"The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you've got to have a what-the-hell attitude."
-Julia Child

Monday, January 25, 2010

My "Chef's" Knife

My New knife
Have I mentioned how much I love my knife ? I really really do
It’s not an expensive oneor a top of the line one

I bought it at one of the Real Canadian Superstores http://www.presidentschoice.ca/LCLOnline/ and given the price I’m surprised to see how good it is
Perfect for the non chef to use

I find it well balanced it has a good weight , it’s forged german steel blade made in Portugal It seems sturdy enough to stand the abuose I will put it through
I have a santuko by Kitchenaid and so far I’m very pleased with it I use it for all my slicing
My next one will be a Boning knife I may go again with the PC brand will see how this one fairs with use

But my problem now is how to store them ? I don’t have a knife block plus I don’t really want another thing on my kitchen counter so was thinking why not a magnetic holder? I think I read somewhere that the blades get easily scrached –not sure this is true or not but I think I’m going to buy one and try-I like the idea of having them on the wall easily accessible instead of taking up space on the counter or drawers, speaking of drawers my kitchen drawers are in a state of … calamity –mess- disorganized ..

I really need to do something about them –I have Monkey as an excuse for part of the mess but not for the top drawers he can’t reach there yet –and it’s a disaster there too On my next trip to ikea I have to see what drawer solutions they have. One thing is for sure something has to change everytime I open any of those drawers it just annoys me arghh and my pantry that’s getting out of hand too just thinking about it is making me stressed out I should go and empty it and place everything back in order instead of sitting here talking/typing about ..what was this post about? Oh yes my knife –did I mention how much I love it so shiny and sharp I just love chopping with it Ahh... I feel much beter now

Daring Cooks Challenge

Mezze was the challenge this month for the Daring Cooks this month it ‘s was also my first The challenge couldn’t have been a better one for me . My husband always has always asked me to try middle eastern cooking ( He was raised in Damascus) but I have never felt I could do it especially knowing how his aunts cook , how can I ever compare to them they cook so well ?

This is why I like challenges they put me on the spot, I’m forced to try something new, take a risk

I am a big fan of Middle Eastern cuisine even though I was only introduced to it after meeting my husband and the first Mezze we had I still remember so well. It was at a local Lebanese restaurant I enjoyed so much the different flavors , the colors the way the food is presented I just loved it

For this challenge I decided to keep it simple since I’m back to work , time is something I really don’t have much now , so I made pita bread, hummus, fatayer, falafel, walnut and red pepper dip that I absolutely love

I would have never attempted to make pita bread had it not been for this challenge It was so much fun seeing the pitas puff up in the oven like balloons wish my daughter had been home to see them and as usual I forgot to take a picture

Unfortunately I didn’t spend much time with the presentation Michael was hanging on my legs when I was about to take the pics but I thought the food tasted pretty good and hubby was happy too

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Happy Birthday Monkey!

Today Little Monkey turns 1 -I can't believe a year has past already it seems just like yesterday
mommy daddy and big Sis love you so much!!
right now you're on my lap and as always touching the keyboard not letting me type, but I just want u to know how special you are there is so much I would like to write but you just won't stop messing up the keyboard LOL
love you Money!! happy first!!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Tina's Spaghetti

Yesterday I made what I call Tina's spaghetti
It's a simple rustic spaghetti dish with cabbage -perfect for this time of year
Tina is an Italian girl I used to work with , and as a typical Italian woman she would always bring a big lunch to share
I enjoyed almost everything she brought her pasta with eggplant ( julienned eggplant ) but my favorite has to be this very simple Spaghetti with cabbage and at home we all love it also so I make it often in the winter
Here's my version adapted from her recipe
I start by sauteing garlic in olive oil ( 2 cloves ) adding some pepper flakes for a kick - then I add the chopped cabbage ( about 2 cups ) I didn't chop mine too thin I kinda like it this way -splash of wine, one tablespoon of tomato paste -add half a cup of either vegetable stock or even water (as it cooks you may need to add some more ) simmer until cabbage is cooked.Taste for salt -season with black pepper
In a pot cook your spaghetti in well salted water ( save some of the water where you cooked the pasta ) add pasta to cabbage I usually add a couple tablespoons of the water from cooking the pasta. Mix it together and there you go Tina's Pasta !!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Kitchen Island

When we moved to our new house (2 months ago) I told my husband that we would not be doing any projects anytime soon –Nothing !!
In our previous house we did at least one project a year, it felt like we were always under construction I used to joke that I should just buy some yellow tape wrap it around our house with a sign Danger –Under Construction- Permanently

During the holiday season while baking some cookies ( I love to make Christmas cookies it’s the only thing I can bake besides bread- I was raised with home baked bread…but that’s another story for another time )
Anyway while baking with my daughter I soon realized that my kitchen although generous in size is not very functional I have to do most of the prepping on my kitchen table as the counter space is not adequate
I soon realized we need a kitchen island !!
So I made a sketch to show my husband ( he’s pretty handy ) it’s a very simple project… until I showed it to him and from there he started talking about adding a "peninsula" instead , -move the dishwasher and in that space create a garbage/recycling station etc etc Even replacing the counter ( which is a standard builder one ) with granite …..
I’m already measuring, making sure there ‘s enough space for our large kitchen table when it hits me –Hey No Reno’s remember ?!!
He doesn't understand why –
I explain my reasons... plus an island will be way cheaper ( throwing some numbers at him )
He continues with his thoughts on changing the kitchen I argue there’s no reason for this –It’s a brand new kitchen … this is going nowhere - we drop the subject
My sketch is hanging on my bulletin board ...there will be no island anytime soon LOL