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Archive for December, 2008

We roasted a turkey for Christmas day and I had the liver left over – not much, but I thought…hmmm, wouldn’t it make a lovely amuse bouches? Just a tasty-taster…I adapted a recipe from Epicurious for chicken liver paté

Yield: Makes about 1/4 cup

Ingredients

  • 1 turkey liver
  • 1 tsp butter, room temperature
  • 2 tbsp minced onion
  • 1 tbsp mirin (Japanese cooking wine)
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ginger

Preparation:

  1. In 1 tsp butter, sweat the onins.
  2. Dice chicken livers and add to the onions and cook thoroughly.
  3. Add mirin and bring to boil. Remove from heat. Cool completely.
  4. Finely grind the chicken livers and onion mixture to form a smooth paste.
  5. Put into a small ramiken and refrigerate.
  6. Serve on a small cracker with a dallop of fig confit.

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Thank goodness they are predicting rain this evening, otherwise we wouldn’t know where to put any more snow!

dec24morning

dec24morningjt

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And there is MORE snow!

Just to get us all into the Christmas spirit…we are having another 10 cm of snow dumped on us tonight…that is 30 cm since Friday! Oh joy!

Here are the photos from Sunday morning:

backyard

backstairs

Hopefully we’re at the end of this storm system…we really need Paul and T to arrive safely and on time!

Happy holidays!

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dec-19storm

It’s Saturday morning and we just experienced the first of three storm systems coming through southern Ontario. It snowed non-stop since Friday at seven in the morning. We’ve shoveled 3 times to try to keep on top of it. It was brutal but it IS Canada and it IS December so what they heck were you expecting? Check out the news…over 100 flights canceled.
It would have been a great night to cuddle in front of the fire with a glass or ten of wine and just sit and talk…but nooooooo. We made plans to head up to Sheppard to meet friends at a restaurant. We haven’t seen these folks for a while, so we’re excited about seeing them.

We decided to be responsible Torontonians and get there via subway (I love that….NOT, but that’s a rant for a later entry) . The plus is that we didn’t need to worry about weather, the minus is that I wasn’t be able to wear my new pink BCBG stilettos! boo hoo hoo! Well, another minus was that our subway system SUCKS and we almost never got there!

pinkshoes

It seems that these snowstorms are a new phenomenon to our transit folk! UGH. And do they ever shovel sidewalks north of Bloor…you have got to be kidding! Rant rant rant!

Leanne, Stefan and Pam had a bottle ready for us as soon as we arrived (I may have mumbled a few profanities, believe it or not!) We had a lovely time at Pourquois Pas , company was great, food was fine (not the best, nor the worst) and service was good too. Other than we were one of two groups of patrons that evening (but that could be because of the storm and everyone else was stuck on the subway!) Great time altogether. We went back to Leanne and Stefan’s for dessert and coffee!

Our good friend Pam gave us a lift home which was such a treat after our terrible experience with the subway (am I being too subtle about how I HATE the subway????)

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clockCountdown Clock

The Doran’s are coming, the Doran’s are coming! It won’t be for New Year’s but then again, it’s better than nothing! Our crazy world-travelling friends are travelling to the big smoke, whirl-wind style as usual, arriving Friday around lunch-time and leaving Sunday around 7pm! We’re really looking forward to our ‘Doran Fix’

The menu:

Friday Lunch:
Homemade Pizza – salami and goats cheese (low in lactose) on a Vidalia onion confit, field greens with a light dressing.

martini-glassFriday Cocktail: Martini’s and T’inspired Spanakopita

Friday Dinner:
Chicken Cacciatore on a bed of spinach and home made crusty bread (UPDATED)
Dessert: Peach cobbler with home-made Vanilla Ice Cream (UPDATED)

After dinner we will take a tour of Toronto’s Cavalcade of Lights…about 12 neighbourhoods have decorated main streets with lovely Christmas lights!

headache1Saturday Breakfast:
Home-baked Breads and Muffins, Coffee

We’ll take off to see McMichael Gallery in Kleinburg, Ontario and have lunch in the quaint town of Kleinburg at Chartreuse Restaurant, Pub!

martini-glassSaturday Cocktails: Martini’s and Bacon Wrapped Dates

Saturday Dinner (men’s night to cook):
JT’s famous Mediterranean Pasta (with whole wheat, hi fibre pasta, and sheep’s milk feta – low in lactose!)

Dessert: Apple Crisp and home made vanilla ice cream (if there is some left!) (UDATED)

headache1Sunday Breakfast (assuming it will be relatively late!):
Dr. G’s

Depending on how everyone feels, we may want to shop, or go downtown to the Hockey Hall of Fame! Of course, all this could change due to weather.

Sunday Lunch: TBD.

We’re dropping them at the airport later that day…I wonder where we’ll meet again!

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These little gems make a lovely hors d’oeuvres on their own, or stuffed…from The Classics LCBO special edition. We’re taking them as a hostess gift tonight! Makes about 40 little bite_sized puffs!

Cheese Puffs, easy and deeeelicious

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup grated Gruyere Cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan Cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Place water, butter and salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat.
  3. Remove from heat and add flour, and stir until combined.
  4. Return to heat and stir cooking the flour mixture until it comes away from the sides of the pan and is a shiny ball.
  5. Place in a food processor with plastic blades and process for 15 seconds (give or take).
  6. Add eggs and process for 40 seconds (err on the longer side of give or take).
  7. Add both cheeses and process for another 5-10 seconds until smooth.
  8. Using a wet spoon, place thumbnail-sized spoonfuls on a parchment lined cookie sheet about 1 1/2″ apart.
  9. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.
  10. Serve warm or room temperature.

Check it out on Foodista!

They puff up about 12 minutes into baking and are ideal for stuffing with a pipping funnel (I bought a really cheap one from a dollar store and it works very well). Stuff with goats cheese, or your own recipe. Unstuffed, they freeze very well.

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I have now baked about 11 items, and am officially announcing that I am tired of baking!

  • Bargain Basement Barb’s Chocolate Chip Cookie
  • Peanut Butter Bars (new)
  • Lauren’s Spice Cookies (new)
  • Donkey Ears
  • Chocolate Mint Hershey Kiss Cookies
  • Peppermint Bark
  • 2-Bite Chewy Chocolate Brownies (new)
  • 2-Bite Butterscotch Blondies (new)
  • Namaimo Bars (new) – I may not make this
  • Anzac Biscuits
  • Butterscotchy Almond Bars (new)

I will be assembling my baked gifts next week, as our Christmas celebrations continue!

Last night we were out with my work gang for our Christmas Pool Game and then later to Le Select for dinner (my favorite French restaurant in Toronto). We had 8:30 reservations, but were not seated until almost 9:30…dinner was around 10 (maybe even later). It was fun and delicious! Tonight we’re off to see the lights downtown!

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