Warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/food/public_html/wp-content/themes/StandardTheme_20/admin/functions.php on line 229
Canadian Food | Manolo's Food Blog - Part 2
Archive - Canadian Food RSS Feed

Dinner Party Post-Mortem: Salt-Crusted Salmon Edition

Salt Crusted Salmon After

Salt Crusted Salmon After

Oh. My. Fucking. God.

There really are no non-sweary words to describe the delectability of the salmon recipe from yesterday which I used tonight; nor are there words to describe its ease of preparation, provided you do, as I did not, remember the eggs, the tarragon, the lemon, and the capers. I remembered the salmon and the Champagne, in this case a brut Cava which is also my favorite tipple other than gin, so it was win/win/win/win I forget how many wins it is because I had two glasses of the Cava and I forget how many Daiquiris (not the blender variety, please!).

Still, what can you do when someone shows up early for a dinner party other than send him back out to get the shopping you forgot? So it all worked out well, and the recipe from Sevilla Tapas turned out better than I could have imagined, garnering genuine kudos from seriously accomplished cooks. Why did I, a novice cook, invite seriously accomplished cooks to my dinner party? See the aforementioned note on how much I drink.

But. Honestly. This recipe is dead easy, incredibly tasty, keeps your salmon moist (it was a coho, and you would have sworn it was a more expensive salmon) and makes a stunning presentation besides. I had a tray of sushi from up the street to start, $36 and I’d say a quarter is left over. Thought about doing a bunch of steamed pork buns or something instead, but opted for the fish theme. As a friend of mine from London says, the worst sushi in Vancouver is better than the best sushi in London, and this was quite good, even if it was a little large. I prefer my sushi bite size. Chewing nori is just not attractive.

Still, given I forgot to cook the rice, it’s just as well they were big rolls.

So the main course was the salted salmon and parboiled asparagus. Can’t go wrong with that veg except by overcooking it. And there was enough rice to provide ballast to everyone before the main course. Hmm, this is a useful piece of information.

Everyone brought wine, Shane brought the eggs I forgot for the main course, Ken brought a Mario Cake from DQ for dessert and in fact ain’t nobody don’t like DQ. FACT. It had that Buster Bar chocolate fudge in the cookie layer. *orgasm* And Gena brought an aerator and Bitch wine. No, really, Bitch wine.

All told, a great evening. It was a short cooking time on the fish and asparagus, naturally, and I had to be in the kitchen making the sauce so for once I appreciated an open plan layout. Normally I’m all about closed doors and cubbies, but this did make me think about the fact that I don’t have servants off toiling in the kitchen and also don’t want to serve my guests tepid food, so an open plan works as a compromise.

All in all, a powerhouse dinner party (at least at Level 1).

Mario Cake approves

Mario Cake approves

Duck and Cover: it’s the Avengers Shooters

Everything is the Avengers and nothing hurts

Everything is the Avengers and nothing hurts

Well everything in this list is the Avengers, and if you do all of them, nothing will hurt.

Until the next morning.

A little background: I am proud of my country. We have invented many useful household items like the zipper, the electric kettle, and the lightbulb (yes, look it up: Edison bought the patent off two Maritimers). We have also invented some less useful, even possibly noxious things, among them Nickelback and the shooter.

This is a shot glass ostentatiously filled with boozy liquids, sometimes layered, sometimes artistically sculpted, like the Brain Hemorrhage. Always with a catchy name (it’s not the taste that sells these). Think of them as the redneck cousin of the pousse cafe. They are not ordered one at a time, but by the tray, usually by fratboys or those who wish they were fratboys.

Unfortunately, we can’t take credit for the Avengers (Canada trends much more DC than Marvel), that record-obliterating hommage to spandex underwear perverts. So we’ll consider this a hands-across-the-border kind of thing: a roundup of Avengers-themed shooters.

