July 2010

Travels31 Jul 2010 12:45 pm


At the moment this entry is published I am (hopefully) taking off en route to Tokyo. Three days there, then onto Okinawa and then…?


General26 Jul 2010 07:46 pm

I had to drop off  “the guys” at an extremely helpful and kind acquaintance’s home the other day. She’s got a number of young tarantulas and scorpions and is going to harbour our friends for a while. Considering tarantulas live decades, this is no small task.

So, thank you to local photographer and very wonderful woman and insect sitter Jennylynn Fields of SPYD Photography.

Here are some photos from one of the last feedings.

Unnamed scorpion of Tityus falconensis species.

“Feathers” the salmon pink birdeater

“Truckee” the green bottle blue

Yes, I cried after I dropped them off.

General and Travels26 Jul 2010 12:46 am

This has been my living room for about 10 days. Finally, today, most of it was packed into suitcases. I think I’m overweight on one, but I have squeezed most of what I know I’ll need into the bags. 5 days to go.

Food: Edmonton18 Jul 2010 10:51 pm

It is not often I dedicate a post to a single food item, but due to time constraints and overall fabulousity of this item, it must be done.

On Friday night I buzzed down to Elm Cafe to get a latte at a late hour. Nate mentioned he was whipping up 20 (and only 20) chicken and waffle sandwiches the next day – Saturday morning. The waffles were from Eva Sweet, the food truck darling here in Edmonton and the chicken from Four Whistle farm, lovingly braised and tenderized by Nate. I knew I had to get one. (or two!)

Saturday morning I waited until he tweeted that the sandwiches were ready and nearly ran down. It had really only been about 2 minutes since he tweeted, but already people were filling up Elm Cafe to get a bite of the action. It proved to be a very popular item – Elm sold out of the sandwich in just over an hour.

It was pretty fantastic, I have to say. The outside was crispy and carmelized with syrup, butter and chicken renderings. Inside, the savoury chicken offset the sweetness. I kind of wished the sandwich was a bit juicier – perhaps the addition of some more syrup at home would have remedied this. Nate also forgot to put the argula in our ‘wichs, but I don’t think it was a great loss.

It was a fantastic decadent treat, and I felt very privileged to be able to eat one. Limited edition food is the future!

General14 Jul 2010 09:59 pm

credit: Rick Guzzell

This is me, my brother and our good family friend Ryan chilling in Thunder Bay sometime in the late 80s. Weren’t summers the bomb when you were a kid? Trips to the candy store (no adults, penny candy and fudgsicles), diving into Silver Lake at 8am and only coming out to eat a breakfast of pancakes and bacon cooked on a fire, solo bike adventures to find a new awesome playground, falling asleep in the family Honda Civic hatchback on a road trip somewhere in the middle of Manitoba.

I hope my last two weeks in Canada are half as good as I remember those summers being. Perhaps they could be about the same, only with some adult beverages sprinkled in.

Food: Edmonton and Food: Home Cookin'13 Jul 2010 07:34 pm

Friend and former chef Connor graced Mike and I with his presence for a few days in Edmonton before continuing onto his new home, Berlin. We decided to indulge our love of great burgers and make some from scratch.

It was my first weekend off of work where I did not have anything else to do: no packing, no wedding crap, no appointments of any kind, so I spent some time at the City Center farmer’s market that Saturday. There, I picked up some peahen, goose and duck eggs from Greens, Eggs and Ham, asparagus from Edgar Farms, tomatoes from Gull Valley and morels from Mo-Na foods. To round out the menu, buns from Cobs, strip loin from Save On and beer from Sherbrooke Liquor store.

I may bitch about this city, but I am going to miss Edmonton and the local suppliers I’ve grown to take for granted.

Sauteeing the Mo-Na morels

Greens, Eggs and Ham goose and peahen eggs. Duck and turkey eggs are also quite good.

Edgar Farms asparagus ready for grilling

I am not really a Rubbermaid fan, but I do use two items from their catalogue frequently: bowls with snap down lids and the burger press. They’re great at shaping perfect burgers. We ground up the strip loin and it made the most exquisitely rich and meaty patties.

All meat, no fillers, save for some onion and seasonings.

Connor can simply touch a piece of meat and know when it’s done, so we put him in charge of the grilling, which was done at my parent’s place.

Loading up the burgers with fixings; home made mayo, pickles, lettuce, tomatoes, Fallot mustard … perfect burgers, if you ask me.

