Finally Spring

21_unfashion_donutcrop

Must. Resist. Donut pun.

I DONUT THINK I CAN STOP MYSELF @(#*&@#

Move over, Winter. There’s a new kid in town.

I breathed a sigh of relief as we transitioned from winter to spring yesterday. Spring! Just the sound of the word makes me smile. And to celebrate, I woke up early, strapped on my running shoes and ran.  I ignored the fact that there were mounds and mounds of snow and sneaky icy patches on the sidewalks. Ain’t nothing gonna hold me down. I didn’t bring my GPS watch or even look at the time; I just ran with a big smile on my face. It wasn’t even painful– I felt like I could run forever (as long as I didn’t meet any hills).

And so, out with the moody, forlorn, wintry posts. There’s no room for them because spring is for flowers and crop tops, faux-bling and high-waisted satin pants….

xx kc lea

ps — i behooves me to note that i think i’ve struck a balance between “homer simpson” and “fugly unfashion”…. success!!!! my life’s work is complete.

puffball mushrooms two ways

“Correct identification is crucial. If you think you’ve found a giant puffball the first thing to do is cut it open. It should have thick, hard, white flesh inside. Don’t eat anything with a brown, black, purple, or yellow interior. It may be an earthball (Scleroderma citrinum) or some other gastric distress inducing mushroom.” (Source.)

the puffball mushroom. between late summer and early fall, you’ll find these soccer ball-esque beauties hanging around on the ground. if you’ve read even a few posts on this blog, you already know how much i love finding things on the ground. that is to say, a lot.

keep your eyes peeled and you may be surprised to find your own puffball! you may better recognize the “puffball” in its more mature stage. as a kid, i called the brown, tough skinned, mature puffballs “smoke bombs”; an apt description of the puffballs as they release their spores into the air in a smoke-like cloud.

note that it’s not edible at that stage. nope. you’ve been warned. in fact, google it before you eat something. i won’t have your *ahem* “gastric distress” weighing on my conscience.

“Giant puffballs are saprotrophs, meaning they feed on dead organic matter. They’re more likely found in meadows and grasslands than in the forest. They are always found growing on the ground rather than up in trees.” (Source.)

in fact, this one is pretty important: remove the skin.

“Since the outer layer can cause gastrointestinal distress in some individuals, remove the skin with a knife before proceeding with any method of cooking.” (Source.)

now that i got that out of the way, my good friend gerry found a puffball mushroom on a hike this morning and then we spent the next 3 hours watching season 2 of top chef canada. the perfect combo for a night spent cooking us some puffball, and a foodie nerd collaboration that resulted in two really, really amazing dishes.

it behoves me to note that, after about 10 years of vegetarianism, i have recently been re-assessing the ideas and assumptions i made about meat at age 16 and experimenting with some meat in my diet. let’s call it “cruelty free, flexitarian”. or, let’s call it nothing. so, there’s that. but that is, perhaps, a story for another day.

 

matt and i were basically sheep following the competent command of our great friend, masterful cuisinart, and metaphorical shepherd, gerry. who is as handsome as he is adept in the kitchen. i wish he would leave so i could write the rest of this post in peace.

for those pho fans amongst us, the point of this recipe was still to make an incredible broth, and to use the heat of the broth to help cook the toppings. we opted for a “deconstructed” version of pho in that we infused ground beef with some of the flavours normally found in the broth (namely, cinnamon), and used a wonton noodle as a vehicle for the beef as opposed to the standard glass noodles.

for me, the gluteny wonton noodles left me a little cold so i opted for a simpler version of the ground beef, simply binded with an egg.

in this case, the sliced puffball mushroom acted as a spongy base, absorbing a delicious chicken broth. the puffball was tender, salty, and took on a texture akin to firm tofu.

if the oozy egg yolk doesn’t make your mouth water, make this for the sake of the miso gravy. the salty, earthy taste of the miso gravy pulled the dish together, while the tangy arugula & fresh scallions provided some lightness and balance. the seared puffball had a very similar texture to the egg white, but with some more toughness. the light, nutty taste made it the perfect base for this tower-of-awesome.

top chef canada, here we come.

xx katty lea

grilled veg with flatbread

oh, hello. just a camping related how-to for you today.

i have meant to adjust the lighting and post these for a whole sixteen days. in my defence, not that you asked for one, but my photos are really disorganized and so i was avoiding the whole thing. so many folders. such a confusing system of organization….

i spent the afternoon reorganizing folders. cleaning the cobwebs out of my hard-drive, even. it’s so pretty now. so clean, streamlined, efficient.

back to the good stuff: while in thunderbay, i happened to be camping with some truly talented camp-side cooks. i wanted to share with you a little collaboration between minds (none of them mine), and offer you a recipe with a total lack of quantities and volumes. don’t worry: you’ll figure it out. i believe in you.

equipment needed.

  • grill
  • bowl
  • wine bottle (or other rolling pin substitute)
  • a big plastic bag
  • a knife
  • s&p

ingredients.

this is a 3 part recipe: 1- flatbread, 2- grilled veg and 3- garlic dill cucumber yoghurt

flatbread:

  • white flour
  • water
  • a touch of oil
  • salt

this is so cool, friends. combine the ingredients and kneed. divide the dough into palm-sized balls and roll. make sure to dust with flour lest your flatbreads stick together.

to cook, simply throw these bad boys on the grill over your campfire.

wait for them to puff up, and then flip them.

pretty, yes?

grilled veg

  • veg of your choice! we had broccoli, red peppers, zuccini, portabello mushrooms.
  • garlic
  • oil

cut your veg into big chunks. throw them into a plastic bag with garlic, oil and s&p. shake the shit out of the bag.

beautiful grilled veg.

dill yoghurt

  • plain greek yoghurt
  • lots of garlic, sliced finely
  • dill (optional)
  • cucumbers, seeds removed
  • s&p to taste

just stir these together, and spoon it onto your flatbread.

a really tasty, easy and fresh recipe for a camping trip. ditch those wieners folks, it’s time for an upgrade.

xx katty lea