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cast iron skillets

I really like my CI skillet for many of HL's reasons (I am a bit spooked by Teflon!) and use it all the time - even on the BBQ. As a bonus, my doc recommended it for boosting iron content in foods - the iron molecules are absorbed by acidic foods -citrus or tomatoes. Great for smaller volumes of pasta sauce.

Aug 24, 2015
urbnmns in Cookware

popsicle moulds

Nice! I should have mentioned the location - though by IKEA standards 15 mins isn't so bad! Happy freezing!

popsicle moulds

Good idea with the cling film - I had been wondering about how to do that!

PP - Be sure to get the food-safe popsicle sticks, which aren't always in the craft sections! Though the molds themselves do come with reusable sticks, usually with a drip-tray, and the sticks themselves usually have holes or some other design that helps prevent the popsicle from sliding off the stick as it melts.

popsicle moulds

I saw some at IKEA yesterday. Bought a set a month ago at Degrees (Yonge St, mid-way between Eg and Lawrence) and another set at Kitchen Stuff Plus.

Tiffin Carrier

Check out Fenigo - Their Toronto store (they are based in Waterloo) is at 1199 Bloor St W. (Just W of Dufferin) and has great lunch carrier options including tiffin carriers. The site just shows a three-level, though you might give them a call to see if 4-level is an option. They have insulated cotton carrier bags for 3-tier carriers shown in the tiffin section, but they have a lot of other insulated bags that could also work. Great store.

Ice Cream, 2014

I respectfully disagree. While a much better deal, I find the Kirkland tastes a bit fake (though the vanilla extract is stated to be real). Too aromatic, too sweet (sugar is item #2 after cream - whereas it's listed as ingredient #3 on my HD (reg vanilla this time, though I also enjoy the v-bean!)). Worst for me, the Kirkland is too "stretchy"' with the added guar bean and carob bean gum. The HD is just dense and creamy with eggs, milk & cream doing the magic. Most surprising though is the stated calorie count per half-cup: 310 for Kirkland vs 270 for Haagen Dazs! Who knew HD could be the leaner option?!

Where to buy high end appliances since as Bosch, Miele and Sub-zero?

We bought Miele laundry appliances from Tasco about a year ago (no issues - Miele did the installation) and a few months later got a Sharp over-the-stove convection microwave. Service was frustrating. Installed improperly by Tasco's crew (apparently it's a unique mount, so installation is atypical for over-stove microwaves but covered in the documentation) but pending that determination, we dealt with a very transparent battle between Sharp's service team and Tasco regarding who was responsible. When I finally advised they needed to "figure it out" behind the scenes, it was resolved. Sharp's team was always very responsive, but Tasco made no effort to check in to ensure we were happy, and clearly didn't respect our time or customer experience.

Embarrassed to ask about a Tim Horton's donut... but that pecan tortoise donut looks kinda good...

Agreed on all counts (including splitting a tester with hubby!). The caramel filling is way too sweet and one-dimensional. The bits on top (which I thought were candied pecans) were pretty good but just overwhelming with the filling. Custard (a la Boston Cream) would have been a better choice. Alas I am not likely the target demographic - interestingly in line with several earlier posters, my Tim's preferences tend to run to the plain - my pick is the plain, unglazed (reg or timbit-sized) just about every time.

Thomas's English Muffins

I agree. I found them "sawdusty" some time back and stopped buying them, but thought it was just me.

Jan 07, 2014
urbnmns in General Topics

Pregnant and Miserable

Hope you are feeling better soon. I was violently ill (seriously could not even safely drive!) many times per day from about 9 weeks onward. I carried garbage bags in all my pockets and eventually went on meds. Rest does help and so does staying hydrated - tiny frequent sips. Keeping the water icy helped a bit. Oddly the only thing I could eat with any regularity was peanut butter. Even crackers made me feel queasy, though I suspect that was a bit freudian. I ate the peanut butter with apples or bananas sometimes. Occasionally i could tolerate hotdogs - hardly "eating clean" but you eat what you can. I could not hold down most raw veggies. I also found switching up starches worked - for one meal - the next time I'd make mashed potatoes, for example, they were no longer a safe food! Anyway it seems to be a big experiment but eventually it's worth it! Good luck.