Notice the Black Widow is mysteriously missing. That’s okay, there’s a quite palatable cocktail by that name: just mix one, and pour it into four shotglasses. Instant shooters! Today’s woman doesn’t sit around waiting to be included in a shooter roundup: she just goes out and links herself up a stiff drink.

Now, the roundup, from EXP Bar Online on Tumblr. According to them you must do these in order: Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Hawkeye, and Hulk. Have the ingredients well chilled in advance so they layer nicely.

Captain America: Doctor Erskine was going to share blueberry schnapps with him, but he couldn’t have it. Also due to his advanced tissues on his organs can’t get drunk. Hence this shot is the weakest.

Iron man: Tony stark has battled on and off with alcoholism so his tolerance for alcohol is high hence the high proof rum, yet he tries to not drink hence the grenadine to dilute the alcohol.

Thor: He is a god. He drinks after battle and can handle his alcohol, yet human alcohol seems to affect him more hence he is the middle.

Hawkeye: Just a normal human with unbelievable accuracy with all fire arms, bow being his weapon of choice. (p.s. Unlike the trailers we here at EXP bar on line do support Hawkeye and think he is bad ass)

Hulk: He’s the hulk, as he so eloquently has stated in the past. “HULK AM THE STRONGEST THERE IS!!!!!” hence he is last.

So there you have it the avengers shot challenge. enjoy.

And the recipes (for all these drinks, you build it in the glass, pousse-cafe style. Although if you call it that, someone will puke on your shoes.

Captain America: Grenadine, Blue curacao, Blueberry schnapps

Iron Man: Grenadine, Blue curacao, Black heart spiced rum

Thor: Wild turkey American honey, Citrus Vodka

Hawkeye:  Grape Pucker, Captain Morgan: Tattoo

Hulk: Grape Pucker, Absinthe (we used NV)

Enjoy?

Iron Man Shooter

Iron Man Shooter

Very Xi Shi

Xichi Orchid

Xi Shi Orchid

Yes, it was back to the salt mines for your poor, martyred blogger here, thanks to an invitation to the opening of Xi Shi, the posh new bar in the Shangri-La hotel in glamorous downtown Vangroover. It helps when you know the head barman. The woman in charge of the bar at Xi Shi is Heather Yau, who competed admirably in last year’s Tales of the Cocktail both in Vancouver and in New Orleans. Accompanying me was the lovely and talented Cathy Browne, who took all these gorgeous pictures; impressive enough, but moreso when you realize she’s legally blind.

It’s a lovely space once you’re inside, but getting inside consists of going around to the “back” of the building which is really the “front” and standing around the lobby, looking confused, until a staff member asks if you’re here for the Xi Shi party, and gently points the way. I’d tell you how to find it yourself, but I think they’re trying to keep it a secret, and besides, the staff need to keep busy!

Xi Shi Bar

Xi Shi Bar

It’s a long, light, L space with ceilings that go up to HERE and sightlines that go out to THERE, which is great for people-watching if you’re not as nearsighted as I am. This isn’t the place for a discreet affair, as the “around the corner, tucked away” tables are basically just off Robson Street, ie you might as well be parked outside of TMZ. This is the place raincoaster, who now refers to herself in the third person because she’s imaginary-dating much higher-grade people lately, will be taking her next boytoy for a quiet drink.

Right after she alerts the paparazzi and gets her hair did.

The general theme is Contemporary Asian, meaning airy and Zen, with referential scatterings of Chinoiserie, as in the cheongsams worn by the waitresses. It must be said, and that by me, that it’s good to see a place that doesn’t go for Generic Vancouver Glossy: black on black on black with black leather chairs and chrome and everything shiny and hard. The cascade of glass over the bar changes colours thanks to clever lighting, although there’s a definite preference for pink: even the house cocktail is pink, at which point I am tempted to insert a reference to intimate anatomy but yea verily, am too way classy.

