Sunday, December 11, 2011

Food and Movies

Last week, after watching the movie Julie/Julia for the millionth time, I decided to challenge myself to watching one movie a day for a year.
I'm a week into the challenge. 

Two of the films I decided to watch have been  Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs  and Tortilla Soup
Neither of which I had seen before. 

{Julie/Julia of course was day one, TSoup is day five and CWACOMeatballs is day seven.} 

Friday, November 25, 2011

bLOG Errors Run wild

Do not adjust your computer, there is something odd happening with the blog.

The last post was here few weeks ago then disappeared and reappeared and was not the edit that it was suppose to be.   Don't know what's going on, but ... hey that's life I suppose

XXXOOO My Newfie Kitchen

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Fall Back Man

Wow!  Time flies Eh?

I picked up a few cookbooks in the last couple of months, { Chef Michael Smith's Kitchen, Joy of Cooking.}  and have been randomly trying things.  I find myself coming back to the Joy of Cooking book more and more.

Dude, it's kicking my ass.  I know it's like one of the easiest things to do right.  It would seem I'm getting stupider or something with my cooking ability.

I had gone on a short trip the other month, and was planning on blogging about the places I ate and and showing off the fabulous meals I had.   Only,  I took the photos with my cell phone and when I tried to transfer them to the computer... NOT COMPATIBLE ERROR
So, I suck with cameras and such.

With my cooking,  I try something and work on it for about four days till I either get it right or it gets the submission on me.  I'm giving the risotto another rematch but I've tapped out to the cell phone photos.
Which is a shame, because I wanted to share the size and fabulousness of the fettuccine and sauted mushrooms that I ate more then once when I was on my trip.

If you've been hanging out at all on my main blog lately, then you know I've been just soaking up the Free Preview of the Food Network Canada, and catching as many episodes of Worst Cooks in America   online.
Talked over on that blog a bit about what shows I'm digging, the conversations they've started, and some food fears.

But my version of risotto...I was trying a sweet version with apples and apple juice and screwed up.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A food thought

I'm reading  Medium Raw by Anthony Bourdain and a thought came to me.   Why am I not doing this?
Food/Travel writing?

I put the book down, went made a cup of tea and played an entire conversation over in my mind while I did.  Telling myself on one hand that I've managed to write on so many other levels, then pointing out to myself on the other hand that I do not have a background in the culinary arts.  I don't even eat meat.  How could I possibly be a real food writer?  And where would I possibly get money to travel around eating my way through cities?

This was about three days ago I had this internal conversation.   I'm in the last chapter of the book right now, and something else sprang into my mind.
I went out for brunch with my sister and brother in law couple of days ago, and I got told to shut up about two hours afterwards.  I was still talking about the food. 
It wasn't even a fancy place, just the local family restaurant down the street.  A building that has seen more then it's fair share of owners, had it's name changed close to twelve times in under 25 years, has it's staff for only three months at a time during summers or the school year. 
The thought I had about the place was I did not even think to write about it.   Not when I was there.  Not for the few hours afterwards that my sister got tired of listening to me about the sea salt on the fries.  Did not even consider the idea about writing about it until now.  Three days later.

Just something to think about.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

july 9th 2011

My Money In the Bank Mac Casserole

Didn't work.

I was sitting here watching wrestling, thinking about what to make for supper, if I should make my hashbrown casserole or one of my mac/cheese dishes?
And had the genuis idea to make a variation of the two.  The hasbrown casserole but with pasta instead of the diced hashbrowns.
Which, seemed like the most smashing idea while I was sitting here watching Smackdown, and the announcers were talking about the payperview next week -Money in the Bank- and it still seemed like a great idea when I was mixing it all up, smelled awesome as it cooked.
Then I took it out of the oven, and it looked good still.  But, it ended up being too mushy. Like falling off the ladder into the crowd.

Just a bad idea.

And now, I have half a dish of it still and will have to figure out something for it tomrrow, because it's just too much to toss out. 
So tomorrow, the rematch.  How will I fix the dish?

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Love's Kitchen (2011)

Plot: A chef who's lost his desire to cook  is given a second chance to prove himself three years after his wife's death.  After a bad review that he becomes self aware and starts over in a little country Inn. Little does he know his new girlfriend is the critic who wrote the damaging review.

The selling point of this film was that Gordon Ramsey is in it.  For like three minutes bookending the story.
I'm guessing this was a made for tv movie? It sure had that feel to it.

