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piccola

  • Location: Toronto, Canada

Manner Matters: Birthday Bill Blues

I disagree with the "whoever invites pays" rule -- it's a nice concept, but completely outdated and practically no one abides by it. I've been to many birthday dinners where the person celebrating did the inviting and I can guarantee no one expected them to foot the bill. Quite the opposite, everyone knew we would be splitting the cost of their bill on top of our own. Nobody would organize birthday dinners - or restaurant dinners of any kind - if they had to pick up the tab every time.

As someone else pointed out, the only time you can probably assume someone else is paying is if they clearly say they are taking you out or asking you to be their guest.

Falafel Waffles = Wafalafels

Still think you should call it fawaffle.

Manner Matters: Playing the Dating Game

Coffee or drinks are good first dates in my book. What is this workday lunch you speak of? Taking an hour to go meet someone for non-work things isn't feasible for everyone.

I've never been to dinner for a first date - that's usually third or fourth date material. But I wouldn't want to go through the whole 20 questions thing. Please take into account that I'm vegetarian, but otherwise, show me what you like. Also: I don't think guys (or whoever asks) are still required to pay for dinner, much less the first two dates. Most people I know go Dutch, or one pays for the drinks and the other buys the snacks.

The Vegan Experience: Welcome to Year 3

I've been vegetarian for more than half my life - made the switch when I was 14 - and I've never been tempted to go back. But veganism doesn't work for me. I tried for a few months in my early 20s and found it very difficult to eat properly. I lead an even busier lifestyle now and I rely on eggs and dairy for quick meals most days of the week. Plus I genuinely enjoy eating them. So my compromise is to buy organic and free-range. I often eat vegan too, but it's by coincidence, not by design.

Cereal Eats: A Disappointing Sampling Of Special K Varieties

I know it's not on this list, but have you tried Special K Protein? It's a delicious and rather healthy granola-type cereal. Better than their official granola, anyway.

Gadgets: TopChips, Trays for Making Potato Chips in Your Microwave

I got one for Christmas and I love it - though with just the one plate, making enough for a party takes a lot of time. I've only tried vegetables so far, but might test out some apple chips this fall.

Sugar Rush: Ice Cream Sandwiches at BakerBots, Toronto

I live a few minutes from here and the temptation is constant. Even the half-sandwich is gigantic - the full is almost the size of a small cake.

We Try Sonic's New Cinnasnacks

I must be the only person who doesn't like either the frosting or the goo. Give me doughy cinnamon buns any day. So yeah, will skip this one.

Cook the Book: 'Hiroko's American Kitchen'

Miso is the obvious answer, but I also use a lot of gomasio and nori (usually toasted and crumbled on top of things or as a wrap for various grains and veggies).

I Made A Spanish Tortilla Out Of Salt and Vinegar Potato Chips

This would be even better with ketchup chips.

Cereal Eats: If You Could Bring Back One Discontinued Cereal...

Where do you folks live that Quaker Corn Bran doesn't exist anymore? It's practically in every Canadian grocery store.

We Try the New Bacardi Light Strawberry Daiquiri

Meh, I appreciate the effort. These products always bring out some twisted sense of curiosity in me and I'm glad someone else checked it out before I gave in.

Taste Test: Ready-To-Cook Meals From Blue Apron

While I can see the appeal for some, the amount of waste generated by this kind of thing is absolutely horrendous. All these ingredients that have to be packaged, the instructions that have to be printed, etc. -- that's a lot of garbage that wouldn't otherwise exist.

The Food Lab Turbo: How To Make The Best Grilled Cheese Sandwich

To level-up, butter the bread, then coat with grated parmesan cheese. The whole sandwich gets a crispy cheese crust.

Vegetarian: Spicy Rice Noodle Salad with Cabbage and Tofu

Yeah, pretty much any recipe can be vegetarian with some substitutions, but that doesn't make them vegetarian recipes. It would be nice if the tag was reserved for dishes that are meant to be veg.

Let's Get Drunk Watching: The Bachelor

Please do this with all the shows. At the beginning of the season.

For The Best Vegan Banh Mì In Chinatown, Mash It Up

Please make this taste test happen.

Goldfish from 'Classic Snacks Made from Scratch'

I wonder if you could just use the powder from Kraft Dinner...

Let's Get Drunk Watching: The Taste

@Vinny - "The Cat" owns a restaurant?? What's it called? Is it any good? (By which I mean, I have to go there.)

Ben & Jerry's Says Goodbye to "30 Rock" with New "Liz Lemon" Greek Yogurt

Yeah, I was rooting for Night Cheesecake.

A Basic Introduction to Vietnamese Food

Curious: is it possible to buy fish mint in North America? I'm veg and while I don't like to eat fake animal products, an herb that replicates that briny sea flavour would be really interesting to experiment with.

Cook the Book: 'Stewed'

I have a huge soft spot for soon dubu when it gets bitterly cold outside, but otherwise, my favourite is stone soup -- basically whatever I have on hand. I've hit on some mighty tasty comfort food just by improvising.

Cook the Book: 'Home Made Winter'

Vegetarian split pea soup is my thing. I have to make it at home because everywhere else it has some kind of pork in it.

Bake the Book: Edible DIY

Homemade nutella! It's super easy but looks really hard.

The Food Lab Lite: Roasted Pumpkin Soup with Brown Butter and Thyme

My favourite combo right now is pumpkin (or squash) and chipotle, with a little cumin and a squeeze of lime. I find the heat and acidity offset the sweetness of the pumpkin.

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Where to Eat with Vegetarians and Meat Lovers in NYC: An Omnivorous Guide to 60 Restaurants

Being a vegetarian in New York isn't the challenge it used to be, but that doesn't mean it's always easy. Sure, most restaurants these days offer one or two decent vegetarian options, but sometimes you don't want the pasta or a meal made cobbled together from side dishes. With that in mind, here are 60 recommendations for restaurants that accommodate vegetarians without disappointing carnivores. More

Bread Baking: Savory Monkey Bread

It's a funny name, and it's a fun loaf of bread. I don't know what it is about pull-apart loaves, but they invite nibbling. People who would normally eat one slice of bread often find themselves unable to resist pulling off just one more little bit. And then one more. And then this little piece is dangling ... this bread simply doesn't last long. When most people think of monkey bread, they think of the cinnamon-sugar version, but there's no reason why you can't make an herby, savory version that's perfect for lunch, brunch, or dinner. More

Seriously Asian: Tofu Skin

If you shop at Asian markets, you may have seen packages of tan-colored, wrinkled bundles resembling gnarled sticks. While its dried appearance may not look particularly appetizing, tofu skin, also called yuba, dried beancurd, or soybean skin, is my go-to vegetarian option to serve to vegetarians who miss the taste of meat. More

David Lebovitz's Super-Lemony Soufflés

Truth be told, I was a little nervous about this whole soufflé endeavor (visions of fallen soufflés haunted me). But as it turned out, these little lemony concoctions were a breeze, not more involved than making a stovetop custard and folding in whipped egg whites. And once they came out of the oven, perfectly puffy and lightly browned on top, I realized they might just be the ideal summer dessert. More

Dinner Tonight: Tortilla Soup

The real pleasures of tortilla soup come with the garnishes: the smooth coolness of avocado, the smoky chew of dried chiles, the burst of cilantro, the crunch of cabbage. Add all that to a golden, chickeny broth, tinged with tomatoes and the mellow heat of toasted chiles, and you have a restorative meal to last through these remaining weeks of winter doldrums. More