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A Canadian Foodie

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  1. That is exactly what kinds of things my students would thing are healthy. One brought Ritz crackers with Kraft slices. Another brought Nutella with a biscuit cookie. Two brought a dip with sour cream and cream cheese and celery to dip it in... and one brought deep fried plantains. Really deep fried. Most were commercially purchased snack foods... granola bars really high in sugars, or "healthy snacks" like snackable type items. It blew me away. Truly. For their lunches, they go to their pantry at home (and these are the lucky ones who bring food from home) and pick "one of thee and one of these and one of those..." all little individually packaged and pre-purchased items for lunch. What has happened to us? I loved the beginning of my bread baking class with Richard Bertinet a little over a week ago when he compared white sliced sandwich bread to processed cheese slices. "Why do we call this bread? It is a bread substitute, or a bread replacement, or a processed bread product... but itis not bread."
  2. Yes - I did mean St. John... silly of me. I did find that information on the website, too - but then looked for images of both, and could only find images of Chris G... and he certainly was not the chef there that evening. That is why I asked. I am sincerely curious about who was there doing what I saw and felt a disservice to this possibly and supposedly incredible place. Thanks so much for catching my error - and for the search on my behalf. Truly appreciate it! Valerie
  3. I would bet that they still do the breakfast... that the BFC is a new item, and outrageously amazing... and that as they develop other PERFECT dishes like these, they will switch up a few things. One of the reviewers here didn't get the snail porridge, and then I did... Certainly, the oysters are off the menu (sadly, too) But, it is probably a smart move to have the menu switched up at times for people that have already been there. But, I would go back again, anyway - and be happy to eat exactly the same thing all over again. valerie
  4. I just took his bead baking course at his Cookery School in Bath last week and will be writing about it soon.
  5. Does anyone know who the Chef de Cuisine is at The Fat Duck now? Are there two? We were there last week and honestly, we were both disappointed. My husband loved his braised kidneys, and my marrow bones were find. Too much for one person (too rich), but really tasty. My Old Spot ham was horrid. The jellied ham, lovely. The gentleman at the door the highlight of the evening. The service: hardly existent. The chef: rude. I wrote about it on my site: http://www.acanadianfoodie.com/2010/04/04/home-later-today-from-london-uk/ was Sooooooo disappointed to come all this way for this. Loved the place and the vibe - at first. ANyone had a recent experience there? Thanks. Valerie My link
  6. We went last Thursday evening. I have written about it on my website. Worth every penny and every inconvenience. Very similar to the first person, but we had the snail porridge before the sounds of the sea... and no English Breakfast. Instead, we had the BFG - and it was deadly. Deadly. I would go again and eat the exact same meal all over again in a heartbeat. I am sure there were all sorts of little aspects I missed in each dish. But, alas, we live in Alberta, Canada, so the chances of going again are slim to none. I will say, however, that the staff was exception. Fun, full of wit, humor and made the evening even better than it would have been without their warm light hearted touch. Take a look at my post at http://www.acanadianfoodie.com/2010/04/08/the-fat-duck-in-maidenhead-heston-blumenthals-triumph/ Detail. Simple perfection. Brilliant. Valerie
  7. I love Jamie Oliver. Haven't seen the shows. I don't get his channels in Edmonton AB Canada - we get a ton of American TV - but not those. Darn... but, I have started a Nutritious Lunch Program at the middle school I am teaching at - and teaching students to cook at... and it is a long hard road. I started a Catering Club Tues and Wed after school from 3-4:30 - yes, that is two days a week after school for all students who go to our school (and some of their little brothers and sisters), to cook. Tuesdays the students cook or bake what we plan the we before and take it home. What ever they are interested in making. It is a really fun relaxed night - often with Grandma's recipes and lots of stories to tell. We've had chocolate chip cookie recipe bake offs - lots of those kinds of things, (recipe comparisons) and a whole pile of fun. The following day we make the nutritious lunch which we sell on a cost recovery and wee bit of profit basis - so that Catering Club is free. Every Friday then, we sell 50 to 60 nutritious lunches - have them hot and ready to go, and all sold within 15 minutes. They sell from 2.50 to 3.50 a lunch. Sometimes 2 dollars and sometimes 4 dollars... but usually right around three for a delicious, nutritious, and economical wonderful and usually hot, lunch. The principal is still letting chips and junk be sold at the school store. Don't ask me why. It is a hard road. My grade 9 Health students were to bring a nutritious snack for one of our classes, and even I was shocked at what they thought was nutritious... and I had been teaching and working with them. Enough for now. Valerie
  8. Thanks for the information... I do use pistachios in my marzipan and my ice creams... but would like to "bump up" the flavour, at times... would this help - or take away the subtle pistachio "complexities"? Also - does anyone know of a really good violet extract? I ordered one from France - it arrived and is bitter. I LOVE violette ganaches - and want to make violette macaron - but need a really great extract first. HELP!!! Thanks!
