Hi everybody,

Over the next several days, I think I'm going to go on a recipe rampage, with chicken! So if you prefer not to eat red meat or pork, I'm sure you'll find the next few posts pretty interesting.

Why am I doing this?

Partly because somebody requested that I post more recipes (I'm TRYING okay!!!) and partly because I just noticed I have over 30 skinless boneless chicken breasts in my freezer. I love Costco!


You are what you eat ... ?

If you ever think that what you're eating is unappetizing, you haven't seen this yet. As cool as this looks, it has semi-boiled pasta and hardened-looking cheese on the outside of it. Bleugh!

Food art can be pretty fun! Check out these other things I wasted time looking for. My favorite is the watermelon man, and the suicidal orange.

Anyway, back to studying. Happy procrastinating.


Subway @ UCC

I was super excited when I heard we were getting a Subway in the UCC. The food at Subway not only tastes great and is somewhat more healthy, it's a fast meal when you're in a rush.

Furthermore, for Christmas, I got a gift card for Subway! So, naturally, this made me happy.

I feel a little betrayed tonight because I tried to use coupons that I received in the mail for Subway. Whats the problem, you ask?

I ordered my food tonight, and had the full intention of using my awesome coupons! I got a footlong meatball sub, dressed it up the way I wanted, and when I strolled up to pay for my tasty layered creation I pulled out the coupon!

What happened? Apparently, the UCC food places can't accept coupons. Since it's all part of one big happy meal plan system, they have no way to accept coupons. Ok - we'll this is a problem because I didn't have enough cash on me to pay the difference. MY GIFT CARD! So I pulled out the life saving card and handed it over to the cashier.

"We don't accept those, either". At this point I was a little frustrated and I asked "What the hell do you accept!?". I was tempted to offer up my math notes, but really, even I don't want those.

So, I didn't have enough cash, was out of meal-plan money, and they didn't take the friggin coupons. So I pushed the drink and the chips back at the cashier, unwrapped the sub, took half, and wrapped up the other half and returned it to her. What else could I do? I payed for what I could afford and left. How annoying!

Ultimately, it's probably my fault for not checking to see if they accepted them in the first place, and not having a contingency plan, but still. Talk about giving somebody a false hope. I was really excited to use them!


Fruits and vegetables have feelings too, see?

Ever find yourself sitting at your desk toiling over the most impossible math, logic, or computer science problems? I know I do.

To unwind a little, play a practical joke on your family, or roommates! Using the stuff in your fridge, (I don't mean cook something that will induce vomiting) you can come up with some pretty silly things.
Here's what my sister came up with. I definitely did a double take when I saw these:

Extra points for you if you can do this at the grocery store.

This isn't the first time she's done this kind of thing ... and I'm sure she'll have more practical jokes in store. Why don't you check them out
on her blog? My favorite is the 'Mario Block'!


GARLIC: I used to laugh at organic...

I recently visited a friend of my parents who works for a food health and safety advisory board, and she had some interesting bits of information I thought I'd share. So, have you ever walked by the organic food section in the grocery store and scoffed? "Why pay MORE for the way food was SUPPOSED to be grown!", right? Instead ask, "How's the cheap stuff different from the rest?".

Well, besides having a billion additives that could potentially make you look like you were conceived on top of a microwave, I recently learned that a country that may or may not go unnamed, I'm still deciding, has been injecting garlic with additives that prevent them from sprouting. China has been exporting this garlic (that didn't last long, did it?), and who knows what else, for several months now. This additive makes the garlic dry, and very much so less flavorful. More importantly, it's said to be bad to ingest. THIS IS BAD IF YOU LIKE GARLIC.

It also raises several questions:
So, it's really unfortunate that as students, we can't afford proper fruit and vegetables for our brains, and get stuck with having to consume potentially-hazardous-in-the-long-term chemically engineered rutabaga's and such.

