Wednesday, January 15, 2020

#79: pickles & preserves - October 2016

After a 3-month break, we returned with a fall mainstay: pickles & preserves! This cookoff was held on the first of October at Chris & Kristina's. Only 4 entries, but they were all filling and delicious.

u-don, we-don
Malloreigh: "u-don, we-don" udon noodles with pickled mushrooms and charred corn, bok choi, & tempeh
3-apple 3-way
Chris: "3-apple 3-way" 3 varieties of apples preserved 3 ways— homemade cider, pasta with apple butter sauce, and a spicy pickled apple salad
hot potato
Kristina: "hot potato" pickled home-grown potatoes with tahini sauce, sage, and broccoli flowers
clone those lemons
Jen: "clone those lemons" lemon seitan chicken made with homemade lemon-rhubarb marmalade and preserved lemons; served with jasmine rice

seconds: Jen
presentation: Kristina
creativity: Kristina
perceived effort: Jen
best use of theme: 4-way tie!
overall favourite: Malloreigh

overall winner: Kristina

best name: (unscored category) Jen

Monday, September 23, 2019

#78: barbecue (third edition) - July 2016

Our third BBQ-off was held on Canada Day at Blühaus. This theme was expanded to include foods you might eat at a cookout, not just foods cooked on the grill. It was a wonderful day to sit in the backyard and eat a lot of food.

macaroni salad
Krystyna: "like a Mac-aroni salad" elbow mac, pickles, red pepper, & celery in a vegenaise herb dressing
fresher slice
Jen: "fresher slice" grilled pizza with homemade marinara, mushrooms, grape tomatoes, onions, & basil
vegan rib plate
Jeff: "thirty Helens agree" ...coleslaw deserves another chance! homemade seitan ribs & BBQ sauce, with lime slaw & mustard seed potato salad
holy trinity tacos
Chris: "the holy trinity" corn tacos with refried garlic scape beans, cumin-grilled zucchini, & grilled limes s'more cake
Kristina: "please, sir" graham-style pound cake with maple butter, dark chocolate, & marshmallows

Apparently we had a lot of people at this cookoff because the scoresheet shows 12 voters, but who can remember who they were, it was like 3 years ago.

seconds: Krystyna
presentation: Chris
creativity: Jen
perceived effort: Jen/Jeff
barbequability (best use of theme): Jeff
overall favourite: Chris

overall winner: Jeff

best name: (unscored category) Jeff

#77: cocktails & canapés (fifth edition) - May 2016

Our annual cocktails & canapés cookoff was held at Ravenclaw House on the 7th of May. It was a lovely spring day, and we had plenty of people in attendance!

tofu & paper crane
Bronwen: "Italian origami" marinated tofu with fennel, sun-dried tomato, & citrus; served with a paper crane (sake, aperol, ramazzotti, lemon)
whiskey & bacon
Laryssa: "bacon, bitches" rice paper bacon-wrapped cherry tomato with arugula, mizuna, & lemon mayo; served with a cocktail of lemon balm-infused whiskey, lemon soda, & smoked salt
polpette & negroni
Jen: "heavy polpetting" polpette (tempeh meatball in spicy marinara sauce) with crostini; served with a negroni (campari, sweet vermouth, gin)
grapefruit vodka & tofu
Malloreigh: "great fruit" za'atar tofu, grapefruit, & avocado in tahini dressing; served with a cocktail of orange blossom water & grapefruit pepper vodka
beergarita & burger
Allie: "siete de Mayo" black bean slider with guacamole & pickled jalapeño; served with a beergarita (Corona, tequila, lime, salt)
sangria & empañada
Kristina: "Sangraladida" lentil mushroom empañada with chimichurri; served with a non-alcoholic red wine sangria
sake & sushi
Liang: "sakushi" flower-shaped maki sushi; served with a cocktail of rice wine & matcha
elderflower gin & shortbread Ash: "botanica" rye shortbread with juniper sea salt; served with a cocktail of gin & St. Germaine with elderflower, cucumber, basil, & borage

seconds: Jen
creativity: Ash
presentation: Bronwen
perceived effort: Laryssa
best canapé: Laryssa/Jen
best cocktail: Bronwen/Allie/Ash
best pairing: Allie

overall winner: Jen (and second place was a 3-way tie!)

