Winterlicious

23 12 2009

Personally, I’m not a fan of winter. Those pretty white flakes that so many so adore, only add hours to my commute. And never have I found a fat, jolly man shimmyin’ down my chimney with Tiffanys in tow.

BUT, the chilly season does do one thing right! It gets families together, and the brisk temperatures keep people indoors, and in their kitchens!

I thought I’d share some tasty lookin’ treats I stumbled upon on the world wide web. They were just too fantastic to resist for this holiday season!

Bake and build your own mini gingerbread houses to perch on the side of your mug using the printable templates available for download at www.notmartha.org/archives/2009/12/18/a-gingerbread-house-that-perches-on-the-rim-of-your-mug/

The gourmet hot chocolate cubes on the tips of  wooden spoons are sold in Europe, but it would make for a fun project to try at home and have ready to be stirred into warm milk as soon as the reindeer show up! (At least that sounds like a stellar Saturday night to me. Hungry Homebody? Guilty!)

Check those out at  www.eatmedaily.com/2009/12/hotchocspoons-hot-chocolate-on-a-spoon/

Let me know if you give these a try!

Happy holidays!!!


 





Potayto, Potahto

14 12 2009

Some see food as a work of art.

Others see it as a necessity.

There are even those who view it as an enemy.

Perception can be a funny thing… and fans of the show Dexter know exactly what I’m talking about! The Showcase series follows the exploits of a seemingly ordinary Miami resident who leads a secret life as an avenging serial killer — sound strange? It’s as entertaining as the fictionally bizarre can be!

The opening credits for the show capture Dexter’s morning routine… waking up, a clean shave, breakfast, and out the door. Quick as they are, the fleeting culinary shots present a totally unique way of looking at food… through the eyes of a murderer;  food in its most demonized form.  

Maybe it’s a visual message with a deeper meaning? A metaphor exposing how we all like to turn a blind eye to the (for lack of a prettier word) murder involved in making the sausage in our Egg McMuffins. Wouldn’t we all prefer a side order of blissful ignorance with our Happy Meal?

Or maybe it’s just good entertainment… I suppose the meaning is in the perceptful eye of the beholder.





Are You Nuts?

1 12 2009

Subliminal messaging — it’s everywhere you look! In the advertisements that surround us, in the literature that educates us, and even in the food that nourishes us! 

Handing someone a side salad instead of onion rings or fries says: “It’s time to tone that tummy!” Just as opting to give the gift of homemade cookies over an Entenmann’s box says: “I care… as in oatmeal-raisin-kind-of-care… which is a lot!”

Food can tell us incredible amounts about our personalities, life choices, and societal values, but I’d never considered just how straight forward food can be when communicating with the brain attached to the mouth that’s eating it!

This might sound mishugganuts, BUT… have you ever looked at a walnut? I mean really looked at a walnut? Does it remind you of anything? I’ll give you a minute to think outside of the shell…

Have you ever noticed the walnut’s resemblance to the human brain? If that’s too much of a stretch for you to see… then at least you can recognize its Rorschach similarities (basically a spolotchier, more abstract manifestation of our skull’s innards)?

Well, I was flipping through the December issue of Psychology Today and right there on page 57 is an article on this smart little nut that scientists have now revealed as a prominent protector of neuro-health. Apparently, just 1 ounce (7-9 nuts) of walnuts every day fends off age-related cognitive degeneration! 

SO, the nut that looks like a brain can actually help prevent your brain from decomposing and turning you into some old nut! 

It could just be a giant coincidence, but I still think it’s amazing that a food can reflect what it most affects in your body… though I certainly don’t imagine a cupcake shaped like my hips would be all that appealing…





One Stylish Foodie

1 11 2009

Let’s face it. In the grocery store, we’re all just puppets. 

Though the majority of us won’t actually admit it, when it comes to spending our hard earned dollars on food, our decisions are often based on little more than bright colours, pretty packaging, and a catchy slogan.

And when we find that we’ve been buying all the “wrong” products for all this time (it feels like that more and more lately) we could blame it on the multi-million dollar marketing campaigns, or advertising agencies, or maybe even Mr. Christie and Mrs. Crocker themselves for manipulating our stomachs with their capitalist genius. But the truth is, there’s really only one person who can be held responsible for brainwashing us. Only one person who has kept us buying the products we do: 

The Food Stylist.