Shouldn't we have to pay MORE for the produce that have additives, not MORE for the produce that comes with "less"?

Rant over. Also, if I disappear mysteriously, you know what happened.


Chili For When It's Chilly

Ever try Tim's chili on campus, only to find you're really eating a bowl of red water, with little floaties in it? Wendy's? If you want a real hearty chili, but not overly complicated, try this one instead! You can dress this up however you like, if you want it hotter, or with more veggies.


Hunts Tomato Sauce (canned, large)

Red Kidney beans (canned, large)
Lean Ground Beef (1 pkg.)
Chili Powder (2 tbsp.)


  1. Find a large frying pan, capable of holding all ingredients. We're going to use this to simmer. I find using a Wok or a deep frying pan works well.
  2. Turn heat to medium-high. Empty package of ground beef into frying pan, and begin dividing it into small pieces using a wooden spoon or spatula.
  3. Turn heat to medium-low, and fry the ground beef until browned.
  4. While browning, it might be a good time to peel/chop the carrots and celery into fair-sized pieces if you want to include them.
  5. Open the canned tomato sauce, and add entire contents to the ground beef when it has been browned. Add 1/3 can of water to the frying pan.
  6. Open the can of Kidney Beans, rinse twice, and strain. Add the beans to the frying pan.
  7. Stir the chili until it is mixed well, and increase heat to medium.
  8. Add the 2 tablespoons of chili powder to the chili. Mix thoroughly. You can add more if your tastebuds arn't excited enough.
  9. Simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until chili reaches desired consistency.
  10. Serve!
Other Ideas
  • When you have left over chili to spare, make chili dogs!
  • You can use the chili in a dip! Chill, top with cheese, sour cream, chives, tomato and serve with large tortilla chips.


Try cooking your onions like this...

If you're feeling adventurous and you happen to have access to a large cooking surface, you might want to try cooking your onions like this! For the rest of us normal people, we'll have to settle with putting onions on the barbecue and turning it up really high.

The onions are not actually on fire, they put enough oil and water in the "volcano" to steam cook the onion, while still fueling the fire.


EDIT: OH MAN, I just watched this with my sound on. You might want to *MUTE* unless you love being reminded of "Canada's Wonderland"...


Quick Pizza Fix

Ever crave pizza, but get turned off when you think of "Greasy-Hut" or those freezer-burned round things they sell at grocery stores? If so, maybe you should try out this cheap, quick, and extremely easy method for making your own pizza, without sticking any dough to your ceiling.

It's also great because you can make them how ever you want. Make a traditional pepperoni and cheese pizza, or a barbecue chicken pizza, or a veggie pizza. It's all a matter of wh
at you chop up.

Here's what you need:

  • Thick pita bread or Asian Naan bread
  • Pizza Sauce (canned)
  • Mozzarella Cheese
Example Toppings:
  • Pesto (optional)
  • Pepperoni
  • Mushrooms
  • Green/Red/Yellow/Orange Peppers
  • Onion
  • Sun-dried Tomato
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Pre-cooked chicken (maybe from a leftover meal)
  • Barbecue Sauce
  • etc...
Here's what you do:
  1. Preheat oven on to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Grate the cheese and chop your veggies/toppings.
  3. Take out the "crust" from the package... We're using smaller round pita breads as our crust. If they aren't flat enough, what I do is I usually microwave them for 20-30 seconds to make them moist, then roll them flat with a rolling pin.
  4. I like putting pesto on them before I put the pizza sauce. I usually put a whole teaspoon on each, and spread it thinly and evenly across the crust.
  5. Spread the pizza sauce evenly on the crust.
  6. Put your toppings on, start with the mozzarella, and then work your way to the veggies.
  7. Place pizzas on tinfoil on a shallow baking sheet.
  8. Bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees on the center rack in the oven.
  9. At 10 minutes, turn oven temperature to broil and place on a higher rack in the oven, and bake for 3-5 more minutes, watching carefully.
Quick and easy!