It was a sweet film, with the food scenes done to make you melt. But the story itself was a little thin. I was reminded a lot of the film Rare Birds  which also had a small town chef starting over.

Rent this one,  do not buy.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Bitter Feast -dvd

Plot: A blogging food critic gives such a bad review that he puts a star chef out of work.  The chef who feels his life is over, kidnaps the blogger and forces him to make variations of the items he talked about in his blog. If he fails, he dies.

I am not sure how I feel about this movie.  
It is in the tradition of classic horror films, with a heavy set of plot and characters before the violence sets in.  Which is always a bonus in my book.  I had not heard anything about this film til I spotted it at the blockbuster few days ago.  I was flying blind on it and wasn't too sure I should even buy it. (yes it was for buy only)
Right off you get an understanding for the two leads, and find yourself for the first half cheering on the chef.  Around the turning point of the film (the last 40 minutes) it starts to resemble a higher class of slasher film.

Throughout the movie, there are these gorgeous shots of food being prepared that seem to be almost poetry on the screen; then are balanced out with the brutality of the horror elements.

Little hard to sit through, but worth it.  I have to say, for myself, one of the reasons it was difficult to sit through had to do with the fact the critic is a writer who has hit rock bottom; that for me hit little too close to home.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

A Philly Moment

I know many of you have joined the race to be part of the Real Women of Philadelphia contest.  Good luck to each and all who have entered.
I'm kicking around over there on the community, but I can not enter. (If you wish to friend me on there, poke me in the tummy, or just share some links you can locate me under the name Domestic Damned)

So I thought I would share my favourite Philly cream cheese cheat.  Yes, I call it a cheat.   Why, because it's a too simple recipe for cucumber sandwiches.  

 I used Italian bread, and the Philadelphia Herb and Garlic cream cheese, sliced cucumbers. 
Honestly, it's the easiest thing to create.  Simple, fast, and a perfect for when you get company last minute. 

I'm sure some of you are more skilled at making things look pretty compared to me.  But if you like cucumber tea sandwiches, you have to try it.

Sidenote,   I just got my hands on a copy of As Always, Julia The Letters of Julia Child and Avis DeVoto Food Friendship and the Making of a Masterpiece  by Joan Reardon

You know the book that was inspired by all the letters in the movie Julie/Julia.

Though, I have no idea when I will have the chance to read it.  I might try sneaking in bits and pieces between the books I do for review.

The weekend update

Okay my Spudguns.  
You remember last week I mentioned having bought that package of tofu noodles.  Well, I finally had a chance to try them yesterday.   Here's the thing.  When I was at the grocery few days ago, I asked one of the staff if anyone had tried them.  He said he had and that they worked better with a broth and not a sauce.   So, going on his advice, I made a veggie broth for it.  And the second the noodles hit the broth, the broth turned green.   GREEN!  I don't know if you can see it proper in this photo, but there is a greenish-blue liquid in the bottom of the bowl.  GREEN!  

Another recipe I decided to pull out of retirement, was veggie burgers with eggplant.   I've made this before and it's been beauty.  If you slice the eggplant into thicker pieces, and then fry them up in oil with garlic, onion and mushrooms, they can take on a beefy taste.  I normally like this version of a burger better then the portabello tops one.  Normally.   When I remember to use the right oil which is olive oil - this time I screwed up and used canola oil- and I forgot the mushrooms.  So this time around they just ended up being bland eggplant. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


I just posted this on my main blog {} but since it's a kitchen thing...

As you can see, cream of mushroom soup went everywhere.   This is what I get for multitasking.
I was cooking, watching wrestling and this was on the weekend when I was distracted in general.

Oh and this is not my kitchen either.  It's mom's.  What you see is only part of the mess.   It was gross.  Took awhile to mop it all up too.

Note to self, when using heavy machinery such as a can opener, make sure that there are no tag team matches on tv.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

New product

Tofu pasta.  I can't believe it either.  So I had to buy it.   I have not tried it yet, the package is still sitting in my mother's fridge where I stupidly forgot it. So it's on the menu for tomorrow. 
Seriously, I was in the grocery hanging around the produce area which has become like a bar to me.  I'll explain later.  And spotted this next to the veggie burgers.  I was strangely drawn to it.  Weirded out slightly but drawn to it none the less.

And get this,  this package was only $1.89 Canadian.  Beauty.  We'll find out tomorrow if it was worth all that. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

That's a Quiche?

