35 for Thirty-Five: A Thankful Post

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This, my “I’m thankful for…” post, may be a tad tardy; especially given Canadian Thanksgiving passed weeks ago. And, my “mid-thirtieth” birthday is even longer past. But, it has taken this long to gather 35 shots as we at foodiePrints have been a tad busy.

[It also may or may not be my second or third mid-thirtieth birthday…]

Still, I am thankful for my friends, my family, my wife, and being gainfully employed. I am also thankful for being utterly and completely exhausted.

Jenn and I embarked on quite the ride after the editor of Recipes.ca, Andrea Tomkins (@missfish), asked me to “quit dawdling” and complete our interview. She first approached me before my August wedding. Jenn and I were a tad busy then too…

How do you unwind?

What’s downtime? My blog foodiePrints is a second life! I really enjoy doing prep after a long work day, but, give me a book, a birch beer or good lemonade (like Absinthe Café’s lemon grass lemonade!), and somewhere I can escape to sit for a while. That’s bliss!

It would be September when my disdain for Brussels sprouts were revealed. I never could abide by those wretched green orbs.

Later that week, Tara Simpson, Event Coordinator of the Ottawa Farmers’ Market, asked if I’d be willing to compete with other local food bloggers in a salsa competition. I willingly accepted, visiting Viki, my local purveyor of all things produce. At the Rochon Farms stall in the Parkdale Market, she loaded me up with Roma tomatoes, two varieties of chiles, and never-been-kilned red onions. Garlic and cilantro, I picked up at the Herb and Spice on Wellington Street W.

Roma TomatoesOnions

Food Mill for Processing Roasted TomatoesSweated Onions

Roasted Tomato Salsa (a take on Salsa Quemada)

In the end, the 2 L of roasted tomato salsa I made was the only one submitted or served. Simpson asked for the recipe. It was published in the Ottawa Citizen newspaper the following week.

Tara SimpsonSalsa Recipe in the Ottawa Citizen, thanks to Laura Robin

Then, Thornley Fallis asked for a festive side dish for one of their clients’ campaigns. Jenn told me to work with Brussels sprouts, so we baconized the vegetable.

Baconized Brussels Sprouts

That same week, we found out we were finalists in the the Courvoisier Collective Culinary Masterpieces Competition. The savoury cognac recipes we submitted last summer were chosen to be served at a gala event in Toronto.

Flamed Cognac and Citrus Marinated Korean-inspired Short Ribs

Flamed Cognac and Citrus Marinated Korean-inspired Short Ribs

Red Miso Beef Ribs with Mushroom Cognac Sauce

Red Miso Beef Ribs with Mushroom Cognac Sauce

But more on that later

Shortly after we delivered our festive side dish recipe, Julie Delaney of CBC Radio’s All in a Day with Alan Neal contacted us. She challenged us to make an impossible to pass up side dish. Asking Facebook for its favourite things Thanksgiving, we turned to stuffing. Borrowing from Chef Steve Mitton’s (chef/co-owner of Murray Street Kitchen, Wine, and Charcuterie) rendition of San Francisco’s “meat cones”, we made stuffing cones. These, we brought with us and shared with Neal on air, live.

Thanksgiving Stuffing Cones

The idea is to be able to account for all possible tastes and dietary restrictions when entertaining guests. That is, roast up one or more baseline stuffings with dried bread and offer a variety of topping options. Only, we strongly recommend sourcing butcher paper and good tape.

Thereafter, Erin Lannan, Producer for CTV Morning Live, asked if we would demonstrate our cognac dishes on air. Following some very rushed prep, I demoed mine with host Kurt Stoodley. Jenn, with host Jeff Hopper.

Jenn on CTV Ottawa Morning Live

Jenn on CTV Ottawa Morning Live

Jenn’s segment.

Mine? Well…I don’t expect to be invited back to the show…

Last week, we went to Toronto for the Courvoisier event.

You are now caught up.

Suffice it to say, Jenn and I were difficult to contact for four weeks; four wondrous weeks we wouldn’t trade for anything!

