July 2009

Food and Food: Home Cookin'31 Jul 2009 10:30 pm

It’s been a while since I posted an afternoon snack, but here’s a delicious one I can’t get enough of right now: Mediterranean “Grilled Cheese”.


The recipe started off as roasted veggies: a simple mix of zucchini, eggplant and onions in oil. Add to that some fresh herbs, chick peas, super ripe grape tomatoes and some feta cheese, stuff it all in a pita, and it’s delicious.

Even better? Grilling it so the cheese melts and the pita gets crispy. We don’t have a sandwich press in our little apartment, so I improvised, and got two pans hot, pressing the pita between them.



It looks kind of sad and flat in this photo, but trust me: delicious.

Food28 Jul 2009 05:25 pm

As it happens, I have been looking for a new set of measuring cups for a while. The ones I have are fine, but the stylist in me wants new cups for photo ops when I do some blog-baking. Some beautiful copper ones would be lovely.

However, I stumbled across this trend on a blog today: matryoshka measuring cups! I’m so in love.

This set is from a company called Fred. They are made of plastic and are $11.99, but are not available to purchase until September.
matryoshka cups

This other set is from the super trendy and expensive Anthropologie. I can’t help feeling it’s an Urban Outfitters for yuppies, but I do like their store styling and some of their items. Plus, they have a new store in Edmonton! Made of a more durable stone and painted, the set costs a bit more, at $31.43 Canadian.

anthropologie matryoshka cups

General23 Jul 2009 12:09 pm

A month or more ago, I picked up five new friends for our critter closet, all scorpions and all juvenile.

Raising any insects from a young stage is very rewarding because you see a lot of growth and moulting as they age. Of course, these very stages can also be frustrating as they are the most difficult for the young ‘uns to get through. Moults can go wrong in any number of ways, and I have unfortunately lost a few tarantulas to moults gone wrong.

Three of the smallest scorpions we have just went through a week of moulting. They all moulted within days of each other, and it was fun to watch. The species is Tityus falconesis, aka Tityus magnimanus. They are now in third instar and about an inch long.

falconesis magnmanus tityus scorpion

falconesis magnmanus tityus scorpion

falconesis magnmanus tityus scorpion

I shot these with my digital Canon point and shoot, but also borrowed a macro lens from a co-worker for my old school film Nikon. Hope those turn out well!

General23 Jul 2009 01:45 am

Seriously lusting after this house. Would be even more incredible to have an indoor herb garden.

nagoya plant house

General17 Jul 2009 02:22 pm

I love this! Six female chefs have gone on summer vacation together, to hunt boar in Mongolia. Can you imagine the dinners?

(I hope it is not too obvious that this is a filler post. I sent my camera off with Mike on a mountain trip, and negelcted to pull my latest photos off of it first, so no Vegas updates for a few days)

General10 Jul 2009 09:28 am


It’s going to be hotter at night than it is supposed to be during the day at home. See you in a few days!

General10 Jul 2009 02:26 am

A few friends recently moved out of the city. On to bigger and better things; a medical residency, Ph.D. programs in London. We all gathered to have one final hurrah. Miss you, Paras, Alejandro and Ruxandra.







Food and Food: Home Cookin'06 Jul 2009 08:58 am

One thing that astounds me is how little great BBQ there is available in Alberta. Aren’t we the Texas of Canada? Seriously: we have so much beef in our own backyard and ranches and people who love to grill. How come BBQ culture isn’t more widespread in these parts?

The one place that makes great barbeque is my parent’s place. My dad has been away for six months, traveling in Asia with my mom and working in north Africa, so I have been sorely missing his BBQ talents.

He squeezed in one smoke session before heading back to work again. Great timing, since I was really craving some ribs, and his have to be the best in Edmonton…even though he doesn’t own a Big Green Egg.


Look at that smoke he has going! He uses his own foil packets and a Weber BBQ set to a low temperature all day to smoke the ribs.



