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HouseSparrow's Profile

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Looking for a cookbook recommendation: topic = SOUPS!


I hope this is the right place to ask. I'm looking to buy a cookbook for my mom for Xmas that specializes in soup. We tend to like healthy, vegetable-y soups, but are not restricted to that. We eat meat but in moderation. Only thing I wouldn't want too much of in the book are weird/esoteric ingredients you'd have to go to a specialty store to get. Stuff that can be found in most bigger grocery stores is fine.

I would appreciate any suggestions. Thanks!

Dec 19, 2013
HouseSparrow in Home Cooking

Looking for either a caterer or a private chef in Ottawa

Hi there, I would suggest asking your question on the forum at
Ottawans aren't very active on this board, I've found, probably because we're lumped in to the same board as Toronto, so it gets to be a lot to trudge through.
I can recommend some great Ottawa restaurants, but unfortunately don't have any knowledge on the private home chef front.
Good luck! Hope you find someone up to the task and enjoy the city.

How do you watch your figure?

Bulimia. I wish I was kidding.

Oct 29, 2013
HouseSparrow in General Topics

Best Noodles in Ottawa?

Go to Huang's Bistro, for the spicy beef noodle satay soup. You'll thank me later :)

The Very Best Egg Sandwich

This video of Thomas Keller's rendition for the movie "Spanglish" seems pretty optimal to me:

Oct 07, 2013
HouseSparrow in Home Cooking


Hey, on the bright side, now CHOW has more room to post videos on how to make peanut butter and jam sandwiches and how to set fire to your dorm room.

Slow clap, CHOW, brilliant.

Sep 04, 2013
HouseSparrow in Site Talk

The Basics: How to Make Shrimp Scampi

Oh come on... ONE clove of garlic?? I would use something closer to one HEAD of garlic. Other than that, solid technique.

May 02, 2013
HouseSparrow in Features

Campfire Couscous Salad with Bell Peppers and Mint

Sounds like a healthy, tasty recipe! But I do have to question what the hell the photographer was thinking when he/she chose to take a crotch-shot of someone eating... yikes!

May 02, 2013
HouseSparrow in Recipes

Open-Faced Toasted Tomato Sandwich

So... I'm guessing by your "recipe," new moms are retarded?

Apr 22, 2013
HouseSparrow in Recipes

What to do with 2 lbs of Fresh Shitake?

I'd make Alton Brown's mushroom stroganoff. In the original he uses Portobellos, but I've done the same thing with Shiitakes (and added even more of them ~ around 2 lbs.). Proceed exactly the same with the directions and it's so, so meaty-mushroomy.

Mar 31, 2013
HouseSparrow in Home Cooking

Rajas Quesadillas

Whoa. That's practically a pound of cheese in three quesadillas. I guess they can't not be good!

Mar 06, 2013
HouseSparrow in Recipes

Egg Salad

Lavery and Wisniewsky: in my opinion the best chow people online. Please keep it up. Especially the videos!

Mar 01, 2013
HouseSparrow in Recipes

Need Sides for Chili Lime Shrimp!

Perhaps the wrong time of year, but I would consider serving it with gazpacho.

Feb 21, 2013
HouseSparrow in Home Cooking

Haggis, Scotch, and Lusty Verse: Burns Night by the Bay

For those of us not in one of these cities, how about a Chow haggis recipe? That would be great to try!

Jan 14, 2013
HouseSparrow in Features

Restaurant practices you'd like to see become more common

Let me pepper my own damn food!

Dec 26, 2012
HouseSparrow in Not About Food


I like to add kimchi.
And onion is a big one for me. Sometimes it's just all onion instead of the tomato (esp. when they're out of season and all mealy).

Dec 16, 2012
HouseSparrow in General Topics

Tamar Adler Is Appalled by Anthony Bourdain

I am not clear on what the point of this writing piece was. All you seem to be doing is commenting on a subjective opinion of a more-or-less popular food personality. While I'm sure many people agree with you (myself included), why simply refute somebody else's opinion of someone else? If you grow some writing testicles and unleash your own direct opinion of Bourdain, perhaps your essay would not be lost between a dishcloth and a trivet.

Oct 31, 2012
HouseSparrow in Features

What Foods Do You Hate/Dislike that Most Hounds Probably Love?

Straight honey. Unless it's hidden, used as a sweetener in recipes, even just the smell makes me recoil in disgust.

May 18, 2012
HouseSparrow in General Topics

Herbed Avocado Spread

Perfect use for beautifully rich avocado. I'm a garlic freak so I also throw in several crushed cloves (depending on whether I have a date that evening).

May 18, 2012
HouseSparrow in Recipes

Patty Melt

What if you used half butter, half mayonnaise on the bread? Best of worlds, non?

May 18, 2012
HouseSparrow in Recipes

Vietnamese Dipping Sauce

Add two tablespoons of water to this recipe and now you're on to something (and the garlic would only help too!).

Mar 13, 2012
HouseSparrow in Recipes

Tangy Soy Dipping Sauce

Love the idea of adding chile oil. Gives it an extra dimension, not to mention better mouthfeel.

I would tweak this by using lower-sodium soya sauce, adding fish sauce and upping the sugar a bit.

Mar 13, 2012
HouseSparrow in Recipes

I could just live on ______

Noodles (Pasta, pho, Asian style...)
Chocolate milk
My mom's tuna sandwiches
Fresh tropical fruit juices/smoothies
Thai curries

Feb 24, 2012
HouseSparrow in General Topics

Best Thing You Ever Ate - Toronto

Not from TO (Ottawa) but I travel there semi-often, and the first thing that comes to mind for me when I think of Toronto is the unforgettable curry at The Host resto in the Yorkville area. Amazing. Puts any Indian resto we have here to shame.