Tag Archives: food

Banh Mi Bowls

Of all the cuisines, Vietnamese has to be one of the hardest to make at home. I think it has something to do with that combination of cooked and raw ingredients, the mysterious (and delicious) sauces and marinades, and the cooking techniques that are too involved for home cooking (charbroiling, anyone?). This banh mi bowl may by the exception. A riff on this recipe by Budget Bytes, this is a bit of a take on bun, but with meatballs instead of spring rolls or assorted meats, and rice instead of vermicelli. Add some fresh cucumber and cilantro, and a simple pickled mixture of carrot and onion, and you’ve got a super satisfying meal.

First, you gotta pickle your veg. You create a simple pickling liquid and add it to grated carrots and thinly sliced onions. Stick it in the fridge and let it do its thing for at least 30 minutes.

Next up – meatballs! The original recipe uses pork, but I use turkey instead. Add an egg, breadcrumbs, soy sauce, sesame oil, green onion, ginger, and garlic, roll those puppies up, and put them in the oven. They take about 25 minutes.

While those are cooking, I make rice, slice up some cucumbers, and wash some cilantro.

Once the meatballs and rice are done, it’s time to assemble. Rice at the bottom, the rest on top. I also like to add a squirt of sriracha for some heat.

Though it’s a few steps, it’s totally worth it.

Banh Mi Bowls, adapted from Budget Bytes

pickled carrots

  • two mediums carrots
  • one small yellow onion
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup water


  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 inches fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil


  • rice
  • cucumber
  • cilantro

Make the pickled carrots. Add vinegar, sugar, salt, and water to a small saucepan and heat over medium until sugar and salt is dissolved. Remove from heat. Grate carrots and thinly slice onions and place in a bowl. Add pickling liquid (it cover the vegetables), cover bowl, and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Pre-heat over to 400. Combine all meatball ingredients and mix well (I like using my hands). Line a baking sheet with silpat (or just spread some vegetable oil on it). Make meatballs (I end up with 25ish) and place on sheet. Bake for 25 minutes or until cooked through.

While meatballs are in the oven, make rice. Wash cilantro and thinly slice cucumbers.

Assemble bowl with rice on the bottom and everything (don’t forget the pickled carrots in the fridge) on top. Add sauces (sriracha, soy sauce) of your choice and enjoy.

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Saturday Links

my cat is the handomest cat


Oh boy, this has been a busy week what with my mindfulness class, various family things, and work.

  • With this lovely weather, I can’t help but start to covet all of the spring clothes. Love these dresses and this simple linen tee.
  • Interested in putting together a photo album with this app. Seems quick and easy.
  • Love this video of Kevin Spacey and Jimmy Fallon doing impersonations. (Are you watching the new House of Cards season? OMG.)
  • Kevin is making this smoky frittata tomorrow and I’m stoked. Tonight, we’re having portobello burgers with these garlic and miso green beans that are so good.
  • The folk festival line-up came out and it’s so good this year. I’m most excited about Jenny Lewis, but Wilco, Bahamas, and Donovan Woods ain’t too shabby either.
  • In other local news, I’m eager to try out the new Sherbrook Street Delicatessen. Will Winnipeg finally get the bagels it deserves?

Hope you’re having a good weekend!

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(Mis)Adventures in Food Blogging Part 2

Let’s talk about kale for a bit, shall we? I know, I know, it’s so trendy, and you likely already have a strong opinion of it that falls into the love or hate category. I was in the latter for a long time, my sole experience of kale being some very bitter, crumbly kale chips. Then one night, I went to my sister-in-law’s and had this kale salad. I had no idea you could eat kale raw and this salad was a total revelation.

My food photography is getting better, though wait until you see the other picture to congratulate me....

My food photography is getting better, though wait until you see the other picture to congratulate me….

If you don’t want to watch the seven minute video, it pretty much boils down to this. Wash and dry kale. Cut kale into ribbons and put in a bowl. Add olive oil, lemon juice, and salt and then massage that kale. This is where the magic happens. The kale loses serious volume here, transforming from its tough nearly inedible state to something that still has a good chew, but is much softer and more digestable. Add chopped red pepper, kalamata olives, and pine nuts and you’re done.

