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Food names for pets

We have a flatcoat named Haggis. He's Canadian, but hubby's a Scot. If we were to get another one, it would probably be Neeps or Bridie.

Oct 12, 2013
kali_MM in Not About Food

Ideas for smaller round fish

Dubai is starting to encourage using sustainable fish, rather than the much larger local favourites (which are becoming very scarce). In aid of this, the environmental service is putting out recipes developed by home cooks so that people can start using these fish. I'm participating in the recipe development effort.

So, I went off and got some of the little guys today. I bought three different species. They're pretty... little (not sardine sized by any means, but probably no more than a pound each - if that). Any suggestions for dealing with them? I bought them whole, even though the fish counters at the markets will do whatever you ask with them, because I wanted to play around. I'm thinking I can gut them and grill them whole, perhaps try filleting one or two of them out to see what size of meat I get for the effort, or perhaps gut and stuff.

What's your favourite way of preparing smaller round fish? Suggestions appreciated!

Feb 27, 2010
kali_MM in Home Cooking

Cooking from scratch...

And there ain't nothing wrong with that. I make meals, but I buy desserts.

Mar 25, 2009
kali_MM in General Topics

Dijon Mustard

Silly story, but perhaps pertinent to the expiry date...

A long time ago when I was in university and driving a Ford Festiva, I went shopping and bought some Grey Poupon. Because I had the attention span of a goldfish at the time (and more than likely, put the groceries on the credit card that my farther foolishly, but lovingly gave me), I didn't notice that the Grey Poupon had rolled into the back seat. About four weeks later, I did, and figuring that the mustard was probabl;y gone bad due to the shock treatment, and the heat, decided that I would just keep it there until I found a limo.

Advance two years....

I'm driving in the car with a friend who has been in it before and accepted the "I have Grey Poupon in my car, because one day I'll be next to a limo, and I want to have something appropriate to offer" story, and two of her accquaintances. We're on a trip to their place.

All of a sudden, my friend who is Grey Poupon Cognosceinti (GFC) spies a Limo passing us. A chase ensures.

I have no idea what the driver thought. There he was, innocently driving a limo when a red Ford Festiva comes barreling after him, chasing him down streets and alleys, then finally cornering him. If it wasn't Lethobridge, Alberta, we'd probably have been greeted with gunfire. All I can say is that the chase took twenty minutes, the non-GPCs were terrified and confused, and I'm sure the limo driver and his passengers were as well.

When we finally got him pulled over in an alleyway and passed him the Grey Poupon (I won't tell you what the conversation was like in the car beforehand, but I'm sure you can imagine), the driver's face was... completeley baffled.

Then... after a carload of 20 something university girls gave him some mustard... completely priceless.

I still can't imagine what he said to his passengers, as we drove off after the hand-off.

And I really hope they didn't eat it...

Mar 25, 2009
kali_MM in General Topics

I got a smoker...and am out of ideas

Smoker, smoker, or a "smoke box attached to your grill" smoker?

If it's the first... I'm envious... pulled pork, brisket, fish, turkey, any other kind of critter...

If it's the second... I'm lost too... don't have the requisite temperature control.

Mar 25, 2009
kali_MM in General Topics

One sick Gringa [moved from Mexico board]

One of my doctors told me that whenever I go to a foreign country that I should make a point of drinking locally brewed beer. His theory was that the local water had all of the creepy crawlies in it which would be killed by the brewing process and the alcohol, creating a sort of vaccination.

I have taken his advice to heart (really, it took very little convincing), and it seems to work, though I also bring immodium for "situations", and only buy food from street vendors that are busy. I'm also a yoghurt fan, and tend to eat or drink it wherever I go, so that could have an impact as well.

Mar 06, 2009
kali_MM in General Topics

Eating at an empty restaurant?

We recently dined in an empty restaurant while we were in Scotland last week. We called one night and asked if we needed a reservation - they said no, but if we were coming, to let them know because otherwise they'd close. We decided not to go that night, but made a reservation for the next night.

