Saturday, May 1, 2010

For the love of Lamb: Belated Recipe installments, Part 1

Farfalle with cherry tomatoes, red peppers, baby spinach, and mushrooms

Despite the title of this entry, the following recipe lacks all things LAMB in its ingredients. In fact, it is modeled off of a recipe featuring pancetta inspired by one of the entries in the LCBO's winter issue.

--> Inspiration:
The crucial component of this pasta dish: Fresh baby spinach.

The complex array of colours in the pan belies the simplicity of this dish. I am a huge proponent of interpretation and instinct when cooking (one of the reasons why I love Jamie Oliver, who also encourages departing from a strict recipe).

To illustrate, I chose Farfalle (at the behest of my sister) over Orrechiette pasta and substituted chick peas with more fresh vegetable ingredients--mushrooms (my favourite!), red peppers, and I added extra carrots to enhance the sweetness of the dish. Following the preference of my family, I opted for a bit more of a 'tomatoe-y' sauce (used some diced roma's as well as cherry tomatoes), rather than an olive oil based sauce. Finally, I used chorizo sausage rather than pancetta.

Warm Zucchini Side Salad, seasoned with a lemon, olive oil, chili & fresh cilantro dressing


This warm salad served as a lovely accompaniment to a meal comprised of broiled marinated lamb chops, couscous, and Horiatiki salad.

I followed the recipe quite closely, although, as usual, I used more garlic than was called for and sprinkled the chili's quite generously. **Crucially, I also substituted mint for cilantro** Although mint definitely complements lamb, I feel that using the cilantro enhanced the Mediterranean/middle eastern theme of the meal. Plus, to be honest, I prefer cilantro over mint any day! :)

Marinated Lamb Chops


Again, this recipe lays everything out quite easily and the results are fabulous!

Horiatiki Sa

I enjoy research; for academic purposes, purely social--ie related to music, cooking, fashion, etc. You name it, I want to know the crucial who's, what's, where's, when's, why's, and how's of its existence.

Accordingly, I found out as much as I could about Horiatiki salad and how it has been reinterpreted over the years owing primarily to globalization & all that jazz. I've enjoyed this recipe for years, but now I can also understand the roots of the flavours I have come to love. And that, my friends, is pretty neat if you ask me. My meal has become a history lesson; *sigh*, ever the perpetual student of history and international relations :).

Various interpretations of Horiatiki salad, infused with a little history, too!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Pour La Liberté Des Fesses!

Okay, my globe-trotting friend, Felicia, posted a link to this site. A group of French students decided to begin a pictorial travel diary depicting nude poses. The translation of the website essentially comes down to "for the freedom of asses"!

At once hilarious, crude, and beautiful this website will inspire, if not wonderment, at least laughter and joviality!

Incidentally, check out her blog for super travel tips and musings on life, music etc.

Friday, October 9, 2009

The Nobel Peace Prize Trivialized

I awoke to absolutely astonishing news this morning. Admittedly, I was a self-proclaimed Obama supporter in the US elections last November; however, I am not as supportive of Obama's latest 'achievement'. In fact, I am disappointed and frustrated.

I am concerned that the decision to prematurely award Obama with the Nobel Peace Prize will prove to be a greater source of disappointment and resentment throughout the international community than one of cooperation and peace. The committee's decision could also strengthen any existing arguments against the Prize's status as a true symbol of Peace-enhancing accomplishments.

Indeed, the aftermath of this award will further lengthen an already hefty list of obstacles facing the Obama administration!

Furthermore, awarding Obama at this stage of the game trivializes the Prize and transforms it into a tool to wield
against opponents; to strengthen Obama's initiative toward paving peace. The peace prize is intended to be an honour bestowed on individuals who have ALREADY significantly contributed or made longstanding commitments to endeavours that furthered peace in various capacities. I believe that a quick glance at past winners demonstrates that fact--Mother Theresa, Woodrow... Read more Wilson, Nelson Mandela, even our own Lester B. Pearson--all honoured after a) a life b)visible, consistent ACTION devoted to peace-paving goals.
Obama may aspire to pave peace in various areas, but where is the evidence? The prize should not be awarded in anticipation of great achievements or noble action, but after such accomplishments. Winning a peace prize shouldn't be an 'easy feat'.

A friend of mine questioned whether "Obama's peaceful intentions [are] really worthy of less recognition then that group's warlike actions", especially when seemingly bellicose officials like Kissinger have been awarded, to which I respond:

Everyone and their brother desires 'world peace'. True, the legacy of individuals like Kissinger are questionable, however at least they achieved something concrete that, if fully successful, would have established some semblance of improved peace/stability.
To position Obama next to the achievements of people like Willy Brandt, Gorbachev, Elie Wiesel? They have concrete evidence to show for their 'hopes & and dreams of peace'. Just because Obama wants 'change' and peace doesn't mean he should be lauded for it

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Fruits of Fall Harvests, Part II.

Fresh Autumn Pesto:

Spaghettini with garlic and garden-fresh basil tossed with a shrimp, tomato, and zucchini sautée

Step 1
: Basil Pesto--inspired by one of my fav blogs, 'Simply Recipe'.

Step 2:
Shrimp Sautée--1 medium tomato, diced; 1 large clove garlic; approx. quarter cup diced green onion; 2 tbsp lemon juice; shelled, de-veined shrimp; salt and pepper to taste; approx. 2-4 tbsp. olive oil.

-Warm water olive oil in med-large non-stick skillet/pan.
-Add 1 large clove garlic, fresh ground pepper and salt
-approx 2 tbsp lemon juice
-add shelled, de-veined shrimp to mixture
-wait no more than 5 min and add thinly chopped yellow zucchini and fresh diced tomatoes

Step 3:
Pasta--Once waiting on shrimp sautée, bring salted water to a boil and add Spaghettini
Once pasta is strained and most of steam dissipates, dish into individual servings, adding about 2 spoonfuls of pesto per serving (depending on size, obviously!), mix, top with shrimp sautée, add extra Parmesan cheese, and ENJOY!

Fruits of Fall Harvests, Part I.

Curried Cauliflower & Sweet Potato Soup:


-1 1/2 med. tomatoes, diced

-2 medium sized onions

-3 large cloves garlic

-1 head cauliflower, cored and cut into small florets

-1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced

-1/4 cup milk

-3 cups vegetable stock

-1-2 cups water

-approx. 3-4 tbsp. olive oil

-1 tbsp cumin

-1 tbsp coriander

-1/2 tsp curry powder

-dash of tomato sauce (slightly less than ¼ cup)

-approx. ½ tsp fresh basil

-approx ¼ tsp fresh oregano


*While on the stovetop, I didn’t turn the soup any higher than Med. Heat—for the most part, I’d say it was on Med-low.

Approx preparation time: 30min

Approx. cooking time: 1 hr

-Heat olive oil in large soup pot, adding onions and garlic gradually—allow to soften

-Add curry powder, along with cumin, coriander, and salt and pepper

-Add veggie stock and 1 cup of water

-Add cauliflower & sweet potato

-Allow to cook for 5-10 min, monitoring thickness, then add 1 cup water

-Add diced tomatoes, stir and allow to simmer

-Add tomato sauce

-Add ¼ cup milk

-Add basil and oregano in last 20min or so of cooking

-If desired, add more salt and pepper (I was pretty generous with the pepper)

*Once finished, purée and enjoy!

Friday, August 28, 2009


Amazing band!!

Here are the Hylozoists performing at London's LOLA festival (courtesy of CBC Concerts on Demand)!