This salad is a perfect accompaniment to those carb-heavy, cheesy meals that seem to be a staple of winter time. Another bonus? Because kale is so dense, even when dressed, this salad keeps super well in the fridge. We like making a big batch and then eating it throughout the week.

This is the only picture I have of the finished product, taken in my car, as I scarfed this down between work and my Tuesday evening class.

This is the only picture I have of the finished product, taken in my car, as I scarfed this down between work and my Tuesday evening class.

Are you a lover or hater of kale?

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The Week We Had to Boil Our Water, I Ate On a Frozen River, and I Was in the Newspaper

Holy smokes, have things been busy lately. Last week, we had to boil our water for two days due to E coli. I couldn’t get Starbucks and Oscar couldn’t drink from the tap, but other than that, it wasn’t too bad.

Last Wednesday, Kevin and I went to Raw: Almond, the pop-up restaurant on the frozen river. A chef from Montreal’s Joe Beef was cooking and there was SO MUCH MEAT. I wish I took more pictures, but here is one dish we had – a soft poached egg in consume jelly.

And last weekend I was in the newspaper for their weekly “On the Night Table” series. The book I talked about has seen a steep increase in the number of holds placed on it at the library!

Hope your last week and a bit was good! Did you get up to anything exciting?

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(Mis)Adventures in Food Blogging, or, What I Brought Back from London (Ontario)

In my household, we like food. Kevin and I have developed a pretty impressive array of weekday meals and we’re constantly trying new recipes that we find on the internet or in our own collection of cookbooks. Needing to blog and stumped to find something to blog about, I decided I would try to write about this past Sunday’s dinner. We don’t eat a lot of meat at home, but when we do it is often in the form of ground turkey. We buy it from Friggs, a butcher shop just outside the city limits. They have their own farm and do not use antibiotics or growth hormones.

One of our standard weekday meals is cheese-stuffed turkey burgers. It’s a recipe we got from Gwyneth Paltrow’s cookbook My Father’s Daughter: Delicious, Easy Recipes Celebrating Family and Togetherness which I took out from the library when Kevin and I lived in London, Ontario. I was going to library school and we lived in a tiny apartment that was the upper floor of a house in a trendy, inner-city neighbourhood called Wortley Village. In this tiniest of apartments, our kitchen was basically the alcove between the living room and bathroom. It had a fridge, a stove, and about one square food of counter space beside the sink. I remember my Dad and step-Mom visiting us and we made these burgers and ate them in our equally tiny “dining room” which was, in reality, just the smaller half of our living room. These burgers are super delicious, really easy, and somewhat impressive in a wow-this-is-a-pretty-good-turkey-burger-WAIT-A-MINUTE-IS-THAT-CHEESE-OOZING-OUT sort of way.

When we left London, we abandoned most of our furniture (but that’s a whole other story), and drove back to Winnipeg with a car weighed down by things that were too important to throw out or ship via Greyhound and our cat who we snuck into hotel rooms in a well-practiced manoeuver we called “Operation: Hot Cat”. This recipe also came back with us.

These days, Kevin cooks the burgers on a cast-iron pan in the kitchen of our small house. He salts them well and they get this delicious sort of crunchy exterior. After cooking, he puts the sliced buns, cut side down, on the pan, and they sop up the “drippings” (which, unfortunately, there is not much of – turkey is very lean) and get nice and toasty.

With the aim of blogging this meal, I tried to get some in-progress photos and they were just terrible. I know that raw, ground poultry isn’t that photogenic to begin with (and an iPhone camera doesn’t help), but I’m sure someone more skilled in food styling could make this look at least somewhat good.

terrible photos of burger making

terrible photos of burger making

I was too busy (i.e. reading a book with the cat on my lap while the rest of the meal was being prepared (lemon potatoes and a Greekish salad), to take photos, and by the time all the components were made, it was dark and I was feeling disheartened from my earlier attempts to even try to take a picture of the finished product. Suffice it to say, it was delicious.

