Tag Archives: Cooking

A Christmas Alphabet

Cookie Monster – cookie afficionado

Dearest readers, I was originally going to write a post describing the awesome time I just had with Rick and Dr. Beth in Toronto (and it was awesome), but I decided to pour myself a scotch instead.

After pouring said scotch (and against my better judgement), I decided that I needed to sample some of the various Christmas wares1 I have around the house. I did this knowing full well that I had no need for the extra Calories, nor did I have a need for the extra sugar and fat right before bed. But I did it anyway because indulging in this manner is somehow acceptable during the Christmas holidays.

As I enjoyed my scotch and cookies, I couldn’t help but form a mental image of Cookie Monster singing C is for Cookie. Shortly after forming said image, I found myself humming and singing along to the song I remember so fondly from childhood.

Munch, munch, munch, C is for cookie, munch, munch, munch, that’s good enough for me, munch, munch, munch, Oh cookie, cookie, cookie, munch, munch, munch, cookie starts with c.

Being the inquisitive type, my mind soon formulated the following question: If C is for cookie, what is D for?

Diabetes! my mind immediately responded. I may have chuckled to myself as I popped another cookie in my gob. Ha! Gillis – you are hilarious. 

What about E? I asked myself half expecting a similarly witty if not slightly inappropriate response.

Expanding waistline! Engorged belly! Extra pounds!

I was almost afraid to ask And F? 

Fatty Fat Fat Fat!

Some of you may know that Fatty Fat Fat Fat was one of my nicknames as a kid. Clearly my brain was not-so-subtly hinting at something. It was at this point that I stopped thinking about my Christmas alphabet, because my brain was being a cruel jerk. It was also at this point that I decided to have one more cookie, because screw you brain, I’m in charge here.

And with that I called it a night.

Okay – full disclosure – I may have had another cookie for good measure. And by another I may mean two.

Fine. Three.

I regret nothing!

1 Read cookies, cakes, candies, etc.

Forgive Me For What I’m About To Do

Mmmmmmmmmmmm. Fishy goodness.

I am so full of sushi, I might actually slip into some sort of food coma.

After another busy week, today ended with a visit from my parents. That means I was spoiled to a delicious dinner of sushi goodness while at the same time getting to hang out with my younger brother and my parental units. It may or may not have also included a beer or two, some scotch sampling, and a tipple or two of sake. Not a bad way to end the week, for sure.

To add proverbial icing to the cake that was today’s visit, my mom also brought me my very own tray of date squares, which for those of you who might not be aware, are one of my weaknesses. Seriously, I’ll be amazed if the platter lasts more than a week. I’m truly going to have to put my willpower to the test.

That, or I’m going to have to do some extra running to make up for the fact that I’m about to commit one of the seven deadly sins. I won’t lie, I’m going to enjoy every gluttonous moment of it.

Carbo Loading Is The New Gluttony

And God said "Let there be carbs", and there were. And He saw that they were deep fried and good.

Earlier this morning I headed downtown Guelph to meet up with my friend Mel. Our goal – take the train to Toronto so that we might pick up our race kits for tomorrow’s 10k Yonge Street Race and carbo-load our faces off.

That’s right dear readers, we decided to use a 10k race as an excuse to carbo-load. Because we could.

Carbo-loading and race kits were not our only goals. We also wanted to

  1. grab coffee from Planet Bean1,
  2. pick up donuts from the market, and
  3. find breakfast2.

Being full of awesome, we easily achieved these goals without issue and in short time.

We then boarded the train and made our way to Toronto. There we proceeded to a) find a bathroom, b) pick up our race kits, and c) head to Fresh to meet Mel’s friend Jane for lunch. I wasn’t going to eat because I was still full from my morning of bagels and donuts, but once I smelled the food I couldn’t stop drooling. I opted for the Almond Java (espresso, almond milk, almond butter, and some banana something-or-other), vegan cornbread, and vegan spring rolls. Verdict – so good – so freaking good.

Afterwards we walked towards the Eaton Centre until we found ourselves in the Beer Bistro. Given the 6 kilometre walk, we decided we needed to replenish our energy stores. Clearly that meant beer and more food (frites, mussels, fresh bread and other tasty bites).

Liquid carbs.

While I know I haven’t really overdone it today, I still feel a little bit like a glutton. All I could think when I got home was Pants! Off! Now! In fact, the second I walked in the door I was already preparing for take-off. Ha!

Now I find myself sitting on the couch, a fuzzball purring in my lap. That’s right folks – I’ve moved from gluttony to sloth. If I think about it a little, I can also say that I’m envious of my future self who just so happens to be curled up in bed – but I’m far too lazy at this moment to even move my butt upstairs.

