Friday, December 30, 2011

Hiding Place

Here's another pic my sister took with her film camera that really made me look twice lol.

in hiding. by ~FriendlyArt120 on deviantART

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Deep-fried bacon, egg and cheese sushi

You can guess who inspired this :P I woke up on Christmas morning and lay there in bed thinking about random things and then started thinking about what to make for breakfast, and I wanted to make a conglomeration of everything I love breakfast-wise and deep-fry it. So here it is:

Start with two bacon weaves. You make these by weaving the bacon, putting them on cookie sheets, and baking them at 350 for 10 minutes, drain, flip, cook another 10 minutes, take out of oven and let cool for a few minutes and then trim off the burned edges.

Make a large flat omelette on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, consisting of 12 eggs or so, depending on the size of your cookie sheet. I made a mistake and cut them a bit more narrow than the bacon on the sides and ended up having to trim the bacon to make the ends of each roll even. So make the omelette squares the same width, but a bit shorter on the length cause when you roll it it'll stick out otherwise. My omelette was a bit too thick for my taste, and a tiny bit overcooked so I'll make it thinner and watch it better next time.

Cut nice big slabs of cheddar and put them in the middle:

Roll it up tight and tape it all around so it doesn't come apart:

Slice into roughly 1" pieces and set them out on a cookie sheet with more parchment paper and then put in the freezer for an hour or more to freeze them completely solid so they don't unroll when you remove the paper to fry them:

Take silly pictures of amusing random household objects while you're waiting for them to freeze:

Preheat your deep-fryer. Then make some beer batter. Once the batter is made, take them out of the freezer a few at a time so the rest don't defrost while you're frying the first batch. Remove the tape and parchment wrapping, coat it in batter and fry till golden. I made a cheese sauce to go with it by making some bechamel and adding some Imperial cheese (use something cheaper if you want, we just happened to have some in the fridge for Christmas) and pepper to it.

Ooey-gooey crispy goodness!

The cheese sauce was a bit...I dunno it didn't go that well with it so I put some mild salsa in and then it was delicious!

Here's a chocolate-covered pretzel that I wrapped in pastry dough and fried, it was so good!

Pictures Dec 23 - Dec 29 2011

I had last Friday off and went shopping for some last-minute Christmas presents. Here's what I was greeted with when I walked out the door, finally!:

In the evening we went to Three Amigos for Carlo's supervisor and friend Phil's birthday with a few other people:

On Christmas Eve Carlo's mom drove me to my parents place and had lunch with us. Here's my mom:

Here's Carlo's mom with my parents:

My sister in front of my parents house:

I brought the dog for a walk after lunch and took some pictures of two of the three buildings (the third is just a bungalow across the street used as a hall for meals) of the Orthodox church down the street from my parents place. Here's the "winter church", which is also a skete which was built first, it's the only one of the two that's insulated:

And here's the "summer church", seen across the cemetery:

In the evening my sister's boyfriend came over and brought homemade gnocchi and I made some tomato sauce to go with it:

I took a nap on the couch with the dog afterwards:

On Christmas morning it was snowing again, here's the view out my bedroom window at my parents place:

And that's the last of the pictures I took while I was at my parents place except for the ones involving a special recipe I made, which will be put in a separate post.

My dad drove me back to Montreal on Monday evening, and stayed to have dinner of adobo and potato salad at Carlo's grandfather's house with us and watch us open some presents, my sister came with too. Here's Carlo with this:

Carlo's grandfather:

Carlo's mom:

My sister:

And guess who:

I got Carlo's mom some flowering tea and a glass teapot, it's so pretty!

Here's some pretty chocolates I got. I love blueberries!

Then yesterday I went to my friend Stephan's house for a Naruto Shippuden marathon. Here we are toasting some good cognac in the chocolate shot glasses my sister gave Steph for Christmas:

We watched a good 25 episodes or so. I brought some of the tourtiere and pasta sauce from my parents place and he had some good venison steak and filet mignon of caribou as well, it was amazing!

