I love cats and hate dogs. Do not try to convince me otherwise.

  • Website
  • Location: Canada's version of NYC.
  • Favorite foods: Coffee. Dark chocolate. Red wine. Chili peppers.
  • Last bite on earth: As opposed to where, exactly? ewwwkay. Well, hmm. Your heart.

Knife Skills: How to Clean, Trim, and Prepare Artichokes

I agree these methods sorta waste the parts that always made eating artichokes such a joy for me ...picking off each leaf, dipping in garlic sauce/dressing, and scraping the "meat" off between your teeth! And trying to avoid pricking yourself working through the choke, daring to bite off the tender parts while not swallowing the thistle-y part. And finally, that prize heart when you get to the end.

Boil/steam the whole untrimmed thing until tender, is my easy way (still hurts my eyes to see alllll the discarded edible leaves)!

How to Make the Ultimate Poutine

Hey, yeah good effort but it is poultry based gravy(I'm from Que).

"Heavy beef or pork-based brown gravies are rarely used."

But the vegetarian gravies have the best umami and are becoming more standard, I've noticed.

Also, I bet y'all are saying pooo-teeen, but no, it's p'tsin where I'm from ;)

Fresh or canned/packaged?

Re: shredded cheese, thank you missmochi & spilk. Honestly.

Two Different Names

I've always heard, and referred to "chocolate bars" as such, but it's an interesting US-ism that these treats are referred to as "candy bars" or just generally "candy".

Candy, to me, is devoid of chocolate and every time i hear "candy bar", it hurts my Canadian brain.

Oh we'll. I'm sure I'll get over it.

Halloween Traditions?

Right?? And thanks for that interesting bit of Italian tradition trivia. I was not aware of such an occasion! What kind of goodies, Mr. Nick? I may need an excuse to celebrate again after nye :)

What are you drinking in the storm?

My main squeeze says this weather would be considered "a nice day" in Ireland. So, Guiness it is!

Fresh or canned/packaged?

Don't get me started on bags of pre-shredded cheese.

Okay, I'm started... It's USELESS. Expensive, over-processed, and doesn't melt right.

For me, it's the one product that makes me feel stabby.

Halloween Traditions?

A friend's two girls get a visit from The Great Pumpkin every year, the night after the Charlie Brown special airs.

This morning they woke up and found a gift basket each, containing the loot bags they'll use on trick o treating nite, a Monster Bratz doll, some "Hallowe'en bucks", and other treats.

If we had kids, I'd totally start this tradition!

Taste Test: The Best Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese


Here is what I tried to type. SIGH (also, amirite??):

Timely. During our Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend, I was in a spa-like washroom that had me lingering over the basket of magazines.

The Walrus was on the top,about my beloved KRAFT DINNER:

My favourite part, vis a vis Canada?...

"This makes KD, not poutine, our de facto national dish. We eat 3.2 boxes each in an average year, about 55 percent more than Americans do. We are also the only people to refer to Kraft Dinner as a generic for instant mac and cheese. The Barenaked Ladies sang wistfully about eating the stuff: “If I had a million dollars / we wouldn’t have to eat Kraft Dinner / But we would eat Kraft Dinner / Of course we would, we’d just eat more.” In response, fans threw boxes of KD at the band members as they performed. This was an act of veneration."

Kraft Dinner, and NOT Poutine our national dish??? As much as I love Kraft Dinner AND Bare Naked Ladies (the drummer tyler stewart is a pal), this is sorta blasphemy.

Taste Test: The Best Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese

Timely. During our Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend, I was in a spa-like washroom that had me lingering over the basket of magazines.

The Walrus was on the top,about my beloved KRAFT DINNER:


Quirky Eating.

Well this is weird: If I am in the company of others, I can eat like a normal person.

HOWEVER. If I had my rathers, I would eat every meal in a deep bowl with a spoon. Yes, even spaghetti. I think this is why I like short shaped pasta dishes so much. It's all so conveniently spoonable.

A bowl keeps the food temperature nice and hot as well. Plates cool the food down too quickly. Nothing worse than a plate of rice, peas, and / or corn going cold while forking up one or two kernels at a time. Especially when there are no mashed potatoes to glue the little things to your fork!

There was also a period where I needed to add hot sauce to everything, and not whimpy tobasco, but the xxx-sign-a-waiver hot versions! And I could not cook a dish without using either cayenne or chili flakes (I'm talking upwards of a 1/4 cup sometimes)...

Gosh. It all sounds a lot weirder, now that I am sharing it in typed words.

Where to Find the Best European-Style Frankfurters in Philadelphia

uhm. I sorta got turned on when I saw these pics...

WTF: A Whopper Topped with 1,000 Slices of Cheese

Someone make a Spaceballs reference, please.

Thanks, don't mind if I do!

...that looks like Pizza the Hut's baby.

Taste Test: A Guide to Black Pepper

I think this is one of my favourite SE articles. I don't always use salt, but I grind pepper on absolutely everything. This is a thoughtful resource!

Worthless items

That's against my vice-principals.

Ha! T&s, you have given me a craving to rewatch season 4.

Worthless items

Oh, tea-and-syncope, INDEED it is. Ricky is my boy... Worst case Ontario. Etc. :)

Worthless items

Baby corn cobs in a stir fry. BLECCH.

I laughed at the parchment paper cutting debacle. I always say to myself, REALLY!?? after tearing a scrunched off sheet.

Sunday Brunch: Sausage-Stuffed Corn Muffins

Just when I've thought the internet couldn't possibly enhance my life any more, a recipe like this gets posted. Hurray!

Question about Potato Chips Styles

LEMONFAIR, I AM LOVING THAT IDEA! It might actually be a way for me to like the wavy chips... If I nibble one ridge at a time, I can make the chip last longer, and not eat as many! I may have to challenge myself to this test :))

Question about Potato Chips Styles

Heehee, I was going to fix it to "first world" when proof reading, then thought: Hmm, I'll just leave it and see if anyone notices.


Never heard of Gibble's, but holy cow.

And I have to make the distinction between crinkle cuts. The Main Squeeze came home with a "wide wave" Lays version, and I just can't get on side with those, even if there is a dip present. I like the smaller ridges of a Ruffles chip way better, I find them more addictive.... On second thought, perhaps it was just as well!)

Dinner Triage: Fixing "finished" dishes

Cady, you are a peach (call me whatever you want! :)

Thanks for those vinegar/herb ideas. I'll definitely try them out!

Dinner Triage: Fixing "finished" dishes

I like a fresh garnish to enliven my dishes. Usually chopped green onion, cilantro, parsley, or my new recent love: chives and their flowers.

And of course, some hearty twists of the pepper mill, always. I think my blood requires it now.

R. Kelly themed party - need to make punch that looks like pee.

Best question ever.

Lemonade and vodka? Pineapple and mango juice combinations would be tasty too, if people are okay with tropical flavours.

Cakespy: Hot Dog Cookies

Sweet!! If you didn't want to add food colouring, perhaps make a chocolatey dough for a brown wiener! (didn't intend for that to sound quite so lewd)

PS: lovin' the slaw dawg!

Who am I???

Yes, Alaina, all fixed, and LOVE the new site very much! Well done, you guys!! :))

Question about Potato Chips Styles

Well, I'm obviously not doing anything interesting tonight, so I'll ask this:

The Main Squeeze came home and threw a bag of potato chips on the couch (claiming it was a "dinner vegetable"... sigh). And it was a bag of Lays "wavy" style chips. The ones with a large krinkle cut.

I am normally not picky when it comes to salty snacks, but I inwardly frowned when I saw them. If I'm going to blow my fat percentage for the day, I would prefer my potato chips to be either kettle cooked with lots of curly and folded pieces to savour, or a Ruffles style (with a small, tight ridge).

Third world problem, I realize, but does anyone else feel strongly about their potato chips style?

Who am I???

So, I woke up and sleepily wiped seeds out of my eyes, and checked my beloved SE. Woah. Found out that not only did I need to reconsider my glasses prescription, in attempt to read this site (boo to this font, blech), BUT.... I'm not who I say I am!!

I clicked on my profile and found out that I'm actually Jerry O'Martin.... Blink Blink.

My whole profile is gone. Even my favourites are obliterated!!!!! No!!!

And for the record, I'm the hugest fan of transgendered rights (go Miss Canada), but, um, I'm a gal. So, all respect to "Jerry O'Martin", but who the eff are you, and why have you taken over my beloved profile??????

Crycrycry. Again.

What is dummer: St. Patricks Day or 420?

