Curry All the Things #Passion4Ferns

Rogan Josh Braised Beef Rib Spring Rolls Rogan Josh Braised Beef Rib Spring Rolls

So, a food writer, former fellow blogger, and soon-to-be published cook book author sends you Indian curry pastes to cook with, he having come across your work with Indian spice blends for a contest organized by East India Company Restaurants. He asks you to be creative. What do you do? [Seriously, if you like beer in any way shape or form, pre-order David Ort’s Canadian Craft Beer Cookbook from It’ll sit very nicely with your copy of The Beerbistro Cookbook by Stephen Beaumont and Brian Morin.] If you’re me, you wander the Qualifirst Foods... | Continue reading article

The Cronut Reaches Ottawa: Atelier Pastry Chef Tries His Hand at the Compound Confection

Never look a gift paper bag in the eye... Never look a gift paper bag in the eye...

The cronut has taken the food world by storm. A creative hypbrid of “cro”-issant and do-“nut,” the dessert confection was created by noted pastry chef Dominique Ansel of Dominique Ansel Bakery in New York City (189 Spring Street). While deep fried golden, like a doughnut, the cronut sports the same light and buttery layers as a classic French croissant. Hysteria over the cronut has manifested in lineups starting at 6 am, people buying cronuts en masse and “scalping” them for $40/piece (resulting in a 3 cronut/person limit), and Craigslists postings. Most recently, news agencies mused... | Continue reading article

Blueberry Tarts of 2011

Art-is-in Blueberry Tart Art-is-in Blueberry Tart

Waking to deceptively warm sunshine these past few mornings, many Ottawa natives asked if it is “shorts” or “mittens” weather. Indeed, I found myself keeping three jackets at the ready, my down-filled winter coat, my flannel lined leather jacket, and my windbreaker. Some days I wore all three, alternating as the mercury rose and fell from morning until night. Today, I woke to snow and the forecast calls for possible flurries throughout the week. It is no wonder Canadians discuss weather foremost. We see it all, hot and humid highs and frozen and frostbitten lows.... | Continue reading article

Mini-Monday (belated): Unloading a Year’s Worth of Cell Phone Snaps

Index: 3 Sisters Bakery | Sushi Umi | Canvas Resto-Bar There was a time when cellular phones were just that, phones. If you were a “road warrior” who wanted mobile computing power, there were personal digital assistants (PDA) and laptops (sometimes with swivel touch screens). Cameras stood alone or were excessively expensive and proprietary add-ons for PDAs. Today, everything has converged with the smartphone, amazing multipurpose devices that sometimes irk those of us who remember when tasks required more specialized gadgetry. After a year’s use, I find myself addicted to my Android smartphone. And this... | Continue reading article

Foodie Friday: Vanilla Dipped Gingersnaps

With less than two weeks until Christmas, the fall term is quickly coming to an end at school. Earlier this week, one of my grade 1 students approached me after class with a lovely bag of home made cookies from his mom: vanilla dipped gingersnaps. For me, there’s nothing more thoughtful than receiving a home made gift, whether it is food-related or not. As soon as I got home from school, Don and I nearly devoured the entire bag of cookies. I managed to save just a couple of cookies for a picture. Vanilla Dipped... | Continue reading article

Memories of Summer: Thimble Cakes’ Grand Opening

Mid-month last July, Thimble Cakes threw a grand opening event to celebrate its first 6th months in business. A celebrated cupcakery for it being completely nut-free, Thimble Cakes offers “gluten free, egg [and] dairy free cupcakes & cakes, and sugar free cakes & cupcakes.” This is besides offering traditional butter-based cupcakes & cakes. For their 6 month anniversary, Baker/Owner Wendy Velthoven organized face painting, a professional hula “hoop-er”, and balloon draws for prizes. Lisa [from Couch Assassin] Balloons Outside Balloons Inside Balloons with Prizes Velthoven filled her bakery with even more whimsy, the oasis of... | Continue reading article

Butter-Tart-o-clock: A Roundup

When the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s (William and Katherine) visit to Canada was announced, a flurry of discussion erupted about what foods to serve them. Sandwiches? BeaverTail pastries? (A cardboard cut out of the royal couple, belonging to Ottawa Tourism, would later make a pilgrimage to a BeaverTails shack in the ByWard Market) It’s probably the wrong weather to serve maple sugar taffy…Perhaps something savoury? Duck? Moose? Elk? Venison? In Ottawa, gelato purveyor Piccolo Grande (55 Murray Street), created a flavour just for the occasion. A number of bakeries in the downtown core specially... | Continue reading article

Relatively Wordless Wednesday: Cartoons, Comics, and Cupcakes

Ottawa saw the opening of yet another brick and mortar cupcakery this past weekend, family-owned and operated The Cupcake Lounge (6 ByWard Market Square). It is the second dedicated cupcakery in the ByWard market. The first, Glitz Cupcakes and Company (11 Murray Street). The Cupcake Lounge Cupcakes Those of you who frequent Westboro’s The Candy Store (350 Richmond Road) will likely recognize The Cupcake Lounge. The Cupcake Lounge supplies the Candy Store its Saturday contingent of cupcakes. Cupcakes sold out of The Cupcake Lounge’s new storefront quickly. When Jenn and I happened by after visiting... | Continue reading article