A Food & Travel Blog

Vancouver – Here I Come!

09/01/2012 | By


Full moon over Vancouver – Image by Thom Quine (Wikimedia Commons)

Excitement levels and blood pressure are rising in our house as it is only three more sleeps until I take off with my eldest daughter, the Cupcake Queen, for Vancouver to pick up the youngest from her student exchange.  After spending a few days in Canada, the three of us will have the girls trip of our dreams traveling down the west coast of the US to Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles.  We will be leaving behind the two blokes, husband and son, who will have to fend for themselves – and keep the dogs, cattle and poultry alive – for three weeks.  The last time I left the family for any length of time I spent a week cooking and freezing multiple meals.  In retrospect, I think that little burst of domesticity was fueled by guilt and a misplaced sense of my responsibility for their nutritional and culinary well-being.  I’m very happy to say that I’ve grown so much as a person in the last few years that neither of these conditions are an issue for me at all now. 😉

Not only have I not filled the freezer with digestible examples of my spousal and motherly devotion, but I actually gave it a very thorough clean out just before Christmas so the pickings in there are very thin indeed.  Once they’ve gnawed through the two bags of frozen walnuts, the packet of frozen mango cheeks and discovered that the ice cream tub is, in fact, full of chicken stock, I’m very hopeful that the enormous collection of cookbooks will catch their eyes and imagination and I will return to find them accomplished kitchen converts.  Although, you will note I said “hopeful” not “optimistic”.

However, I am not completely heartless and just before they lapse into a low blood-sugar induced coma, they will find one foil-wrapped feed that should hold them long enough to work out which cupboard the saucepans live in and just what the stuff in that funny little bottle marked “olive oil” is for.  I’ve been making this chicken loaf/terrine thingy for more years than I care to remember and have no idea where I found the original recipe so cannot credit it, but it is a family winner.  Made at least 24 hours ahead, it is easily doubled, freezes well and can be adapted to suit whatever you have on hand.  Turkey mince substitutes very nicely, as does bacon instead of proscuitto, thyme instead of rosemary, walnuts or pecans for the pistachios and dried apricots or prunes for the cranberries.  However you make it, do serve it with the best relish, chutney or mustard fruits you can find – they will kick it up a level and impress guests no end.

Recipe: Chicken and Rosemary Terrine


  • 50 mls olive oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 750 gm chicken mince
  • 2 cups fresh bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup shelled pistachio
  • 1/2 cup craisins
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tbsp wholegrain mustard
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ground black pepper
  • 12-14 slices moist proscuitto, about 8 cm wide


  1. Preheat oven to 180C.
  2. Cook onions in olive oil until soft, add garlic and rosemary and continue to cook for another 5 minutes. Cool.
  3. Mix onions, chicken mince, breadcrumbs, nuts, fruit, eggs, mustard salt & pepper in a large bowl. Wet your hands and mix thoroughly with hands until completely blended.
  4. Overlap 2 long sides of 50cm lengths of foil by about 8 cm. Spray foil with non-stick spray or olive oil spray.
  5. Place proscuitto slices along centre in 2 rows end to end, overlapping long edges by 2 cm and narrow ends by 3 cm to make a 35cmx40cm rectangle.
  6. Place the chicken mix lengthways along the centre and shape into a loaf.
  7. Using the foil sheets to hold them, bring the proscuitto sheets up over the loaf and fold back the excess on the top.
  8. Brush with extra olive oil, bring the oil back up and seal lenghthways and at the ends.
  9. Bake in a shallow tray or baking dish for 50 minutes. Remove from oven, open foil and drain off the juices.
  10. Leaving foil open, place back in oven for 10 minutes to crisp a little.
  11. Cool, re-cover and refrigerate until completely cold and set.
  12. To serve, remove from foil, slice and garnish with extra rosemary.

Number of servings (yield): 6

Print Recipe.

I’ll be on the road/in the air for the next three weeks or so, but do stay tuned as I’ll make every effort to keep you all updated with photo’s and some of the high points of our fabulous girls trip!


