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March 2011 Cookbook of the Month COTM Adjunct thread: ALL OTHER JAMIE OLIVER RECIPES

Oh gosh! I'm so sorry. LOL! It really bugs me. I'm quite neurotic about hand-washing (and surfaces and basically anything at all that touches raw meat) and it probably adds a few minutes to the cooking time when I make the 15 minute meals that have meat in them... And you're right, I had not noticed that he never washes his veg either. Yech!

Jun 05, 2014
geekmom in Home Cooking

March 2011 Cookbook of the Month COTM Adjunct thread: ALL OTHER JAMIE OLIVER RECIPES

Check upthread for my misadventures in trying to get a couple of these meals done in 15 minutes. I even destroyed a pan one time because it sat empty on the high heat setting for ages while my food processor gave me trouble slicing potatoes :-)

Basically, you CAN do these meals in about fifteen minutes or so - if it's your third or fourth go at that particular recipe. The first couple of times you are learning the recipe, so give yourself 45 minutes and don't try to rush. Read through it several times and figure out what is unwritten (ie, if it tells you to put an empty pan on at high heat, but you have to do quite a few steps before you use that pan, maybe the first time you heat that pan up later on... or if it tells you to boil some water before you start cooking, but it takes you quite a while to get to the point where you need the boiling water, maybe put the kettle on later in the process... that kind of thing.)

Also, anyone notice that Jamie doesn't stop to wash his hands during the show after he touches raw meat? I can't cook like that, so that definitely slows me down.

As for the serving on a cutting board thing - no, I don't do that. It depends on the recipe but my son is at the "I'm going to grow an inch this week so I am going to eat everything in sight" phase, and sometimes these recipes only make enough for four normal-sized servings... the rest of us want to eat too! I just serve the meal onto the plates in the kitchen, or I put the pans on trivets in the middle of the table and let everyone serve themselves (obviously not a great option if you have young kids, though).

Jun 02, 2014
geekmom in Home Cooking

March 2014 Cookbook of the Month - Stir: Mixing it up in the Italian Tradition: Starters and Small Bites Pg. 1-56

Ooh, that makes sense. I don't think I added more than another tablespoon or two of flour at the end - just whatever the dough picked up from the liberally floured bench. I think this recipe falls short on instructions for those who don't have a lot of experience working with yeasted doughs. I have spent the past few months baking 3-4 loaves of bread every weekend and I think that helped enormously even though this was my first attempt at brioche and I had no idea how to deal with such a sticky dough. If you've ever changed a diaper, the dough should feel smooth like a baby's bottom when it's ready to rest.

I used no name unbleached AP flour from the Superstore :-)

Mar 11, 2014
geekmom in Home Cooking

March 2014 Cookbook of the Month - Stir: Mixing it up in the Italian Tradition: Starters and Small Bites Pg. 1-56

Oh man, how disappointing that your crust didn't work out as well as it could have. I'm curious, did you use a stand mixer to prepare the dough, and how long did you refrigerate afterward? I am thinking you're probably right that adding too much flour at the end may have been the culprit. I kneaded very very gently after it came out of the mixer, just enough to get a feel for the dough and then I left it alone.

Mar 10, 2014
geekmom in Home Cooking

March 2014 Cookbook of the Month - Stir: Mixing it up in the Italian Tradition: Starters and Small Bites Pg. 1-56

Brioche Pizza with Roasted Potatoes and Rosemary - p. 52

I've only cooked two recipes from this book so far and I've already used a pound of butter. A very promising start.

Start by making brioche dough (p. 54); once it's properly chilled, you can begin. Slice two potatoes 3/8" thick, toss with some olive oil and roast them at 375F for about 6-8 minutes until tender. Meanwhile, lightly brown half of a thinly sliced red onion with two cloves of finely chopped garlic in a saute pan. At this point you need to roll out four-ounce balls of your brioche dough to the size of your pizza trays. Four ounces did not look like very much at all to me, but I found that this dough was wonderfully stretchy, and rolled out nice and thin. As will be obvious from my photo, I couldn't get the dough to stay in a circle, but the recipe tells you that the pizzas are meant to be rustic so I just rolled until my rustic blobs were about the right size to go onto the trays. My daughter had to fold over the edges in a few places where they were hanging off the round tray. More practice is clearly needed here. :-)

The dough is topped first with the onion/garlic mixture, then with slices of the roasted potato. Next you sprinkle on finely chopped rosemary, red pepper flakes, fleur de sel, and freshly ground black pepper. Finally, shave over some parmigiano-reggiano and bake the pizzas for about 8 minutes. Just before serving, add dollops of creme fraiche (I substituted full-fat greek yogurt.)

