Wednesday, November 26, 2014

#59: the A-team - August 2014

Our A-team (foods that start with A) cookoff was held on the 17th of August at the Adult Dream House (Ash's). It was a lovely evening and some of us were having a rough day thanks to a party there the previous night, so it was a quiet affair on the back porch among their tomato plants, watching the sun sink behind the trees.

stuffed artichoke
Jen: "why is there hair?!" poached artichoke stuffed with lemony herb & garlic peas, served with tarragon aïoli
Ash: "Ash's alliterative antipasto" aubergine & artichoke antipasto scented with anise, on top of an agave-roasted apricot and an arrowroot biscuit
avocado fries
Allie H: "Allie's avocado afries avec aïoli" deep-fried avocado with sriracha aïoli
apple aloo gobi
Malloreigh: "gesundheit!" apple aloo gobi with asparagus achar, amchur, & almond arugula raita
Allie S: "triple-A all-star" agnolotti with almonds, arugula, & grilled apricot
apricot salad
Liang: "salad" greens & mushrooms with apricot, tamari almonds, & spicy sesame-ginger garlic dressing

Also in attendance was a houseguest of Ash's whose name I've forgotten.

seconds: Allie H
presentation: Jen
creativity: Ash
A-ness: Malloreigh
perceived effort: Allie S
overall favourite: Allie H

overall winner: Ash

best name: (unscored category) Ash

And now, portraits of people looking serious while holding their faces.
back porch Malloreigh
Ash in summer
lovely Liang

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

#58: South Asian food - July 2014

The Southeast Asian cookoff was held on the 14th of July in the common room of Liang's co-op in Olympic Village. It was an extremely hot day so very few of us opted for dishes we'd need to turn on the stove for. We drank grapefruit beer and white wine, explored the rooftop garden, and played a game of Balderdash with a dictionary in between servings.

salad roll
Liang: "spring summer fall roll" rice wraps with oyster mushroom, mango, baby arugula, garlic chives, & bell peppers; served with a sweet chili peanut sauce and sesame-soy scallion sauce (not pictured)
Bronwen: "it's too damn hot" pakoras with mango, peas, & chilies; served with avocado and a young coconut chutney
bahn mi
Malloreigh: "hold me, kiss me, bahn mi" Vietnamese sandwich with hot pepper, pickled carrot & daikon, fried tofu, sriracha mayo, lettuce, & cucumber
spicy booze
Allie H: "tom OMG yummm!" tom yum soup-inspired cocktail of vodka, Malibu, lychee, chilies, & lemongrass; garnished with lime leaves
coconut rice pudding
Jen: "white on rice" coconut, mango, & vanilla bean rice pudding with toasted sweet chili pistachios and lime zest
mango bazango
Allie S: "mango bazango" soft Phillipine rice cake coated in sesame seed & coconut, with coconut caramel, mango-lime rum sorbet, mango slices, and caramelized lime rind
Ash: "Carl Sago" mango & coconut milk tapioca pudding with mint & lime topping

Allie S competed for the first time. This was also our first cookoff in awhile without any non-competitors!

seconds: Bronwen
presentation: Allie S
creativity: Allie H
best use of theme: Liang
perceived effort: Allie S
overall favourite: Liang/Bronwen/Malloreigh

overall winner: Allie S

best name: (unscored category) Malloreigh/Jen

Sunday, September 14, 2014

#57: Middle Eastern & North African food - June 2014

The MENA cookoff was held at Ravenclaw House on the 16th of June, on a beautiful evening which made us all feel very ready for summer. Lots of entries, lots of wine — I don't think we finished serving until after 10!

love shakshuka, baby
Malloreigh:"love shakshuka, baby" Tunisian/Israeli tomato & pepper stew with poached egg-style tofu, served with zaatar manouche (recipe here)
lentil stew with harissa
Jen: "ceci n'est pas une aubergine" Moroccan lentil & vegetable stew with roasted eggplant, lemon yogurt, and homemade harissa
Ash: "SALAD" greens, carrots, & dates in chermoula dressing, with avocado and a sweet potato & ginger pancake
Nik: "moussaka" roasted eggplant & tomato casserole with a silken tofu béchamel
and later, I wore it as a hat
Chris: "and later, I wore it as a hat" Moroccan couscous tagine, served with Tunisian cucumber salad & sweet and spicy sauces (not pictured) chickpea socca
Sarah: "the hungry horseman's hallucination" chickpea socca filled with Afghan rice, saffron butternut squash, & mango; served with mint sour cream
princess of Persia
Liang: "princess of Persia" crispy roasted eggplant with mint and pomegranate seeds in a pomegranate-lavender oil dressing (base recipe here, used with slight alterations)
couscous caboose
Kristina: "couscous caboose" couscous & silken tofu square with cardamom, cranberry, & mandarin syrup

Liang competed for the first time. Also in attendance were Liang's partner Ryan, and two other people I can't remember (please let me know if you do).


seconds: Liang
presentation: Liang
creativity: Kristina
authenticity: Malloreigh
perceived effort: Chris
overall favourite: Malloreigh

overall winner: Liang (bringing the beginner's luck!)

best name: (unscored category) Malloreigh

Thursday, August 7, 2014

#56: nuts - May 2014

Our first-ever nut theme was held at Blühaus (due to a scheduling error) on the 12th of May. Although there was plenty of food, there was only one savoury dish so we felt a little sugar overloaded and had to order sushi after. This was also the first occasion of our new voting category for 'perceived effort' — we felt that when it's obvious someone put a lot of work into a dish, it deserves credit regardless of whether it does well in other categories.