best name: (unscored category) Allie

Sunday, January 13, 2019

#76: noodles - April 2016

Our noodle cookoff was held at Chris & Kristina's on the 16th of April. It was a small one, but noodles are filling so we were good with it.

spaghetti ramen
Chris: "spaghetti ramen" spaghetti cooked in alkaline water with shiso kimchi, daikon in plum vinegar, cold ramen dressing, fresh cucumber & avocado, and black garlic
Jen: "Vladimir Putinesca" linguine puttanesca (olives, capers, & garlic in a homemade passata), with a gremolata crostini
mushroom canelloni
Kristina: "what do you mean, you forgot the mushrooms?" mushroom canelloni with cauliflower cream sauce and balsamic syrup
dan dan noodles
Malloreigh: "you po dan dan" Chinese hot oil noodles with black vinegar, charred bok choy & scallion, fermented tofu, chili bamboo shoots, and almonds

Also in attendance were Jeff and one other person, maybe Sarah? I can't remember because it was over 2 years ago.

seconds: Chris
presentation: Malloreigh
creativity: Chris
perceived effort: Jen/Kristina
texture: Jen/Chris/Mal
overall favourite: Jen/Chris/Mal

overall winner: Chris

best name: (unscored category) Jen

Thursday, March 22, 2018

#75: root vegetables - February 2016

Our roots cookoff was held on the 14th of February at Ash's lovely house in Hastings-Sunrise. It was also the day Kristina announced that she and Chris would be expecting a baby in the summertime! It seems so long ago now...

roasted parsnip soup
Jen: "chim chim churri" roasted parsnip soup with caper chimichurri
Scotch 'egg'
Kristina: "the bedeviled Scotsman" curry potato Scotch 'egg' with mustard, piri-piri sauce, jalapeño, & veggie bacon
Malloreigh: "comfy" potato & fennel confit with tarragon
pirogi three ways
Ash: "pirogi roulette" potato pirogies 3 ways: spinach & garlic, caramelized onion, and sauerkraut; with beet-jalapeño salad
vegan poutine
Jeff: "you had me at poutine" double-fried russets with mushroom demi-glace and marinated tofu 'cheese'
potato donut
Chris: "potato to the core" potato donut with chocolate potato truffle, and potato white chocolate sauce

The votes show that there was one more person in attendance, but it's been so long now I can't be sure who. Maybe Allie, or Maddy.

seconds: Jen/Ash
presentation: Jen
creativity: Kristina
perceived effort: Ash
rootiness: Jen/Mal
overall favourite: Kristina/Mal

overall winner: Kristina

best name: (unscored category) Jen

Thursday, March 8, 2018

#74: 'fast' food - January 2016

Our 'fast' food cookoff— dishes created in less than 15 minutes on location with nothing pre-made— was held on the 18th of January at Blühaus. The idea was to create a sort of short order cook aspect to the cookoff, just to see what kind of dishes can be made with very little prep available to you. The results were quite interesting and varied, although our total cookoff time actually increased compared to usual!

Thai noodle salad
Kristina: "ah, Phuket" Thai rice noodle salad with cucumber, carrot, basil, & mint in a soy/mirin/ginger dressing
dragon bowl
Malloreigh: "fame" soba noodle bowl with fried tofu, veggies, & shimeji mushrooms in a miso-tahini sauce; pepita & pea shoot garnish
fried pb&j
Jen: "hot lunch day" fried peanut butter & homemade jam sandwich with homemade pickled rhubarb; fried sage leaf garnish
warm cookie dough
Allie: "um, warm cookie dough?" mostly-baked chocolate chip cookies
silken tofu crème brûlée
Ash: "sugar burns real quick" silken tofu crème brûlée with blueberry mint sauce poached apple & pear
Chris: "a pear and an apple walk into a bar" poached apple & pear with pumpkin seed walnut crumble; ginger cherry & fresh basil garnish

seconds: Kristina
presentation: Chris
creativity: Ash
perceived effort: Malloreigh
wow, you pulled that off: Jen/Chris
overall favourite: Malloreigh/Jen

overall winner: Jen

best name: (unscored category) Allie

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.

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!

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