i need YOUR help!

Ok. 

This is my bike.

I call it flash.  Cuz it’s gold (not yellow … GOLD) … and we can go fast.

It’s awesome.

But let’s get back to the reason for this blog.

 Last night I met some friends for a drink … and by the end of the evening they had me agreeing to biking 100 km (Ottawa to Merrickville) and raising $1,500 to fund cancer research at The Ottawa Hospital.

Good cause?  Yep!

Great activity?  Heck yeah! 

The only thing is … it’s on September 10th.  As in … 10 days.  I have 10 days to raise $1,500.

Mother of Pearl!

That’s where you come in.  This is my call to arms.  My request for support.  I’m asking everyone I know to help me raise the money.  And yes … that means I’m coming to my blog.

This is the deal.  Any amount helps.  Seriously – I would be thrilled with any donations. 

However … if you donate 50$ (or more) – I’ll bake you a cake.  Or a pie.  Or cupcakes.  Or cookies.  Or brownies.  Quite frankly – if you donate, I will bake you just about anything you want.  Except a macaroon tower.  I won’t be making one of those :0)

So click here and let’s get this fundraising started (please and thank you).

Oh – and if the donation requires being mailed/shipped (Elina … I’m talking to you) … we’ll sort that out.  I’m serious about this. 

I hope you can lend a hand.

spareparts @ OZ

Another Monday night at Oz Kafe.

This time … think offal.  Not awful.  OffalDelicious.  Head to tail eating.  Heart, brains, balls, scrapple … and some foie gras gelato.  A million sighs of happiness. 

Dirk McCabe and Andrew Flint from Beckta were joined by Michael Portigal (aka Twitch) from the Whalesbone to create a five course meal … and I honestly couldn’t decide which course I loved the most.

Was it the quadruple bypass (an assortment of hearts)? 

the salmon heart was so smooth, the lamb heart was ridiculously salty – the lemon & mint gremolata was bright and tangy, the beef and chicken hearts were perfect little pockets of flavour.

Or the swinging beef (those were really good balls)? 

(this picture doesn’t do the dish justice) – confit & chicken fried balls, sliced and set on top of some snap peas, burnt honey and dijon red eye gravy … seriously insanely delicious. 

Maybe it was the thinking cap (veal brains and scrambled eggs)?veal brains, goat milk scrambled eggs, sturgeon caviar, black summer truffle duxelles.  The BEST scrambled eggs I’ve ever had.  I could eat this every single day

Or perhaps it was the PB&J (a fois gras gelato ice cream sandwich)? 

fois gras gelato, lavender teething biscuit, peanut butter scotch caramel, wild blueberry syrupsigh.

Such a hard decision to make.

There was another course – the chien chaud – that one wasn’t my favourite … I think I found the pig scrapple  to be a little to0 … thick.  It stuck to the top of my mouth … and I’m also a big fan of my hot dog bun steamé rather than grilled … personal preference … not a deal breaker by any means :0)pig scrapple, corn relish, heirloom catsup, garlic scape kimchi, petite baquette

Don’t get me wrong … I ate the whole thing.  Actually … I ate it all.  Each plate was wiped clean … quite frankly I probably would have licked my PB&J plate if I hadn’t been in a public setting.  For realz.  It was ridiculously delicious.

The guys were kind enough to let me hang in the kitchen and take some pictures (thank you, thank you, thank you) … and with the exception of the swinging beef (aka – the balls) I was able to get some great shots.

Not only was the meal great – but I was surrounded by some great friends and foodies  – Charlotte and Chloé (Whalesbone), Rachelle and Ryan (rachelle eats food & mr. rachelle eats food), and Marc and Lori (chef & owners of Town).

And I got to crack some pretty nutty jokes all night ;0) (and I promise they were better than that one!)

brunch @ mariposa farm

mariposa farm oh how I heart thee.

And Anna March too.

Who could resist a place that looks like this? (seriously, you drive up a tree-lined drive-way).

I ended up at mariposa today since it’s pretty much a halfway point from Ottawa to Hudson, Québec.  And since I wanted to meet up with my mom and sister for brunch … but didn’t want to spend more time in my car … we decided on mariposa as our destination.

Brilliant idea.  Seriously.  Why I’ve waited so long to get out there … I don’t know!  But I’m already planning my next trip (on Friday actually .. to bake some bread with Anna).

Although mariposa is a duck farm, the menu goes beyond that … today we were offered duck, chicken, venison.  Seasonal vegetables and fruits (corn, peaches, black currents, tomatoes, carrots, potatoes, etc) … home-baked bread (Anna makes 3 different types, we had her rosemary bread … mother of pearl so good … I brought some home with me).

All of us had our own highlights.  Mine was the heirloom tomato salad with goat cheese and pesto.  Mother of pearl … that pesto was ridiculous, and well … goat cheese always makes me happy (ask anyone at Edgar) … and it’s tomato season.  Need I say more???

My sister’s highlight was her duck confit leg.  I tried it.  Seriously the best duck I have ever eaten.  And I’ve eaten my share of duck (remember my trip to France two years ago … I ate duck just about every day for 10 days…).

My mother loved her fois gras starter … but her favourite was the dessert – a peach and black currant fool.  I had it too.  Trop bon.

Not that I’m knocking any of the other dishes.  I cleaned my plates.  Each and everyone one.

It was … brilliant.  Anna rocks it out in that kitchen – cooking great food, plating beautifully and (in my opinion anyway) having fun.

And who wouldn’t have fun there?  I mean … there are ducks … and pigs …  and horses …  and hay …  lots of stacks of hay … and sunflowers that reach up to the sky.

Plus I got to enjoy my sister and mom’s company.

mariposa is a little slice of wonderful.