Updates from November, 2007 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • pixeltheatre 10:44 pm on November 30, 2007 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: chocoholic, , CSI: NY, foodie, Games, ,   

    Games for the connected chocoholics 

    I’ve never been much of a computer-based gamer. I’ll play the odd game of solitaire or backgammon. I doChocolatier wander the virtual landscape of Second Life, these days looking to solve the CSI:NY SL murder mystery. But I’ve never been into this whole Doom/DOD and other multiplayer computer-based games. The idea of destroying stuff to win never appealed to me. So when I came across the game of Chocolatier in an article on macnn, my curiosity was piqued.

    The game is the brainchild of PlayFirst games. According to Macnn, Chocolatier

    “…maintained a Top 20 position on several casual game sites for approximately five months.”

    PlayFrst was now releasing the sequel to that game, Chocolatier 2. I took a look at the first version of the game and liked what I saw:

    Chocolatier“Oh the gloriously rich and delectable life of a chocolatier! Constantly surrounded by mounds of chocolate bars and boxes of mouth-watering truffles! Become a master chocolatier one ingredient at a time as you travel the world to find the best prices and maximize production…but don’t forget about those conniving competitors who wish you poorly! Do you have what it takes to conquer the world through chocolate?”

    There was a 60-minute free trial you could download to test it. I did just that and became hooked. I’m not sure where those 60 minutes disappeared, but before I knew it I was frantically looking for my credit card and signing up for the registration key. Reasonably priced at $19.95, it has been my time sinkhole for the past couple of days. Despite its simple graphics, I have found myself totally submerged in the story and its environment. Dashing from city to city, buying ingredients, factories, retrofitting them for special recipes, discovering new recipes through a deep stable of characters around the globe, making new recipes, selling chocolates, the whirlwind never stops. You are sent on special assignments, delivering letters, special orders of chocolate bars or squares – I haven’t made it to the truffle level yet, all the while accumulating and spending money. You get special awards and titles as you move up the chocolatier ladder. You can then upload your high scores and awards to the FirstPlay website to see how you stack up against other players. I was ranked 167 last I looked. Still a ways to go for me…. 🙂Chocolatier 2

    Chocolatier 2 looks a little slicker than its predecessor, the UI a little cleaner. The PC format of both versions of the game also comes with the Together feature. Unfortunately, not so for the Mac version. There are also forums for players to interact on the FirstPlay website, with tips and tricks. I still have lots to do with Chocolatier before I will need to upgrade to Chocolatier 2. But, as I contemplate a 10-hour flight over the holidays, I may just give myself another small Christmas present before I board that plane… 😉

    • Sue 7:05 am on December 1, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      Looks fun. I’m looking for a game for my PC. And i’m not into the guns and killing stuff either. I will download the free demo. Thanks for the tip !

    • pixeltheatre 3:22 pm on December 1, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      You’re welcome Sue! As chocolate, this game can be pretty addictive… 🙂

    • Julius 1:27 am on December 2, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      Hi LizG,

      Yikes! Another form of chocolate addiction.

      Head’s up: Edible BC at the Granville Island Supermarket has this fabulous gift box of Thomas Haas chocolates. It would make a great gift… for one’s self. 🙂

      Also wanted to let you know, I named you as a meme successor in my blog. Totally optional of course.

      Hope your December is starting off on a good note.

      Julius from Occasional Baker

    • April 12:25 pm on December 6, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      I love this game!! It truly is addicting!

    • pixeltheatre 11:29 pm on December 6, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      @Julius: Thanks for the headsup, Julius! I’ll definitely check out Edible BC.

      @April: Yes, it definitely is. Time just slips away when you start playing…Thanks for posting! 🙂

    • home inspection Nassau County Long Island 11:31 pm on January 4, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Hello there! Do you know if they make any plugins to safeguard against hackers? I’m kinda paranoid about losing everything I’ve worked hard on. Any tips?

  • pixeltheatre 11:22 pm on November 27, 2007 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , cooking classes, Cooking school, cooking video   

    Virtual Professional Cooking Classes…Coming soon to a monitor near you! 

    RouxbeHere’s another Christmas gift suggestion for that foodie in your life…an online professional cooking course. Rouxbe.com, offers online cooking videos. I came across this company through my cooking school, Northwest Culinary Academy of Vancouver, who are also partners with this site. Starting in 2008, Rouxbe will be offering a full cooking school curriculum via the web. Subscribers to the site will have full access to this course, as well as all of the additional videos already present. Details are available here.

    There is a 30-day free trial you can sign up for to check up the site. Annual memberships are $US49 and lifetime memberships are $US149. There is another option also available, and it’s a very interesting model I had not seen yet. You can still access the site for free after the 30-days if you sign-up for the sponsorship model. Rouxbe will find you a company, based on your tastes or interests, who will sponsor your access to the site. More details here.

    To add to the fuzzies, Rouxbe donates 15% of all subscription fees to hunger relief agencies around the world through its Rouxbe for Life program. They are also Eco-neutral certified.

    Disclaimer: I am not associated with Rouxbe either personally or professionally. I did get a free annual subscription earlier in the year, as a graduate of Northwest Culinary, and because they were looking for people to test drive the site. I am not getting any commissions or kickbacks from promoting this site. I just like what they’re doing, the fact that they’re a local company and in my partnership with my school, and think they did a very nice job with the site. I also like their giving back to the community. End of story. 🙂

  • pixeltheatre 12:13 am on November 27, 2007 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , onions, rings   

    Celebrating International Onion Day…with onion rings 

    As reported earlier on this blog, Monday November 26th was International Onion Day. Zorra, fromOnion Rings à la Tony Roma's 1Xumrühren bitte invited food bloggers to join her on this day by cooking a dish featuring this every day staple. I took her up on it and decided to make onion rings, but not the common heavily-battered ones. My favorite onion rings are the one found at the ribs restaurant chain, Tony Roma’s. I first came across this chain in Florida, then discovered they had a restaurant here in Vancouver. That is, until they closed it last year.

    Tony Roma’s onion rings come in a loaf, served with their Onion ringssignature BBQ sauce. A look around the web unearthed a recipe very much the replica. I found out the key ingredient to these rings was pancake mix! Also, these rings are not just fried, but baked as well. I followed the recipe and pretty much came out with my own loaf of this classic side dish. I used President’s Choice Smokin’ Habanero Barbecue Sauce on the side. Hum…hum…Another keepsake for my recipe chest. Thanks for the challenge, Zorra!

    • zorra 1:56 am on November 28, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      As child my nanny made me often onion rings. I love them and yours look extra delicious!

    • Gabi 8:20 am on November 29, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      Hmm, a Tony Roma copycat recipe 🙂 Very welcome here in Germany where we have a single TR restaurant for the whole country – and that is in Berlin, 550 km frome here…

    • Laurie 12:42 pm on November 29, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      I’ve never heard of this before, and it looks really good. Do you have a link for the recipe you used??

    • pixeltheatre 9:01 pm on November 30, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      @Zorra: Thank you!
      @Gabi: Wow…I’m surprised, considering the popularity of pork in Germany. I’ll love to see that restaurant. 🙂

      @ Laurie: The recipe is linked at the word “recipe” in”A look around the web unearthed a recipe very…”

      Thanks for the posts… 🙂

    • Pepy 11:59 pm on November 30, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      Just saw the round-up of the 2nd Onion day on Zorra’s blog and want to say hi from Winnipeg

    • Ivonne 11:02 am on December 2, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      Oooooooooh! I bet that French toast was just fabulous. Great job!

    • pixeltheatre 4:38 pm on December 2, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      @Pepy: Hi!!Thanks for stopping by…:)

      @ Yvonne: The tender potato bread toast was indeed delicious…Thanks for the post!