Few days ago, I bumped into my sister's friend as I was going to the grocery. We started talking as we both went around the place getting our items.  This caused me to not pay attention to what I was picking up and I bought the wrong pie shell.  I picked up one with lard and not vegetable oil.
Never noticed what I had done till it was too late. 
Teach me to shop by myself won't it. 

So yesterday, I was thinking, if I replaced the pie crust with a breadcrumb base would it still be considered a Quiche?  I thought about this for a few hours, wondering if it would just be a casserole then, and decided I was going to try making a Quiche but with just a bread bottom.  Not even as crumbs but just cubed bread, almost like a baked bread pudding. 

It was tasty, looked like a Quiche, but can it still be classed as one?

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Food Trends

I'm seeing almost every cooking/food show lately centering around food trucks.   It seems they are everywhere... but here. 
I've only seen street carts in my city outside of the bars in the summer at closing time and outside of Canadian Tire during the weekends. 

What is it about the whole idea that seems to have missed Thunder Bay? 

Confessions of a former HamburgerJunkie

This is a title I have used in the past for other blogs.  One was a spiritual blog, the one before that actually was a news/fashion blog. 
Nether blog did very well.   But it's a title I hold true to my heart.

Being a vegetarian makes it difficult at times to get enough protein.  Which is why the soya replacement products are a good idea. 
The real down side to the soya replacement products (veggie dogs, veggie burgers etc)  is the weight and the cost. 
Our local grocery just had a massive two for one sale on a major line of the veggie soya replacement products.  And I bought alot of them.  Most of which is still sitting in my mother's deep freeze because I don't have room for them in my own apartment's tiny fridge.  The rest, I've been eating nearly non stop for the last two weeks.

I've gained more weight then I was planning on.  Other health issues keep me from being able to work out properly. (car crash + collapsed lung = breathing issues) 

I'm thinking I need to do a bit of an overhaul with my cooking.
Trust me this is not a surprise.  Nor will this become any kind of "diet" blog, as I just do not believe in diets. 
I do believe in changing attitudes and how you look at things. 

When I started this blog few years ago, my original plan was to take traditional Newfoundland foods and make then in a vegetarian way.  Cutting out the fish/meat etc.  The results as you've seen have been more failures then successes.  Newfoundland cooking is just not vegetarian/vegan friendly.  Which I learned the hard way.
I also thought it would bring me closer to my family, but it's proven to push even farther away. 

I'm still trying to find that perfect cookbook. One that will spark something in me the way Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking vol 1   did for Julie Powell. 

Friday, March 25, 2011

What I think I learned from....

reading  The Man Who Ate The World  by Jay Rayner.

I mentioned on my main blog few days ago, that I was taking a few sick days off {I still have not shaken this horrible cold I've had for over a week} of my normal book reviews, to read something for me. I chose to read a book that I bought awhile ago that has been sitting on my coffee table taunting me { and I quote- "like an X-Division tag team" } 
All I can say is I picked the right book for a little guilty pleasure.

There are moments when you are faced with addiction head on.  As in his addiction to food, and even your own.  Or in my case the addiction to other people's addictions.
I have to say my favourite part was when he described his lust for food blogs on the same level as porn.  It was both funny and way too true for many of us.

Ironically, the whole time I was reading this, I kept thinking not just of my own food vices, but of my other main vices = books and wrestling.
There is an underling quality, which he expresses in the last two chapters, about no longer being sure he is doing what he's meant to be doing on this planet. And it just brought me back to the odd journey I myself am going on {internally speaking as I haven't been on holiday in a few years} of total uncertainty about ... well everything. 

In the end, it seems Rayner found his answer.  Even when you turn your lustful hobby into a passionate career, you can suffer burn out.  It's only when you admit even on the worst days you still are willing to do it because it's such a natural part of you, that you're truly on the right track.

I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason when it happens to whom it happens to. And that books and other such media find you when you are ready to listen.  

I haven't the scope to compliment the actual food descriptions he has written about, only to say that this book is for reading with lunch.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Did you see the Promo for Iron Chef?

I was just checking out stuff on Food Network Canada, and caught the promo for the show this coming Sunday, and got very excited when I saw there was an embed code.  So, just helping to spread the word. 

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Why do you cook?

Everyone has to eat.  But not everyone has to learn to cook.