Being up on my seven deadly sins means that I know that today was a 3-deadly-sin day; a 3-deadly-sin carbo-loading beer-drinking Toronto-wandering french-fry-eating kind of day. And that’s not too bad if you ask me.

1 Which we picked up from their schwanky new location kitty-corner to the train station.

2 Which involved coffee and bagels with spicy red pepper jelly at The Joint Café. While we were apparently supposed to receive regular fruit jelly3, the spicy red pepper jelly was incredible.

3 Which we only knew was a mistake because the owner came out to rectify the problem.

A Serious Case Of Deep-Fried Lethargy

Mmmm, get in my belly. Note: leftover calamari does not look as good as this

Holy crapshite, I am le hungry.

I just got home. Yes, I know it’s after 10pm, and I know that I left the house at 8am, and I know I’ve been working since 6am, and I realize that Elliot probably thinks I’m a part-time caregiver, but…wait…what’s my point?

Maybe my point is that I’m not only late, but that I’ve also eaten terribly today. Not in terms of quality, but quantity. Alright, I had a donut during a meeting so perhaps the quality of my Calories was also lacking. Point is, I ate like shite today. Between oatmeal for breakfast, the aforementioned donut, an egg salad sandwich at lunch, some fruit around 6, and about 3 gallons of coffee (give or take a gallon – with strong emphasis on take), I’d say I’m short on my daily requirements by about 15 trillion Calories (again, give or take – with strong emphasis on take).

Ultimately, what I’m trying to say is that my day can be summed up as work-filled and food-lacking. And these are the types of maths that lead to my initial declaration: I am le hungry.

Sadly, I’m just too tired and lazy to do anything about it (i.e., cook). Fortunately when I opened up my fridge I was greeted by a lovely white box of leftover goodness. Leftovers from dinner last night with friends. Now, I won’t say that the leftovers are quality in terms of their nutritional breakdown, but they are quantity. And right now, that’s all I really care about.

So here’s to my leftover calamari, samosa, and coconut shrimp. May your deep fried goodness speed your way into my belly such that tomorrow I awake full of deep-fried nutritional awesomeness and not deep-fried lethargy.

I’m pretty sure asking my food to do stuff for me is how nutrition works.

UPDATE: Okay, it’s about 40 or so odd minutes later. I am no longer hungry. In fact, I’m the extreme opposite of no longer hungry. I am painfully full of deep-fried leftover deliciousness. And as much as I fight it, I’m feeling a rather serious case of deep-fried lethargy coming on. Oh nutrition – I have so failed you today!

Extreme Pantal Dysmorphia

Eyeing the Christmas decorations; suspiciously for some reason.

I’m not sure about you, but I woke up today feeling full. Seriously. I blame the bacon wrapped scallop appetizers. And the hummus and crackers. And the caviar. And the shrimp and asparagus spears. And the mimosas and bacon breakfast. And the Irish-ed coffees. And the turkey. And the stuffing. And the gravy. And the wine. And the several pieces of baked goodies that I stuffed down my gob (I’m looking at you strawberry rhubarb pie, lemon tarts, and mincemeat tarts). And the scotch. No wait. I take that back. I can never blame the scotch.

Of course, I can’t blame myself for this lack of control. I am only human, and as such am completely powerless in a situation where my food-hole is tempted with vast amounts of delicious treats. Clearly, this over-stuffing and pantal dysmorphia has to be blamed on someone or something other than myself. Damn you Christmas treats.

Okay, that’s a load of rubbish.

I can only blame myself. Thankfully, I’m not in as bad a situation as I might have painted. That is, yes I did over-stuff my food-hole yesterday, and yes I did wake up feeling less than hungry this morning, but I don’t feel that I overdid it on a level that would cause me to curse Christmas treats in any real way. Especially since they are so tasty and wonderful.

To dispel any sort of inkling that I was on a downward binge eating spiral, I opted to head out for a run today. The weather was perfect, the skies were clear, the air just crisp enough. The first part of my run seemed a bit sluggish; like I had to slough off the excesses of the previous days before my body would start moving properly. Thankfully, that didn’t take too long, and I managed a solid 5+ km run in 27 minutes. My time, not including the post 5 km mark cool-down, was 25 minutes (or 5 minutes per km). Not a bad time, all things – read Christmas treats stuffed into my food-hole – considered.

Anyway, I hope you’ve all enjoyed your Christmas festivities. I’m going to celebrate my run by enjoying a tasty scotch – thanks again Dom – while watching something mindless on the old boob-tube. For your viewing pleasure, I leave you with some of the photos that I snapped over the last few days.

Péché De Gourmandise Tastes So Good!

Steph and me being, well, Steph and me.

