some broccoli. 

Thank you so much The Empress for a week full of satisfied grins, grunts and groans.

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Savory Saturday

somerville kitchen special feature: One week's worth of delicious munchies from The Empress (see October 8 entry - And The Winner Is...). Power Point slides from the original contest entry.

Well Empress, you challenged my cooking mind all week and I think I lived up to the challenges until today. I thought I will make life simple and check out some specialty food stores and buy ready-made Carbonara sauce (admitting that I had no clue what Carbonara sauce is). Once that plan failed, I checked out recipes on the internet and the variations were enormous: Eggs and milk, no milk, bacon, no bacon, eggs put in raw, eggs cooked for 3 minutes, and on and on - I simply could not make this one up. The outcome was a minor change of plan...

And once variations hit your lovely menu plan, the cascade begun: Caesar salad turned into lettuce blueberry salad with blueberry vinegar dressing (available at Market Meats, see September 13 entry); the Ciabatta buns became garlic Ciabatta buns; and instead of white wine, dinner was served with Guava juice. 

Friday, 29 October 2010

Fabulous Friday

somerville kitchen special feature: One week's worth of delicious munchies from The Empress (see October 8 entry - And The Winner is...). Power Point slides from the original contest entry.

The digestion break is over and a fun Hungarian dinner awaits the honorary Hungarian. In fact, this dish could be dinner, lunch or brunch - nice basic ingredients and no complex preparations; thank you Empress. All others, it is easy, try it and enjoy.


Thursday, 28 October 2010

Tantalizing Thursday

somerville kitchen special feature: One week's worth of delicious munchies from The Empress (see October 8 entry - And The Winner Is...). Power Point slides from the original contest entry.

Thank you Empress for the digestion break - yes, it has been a few days of heavy and spicy food and the break was welcome by the tummy. The carrot ginger cream soup was made with onions and carrots simmered in water and milk (no cream to help with the digestion break) along with one tbs of grated ginger. Purred and served, delicious.

As for the open faced sandwich, it was done to recommendation using freshly home baked dark pumpernickle bread with old cheddar and avocado - all grilled open faced under the broiler. Nice light(ish) dinner for a rainy night. Thank you again Empress.


Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Woeful Wednesday

somerville kitchen special feature: One week's worth of delicious munchies from The Empress (see October 8 entry - And The Winner Is...). Power Point Slides from the original contest entry.

A gem of a restaurant in the neighbourhood. The place was completely packed on a Wednesday night, a testament of its good food and service. The Marsala dry shrimps were sure my personal favourite - I could have munched on two of those platters.

Given eyes set on beef chow mein, we opted for the "Manchurian" chicken instead of the beef. "Manchurian" refers to the area of Northeast China (and some say it includes part of Russia). This is definitely worth trying - a hot, spicy tangy sauce. In fact, all dishes had very unique and freshly tasting spices.

An excellent choice of a restaurant, thank you Empress. 

Green Lettuce Restaurant
1949 Kingsway
Vancouver, BC

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Tasty Tuesday

somerville kitchen special feature: One week's worth of delicious munchies from The Empress (see October 8 entry - And The Winner Is...). Power Point slides from the original contest entry.

Another new cooking adventure at somerville kitchen - I have never made butter chicken before and recipes were inconsistent, so most of the production was made up. But I did follow the instructions and use cream, add carrots and peas, and top it all with cilantro at the end. 

Result was an Indian food feast - butter chicken with rice, home made naan and raita, take-out samosas, pakoras, tandoori chicken and lamb, and chaat.

Take out Indian from Original Tandoori Chaat House (see October 12 entry - Indian Chicken and Fries)
For more information on Chaat, see September 23 entry - Fun Day in San Francisco)

Monday, 25 October 2010

Moody Monday

somerville kitchen special feature: One week's worth of delicious munching from The Empress (see October 8 entry - And The Winner Is...). Power Point slides are from the original contest entry.

