Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Wax-bean stew - stew what yer mamma gave you!

With an abundance of produce lately (and an abundance of bacon ... I know, I know, it's a hardship) the ShortStacks have been tinkering with some 'summer stew' recipes.  This one, is by far our most fav ... quite likely because we threw in some leftover roasted chicken at the last minute.  And really, who doesn't love an opportunity to use up leftovers? 

As the weather finally begins to turn a bit cooler, it seems like we're almost ready to start thinking about cooler temps, shorter days ... red wine and fireplaces.  All you non-skiers are currently cursing us aren't you?

Grab yourself a cutting board, a sharp knife, a dutch oven and a whole lotta wax beans ... ready, set ... STEW! 

Thursday, 16 August 2012

The Summer Harvest, Part 2

I am officially overwhelmed.  Just when I think I've got a handle on my farmers' market addiction ... just when I think I've finally got enough room in my fridge for ONE LAST head of kale, punnet of blackberries or have found an inch of space in the potato bin for one more glorious fingerling ... I get an email from my BFF from Uni ... "BaconFest this weekend - are you in?"  Am I in?  Of course I'm in.  Bacon AND a yet uncharted farmers' market ... my hands tremble as I type this.  Leaving the burbs for the big-city I could almost smell the smoke in the air ... the crackle of the bacon as it sizzled, guiding me thru the streets (well, actually it was my GPS).  Having lived on bacon-inspired dishes for about a 2 week period during Uni, this festival of bacon was about so much more than just salty-meat.  It was about lost loves and term papers.  Bacon, zucchini and brie crepes at 2am after the bars had closed.  Trying to scrape together enough money to buy salmon fillets and baby octopus to grill over a BBQ that launched fireballs into the night sky when we lit it.  Yes, this festival was about who we were ... just now we had more than $10 between us - and oh, how we spent it this past weekend! The Leslieville Farmers' Market is wicked-good.  Farmers from all over, bring with them some of the most gorgeous produce my eyes have ever seen.  Rows upon rows of ruby-red radishes.  Emerald green kale.  Heirloom tomatoes.  Goat cheeses.  Grass raised beef (oh ya' I placed an order for my freezer!!!) Rainbow carrots and fuzzy peaches.  And of course bacon. In particular wild boar bacon, which according to our OFFICIAL bacon tester (and pie connoisseur) is also wicked-good.  (I'm not kidding, this guy knows bacon ... also pie, but that's for another post ...)  Our fav. bacon dish?  It would have to be from the folks at Le Papillon on the Park - buckwheat crepe filled with sauteed apples, white cheddar and bacon, topped with a smattering of maple sugar and fresh berries ... on my list of restaurants to now visit?  Oh he** ya'.  I mean, they have Cretons on the menu <angels sing in the distance> ... I digress ... wanna see more from part 2 of 'the summer harvest'?  

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Happy 100th Birthday Julia!

On what would have been her 100th birthday - the ShortStacks would like to take this opportunity to thank her from the bottom of our hearts for being such a strong and amazing woman.  Mastering the Art of French Cooking is a staple in our kitchen - whenever we're in doubt we cry out "how would Julia do it?"  Happy birthday Julia - we'll raise a glass of beurre blanc for you at dinner tonight.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Sand between our toes ...

The ShortStacks were in Oakville this past Saturday - seashells, sand buckets and spades in hand - to help celebrate a milestone birthday!  On the jukebox (okay, it was an ipod), the Beatles belted song after song.  Even Yoko wouldn't have been able to stop her feet from tapping!  On the menu, Mediterranean fare - from the islands of Greece, to the sunny shores of Southern France.  The kiddies splashed in the pool, and the adults beat the heat with libations from the bar ... and a trip or two to fill their bowls with homemade ice cream.  Many thanks for asking us to join you at the seaside Ron - "Don't grow up too quickly, lest you forget how much you love the beach."

See photos from the event ...