This was a seriously good pizza. The wonderfully thin crust was crispy, bubbled up in a few places around the potatoes and tasted distinctly of brioche without being overpoweringly sweet. A nice balance of sweet, salty, savoury and spicy flavours. The potato, rosemary and creme fraiche (or greek yogurt) topping was new to us, and we really liked the combination. The creamy tartness of the yogurt brought all the other flavours together, but the pizza also tasted great without it. Brioche dough does require planning ahead (and a lot of butter) but I can definitely see myself using this again as it's miles better than the thin crust pizza dough that I normally make.

This is a two-day process, but it can be a light weeknight meal (if you want, you can serve with some steak or chicken, or a salad... we just ate the pizzas on their own). I got the dough going in my mixer on the counter while making dinner on Wednesday night, put it away in the fridge, then on Friday evening I pulled the dough out and away we went.

(And best of all, the brioche dough recipe makes such a generous amount that there's plenty left over to bake a loaf of bread... I sense French toast or bread pudding in my future.)

Mar 08, 2014
geekmom in Home Cooking

March 2014 Cookbook of the Month - Stir: Mixing it up in the Italian Tradition: Sweet Treats Pg. 289-311

It is indeed! http://www.amazon.com/Pirate-Skull-Cr...

We especially like making our Christmas cookies with this thing. :-)

Mar 07, 2014
geekmom in Home Cooking
2

March 2014 Cookbook of the Month - Stir: Mixing it up in the Italian Tradition: Sweet Treats Pg. 289-311

Butter Cookies - p. 301

I noticed when I picked up this book from the library a couple of days ago that nobody had reviewed anything from the sweet treats chapter yet. I am happy to take on the burden of being the first.

Anyone who has made sugar cookies will not find this recipe surprising; softened butter (10 tbsp!) and 1/2c+2tbsp sugar are whipped in a stand mixer bowl until fluffy, egg yolks (3 of them) are incorporated one at a time, then 1.5c flour and 1/4tsp of baking powder are stirred in. The ball of dough is then shaped into a disc, wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for at least 6 hrs. At this point you roll out your dough, grab your cookie cutters and away you go. I found the dough slightly tricky to work with - when I first rolled it out, it cracked around the edges, so I might have chilled the dough for a little too long. Eventually it softened up a bit, though, and I was on my way.

BL suggests refrigerating your cookie sheets for another 15-20 minutes after you cut the cookies out, before baking, which I think helped to ensure that my cookies didn't spread out into buttery, vaguely skull and crossbone shaped puddles. :-)

These were very nice cookies - rich, buttery, and with a lovely texture - a slight snap as you take a bite, and a good crumb. Perfect with my afternoon cup of tea!

Mar 07, 2014
geekmom in Home Cooking

COTM August 2013 MEDITERRANEAN HARVEST: Breads, Pizza & Panini; Sauces Dressings & Condiments; Starters, Snacks, Meze & More

Beets and Beet Greens Salad - p. 94

I'm adding to the general praise for this recipe. It's easy and, once the beets are roasted, pretty quick (I cheated a bit and halved my beets to make them roast more quickly - I put the cut side down, into the water, and it didn't dry out), and the dressing is really lovely with the roast beets. Mr. Geek was late getting home from work and I had to work to restrain myself from eating everything on the platter.

I do agree with those who've said that the greens tossed with lemon juice, s&p are skippable - the beets are the star of the show here - however, if you have no other use for the greens, it does add a nice earthy and slightly acidic element, and a bit more colour to the plate.