Simple sides: a fresh slaw my dad made, with Farmer’s Market buns I brought. My mom made a walnut & port-soaked cherry pie for dessert.


He’s wearing a Singha Beer shirt, but drinking a Chang Beer. Both Singha and Chang can now be found at Sherbrooke Liquor in Edmonton, by the way.


Homemade dry rub and sauce, a good long smoking and the meat is easy (but not too easy) to strip off the bone. Just looking at this photo is making me want some pork again. Yum!

Food and Food: Home Cookin'05 Jul 2009 09:38 am

It was my mom’s birthday on Friday. She was working, so I made something light, easy and fun to eat for her and her co-workers and clients to enjoy: angel food cupcakes with balsamic strawberries and whipped cream.

It was my first time making from-scratch angel food cake. It was so delicious, I will never return to those spongy, greasy pre-packaged ones in the supermarket. 12 egg whites go into the batter though; that’s crazy.





Angel Food Cupcakes

  • 12 large egg whites
  • 1 1/2 cups icing sugar (sifted)
  • 1 cup sifted cake flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Let egg whites sit in a bowl for an hour or so to come to room temperature. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Sift icing sugar, flour, salt together into a bowl.

3. Beat egg whites til frothy. Add cream of tartar, continue beating until soft peaks form. Add granulated sugar gradually, and continue beating, until white thicken and form droopy peaks. Beat in vanilla.

4. Sprinkle sifted dry ingredients in small batches, folding into whites.

5. Fill cupcake pan tins 3/4 full, and bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.

6. Cool, and use a butter knife to loosen the edges, then pop out the cupcake. The recipe made about 30 cupcakes.

The strawberries were easy. I hulled and sliced them, sprinkled with sugar and balsamic and let them sit and marinate for a while. They were so good. I’m adding some to my salad for lunch.

Food04 Jul 2009 12:38 am

A few new drinks in the past few weeks.


Melbourn Brothers Cherry Beer.

Although I have had cherry flavoured beer in the past (Bellevue Kriek) this brew was a bit different. This British beer had a lot of cherry added to it, so much so I found it overwhelming actually. It was a bit tart, and very carbonated. Just sort of like cherry juice with some beer mixed in. I’m not sure I’d try it again.

My old friend Fentimans.

Ginger beer is a real treat. I remember the first time I had it when we moved to England. We were in a pub in a city called Chelmsford, and I took my first sip, expecting ginger ale. How surprised I was to taste the sharp ginger and fizz in my nose. Fentimans is a more refined ginger beer. Still spicy and zingy, but a definite fresh ginger flavour and not too sweet, either. I would definitely drink it again. Thanks to Dave and Jenn for sending this with Mike home from Calgary. It’s always sold out at my Sobeys!

Food03 Jul 2009 10:28 am

canned scorpions

I know, weird, right? It doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of “strange canned food stuffs”. Check some of the other items out.

General and Travels01 Jul 2009 12:04 pm


No excuse for not posting these earlier. I’ve been eagerly waiting for Jayson and Kristin’s excellent photographers to post the photos on their blog, so I know what it’s like to wait. In the meantime, here are my photos of the event, which happened in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota just north of Minneapolis in late May. Both the ceremony and reception were at the Earle Brown Center. It was a great night; thanks for the invite guys, and thanks to Hoor and Zenobia for letting a single girl party with them.

Love this photo. I was invited to the rehearsal dinner at Oak City where the mugs of beer were huge and the food was great.

How cool was this? Jayson is a microbiologist and works for a large biotech company in the Twin Cities, so he snagged a Pyrex beaker for the unity sand ceremony.

Best men Dan and Hoor, Jayson’s mom Karen and Jay.

No doubt Kristin is talking about something serious in this photo as Jayson gets his groove (? is that what that is?) on.

Speaking of groove, loved Zenobia’s dress and dance moves.

Hoor’s air guitar was top notch.


Finally, remember this photo?

This is what the finished product looked like: