Archive for the ‘Foodstuff’ Category


Credit: Canadian Family

This is just the weirdest thing ever.  I found this recipe for ketchup cake via a friend of a friend’s twitter (how web 2.0 am I?).  The whole concept borderline grosses me out,  but it’s also intriguing.  Red velvet cake with a Great Northern makeover.  Maybe ketchup is to spice cake what mayonnaise is to chocolate cake—a strange bedfellow, but surprisingly delicious.  Just imagine if Americans were to take a tip from the Canucks and embrace ketchup cake—and universal health care!  For anyone who wants to give it a try, here’s the recipe reprinted from Heinz:

-2 cups (500 mL) all-purpose flour

-2 tsp (10 mL) baking powder

-1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) cinnamon

-1 tsp (5 mL)baking soda

-1/2 tsp (2 mL) ground nutmeg

-1/2 tsp (2 mL) ground ginger

-1/2 cup (125 mL) Heinz Tomato Ketchup

-1/2 cup (125 mL) water

-2 tbsp (30 mL) red food colouring

-3/4 cup (175 mL) butter, softened

-1 1/2 cups (375 mL) packed dark brown sugar

-2 eggs



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#59 on Top 100 List.  Credit: FritWit

This list has been making the rounds on the internet and first came to my attention thanks to Andrea of Food is to Love.  I’m willing to bet it was written by an American, since it includes Hostess fruit pies, Spam, and McDonald’s Big Mac Meal.  Anyway, scanning through the list, I feel grateful to live in a time when it’s easy to sample such a wide variety of food.  Which ones have you tried?  What’s missing from this list?

Here goes:


1. Venison – y
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros – y
4. Steak tartare -y
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue -y
8. Carp
9. Borscht -y
10. Baba ghanoush – y
11. Calamari – y
12. Pho -y
13. PB&J sandwich – y
14. Aloo gobi – y
15. Hot dog from a street cart -y
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle -no, but I’ve had truffle oil
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes – y
19. Steamed pork buns -y
20. Pistachio ice cream – y
21. Heirloom tomatoes – y
22. Fresh wild berries – y
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans – y
25. Brawn, or head cheese -y
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche -y
28. Oysters – y
29. Baklava – y
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas – y
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl – not together
33. Salted lassi –
34. Sauerkraut – y
35. Root beer float – y
36. Cognac with a fat cigar – not together
37. Clotted cream tea –
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O shot – y
39. Gumbo -y
40. Oxtail -y
41. Curried goat -y
42. Whole insects
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk
45. Single malt whisky – y
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala – y
48. Eel – y
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut -y
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone -y
54. Paneer – y
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal – y
56. Spaetzle – y
57. Dirty gin martini – y
58. Beer above 8% ABV – y
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores – y
62. Sweetbreads -y
63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst -y
65. Durian -y
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake – y
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain – y
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho -y
72. Caviar and blini -y (OMG mmmm)
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie – y
78. Snail – y
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini – y
81. Tom yum -y
82. Eggs Benedict – y
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash – y
88. Flowers – y
89. Horse
90. Criollo
91. Spam -y
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa -y, I’ve had harissa…not sure if that’s the same
94. Catfish – y
95. Mole poblano – y
96. Bagel and lox – y
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta – y
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee
100. Snake -y

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I’ll never forget the first (and last) time I made biscotti.  I was a budding young bakestress of 16, eager to whip up some of those exotic-looking cookies I’d seen at the new Starbucks in my town.  I slaved all afternoon, digging out the anise seeds from the pantry depths and laboriously stirring the thick dough, toasting almonds, baking, slicing, and baking again.

They were a disaster: dense, rock-hard, anise-heavy, floury, and altogether not very good.  At first, I thought it was me, but the store-bought variety were equally disappointing.  What exactly about this stuff was supposed to be appealing?

I’d given up on enjoying toasted treats with my tea until recently.  My colleague Elena brought in sukhariki, or “Russian Biscotti.”  I didn’t expect much, but hey, I’d skipped breakfast and couldn’t afford to be picky. 

Russian biscotti

What a revelation!  Light and crisp, the sukhariki were closer to super-toasted raisin bread than their doughy Italian cousins.  Elena explained that the name simply means “dried bread” in Russian, but these were something special.  Thin-sliced and toasted to an appealing dark amber, studded with raisins, and dusted with sugar, sukhariki were the perfect crunchy complement to breakfast tea. (more…)

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A D.C.-based friend of mine sent in this shot of dish he recently enjoyed.  Any guesses on what it is and where it was served?


Thanks, CK!

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My lovely cell-phone “action” shot from the Polish Embassy last year.

For a few weeks every spring, the embassies in Washington, D.C. open their doors and invite visitors to sample the music, dance, crafts, and food native to their countries.  Yours truly has attended Passport D.C. twice and always enjoys the quickie tour around the world.  One of the constant highlights of the festival is the cuisine, which (I think) conveys as much about the history, geography, and values of a place as its wikipage.  Besides, when else can you justify consuming baklava, pilau, and rum punch on the same day?

To cut to the chase: here’s a handy cheat sheet for eating your way through Passport D.C,  which will be held on Saturday, May 2, from 10 am-4 pm.  For more information, check out the official website.

Sample Australian eats to the sounds of the didgeridoo.

Bangladesh’s cultural heritage and vibrant people will be on display through dance, film, music, literature, and cuisine.

Enjoy delicious local food and learn to prepare it! (more…)

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My fiance and I both love to cook and, especially, to grill.  We wanted to give personal, handmade favors at our wedding next month and agreed that jars of homemade grilling rub, personalized with cute stickers, would do the trick.  We come from families that are passionate about food (imagine that!) and are psyched to give thought gifts they might actually enjoy.  Take that, sugared almonds!

Once we settled on the containers (empty spice jars from Bed Bath & Beyond, $.99/ea.), putting them together was a breeze.  We made nine times* the following recipe—enough for 17 wedding favors, plus a jar or two  for ourselves:


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I don’t have much to say about this, except, “Ew!”*


You can read more about “The World’s Perfect Food” at ThinkGeek.   Looks like Baconnaise has some competition.  [Shudder] (more…)

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