Tuesday, September 26, 2017

#73: comfort food (second edition) - November 2015

Our second comfort food cookoff was held at Chris & Kristina's on the 23rd of November. It was rainy and cold, a perfect day for some warm & filling foods.

COMPETITORS AND ENTRIES
king oysters Kristina: "ruffle truffle kerfuffle" cannellini bean ragú with sautéed king oyster mushrooms, thyme, and truffle oil
hot pot
Jen: "hot potted! check it and see" Korean-style hot pot with coconut milk & shiitakes, served with jasmine rice, cashews, fresh herbs, & sesame-fried tofu
chili waffle fries
Ash: "when jocks relax" chili waffle fries with sour cream
sloppy joe
Malloreigh: "sloppy joes" lentil meat sloppy joes with onion, avocado, & homemade relish
baked spaghetti
Bronwen: "bake chee busketti" baked spaghetti with cheesy cashew cream sauce & crouton topping, served with homemade lemon pepper
pasta aglio
Chris: spaghetti with garlic, chilies, & wine; garnished with arugula & preserved lemon
chocolate chip cookies
Allie: "absentee cookies" chocolate chip cookies

Allie's entry was brought along by Malloreigh, as Allie was not able to attend, so we actually had more entries than attendees!

CATEGORIES AND WINNERS
seconds: Jen
presentation: Jen/Ash
creativity: Ash
perceived effort: Malloreigh
most comforting: split 6 ways; no clear winner
overall favourite: Jen

overall winner: Jen

best name: (unscored category) Jen

Monday, April 17, 2017

#72: coffee - October 2015

Our coffee cookoff was held on the 18th of October at Blühaus. It was sparse, perhaps because not everyone likes coffee (???) but nice anyway.

COMPETITORS AND ENTRIES
coffee stir fry
Liang: "coff-fry" stir fried vegetables in coffee & soy-based sauce with sriracha garnish
pretzel bites & beer cheese
Jen: "cheezuz christ" coffee porter beer cheese with smoked salted pretzel bites
ciabatta sandwich
Malloreigh: "aïoli drink coffee in the morning" ciabatta sandwiches with coffee-fig compote, espresso walnuts, coconut bacon, avocado, sage aïoli, & arugula
coffee panna cotta
Sarah: "overnight flight" coffee panna cotta made with almond milk & cashew cream, topped with coffee shortbread

Also in attendance was Steph, who dropped her coffee cake on the way out of her apartment, in classic Steph fashion.

CATEGORIES AND WINNERS
seconds: Jen
presentation: Liang
creativity: Liang
perceived effort: Malloreigh
coffee-ness: Sarah
overall favourite: Jen

overall winner: a 3-way tie between Liang, Jen, & Sarah!

best name: (unscored category) Jen/Malloreigh

Sunday, October 23, 2016

#71: tomatoes - September 2015

Our first tomato cookoff was held at Bronwen's Mount Pleasant apartment on the 7th of September. It was a lovely, warm evening, with that wistful end-of-summer feeling about it. There was room enough for all of us to sit at the kitchen table, drinking wine and enjoying the breeze.

COMPETITORS AND ENTRIES
stewed tomato salsa
Cass: "absentee salsa" stewed tomato salsa with garlic, cilantro, & green peppers* heirloom tomato & roasted garlic tart
Jen: "once bitten, twice shy" puff pastry tart with roasted garlic, roasted heirloom tomatoes, capers, & fresh herbs (recipe adapted from here)
smoked tomato risotto
Malloreigh: "smoke tomatoes erryday" smoked tomato risotto with cherry tomatoes, garlic, & basil
zucchini linguine
Liang: "Mario & Luigi" zucchini linguine with roasted tomatoes, chili flakes, & pine nuts
awesomesauce
Bronwen: "awesomesauce" spaghetti & homemade marinara with basil & olive oil garnish
salsa two ways
Allie: "it takes two to salsa" sun sugar tomato, cucumber, & cilantro salsa; roasted heirloom tomato, jalapeño & poblano pepper, & avocado salsa

*Cass competed for the first time, and in absentia, so we had more dishes than attendees.

CATEGORIES AND WINNERS
seconds: Jen
presentation: Jen
creativity: Malloreigh/Allie
tomatoeyness: Cass
perceived effort: Malloreigh
overall favourite: Jen

overall winner: Jen

best name: (unscored category) Allie

Sunday, September 25, 2016

#70: farmers' market & garden - July 2015

Our farmers' market & garden cookoff was held on the 19th of July at Ravenclaw House (Mal & Allie's). The idea was to use fresh, in-season items from your garden or the farmers' market. It was a very hot day, like much of the summer, so we enjoyed some cold beer and white wine while trying to catch a breeze from the open living room door.

