Day in the life of a Food Ninja

A burnt out late 20's something guy tries to get back to normality

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Summer BBQ

We had a wonderful BBQ yesterday I was able to make a nice souvloki. I had a friend over that I have not seen for a few years. She brought her two girls over and her husband, It is amazing how fast kids grow.

The BBQ went very good, and a good time was had by all.

Pork Souvloki

The Hardware

The Software
3 Large pork chops Cubed
1 Green Peper
12 Mushrooms
1/4 C Olive Oil
2 Tbsp of Oregano
1 Lemon Juiced.

The Application
Combine the Oil, Lemon Juice, and Oregano in a container and marinate the pork in overnight. Then on a skewer alternate meat and vedge. Roast over an open flame (I used fire wood) for aprox 5 min per side.

Work has been hard as of late.. too much to do in a night and not enough staff to do it with. I wish I could blog more but I have just been eating what ever has been convient. (no fast food thou) it does mean alot of noodles with mushroom soup

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Battle of the Lion Kings

As part of my birthday, I got tickets to the Manitoba World Invitational Lion Dance Festival. This has been something that I have wanted to see since I heard about it. Teams from all over the Came to our city to participate.

There were 5 teams.
Team Canada
Team USA
Team Hong Kong
Team China
Team Macau

I truly felt as if I was watching an Olimpic event,I got all teary eyed when they played O-Canada/God Save the Queen.

The goal of each routine is to tell a story of the lion climbing up a mountain searching for the flower of immortality. Upon finding the flower of immortality, the lion eats it, but soon feels remorseful and spits it out. With the poles representing the mountain, ranging from 3 to 9.5 foot high, it leaps its way up till it reaches the flower. Elaborate spitting and washing ritual of the lion is part of the traditional dance. While on jumping up and down the mountain, the lion’s expressions of happiness, excitement, and fright are portrayed as much as possible like a real animal.

Canada came in last, however, it was an honor to host, and an even bigger honor for me to be there. I wouldnt have missed it for the world. If you are interested team Macau Won and along with winning they were the only team other than Canada to not fall off their poles.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Sopel Chef Challenge II

OK This is the second installment of the Sopel chef challenge, for those of you unfamiliar with this event it is an extreme rip off of Iron chef. My three siblings and I all submit dishes under a common theme and present them to a judge. Watermellon is our judge and she rates, scores, and sometimes I think makes the said dishes to try some ( pure speculation on that last point)

so if you want to check out the mad sibling cookery you can check the blog who is hosting the event, we have a 3rd party judge and a 4th party host the event to ensure anonymity until the judging is over.

There is pictures of the dishes there you just have to click the link to see them, there was a technical problem with the picture hosting this time. it will be fixed for SCCIII.

This months theme is DIP. So check and leave your vote for the peoples choice prize.

Shoo Fly Pie

This is the third in a group of recipes that I am testing for the Good Home Cookbook It is kinda of like the Sugar pies we had in Quebec. It was very tasty, the #1 ingedient is molasses.

I wonder what they will send me next!

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Savoury Corn Bread

If you have noticed most of my pictures are dark,This is mostly due to the fact that I sleep during the day and am up at night, I am the mad Baker what bakes at midnight. If you know the reference I am impressed and I will mail you one Canadian dollar. I work the night shift and I dont switch around for my days off so that means that I am up either cooking or watching competitive cheerleading on tv. Hence I also take my pictures at night too. This is my fave cornbread and the calorie count is huge, but soo tasty.

The Hardware
Fry pan
2 bowls
Cast Iron Pan 8-9 inch
(you can sub a cake pan of the same size)

The Software
2/3 cup unsalted butter, divided
1 x leek, thinly sliced (white and light green parts)
1/2 cup finely chopped sweet onion
coarse salt and freshly cracked pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tbsp granulated sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup cornmeal
2 x eggs
3/4 cup buttermilk (I do the sour milk thing with lemon juice)
1 tbsp chopped fresh chives
1 cup corn kernels
1 cup shredded aged white cheddar

The Application
In a medium saucepan heat 1 tbsp. of the butter over low heat. Add leek, sweet onion, salt and pepper. Cook for about 20 minutes, stirring frequently to stop onions from sticking. Cook until leeks and onions are very soft and just starting to turn golden. Let cool.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Place 1 tbsp. of the butter in an 8 or 9-inch cast iron skillet and heat in oven.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir in the cornmeal.

