Sunday, December 9, 2012

The Naked Truth

I'm not an easy room to play to when it comes to prepared sauces.  After being married to an Italian for 29 years I know a thing or two about sugo.  So when Sizzling Communications invited me to a product launch for Louise Prete's prepared jarred red sauce I was leery about just what this sauce would be like.

The launch was a lovely evening with lots of delicious little bites of goodness all meant to highlight the  product.  I knew though that for me to truly know if this sauce was as good as they were telling me that I had to give it my own test, in my kitchen, all on it's very own so I could get to the naked truth.  
So it began....

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Artisanale ....worth the drive to Guelph

Artisanale [ahr-tuh-zuhn-al]
Adjective  -  pertaining to or noting high-quality, distinctive products made in small quantities

Woolwich Street is my most favorite street in Guelph.  It is the street where one will find the best eating and quaffing that Guelph has to offer.  It's reputation for being the street to hit up was solidified by the recent relocation of the local French restaurant called Artisanale. Moving from their previous downtown storefront location to a beautifully restored historical house on Woolwich Street was absolutely the right direction to allow for the restaurant to honour its true commitment in providing dining patrons to experience true rustic French cuisine.                                                                                               Owner/Chef Yasser Qahawish,  whose personal culinary commitment and philosophy has been anchored in the locavore and ethical food productivity, gets to take that commitment up a few more notches in this new location.  Guelph is a perfect place for this Chef because Guelph has been a forerunner in the bio-dynamic, ecologically responsible and ethically driven food production from ground to market.  

Friday, July 13, 2012

Yes, I am proud to be a Mangiacake. Buddaboom. Buddabing.

Dear Rose DiManno, if I'm a Mangiacake, then you my dear, are what we Brits would refer to as a Wanker.

The title of your latest article "When will Toronto street food reflect its population?" should have really been called "Wow, I can't believe that I actually get paid to churn out this drivel."

Monday, June 25, 2012

David vs. Goliath - It's a Sammie Smackdown ....

These shoes were made for talking.... and that's just what I'll do. So the word on the street was that one of the Goliath's of the Canadian food community, Mark McEwan, was going to do a Saturday Sammie Smackdown against the golden boy of the pop-up street set, the soon to be on the road in his own food truck, the small but mighty, Fidel Gastro's.  Whoa, the Crown Prince of the Top Chef Canada panel, owner of the restos Bymark and North 44 and purveyor of McEwan Foods, this dude is a gastronaut of epic proportions.  This kinda feels like Yoda taking on Luke Skywalker for bragging rights on who kicks up the best sammie.  Ain't no way MamaCoop is gonna miss out on this sammie goodness so I traded in my red pumps for my go get 'em sneakers. After all there were sammies to be had!  So let's break it down and see whose sammies were King this past weekend.  

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Love in a lunch bag....memories of Johnny

He was born John Margetson Cooper on October 30, 1929, in Glasgow, Scotland, tipping the scales at a whopping 14lbs.  He was also my Father.   I was the middle child of his three daughters and my claim to being different from my sisters was that I was the only child of my parents who was actually born in their bed.  My Father cradled me as I came into the world, while waiting upon the arrival of the midwife.  I always felt that created a different kind of bond between myself and my Dad. 

In 1957 my parents bundled us up and immigrated to Canada.  They knew absolutely no one here but they took  a chance and we became part of the melting pot of Toronto.  My Father had traded in the dust of a coal mine for the white dust of a bakery

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

It's a Seafood Sammie Smackdown

MamaCoop is on the hunt for the best Seafood sammie she can find around the big 'smoke.  With the advent of street food there seems to be an abundance of more great eats to stuff my maw with.  So I thought I'd go head to head with two Seafood sammies that I've had the good fortune to gobble up over the past couple of days.

Monday, May 28, 2012

'shroom! 'shroom!

It's 6:00 a.m. on a Sunday morning and my alarm just went off. I'm up and at it for my first Mushroom Foraging experience hosted by the Culinary Adventure Company and I keep reminding myself that once I get my eyelids pried open this is going to be fun. I'm instructed by Chef Scott Savoie to meet up with the group at a little nest of a park quietly tucked away on a cul de sac on the southside of Lawrence, just west of the Don Valley Parkway.

 I was pleasantly surprised to show up and find an eager group of 25 people, ready and waiting to hit the trail.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Butter Chronicles - Part 3 - The Results Are In!

