Saturday, January 14, 2012

Breaking in the kitchen

We talked a lot this past fall about which neighbourhood would become home. Garneau is perfect. It makes not owning a car easy, with grocery stores and other amenities easy to access via foot. And just as importantly, there are lots of late night spots... no, not the weird bars along Whyte, but comfy spots like Sugarbowl, DaCapo, Remedy and Next Act.

But when one of Charles' family members offered up there condo in Oliver for rental, we couldn't resist. Although we're missing those "comfy" spots on 109th, they are, thankfully, just a short-jaunt-across-the-High-Level-Bridge away, and there are plenty of grocery options around here, with the City Market close by on Saturdays. Furthermore, downtown is quickly gaining in the types of casual spots we love (Remedy is coming along on 102 Street, there's always Red Star, and yesterday there was word of a new whisky bar opening on 103 Street). A short 10 minute walk puts us in the middle of all of it.

No matter the neighbourhood, moving means a new kitchen. And in our case, a completely different kitchen that we've quickly been breaking in.

Our first real meal was on New Year's eve. Although I planned to attempt Daniel Costa's "Ziti with sugo alla Napoletana," published in the November/December issue of The Tomato, we ended up with something a little more simple. Italian sausage cooked in tomato sauce with linguine, along with one of my favourites, roasted, charred Brussel sprouts (coincidently, I first had them prepared this way at Corso 32.).

We opened this bottle fermented brew from Brooklyn Brewery

Used up the last couple Christmas napkins.

And not that I have many pictures of anything I've made, but I've been going through recipes in Kim Boyce's Good to the Grain at a good pace. So far we've been enjoyed batches of her whole wheat chocolate chip cookies, barley scones and carrot muffins with spelt flour and streusel topping. By far the favourite around here has been the cookies. I used up some 'old' bars from my eating chocolate box, so these were definitely decadent chocolate wise. But the dough itself is beautiful - the whole wheat flour gives the entire cookie a chewy texture and the most amazing nutty flavour.

On the list this weekend are her buckwheat scones with fig spread, and maple danishes made with rye flour. I'll try to take some pictures as they come together.

Hopefully you all had a wonderful new year. We did end up at Churchill Square for Metropolis and fireworks. I mentioned our disappointment in last year's festivities, and must say that we didn't find this latest effort much better. The structures were packed with so many people that it was difficult to move, and when we visited Metropolis last weekend, the square was empty. I'll save you from what could would be a lengthy rant, and just say that I think Paula Simons really hit the nail on the head with her review of the city's newest winter festival.

We just got back from the leg grounds, where the Alberta-Heilongjiang Winter Festival is taking place. The organizers really did a great job planning this one out. The entertainment schedule looks enjoyable (we managed to catch the last half hour of the excellent Michael Rault this evening) and best of all the High Level street car is running so patrons can travel between the leg and Ice on Whyte festival in Strathcona for free.

I've got lots of posts lined up, so please consider this the end of a very long break, and the beginning of many posts here in 2012. We hope you have an excellent weekend.


wannafoodie said...

The Brooklyn Brewery is great, hey? I used their Chocolate Stout for marshmallows, which worked out really well...

And your kale pasta looked amazing!

Marianne said...

It is! I read your marshmallow post and thought I had commented on it, but clearly not... either way, they looked amazing!

And thanks. It turned out far better than expected ;-P