Mar 05, 2014
geekmom in Home Cooking

COTM August 2013 MEDITERRANEAN HARVEST: Savory Pies & Gratins; Vegetables & Beans; Rice, Couscous & Other Grains

Cabbage Galette - p. 236

Months of COTMs are being faithfully signed out of the library over at my house and gathering dust on the shelf as I continue my love affair with the unassuming and utterly wonderful Mediterranean Harvest. I feel only vaguely guilty about ignoring all these other great books... but then each time I make yet another winning dish from MH I feel justified. And my family is not complaining.

Anyway, thank you to Westminstress for flagging this cabbage galette recipe. I've now made nearly all the galettes/pies/tortas in this chapter, and this one is the clear winner for me. I realize now that it was only a month ago that WM posted her review, yet I've made this galette three times already. My kids are addicted to cabbage right now (they're weird, but you probably guessed that from my username, haha) so it's a good way to get lots of veggies into them, and I love that I don't have to fiddle around blanching and squeezing and chopping pounds and pounds of greens - just saute the onions and cabbage while the ever-faithful yeasted olive oil pastry rises on the counter, mix in your crumbled feta, beaten and chopped eggs, season, and away you go. I've opted to leave out the fresh dill every time and it in no way diminishes the flavour of this dish. The filling has a nice mix of textures, we love the bursts of saltiness from the feta, the cabbage is slightly sweet, and the soft yeasted dough with the crispy, golden outside is always satisfying.

Westminstress, you asked about the crust being hard - I have often had that issue with whole wheat pie crusts (did you use whole wheat, white, or a blend?), and I don't yet have enough experience to be able to suggest any way to alleviate that. Have you had a chance to try out the other pastry recipe yet?

Mar 01, 2014
geekmom in Home Cooking

Cooking from Diana Henry's Books

Johanna's Swedish Apple Pie - p 159, Cook Simple (aka Pure Simple Cooking)

I spent most of last year's tree fruit season being somewhat obsessed with the rhubarb cake from this book (which, it turns out, can be made with just about any fruit) and didn't think to look at any of the other desserts, but last weekend this Swedish apple pie recipe caught my eye. I had a pastry failure, and with a dinner guest on the way I needed something quick to throw together. This fits the bill, especially if you have one of those gadgets that peels, cores and slices apples. Simply butter a pie plate, toss in your sliced apples, mix the topping ingredients together & press over top, then bake for half an hour.

This is a really wonderful dessert that is more than the sum of its parts. The apples are a soft bed for the surprisingly crunchy topping which has a hint of almond. Lemon zest is the brilliant addition, here - it works so well to pull everything together. I think I'll be making this one again this weekend.

Adaptation on a blog here: http://fancifulfig.blogspot.ca/2011/1... (I can't speak to whether the quantities are faithful to the original recipe as my book is the UK edition with weight-based measurements, but in the book there is no blend of white & whole wheat flour - just plain or all-purpose flour is called for.)

Mar 01, 2014
geekmom in Home Cooking

February 2014 Cookbook of the Month Nominations

This sounds great, but isn't in my library just yet - it's still on order. Would love to consider it for March or April, maybe.

Jan 14, 2014
geekmom in Home Cooking

February 2014 Cookbook of the Month Nominations

I can get behind VEGETABLE LITERACY.

Jan 13, 2014
geekmom in Home Cooking

have any BC'ers been to Trader Joe's lately - what do you have to bring back over the border from TJ's?

GS, we have done the candy cane Joe Joe vs PC "eat the middle first" candy cane cookie comparison and the latter is sadly lacking. The chocolate coating on the outside with the little crunchy candy bits in it does make a HUGE difference.

We usually eat very well, honestly - these are one of our few junk food indulgences. :-)

Jan 10, 2014
geekmom in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Which of Ottolenghi's cookbooks should I buy?

I've got all of them and am a big fan so I think you should get them all :-) What do you like to cook? I have probably cooked from Jerusalem more than from any other cookbook, but I have a family who really enjoy middle eastern flavours. Plenty is my favourite Ottolenghi cookbook because it has such a wonderful variety of bold and interesting vegetable dishes. Ottolenghi has a very interesting variety of recipes - lots of baked goods - and brings back memories of eating at the restaurant.

