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pastina's Profile

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What's The Oldest Thing You Cook In/With?

I love old cookware and have many old things, but the one thing I use regularly for which there is no "newer" version in my kitchen is my grandmother's pizzelle iron. It's about 90 year's old.

Jul 02, 2011
pastina in Cookware

Green non-stick cookware or something to use for eggs? Help!

I recently bought two Bialetti Ceramica Aeturnum and I have never been so enamoured of a frying pan in 40 years of cooking. White ceramic with a red exterior. Both interior and exterior are non-stick. Comfy silicone handle. You can fry/scramble eggs with no fat. Absolutely none.

Feb 26, 2011
pastina in Cookware

Slow cooker beef stew question

My best recipe includes some minced sundried tomato to add richness to the broth. I brown the meat before starting and thicken at the very end with a beurre manié (turn up the slow cooker to high, knead a tbsp of unsalted butter with a tbsp of flour and drop it in the slow cooker to melt).

Feb 26, 2011
pastina in Home Cooking

How do you Okra?

My favourite is a stew with lamb in a tomato broth with lots of garlic. Pour over basmati rice and squeeze a lemon wedge over it. Taught to me by a roomate from Kurdistan.

Feb 25, 2011
pastina in Home Cooking

Good rotisserie chicken in downtown Toronto?

Sardinha O Rei Dos Frangos is at Bloor and Delaware. The chicken is pretty good and I have a soft spot for them because I order about 50 chickens a couple of times a year to feed very poor people and they always give me a great price and deliver them east of Yonge for free. Nice people.

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Sardinha
942 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M6H1L4, CA

Feb 22, 2011
pastina in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Looking for Schneider's "Oh Naturel" Chick'n Nuggets

Fiesta Farms doesn't have them. I just looked for them yesterday when I was there. I bought them a few weeks ago at the Sobey's on the Queensway (the first one you pass travelling west). I have also bought them at the No Frills at Lansdowne and Dundas. Schneiders also makes a breaded "chicken" patty identical to the nuggets, but in a burger shape. Those are really hard to find.

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Fiesta Farms
200 Christie St, Toronto, ON M6G, CA

Feb 15, 2011
pastina in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

ISO: The Best Panettone in T.O.

I buy Tre Marie. Or Portuguese sweet bread (usually from Caldense) which is much better than crappy panettone. I make it once in a while when I'm in the mood.

Feb 07, 2011
pastina in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

New Pickles? Are they only in NYC?

I just bought some at Starsky's last Saturday. Delish.

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Starsky's
2040 Dundas St E, Mississauga, ON L4X, CA

Feb 07, 2011
pastina in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

PEPSI Throwback- have you seen it?

I saw it yesterday in the 7-11 at Dundas and Dovercourt.

Feb 01, 2011
pastina in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Awesome Non Toxic (Ceramic) Fry Pans !

Well, I went to Zellers on Friday and bought one even though the sale was over because of the great reviews and because it is urgent that I replace my current worn out pan.

I washed the pan and rubbed it lightly with a thin coating of olive oil. I cooked and it worked perfectly.

Thanks for the tip!

Jan 30, 2011
pastina in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Making artisan pizza dough (split from Ontario board)

Yes...I was going to fool around a bit with my pizza dough recipe and my oven...since you're asking.

I grew up in a pizzeria (literally...my crib was against the wall behind the pizza oven). I've been tinkering forvever...not to dash your hopes...but....it was 10 cents a slice when I first stuck my hands in flour.

I will call Lady York. Reports say they don't have it but I will double check.

Dec 28, 2010
pastina in Home Cooking

ISO PANEANGELI Lievito Di Birra Mastro Fornaio

Has anyone seen it? Preferably south of Eglinton.

Dec 26, 2010
pastina in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Ancient but good - what's your long standing favourite?

Soy Sauce Chicken on Rice with a side of Snow Pea Leaf when available (extra garlic). Me and KJY since 1989.

Dec 19, 2010
pastina in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Eden Beans

I've bought them at Fiesta Farms along with all those other bean combinations that Eden makes. Sometimes they have them on special 5 for $10. FWIW, I don't eat them, but my partner says the rice/bean combos are terrible.

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Fiesta Farms
200 Christie St, Toronto, ON M6G, CA

Dec 13, 2010
pastina in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Favourite downtown Sandwich?