Ahem. Anyway…as I was saying, a lounge shouldn’t look like a dance club, and it shouldn’t look like an operating room. I like a place that looks good by day as well as by night. See for yourselves:

Xi Shi band

It's hard to pull off jazz in the daytime, but this worked

Did I say Chinoiserie? Yes, yes I did, even though Spellchecker tried to replace it with “Chitterlings,” but I was having none of that! Chinoiserie I said and Chinoiserie I meant, speaking of which, behold the Lady Grey Cocktail:

Lady Grey sure is pretty

Lady Grey sure is pretty

The Lady Grey cocktail is a beautiful thing, a mellowed orange with brassy glints. The pot, by the way, is full of hot water so you can adjust it to the strength you prefer; it and the cup and saucer are a custom-made iteration of the classic Blue Willow pattern which tells the story of a pair of runaway lovers. It’s made with Earl Grey tea-infused Tanqueray gin with an extra measure of Bergamot, and seemed to me a little too sharply citrus. And oh! if you only knew what it costs my very soul to criticize a free drink! Ah, the trouble with using fresh ingredients is, the difference between one lemon and another can be substantial!

Jay Jones has come through with the recipe for us so you can judge for yourself. And wouldn’t a bottle of Earl Grey Tanqueray liven up a nice bridge party? I don’t know about you, but the presence of card snobs of any variety usually drives me to drink, or at least calls me a cab to. And somehow bourbon goes with poker the way gin goes with bridge.

LADY GREY

1.5 oz earl grey tea-infused tanqueray gin

.4 oz fresh lemon juice

.6 oz sugar syrup

small pot of hot water

-all ingredients (except hot water) combined in shangri-la blue willow china tea cup & saucer

-served with matching small shangri-la blue willow china pot of hot water

-pour hot water to fill tea cup – top up as desired

*served with lemon zest

Earl Grey Tea-Infused Gin

1. empty a 1.14 liter bottle of Tanqueray London Dry Gin (room temperature) into a clean, dry, sealable container

2. place 4 heaping tablespoons of loose leaf Earl Grey tea in the Gin (use bags alternatively – much neater)

3. seal container and leave to steep for minimum 1 hour at room temperature – longer if desired (2 hours suggested)

4. after steeping, shake sealed container throughly

5. strain tea leaves/remove tea bags from Gin – the Gin’s colour should be deep brown

5. seal and refrigerate to preserve freshness (max 1 week shelf life when refrigerated)

Xi Shi Iron Lotus

Iron Lotus poured by Heather Yau

The signature cocktail here is the Iron Lotus, concocted by cocktail queen Heather Yau; only last year she was a humble apprentice at hipster central, the Waldorf, and look at her now! Xi Shi is a PBR-free zone!

The Iron Lotus is a hard drink to turn out in bulk, each being made from the same number of fresh raspberries. The sweetness varies wildly depending on the particular individual raspberries, but whether more tart or more sweet, this is as lovely to drink as to look at.

Raspberries in the Iron Lotus

Raspberries in the Iron Lotus

The focus at Xi Shi is on lighter, less alcoholic, and more feminine drinks overall; this is not a place where you will find many people testing flights of bourbon or single malt. There’s no doubt that Xi Shi, named after a goddess, was put together with the fact that women choose the date spot firmly in mind. The flattering, rose-coloured lighting makes everyone look ten years younger (I’m sure they only failed to card me out of deference), and the lower alcohol content in the drinks ensures that you don’t slip from Charming Anita Loos to Scary Dorothy Parker.

And the food ensures you don’t slip from Perky Britney to Sad Britney.

Mary had a little lamb. And then she had another cocktail.

Mary had a little lamb. And then she had another cocktail.

Squeeee! This adorable little roast of lamb was less than two inches long, and came with crunchy yogurt. Yes, crunchy yogurt, and not because it was left in the back of the fridge for six months and then scraped off the lid of the container like your revolting roommate used to do; because the kitchen is a Shangri-La kitchen, and they do things right and just a little weird.

