Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Very uninspired lately. In every aspect of my life it seems. Just bored, I guess– food-wise, fashion-wise, work-wise, music-wise… you get the picture. So I leave you with the latest big harvest of heirloom tomatoes from my balcony garden. The yellow ones are Golden Queen and the red ones are Silvery Fir Tree. They were probably the last exciting thing I have eaten lately. Be back soon with some inspired food and thought, I hope.


Sunday, September 20, 2009

Corn Roast and Clams

We couldn't get enough of Gilead Cafe this weekend. After the burger brunch, we spent the afternoon walking around town, killing time, until the corn roast started. Around 5 we headed back to sample some corn, clams and Ontario wine. The highlights — deep fried clams on fries with tartar sauce... and the peach crumble with enough whipped cream to make Herb Alpert jealous.


Gilead Café. It was all about the cheeseburger.

Saturday morning brunch catching up with Broccoli and Fusilli before they take off to Chicago next weekend. They turned us onto this special cheeseburger, which didn't disappoint in the least. This was the first time ever that I ate a burger with a tomato slice. Usually when I see those sad little whitish pink tomato slices, it makes me want to barf. But this tomato was calling out to me, so luscious and bright bright red. The crispy fries with apple cider mayo were the perfect friend to my cheeseburger. In fact, everyone at the table at cheeseburgers that morning! Good friends + good burgers = a very nice start to the weekend.


Saturday, September 19, 2009

Summer Salad

I had to add this picture from our burger brunch. Yes the burger is wicked good, but the summer salad is the perfect accessory to any cheese burger. Nothing softens the guilt of eating a cheese burger like a delicious salad. It's all about the balance.


Francesca's Forno– don't go.

After a too-fast jaunt through Chicago's Renegade Craft Fair and before the next morning's half marathon, it was time to carb load at nearby Francesca's Forno. Although I'd read many great reviews of this place online as well as a personal recommendation by my sister, I'm sorry to report that the food was awful. One word: SALTY. Too much salt is the worst cooking crime according to Nigella Lawson, and I couldn't agree more. On the other hand, my cousin said she hated her meal for the exact opposite reason– not enough salt or seasoning. I wish I'd been at Terroni instead.


Friday, September 18, 2009

Goodbye Summer, Hello Lög

Last weekend we had our final taste of summer, with a trip to a friend's cottage on Lake Muskoka. To end the season we decided to make our favorite camp fire meal — lög. I don't think that's actually the name, or the correct spelling, but it's what we've come to call a crazed method for cooking a huge piece of beef tenderloin in the fire. I have to give full credit to Andreas for introducing us to this unusual way of cooking... it really is a show stopper.

First make a stuffing for the tenderloin. In this case, carrots, shallots and mustard. Butterfly the tenderloin, and then spread the cooked and cooled stuffing in the middle. Wrap the tenderloin in two layers of cheese cloth, truss, and then soak the entire thing in a bottle of red wine. While it's soaking, get the fire ready and wait until you have a good bed of hot coals to cook on. When the fire is ready, drop the lög on top. It's always a guess how long the lög should cook, so turn it occasionally to ensure one side doesn't get too burnt. The moisture from the wine, and the double layer of cheese cloth should keep it from charring the tenderloin. In the end you'll have a smokey and delicious piece of beef.

Prepping the fire

Toss the lög on the fire!

Monte guarding the lög

Lög is almost ready!

Shhhh, the Lög is resting


Tuesday, September 15, 2009


I've been called "unclassy" regarding my coffee choices in the past, but this one won't be one of them. Intelligentsia Coffee in Chicago this past weekend… what can I say? The best Americano I've ever had. Seriously.

A very nice barista (I think his name was Curtis) at the Millenium Park coffee bar gave us a lovely explanation and demo of how they brew their coffee and these machines are crazy, I've never seen these before! To give the simple breakdown of it all:

Machines are calibrated every single morning.
Only coffee which has been roasted within the week is brewed.
The machine works like a reverse French press with a metal filter to retain the oils in the coffee.
Coffee is brewed in 45 seconds.

