29 April 2009

Smoked Trout

I just ate crackers and Smoked Trout from Trader Joe's. Peanut was pretty excited about this, seen here washing his paws in anticipation.

He looked so hopeful . . . but it was all in vain. No trout for Peanut.

28 April 2009

Earl and Toby's

Early afternoon pre-softball dinner at Earl's: some kind of chicken curry thing. Photo by Jody's iPhone. Post-softball: stolen nachos and chicken wings from the Re-Ups at Toby's.

27 April 2009

Char marks; Timbits

Tonight I ate at a house with a BBQ . . . salmon, pork, asparagus, zucchini -- everything was grilled. Mmmm delicious char marks. Timbits also made regular appearances throughout the day, between 10am and 11pm. The 40-pack just keeps on giving.

26 April 2009

Barley Vegetable Soup +

President's Choice Instant Barley Vegetable Soup. Atop piles of homework. And, ummm, Panago pizza again. Tropical chicken. Aaaand Strewn Cabernet Franc, more delicious booty from the Niagara-on-the-Lake mini-winery tour. And Blenz, featuring one latté, one brownie, and one Max.

25 April 2009

Panago; Sunrype

Denman Street domestic indulgence: Panago pizza and Sun Rype Apple Pineapple Banana juice.

24 April 2009

SIDEKICKS; Lentils with Peppers & Onions

I mixed the other half of the can of lentils with red and green peppers and onions, salt and pepper and red pepper flakes and tempered red mustard seeds.

Aaaand Sidekicks. Tonight, in potato form. Cheddar & broccoli scalloped potatoes. Note: Some Sidekicks require the addition of milk; some do not. When you go about purchasing your supply of Sidekicks, make sure to buy some of each. Because if you're the kind of person who cooks with Sidekicks, you're likely the kind of person who doesn't have milk in the fridge.

23 April 2009

Curry Point

Curry Point at Lonsdale Quay. I love you, butter chicken.

22 April 2009

Wednesday Vacation

I cashed in a vacation day to take a mini holiday from my life . . . and attempt to organize it. I got a lot done. But didn't cook. I made this instant soup, ate an apple and filled up on pizza slices.

Then: first bike ride of the season! for some late night nachos and cream ales at The Foundation.

21 April 2009


I went to watch this
and ate this and this.

20 April 2009

Lentil Mushroom Alfredo; Dirty Dishes

I am officially operating at full capacity. There is too much stuff to do. SO MUCH STUFF. I'm not complaining. But it's a challenge to find time to cook. So I'm keeping things as simple as possible. Simple cooking is still a minor triumph over grabbing a slice of pizza on the way out. Even if it involves Sidekicks. Ooooh, Sidekicks. Tonight's flavour was "Mushroom Alfredo." I mixed in roasted bell peppers left over from yesterday and half a can of lentils, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. It was, surprisingly, ok. Here also is a photo of my sinkful of dirty dishes. And here is a song called Dirty Dishes. Feel free to play it on a loop while you do your own dishes.

19 April 2009

Peppery Brown Sugar Salmon Flambé

The first meal I cooked since I've been back home, tonight I made Peppery Brown Sugar Salmon Flambé with pan-roasted bell peppers. Flambé because the foil accidentally caught on fire while I was broiling it in the last two minutes of baking time. Special thanks to Sonya whom I forced to abandon her unlocked bicycle outside Granville Island Market, and who then purchased my salmon for me when I remembered that I didn't bring my wallet.

18 April 2009

Crab Backs

We had a viewing party for Aaron's show (that he edited) Glutton for Punishment tonight. It was lobster-themed, and we ate lobster bisque, with Richard's best homemade bread ever. I made some crab backs, a Trinidadian recipe handed down from my mom . . . when I was at home she gave me my very own set of crab back porcelain shells from Trinidad.