Before there was Metro, there was a woman working at the Dominion at Yonge and Eglinton who made the best Italian style sandwiches. Just like my mom made for my lunch when I was a kid. Combinations of salami, mortadella, capicollo, provolone <sigh>...I have occcasion to be there once a week and would stop every time to get one to take back to my office for lunch. Sadly, since the Metro thing, she is now reduced to following a formula and she's been reined in as far as her delicious combinations. We have commiserated over this together.

She still makes the sandwiches on the ciabatta that are behind the glass. They don't come pre-packaged from the Metro "factory". I am so crazy about her magical sandwich powers, that even though I don't shop at Metro, I have sought out their sandwich counters and tried several of the same sandwiches at other locations. Nothing compares to my sandwich senora at the other Metros. Some, I would say, are inedible.

Dec 07, 2010
pastina in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Runner looking for tasty (whey) protein powder - ideas?

At one time I used a lot of protein powder and I used to stick to the Vanilla - usually Whey Gourmet. That way I didn't have to fill up my pantry with those huge containers and I could vary the flavours easily using different fruits...berries, but also pineapple, tangerines, etc. My sister is into throwing a banana and a spoon of peanut butter in (don't eat banana myself). If you're not trying to keep the carbs low, you can use juices in addition to the fruit and a spoon of yogurt instead of milk.

I always found that drinkking it just on it's own was gross. And the flavoured ones never really tasted that great to me.

Nov 29, 2010
pastina in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Le Creuset at Home Sense & Winners

Sorry. It was a bit of a blur. I think I looked at one large, red round oven (maybe around 5qts) and it was $169. If you go, make sure you go to the end of the aisle, where they put the clearance stuff. That's where they are (or were on Sunday). You won't see them unless you go to the back.

Nov 15, 2010
pastina in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Le Creuset at Home Sense & Winners

I just got back from Winners at Dufferin Mall. There were about 20 pieces in red, blue and yellow at the end of the row where the pots are, toward the back of the store.

Nov 14, 2010
pastina in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Amazing Mexican Joints in Ontario?

I found MexiCanada completely by accident while lost around Bradford one day and I would recommend it. I haven't travelled extensively in Mexico, but I have been to Tijuana and eaten with people who live there. I'm not big on beans, but I loved them at MexiCanada.

Nov 04, 2010
pastina in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Loblaws I hardly know you....

Thanks. I am a regular Fiesta Farmer. About once a year, though....I am inexplicably drawn...

Oct 30, 2010
pastina in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Loblaws I hardly know you....

I am developing a full fledged obsession with the Loblaws at Christie and Dupont. I had some kind of hassle there that made me angry once (I can't even remember what it was) and boycotted. After a year, I decided to give it another chance. I had brought my own bags and it was before they redesigned the checkouts. I am on the other side of middle age, and five feet tall. The counters were quite high because the cashiers stood on a platform and there was no room for self bagging. The cashier whipped through my order, watching me struggle to pack my items while they fell all over the place. She kept turning around to toss the items in a pile and could see I was struggling to reach into the bags. I asked her to slow down for a second. She didn't. So I stopped her from totalling off my order and said I didn't want any of the groceries and that I was leaving. "You can't do that." "Oh, yeah?" And I left while she pleaded for a manager over the intercom.

About a year after that, I went in again thinking that the passage of time, different glasses and a new hairstyle would disguise my bad old self. Now the bag tax had passed and I figured they would be more helpful to people bringing their own bags. After all, this isn't a discount grocery store. They had redesigned the checkouts and I was hopeful. The guy in front of me bought plastic bags (for shame) and the cashier packed all of his groceries. I got the same treatment as last time, although it was easier to manage with the new counters. So I went to customer service and asked , "What's the deal? How do you determine who gets service and who doesn't?" I started off nicely. The customer service person was very cranky. The conversation went south. Quickly. There was no yelling. No tantrum. But the customer service person just didn't want to deal with me, so he asked me to leave. Can you believe it? Me? Gramma-esque type being kicked out of a grocery store? Having led an exceptionally delinquent and wild life in my younger days, my first thought was to trash the little coffee shop they have near the exit. Or at least do a smash up of the wine store. But I am somewhat in the public eye due to my work, so I left quietly.