Xi Shi has crabs. But she's a goddess, so who's going to tell her, eh? Not me, that's for damn sure.

Xi Shi has crabs. But she's a goddess, so who's going to tell her, eh? Not me, that's for damn sure.

Behold the mammoth crabcake! Did I already say “behold?” I did, didn’t I? Oh well, you wouldn’t believe how many people I’m beholden in this town, although their bank managers would.

Salmon, Ella?

Salmon, Ella?

The salmon was so good the waiter wouldn’t let me refuse, although I was getting pretty full. Believe me, I will never again doubt a Xi Shi waiter.

What to do when you’ve had as much food as you can hold? That’s right: back to cocktails!

Naked Botanical Martini

Naked Botanical Martini. It sets a certain tone. I intend to order it when I bring Julian!

Just look at the legs on that thing! My pal Jay Jones knows I’m a gin snob, so he made me a Martini using The Botanist gin from Scotland, one I hadn’t tried before. Frankly, this may be Too! Much! Gin! even for me: the title role botanicals are dense and overwhelming if you’re unprepared. Because it’s produced by Bruichladdich, a famous and famously insane Islay Whisky distillery, it is viscous and powerful, and my recommendation is to have one, but have it James Bond style: very large, very cold, and very well-made. And have one only. This gin is Serious Business. Here’s a list of the various botanicals:

Apple Mint Birch leaves, Bog Myrtle leaves, Chamomile (sweet), Creeping Thistle flowers, Elder flowers, Gorse flowers, Heather flowers, Hawthorn flowers, Juniper (prostrate) berries, Lady’s Bedstraw flowers, Lemon Balm, Meadow Sweet, Peppermint leaves, Mugwort leaves, Red Clover flowers, Sweet Cicely leaves, Tansy, Thyme leaves, Water Mint leaves, White Clover, Wood Sage leaves, Angelica root, Cassia bark, Cinnamon bark, Coriander seed, Juniper berries, Lemon peel, Liquorice root, Orange peel and Orris root.

Say THAT three times fast! The nose on this is citrus and juniper dominated, the taste complex, puzzling…you just can’t figure out the various elements and it can’t be said they blend into one single whole. It’s like listening to a Beethoven symphony and then trying to pick out each of the instruments. And trust me, this ain’t Brahms: it’s DEFINITELY Beethoven. The aftertaste is long and powerful, and in it you begin to discern some of the different components. I like it, but it’s definitely Special Occasion Gin, not It’s Five O’Clock Gin.

Hemingway Daiquiri so much more macho than the Fitzgerald Daiquiri

Hemingway Daiquiri so much more macho than the Fitzgerald Daiquiri

Ah, the Neo-Classical Hemingway Daiquiri! One of the greatest summer drinks, featuring grapefruit where you’d expect lime, and a sour cherry where you’d expect … nothing at all. Not for Papa your silly blender drinks! Although this has a noticeable alcohol content, it fits right into the Xi Shi aesthetic of light-tasting, citrusy cocktails.

Cue the Darth Vader music…

Why ahoy there, sailor! The Nautical Disaster, a Jay Jones original

Why ahoy there, sailor! The Nautical Disaster, a Jay Jones original

The Nautical Disaster is not a drink to be trifled with. It shouldn’t even be left alone with your wallet. This dark and dangerous newcomer is a rum-based take on the classic Sazerac, and it’s hearty, thick, spicy, complex, and sweet, just like me. It’s also definitely your last cocktail of the night. If he has one of these and still hasn’t sealed the deal, well my dear, just get up and go home.

Alone.

Goldfish

A plethora of BC bounty

A plethora of BC bounty

And that, my friends, is how I like to start a meal: with a half-dozen exquisite bivalves, a Martini, and a good friend (neither of which latter you can see because well, good Martinis are invisible and so are good friends until you need them).

