Prosciutto mozzarella and endive “caprese”

It’s the middle of January in Vancouver, cold, wet, and dreary. I rarely see the sun these days, usually when I wake up it is gray out and when I head home from work it’s black, not gray, but pitch black out. All I want to do is crawl onto my couch and chill out for the reminder of the night with my box of take out. Very little desire to cook and even less to blog (I have good excuses I swear!!!).

Now I find myself sitting here in an airport bar drinking away and trying to pass time after finding out my flight has been delay when I got to the airport (an hour and forty-five minutes to go as of NOW), I think to myself, why not write a little post to share. By write, I mean bombard you with pictures. This one is a pretty self explanatory post – prosciutto, mozzarella and endives – that’s it (and a bit of pepper, balsamic and evoo)!

The inspiration behind this dish is the traditional caprese salad. Orion LOVES caprese salad, give the man some tomatoes and mozzarella or just lots of mozzarella and he’s a happy camper. He’s always inclined to order it at a restaurant and I’m like you know it’s just tomatoes and cheese right? Anyhow, this past weekend we went on a little field trip to Granville Island to pick up some of his beloved mozzarella and prosciutto and to our horror but not to our surprise, the tomatoes were absolute crap. Remember we are in the dead of winter, so no surprises here. The boy was devastated, clutching tightly onto his cheese and meat staring helplessly at the lifeless tomatoes. My heart hurt for him. I look around the produce area anxiously hoping to find a suitable replacement when my eyes spied the crate of endives. Endives! Why not?! They are the perfect vessel in shape and taste. The bitterness of the endive leaf counteract the saltiness of the prosciutto and with a touch of balsamic and olive oil, the dish came together better than I could imagine. So there you have it, an endive caprese – who would have thought?!

So there you have it ladies and gentlemen, if you can’t find tomatoes for your caprese, get some endives instead. Or just skip the tomatoes and get the endives because 1) they are freaking delicious and 2) you can pick them up with your fingers! Yay to finger food!! 


New Years ramble

So it’s been almost 10 months more or less since I’ve last blogged, I am actually too ashamed to even check the exact date of my last blog so I can’t be certain how long it’s been. I’m not even entirely sure what the reason of my stopping was – laziness? motivation? I certainly gave myself enough excuses to not do it – I’m trying to find a new job, I’m too tired (but never too tired to watch endless hours of tv), the lighting in my kitchen is too dark to take pictures, I’m in too much of a rush to take pictures of my cooking process!!!….I’ll do it tomorrow. Basically every excuse one can think of and it boils down to laziness and procrastination, guess I haven’t progressed much five and a half years post graduation…

Funnily enough, starting a food blog was one of my 2015 New Years resolutions and I feel I kicked it off with a bang. I tried very hard to be creative and entertaining but soon that became like a chore to me and I was always trying to keep up. No I didn’t stop eating and cooking throughout this time, trust me, my jelly belly can attest to that. I somehow faltered at the thought/expectation that I had or was expected to write something significant, like a fancy meal or dish. So this self imposed expectation led to procrastination which led to the silence of the blog.

Alright, enough reminiscing and rehashing and reflecting, it is now 2016. What are my blog goals this year without scaring myself away?

  1. I want to just write, my thoughts and opinions and quirks. So to whoever will be reading this, this will become a personal journal of sorts, you’ll just have to read it, TOO BAD.
  2. There are no recipes too easy or small for this blog. If I like it, it’s going in (this will be my own personal reference recipe blog as well).
  3. Cookbooks – I am super guilty of this. I get drawn in by the allure of hard covered, pictured filled books on food. I buy a lot of them. If I go to a restaurant and the chef has a book, I will likely go home with it and place if on my bookshelf. That’s it. It sits there and sometimes I flip through to peer at the pretty pictures and make myself hungry. This year is the year to use them. Not going to go crazy here, but let’s start with a hopefully achievable goal of making a recipe from a cookbook AND blogging about it once every two months.
  4. And four…I think that is all for now. I am tired and therefore it is bedtime. I will ramble on in a future blog that will hopefully feature some food as well.

Night all!


Anatolia’s Gate

Hi everyone,

It’s been a long long while since I’ve blogged, things have been crazy between work and moving and most recently taking out my wisdom teeth. Worry not though, I have been cooking and eating out so I have a large backlog of recipes and restaurants to share.

As mentioned, I recently moved from Burnaby (Edmonds area) to downtown Vancouver. Whilst there are many fabulous restaurants in downtown, there are some gems that I have left behind in Burnaby that I do miss! Today I am going to blog about one of my favourite and most frequented restaurants in burnaby – Anatolia’s Gate.