  • pixeltheatre 12:02 am on November 26, 2007 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Challenge, , Potato   

    Daring Bakers -2nd Challenge: Tender Potato Bread 

    My heart lept with joy when I read this month’s recipe challenge. I can’t think of anything more therapeutic than kneading bread. I knew it was going to be a good day in cooking school when the first task found on the board at the front of the classroom was “Baguette”, or any other type of bread. The smell of fresh yeast and the feel of dough on my fingers was a nice way to get the day underway. It also meant fresh bread with lunch…

    Tender Potato Bread LoafThis month’s challenge was hosted by Tanna of My Kitchen In Half Cups. The recipe was taken from: Home Baking: The Artful Mix of Flour & Tradition Around the World, by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid. The key ingredient to this challenge was potatoes. Mashed, to be exact. Again, I followed the directions, using 12 grams of mashed potatoes – 8 grams were suggested for beginners and I figured I could handle a stickier dough. Ah! Well..sticky it certainly was. I titled my early post on the DB website as: The Blob!

    One of my personal goals with this challenge was to learn toPotato Bread Rolls work with less flour. I knew I was usually using to much flour when making bread and wanted to get out of that habit. So, with the memory of Chef Tony‘s voice still ringing in my ears, blasting us wussy culinary students who whined about sticky dough and fingers, I went easy on the flour and used approximately 7 cups of the 8-1/2 cups top recommended. The results were quite comical. My pastry scraper worked overtime with this recipe. The dough kept sticking to my hands and pulling into long strands when I tried to knead and turn it on the board (It’s alive! It’s alive!). But the results were well worth it: a tender, surprisingly light and slightly chewy bread.

    Potato Bread ToastsWe had to produce a loaf and had a choice between rolls or a foccacia. I chose the rolls. Luckily, my mother was visiting that week and we finished the bread while it was still fresh. It made great toasts and even better French toasts. I’m looking forward to making this recipe again…though perhaps with a bit more flour?…(Sorry, Chef…) 😉

    Tender Potato Bread Recipe (Courtesy of Tanna’s site)

    • foodie froggy 12:54 am on November 26, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      Wow, they really look great. A good way to start the week !

    • Rosa 4:03 am on November 26, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      Your breads look wonderful! Great job!



    • Camila 5:16 am on November 26, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      This was my 2nd DB challenge too!!
      Making the bread was really great wasn’tit??
      You’res look very tasty!!

    • Annemarie 7:10 am on November 26, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      I couldn’t hold off from adding more flour..and more flour…and more flour. It was just so liquid I didn’t feel I could gather it off the counter-top, never mind form it into a bread-like shape. I admire your tenacity (literally) in sticking to the recipe (and the dough). hee hee.

    • April 9:42 am on November 26, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      Your bread looks tasty!

    • Shawnda 11:31 am on November 26, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      The bread turned out terrific! I have a new-found respect for kneading by hand 🙂

    • breadchick 12:00 pm on November 26, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      I’m with you! A good day is a day that starts with kneading bread!! Nice job on this month’s challenge!!

    • Deborah 12:37 pm on November 26, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      Great job on this challenge!! Your bread looks great.

    • Julius 2:43 pm on November 26, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      Hi Liz,

      Your breads look great.

      I smiled a bit when I read your description of kneading as a therapeutic process. 🙂

      For me, the constant, steady whirr of the Kitchen Aid is more therapeutic.

      Congrats on our second challenge!

      Julius from Occasional Baker

    • peabody 3:16 pm on November 26, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      Oh, I bet it did make good french toast…yum.

    • Jen 5:02 pm on November 26, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      Oooh! Pretty and delicious looking 🙂 I rather found the kneading process here an exercise in patience (of which I have very little to begin with). You did a great job there and the rolls are particularly tempting!

    • Tina 6:12 pm on November 26, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      THose look great!!!

    • Gigi 6:24 pm on November 26, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      YUMMY looking bread! love the rolls.

    • Iisha 9:17 pm on November 26, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      yes… you did a great job. Keep up the good work.

    • Tartelette 10:19 pm on November 26, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      You did a great job on the challenge and you would make your professor proud!

    • Sheltie Girl 5:54 am on November 27, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      You did a wonderful job on your breads! Great job on your 2nd challenge.

      Natalie @ Gluten A Go Go

    • Gabi 10:34 am on November 27, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      Your bread turned out beautiful!
      I too had a blob that was sticky but that turned into delish bread. Great job!

