Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Cabin Fever

Is it obvious that I'm suffering from a severe case of wanderlust?  I'm feeling a little stir crazy.  I think we're going to Edmonton next week, but not for pleasure.  At least I will get out of the house for a few days and get to stock up on some toiletries and groceries that you can't get here in town.  Sephora and T&T are the necessary stops this time, but I'm hoping to get a few hours to check out Crate & Barrel, Restoration Hardware and Anthropologie.  I just need a little fix, you know?  And there's no doubt we'll make time for a bowl of Pho and meal at Famoso.

In the meantime, I'll just reminisce about our first trip to Banff five years ago.  We're long overdue for another trip to the mountains, but I'm not sure it will be this year.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Cuban Style Garbanzo Beans

Well, this is certainly no food blog, nor do I intend for it to become one.  In saying that, I love to cook, eat, and talk about food - a lot.  I could easily post meals and recipes on here daily, but I am finding it very hard to take photos that make my food look appetizing and even more difficult to take a styled food pic of the completed, ready to eat product.  I make a lot of stews, beans, and pasta, all of which tend to look like large messes of brown mush in a bowl.  Another obstacle is the lack of natural light in my kitchen, especially right now when we have more darkness than daylight (the opposite will be true very soon though!).

This recipe is based on a dish my Cuban friend taught me a few years ago.  I am terrible at following recipes, and even worse at writing them.  This is not as much of a recipe as it is a deconstruction of one of my favorite, quick stewed bean meals.

Red pepper
Cilantro (and dried coriander)
Oregano (I use a little dry and fresh) 
Bay leaves
S&P (obviously)
Pork chop
Red wine
Tomato soup
2 Cans of Chickpeas

Fry onion in olive oil, add cumin, paprika, salt & pepper in a heavy bottomed dutch/french oven.  Add roughly chopped chorizo sausage and brown.  Once onions and chorizo are browned, move them to the sides of the pan  and add a bone in pork chop.  Allow it to brown sufficiently before flipping it.  Add the red pepper and garlic and fry it around the pork chop.  Once the pork chop has been browned you can remove it and allow it to cool, add three medium cubed potatoes.  Stir all ingredients to coat.  Deglaze with a good glug of red wine (I'm pretty sure my friend didn't tell me to add this step).  At this point it's ready to stew, so add one can of tomato soup - my normal instinct would be to use canned tomatoes, but don't.  Use tomato soup.  Add two cans of chick peas (or presoaked, dried, if you feel so inclined), bay leaves, and a cup or two of water.   Sorry, I don't measure anything!  Chop the pork chop and add to the mixture.  Stir, cover and simmer for at least an hour.  Chop the fresh oregano and cilantro and add to the stew, save some cilantro for garnish.

This tastes especially incredible with a fresh loaf of Jim Lahey's No-Knead Bread (more on that another day).

Monday, 27 February 2012

Monday's midday snack

I was feeling lazy and sick today and didn't feel like cooking for myself.  It's so great to have frozen, homemade Vietnamese spring rolls in my freezer to just pop in the oven when I don't feel like standing in the kitchen.  Sadly, our supply of Halifax goodies is quickly being depleted.  Insert sad face.

Sunday, 26 February 2012

I want to get crafty.

Some quilt fabric I have big plans for.
A.P.C./Anthropologie quilt made from left over fabric from past seasons.