Monday, April 25, 2011

Slow Cooking Pulled Pork

It was a quiet Easter Sunday and since I don't have family obligations anymore I wanted to make a no fuss dinner that could be great leftovers too. I decided to make Pulled Pork in the Crockpot and cook it low and slow which also meant I didn't have to worry about something being on the stove or burning in the oven. I took a huge piece of pork shoulder and mixed up a spice rub.

The spice rub I used contained the following ingredients:

Brown Sugar
Garlic Powder
Onion Flakes
Dry Mustard

You can use any combination of spices according to your taste but this is what I mixed up.

I rubbed the pork shoulder and put it into an already heated Crock pot and then covered the meat with chicken stock, that's what I had but beef stock would be good too or if you like you could add Beer or whatever kind of liquid just to give it something to cook in.

I added a few drops of liquid chipotle and some tabasco sauce and just let it cook low and slow for about 4 - 5 hours or until the meat would just seperate without a knife. I then shredded the meat with 2 forks and added a bit of bbq sauce to moisten it up and give it a last bit of flavour. I would have made my own bbq sauce but I was too lazy so just do what you want and as long as you use good spices and ingredients and cook it for a long time it will come out great.

I was going to make a pulled pork sandwich but since I didn't have any buns I decided to make corn grits instead since that only takes a few minutes to cook.

Not sure where this Southern Comfort cooking craving is coming from but guess it's my go to food at the moment.

I seem to be gravitating towards simple, hearty and comfort feeling food. Must be the weather and my mood lately. But you can't beat the taste of this stuff.

This is what a crock pot should be used for.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Life, Food, Death

My mother and me serving cake. I think I was 7.. excuse the bad haircut.

I haven't been able to blog for the passed week because my mother passed away last week from of all things a lack of nutrition because of Dementia.

I never thought that my mother's life would end that way. My mother was a survivor of the Aushwitz concentration camps in Germany during the war and survived on eating very little while she was in the war and afterward but made a point to make sure we always had a fridge full of food and was always trying to offer food to friends and family. My mother was a little forgetful and then a lot more forgetful over the past 5 years and then last year we had to put her into a nursing home because she needed care 24/7 for her safety. I guess my first indication should have been the reduction of the things she would cook or bake. After my mother retired she would bake cookies when she was bored. Then she stopped baking cookies and switched to frying wontons and adding powdered sugar on them and would go to the neighbourhood bank, pharmacy and her doctors office and hand out wontons to whoever wanted them. Then it stopped. The only thing she would make was instant coffee and that started to become confusing. Freezer food would end up in the fridge and fridge food would end up in the freezer. I suppose that should have been clues to the progression of her illness. Before she went into the home she went to a day program where they supplied meals 3 times a day so all she would eat at home was snacks of bananas, yoghurts, mandarin oranges and any chocolates or treats I would leave on hand for her to grab. Everything had to be simplified for her to be able to maintain independence on what she chose to eat.

January of 2010 she was placed in a home where they provided the not so great meals. Myself and my mother's friend would bring her chocolate treats when we visited. Everything changed this past January though. She went into the Hospital for pneumonia and somewhere toward the end of her 2 week stay she started refusing food. They discharged her only to return to the home with a c-difficile virus which would further aggravate her condition. She became very week after her 2 week hospital stay and started eating less and less. She was so week that she fell a couple of times and went back and forth to the hospital for xrays. By the time she went back to the home after all of that she could no longer walk due to swelling of her ankles and then she had more difficulty swallowing and eating food. Thus began the decent. She became dehydrated and her blood pressure dropped and she still had the c-difficile infection so they had to send her back to the hospital. I insisted that she be sent to Sunnybrook Hospital this time. She spend 2 more weeks in the hospital and had the infection cleared up and was placed on an iv drip and rehydrated but the problem was that she refused food more and more until the only thing she would eat was pudding. The doctors told me that there was nothing they could do if she refused food and they had done all that they could do medically so they had to send her back to the home. My mother wasn't happy being in the hospital tied to a bed so I agreed to send her back. I knew that if she didn't eat that she wouldn't have long to live after that. She returned to the home and I would bring her strawberry applesauce and puddings just to get her to eat something. Until she even refused that. There was nothing anyone could do to force her to eat so she just wasted away until her body couldn't support her anymore. My mother was a survivor and fighter all her life but I think this time she stopped fighting and wanted to go on her terms with food being the only thing she could control in her life. It is heartbreaking to watch someone die that way because there is nothing you can do to help change it. So my mother ended her long life of survival at 88 years old. I hope wherever she is there is an abundance of food that she is enjoying again.