Kitchen Break

Some journalists say, that FOX news is a media channel controlled from the top, rather than being based on the objective journalism it so prominently boasts to be based on. Rupert Murdoch owns an abundance of media outlets, airlines, and even a movie studio. This goes to show you that money can reach further than facts and proof in our world today, an unfortunate truth.

However, does the video really differ from what FOX news is doing all that much? I'm not disputing the point being illustrated by the video, that is, that FOX news simply put is not "fair and balanced". But the video does not at all present a fair and balanced view on the topic. In fact, there are no "testimonies" from any FOX representatives. If it did, then we would have an equal amount of time
hearing about what FOX is trying to accomplish.

The video uses several methods of beating us to death with visuals, audio and repetition. The DRAMA is also unnecessary. I'm so sick of DRAMA. For instance, we are bombarded with clips of Bill O'Reilly telling people to shut up. Yes, it is humorous to see a grumpy, opinionated man do what he does best, but ... we get it already. The video doesn't have to use the same FOX tactics on us it so readily condemns.

I understand this isn't a trial, the point is that the media will never defeat my inner skeptic. Frankly, I don't care what some big corporation wants to tell me over the television. It'd be nice to know firsthand what’s going on, but that’s not possible when it's left to other people and their personal agendas, and we have to accept that.

I'm not trying to discredit the video in any way. I'm trying to point out that it too is a device, developed by the media, to enlighten, entertain, or sway opinions about another organization. As viewers, we have to be aware of this, and able to be our own "filters".

Cooking from books

Sometimes even the best in anything need a little help. For cooks, fortunately there are more cookbooks in existence than there are people in the "Cook Islands". Yes, that's actually a country, and happens to be very conveniently named for me.

I wonder what the food is like there?

Anyway, here are a list of three books that I own and I've found to be very helpful:
I have a ton more which are ridiculously unhelpful, good books are hard to find. So my advice is to pick them up and look at EVERY recipe. If you like it, buy it then and there. But if there are more than 5 you'll never make, its time to find a new book.

On a side note, I was looking for new book online, and somebody jokingly suggested this one. I won't say too much about this, except,
GAG, and completely disgusting. I know I should be open minded about different types and styles of cooking, but this... no. Just no. Click if you dare.


Dinner Idea: Glazed Salmon with Balsamic Baked Feta Asparagus and Orzo

Do you wish that you could incorporate a little more fish into your life? If you have a little extra time one evening (and by a little I mean about two hours), then you might want to try this dinner combination I came up with one evening while cooking to impress one certain single lady on valentines!

Salmon is nice and light, usually one of the more "safe" types of fish people enjoy. By safe, I don't mean it will help you cross a busy street, or protect you from movies starring Tom Cruise, but you get the idea. My recommendation for the salmon, is that you don't buy thin pieces but not very thick, either. Try to find a fine balance between the two. If you can buy the salmon that look like "strips" then those are easiest to skin. Refer to the photos below for a better understanding.

Nobody I have met knows what Orzo is. Orzo is not a secret. Orzo is a rice-like pasta, and you can prepare it just like rice. Simple as that. Yet, when I prepare it, people always either ask me what it is, or they're impressed at my use of "obscure
" ingredients. Right.

Asparagus is tasty when plain, when it's seasoned, but especially tasty when served with fish. In this recipe, we'll use the slight saltines
s of feta cheese to complement the flavour of the asparagus.

I find the best way to time everything cooking is to finish all the prep work first, chopping, skinning, etc... before we actually cook anything. Usually, we can start something and let it go while we prepare something else, but not this time. It's quite the concept, eh?

Let's get started.