The crab back recipe calls for bread crumbs . . . I used panko (Japanese bread crumbs), but I think they are a bit too delicate; they don't really hold up any kind of crunchiness, they just kind of get absorbed. I therefore kept adding more and more and then too much panko, and kind lost the natural texture of the crab meat. Sooo, next time: normal bread crumbs. I also used only about 1/4 the onion that the recipe called for, and forgot the salt and pepper. So, it wasn't quite up to my mom's standards, but it still tasted reminiscent of her crab backs. I need some practice.

Here's the recipe, as transcribed by my mom. Note: Trinidadians call bell peppers "sweet peppers." Pepper is generally otherwise assumed to be hot or spicy.

Crab Backs

Grannie’s recipe.

Should be served in crab shells or any kind of fish shell or failing that, small pyrex dishes. Makes 12 crab backs.

6 tins of crab
1 medium onion
4 blades of chive
2 tsp Worchestershire sauce
½ each of sweet pepper (green and red) -- cut up very finely
¼ cup butter
juice of ½ lime
salt and pepper to taste
1½ Tbsp bread crumbs or more if required. * Do not make mixture too bready. Crab is the essential taste.


Open crab cans and drain all liquid from them. Place in a bowl and season with Worchestershire sauce, lime, and salt and pepper.

Chop onion, chives and peppers very small.

Melt butter in large skillet and add chopped vegetables. Add flaked crab meat. Mix well. Add bread crumbs to thicken mixture.

Let cool a little and fill shells or containers with mixture. Sprinkle with bread crumbs.

Place under the broiler until bread crumbs brown. Do not burn.

Ready to serve. This is great as an appetizer or first course at a meal or for lunch!

P.S. Here is a photo of Richard's beautiful bread. Apparently the secret ingredient is beer.

Mac & Cheese and Pinot Gris

During my Niagara-on-the-Lake mini wine tour, I bought a delicious bottle of Stonechurch Pinot Gris. They cold soak the grape skins so that it ends up looking more like a rosé, but maintains the subtle, complex structure of a Pinot. The merchant told me he's been pretty stumped trying to find the right pairing for this wine, but I discovered it last night: Claudia and Janos's Gouda, Old Cheddar and Monterey Jack Mac & Cheese, with garlic bread.

Below we see the lone Mac & Cheese sitting and watching Brian Eno's 14 Video Paintings. Photos by Jackie Wong.

16 April 2009

Six Acres

More afterwork dining with the Whitecapettes, this time with our illustrious author Pierre, at Six Acres. We ordered every dip we could find on the menu. Photos by Mauve's iPhone.

15 April 2009

The Cambie

Spontaneous post-work burgers and beers at The Cambie with the Whitecapettes -- the direct result of our publicist spending a little too much time with a certain BBQ book this afternoon.

14 April 2009

Random food that crossed my path

Pre-softball practice: Pizzo pizza slice. Post-softball: random foods courtesy of Liz & Claudia. White wasabi peas, a chicken foot, and a bowl of Kraft Dinner. Photos by Richard Sexton. David Byrne coaster by Aaron. Hand by Claudia.

Cod and Grasshoppers

Monday April 13 -- Branzino alla Crosta (pistachio crusted wild Alaskan black cod with a fire roasted pepper sauce) at Quattro on Fourth. So so so so good. Grasshoppers at The Nelson Cafe.

Airplane Food

Sunday April 12 -- Dinner: Airplane food courtesy of my mom. (Thanks Mom!) Chicken sandwich, smoked almonds and Girl Guide cookies. In-flight movie: Frost/Nixon. The ground: Pretty far away.

13 April 2009


Saturday April 11 -- My dad and I made Svíčková, my favourite Czech meal. You may want to become a fan of it too, once you've tasted it.

We used a pressure cooker, which doubles the pressure so that the food inside cooks at a higher temperature. My dad explains: "At higher elevations, where the pressure is lower, water boils at a lower temperature (eg. Water allegedly boils at 90° in Denver). When pressure is increased, water boils at a higher temperature." With a pressure cooker we can use less water, but still maximize on temperature for cooking the food . . . And because the temperature is higher, we don't have to cook it for as long.