We did have concerns about the restaurant being empty, and the quality of the food, however, it was located in a seasonal tourist town, and had been given a good recommendation online (and the recession was having an impact, of course). Most hotels in the area were doing bed, breakfast, and dinner specials, and not many people were straying from their home base in search of chow.

Verdict: Food was fabulous, and took awhile to prepare, which gave me the impression that it was being freshly prepared. Service was friendly and not overbearing or too lonely seeming. We certainly will visit again, and hope that the place survives the slow winter months!

Mar 06, 2009
kali_MM in Not About Food

Rude guests bringing wine - should I have served it?

Bill - if you were here, you'd probably find that the wine selection in most of these places is a bit of a crap-shoot. You simply never know what's going to be in stock on a given visit, so there's no real planning going on. That being said, it's probably possible to convince the stores to bring in a case of something specifically for you. I've just not tried that yet.

Beyond that, I'm never certain that the wine that is in the stores has been treated with proper care and attention - it can get awfully, awfully hot here, and I do sometimes have visions of cases of wine and beer being left out in the sun or in crowded, hot warehouses for much longer than they should be by someone who's not educated and doesn't really care. For my own education - how much could poor storage potentially affect the quality of a wine, and what would indicate this decline in quality?

As there are more than a few very expensive, well regarded restaurants here, with good wine lists, I believe that they must get their wines through different (but still legal) channels. When we're next in a wine-orientated restaurant, I will ask where they obtain their wine from.

Feb 04, 2009
kali_MM in Not About Food

Rude guests bringing wine - should I have served it?

Well, to be able to to buy liquor at local stores and keep it in your home, you need to have a liquor license. To get a liquor license you need to be non-Muslim, have a no objection certificate from your employer, and (if you're female) a no objection certificate from either your husband (if married) or your father (if single). You may only buy a set amount of liquor each month, based on the amount of money you make. Typically local liquor stores are expensive places - I bought a decent Gewurtztraminer (about the $20-25 range in Alberta, CA) at the local store for around $35 CAD.

Or.... if you don't want to bother with all that (I have a NOC from my husband as a condifition of my moving to Dubai, but haven't got the liquor license yet)... you can just drive an hour or so down the road to one of the nearby Emirates (Ras al Khaimah). There's you'll find the magnificent Barracuda or the equally majestic Al Hamra Cellars where no liquor license is required, no cap exists on the amount you can buy, there's liquor specials, and they throw in freebies at the till. We go there whenever the old cupboard is getting bare.

It's much cheaper there, especially when you look at the 3 for 2 or 5 for 4 deals (which is unheard of at home). I have to confess that I haven't concentrated very much on prices - just pay attention to what I know I like, but generally we get wine around the 30 - 50 dhs level, with some exceptions made for the good stuff. Bin 555, Penfolds, etc. would all fall into that range. Prices for hard liquor I would say are a bit less than home, though not exceptionally so. There are some discount brands (focused more towards your average labourer from the subcontinent), which you can get for as low as 4 - 6 dhs. The "whiskey" called Dimpy is not the best (at all, unless it was the last thing in the cupboard and you were desperate, or needed to disinfect something), however, the Kremlin vodka that I secured works fine in a mixed drink (will not be going into martinis... ever).

Next time I go I'll pay more attention to price comparisons... and I'll see just how much a bottle of Mateus cost as well ;>)

(Disclaimer - I tend to lose it a bit in the wine shop and just run around merrily with my shopping cart while my dear husband attempts to talk me down, sighs deeply, then pays.)

Jan 29, 2009
kali_MM in Not About Food

Rude guests bringing wine - should I have served it?

Thanks for the insight - perhaps I should have opened the Mateus after all. (Instead I made it into a passable sangria-ish beverage with lots of fresh citrus, pomegranate seeds, and other assorted goodies, which I enjoyed in my sunny backyard.)

I'm going to provide a bit more information - when I brought out the final Aussie red (the guests are Aussies), and explained my thoughts about the Mateus (it being too light for the meal) - everyone - including the wife - agreed. The "lady" in question went so far as to say "Well if you had the good stuff all along, why did you bring out the sh*t in the first place?", and quite happily had another few glasses. That comment (for me at least) took it from a bad attempt at a joke to somewhat boorish behaviour.

