I don’t think of myself as a cheap person. I’ll gladly buy a bag of sea salt for $8, a good bottle of olive oil for $20 or more. I’m not a nitpicker about splitting a check when out to eat with friends. But we’ve had pizza delivered a couple of times in the last few weeks, just for two of us. And it was $20+ for a medium pizza. When did regular ol’ pizza get so damn expensive?
Keep pizza dough around, or pick some up at your local market and you’ll be spending a whole lot less than $20 for pizza. Dinner in a flash: Trader Joe’s pizza dough, Bionaturae tomato, Columbus Salame Toscano, sliced poblanos, red onion, grated mozzarella and Beecher’s Flagship. Baked on a pizza stone at 475F for about 12 minutes.
The last time I was in Victoria, BC, it was a pass through point on the way to and from Tofino. We darted around downtown trying to find some quick lunch before the ferry to Port Angeles. This past weekend, I headed up to Victoria with the city as the end destination for a girls weekend celebrating my friend Linda’s birthday. We stayed at a great little place on the Inner Harbour – the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort.
It’s been four years and I’m still having a hard time adjusting to the seasons in the Pacific Northwest. I’m used to strawberries starting in late January, asparagus starting in April and lasting nearly to the fall, stone fruit starting in May, and then being socked in by June gloom. But if there’s one benefit to the long, cool spring we get in the Pacific Northwest, it’s an extended window to enjoy peas. Long after the southern climes are into their tomatoes, we’re still enjoying sugar snaps, English shelling peas, and snow peas. And when those sugar snaps are fresh — they’re sweet and crunchy…and there’s nothing like ‘em.
My first “Build a Better Burrito” post was more for meat eaters and focused on Alton Brown’s Taco Potion #19. This time around, I’m doing a vegetarian burrito — starring home-cooked black beans.
I was a hold out on dried beans for a really long time. At New Year’s, I’d make red beans and rice (yeah, I know it’s technically supposed to be black-eyed peas), but I never just made beans on the regular to have them ready to go. And then, I made this pot of black beans and a light finally flicked on in my head. It took a little time, but they tasted better, cost a fraction of the canned version and froze well. I’d heard all that before, but like I said, a light flicked on.
In college, chicken stir fry was a mainstay for me and my roommates. It was something you could make a lot of, relatively cheaply, when we had friends over for Must See TV on Thursday nights. Friends, The Single Guy, Seinfeld, Caroline in the City and ER. I liked Jonathan Silverman in the Single Guy, but that 8:30 pm slot was always no man’s land despite being bookended by Friends and Seinfeld.
Anyway, the stir fry. Back then, we used San-J Szechuan sauce, a Sun Bird packet for seasoning and a big bag of frozen stir fry vegetables.