Melt the remaining butter and whisk in another bowl with the eggs and buttermilk.
Pour the wet into the dry ingredients. Sprinkle with cooled leeks and onions, chives, corn and 3/4 cup of the cheese. Stir with a wooden spoon until just combined and some flour remains visible. Do not over mix.

Swirl hot pan to coat with butter. Spread batter into pan. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake for about 30 to 35 minutes or until tester inserted in centre comes out clean and edges are crispy and golden.
Let cool in pan on rack for 5 minutes. Serve hot or warm.

My Gurl and I were for a walk tonight at about 4am I love this time of day the streets are quite the air smells of bread from a local bakery. And Cats are roaming the streets looking for people to pet them... Tonights cat sat on my lap and purred... it then proceeded to follow us for a legg of our walk...

Saturday, August 20, 2005

New Pizza Dough

I have been tweeking my pizza dough recipe to make it a bit more fun, I also made a garlic infused oil that I spread on the pan before I put on the dough and it flavored the crust very nicely. I feel so good about making this b/c we have been living off of freezer meals and pavilion food for so long it is nice to get down to some home cooking again.

Today I hope to make my most sinful cheese corn bread, and Monday shoo fly pie day... yay... for pie

Pizza Dough

The Hardware
Large Bowl
Pizza Pan

The Software
1 1/2 C AP Flour
2 C Whole Wheat Flour
1 Tsp Salt
1 Tbsp Honey
1 Tbsp Instant Yeast
1 1/2 C of warm water
3 Tbsp of Olive oil
a mixture of herbs such as oregano, basil, and anything else you have Italian-ee

The Application
Mix together in a bowl AP flour, salt, yeast, oil, and herbs. In a two cup measure fill with the 1 1/2 C warm water and then add the honey, stir well. Add the honey water to the flour-herb mixture. Mix until moistened and let sit for a minute.

Now Gradually stir in the 2 C of Whole wheat flour (reserving some for roll out) Then knock out onto a floured counter and kneed for about 5-10 min.

Let rise for about 45-60 min, punch down and separate into three and let rise again.

Now roll out and place on an oiled pan and top.

Bake for about 15 min @ 400 D

Garlic Oil

In a small sauce pan heat 2 c of vedge oil, add in one bulb of garlic that has been pealed cook on LOW till the garlic become mushy, remove the garlic and let oil cool. Funnel into a cool bottle and voila.

Garlic Butter

I take the cooked garlic and place it in a bow with about 2-3 sticks of real butter and 1/2 C of parsley mix it up real good and then place into a container. This is a staple in my fridge :)

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Braised Beef Brisket

Hiya.. This is another recipe test dish for The Good Home Cookbook and like the potato pancakes I feel I shouldn't post the recipe. This was the most expensive roast I have ever cooked the brisket itself cost $30 But it was SOOO good. it made a wonderfully gravy. I have one more thing to make and it is Shoo Fly Pie. The recipe book is focusing on 'American' Traditional dishes and sometimes it is comical because I have never heard of Shoo fly pie.. and was quite happy after reading the ingredients list.

I have been working alot as of late, I havnt had any time for tom-cookery even thou we need bread. That big corporate wheel continues to turn.

that's it for now..

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Portugal Pavilion

This was a very buisy and crowded pavilion, it was extreamly hard to find parking/seats. The fair was very pricy as well for two peices of chicken it was $10.00 so we seatled for a very yummie cream horn

Monday, August 15, 2005

Struddel and Schnitzel Oh My.

The Alpine Pavilion

This is the first year they have not done a Octoberfest theme. But if you are afraid of Umpa pa music you should still stay clear, this year they did 'Christmas in the Alps' theme, it was very nice, we even met Santa although he did have a bit of a tan,, I think it was from being on a lawn chair in Florida thou..

I have never had schnitzel before, and was delighted to find out it was breaded chicken, there was also spiced potatoes and sauerkraut, all very tasty. The pretzel was for my Gurl whom has a small addiction for the salty.

The deserts were also tasty, the cake had a nice shot of some kind of liquor that left me 1/2 cut bye the time I left,(I am a cheap drunk) and what is the Alps with out some struddle, the whole spread cost about 10 dollars very affordable by folklorama standards.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Chile Pavilion

Not to be confused with the Chile Lindo Pavilion, They represent two different areas of this vast nation, I was able to use my ninja powers of persuasion and sneaked into the kitchen where I snapped a shot of the emphanada factory in full swing,

Folklorama came to an end on this past Saturday, we had a great time, and I still have 4 more entries to post till I have wrapped up.

on other news I have completed the Sopel chef challenge dish and sent it in, other sopel chefs please anti up..

