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  • ‘Last Supper’ servings super-sized ‘Last Supper’ servings super-sized

    ‘Last Supper’ servings super-sized

‘Last Supper’ servings super-sized

  Here’s some food for thought as you gather ’round for Easter dinner: If art imitates life, were the twelve disciples overeating at Jesus Christ’s Last Supper? The answer is no, according to analysis of the amount of food depicted in paintings created over the last 1,000 years of history’s most famous dinner. Instead, the size of food depicted in these paintings increased significantly over time, an indication that larger portion sizes have been a trend for at least the last millennium. Brothers Brian and Craig Wansink, respectively a well-known eating behavior expert and a religious studies scholar, joined forces to index the sizes of food by the sizes of the average disciple’s head. (Read an article in which I interviewed Brian Wansink for CTV at this link.) They found that portion size, plate size, and bread size depicted in the paintings have gone up dramatically over the last millennium. […]

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  • Noah’s ark baptismal cake Noah’s ark baptismal cake

    Noah’s ark baptismal cake

Noah’s ark baptismal cake

  My sweet little cupcake had his Christening recently in front of our closest family and friends. I thought it would be both symbolic, and fitting, to order a cake that celebrated our religious and cultural background. What better than Noah’s Ark, which landed on Mt. Ararat, Armenia’s national symbol? Enter Toronto-based company Bakerbots Baking, which also created the yummy and elegant macarons tower I already blogged about in a previous post.   When I entered the venue, this cake took my breath away with its attention to detail and whimsical spirit. (See the photo to the right, courtesy Bakerbots). Not only did Bakerbots’ Rosanne execute my vision, she put her own stamp on it, and also tantalized our tastebuds with her delectable red velvet cake and cream cheese frosting. I have to say I was disappointed by some of the other local cake-making enterprises whom I spoke to, but […]

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  • Come out, come out wherever you are! Come out, come out wherever you are!

    Come out, come out wherever you are!

Come out, come out wherever you are!

  So apparently I missed Delurking Day by one day. Please don’t hold it against me. It’s a good day when I can take a shower with a 5-month-old crawling in the house.I’m dying to know who my lurkers are! Apparently I have readers in Croatia, the Isle of Man, the Palestinian Territories, Bulgaria, Sweden, Malaysia, Egypt, Armenia, and on and on – so please, please reveal yourselves!I won’t bite, I swear!If you can, tell us:Your name, where you’re from, your favourite street food, and what you had for breakfast.I’ll start.My name is Mary, I was born in Toronto, my favourite street food is a hot dog with mustard, ketchup, hot sauce, sweet corn relish, and sauerkraut.I had Kashi cereal for breakfast. Not very exciting, I know. I had pecan chocolates and brioches for dinner. The photo is of me stuffing my face at my bridal shower. I’m happy because […]

  • Happy one-year anniversary to me Happy one-year anniversary to me

    Happy one-year anniversary to me

Happy one-year anniversary to me

  It’s been a year since I hit “Publish post” on my first blog entry and I can hardly believe I’ve made it this far. I first started this blog not only to chronicle my culinary journey but to record what I’d learned along the way.But this blog has served as so much more . I’ve met fellow foodies; used this blog as an entrance point to navigate through awkward small talk; and found common ground with strangers.This blog has been the witness to my culinary ups and downs, some tears, many regrets, but also my personal triumphs. I’ve learned how to use a culinary torch; taken a cupcake decorating course, as well as French bistro and Chinese dumpling-making cooking classes; successfully used fondant, found and purchased a financiers pan, sheepishly distinguished wax paper from parchment; gone off chocolate; come back on chocolate with the birth of my son; interviewed […]

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  • My little cupcake My little cupcake

    My little cupcake

My little cupcake

Baby A entered the world August 15 at 5:58 p.m. weighing 7 pounds, 5 ounces and measuring 20 inches long. And boy oh boy did he take his sweet time getting here. I heard his first cry after 24 hours of labour and a C-section. My little cupcake is taking up every waking, and sleeping moment, of my time. Some days, this house feels like milk central with the amount of baby bottles, formula, and random paraphernalia lying around. But experienced mothers tell me it will get better, and maybe I will even have the time to bake something yummy soon. In the meantime though, do check back, and Baby A and I promise to cook up a storm together soon!

