Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Super Classy

Intermittently I've been hosting a bunch of draw nights with a motley crew of friends, friends of friends and acquaintances. It has been a LOT of fun, and I've been enjoying the comic/illustration/animation conversations, the inside scoop on what nerdy shows are happening, and the odd tip for anthology calls for entry. All good things!
The downside is that the location has been a late night cafe with a less that delicious menu, and no booze. It's central, spacious, convenient! Just lacking a few elements. In an attempt to mix up my approach to Drawn and Devoured, I hosted a draw night dinner party last Friday, and it was a blast! I love cooking for a crowd, even if my cooking is fairly humble.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is what I cook.


Trying to copy the look of the amazing devilled eggs I had at Origin. Those used a bacon spear, which is really not easy to replicate with a cucumber strip. I also bought the wrong sriracha. I never knew cock sauce was so distinct in itself! Duly noted. Now I gotta eat all this off brand spiciness... (turns out it's good in soup).

This is a recipe I stole from Cafe Colette! I have been dreaming of it since leaving New York. I was expecting a couple vegan guests, so I tried to provide a few not-super-standard dishes they might like (although there WAS the token veggie platter, testament to my occasional lack of imagination). It was a really surprising hit! I never expect 'health food' to go over well, but it was ett up heartily. Bread from my local bakery, Absolute Bakery.

Tabitha, who runs the most excellent blog Tabitha Draws came by and hung out for snacks and a few rounds of drawing! You can see some of here sketches from the night here (my ego is happy to see me in one! But I think she drew my friend Erin better than anyone ever).
One of the things I tried my hand at for the first time was pakora. I don't have a deep fryer and tried to make them in a skillet. Not as crisp as I would like, but still good and oniony. I would love to know a way to make these that's just as tasty but not so oily!
Can you believe the store was out of tamarind sauce? Sheesh.

Herbed popcorn has been a staple in my house ever since I worked for The Drake a couple years ago. They hosted a series of movie nights and always provided sloppy joes and thyme-butter infused popcorn. Thyme and rosemary are the best herbs for this. While I like my popcorn buttery, you can steep the herbs in olive oils for a few days and use that, making uniquely flavoured, scrumptious vegan popcorn easily. Gillian really liked this!
Could only have been better if I had some fancy cracked salt! Maybe I'll pick up some black rock salt...

And there were some things I cheated on, and just plated. Fake it 'til you make it! That's how a real hostess does it, baby.
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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Pizzeria Via Mercanti

Before getting into the pictures and the recounting of a meal, I need to lay out some thoughts. 
I'm kinda a goal-oriented person. I always work best with a deadline, especially if it's a deadline towards something. For this reason I like making projects for myself. Drawn and Devoured is one such project. It's one of a handful I've had over the last several months, some longer in duration than others. Drawn and Devoured has never known a finish line! And I've generally been good about keeping my Tuesday updates going.
It's become less fun for me- somwhere play and work got too mixed up, even with my light updates. Making a post takes a few days and a lot of dollars. When I started I thought maybe D&D would make a nice next egg, and that was extra incentive. It hasn't panned out in that regard: I have, however, found a wonderful community. I think I'll cut this long story short; goodbye set schedule! I'd like to give myself more wiggle room to take on other fancies. For that reason, I'll still aim for Tuesday updates, but perhaps not as often as weekly. I'll still go to new restaurants, but maybe do some recipes, too. Try and keep the text a little lighter. Most importantly, I'm going to update when it's fun.
Cool? Cool!
Have some food.

With Mathew.

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