Monday in Montreal was fantastic. Steph and I woke relatively early in order to work on a project that we hope we’ll be able to submit for peer review and publication in the very near future.

Amazingly, the apartment we were staying in just so happened to have a blackboard. Clearly, the gods of math and stats wanted us to work. And we did. After some initial discussion regarding the general project outline, Steph gave me a bit of a refresher on survival analysis. You see, while Steph and I both have PhDs in Statistics, she focussed on survival analysis, while I focussed on spatial analysis. Thankfully, having worked together for so long, and having taken an interest in each other’s work, we aren’t complete n00bs when it comes to what the other is doing.

But enough about that nerdery.

Following a morning full of getting our nerd on, Steph, Jamie, Kathy, Jon and I headed out for lunch. After a short adventure on the Metro, we made our way to Limon, a most awesome Mexican restaurant.

My glass is no longer empty. Hurrah!

Given that the weather was sunny and beautiful, we had hoped to have lunch on the patio. However, being full we opted for an indoor sit down and a pitcher of sangria for which to drown our sorrows. Appetizers and mains were ordered, and we then past the time chatting and laughing, as per usual. Having a small appetite still, my appetizer was shared with Jon – calamari. Simple, but delicious. It also came with a sauce, but it looked to be full of dairy so I bypassed that. I also may have stolen a few of Steph’s corn chips and guacamole. And can we talk about the guac? Holy cripes on a cracker that stuff was AWESOME. Refreshing and light, just enough garlic, and so good it may have demanded that I steal more. Demanded I say.

At first I was torn with what to order for lunch, as everything looked so good. But then something jumped out at me and everything else faded from memory. The attention-grabbing foodstuff was, in fact, ceviche camarones; shrimp, cooked with lime juice, and served with cilantro and oh so refreshing. It was also served on avocado (which in my opinion was a brilliant way to serve it) with corn chips. I definitely squeed when I tried it. It was light, and refreshing. The citrus and cilantro complementing each other perfectly. I think it may have also had a slight sprinkling of sea salt on top, but that might have been the salt flavouring from the corn chips. Regardless, the combination of flavours was excellent. My taste buds and my belly were very happy.

Patron XO Cafe. You should buy this. DO IT.

After lunch, Jamie recommended that I try the Patron XO Cafe on ice. It’s tequila, but with coffee flavours infused within it. If you like Kahlua or Tia Maria, I guarantee you will like this. In fact, I enjoyed this so much that I immediately jumped on the LCBO website to figure out if they carry it. And they do! As for Jamie, she gets +1000000 interweb points for that recommendation.

We wandered the city following lunch so that we might walk off some of the food that we just ate. We all felt painfully full. We also headed to the market so that necessary supplies could be picked up. Supplies such as cheese and fruit.

Eventually we made our way to the Latin Quarter and ultimately to the Sainte Elisabeth pub, which has one of the best, most unique patios I’ve been on in a long while. We sat there for a few hours chatting, laughing, and drinking a few pints, all while surrounded on all sides by the high walls of the whatever-the-building-used-to-be. I think it was probably a factory or old apartment building, but I’m honestly not sure. The walls were almost overgrown with ivy, making them appear alive. Ever time a breeze came through, the walls would respond as if they were breathing. Amazing. The walls also served to keep out the noises of the city, creating a rather sheltered spot for which to enjoy the day, and the company.

This wine surprised me. At first, I wasn't a huge fan, but it went so well with my venison that I'd definitely get it again.

There was a quick return back to the apartment where we enjoyed some bad TV together, and then we were off again. This time for a late dinner at La Salle a Manger. In a word – unfreakingbelievalable. Dinner was amazing. It started with an appetizer of oysters and some sparkling wine, followed by a sweet bun stuffed with pulled duck. My main was venison steak with mixed veggies, and that was paired with a very light red wine. On its own, I wasn’t overly impressed with the wine, but served with the venison and it suddenly changed. It was light, but the perfect accent for the richness of the meat. Honestly, it was the best meal I’ve had in a long time, and I highly recommend anyone that is in Montreal to check this place out. The service was great, the environment was awesome. I’m going to make sure to return when I’m next visiting the city.

Once dinner ended, we sauntered back to the apartment, very full, and very happy. Steph and I stayed up chatting until the wee hours of the morning which is why my early morning wake up to fly home was less than awesome. Regardless, it was so worth getting to spend time in an awesome city, with great friends, great food, and most importantly, a chance to see both Rick and Steph in one weekend. Amazing!

Thanks Rick and Steph for an awesome visit. And thank you Kathy, Jamie and Jon for introducing me to so many great new restaurants. Hopefully next time I won’t have to leave so early.

Note: I believe that péché de gourmandise translates to the sin of gluttony