All of these books are available at my local library... you may be able to borrow one or two of them yourself, so you can try before you buy.

Jan 07, 2014
geekmom in Home Cooking

COTM August 2013 MEDITERRANEAN HARVEST: Savory Pies & Gratins; Vegetables & Beans; Rice, Couscous & Other Grains

Westminstress, I've been absolutely delighted with both the ww flour Greek pie pastry and the yeasted olive oil pastry from this book. They are surprisingly easy to work with and quite forgiving. I hope you'll report back here if you get a chance to try one or the other :-)

Jan 02, 2014
geekmom in Home Cooking

COTM August 2013 MEDITERRANEAN HARVEST: Savory Pies & Gratins; Vegetables & Beans; Rice, Couscous & Other Grains

Greens and Sweet Onion Pie - p. 239

Like the greens & potato torta/galette (which is now in regular rotation on our dinner table), this recipe has been a real hit here in the Geek house. I realized after making it again last night that I hadn't yet had a chance to review it here.

You can make this with either the yeasted olive oil dough or the Greek pie crust, both on p. 229 (and very easy to make and to work with), or you can use 12 large sheets of phyllo (MRS suggests using 7 sheets as the base, 5 sheets as the lid, and of course, brushing each one with lots of olive oil). The filling is a simple mixture of 2 lbs greens (blanched in salted water, and chopped), a cup of chopped sweet onions cooked gently in olive oil with 2 cloves of pressed garlic, 1/4 cup each fresh dill and parsley; this is mixed with 4 oz of crumbled feta cheese and 3 beaten eggs to hold everything together. Season to taste, then roll out your dough, and use your filling to make a pie, which you brush with a bit of reserved egg and then bake at 375F for 40-50 min, until the filling is piping hot and the dough is golden brown.

This pie is a wonderful example of simple ingredients brought together to make something delicious, satisfying and more-ish. I've made it with both the yeasted olive oil pastry and the whole wheat variation of the Greek pie crust, and both were wonderful, though our preference would probably be for the whole wheat Greek pastry. The filling is a great balance of earthy greens, salty feta and toothsome onions. There were many happy comments as we all sat down to eat this pie last night, and I was surprised there was anything left in the dish -- everyone wanted seconds!

Another "win" from Mediterranean Harvest. This is one of my favourite cookbook acquisitions from 2013.

Jan 02, 2014
geekmom in Home Cooking
1

December 2013 Cookbook of the Month, ALL ABOUT ROASTING by Molly Stevens: Chicken & Poultry

Thank you, Gio - I'll try this next time! Possibly I had the burner turned up too high, and putting the flour in the corner of the pan sounds like a smart idea.

Dec 27, 2013
geekmom in Home Cooking

December 2013 Cookbook of the Month, ALL ABOUT ROASTING by Molly Stevens: Chicken & Poultry

Thanks, Gio! Yes, it was delicious, so the meal wasn't ruined by any means. Just rather... pink. :-)

Dec 27, 2013
geekmom in Home Cooking
1

December 2013 Cookbook of the Month, ALL ABOUT ROASTING by Molly Stevens: Beef & Lamb; Pork

Standing Rib Roast (Prime Rib) - p. 85

A prime rib roast (10-12 lbs) is seasoned with kosher salt, dry mustard, rosemary and black pepper, then refrigerated for 1-3 days. 3 hours before cooking, the meat is removed from the fridge; then it is roasted at 450F until it "begins to brown and sizzle", after which the oven temperature is lowered to 325F. The recipe suggests waiting at least 1.5 hrs before checking for doneness, and, once done, allowing the meat to rest for 25-40 min.

I'm enjoying this book, but if I have a complaint about it, it would be that the recipes are written with the assumption that I'm going to walk into my friendly local organic-free range butcher shop (because we all have one of those, right? haha!) and buy a piece of meat of exactly the size and shape the recipe calls for. Unfortunately, I'm working with whatever is in my freezer; I bought a 1/4 cow from a small producer, and his butcher supplies a somewhat random set of cuts of meat which tend to be on the smaller size. So far, not one of the recipes I've tried in "All About Roasting" has offered suggestions for what to do when my meat is a radically different size from what's called for in the recipe.

