Monthly Archives: January 2014

A quick dinner of sesame noodles and some group dynamics


Ramen-type noodles with carrot, edamame, fried tofu and boiled egg. The dressing was tahini, cider vinegar and sesame oil. A recipe from Canadian Living that I had bookmarked.  I’d make it again. It appeals to my inner food-geek that it has 3 types of soy (sauce, tofu and fresh) and 2 types of sesame.

I went to the second meeting of the climate change group last night. It’s interesting to observe group dynamics. Everyone has their own idea of the one way that we should organize and move forward. I’ll give it another shot before I make up my mind on long term participation. It’s good to get to know some folks regardless of the impact on the climate. (20 sleeps til woodstove).  

They taste like more

I bought Andrea Nguyen’s cookbook Asian Tofu when it came out a couple of years ago and i use it fairly often – last night it provided the perfect dinner suggestion. Spiced Chickpea Crepes with Soybean Paneer. The ‘crepes’ are really simple  – just chickpea flour, rice flour, spices and water to make a thin batter and the filling only took a couple of minutes to put together. The recipe makes it sound like more bother than it is.




I added some nectarine chutney from that batch I made back in the summer (ahhh…summer….) and some of my homegrown sprouts – a mix of clover, radish and fenugreek. These pics are actually fom the leftovers I had at lunch today becuase last night I ate before I ever managed to get the camera out.

A couple of recipe notes in case you decide to make these. “Soy paneer” is just firm tofu. You cold just as easily use real paneer (Indian fresh cheese) or any cheese or no cheese at all. They are very much like a soft taco – except that the combination of chickpea flour with rice flour means that the crepe itself is a complete protein.


An eventful week and some food.

All is unfolding as expected on the reno front – 2 weeks to go until they start and for the most part the loose ends are taken care of. I ended up getting the slate, ordering travertine for the backsplash and finding a Venmar range hood dealer in Eganville. I also got handles for the cupboards from Lee Valley. The appliances were delivered last week. The stove is in my living room and the fridge is in the middle of the kitchen.Image

A warm potato and lentil salad sounded good in the blog post but I didn’t execute it very well. It was mushy. It did however make excellent breakfast potatoes, fried to crisp in butter.Image

I used to make this years ago. Puy lentils cooked with ginger garlic chili cumin turmeric lime preserved lemon and coconut milk.  I used to add boiled eggs but I didn’t this time. Nowhere near authentic anything, but really really good.


.And an interesting pot of baked beans rounded out the week.



It’s minus 27 and I just got in from. A walk downtown. Hot cocoa with real cocoa and real milk seemed appropriate.  And 28 sleeps still until the wood stove gets installed. An opportunity to live in the moment. One step at a time. 

A suggestion and an update.

I read the Northwest Edible Life blog regularly. The blogger Erica writes about things that make sense to me in a very straightforward, practical way. Her most recent post “Three Steps To Reduce Your Consumption” pretty much aligns exactly with my way of living – or at least with my values. You may find this to be an interesting read.

On the home front, things are progressing well. Cabinets are being built in the shop, the counter has been ordered,  hardware has been ordered (crap cabinet handles can be expensive!), appliances are on the verge of being delivered (hopefully I can delay them a bit or they will be sitting in the middle of my living room for a month)  and demolition work will start in my house in about 2 weeks (wee delay due to uncontrolable circumstances.) I managed to find lights for over the peninsula while I was in Ottawa and slate tile for under the woodstove but no luck on the backsplash yet. Next up, I need to source an exhaust hood . A company in Quebec called Venmar seems to be a likely source if I can find a dealer in Renfrew County.

I’ve been planning this kitchen reno in my head for over 10 years now.  It’s nice to be finally moving forward with it.  I’ll get some “before pics” up here soon before the demo starts.

All Pho is not created equal (Apparently I’m spoiled)

I’m in Ottawa for a day of shopping – in particular lights and a backsplash for the kitchen. So far no luck. The helpful saleswoman at EPSTORE suggested that I take pictures and then let my wife decide. I’ll get right on that.

A quick stop for lunch at Mr. Pho on Robertson reminds me that not all Pho is created equal. 


It’s definitely passable but no where near the quality of Pho Dau Bo in Kitchener. I didn’t realize it at the time but I was definitely spoiled by it. In comparison, these noodles were flabby and the broth lacked depth.  I’ll have to make a point off going to PDB next time I’m in the neighbourhood.



Fresshly made lamb stock. Fine wheat noodles. Cabbage. Poached eggs. Ginger. Soy.

One step closer…

Support your local retailer!

I finally made a decision on a stove. It’s a GE 30″ gas convection 5 burner slide-in jobby.


It’s a decision that I agonized over for weeks. I needed something functional enough to work for me considering how much time I spend in the kitchen, but it also needed not to break the bank. Many of the models I perused online cost well north of $3,000. Yikes!   I picked this much more affordable model and it doesn’t feel like I’m settling at all.

Here’s the kicker. The little local shop sells everything – it’s The Source, Sears, and Bell Mobility rolled into one and they also have a back-hoe and sell maple syrup. As I said, they sell everything. They priced it for me – $400 less than Home Depot – that’s a full 20% off.

Lessons learned. If you’re in the Bay area (Barry’s not San Fran, lol) please support Yantha Enterprises. They are awesome. It always pays to shop local and support the people you know. Big chains make profits for shareholders. Local stores keep communities alive.

Sadly GE won’t let the Yantha’s sell me the fridge I picked so it’s back to the drawing board.

Parsnips and Chick Peas and Appliance Dreams (O my)

A bunch of parsnips has been staring me down every time I open the fridge for the past couple of weeks. I like them but I’ve had no inspiration for them lately. A Google search yesterday provided a recipe for a parsnip and chick pea curry. I think it was meant to be – there was a container of chick peas in the fridge that I’d cooked on the weekend for no particular purpose.


The earthiness of the parsnips worked perfectly. Definitely a keeper.


The weekend is here and none-too-soon. Planned highlights include a trip to pick up a winter food box at Rainbow Heritage Farm near Cobden and a planned Sunday lunch at my friends place – pizza cooked in their outdoor stone oven!  I’ll also try to order my appliances. I’ve picked them out. -I just need to locate a nearby supplier.

Molly and friends


The countdown to new kitchen is on. Today the woodstove guy was in to take measurements. Yesterday I picked the cupboard doors. Appliances, taps, lights, and backslash are on the to do list. And. I have to order vegetable seeds for the garden. A busy month ahead. 

I wonder if they still sell floor polishers? I think. I’m going to need one ffor these floors. I. Should have grabbed the old greenie from 2053 :).