Happy  Birthday Mom and many more
85 and counting 


This past weekend we decided to visit family members in Spokane, Washington. We drove  through the Crowsnest Pass, stayed the night in Fernie BC, and then drove down next day to Spokane. 
Driving through the Rockies is always an amazing feat, even thought we did not have much time to spend sightseeing it was none the less a worthy experience. 
Susan ,Rob and the girls where the perfect hosts, we had Cod on Saturday, went out for lunch on Sunday after a trip through downtown Spokane , then had Robs marinated Beef for supper. While the lady's went shopping on Monday ,Rob and I took a trip to Spokane mountain on the way down we had lunch at http://www.shenanigansspokane.com/, Irish pub and brew-house,just behind the Convention Center, I munched on a great Cuban style pork sandwich and Rob had the King Crab and Shrimp melt, awesome food and great beer, we had a few different ones but the Buttface Amber Ale was outstanding. We had Golden Chicken and Tiramisu for supper,needless to say we did not eat much.
We drove back on Tuesday through Montana Glacier National Park, a bit of a longer drive but well worth  it, the scenery is absolutely  amazing and the weather was great.......and then we get back to Winter......

Three sisters mountain in Canmore Alberta
This photograph is a combination of three vertical photos stitched together  in Photoshop. I had some hesitation at first to edit it as it was taken on hand held ,but after some trial and error it finally  came together. Its going to be mated to a 30 by 45 inch canvas .

Cheeses are so versatile to use in cooking and yet a lot of people are afraid to use it in recipes. One does not just melted or make a sauce with it,it needs to be incorporated on a lot of recipes in different ways, different uses and most of all incorporated with other cheeses for different combination of flavours. One might try a strong pungent cheese with a more stubble creamier easy going cheese and start building flavours from there.
The flavor flow needs to have a combination that complements the dish and the overall taste of it. In this particular dish I have used a cherry tomato fondue to not only complement the Five cheese rissoto but also to garnish the plate and give it a nice contrast ( as far as I am concerned all garnishes should be edible, none of these trees sticking out of food and such, if you won't eat it don't serve it) 

Rissoto is very simple to make one just needs to follow a few simple steps;
Arborio rice
onion,olive oil or butter or a combination of both
Chicken or any other stock,hot, usually 3 times the amount of rice(1 cup of rice to 3 cups of liquid)
Heavy cream
Cheese or cheese combination
Salt and pepper
Step 1
Add olive oil to pan with chopped onion, cook till translucent,add rice and stir in to the fat and let the rice absorb it
Step 2
Add 1/3 of the liquid to the pot and stir in moderate heat until it's all absorbed . Proceed with the other 1/3 of stock and then the rest of the stock,in other words you need to do it 3 times,by the time the last stock is absorbed the rice should be al dente
Step 3
At this stage I had the cheese combination,slowly while stirring (key component through out the recipe),check to see if the rice has cooked at this point you might have to add a little more liquid, keeping in mind you still have the heavy cream to finis it up
Step 4
Once the rice is just about done add the spinach  and finish it up with the hot heavy cream, and season to taste 
Its that simple

Cherry tomato fondue
Cherry tomatoes cut in half
Chopped onion
Chopped garlic
Olive oil
Bay leaf, parsley and fresh thyme
Cloves,coriander seeds and staranise
Lemon zest,
Sherry vinegar
Worcestershire sauce

In a sauce pot with olive oil saute onions , add garlic and then the cherry tomatoes,mix well and let the tomatoes come to a boil ,add the spices and the liquids and simmer for 2.5 to 3 hours while mixing it once in a while.
To season depending on the flavours,specially if the cherry vinegar was a to much, add a little ketchup .Remove the seeds and  the herbs ,adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Cool and then reheat for service if necessary

PS: By adding sugar at the beginning of the cooking process it makes a wonderful tomato jam

Here are some photos from the competition 
These are just resized with no other editing done
Will have edited ones in the next couple of days
This is one of those dishes that does not need to be debated where or when or by whom it came from,its simply good when its properly done. Simple!
 Yes, its raw meat or meat served raw that has been seared and cooled,contrary to popular belief it does not have to be frozen prior to serving,however for large functions and plating purposes, slicing it frozen is a benefit.
The types of cut depends on your budget,my favorite cut is Striploin (Bison preferably) some people prefer tenderloin,the only draw back for me it's tender but less flavorful.
The simplest method would be to clean the Striploin of any fat, trimmed to the meat sort of speak,due to the nature of the Striploin you need to tie it in to roll (log) so that the meat is distributed well  and both sides look the same size.
Once its done if should be brushed with olive oil and rubbed or pated with the following mixture for a whole Striploin(adjust accordingly):
1/2 -tbsp of cayenne (for heat)
1 tbsp chili powder
2 tbsp of fine chopped fresh thyme and rosemary
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp of fresh cracked peppercorns
Cover it ,refrigerate for a couple of hours then sear it on a hot surface and refrigerate again . At this point it can go in to the freezer for an hour or so and then sliced thin and plated slightly overlapping 
A bit of horseradish and and cream mixed with lemon juice some fine chopped herbs and seasoned ,can be drizzled over it ,than you would add baby arugula that has been tossed in olive oil and white balsamic vinegar  with some sliced radishes for color and enjoy with some freshly sliced Parmigiana or even Pecorino  cheese

Bison Carpaccio with arugula and Parmesan