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Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Country Chicken

Nothing better than a hearty meal on a cold rainy night. This Country Chicken recipe was appealing given that you make it in phases.

Pre-heat oven to 425. Cut 4 potatoes and 3 sausages into bite size pieces, add some oil. Bake for 20 minutes.

Then, add chicken pieces (2 chicken breasts), one onion quartered, one green and one red peppers cut into small pieces. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, oregano and a cup of water. Return to the oven and bake for another 20 minutes.

After that, add chopped green beans, salt and pepper and return to the oven for the last 20 minutes.

Mix and enjoy.

Country Chicken was served tonight with a cabbage, tomato and cucumber salad (lemon & olive oil dressing).

Monday, 30 August 2010

Tuna Casserole

The wife of an American colleague gave me the recipe of the ultimate tuna casserole. Simple and delicious.

Boil the noodles and put in a casserole baking dish. Mix in two cans of tuna, one can of cream of mushroom soup, milk (measure the full soup can), grated cheese and frozen peas. Season with salt and pepper.

And you cannot forget the crumbled potato chips on top, with dabs of butter. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes or so in a 425 oven. 

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Newfoundland Cooking

I bought this cook book (actually booklet) in Newfoundland 20 years ago. It has the most delicious and tasty recipes.

Tonight's dinner and dessert were from this book: Nfld.'s Classic Beef Stroganoff (p. 8) and Favourite Chocolate Chips Cookies (p. 37). A taster of the cookies said "chocolate chips cookies don't get better tasting than this".

I'll be happy to lend the booklet - just ask.

Saturday, 28 August 2010

First BBQ Salmon

There is a first to everything at Somerville Kitchen and today's was BBQ Salmon. Fresh salmon fished by my neighbour turned into two BBQ versions. One plain with tarragon salt and the other stuffed with a mixture of cilantro, onions, garlic, chili peppers, lemon and olive oil. Put on double sided foil paper on the BBQ, cover and grill for 15 - 20 minutes.

Pre dessert was roasted marshmallows.

And no fancy BBQ is complete without an Anita Cake. This time a light cheesecake covered with whipped cream, strawberries, kiwi and blueberries.

Friday, 27 August 2010

Buy-Low Picnic

Buy-Low Foods is, by far, my favourite grocery store in Vancouver. Excellent fresh meats, wide selection of packaged goods brands, and all at great prices.

It also comes in handy for store-bought picnics. Chicken fried rice, lemon chicken and vegetable tempura. Wild rice salad with Reseas potato salad. Add some Dijon Kettle potato chips, tomato, cheese and alpine whole grain bread and you are all set.

But no Buy-Low picnic is complete without the delicious Kozy Shack rice pudding for dessert.

Thank you James!

Thursday, 26 August 2010

On The Road

Lunch at YVR; Dinner in a hotel room. 

Which tastes better, the envelope mix watery chicken curry with rice and noodles in a plastic container OR the shrimp noodles in a garlic broth and spring rolls stuffed with meat loaf?

On another note, those of you somerville kitchen fans who like contests, look for the blog's one month anniversary contest coming up soon.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010


Janice, a great friend, talented artist and author of the best Chinese cook book, Chow.

Tonight's meal from Chow included:
- Almond Chickens (p. 36)
- Green Beans  (p. 103)
- Chow Mein (p. 112)

You can inquire about the book at or be the first to email me a raving review of somerville kitchen and be gifted a signed copy of Chow.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Iranian BBQ

Iranian BBQ, simple dinner, lots of flavours. The cucumber, tomato and onion salad - all must be chopped really small. The highlight were the turnips - simply boiled and sprinkled with olive oil and salt. Yum.

Monday, 23 August 2010

Mini Balkan Feast

Remember the Balkan Feast (see Balkan Feast Entry on August 7)? Well, the frozen left overs were turned into a mini Balkan Feast tonight.

Served with cabbage salad and Bavarian Potatoes (

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Somerville Meat Loaf

1940's meat loaf recipe called Somerville Meatloaf.
Platter design by artist/sculpturer JK.

1 lb ground beef & 1 lb ground pork
2 cups bread crumbs
1 cup chopped onions
2 eggs
1 tsp horseradish & 1 tsp mustard
1/4 cup catsup
Salt and pepper

Bake at 400 for 1 hour

Saturday, 21 August 2010

How Authentic is Nuba?

nuba - authentic lebanese cuisine 
The most authentic Lebanese taste in the city with a modern Beirut ambiance. The "Fatoush" could have skipped the carrots and mustard leaves, the "Shish Taouk" should have been on skewers, and the "Kibbe" needed pine nuts. But everything else was 100% authentic tasting.
Cafe Blanc would have went great with the Baklava, but they have not heard of it. Our great waiter alerted management to this item and we hope to see it on the menu the next visit.

Friday, 20 August 2010

Sheikh el Mehshi

A busy week means easy to make Lebanese food with weird names. Tonight's meal is "Sheik el Meshshi" which literally means the king of stuffed vegetables.

