Friday, November 5, 2010

What if the tots moved?

We are going through some pretty serious changes around here and one of those changes is move.  I was explaining to tot B as he was asking about geographical location (he always wants to know where we are in relation to where we were) that our upcoming move was taking us from one city to another that was nothing like where we are. We are moving to a small town, to another country and to a completely different geography. How crazy is that...? They (the tots) think of Vancouver as home even though we are currently calling a small gulf island our temporary home. They know the play groups, the recreation, the space and have internalized a map of landmarks that tells them this is home.

We are moving and to simplify that move I will no longer post on the Tomatotots. Instead I will be concentrating my efforts on my Kitsch in the Kitchen blog, where I will continue to talk food and family but will also talk shop and art. This started off as a food blog to fullfil my need to have more of an identity but has turned into so much more. So please if you follow me here, follow me there! We are moving and I feel the need to pack a part of my life into a nice little box and label it The Me Box.

Cheers and have a good night.
I will keep this blog live for a while but transfer some of my favorite links, pics and awards to Kitsch in the Kitchen.

Thank you for following me.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Spaghetti in Squash

Last week I did some pretty intense travelling. First my family and I camped out in a hotel in Vancouver in order for me to get a medical examination (I am in the process of applying for a green card so my husband can work in the States for a few years: Did I mention he got a job at Harvard?). Then I had to fly to Montreal for an immigration interview. For those of you in know, yes there is a consulate in Vancouver and yes that is where I first applied. Go figure, it has to be done that way so that is the way I did it. All the while eating a pretty heavy diet punctuated by some awesome meals.

Tofu hollowed out with shredded carrot, wrapped in 
nori, encrusted with panko crumbs on a bed of red and soy beans in an orange sugar glaze at
Accords In Montreal

First in Vancouver my husband and I went to Vij's with a dear friend, then in Montreal after my interview I found a nice quiet restaurant to dine alone Accords and then again in Vancouver before the tots and I headed back to Pender Island I hit up another quiet spot Gaia.

Roasted Garlic Polenta filled with goat cheese, honey, pear and arugula, served with a side salad of mixed organic greens at Gaia in Vancouver

It is no surprise today that I walked by a Spaghetti Squash and said to myself I must have that. I was in an all veggie mood and inspired by the spaghetti in Spaghetti Squash I decided to make myself a nice vegetarian dish. This can be made vegan by altering the simple tomato sauce recipe (use olive oil instead of butter) and leaving the parmesan cheese garnish off and replace with some crispy mushrooms (do the same, use all neutral oil instead of butter). For the squash I sliced it in half removed the seeds, guts and rubbed a bit of olive on the firm flesh then roasted it in a low oven for an hour. Then scooped out the insides trying to keep the integrity of the spaghetti like strands. I then put the flesh in a bowl covered with tinfoil to steam back in the warm oven*.

When the sauce was done I ladled it over the Spaghetti Squash and garnished with grated parmesan cheese and fresh basil.

The ease and slow cooking of this recipe/method allowed me to undo one weeks of dirty laundry!

photos by me.

*Turn it off or keep on low depending on how long until you use it.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Cooking at Gramma's House

It has been some time that I have made something just for the fun of it. We have mostly been in survival mode since moving to my father's and adopting a rather unorthodox schedule. My husband commutes 5 hrs plus door to door one to two times a week, leaving me on 24hr twin tot duty for days at a time and my new 'at home' sewing business.... (anyone want an apron) have completely monopolized my time. Remember time? This is not a new struggle for me... As crazy as it may seem and as much as I bitch about it, this schedule makes me happy.... slightly crazy yes (but that is half the fun) but happy none the less. It helps me appreciate times like now, when we get to spend a few quieter days at gramma's house just hanging out.

The tot's gramma loves cooking and all things food, so when I announced that I was going to make quick pickles at her house and asked her "what old vegetables did she have?", she started  handing them over with reckless abandonment. She like most cooks get one, two, five, ten recipes worth of ingredients in their fridge and like most,  run out of time to make them all before the ingredients go off.

Quick Pickles
this is an adapted recipe from someone? 
that I just kinda winged on the fly
because I couldn't remember, who, where or when I had read it....
  • One to One water/vinegar- I used 1 litre water to to 800ml white vinegar/200 ml apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 tbsp course salt
  • 1 tbsp pickling spices (whole cloves, mustard seed, cinnamon, pepper, bay leaf)
  • hefty amount of vegetables, clean, peeled and sliced or quartered- I used 3 medium carrots peeled and cut into sticks, one and a half red peppers sliced, half a head of cauliflower in florets, sliced fennel bulb, one large white onion sliced, one medium zucchini (which is what started the whole thing because gramma's pea patch had yield tonnes of them and they were going slightly off) or anything else you can find.
Put water, vinegar, sugar, salt and pickling spices in a large pot and bring to a boil. Once at a boil taste mixture for sweet, salt, sour balance and adjust for your liking- I found I had to add a bit more sugar.

Start adding in vegetables depending on cooking time for a total of about 15 mins. All are done when onion and zucchini are transparent. To keep the some crunch of of the veg remove from the warm liquid right away and allow them to cool separately, you can combine them later to store in the refrigerator.


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