Monday, December 20, 2010

Counting Down the Days

I don't know if I should admit to this.
Close friends already know.
I am not a fan of Christmas.
But this year, I just can't wait.

One thing that really gets me freaked out are gifts. Gifts that mean nothing. Disposable things.
My heart was warmed by new friends, homemade gifts and thoughtful cards.

Thank you Kaitlin and Andrew! The box. The box. A cutie. These homemade oreo cookies have not yet been attacked. Soon.

Merci Kim et David. Isn't this absolutely extraordinary? They made over a dozen different kinds of cookies! Go see a few here.

And a big thanks to regular 'eaters' of Edgar : A&K for a lovely card (that hangs in front of my face as I bake to remind me that The End Is Near), Mike and Carole for the lovely bottle (that will age gracefully at home) and of course, Lynne, for all the baked goods. I think she has a secret plan to fatten us up.

Speaking of fattening up...

Cookie boxes... Macadamia&Orange, White Chocolate&Cranberry, Chocolate&Ginger, Coconut Macaroons, Snowflake Sugar Cookies, Peanut Buster Clusters (Thanks for the name Christal!!!)

Yup, I made a lot of cookies. On top of the every day ones, here are this week's craziness...

More Sugar cookies. We piled them up pretty.

And here is Christal icing the molasses bears with white chocolate, cranberry and crystallized ginger.

And of course, I made a lot of soups. A few of my favourites:

Pear and Turnip velouté. So silky.

A Caesar Salad as a soup. Lettuce soup, bacon bits, parmesan shavings, fried capers, garlicky croutons.

Simon's favourite this week was a Moroccan inspired bean soup: Lima beans, white beans, pink beans, chick peas in a harissa vegetable stock. It tasted best the following day, so a great soup to make in advance...

I have also made a lot of tourtières... A mix of veal, pork and beef, duck fat, apple cider and yummy smelling spices.

Last but not least, my favourite sandwich, so simple.

Green apples, brie, sprouts, arugula and homemade apple butter on rosemary bread.

AND, a big thank you to Marie-Hélène for helping out this Saturday... She made it all look so easy. A full house, lattés, soups, desserts, sandwiches, cappucinos, the cash register - ALL AT THE SAME TIME. No worries, yup, this is easy. Please quit your day job and come play with me all the time...

Monday, December 13, 2010

Time Flies

The days just go by so fast.
I get up. cook, cook, open the door, cook some more, lock the door, cook, go home, eat, sleep.

A fellow food lover said: If cooking was my 'job' I think I would never get tired of it.
I can't say my mind is tired of it, but my body is.
I have gained a lot of strength that was lost over the years, my arms are really muscular again. I lost weight and feel, well, like I could knock someone over pretty good. But my hands hurt. One hand goes numb when I sleep... I can't wait for the christmas holidays for some rest.

The past weeks have been even more busy than I thought busy could be.
My friend Isabel had to go out shopping for more food - I went through my weekly estimate in three days... I have to admit that at some point, I was discouraged - I felt that no matter how much food I made, it was never enough.

But this is a good problem right?
And I keep seeing the same faces over and over again, so it warms my heart to think that people find comfort in my food.

My favourite soup this week was celeriac and potato with a rosemary, garlic and chive drizzle. Sadly, I took no pictures! But here are some more...

THE most popular, a cream of wild mushroom (cooked with hazelnuts and sundried tomato, served with homemade crème fraîche)

Roasted tomato + roasted red pepper with kale chips and a rosemary drizzle ... or would you rather a spicy silky carrot soup with a coriander purée?

I also did a minestrone. some squash soups. a hearty mushroom/beef/barley. more cream of wild mushroom. a sweet potato with lots of lemongrass. a beautiful ruby beet soup.

This week was also the start of 'Holiday Food'. I made some tourtières, the meats cooked away in a large cocotte...

We (Loretta, Christal and I) started the cookies for gift boxes. Macadamia&orange, white chocolate&cranberry, chocolate&ginger. I should be rolling out sugar cookies today, making some very naughty cookies with marshmallows (I could eat... too many.)

I made our regular bacon and date brioches, and also made some more festive ones: date, orange, cinnamon and cranberries!

The sandwich of the week: Smoked salmon on 12 grain fennel, cucumber, feta, a lemon/garlic yoghurt, red onion. Who thought people liked smoked salmon so much...

I also had a very odd 'we all want hot chocolate!' Friday. Hot chocolate after hot chocolate after mocha coffee, more hot chocolate...

Our stuffed french toast was also quite popular... I love how two people agreed to the ham + bacon suggestion. Then I made more during the weekend - they called it: double pig.

But the best treats in the world did not come from Edgar, they came from friends.
Tons of sweet treats from Lynne, little chocolate bites with icing that I scarfed down in my car. Tiny Clusters of Goodness (that I just could not stop eating after dinner...) from Eva. And an over the top dinner that made us cry from Rachelle.

Here are a few shots, I regret not taking more... She and her husband read through our blog and noted what they thought would make us most happy. We started with cheese and sparkling wine, then a beautiful tartare, some more tender beef with crisp-to-perfection fries, and a decadent chocolate dessert. We thought we had just stepped into a dream.

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