The Martini, in this case, was Elyx vodka, which my pal Jay Jonestells me is the premium offering from Absolut. Normally, of course, one is all about the gin, but one is curious and from time to time one likes to give vodka a chance. Normally, it’s the booze of choice for those who like to get drunk but don’t like to drink, a key ingredient in Cougartinis, a prerequisite to being featured on DouchebagsLoveGreyGoose.com , and normally I avoid it like the plague. See how tense the thought of such things makes me? I transubstantiated my tenses and persons! One is distraught!

But the Blue Elyx Martini was everything a proper vodka Martini should be: as cold as my ex’s heart, as clear as Fate, as bracing as a letter from the bank. Occasionally one runs across a vodka that actually deserves the adjective “smooth” and Elyx is one of those rare distillates, it was positively Bond Villain-smooth, while at the same time it possessed enough body to assert itself in the company of the two plump, gorgonzola-stuffed olives that lolled wantonly within.

But I was talking about oysters, wasn’t I?

One was.

The Kusshi oysters were the smallest of the lot, only about the size of Manila clams which, for someone from Vancouver, was a bit of culture shock on a plate, ours tending more towards the size and texture of a catcher’s mitt. These were delicate of taste and texture, mild like a sea breeze with a slight, lemony sweetness. Best naked.

One senses a theme. Why yes, it has been a long time since I’ve eaten an oyster…and you?

The moderately-sized Joe’s Gold were creamy and rich, and lemon juice was a good foil for those, if you’re an oyster-foiling sort of person.

The Sawmill Bay beach oysters were BC-sized (and you thought everything was bigger in Texas) and honestly unsubtle of flavour. Horseradish time, methinks. Meaty of texture, slightly liverish of taste, these are the kinds of oysters that put my old roommate off oysters: big enough that she could identify the component parts as they slid down her gullet, having deconstructed many a bivalve in high school biology class. Thank GOD in Ontario we dissected fetal pigs; I don’t run across a lotta fetal pigs in the food-and-bevvie-blogging bizness. In any case, they were delicious, briny, and assertive.

I could live off Martinis and oysters, but you’d get pretty bored with the blog, if I even remained sober enough to type it all up, so there was more, much more:

 

Goldfish Salmon Pastrami

Goldfish Salmon Pastrami

At a restaurant called Goldfish, I think I could be forgiven for sticking with fish all the way through, and so it came to pass that I ordered the Vodka-Cured (was it sick in the first place?) Salmon Pastrami for an appetizer. Or would that be the fish course? In any case, it came after the Martini-and-Oyster course which I always think of as the Monte Carlo Casino With James Bond on Your Arm course. As do all right-thinking people. Having been deprived of our fine Pacific salmon for several months, and fed insipid, pinkish farmed Atlantic fish, I was happy to see that these thickish slices of Sockeye were as sinisterly red as stigmata. As I’m not a mystic, I have to drop the metaphor there; if any of you know how stigmata taste, drop me a line in the comments; there’s bound to be plenty of interest in that sort of thing, at least in certain circles.

Salmon pastrami. We were talking about salmon pastrami. And it was good. I didn’t know quite what to expect of pastramized salmon, but it was to regular smoked salmon as bacon is to regular slow-cooked pork, assertive but neither over-salted nor over-smoked. The peppery arugula salad was a great counterpoint, with a vinaigrette sharp enough to set off the fatty salmon, a sprinkling of fried potato shards for crunch, and some creme fraiche for richness.

 

Goldfish Scallops; objects in the blog may be larger than they appear

Goldfish Scallops; objects in the blog may be larger than they appear

Objects in the blog may be huger than they appear. These East Coast scallops (I love it when the manager says “they’re from the East Coast. I KNOW! The East! But they’re actually quite good”) were massive, each almost the size of the palm of my hand, but there was not the slightest bit of toughness in them. They were perfectly prepared and that’s not easy with seafood this thick. Those brown nuggets in the foreground are delicious nubbins of bacon. Yes, yes, bacon has been done to death, but scallops can use the boost in flavour, and this particular bacon was marvelously understated, letting the taste of the meat dominate and bringing a richness and depth to the whole dish that the scallops alone would have lacked. It was served with roasted fingerling potatos, roasted asparagus, and roasted cherry tomatoes, which is the ONLY way to go with cherry tomatoes if you ask me; they’re the Dim Beauty Queens of the vegetable world, but roasting brought out the sweetness and flavours that are usually hidden behind underripe, frosty cuteness. Where was I?