In the case of this recipe, the prime rib roast that I had in my freezer was less than half the size of the one MS calls for, and was enough for about 4 people - not the towering rib roast to serve the masses that she assumes I'm working with. Since I've never cooked prime rib before, I was relying on the recipe to hold my hand through the process of cooking the rib roast, but unfortunately, I ended up overcooking my roast. It was delicious (if somewhat overseasoned, but I can attribute that to my own inability to figure out the right quantities of mustard and rosemary to use), but far more well-done than I would have liked, even though I started checking for doneness early. I think part of the problem was that I couldn't see if my meat was browning and sizzling through the little door in my oven, and the recipe told me not to open the door before lowering the temperature... so I couldn't decide whether it was time to lower the temperature, and probably left the oven at 450 for far too long.

I'm not sure if anyone here is going to splurge on the humongous hunk of prime rib to serve 10-12 people that is recommended, but I'd love to know how this turns out when made with the correct size of roast, as I am fully willing to attribute my problems with this recipe to user error.

Dec 26, 2013
geekmom in Home Cooking

December 2013 Cookbook of the Month, ALL ABOUT ROASTING by Molly Stevens: Chicken & Poultry

Pan sauce made from roast chicken - p. 31

I wasn't really sure where to put this commentary, because the "recipe" (really more of a point-form set of hints and tips) is in the introduction of the book, alongside lots of other useful information.

I will admit here that I, a fairly proficient home cook, have had a massive gap in my cooking skills - I never learned how to make gravy. I decided that with this book in hand, it would be a shame to pass up the chance to finally figure this out.

MS instructs you to save the pan drippings from your roasting meat, and then to either pour them over the meat before serving, or, if you want a pan sauce, use the drippings to deglaze the pan. I was eager to try this, because my roasted vegetables had left all kinds of deliciousness in the pan and I wanted to get that flavour into my gravy. Next, it's suggested that you thicken these sauces in the pan by sprinkling a spoonful of flour over top of the sauce and whisking it in. A final, optional step involves moving your sauce to a saucepan to reduce and adding some optional elements, such as a pat of butter, some cream, or a bit of meat glaze.

I took my roast chicken out of the pan to rest and carve, and put the pan juices into a bowl in order to allow the vegetables to dry out and finish roasting. Once the veggies were done, I moved the roasting pan onto the stovetop to deglaze; I put the bowl of pan drippings back in, turned the burner on to medium, and deglazed away.

After a while, I started to feel like I didn't really have enough liquid so I added a small carton (8oz) of chicken broth. The book instructs me to sprinkle flour over top of everything at this point, whisking to incorporate, but unfortunately I appear to lack the "finesse" that MS suggests is needed to use this approach, so my flour ended up filling the not-yet-gravy with lumps. I still couldn't tell how much liquid I actually had floating around in that massive roasting pan, so I decided to strain my liquid into a saucepan and continue working with it in there. At this point, I had a very thin sauce, since I'd just strained all the flour out of it, so I made a slurry with some fresh flour, and incorporated that into the liquid. It worked incredibly well, and thickened, but by this point I had been simmering my gravy for about 15 minutes and the liquid had reduced considerably. I poured it into the gravy boat, and it was barely half full - not nearly enough for four people - and very strongly flavoured, because the flavours had intensified as the sauce reduced. This was no good. I put the kettle on, put the sauce back into the pan to simmer, and thinned it out with about a cup of boiling water. At this point, of course, the gravy stopped being thick, and I then had to make yet another slurry with yet more flour (the third heaping spoonful of flour I had added to this poor sauce so far). This slurry didn't incorporate successfully, alas, even with vigorous whisking, so I found myself straining the gravy AGAIN and eventually giving up on it ever thickening -- because, needless to say, by this point my roast chicken, vegetables, Yorkshire puddings and all our other side dishes were getting very cold waiting for this bleeping gravy to finally be ready to go. I also failed to taste and re-season in my rush to get the gravy on the table, so the final product here was somewhat thin and bland (but it was a beautiful rich colour, thanks to the beets I had had in my roasting pan!)