  • Fresh Atlantic Salmon, boneless (2 pieces)
  • Asparagus stalks (8 or as many as desired, but a multiple of 2)
  • Feta Cheese (1/4 cup)
  • Soya Sauce (1/4 cup)
  • Fresh lemon (1)
  • Honey (25ml)
  • Maple Syrup (1/2 tsp.)
  • Clove of Garlic (2 medium-small cloves)
  • Orzo (1/2 cup)
  • Margarine (1 tsp.)
  • Oregano
  • Balsamic Vinegar
General Prep:
  • Chop both cloves of garlic until they are in very fine pieces, almost minced.
  • Crumble the feta cheese into a dry-measure cup.
  • Cut the lemon in half.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Dish Preparation:

  • Cover shallow baking sheet with tinfoil
  • Remove tough ends from asparagus stalks
  • Place stalks together in pairs of two on the baking sheet
  • Sprinkle garlic on top and around the paired stalks
  • Sprinkle feta on top and around the paired stalks
  • Set pan aside

  • Fresh Salmon will still have skin on one side, and you'll need to skin it. Its really not that bad, just as long as you have a long and sharp knife. Don't use a serrated blade.
  • Start at one side of the Salmon, slicing the skin from underneath. Peel back the skin as you slice it, as seen in the photo. Try to stay as close as possible to the skin without wasting too much. You can always trim excess fish off.
  • Once you're done, rinse the fish with cold water and set aside.
  • Pour the measured soy sauce into a bowl. Juice one half of the lemon into the bowl by simply crushing it and moving the peel back and forth. TIP: Use your fingers to get the excess juice out of the lemon, and it will clean your fingers of the garlic oil that's stuck to them, no more smell!
  • Take the other half of the garlic clove and add it to the soya sauce. You should still have 1 whole chopped clove remaining.
  • Pour the measured amount of honey into the bowl, while stirring. Make sure none just sits on the bottom, you want to mix it up.
  • Pour the measured amount of maple syrup into the bowl while stirring. Same as the honey above.
  • Sprinkle how ever much oregano you are comfortable with into the soya sauce. I usually go with a couple "pinches".
  • Set aside.
  • Fill a very small pot with water, salt lightly, and bring to a light boil. Remember, its like rice so it will expand to about double its volume.
Destructions (do them in order for best results):

Now with all the preparation done, we can actually start cooking!
  • Get a thick bottomed frying pan (distributes heat well), turn heat to medium and put a few drops of your favorite cooking oil, and 1/2 tsp. of margarine.
  • Let the margarine melt and spread around the oil. Put in the remaining garlic and heat until sizzling.
  • Turn the pan's heat to medium-low and place the two salmon pieces in it. If your temperature is correct, they should start sizzling lightly. Cook for 5-6 minutes.
  • Take the pan with the asparagus on it and place it in the oven. It will need to cook for 20-25 minutes. Check often.
  • Dump the measured orzo into the boiling water, turn up heat slightly.
  • The salmon should start to be turning from a deep pink to a pale pink on the bottom. Turn the heat up to medium and flip the two pieces over. Let cook for 5-6 more minutes.
  • When the salmon is turning pale pink throughout, add 1/2 the contents of the soya sauce mix into the pan.
  • The salmon should be getting brown from the soya sauce on the bottom, flip over, let cook for 4-5 more minutes.
  • Check asparagus.
  • Check orzo.
  • The salmon should be pretty well cooked now. Check if you are unsure. Remove them from the frying pan and place on a plate. Put the plate in the oven.
  • Turn the heat for the frying pan to high and add the rest of the soy sauce mix. The idea is to reduce/thicken it to make it into a glaze to pour over the salmon and orzo.
  • The orzo should be pretty well cooked, strain, and mix in 1/2 tsp. of butter. Let stand in pot, but don't forget to turn the heat off.
  • Once the sauce is thickened, turn off the heat and let stand.
  • Check the asparagus, it should be tender, and not dried out.
  • Remove the asparagus and arrange on two serving plates. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar.
  • Remove the salmon and separate onto two serving plates.
  • Serve the orzo onto each plate. Drizzle light amounts of the reduced glaze onto the orzo and the salmon.
  • For extra garnish, slice lemon and arrange on the plate, and on the salmon. Zig-zag additional maple syrup on salmon, if desired.