So. Apparently this is a thing. April 20th is the day that everyone smokes pot. It's been happening for 20 odd years, but I've only heard of this today. How did that happen!

ANYHOO. Did you celebrate this with a huge dubie and bag of chips, or what? Also, I'm all for being overserved on March 17th, with Guinness, but do we need a day for it? (Love you Irish folk, honestly!)

Not sure, where I'm going with this post, but I've had a few vodkas this eve, instead of getting stoned, so. Yeah.

So, which would you rather celebrate, and how... or what's your favourite munchies food whence the urge hits?

April Fool!...success?

Since my Main Squeeze is up in Ottawa for the Juno Awards (a Canadian music thing), I had to play a trick on myself.

First, I replaced the sugar bowl with salt, to spoon into my coffee. Then, I went to church.

What did you do? Or, have happened to you? Non-food related tricks are welcome as well, so I can use it next year :)

GRAMMY AWARDS TONIGHT - What are you eating?

Well, usually every year, we meet up with our music industry pals at a central location with a big-arse screen, and a liquor license so we can play drinking games such as: Take a shot every time someone thanks god. Yeah, you can't really watch that sh*tshow sober.

This year, it's just me and my main squeeze stayin home, but we still want to make a fun evening out of it.

Any of you guys going to watch it, or have any suggestions for snacks / dinner?

PS: may you rest in peace, Whitney Houston

Treating a new cutting board?

We just bought an Ikea cutting board (more like a chopping block) that I'm so chuffed about, but having unveiled the packaging, the instructions indicate that we need to oil it prior to use, with one of their Swedish "Bahandala treatment oils". Or whatever overpriced oil they are shilling.

Right. Well, getting to Ikea is sort of a vision quest, since it's so out of the city for us. Plus, my brain-stem nearly caught on fire tonight after navigating its maze, enduring other peoples kids' temper tantrums, and waiting in the huge line at the cashier. Evil.

So, how have you seasoned / cleaned / readied your brand new wooden chopping block? I consulted the almighty googler, but my eyes start crossing after having to click more than twice for a definitive answer (the only thing I came away with, was not to treat with cooking oil, since it will turn rancid over time).

What are your personal cheap and easy solutions to oiling / caring for a new wood chopping block?

PS: It's made of beech wood, if that matters (can't wait to start murdering on it! :)

Best (or worst) Inspired Cooking Moment!!

Right off the top, I was inspired by MissMaki's question about baked or fried falafels:, so merci!

I was going to post to that question, then realized I have a whole nother can of worms to open.

Thinking about it, my best cooking idea happened when we were going to host some great friends for dinner, a hundred years ago, in 2002. (Our pals were lamenting that they wished the 2am after-bar food in their small town of Guelph, Ontario consisted of more than just hot dog stands; why can't they make a GD falafel!?!)

So, BEING IN A CITY WITH REAL AFTER-HOURS FOOD (kidding Toronto is just as bad, having only hot dog carts... plus I heart Guelph :) I wanted to make falafels for their visit.

Planning the menu, and zoning out for a moment, I happened to stare at the waffle maker (circa 1950, thanks mum!) and thought:


Why not? And may I say, BEST idea ever.

I admit, I used a mix, but they were crispy on the outside, and cloud-fluffy on the inside. Instead of the classic "balls" I cut them up into fingers, which rolled nicely into the pita. Plus, the waffle grooves were perfect vehicles for the chopped onion, tomato, lettuce, and sauce. GENIUS. If I may say.

On that note, what are your best AHA I'M A GENIUS cooking moments?

(My worst was adding frozen corn kernels to a Vodka Soda tall... Yes, you can judge, and kick me thusly . Um, I may have been drunk :)

Do you like getting a cone?

Now that the weather is cooperating, all the ice cream shops in my area (The Beach, in Toronto) have line-ups out the door.

So, strolling along the Queen St East strip this long-weekend, I have noticed an equal split between people who get their ice cream fix with a spoon in a to-go cup, and an actual cone. Mostly, the ladies eat out of a cup, and the kids & men get cones.

I am a gal, and understand the urge to calorie-cut, but when it comes to a summer-time treat, I'm sorta going to enjoy it for real. I always order my ice cream in a waffle cone when available (sometimes dipped in chocolate with nuts).

So what do you prefer? Is your ice cream vessel of choice, in a cup w/ a spoon, or in it's own tasty edible cone...