So - to summarize - I think I learned a lot about gravy-making techniques, and I'm not at all put off by the experience, but as a novice gravy maker I felt like the process could have gone a lot more smoothly... I'm hesitant to blame Ms. Stevens for my inability to get my gravy right, though. I'd welcome some feedback here from some of the more experienced gravy makers on this board.

Dec 26, 2013
geekmom in Home Cooking
1

December 2013 Cookbook of the Month, ALL ABOUT ROASTING by Molly Stevens: Chicken & Poultry

Sunday Supper Roast Chicken with Bacon and Root Vegetables - p. 271

Thanks to Gio for the summary of this recipe above. We didn't pre-salt the meat, and I did include the diced bacon under the skin of my chicken, and then salted and peppered the skin just before roasting (DO take the author seriously when she warns that the bacon makes the chicken salty, and salt the skin more sparingly than you usually would, if you try this recipe with the bacon... I think I went a bit overboard.).

I have a go-to method of roasting a chicken which involves blasting at 475F for about 40 minutes with a foil tent, then removing the tent and continuing to roast at 375F. In the spirit of COTM I decided to follow this recipe where all of the roasting is done at 375.

We had a very large chicken (more than 5 lbs for sure). This meant that it took longer to roast than the recipe suggested, which I fully expected, but I didn't account for this additional roasting time causing the glaze to caramelize to an alarming degree. After three applications of glaze, the skin on top of the bird was black! I stopped glazing at that point and quickly put some foil onto the bird so that the skin wouldn't burn (luckily, I caught it in time). What also surprised me was that the veggies, cut into chunks of about 1.5-2" size, weren't completely done when my chicken was. I had to pull the bird out of the pan to rest, and leave the veg in with fingers crossed as I increased the temperature considerably and put my Yorkshire Puddings in for the next 25 minutes (you aren't supposed to open the oven while Yorkshires are baking, so they rise properly). I think the veggies benefited from the final blast at a higher temperature - in the end, they were perfectly cooked, and the parsnips were so sweet. I'm not sure if they would have caramelized quite so nicely if I'd left them at 375.

Oh! One last comment about the vegetables. MS suggests that you can prevent the beets (if you're using them) from bleeding onto the other veggies by tossing them in a separate bowl with your seasonings & olive oil, before adding them to the roasting pan with the chicken. This did not hold true for me. As soon as those beets made contact with my chicken and the other veggies, they stained; and since the recipe instructed me to keep rummaging around in the vegetables every 20 minutes, by the end of the cooking time there was a streak of purpley-red beet juice on absolutely every other thing in the pan. Whoever prepared the veggies for the photo on p. 272 clearly did NOT roast the beets in with anything else. ;-)

I'm afraid this extra time for the vegetables threw off some other parts of my meal; I had to continue roasting the veg for the entire resting time, and only then had access to my roasting pan to begin deglazing & starting gravy. This meant my meat & side dishes sat and got cold while I struggled to follow MS's instructions for making gravy. More on that below!

As I wrote these comments I was asking myself whether I would follow this recipe again, and I would say no. I will try the glaze again, perhaps, if I'm roasting a smaller chicken or I might wait and apply the glaze later in the process. I will probably try the bacon-under-the-skin idea again if I happen to have some bacon handy. However, roasting my chicken at a lower temperature than usual just created more issues for me than I would expect for something so straightforward. The finished product was moist and delicious, for sure, so I have no complaints about flavour, but I think I want my roast chicken dinner to be uncomplicated and unfussy, and for me, this recipe was neither.

Dec 26, 2013
geekmom in Home Cooking

December 2013 Cookbook of the Month, ALL ABOUT ROASTING by Molly Stevens: Beef & Lamb; Pork

:-) Thanks, JoanN! It's very encouraging to get a good result even though I couldn't check the temperature of the meat.