I guess my feelings were hurt - especially since I convinced my husband to invite them as he felt that the wife was somewhat tiresome and socially inept. I had argued differently (they were very nice people and just didn't get out much) and proceeded with the invite. Sigh, I should listen to the dear man more often.

I would make the effort to eat meals and share wines with only the people I like, but being new to Dubai, it's somewhat difficult to meet people with shared tastes (friendships here seem to often be superifical and social-climbing). For this event, we had invited some other friends who were unable to make it for the date and time, so we didn't have the mix that I was hoping for. Ah well - lesson learned.

Jan 29, 2009
kali_MM in Not About Food

Rude guests bringing wine - should I have served it?

I'm still brooding about this one, and am wondering if I reacted badly... what are your thoughts?

Some friends/accquaintances here (we generally walked our dogs together), decided to move back to Australia. They're generally nice people, though the wife is more than a little bit neurotic (She had a long running feud with her neighbour that involved many panicked phone calls to us and her husband, and from what I know - no communication with the neighbour besides mutual setting off of car alarms at unfriendly times. She also spent a great deal of time on her own as her husband travelled quite a bit for business, and made no effort to go anywhere by herself or really do anything aside from walk her poor dog into the ground at least three times a day). We invited them for a farewell dinner at our home.

The wife had seen our barbecue and mentioned that she would like her husband to buy her a proper grill rather than the cheap ones that she's had to make due with in the past. So, we decided that we would grill some steaks to show it off a bit. I bought an absolutely wonderful beef fillet to serve.

When they arrived, they brought some wine along with them - an Australian (Wyndham's Bin 555), and a bottle of Mateus Rose. (Now, maybe I'm being a bit of a snob here, but Mateus was always the "joke" wine, akin to Baby Duck that you drank when you were a teenager.) Since we were having steak, I decided to open the Shiraz, as I didn't feel that the Rose would really complement the beef all that well.

Supper went well (though the wife asked for her beautiful fillet to be well-done. I had jokingly said to my husband earlier that if anyone asked for well-done, they could have pasta. We're a blue rare/medium rare household). I sucked it up, butterflied her beautiful steak, and proceeded to make a baseball glove out of it. Once we were done with the Shiraz, I brought out another Australian red wine (cabernet-merlot - can't remember the winery), which was met with approval.

When that bottle was done, as we were still eating, I brought out an American zinfandel (I loves me some zin). Once the wife found out it was American and not Aussie, she took one sip, proceeded to make gagging noises, started to exclaim about how horrible it was, and asked me why I didn't serve the lovely Mateus. I went into the kitchen, opened a different bottle of Australian red, took her glass of American zin, and poured her a fresh glass. I also mentioned that I thought that the rose would be far too light after the heavier reds that we had been drinking. I poured a glass of the zinfandel for myself, at which point she remarked "Kali_MM, you'll be giving yourself a terrible headache the next day".

I kept my temper, reminded myself that we didn't need to see them again, and we finished out the evening. I've been wondering since - was my response appropriate? Should I have broken down and served the Mateus? I found the wife's reaction to be incredibly rude - should I have not bit my tongue and said something instead? What would you have done?

Jan 29, 2009
kali_MM in Not About Food

I finally set off the smoke detector!

Come to think of it, I haven't set off the smoke detector in the new home yet - must check to see if that thing's working. Of course, the ceilings are higher and there's airconditioning (with windows often open), so that probably makes a difference. On the other hand, building maintenance is not quite up to snuff here, so I'd best check.

The most exciting time I set the smoke detector off in my old townhouse in Canada was when it was about -25C outside, and I decided to make popcorn. I made fire for supper instead... I'd pulled out the popcorn pot, add oil, turned the electric burner up to Max, then decided to pop downstairs and find an old book I wanted to re-read.

I set the smoke detector off, the dog off, and the cats off. I managed to cover the pot (which had big flames coming out the top), then had to open EVERY window in the townhouse, including the sliding doors to the snow-covered patio, turn on all of the ceiling fans, and then stand at the top of the stairs, worshiping the smoke detector with a tea towel until it (and the dog, and the cats) finally stopped issuing their respective alarms.