This experience made me realize that when we are born the first thing we do is eat to sustain life and we spend our whole life eating for pleasure, pain, nutrition, control and to help or hinder our health.

For a foodie like me it's unbelievable how much damage eating badly or forced starvation can do to your body. I know what foods are good for me but I don't always prefer to eat them. There is a whole mind/body/food connection that is very complex and I don't know if we will ever really just eat to support maximum nutrition for our bodies. There is always a lot more things going on in connection to food.

So my thoughts about this are that we are born, we eat, we live and then we die, so we might as well enjoy every bite of food while we can while not letting food take over our lives. We need to Eat to Live and not Live to Eat.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Cannelloni - pasta perfection

I think my all time favourite food is Italian. Italian food is simplicity made perfect. You can take 3 ingredients and make the most satisfying meal. What are the 3 ingredients?

1. Tomato sauce or some sort of savoury sauce
2. Pasta or dough
3. Cheese

That's all you need to make a great meal already but with a few other ingredients you can make something that can satisfy your soul.

Italians rarely cook with actual recipes they usually cook by feel and with love. I grew up on a street with many Italian families and learned that although they were similar they were not the same. The sauces and the choice of pastas seemed to differ and the end results were slightly different even using the same sort of basic ingredients.

Italian food is my go to food when I want something that tastes good and is quick and easy.

This time I decided to make Cannelloni because I never make that and had some ingredients in the fridge that would be great in a Cannelloni.

This is what I did:

Recipe of the Day:

1 Box of Cannelloni noodles
1/2 small log of goat cheese
1 container of Ricotta cheese
1 can of San Marzano tomatoes
1/2 small onion
1 package of spinach leaves
2 garlic cloves
1 tsp. of basil pesto
1/3 of a cup of grated mozzarella
3 tbsp of grated parmesan cheese
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Rinse and slightly chop the spinach leaves and set aside
Mince the garlic cloves and dice the onion and set aside.

In a bowl mix the ricotta cheese, goat cheese and a tablespoon of parmesan and mozzarella cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste and set aside.

In a large frying pan add olive oil to a hot pan and then saute the spinach. Once it is bright green and cooked down take it out of the pan and set aside.

Add a little more oil to the pan and saute the onions and garlic until the onions are translucent. Add in the can of tomatoes and you can add fresh tomatoes as well. Mash the tomatoes into a sauce like consistency. Add a teaspoon of basil pesto or dried basil flakes or you can add fresh basil at the end. Cook the tomato sauce for about 20 minutes or until the sauce is the way you prefer it. You can add water if you want a thinner sauce. You need to make it thinner than usual because it will cook the pasta in the oven.

Once the sauce is cooked you can assemble the Cannelloni.

In a baking dish add some of the sauce to the bottom of the pan just like the way you would make a lasagna.

Add the chopped spinach to the cheese mixture and you can put the mixture into a Ziploc bag and cut a small hole at the corner of the bag to be able to pipe it out into the cannelloni noodles. Take one of the uncooked cannelloni noodles and pipe the mixture into the inside of the noodle. you can use a small spoon to push it in if you need to. Place the filled cannelloni noodles in the baking pan side by side. Do not layer them on top of each other. Keep filling the cannelloni noodles until you run out of filling.

Add the remaining tomato sauce on top of the noodles and then sprinkle the rest of the mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese on top.

