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Confessions of a Cardamom Addict

Confessions of a Cardamom Addict
Omniverous ramblings by a habitual eater.
Articles: 1, 2, 3

Articles

Time for some R&R x2
2008-05-30 00:53:00
R&R # 1:Between this and that and this and that, I've been running a bit ragged and a teensy bit behind on things. Add a few meetings and I think I'll take a mini blogging break, but will be back sometime later next week.At the very least, I hope to catch up on a bit of trashy reading about a gangster's moll, a disgraced politician, a million-dollar plane ride and misplaced government documents. No, not the latest Lauren Henderson plot, but the current buzz in Ottawa. A friend thinks of it as Munsinger-like. Me, I think of Profumo.R&R #2:Anyway...yesterday a very, very good friend of mine (someone I think of as my surrogate sister) appeared at my office with a box of goodies from her property: wild ramps and rhubarb. Lucky me!I spent some time last night looking at recipes and dishes, and I think I know what I'll make with them, but if you have any recipe suggestions or thoughts, please share them (with recipe links, if possible) in the comments section. And no, both ram...
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Daring Bakers: Opéra
2008-05-28 06:00:00
When I was in Secondary School, there was a somewhat decadent European coffee shop a few blocks from school where we'd sometimes hang out. Lovely cream-filled cakes, the best coffee, good hot chocolate. It was there I had my first slice of Opéra.It seemed a very grown-up dessert--a departure from the cakes I was used to--homemade slabs or store-bought sandwich cakes. This was different: layers of joconde--not quite cake, not quite biscuit sandwiching layers of rich, sweetened cream, all in white chocolate couvertature (which I think may have had something fruity in the mix, but I could be confusing it with another of their desserts).When Fran, Ivonne, Lis, & Shea announced this month's Daring Baker challenge was the Opéra, I was immediately taken back to being 17 years old, in the café's dining room--my mind's eye has it with reddish carpeting, creamy yellow walls, and heavy, heavy dark wood furniture complete with teenaged aesthetes, Symphony patrons who never really fig...
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Milk Calendar Mondays: Faster-than-Take-Out Chicken and Veggie Chow Mein
2008-05-27 02:31:00
Hmmm...this month's Milk Calendar recipe, "Faster-than-Take-Out Chicken and Veggie Chow Mein," seems to have unleashed my not-so inner snarkiness.Let's start with the title.Could it be any longer?Well, yes it could be.It could be something like "Here's another excuse to use some perfectly good milk in a recipe which would be better off without it, but we can't admit it because this is the Milk Calendar, and we need to encourage people to cook with milk, so stirfries are fast and easy so we'll get people to use milk in their stirfries and cook at home instead of getting a greasy takeaway which actually tastes better but again, we can't admit to that either."Like most marketing ploys, the title was more spin than fact. It took me longer than the indicated 20 minutes (prep and cooking) to get the meal on a plate. Granted, I'm not the speediest slicer or shrimp peeler and "deveiner," but I don' think I'm *that* slow."Wait a minute. Shrimp? I thought that was funny looking chick...
More About: Mondays
SHF 43: Chilled lemon soufflé
2008-05-25 02:28:00
Our wonderful Tartelette made an astonishing discovery prior to declaring this month's Sugar High Friday Theme: it's been three years since citrus was on our sweet menu.THREE years? That can't be right...but I know it is.I remember reading somewhere that there are two types of people out there: those who like chocolate and those who like lemon (or citrus). I must admit that until this past summer, I would have put myself in the former group--automatically drawn to the dark, rich and sometimes spicy depths of chocolate. Now I seem to have lost my chocolate tooth--maybe it's with my sweet tooth as that's been MIA for more than nine months now--and I lean more towards citrus--lime, tangerine and lemon.I think what draws me now to their flavours is what I think of as exactly opposite to why I like(d) chocolatey desserts--They are sweet, tart and their acidic nature makes them refreshing.So, what to do? I originally wanted to do a lemon-lime ice cream, but my little freezer is so ov...