Yes - the neighbours did come to check if things were all right, bless them. Then they laughed their butts off.

Jan 16, 2009
kali_MM in Not About Food

Question about Ginger Root

I've heard that the best way to store fresh ginger is by sticking it into the soil, whether outside, or a handy potted plant.

Can anyone corroborate this?

Jan 14, 2009
kali_MM in General Topics

What was your favourite childhood concoction, which you now think is disgusting?

Many scoops of Cadbury's hot chocolate mix, with a trickle of water, stirred to form a thick paste. Eaten slowly out a mug by dipping a spoon in, then licking the crystally glop off it.

Dec 29, 2008
kali_MM in General Topics

Healthy foods you crave

Wine. 8>)

Dec 29, 2008
kali_MM in General Topics

Expats and ex-expats, what are your experiences cooking overseas?

Another Dubai expat here - via Canada (me) and Scotland (my husband).

I've noticed some of the same things as you - we eat out more frequently, though we find the prices to be about the same as in Canada, if not more at times. Any restaurant that serves alcohol here will also likely serve pork - the two "haram" items seem to go hand in hand.

We've expolored quite a few different "western" grocery stores (incidentally, Spinney's is an Indian company, as is - more obviously - Choitram's), which are all more or less the same. Personally, given the HUGE carbon footprint that Dubai living entails, I tend to shudder at buying European fruit and veg, and mostly avoid it (which is easy when the mangos are ripe).

We've also done some more exploration of the local markets; yesterday we hit the fish market down at the port. It was wonderful - I finally got to ask the vendors what some of the vegetables were, got some wonderful fruit and local fish, and made most of them laugh at the pathetic amount of ginger and chilis that I bought. Prices were quite a bit cheaper than the supermarket (and that's even with no haggling done!).

Aside from eating a lot of the fresh and beautiful seafood, we've also had explorations in meat... I find myself making more stocks, since meat bones and offcuts are more readily available / displayed than in Canada, and when you buy a fish they will clean it to your preference and provide you with the head and bony bits for stock.

All in all, it's been a wonderful opportunity. I've been toying with the idea of a food blog detailing my culinary adventures in Dubai, especially since there's such a melting pot. I'm thinking of cooking my way through a "local" cookbook, then moving on to some nieghbouring cuisines. We shall see what happens!

Dec 22, 2008
kali_MM in General Topics

Parma Ham--Do You Eat the "White" Part?

My husband and I didn't do that with Bordeaux, but we certainly did with caviar, and I look forward to doing it with truffles as well...

Dec 22, 2008
kali_MM in General Topics

Rude to complain when a xmas party gets noisy at a restaurant?

Sorry for the threadjack, but what on earth is "Yankee Swap"?

Dec 18, 2008
kali_MM in Not About Food

Edmonton: Is Julio's Barrio WestEnd Closed?

Thanks for you advice!

Half my group is indian - the other half is chinese and pakistani. We're just sick of the new asian villiage, as we end up there at least once or twice a week... We'll probably end up at moxies or some place like that.

Dec 11, 2008
kali_MM in Prairie Provinces

Edmonton: Is Julio's Barrio WestEnd Closed?

I know that the food isn't all that wonderful, but my project team has been working their butts off and would like to go to the Julio's West End location to celebrate.

Does anyone know if it's still open? I hear some rumours that it's closed.

And - if it's closed, where else would you recommend on the West End that has some vegetarian options?

Dec 10, 2008
kali_MM in Prairie Provinces

New grill meets pork loin - how to introduce?

After receiving my new grill as a birthday present in May, waiting until July and then shipping it from Western Canada to Dubai unopened, then having my shipment delayed (without being informed) for two months, it's finally (FINALLY) here!!

It's set up, hooked up to the gas, and is ready to be christened. The special guest at the official christening (to happen tomorrow) is a skin-on pork loin weighing around 3lbs (I think - my husband picked it up and I haven't checked the weight myself).

I want to do this right... so - who else should be invited to the party? Please help me plan my grill christening meal!

