Dough Ball Deliverance

I love a ball of pizza dough; homemade or store-bought. Though, in all honesty, I rarely make my own. For around two bucks I can get a perfectly decent version from the bakery section of the grocery store, and it does the trick. It’s a damn good habit to get into. One ball of dough will keep in the fridge for several days if stored properly, and can be the start of many fast, easy, tasty meals. And it beats calling for take-out or popping one of those frozen pizzas in the oven (too much sugar in the sauce). Grilled pizza dough dolloped with pesto, served with feta, tzatziki, roasted red pepper, olives and anchovies. I ate this about three times a week last summer. From a ball of store-bought

Do Some Dumplings

I don't celebrate Chinese New Year, (I don't even celebrate that other New Year's Eve thing) but really, any reason for dim sum and dumplings, and I'm all over it. Especially when it's the Year of the Rooster. Hello!!! Saturday, January 28th, marks the start of Chinese New Year—the year of the rooster—cock-a-doodle-doo, Baby! And yum! Have you seen the kind of frenzied orgy of eating Chinese folks get up to over the two-week celebration of the New Year? The gorging that takes place around big tables of spinning lazy Susans makes a regular weekend dim sum look like a Weight Watchers meeting. I say get in there!!! Joining in is the best policy. Get out there, visit your nearest Chinatown, shar

Cooking with Beer

Originally posted on 10/25/2012 Though I wrote and posted this blog a couple of years ago on my old website, I wanted to give it a second life here, since I still love cooking this way and it's the perfect time of year for it. Now, can you find the exact beer I used then? I don't know, but you can always find something pretty close and just as good! This is stick-to-your-ribs stuff, perfect for beating the mid-winter blahs. I start with a couple of pieces of big, fat, beef shank. It's from the lower leg of the poor beastie. It's the cut used for osso bucco. It's a tough but flavourful cut and it's super inexpensive. This one is from Grandview Farms in Thornbury, Ontario. Grass-fed, happy cow

Fishing the Ottawa

Photo: Renate Pasborg-Hering - Ice fishing huts on the Ottawa River near Hudson, Quebec, mid-1990s. From Lake Temiskaming way north of North Bay, the Ottawa River flows in swooping curves and the occasional zigzag south-east above Algonquin Park, toward Ottawa then on to Montreal, widening as she goes. Here and there along her 1271 km path she spreads wide enough to become a lake and all along her meandering route, she sends off shoots of smaller rivers and drops into waterfalls. Étienne Brule was most likely the first European (1610ish) to navigate this river known by the Algonquin as Kichesippi (The Great River). In 1805, the first paper mill in Canada would be built on it at St-André-Est;

Warm, Reakin’, Rich!

In case you were wondering just now - as I'm sure you were - Robbie Burns Day or as it's also known, Burns Night, is celebrated on January 25th. Robbie Burns was a bit of a scamp. He enjoyed a good party, a bevvie or two, had legions of lady friends and unclaimed wee bairns, but I'm not going to hold that against him; they were different times after all, and the man clearly had his charms. I bet he could chat 'em up like there was no tomorrow. And just look at those beseeching doe eyes! Hubba, hubba! How about those mutton chops, eh? Burns celebrations usually involve haggis, but I'm not going to bleat on (get it, a sheep?) about haggis again this year. I just wanted to say "war

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