I too was ignorant of this fact, until last week. I enrolled in a week long intensive workshop in food styling, and under the instruction of industry veteran Delores Custer, I learned the tricks of the trade. The placement of a single crumb, the perfectly plump looking (because though it appears to be, it’s most likely not even cooked!) turkey, how tomato sauce clings to a thread of pasta… when we see it, we want it. When we want it, we buy it! 

While it may seem simple — how hard can it be to convince someone that they want to eat an ooey gooey slice of pizza or a giant juicy burger? — it takes a real talent for gastronomy, an artful eye, and an incredible amount of patience.

For the final assignment of the course, a professional photographer came in to shoot dishes styled by us students. My group opted for a winter dessert, with a look inspired by LCBO’s Food & Drink Magazine.

final food styling

Looks real? This time it was — Chocolate mousse and apricot shortbread cookies from scratch.

Looks delicious? Oh believe me, it was that too!

Looks easy? Think again.

 Cooking/baking time aside, just to get this one shot took 2 hours! And we were told that is a completely NORMAL amount of time! As absurd as it may be, you have to admit that our final product is enough to get you salivating… and enough to get your wheels rolling you over to the grocery store!





S-trip World Intern Audition

20 10 2009

Hello All!

Some of you may have discovered the existence of this little blog from my audition video for the MTV/S-trip World Intern competition!

Welcome to my little world! Feel free to take off your coat and stay a while!

For all those H-cores who have been waiting for recent posts, I apologize for my absence! Moving downtown (yay!), starting culinary school (yum!), and attempting to win a free trip around the world (you so crazy!) have swallowed a surprising amount of my time!

So help a travel hungry girl out by clicking over to:

http://wildfireapp.com/website/6/contests/6531/voteable_entries/1478456 

and voting for my video once every 24 hours per computer station!

Hopefully I’ll be writing about what I’m eating in India a few months from now!!!

 





Tree-huggin’ vegetarians all up in yo meat-searin’ Grill?

25 09 2009

I love meat cooked, and I love meat raw,
At a black tie dinner party, or at home in my bra.
Grilled, seared, or fried, in a doggy bag from a date,
Don’t care if it’s roasted or stewed, as long as it gets on my plate.

Alas, there are many who do not share such sentiments,
The martyrs living on beans, tofu and futile condiments.
“We’re saving the world one roast at a time!”
Veganism is love, meat eating is a crime!
To me this has always seemed a crock of shit,
Next they’ll conserve water by only drinking spit!

MURDER

All of a sudden, the world is seeing Green,
and people are starting to see what those crazies mean!
Who knew that cow farts could bring on global  warming?
Or that fish downstream from factory farms go belly-up without warning?
I recognize that there are issues in getting chicken from farm to table,
But ingesting a kebab shouldn’t get me a murderous label.  

Apparently now if you eat meat,
You’re part of a problem that’s trendy to beat.
Is this raging carnivore facing her doom?
Am I destined for a diet of carrots and legumes?
Desperate for an answer, I turned to the only source of truth I know…
The foodie section shelves at Chapters-Indigo.

Michael Pollan, Mark Bittman, I’ve read their shpeels before,
And then I saw the winner… Catherine Friend’s Compassionate Carnivore.
The thesis is simple: Know from where your meat comes,
And recognize the sacrifice that has – for your meal – been done.
Consumers have a choice beyond the mass production buy,
And exploring more humane options is worth a try. 

There’s nothing wrong with enjoying a good steak,
If purchased responsibly no social or environmental injustices will it make!
So to those of you living off rabbit food for whatever ethical reason you do,
Don’t hate on me for eating meat, and I won’t bother you!
In fact, I should send thanks for practicing a diet which is animal-free,
Yes, thank you for leaving that much more delicious meat for me!

compassionate carnivore





Got Milk?

11 09 2009

When your roux is aching for some moisture, it’s go time.
(Get your mind out of the gutter… I’m talking about making Mac and cheese!)

 I reached for the milk carton and found there was just barely enough to dampen the flour-fat playdough lump at the bottom of my pot. Nobody panic. 
Water? Only if I have to…
Orange Juice? I’ve already satiated my Vitamin C requirement for the day…
Beer? Now there’s a thought!

Brewed up some Mac and Cheese...

It went into the oven with a prayer, and came out singin’ my praises! Mac and cheese bubbled with a freshly cracked brew with scallions and spicy flecks swimming through it… perhaps my finest improvisation yet?

This might seem like the ultimate combination for a college crowd, but I think you’ll find that replacing the usual cream and milk with a nice ale will please any crowd you serve it to!