  • Slave to my pregnancy cravings Slave to my pregnancy cravings

    Slave to my pregnancy cravings

Slave to my pregnancy cravings

  I am officially 39 weeks pregnant and ready, oh so ready, to pop this baby out.Considering people keep asking me if I am carrying twins, you can imagine how big I’ve gotten. This means sleeping, walking, standing have gotten increasingly harder.Baking and cooking are taking a back seat (right next to my Graco baby car seat), and probably will for a while.Not to fret, I will try to keep blogging, at least until I go into labour and settle in with the new baby.In the meantime though, I will answer one of the burning questions that people keep asking me. What did I crave during my pregnancy? The shameful list: Yes, ice cream and pickles: But not together. Any dairy product that was cool and slid down my throat, be it milk, yogurt, smoothies, ice cream, frozen yogurt, pudding (does that count as dairy?) was A+ in my books. […]

  • This bun in the oven is keeping me from baking This bun in the oven is keeping me from baking

    This bun in the oven is keeping me from baking

This bun in the oven is keeping me from baking

  In an ironic twist of events, having a bun in the oven is keeping me from baking and cooking as much as I used to. I’ve been told to avoid sugar (horrors!) and keep my feet up when I get home from work. This means the amount of time I usually devote to baking has been drastically reduced. However, I will continue to post blogs drawing on a bank of recipes I have used but not yet blogged on – so please don’t be put off by my idleness. I’ve got some good things I’ve been saving up, including a delicious cinnamon roll-type cake, tangy lemon coffee cake, moist blueberry cake, and even some cupcake designs you haven’t yet seen. So check back and don’t be shy to drop me a line. I love hearing from my readers, be it in the comments section or via email.

  • The art of the perfect dumpling: The ultimate comfort food The art of the perfect dumpling: The ultimate comfort food

    The art of the perfect dumpling: The ultimate comfort food

The art of the perfect dumpling: The ultimate comfort food

  I’m about four months along in my pregnancy now and there is one thing I crave on a near-daily basis: Shrimp and pork pot stickers with hot sauce. Make that two, crab salad with creme fraiche sandwiches. But that’s a whole other post. So when I saw the class for “hands-on dumplings” I signed up right away. All cultures have their own version of dumplings. For Armenians, it’s mante, which I wrote about for the Toronto Star a while back. You can find my article here, if you are interested.In any case, we learned to make three different kinds of Chinese dumplings: Fried dumplings with pork, shrimp, Chinese mushrooms; bamboo shoots; pork pot stickers; boiled pork dumplings to go in chicken broth. I learned a few key tips that will make it easy for me to duplicate these at home: Use pork if you can, because that’s the traditional […]

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  • Cleaning out the pantry Cleaning out the pantry

    Cleaning out the pantry

Cleaning out the pantry

  I knew the time had come to clean out my pantry when I stopped bothering to check what I already had in the house before writing my grocery list. My pantry was a mountain of boxes and bags I had long forgotten about. So it was on a cold winter Sunday, when I was wandering aimlessly around the house, having fulfilled all my other housekeeping duties that I realized the time had come to face the music.I slowly opened the doors and surveyed the damage.Mismatched Tupperware lids, crumbs of cornmeal and pieces of broken spaghetti stared back at me, taunting me. So I took a deep breath and dove in.I found: four half-opened bags of jasmine rice, 3 bags of egg noodles (both large and extra-large), 5 nearly-finished bags of coconut flakes, and three opened boxes of baking powder. After cleaning out the pantry and arranging all the products […]

  • I ask Gordon Ramsay’s wife: Are you moving to Dubai? I ask Gordon Ramsay’s wife: Are you moving to Dubai?

    I ask Gordon Ramsay’s wife: Are you moving to Dubai?

I ask Gordon Ramsay’s wife: Are you moving to Dubai?

  I interviewed Tana Ramsay today. She’s the wife of the potty-mouthed celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay but also a popular cookbook author in her own right. She was at CTV’s Canada AM during a stop on a promotional tour for her new cookbook “Home Made” (HarperCollins). There have been media reports out of the U.K. and Australia that the Ramsays are packing up and moving to Dubai and I asked her point blank – are you leaving London? What did she tell me? Find out in my article for CTV.ca.Meanwhile, stay tuned for my review of her cookbook. I will be making a recipe from “Home Made” for dinner some time this week.

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