And that's the secret to a smooth, deep, bite-free coffee. Wow.


Caprese salad by guest blogger Bo

i've been fortunate to live with a roomy that appreciates all things fresh and good to eat! i've not only been able to taste test almost everything that leaves her kitchen but been the keen observer of her methods for cooking and baking in the kitchen! i've seen her raise her little balcony garden, starting with just a humble garden of herbs last year to a garden that this year included tomatoes! she picked a ripe tomato for me last week, which later became my dinner the following day- a classic salad-  sliced tomato, mozzerella, fresh basil that was drizzled with olive oil, balsamic vinaigarette and fresh ground pepper.

please note that 1) i often eat popcorn + wine for dinner 2) i don't cook 3) i tend to husband duties in the household such as cleaning up after dinner, loading the dishwasher and network administration of our internet, which is why i thought this was significant enough to post.


Thursday, September 10, 2009

Madras Pantry

Bored with our breakfast options in the hood, we decided to ride out to the wild west on Saturday for something different. I'm not sure I'm ready to change my breakfast routine after trying the Jerk Chicken Dosa, but it certainly was an interesting change from granola or eggs. The mango lassi I ordered was the highlight for me, thick like a milkshake, mixed with ice cubes so it stayed super cold the whole time. Nummy.


Haddock with Corn & Tomato Salsa

There's a great seafood store called T&J on the way home from work, so I stopped in recently to see what was fresh. On that day it was the haddock that caught my eye. I had already decided I was going to make a recent recipe from Bitten,Pan-Roasted Corn & Tomato Salsa and the Haddock seemed like a good play mate. I made a dry rub for the haddock from cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper and tossed it on the BBQ. It was totally tex-mex, but it worked.

One thing to note about the corn salsa recipe. The instructions call for the corn to be added to the bacon and onion after they've cooked for a few minutes. Don't do it. In fact, don't even add the onion to the bacon. Cook the bacon to your preference, take it out of the pan, reserving the fat to cook the onion and corn. If you add the corn to the bacon it gets all soggy. The only thing worse than a recipe with no bacon, is one with soggy bacon.


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Is September the new June?

Excuse me, but why am I getting strawberries in September? I don't get it. Nothing but leaves all summer and now you decide to show up? I'm so confused.


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Crazy about crostata (aka fruit pizza)

Anyone who knows me knows that I can become a tad OCD about certain foods. My latest obsession is this wholewheat biscuit base crostata. It's not your traditional Italian crostata but it is way easier. Take any biscuit recipe, flatten out the dough and top with your favourite fruit (+ cinnamon + nutmeg + brown sugar). I've been doing peaches lately but am excited to try apples or pears sliced thin on the mandoline. A dollop of whipped cream on the side would make it perfection.


Tomatoes become sauce

Labouring on labour day weekend… see what happened to these all these tomatoes over the course of one Saturday.


Monday, September 7, 2009



If you've been following my tweets, I've been eating a lot of Caponata these days. It's a super easy way to cook up a lot of vegetables and soooo savoury. Just chop up a bunch of vegetables (we usually use potatoes, eggplant, zucchini, onion and assorted peppers from the CSA box) and throw into a pot or wok of hot olive oil and cook down until the vegetables get nice and tender. A sprinkling of salt is all you really need to season it since all the flavour comes from the vegetables. You can eat this alone as a main or on the side with just about anything (we had it with some other sautéed greens this time). And guess what? It tastes even better the next day. Enjoy!


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

happy summer dinner

Oh, a fond memory of a dinner from 2 weeks ago when the night air was still warm…
Lamb chops marinated in white wine and herbs overnight, roasted with potatoes. A fresh and pretty strawberry and romaine salad to cleanse the palate. Summer, I miss you already!