In reality, there is nothing stuffed about the meal. Just boil the zucchini, slice in the middle, layer in a cooking dish and top with cooked ground beef, tomatoes, salt and pepper. Bake and serve over rice.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

I Love Kashi

Kashi head office in San Diego has all sorts of neat employee perks: zen rooms, yoga classes during the day, sports wear dress code, etc. But my favourite perk is their kitchen where all Kashi products are available for employees to eat as they wish during the day.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Tailor's Scraps

Tailor's Scraps is the literal translation of the Lebanese name for this meal.

Layer onions, beef, potatoes and any other vegetables you have on hand (zucchini, carrots, peppers, beans, eggplant). Top with tomatoes, salt and pepper. Cook over medium to low heat for about an hour.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

1 Star American Meal

After a long day of meetings in San Diego, going out for dinner seemed like a big chore. Instead, a $50 dinner at the hotel restaurant.

The shrimps were huge and tasteless. The steak was juicy, large and...tasteless. The baked potato was nuked in a microwave, served cold and came with only sour cream and green onions.

The asparagus was as thin as pasta and again, tasteless.

Monday, 16 August 2010

Home Made Yogurt

Bring milk (I use 2%) to a boil, turn off heat as soon as it looks like it is starting to boil.

Leave hot milk to cool down until you are able to rotate your small finger in the milk and count till 15 without burning your finger.

For each 3 cups of milk, add one large heaping table spoon of ready made yogurt (or left over from your previously made batch) mixed with 1/2 teaspoon corn starch.

Mix slightly, cover the pot, then wrap the pot in a blanket for 8 hours. Do not move when wrapped.

Unwrap, fridge, eat and enjoy.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Company Coming

Aunt & Uncle showing up, too hot to bake. 

Cake from Berka Cafe on Fraser street, Babka from Solly's on Main, Baklava from Kuwait (see August 13 entry), and fresh local fruit.

All served with cold steeped chamomile tea (recipe at ).

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Heat Wave Cooking

With the house temperature at 30 degrees, cooking will just heat the house another 2 degrees which makes it intolerable for both me and the katz. 

Instead, a store bought roasted chicken, watermelon salad (watermelon, white cheese, mint, pine nuts and a sprinkle of lime), and brown sugar lemonade made a wonderful summer meal.

Friday, 13 August 2010

Small World

These freshly baked sweets traveled 11,239 KM to make it to Somerville!

Best served with Cafe Blanc:

- Boil water with a tsp of sugar per 1 cup of water and a small rind of orange

- Once boiled, pour into small cups and add 1 tsp of orange blossom water

Thursday, 12 August 2010


Today is the first day of Ramadan. "Iftar" is the meal to break the fast with at sunset, typically a feast of sort.

"Ishar" is the meal to prepare for a day of fasting, typically eaten just before sunrise.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Leftovers Mixed Buffet

You come home at 8 pm, with a guest who has flown for 24 hours with little food, what to do.

Take out a small piece of meatloaf leftovers, some of Susan's kebbeh, and a container of fasolia (wide beans) stew. Make some rice, boil and mash few potatoes and steam some broccoli with fig & prosciutto salt. One envelope of mushroom gravy and voila!

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Afternoon Tea

Shaktea, my favourite hang-out on Main Street for the past five years, is now serving an amazing afternoon tea.

Miniature tofu cucumber wrap
Tea egg salad sandwich
Tsai lo mei
Freshly baked scone & Devonshire cream
Maple pecan French pastry
Shaktea tea truffle
Petit Four (today's was lemon square)
3702 Main Street
Vancouver, BC

The first person who reads this and emails me with Shaktea in the title will be my guest for afternoon tea.

Monday, 9 August 2010

Fancy Birthday Celebration

Thank you Ellie, Gillian, Kim & Kirk for a wonderful and fancy birthday celebration. 

Amazing menu...

- Gin & lemonade fruit & cucumber punch

- Peasant pot bread

- Pistachio humus
- Baked sea salt pita chips
- Pinto beans dip

- Garden salad with watermelon radishes
- Fried zucchini flowers

- BBQ chicken kebabs
- Tzatziki
- Eggplant antipesto

- Cardamon milk pudding

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Home Made

Chicken and potato curry, samosas and raita. Of interest is home made yogurt used in the raita - yummy. Email for recipe.

Saturday, 7 August 2010

Balkan Feast

Balkan (carnivorous) feast hosted by the charming Balkan-born Mirjiana.

Balkan House
7530 Edmonds Street
Burnaby, BC

Friday, 6 August 2010

Garden Crop

Courgettes, carrots, chives and dill from the garden. Cooked with chicken and cream of mushroom soup and served over mashed potatoes.

Thursday, 5 August 2010

New Decade

What a better way to start a new decade than with an Anita (Pie in the Sky) white cake.