Oh yes, about to rhapsodize about the wine which Jeff recommended for this dish: a white Bordeaux, Château Bauduc 2009 sauvignon blanc/semillon, which is hilarious because my cousin married a Bolduc, although if she gets a discount on this delightful beverage she’s been holding out on me all this time. It’s a buttery, full-bodied wine with moderate oakiness, and went well with both the creamy scallops and the bacon, which is quite a feat if you ask me.

I also had a glass of the Joie, and you’re lucky I can still read my notes from this point on. Joie is one of my favorite wineries, their rose is one of my favorite wines, and some day I will tell you one of my favorite wine stories which has to do with Joie but that’s not today. Today we must put such fripperies aside, as we have one more course to go at the Goldfish Saga. The things I do for you people.

Dessert. Pudding. Afters. Whatever you call it, I haven’t seen much of it since I moved out of my mother’s house at the age of 17. Single women just do not make dessert if they’re not expecting:

a) to seduce someone

or

b) to have to bring it to a party

and let’s just say it’s been a long time since I’ve brought anything but potato salad to a party. Which explains my love life, but there, I’ve said too much already…

 

Goldfish Strawberry Panna Cotta

Goldfish Strawberry Panna Cotta

We were talking, or were about to talk, about the Strawberry Panna Cotta on a peanut butter shortbread. Honestly, do you give it ALL ALL CAPITALS or do you recognize the subjugate nature of the shortbread, as a substrate upon which the actual, starred player rests, and lowercase it? I don’t know from capitalization; I’m not German. In any case, howsoever, and whatevs, it was delicious. There was a swirl of balsamic reduction, which catalyzed the volatile elements in the strawberries (and how you dice strawberries that fine, I do not know. Perhaps there is an army of miniature Japanese strawberry-dicing robots somewhere under the counter) and caused the fresh scent to rise, as if we were walking through a strawberry field on a sunny morning. Now, two courses in a row where the main players were round and creamy is perhaps one too many, but je ne regrette rien. Nosiree, je ne regrette strawberry panna cotta pas du tout, no way. The shortbread was beautifully done, although the peanut butter was more theoretical than it should have been. I mean, it was probably safe for the allergic.

And now in my notes I see that I have a recipe for another cocktail . Funny, don’t recall that one…but it does sound lovely. Here it is:

Kiss from a Rose

1 oz Giffard Rose Syrup

1 oz lime juice

1 oz Hendrick’s gin (and no other)

Peach Bitters

Mix and pour over ice.

Hendrick’s, of course, is made with roses as an ingredient, and I’ve always wanted to experiment with rose water and Hendrick’s. This cocktail is sweetish, but not as sweet as a tiki drink, lightly pink, and rather girly. In fact, it goes down dangerously quickly if you don’t remind yourself it’s a third gin, which explains why this is only coming back to me now. All in all, a beverage suitable for my lifelong dream job, White Rahnee of Sarawak. I’ll sip it on the terrace while giving orders to my Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Meantime, you can sip it at Goldfish in Yaletown, and you can read my good friend Heather’s report of the same meal at Blackbook once it’s up.

The things I do for you people.

If God is in the Details…

What’s in these Deviled Eggs?

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall. And terrified everyone.

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall. And terrified everyone.

I have a confession to make, my friends. Yes, in a world of sea spurt sashimi and microgastronomy, of foaming Martinis and thrice-smoked, monkey-picked teas, I reserve a place of honour in my heart for three unreconstructed relics of the 50’s and 60’s, refugees from Grandma’s Betty Crocker cookbooks: olives from the jar, pickles from the other jar, and good old deviled eggs.