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  1. Lizzy (Good Things)

    Amanda, that looks delicious! Have a wonderful time! Will look forward to your posts and photos from your girls’ trip! Travel safely love.

  2. Tracey

    I had no idea you could freeze walnuts?? In what state are they?

  3. Amanda

    LIz – thanks so much. Hope I manage to keep my word on postings!
    Tracey – all nuts freeze really well. Things like walnuts and pecans don’t keep for very long before they go rancid, so the freezer is the best place for them. I buy organic ones in bulk when I can and freeze in smaller bags.

  4. Grant nowell

    They are two very lucky men with all that wonderful good you have prepared – have a wonderful trip

  5. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella

    Have fun in North America! And I’m sure that they will cope just fine although I’m sure that they will miss this cooking 🙂

  6. Liz

    Have a wonderful time Amanda. I’m going to cook the chicken loaf very soon!

  7. Barbara | Creative Culinary

    With a mixture of joy for you at your upcoming trip combined with that terrine and all I can say is? WOW!

    We won’t mention the tinge of sadness that you will not be maneuvering close to my home…WAIT? I have extra coffee and chocolate liqueurs…you sure I can’t tempt you to bail out of a plane? 🙂

  8. cityhippyfarmgirl

    Amanda have a wonderful, wonderful trip. What a gorgeous place to be going at this time of year. Have a great trip!

    … and I’ve heard that loved ones can last for quite some time on toast alone.

  9. Hotly Spiced

    Your terrine looks delicious. Have a great time in Vancouver and the USA. Your photo of Vancouver is very pretty. I’m sure the two blokes will be fine – they’ll clean up just before you come through the door (if they’re like the blokes in this house!)

  10. InTolerant Chef

    Sure looks yummy, and I hope they are budding chefs by the time you return 🙂
    Have a very wonderful time with your girls, and we want to know all the details!

  11. Amanda Page

    Have a good trip on this side of the world! Bring your woollies, it’s starting to dip into actual winter temps these days, even on the warme West Coast.

  12. Kate

    I adore Vancouver so here’s hoping you do too – see if you can visit/have coffee at Sophie’s Eclectic Cafe – I hope it is still there !! Bon Voyage – have the bestest ever time. I have done a similar trip to yours in the past and been to Vancouver twice – take a raincoat !

  13. Judy

    Love the look of the terrine Amanda and congratulations on getting to the point where you do not feel guilty filling the freezer with food for the guys when you go away – it’s something most of us seem to do but they do need to learn to stand on their own two feet if they can (unlike mine who can hardly stand at all) in case one day they do find themselves on their own. Have a great holiday, guess we will hear all about it when we see you soon hopefully. Stay safe and travel well. xx

  14. Mandy - The Complete Cook Book

    Amanda what a lovely read – you and your daughters are going to have the best time! Relish every moment!
    Fantastic terrine recipe! I am sure the boys will do just fine – they really can surprise us sometimes.
    🙂 Mandy

  15. Ann

    What a witty and enjoyable post you have given us Amanda. I feel extremely envious of your girls trip. They will remember it forever. Love the recipe too! Would be great for a picnic I imagine. Have a wonderful time away. We will understand if you don’t get time to post! I don’t feel sorry for the men at all either! 😉

  16. celia

    Have a wonderful trip, Amanda! It all sounds very exciting indeed. Your terrine looks lovely, and I’ll be curious to hear how your men survive your absence.. 🙂

  17. Jennifer (Delicieux)

    Have a wonderful trip Amanda!!!!! I can’t wait to read all about your adventures and foodie finds.

  18. The Food Sage

    Really looking forward to hearing about your food adventures. Bon Voyage!

  19. Cakelaw

    Yay! Enjoy your trip – how exciting! The terrine looks devine and should keep those left behind happy.

  20. Rosa

    I’d love to visit this town. Your terrine looks really scrumptious and appetizing. I love the ingredients you used.