Updates from September, 2007 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • pixeltheatre 12:00 pm on September 27, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    Hold the bubbly! World shortage of champers expected… 

    champaign.jpgA story on tonight’s National news on Global TV caught my attention as I was getting dinner under way. Seems like champagne is going to be a rare commodity very soon. This drink, synonymous with class and all things glamorous, has become very popular in recent years as an every day aperitif, instead of just a celebratory drink. France’s champagne region is struggling to keep up with demand, and more vines are being planted, but the results will not be seen for 10 years. Time to stockpile?…

    Full story available as a podcast (09-26-2007) through the Global TV website (story starts around the 14:30 mark)

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  • pixeltheatre 11:56 am on September 24, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    Assault in the first degree, by means of chilli oil?!… 

    A recent story in the UK’s Daily Mail describes how Chef Heston Blumenthal monitored the effect of chili oil, chillibeing directly injected into his head chef via an IV drip, to determine the effects of spices on the brain. No picture of the resulting scan, from a “£5million MRI scanner” was offered in the article, but according to Blumenthal

    “You could see all his brain cells light up on the screen and it helped me understand how chilli works.”

    Now, if this experiment is not creepy in itself, Blumenthal’s confession to rigging the dosage definitely is:

    “…I sneakily switched the dosage when nobody was looking so he was getting double the chilli the doctors deemed safe.”

    This can’t be legal?….There’s experimentation and experimentation. There’s no mention if the head chef suffered any post-experiment trauma. I would love to know what his reaction was when he found out the switch in dosage…

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    • lucy 9:06 am on December 6, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      Hi – I saw the programme last night. Heston Blumenthal didn’t “inject chili oil directly into his head” – he rigged up a drip that dropped chili oil in tiny amounts onto his head chef’s tongue for the purpose of seeing how it affected the brain. Just to set the record straight… It was a fascinating programme although the word “endorphins” was oddly never used…

    • lucy 9:33 am on December 6, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      Sorry – misread your initial para! Although it was indeed a drip onto the tongue rather than intravenous…. Lucy

  • pixeltheatre 4:39 pm on September 23, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    Hummmm…Roasted hedgehogs…. 

    Hedgehog - Mountebank BlogA slew of traditional English recipes were uncovered recently by researchers from the Food Science department of the University of Wales Institute in Cardiff. A recipe of nestle pudding was dated at 6,000 BC.

    “The stodgy concoction, which was made by combining crushed leaves with flour and water to make a dough…”

    Other recipes include a variation of Haggis and pastry-wrapped hedgehogs.

    Details and recipes at The Independent on Sunday newspaper site.

  • pixeltheatre 7:06 am on September 14, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    Would you care to sniff the straw?… 

    The new wine tetrapaks are slowly making their way into liquor stores, gaining quite a few fans in the process. French Rabbit hit the shelves earlier this year in the Lower Mainland and rapidly sold out. Cordier Mestrezat Grands Crus, a century-old French wine maker is taking this packaging even further by adding a special straw. According to Max Colchester of The Wall Street Journal:

    “…it announced plans to sell wine, dubbed Tandem, in an 8.5 ounce carton that comes with a special straw with four holes, designed to spray the wine into the mouth. The company says it gives a similar sensation to drinking from a glass. The red, white and rosé versions come in shiny red, green and pink boxes made by Swiss packaging company Tetra Pak SA. “

    The company is currently testing the product in Belgium, with the plans of a French launch next year. The cost of the carton is $US2.50.
    Can’t wait to see these little guys appearing in lunch bags at the office. Talk about a lunch packing a punch!… 😉

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    • BC 5:15 am on October 23, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      Sniffing the straw is eerily like snorting an illicit substance!

  • pixeltheatre 7:00 am on September 13, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    Download free cookbook…contribute to Children’s Food Education Foundation 

    barilla.jpgThanks to Barilla. For every download, the company will be contributing $1 to the Children’s Food Education Foundation, an Australian charity creating and delivering innovative food education programs for children and young people with chronic illness, disabilities, mental disorders, disadvantages and those who care for themselves or others.