More About: Lemon
One of my Holy Grails
2008-05-22 01:51:00
I once knew someone who made it her life mission to make the perfect apple pie. She recorded the minutiae of her quest in a log--every apple type was graded on texture, taste, firmness, colour when cooked. She spent ages trying to come up with the perfect combination of fruit, sugars and spices. I think she recorded various pastries, but in the end settled on a family recipe. As far as I know, she's still searching for that perfect-to-her pie.I have similar quests: finding decent shop-bought goodies -- chili pepper sauces, hot chocolate mixes, vanilla extracts; restaurant fare worth the price -- eggs Benedict, steak, Caesar salad, or creating something that pleases my palate -- cream cheese icing, creamy and fruity ice creams, hamburgers.I never look for "perfection" as by their very nature, such Diogenes-worthy quests are Mercurial, subjective and prone to lead me round the bend. No, I simply want something that I can happily and reliably find (in shops) or put together with a deg...
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Happy Victoria Day!
2008-05-19 01:30:00
Or, as 'tis known around here May Two-Four.A little background: In 1854 the Province of Canada's legislature declared 24 May an official holiday, marking Queen Victoria 's birthday. Since then, 24 May became the official holiday of Canada's reigning sovereign.I can see you flipping to your calendar and I can hear you thinking "But it isn't 24 May, silly...it's the 18th (or 19th, or...)"--yes, I can hear your thoughts...scary isn't it? You're right, it isn't the 24th, but we're celebrating anyway: in 1952 the Statutes of Canada were amended to celebrate Victoria Day on the Monday before 24 May. Hence this year we celebrate on 19 May.Yes, the date is also a public holiday in the Cayman Islands and some parts of Scotland.Around here most people seem to focus on familial kinda things: some head up to open up their cottages for the summer, others potter about in their gardens--clearing winter's detritus and plant seeds or plantlets, while some others (like me) use it for a spri...
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A little of this and a little of that and...what the?
2008-05-16 01:27:00
I had a craving. Nothing really fancy or weird. Something that helped to stave off the ever so slight dip in temperatures. A nice simple bowl of chilli con carne.I don't do anything special or unique. I think of chilli as one of those kitchen sink foods that's a great way of using up veggies that are still good, but may not be as supermarket supermodel-ish: the carrots may not be as firm as they were when purchased, the bell peppers a tad wrinkly, the tomatoes squooshier than many would like. The meat is whatever I have on hand--usually beef, but sometimes turkey or chicken. The spicing is from a packet that promises to have a steaming pot of goodness within 20 minutes.Well, the carrots could have used Viagra, the peppers needed Botox and the tomatoes could have used alternating treatments of ice and Tylenol. I had 500 grams of ground beef and about 300 of ground pork. Add to that some garlic, onions a tin of kidney beans, and some tomato paste and well, I've got chilli.Umm...exc...
Redux: DB: Dorie's Perfect Party Cake
2008-05-12 00:56:00
If you perused the Daring Baker Blogs in March, you know we were challenged to make Dorie's Perfect Party Cake . And if you perused enough of our blogs you'd have noticed a fair number of us had troubles getting our cakes to rise anything more than a galette. Dorie did hear of our troubles and passed on a note, suggesting we not try self-raising flour, use AP flour (less two tablespoons) and that her cake flour of choice was Swans Down.Some people were able to use her advice and came up with some happy little slabs. I didn't see the note until it was too late, so I wound up with very dense, thin cakes, not really high enough to bisect to make a quadruple layer cake. Partly because I wasn't thrilled with the result, partly because I was surprised to find a recipe in Dorie's Baking tome that didn't work, and partly because I was worried that the key to this recipe was a very specific brand, I wanted to try this cake again.Last week I made three half-recipes--one using my usual Fi...
There's custard...