Today I worked, and I'm working tomorrow and Friday as well. I've started defrosting my turkey to make the turkey-stuffed-turkey for the NYE dinner party at Steph's and I'll be able to use my new meat grinder for that too :D I can't wait to start making it! We tried making it two years ago at my parents house but lack of proper planning, preparation, organization, proper tools and listening skills made it completely inedible lol. It took us 3 days to make it in between all the other activities, when we tried to grind the leg meat it took forever cause we weren't using the right blade and the grinder just plain sucked (which was why I wanted a new one this year!). Then my dad over-brined the meat and it became inedibly salty and we ended up having to use it chopped up in cubes in (delicious!) soup. I might have to make that soup again with leftovers from my mom's NYE butterball.

Dunkin Donuts

This is the first picture that my sister took with the new (old) film camera she bought a while back. It's just the kitchen table at my parents place with my dad in the background but I love it :)

Monday, December 26, 2011

A white Christmas finally!

Christ is Born! Glorify Him!

So we had a white Christmas finally! Here's the little church/skete down the street from where my parents live:

More pics tomorrow when I'm rested.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

A green Christmas?

If it keeps being like this I don't think we'll have a white Christmas...

I took this out the window I sit in front of at my job. Today is my last day, I have tomorrow off and I'm gonna finish up my shopping and go eat somewhere with Carlo since he has the day off today and tomorrow. On the 24th Carlo's mom is gonna drive me to my parents place and have lunch there, Carlo can't come though cause he's working 4-midnight both the 24th and 25th since he's only been at that job a few months now. I don't have anything planned while I'm at my parents place except exchange presents, stuff my face, sleep in and bum around in my pj's :) Oh and take pictures and upload them.

I'll come back on Monday since I have Monday and Tuesday off, nothing planned Monday and Tuesday either. We have Monday the 2nd of January off too, and there's a NYE dinner and party planned at my friend Stephan's place. He's planning to cook a wild boar roast that his dad hunted himself, and I'm gonna make some turkey-stuffed-turkey, since my mom won't let me touch her freezer-to-oven Christmas Butterball (shudder). This year though I'm gonna eat early, around 6-ish, and let myself digest properly BEFORE starting to drink, last time there was a big meal/drinking evening last spring for our sugaring off/sugar shack meal I made the mistake of eating and drinking too much at the same time with bad results :P

And seeing as I'll have to return to Rawdon on the 7th of Jan. since there's no Christmas liturgy there on the 25th I'll get to make yet another holiday meal! Today I found on Serious Eats an incredible over-the-top recipe for... *takes a deep breath*... deep-fried sous-vide 36-hour all-belly porchetta :D Now I've never even made porchetta OR done sous-vide cooking before so this is definitely jumping in at the deep end, but I think it's a good place to start nonetheless, I like a cooking challenge and I can kill 2 birds with one stone :D And IT'S GONNA BE AWESOME!!!!!! :D:D:D:D I'll get my family to help take turns watching the temperature while it's in the water bath cause I don't have a Sous-Vide Supreme, I'll have to obtain a large cooler somehow. I CAN'T WAIT! This thing even rivals the Bacon Explosion!

Pictures copyright Serious Eats/Kenji Lopez-Alt

Monday, December 19, 2011

Pictures Dec 16-19 2011

Here's Teddy my MIL's dog looking cute while he sleeps:

The view from my job last week:

Here's Christelle at the L2 in Chinatown on Saturday night after we went to Carlo's office Christmas party. I took some pictures with his camera at the party, I'll upload them once he puts them on the computer.

Something funny I saw on a wall in Chinatown:

We stopped at a pharmacy on the way home and one of the clerks, a young guy, happened to pass by us carrying this. I said to Carlo "That's one big-ass Toblerone bar!" and the clerk heard us and said "Oh yeahhh!" lol. It's $80 though so I didn't buy it :P It must have weighed 15lbs!

