Monday, May 31, 2010

This week at the grocery store...

They didn't have my favorite flavour of Kawartha ice cream! Again.

I guess it was only a matter of time before word got out about the Chocolate Peanut Butter.  Granted, all Kawartha ice creams are pretty fantastic and super fresh-tasting. In fact, a friend of mine coined the perfect slogan, which Kawartha Dairy is free to use, if they so desire:

Kawartha — It's Ka-worth-it! 

Thursday, May 27, 2010

My "Z-shield"

I can't take credit for this tip.

While I do have the occasional bright idea, I'm not a super-genius like the person who thought to seal an iphone in a Ziplock bag to protect it from the elements while still being able to use it. I can, however, do my part by helping to spread the word about its remarkable utility in the kitchen.

The "Z-shield" is an important discovery for many reasons, among them:

— cooking is messy (at least it is for me);
— iphones are very expensive to replace and not something the average owner could easily go without for any length of time;
— I hate having to print off recipes that I find online; and, finally
— there are just too many great cooking apps not to use your iphone in the kitchen for fear of damaging it (I'm currently loving Jamie Oliver's 20 Minute Meals – $7.99 [the Cadillac of cooking apps, complete with video how-tos]; the new David Leibovitz app – free; and, of course, the expansive recipe archive that is the iphone version of Epicurious – free)

Ziplock bags are also cheap, reusable and I hear that the extra large size works great for the ipad.




Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Check out the Eat, Pray, Love trailer!

A really interesting looking and somewhat food-related movie to look forward to this summer. (And, a little James Franco for your Wednesday.)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Deconstructing the cheese stick

This weekend I wanted cheese sticks. But, I didn't want to invest the effort in making my own from scratch. I also wouldn't settle for a restaurant or, perish the thought, frozen variety. So, I opted to deconstruct.

Deconstruction in cooking is when a recipe is broken down into its main components then reassembled to form something different, but the same. I've always been fascinated by this particular technique. I'm sure this means I would have made a great scientist had I not chosen to pursue an education in the lucrative field of English literature. 

Taking my cues from the Food Network's 50 Things to Make With a Jar of Pasta Sauce, I assembled my "cheese stick" by cutting the top off a small wheel of surface-ripened Quebec cheese, topping it with homemade marinara sauce and bread crumbs seasoned with Italian herbs and parsley, and baking it at 350° for 10 min.

It didn't stand up to the heat (as you can see from the picture above), but considering that it was going to be served with baguette, that didn't matter so much. Next time, I'll use a firmer Brie and not remove the top rind. (But what do I know, I majored in English, not structural architecture.)

But the important question is: Did it taste like a cheese stick? Damn right, it did. The flavour was unmistakable, which means that my experiment was a success.

If you want to see how the masters deconstruct, check out last year's Top Chef deconstruction elimination challenge:




Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Beauty treatment

I've had a lot on my plate lately, which has unfortunately kept me away from kitchen. And, it was this lack of new recipes, in part, that inspired this post.

So did this fascinating New York Times article titled, Cilantro Haters, It’s Not Your Fault. It looks at the science of why some people (like me) hate cilantro — a widely-used and much-loved ingredient in Asian and Latin American cooking.

I  expected the article to find some genetic cause. After all, genes have been shown to play a role in how people perceive certain flavours. But, not so. Instead it confirmed that cilantro does, actually, taste like soap. More specifically, "Flavor chemists have found that cilantro aroma is created by a half-dozen or so substances, and most of these are modified fragments of fat molecules called aldehydes. The same or similar aldehydes are also found in soaps and lotions and the bug family of insects." The theory goes that those who don't hate cilantro have become accustomed to it and therefore associate it's flavour with positive things rather than soap and bugs.

Ironically, Kiehl's Coriander is my favorite body wash, and that got thinking about that other important use for food — hair and skin care!