Friday, August 12, 2005

Japan Pavilion

The Japan Pavilion always rocks, The food is good, shown above is two trays one is the sushi bento and it is basic rice and vedge rolls, however there is one crab roll in there. The other is a Beef Bento it has a salad with raspberry dressing, a Maple shabo shabo beef, I think that is beef cooked in maple flavored water, and the little pastry on the side had raspberry filling and was very good.

The show was wonderful too. The highlight for me is always the taiko drumming it is so high energy. My gurl really wants to take lessons, but it is in a dodgy area of town and I work when they are so I cant go with her :(

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Potato Pancakes

Yay.... They are letting me test recipe's for the Good Home Cookbook this is the very first one, I am not going to publish a recipe because I don't think it would be fair to them.

We ate alot of potato pancakes as kids, I am sure thankfull now of how much gratting that must have been for mom (we were a family of 6) I know most people put apple sauce or sour cream on them, in my house however we put whipping cream on them and salt.

-end post

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Nic's Bananaanadamarama

This is an interesting Banana Bread that I made. I shamelessly stole the recipe form Nic and added to it. The bread itself is based on some American folklor. Anadama is the name of the base bread Nic added Bannanas to the recipe calling it Bananaanadamarama. I cant resist tampering a bit myself and added Poppy seeds to the mix, but I have not come up with a snazzy name.

I have been on holiday for the last bit, and with my Gurl at work now, I am turning into a blogging addict. I should be out mowing the lawn and such... but alas.. this is much more fun.

Banana Anandama Bread

The Hardware
Large Bowl
2 Loaf Pans

The Software
1 tbsp active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1/4 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup molasses
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup poppy seeds
2 tsp salt
1 cup mashed banana
1 egg
4-5 cups ap flour

The Application
Combine yeast and warm water and leave to proof for 5 minutes, until bubbly. Stir in cornmeal, poppy seeds, molasses, cinamon, salt, banana, egg and 1 cup of flour until smooth. Add in the rest of the flour gradually, until the dough comes away from the sides of the mixing bowl in a ball.
Remove dough to a floured surface and knead, adding additional flour if necessary, until smooth. Place dough into a large, oiled bowl and leave to rise until doubled in size, 1 - 1 1/2 hours.
Grease two 8x4 inch loaf pans. Divide risen dough into two pieces. Flatten each piece into a 10x8 rectangle and roll up (beginning with the longer side) as you would a jelly roll. Tuck in the ends and place into one of the prepared loaf pans. Repeat with second piece of dough.
Let the loaves rise until nearly doubled, about 1 hour.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375F.
Bake loaves for 30-35 minutes, until nicely browned on top and they sound holly when the bottom is tapped.Allow to cool on a wire rack before slicing

This is coppied directly from Bakingsheet

Monday, August 08, 2005


finally after about two weeks of procrastination I have made borscht. This can be a completely Vegan dish(except I used Beef broth instead of vedg broth). the good thing too is it is low calorie as well. I am just wondering how long it is will take to get the red off my hands, it looks like I was responsible for a great beat massacre. I did a lot of looking for a good recipe and kinda smooshed a few together to make this one I think it turned out very well!


The Hardware
Sharp Knife
Vedge Pealer
LARGE! Stock pot
Spider(Asian handheld strainer)

The Software
1 1/2 lb of Cubed potato
6 Nice sized Beats Cubed
2 Red Onions Chopped
2 1/2 C of Cabbage Chopped Fine
4 Cloves of Garlic Minced
6 Tomatoes De-Skinned (is that a word?)
2 Tsp of course cracked Pepper
1 Tsp of Curry Paste
3/4 C of Fresh Dill (adjust this to taste, I like Dill)
3 Sprigs of parsley Chopped
4 C of Beef Broth (sub vedg broth for Vegan option)
4 C of Water
1 Bay Leaf

The Application
In a Large Pot Fry onion, Cabbage, potato till onion goes translucent.