This was surely a cooking adventure. I have not even heard of Kaposta Testa before today, let alone cooking it. But it worked out very well. Tasty, peppery, and went very well with the Ukrainian sausages I had on hand. And yes, I did use Hungarian paprika and lots of pepper. As for the noodles, they were the regular Chinese packaged noodles. This was fun and YUMMY, thanks Empress!


Sunday, 24 October 2010

Stuffed Chicken Marsala

Tonight's meal idea and recipe was submitted by the two months anniversary contest's first runner up (see October 5 entry - somerville kitchen Two Months Anniversary Contest).Thank you.

Chicken stuffed with Italian proscuitto, Fontina cheese and thyme, fried, then simmered in a mushroom, Marsala wine and chicken broth.

Served with potato-turnip gratin.

Messy stove, countless calories, but definitely worth it. Thanks again A.

Stay tuned for the contest winner's full week of menu ideas featured throughout the week as of tomorrow (see October 8 entry - And The Winner is ...).

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Irish Stew

There are many recipes for Irish Stew with several variations. I reviewed few recipes and took aspects of each to come up with tonight's meal. Here is the recipe.

- Brown a chopped leak in butter/cooking oil mixture
- Roll lamb stew meat in flour/salt/pepper mixture and add to the leak, brown on all sides.
- Add 1 cup Guinness beer and 1 cup water (add more if need to until meat is covered)
- Simmer for 1 hour
- Add the vegetables (potatoes, white and yellow turnips, carrots) and simmer for another 20 minutes
- Cook dumplings in the stew and serve


- Mix 1.3 cups flour, 2 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt
- Add 3/4 cups milk and 2 Tbsp salad oil - mix
- Drop in stew, cook 10 minutes uncovered and 10 minutes covered
Tonight's entry and recipe are dedicated to Cassandra - enjoy your upcoming adventure!

Friday, 22 October 2010

All You Can Eat Sushi

All You Can Eat Sushi restaurants are a dime a dozen throughout Vancouver. If you are visiting, make sure you experience this. Order as much as you want, keep ordering and eating and pay a fixed price, typically between $11 and $15 for lunch (and closer to $20 for dinner). But be prepared (no matter which restaurant you are at), the first order shows up very quickly, while later orders face delays and delays - is this a tactic to stop you from ordering more?

Today's All You Can Eat Sushi was at Tanpopo on Denman Street. Cones, rolls, sushi, sashimi, gyozas, chicken teryaki, miso soup, to name a few of the items.

Tanpopo Japanese Restaurant
1122 Denman Street
Vancouver, BC

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Soup & Salad

This was more like a Smörgåsbord soup - I dumped all leftovers in the fridge: Tomato sauce, sauce left from a Moroccan stew, cooked couscous, cooked quinoa (see October 10 entry - Quincous), noodles, squash, celery, carrots, and turnips.

A bit bland, but sure healthy and good use of leftovers.

Salad was a somerville kitchen favourite - three steps coleslaw. 

1. Shred carrots and cabbage (equal amounts)
2. Mix Miracle Whip and white vinegar (2:1 ratio) with a bit of pepper and enough sugar to eliminate vinegary taste
3. Throw in some dried cranberries and mix.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Happy Hour Vancouver

Kitchen & Wetbar
601 West Cordova Street
Vancouver, BC

The happy hour work team get together is in Vancouver tonight. Nice room, big but not too loud, 80's music, and creative drinks and food.

My drink of choice today was Satan's Angel (Rogue Wetbar original) - a 2 oz mix of Smirnoff vanilla vodka, peach schnapps and pear juice. Sweet, tasty and you cannot tell there is alcohol in it, that is when such drinks become dangerous (in a good way). 

The unique starter was Fries X 3. A series of french fries bowls with different toppings: (1) gorgonzola cream & bacon (2) poutine and (3) truffle oil & parmesan

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

San Francisco Happy Hour

E&O Trading Co. is a favourite for happy hour work team get together. The waiting lounge when you enter the restaurant is a comfortable seating area big enough for a large group. And you can order food and drinks and hang around there for as long as you want.

