bits and bites - october 2012

Ok, so I know I'm a day late for October, but I simply ran out of time this week!  Actually I ran out of time all month.  It's been a busy transition back to life in Canada, but the dust is starting to settle and I'm itching to get back to a regular(ish) blogging schedule.  I have lots of stuff I wanted to share, so better late than never, right?

First of all, how great is fall?  I love it - I think it might actually be my favourite season, so I was feeling pretty lucky that most of October had lovely weather.  It was great that the leaves turned goldeny yellow, but actually stayed on the trees for a while.

We spent Thanksgiving weekend out at the lake.  We enjoyed a massive feast (of course) then lots of turkey sandwiches over the next few days afterwards.  Here's two of my favourites:

Turkey BLT sandwich (perfect for brunch).  Thick cut slices of bacon, crispy fried, juicy red tomatoes, fresh lettuce, a smear of mayo, grainy whole wheat bread and turkey.  So good.

Turkey-brie sandwich (great for a quick dinner one night).  I don't have a panini press, so I use the little George Foreman grill that I had back in my university dorm days as a substitute.  Just butter the outside of two pieces of multigrain bread.  Spread the insides of the bread with cranberry sauce (on both sides) then stack turkey, slices of brie and peppery arugula up in the middle.  Squash it into the George Foreman grill and let it get nice and toasty.

The weekend after Thanksgiving we had a potluck BBQ with some friends at our place.  Trev's been wanting to try to cook a brisket on the charcoal BBQ for quite a while, so this was the perfect opportunity.  He picked up an 11 lb. brisket at Real Deal Meats, then made a spice rub for it to marinade in overnight (check out the recipe here).  Brisket takes a looooong time to cook - it seemed awful early when our alarm clock went off at 6:30 so that Trev could get the Webber BBQ going and the brisket on the grill.

So here's the gist of it:  Trev aimed to keep the BBQ temperature between 200-250F all day.  Once the internal temperature of the brisket reached 150F (which took 7-8 hours) he wrapped it in aluminum foil then returned it to the grill so it could continue slow-cooking.  It took another 4 hours for the internal temperature to come up to 195 F.  Then he put the aluminum foil wrapped brisket on a cookie sheet and let it rest in a pre-warmed (not on) oven for another 45 minutes.  (Here's the website Trev used forbrisket-cooking info)  It's best to slice it right before serving, but it turns out 11lbs. was waaaay too much for the number of people at our house (probably because of all the other delicious things our friends brought), but that's okay, there was lots to share and more than enough for tasty sandwiches the following week.  (I'm realizing this 'bits and bites' post has a bit of a sandwich theme...)

I love roasted veggies so now that it's fall I've swapped the zucchini, tomatoes and mushrooms for a mixture of root vegetables.  This time I had potatoes, carrots, golden beets, onion & garlic.  I pretty much do the same thing every time - regardless of what's in the pan - toss the veggies with a drizzle of olive oil and a generous sprinkle of fresh ground pepper & sea salt, then bake at 350F for about 45 minutes.  Yum, so good.  And check out the haul of potatoes Trev's mom and grandpa got out at the lake!  

Oh, one more thing: I'm heading to Atlanta, Georgia for a conference in November - any recommendations for must-see-things or must-eat-foods?  I'd be happy to have them :)