Artists create pretty images but good artists create visually stimulating pieces of work that affect you on an emotional level. Vancouver-based artist Camilla d'Errico has done it for me with her doll-faced, tentacled girls stricken with rainbow-coloured sadness.
Two weeks without sugar is indeed a tough challenge and for some masochistic reason, I find myself glued on the Food network’s show called Eat St. where they showcase different food trucks all over North America. As I watch these innovative cooks whip something mouthwatering on screen, I get inspired to come up with something as creative in my kitchen. Thankfully, my husband a.k.a. my guinea pig, gets as excited as I am when I come up with interesting results.
Here’s an Eat St. inspired sammie I’ve made for Gabriel and even if I wasn’t able to sink my teeth in this cheesy goodness, I was happy enough to know it made my husband’s taste buds and belly satisfied.
2 slices of bread (I used whole wheat)
grated cheddar cheese
2 chicken tenders (quantity depends on how much you can squeeze in between the slices of bread)
Bake chicken tenders in the oven according to package instructions. On a heated pan, drizzle a bit of oil. Top the two slices of bread with grated cheese and toast them on the pan, cheese side down. While one side of the bread slices are toasting on the pan, top the other side with grated cheese. Flip after the cheese forms a crust, toast the other side. Mix a bit of mayonnaise with a few drops of truffle oil, put aside. After the both sides of the bread slices are toasted with the cheesy crust, spread truffled mayo on a bread slice and strawberry jam on the other slice, put aside. Drizzle olive oil on pan and sauté chopped onions until caramelized. Top slices of bread with caramelized onions and chicken tenders fresh out of the oven. Add a lettuce leaf, close sandwich and serve.
Oysters, one of the most delicious and somewhat luxurious treats from the sea will always take me back to turquoise waters and powdery white sand beaches as I slurp down its saltwatery sweet flesh. I don’t remember the first time I had these yummy mollusks but even if I did, I don’t think I can glorify that moment the way the talented writer and celebrity chef - not to mention the man with the best job in the world - Anthony Bourdain did with his first oyster…
“Monsiuer Saint Jour (the oyster fisher), on hearing this – as if challenging his American passengers – inquired in his thick Girondais accent, if any of us would care to try an oyster. My parents hesitated. I doubt they’d realized they might actually have to eat one of the raw, slimy things we were currently floating over. My little brother recoiled in horror. But I, in the proudest moment of my young life, stood up smartly, grinning with defiance, and volunteered to be the first. And in that unforgettably sweet moment of my personal history, that moment still more alive for me than so many of the other ‘firsts’ which followed – first pussy, first joint, first day in high school, first published book, or any other thing – I attained glory. Monsieur Saint-Jour beckoned me over to the gunwale, where he leaned over, reached down until his head nearly disappeared underwater, and emerged holding a single silt-encrusted oyster, huge and irregularly shaped, in his rough, claw like fist. With a snubby, rust covered oyster knife, he popped the thing open and handed it to me, everyone watching now, my little brother shrinking away from this glistening, vaguely sexual-looking object, still dripping and nearly alive. I took it in my hand, tilted the shell back into my mouth as instructed by the by now beaming Monsieur Saint-Jour, and with one bite and a slurp, wolfed it down. It tasted seawater… of brine and flesh… and somehow… of the future. I’d not only survived – I’d enjoyed. This, I knew, was the magic I had until now only dimly and spitefully aware of. I was hooked. My parents’ shudders, my little brother’s expression of unrestrained revulsion and amazement only reinforced the sense that I had, somehow, become a man. I had had an adventure, tasted forbidden fruit, and everything that followed in my life – the food, the long and often stupid and self-destructive chase for the next thing, whether it was drugs or sex or some other new sensation – would all stem from this moment. I’d learned something. Viscerally, instinctively, spiritually – even in some precursive way, sexually – and there was no turning back. The genie was out of the bottle.”
- excerpt from Kitchen Confidential
Oysters at Rodney’s Oyster House complete with a smogasboard of flavourful sauces.