    Recipes, which include pasta e fagioli, pasta al forno and risoni fantasia, can be previewed before download on the Barilla cookbook offer site.

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  • pixeltheatre 11:28 am on September 12, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    Japa-Dog – street eats, japanese style 

    japa-dog.jpgI had some appointments in the downtown area yesterday, so I took the opportunity to have lunch at my favorite hot dog cart, Japa-Dog. The place was busy, but service was as efficient and cheerful as ever. I had the Terimayo, a beef sausage served with Japanese mayo, nori, teriyaki sauce and fried onions. It was excellent! It’s nice to see such a creative concept catch on. Other offerings include the Oroshi, a bratwurst laden with special soy sauce, green onions, and daikon and the Misomayo is a turkey smokie laden with special miso sauce, Kaiware, and japanese mayo.

    Japa-Dog is located at the northwest corner of Smythe and Burrard, Vancouver. They will be on holidays from Sept. 16-21.

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    • Julius 6:41 pm on September 30, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      Hi there,

      Saw your blog listing from the new members of Daring Bakers. I’m a new member as well.

      This caught my attention because I know this hotdog stand to be an award winner in Vancouver!

      All the best to you,


  • pixeltheatre 9:00 am on September 10, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    Eggs nouveau: frozen and slow-cooked? 

    There’s a new trend in cooking egg these days. As reported by Tara Duggan of slow-cooked eggsThe San Francisco Chronicle, chefs are experimenting and redefining eggs as an exciting menu choice. Signature dishes, such as deep fried slow-cooked eggs (pictured), are popping up all over the U.S.. Who says you can’t teach an old egg new tricks?…

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  • pixeltheatre 5:16 pm on September 9, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    Absinthe – The “Green Fairy” loses its wings 

    Picture courtesy of WikipediaA recent article by Jason Wilson in The Washington Post reveals that the absinthe currently available on the market contain less than the 10 parts per million of thujone, the active ingredient in wormwood, forbidden by U.S. law. It seems the original ban was in place because there was no reliable way in the past to test for that criteria.

    Though the upside of this may be better access to this mythical drink, the downside is that its legendary effects may never be experienced by modern seekers. As Oscar Wild said:

    “After the first glass, you see things as you wish they were. After the second, you see things as they are not. Finally you see things as they really are, and that is the most horrible thing in the world.”

    Cooking with absinthe: Oyster Rockefeller
    (Food Network)

    More info: Absinthe at the Virtual Absinthe Museum

    (photo: courtesy of wikipedia)
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  • pixeltheatre 9:57 pm on September 6, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    The humble marshmallow goes uptown… 

    Pete's Gourmet ConfectionMarshmallows are sporting new colours in an attempt to recapture aging palates. Now available in new flavors such as strawberry and caramel, this sugary concoction is recapturing hearts and palates of boomers looking for tastes of days past. Whole Foods offers an organic version of the treat, while lavender and chili-flavored ones can be found at Pete’s Gourmet Confections, among other fine candy shops. Sure makes you want ‘smores!
    Full story at USA Today.

    Pumpkin Creme Mallows

    from Pete’s Gourmet Confections

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  • pixeltheatre 9:31 pm on September 4, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    In search of the elusive avocado leaf 

    One of the recipes in the dvd series by the Culinary Institute of America (see post below) was the Mole Negro de Teotitlan del Valle. We had done mole at Northwest during Latin American days. One of my colleagues, Rossana Ascencio, originally from Mexico, led this class. I found the process intriguing and was looking for an opportunity to try it again. Here was my cue.

    I found most of the ingredients (four different types of dried chiles, Mexican chocolate, tomatoes, spices) on Commercial Drive. The tomatillos were a bit of a challenge, but I finally found them at South China Seas Trading at the Granville Island Market. (note to self: get down to the GI market more often…and early in the day). However, I could not find an avocado leaf anywhere. El Sureno Market had almost every other leaf imaginable except for this one. I gave up on it and cooked the mole without it. Suggestions as to where I can find this leaf will be appreciated.

    I was happy with the final results. The whole process took about four hours, but well worth the effort. I look forward to making this recipe again.

    Click on picture for slideshow
    of mole making:

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