Add the rest of the ingredients bring to a boil and simmer for about an hour. Once all the vedg is nice and soft, with the strainer scoop all the solid vedg into a blender, pulse on 'chop' for a few seconds and then return to the broth (I had to do it in two portions) of course if you chopped all of your ingredients uniformly in the first place you can skip this step, I found raw beats hard to work with thou. Ladle into bowls and serve. Freezes well.

Sopel Chef Challenge II

I am Proud to announce the second Sopel Chef Challenge. This time there is all Four Participating siblings Myze, Soaps, Bubbles, and Myself of course. Since Myze won the last contest she gets to pick the theme for this contest...... drum roll please.... She picks "DIP: Nacho, chip,
veggie, dippity-doo, whatever, if you can dip it you can do it. No restriction
of origin, so Mexican, Italian, mom's or whatever Steven scraps
off the back of his refrigerator, it's all game as long as the previous
rules are followed ie picture required along with recipe."

A picture and preparation techniques must be emailed to Oblio
before the 25th of August. From there she will post the pics and text on her
blog (that way there will be no telling who prepared what dish) and a judge
will decide the winner. Once again our returning judge is Watermelon

Scoring will be based on :
Aesthetics Max 5 pts-
Eatability Max 5 pts-
Originality Max 5 pts

Previous chef challenge
Dish 1
Dish 2
Winning Dish

Basic Corn Muffins

This is one of my corn bread recipes, I have a much more fun/yummy/fattening one that I just don't have the ingredients for right now, but as soon as I do I will make it. I love corn muffins first thing in the morning, it is very filling and great for a car breakfast if you are running late.

The Hardware
Two Bowls
12 Pack Muffin Tray

The Software
3/4 C Corn Meal
1 1/4 C Milk
1 C Flour AP
1/3 C Sugar
1 Tbsp Baking Powder
1/2 Tsp salt
1 Egg
1/4 C Vedg Oil

The Application
Combine the corn meal and milk and let stand for 10 min.

In a different bowl mix all the dry ingredients.

After the 10 min add the egg and the oil to the corn mixture and mix well.

Add the dry to the wet and pour into the muffin tins, bake in a 400 degree oven for 15-20 min

Very tasty the mixture can be made the night before and just baked in the morning.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Sign Up Time

I have signed up to test recipies for the Good Home Cookbook They will be sending me 1-10 recipies to try out for them and give my feed back on. That is of course if I am accepted, my application is pending. If you would like to sign up click the linky

It is also time for Blogging By Mail Part 2 It involves getting a package from a far of place full of goodies made by the sender and local treats that are not availible where you live. You are also required to send a package out as well, you can request a domestic swap partner or an international one. So far there are swappers from Spain, Singapoor, Italy, US, Canada, and more. You dont have to be a food blogger to get in on the crazy trading action.. Deadline is August 19th. so get in if your gett'en.. I had tons of fun in BBM I so I highly recomend it, click the link above to find out more. FYI it cost me about $8.00 Canadian to send my package to the southern US.

end post

Indo China Pavilion

The Indo China Pavilion is the most user friendly pavilion that we have been to, it is in a mall that holds a theatrical company, that is on summer break. The hot food was the normal Fried rice, mixed vedg, and spring rolls. It was the sweat table that grabbed my attention. We tried the Butterfly pastry, and the Jellied Green tea. Jelly was for sure one of the most interesting and tasty things we have tried on our trips. The butterfly pastry was incredibly flaky.

The show was very good with Martial Arts Woo Shoo style, a Lion dance, and several types of dancing.

The Scotland Heavy Games.

I am sneaking this in shhhh. We attended the heavy games at the Scotland Pavilion and it was a good time had by all. They did a call from the crowd to see if anyone wanted to try the Farmers Walk. Me and my gurl both signed up. Now the farmers walk involves lifting a 185 lb (men) 85lb (women) weight in each hand around a 100 foot straight line. When you get to the end you turn around and come back. I placed 3rd with 100ft even I couldn't make the corner. My gurl came in 2nd in her class with 111 feet 4 Inc..

Monday Borsht, no more procratsinaton!!

Saturday, August 06, 2005

The Gurl Post

I have been neglecting my blogging pastime as of the last week during that time there has been several things going on in my life. The biggest one involving my Gurl. My Gurl has gotten herself a new job working at a Bank now this isn't normally a big thing, however it is a departure from her normal Spy work, that's right I said spy b/c she works alone and spys on people working and reporting back to The Cheif fortunately no messages that she receives from CONTROL self-destruct. So back to the story at hand. She put in an application and did the interview and heard not much after that so she thought she didn't get it. But last Monday, on a bank holiday, she gets the phone call saying she got the job. This sets off a flurry of events, that include shopping for - shoes, lunch box, and clothes. In all this this makes a total of 3 jobs that she holds down now.

