Thursday, March 17, 2011

Our next Project: Dress Form

Jenny and I are going to do this...

Monday, March 14, 2011

Eating at Arturos Mexican Food Cart today for Lunch

After consulting my new Vancouver Street Eats App... I decided to try the new Arturo Mexican To Go. If you love the danger (salmonella) and excitement (what is Xiao Long Bao? ) of street food, I highly suggest you download it. It's a nice relief from the fast food joints in the area.


Arturo is right by the Price Waterhouse Cooper Building on the corner of Howe and Burrard. Inside were 4 cooks ready to take the order, and Arturo himself, of course. The offerings are not many, but they are delicious enough to warrant repeated visits Burritos, Burrito Bowls, Quesdillas, Tacotino, Tortilla Soup. 

Looking forward to making this trip in the summer as it is only 2 blocks away from work and by the waterfront, so easy to get a nice place to sit after. You can sit by the Canada Place Pier, Jack Poole Plaza or Granville Plaza. All three have waterfront views and seating areas.

credit: I'm only here for the food
So I ordered the Chicken Burrito. The Chicken is described as such: Tinga Chicken: Shicken marinated with smoked jalapeno, roasted guajillo and fresh stewed tomatoes. The salsa is made fresh every day.

I had hoped to take a photo for you, but I basically ravished the burrito like a zombie at brains, so I found this photo on I'm only here for the food.


Everything tastes real, and fresh, homey almost. For $7 its not too bad for the area either. I'd come back... next time for the Sirloin Beef, Slow simmered with chipotle and original mexican ingredients.

This week's Goal: Learn to make Cassoulet

I'll serve this with my lovely aged cheddar and green onion buttery scones. Don will eat it but Jong won't. Too many beans.

Cassoulet

This chicken and sausage cassoulet recipe is a modern update on the classic white bean cassoulet from Toulouse. This version evokes particularly complex and developed flavors by cooking certain ingredients separately, and then together. The result is an irresistible, hearty stew.

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours, 25 minutes

Ingredients:
* 1 pounds dried white beans, soaked, sorted, and rinsed
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
* 1 pound lardons (bacon strips)/regular bacon
* 2 large white onions, peeled, halved, and cut into
* 1 pound bulk pork sausage
* 1 1/2 pounds boneless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces
* 1 pound chicken legs
* 2 pounds tomatoes, seeded and chopped
* 1 cup dry white wine
* 1 quart chicken stock
* 1 bouquet garni (There is no generic recipe for bouquet garni, but most recipes include parsley, thyme and bay leaf. Depending on the recipe, the bouquet garni may include basil, burnet, chervil, rosemary, peppercorns, savory and tarragon. Sometimes vegetables such as carrot, celery (leaves or stem), celeriac, leek, onion and parsley root are also included in the bouquet.)
* 3 cloves garlic, chopped
* 1 tablespoon tomato paste
* 3/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
* 2 carrots, peeled and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch slices
* 1/2 cup bread crumbs
* 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh parsley
* 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme
* 4 teaspoons melted butter

Preparation:
Place the beans in a large saucepan and cover them with cold water. Bring the beans to a gentle simmer over medium heat. Cover and cook them until they begin to turn tender, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper to the beans and cook until the liquid has absorbed, about 25 additional minutes. Remove the beans from the heat, drain and discard any additional liquid, and set the beans aside.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook the lardons for 5 minutes, until they turn brown. Transfer them to a plate. Add the onions to the pan and sauté them for 10 minutes, until they turn light golden brown. Transfer them to the plate with the lardons. Brown the sausage and transfer it to a bowl.

Preheat the oven to 350F. Drain all but 4 tablespoons of the fat from the skillet. Add the chicken breast pieces to the fat and brown them over medium-high heat. Transfer the chicken to the bowl with the sausage. Brown the chicken legs in the skillet and transfer them to the bowl.

Combine the lardoons/bacon, onions, sausage, chicken pieces and legs, tomatoes, wine, chicken stock, bouquet garni, garlic, tomato paste, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper in a large casserole dish. Cover with a lid or foil, and bake the casserole for 25 minutes. Add the carrots to the casserole, cover, and bake for an additional 20 minutes.

Add the reserved white beans to the hot casserole and gently stir the mixture. In a small bowl, toss the bread crumbs, parsley, and thyme with the melted butter. Sprinkle the seasoned bread crumbs over the casserole and bake it, uncovered, for 1 hour. Discard the bouquet garni and serve the cassoulet hot.

This chicken and sausage cassoulet recipe makes 12 large servings.

(May sub chicken for Duck or Lamb)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The best thing on Glee is the Warblers

I've become O-B-S-E-S-S-E-D- with Darren Criss and the Warblers. Their infectious harmonies and sychronized dance moves are a lethal dose of ZOMG. I haven't been this crazed since I read Twilight and joined Team Jacob. It's disturbing and I hate myself a little for it....

It began as a slow simmer, I was first introduced to the Warblers and Darren Criss as I was steaming up the car windows with Jenny Lee. It's not what you think. We were parked outside her condo, huddled around my iPhone to catch up on our Glee Season 2, piping the sound through my  Mini Coopers speakers.



Since then, they've never failed to disappoint. It's built to a fevered pitch from their rendition of Bills Bills Bills.



I can't get enough.. and it seems I won't have to. Announced yesterday Darren Criss and the Warblers will be putting out their own Glee album with songs they've performed on the show, and unreleased content. Sign. Me. Up.

The Warblers are voiced by the real-life Tufts University a capella group called The Beelzebubs

Here is their version of Bills from 2009. Isn't it interesting that the Version they voiced on Glee has almost 2 million views and their version only has 38k views? That's the power of branding.



A fan filming the performance at one of their shows: Worth a watch, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=59z_bXKuv9E

It's true, they aren't as slick, well clothed or as choreographed as the Warblers but they certainly have charisma. I love how genuine they are.
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