big tings a gwan this weekend. saturday night was a lovely dinner with my ex bf and his current lady. i really really like them together. we had them over here for some more ital-town influenced grub. first things first: i'm a woman with strong beliefs. i believe in greeting guests with a cocktail, cured meat, and olives. that's the dotytron's current favorite cocktail, a campari and soda. i got some olives from the italian grocers i frequent, who are THE BEST, and also this new sausage they're making, called a cotechino. it's all pork, with some pistachios, no preservatives, kind of like a headcheese. i love headcheese and i love supporting my local stores, so i love this. i followed that up with the crostini of tuscany, a chicken liver crostini. it's delicious, but i've since been reading the "babbo cookbook" and mario batali's "molto italiano" and realized that two key ingredients i neglected to include are anchovies and capers. i was wondering why the chicken liver crostinis always tasted so beefy and not so mineral-livery, and i think it must be due to those two umami-boosting elements. i did my favorite, palate-cleaning salad with the radicchio and fennel and parsley and beans. i also did a penne (that i somehow forgot to take pictures of?!?) with caramelized onions, black pepper, pecorino, and pancetta.
to say that dessert was a homerun might be an understatement of epic proportions. i had a good feeling when i was making it. i re-baked the meringues so that they go crisp, and layered
them in a mason jar with softly whipped cream, and a strawberry compote consisting of cooked strawberries and a touch of sugar, with some fresh diced strawberries added in after i turned off the heat. we loved it so much we were clamoring for more even before our second bite, so i just took the remnants and plopped it all onto a plate and we dug in. it was a pure massacre.
yesterday was a day of errands-doing. we had the dotytron's parents' car so first we hit up burger king. MY FIRST TIME! omg! whoppers are AMAZING! so beefy and char-broiled tasting and hella substantial. i got a double whopper with cheese. i liked how BIG it was, and how the bun meant business. and i liked the char-y taste and the fresh elements (lettuce, tomatoes). i also like how burger king has the option of FRIED MOZZARELLA STICKS! and POUTINE! the gravy tasted like st. hubert's gravy, which is a plus because i'm a st. hubert's fan. we also got onion rings which was the only miss. there was no discernible onion flavour, BUT! the onion rings come with this "zesty picante" sauce which tastes like thousand island dressing mixed with spicy horseradish and was pretty awesome. overall, i've accepted the burger king as my ruler.
it was a miserable, pissy day, but we got a lot done. went to canadian tire and picked up some much-needed house supplies (like a sturdy indoor/outdoor clothes dryer so we can save energy and dry out stuff using the power of air). i effin' love canadian tire. then we got the dotytron some sedimentary rock for his geo science course, and then we went to the garden centre and picked up some potting plants. it's too cold to garden at the moment so we'll have to hold off on that for the time being. this time last year i had a heap of people over for a bbq and it was cold, but not THAT cold. then we had to deal with some minor cat-related issues involving one of our cats insisting on NOT peeing in the litterbox, which was hella stressful. so we overhauled everything...new litterbox, back to the old litter, closing all doors to limit options and we're holding our breath that it takes. so far, so good.
thanks to S, who came over right before hopping on a plane to amsterdam, belgium and spain, i now have about 75% less hair. she did a GREAT job cutting my hair and it's going to be a lot more conducive to straightening it because there's SO.MUCH.LESS. you should have seen the pile i swept up...it was like a small cat/dog! here's a crappy pic of me with my less hair. loves it!
went to our friends B & G's new place for dinnie. they live around the corner now! so so so fun! i brought the chocolate pot de cremes and almond cake for dessert. and B made us a lovely indian meal with a lamb curry, dhal, rice, steamed rapini (i think), rotis, and this appetizer of roasted potatoes with sesame seeds served with raw fennel.
woke up today at TEN THIRTY. that's huuuuge! i never sleep in so much! feeling pretty good except i have a vague tickle in the back of my throat. today's going to be pretty relaxing...knitting, chilling, reading. we're having bwong and dr. rei over for a middle-eastern themed bbq. i'm making ground lamb and ground beef kebabs, with pitas, and a warm chickpea salad with chilies, lemon and parsley. dr. rei's bringing the standard persian salad of cucumber, tomato, and onion, and a cucumber-yoghurt sauce, and i'm making coconut tapioca pudding with chopped pistachios on top. simple and easy.
we saw "iron man" on saturday night. EFFIN' LOVED IT. it's the perfect role for robert downey jr. as it plays to his usual, cavalier, sarcastic and droll intelligence with its' vague undertones of ne'er do well rakishness. he's also gotten wicked buff and kind of hot. i never thought so before but seeing him all buff in character as tony stark was an awakening of sorts. gwyneth paltrow, who is usually so icy, came off really warm and endearing as pepper potts, and injected the "girl friday" type role with a refreshing jolt of independence and spunk. it was the perfect first movie for a (soon-to-be?) superhero series. action sequences were tasteful and not drawn out needlessly and the CGI was really restrained and believable (unlike, i'm afraid to report, "the hulk"...you can't do the hulk without doing crazy amounts of cgi and it inevitably looks stupid). i also had a small problem with the hans zimmer score. it was a little too overwrought and rock-y for me, and incongruous with the film during the flight sequences. apparently tom morello from rage against the machine was in the film...i think he played the love interest. ha. anyway, i loved it and can't wait to see more. as i love movie previews almost as much as i love movies, i was SO PUMPED to see the full theatrical trailers for the new "batman" flick (this one has more aaron eckart as harvey dent) and "indiana jones and the kingdom of the crystal skull." i really think that john williams' theme for the indiana jones films is stronger than the "star wars" theme. that music gets you hype.