Anatolia’s Gate is a family run Turkish restaurant. It is a bit of a hole in the wall but with it’s own character. Decorations are in there are sparse but unique with large panorama shots of Turkey and a very cool tea making contraception that I unfortunately failed to take a picture of.

Lavish Bread
Lavish Bread

So further fails, I literally just realised I don’t have any pictures, I mean I’m sure I do, I’ve eaten there at least once or twice a month for the past two years – what have I been doing?? Alas all is not lost, I managed to find one picture, the most important one – lavish bread! They make each order of this bread fresh to order and depending on the size of the meal you’ve ordered, the size of the bread is different!

This bread is amazing! It comes to your table fresh and hot, straight from the oven, slightly crispy and slightly chewy. The bread is topped with a generous drizzle of olive oil/or butter and topped with sesame! The bread is the perfect accompaniment for the mixed plate that comes with a sample of all their cold salads and dips including hummus, baba ganoush, roasted eggplant salad, bean salad, stuffed grape leaves, carrot salad, red cabbage salad and other items! This is a perfect sampler. (And apologies, I do not have a picture of this).

Other items that I frequently order at Anatolia’s are the chicken durum, and any of the kabob dishes. The chicken durum is simply roasted chicken, vegetables and yogurt sauce wrapped in a freshly baked lavish bread. The kabob dishes are served with your choice of meat, rice, and 3 salads. One noteworthy thing to mention is that everything is cooked in a wood burning oven in the front!

If you are ever in the area, do check out Anatolia’s Gate for their lavish bread! It’s so good!

Happy eating! – J

Anatolia's Gate on Urbanspoon

Coconut vegetable curry

Hi everyone,

Busy season has come full force. My days have been full of working papers, tie outs, and red pens. It doesn’t leave much time for me to do much else … like grocery shopping, cooking, laundry etc….Luckily, I was able to sneak in a few hours on Sunday to watch the Superbowl with my friends. While the outcome was not exactly what we were rooting for, the company more than made up for it :).

What’s a get together without some great eats with the gang. I was a bit too eager to dig in and neglected to take a picture of all the goodies we were indulging in. I did remember to snap a picture of the nachos that chipgirlfoodie and I made based on Seriously, they were joking when they said these were the ultimate nachos, that cheese sauce…I could just drink it.

Gameday nachos!
Gameday nachos!

Of course with any successful get together, there is bound to be a ton of leftovers….including 6 large fully baked russet potatoes… chipgirlfoodie has some serious potato eating to do…sorry inside story. Just a few hours ago, there were 6 wrapped baked potatoes in my fridge. I have now recycled two of them in this vegetable curry I made…four more to go…

Coconut vegetable curry
Coconut vegetable curry

In addition to the said potatoes, I also had a left over vegetable platter to take care of.  What better way than to use up all the leftovers than to bath them in a creamy, spicy coconut curry. This recipe was really simple and since all the vegetables came pre-cut, preparation and clean up was also minimal! I loosely based my recipe on one found on subbing in ingredients that I had and really kicking up the spice level.  Continue reading

The inspiration behind the undomesticated kitchen

Who is the undomesticated kitchen?

I am a 20 something year old professional who has always had a love for cooking, trying new foods/restaurants, basically anything that is food related. I spend an obscene amount of time reading food blogs and cookbooks and you can bet that the last channel watched on my television was the food network!

I work in a high stress environment that is cyclical and I find that I go through phases where I deem myself to be too busy to cook, to work out, to take care of myself. I in turn resort to eating take out sometimes up to three times a day, skipping my work outs which results in me feeling unhealthy and sluggish. A part of creating this blog is to 1) provide an avenue for me to de-stress and 2) give myself a reason and motivation to create new recipes to share.

I find most of my inspiration for the meals I make from cookbooks. I have a habit of buying cookbooks and reading them and then putting them away. That’s right, I don’t believe in following recipes religiously. In fact, I often look up several variations of one recipe to gain an understanding of how the dish should be put together and then I put my own spin on it; I am the one eating it after all.

My approach/point of view is to use fresh ingredients in my cooking. I will always try to make my food rather than use processed ingredients in my cooking if possible. I am working towards the mentality whereby if I can not pronounce it, I should not eat it.

My friends always ask or are in awe with the cooking that I do and think that a lot of skill and training is required in the area of “cooking”. I’m here to show you that you don’t. It does not take a special talent to put a meal on the table. That’s not what’s it’s about, this should be fun guys. I want to show you how approachable, and how simple making a hearty home cooked meal can be.

Last bit of commentary – cooking doesn’t have to be complicated. Just taste as you go. Whatever tastes good to you is the way the dish should be. Who cares what anyone else thinks.