Deviled Egg Chick

Deviled Egg Chick

It’s a short story, and a familiar one: The Cousin, The Sister and I were invariably the youngest attendees at family gatherings on my dad’s side, and as such could not partake of the cocktail hour with the adults. Well, it was my dad’s family, so let’s say the cocktail four hours. And as growing children, we had an abiding, nay, almost a physical, need to be fed regularly, but etiquette constrained us to eat somehow without spoiling Aunt Margie’s carrot and marshmallow aspic and other “delights” destined for the main meal. And naturally, preparing proper hors d’oevres would have prevented my aunts from partaking in the cocktail hour(s) to the fullest extent, so in response, and in defence of their right to get well into the CC before having to face Aunt Margie’s aspic, they made a deal with us.

We could eat olives, pickles and deviled eggs. Filling, fancy (hey, someone went to the trouble of fishing those pickles out of a jar for you), proteinaceous, and trying to figure out if pickled onions were “pickles” or “onions” could keep three small girls occupied for a surprising amount of time.

This is all just to let you know that the irredeemably bourgeois deviled egg is near and dear to my heart, not that I can be bothered to actually make them. But if you’re not as incorrigibly lazy as me (probably the result of a childhood diet consisting largely of olives, pickles and deviled eggs) this article in the Awl has AWL the information on Deviled Eggs that you will ever need, and then some.

 

Deviled Egg O Rama
From left to right: Miss Grandma’s Backyard (Potato Salad Egg with Apricot Fizz); Mademoiselle Alsace-Lorraine (Creamy, Lemony Egg with Reisling-Plum-Rosemary Punch); Miss Soul Custardy (Vanilla Custard and Chocolate Egg in Phyllo with Peach-Cayenne Coffee Frappe); Senorita El Trionfo de la Revolucion (Chicken Liver and Havana Club Egg served with Barbadian Rum); Miss Piggie (Egg with Jowl, Side and Belly Bacon served with Mint Julep); Jury Award Winner: Miss Spicy German (Red Curry, Sweet Chili, and Spicy Chili Eggs with Home Brewed Double Wheat Ale).

Each summer before the mosquitos start to flourish, my husband and I host a garden party and Deviled Egg Pageant. The entrants, though not all Southern, exemplify the seersucker-shrouded bloodlust that makes summer in the South both delicious and dramatic.

As long as the weather and space permit, a Deviled Egg Pageant allows you to entertain dozens of friends and neighbors while preparing little more than a plate of ham, perhaps, and a pound cake. Your kitchen remains cool and spotless while the guests enthusiastically do the hard work.

The keys to a successful pageant are clear rules and a dress code to set the tone. (Here is a Google Doc of our house rules; take what you like and leave the rest.)

If you don’t have the space or inclination to host such a contest, preparing pageant-worthy deviled eggs is a sure way to “win” whatever parties or picnics you may attend in the summer. Here are some lessons from our pageant kings and queens.

Well, you have to click over the link to read the whole thing it is unquestionably the most epic post on Deviled Eggs you will ever see. As for me, I’m off to check out the Urban Spoon listings to find a place that has these little bites of nostalgic heaven on the menu.

A last word: don’t let your creativity go insane: sundried tomatoes, bacon,  curry or caviar, yes. Even vegan (let’s face it, tofu is more like eggs than any other actual food).

Caviar deviled egg is NOT redundant, it's self-referential

Caviar deviled egg is NOT redundant, it's ironically self-referential

Food dyes, no.

Blue curried deviled eggs

Blue curried deviled eggs: yeah, if I'd made those, I'd delete the web page too

See you on National Deviled Egg Day!

I Scream. No, really, I do.

