“Strangely good”

Last weekend we travelled to London, Ontario to meet up with our dear friends, Martha and Wayne who live there and Cathy and Steve who live in Rockford, Michigan.  We all met in Tunisia in 2001 and have had reunions every year in London since then. There are now four “shorties” on the scene (those mentioned in the Easy and Elegant Dinner) and each year it’s wonderful to catch up and see how much everyone’s grown and what they have been up to in the past year.

We are all fans of Top Chef and last year, at the reunion, we held a “Top Chef-style” challenge (this was one of the first posts on this blog so excuse the terrible photos!).  This year, Martha had the great idea to make our challenge feature produce from her organic box.  She sent us a list of what would be included in the delivery and we got to choose three ingredients.  I selected broccoli, green onions and asparagus.  We then drew a protein and two condiments. We picked the most difficult of all:


We were also allowed to use “pantry staples” so Neil and I selected sugar with the hopes of creating some kind of green vegetable gratin with an Asian-caramel sauce.  It didn’t look so appealing:

And the sauce was a little watery and I forgot the green onions but it was, as Trish, Martha’s “guest judge” pronounced “Strangely good!”  I’ll take it!

Martha and Wayne selected tomatoes, zucchini and garlic but they got extra tomatoes substituted for the unavailable zucchini, and having drawn feta, balsamic and whole grain mustard, they prepared a wonderful fresh tomato salad with fresh basil from the garden (their “secret ingredient”).

Cathy and Steve chose potatoes, spinach and yellow onions from the list and in a twist of fate, selected eggs, salsa and lemon juice.  Of course they chose to make a frittata (I could say they took the easy route but it was so delicious that I won’t!):

A great variety of tastes in these three dishes that was literally devoured in minutes!  So much fun to hang out with such great friends who share our love for food!  Can’t wait til next year, Martha!

31 thoughts on ““Strangely good””

  1. What a cool idea! I wish I know other people who cooked, it’s a very cool idea and you did very well. Strangely good sounds intriguing.

  2. Ya, London, Ontario! That’s where I’m from 🙂
    This is such a great idea for a party! Maybe it will get some of my friends cooking, lol.

  3. A great party idea. My daughter did it; the challenge being greens. She made chocolate truffles with mustard greens. Surprisingly tasty

  4. I love Top Chef too!!! Sometimes when I am cooking and I don’t have the right ingredients or tools, my boyfriend will say ” just pretend you are on Top Chef, you better think fast and make something or else you will get voted off!” HAHA, sounds like so much fun to do with your friends, and a way to challenge yourself a little with cooking. Thanks so much for sharing! 🙂

  5. It will be fun trying to think of a challenge for next year. Hey! You forgot to mention that Trish pronounced your dish the winner!

  6. Ah yes…new season of Top Chef starts this week, right?! Looking forward to it although I usually don’t have the patience to sit through the first couple episodes. I’d agree with your friend on this one…sure does look “strangely good.” Anything with cheese and broccoli can’t be all that bad!

  7. oh yeah, we totally took the easy way out. 😉 and yours really was strangely good. i was just glad to not have to shop at the gas station this year – that was HARD!


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