Category Archives: I MADE THIS

(from my hands)

from my kitchen 7.9.16

I had a wonderful visit with friends last night. I only just remembered to snap a pic of the main course and unfortunately, the photo is a little fuzzy.

We started off with fresh baguette slices topped with Chevrai honey vanilla goat cheese, smoked salmon slivers, mango salsa and a drizzle of Bees Knees spicy honey.

The salsa was made with 2 mangos, 2 small shallots, 3/4 red bell pepper, all finely diced, a squeeze of 1/2 a lime, salt and pepper to taste (I’ve been using Le Saunier de Camargue fleur de sel and love it fiercely) all tossed together with a few finely chopped cilantro leaves. I personally love cilantro but some don’t seem to appreciate it as much, so I try to curb my enthusiasm a bit. I used maybe six leaves for mine.

The main course was halibut en papilotte. I put the halibut pieces over a layer of leek and fennel slivers (sliced using a mandolin), seasoned with salt and pepper, a drizzle of white wine and olive oil and garnished with lemon slivers which I’d fed through the mandolin as well. It was all wrapped up in parchment paper and cooked in the oven on a baking sheet at 425 for 18 minutes.

I served them with fresh English peas using this recipe and a spring potato salad using this one. They did not disappoint.

We cleansed our palates with some Mario’s gelatti lemon sorbet, and then I served up a rhubarb, Saskatoonberry and raspberry pie fresh from the oven. I cheated on the crust (I used the Pillsbury ready-made package) and the measurements were inexact on the fruit… about 5-7 stalks of rhubarb, cut into 1″ segments, a large tray of raspberries and about half a pound of Saskatoon berries. I grated the rind from 1 lemon and squeezed its juice in, added about 2 tablespoons of Madagascar vanilla bean paste, and about a cup and a half of sugar. Tossed the whole thing together to incorporate and baked it all in a double crust pie shell arrangement.

The warm pie was served with a dollop of vanilla ice cream.

We had some lovely Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand as accompaniment, trying both the Matua from Hawke’s Bay and the Kono from the Marlborogh region. I liked both but the Matua was truly something special.

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from my kitchen 7.4.2016

Inspired by a scene I’d read in the book I’m reading, I wanted to poach some fish in wine and cream. I didn’t have a recipe, and none of the ones I looked at were exactly what I wanted. So I improvised and concocted my own.

I finely chopped two large green onions and some fennel and cooked them over medium high heat in some heated grape seed oil and a dollop of butter. I added Maldon salt and freshly ground black pepper.

After it was just on the edge of being caramelized, I added a sprinkling of flour and stirred for a few minutes to incorporate, and to also allow the raw taste of the flour to cook off. I then deglazed with 350ml of white wine. I used a sauvignon blanc from Chile.

Once reduced, I added 200ml of cream and let it incorporate. 

I added pieces of fish to the pan and simmered for about 7 minutes, then transferred the fish into a dish warming in the oven.

Once all the fish was cooked, I added the remainder of the 473ml carton of cream to the pan, grated in some lemon rind and added the leaves of a few sprigs of fresh thyme.

Once the flavours incorporated, I poured the sauce over the fish that had been warming in the oven. I served it over plain steamed jasmine rice.

The consensus was that the dish was a win.

small art 1.30.16

 I did this little paint sketch during my TWSO workshop session on Tuesday night. I find that when I keep my hands busy doing creative things, I can think through creative problems better. The paints used are Peerless Paint watercolour chips, the pad is the lovely Papier Canal square watercolour paper block.

 This fruit is called a Buddha’s Hand… I think if someone from our current day would have named it, it would have been called Cthulhu’s Maw.  Interesting fruit, though. Wonderfully fragrant, almost floral rather than citrus. I’ve yet to figure out what I’ll be doing with it, but I’ll figure it out.

I made this 1.25.16

I’ve been so busy lately. I picked up an extra shift last weekend so I hadn’t had a whole day off since January 9th until yesterday. Sometimes I think all of this work amounts to pounding sand. I am paid weekly (and we need it, so it’s not optional) but I have such little time for myself.

Gabriel and I went to Costco to pick up some things. We got back, unpacked and put away and I got to do a teensy bit of reading, I downloaded all of my fiction cohorts’ pieces for my TWSO program, and tooled around on Ravelry to see if I could find a simple scarf pattern to do the Madeleine Tosh BFL sock yarn I got as part of the Holiday Yarn Club justice.

I haven’t knitted anything in ages, so because I’m a bit rusty with the needles it had to be simple.  Since I don’t have a lot of time to knit, the pattern had to be one I can more or less mindlessly do anywhere I take it.

I found a pattern that is both pretty and simple. It’s knitting up lacier than the images included with it because it looks like I’m using a finer yarn and larger needles but it looks lovely so far.  (Or maybe it’s because I knit more loosely.)  The Fir Wreath colorway is really pretty.

Did this little bit last night while watching a movie with the kids.  It’s not tons but it felt really good in my hands and I realized just how much I missed doing it.