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trip to chicago

I am spending a week in Chicago, a city I have only seen through the eyes of this seasons Top Chef. I need your help on where to go and more importantly, where to eat and drink in Chicago.

Where are the good…

  • Chicago style pizza places
  • famous street foods of Chicago
  • Breweries
  • farmers markets
  • Any other native Chicago eatery/pub worthwhile.

If anyone has had the pleasure of visiting or living in Chicago, I would love to hear your suggestions on the “must see/must eat” gems that know of.


meal planning

When your living expenses are limited to $6 a day, food becomes a daily concern/obsession. With out planning, it is difficult to get a good meal in as most of my meals need to be prepared from scratch as prepared and pre-made indregients do not fit into this budget. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday are gone. So whats to eat the rest of the week? Any suggestions for eating great (which also means healthy and balanced) for the rest of the week? I still have a few great things left in my house: fresh bread, celery, eggs, carrots, jams, butter, farmers sausage, various dried beans, fresh cilantro, fresh dill, fresh, dill, tortillas, and a little cheese.

Here are my ideas:

Thrusday:

Friday: Lasagna (I have one that I made and froze a few days ago).

Saturday:

Sunday:

As you can see, I am drawing several blanks.


a food blogger with out a digital camera

What makes writing about food interesting? I don’t know about you, but one of the reasons I read food blogs is to check out the pictures that the authors snap of their creations. So here I am, trying to write about food and post some of my own recipes but have now way to show you how it turned out. Of course I could use some great descriptive writing, but let face it, the next best thing to tasting is…well smelling. Since smell is not possible over the web, the third best thing is seeing.

I have no digital camera.

So I can’t show you how smooth, pillowy, and luscious my honey oat bread turned out this morning. What kind of a food blogger does not have a camera?


when in doubt, blame starbucks

coffee.jpgIn an article on the CBC website, Starbucks is being touted as offering the worst coffee beverage for high fat and calorie content stating that their Blackberry Green Tea Frappaccino has 560 calories. Admittedly, there are some drinks at Starbucks (or for any cafe that sells lattes, blended drinks and Italian sodas) which have a high fat/calorie content, however, there is always choice. In the article, a Starbucks representative mentions the wide variety of choice when ordering a coffee. If you keep in mind that “flavour” shots average 70 calories, that whipped cream is about 130 calories (110 of them from fat), and that sugar free syrup is as always calorie and fat free you can customize your coffee to fit your lifestyle with little guilt and little sacrifice to taste.

It may not be the best way to justify having that latte in the morning, but many hot espresso drinks rely on milk to make them. Drinking that cold 12 oz glass of skim milk in the morning has roughly the same amount of fat and calories as the venti non-fat latte at Starbucks. Have a sweet tooth? Get it with sugar free syrups with no added fat or calories.

Why do we keep blaming companies for providing us with unhealthy options when we keep going back (on our own free will) to buy them? (This is said from a middle class, white, educated background – also the the population who the study was directed at).


what kind of cook are you?

personality.GIFI am recognizing more and more a certain personality that shines through when I am at work in the kitchen. Like our regular personalities, there are so many minute details that make up a kitchen personality: messy, tidy, prepared, chaotic, hands on, utensil user, experimental, rule follower etc. Over the years I have discovered that my Type B personality not only shines in my day to day life, but is alive and present in my cooking style. I find that even the types of foods I choose to cook reflect who I am. I tend to use lots of pepper and lots of oil in my cooking.

While I feel creative and passionate about cooking, I have noticed several other “personality traits” in my “kitchen personality:”

1. Messy
2. Don’t follow recipes
3. Only use my hand/eye to measure (this gets me in a lot of trouble when baking!)
4. Poor time management in the kitchen
5. Creative
6. Passionate
7. Enjoy the process more than the product
8. I don’t do the dishes right away – I leave them for a long time!

What is your “kitchen personality?”


the tomato harvest

tomatoes-on-the-bush.jpgI have my first (large) batch of tomatoes ripen in my garden which means that I have a lot of work cut out for me tonight and in the next few weeks as the rest of the tomatoes follow suit.

I have planted a number of tomato plants in my back yard garden and now have the joy of harvesting (along side my green and red peppers, egg plants, and cucumbers) and I need to do something with them quick. I usually make a huge batch of tomato sauce to start off the first bunch of tomatoes but then am left with so many left overs and so little time. What do you do with your tomato (or any other veggie garden) harvest?

  1. Tomato/pizza/spaghetti sauce
  2. Summer salads
  3. Juice
  4. Canned tomatoes
  5. (Sun)Dried tomatoes
  6. Your ideas…

dinner togetherIt is no secret that men and women crave different foods, have different eating habits, choose different foods and gain and lose weight very differently.  So with all these differences, what happens when you put men and women together and expect them to live as food equals? I am talking about opposite sex couples living together and sharing the cooking duties.  Who’s gender specific diet gets met?

While both genders need the same simple things (proteins, carbohydrates, fibres etc) men tend to go heavier on the proteins to build body mass and women, well, we are not always so keen on increasing our body mass (am I right ladies?!). Due to the complex nature of the female body, calcium, folic acid, and yes, fats are an important part of our diets.  Women have a higher risk of osteoporosis, bear children and if we do not have enough fat (which is not a problem for most of us) we cease to menstruate. Men, you have other health concerns that determine your diet.

Sorry guys, I am much less in tune with your nutritional needs other than venturing a guess that in your evolution building muscle is an important part of survival therefore you crave “man friendly” fare like meats, and lots of them.

I am going to guess (based on my observations) that most couples out there cater more to male nutritional needs while eating ladies are eating a little too much meat and not enough broccoli.  Of course all men and women could stand to increase their intake of fruits and veggies, but women especially – are we missing out nutritionally when we choose our partners over food?

Is there a gender bias in food choices for couples?  Men, are you “eating like a girl?” What are you experiences in gender bias food consumption?