photographer. artist. author. singer. songwriter. musician. teacher. student. humanitarian. visionary.

Kitchen Battle (Part I)

J and I have been trying to one up each other in the kitchen lately. I’ve been watching Chopped, Iron Chef, Throwdown with Bobby Flay, Rachel Ray (yes- I admit it!), Top Chef, and other food shows on Food Network for years now. I’ve never entertained the idea that I am a “chef”, but I do love to cook with fresh ingredients only and my food tastes amaaazing. I’ve replaced cans of shortening with imported olive oil from Italy- a large jug of it- and rarely buy sliced bread anymore: whole and multi-grain baguettes only. Canned tomatoes have been replaced with fresh vine ripened and the ever-so-handy grape tomatoes (which are great for halving and fire roasting) and bricks of sharp cheddar have been replaced with Brie, goat cheese, gorgonzola and bleu, along with fresh balls of mozzarella (still soaking in the brine), and, I suppose my favourite replacements are the fresh mixed greens that I simply can’t live without: turnip, collards, and kale. (I always keep a moderate supply of spring mix on hand also.)

I’ve long forgotten what it’s like to buy frozen foods (God forbid) and canned and boxed “processed foods” are an absolute no no. Ever since I studied the molecular make-up of foods and their organic compounds last semester (Nutrition class) – I’ve accidentally become a bit of a health nut and a foodie! I didn’t see it coming.

I just want freshness, and I’m a stickler for it.

My food battle with Josh started out simple enough: I wanted to surprise him with a healthy breakfast of cantaloupe, ruby red grapefruit, green grapes, and small, fresh mozzarella balls.

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Josh was naturally delighted, and so when he decided that he would make dinner for us later that evening, he whipped up something that could have been straight from the Food Network Channel: roasted chicken with fresh green beans (as in, fresh from the produce section) with red, caramelized onions, and sautéed kale with kosher salt and a dash of balsamic vinegar.

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Well I certainly couldn’t be outdone by him, although I later learned my son had made the chicken, (because my son prefers to be called by an alias, I’ll call him “Bob”- Bob is a fantastic cook- he gets that from me) I decided to muster up some grub that Josh could never, ever compete with. It’s so fantastic, there’s not even a name for it. But it looks like this:

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It consists of: Curried, cumin sunny side up eggs over brioche (ok, who am I kidding- this is not brioche! Shamefully, I admit that I was reduced to using sliced wheat bread, but believe me, it would have so been brioche had I been able to change it at the moment) with vine ripened tomatoes- fire roasted- sprinkled with rosemary, thyme, basil and parsley, topped with fresh, gorgonzola and feta cheeses- underneath a healthy drizzle of Imported extra virgin olive oil, finished with a garnish of fresh arugula and frisee.

YEAH. Top that, J!

Somehow, Carl ended up in my food folder, but he was just too cute to leave out. (Carl is the perpetually pissed off cat that my daughter rescued from the wrong side of the tracks. He’d been in a fight and had just had a bath.)

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Is it really possible that Josh and I could actually squeeze in a year of Culinology and become private chefs on weekends? We’re entertaining the idea of compiling our first CD, as we’re both musicians, singers, and songwriters (and play a host of instruments between us). Then there’s the children’s book thing. And college. And work… We have a lot of irons in the fire, but we really wouldn’t want it any other way.

After I gave Josh his “egg/curry/frisee/almost-brioche thing”, I could hear loud, audible moans coming from the bedroom. Josh clearly enjoyed it. 🙂 I’m used to feeding the men around here and doing it up right and I’m quite sure that I’m not the only woman in the world who is used to eating last and taking the scraps.

My plate looked something like this:

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But that’s pretty standard around here.

Until next time, bon appétit. 

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4 responses

  1. Did I say I could cook ? That was a definite foot in mouth moment.
    YOU can cook. I could harldy pronounce some of those ingredients nor
    could I identify all the cheese replacements you have made haha!
    Out of curiosity, is it healtheir to eat the wheat or whole baguette
    as opposed to slices of bread? how so?

    March 3, 2013 at 8:15 pm

    • Haa- that’s how I feel! I see chefs on TV (Chopped, etc.) and have to slither back to my inorganic rock and cry. (But I’ve picked up some useful tricks from them along the way.) What I learned in my Nutrition class is that store bought sliced bread, even wheat- has been processed to death. There are a host of additives that are supposed to preserve the bread, but many of them contain chemicals that can be carcinogenic (or, cancer-producing). That’s not to say if you eat sliced wheat or white bread you’re going to get cancer. The sliced white bread is even worse- it’s been bleached to death! Your best bet is in choosing a whole grain (or multi-grain) baquette- it’s super fresh, can be sliced up for numerous styles, etc. and it’s perfect for “flash-frying” in a pan quickly using olive oil, topped with rosemary and fresh cracked black pepper. (Olive oil is so good for your heart- you can practically drink the stuff.) If you want to make sandwiches, slice up the baguette hoagie-style- there’s really no limit to the things you can do with a fresh baguette. (Kroger/supermarket bakery section.) You can see the little seeds and nuts in the baguette-your heart will thank you for eating these things. The freshness is evident and the flavour difference it makes in your food is also VERY evident. Since I’ve started cooking with fresh produce, meats, oils, and grains only- our weight is virtually falling off. We don’t even work out! But we’re no grossly overweight either. Eating like this keeps us light on our feet, and we’re not overstuffed. Another benefit to eating like this is that it kills fatigue and depression; you feel bouncy, light, and happy. Big difference it makes overall. 🙂

      March 3, 2013 at 8:38 pm

  2. Holy crap! This sounds like the most delightful battle, ever! HAhaa! The food looks amazing…even with sliced wheat bread. 😀

    March 3, 2013 at 8:58 pm

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