Of course we are still going to folklorama every night, she works 9-5 so the evenings are free. Today is her second day at work and I am finally beginning to slow down a bit... you are thinking how does this affect me? Let me tell you! I am an obsessive compulsive planner and a neat freak, so as all this kaos is happening around me away from my normal routine I try and keep up to her and help out of course this means,

and I am keeping up to my normal stuff too.. I have posted a Pic of my gurl below.. I think she is Hot stuff.

Now that she is at work for the day I have a bit more time on my hands and with this I am plotting a few things.

  • More time gardening
  • More Baking Woot!
  • Plotting how to ambush her on her lunch and make tasty food on a portable grill in her parking lot.
  • I can do work on our poor car that has been overlooked for the last little while.
  • Home improvement projects like Painting the inside of the house and maybe renovating the bathroom down stairs.
  • I can finally make Borsht

I have also found a cool music site Gorillaz that plays there videos and tunes I highly recommend if you are into that kind of stuff.

Celtic Ireland Pavilion

There are two Irish Pavilions every year, Last year we found out that one is MUCH better than the other. This year we whent to the party place. I was sad to find out that the Dust Rhinos were not playing this year. The place still rocked thou.. we came early because there is always a long wait. This year they put us up in the bar and we were able to watch the tail end of the preformance from the previous show.

Ehem the food uh ya.. I didnt take part in the food this year for a few reasons 1. We are watching the money situation, and 2 it is mostly deep fried fish and chippy stuff.. things I can make at home. So I took pictures. I kinda have a rule of thumb when attending pavilions, that being if I can make it at home already.. I am not going to buy it for $10 at a pavilion for it. However I wish that our trips had an alcohol Budget, I am very much into UK beers. My fave being a British Ale named New Castle. Much to the dissapointment of the entire empire thou I like my beer/ale cold.

India Pavilion

The India Pavilion is always a Highlight for us it is one of the pavilions we go to every year with out fail. My main reason is the food (of course). Featured above is the menu, and what we had. It is the Appetizer/snack of two Samosas and the Chole (chick peas) and the Butter chicken meal Rice, Naan, Salad, and Butter Chicken. Butter chicken is one of my favorite things in the world, Bad for the waste line...

As always the show was high energy and explosive. I will post links as soon as my gurl puts them up for me.. (she is my main picture hoster)

The Czech and Slovak Pavilion

The Czech and Slovak pavilion was good when it comes to the show and the quality of the performances, not so much when it comes to the food, Growing up in a family that has eastern European roots the food came off as very bland and uninteresting for me the menu consisted of:

Roast pork with cabbage dumplings.
Bryndozove Halusky (that is what is shown above) I think it was perogies with out the casing
Roast peppers with rice and tomatoes
Dumplings filled with strawberries
Sausage and mustard
potato Pancake
Ham Sandwich
assorted pastries

I read reports of bloggers being sued for saying negative things of restaurants.. so as my disclaimer this is my opinion only and you should go and make your own decision, I really hope no one is basing there folklorama trips based on what I say

The show was wonderfull however ,show pictures

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Chile Lindo Pavilion

The Chile Lindo Pavilion

Canada streaches from ocean to ocean, we have many cultures within, Chile is the same in that respect, Also there is many different foods within the country.

Above is a mosaic of all the different kinds of Empanadas availible at the pavilion. I have always loved empanadas they are the original fast food.

The show was wonderfull as well there is the devil dance that always blows me away. I wish I know how to post multiple picture in one post.

Tonight the Indian Pavilion

-end post

Monday, August 01, 2005

Philippines, Pear of the Orient Pavilion

I work with a lot of people that immigrated to Canada from the Philippines, I have great respect for them and the culture. I always love the pavilion as well the shows are wonderfully. Full of Elegant dancing and Great singing.

Above is a picture of the dish we ate, BBQ pork and Lumpia (a kind of spring roll) I love taking pictures of the people working the food lines .. they have such energy and care for what they are serving. These people have been at this post for 7 hours and now at the end are still smiling.

-end post