Double Down Canapés

In honour of KFC’s horrific Double Down sandwich setting some kind of sales record in its first two weeks in Canada, I have decided the sandwich is ripe for miniaturization. If you haven’t heard about the Double Down, it’s bacon, cheese and “special” sauce sandwiched between two “buns,” which are actually just boneless breaded fried chicken. Monstrous.

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Gardener’s Revenge (2 of 3) Preparing Homegrown Escargot

Even though they’ve been boiled already, once out of the shell, snails still need to be cooked. There are lots variations on what exactly escargot can be poached in, but the goal is essentially to cheat a court bouillon. It is a matter of preference, but I go for a red wine base.
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Jalapeño Lemonade

My Mission: To find new ways to scorch my digestive tract… er… I mean, to find new uses for my home-grown high-intensity jalapeño peppers.

Jalapeño lemonade
Jalapeño lemonade

When I saw this description for Jalapeño Lemonade at Yum Recipes, I couldn’t resist:

If this sweet, tart, wet, and wild cooler sits past 3 hours, we are not responsible for the damages.

Their recipe apparently originated from the Totally Chili Pepper Cookbook. I borrowed elements from the recipe at as well as making my own modifications to add tartness and heat.
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The ultimate savoury snack: the TifCo Memorial Sandwich

This is a recently-made Tiffany Conroy Memorial Sandwich. Because of availability, rosemary and sea salt bread was used instead of baguette.

The Tiffany Conroy Memorial Sandwich is, in my opinion, the best legacy of the time I spent working with Tiffany Conroy. We were sweat shop labour in an office next door to St. Lawrence Market in Toronto.

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Sushi Class

Although I love eating sushi, I have never really been inclined to try to make it at home. Mostly because my favorite part about eating sushi is being able to try lots of different kinds of fish, and that’s just not feasible at home. But when I was given the chance to participate in a sushi class, of course I said yes!

Rick's beef roll with crispy leeks. Note to self: find more uses for crispy leeks!
Rick’s beef roll with crispy leeks. Note to self: find more uses for crispy leeks!

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Garbanzo Beans

Whether you call them garbanzo beans or chickpeas, these tasty little legumes are among the best ingredients to keep on hand for fast weeknight meals or those times when you just don’t feel like cooking. Not that I really need to tell you that.

And since curries made from canned tomatoes and canned garbanzo beans get old pretty fast (at least to me they do), I thought I’d share two of my favorite pilfered and adapted recipes. Both are great for leftovers.
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Yellow puttanesca

I went with Kristin to Winterfeldplatz market with an idea in my head to make arrabiata or puttanesca from scratch this weekend. All I needed was olives. I intended to pick up a can of tomatoes at the convenience store next to my apartment if it turned out I was out.

I saw then, at the fresh pasta stand, premium canned tomatoes in very handsome cans. I considered them and then rhetorically and dismissively said, “How much better can those expensive canned tomatoes really be?”

“Very?” offered Kristin.

“Thanks for talking me out of it,” I said facetiously. I bought the tomatoes.

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I just love almost every recipe I’ve tried from this website.  Yesterday, on the email list, she sent a recipe for coconut red lentil soup.  I made it for dinner last night and it was EXCELLENT! So, I thought I’d share it with you…

Photo and recipe from Heidi Swanson of 101 Cookbooks

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After all the pickle talk, I decided to go ahead and make some escabeche, by which I mean Mexican-style pickles, not the fish dish. Escabeche can be anything from just jalapeños to a mix of vegetables, here often jalapeños, carrots, onions and cauliflower. I went for jalapeños, yellow caribe chiles, pearl onions, carrots (of course) and garlic. I modified this recipe based on other recipes I had read. I didn’t feel like messing with sterilizing jars, so I just made enough for one batch for the fridge.


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