I know there are a few Spudguns (my blog readers/fans), out there who read some of my other blogs, but for those who are just foodies and maybe stumbled upon this here blog,  I want to share.

For those who are loyal Spudguns you can just skip to the QandA part of the post which is ....Why did you decide to get into cooking? 

I've actually been trying to figure that out for myself. 
I think it just boils down to the fact I love to eat. And I love to create stuff.  If you've been reading my other internet stuff, then you know I'm sort of going through a Julie/Julia  stage right now.  Trying a few hobbies on for size and seeing what fits.  I keep coming back to cooking.

Sidenote* I finally got around to doing some form of review on the Jamie Oliver cookbook -Jamie's America -  a few of you have commented on the other site and you know where I'm headed here.  I'm not even going to bother linking it, as it was a disappointment.

And in other news... Looking extremely forward to Top Chef Canada! which is set to start airing next month on the Food Network Canada.  Hopefully they will post it online for TC junkies worldwide.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Mushroom Burgers

I've mentioned on here while ago about getting a few cookbooks for review.
One of the books happens to be 100 Recipes Every Woman Should Know  by the editors at Glamour Magazine. 
I tried a variation of their mushroom burger. 

Meatless Monday Portobello Burger  as found on page 187

1 garlic clove
2 ounces roasted red peppers from jar drained
1/2 c mayo
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 c freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
1/2 c extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for brushing
Four  4 inch diameter portobello caps
Four 1/4 inch thick slices red onion
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
8 thick slices good Italian bread
4 loosely packed cups baby arugula

In blender puree garlic, red pepper, mayo, mustard, lemon juice, cayenne, and cheese until smooth. Add 1/4 c olive oil until blended and thick   set aside.

Preheat broiler. line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil.  Arrange mushrooms on baking sheet side by side with onion. Brush top with rest of olive oil and use salt and pepper.
Broil for 10 minutes until tender and lightly charred in spots.

Lightly brush the bread slices on one side only with the rest of the olive oil, then broil, without turning, about 1 minute until lightly golden on the oiled sides.

Arrange the bread on work surface, top with the mushrooms, onion, arugula, spread the roasted red pepper sauce on the top slices of bread.

serves 4

My version:
Well, for me that's just too spicy.  I simply used the oil, mayo and mustard. 
I also had a flat style bun instead of the bread.

I also have to say, that our local store here packages the mushroom caps in twos.  At at $4.79 a package, this is not something I would be making too often.

Personally, I find that doing mushroom burgers are better on an outdoor grill during BBQ season.
I much prefer to do eggplant as a burger paddy replacement when doing veggie burger items on a stove.

 You can catch what else I had to say about the cookbook here on my book blog

My Thoughts on the Book....

Cleaving by Julie Powell.
I finished reading it last night.  And have posted it to my book club blog.  Which you can check out here 

Let me know what you think of it, if you read it or if you are going to read it.
I liked this book.  Not as much as the first one -Julie/Julia-  but I did like this book.

It surprised me on a few levels, one of which was the stark honesty of the butchery scenes and how the author translates those scenes into her emotions. Or I should say, how she translates and connects her emotions to the slicing of the meat.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Homemade slaw

1 large carrot 
1/4 red cabbage
3 tablespoons mayo
3 tablespoons sauerkraut

Julienne the carrot and shred the cabbage, mix all together

This can be made for under $13

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The cook books arrived

About two months ago, I made a complaint about how I do reviews for 5 different publishers, but yet no one had sent me any cook books in the year and a half I'd been doing this.
Then I was given a chance to have a couple of cook books.  I was just glowing happy.  One, because I love cook books in general, and two, because it would give me a much needed break from the constant reading of regular books which leaves me with massive eyestrain and headaches after a few days.

I knew I was getting one of the Jamie Oliver books.  Double joy on this news.   The books were sent out the week of Christmas and only got here two days ago.  Yeah, it took over 3 weeks for the books to come from the U.S.A. over the border to Canada.  And let me tell you, they didn't have a happy journey as the packaging was half gone and the bottom of the books were bent in.

I'm a vegetarian, and over 80% of the books are meat dishes, so I took the books with me to mom's.  The plan is to next weekend, pick out a couple of recipes from each book, make them and see how they fair.   In the meantime, I have to finish reading another Jane Austen sequel that's due for Friday.

