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CanadianFoodieGirl

I comment on a lot of blogs and keep my own my own. I blog unpretentiously & infrequently. I like to eat. It doesn't show because I was blessed with good genetics and was raised in a family that encouraged healthy eating and exercise.

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  • Location: Toronto, Canada

Grilling: MOINK Balls

I'm a big fan of the moink.

Bake the Book: Seriously Bitter Sweet

A straight up chocolate brownie, dark and fudgy.

Birch Syrup: A Secret Drink Ingredient You Should Know

A guy I know who sells birch syrup at farmers' markets describes it as "maple syrup's angry cousin." I like that. Birch syrup is a good ingredient for fish marinade.

Ask a Cicerone: What's Your Favorite Session Beer?

I came back to this post long after I read it just so I could recommend Stiegl Radler. 2.5%, half beer and half grapefruit juice. Sounds strange but it's brilliant and it doesn't get more sessionable or refreshing on a hot summer day.

A Fond Farewell To Google Reader

Feedly's good for Chrome but I find that on iPad I can't always get it to swipe properly. Still, a good reader. There's a good list of Google Reader alternatives on Listly, and anyone can contribute to it.

Ask the Critic: Are Cronuts Worth the Line?

Interesting. I rarely do lines. I'm also guessing that, with the usual lag, the cronut fad will hit Toronto in about 3-5 years.
(But now I'm curious.)

The Burger Lab's Toppings Week 2013: Poutine Burger

As a Canadian - and not even from Quebec - I have mixed feelings about this. It sounds like it could be really good but I want to dislike the idea more than I do.

A Fond Farewell To National Managing Editor Erin Zimmer

Ask a Bartender: What's The Most Ridiculous Drink Order You've Ever Gotten?

I like ifreefall's story.

Ask a Bartender: What's The Most Ridiculous Drink Order You've Ever Gotten?

Nice ones. I too like "The Green Douchebag". Our local (next door) makes awesome cocktails but it's fun to feign being a douchebag and order outrageous stuff. Because it's our local they can tell us to fuck off (or politely say no) and we're cool. It means they'll also indulge us occasionally.

What annoys me is when people walk into our local craft beer bar and order something like Corona, Heineken, Bud Light, Molson Canadian or Labatt Blue, none of which are on offer. "Craft beer" is in the bar name. It's fun keeping a straight face while the bartender recommends something "similar".

TL;DR version: Know your audience. Be respectful. Don't be a dick.

Farewell, Serious Eaters!

Ask the Critic: Where to Dine Solo, Mother's Day Brunch

akay1: When I was scrolling through my RSS feed that's what I first read too. It was confusing until I read it again.

I've noted the dining solo recommendations because sometimes I visit New York alone. In fact, I have a bookmarks folder dedicated to where to eat in your great city, many of the recommendations coming from SE. I like eating at Clinton St. Baking alone. I've been twice with about a year between each visit, same seat each time, at the 3 person bar.

4 Easy Desserts To Make With Matzo

Those sound delicious. You can't go wrong with a matzoh brittle.

Chametz-Free NYC, Day 3: When We Screw Up

If you're going to eat out during passover, acknowledge that slipups might happen and forgive yourself when they do. Move on. Otherwise, only eat food your make yourself. You could pretend that the concept of "Bittul" applies. That is, if a minute quantity (usually 1/60th) of non-kosher food is mixed into a kosher dish, it becomes nullified, and the entire dish is kosher.

Kale and Cabbage Gratin

I'll bookmark this one for Meatless Monday.

Chametz-Free NYC, Day 1: Eating Well in New York During Passover

As if I needed another reason to want to live in New York. I look forward to the series!

@singingchef: Matzo lasagna! Yes!

This is going to be my second year with my non-Jewish boyfriend, which makes it challenging and not just because he does most of the cooking. I doubt I'll be keeping pesach this year. Last year there was no chance. After family seder we went for beer. On my own it was easy to resist said urge but with a partner in crime, not so much. I kept yom kippur this past fall though, even with my boyfriend cooking for a catering job.

Do You Compost Your Food Scraps?

Toronto's got a municipal program. I don't have a green bin (it got stolen) and instead share the bin of the restaurant next door. I feed it a bag or two a week. In the past when I lived in an apartment building without compost bins I kept scraps in my freezer and then dropped the bags into restaurant bins. When I lived a block from a farmers' market with its own compost program I preferred to take my organic waste there than leave it to the municipal program. It really does cut down on trash.

