Bring Home the Bacon & An Important Notice

>> Saturday, 27 November 2010

I made bacon! Michael Ruhlman made it sound so easy. And you know what? It is! I am over the moon with happiness that I successfully made bacon at home. Me. Right here in my own kitchen. Read about my experience in this week's column. If you're up to experimenting, do give Michael's recipe a try. Look at the proof below. One thing of note. I omitted the garlic from the recipe.

This weekend (Nov 27 - 30) will be the last time I will be linking directly to my column. The newspaper I write for has decided to make their online content, a paid subscription service. I cannot say that I am in agreement with this move but it is what it is. As a result of this development, I have decided that I am going to distribute a monthly newsletter that will contain abridged versions of my column effective from January 2011, to all interested. In other words, come January 2011, my first newsletter will contain the 4 abridged versions of December's columns, February's newsletter will have January's abridged columns and so on.

In addition to the abridged columns themselves, the newsletter will include all recipes related to the columns as well as accompanying photographs. If you would like to receive my newsletter in your inbox, please email me with the word SUBSCRIBE in the subject line. Those of you who are already subscribed to my column-email need not re-subscribe, your names will automatically be included in the mailing list.

You may be wondering, what will now be featured on this blog? More food! (laugh). On a serious note, this blog will continue to be just as playful, experimental and informative of all things food related. I'll still post weekly, but instead of Saturdays, I will now post on Fridays.

I want to thank everyone for being so supportive through the years, particularly those of you who took the time to read the column. No fear though, you can still read the column, at your leisure and convenience. And, you can read 4 editions in one publication! All you have to do is to email me with the word SUBSCRIBE in the subject line. Don't forget, if you already receive my column in your inbox, you do not need to re-subscribe.

Have a great weekend everyone!


Caramelized Perfection & Giveaway Winner!

>> Saturday, 20 November 2010

Like I said in my column, I had a different idea planned but it got tossed the minute I popped one of these babies into my mouth. I am not going to say much, I'll let the photographs do the talking and give you the opportunity to head over to the column, get the recipe and make these as soon as possible.

Be warned, you will have to have to restrain yourself from eating way too many.

Eat one now...

And immediately have another... and another, and another...


Thanks everyone for participating in the giveaway and sharing your thoughts on tea and preferences. The random generator picked Pat of Mille Fiori Favoriti as the winner of a Tuffy (loose tea steeper) and three cans of loose tea of her choice! Congratulations Pat! I'll be in touch to get your mailing info. Thanks again for playing along everyone.

Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends and readers!


Don't Baste the Turkey: Braise-Stew it!

>> Saturday, 13 November 2010

Now here's a suggestion to rock your Turkey-Thanksgiving world upside down - in a good way! Fall-off the bone, tender, succulent meat, ready-made gravy to ladle over your sides and to sop up! A pot of meat and sauce fragrant with whole spices that gives a depth of flavour that will have your family and friends asking for more and for the recipe. With this method, you won't have to worry about what to do with the leftover turkey. No Sir-ee! It will be all gone!

Here in the Caribbean, we don't celebrate Thanksgiving; gosh, but there are those of among us who love that other bird and the favourite way it is cooked is stewed. I am suggesting that you combine two similar cooking methods in order to get the best of both in one dish - braise and stew. It's all explained in the column. And the recipe is there too!

Feeling that you must stick with tradition and have roast turkey? Cool. I offer you another suggestion that allows you to present your turkey 2 ways at the table roast and braised-stewed. Check out the column.

Don't forget that you have until midnight of November 17 to participate in the giveaway. Win yourself a Tuffy (loose leaf tea steeper) and 3 cans of loose tea of your choice from The Tea Spot. Just leave a comment here saying how you like your tea and the favourite time of day to have that cuppa.


It is not too early to start gathering those recipes you need for the holidays. Now is also a good time to test-run any new recipes you want to try. Try this Caribbean egg-nog recipe, Punch de Creme. Read all about it here and get the recipe too. As always, remember to drink responsibly.


Patiently making Peda (Peera) & Tea Spot Giveaway!

>> Saturday, 6 November 2010

Making Peda (Peera) - a soft fudge - from scratch is no simple task. It requires patience and determination, traits I felt I possessed but I did not know to what extent until I made Peda. This is not to say that at one point in the process I did not feel like tossing the pot into the sink, filling it with water, and giving up!

This week's column is a must-read in order to understand the three very different batches of Peda shown below and the result of the taste test done with 8 tasters! Read the column.

More Peda on the web:
Padma's Kitchen
Spice & Curry
Aayi's Recipes
Fun & Food Cafe

On to the giveaway.

Do you like tea? Want a chance to win some loose leaf tea and an infuser? Then read on.

By now, everyone knows about my obsession about all things tea related. Well, particularly tea infusers. After reading my most recent tea column - Sometimes 'why' is not important - Maria of Tea Spot emailed me with an offer that feeds right into that tea-infuser obession! She offered to send me a Tuffy (loose tea steeper)! I hit the reply button right away with a big thank you!

Look at my Tuffy! The great thing about it is that it is collapsible and portable enough to take with me whenever I travel. I can brew loose leaf tea on the go. Okay, maybe some people will look at me and shake their heads but I don't care. I love my Tuffy. I'm using it at home and when I am on the road.

Maria also sent me some loose leaf tea samples which I have been thoroughly enjoying. I am so excited about Tea Spot and their products (I am not being paid to say that), that I wrote asking Maria if Tea Spot would be interested in doing a giveaway on my blog and she said yes! I know that many of you are big tea lovers so I wanted to give you the opportunity to enjoy some of the products too.

What I like about Tea Spot is that apart from having a range of tea infuser options and loose leaf tea, they actually design and manufacture all their tea ware and they do so focusing on positive environmental and ethical practices.

Here's how simple the giveaway will be. Just leave a comment on this post saying how you like your tea and what's your favourite time of the day to have a cuppa. That's it!

The winner will receive from Tea Spot - a Tuffy Steeper and 3 cans of loose leaf tea. You get to pick the three cans cans of tea you'd like.

The promotion will run from today (Saturday, Nov 6) to Wednesday, November 17 at midnight US Eastern Standard Time. All the names will be entered into Random Number Generator and the winner will be selected. As a bonus, if you sign up to receive my column by email, your name will be entered twice!

Unfortunately, the giveaway is only open to those living in the USA and Canada. Sorry for any disappointment.

Here are 3 general tips for brewing loose tea. Of course, each culture has their own way of doing things.

  1. Your tea infuser should be big enough to allow your tea leaves ample room to open up in flavour and aroma. The ideal material for a steeper is ceramic or glass.
  2. Use the right temperature for the tea leaf (too high can cause it to become bitter, too low and you can extract too little flavour).
  3. Steep your tea for the right length of time recommended (too much and it becomes bitter, too little and there is not enough body to it.
Okay, leave your comment now on how you like your tea and your favourite time of the day to have it.

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