2008-05-08 22:45:00
...and then there's custard.I'm not going to sugar coat things or wax too nostalgic about My Darling One: the man was an unwilling cook who relied heavily on Bachelor Chow: big box frozen foods, insta this and canned that. Don't get me wrong: when he did cook from scratch, it was very good -- spaghetti, lasagne, chicken oporto, and I'm told his trifle (I never got to try any as there was never any left for me to try--he took a full bowl to the office at Christmas, and it came back disappointingly empty). Those dishes appeared every so often, but mostly, if he made me a meal, it was usually what is known as Bachelor Chow.When time came to clean out his pantry, a bachelor friend took much of the BC, a few things were kept (rice, pasta, oatmeal) and the rest was binned. One of the few things I kept was a cannister of Bird's Custard --a staple of the aforementioned trifle. As someone who's only made...um...real custard, I was curious about this white cornstarchy mix that's famous ...
On My Shelves: The Sweet Melissa Baking Book
2008-05-04 20:09:00
Thanks to the kind people at Viking Studio/Penguin USA, I found a copy of Melissa Murphy's The Sweet Melissa Baking Book in my hot little hands.The Sweet Melissa Baking Book: Recipes form the Beloved Bakery for Everyone’s Favorite TreatsBy Melissa MurphyViking Studio (Penguin Group USA Inc)240 pages; $27.00I’m a bit of a sucker for baking books. Big, little, pie-centric, cake-focussed, full-colour and glossy, home made and photocopied, around the world in 400 pages, wham, bam, bake it ma’am—if I’m not careful my rickety shelves would tumble under the weight of those instructions that list piebirds, spring-form pans and recommend strips of baking parchment. They don’t have to be patisserie-perfect, but it’s usually a treat to read tips and tricks of those who’ve dedicated a part of their lives in pursuit of all things made of fat, flour and sugar (with the occasional fruit or nut tossed in for good measure). Melissa Murphy’s collection of her bakeshop’s treats, T...
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A tale of two cookies: part two
2008-05-01 01:05:00
Where was I?Oh yes, the second cookie...So there I was baking butterscotch pecan cookies for the workaversary when I was struck by a moment of brilliance...or insanity (it's sometimes difficult to differentiate between the two):Why make just one kind when I can make two kinds of cookies?OOOOH...I don't know what made me more excited--the idea of offering my colleagues a choice of flavours or the possibility that I might have some left over for ME (the term "ravenous hordes" has been bandied about).Okay, but what about the second flavour? I was baking at My Dear Little Mummy's as Beelzebub hasn't yet learned to behave like a good little oven, so I was a bit short on options...except for the tub of Nutella I bought on the way over (along with the butter).For those of you who haven't been enlightened: Nutella is a food of the gawds.There, now you know. Pass it on.So there I was, staring at the 400g pot of Nutella, wondering what to do, when it suddenly dawned on me: Nutella cookie...
More About: Cookies , Part , Tale
Daring Bakers: Cheesecake Pops
2008-04-27 06:00:00
Every so often something pops into my head as being so common sensicle that I immediately dismiss it because it's so obviously a good idea that someone else has done it and done it better.Time travel to 1987: Enter the cheeseypop (a frozen cheesecake lolly) into my head...and immediately dismissed in the aforementioned way.Time jump to 2008 and the April 2008 Daring Bakers challenge, co-hosted by Elle of Feeding My Enthusiasms and Deborah of Taste and Tell, Cheesecake pops. Chocolate-coated cheesecake balls on a stick.Okay...my cheeseypops weren't choco-coated, but the idea is the same. A bite-sized cheesecake portion, frozen onto a stick...perfect for parties.It's like the dessert version of cocktail weenies...except there isn't any dipping sauce...well there is, but it's frozen onto the cheesecake.Our lovely hosts let us run free with the recipe to a certain extent--we could flavour it as we wanted and decorate it as we wanted. The only limitations were keeping the cheesecake...
A tale of two cookies: part one
2008-04-25 02:03:00
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times; it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness; it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity; it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness; it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair; we had everything before us, we had nothing before us; we were all going directly to Heaven, we were all going the other way."--Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two CitiesThat's in the top two best opening lines I've ever read. The other one is from Iain Banks' The Crow Road--"It was the day my grandmother exploded." Now whether or not I'll use the great Mr. Banks' works for titular inspiration remains to be seen.As apt a present-day commentary as Mr. Dickens' words are this post isn't meant to be a discourse on current events. No, instead it is the first of a two part series on cookies.This week was one of my work-related milestones: seven years at the company. For whatever reason, the tradition is...
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Milk Calendar Mondays: Cinnamon Crunch Raspberry Muffins
2008-04-22 00:54:00
For those of you who flipped your Milk Calendar to April and wondered about my adventure with Salmon and Rice Primavera, well, you'll just have to keep on wondering. Or you can do the recipe and assume that whatever you thought of it will be exactly my reaction. I didn't attempt the recipe because of a salmon allergy (how wrong is that?).So this month's Milk Calendar Monday recipe let me dive into one of the extra eight recipes. I really wonder why they separate these out from the others. I mean, yes, it's always good to give your customers more than they asked for (well, more in a good way... higher prices, unending telephone trees, days of headaches to get a simple thing done are NOT examples of this), but these...um...hidden...recipes always look more interesting and tasty than the monthly spotlights. I'd have been happier if the Easy Jambalaya recipe (yes, I do drone on about that one) was hidden on one the back pages and the recipe I chose instead was on a calendar page.I ...
More About: Raspberry , Muffins , Cinnamon
Taste of Yellow: Sweetcorn pudding
2008-04-20 02:40:00
Last year 149 bloggers came together for Barbara of Winos and Foodies' Taste of Yellow in support of LiveSTRONG Day and The Lance Armstrong Foundation's awareness event for cancer issues and cancer survivors.When she announced Taste of Yellow 2008 I knew I wanted to participate, but wasn't sure if my schedule would alow it. During the past week, when I caught up with my backlog of blog reading, I saw so many wonderful posts like Bron's, Annemarie's, Paz's and Ivonne's, I knew I had to carve some time out for it.Most of us know someone who was afflicted by it or know someone cared for a sufferer. Some of us have had our own scares--as some of you know, I've had two breast cancer scares in ten years--I'm fine, but they were life-defining moments.My contribution to this year's event is a favourite side dish that I usually make with ribs or pork chops, Nigella Lawson's Sweetcorn Pudding . It's tasty and easy and wonderful to eat on its own, especially after a very long day...
I'm such a pinhead
2008-04-16 02:26:00
Or...how crunchy turned into mushyOr....don't go shopping when you're hungry.Or...read the ENTIRE label before you commit something to your shopping trolley...or better yet, before you take it home.And no, I'm not intentionally jumping onto the pinhead/steelcut/Irish/Scottish oats bandwagon. I accidentally fell into it.A few weeks ago I was in a crunchy mood and wanted to make some granola. Unfortunately, I was weak with hunger when I went shopping and and didn't read the cannister label carefuly enough: I saw "oats" on the label and simply found a home for the can in my shopping cart. It was only when I got home when I saw the error of my ways.It wasn't a lovely container of rolled oats (quick cook or regular). It was a can of pinhead oats.I suppose another sort of person would simply get back into her car and sheepishly exchange it for what she really wanted.Not I.It would have been, in some weirdly inexplicable way, admitting defeat. I mean pinhead oats are a perfectly wonde...
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Oh you punny, punny people: Giveaway winners
2008-04-13 01:43:00
I sent out the call and I was not disappointed. Nine funny and creative people sent in more than 30 punny recipe titles in hopes that they'd be one of the four to find a copy of Greta and Janet Podeleski's Eat, Shrink and Be Merry in their post box. Let's just say, I'm glad this was a random draw because I wouldn't be able to narrow down this creative group down to four...I was laughing that hard. But random draw I did, and here are the winners, and the puns which were selected: Baking Soda of Bake My Day, The NetherlandsTiny Tit-bits: cubed chicken breast dressed (we wouldn't want to leave them bare now would we?) in a sauce with light cream, spring onions and tarragon spooned over rice or skewered to nibble on with a drink on lazy Sunday afternoons!Laura G., CanadaChattanooga Cha Ca: Vietnamese-style fish cakes Jaime of Good Eats 'n' Sweet Treats, USADine-o-mite!: baked alaska with lit sparklers on top Kristen A., USAAmericone Dreams: Cupcakes baked into those little flat...
More About: People , Winners
Angry Eating
2008-04-10 02:36:00
Yesterday I was in a &(*?%"@ mood. All I'll say is that I had a &(*?%"@ day which pretty much turned into a mostly &(*?%"@ night.When I get this...angry...I don't grumble--grumbling is a sign that I just need to talk things through and sort things out and all's good. When I'm truly irate I get incredibly placid. Apparently, for those attuned, it can be quite unnerving. They'd feel better if I yelled, sent objects hurtling through space or even if I scalpeled them so precisely with logic, they haemorrhaged from mere ego. But they get nothing like that. What they receive is extreme politeness, relatively few words and a timed exit. Those who aren't attuned think I'm pensive or simply taking things awfully well.Regardless, when suppertime came, I wanted something that took no effort, had good doses of salt and fat and meat. Definitely meat. What this strata of mood brings on is my decidedly carnivorous side's blind desire for something to die for me to be satiated. ...
More About: Angry , Eating
Food Fest: Elmira Maple Syrup Festival
2008-04-06 21:43:00
Spring has sprung. Or, at least it wants to spring.April's first Saturday is when people from far and wide descend upon Elmira, Ontario to celebrate all lovely mapley goodness at The Elmira Maple Syrup Fest ival . As I wrote in a previous post, I head up every couple of years and load up on the sweet stuff. Yesterday I got up early (for a Saturday) and headed in with a friend.I'm always a little surprised at the variety of food available there. Yes, there's maple candy, maple taffy, maple fudge, maple butter, maple glazed goodies (buns, funnel cakes, etc) and of course) maple syrup on pancakes. But there's also back bacon sandwiches, sausages, turkey, souvlaki, jams, jellies and all sorts of things. I try and pace myself, but I'm not that good at it--had the pancake breakfast and then later I just HAD to get a backbacon sandwich...while I was waiting for a nice fluffy bun crammed full of yummy yummy bacon, that booth ran out of sausage...70kgs (150lbs) in three hours...Here are s...
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On My Shelves: Dish Entertains
2008-04-03 04:17:00
During my hiatus I received a number of wonderful cookery books from publishers. I'm working my way through the backlog and will post reviews from time to time .Many thanks to the good people at Harper Collins for sending this book to me. In interest of full disclosure: I've met Trish, taken classes at her cooking studio and was part of a group recipe testing for this publication. My photos of that cooking session can be found here. Dish Entertains: everyday simple to special occasions By Trish MagwoodHarperCollinsCanada256 pages; $44.95I think a telltale sign of a good cookery book author is how they position food. I’m not talking about food primpery, nor anything along the lines of food politicking, but instead for me it boils down to feeding your loved ones—friends, family—tasty food that combines familiar dishes with interesting flavour twists in a way that doesn’t make you resent the efforts spent feeding them. I don’t tend to return to recipe writers who over analy...
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Daring Bakers: Perfect Party Cake
2008-03-30 16:27:00
Everytime I idly leaf through Dorie Greenspan's Baking: from my home to yours, I stop at page 251 and sigh. It's one of those lovely compositions--slices of white cake, sandwiched between garnet layers of rasperry jam and white buttercream frosting, encased in a snowfall of shredded coconut. I look at it and think "My, that's pretty...I really should make that some day," and then go off to a different recipe. When I've charged myself with baking a birthday cake, I flip through this marvellous tome and think "My, that's pretty...I really should make that some day," and then go off to a different cake.So when our fabulous Daring Bakers host, Morven of Food Art and Random Thoughts revealed this month challenge as Dorie's Perfect Party Cake , I knew my days of wistfully dreaming of whipping up so lovely a creation would be a memory as now this celebratory crumb will have come from my kitchen...or a version of it.The Perfect Party Cake is not hard to make as Dorie's wonderful prose...