Should I marinade or rub? What's your recipe for killer grilled pork loin? What are your suggestions for sides?

My grill (Weber Summit Series) has a smoker attachment and a rotisserie. I am planning on using some hickory chips for smoke flavour, but I'm not sure whether I should put the loin on the rotisserie, or just on the grill itself.

I'm hoping for some real deliciousness here - I want to start with the grill as I mean to go on. Your wisdom is appreciated!!

Nov 14, 2008
kali_MM in Home Cooking

The truth about pork rinds ... scratchings, chicharron, etc

I've always enjoyed the occassional pork rind out of the bag, and recall my father making what he called "piggy puffs" out of fresh pork skin. However, they were never my go-to snack.

Now that I've moved to a Muslim country (we are not Muslim), I find that I'm almost always picking up a bag or two (or three) of Filipino-made chicharonnes whenever I'm in a supermarket that has a Halal section (or as my husband and I call it - "The Forbidden Pork Section"). I guess I'm getting a perverse satisfaction not only from buying the delicious pig, but from buying (and eating with enjoyment) what some might consider one of the less main-stream forbidden pork offerings.

Should I feel shame? Or should I start expanding my repetoire of recipes for the odd bits of a pig?

Nov 13, 2008
kali_MM in General Topics

Wedding Caterer - Edmonton

Hmm... I have to admit that I was the bride at the wedding, there was Scotch in the church (my dad was in a kilt and had a hip flask, which we polished off before he gave me away), wine while we were all getting ready for the wedding, and champagne on the way over to the reception. Plus, the wedding was attended by a mixture of Scots-Irish-German-Russian family members and friend who were ready to PARTY.

So, I guess, the wedding was great, the party fantastic, we had food, and Elizabethan catered it. I recall (maybe) that the hip of bison was a bit dry, so if you go with them, don't order it.

Sep 27, 2008
kali_MM in Prairie Provinces

Home meal deliveries in Edmonton?

Check out the and Both of these places either allow you to come in and make up your own meals (to pop in the freezer, then the oven later), or for an additional fee, will do the meals for you, and have them ready for pickup. They may also deliver.

Dinner Factory is in St. Albert, Servings is in Stony Plain, but I suspect that Edmonton has an equivalent service. I tried both, and favour the Dinner Factory, as they have better ingredients (i.e. fresh parmesan rather than the green can, kaffir lime leaves, etc), and better cooking instructions. Menus are available online.

Wedding Caterer - Edmonton

We used Elizabethan Catering for our wedding and were very happy with them.

Sep 26, 2008
kali_MM in Prairie Provinces

Airport food

I have a relatively long lay over in Schipol coming up - would love some recommendations there. Last time I went through I ended up heading through customs and eating breakfast at one of the airport hotels (after the tourist people told me that having four hours starting at 7:00am on a Saturday morning would not result in quality tourist time in Amsterdam)... it was good food, but I'm not sure I want to bother with customs this time. I'll be in later during the day, and I noticed that the customs line was MUCH longer then. So - in airport food recommendations would be great.

Sep 15, 2008
kali_MM in General Topics

What do YOU keep at all times in case you want "that snack"?

Smoked oysters and crackers
Popcorn, parmesan cheese, butter, seasoning salt, & granulated garlic
Soft "stinky" cheese (gorgonzola, bresse blue, cambozola, or something equivalent)

Sep 13, 2008
kali_MM in General Topics

Does anyone still eat crabapples?

Room temperature.

Sep 12, 2008
kali_MM in General Topics

Does anyone still eat crabapples?

Turning it over every day solves this issue. The crabapples themselves release a lot of juice over time as well, so the liquid in the jar increases.

Sep 11, 2008
kali_MM in General Topics

Nabulsi Cheese - how to use?

I bought some nabulsi cheese at the supermarket the other day to see what it's like. While I like the flavour, it is INCREDIBLY salty. (It's a white, brined cheese, kind of like feta).

I'm now looking for some suggestions on what to do with it; it needs some other ingredients to tone it down. I'd be interested in both traditional and non-traditional uses. Thanks in advance for your suggestions!

Sep 10, 2008
kali_MM in Cheese