Worm composting is popular.

Rouge Tomate's Red Tornado

My masticating juicer would be awesome for this. One of my favourite things to juice is pomegranate. I wonder what alcohol would go best with this. Gin? Something orange-y?

Please Stop Pairing Red Wine and Chocolate

Chocolate + port is one of my favourite pairings. Dark chocolate + sweet wine.
Chocolate + beer, yes, especially stouts.

I prefer dark chocolate over sweet anyway.

Kenji's favorite thermometer on sale!

I love my Thermapens (yes, that's plural - my boyfriend convinced me to buy one before we moved in together).
If Serious Eats had the option to vote up posts I'd vote this one up!

@TeacherTalk: Mine came from an open box sale too. No problems with it, but the battery died quickly. That might be my fault because I opened the battery compartment and fiddled around. It takes a standard small round battery (the name escapes me even though it's common).

Our Best Sweet Bites of 2012

Reading this is one of the reasons I'm loving the internet today. (Some days I hate the internet.)

Does rum extract go bad?

I empathize. If you're even questioning it, throw it out. Then use real rum in your nog if you don't have issues with consuming alcohol. Why are you using "imitation extract" in the first place? Always go with real stuff, rum or not.

The Food Lab Redux: 7 Pork Dishes for the Holidays

Just salivated. Thanks.

Holiday Giveaway: The Amazing Thermapen Thermometer

My boyfriend & joke that he asked me to move in because I had a Thermapen, except he already had one and convinced me to buy one. Now we have "His and Hers" or "Indoor/Outdoor" Thermapens.

I subsequently convinced at least 2 other people to buy Thermapens. Mine is orange, boyfriend's is red, both get used because inevitably one or both escape from their home. Every time I see a photo of a red Thermapen on Serious Eats I want to comment.

Thermapen is what Alton Brown uses. We use it when we're barbecuing/smoking.

(By the way, this isn't an entry. I don't know what we'd do with a third. Oh wait, they make great gifts.)

Taste Test: Olo's Chipotle Paste Vs. Canned Chipotle Chilies

When I saw the photo, my eyes momentarily led me to believe that I was looking at a wacky new toothpaste. Then I saw the words.

Sprouts (NOT Brussel sprouts)

I'm talking bean/vegetable/grain sprouts.

Other than in salads and sandwiches/wraps, what uses for sprouts are there? There must be a wider use for them.

Surprisingly, the supplier of the sprouts that I bought don't have any suggestions on their website. The next time I go to their kiosk I'll have to ask.

Bugs in the cupboard

This is pretty gross...
I noticed a couple of bugs in a cupboard where I keep empty jars, spices and extra bulk dried goods that didn't fit into jars. There were a couple in an empty jar. I don't know how they got there, as the jar appears to have been closed.

Then I pulled out a bag of brown rice and found little holes in it. There was a bug trapped in one of those holes. When I transferred the bag's contents to a jar I found a bunch wriggling around. Obviously I'm throwing out that rice. I'm disgusted now.

Does anyone have a solution to both prevent bugs and to get rid of the ones I've got? Is there some sort of trap?

I'll have to go through the cupboard carefully and throw things out and give it a good cleaning. I guess I'm getting rid of stuff for passover after all.

Thanks.

I'm putting this under "good and drink" although it's more miscellaneous.

Cooking with Quail Eggs

I recently bought some on a whim. They were there and cheap, it was a novelty. I've hard boiled them and scrambled them into stuff. Truth be told, they taste like hen eggs. I wouldn't buy them again, but they're cool to have now.

Any ideas for usage?

Help Me Perfect My Stovetop Espresso Maker Coffee

I recently bought a stovetop espresso maker. I read the instructions on the box and also searched online for tips. Instructions and online tips say to heat it on low heat. It takes at least 20 minutes to make the coffee this way, which I didn't realize when I bought it.

Is there a way to speed up the process? Also, how do I know that it's completely ready? I listen for it but there's always some water left in the bottom chamber. I use an electric stove, which might be the problem.

Advice on making the perfect espresso stove top?

Thanks.

Leftover salted caramel and salted caramel frosting

I made Kate’s Beer Geek Chocolate Cupcakes with Salted Caramel to take to a party tonight. I ended up with 18 cupcakes instead of 22-24, and my salted caramel didn't turn out well. I realized that something was wrong when I added the cream and it didn't bubble up. I think that in fear of overcooking/burning I undercooked. The caramel didn't turn dark enough, it didn't thicken enough, and it ended up a bit chunky (white chunks), which might have been from using too much butter (I eyeballed it).

The bigger problem (?), however, is that I have both too much frosting and too much caramel.

*Any ideas of what to do with leftovers?*
*Can frosting be frozen?*

I don't have an ice cream maker, so that's out.

I hope the cupcakes taste good. I topped each with a bit of salt, a drizzle of caramel, a chocolate chunk and a dried cranberry. My other party treat is "matzoh crunch" made from the original recipe on David Lebovitz's website (+pecans and dried cranberries). In the summer heat I've had to refrigerate it, as the chocolate was still not hard hours after I made it.

Wanted: Quick and efficient tips for chopping chocolate

It seems like a simple thing, and yet I can't seem to get it right. I'm currently making a mousse cake the requires chopped chocolate*. I didn't have the patience to chop with a knife so I tried chopping in my Magic Bullet (flat blade) because according to the infomercial, it can do that. Like the previous attempt, it failed (previously I'd also tried freezing the chocolate first, and that didn't work either). Then I tried a plastic bag and hammer. Failed.

So, back to the knife and chopping board, chopping roughly with my palm pressing down on the back of the knife. I cut my hand and the process was messy with chocolate chunks flying over my counter.

Any tips? Is the secret to chopping chocolate a good knife?

Thanks.

*I'm making a chocolate espresso mousse cake recipe that I found at David Lebovitz's blog awhile bag, replacing some of the espresso with Kahlua.

Vegetarian Crock Pot recipes

I've just bought a 4 quart slow cooler on sale, as I've heard positive things about slow cookers and I once had a friend who raved about them. Now I'm looking for recipes. I searched the Serious Eats site and found a Moroccan Jewish dish in comments (November 2007) and I will definitely try it some time, being Jewish. I know that baked beans are an option.

Other ideas?
Can I cook soup in it? I'd use it for the tortilla soup that I'm making for Friday evening (see my previous post) .

Small Mexican themed potluck ideas

Ideas? Recipes? It's "potluck" but I think that there's less than a half dozen of us in attendance so "Mexican fiesta dip for 20" is overkill.

One idea I had was something chocolate. One person won't eat anything custard-like or anything with cooked fruit.

I prefer vegetarian but can work with meat if I make it myself.
(Explanation: I prefer organic meat and have access to a suitable butcher but eating vegetarian is easier and cheaper.)

Tools at my disposal include a rice cooker and a Magic Bullet, if that helps.

Thanks.

Favourite food blogs?

Over time I've been pruning my online news reader (Google Reader, if you're wondering). Even on my slow work days it can take hours for me to get through my feeds, despite skimming headlines. I've removed a lot of recipe blogs because of the tendency to print out recipes that I never use.

Besides Serious Eats, what food blogs/food-related RSS feeds do you like the most? Let's compile a "must read" list.

The Food Lab: Vegan Burgers That Don't Suck

Personally, I do like a good veggie burger. And I'm not talking one of those hockey puck, soy protein, faux-meat, painted-on-grill-mark atrocities aimed at vegetarians who secretly (or publicly) miss meat. I'm talking a veggie burger that actually tastes of grains and vegetables. A veggie burger that celebrates its veggie-ness yet can stand up to and be complemented by the typical toppings and condiments you'd find at a backyard cookout. I'm talking a veggie burger that even a meat-eater would happily eat—topped with cheese and bacon, if they want. And heck, just for the fun of it, why not add an extra challenge here and make the burgers 100 percent vegan as well? More

Mezze Place: The Neighborhood Middle Eastern Restaurant That Astoria Deserves

Mezze Place is a Middle Eastern restaurant in Astoria with a quirky talent for vegetables, a friendly, romantic vibe, and one of the greatest chandeliers in New York. In many respects it's an archetypical neighborhood restaurant—welcoming, affordable, often quietly delicious—with some gems worth bragging about to those in farther zip codes. More

Kale and Cabbage Gratin

This recipe is a great example of a rich, comforting vegetarian dish. Sure, it's loaded with healthy cabbage and its dark green cousin, kale. But it's also topped with cheese and butter. Vegetarian? Yes. Meager? Certainly not. More