And here are the presents that I wrapped last night. I can't wait to see Carlo open his cause I put all sorts of weird things inside them to confuse him if he tries to pick them up and shake them to guess what they are :P

The tree isn't up yet as Carlo's mom has yet to put the armchair where it will be in storage. I'll take pics if we manage to get it up in time for Christmas :P

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Pictures Dec 2 - Dec 15 2011

Here's my with Carlo's grandpa's meat cleaver, trying unsuccessfully to look evil/insane, my sister took this pic last Saturday when she came over to hang out and help me make Carlo's birthday cake before we went out to dinner:

Here's the resident elderly Maltese named Teddy that lives at my MIL's house where we are currently staying, with a Subway bag on top of him, a.k.a. Subway Dog:

Here's something I came across on my way to work one day, someone had put up a piece of real artwork inside a tunnel that regularly has graffiti (not even nice well done stuff either) sprayed all over it to the extent that they have to re-paint it every 2 months in the summer:

This is outside the tunnel:

And inside:

Here's my dad and Carlo at the Kandas all-you-can-eat sushi in Laval, Carlo's mom brought us there for his birthday (it was on the 10th)

Me & Carlo's mom

My sister and I went to an Asian market and I decided to buy this. I had read about it on the internet, the flavor was good, I enjoyed the texture too, except for the fact that the seeds were too small and slippery to actually crunch between my teeth, which drove me crazy because I'm the type of person that has to chew the tapioca in my bubble tea. I ended up giving it to my sister hehe.

Some funny packaging on a box of cakes:

Here's the bowl of pasta I stuck a candle in for Carlo's birthday, it was in one of the pretty bowls I bought for him at the Asian market:

Here's the birthday meat cake I made for Carlo. Last year I decided to make him a meat cake for his birthday because at the time he was an assistant pastry chef and quite tired of sweet things so I decided to make him a savory cake. I got the idea from This is Why You're Fat, a now defunct website that featured over-the-top food. I decided to make it a tradition and repeat it every year since he liked it last year :)

Last year's was a total fail though, instead of cooking the sausage meat and potatoes separately, I cooked them together and I got a soup of sausage grease and potatoes with two meat discs floating in it, and had to remove the grease and potatoes and serve just the meat covered in cheese. It was too rich, and I screwed up the icing, so I decided to get it right this year. And I did! :D

To make it I took 4 large toulouse and blue cheese & green onion sausages each (maybe a kilo of each?), and cut open the casings to put the meat into separate bowls for each flavor. Then I added a good half a cup if not more of sriracha sauce to each bowl and mixed it in and set them aside. Then I peeled about an equal amount of potatoes and cubed them and boiled them.

While they were boiling I took a large pot, lined it with parchment and pressed the contents of one of the two bowls of meat in the bottom, as flat as possible, and baked it at 350 with the lid off for 20 minutes, or until I judged that it was cooked through and had shrunk away from the sides 1-2 inches.

I poured off the juices into a bowl and set it aside to make gravy with, then put a paper towel or two on top of the meat, and holding the pot over the sink with an oven mitt on the hand catching the meat I gingerly tipped it sideways and removed the disc of meat and set it aside on the cutting board that I would build the cake on. I did the same with the second bowl of sausage meat, changing the parchment paper in between.

When the potatoes were done I drained them and mashed them with a bit of water (we had run out of milk), about 1/2 a cup of butter, a few tablespoons of powdered fat-free chicken broth and a teaspoon or two of ground white pepper.

I layered an approximately equal thickness of potatoes on top of the meat and spread it out as uniformly as possible, then did the same with the second layer of meat and potatoes. For the cheese "icing" I used a mix of room-temperature cream cheese and Imperial cheese, it has a very soft spreadable texture that's a cross between very old crumbly aged cheddar and cream cheese. I used 2 packages of each, and had 1 package of cream cheese left over for the trim. To that I added several tablespoons of tuong ot toi (rooster sauce) until I thought it would be spicy enough for Carlo's liking. I gobbed it on roughly and then used a large chef's knife heated under running hot water to smooth it out. Then I added the cream cheese trim and candles.

We also went to another all-you-can-eat sushi place, Sushi Crescent for Carlo's birthday dinner. Here's Kristina and Stephan:

Stephan and my sister:

Christelle, me & Carlo

One Saturday morning Carlo's mom decided that she wanted to straighten my hair:

I did some mini-home improvement, I changed the light bulbs in the lamps over the kitchen table (they were long ones that stuck out the bottom of the shade & looked ugly) and the tablecloth too, although this one is a very thin one I got at the dollar store just temporarily till we get a good one:

I covered this patch of counter with some adhesive plastic shelf covering stuff, it was originally painted white and the paint had been all scratched off in places and it looked horrible: