Blog Archives

Random Thoughts, and Trends

I was scanning the news this morning and thinking foodie thoughts in a rather stream-of-consciousness fashion. Nothing seemed to stick, it was all random. My brain went with that theme and suddenly I was humming the Arlo Guthrie tune about a pickle…

 

That was my inspiration today. My commentary on some of the new cooking and eating trends is entirely random, and without any expertise other than my own tastebuds. It’s fun to be adventurous and think outside the box, but when I threw so many random trends together it made me wonder if we aren’t trying too hard to be unusual. But then, comfort food and retro recipes are other popular trends. Anything is possible.

  1. Brinner – when you miss breakfast, you can have it for dinner! Some of this trend is centered around the concept of putting a poached egg on top of a dish, but there’s something to be said for making more meals acceptable for all those wonderful Sunday brunch dishes 🙂
  2. Gyros – it’s cooler when your wrap has an ethnic name, isn’t it? The Greek flatbread with flavourful fillings is the new wrapped sandwich craze. Portable food is always cool in today’s world. If only there was an app that would allow telepathic texting while you eat…
  3. Donuts – what else can you put in them? It’s frankly scary the range of fillings available in fried pastry, and then consider the variations of stuffed food similar to a donut – like kolaches (great with plum jam but now possible with candied jalapenos and smoked beef, just because).
  4. “I dare you” food – ever tried beef tongue? How about fresh grated horseradish? Foraged greens? Moss? It’s all out there for the adventurous. Chefs love shock value too sometimes.
  5. New twists on beverages – craft beer pubs are passé; look for beer bars with odd themes (think different glassware or decor and innovative beer styles). Wine is okay, but mead is more fun. And cocktails can come with any kind of garnish now, even scented feathers!
  6. Salt cod – no really, you have to try it! Andrew Knowlton, the editor of Bon Appetit magazine, said it looks like “a last-resort snack for those beyond the wall in Game of Thrones”, but treated properly it is delectable.
  7. Nitro coffee – because life just keeps getting more Fast & Furious. Seriously, why have just caffeine when you can have it injected with nitrogen and served from a tap? It has a creamy texture not unlike a pint of Guinness. Or you can just have cold brewed coffee, the minimalist version.
  8. restaurant names like never before – in an effort to be new and inventive, owners are picking terms like “luncheonette” and “provisions” to sound unique. Couple this with some wacky ingredient or animal name (think anise hyssop or blue oyster) and you’re all set. Only trouble is everyone else is using the same kind of formula – go figure. It sounds like the new Facebook quiz – “What would your name be if you were a restaurant?”
  9. Lithuanian and South African cuisine – it sounds like someone spun a globe and said “quick, what countries have we not featured on menus recently?” But there are some interesting foods to try – a Lithuanian stuffed potato dumpling called a cepelinai sounds delicious, and I love bobotie, a sort of South African shepherd’s pie.
  10. Pickles – you thought I was going to leave you hanging, didn’t you? Don’t you agree, what with kimchi everywhere now and pickled mushrooms as garnish and pickled fruit on cheese boards… the recession wasn’t that bad we need to preserve everything! I love a crunchy dill pickle like the next person, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

How trendy are you? Does any of this stuff even pique your interest, or are you more of a Meatless Monday, Tuna Casserole Tuesday kind of person? Does your family enjoy trying new things? I’d love to hear your comments.

Breathe. Think good thoughts. Repeat. 

Apparently it’s “Blue Monday” today – the day you are most likely to be depressed due to it being the dead of winter. Well I for one am not going to just roll over and give up. Thankfully, if I felt that bad I know I have friends I could contact. (If you don’t think you have anyone, reach out to a professional – there is a hand if you have the courage to ask!) 


If you can be of help, please do so. It will mean a lot, even if it’s a little thing. 

Seen at Third Space Coffee in Kelowna – ok, it’s tongue in cheek but a good reminder to connect.


So, taking the positive route, I’m just having a moment today to let my imagination work. A moment to think on my good work of late, and what else I’d like to do – or need to get done. I encourage everyone to do the same. 