I ascribe to the “spend the first day of the new year the way you’d like to spend every day” philosophy. If the next 11 months are anything like the past 4-weeks, my birthday situated somewhere near the beginning, I will need more coffee.

Thank-you to everyone for being so patient and supportive. It is a dream come true that we at foodiePrints are able to share our passion for food with you.

Here are my 35 photos for Thirty-Five (not including three from the above…):
Jenn at Absinthe Cafe, considering the lunch menuAbsinthe Cafe's Benevolent (Hanger Steak) BurgerThai Red Curry Chicken with Curried EggsWhite Chili with Roasted Chick PeasBytown Beanery Coffee BeansMe on the Mural at this Year's Beau's OktoberfestAmazing Pascale Berthiaume of Pascale's All Natural Ice Cream at Beau's OktoberfestStar Wars Lego Birthday GiftStar Wars Lego Birthday Gift AssembledChez Edgar/Odile Calendar with October 2012, displayedMurray Street Kitchen’s Potaco, borrowing lights from You Gotta Eat Here’s camera crewTV-Dinner with Roast Turkey Breast, Confit Turkey Legs, Butter Potato Mash, Brussels Sprouts Slaw, and Tomatillo SalsaBeet-root Chocolate Ice CreamTomatillo and Apple ChutneyChef Matt Carmichael at Grounded Kitchen & Coffeehouse for a The Feast Worldwide eventTurkey Pasta Casserole with Sauteed Brussels Sprouts, Sweated Onions, and Cheese BechemelChef Chris Lord, finishing and plating Yard Bird at the Brewery MarketYard Bird from Union Local 613 at the Brewery MarketKelly Roman Serjeantson of Hintonbrew at the Brewery MarketHintonbrew non-Timber Raft IPA Frozen Custard, made in partnership with The Merry Dairy at the Brewery MarketCrowd at the Inaugural Brewery MarketFriendly Clocktower Brewpub Staff at the Brewery MarketFriendly Beau's All Natural Brewing Co. Staff at the Brewery MarketHogsback Back Bacon Burger from Hintonburger at the Brewery MarketDubeau's Ox Tail (braised in The Clocktower Brew Pub's Pumpkin ale, Star Anise, Cinnamon and Clove) Taco with roasted squash "refried beans", pickled veg, sorel & goat cheese creme fraicheSous Paul Dubeau of Murray Street Kitchen at Tacolot for Chef's PlaygroundSous Paul Dubeau of Murray Street Kitchen at Tacolot for Chef's PlaygroundJenn at the Courvoisier Collective Culinary Masterpieces Event in TorontoMe and Jenn at the Courvoisier Collective Culinary Masterpieces Event in TorontoMy Caterer Re-visioned Red Miso Beef Ribs with Mushroom Cognac Sauce for the Courvoisier EventJenn's Caterer Re-visioned Flamed Cognac and Citrus Marinated Korean-inspired Short Ribs for the Courvoisier EventSteve Cylka's (of The Black Peppercorn) winning dish (Home Cook Stream): Duck breast with Duxelle Ravioli Chef-in-training Doug Burke's (of Conestoga College) winning dish (Culinary Student Stream): Lobster Corn Chowder (served in puff pastry)

Bonus #36:

Me and Jenn at CBC for All in a Day

Me and Jenn at CBC for All in a Day

Mild-mannered IT professional by day and food blogger by night, I founded foodiePrints with a single intention, to share my love of all things food. My first post shared a recipe. Many followed. Eventually, I learned Ottawa prepares and serves great food. Thereafter, I started meeting restaurateurs, chefs, cooks, farmers, and other local producers, all good people. Ideas for food-related content swirled in my head. foodiePrints grew into a place to put them. From exploring foreign and domestic cuisines to shopping for exotic ingredients and cobbling together my takes on dishes in my meager kitchen, there are stories to tell. Welcome to foodiePrints. Here, you will find stories about food and drink, cooking, and eating in Canada’s capital. Be it food-related or just food-for-thought, I hope you find something tasty here.