Tag Archives: Drinks

The Friday 5 – June 18 Edition

18 Jun

By Chris Garbutt

1. Uh-oh. The world is going to have to increase its food production by 70 per cent if it’s going to keep up with population growth over the next 10 years.

2. The backlash against foodies (or foodiots!) continues, as the Toronto Star discovers. And check out this article – made more yummy by its profane (but censored) Rage Against the Machine reference!

3. James Chatto, the recently fired food writer for Toronto Life magazine, reminds us that he’s not quite dead yet, in fact he might just pull through.

4. The case for taking pictures of your food. Meh, I’m not  convinced.

5. Need a drink after all that? Here are the five things to remember about making a good martini. Sorry, Mr. Bond: gin, not vodka, and stirred, not shaken.

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The G20 Series: Saudi Arabia

17 Jun

by Stephanie Dickison

Look, I’m going to be straight up with you. I don’t know a lot about Saudi Arabian cooking.

It’s not that I don’t want to, it’s just that it hasn’t really made it onto our restaurant scene here in Toronto, unless you count hummus, which is carried at mainstream grocery stores, and falafels, which is one of our city’s latest trends in fast food.

Getting  qahwa – Arabic coffee (from the Bedouins), sometimes called “The Wine of Islam” – though, may prove a bit more of a challenge.  I don’t know of one place that carries it.  As you’ll see, it’s  a little more complicated than your regular pot of joe, but a very important part of the culture.

And talking about drinks, there are no bars in Saudi Arabia because The Qu’uran states that alcohol is strictly forbidden.  You can get alcoholic-free beer and cocktails at hotels, where “bars” are located, but we both know that not being able to have a glass of wine or beer, or at least the option, will change how you think about dinner.

Being a Muslim country and the only one in the world to adhere its laws to based on The Qu’uran, pork too, is not allowed.

I am going in search of Saudi Arabian food here in the city.  In the meantime, you can read about the fascinating dishes they serve in Lyn Maby’s Food from Saudi Arabia.

Book Review: The Ski Country Cookbook

10 Jan

Ski Country Cookbook Cover

The Ski Country Cookbook by Barbara Scott-Goodman

Reviewed by Chris Garbutt

I remember driving on the highway through snow covered forests until we reached our chalet by the slopes. We didn’t waste any time – it was straight to the lift for us. After a long day skiing, there was nothing better than returning to our temporary home in the snow and sipping spiced apple cider then eating chili that had been heating all day in the slow cooker.

Okay, I made all that up.

I have only gone downhill skiing once in my life, and I was a train wreck. I don’t think I’ve ever set foot in a ski chalet, But if you, unlike me, are someone who hits the slopes all winter, The Ski Country Cookbook has been created just for you. “The combination of cold mountain air and vigorous activity naturally makes us crave warm and restorative food,” says the Barbara Scott-Goodman in the introduction.

But I think this book is for me, too. I mean, a brisk walk in the city will make me want warm and restorative food. Heck, just sitting here writing this makes me want a good, hearty meal. Besides, Scott-Goodman is from New York, so she knows that her recipes are going to appeal to people who don’t even live near mountains.

So I’m going to ignore the gimmick and consider this a “Best of Winter” cookbook. There are classics like Corn Chowder, Baked Ham, and three different kinds of Chili. There are a couple of new things I want to try, such as Stir-fried Coleslaw and Wild Mushroom, Chicken and Orzo Soup. And all times of day are covered, including a section on cocktails and warm drinks. Mulled Pinot Noir and Brandy sounds good from my house in the city, but perhaps it’ s extra-special on the side of a mountain. I’m going to skip the Rum Raisin Cider, though. I’m not a raisin fan, so I’ll thank you to leave it out of my drinks.

The photography depicts dishes in the book, but also idyllic chalets, buried to the rafters in snow. As long as I could get out to get my groceries, I think that would be a pretty fine way to spend the winter. Just don’t ask me to go skiing.

Friday 5 – Summer Drinks Edition

8 Aug

By Chris Garbutt

1. Just for the heck of it, there’s Tahitian wine.

2. Cool, refreshing, and, uh, savoury: Cucumber-Rosemary gin & tonic.

3. Cold beer. Seems everyone’s celebrating beer this week. My favourites in the summer: Mill Street Organic Lager, Amsterdam Natural Blonde, and Steam Whistle Pilsner. For more on beer in Toronto, check out A Good Beer Blog.

4. I’m not usually one for liqueurs, but two make my list as summer favourites. Cointreau on ice is one. Or you could make this, which I haven’t tried. I love the orange flavour in Cointreau, much subtler than Grand Marnier, which can be a bit cloying. The other is a straight-up shot of the Czech Republic’s Becherovka, served supercold. Apparently it’s made with over 100 different herbs, but to me the strongest flavour is clove.

5. Seaking of liqueurs, here’s a limoncello gelato for dessert.