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bigos70's Profile

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Blue Sky Supermarket

Thanks for the info! I drive by often when going to visit family in Oshawa, and have always wondered if it was worth stopping.

Butler's Pantry/International Comfort Food

That was the first Bulgogi I ever had, and I've never had one since that I liked as much. I would love the recipe too!

The Costco Thread - Ontario - 2014 - April to June

Has anyone seen the Que Pasa tortilla chips lately? (In the paper bag). Billy Bishop didn't have them a few weeks ago, and a family member didn't see them in Oshawa recently either. Que Pasa sells their tortilla chips in some grocery stores, but they are not the same - different texture, more like other grocery store brands. Costco has been selling these for years, I hope they are still available!

Cross-Border Grocery Shopping

OMG - Trader Joe's in Buffalo - I think I might faint! Seriously, I'm in shock. I have been to many on trips to the US, but that is not very frequent. This changes everything...

Vital Wheat Gluten - differences?

Does the flavor of gluten flour differ from brand to brand? In the past few months I have tried a few recipes using wheat gluten flour, but the final product had a certain strange and overpowering taste that I could not get my head around. (One was a chickpea cutlet from Veganomicon, another was a red lentil "sausage" from Big Vegan). Neither recipe actually had a large amount of the gluten flour even, probably about 1/2 cup.

Dec 11, 2012
bigos70 in Vegetarian & Vegan

Measuring Spoons - are there any on the market that aren't pure Chinese junk?

I own the Cuisipro set mentioned above, and wholeheartedly agree they are the best - hands down. The dry measuring cups they make are also amazing - great oblong shape, handles are the perfect length, and super sturdy (old ones I had would bend when scooping packed brown sugar). They aren't cheap, but I'm sure these will last me forever.

Mar 23, 2012
bigos70 in Cookware

Spice strategy?

I have come up with a system that I'm quite happy with. First I started out with a narrow drawer devoted to spices - just so happened that standard spice jars fit perfectly standing up. (Frankly, those spice inserts where the bottles are angled severely limit the number of bottles one can fit). It was a great solution, but my spice assortment grew and I wanted to figure out how to fit a larger variety in the same amount of space. My theory was that certain spices are used in such small quantities or somewhat infrequently that having a "standard" size bottle of it is wasting space. So, what I yearned for was a super skinny jar that was the same height as the larger bottles. I found them at a science store - glass vials with lids. Bingo - they were perfect. Then I created new labels, colour coded for different groupings. Chili/pepper based, mixtures/blends, herbs, seeds, etc. I do have any overflow stored elsewhere, and refill as needed.

A picture is worth a thousand words.....

Oct 02, 2011
bigos70 in Cookware

Where can I buy Pure Maple Extract & other extracts in Toronto? (GTA area)

I wish I could help you, and I am ALWAYS on the lookout for good flavour extracts - I may order some from Cooks Vanilla myself. A few years ago I bought a good collection of extracts from Super Target in the US (they looked at me strangely at the airport when they pulled 10 or so bottles of extracts out of my carry on). I used up all of the Maple and the Raspberry in my homemade yogurt, and have not since found another Raspberry anywhere locally. And I have not seen the Raspberry at Super Target since, so I suspect they don't make it anymore. In and around Toronto I only see the usual suspect flavours, even in Williams Sonoma, Mcewans, Pusateris etc.

1539 Avenue Rd, Toronto, ON M5M, CA

Stoneys in Oakville?

I love, love, love Stoney's! I have been going there since it opened, as my sister lives close by. She can easily lure me to visit her by dangling the Stoney's carrot! I've actually only had the pizza once, and not that it wasn't good, but I can't pass up their sandwiches - the best ever! Our fave is probably the braised lamb and the alsacian chicken sandwich. I haven't been for months - must go soon!

Capitol Event Theatre (Yonge and Eglington) -Service horrible, Food a Rip Off. Beware!!!!

What a terrible story - I'm sorry to hear of your horrible experience. I am surprised though, as I went to a company Christmas party there 2 years ago and was very impressed. Not only was the space beautiful, the food was top-notch. We commented on how good it was considering they were feeding 300 people or so. I was disappointed when it wasn't there last year, but apparently only because they couldn't accommodate the larger number of people required.

Where to get frozen pearl onions?

No sorry I don't remember the brand name, but it was on the top shelf near the frozen spinach at the location I was at.

Where to get frozen pearl onions?