Cover with tin foil and place in the preheated oven.

Cook for about 45 minutes or whatever the package of cannelloni noodles require.

And it should look like my photo if you did it all the same way.

It may not look like a perfect picture but the taste of it will feel like love on a plate.

Italian food is food of love... and I do love it...

Monday, April 11, 2011

Eat your Brussel Sprouts!

Brussels sprouts are a cultivar of the same species that includes cabbage, collard greens, broccoli, kale, and kohlrabi; they are cruciferous. They contain good amounts of vitamin A, vitamin C, folic acid and dietary fibre. Moreover, they are believed to protect against colon cancer, due to their containing sinigrin*
*From Wikipedia

I never really liked brussel sprouts most of my life because most of the time when I had them they were made very badly. There is nothing worse than boiled brussel sprouts. When I was a kid my mom would boil them until they turned a pale yellow.. pretty much destroying any vitamins they may have had in them and the good flavour went down the drain with the water. All I remember is that they had salt and pepper on them. YUCK right? Well most of the time my mother would have to say "Eat your brussel sprouts" but for some reason over cooked cauliflower didn't have the same effect even though they come from the same family. Mushy cauliflower turns creamy but mushy brussel sprouts just turn yucky..only way to describe it.

Recently I started cooking them a different way and they don't taste anything like they did when I was a kid. So if you haven't had any great tasting brussel sprouts try and make them this way and see if it makes a difference.

How to cook Brussel Sprouts right:

Rinse brussel sprouts but don't dry them.
Cut the ends off and cut them in half.
Take off any damaged or dirty leaves.
Drizzle Olive Oil on them just enough to make them shiny but not soaked in oil.

Add a pinch of salt and pepper and you can also add a little sprinkle of grated nutmeg to enhance the flavour.

Place them on a cookie sheet cut side down.

Preheat oven to 350 Degrees and put the cookie sheet in the oven and cook for at least 25 minutes or until the outside turns crispy but not burnt.

As soon as you take them out of the oven place in a bowl and drizzle a little bit of the best balsamic vinegar you have. Just about a teaspoon depending on how many brussel sprouts you made.

That's it.. Simple..easy. Cooking them until they are slightly crispy not only makes them chip like but it also adds caramelization with brings out the sweetness while still retaining all the vitamins.

Try this recipe on your picky eaters and kids and see if they will "Eat their Brussel Sprouts".

Brussel Sprouts get a bad rap... make them better and get people eating them again.

Potstickers - the universal dumpling

When I want a quick and easy lunch with not to much fuss and mess I make up a batch of Potstickers. Almost every culture has some sort of dumpling and the Chinese culture have Potstickers. Why do they call them potstickers? Because when you cook them they are supposed to stick to the bottom of the pot and create a crust on the bottom.

Potstickers are pure simplicity. All they are is some thin dough with some sort of meat or protein filling normally. You can make them as easy as I did today or you can make them from scratch with a little more effort.

For those of you that think you can't cook here's a little help to make this easy go to lunch to impress the people that say you can't cook. Want to know how?

Go to your local chinese market or good grocery store that sells frozen potstickers. The ones I bought were pork and chive I think. Sometimes they just say dumplings but make sure they are not the soup ones.

All you need to do is grab a frying pan that has a lid to fit and preheat the pan to high and then put in about a tablespoon or so of vegetable oil, depending on the size of the pan. Make sure you leave space between each dumpling so don't overcrowd the pan.

After you warm the oil put the dumplings in the pan and turn the heat down to medium and quickly add about 1/4 cup of water to steam the dumplings and quickly put the lid on. The steam will defrost and cook the dumplings and the water should evaporate. When the water evaporates just make sure you flip the dumplings around and they will brown on the bottom and once they have a bit of a brown crust they should be done.

Dipping Sauce:

2 tbsp. Black Vinegar
1 tsp. sesame oil
you can add about a dime's size of grated fresh ginger or to taste

if you like it saltier you can add a couple of drops of soy sauce.

