Wednesday, July 22, 2009

New Barbeque

Jim had a job about 2 hours north of Toronto and on his way home, he saw a roadside stand selling wild blueberries. He knows how much I love wild blueberries, so he paid an exorbitant amount of money and brought me home a pint.

It's random things like this that make a day like Valentine's Day seem ridiculous to me. This is more meaningful than roses on Feb. 14. I know he got me these blueberries because he was thinking of me. He knew it was something I would like and that would make me happy. No special occasion, no pressure - just because. Gifts on Valentine's Day would make me wonder if the giver wanted to or felt they had to. So when I say "everyday is Valentine's Day at our house" and people roll their eyes....I bet they're not getting wild blueberries on a Thursday in July. So there!

Earlier this month, Jim got himself something that made hime very happy. A new barbeque.

He got a ridiculously good deal on this at Canadian Tire.

The first thing he did on it was grill some vegetables. They were then transformed into this -

I used this recipe as a guideline, leaving out the eggplant and substituting red onions for the green onions. I probably could have used a bit more oil and a little less lemon rind & now know for next time. It was pretty good and super easy to make.

Of course, a big boy with a new toy equals lots of BBQ-ing.

Here we have Presdent's Choice Meatless Chicken Breast, corn-on-the-cob, both done on the 'cue. Jim cooks the chik to perfection! Corn on the BBQ is the best! It turns out so sweet and delicious. If you've never had it, try it. You'll never have boiled again. I also had some green beans on the plate and I did something new with them.

Way back in March, we went to the Food and Drink Fest in Hamilton. That was a blast in itself, but one of the exhibitors that I stopped at and actually bought some things from was Victorian Epicure. I first heard of this company a few years ago via Sarah Kramer who had a give away on her blog and I was lucky enough to win it! Anyway, Victorian Epicure is a Canadian company that sells gourmet food products, spice blends, vinegars, rubs, etc. You can buy on-line here, but I think it's mostly sold through in-home parties much like Pampered Chef or Tupperware. There were some ladies at the booth who had made up veggie dips and fruit dips to try. They were very tasty. I bought a special 3 pack of "popular" spice blends and used one of the recipes that came in the package for the beans.

Basically, I steamed the beans until they were tender-crisp, then tossed them with some olive oil, lemon juice and Lemon Dilly Dip Mix.

These turned out really yum. The lemon & dill are balanced nicely. Not one flavour was too overpowering.
I pulled out one of the bottles of wine we brought back from our most recent trip to the States.

I've never seen this bottle available at the LCBO which is why I picked it up. That and the fact that it was only $7.99. I have found from my cross border alcohol buying experiences that the prices on California wine in New York are about half of what it costs in Ontario. Using that as a guideline I figure this would be a $15 bottle if sold here.

(Click this picture to read in larger size)

This was a nice Bordeaux-type blend. Jim & I both quite liked it. Worth picking up for a weeknight meal.

New Product Alert! I was looking at Yves spicy italian sausages and noticed this package that said 'sweet'. I thought "Sweeeet!" and bought one. Barbeque Man said he'd cook them on his new grill. As we browsed around the store I noticed couscous on sale.

This would be great on the side with the sausages. I pulled out a cookbook I was given years ago by my friend, Michelle. It's by Jeanne Lemlin and it's a collection of 3 of her cookbooks in one. There is a tasty couscous recipe in the Quick Vegetarian Pleasures section of the book that is a snap to make.

So here we have sausage on a bun - with fried onions of course.

That's all I ever put on veggie dogs or sausages. Maybe sauerkraut if it's available, but usually, just onions - plain & simple.

Here's the couscous. This was delicately delicious! The recipe called for dill, but I used the Lemon Dilly Mix. It worked very well. If you're interested in this couscous recipe, here it is: -
(From Quick Vegetarian Pleasures by Jeanne Lemlin)
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup couscous (I used whole wheat)
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1 tbsp. minced fresh dill or 1 tsp. dried
1/4 tsp. salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1½ cups vegetable stock
1 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into bits (I didn't use this at all)
Heath the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Sauté the onion and garlic, stirring often, until very tender, about 10 minutes.
Stir in the coucous, peas, dill, salt pepper and vegetable stock. Cover, bring to a boil and remove from the heat. Let sit until all of the broth is absorbed, about 5 minutes.
Fluff with a fork, then stir in the butter bits. Serve immediately.
Serves 4


VeggieGirl said...

So touching about the "meaning" of the blueberries :-)

Mmm, love the sound of that lemon dill dip!

Lisa -- Cravin' Veggies said...

Awwww... what a sweet guy!

Love the grill and all the yumminess!!

Catherine said...

I agree with you -- who needs flowers, when you can have blueberries? Dan did something similar, once -- he was late getting home from working at the nature center, because he spent about a half-hour picking a huge cup of wild black raspberries for me! He wouldn't eat any of them, either -- made me eat them all myself. :)

Randi said...

Yummy, wild blueberries. We once saw a guy selling them in the parking lot of subway in my town. I asked how much they were and he said 45. I was in shock, 45.00 for blueberries? I can't remember what the quantity was. Btw, PC frozen wild blueberries( in the pouch) are pretty good for muffins, pancakes, etc. last week they were on for 3.99 @ Loblaws.

I've tried the epicurian dips. I like them a lot!!

aTxVegn said...

Aww, I love your blueberry story!

That grill looks mighty fancy! Everything tastes great off the grill, and you put together some yummy looking dishes.

Anonymous said...

Wow, a shiny new BBQ!
I love blueberries so much and I am so sad that they are not growing like normal this year. I won't be able to store as much in my freezer, if any :(

Hannah said...

Oh, such beautiful berries!

It's always good to have a few basic, solid recipes for couscous, and this sounds like a tasty variation. I don't usually add dilly, but I'm tempted to try this next time.