Saturday, June 13, 2009

Meals on 2 wheels

A few years ago, I was enjoying my life as a single gal. When I said single, I meant it the way it means when you fill out a form; not married, no husband and all these responsibilities. I wined and dined with friends, dancing, hopping around, and just having fun. All of a sudden, I'll never forget, it was the year of 2004 and I got a bunch of wedding invitations. I couldn't help but to have this mental picture; all of us were in the battle field together, standing back to back, and holding big guns. "Bang", one went down, "Bang", another was down, and "Bang", one more. There was just me, standing in the battle field by myself, holding a gun. So I started to hang out with people younger and y ounger, but slowly, one by one, they too went down. Then I found R in the battle field.

After people are out of the battle field, they either drive a mini van or some sort of station wagon. Women push strollers everywhere and run you over with their pride of motherhood. For me, someone who is still sort of in the battle field, I enjoy driving a 2 seater car with a powerful rumble and my new red Vespa. R and I are still living like teenagers, and each night we have a discussion about, "your place or mine?"

R is pretty busy working in his studio at home these days, so, I have been delivering dinner on my little Vespa to his place. It sounds pretty cute and elegant, some might say romantic, like Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday riding a Vespa...To be honest, I look more like a bag lady with all this food for dinner and breakfast for the next morning. But at least I'm a fancy bag lady, who happens to be quite well read (mostly cookbooks though). I have been reading the "Bouchon" cookbook (thanks to M) and have gotten inspired by bistro style cooking so... Tonight, on Chez Carmen's meals on 2 wheels menu, I have:

Carrots a la Grecque
Roasted Beet Salad
Baby Broccoli Goat Cheese Quiche


Carrots a la Grecque

1 bunch of small carrots, peeled, discard leaves
1 cup of water
1 cup of dry white wine
1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 bouquet garni
juice of one lemon

1. Mix water, white wine, olive oil, shallot, and lemon juice in a pot, bring to a slow boil. Add carrots and bouquet garni. Simmer for 15 - 20 minutes. Carrots should be soft, but still have a little bit of a bite. Store carrots in poaching liquid in the fridge.

2. To finish, discard bouquet garni. Remove carrots from pan and set aside. Bring poaching liquid to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer until liquid is reduced to around 1/4 cup. Stir in carrots and coat them with the poaching liquid. Can be store in the fridge for 1 hour, or up to 1 day

Roasted Beets Salad:

Preheat oven 400 degree. Wash beets, trip off beet green but leave about 1/2 inch of stems attached to the beets. (For beet green, you can wash it, trip the stems, and steam it. It tastes really good) Put beets in small roasting pan with 1/4 cup of water. Cover with tin foil. Bake for 30 - 45 mins depends on the amount and the size of beets. When they are done, you should able to pierce with a knife. When beets are cool enough to handle, peel off the skin. Cut into wedges, squeeze a little bit a lemon juice and drizzle olive oil over them. Salt to taste. Garnish with herbs.

Baby Broccoli Goat Cheese Quiche

1 Trader Joe's Pie Crust
2/3 cup blanched and drained baby broccoli florets
3 eggs
3/4 cup half and half cream
1/2 cup milk
4 ounce goat cheese
pinch of nutmeg

1. Preheat oven 400 degree

2. Butter 9 inch rameken with butter. Fit pie crust into rameken. Store pie crust in the fridge

3. Put goat cheese in a mixing bowl. Combine egg, one at a time. Use a spatula to slowly mix in half and half cream to ensure the mixture is smooth. Pour in milk. Salt to taste. Add a pinch on nutmeg

4. Arrange broccoli florets in cooled pie crust evenly. Pour in egg and cream mixture. Bake for 35 minutes. To test doneness, use a tooth pick to pierce the centre of the pie. The tooth pick should be clean if it's done.


  1. Carmen,
    I had no idea you loved to cook so much. I will have to try some of your recieps, they read great and it's making me hungry. Thankfully, Kaylyn and I love to cook. Hope all is well, and I don't think that your illustrations are silly - I love them.

    All the best, a new faithfull follower of Bitter Mellon Girl


  2. You write so well, Carmen.
    I enjoyed reading your stuff.
    Thanks for sharing.

  3. Yay, I got mentioned in your blog. Now I'm almost famous!

  4. xxx xxx, u have some sarcastic humour in your writing :)

  5. xxx xxx, I really like your writing style!! :) Keep this going, and I think u really should make a cook book!!! or maybe i can help u with that? ;)

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