I bought a few bags at Macmillan Orchards a few weeks ago while I was out that way because that is the only place I have ever seen them. BUT, of all places, I saw them at the Price Chopper at Leslie & Lakeshore shortly after.

Lakeshore Restaurant
2390 Lake Shore Blvd W, Toronto, ON M8V1C3, CA

True Lemon in Toronto?

I discovered this product at the cash at Domino’s in the St. Lawrene Market. It is cold-pressed and crystalized lemon that comes in individual packets. I like it mostly to add to water, but it can be used in cooking too. I then bought a few boxes in the US, then discovered that Essence of Life in Kensington had it, along with the orange and lime varieties. I thought I was all set, except a few weeks ago I was there and they no longer carry it. The website lists a few sources in Toronto but I called both and neither has it anymore, but I don’t think the webiste is all that up-to-date. If anyone happens upon it anywhere, please let me know. If you can find it I highly recommend trying it.

Comments about Play/Beckta in Ottawa?

I went to Beckta a few years ago for a friends birthday and was blown away - more so than a dinner at Canoe a few weeks earlier. The wine pairings were wonderful and I think added to the experience. And the food was excellent, but the service was astounding.

Last year we went to Play, which was also top notch. If I recall we didn't really share stuff though - we just all ordered our own things but the portions were certainly adequate - probably just the right amount of food. So I guess it depends on what atmosphere they would prefer.

226 Nepean St, Ottawa, ON K2P0B8, CA

Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives (Canadian Version)

I'm pretty sure Ted's Range Road Diner in Meaford would qualify for DD&D. I tried to go there last Monday on my way home from Owen Sound, but he wasn't open for lunch, even though his website said he was. Search this board and you will definitely find more info. It's house in a quanza hut.

Ted's Range Road Diner
, Meaford, ON N4L, CA

Wasaga Beach and Collingwood Recommedations?

I have a friend who lives in Collingwood - she recently mentioned a newish place downtown called the Stuffed Pheasant that she said was good. Tesoro is also quite good - sort of a wannabe Terroni.

Tesoro Restaurant
18 School House Lane, Collingwood, ON L9Y4H5, CA

good chicken stock concentrate

I too was devastated when I couldn't find the PC product - I have been using it for years and loved it. I stocked up on Better Than Boullion at Wegmans, where it is about half the price as I have seen it here.

Around the World in 80 Beers

The only one I've ever heard of is at the Alphorn in Collingwood - obviously not in the GTA.

Allens on Danforth - how do they draw the crowds?

Re: the beer knowledge - I don't go to Allen's that often, but I live in the neighbourhood so end up there by default sometime. Last time was the summer before last on the lovely patio. My friend and I noticed they had a beer we love called XO listed on the chalkboard. (We discovered it at the Beerbistro - a place that I think does an exemplary job of selling their great selection of beers - with a beer menu that gives some comprehensive info, as well as servers who go to monthly "beer school" and really know their stuff.) We asked the server at Allen's how long they have carried it and she told us at least as long as the 8 years she has worked there. So in all the times my friend and I had been there this highly coveted beer was right under our noses and we didn't know we wanted it! So they have a decent selection of beer but I guess you're supposed to know what you want!

One night in Ottawa - where to go?

The only ones on your list I have been to are Beckta and Kinki, but I highly recommend Beckta. I go to Ottawa every year to visit my friend on her birthday - we have been to Social, Black Cat, Domus, and most recently Beckta. I had been to Canoe a few weeks before going to Beckta, and have to say my night at Beckta was superior. I did also really enjoy the food at Domus, and the service was competent but nothing like Beckta.

Skyr (Iceland cheese/similar to yogurt??) - Available in North America/Toronto

Strange timing - I just bought some at Wegmans in Amherst last weekend, not really knowing much about it. The brand was Siggi's from NY state. I bought an Orange Ginger and a Grapefruit. It's very thick and not very sweet - I had actually mixed it with some other yogurt. It was expensive though - $2.59 for a small tub. It was in the health food section by the way.

seeking one day cake decorating class

For cake decorating at it's best....

Planet Organic - now open in Thornhill

I went to the Planet Organic in Port Credit a few months ago and was not too impressed. The produce was sitting on and also covered with ice!! Really!!! Ice cubes sitting directly on lettuces, carrots, greens, etc. - I'm no produce merchandising expert but I know that direct contact with ice is not a good thing.