Hopefully we’ll get to do this one more time before hitting Okinawa.

Food: Las Vegas and Travels01 Jul 2010 01:56 am

Mike and I talked a lot about restaurants going into the wedding. What restaurant were we going to host the reception dinner at? Where were we going to have the rehearsal dinner? Where were our parents going to meet over dinner?

And so on.

However, the most discussion we had was over our “honeymoon.” Honeymoon dinner, that is. Some people go on a fancy vacation. We just spent money on a fancy dinner.

Knowing that we wouldn’t be in Las Vegas for some time, there was only one choice: Guy Savoy. And once we decided (it was one of the simplest eating decision we made the entire trip) we talked about it almost every night going up to the trip. Mike stalked the Guy Savoy website for weeks, waiting for the Spring menu to be released. We discussed the champagne we’d get, the cheeses from the cheese cart and what breads were best with what. It was nearing on obsession.

Luckily the dinner did not disappoint. I was coming off of nearly five days of barely eating. I just lost my appetite – I heard it’s common for brides. The day of our dinner at Guy Savoy things were returning, though. I had a mai tai by the pool and relaxed, preparing for our meal. We took a taxi over to Caesar’s from the Palazzo, and strolled into the restaurant.

We were welcomed back with open arms. We were given special amuse bouche courses (three in total), Franck Savoy (Guy’s son) came out to greet us. There was an extra dessert course. If our first visit to Guy Savoy was memorable, this one was unforgettable.

The spring menu was fabulous, and featured many special items especially good at this time of year: asparagus, morels, so on. We indulged in the cheese course, though we agreed we would forgo it on our next visit after two tours of it. We got the six course menu elegance.

Although initially I thought I might take a night off of photo taking for the blog, I couldn’t resist once the first large course came out. It was just so effing amazing.

Asparagus “raw cooked” with lauris sauce. Lauris is a mayonnaise, cream and paprika sauce. This dish is a Guy Savoy speciality. I think the most impressive thing was the serving style. The mandolined “trees” of asparagus were stunning. Here’s the recipe. We also got a bottle of champagne to start off the night right.

Squab and morels with a miniature savoy cabbage. Not to be mistaken for a brussel sprout.

Admittedly the dish looks…well, bland. Even after doctoring it a bit in Photoshop. But the flavours were rich and creamy and anything but bland. It just lacked visual charisma, I guess. Sort of like when the snow melts off from Edmonton, leaving that horrible dry brown dead grass, until the spring starts to appear in green grass and trees. Or atleast until the street cleaners appear.

Always the charmer. Back off ladies, he’s mine.

Ah yes, the cheese cart. My old friend who I had dreamt of many times.

Between Mike and I, I think we got one of each kind of cheese. The aged Edam was my personal favourite. The ancient goat cheese (below, at 12 o’clock) was especially intense.

We also got a soup course (the Savoy traditional: truffle artichoke) and a fish course.

Hmm. Some kind of sorbet; lychee? This was a freebie. They were very good about adding in extras that night.

And then dessert.

First, the coconut, six ways.

Coconut shavings on top. Coconut sorbet and granita. Coconut tapioca and julienned coconut meat. Coconut cream. It was best when you hit all the layers and experienced each one. And yes, you could taste each one.

Chocolate praline chicory cake. Super rich chocolate fondant cake with crispy praline layer and roasty coffee flavoured chicory cream on a dish that was made for this dessert.

ALMOST too rich to finish.

Then, the dessert cart.

I went with a trio of all white desserts, because I could. One of my favourite things was the lime marshmallow. Last time they had several kinds of mini macarons available. This visit, many kinds of mini marshmallows. On Mike’s recommendation I tried a macadamia sable, but even one tiny bite was too much for me, and I had to tap out. I was fuller than full. I had to rest in the lobby for some time before being able to get into a taxi.

I got some intensely red tea, an herbal blend. Because who the hell wants to stay up all night in Vegas?

(Seriously, why didn’t I get a latte? I bet they’re incredible.)

Mike poses with a friend in the Bubble Bar of Guy Savoy. He was made up of tiny little … styrofoam bubbles? Ball bearings? I don’t even know. He was pretty cool though.

So: three amuse bouches, four courses, five dessert courses and a dessert cart visit – it capped off a wonderful week. And more than made up for a week of not eating.

Read about the first visit to Guy Savoy here.