Meet & Eat: Gail Simmons

"There is nothing I truly won't eat, but a few foods I prefer not to eat if given the choice. Veal is one of them. I will not refuse to eat it if someone cooks it for me but will never choose to buy or order it. It just does not appeal at all. And black beans. I have a strange aversion to them. A black bean soup made me sick once when I was younger. Oh, and I despise root beer. It makes my skin crawl." More

Why You Should Become a Regular at Jodie's in Albany, CA

The joint's six seats place everyone a good word's length from the griddle, the prep counter, the other customers, and Jodie himself—and Jodie Royston is not a man who takes money from strangers. Naturally, it takes only one meal to become a regular, especially when one takes hunger into account. The restaurant's sprawling menu—over 64 specials splayed across two walls in the form of cheeky laminates and repurposed receipts—offers a bounty of flavor beyond the fried chicken leg. More

The Food Lab: The Best Vegetarian Bean Chili

Why does vegetarian chili get such a bum rap? Beans can taste good in chili. Tomatoes can taste good in chili. Heck, even pork and tomatillos can taste good in chili. So why shouldn't we be able to make a completely meatless version that tastes great as well? My goal this week is to create a 100% vegan chili recipe that has all of the deep chili flavor, textural contrast, and rib-sticking richness that the best chili should have. More

The Vegan Experience, Day 5: Say No To Faux

I can't stand faux meat. I just can't abide by the stuff. I understand the appeal, and it's precisely because veganism is a diet of moral rationale that mock meats exist. Folks don't want to eat animals because it automatically implies exploitation, yet they grew up with delicious bacon and don't want to give it up. It's a trade-off that some people are willing to make, yet deep down (or even just below the surface), I think pretty much every vegan knows that no matter how great those new soy-burger patties are, they'll never compare to the real thing in flavor. My question is, why even bother? More

The Vegan Experience, Day 0

I eat meat, a lot. It's my job. I write about burgers. I tell people how to cook steaks. I fry a half dozen turkeys at a time. It's just what I do. Granted, on a day to day basis outside of work, I consume mostly vegetables accented with a little bit of meat here and there. But when I tell folks that I'm going vegan for a month (starting tomorrow), I get a pretty wide array of responses. This is precisely why I feel like it's an interesting project to take on. More

The Food Lab: The Best Guacamole (and the Science of Avocados)

Guacamole was the very first dish I learned how to make, unless you count heating up a frozen chicken pot pie or pouring hot water into a Cup of Noodles. The best guacamole is the simplest. What's the best way to incorporate aromatics? Does the seed really prevent it from browning? What's the best way to mash your 'cados? We'll answer all of those questions today. More

From Behind the Bar: So You Want to Open a Bar

Your life sucks. Sure, you make good money, but you're never home, you hate your boss, whatever industry you're in is either uninspiring or downright evil, and you want to take your ill-gotten gains and leverage them in to something that gives you the lifestyle you've always wanted. Do you open a Subway franchise? No way. Where's the fun in that? You want to do something fun. You want to open a bar. More

Grocery Girl: Identifying Yourself as a Food Person

We plot what we will eat next. We daydream about what we ate yesterday. We set our sites on the perfect ice cream cone, the ideal curry, the ramen to put all other ramen to shame. A great meal brings brightens us down to the soul, inspires us, elates us. And we delight in its details and myriad components—the shopping, the planning, the prepping, the cooking. The sights and smells and flavors; the conversation and nuance and joy and possibility. More

So Long, Folks (and See You Next Week)

Well, folks, are you sitting down?* This is it for me. The end of an era. After four and a half years at Serious Eats/SENY, almost eight years of blabbing on Slice, and six years of intermittent burgering on A Hamburger Today, I'm bidding a fond farewell to you all. Today's my last day at Serious Eats, a site (a group of websites, really) that I'm happy and extremely grateful to have had a part in shaping. More

The Nasty Bits: How to Make Chicharrones

When I asked Kenji if he knew of any good recipes for chicharrones, he instantly thought of a technique he learned in Colombia. The method seemed too good to be true: place segments of pork belly in a wok with a bit of water, set it over the stove, and let the fat render out over the course of a few hours. Towards the end, turn up the heat, thereby using the fat in the wok to deep-fry the belly. More

Nutritional Yeast- How do you use it?

I often read recipes calling for nutritional yeast. Most often they are vegetarian or vegan recipes that look interesting to me but I have not tried them because I know little about the ingredient. I know a good number of... More