You can make any combinations of dipping sauce depending on how salty or tangy you like it.

Place the sauce in a small dipping bowl and place the potstickers on a place and serve. have an easy, tasty, quick and impressive lunch that you and your lunch guests will love.

You can also serve them as appetizers at a party. Great for snacks or for lunch.

It doesn't have to be complicated to be good.

Now you know why people around the world make some sort of dumpling whether it's ravioli, potstickers, perogies or whatever you call it.. It's just good food stuffed into a dough shell.

It's all good no matter where you have it in the World.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Toronto Food Carts

Toronto Street Food Carts

Read this Toronto Star Article about the red tape Toronto City cart vendors have been dealing with.

TheStar Yum: Tastier street eats, without the red tape

I don't understand why the city can't just charge entrepreneur city vendors a location permit fee and let them come up with a method of cooking their own ethnic food.. I mean really if a guy wants to stand on the street with a BBQ and roast some corn does he really need a $30,000. cart for that.

It doesn't take away from the restaurants at all. If you are a single person in a rush to get from destination to destination and can grab a quick bite from a food cart on the run it's a much better option than only being able to get a hot dog. Case in point. Yesterday I went to a film festival and didn't want to spend a half an hour getting a sit down meal so I just grabbed a hot dog on the way to the theatre. I would have liked to have another option besides a hot dog. When I went to Salt Lake City, Utah I saw at least one or 2 guys that had carts that sold Tacos and other mexican style food. Does a person need to spend $50,000 to serve nachos and salsa and such foods?

These carts are great for tourism as well. Toronto is supposed to be a multicultural city with a diverse group of ethnic areas so why can't we have street vendors that reflect that. Some of these street cart people are the greeters to tourists in the city. To the Toronto City Councillors.. give these people a break and they will pay you back in taxes paid from money earned and increased tourism dollars... Win WIN...

I happen to know the Executive Director of the Vending cart association, she is also an actor and also sells jewellery and I am sure she does other things to make a living. We had a long conversation one day about the limitations of being able to provide variety in foods available on these carts. She shouldn't have to work 3 different jobs just to survive. She should be able to make a living selling whatever food works for her to earn money from her cart and be able to survive on that.

I am sure if you did a poll with the people that live in Toronto if they wanted variety in these street carts and having more of them around I am sure the answer would be YES we want MORE!.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Frittata.. just a fancy way to make eggs.

Recipe of the Day"

It's Saturday morning and what do you usually think of when you wake up on a saturday morning? Well for me today is was a lazy saturday morning brunch type of breakfast. What did I make this morning? Frittata. If you don't know what fritatta is basically it's just a fancy way of saying eggs cooked with various veggies or whatever and sometimes cheese and just cooked in a pan and put in the oven to brown on top. There... I just de-mystified it.

So what did I actually put in it? And how did I make it? Here it is;

2 cups of fresh baby spinach
8 or 9 eggs
half a cup of gruyere or other melting cheese
1/4 cup of parmesan cheese
1/2 of a medium onion
8 cherry tomatoes
1 tbsp oil
salt and pepper to taste

optional flavourings*
chili flakes


Use a cast iron or oven proof frying pan and heat a tablespoon of oil on medium high heat.
Chop the half onion into a fine dice and toss it into the frying pan.
Rinse the baby spinach and toss it into the pan once the onions have gone translucent. The little bit of water on the spinach will help to steam the spinach while cooking.
Add salt and pepper to taste and you can add whatever other seasonings you like such as nutmeg, chili flakes, basil, garlic whatever spices you like. You can change up the vegetables to things like asparagus or zucchini or whatever will cook fairly quickly.

Beat the eggs in a bowl and you can add a little bit of milk if you want the eggs a bit fluffier.

Once the spinach is cooked and any excess water has evaporated then add the eggs into the pan and mis and spread out throughout. Add the cheeses and tomatoes and any garnishes you like. Let the eggs set up but not fully cook. Place the frying pan into a 350 Degree oven and cook for about 15-20 minutes or until golden brown on top.

