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Le Paradis on Bedford

Not that this is appropriate to a thread on Le Paradis but we tried Pardon My French on Friday night and it was one of the most disappointing meals I've ever paid for. I really, really, really wanted to like it because I want enterprises like that to survive in central/east Hamilton, but honestly, it was not good. Hopefully, it was just an off night for them.

Jun 11, 2007
WineWidow in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Favourite Niagara wineries to visit?

I agree with everyone on this thread and just want to add a suggestion to lunch at Henry of Pelham, if it's a nice day. I had lunch a handful of times there last summer, I think the restaurant is called the Coach House or something, anyway it never disappointed, the menu is super simple and the food is very very very fresh and rather well paired with their wines.

Jun 11, 2007
WineWidow in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Best Ginger Ale?

Second on the Vernors.

Apr 04, 2007
WineWidow in General Topics

Curing salts in Hamilton?

On the southeast corner of Queenston Road and Centennial Parkway (almost at the corner, actually, beside the gas station), there's a fabulous food store called...well, I don't know what the business is actually called but my mother calls it the "Punjabi Market", anyway, they've got everything and I bet they'd have salts for you.

Apr 02, 2007
WineWidow in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

What accompanies pork tenderloin w/ prune sauce?

Spaetzle!

Mar 07, 2007
WineWidow in Home Cooking

Balsamic reduction

A friend of mine once asked a chef how he got his reduction so nice and sweet/tart/syrupy and the chef revealed that he often added a little coca cola...

Mar 02, 2007
WineWidow in Home Cooking

Frozen Tilapia tastes earthy

I am so glad to hear that other people taste mud in tilapia too, because most people look at me like I'm crazy when I tell them this. I've found it in the fish I buy to prepare at home, and in restaurants, so I've just stopped eating it altogether. Tilapia, like beets, are part of the Tastes Like Basement category of foods for me.

Feb 27, 2007
WineWidow in Home Cooking

Retro hors d'oeuvres

do you mean rumaki? isn't that some sort of chicken liver/chestnut/bacon thing?

Another idea is this recipe in the big yellow gourmet cookbook for whole green olives (like the juicy big ones with the pimento) baked in a cheesy dough that are awesome and tres retro (to me at least).

Feb 27, 2007
WineWidow in Home Cooking

London, Ont: Dinner rec's

I have eaten at:

The Tasting Room (www.thetastingroom.ca), quite delicious but very loud, the wine bar was party central the night we were there.

Black Trumpet, also quite delicious (order two appetizers and you're full) and quieter than the Tasting Room.

Both are on Richmond up near the theatre.

Feb 27, 2007
WineWidow in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Using up good cheese-brie in mac n cheese?

I do it all the time and it makes the best mac & cheese. We always have odds and ends of different cheeses in the fridge so I just combine them and use instead of the cheddar I'd regularly use in a cheese sauce. I have used knob ends of brie, but always in combination with other cheeses like the gruyere you mentioned, or something else a bit more austere. Also, I never use cream to make mac & cheese, so I wouldn't have to cut it out, but if you're used to using cream then you might rethink and use milk to build your sauce, if brie is going to take a starring role in your cheesy goodness.

Feb 26, 2007
WineWidow in Home Cooking

newlywed would love some of your tried and trues

He has his detractors, but I love love love all of Nigel Slater's cookbooks. Got a copy of "Appetite" shortly after we got married and then rather quickly bought the rest of his books. Lots of appealing common sense recipes and ideas.

I also like the big yellow Gourmet cookbook that came out a couple of years ago, it's got a nice variety of stuff.

The other cookbook I use an awful lot is a 1947 edition of the Good Housekeeping Cookbook because, despite my mother being rather proper, I somehow never really learned the niceties of setting a table, etc. and the Good Housekeeping book has tons of that kind of information.

Feb 23, 2007
WineWidow in Home Cooking

Quick Weeknight Meals

here's my three fastest dishes:

black beans and rice (20 mins)
~ while the rice is cooking, saute some onion, garlic and peppers, add can of black beans, smoked paprika, cumin, dash of vinegar, hot sauce, whatever else takes your fancy, cook on medium until rice is done. Layer on top of rice, add some grated cheese if you like, and eat.

salmon and salad (15 mins)
~place frozen salmon fillet on baking tray, on a bit of parchment paper, dress with a bit of balsamic and oil, salt and pepper, whatever you like, shove in oven at 350 to 400 and in about 15 minutes you'll have some lovely fish. Serve with (or in my case, ON) salad

quick tomato sauce (15 minutes)
~while the pasta cooks, saute onion and garlic, add can of chopped plum tomatoes, some salt & pepper, herbes de provence or whatever herbs you like, black olives, maybe a tiny bit of sugar if the tomatoes are too tart, cook on medium until pasta's done and then, at the last moment, drop some chunks of chevre or similar in, swirl once and then serve on the pasta.

Feb 23, 2007
WineWidow in Home Cooking

What's your "bedtime snack"?

Used to be ice cream, preferably HD's dulce et lece. This is why I'm about 100lbs overweight. Nowadays, I try not to have the bedtime snack but if I must, the snack of choice is all natural peanut butter on rykrisp or similar high fibre cracker and a glass of milk.

Feb 23, 2007
WineWidow in General Topics

Toronto Biscuits and Gravy

Good question, I'm curious to see if anyone knows of a sausage gravy purveyor in the GTA because I've never found one and damn but I love biscuits and sausage gravy!

