Did so much fun cooking last week that I got overwhelmed with the amount of pictures I needed to sort and upload and neglected the blog. I’m currently cleaning up and updating my resume to apply for jobs so this may be short in words and long in pictures, but probably not.
I know chicken wings are a pretty universally loved bar food, but I’m not frequently in the mood for them. Well, last Sunday I was hungry and really wanted cold leftover chicken drumsticks, like the kind you take on a picnic at the park in a movie from the 60’s. Sadly we had no chicken leftovers in our fridge. Now, saucy wings are good if they’re spicy. There are a couple places in Vancouver where I would get their wings. Joey’s on broadway did Frank’s hot sauce wings (and I love Frank’s), and the Roxy Burger bar downtown did amazing hot sauce wings too. But dry rub meat may be my favourite kind of meat. So I found two recipes, gave Fraser the choice and ended up working on these delicious spicy dry rub hot wings and some home-made ranch sauce (which I’ll come back to).
All you do is mix the huge variety of spices together, then lightly brush each piece of chicken with olive oil and then sprinkle and rub mixture all over the wings. When I was at the grocery store they didn’t have any of the wings that had already broken up into separate pieces and they still had all the skin on. Now I couldn’t get the skin off of the first batch (not for lack of tryign) so I just rubbed them down and put them in the oven. I now had 40 minutes of waiting for them, so I re-attempted separating skin from wings, but with scissors this time. This totally changed the game and I was easily able to get most of the skin and fat off to make them a bit healthier. And these were definitely more delicious.
Now, this healthy homemade ranch. It was really delicious, that wasn’t the issue. The issue was that at some point when reading the recipe for it, my brain vacated my head and I just got to work…not reading the serving size. When I had already mixed two of the biggest ingredients together (and being yogurt and mayonnaise I couldn’t exactly press the undo button), I looked at the amount of sauce already in the bowl and then how many more ingredients I had left and went back to the top of the recipe. Well, it serves 11. I mean: why? Who needs that much ranch sauce? It’s so much easier to increase the portions of a recipe than to decrease it. We all have our ditz moments though, and this was definitely mine. At least I made Fraser laugh. And continue laughing for the next couple nights as I tried to serve ranch with every meal. Seriously. There was so much of it. Can you see the giant bowl filled with white stuff in the bottom right photo? That’s the ranch. And some of it had already been put onto our plates and mouths during the first round of chicken. Oi.
I had known what I wanted to eat Sunday night before I’d started dreaming of wings and so I’d already procured the recipe from my mom. This is one of those recipes that is frequently seen at Reimer family functions and I’m not even sure who found it initially, my mom or my Auntie Lo. My cousin’s girlfriend Danica agrees with me that it is one of the best. It’s a Quinoa and Corn salad, but it’s so much more than that. It’s quinoa, corn, onions, red pepper, jalapeño, green onion, cilantro, chives, lime and lemon juice, salt and tabasco. It’s so fresh and crunchy and with a nice bit of spice.
Moving on. My newest obsession is the pizza maker we apparently have in the house. It’s incredible and I’d never seen or heard of one before. It’s like a panini press but the top doesn’t touch the pizza, and it cooks the pizza perfectly. The bottom doesn’t burn in order for the top to get nice and cooked. It’s lovely.
The first night we did pizza I didn’t take any photos as I didn’t realize how great this would turn out. We were both just lazy and wanted somewhat healthy pizza. But the next day we did quesadillas in it and then on Friday I did pancakes in it. Then on Saturday we did pizza again. And yesterday I cooked crepes in it. I love it. And you don’t need to oil it because it’s non-stick and it only needs a soft wipe to be cleaned. HEAVEN. My mom is already looking into how to get one.
Somewhere in between these meals we had fish tacos. I’d found a recipe for fish tacos when I first got here and had saved the recipe. Well last week the mood struck and I was ready for them. They were well worth the wait. Any kind of white fish can be used. We tried Snapper the first night and Barramundi the second. The Barramundi was a lot nicer, which we think is due to it being a fattier fish. I followed the recipe exactly except for leaving out the Mexican crema. These were phenomenal. The best part about them were the onions though. You soak thinly sliced red onion in red wine vinegar. Enough that the onions are all covered. The bite and harshness you usually get from raw red onion is taken away by the soaking in vinegar and they become a bit sweeter. And you can keep them in the fridge for up to three weeks. I think they’d be great in a sandwich or with any kind of Mexican food.
Yesterday was a long day for both me and Fraser. His car has been having issues and so he was finally able to take it to the dealership in Tweed. Yesterday was also Monday, so he had class at 9am. This meant we were up at 6:30am and out the house 7:15am. Got to the dealership and dropped off his car and then went to school. I then drove the hour home. I was busy with laundry and dishes and resume stuff, Fraser was busy in class. Then I drove back to school to pick him up and then we’re back to the dealership and then grocery shopping and then finally home at 5:30pm. Cue one ‘life-is-tough’ dramatic sigh.
So we needed something easy and comforting as we were both pretty tired. We settled on chicken burgers and potato wedges. This is my second try at rosemary and olive oil potato wedges which were a staple of my moms. And they were always perfect. ALWAYS. We have a conversation scheduled for later to discuss what kind of wizardry she performed on her potatoes. Mine just do not compare. And they’re supposed to be easy! Urgggh. Last nights were definitely better than the first round, but just not up to par.
I made a modified version of the chicken burgers I did awhile ago. Making up a light marinade of cayenne, Mexican chilli powder, lime juice, cinnamon, paprika, salt, pepper and olive oil. I did the green sauce as well but more for use on the buns themselves. I ate mine wrapped in iceberg lettuce and it definitely hit the spot.
Last Friday was Fraser’s award ceremony and we had a fantastic time. We booked a hotel called Santorini by the Sea and cabbed to the school which was about ten minutes away. The ceremony was an hour long and then we went to a reception in a hall. The reception was fantastic. They had tables of food and drinks, so we had champagne and tried at least one of everything. We stayed there for an hour or so and then ended up at the bar/restaurant at the corner up the street from our hotel. They had a live band but unlike most bars in Vancouver, they’ve figured out how to have the volume be at a level where you are still able to converse with people. A shocking and novel experience. Our little mini vacation was incredibly fun and so nice to see Fraser accepting his awards! We’re going to another ceremony tomorrow night because Fraser got the highest overall gpa in his program! Can’t believe how smart and hard-working he is…not complaining about the champagne either.