It may puff up while in the oven so when you take it out of the oven just let it deflate before cutting it.

That's it... now you can make frittata.

This is a great weekend brunch meal because you can add loads of leftover things from your fridge and get a high vitamin loaded breakfast meal that is tasty as well.


Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution Season 2

Jamie Oliver has become a Rockstar Food Activist in his great new show Food Revolution now going into Season 2.

Jamie shows the power of one person's passion about feeding the world properly and what it can do to change the world.

Jamie Oliver mixes humor, fact, shock and education in an entertaining and heartwarming television show that is meant to start a REVOLUTION around the World.

You can join the Revolution with Jamie and bring better food to your local schools and towns and cities.

Sign Jamie's petition and join the War against unhealthy school lunches.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Family Dinners

me and my mom at the table

Some things seem very nostalgic these days with the rapid pace of technology and the keep pace world we live in today.  One of those things that has become the exception instead of the norm is the act of having Family Dinners.  At the risk of sounding old I will say that when I was a kid we had dinner with the whole family every night and when we didn't that was the exception.   My dad worked outside of the house and my mother was an alterationist who worked from home and when she would finish her work she would cook dinner.  When I was a kid normally I would be over at my friends house 3 houses over from mine and when it was time for dinner all my mom would do is go outside the backdoor and yell for me to come home for dinner.    I doubt that happens anymore.   Moms probably text their kids that dinner is ready to eat but that doesn't necessarily mean that they will be having a sit down family dinner.   These days kids are all over the place or obsessed with texting and video games and tv and various sporting or other events that they run off to.   A normal meal is now spent driving through a drive thru and eating in the car on the way to something else or they grab their food and either wolf it down or go eat in separate rooms and do whatever they are fully engrossed in.  

I don't have a family now but I am guilty of grabbing food on the go sometimes or just grabbing food while  doing other things.   It used to be that all we did is sit at the table and HAVE DINNER... no phones.. because there weren't as many telemarketers and most people were at home having dinner so they didn't call you.   There was no texting or tweeting or facebooking during dinner.   We just sat at the table and ate and talked... That was it.   Dinner normally took up to an hour to finish that way.  

Is it better the way it is now or is that something that was left by the wayside in our super charged super speed world?

My mother would use that dinner to lecture us on the why drugs were bad and why certain behaviours were inappropriate or she would instill the fear of god if we did certain things.  That was her platform to lecture, inform, sleuth and generally figure out what was going on in the world outside.

More and more kids are becoming obese and have stress issues so I wonder if bringing back something as simple as having family dinners together might help kids stay away from trouble in many areas of their life.  I believe kids need to sit down and appreciate the food they eat and know where it comes from and who made it.

While I do not have a family to have family dinners with now I do try and get together with friends for dinner as much as I possibly can.  

I find it odd that things have changed so much that more and more families are spending less and less time just sitting at the table and having dinner together every night or at least having what they used to call Sunday Dinners where the Whole Family would get together and just eat and have fun.   

We didn't have many Sunday dinners but occasionally we would go to my aunts for dinner so that was our equivalent I suppose.  

Life is crazy these days and keeping up is a challenge so even if you can't do daily family dinners it might be a good idea to at least have regular weekly dinners with the people you love.   The definition of family is a lot different these days so whatever that means to you is what you should put your time and focus into.

Enjoy the food and create great food memories.

TEDxManhattan - Laurie David - Dinner Makes a Difference

This is a great TedX Manhattan talk from the Producer of Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" about the importance of bringing back the old tradition of having FAMILY DINNERS.

TEDxManhattan - Ken Cook - Turning the Farm Bill into the Food Bill

This is Ken Cook from the Environmental Working Group doing a Ted Talk about the Farm Bills in the US and what they really fund and what Americans can do to make it better.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Lick's Homeburgers

Lick's Homeburger

Today I had to go drop off my car in the east end of town and didn't have time to eat breakfast so I was starving by lunch time so since I was in the area I went to Lick's for lunch.  I ordered the Homeburger and the Taters n' Cream.