Feb 23, 2007
WineWidow in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

1 Lunch in Napa

Tra Vigne -- of course, I haven't been since August 2003 so I don't know what it's like now, but we had a most memorable lunch there, I've never forgotten the pasta with braised rabbit or the spectacular Phelps cab(s) we drank.

Feb 23, 2007
WineWidow in San Francisco Bay Area

Breakfast near Exhibition Place?

Old York Tavern on Niagara is v. close, have had great eggs benny there, not sure how early they're open though.

Feb 22, 2007
WineWidow in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

The perfect Foodie Wedding--what would you do?

We had a lovely lovely lovely backyard summer wedding and my mother catered the whole thing. We had long narrow tables (I hate rounds!) and served the meal family style, and everything was basically cold or room temp. Roast pork, lots of salads, terrines, paté, some salmon, that kind of thing. As neither my husband or I ate anything, I have no idea whether it worked or not. I got feedback from one friend that it was the greatest thing ever the best wedding meal he'd ever had, and feedback from another that she'd had much better food at my mother's table before and was kind of disappointed. You can't please everyone!

I do remember the spectacular sweet table and groaning cheeseboard though. We didn't have a proper wedding cake, but instead had about 22 different cakes and desserts (again, all homemade) and my sister-in-law and her (then) husband brought an INCREDIBLE array of cheeses -- the slab of Stinking Bishop perfumed the garden for days!

Feb 13, 2007
WineWidow in General Topics

What foods would we find in your workspace???

I just finished my last bag of almonds/apricots/raisins/cashews! Must stock up the desk!

Feb 09, 2007
WineWidow in General Topics

types of cheese for quiche

I think you're fine to substitute whatever cheese you like in the quiche -- if you think it will go with sundried tomatoes, use it!

Feb 09, 2007
WineWidow in Home Cooking

Hamilton hounds -- have you tried either of these?

thanks for the heads up about the review, I missed it in the Spec! Will check it out this weekend and report back.

Feb 09, 2007
WineWidow in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Hamilton hounds -- have you tried either of these?

Hi all -- first, has anyone tried a new place called Pardon My French across from Gage Park on Main? Little wee bistro type place, looks v. cozy and inviting as I drive by.

Secondly, I was on James north today and passed a place called Mexi-Cana, which had something about "tortilla king" in the window (traffic moving fairly quickly so I didn't really get a chance to see if that was just a sign for a brand of tortilla or what) -- anyone been in? good? bad? scary?

Thanks!

WW

Feb 08, 2007
WineWidow in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

What do you have the most difficulty cooking?

anna olson has a recipe for chewy chocolate chip cookies in one of her books and her chewy secret is to add cornstarch to the recipe (http://www.foodtv.ca/recipes/recipede...).

A friend of mine made them and was delighted with the chewy texture...wonder if that would work in oatmeal cookies?

Feb 06, 2007
WineWidow in Home Cooking

What do you have the most difficulty cooking?

I think you are absolutely right -- I baked some haddock in the oven the other night and instead of hemming and hawing about whether it was done, I just took it out when my first instinct said "it must be done by now". It was perfectly cooked, flakey, moist, flavourful. I was so proud. Then my husband said he didn't like it.

sigh.

Feb 06, 2007
WineWidow in Home Cooking

Do you like to cook?

I loooooooove cooking and baking (with the exception of rolled out cookies, I HATE doing that), I love being in the kitchen, I love cooking for me, I love cooking for an audience, I love it all and will love it even more when our new kitchen is built this spring!

Feb 06, 2007
WineWidow in General Topics

Black & White Cookie Recipe

this Marions Kochbuch recipe looks about right (although I'd use butter instead of margarine), check it out at http://www.marions-kochbuch.com/recip...

Feb 06, 2007
WineWidow in Home Cooking

Black & White Cookie Recipe

I have a great recipe for them, but it's at home. It's in my Dr. Oetker baking book, and they're called "amerikaners". Will try to remember to post the recipe tonight or tomorrow.

Feb 06, 2007
WineWidow in Home Cooking

Baja Style Fish Tacos

Damn I love fish tacos! Wish I had a "disca" to fry the fish in!

Feb 01, 2007
WineWidow in Home Cooking

What do you have the most difficulty cooking?

You know, I didn't want to admit to the fish issue after revealing my rice and potato issue, but i'm kind of with you on the fish. I cook a mean salmon fillet, perfectly seared, beautifully done every time, but give me any other fish and I will screw it up 9 times out of 10. And, even when it is edible (my best bet is to cook it in the oven), it's never as good as when someone else makes it for me.

So, for all the people who have problems with pie crust, hows about a trade -- I'll take care of your pie needs if you will come and cook fish for me!

Jan 31, 2007
WineWidow in Home Cooking

What do you have the most difficulty cooking?

Third on the rice -- my mother is appalled, "how can you not be able to cook rice", she says, voice rising with incredulity, "your father can cook rice for God's sake!" and you can add potatoes to the list too. I'll poke them and think they're done and then when you bite into them they're still undercooked in the middle.

It's so frustrating that these two simple starches, of all bloody things, are my nemesis!

Jan 31, 2007
WineWidow in Home Cooking

Healthy baking options

I just tried substituting unsweetened applesauce for the fat in an oatmeal quick loaf recipe with great success so definitely give that a shot! I don't know how it works, or if it works in every recipe, but for your basic muffin or quickbread, it seems to be okay.

Jan 30, 2007
WineWidow in Home Cooking