On Top of Spaghetti

18 09 2007


Joey don’t cook.  Those that know me know that I simply don’t have the talent or skill for it. 

Colin thinks that maybe that somewhere I have a loose wire or malfunction in my brain that can be attributed to my lack of desire to cook.  I think its because I just like people to cook for me.   Is it wrong to want to be waited on hand and foot?  J

Anyways, I had this brilliant idea early in the day I would make spaghetti for Colin for dinner.  

Colin loves spaghetti, and we don’t make it very often. 

Actually, the infrequency of the spaghetti making could be credited to the fact that I hate spaghetti.  It is the food that I detest most above all others, combined with my other nemesis – tomatoes – you have a ‘recipe’ for disaster for me and any sort of culinary enjoyment.

I’m doing the “Lemon Cleanse” detox right now, so given that I would not be joining my husband for his feast, I figured there would be no better time to make him spaghetti.  No ulterior motive, just doing something nice for the man I love.

I rushed home after work with my quick and simple guideline recipe I printed from online.  To the grocery store I went to pick up the additional supplies and meat needed to make a secret newly developed power sauce.  After the grocery store marathon I went home to quickly assemble the meal so it would have time to simmer.

I added a pinch of that, a smidge of this, a handful of the other. . . . I rolled meatballs, stirred sauce and chopped vegetables.  I worked with speedy precision, and quickly the house filled with the aromas of an Italian Grandmother’s kitchen.  I tidied up the kitchen, and went back to the pot to marvel at my work.  It was an impressive sight!  It looked edible, smelled edible, it simply had to be edible.

I took a box of harvest wheat spaghetti, and tied a ribbon on it and headed off to the train station to pick up Colin.  On the ride home I presented Colin with the box of spaghetti, and told him I had made him dinner just because I love him.

He looked surprised, and a little relieved that he didn’t have to cook, then the fear took over, with nightmares of the numerous occasions been guinea pig to my cooking experiments.  (Think garlic eggs of 2006).

With a glare, one eye thinning into an ‘evil eye’, head titled,  he asks. .  . .”What’s your motive?  What did you do?  How much is this going to cost?”

I actually had not thought what my gesture of kindness looked like. .  . .perhaps I did look guilty about something. . . . .

We got home, boiled up the spaghetti noodles, and I proceeded to watch him twirl the noodles around his fork.  He dipped it in the sauce, and then moved the fork slowly to his mouth.  His pupils large and dark, unsure of what to expect.

The room was quiet as I waited for the verdict.

“Its good.  Its really, really good” he said half relieved, half shocked.

“Gee thanks, he of little faith” I said back. . . .

The spaghetti was a hit, and there is enough sauce for another 10 bowls (at least!)


I’m off to think of a motive, after the fact. . . .

Recipe That Joey Can Actually Cook : Belgian Endives withHam with Cheese

17 08 2007

8 Belgian endives
8 slices boiled ham (not too thick)
1 c. white wine


2 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. flour
1 c. milk
1/2 c. grated Swiss cheese
Nutmeg, salt & white pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.Wrap each endive with a slice of ham. Place in a baking dish and pour wine over them. Cover and cook for 20 minutes. Melt butter, blend in flour and add milk, stirring constantly until the sauce begins to thicken. Add cheese and continue to stir until melted. Season with nutmeg, salt and pepper. Pour the sauce over the endives with ham and return to the oven for approximately ten minutes until the sauce bubbles and is nicely browned.


Raclette with the In Laws

21 04 2007

Yesterday night for dinner we tried Raclette, often also called “Party Grill” – raclette is the new fondue of the 70s.  You sit around, grilling your food as you eat, talking and laughing.

 Those of you who know my father in law, know he doesn’t cook for himself.  Never has.

 This has been a year of change for him, at Christmas Paul, Kate, Colin and myself watched him serve himself coffee, and use the microwave at Christmas.  The room fell silent with gobsmacked onlookers!

Both Mr and Mrs Graham enjoyed the experience, but won’t be hosting their own raclette meal any time soon.


Colin’s Awesome Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

2 04 2007

****Update May 11 2007**** As linked on Wikipedia for Grilled Cheese!  Congrats Colin!  hahaha


We made grilled cheese tonight for dinner. As mentioned in a previous post, my husband makes the best grilled cheese. Its real comfort food, and when you have a rough day they really hit the spot.

Since I made my previous post I’ve received 5 emails from various people who stummbled onto my blog asking what Colin’s secret is to the perfect grilled cheese, today was the first opportunity to interview Colin. . .so as the master cooked his masterpieces, I took down the proccess – almost verbatim

Very Soft Thick White Bread (For those in Quebec, Think POM ‘Ultra Soft’)

Cheese, two types (The better the cheese the better the sandwich, processed cheese is not real cheese – not matter what they tell you in the commericals) Colin likes to use Havariti and Extra Mature cheddar.