Chris: "patétoes" deep-fried purple potato topped with tofu-walnut paté, cashew mayo, & parsley pesto, with a peppadew sauce drizzle
cold feet, warm heart
Kristina: "cold feet, warm heart" cherry vanilla almond ice cream pops dipped in cinnamon chili chocolate, with almond dust & sea salt
homemade almond milk
Maddie: "aww nuts!" homemade almond milk with carob & cardamom, cinnamon stick garnish
Jen: "mac daddy misu" macadamia & cashew cream tiramisu with homemade almond ladyfingers dipped in espresso & brandy, topped with cocoa powder & shaved dark chocolate
triple nut freeze
Malloreigh: "triple nut freeze" hazelnut banana ice cream with a macadamia lace cookie in a lavender almond caramel sauce

Also in attendance were Steph, Jen's sister Alice, and one other person whom I can't seem to remember (please tell me if you know!)

second: Chris
presentation: Chris
nuttiness: Malloreigh
perceived effort: Jen
creativity: Chris
overall favourite: Malloreigh

overall winner: Jen

best name: (unscored category) Maddie

Monday, July 21, 2014

#55: brine - April 2014

We decided doing a cookoff solely of olives OR pickles was too narrow, so we went either/or with a brine theme. It was held on the 16th of April at Blühaus, and although there were only a few entries, everyone left satisfied.

pickled vegetable spring rolls
Laryssa: "the flaccid shaft" deep-fried spring rolls filled with homemade pickled vegetables & mushrooms fried in brine reduction, served with a pickled garlic plum sauce
olive & lentil burger
Jen: "Grecian heart attack" veggie patty with lentils & kalamata olives, served on a homemade rosemary bun with fixings, topped with a beer-battered dill pickle
vegan ceviche
Ash: "3:10 to Lima" pickled lima beans with a coconut & oyster mushroom ceviche, served on tortilla chips
olive truffles
Amanda: "olive your balls" Silician sun-dried olive & dark chocolate truffles, rolled in cocoa powder

Also in attendance were Katie, Sarah C, and a friend named Rebecca.


seconds: Laryssa
presentation: Jen
creativity: Ash/Amanda
brinicity: Laryssa
overall favourite: Laryssa/Jen

overall winner: Laryssa/Jen

best name: (unscored category) Laryssa/Ash/Amanda

Sunday, May 11, 2014

#54: coconut (second edition) - March 2014

The second coconut cookoff was held at Tim D's lovely Vancouver special near Trout Lake, on the 24th of March. It was a strangely warm and sunny evening, and we all enjoyed the extra bit of daylight with our food and homebrew. Oh, & an advance warning: for some reason this cookoff had even more obscene dish names than usual.

coconut to the power of four
Steph: "coc-balls" coconut milk/oil/flour/shreds in a macaroon, with a maple syrup glaze
coconut chips
Amanda: "cracked nuts & cunt cream" lime-baked coconut chips with coconut chipotle sour cream, served in a coconut husk*
shrimpin' ain't easy
Jen: "shrimpin' ain't easy" coconut-fried tempeh (in the style of coconut shrimp) with a celeriac rémoulade, topped with fried green onions & toasted coconut
butter chk-AHH
Tim: "butter chk-AHHH" Indian-spiced coconut curry with pumpkin, chickpeas, & basil
chocolate bacon tart
Nina: "Hawaiian bacon dream" coconut bacon crust with a chocolate, peanut, & coconut oil filling
Mount Chocula
Selena: "Mount Chocula" chocolate coconut pudding with coconut whip, topped with toasted coconut & a maraschino cherry
rice pudding
Katie: "coconut let-him-cum pudding" spiced lemon coconut rice pudding topped with candied coconut flakes and lemon zest
coconut Thai-scream
Nik: "coconut Thai-scream" ginger, lemongrass, & kaffir lime coconut ice cream, with bird's eye chili syrup, ginger-candied coconut flakes, and mint leaves

Selena competed for the first time. Also in attendance were Dan, Sarah, Laryssa, and another Nick.
*Amanda regarded this as the worst thing she'd ever made, and served it anyway because it took so long to make. Many of us agreed, though we did admire her effort in splitting the coconut husks.