Waffle cone
Wafer cone (pointy or flat based)
Pretzel cone
Sugar cone

Or do you daintily lick away with a spoon & a throw-away cup?

The Double Double, a national canuck treasure rejected?

I heard something of interest this morning on a popular Canadian radio show (CBC's "Q", hosted by Jian Ghomeshi) that one of our country's institutions, Tim Hortons, has not been able to (ahem) take off eh, with our good American neighbours*

Tim Hortons is a coffee and policehangout-imeandonut chain that basically infests our highways, biways and strip malls with a population that is beyond double of McDonald's (McD's: 1400 outlets, Timmy's: 3000 outlets), to give an indication of its ridiculous popularity.

Speaking of double, Starbucks can have its Venti's and Grand-ay's, Tim Horton's has the "double double", which means a coffee with 2 creams, 2 sugars - they mix your coffee for you... and is part of why I dislike this place, second only to the fact that the coffee is a weak slurry of failure (the Timbits are great, though!).

But I am sort of alone with my assessment of the coffee, since my fellow countryfolk have elevated its national popularity right up there with poutine and hockey. Oh Canada.

So the comment made by Jian today, was along the lines of: "based on a recent report, the Tim Horton's targeted U.S. infiltration is falling flat... is this an example of simply one of those Canadian-only treasures, like the Tragically Hip, or The Game of Hockey, that only we Canucks 'get'?"

And I thought that was an interesting and patriotic-themed musing for you fellow-SE'ers out there: What regional chain (or food!) do you have in your area that, try as it might, simply can't be "understood" outside of your town, region, or country?

*by the way, happy July 4th! We have a birthday too on July 1st, named Canada D'eh :)

Should I have sent the drink back?

I was sitting at the pub after work recently, reading a book and waiting for my boyfriend, when the bartender sets a glass of wine in front of me.

"Compliments of the gentleman at the end of the bar".

I was flabbergasted, flustered, and surprised to say the least, and stammered out a thank you and hastily and embarassed-ly (a word? :) toast-gestured in his direction.

As he raised out of his seat to come over to talk to me, my bf arrived and swooped in. The "gentleman" stopped in his tracks, and shook his head before sitting back down. He then shot us dirty looks the rest of the time (I decided we should just leave after finishing our round).

Anyhoo. Should I have refused it? I just felt taken so off-guard. And if anyone hands me a free anything, my instant response is to accept, whether I'm "available" or not! Is he correct in reacting so disapprovingly?

And not that it would, but if this ever happens again, what is the universal expectation if a gal accepts a drink sent over by a stranger?

Not passionate about food... A relationship deal breaker?

Right. So February 14th (aka Single's Appreciation Day) has come and gone, and now that the lights have been turned up again, I have a hard question to ask myself. If the person you are dating is great in every way, but you can't go to your favourite restaurant because THEY are averse to the cuisine, is this relationship doomed?

Or similarly, if you yourself are a person with a passion for cooking, eating, and farmers market-ing, but your main squeeze is all "foodwhat?" and could subsist on a diet fit for the palate of a 4 year old (no spice, no sauce, pass the Krap Dinner and that bottle of ketchup thanks) would this be a deal breaker for you?

I guess the real question I'm pitching and have to answer for myself - assuming that everyone here more-than-appreciates the gastronomical experience; do any of you have a successful love relationship with a significant other who is "just not into" food? AND HOW DOES THAT WORK EXACTLY!!

PS: yes, the other passion that matters, is great ;)

Black Pepper Tofu

[Photograph: Blake Royer] Adapted from Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi. About the author: Blake Royer is a food writer, photographer, and filmmaker based in Chicago; he has been writing for Serious Eats since 2007. You can follow him on Twitter @blakeroyer.... More

Chickpea, Potato, and Spinach Jalfrezi With Cilantro Chutney

Jalfrezi is more similar in its cooking method to dry-fried Chinese dishes rather than the typical wet Indian curry. It's made by cooking spicy green chiles (I use Thai bird chiles, you can use serranos or jalapeños if you prefer) along with onion, garlic, ginger, cilantro stems and red peppers. The key to great flavor development is to cook down the aromatics in oil until almost all the moisture is driven from them and they become sticky and begin to brown. To this flavorful base, a few spices are added (hot paprika, cumin, coriander, and turmeric), along with chopped tomatoes. More