I have finally amassed all the feedback from my adventures in shortbread making and the results are all in.  I had provided the volunteer taste testers with a list of short questions to try and help them decide which shortbread they liked the best.  All in all I got 24 returned sheets with responses.  I had separated their samples and numbered #1, #2 &; #3.  The butters were:  #1 - No Name Butter (from Walmart), #2 - Lactantia &; #3 was the Stirling.  All butter was salted. 

In the tasting notes/questionnaire I asked them to rank them in order of: 
-  Most Buttery Flavour
-  Best Consistency/Density
-  Best Overall Appearance
-  General Favorite

So here are the results......(drum roll please!)

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Butter Chronicles, Better Butter - Part 2

Let the butter battle begin! 
To put butter to the test to see if all butter is not really created equal I decided to use the mutha of all butter recipes, traditional Scottish Shortbread to see if there really was a different. The results for the tasting of the Shortbread will tumble in over the next few days but until then I wanted to cover off a couple of things.
As I said this is a traditional Scottish Shortbread. It is pure, basic & simple. It contains 4 ingredients: Butter, Sugar, sifted Flour and finally Rice Flour. (Recipe is below) I always use Fruit Sugar (also known as Castor or Quick Dissolving Sugar) and it has a very fine consistency. Rice flour will give Shortbread the powdery crispiness that should be associated to Shortbread. I always sift the rice flour and the white flour together. In this test I used salted butter.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Butter Up - Part 1

"It took me years to figure out that you don't fall into a tub of butter, you jump for it." - Claudette Colbert

Imagine an evening where butter was the focal point and you had a chef, let's say one like Lynn Crawford, churning out (pardon the buttery pun) oodles of little bits and bites all consisting of butter. Someone please pinch me, am I dreaming or is this my dream come true?

Last Monday a small hoard of butter loving people gathered at Ruby Watchco to give Stirling Creamery butter a go 'round. I would say, that for the first time in my life I think I might have actually come close to feeling like a human version of foie gras. You think I'm joking?

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Life is a Trifle....

My British roots are showing. I love Trifle. I think more than anything it has to do with many happy childhood memories and watching my Mother make Trifle for special occasions such as Christmas, Easter and milestone birthdays. Essentially Trifle is very easy to make and is just pure and simple comfort dessert.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

I have two words for you Galen Weston....Flock Ewe

"Farmer's markets are great....One day they're going to kill some people though. I'm just saying that to be dramatic though." - Galen Weston - 2012 Canadian Food Summit (2012 CFS - #FS2012)

On a day when most of the country was supposed to be busy talking about mental health Galen Weston hit the 2012 CFS delegates square smack in the puss with a PC Choice Mississipi Mud Pie when he lobbed that comment out during his address. By about noon Galen Weston was trending second on Twitter, right behind #letstalkaboutit and it wasn't pretty. I suspect that by about the end of the day the golden hair boy, whose face and Mr. Roger's styled sweaters have become synonymous to the President's Choice brand and marketing campaigns had quickly become the most hated person in the food industry.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Remembering Sean

I first officially met Sean D'Souza about a year ago, along with his lovely bride, Beverly Ann D'Cruz(@flotch) at a social media food event at Menchie's. We had been invited by Mary Luz Mejia to come on out and compete to create an official Menchie's yo-fro creation. Crammed in next to each other we sampled our Menchie's custom creations and those two rascals managed to beat me out for the big prize (an iPod Nano) with their "Tropic Thunder" sundae. Ok, I'll admit it, that exotic fruit concoction towered over my "Some Like It Tart" dessert. One can never begrudge a champion their prize. Little did I know that as the year would unfold I would share a different kind of journey with Sean and Beverly.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Reel Eats - From Screen to Table

The idea of taking film about food and translating it in to real time, real life and better yet, real food makes me as giddy as Dr. Sheldon Cooper (The Big Bang Theory) would be at the thought of being locked in ComicCon after hours. Bazinga!. I'm such a gastro-nerd of the most fun kind, a moniker that I must say, I much prefer over the label of being called a Foodie.
Mary Luz Mejia & Mario Stojanac of Sizzling Communications introduced the inaugural series of Reel Eats by kicking it off with film director Ang Lee's "Man Woman Eat Drink". Hosted out of the working loft of Chef Vanessa Yeung's Aphrodite Cooks and co-anchored by