Wednesday, June 30, 2010

last A.G.E. girls' night...sigh

The former ESMC student council met last night at my place to have our final farewell dinner. Not since 1997 had we lived in the same city at the same time. It's been a slice, ladies. You have no idea how much your friendship enhances my life, humbles me and gets me out of my various funks and into the kitchen! I got to watch MAC's daughter grow from a tiny bump into a happy nearly 1 year old. Best of luck in Ottawa and I promise I will visit often!

On the menu for my special ladies:

-Quinoa Cranberry Salad
-Fried Halloumi with Mint
-Green Salad
-A selection of decadent deserts from 1ere moisson

First, for the quinoa. 2 parts water to 1 part grain. I use a coffee mug to measure. Bring the water to a boil, add a bouillon cube if you like and then add the grain. Bring to a boil, cover. Reduce heat to a low simmer and cook for about 15-20 minutes, or until water is absorbed and the grain is tender. Let this cool.

Then, transfer your grain to a nice bowl and add a big handful of raw sunflower seeds.

Next, add a big handful or two of dried cranberries.

Trust me, you want a finely died half of an apple in this here salad. Yes, you do.

These are the remaining ingredients. Some fresh mint, 2 celery stalks, half a red pepper, half a small red onion. Finely dice or chop and throw it in the salad. Yee-haw!

You're on your way to deliciousness if it looks something like this.

What about a dressing for this salad?

Juice a lime into a bowl. Add a glug (approx 1 tablespoon) of olive oil, and a splash of mirin (rice vinegar). Add honey to sweeten and salt and pepper to season. Then, add a good glug of orange juice and a twoonie sized plop of dried parsley. Whisk with a fork. Taste and adjust. Too sour? Add more honey and/or oil. To bland? Add more salt. Too thick? Add a couple drops of water. Go with it, you can't really go wrong if you keep tasting until it seems ok.

Now onto guacamole times. Get yourself 2 ripe avocados, 2 limes, a pinch of cumin powder, salt and pepper, and a spoonful of store bought salsa. Mash all that with a fork and enjoy with corn chips. Que bueno!

Halloum, I would like to introduce you to my friends. They like salty, squeaky, chewy cheese like you that can be grilled without melting.

Slice it up like so.

Fry with a little olive oil over medium heat until browned and crispy. Top with chopped mint. Serve with salad while still warm. You will practically die of happiness. This cheese hits many craving targets: salty, chewy, crispy, cheesy.

Mon assiette.

Let's eat dessert!!! I want royalties from Premiere Moisson for this quasi-advert. Holy mother of god raspberry chocolate mousse cake.

The next culprit. Mocha cake! Skulking in the background is the best dessert of them all. A pear vanilla mousse cake inside a chocolate bowl gilded with gold leaf.

Yes, yes, yes!


  1. YES YES YES indeed! That is a triple yes, for halluma (my new friend), YES for quinoa salad (hello orange juice - why weren't you in my dressing before?) and the last YES is for... A.G.E. reunions and the most beautiful, strong, intelligent women I know. YES!!!!! Thanks for an amazing meal yet again Lia.

  2. the pleasure was all mine. ALLLL MIIIINNNNE xo