Tag: food (page 1 of 14)

A shortbread cookie recipe to die for

Dear Wendy,

Over the years, I have come to accept a sad truth: I will never be a great baker.

I think I got my baking skills from our mother, who made excellent breads, very good pie crusts, amazing fruitcakes, and the most amazing shortbread cookies in the world…and that is all. Those were her four signature baked dishes—any other baked goods that came from her kitchen started life in a box with the name “Duncan Hines” or “Betty Crocker” stamped on the front. Continue reading

Awesome Advice Central: Sharesies!

Dear Awesome Advice Central,

I consider myself to be a woman of the world, a bon vivante, a connoisseur of the good life.  In all the experiences I’ve been through, what happened the other night took my joie de vivre, threw it on the floor, stomped on it and set it on fire.  And then peed on it.  I doubt it will ever recover. Continue reading

Fresh summer recipes

Dear Readers,

We’re already halfway through August (how did this even happen? I demand an explanation!), and the farmer’s markets are brimming with fresh fruits and vegetables at their peak of flavour. Continue reading

Awesome Advice Central: For the birds

alt="IMAGE-awesome-advice-central-for-birds-after-the-kids-leave"Dear Awesome Advice Central,

Every Sunday for the past year I’ve been the happy recipient of a free dinner at my neighbour’s house next door.

She’s an old lady with no one in her life but me, so although the free grub suited me, my presence and good humour suited her as well.

See how I said “suited” and not “suits”? There’s a reason for that. I don’t want to visit her anymore and I most certainly don’t want to eat her so-called food either!

It used to be so perfect. Before each dinner she’d take me out to her garden to admire the flowers and birds that would come to visit. She’d talk about her germonias and her berganiums and I’d pretend to pay attention because honestly? Flowers don’t interest me all that much.

She did something kind of sweet each time we’d walk around the garden. She’d take me by the arm and say, “Oh, dah-link, vat shtrong muscles you haff on your big, manly arms!”

I took this as a compliment even though I’m a woman. I’m pretty jacked, and I’m not afraid to show it.

She would tell me she had to finish off the final touches on our dinner and would ask, “Do you mind feeding the pretty little birdies that were visiting zat day?”

Small price to pay for some food, so I’d stand out zere…I mean there, pelting the birdies with bird seed. Whatever. They seemed to like it.

After a year of doing this, I was pretty good at it. I used the bird feeding time to practice my aim, hurling seed high up into the trees and scattering it far and wide. The old lady’s garden was the most popular in town for birds, I’d say.

She had hummingbirds. The ones with red on their chests. The ones with blue peaks on their heads. I even saw a peacock come in one day. But she had the boring gray ones too. I kinda liked them after a while, and named them after famous birds.

Actually I only know two famous birds, so they were all called either Tweety or Donald. They didn’t seem to mind.

Anyhoo…last Sunday I came in to dinner, sat down and started to dig in. I loved the old lady’s cooking, don’t get me wrong, but it was always the same every week. Chicken, chicken, and more chicken. Big ones, small ones, some with different stuffing, but always chicken. “101 ways to prepare a chicken”: she could write a book, I swear.

But hey, it was free, right? I wasn’t going to quibble.

I told her everything tasted delicious and we discussed our day, as we always did. I commented that there weren’t as many birds visiting us this week and she smiled at me, put down her knife and fork and said brightly…(I bet you know what’s coming, right?)…

“Oh, dah-link, you fed zem before, and now zey taste delicious!”

I think I threw up a little. I was eating either Donald or Tweety. Or Donald and Tweety. The horror, the horror!

I tossed down my fork, spat my food into my plate and ran out of that hell-house, vowing never to return.

Now that I’m safely at home, I’ve decided: I must warn future Tweety-pies and Donalds from flying near that madwoman’s house. What can I do to make them steer clear and continue on their flight path?

Help. The birds of the world depend on me!!

Bones McSackenhoff

 

Dear Bones,

Our hearts are touched, they really are. And anyone who knows us can tell you, it takes a great deal to touch our hearts. Sometimes our pool boy, Jesse, manages it with his special martini/foot massage combo, but most of the time we lounge about, completely untouched, except possibly in the head.

That’s a metaphor, dear, don’t trouble yourself.

Now, where were we? Ah, yes. Touched hearts.

You see, when we first opened your letter, we expected the usual round of whining and moaning: “Oh, the old lady is boooooring! Oh, the old lady never gives me second helpings! Oh, the old lady makes me work for my supper, aren’t I hard done by?

We receive this kind of bilge on a regular basis, and we were preparing ourselves to make the usual stern rebuke: “Get your finger out of your nose and your mind out of neutral, you ingrate!” Or words to that effect.

But you have taken us by surprise: your concern for the darling little Tweeties and Donalds of this world is heartwarming in the extreme. In fact, hang on a moment while we dab discreetly at our eyes with our lace handkerchiefs.

There now. Much better.

All right, here’s what you must do, if you wish to save the wee birdies: you must set up your own Bird Feeding Depot in your back garden. You must build the birds a giant birdbath, and scatter seeds and bits of fruit around; and you must learn the lost art of the bird-call, to summon your tiny friends to your oasis. You’ll find that birds follow their stomachs: they’ll quickly forget about your beastly neighbour’s garden if you offer them a higher class of accommodation.

You must devote yourself fully to this task, but we have no doubt you’ll be able to pull it off.

And once the birds are used to dining chez vous, you may eat as many of them as you wish. We suggest a nice hollandaise sauce, or perhaps a fricassee. Do let us know, as we’re always up for a good feed of Tweetie. Or Donald, as the case may be.