Taters n' Cream

When you are starving there's nothing better than a greasy burger and some fries.  It's Classic.

I started eating at Lick's in the 80's when friends of mine lived a hop skip and a jump away from the Original Lick's in the Beaches in Toronto.   I used to go down to their place for a visit and we would grab some Lick's and head over to the boardwalk and chill out and eat our Lick's.    This goes back to sometime in the 80's,  I am not sure when exactly but I used to drive all the way down to the Beaches when I would have a Lick's craving.   When I started going there it was the only one around.   Fast forward many years later and there are a bunch of Lick's restaurants around town and now they sell their Hamburgers in grocery stores like Walmart and Metro.   But it's not the same for a couple of reasons.   When we used to go there would be a lineup out the door of people waiting for their burgers.   Each Lick's hamburger was handmade with Fresh meat.   Now they are more mass produced and are not as juicy and tasty as they used to be.  Bigger is not always better in the food world.   The other thing that is different is the fact that my friends no longer live in the Beaches.   One lives near Stratford and the other one in Vancouver, so I don't have my Lick's buddies to enjoy my burgers with anymore so the experience of having it isn't quite the same.
You get food memories from certain foods,  whether they are from childhood or celebrations or whatever sensory memory is attached to them.   My sense memory is of having hot off the grill burgers and fresh out of the fryer fries with my friends.   Simple but good.

While I can't bring back my friends I can bring back the memories everytime I eat Taters n' Cream.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Salmon en Papiotte

Salmon en papillote
Recipe of the Day:

I spent most of the afternoon out at a Film Industry panel so I didn't have time to spend in the kitchen today but since I was out all day and didn't have much cash all I ate was carbs and other bad things while I was downtown.  I counted change to get some fries at Chippy's on Bloor.  I didn't have enough money to get the fish so since I was all carbed out I decided to make my own fish when I got home.    I knew I had some  salmon filets in the freezer so I thought I would make Salmon en Papiotte.   It sounds fancy and difficult but it's one of the easiest ways to make fish.    It's french for Salmon in Paper.  You can make it in a brown paper bag or you can make it in parchment paper.  The point of this is to seal all the juices in a little packet (papier) to let the fish steam in it's own juices with a little help from some spices or herbs and a bit of steaming liquid.

So here is what I did:

A handful of baby spinach placed on top of the parchment paper.
1 piece of salmon filet on top of the spinach.
A pinch of salt and pepper to taste over the fish and spinach.
I added about a half a teaspoon of olive oil.
3 slices of lemon placed on top of the salmon
A couple of sprigs of fresh dill and parsley.

you can also add other greens,  other herbs and spices and a splash of wine and whatever flavourings you like.    Just don't add too much or it will take too long to cook.

Preheat the oven to 350F.

There are a few ways to wrap the parchment paper but the easy way is to just sort of wrap it like you are wrapping a present quickly.   fold over and fold under basically to seal it up.

If the salmon is fresh and not frozen it should take about 20-25 minutes.

My fish was frozen so it took about 45 minutes.

Slice a slit in the top of the package when cooked and be careful of the steam released..   Eh VOILA..  Salmon en Papillote.

The great thing about this recipe is that if you use Salmon you get some great Omega 3's and cook without a lot of added fat and salt.

It's healthy and easy and if you make it for friends or family they will thing you are the greatest fancy cook.    And the best part is no pots to clean.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Lunch Money

Bob Blumer and me at Lunch Money Day

A couple of months ago I was working downtown close to Yonge/Dundas Square when they had a lunch time event for Second Harvest at the Square.  Every year Second Harvest does an event called "Lunch Money Day" where they collect donations in subway stations for their programs.  They had 2 locations that they had set up to serve food from local restaurants to collect money for the day and one was at Yonge and Dundas and the other at Union Station.   I went to the first one at Yonge and Dundas during my lunch and for less than $10 which is what most take out lunches in the area would cost I got some hot chili, some fresh soup and some skewered fruit and marshmallows covered in melted chocolate.. yeah that was my favourite part.   But what was also great about the event is what Second Harvest does with the money they collect at these events and at the various subway stations.  Second Harvest is a great charity that has one of the highest returns on donate money.  They provide breakfast programs to kids in schools and to seniors and many other people that are in need of nutritious food.   There are a lot of great restaurants in the city that are donor partners to Second Harvest.  They have great relationships with celebrity chefs and one of them was on hand at Yonge and Dundas and at Union Station to support the Lunch Money Day Event.  