Here’s to all of us! 

Funny, I just remembered it’s Martin Luther King Day, because I thought of one of his quotes:


Do good! We all have it in us. 

Pause-café

Sundays are my favourite day of the week. I love the relaxing decadence of a day devoted to good things, family and best friends. After all, have you ever heard anyone speak of  Monday brunch or Tuesday dinner? We gather on Sunday like no other day. It is a day to share and capture those treasured moments we look back on.

Sundays are my big day for coffee, because I devote the time to sit and enjoy it. In French “pause-café sounds more elegant than a coffee break, and it seems to demand attention.  I am a morning person so I don’t need caffeine to get going. I like being able to enjoy a cup with breakfast, but most days I’m busy so breakie is a quick bowl of yogurt and fruit. Sunday if I have the time  it’s fresh coffee, a hot breakfast with my man.  Then another cup of coffee and a chance to catch up on good news with CBS Sunday Morning with my furry girl. I’ve been watching the show since I was a kid and my Dad and I enjoyed it together. (A shout out to now-retired but always loved host, Charles Osgood, for his birthday today!)

In a world where Mach speed seems the norm, the lazy pace of Sundays should be lauded and preserved. So lean back, put your feet up and snuggle in next to a loved one. You are logging quality time, remember.

P.S. For those who read my post yesterday, the bread turned out great! I’m writing out the recipe later today – look for “Whole Wheat Bread” in the recipe archives.

The best present is time 

 

My dad always made a big deal about drinking his coffee in a “real cup”. He would never visit Starbucks because they only offered “to go” cups and he was NOT going to bring his own cup if he had to pay for the coffee. I used to think he was just getting to be an old-fashioned curmudgeon. Now that I’m sitting here with my delicious latte in a ceramic mug and homemade banana bread I completely understand what he meant. 

Perhaps part of my understanding comes from not having my dad around to share a coffee anymore. I value highly all those coffee breaks we did get. He left us far too soon; I had so many more conversations in me to have over so many more cups of coffee. 

I went to see “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” at the theatre this past week – it was delightful, full of one-liners uttered by wise old characters who know how absurd the world can be.  The best line of all was “the best present is time”. So true.

So, I’m taking this moment … To remember my wonderful Daddy and to leave you with my thoughts 🙂 Take a moment for yourself soon, even if you feel you have to steal it. It’s the best present you can give yourself and your loved ones. 

And thanks to Giobean Cafe in Kelowna for the wonderful coffee and goodies. My Dad would have loved you guys. 

Excuses for a good time

It’s amazing the excuses we come up with to enjoy food and drink with friends. You’d think that it was something we weren’t supposed to do. Are we so entrenched in guilt about indulging in anything more than sustenance that we have to justify it?

Last week I was at my monthly book club meeting. Full disclosure – I didn’t read the book. I wanted to, but couldn’t find a copy on the few trips I made out and then I got busy. I wondered about not going to the meeting but I wanted to catch up with my friends. I made up for my guilt by bringing a decadent chocolate cake (it helps to have a chef as a husband). I arrived at the meeting to discover I wasn’t the only one to have not read the book, and there was lots of great food. After the wine was poured, we toasted to good friends – and good reading – and all was well.

Yesterday I went to a seminar downtown, near a coffee shop that sells these fantastic Mexican chocolate cookies that have chili in them. I convinced myself that I should check to make sure my business card was still posted on their bulletin board and in so doing, I should really spend some money in the shop since I am “taking up space” there. One bite into the cookie I didn’t care how lame an excuse that was – how pathetic is that? But really, I could even write off the cost of the cookie, since that purchase inspired this blog post. Okay, I’m bad.

In all honesty, I have been motivated my whole life by enjoying the moment, and my worst downfall is just not wanting to miss anything. When food is involved, that can be hazardous to your wardrobe. I am fortunate that I hanker for specialties and not buffets. I don’t focus on the historic sentiment about possibly dying tomorrow, but I do like to remember the idea, “eat, drink and be merry”. Who is with me?

%d bloggers like this: