Category Archives: food

Where to eat in Toronto this weekend (or any time), high or low

According to blogTO, these are the best new cheap eats in Toronto (for 2013, at least) and these are the 10 most expensive restaurants in Toronto
to dine in Hogtown.

Whether you want to go in style or go casually, all these spots should deliver a good meal (and in some cases, much more).

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Radical Bread Making for people who don’t make bread

The general belief with regards to making bread is that it is hard work, it requires alot of skills, and it demands alot of your time. These two posts here are out to challenge that assumption:

  1. No Knead Bread: so easy a 4-yr old can make it! | Steamy Kitchen Recipes
  2. How To Make Bread in the Slow Cooker Cooking Lessons from The Kitchn | The Kitchn

The first recipe shows you how to prepare the loaf up until the point you need to bake it. The second recipe shows how you can use a slow cooker to do it. I haven’t tried this yet, but I think it would be fascinating to try.

It isn’t it going to be as good as something an experienced baker makes, but it will be much better than most anything that comes from a grocery store (unless you are paying alot of money). And in the summertime you can still make bread without having to turn on the oven, if you follow the slow cooker recipe.

P.S. The Kitchn web site has quite a few posts on breadmaking, including this: Recipe: No-Time Bread | The Kitchn.

 

4 p.m. recipe: pan-fried chicken thighs by Michael Ruhlman (@ruhlman)

I am a fan of Michael Ruhlman in general, so I am happy to recommend this recipe of his: Pan-Fried Chicken Thighs. Three comments:

  1. This recipe is dead simple, but it delivers alot of flavour
  2. It smartly replaces boneless chicken breasts, which are overpriced and underflavoured, with chicken thighs, which are just the opposite. (BTW, you could easily replace chicken thighs with turkey thighs if they are on sale. Just make sure you flatten them to roughly the same thickness as you see here.)
  3. It replaces buttermilk (which often just goes to waste and takes up room in my fridge) for a more common yet better set of ingredients.

Ruhlman keeps it simple here, but you could easily add dry flavourings (i.e. herbs and spices) to the flour, or wet flavouring (e.g., hot sauces) to the dairy mix. Once you start doing that, you can vary this recipe in all kinds of ways.

4 p.m. recipe: how to make perfect bacon

I personally think you can make bacon any time of the day, but for many of you bacon lovers, the time to make it is in the morning, not at night. Regardless of when you have it, this guide on How To Make Perfect Bacon in the Oven Cooking Lessons from The Kitchn is something you should review before you break out the frying pan for your next batch.

4 p.m. recipe: roasted red pepper and tomato soup

Some days you just want a simple meal for dinner. This soup with some bread, cheese and a salad could be just the thing. Make it even easier by picking up some roasted peppers and using them instead of roasting your own. You can deepen the flavour with some garlic or make it hotter with pepper sauce or even sriracha added in. Lots of ways to change this up and still make it delicious.

You can find the recipe here: Roasted red pepper and tomato soup recipe, from the good folks at Style At Home

10 Dishes to Cook Without a Recipe This Winter

Over at Food52, there’s a nice rundown of dishes you should consider making without following recipes. You may want to refer to some memory aid, but if you like these dishes, chances are you can make them pretty much without the need of a cookbook (or a web site).

They have recipes from Vegetarian or Vegan Chili to Quinoa Salad to Marinara Sauce to Risotto and more.
Risotto from Food52

Well worth a look.

Sure basil and tarragon are great, but what about marjoram?

Marjoram
I was in my local grocery store some time ago, and two of the produce staffers were talking about herbs. One of them commented that while tarragon did well and basil sold out, marjoram did not do so well and they might not stock it anymore.

I thought about this and did some random research. I found that while some of my older recipes had it as an ingredient, I don’t see it featured as much any more. (Same goes for paprika, which used to be used alot it seems, though seldom now, save in Martha Stewart’s recipes). Now it seems there is more focus on newer herbs and spices or “sweeter” herbs like basil.

It’s a shame, since marjoram is a very versatile herb. It’s less ‘sweet’ than basil or tarragon, but that makes it great in such things as an omelet. So now, several times a month, I’ll make an omelet with sauteed shallots, grated emmental cheese and some marjoram sprinkled in. Delicious.

(great photo of marjoram from Jade Craven’s photostream at flickr.com)

What’s wrong with wine by the glass, and pinot grigio

Beppi Crosariol has a good article in the Globe and Mail arguing against ordering wine by the glass. I know what he means: once, I ordered a glass of red from a good restaurant and it was warm because the bottle was sitting on the bar fridge! Ugh! That went back.

If you want to order by the glass, see and order what was recently opened, and try and stick with fresh whites. (What is true for glasses also goes for 1/2 litres and anything that comes from an opened bottle. Although in some cases, if it’s a recently opened red, you may get the benefit of the wine opening up a bit.)

See for yourself by reading this: Wine by the glass? I’ll pass

P.S. He also had a nice, snarky comment (on this varietal) that I love:

“(Hey, if you’d wanted a white wine with no flavour, you’d have ordered a pinot grigio.)”

There are some pinot grigios that do have flavour, but why chase them around when there are so many other white varietals that do have taste?

(flickr photo from sunnyUK photostream)

What do you get when you combine open source and a cafe? linuxcaffe!


The great blog on Toronto, blogto.com, has a posting on linuxcaffe, a cafe just south of Christie Pits on Harbord St. in Toronto which features lots of great food, free WiFi, special events and more! See the posting for more info.

Toronto, beer and BeerBistro

The blog blogto.com has a really good review of a great bar/resto in Toronto: Beerbistro. I highly recommend this place to both visitors and residents of our city.

One thing they neglect to mention is the great pairings they do with beer and food. They make it easy to forget about wine. And if you love mussels, you MUST go here. Not only will you find a diverse selection of beers, but you will find different ways of preparing mussels to go with those beers.

Winterlicious: fine dining, good prices, in Toronto

Every winter, some of the finest restaurants in the City of Toronto participate in the justly anticipated Winterlicious event. They offer fine prix-fixe meals for lunch and dinner at very reasonable prices. If you are coming to Toronto in the winter, this is the time to come! For more information, see the very informative City of Toronto web site. Come for the food and enjoy the rest of the city.

P.S. There is a Summerlicious too! Just as good!

Chicken Schnitzel and other great Hungarian food at Country Style Hungarian Restaurant in Toronto’s Annex

blogto does a great job of covering Toronto, including restaurants. And this review of Country Style Hungarian Restaurant is no exception.

There used to be a number of Hungarian restaurants in the Annex, including the Korona, my old favourite. Sadly, most of them are gone. But not Country Style. Head on over to 450 Bloor St West and have one of these…

…and you will be very glad you did! :)

(image link to blogto)

Bread lovers – this blog is for you

If you love bread, or want to learn how to bake it, the Bread Blog has lots of great recipes and instructions on how to make all kinds of bread, including one of my favourites, Panettone (chocolate chip, no less)

A visual aid to help you diet…the 300 calorie food picture gallery

You know tomatoes have alot less calories than bacon, but how does it compare? See these images:

Over at the 300 Calorie Food Picture Gallery you can see the difference between these foods and many more.

Bacon: chocolate for men

Over at Boing Boing is the excellent posting: Web Zen: bacon zen
As the comment from V suggests, bacon IS chocolate for men. :)

The entire flow chart above — which is very funny — can be found here.

P.S. Thanks to my good friend Leta for news on all things bacon!

What to eat in Toronto in 2008! Or a great new year resolution


I think I have the perfect new year resolution for people in Toronto: eat all of this food before 2009! Forget that dieting stuff, this is the year to Eat, Drink and be Daring (as the good folks as Toronto Life recommend).

Go to the article…but not on an empty stomach!

The great Aroma espresso bar in the Annex, Toronto


Here’s a few reasons why you want to go to the Aroma Espresso bar located in the Annex of downtown Toronto (on Bloor around Bathurst):

- it’s in a great location. The Annex is great, and if you are going to a film at the Bloor, Aroma is a great spot to drop in before or after
- it has great ambience (see the link below for more photos)
- it has friendly service
- it has great coffee, plus they give you a chocolate with your coffee! (See photo above)
- when you order one of their delicious muffins that have a very light crust on the outside and fluffy on the inside, they warm it for you.

Those are just a few things I discovered on my visit. Try it yourself…

blogTO | Aroma Espresso Bar

Do not go to this site hungry

When I first saw the name of this blog, Chocolate Porn du Jour — Chocolate Chipped I thought, yeah, yeah, another person using the “p” word to get attention. Then I looked at the site. Wow. It is one decadent site! Not sure if I cheapen the site by using the “p” word…this is beauty in the form of chocolate! See:

and lots more!

The nyimes.com No Knead Bread: so simple, even a four year old can make! So you can too

Over at the excellent food blog, Jaden’s Steamy Kitchen, is a review of the No Knead Bread recipe that was featured in the nytimes.com a while ago. Better still, Jaden provides instructions so simple to follow, even a 4 year old can do it (and she has photos to prove it). If nothing else, have a good read of the recipe:

No Knead Bread, Revisited

P.S. This article: How to Turn Cheap “Choice” Steaks into Gucci “Prime” Steaks is also highly recommended. Heck, just sample the entire blog. :)

Cook’s: for serious cooks and people who are serious about cooking

If you are serious about cooking, or want to know the definitive way to cook something, I highly recommend Cook’s Illustrated.
It’s a great magazine about cooking as opposed to a collection of recipes. You will get recipes, too, but you will discover a whole lot more about the process of transforming food.

Plus they have reviews of cooking tools, premade sauces, menus, and much more.

For the Vegan and nonVegan alike

For vegans looking for some creative cooking ideas, check out VeganYumYum

And for those non-vegans who may have preconceived ideas of a vegan diet being bland, you really should check this out. Does this look bland? :)

Make the perfect cup of coffee (or tea) with MyCuppa


This is such a simple and smart idea: if you want to fix someone’s coffee for them, let them pick out the right colour on the mug before hand (“I prefer mine milky” for example). See Color + Design Blog / Color Inspiraton from Coffee and Tea by COLOURlovers
for this and a spectrum (pun intended) of colour ideas. :)

For lovers of cooking and cookbooks

Here’s a great blog by someone who clearly loves cooking and cookbooks. See 101 Cookbooks – Recipe Journal

BaconSalt – now everything can taste like bacon (even kosher food)

Bacon Salt is a “zero calorie, vegetarian, kosher certified seasoning salt that makes everything taste like read bacon”. As Homer might say: uuummmmm, baaacccoooonnnn. :)

Thanks to Leta and Accordion Guy for the notice. Get some today!

See what the world eats at TIME magazine photoessay

Time has a great photoessay on what people eat throughout the world. Some things I picked up were:
- the amount of packaged vs fresh food
- the fact alot of people were photographed not in kitchens or dining rooms but next to televisions
- and of course the wide discrepancy as to what people pay for food every week

What the World Eats – Photo Essays – TIME

Be smart: eat chocolate

This study says eating dark chocolate lowers blood pressure. The participants in the German study ate just a small amount of Ritter chocolate. (Ritter is good and easily available in Toronto). The article goes on to say:

Every day for 18 weeks, the volunteers were instructed to eat
one-square portions of a 16-square Ritter Sport bar, or a similar
portion of white chocolate. White chocolate doesn’t contain cocoa.

Systolic blood pressure,
the top number, fell an average of nearly three points and diastolic
dropped almost two points in the dark chocolate group, compared with no
change in blood pressure readings in the white chocolate group.

Tests suggested that steady exposure to dark chocolate prompted
chemical changes that helped dilate blood vessels and regulate blood
pressure, the researchers said.

So there you go: take two blocks of chocolate every day, have a glass of red wine, and don’t forget the apples, and you should live to be 100!

For more details, see Chocolate reduces blood pressure – Yahoo! News

How Cool is Project?

They say it is for “kids”, but who doesn’t like ice cream? Now you can make your own without no equipment other than a bag. See Kids Domain Crafts – Ice Cream in a Bag. The first person to try it, please comment here, ok?

(Image from gettyimages.com)

(Finger)Tips for Father’s Day

Father’s Day is coming up, and with ties going the way of the dodo
bird, perhaps the next best thing for a Father — new or old — is all
things BBQ. So if you are going to give your father something BBQish,
perhaps give him a print out of this article:

Grill The Best Steak Ever – Men’s Health

Oh. Some nice steaks would be good too.

Dietcoke Plus?

Call me closed minded, but I think there is something wrong about getting your nutrients fromDiet Coke. Or Diet Pepsi, or …any such beverage!