But, I'm going by the reaction mom had to the two cook books in question, that the Jamie Oliver book won't be as much a hit.  Which is sad cause we're both big fans of his other works.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Gibby's pasta and cheese

2 c shell shaped pasta
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon table pepper
1 c bread crumbs (I used Tostitos Whole Grain Scoops just crushed)
1 c milk
2 c shredded cheese (I used old cheddar and mozzarella)

*Cook pasta shells as you normally would, then drain and place in pan.
*Sprinkle garlic and pepper, toss, add milk and bake for 10 minutes at 350degrees (depending on your oven)
*Add cheese, toss and bake for 10 minutes at same temp
*Add crumbs on top and continue to bake for another 10 minutes

If you are using regular bread crumbs, you may need to add salt to the mix, but I found the Tostitos were plenty salt(y) enough for my taste.

Friday, January 7, 2011

That doesn't look right

Photo by Kimberly Hulst/hcvp '2010

This is why I do not bake.  I made a lemon cake the other day with a lemon butter frosting. And well... I never said my food was pretty. 
I'm also not a baker at all.  Try as I might, I just could not get the frosting even, it kept falling off and leaving empty spots on the cake.

Lemon cake:
 1 c sugar
1/2 c margarine or butter
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 c milk
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 c flour
1 tablespoon vanilla
3 lemons juiced and zested

Mix all
bake in a greased pan for 1 hour at 350 degrees

1/2 c butter
1 c icing sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
4 tablespoon lemon juice

Mix well with electric mixer for about five minutes

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

New Year, New Food Challenges

Last year, I had promised a few recipes that I just never got around to. (nor did I ever end up finishing reading that book Cleaving by Julie Powell, but I will...)

I've become addicted to Top Chef  in the past month, and there was one particular challenge that they had to do.  The Vending Machine challenge.
The chefs had to make a fabulous meal with only what they could find in a vending machine and gas station corner store.  (actually it was two challenges)
I posted on my main blog  the other week about it.  I'm very much thinking about trying to do this challenge. 

I'm not giving a date on this, just sometime in the up coming year. 

With the ice rink that this city had become and will stay covered in until March, I won't be getting out much at all.  Which will be leaving grocery shopping in general pretty slim.  It's a good thing I still have that 1kg of Silly Circles cereal Eh?.... I also have a storage bin of ramen noodles.  The trick is figuring out how to make those things interesting.   Just not together.  No, that would be bad.

Okay my Spudguns, has anyone else become addicted enough to the Top Chef shows, to actually try any of their challenges at home?

Ramen Recipes

I had been doing another blog.  It was successful for what it was, but it put too much pressure on me.
The original theme was a food blog -soap opera.  I ended up dropping it but... here are a few of the ramen recipes I had posted on there.

Ramen #7 (originally posted on Friday April 30th 2010 on The Year I Lived Off Of Ramen Noodles)

2 cups water
1 vegetable bouillon cube
1 cup frozen vegetables (broccoli, onion, green beans, red peppers, mushroom)
1 serving of noodles
1 teaspoon of minced garlic
a half can of baby corn

Boil water, add frozen vegetables, add noodles, stir.
Add garlic, parsley and bouillon cube.  Stir.
Drain baby corn then add just as you are turning off the heat.  Stir and let sit for about 5 minutes.  Should serve 3.

I got the noodles in bulk at the Dollar Store.  What at first looked like two servings of noodles, turned out to actually be 8.  Which made it even better for the money.  One package was only $1,  and because it looked to be only two servings per package, I picked up three packages. So for $3 I got my money's worth.

Homemade Ramen  (Originally posted on March 15th 2010 on The Year I Lived Off Of Ramen Noodles) 

Photo by ME copyright hcvp'2010

You read the last post that my oven is dead.
There is one small working burner at this time.

Just enough for me to make a pot of something.

I went out to the grocery yesterday and bought a bag of noodles. Last night I made a small pot of homemade ramen.

3 cup water
1 medium onion sliced
1 cup frozen mixed veggies (carrots, celery, onion, red peppers)
1/2 cup frozen carrot coins
1/2 frozen Asian mixed veggies (broccoli, green beans, onion, mushroom)
pinch of dried oregano
pinch of salt
3 whole black peppercorns
pinch of red pepper flakes
pinch of marjoram
1 vegetable broth cube
2 handfuls of steamed broadcut noodles

Boil all ingredients EXCEPT the noodles for 20 minutes. Add extra water if needed, stirring every few minutes. Then add dry noodles. Stir turn off heat and serve.
This severs three.