Dec 15, 2013
geekmom in Home Cooking
1

December 2013 Cookbook of the Month, ALL ABOUT ROASTING by Molly Stevens: Beef & Lamb; Pork

Basic Roast Bone-In Leg of Lamb - p. 138

This is a pretty straightforward recipe, just like the name suggests; a bone-in leg of lamb is seasoned with kosher salt & freshly ground pepper a day or so ahead of time, then brought to room temperature just before roasting. After preheating the oven to 450F, and rubbing the roast with some olive oil, your meat goes into the oven for 25 minutes, then 3/4 cup dry white wine or vermouth is poured over the meat and the heat is lowered to 325F. Once the meat has reached the internal temperature you're looking for, you take it out to rest, then carve and serve.

In spite of the simplicity of this recipe, I approached it with trepidation. I've mastered roast chicken but have had nothing but disasters with every other kind of meat I've ever tried to roast - I seem to over- or under-cook everything from turkey to ham. I'm very happy to say that in spite of a series of near-disasters, our results were great and extremely edible. It seemed like I did most of this stuff wrong - failed to season the meat ahead of time, didn't leave it to come to room temperature as long as I should've, had the wrong wine on hand, used a too-large pan, realized partway through roasting that I no longer had a meat thermometer (!)... but nevertheless, the recipe was forgiving. The finished product was truly delicious. The simple salt-and-pepper season was really all this meat needed - it browned wonderfully on the outside and was so moist and tasty. We served it with roast root vegetables, mashed sweet potatoes, and green peas - a great, colourful plateful of simple, delicious food. Two thumbs up from the meat-eaters in this family! I am looking forward to more roasting experiments - AFTER I replace my meat thermometer. :-)

Dec 13, 2013
geekmom in Home Cooking
1

Beaucoup Praise for Beaucoup Bakery

Funny, I was feeling badly about posting that the staff are rude, because a couple of days later I took my 12 year old son in for a treat and the staff were incredibly nice and so patient with him as he took his time deciding what he wanted.

Dec 03, 2013
geekmom in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)
1

Cooking from Diana Henry's Books

It varies but I think even the larger library systems with lots of branches will just forward your suggestions on to whmoever does the purchasing. :-)

Dec 03, 2013
geekmom in Home Cooking

Kitsilano Butcher

Agreed, and the suet from WBMC is *just* suet - no weird additives like the non-organic variety sold in some supermarkets.

Dec 03, 2013
geekmom in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Cooking from Diana Henry's Books

herby, my experience suggests that it's worthwhile sending in a quick request to the librarians to purchase something you wish they had (particularly if they already have other books by this author, which you can point out to help bolster your argument). They almost always do!

Dec 03, 2013
geekmom in Home Cooking

Cooking from Diana Henry's Books

Canadians - just a heads up that Roast Figs, Sugar Snow is on sale today only for $5 ($4.75 if you are a plum rewards member) on chapters.ca. I was happy to add it to my cart as I did some holiday shopping this afternoon. :-)

Dec 02, 2013
geekmom in Home Cooking

Cooking from Diana Henry's Books

I just followed her and she sent me a private message!! Ahhhhhhh what a great start to my weekend. Thanks for the heads-up, LLM.

Nov 30, 2013
geekmom in Home Cooking
1

Beaucoup Praise for Beaucoup Bakery

I have to agree: good food, snotty staff, high prices... not to mention how hard it is to get a seat!

Going to Beaucoup is an occasional and expensive event for me (last time I was there, lunch, pastries & tea for three cost $60) but we do enjoy the food, which is delicious, well-made and beautifully presented. They have fantastic croissants that burst into lots of little flaky bits when you bite into them -- as they should.

For me the sconewich is a ludicrously oversized lunch that I've never actually been able to finish (and I do want to leave room for at least a cookie!) I can't help thinking the stodginess of the scone sandwich is at least partly due to the cold temperature. I'm with grayelf - I want my scone at room temperature. It is quite tasty, though.

There are so many "wins" behind the pastry counter that I'm willing to forgive the occasional missteps at beaucoup.

Nov 23, 2013
geekmom in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)