What to do when its supposed to be -32°?

Besides standing in your kitchen with all the elements of your stove turned on, and your oven cranked to "BROIL" ... You can make your own warm cup of hot chocolate!

Packaged hot chocolate has waaaaay too much sugar in it for my liking
, so I resort to my own devices to make a cup of cocoa.

Depending on how much of a hurry I am in, I usually use one of two different methods. The first is a pretty quick "git-r-done" (... sorry) method, while the second is much more fun and a good way to kill time.


Ingredients w/ quantities
  • Fry's (or equiv. unsweetened) cocoa. (1 1/2 tbsp.)
  • Milk or Cream, or both. Anywhere from Skim to Half & Half, depending on how dangerous you feel. (Single full mug)
  • Sugar (1/2 tbsp. or to taste)
Instructions (for a single mug)
  1. Fill your favorite mug 3/4 full with the milk.
  2. Microwave the mug and contents for approximately 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Measure 1 1/2 tablespoons of cocoa and add it to your mug.
  4. Mix the cocoa until no lumps remain, use a milk frother if you have one!
  5. Measure 1/2 tablespoon of sugar and add it to your mug. Stir until dissolved. Add more if not sweet enough.
  6. I hope you didn't fill up your mug to the top because if you did you probably have cocoa and sugar all over the counter.
  7. Top off the mug with milk for an instant cooldown. If not hot enough, heat for 30 more seconds.

  • Cornstarch (2 tsp.)
  • Milk or Cream, or both (1 1/2 cups)
  • Water (1/2 cup)
  • Fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), chop/shave finely (10 oz.)
  • Heavy cream or substitute for more milk (1/2 cup)
Optional Ingredients... I guess.
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder (1 tbsp.)
  • Brandy (for extra warmth), or flavored syrup of your choice (optional, but hazelnut is awesome).

  1. Boil water in a 2-quart heavy saucepan.
  2. While the water is heating up, mix cornstarch and 2 tbsp. of milk. Set this aside.
  3. When the water is boiling, reduce heat to low and add the chopped chocolate.
  4. Add a pinch of salt, and by pinch of salt, I mean, actually put your hand in the salt jar and pinch the salt. Unpinch the salt into the boiling chocolaty mix. Whisk until smooth.
  5. Add cream / remaining milk to the boiling mix and increase heat to moderate.
  6. Whisk occasionally until mixture is smooth and heated through.
  7. If you want a richer flavour, add the optional cocoa.
  8. Whisk the cornstarch mixture and then add half to chocolate mixture and simmer until slightly thickened, should be about 2 minutes.
  9. Now for extra fun, you can add brandy (if using) or the flavored syrup (to taste, but don't go overboard!)
  10. Add remaining cornstarch mixture to thicken if desired, then simmer, whisking, 1 minute.
  11. Serve!
Enjoy, and stay warm!


Blogging from Blackberry!?

Hello everybody!

Today I'm testing the mobile blogging scene and seeing how it works. If it does, I'll be able to do my restaurant reviews, in the restaurant!

Here's hoping!
Sent on the TELUS Mobility network with my BlackBerry.


Hello Tasty World!

The image you see in the top left corner of the web page is the elusive flavour particle. This particle escapes the grasp of scientists who try to prove its existence, and is only known to the most skilled of chefs.

The purpose of this blog is going to be about my adventures of trying to incorporate this magical particle into my own culinary creations!

I plan to blog about such things as:

* Delicious recipes, my own and borrowed.
* Food preparation and presentation.
* Entertaining guests.
* Handy kitchen equipment.
* Everyday kitchen tips.
* Occasional Restaurant Reviews.
* and more!

I hope to catch the interest of readers with some of my own recipes and creations, so stay tuned!