Hot Polka Dot
18Jun/11

For Dads Everywhere.

They say that scent is the strongest sense tied to memory. When I think of my dad certain smells indicative of dads everywhere come to mind. Cedar sawdust, freshly mowed grass, crisp soap, gunpowder, campfire smoke, soft leather, pine trees and BBQ. Especially BBQ.

Instead of making a dessert to celebrate Father's Day this year I decided to make something that dads appreciate most. Meat and lots of it. A quarter pound of beef mixed with fresh pesto and grilled to perfection. A dinner any dad would be happy to eat.

Just a little way to say thank you for all the wheelbarrow rides and movie nights. Photography advice and piggy back rides. Butter and sugar on soda crackers. Guitar solos and surround sound. Blueberries and Carnation milk. For patiently sitting through makeovers complete with hair gel and bobby pins. Target practice at the gun club. Grapefruit and Led Zeppelin. Extra rare filet mignon and Lipton noodle packages. Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday.

I love you dad! Happy Father's Day!

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14Apr/11

The New Food Processor Bible.

   I must have been really good last year because I got a shiny new KitchenAid food processor for Christmas. I love it to pieces. If you've ever had a new kitchen toy you understand how exciting it is to switch it on for the first time. Your eyes light up, your face cracks into a smile from ear to ear and you jump for joy. Instant gratification. If you're like me your always trying to come up with excuses to use it.

First I made pesto. That was awesome. Then I made more pesto. Even more awesome. Then I ran out of ideas.

I didn't expect that, but I think I've figured out what the problem is. For years I've been just fine without a food processor and I've become accustom to doing everything by hand. Shredding cheese, chopping garlic, slicing potatoes, whisking eggs, etc. It's like taking the long road for years then suddenly finding a shortcut only to get lost.

When The New Food Processor Bible by Norene Gilletz found me it all became clear. I realized what my food processor was actually capable of. Soups, fish, pastry, mousse, vegetables, chicken, marinades, dressings, breads, frosting, cookies and so much more. As if that isn't enough there's an entire section dedicated to proper use of your food processor with detailed dos and don'ts, techniques, the right blade for the job and even how to make food for picky eaters.

To exemplify the multitude of blissfully simple yet delicious recipes this book has to offer I made this Focaccia bread. It was quick, easy and flavourful. It was the first time I've ever tried my hand at Foccaccia and I can tell you it won't be the last.

I can see a lot more fun with grinding, blending, shredding and chopping in my near future.

And in your near future I see you winning a copy of The New Food Processor Bible for your very own right here. That's right, I'm psychic!

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16Oct/10

That’s Amore!

I am so grateful to have advanced to the fifth round of Project Food Blog! Thank you everyone who voted for me! I appreciate the support of my loyal readers and new friends.

“One recipe, 100 variations! We're challenging each of you to put your own spin on the same recipe. How you do it is up to you. Will you try out some molecular gastronomy techniques? Share a super-secret trick? Or re-envision the dish from a different perspective? You'll be asked to put your own spin on pizza. For the purpose of this contest and challenge, we are defining pizza as having a solid base, a sauce and at least one topping.”

When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie... That's amore!

Everyone knows that song. It's about finding love in the unlikeliest of places. It's about being suddenly seized by love. Some people find love in a darkened movie theatre, at the bottom of a box of chocolates, between intertwined fingers or in a perfect slice of pizza.

Some people might not consider pizza classy or romantic like flowers, chocolates, jewelry or fancy dates. Don't get me wrong. I love roses, cordial cherries, diamonds and filet mignon as much as the next girl. But it's pizza that holds a special place in my heart.

When my boyfriend and I were separated by 3,373 km (2096 miles) the telephone was our only connection. One evening after a long day of work, tired and just a little lonesome, I was talking to my honey over the distance when there was a knock at my door. I wasn't expecting anyone. Intrigued, I swung open the door.

There in my doorway was a pizza delivery guy holding a pizza. For me. My pizza. Free of charge. Lee had called my favourite pizza place and ordered my favourite pizza. Even two provinces away he was still doing such sweet and thoughtful things for me.

Now that miles have shrunk to inches and everyday is filled with reasons to fall deeper in love, I thought I'd learn to make his favourite pizza.

This is my first attempt at making pizza. Oh sure, I've had a lot of experience eating them. Ordering them. Burning them. Even accidentally baking a frozen one with the cardboard still under it then proceeding to violently and vehemently slice through it. Gives a whole new meaning to cardboard crust, doesn't it?

This time I had motivation. This time it was perfect. I love that man, he loves me and we both love this Chicken Pesto Pizza.

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