If you don't recognize him in this photo it's Bob Blumer the host of Glutton for Punishment.  I was able to meet him and have a quick chat with him while contributing to a good cause.

One of Second Harvest's other great events they do yearly is "Toronto Taste" a huge event that has local restaurants supplying great food for a great taste of the best restaurants in Toronto.   I have attended 2 Toronto Taste events, once as a Volunteer and once as Media while doing an article for B Magazine the local magazine I write a monthly events listing column and the odd editorial for.   I can tell you that I enjoyed being media at the show and being able to go around and take photos of the amazing dishes some of the greatest chefs in Toronto had provided.

Chef Higgins at Toronto Taste
Second Harvest is a charity I like to support because I feel that everyone has a right to eat good and healthy food and it gives foodies like me a great event to enjoy great food while helping other people that aren't as fortunate to be able to get basic nutritional needs met to give them a better chance to learn and stay healthy.

If you would like to Volunteer, Donate or attend Second Harvest events please check them out here:

All Food Things

This photo prompted this new Food Blog.

For the past month I have been off work and at home cooking a lot more than usual and for fun I have been  posting photos of what I have been making on my facebook page so my friends convinced me that it was time to do a food blog so this is the beginning of it.

This humble bowl of chicken soup was something I had throughout my childhood.  Mostly when I was sick or on special occasions with the matzoh balls but mostly with noodles.   My mother would make chicken soup on a regular basis so I guess it's probably one of the first things I learned how to make by watching my mother do it all the time.  

This time it's a little different.   I don't make matzoh ball soup very often, maybe once a year with the matzoh balls but I will make chicken soup for the stock but this time I made it for a different reason.  My mother is in a long term facility now with Dementia and can no longer even remember that she used to make chicken soup so I decided to bring her some today because she has been sick the past couple of weeks and has stopped eating.  I thought that if I tried to make something healthy that used to be one of her favourite things she might like it and eat it.  I tried but unfortunately even though the soup came out great it is no longer something she likes or remembers how much she used to like it.

For a foodie it's hard for me to understand how someone that used to be obsessed with getting her family to eat things but no longer wants to eat anything but pudding, ice cream and pureed fruits.

This blog will serve as my visual memory for the foods I love and all the foods of life.

I will post recipes, photos, restaurant recommendations and pans and favourite food network shows, celebrity chefs, eco and healthy food choices and foodie events.

Now in case you want the recipe for my mom's chicken soup here it is:

Chicken Bones from a kosher chicken
6 cups of cold water
1 Onion
1 Carrot
1 Parsnip
1 Leek
1 Stalk of Celery
2 Tablespoons of Fresh Parsley
1 Tablespoon of Salt
1 Tablespoon of Pepper
2 Bay leaves or a tablespoon of crushed bay leaves
A packet of OXO chicken bouillon (Optional)
2 Garlic cloves (Optional)

Wash, and peel and rough chop all the vegetables and put it in a stock pot with the chicken and cold water.
Turn heat on high and when the stock starts to boil turn it down to a simmer and skim any scum from the surface of the soup.
Let simmer slightly covered for at least an hour or to taste.   Check for seasoning and adjust.

For matzoh balls I used a package of Streits Matzoh ball mix.   You can use a mix or make your own if you have matzoh meal.  I use the mix because it's way faster.  It only takes a couple of eggs and some oil and 15 min to set and another 30 minutes to cook.

Then Enjoy.