  9. Thank you! What a brilliant idea!!!
  10. Every time I make marzipan in my Thermomix, it seems to get too hard once it cools... suggestions?
  11. HI, Kerry - can you share the amounts for this recipe? I, too, am a thermomix owner, and would love the entire recipe. Thanks, Valerie
  12. Thank you! And I do agree - and to be very honest, I did quite a bit of research to find out A) what sel rouge was, and then B) why it was important to use it None of the sites, books, or literature I laid my hands on said anything about the necessity of the nitrates for the curing process to make the food "safe". All of the information I found spoke of colour and that the nitrates added in the curing process time wise... That's what I really find so valuable about egullet. I can be working to find the information I need, and someone here will have it in their head! Honestly, I wanted the experience. I love learning new things, and I will be making it again, with the salt, but I don't want to buy they book. I will take a look at that book if our library has it... and I sure hope so~ Thank you so much!
  13. Well - that was a lot of reading and some very valuable information. My work is definitely cut out for me. I have the rennet. I have the milk. I have citric acid, and didn't know I needed a culture... for fromage blanc - my first cheese. But, I shall wait and get what I need and then attempt it. When I travel through the former Yugoslavia, there are many farmers in the markets there selling young unripened cheese that is nothing I have ever tasted in North America. It is soft, yet holds its shape. It is pure, and buttery, yet not rich. When we travel there the next time, I am going to try to find someone to show me how they make it... but, there are just as many that are not delicious, as that are - so I will have to find one I love, and then beg them to teach me how. That probably won't be difficult, as the people there are usually so proud of their culinary abilities in charcuterie and cheese making... and they should be! But, until then, I was hoping I could make some fromage blanc - and then attempt bocconcini. I saw no information here - or on any of the sites referred from here (though I only briefly checked out each, so far) about bocconcini. I will search Edmonton for the culture recommended by Fias Co Farms, and then buy it from where she does, if I cannot find it here. But, once I get it done, I promise to share. Yogurt cheese, though, is so easy to make. So nutritious, delicious, and economical. The longer you hang it, of course the drier and sharper the flavour. I roll batches of mine into balls, and store them in EVOO (completely submerged) and they last for months that way. When I have unexpected guests, I take enough out for an appetizer tray, role them in a variety of herbs, seeds, and garlic, and they are deadly. All of that, including recipes are here. I will definitely be checking back here regularly. The photos really help! Thanks! Valerie
  14. Have you shared your recipe for this, or will you please - and I do have a Thermomix if you use yours to make it. Thanks!Eager to make my own!(but beans here are about 4-6 Canadian dollars each) Oh - just found the answer that you have already posted your recipe above. Thank you... I had read that strand in the fall, and then went on a huge Vanilla Bean search. Outrageous to get a bundle here direct from Indonesia, or any other country. I couldn't find any on ebay at the time. I will try again.
  15. For a non restaurant prep you can just wash your foie in water if not very bloody and remove only the larger veins keeping the foie more or less intact. Cover with the salt mixture and wrap as a torchon. After curing, eat which saves a lot of work.-Dick It was sel rouge... and I knew that it was a completely different product than pink salt, but not accessible anywhere in my city (Edmonton). Fortunately, Kerry, The Chocolate Doctor, one of our EGULLET colleagues has just sent me some. I cannot wait to use it. It was so outrageously kind of her. And, thank you for letting me know about not having to cooking it for home use. WHy is that? Thanks!
  16. Great to know, and thank you! I basically used the Himalayan Salt for flavour and with hope it might do a little something to the colour, but I had read it didn't have the nitrate concentration. I really appreciate knowing that the pink salt also prevents botulism. That I had no idea about. Whew!
  17. Please let me know how it goes... because I will not try it again until I hear from others what they learned, too! Have you done anything with foie gras before? This is my first. It was a B grade lobe (still excellent) from Hudson Valley farm in the Northern US. Unfortunately, that is closer, apparently, than getting one from Eastern Canada. Thank you for checking out what I have done!
  18. Maybe what I need to ask is - have you ever made this or not? Foie Gras experiences?
  19. I prefer it to the extract by 100%. I use it in everything that calls for extract... beautiful in custards and ice creams... but I still like to use the beans, too. The paste is sweet, but usually this concentration of vanilla is used in sweet items, so it doesn't seem to affect the sweetness of anything I use it in. I love it!
  20. I think it worked, more or less, for my first time. Take a look at /My link and tell me what you think... because when I do it again, I want to have all the information I need! This was a tremendous experience. The sel rouge was definitely missing - and to be found nowhere, but the net for me... so I will get that first. Other feedback is really appreciated.
  21. Have you read Duncan's website ? Do you have the link for Duncan's website? Thanks!
  22. ts "just" the broyage (tpt, almond flour/conf. sugar mixture) that we use. since we get a special broyage just made for making macarons (atlas 50/50 parisienne) we havent had a single problem they turn out perfect every time with shiny top and everything.... I didn't even know that such a product was available, so will try to source it. Thank you!
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