Generally you would buy the cheapest, toughest meat you can find, and use a pressure cooker to tenderize it. That's how Czechs roll: Save on both money AND time with a little thing called SCIENCE. The meat we used wasn't bad to begin with, so we only needed 20 minutes in the pressure cooker.

Here is a photo of the root vegetables that form the base of the sauce. If you can't find celery root, then substitute with celery.


6 eye of round steaks
salt & pepper
half of 1 celery root
6 large carrots
2 medium parsnips
1 medium onion
beef stock

peel of 1 lemon
peppercorns (about 5 per steak)
allspice (about 5 total)
5–6 bay leaves (FRESH)
1 tsp thyme (optional)
sour cream (just over half a 500 mL container)
Serve with
cranberry sauce
lemon slices
bread dumplings

Peel and chop the veggies. Salt and pepper the meat, and sear it.

Add veggies to the pot and pour in 2–3 cups water (with beef stock if desired) to almost cover. Add seasonings.

Pressure cook 20 minutes (or about 1 1/2 hours, covered, if you don't have a pressure cooker) until meat is tender and veggies close to disintegration.

Remove meat from broth and set aside. Use a hand blender to blend veggies and seasonings until smooth. Pass through a seive if necessary. Add sour cream and blend again. (If sauce is not thick enough, add corn starch mixed with a little water and bring to a boil. It's preferable not to do this, and if you have this problem, use more carrots next time.)

The sauce should have a subtle tangy sourness. Add lemon juice to taste if necessary.

Serve with bread dumplings, cranberry sauce and a lemon slice.

A couple more notes on the bread dumplings: here's a photo of the desired "slightly runny" consistency of the dough, with bread pieces mixed in. When packing the dough into the containers, use a wet spoon to press it down to minimize formation of air bubbles in the dumplings.

11 April 2009

Synthetic Nuggets

With the leftover yolks from yesterday's meringues plus additional ingredients, my mom made me this wonderful omelette for breakfast. Yay mom!

We lunched at Strega Cafe. Niagara's Best Blonde, brewed right on St. Paul Street in St. Catharines, is a lovely beer.

Dinner in Toronto at Pogue Mahone (shepherd's pie) followed by some of Sean's street nuggets en route to The Beaver. Followed by a 5am-bedtime-snack of Pralines ice cream and gossip.

09 April 2009

Michelle Meringue; Kilt & Clover; The Merch

Yesterday we made soupees. Also known as meringues. Also known as the things I failed miserably at making a little while back. So I guess (one of the things that) it really comes down to with meringues is having the right equipment. Don't try to make these in a blender. Here is a recipe transcribed by my mom:


4 egg whites
½ tsp. cream of tartar
1 Cup Sugar (8 oz.)
1 Tsp. Vanilla Essence

Preheat oven to 200-250° (Depending on how hot your oven works, read the following. IF oven tends to run hot; heat oven at 200° and bake for 1.5 hours. IF oven tends to run regular; heat oven at 250° bake for 1 hour).

Beat egg whites with cream of tartar until quite frothy. (looks slightly stiff)

Gradually add 1 cup of very fine sugar a tablespoon at a time. (This sugar may be found in the groceries) or use castor sugar. If neither can be found use granulated sugar put into blender at high speed and grind until fine).

Gradually drop in 1 tsp. Vanilla Essence while beating.

Beat until stiff peaks form.

Drop by large spoonfuls onto cookie sheets lined with brown paper or waxed paper.

Once baking time complete, turn off oven. Open oven door ajar and let the Soupees sit in oven until cool and at room temperature.

Store carefully in air tight container. (Fragile -break easily)

Later I had dinner with my dad at Kilt & Clover in Port Dalhousie, where all the waiters wear kilts: mussels and potato skins (appetizers are two-for-one on Thursdays). Later: a blueberry wheat ale at the Merchant Ale House with Nadine.
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