Saturday, July 20, 2013

Cat and Joe's Pig Rig

Unless you live under a rock, you've probably experienced or read about the explosion of food trucks, well, everywhere. Food trucks are on the streets, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram. There are shows and books devoted to them.

Kamloops has 3, and we visited our first one recently - Cat and Joe's Pig Rig.

They caused quite a sensation when they announced their arrival in the city. Barbecue in Kamloops???? But from what I've seen on Twitter and Facebook, they are doing it right.

We found them up in Aberdeen one Saturday.  We parked the car and on the walk over we talked about what we wanted to try.  We'd read the menu a few times,and everything sounded good.  Once we got up to the truck though, we found out that that day they were only serving one dish - brisket.  A bit of a let down that we couldn't try more than one dish, but the air smelled so amazing we thought we would survive.

We ordered 2 briskets to go, and headed home.

We got brisket, slaw, cornbread and beans. 

The brisket was good - nice and tender, and the sauce was very good.  One of our orders had a massive chunk of fat in it, which made it a bit difficult to eat and cut down on how much meat there actually was.  I was surprised at how light the smoke flavor was, but overall, good.

The cornbread was good too.  It would have been nice to have a touch more sauce to soak into the bread, but it was good on its own.  The slaw was a letdown.  It was a generous portion of cabbage, with nothing else really noted, and it tasted like...cabbage.  No flavor of a dressing at all.  
The beans though, were the best part of the meal.  They might not look like much but they were absolutely delicious.  It was a shame the portion was so small.

Cat and Joe's is a welcome addition to Kamloops sometimes tired food scene.  I look forward to going back to try the pulled pork and definitely more beans!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Meatballs and spinach and baked oatmeal

I finally got around to making these Lion's Head Meatballs, and they were so worth it. Very flavorful. I rinsed a couple off for Paxton, as he declares pretty much any unfamiliar food "Too spicy!" so I didn't think he would enjoy the coconut curry sauce. The grown ups did though. 

I made the Jamie Oliver pea and spinach recipe to go with the meatballs. It's such a great and easy side dish. I noticed that the link I provided to what I thought was the original recipe actually has some changes, so I thought I'd give you a quick low down of how I make it (which again is slightly different than the original). 

Heat a spoon or two of butter in a pan with the same amount of olive oil. Finely chop 3-4 green onions, add to the pan, and cook over medium heat for a few minutes to soften. Add a good cup or more of frozen peas, stir, and let cook for a few more minutes. Pour in a cup of vegetable or chicken broth and bring to a simmer. Add some big handfuls of spinach and stir into the pan until wilted. Serve.

 My boy was quite interested in the can of coconut milk I bought for the meatballs and asked every day if he could drink some. I used up the rest of the can to make my first ever batch of baked oatmeal, then poured some regular milk into the can, swished it around, and poured it into a glass for him. He drank it and then asked coconut related questions for the next hour.

 I am reserving judgement on the baked oatmeal until breakfast this morning. It doesn't look like I expected, and last night even after I let it cool for a while the texture wasn't what I had hoped for. I can't stand oatmeal - so soupy and mushy - but I know it's good for you. So I'm hoping this will be a way to make it more palatable. Hang on to your seats, and I'll report back later.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Bites V9

Back in December 2012 a new restaurant opened on Victoria Street downtown - Jay's Good Eats. It was a small place in a little food court, and served mostly sandwiches, and also dogs and ribs.

Sadly and shockingly, the owner Jay passed away in April 2013. I ate there once, and below is a photo of my beef dip sandwich.

 I was served by Jay, a very friendly guy, and I enjoyed my meal very much. I had planned to go back with Scott and Paxton one Saturday but, just a couple of weeks later, they were closed.


We went to Calgary in May.  Just a 5 day trip including travel days, so not much time for anything.  We had an early family party for my Brother in Law's 40th birthday, did some shopping at stores we don't have here in Kamloops (I love you, Ikea and Old Navy!) and spent time with family.  I also caught a cold and got sick.  Quite sick.

We (Scott and I and Paxton for one meal) got out for 2 lunches.  The first was for Vietnamese food, which is one of my very favorite cuisines of all time, for ever and ever.  It wasn't one of my favorite restaurants in Calgary; this was more of an emergency lunch to make sure I got some Vietnamese food on the trip so Scott wouldn't have to listen to me complain until the next time we went out of town and there was a possibility of Vietnamese food for me.