    • Julie 2:54 pm on November 27, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      Pretty loaf, but I’m smitten over your rolls! They’ve got great color! And I’m glad I’m not the only one who hears the voices of chef-instructors past when I’m alone in the kitchen. 😉

    • Dolores 9:35 pm on November 27, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      I’m betting Chef Tony would applaud your success with this one. Beautiful!

    • chronicler 8:35 am on November 28, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      Your do-over looks great! The blob has been tamed!

    • pixeltheatre 8:48 pm on November 28, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      @foodyfroggy: Thanks!
      @Rosa: Thank you!
      @Camila: Hey, gald you joined too. It was fun.
      @Annemarie: I could have easily added a couple more cups of flour, I think…
      @April: It was very nice, indeed
      @Shawnda: Kneading is great, once you get the hang of it…:)
      @Breadchick: Bread is fun…
      @Deborah: Thanks!
      @Julius: Well, some of us are tactile and some of us are aural in nature. I”ll have to try the Kitchen Aid method. 🙂
      @peabody: It was really nice with the maple syrup
      @Jen: Thanks! Patience paid off in this case.
      @Tina: Thanks!
      @Gigi: Thank you!
      @Isha: Thanks!
      @Tartelette: Thanks. I hope so…
      @Natalie@gluten-a-go: Thanks Natalie!
      @Gabi: I felt like I was trying to knead Jello at times..it was wild…
      @Julie: Funny how these voices become engrained, don’t they?…It’s like having a little ghost on your shoulder keeping you in check…
      @Dolores: Thanks!
      @Chronicler: Well, I certainly showed him who the boss was…:)

    • Christina 6:24 pm on November 30, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      I definitely should have added more flour to my first attempt. I’m thinking that the whole thing required quite a bit of flour but would still remain sticky, as I found out from my second go.

      Your loaf and rolls looks really great and the french toast must have been amazing with this!

    • pixeltheatre 9:03 pm on November 30, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks Christina. I agree. There’s sticky and sticky… 🙂

    • Molly 1:04 am on December 1, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      The toasted bread looks really yummy. I hadn’t thought of that, but now I think I will have fat toasts for breakfast. I really needed my bench scraper to keep that dough in line.

  • pixeltheatre 1:26 pm on November 25, 2007 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , cocktail, custom, gift, Singapore   

    Customized cocktail: the ultimate gift for that person who has it all… 

    CocktailRun out of gift ideas for that difficult-to-buy-for person on your list? Singapore-based Provocachic may just have the recipe you’re looking for: a custom-designed cocktail. Back in 2002 Damien Sim started designing cocktails for friends. Before long his flair for the art and science of mixology extended to companies looking to dazzle during special events and (well-to-do) couples looking for that special drink for their nuptials. Being based in Singapore, Sim often uses ingredients indigenous to that region. Custom glasses, best suited to impart the flavours of the drink. These concoctions don’t come cheap and will set you back $1,200 to $3,600, depending on the event. More details, and a recipe, can be found here. (Photo: REUTERS/PRNewsFoto/Pernod Ricard USA)

  • pixeltheatre 9:46 pm on November 21, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    Blog Party # 28 – Ready to get down… 

    Lemon Ginger Martini The Happy Sorceress allowed me to sneak in at the last minute. I received an email from her on Monday telling me that I had made to the party. I wasn’t sure what format this party was to take, but see for yourselves here. It’s a great concept, and I look forward to next month’s party. As an insider, I got an advanced notice as to the theme. Stay tuned for the results…

    (the Lemon Ginger martini)

  • pixeltheatre 12:56 pm on November 17, 2007 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: blog, , , Onion   

    Monday Nov. 26: International Onion Day 

    Checking up on the latest posts on the DB website, I found out that Monday November 26th is InternationalOnions Onion Day. What better way to celebrate this staple of cooking than with a cooking challenge. Onion lovers and enthusiasts are encouraged to cook a dish featuring onions on that day and blogging about it the next day. Details of the event can be found here. Thanks to Kochtopf for the heads-up!

