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cooking: le creuset

in my dream world/fantasy kitchen, all my cookwear is le creuset and in the caribbean blue colour and it’s fucking awesome.
in reality, my kitchen consists of mismatched cookwear that i’ve assembled over the years… some is high end, some is cheap just to “get me through” whatever i had to make…
the long term plan is to piece by piece upgrade my collection.
it’s a slow process.

i stumbled up on the le creuset outlet store yesterday and i was so excited i may have peed a little.  (no, i didn’t, don’t worry – but really, how did i *not* know this existed?!)
to make things even more enticing, there was a scratch & save promotion where you could get another 25-35% off… and i scratched the highest amount of 35% off.  so clearly, it was ON.

i could have spent hundreds here, but i used restraint and tried to only buy what i needed and what i use a lot of.
the number one choice was this pot.
i’ve coveted it for a while and it retails for $110 or more and i picked it up for $40.
and it was the very last one they had in my colour.  i bought it off the display.  (whew, what would have happened if i couldn’t get it in the right colour?)

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this mixing bowl was a bit of a luxury item… i have one in melamine and it’s in perfectly good condition, but i use it a LOT.  so i figured it was a good choice for upgrading.

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and the rest was casserole dishes.
i selected the smallest one for things like asparagus and small side dishes… and then the larger blue one for everyday use… and then the guy working there gave me a red one for free because i spent over $100.

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all in all i spent $120 there and got over $250 in merchandise.
so i felt pretty freaking good about my life decisions.
and my coworkers laughed at me because i was so excited.

next up on my to-buy list is the following:

the kettle… my current kettle was $5 at a dollar store and desperately needs replacing… it’s a piece of junk.
and clearly, this one is superior in every way.

and the butter dish:

i do have a super awesome butter dish currently, but my husband dropped the lid last week and chipped it… so in the not so distant future, it will need replacing.

and then i pretty much just want everything else in the caribbean blue collection to make my kitchen complete.
that’s not too much to ask, is it?

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food & travel: the crab pot, seattle

we ate some fine meals in the fair city of seattle over the weekend… but my favourite one was here:

it’s called The Crab Pot and it’s certainly not fancy, but it was delicious and fun as hell.

www.thecrabpotseattle.com

i had first seen this place on Man VS Food, so clearly i was already sold… but it was AWESOME.

basically, this is your plate…

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and then you get a bib…

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and then they dump a giant pile of seafood infront of you and you literally get cracking.

this, my friends, is fucking spectacular.

so basically if the clip from Man VS Food on the Crab Pot website doesn’t sell you… and these pictures don’t sell you… well, i just can’t help you.

i actually have nothing else to say about this.  i feel like i could eat every meal here for the rest of my life and be perfectly happy.

travel: seattle

seattle may not seem like an overly exciting destination for travel… especially when you live in vancouver (aka – seattle’s cooler & better looking sister) but it can be fun for a weekend.
or so i’ve heard.

truth be told, i’ve been to seattle 3 times.
that’s it.
once in grade 12 for a photography day trip (1997).  once with sony music to see franz ferdinand overnight (2004) and once for an incubus show overnight (2007).
i’ve also been in their airport transiting twice… does that count for much?
oh, and one time i ate by the university in seattle on my way to portland…
for someone that’s lived just 2.5hours north of it for my whole life, it’s definitely not a lot.

while i know it’s a beautiful fun city, it’s just so much like vancouver that i haven’t been overly motivated to cross the border, spend american money, drive several hours and pay for a hotel to enjoy it.
and on the other hand, i haven’t really had the opportunity to do so… it’s not like the seattle invites come fast and furious attcha every weekend.

but this weekend, it’s care of my boss.
we’re heading down this morning and will be back on sunday.  effectively doubling my seattle time in my life up to this point.

the schedule is fairly fixed, but will allow for a little free time tomorrow morning and i’m hoping to either get in some shopping or maybe even to the science fiction museum.
it will factor greatly on my hangover.

but mostly i’m looking forward to wandering and exploring.  so i sure hope the rain stays away.
i’m guessing either today or tomorrow we’re doing an epic scavenger hunt.  my boss loves those things.
so there will be lots of photo opportunities i imagine.
and you know, even if the weather is no good, i’m taking my waterproof camera, so i should be able to get some fun pictures.

we’re staying at the beautiful fairmont olympic.  which i’m also excited about… although my last stay in seattle was at the W, so i’ll have high expectations.

one thing i’d very much like to do, that i don’t think will happen is visit the experience music project.
i’ve been wanting to go since it opened, but never had the opportunity.  no one that drives has been keen to do a specific trip with me for it, and my past seattle visits have been with purpose and no time/interest in deviations from the plan.
so, EMP will stay on the list of things to do “one day” when i go back to seattle… judging by my track record, that’ll be in about 5 more years, lol.

