Thanks for the meme-ories…

Received an invitation this morning from Julius, fellow Vancouverite and Daring Baker, to partake in aWinter day on Gore Street Q&A/meme/blog chain letter. The theme was, natch, food-related. With the weather being so inviting (see pic), I hunkered down inside to move this chain along.

What were you cooking/baking ten years ago?
I had recently moved to Vancouver 10 years ago and was living in a small apartment, sporting one of those tiny galley kitchen, with not much counter space. I don’t recall cooking much, or cooking very simply. I had a small tabletop barbecue on my balcony and, this being Vancouver, used that a lot throughout the year. I was not into my baking phase at that time either. I was traveling a lot for my job, taking and teaching night classes. Ramen, and derivative dishes, was often part of my diet…

What were you cooking/baking one year ago?
I had taken the Serious Foodie classes at NWCAV at the beginning of the year, which helped a lot with my confidence in the kitchen. (Little did I know at the time I would be enrolled in the Professional Diploma course a year later) I was now making gnocchi, risotto was a way to relax after work and I always had fresh tomato sauce to use on pasta or home-made pizza. I had started to bake once more, mostly cookies and mini cupcakes (see recipe below).

The snack you enjoy the most:
At this time of the year: mandarine oranges with cold smarties…But I’m not much of a snacker the rest of the time

A culinary luxury you would indulge in if you were a millionaire:
A small but complete commercial kitchen space; pastry course at the C.I.A.; a cooking vacation around the world.

What do you bake the most?
Home-made pizza

Five recipes you know by heart:
Shrimp risotto, tarte au sucre, linguine al vongole (baby clams), barbecued rack of lamb, buffalo chicken wings

One thing you cannot/will not eat:
I love dim sum, but I can’t bring myself to eat anything involving fish paste. The chicken claws are a close second…

Favourite culinary toy:
My Victorinox 8″ chef knife

A must on your “last meal” menu:
Lamb, barbecued either in rack format or shawarma or kebab, with tatziki.

Happy food memories:
My mom’s tourtière and ragoût de patte (pigs’ feet stew). Real Québec comfort food, ideal on a winter’s day (like today) …Which I will get to taste once more over the holidays…hum…

Chocolate Mini Cupcakes

8 oz cream cheese
½ cup sugar + pinch of salt
1 egg
1 package (1 cup) mini chocolate chips

Cream cream cheese and sugar. Add egg and mix well. Add chocolate chips.

1 – ½ cups flour
1 cup sugar
¼ cup cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt

Combine these five ingredients in a large bowl

1 cup water
½ cup vegetable oil
1 tbsp white vinegar
1 tsp vanilla

Combine these four ingredient well in a small bowl. Blend into dry ingredients. Mix well.

Fill mini baking cups to ¾ and top with a dollop of the cream cheese mixture. Bake at 350F for 15-18 minutes. Freezes well.