Overall prices seemed high, though I bought a tube of cream in the healthy/beauty department because I wanted it regardless or price, and I think I've seen it several other places for significantly more (I paid $17 I think, have seen it for $20).

McEwan goes to Don Mills

GoodGravy - those places are in Manhattan. Just wondering why you're posting on the Ontario board? You had me confused - I thought there were some great Toronto food shops that I didn't know about.

Anyone here that doesn't like a food processor

I have both the large and small Cuisinart. I agree the food processor is not all Cuisinart and Kitchen Aid would have you believe. So while I don't use it that often, I find myself using it for things that I can't imagine doing any other way. I make a mushroom pierogi filling that requires a lot of finely chopped onion and mushrooms - I don't think I would ever make it if I didn't have a food processor. But if I need to chop onions to fry to serve with the pierogi, I would chop them by hand.

Mar 02, 2009
bigos70 in Cookware

anyone tried the "LPK's Culinary Groove" or "Gourmet Loic To Go" at Queen/Broadview

My office got lunch there for some clients a few days ago - we got some leftovers and they were fabulous!! Every items was really tasty. There were 2 lactose intolerant, so most of the sandwiches didn't have cheese and they were still divine! I have been meaning to try one of their roasted chickens - I'm quite sure I won't be disappointed. Lunch for 5 people was about $100, but there was enough leftover to feed 2 or 3 more people. Great value for the quality.

Good Winterlicious Experience - BeerBistro

Their frites are extremely tasty - I wouldn't leave their next time without having them!! My husband and I had them as an appetizer last time - he had never been so it was a must.

Beer Bistro is one of my favourite places actually. I ate dinner their for the first time last spring - the roasted chicken dish that I had was one of the best restaurant meals I had for a long time (a combination of food/price/expectations). I love the detailed beer menu - it does a great job of describing unfamiliar/unmarketed beers. My friend and I discovered a french cognac beer called XO that we just loved, only to discover that Alan's on the Danforth has had it forever - but it just says XO on the menu so if you don't know what it is then it means nothing. The servers at the BB go to "beer school" every couple of weeks, so they are all extremely knowledgable about the beers offered.

Organizing spices - container recommendations?

I have found the ultimate system that works for me. I was determined to keep my spices to one drawer only - a 12-inch drawer at that. I had your standard spice jars with white lids, standing up with lids facing up, for which I made some cute labels. But then I started cooking more and needing more spices, but I didn't have room in my drawer. What to do?

Here is the thinking behind my theory. There are lots of spices that I like to have on hand, but are used very infrequently, in very small amounts. Why do I need a whole jar full of something I would like to stock only a couple tablespoons of? Like Cream of Tartar, Ground Cloves, Ground Cardamom, and many more. Spices like chiles, chili powders, turmeric, cumin, coriander, are the workhorses and used more often in larger quantities, so they get to stay in the large jars. So I found glass vials at a science store and they were perfect - same height as my existing jars. So I can now fit a huge variety of spices in my drawer. Obviously this system works best when you can purchase spices in exactly the amount you need at a bulk store.

And to top it all off, I revised my labeling system and colour coded them to make it easier to find (alphabetical seemed too tedious). Burgundy is for chili type spices, dark yellow for spice blends like curry, garam masala, green for herbs like marjoram, thyme, brown for whole spices/seeds, and then white is miscellanous. (I'm a graphic designer, so the labels are a little better than the label maker type, I can't help it).

Jan 29, 2009
bigos70 in Cookware

Diana’s Seafood – fresh fish, great value (review + pics)

Just went to Diana's for the first time last week. I bought 3 lbs of black cod fillets @ $14.99/lb. Later that day I was at the Harvest Wagon, so out of curiosity I popped into Pisces, where it sold for $29.99/lb! I think Mike's in SLM sells it for $21.99/lb. So while I don't always shop solely on price, it's definitely worth the drive from downtown for me, especially if I'm buying larger quantities. And to top it off, the staff were super friendly!

Where to buy Kitchenaid Stand Mixer?

I agree that Cayne's or Costco is going to be generally the cheapest, although Costco only has the bowl-lift model, which isn't the one I wanted, and both offer limited colours. I really wanted an orange one, so I applied for an HBC credit card and got 10% off, which amounted to about a $35 savings off the $350 Ultra Power model that I purchased. That was 3 or 4 years ago, so I can't say what the price is now, but that could be an option.