we’re being wined and dined this trip, so the restaurant selections will be out of my hands, as will pretty much every other decision, and that’s exciting to me.
since my seattle experiences are so limited, it’s like everything is brand new to me.  and the majority of my coworkers seem to know if very well, so i’m in good hands.
i’m really looking forward to making no decisions and just going where i’m taken.  rumour has it there will be some dancing at a gay bar tonight.  things with my work folks tend to get out of hand.  very quickly, lol.
full censored report to follow… have a great weekend!

food: paleo fried rice

another day, another paleo cooking adventure…
today, i tackled the giant piece of cauliflower in my fridge.
no, it’s literally over 2kgs.  i got it at costco.  it’s a monster.

in the paleo cookbook world, i often see cauliflower “rice” mentioned.
apparently ricing or grating cauliflower makes for a decent rice substitute.
or so they tell me.
and i like cauliflower, and i miss rice… so i’m game.

but, a big old bowl of cauliflower isn’t much of a balanced meal (although, in truth i used to happily eat bowls of rice with butter, salt & pepper for dinner in my radio poor days and call that dinner, but i digress…)
anyways, in addition to the cauliflower monster, i also have to clean out my fridge… so i made myself some paleo fried rice.
basically i made it exactly how i would have made regular fried rice… which, let’s face it, is definitely a “cleaning out the fridge” recipe.

Paleo Fried Rice for 1

  • 2 cups of cauliflower, raw, grated
  • 1 – 2 cups of mixed chopped vegetables (i used broccoli & peas)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4-1/2 cup of leftover meat (i used chopped roast from dinner last night)
  • wheat free soy sauce
  • sesame oil
  • garlic, crushed
  • green onions, chopped
  • hot sauce to taste
  1. saute grated cauliflower & garlic (i used a little butter for this) until lightly brown over medium heat (5-7 minutes)
  2. add veggies and cook as desired (i like mine almost raw)
  3. add meat, heat through
  4. add beaten egg, mix well
  5. season with soy sauce, sesame oil & hot sauce
  6. finish with green onions

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you know what?
this was GOOD.
like, really really good.

my husband wouldn’t touch it with a 10 foot pole, as his mortal enemies include cauliflower, broccoli and peas… but i thought it was awesome.
quick, easy and achieved the goal of cleaning out the fridge and not leaving the house for groceries.

i shall be trying more of this cauliflower rice… although it was a bitch to grate.  i’m getting myself a food processor very soon.

drinks: the grinder red wine

also on the “fun & delicious” list is this little gem called The Grinder.

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it’s very chocolaty and rich and i love it a lot.
in fact, it might be a new favourite.
and i know this because my husband went back and bought two more bottles today.

so, here’s the tasting notes from the BCLC…

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overall, i agree.
we enjoyed it tonight with a coffee rubbed grass fed bison roast and the resulting combination was pretty orgasmic.
dare i say, the perfect pairing.

food: paleo pancakes

monday is my sunday this week.
meaning its all about pajamas and couch love and a big breakfast.
and today, i had a hankering for pancakes.

i’ve been getting more brave about the coconut flour cooking.  and i came across a recipe that had great reviews for some coconut flour pancakes and figured i may as well give it a shot.

like all my recipes, qualification number one was that i had everything on hand in my pantry or fridge.
check.
so here’s the recipe… i’m not going to type out how to make a pancake.  if you can’t figure out how to make that go, then i’m not sure a recipe will help you in life.

Paleo Pancakes for 2 people

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp coconut syrup (i used agave syrup)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  1. beat together eggs, milk, vanilla & syrup until frothy.
  2. add dry ingredients
  3. beat/mix until well combined with no lumps
  4. make pancakes

i served mine with sausages with blueberries & maple syrup inside.  (they came from costco and are a delight)

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the pancakes turned out quite lovely.  great texture and light coconut taste to them… myself & the husband really enjoyed them.
they’re definitely not an everyday food, but as a special treat every now and then, i give this recipe a gold star.

drinks: bear flag red wine

last week i was window shopping at the liquor store and saw this pamphlet for “Fun & Delicious” wines.
well… i like both those things, i said to myself.

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i chose two of them to take home.  because at under $14 a pop, that’s a good investment.
also, i have the aerator which saves even the shittiest bottle of wine.

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i found the bear flag to be a tasty choice.  and for the price point, definitely a winner.
usually i stay away from “animal wines”, but the bear is in reference to the state flag of california, so i’ll let it go.
this was a “nothing special” kinda red, but nice and drinkable.  the first glass was a little abrasive, even with the aerator, but after a few minutes it had mellowed out nicely.
i would buy this one again.

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