Dec 03, 2013
urbnmns in General Topics

Disappearance of Greek Style 10% Yogurt From Grocery Stores

I know it's not the 10% Liberte (which is hard to top!) but we've been enjoying Phoenikia lately, from the Bayyview and Eg Metro. Not as rich, but pretty creamy for the fat content (I've been buying 3.5% and 2%). My fam likes it plain, as a side-dish/condiment for rice and tomato-based stews.

subbing sweet potato for butternut in chili?

I would! It'll be sweeter though, and a little heavier, but balanced out, I think, by the greens. I actually add a sweet potato to my butternut squash soup to give it some depth and body. I'm going to try that chili though - looks delicious!

Sep 05, 2013
urbnmns in Home Cooking

Is your kitchen neat or cluttered?

Sounds like you should consider investing in a "beautiful" coffee maker, jlhinwa!

Feb 27, 2013
urbnmns in Not About Food

Fish Street Market and Open Kitchen - Yonge and Eglinton

Sorry - that was $24.84 for 2 orders (incl tax) - just came across the receipt.

Fish Street Market and Open Kitchen - Yonge and Eglinton

I picked up some fish & chips recently - lightly battered, moist and excellent. Not too greasy. Also quick. Not a fan of the chips - really chunky wedges, which are not my thing, but the coleslaw's very light - with what tasted like maybe a rice vinegar vinegrette, and nicely offset the fried stuff. $28ish for 2 orders, but if you're a med-light eater you could easily share one. I understand they will grill whatever fish they have available for you - which could be a great option for takeout (plus no fish to contend with in the kitchen!)

Pear tart tatin--baking pan size change ok?

Yum! Pear Tarte Tatin - you have me dreaming! Depending on your dough recipe (and assuming a fairly standard pie dough) you should be fine making the dough 2 days ahead of time - just make sure you keep it chilled between mixing and use! Also I recommend wrapping the ball in Saran Wrap to keep the air from getting at it. It's actually a good thing to let the dough rest - some recipes actually recommend that you let it sit awhile (chilled) to let the glutens relax. Also keep it cold right until you roll it out - you'll have a flakier crust. Just don't overwork it and you'll be fine (since a Tatin is served "upside down" the crust can actually be quite messy, which is nice if you are a beginner).

I find Tarte Tatins (crust and filling) very forgiving - so if you don't find a 10" recipe to your liking, you shouldn't have trouble tweaking - making sure not to "overflow" your pan. Janniecooks' tips are really good - you can try working with fewer pears + adding if needed (they will "shrink" a bit while cooking - though extra caramel sauce can be really nice :)

Re spicing - I see your dilemma - esp with all the flavours of a Thanksgiving meal, but given the delicacy of the pear, I am voting to keep it simple with the bourbon, though ginger also mingles very well with pear. Best wishes!

Nov 18, 2012
urbnmns in Home Cooking

canned sour cherries

I think it the brand is S&F (I just checked my pantry); I think you can buy them at just about any of the big supermarkets (I think I bought this jar at Sobeys). 28 oz glass jar, Product of Hungary. Just sour cherries, water and sugar. They really are like the canned cherries your granny would make. And as someone mentioned above, the leftover juice is great in cocktails.

Prairie Style Pizza in Toronto?? Please??

Sorry, like Magic, I've only had the Water St. pizza as well. (And per above, only like it cold!)

Prairie Style Pizza in Toronto?? Please??

Pepi's has a really sweet sauce, and I think sauce is integral to the overall pizza experience. I don't enjoy it fresh for that reason, and I don't know how it stacks up to the prairies. But it does have a nice fluffy crust, and is one of the best "morning after" pizzas going. Easily a pizza to pack up in your trunk for after the journey home.