Earth Hour: 29 March 2008, 8pm
2008-03-29 05:00:00
Just for one hour, on one day, turn off your non-essential lights and appliances. For more info, visit these links:Earth Hour .org (home)Some partnering, participating or supporting Canadian communities:Charlottetown, PEI (directs to the Royal Astronomical Society)Edmonton, ABHalifax, NSIqaluit, NU (for all of Nunavut)Moncton, NBMontréal, QC (en français)Ottawa, ONSaskatoon, SKSt. John's, NLToronto, ONVancouver, BC (directs to BC Hydro)Winnipeg, MBCanada-based business supporters (Only those who registered)World Wildlife Federation Canada's Earth Hour pageThe Good Life's home page (WWF Canada's online portal to living an environmentally-friendly life)cheers!jasmine This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Licence.
More About: March , March 2008 , 2008
A hunk-a-stout-a cheesy love
2008-03-27 03:54:00
Every once in a while something so bizarrely beautiful stops me in my tracks.While in the SwankyFooderie, just prior to joining the queue that led me down the bread bunny path, I was snooping about for a nice bit of cheese. I'd already settled on some Stilton and Roquefort, but I wanted something that would go with the beef and Guinness stew I planned for St. Patrick's day.Normally I'd have gone for a nice old cheddar, but this hunk-a-stout-a cheesy love caught my eye. I'd never heard of Guinness Cheddar before, but its terrazzo-like appearance was all I needed to add it to my growing armload of treasures. Besides, what's a little more Guinness to the stew?Well...if I had remembered to put it in, I'm sure it would have been wonderful...but my sieve-like memory left the lovely hunk of Irish goodness in my drawer. Now, would I forget about Jonathan Rhys Meyers or Bono or Ciarán Hinds? No. Nonononononononono.But forget it, I did...until I cobbled together tonight's supper--a si...
More About: Love
Bread bunny massacre
2008-03-24 01:54:00
It was one of those ideas that grabbed hold of me and wouldn't let go. It was just so...cute.That's the only explanation for my bread bunny massacre.Actually...no. That's not the only explanation: It is my ingrained desire to recreate whatever foodish item that's tickled my fancy, in hopes that I can then have it whenever I want.Wait...one more reason: I felt the need to put my Fine Arts degree to good use...even if my degree was in Art History, I have years of studio work under my belt (mostly in painting, but some in sculpture).You see, the other week I was in the SwankyFooderie and they had little flyers pinned to the cash till advertising Ace Bakery's bread bunnies. While I was queued, balancing containers of Portuguese olives, hunks of Stilton and Roquefort and Guinness Cheddar, packets of breaded portabellos and jalapenos, sushi and a box of Maldon salt (umm...I went in for the salt, that's it), I stared at the photo of the bread bunny."Gosh...That is cute--and creative,...
More About: Massacre , Bread , Bunny
Milk Calendar Mondays: One-Pot Tomato Parmesan Rotini
2008-03-18 02:44:00
Workasaurus has been wreaking havoc overtime, travelling up and down the 401, visiting Ivonne and me, crashing on our chesterfields and begging rides to and from our offices. I don't know about our Dear Little Puff of Cream , but whenever the Worky shows up over here, it seems as if its rather presumptuous cousin, Deadlineadactyl also arrives in tow, shrieking out calendaric countdowns, sometimes skipping a date or three. Yeah, they are both favourites right now, and the prime reasons for me neglecting all my bloggy friends.To say the least, right now bulk cooking and reheating home-made frozen goodies is how I'm keeping myself going...well, that and lots of coffee...lots of Tim Horton coffee (and before the Canadians ask, I've only one ONE coffee out of about 20-30 cups...meh).Anyway, this weekend I decided to venture into the March Milk Calendar recipe for One-Pot Tomato Parmesan Rotini. Given how...um...not good the February travesty was, I was apprehensive as to whether I cou...
More About: Mondays
Pi Day: Tomato and gruyère tart
2008-03-15 02:58:00
My maths teachers would be proud...and confused.Let's face it, I was not known for my stellar work with numbers...English, history, science, geography, French--pretty much anything other that maths and phys. ed and the machine-assisted sewing part of Home Ec, I happily claimed a small part of. Anything and everything beyond BEDMAS made my head hurt...a lot. Now, ironically, one of the things I've developed a reputation for (at least amongst vendors who works with me) is my somewhat quick and usually annoyingly airtight ability to cut through smarmy numbers...yeah, I'm a favourite in some circles...Maybe there is a mathy in me screaming to get out. I'm sure it has to do with all my baking and cooking...yet another reason why people should bake more chocolate cakes and make more ice cream...So when Alanna of Kitchen Parade announced a foodish twist to Pi Day (look at my posting date (omitting the year), if you don't get it), I planned to seize this opportunity to continue making ...