Margarine or Butter (the good stuff, not the low fat crap)


  1. Butter the bread (remember you are buttering the outside of the bread, the part that will be on the pan). Butter all the way to the edge of the bread.
  2. Preheat the pan to slightly under medium heat. (1/3 heat)
  3. Put your cheese on the bread, and create the sandwich. Some people like to grate cheese, Colin doesn’t believe this is nessasary – but to each their own)
  4. Don’t overfill your sandwich, usually two layers of cheese will do you. Otherwise its too much of a gooey mess. Colin likes to add extra ingredients, like bacon or sliced home made dill pickle – he says it adds colour and texture. Don’t bother with bicks – must be home made or gourmet.

  5. You are just toasting the bread, so the cooking does not take long. If the bread sizzles when you put it on the pan, the pan is too hot. You are usually cooking for couple minutes on each side (depends on your stove). Colin likes to check his sandwiches often to ensure they don’t burn.

6. After you flip them (they should be golden brown) you press the sandwich down lightly. (La Belle Provience does this-again anyone from Quebec will appreciate this)

7. Then cut on the diagonal, serve immediatly with a dollop of ketchup and some soup, salad or chips.

In Summary,

the secret to the perfect grilled cheese sandwich is quality ingredients and control the heat.

Going EMO for EVOO

14 03 2007

I keep hearing about how great this Rachel Ray is. I’ve been tuning in here and there trying to catch a thing or two (Apparently according to Colin I’m not really a gifted chef. . . .any who. . .) She often uses the expression EVOO – for those that aren’t sure what that stands for (I’m sure there isn’t many of you) it stands for EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL.

Recently Rachel Ray was presented with a certificate from the Oxford Dictionary congratulating her that EVOO would now be an actual dictionary word

Source : Chow.com

The EVOOing of America

It’s official: EVOO is now a word. The dictionary tells us so.

Today, on Rachael Ray’s talk show, Erin McKean, editor of Oxford American Dictionaries, showed up to present Ray with a framed certificate of recognition. As she explained to Ray, “Because of you, we are putting EVOO in the next edition of the Oxford American College Dictionary.” The entry will read: “EVOO: abbr. extra-virgin olive oil.”

McKean told Ray how hard it is to actually get a word into the dictionary: “We look at thousands of words every year, and very, very few of them get in. It’s easier to win the lottery, frankly.” McKean also wants people to know that this newest entry in the Oxford American College Dictionary isn’t just because Ray is more talked about than God: “In order for a word to go in the dictionary, it has to be useful to people. It’s not just enough to be a fabulous celebrity to get your word in the dictionary; you have to make a word that people like to use.” During their exhaustive research, McKean claimed when she and her dictionary cronies saw people using “EVOO,” Ray’s name appeared in more than half the examples.

I think its cool that EVOO is now a word, the part that drives nuts about it is that when she uses it in a show, she continues by saying. . . . .”EVOO. . . .thats extra virgin olive oil”. What is the point of having an abbrevation if you then s-a-y t-h-e w-h-o-l-e t-h-i-n-g o-u-t a-n-y-w-a-y?????????

Here is a receipe that Christine emailed me, its a “Rachel Ray”

Haddock with Bacon and Onions Recipe courtesy Rachael Ray
Show: 30 Minute Meals
Episode: Good Fish Fast

2 pounds haddock filet, cut into 4 8-ounce portions
2 tablespoons lemon juice – about 1/4 lemon
EVOO – extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
6 slices smoky bacon, chopped
8 cippolini, small Italian flat-shaped sweet onion, peeled and thinly
(A medium yellow onion, quartered then thinly sliced may be substituted, but
cippolini are
widely available, so check for them in the local market.)
1large clove garlic, finely chopped
1 cup Italian bread crumbs
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, a couple of handfuls, chopped

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Rinse fish and pat dry. Sprinkle fish with lemon juice and salt. Rub flat
baking dish with butter, drizzle a little EVOO on top of butter. Place fish
in baking dish.

Heat a small skillet over medium high heat. Add the bacon. Render the fat in
the bacon 3 minutes then add onions. Sweeten and soften onions and garlic 10
minutes. Remove pan from heat. Add bread crumbs to the pan and turn them to
coat them in drippings. Add parsley. Top fish with coating of onions, bacon
and bread crumbs. Bake 30 minutes.

Sugar High

13 03 2007

This past weekend Chris and Christine came up to visit.  We madly cleaned up our place for their arrival. . . .some fresh flowers in the bathroom, a few new air fresheners and the nice new sheets (500 thread count, Chris) on the bed. . . .

Friday night we went to Mama Bravo’s down the street for dinner.  We drank Sangria until the restaurant fell quiet. . . .

Saturday we headed out to Rigaud to a Sugar Shack. . .  .The pictures are here

Read the rest of this entry »

Too Many Cooks

20 02 2007

I was speaking to a lady I work with, and she remarked that given the task she has at hand sometimes there are “too many cooks in the kitchen”  she continued by saying “someone keeps putting oregano in the chocolate pudding!”

It stuck me as funny.  I also now have a craving for homemade garlic bread and a jello pudding cup.