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Mixed Herb Pistachio Pesto

Pesto Crostini Anyone? Some time ago, I caught an episode of celebrity chef Giada De Laurentiis’ Everyday Italian that focused on pesto. What surprised me was the sheer variety of pestos that could be made. The episode, aptly entitled “the Power of Pesto” included a spinach and pine nut pesto, a sun-dried tomato pesto, and a mushroom pesto. The reason this episode’s preparations surprised me was because I always thought that pesto had to be made with pine nuts, basil, garlic, olive oil, and parmesano reggiano. In other words, It had to be green. This... | Continue reading article

Ever Wonder What’s in a Working Cook’s Arsenal?

Working Cook’s Arsenal While wandering around the “Everyday Life” sub-forum of a popular online forum, I came across a posting, complete with picture, from someone who works in the restaurant industry. In his posting, the poster lists the contents of his “Working Cook’s Kit.” According to the posting, the starred (*) items are more for elaborate presentations and/or frequent entertaining. Here is an itemized list: 8″ Chef’s Knife Offset spatula Wave Edge Slicer Spatula Serrated Knife Spiral veggie cutter* Crinkle Cut Veggie cutter* Fish Spatula Channel Knife* 10″ Chef’s knife 7″ Santoku Knife* Candy Thermometer*... | Continue reading article

Forget Squares – Have fun with your rice crispies

Don and Jenn…Awww A Lion Several months ago, my better half’s younger sister, Jasmine, dropped by and we discovered that we all had cravings for rice crispy squares. After much discussion, consensus arose that those Kellog’s rice crispy bars in the blue foil wrap at the convenience counter just wouldn’t do, so we set about making rice crispy squares the old-fashioned way – butter, marshmallows, and puffed rice cereal. Snap, crackle, and pop indeed! The people at Kellog’s probably won’t appreciate my posting their recipe given their trademarks and patents. But, I’ll bet good money... | Continue reading article

3 Course Meal at the Metcalfe Golf and Country Club

Lush Greens 400 Year-old Oak Tree I recently attended a wedding that was held at the Metcalfe Golf and Country Club, located on 8th Line Road in rural Metcalfe, Ontario. The venue was literally spectacular. The lush greens, mature trees, and bright sun provided a picturesque backdrop for both the outdoor ceremony and reception. The ceremony was performed under the club’s spectacular 400 year old oak tree. It provided a natural and scenic setting for some beautiful pictures. The reception was held in an adjacent screened patio, where guests dined and celebrated with the newlyweds.... | Continue reading article

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Pan Fried Tilapia – Quick and Delicious

Red Tilapia Fillet Seasoned Tilapia Fillet Plated Pan Fried Tilapia Fillet This week, one of the specials in the fish case at the Superstore at the corner of Richmond and Kirkwood is shark steak. However, when I arrived, the shark steak was sold out, so I settled on a nice red tilapia fillet. At $6.99/lb or $15.41/kg, it wasn’t a bad deal. Don’t get me wrong. I adore tilapia. In fact, with its mild gentle flavor and firm flesh, tilapia figures prominently on my list of favourite white fish to cook. While I usually employ... | Continue reading article

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Hot Dog Chili – Why open a can?

Canned Hot Dog Chili Sauce One of the most beloved preparations of hot dogs is the chili dog. It consists of a dog (prepared in your favourite way), a bun (more than likely steamed), and some hot dog chili, all topped with melted shredded cheese. Hot dog chili by no means refers to the iconic chili con carne that takes hours to make in an old-fashioned cast iron dutch oven and is the subject of dispute by professional chili makers. By hot dog chili, I am referring to the easy to make ground beef-based sauce... | Continue reading article

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Chances R – Platter of shame!

You call this a platter? According to the Chances R website, the restaurant, in its various forms, has been serving Ottawa residents since 1976. It also states that the establishment has received 4 consecutive “Consumer’s Choice” awards for “Ottawa’s Best Family Restaurant.” That said, picture this. It’s Sunday evening. A friend of yours is flying to Boston the next day, but wants to chit-chat over a beer before calling it a night. You’re in the Wellington Village. He’s in Nepean. Chances R is located at College Square, smack in between. Why not grab a booth,... | Continue reading article

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Adventures in Barbecuing – salt crusted potatoes, spatchcocked chicken, and grilled plantains

The summer is in full force. As such, Ottawa’s typical summer weather does not really lend to cooking indoors. Instead, Ottawans tend to light up the barbecue. The following are some of the barbecue activities that I’ve been up to: Spatchcocked Chicken: Chicken one-way Chicken another-way Spatchcocking is a method for cooking whole poultry that lends very well to grilling and/or broiling. It involves turning a bird breast side down and removing its back by cutting through its rib cage on each side. The bird is then is turned breast side up and weight is... | Continue reading article