COMPETITORS AND ENTRIES
pesto risotto
Jen: "green with heat stroke" garlic*-roasted zucchini* and basil* pesto risotto with toasted pinenuts
salmorejo
Bronwen: "nacho gazpacho" salmorejo (cold tomato*, bread, & olive oil soup) with patata* brava & coconut bacon
bruschetta
Allie: "that redhead Italian" bread* with bruschetta (tomato*, garlic*, & basil)
zaru soba
Kristina: "market after dark" zaru soba (cold noodles) in a soy & rice vinegar sauce with shiso*, mint*, okra*, tomato*, & homemade pickled ginger
jam & bread
Chris: "jammin'" baguette and 4 kinds of homemade jam topped with various fresh herbs*, with arugula* & blackberry* garnish
polenta tart
Malloreigh: "pie de la polenta" polenta tart with peach* filling, blueberry* sauce, & fresh basil*

Starred items are garden or market fresh.

CATEGORIES AND WINNERS
seconds: Bronwen
presentation: Kristina
creativity: Kristina/Malloreigh
perceived effort: Bronwen
best use of theme: Jen/Kristina
overall favourite: Allie/Bronwen

overall winner: Bronwen

best name: (unscored category) Jen/Bronwen

Saturday, September 17, 2016

#69: barbecue (second edition) - June 2015

Our second BBQ-off was held at Blühaus on the 21st of June, hot & sunny. While attendance was sparse, we ended up with a nicely complete meal.

COMPETITORS AND ENTRIES
cerulean cheese salad
Malloreigh: "cerulean cheese salad" arugula, grilled peach & pear, cashew blue cheese, and walnuts in a raspberry mustard vinaigrette
Thai tempeh
Jen: "dad jokes Thai tempeh" pad Thai-inspired marinated grilled tempeh with coconut ginger creamed corn, bean sprouts, & peanuts
roasted roots
Allie: "Earthbound" buttery barbecue-roasted fingerling potatoes, carrots, onions, & onion scapes
dessert bread
Ash: "the most ancient traditions" barbecue-baked focaccia bread with apples in a bourbon caramel sauce

Also in attendance was Tamara's dog, Bea, though much to her chagrin, she did not get to try the food.

CATEGORIES AND WINNERS
seconds: Malloreigh
presentation: Ash
creativity: Malloreigh/Ash
best use of theme: Jen
perceived effort: Ash
overall favourite: 4-way tie!

overall winner: Malloreigh/Ash

best name: (unscored category) Allie

Saturday, April 30, 2016

#68: sushi - May 2015

Sushi cookoff was held at Ravenclaw House on the 24th of May. It was a beautiful spring evening, and we enjoyed drinking sake in the living room with the front door open.

COMPETITORS AND ENTRIES
onigiri
Kristina: "one lump or two?" shiso & pickled plum onigiri with torched miso; carrot & pickle garnish
inari
Jen: "innananari" bean curd nigiri with sriracha mayo and black sesame seeds
squash temaki
Ash: "just squash it all together" squash temaki (hand roll) with potato, kale, cilantro, pumpkin seeds, and red curry sauce*
tempura roll
Malloreigh: "it's sushi, mate!" tempura-battered chicken-style seitan with cucumber & avocado in an inside-out roll, served with sesame mayo
battera sushi
Chris: "don't Osaka the boat" Osaka-style battera sushi with black & white rice, torched avocado, & fresh herbs; garnished with sake plum dressing, black sesame seeds, & gooseberry

Also in attendance were Jeff and two others (Maddie & Allie, I think).
*note: when I asked Ash about the photo, they specifically wanted me to photograph the messiest-looking cone.

CATEGORIES AND WINNERS
seconds: Jen
presentation: Kristina
creativity: Chris
perceived effort: Malloreigh/Chris
sushivity: (best use of theme) Jen
overall favourite: Kristina

overall winner: Chris

best name: (unscored category) Kristina

Thursday, November 19, 2015

#67: appetizers & cocktails (fourth edition) - April 2015

Our annual appetizer & 1oz cocktail cookoff was held on Sunday the 26th of April at Blühaus. We are all too old to get wasted on a worknight so we were very careful about our alcohol intake.

COMPETITORS AND ENTRIES
Ash: "half course zinger" East Van vodka with lemonade & ginger* airmail to China
Malloreigh: "airmail to China" Peking mock duck confit crêpe with plum sauce and green onion; served with a 5-spice airmail (lemon, champagne, Mt. Gay rum, & 5-spice syrup)
not lacking licks
Amanda: "not lacking licks" beet chips topped with an apple, kale, lemon, & lilac salad; served with nettle tea & gin muddled with mint, lemon balm, & topped with candied lilacs
pickleback to the future
Jen: "pickleback to the future" beer-battered deep-fried pickles with dill aïoli; served with a pickleback (a shot of whiskey with a pickle brine chaser)
hair of the dog
Jeff: "a bite of the dog that bit me" beet slider with traditional fixings on a homemade bun; served with a vegan Caesar
double double
Chris: "double double" salt & pepper fry bread with plum anise jam & basil; served with coffee, cassis liquer, & lemon gin

Also in attendance was Kristina.
* Ash's drink was served as an apéritif, because they burnt the spicy candied almonds that they planned to serve with it and had no time to remake them.

CATEGORIES AND WINNERS
seconds: Jeff
presentation: Amanda/Jeff
creativity: Amanda
perceived effort: Amanda
best pairing: Malloreigh
overall favourite: Malloreigh/Jeff

overall winner: Amanda

best name: (unscored category) Jen