Having cursed the location sufficiently with every drive by for about another year, I found myself there two weeks ago. I decided to use the self serve checkout to avoid the bagging issue. At least the expectation of a "self serve" was a given. Everything was going fine until I tried to scan my 50% off sour cream. It had a special sticker. All the sour cream did. And I was supposed to summon the cashier according to the screen. Which I did. And she shouted, not moving from her spot "make sure the bag is on the thing." "But it's not the bag, I have a discount sticker". She left her post to help someone else and I continued to check out my items, putting my sour cream aside. And then she helped another person. So I waved at her and smiled. And then she shouted something about the bags again. And then a well meaning young woman came from the growing line behind me to explain to me how to scan an item and how the "computer" works. All the while the screen clearly says "Please wait for assistance" when I scan my sour cream. So despite the assumption that I am old and therefore some kind of dotty, luddite pain-in-the-arse that shouldn't be trying these newfangled things, I cancel my last entry, rip off the sticker and pay regular price for my sour cream just to get out of there. I slowed down as I passed the Customer Service desk, deciding whether or not to stop for a chat. But there was a gaggle of staff there sharing a very loud conversation with the customer service person about how "f-ing rude and f-ing ignorant" their boss was, ignoring me as I stood and waited. So I left vowing never to return. But I know I will.

My sister tells me that my 87-year-old aunt got the boot from Sobeys recently for badgering the manager about high prices. Be forewarned Loblaws. I have a legacy to uphold.

Oct 30, 2010
pastina in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Where can I buy COOKED meat / poultry in bulk?

Costco usually has cooked chicken breasts, cut up and ready to toss into a salad. They come in a package of two containers attached to each other and each container has about 2lbs. of meat. I either paid $9 or $14. I can't remember. I bought them once at the Etobicoke location.

Oct 30, 2010
pastina in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Where to go for food I can't make at home

Thanks for this post. I'm in a similar situation.

South Indian Dosa Mahal. Eat in (extreme pink colour scheme) or just grab a bag of samosa or spinach pakora. 10 for $3!!!!

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South Indian Dosa Mahal Restaurant
1284 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M6H1N8, CA

Aug 01, 2010
pastina in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Barriada Churrascaria - Discusting -Can anyone suggest a nearby alternative?

I live at the epicentre of Little Portugal. And honestly, I have not found one place that consistently has decent food. It's always hit and miss around here.

The first time I ate Portuguese chicken was in a little restaurant on Commercial Drive in Vancouver around...1982...maybe. I started going every Sunday and the chicken was beautiful. There were jars of sauce on the table with paint brushes in them, mild and hot.

Perhaps I'm nostalgic, but I haven't found anything in Toronto to compare. I haven't given up.

Aug 01, 2010
pastina in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Caplansky's - You have got to be kidding me!

I agree. And furthermore...

I don't get the outrage about the price. Considering some of the crap that passes for food in this city...why...a person oughtta be ashamed, as Dorothy once said.

A smoked turkey sandwich and an order of fries is 12 bucks. I just checked the lunch menu at Milestones and a smoked turkey sandwich that comes with "curly fries or garden salad" is 12.99.

I will wager that whatever comes out of Caplansky's kitchen is closer to what is commonly known as "food" in it's natural state than that which is exiting the kitchen at Milestone's. Too salty, too smokey, to fatty...whatever. Don't go if the food isn't to your taste. Same thing if you feel the service is poor. But truly, it's not fair to say that the prices are too high. It's a labour intensive process that requires quality ingredients.

Jul 31, 2010
pastina in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Buca - Review

It is the custom where my family is from in Italy to eat polenta from a wooden board. In fact, we had a board that covered the dining room table at my Nonna's house that was reserved only for this purpose. The polenta is poured out into the middle of the board and then divided among the people at the table and eaten off the board.

I imagine that`s the rationale behind the board. Although, I think that it would make me a bit wistful so I`ll avoid it on my planned visit.

Jul 28, 2010
pastina in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

key lime juice in Toronto?

I buy fresh key limes at Fiesta Farms.

Jul 21, 2010
pastina in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Best dosas?

Another fan of South India Dosa Mahal.

Jul 21, 2010
pastina in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Red Fife Flour in Toronto?

I bought CIPM's Red Fife recently at Grain, Curd and Bean, 1414 Dundas West. I've also seen it at the market at Wychwood Barns.

Jul 16, 2010
pastina in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

there must be one good restaurant in Niagara Falls!?

I had a pretty good meal at GURU. And the service was very attentive.

Jun 20, 2010
pastina in Ontario (inc. Toronto)