My drink of choice today was home made ginger ale - liquid with sweet syrup and pureed ginger. Refreshing, obviously freshly made and comfortable on the stomach. While their appetizers are trendy versions of southeast Asian grills, they have this one special and unique item - corn fritters. 

E&O Trading Company
314 Sutter Street
San Francisco, CA

Monday, 18 October 2010

Blog in Action

One of somerville kitchen's followers tried one of the blog's recipes and forwarded the following pictures and notes (see October 2 entry - Mock Cabbage Rolls).

Kitchen Tip
As for the last picture, one easy and natural way to clean up scorched pots is to add a bit of baking soda and water and boil them in the pot for 10 minutes. All will come out with no effort.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Pork Dinner

I asked my Sunday dinner mate what to cook. Within less than a second, he rattled out a complete menu and recipe - pork chops with onions and mushrooms, broccoli, and mashed potatoes.

What made it more tasty were Polonia Sausage Hause (see October 16 entry - Home Made Pizza) fresh pork chops.

The meal was quiet easy to make (albeit leaving behind a messy stove). Fry lots of onions in butter and oil until starts to brown. Add the mushrooms and cook. Then add the pork chops and cook covered with the onion/mushroom mix.


Thank you James!

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Home Made Pizza

Cold night, home made pizza eaten in front of the fire. The dough was made in the bread maker. Pizza sauce, mushrooms, cheese and Torunska sausages from:

Polonia Sausage Hause
4286 Fraser Street
Vancouver, BC

Polonia Sausage Hause makes their own sausages, Perogies and European baked goods. Check if out on your next visit to somerville kitchen.

Friday, 15 October 2010

Great Diner

One of my favourite diners in the city - Splitz Grill. Freshly made classic burgers and what they refer to as "The Wild Side" - bison, lamb, salmon, and sausage burgers. 

Great service, juicy burgers, excellent fries and a fun diner atmosphere. 

But the best part of the dinner was the old fashioned vanilla milkshake. That, on its own, is worth the visit.

Splitz Grill
4242 Main Street
Vancouver, BC

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Elegant Medleys

A somerville kitchen user whose food does not get as much attention as others is Herr. The reason may be that his "crunchies" are dry and boring. Or that wings leftover from moth and crane flies do not make good photography.

But at last some Herr food that is worthy of being featured - the new Fancy Feast Elegant Medleys Florentine selections. Irresistible.

Served tonight with fresh green grass from le jardin.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Vitamin C Boost

A Glut of Citrus Fruit, very interesting cookbook, but the recipe chosen was a crazy venture that could have turned disastrous. But it worked!

Pork meat simmered in orange juice and mustard for over an hour. The mix of orange juice, mustard and the meat juices made for a very elegant taste.

Chunks of orange were added to the stew right before eating. Served over noodles.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Indian Chicken and Fries

Original Tandoori Chaat House
7233 Fraser Street, Vancouver

This tiny Indian restaurant is tucked in between houses in a residential area on Fraser Street (close to 50th Avenue). It has limited menu but good freshly made food (you can see the kitchen from the tables). The spices are more "raw" than in some of the more refined Indian restaurants in the city.

It is also the first Indian restaurant I found in the city that serves Chaat (see September 23 entry).

Dinner was Tandoori chicken with Indian style fries, a deliciously spiced fresh vegetables salad and a selection of Naans and Rotis. Perfect place and food for a rainy cold mid-week night.


Monday, 11 October 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

somerville kitchen thanksgiving was a stuffed chicken, not turkey. 

Home made stuffing with rosemary, celery, onions and bread. Served with mashed potatoes, home made gravy, turnip/carrot mash, cabbage/carrot/dried cranberries coleslaw, baked squash, and corn.

Note: Decorative corn in picture was grown in le jardin

And thanksgiving is not complete without an Anita pumpkin pie.

Happy Thanksgiving!