    (Image: Wikipedia Creative Commons. Courtesy of Fir0002)

    (My recipe for International Onion Day – Tony Roma’s Onion Rings)

  • pixeltheatre 9:57 pm on November 15, 2007 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: canapés, ginger, limoncello, martini, tofu, tuna salad   

    Virtual Blog Party #28 – Fusion Canapés 

    Tuna Salad Tofu CanapésJust in the nick of time, I think, I got my canapés ready to submit to the Happy Sorceress for the upcoming Virtual Blog Party this Saturday. I wanted to keep things simple. So, my idea of fusion came down to the basic tuna salad stuffed into tofu puffs. To add a bit of colour and crunch I added some finely chopped orange pepper and celery. The tofu puffs I purchased at a small Chinese grocery store right around the corner from where I live. I usually use those in stir fries, but I thought they would make an interesting base, when chopped in half. I was right. I sprinkled each canapés with a mixture of parmesan and fontina cheeses and baked them until the cheese melted. The tofu came out nice and crispy. I’ll definitely be playing around with those puffs more in the future.

    Here’s my recipe for the tuna salad:

    1 can pale flaked tuna, drained
    1/4 orange pepper, finely chopped
    1/4 rib celery, finely chopped
    Mayonnaise, enough to bind
    Salt and pepper
    4 tbsp parmesan, grated
    4 tbsp fontina cheese, grated
    10 tofu puffs, sliced in two

    Mix all ingredients except cheeses and tofu puffs. Spoon a small portion of the tuna salad into puff halves, and sprinkle with a bit of the cheese mixture. Bake at #350F until cheese melts. Plate and crack some fresh pepper over canapés before serving.

    The challenge requires us to also submit a cocktail/mocktail. My choice for this dish is a the Lemon Ginger Martini, found on the Raley’s and Bel Air Recipe Center. It includes one of my latest discoveries in liqueurs: limoncello. It goes as follows:

    Lemon Ginger Martini

    1 1/2 oz. superpremium vodka, such as Skyy
    or Grey Goose
    1 slice fresh ginger, chopped
    1 oz. limoncello

    In a cocktail shaker, mash vodka and ginger. Add limoncello and shake well with ice; strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.

    I haven’t made the drink yet, though I have the ingredients. But I don’t have a martini glass. That will be taken care of tomorrow. Stay tuned for picture…


    • music 6:05 pm on January 7, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      very interesting.
      i’m adding in RSS Reader

  • pixeltheatre 4:12 pm on November 14, 2007 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , marketing, Paul Newman,   

    Dinner with Paul Newman, all its Own 

    Paul Newman, the food brand, is branching out into wines. According to the Boston Herald, the conglomerate,Newman's Own which has donated some $200 million to charities since its inception, is partnering with wine company Wine Rebel Co. to develop a cabernet sauvignon and a chardonnay. According to Newman:

    “Wine was the only thing missing at dinner time. Now the meal is complete.”

    Newman’s Own, best known for its dressings, also now offers everything from salad mixes to pretzels and pet foods. (Who knew?). No news if the wine, to be bottled this December and retailing for $16 in the US, will be available in Canada.

    • coffee fiend 8:48 pm on January 9, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Paul Newman is a legend for his work in movies, and he’s a stud for all his work outside of movies

  • pixeltheatre 8:52 pm on November 9, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    45 days to Christmas…Time to publish your own cookbook 

    tastebook.comStumbled onto this news item today in my Epicurious newsletter. You can create a custom cookbook using up to 100 recipes found on the epicurious site, or add your own recipes if you wish, or leave some blank space for later add-ins. Browse and borrow from some already created books by famous chefs. The book is hardcover and spiral-bound. You can even put your name on the cover. Cost: $us34.95. For more details, go to: epicurious.com. You will need to create a free account on Epicurious to use this feature.

    • Julius 10:17 pm on November 11, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      Hi LizG,

      Thanks for the head’s up. A cookbook/compilation is a great idea.

      I’m glad to hear the tourtière recipe has your vote. 🙂


    • pixeltheatre 3:47 pm on November 14, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      Hey Julius!

      I thought it was a pretty neat concept as well… 🙂

      Thanks for the post.

    • peabody 4:31 pm on November 21, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      You can also use MyPublisher and that way you can use your own photos.

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