Wednesday, April 28, 2010

home improvements and another night in tunisia

the window in the bathroom at lil' ugmo is basically at boob/crotch height for me, and torso/dangler height for the dotytron - and we don't have blinds in there, so basically, for the past 7 months, we've been either acknowledging the fact that when it's night out, and the bathroom light is on, we're putting on a show for the neighbs, or going to pee in the middle of the night with the lights off and skulking around trying to duck under the window, or resigning ourselves to flashing some skin before the shower steam fogs up the window.

i had seen emma jeffs' window film sold for exorbitant prices ($76 for a 37" x 52" roll!) for sale here: click on the other options to see her lovely designs...but we didn't have the scrilla for that so i was holding out until we could fit it into our budget (keep in mind, we still don't have light fixtures)

then we were at pacific mall and i saw lovely window film in a dandelion pattern available for $4.99/foot (they're at least 52" wide, too) so i bought 2 feet and did up our bathroom windows - it was so easy! just measuring, cutting with a straight edge and an exacto knife, clean the window with windex, spray it with water, apply, and then push out any air bubbles with a bench scraper (or you could use a sponge). here's the finished product:

isn't it lovely? it was one of those projects where you're like, I CAN'T BELIEVE WE WAITED SO LONG. it was SO NICE to be able to go to the bathroom and not be worried that skeevy neighbs are running a peeping tom site and not crediting you (or sending you residuals).

djerba la douce was INCREDIBLE last night, as it was last time. it's so good, guys. really - you should go. we were the only people in the restaurant the whole night. everything is cooked by the chef-owner, who came and checked on us as we lingered in a sated haze after consuming the delicious, delicately blended, intensely flavourful dishes.

this is the calamari djerbieno:

tender squid pieces cooked in a spiced tomato sauce - chili infused, but not "hot" - it was so good and unlike any calamari i'd ever had before.

the salad grill mushwa:

a blend of tomatoes and garlic, onion, and peppers, topped with capers, olives, egg, and tuna. it's good that everything comes with warm pita - you want to sop up every delicious morsel of sauce on your plate - i will never understand the balance of flavours but it's unlike anything you've had before.

i split the merguese lamb platter and the trout with coriander with the roomie. this is the trout with coriander:

a generous slab of trout in a coriander-infused sauce that didn't have any of the soapiness that i usually associate with cilantro - instead, you get a rich, creamy sauce shot through with the grassy green notes of coriander, over your choice of vegetables or couscous (we chose vegetables: peppers, onions, zucchini, all browned and sizzling, and pan-fried potatoes, crispy on the outside, soft and starchy inside - a perfect foil for sauce consumption.)

the merguese lamb platter:

4 plump merguese lamb sausages piled around a heap of vegetables and more of those delectable potatoes, in a pureed sauce of eggplant and tomato with egg that's so asdj#$!@!! GOOD!!! i can't even TELL you how good it is. you're just instantly addicted to it. i want to take everyone i know there and get them hooked on it - because even though this place gets mad press, i was a little concerned that we were the only diners there last night. dinner for the four of us, with 2 shared apps and 4 mains and us being totally stuffed to the gills, cost $90 including tip.

go go go go go!

tonight for dinner i made us a spring risotto of leeks, favas, lemon and pecorino with a poached egg on top and a quick take on my beloved "olive garden" salad.

i also made orange cupcakes with bittersweet chocolate buttercream for my academic book club tomorrow - i've been craving a delicate orange cake for ages now - and this way we don't have the whole cake in the house for me to demolish. i'm also bringing the pea, mint, and pecorino dip and the flatbreads to the book club. i wavered on whether or not to bang out the buttercream - i was going to take the easy way out and either do a powdered sugar dusting or just a straight dip in ganache. i'm glad i did the buttercream in the end - there's something about the airy, cloud-like ethereal richness of buttercream that can't be beat. i snuck a taste of some of the cake bits that stuck to the pan - this cake is DIVINE!!! so good! a very sturdy, plain, delicately flavoured cake - it'd be a great tea cake. you get the orange more in the nose than in the taste - but it's got a lovely golden cake crumb and a toasty sweetness in between the floral notes of the citrus. i will definitely be adding this one to the "for keeps" binder.

i'll post the recipe tomorrow.


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