Month: June 2015

The best thing I ate this month – June 2015

the best thing I ate this month  - June 2015

I’ve never brimmed with excitement at the thought of onion rings. But when the server enthusiastically praised this usually humdrum starter, I thought I’d give it a go. Who knew that onion rings would become an object of my obsession for weeks to come?

These ‘Playful Onion Rings’ are coated in chickpea batter and puffed quinoa which lend them their crunchy texture. I found myself ingesting one and then succumbing to the temptation of another and yet another. Crispy, airy and never greasy, this is a superstar dish all on its own. Sauced with a refreshing chipotle avocado dip as well as a spicy mayo dip, these vegan and gluten-free onion rings transformed into something unmistakably scrumptious.

This dream inducing and divine creation is courtesy of Pure Kitchen Ottawa. And it was the best thing I ate this month.

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Event: Ottawa Ribfest

Ottawa Ribfest is back in town. While your there check out Camp 31. Camp 31 BBQ was established by Larry Murphy in Alabama in 1986. They offer Southern style Bar-B-Que and their meat is slow cooked over hickory logs.

There are 17 ‘Ribbers’ to choose from along Sparks Street. Ribfest runs from 11 am-10 pm Friday and Saturday, and 11 am to 7 pm Sunday. Admission is free.

Camp 31 chicken and ribs

Camp 31 chicken and ribs

Camp 31 chicken and ribs

Camp 31 chicken and ribs

Book Review: Pasta by Hand

It never occurred to me that I could make pasta the old-fashioned way—by hand. I mean, who does that? I always thought that task was relegated to old-world Nonna’s. And let’s be honest, Italian cooking is intimidating. For me, it’s fraught with peril. My fear of bungling a centuries-old cuisine is very real.

Along comes Pasta by Hand: A collection of Italy’s regional and hand shaped pasta. The fact that no special equipment or ingredients are needed to form pasta shapes chips away at my list of excuses. The book contains more than 65 recipes for homemade pasta dough and easy instructions on how to shape it into small orbs, cups, twists, shells, noodles, and dumplings.

Ms. Louis has spent what seems like infinite hours of research and travel schooling herself on the humble dumpling, or what Italians call gnocchi. The book begins with a section on ‘The Basics.’ Exactly what I need. The pages outline the specific ingredients, tools, and techniques that will help craft dumplings, as well as a list of 12 tips for making great gnocchi. For example, ‘Tip #4’ instructs us to pay special attention to the mixing and cooking directions for each recipe. The mixing method for each dumpling dough will be different, to achieve the correct texture. Not all dumplings are meant to be tender and light.

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