Ice cream at the Office

Ice cream at the Office

NEVAH! Faithful Manolophiles know that the Master has long preached the gospel of Wear White Shoes Whenever You Damn Well Feel Like It, You’re A Grownup Now, and we here at the ol’ foodie/bevvie blog feel quite the same about tasty, frozen delights such as ice cream, gelato, sherbet, sorbetto, and even Vienetta, that magical, mass-produced filigree of creamy perfection. It’s so perfect and so factory-made that it can’t possibly be good for you, can it?

But ice cream is magical, so it actually is!

The ice cream coolers have moved closer to the front doors of the convenience stores here in Canuckistan, yea unto the very Arctic Circle (yes, Yellowknife has an ice cream truck: I saw it with my own eyes) and soon neighborhoods all over the northern hemisphere will echo with the tinny, obnoxious notes of Turkey in the Straw and the cries of “BUT MOMMY IT IS TOO GLUTEN FREE!” So here to celebrate the seasonal return of ice cream to the top of snack marketing priority lists is a photo roundup of vintage ice cream trucks from Flavorwire (and seriously it kills me there’s no “u” in there, but I’ll have a Creamsicle and it’ll be all better soon).

awwww, who's a cute widdle ice cweam twuck?

awwww, who's a cute widdle ice cweam twuck?

Coffee à la Canuck: part deux

Red Green

Red Green


Remember our intrepid Canadian caffeine addicts from Afghanistan? Well, if you think THEY were ingenious, wait till you see how we home-brew java chez Canuckistan. Here’s Canadian heart-throb Red Green to demonstrate Lawnmower Coffee.

via CoffeeGeek

How was your Easter?

Bye Bye Bunny

Bye Bye Bunny

I’ll be honest: I’ve had a grudge against Easter ever since I realized that, when I was growing up (before the invention of fire) we got a basket of chocolates with one big bunny, a couple of Easter Creme Eggs, and a lot of jellybeans, and only a few years later my much younger stepbrothers got Rollerblades, BUT I’M SO OVER THAT REALLY.

Ahem. Anyway, I didn’t do anything special on Easter and I didn’t get any chocolate except the Hazelnut truffle my friend Raul bought me from the charming Portuguese fellow at the market and no, I’m not sulking, I’M SO OVER THAT I TELL YOU WHY DO YOU KEEP LOOKING AT ME THAT WAY?

I did have a delightful and delicious Easter tea on Friday with a good friend and the most adorable 14-month-old baby you’ve ever seen, and a post will be forthcoming on that shortly, once I’ve gotten my hands on the pictures. I’d almost have a baby so I’d have an excuse to buy those adorable little baby shoes!

On Easter Sunday I got up late, put the kettle on, made myself a French Press of Kenya (yes, from Starbucks: their Kenya AAA is one of the most perfectly balanced coffees in the world FACT and the VP of coffee there once told me it had the second highest caffeine level of any of their offerings, right behind Columbia) and then had a big mess of vegetarian chili while re-reading Toby Young’s extremely addictive memoir How to Lose Friends and Alienate People (curse you, Toby Young, how many rainy days have you cost me in lost productivity???) and then, as always, I went to the cafe with the dreadful coffee and had the green tea while I went online. Hey, a blogger’s gotta blog, eh?

What did you do? Do people still have Easter traditions? Holding out for Monday? Favorite candy? Gawker has a What Your Favorite Easter Candy Says About You quiz, and I present the following Cadbury Easter Creme Egg result without comment:

You normally have things under control but are subject to wild and uncontrollable cravings. While your life is typically together, you suffer from a serious flaw like constant tardiness, chronic attitude problems, or the lack of discipline to keep yourself in check when around seasonal chocolate treats. When you dedicate yourself to your vice, you go in whole hog. If you don’t have a drinking problem now, you probably will in a year or so. Also, you hate people who like those tiny little eggs they sell in packs of twelve. They’re like people who get wasted on New Years Eve and St. Paddy’s Day.

Page 2 of 4«1234»