Help me throw the ultimate latke cocktail party

I attended a Dutch pancake party years ago where they did just that and it was really fun. Encouraged a lot of mingling and "topping preference'" debate - really useful icebreaker for a larger party where some of the guests don't know one another (though this doesn't seem to be the case here).

Nov 29, 2011
urbnmns in Home Cooking

Liberte Greek Yogurt

Thanks - I will have to re-try. The batch I had actually made my mouth feel dry (odd, I know!)

Liberte Greek Yogurt

Really? I've only tried the PC once (a promo), and was put off by the graininess. Perhaps a bad batch? We eat a lot of Liberte at our house, but not the 0%.

Easy dinner ideas for beginner?

And deserved! I do try to sear when I have the time, but roasting (or haha baking!) seems to produce decent results for me with minimal effort (which drew me to the "easy thread!). Sometimes that two minutes makes the difference between a real dinner and a depressing scrounge (and it's good to be a hero to my starving spouse!). I have to try brining some time; as for brown sugar my husband marinates lamb chops with olive oil and molasses. It tenderizes the meat and is very tasty and not conspicuously sweet tasting after grilling.

Jan 16, 2011
urbnmns in Home Cooking


True! Encore is really good - the steaks and crab legs are excellent.

Easy dinner ideas for beginner?

Hank, you're awesome! Pork tenderloin is indeed a good basis for a delicious, easy meal. Another SUPER easy pork tenderloin recipe (I make it all the time - not as sophisticated as brining, and I don't bother to sear, so this this literally takes only 2 mins of prep time (hence a great go-to dish when you're super busy!). Per 1/2 kilo tenderloin: mix approx 2 tbsp olive oil, approx 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard, and approx 1 tbsp dried rosemary (of course you can use fresh and add some fresh or dried thyme if you wish). Coat the tenderloin, sprinkle the top with a bit of kosher salt, fold over the litttle end and tuck underneath so diameter of loin is reasonably uniform and bake at 400F for about 35 mins or until cooked thoroughly. This is ridiculously easy and I find the top gets nice and caramellized while the meat stays moist. I make this with roasted apples or a simple applesauce (sliced apples + water + currants + maybe a pat of butter if I am feeling decadent). It's actually also great for sandwiches the next day too. Fantastic for something that needs zlmost zero prep.

Jan 16, 2011
urbnmns in Home Cooking

Waterloo on Sunday night

Yep, that was my thought. Is it Yukiko's rebranded?

Waterloo on Sunday night

If it's not too late, I recommend Bhima's Warung, which I think does the most delicious and interesting food in town (a few years ago, I posted that service was insanely slow, but I've been back and pacing is reasonable, and the food is definitely worth the slightly longer wait). The food is Asian fusion; they also make some really nice non-alcoholic drinks, if you're driving. I haven't been to Sole in awhile, and while the food is decent, I don't think you'd find it an exceptional experience as a foodie. Also (in my admittedly limited Sunday dining experience) I don't think it would be as lively as some of your other posted choices, if atmosphere is an issue for you.

Bhima's Warung
262 King St N, Waterloo, ON N2J2Y9, CA

Waterloo on Sunday night

Yukiko's has closed; a new resto has taken its place.

Guelph evening out

Awesome - thanks very much!!! (Especially for the "over-and-above" investigation!)

Guelph evening out

Thanks all for the recs - I'm now torn between La Cucina and The Fat Duck (sparing them the probably short drive to Envers in Morriston!)! Fat Duck actually looks perfect, except their site indicates "no reservations" - Does anyone know whether it would be a problem getting a table at 7:30ish on a Friday or Saturday night?

Fat Duck
210 Kortright Rd W, Guelph, ON N1G4X4, CA

Envers Restaurant
42 Queen St, Morriston, ON N0B2C0, CA

La Cucina
130 Thomas St, Oakville, ON L6J3B1, CA