Awesome Advice Centralalt="IMAGE-awesome-advice-central-logo-after-the-kids-leave""

 

Great little food blogs you never heard of

Dear Wendy,

One of the great things about belonging to the blogging community is that we get to meet so many fascinating people, and discover the passions that drive them. One strand that fascinates me are the food blogs: it’s like being invited into a friend’s kitchen, learning tips and tricks that you might not pick up in a standard cookbook, and finding out what food means to them.

For this week’s Saturday list, then, I’ve put together a collection of some of the cooking and food blogs I’ve been reading lately. They’re a diverse group, ranging from the über-healthy to the ultra-decadent, with a few stops in between. From an “urban forager” who finds foodstuffs in the most unlikely places, to a pastry chef who’s earned her living creating yummy treats, to a “recipe renovator” who adapts recipes to meet special dietary needs…they’re all here, and each one is worth a read.

I hope you’ll take the time to poke around a little, check them out, and maybe even try a recipe or two.

As with every Saturday list, you can vote entries up or down the list, add your own comments, and even add your own suggestions—in fact, I’d love to hear which food and cooking blogs turn our readers’ cranks!

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KarenWendy Irving

The best food blogs you never heard of

We all know the "big" food sites, but there are so many little gems waiting to be explored...

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  1. 1  Baking in a Tornado

    Baking in a Tornado

    At Baking in a Tornado, Karen combines observations and musings about daily life with her recipes--the food tends toward the rich and delicious, but everyone needs a special treat now and then, right?

    It's an interesting thing about words that they don't just have meanings but connotations. We have dictionaries for definitions but many words, when heard and when used, are interpreted more in the context of what they mean to us personally. I've had this conversations recently with my older son in terms of words that segments of our society consider derogatory.

  2. 2  Skinny Kitchen | Healthy Recipes Blog, Low Fat Recipes, Weight Watchers Recipes

    Skinny Kitchen | Healthy Recipes Blog, Low Fat Recipes, Weight Watchers Recipes

    Nancy Fox runs Skinny Kitchen--as you'd guess from the name, this site is all about cutting the calories...but not the taste. Each recipe includes Weight Watchers points, for those of us who keep track of our eating that way.

    All breakfast foods in one hearty, super delicious dish. I can't wait for you to taste this luxuriously rich casserole! Perfect for the holiday weekend. It's so easy to make since using shredded frozen hash browns. I'm also adding bacon cooked on paper towels in the microwave to remove most [...]

  3. 3  Eating Wildly

    Eating Wildly

    Ava Chin is an urban forager: she knows where to find incredible edibles...right under your nose! Her website is fascinating, diverse, and entertaining.

    In celebration of #NationalEatYourVegetablesDay, this summer, I'm going to showcase some of the most sustainable wild vegetables that are available and growing all around us, most likely in your backyard, garden, or local park. Wild edibles are higher in phytonutrients-that's antioxidants, and good, old-fashioned nutrients that are inherent to the flora-than most vegetables found in [...]

  4. 4  K Cocina

    K Cocina

    K Cochina brings together the tastes of Latina cuisine, traditional Brazilian recipes, and more standard fare. Gorgeous photos!

    K Cocina: Bringing Sabor Into Your Life

  5. 5  Urban Naturale

    Urban Naturale

    Deborah Smikle-Davis' Urban Naturale covers more than just cooking, but her approach is fresh and healthy, and her Meatless Monday suggestions offer great meat-free meals for those of us who are trying to create healthier lives.

    Like many of us, I used to drink a lot of coffee but now I prefer green tea. In fact, I love green tea so that I have become a big green tea drinker. On most days I have at least 3 cups of green tea in the morning and sometimes I will have a cup in [...]

  6. 6  Relocation: The Blog

    Relocation: The Blog

    Mindy Klapper Trotta is a baker par excellence--she calls herself a "potato chip loving pastry chef," but we've seen nary a trace of chips in her delectable recipes. Granted, the blog is about more than cooking, but Mindy's recipes really are to die for!

    Browned Butter puts its pale yellow, insipid cousin to shame. It is butter that's gone on a vacation...to the tropics...and it's come home all tawny and burnished, and smelling goood. It's a little wild, a little flirty and sputtery, so it needs to be watched carefully as you melt it down.

  7. 7  Recipe Renovator - Building a healthy life

    Recipe Renovator - Building a healthy life

    Stephanie Weaver's blog is all about taking recipes and adapting them for those with special dietary needs--vegan, diabetic, migraine-friendly, paleo, and so on. It's a neat approach, and the results look pretty awesome, melding healthy with delicious.

    Is it hot where you are? This giveaway is hot! Our June giveaway features the four cookbooks I reviewed this month, a chile prize package, frozen Hatch chiles from New Mexico, a beautiful recycled cutting board from Epicurean, and bonus gifts of delicious dried raspberries from Stoneridge Orchards and a copy of The Unforgettable Photograph [...]

  8. 8  Healthy Nibbles & Bits

    Healthy Nibbles & Bits

    For cooking with a healthy twist, look no further than Lisa Lin's Healthy Nibbles & bits. Her Vegan Asian Cabbage Wraps caught our eye, and we'll be trying them ASAP!

    A medley of fresh corn kernels, zucchini, carrots, and tofu wrapped in fresh savoy cabbage. These delicious wraps double up as the perfect side or main dish! Yesterday, I woke up at 6:50 a.m. for a morning jog. Bleh! I work out in the morning a few times a week, but my morning sessions begin at 9:00 a.m.

  9. 9  Adriana's Best Recipes

    Adriana's Best Recipes

    Adriana's site is a visual and gustatory delight--with a Latin flair.

    Top source for cooking recipes.

Have a great weekend, and happy browsing!

Love,

Karen

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