seconds: Jen
presentation: Amanda
creativity: Nik
coconicity: Steph
overall favourite: Nik

overall winner: Nik

best name: (unscored category) Jen

Thursday, March 20, 2014

#53: cooking with tea (second edition) - February 2014

The previous cookoff (cooking with booze) made us all nostalgic for the tea cookoff, so we decided to do that one again. This time it was held at Flatland (Laryssa/Hayley/Katie's) on the 17th of February. There were a few new faces, as well as several faces that hadn't been seen in awhile! We all admired the interior overhaul the girls had given the place after Katie moved in, and the wine, beer, & conversation flowed freely.

fuckin' breakfast
Amanda: "fuckin' breakfast" earl grey oatmeal with cinnamon-sugared almonds, earl grey poached pear, and sprinkled with lavender
miso & rice
Sarah: "sip it slow and pound it hard" genmai-cha miso broth with fried mochi, bean sprouts, carrots, & green onion
green tea-crusted tofu
Laryssa: "dragonball tea" green tea-crusted tofu with stir-fried shiitakes & cabbage in a green tea sauce; green onion garnish
ginger jasmine curry
Jen: "round robin" coconut curried sweet potato soup with jasmine & lemon ginger teas
chai quinoa
Katie: "nutty bush" chai quinoa balls with lemon, garlic, & chili peppers, on a bed of sprouts with green onion & celery
chocolate macaroons
Maddie: "maté chocaroons, or, snapchat has failed me" double chocolate coconut macaroons with yerba maté & sea salt
Hayley G: "ca-CHOO!" matcha & white mulberry tea cashew cheesecake with lavender-infused chocolate and toasted salty sunflower seeds
'butter' tarts
Nik: "teacups" green tea & coconut butter tarts with a chai-infused graham crust

Katie, Maddie, & Nik competed for the first time. Also in attendance were Selena, Tim D, Dan, Nina, Cera, & Hayley W.

seconds: Jen
creativity: Katie
presentation: Amanda
tea-nacity: Amanda/Sarah
overall favourite: Amanda/Laryssa/Jen

overall winner: Amanda

best name: (unscored category) Laryssa

Friday, February 21, 2014

#52: cooking with booze (second edition) - January 2014

Liquor-off the second was held at Ravenclaw House (Malloreigh & Allie's) on the 13th of January. It was one of our biggest, thirteen entries! After a few small ones in a row, it was a little overwhelming; we didn't finish eating until almost 11pm! It was an incredible cookoff, and our five (!!!) year anniversary! It was also the first in a long, long while where everyone who attended was competing.

whiskey chili
Anna: "Wiser's cornucopia" mushroom & bean chili with sundried & roasted tomatoes, infused with Wiser's rye whiskey and garnished with chives, sour cream, & 2 kinds of cheese
wine mash
Malloreigh: "I love cooking with wine; sometimes I even put it in the food!" pea, mint, & cilantro flan with mashed cauliflower & sunchokes, cooked with white wine
red wine sausage sandwich
Chris: "something something sausage in your mouth" fennel & red wine seitan sausage with pane bianca, homemade pickled onions, and a red wine miso sauce
Catalana patatas bravas
Jen: "patatas Havanas" Catalana-style patatas bravas (fried potato wedges) tossed in dark Havana rum & crushed chilies, with a white wine aïoli
bacon perogies
Sarah: "pockets of realization" gluten-free perogies filled with bourbon-infused coconut bacon and potato, served with an apple cider applesauce
stout shepherd
Laryssa: "the stout & unsavoury shepherd" tempeh, mushroom & vegetable pot pie with gravy, made with stout in every element (including the crust)
whiskey 'prawn' flambé
Kristina: "go home prawns, you're drunk!" whiskey flambé 'prawns' with grits, jalapeño, tamari, & hot sauce garnish
steak your claim
Bronwen: "steak your claim" tofu steak cooked with Bulleit rye, with a whiskey brown sauce, mashed potatoes, and sautéed mushrooms & onions
cheese plate
Alex: "French twist" white wine macadamia nut cheese on crostini, with a shaved vegetable salad and olive oil & lemon balm garnish
beer ice cream
Tim: "ice ice beerby" ice creams made with (from left to right) stout, nut brown ale, pale ale, & gluten-free chestnut ale; served with roasted pear & rum-soaked sour cherry
rosé sorbet
Ash: "roseberry sorbet" raspberry rosé wine sorbet in a sugar cone & garnished with cocoa nibs
berry bourbon crumble
Steph: "boozy bourbon baked berry brown betty" blackberries & strawberries soaked in bourbon, with a coconut flour & oat topping
rum crumble
Allie: "royal pink rumpage" royal gala apple crumble with Sailor Jerry spiced rum and oat-pumpkin seed topping, garnished with soy sour cream

Anna, Tim A. & Alex all competed for the first time.

seconds: Jen
presentation: Alex
alcoholism (best use of ingredient): Tim
creativity: Jen
overall favourite: Chris/Jen/Bronwen

overall winner: Jen

best name: (unscored category) Tim

Because we didn't have any judges (non-competitors), we ran out of wine pretty quickly and actually went for a liquor store run during the break! That hasn't happened in a long time, & it's pretty ironic that it would happen at an alcohol-themed cookoff.