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Odds and Ends

  • My husband and I have always been surprised, that for a city with so many Jews, Winnipeg does not have good bagels. He has decided to take matters into his own hands and made a pretty decent first batch of Montreal-style bagels.
  • I leave for Morocco in 12 days! I’m so excited to get out of the country and experience a place totally different from home. Wishing I could look forward to a travel experience like this one.
  • Just finished Ann Patchett’s book State of Wonder and love love loved it.
Local bits:
  • Before I leave, I need to remember to vote. It’s exciting that we will be getting a new mayor soon, I just hope we get a good one.
  • The husband and I were super excited that The Tallest Poppy was going to re-open in a new space in West Broadway and tried it out as soon as we could. Unfortunately, it was sort of mediocre. The space is awkward, and the meal was just so-so. I’ll give it a few months before going back and hope that they get their shit sorted out.
  • I’m excited that a new music venue, The Good Will, is opening soon. There hasn’t been a good, small venue since the Lo Pub closed down and I have high hopes for this one.
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A Slow Week

I harvested this from my garden last week. As a first time gardener, I'm pretty proud of myself.

I harvested this from my garden last week. As a first time gardener, I’m pretty proud of myself.


Hello internet.

I’ve been having a low-key week. I’m starting a new job soon and decided to take a couple of weeks off in between my old job and new job so have been trying to relax and get some shit done.

Some bits:

  • I’m reading Emma Donoghue’s Frog Music which is pretty disappointing, particularly as it follows up the wonderful, award-winning Room.
  • I’m watching the second season of Parenthood and am getting more and more into it. (I also get very excited every time a character from Friday Night Lights shows up.)
  • I’m wondering if I should buy this blazer for my new job. Kendi pulled it off so well.
  • Making a Thai red curry with tofu for dinner tonight. This is one of those easy weekday meals I make way too often.
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Molasses Crinkles

I’ve been a negligent blogger and to try to make up for that, and as a personal challenge (and because I have almost a week off from school!), I’m going to try to blog every day this week. We’ll see how that goes.

K’s friends are popping by this afternoon so I just whipped a batch of molasses crinkles.

Who says you can’t eat gingersnap-type cookies in the summer?

p.s. Dinner with Julie’s two-minute chocolate chip banana bread (I like subbing coconut for the chocolate chips) and spicy roasted shrimp and brocolli are regulars in our household.

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Frozen Grapes

As I sit here typing this, it is 31 degrees. All four fans in my tiny apartment are on full blast and I’m wearing the minimum amount of clothes necessary to be decent. This sort of day calls for frozen grapes.

First, wash some grapes. Green or red will do.

Next, lay out grapes on a cookie sheet. Try to keep them from touching.

Stick them in the freezer and wait a few hours. Drink some cold water in front of a fan.

Do not be fooled! These are no ordinary grapes, but delicious, summer-heat busting, frozen grapes. Yum!

p.s. Oscar found his own way of beating the heat:

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cataloging exercise

Reading: Northanger Abbey (among a whole bunch of mostly boring library-related articles). In moments stolen away from school work, I’ve been enjoying unwinding with some Jane Austen. It’s taking me a long time to read it due to school, but I’m just happy to have any time at all for pleasure reading.

Watching: Very much enjoying the current season of Mad Men, Girls (still), and Top Chef Canada (go Trevor!). So looking forward to the return of Breaking Bad and True Blood.

Eating: Berries, berries, and more berries. I cannot get over how good (and cheap!) the blackberries are in Southern Ontario.

Working on: Five assignments that are all due in two weeks. I’m working on: a paper on the differences between AACR2 and RDA cataloguing; the evaluation of an abstract and the writing of a new one for a article on copyright and Canadian academic libraries; a literature review concerning non-resident use of public libraries; figuring out a topic to write for a paper that needs to deal with the development of ‘information’ and/or the ‘information society’; and a subject guide dealing with the slow food movement. Phew!

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