More About: Tart , Tomato
It's like being five years old again
2008-03-12 01:05:00
Two snowstorms within seven days left us with a lot of snow and not a lot of places to put the tonnes of frozen flakes. The weather forecasters, newsreaders and traffic reporters spent days warning us about how bad things would be...and they were right.Sunday night I got a call from My Dear Little Mummy, who'd gotten wind of the storm...all the way in India. She tracked the storm via BBC News, and watched the destruction on the Atlantic and Ohio...as she said "It was all white and then I saw a little head peeping out (from behind the snow drifts)." Which she thought was funny...then I told her the snow banks were taller than her...she didn't think that was funny. Really, it was like being in kindergarten, not being able to see over the drifts and banks.Unfortunately, the air pressure turned migraine inducing...I have little memory of Friday, or most of Sunday for that matter, except for a couple of handfuls of pain pills, blankets and almost total darkness.Saturday, I was one of t...
More About: Years
Cookbook Giveaway: Eat, Shrink and Be Merry
2008-03-09 01:52:00
The Cookery Book Fairy paid me a visit this week, leaving a small pile of books in my cubicle. Yes, apparently when I spend too much time at the office, she comes looking for me in the most obvious of places. You see, she's in the midst of an office move and found several extra copies of Janet and Greta Podleski's Eat, Shrink and Be Merry (the cookbook that accompanies the TV show of the same name). Why did she have extra copies? Her manager bought a whackload to give to staff or to be used as prizes or something, and four remained, taking up valuable real estate. The accompanied message was "You'll know what to do with them."My...that was ominous...If you aren't familiar with the sisters, this is their third cookbook, following Crazy Plates and Looney Spoons. They specialise in healthier, lower fat cooking. They also have their own frozen foods and a very colourful line of kitchen utensils. I've owned a copy of ES&BM for a little while and have cooked from it a few times--...
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Hatful of butter chicken
2008-03-04 03:00:00
Inspiration arrives in various and unexpected forms. But I must admit, I scratched my head at it's latest chariot.It's no secret, music can fling me to my kitchen, and urge me to come up with something new or different from my norm. Jann Arden's Cinnamon Buns is such a dish, but in that case, she talked about pastries during the concert.In no way would or could I call myself a hardcore fan, but every time I hear The Smiths on the radio, the volume mysteriously increases and immediately transports me to a happy place (yes, I am proudly an Alternative fan). But I have no idea why, this time, How Soon Is Now? sent me head first into butter chicken during one of Morrissey's "I am human and I need to be loved/just like everybody else does" ..but it did.And no, I'm not going to enter into a discourse about shallower and deeper meanings held by its lyrics, though I do think those 14 words ring true to most people at one point or another. I just think it's fairly safe to say it has no...
More About: Chicken , Butter
Daring Bakers: Julia Child's French Bread
2008-02-29 06:55:00
I think it's a rare North American home cook who can claim to be pristine against the influence of the great Julia Child. I remember watching her show, The French Chef, as PBS repeats: her distinctive sing-songy voice teaching viewers how to make sauces or crêpes or beasts in a way that was very matter-of-fact, but approachable. More importantly, I thought she was having fun.When our fabulous Daring Bakers hosts, Sarah of i like to cook and Bread chick of The Sour Dough challenged us to make Julia Child's French Bread, I knew this would be a combination of fun and, well...work.Yes, I'm fully aware of those glorious home bread machines that via prest-o-change-o magic fill homes with scrumptious aromas in three hour. Relatsively effortless, all you have to do --apart from measure out the ingredients-- is dump the fixings into the gadget and walk away, until it dings its "the bread has loafed" ding. Then all you need to do is cool it, wipe down the inside of the machine and wash the...
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