Anyhoo, the food was fine.  I've had better, but beggars can't be choosers. 

Then the next day we left Paxton with his grandmother and cousins and went and did some shopping.  We ended up at Chinook Center at lunch time.  I had done some googling on my phone and discovered that on Sundays all the Vietnamese restaurants in the area were closed.  So we ate at the mall, at Chachi's Sandwich Bar.

I love pickles, so we had a great big pickle. 

This was pastrami or corned beef.

And this was bulgogi or something similar.

They were good. 

Also on the trip, the family took us to Crossiron Mall just outside of Calgary.  We ate lunch in the food court and I had Lebanese food.  In a food court!!!!  Here at our "best" mall you can walk by the empty spots in the food court and have a burger, or Chinese food, or a hot dog. 


My parents came over for Mother`s Day dinner this year, and I made a turkey burger from Bobby Flay.  It had a vinaigrette and bacon and blue cheese, and was delicious. 

I forgot to take a photo of an actual burger, but here`s the table all set up so everyone could top their burger as the liked.


I bought a pack of portobello mushrooms and had planned to grill them and serve them on buns.  But my evil husband decided they should be pan fried, perhaps with a breading, so they would be crispy. 

So we did the flour, egg, breadcrumb, pan fry in oil routine, then sliced them and piled them on a bun with mayo, cheese and tomato and oh my GOD.  This very poor photo does it no justice.


I NEED the weather to cool down so I can make this recipe.  I am obsessed.

Sunday, July 07, 2013

9 years 1000 posts the last

These are the last 3 dishes I made for my blogs special special day.

 Jamie Oliver is another favorite of mine, especially his old books.
 Flipping through The Naked Chef Takes Off to find a new recipe to try, I found many more recipes I want to try this summer. Love this book.
 For this, I made Jamie's Scallions, Sweet Peas, White Wine and Spinach.
I loved everything about the dish. Quick to make and super delicious.
 Recipe here.

The Working Family Cookbook will forever have a special place in my heart, the cookbook my grandmother bought me many many (many) years ago. I made a recipe the I've had marked for probably as long as I've had the book -Chicken with Coconut Sauce.

Lastly, my search for a good baked donut recipe continues. I thought I'd found a winner recipe and tried it last month. It was only ok. I skipped the glaze recipe provided and made my own with maple syrup, icing sugar and a splash of milk. And then I posed them with our Canada Day napkins and cups because, well, donuts and maple syrup!

Speaking of Canada Day, we went down to Riverside Park for the annual party. It was HOT and busy. Paxton loved the water park and none of the adults complained too much when he dragged us in to play. We had lunch there, honestly one of my favorite parts of the day. I love all the cultural food booths that are set up only for July 1. Everything from Italian to Thai to Filipino. This year we had a plate from the Thai stand, which we also had last year, and a plate of butter chicken, vegetable korma and rice from the Indio Canadian stand. The korma was outstanding. After another trip to the water park we headed home for a nap and then into the backyard so I could keep working on developing my sunburn...

Monday, July 01, 2013

9 years 1000 posts continued

Here's another 3 recipes I made for my 9th anniversary.  Enjoy.

I bought my copy of Rebar modern food cookbook at the cookbook company store in downtown Calgary in the early 2000's. 
 I hadn't heard of the restaurant in Victoria, I just loved the sound of the recipes as I flipped through. Rebar is considered by some to be one of the best restaurants in Victoria, on Vancouver Island. 
I became instantly infatuated with this Brie Bagel Melt. I took all the ingredients to work for a special breakfast treat one morning and it was the highlight of the day. Brie, nuts (I used walnuts) and honey on a warm bagel. 
 You won't believe how amazing it is. 

One of my most favorite treats is these brie and prosciutto rolls that I wrote about in 2004.

This time we used Westfalian Schinkenspeck ham from Erik's Sausage and Meats stand at the farmers market.  It's just the best ham, tender and lovely.

The crescent roll dough is topped with ham and brie and rolled up.

And brushed with a mixture of honey and grainy mustard.

And then baked per the package direction. Let cool for a few minutes before eating.

I love  Pasta with Butter and Myzithra Cheese. This time I made it with fresh spinach pasta from Fratelli Deli downtown. Love love love.