Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Must. Love. Lynne.

Food shows have certainly increased significantly in popularity over the last decade. The ones that keep my butt glued to my seat have more to do with the host than anything. Don't get me wrong, the food plays a huge part, but just like service in a restaurant, the host of a food show needs that certain je ne sais quoi to keep me coming back. And Rogers definitely made the right choice letting Lynne Frappier take over that position in her upcoming new show Must. Love. Food.

If you've ever watched any of the cooking portions with Lynne on Daytime Ottawa, then you'll definitely agree. I could watch her for hours, just as I could sit down and have a meal with her for hours. Her energy is unlike anyone I know, time always goes way to fast when you're with someone that's just so positive and fun. I'm seriously in major countdown mode for April 30th at 8pm (*SHOW IS NOW SUNDAYS AT 8PM). (Oh, and did I mention you'll get a glimpse of my husband at work in the kitchen during one of the episodes!?)


April 2nd, 2012 (OTTAWA) – Local food blogger Lynne Frappier, “The Twisted Chef”, comes to Rogers TV to share her love for food with Ottawa viewers.  Frappier’s new series Must.Love.Food. premieres Monday, April 30th at 8PM on Rogers TV, cable 22.

As Must.Love.Food.’s host and producer, Frappier welcomes viewers to the kitchen and to her foodie world.  Despite being an enthusiastic chef and baker in her own right, Frappier says she’s not the focus of the series.

“It’s a new concept.  I want to showcase great food and the passion people have for their recipes,” explains Frappier. “Some of the recipes my guests will present are family favourites, passed on for generations. You’ll get great recipes and get to meet those who are most knowledgeable about these culinary heirlooms.”

Every week, Must.Love.Food. will feature different local guests preparing their favourite recipes, plus food preparation segments with local ingredients and ideas.  From the best in pies to the most delectable cakes and spicy dishes that will leave you wanting more, Must.Love.Food. is the new TV destination for Ottawa’s best-kept recipes. Here’s a taste of upcoming episodes: 

April 30:            Must.Love.Family Recipes.
May 7:              Must.Love.Entertaining.
May 14:            Must.Love.Pies.
May 21:            Must.Love.Spice.
May 28:            Must.Love.Lemon.
June 4:             Must.Love.Cupcakes.
June 11:           Must.Love.Chocolate.
June 18:           Must.Love.Meat.

Make a reservation for Must.Love.Food., Mondays at 8pm on Rogers TV.  For more information on Must.Love.Food., visit rogerstv.com

Rogers TV is a unique TV channel where community members take an active role in conceptualizing and producing programming for local audiences. Our staff and volunteers produce informative and entertaining local programming, reinforcing Rogers’ commitment to the communities we serve. Rogers Communications is Canada's largest provider of wireless voice and data communications services and one of Canada's leading providers of cable television, high-speed Internet and telephony services. Rogers TV is only available to Rogers’ customers, including the company's 2.3 million cable customers in Ontario, New Brunswick and Newfoundland. For more information on Rogers Communications Inc., visit www.rogers.com

Friday, March 23, 2012


I have a terrible habit of only staying within my bubble when dining out. That bubble thankfully hits all areas of downtown – Westboro, Glebe, Sunnyside, Market, Centretown. It's not until I'm forced to think outside that box that I actually do, and it usually scares me. But why I'm not sure, because I often find gems that would otherwise go unnoticed. One of those is Bambu.

I recently changed jobs, which brought me to the Prince of Wales/Hunt Club end of the city. So in the few months I've been here, I've been to Bambu probably a dozen times, at least. And every single time has been consistently fresh and delicious, even on the busiest of days. From their dim sum and bento boxes, to their pad thai, sushi and lunch specials, all now hold a very special place in my heart. And no, I'm not bored of coming here yet. And I doubt I ever will be. I've now introduced the place to so many people. It's my go-to lunch meeting spot.

Today I had lunch with a former colleague. As we did some business talk, we also chowed down on a bunch of appetizers. Hunan dumplings, mango rice paper rolls with peanut sauce, egg rolls, and crispy, spicy salmon rolls. As usual, all mouthwatering.

The space is beautiful and bright, service always great and prices very reasonable.

Thanks for lunch Scott!

3993 Riverside Drive, Ottawa

Bambu on Urbanspoon

Monday, March 19, 2012

Mmmm Beef Short Ribs from HPH

After Riva Soucie of Ottawa Magazine's post on Hintonburg Public House's tender beef short ribs, I couldn't get them out of my mind. I'm not sure if it was the meat that was exciting me about it or the fact it was paired with onion rings. Ok, the onion rings had a lot to do with it. It's just that that, as well as the polenta made for what I would consider a plate full of the best foods all together in one (ok the addition of rice noodles and peanut sauce would have taken me over the edge and straight to heaven and as I write this I can literally hear my husband's eyes roll – just because you love two ingredients doesn't mean they go together! – I beg to differ). Sorry, I got lost there. I must say these ribs did not disappoint. So tender and delicious. The entire plate was better than I expected.

Other highlights at the Hintonburg Public House include a nice new entry way – perfect for those poor guests who end up near the door on a cold winter day. The walls are now filled with art – so much cozier. And yay, they've dimmed the lights and turned up the music. The staff really could smile a little more, it would add that missing warm and fuzzy feeling you get that kind of confirms you're not annoying them to death.

So many other delicious treats that are just begging me to come back. I can't wait.

1020 Wellington Street West, Ottawa

The Hintonburg Public House on Urbanspoon

Saturday, March 10, 2012


Wow, I love this place! I went here for lunch expecting to try and soup and salad, until I saw it – gluten-free bun available – yay! So I indulged in the most sinful sandwich on the menu, slow-smoked beef brisket with caramelized onion and aioli. Although that dish with it's side of sweet potato chips and spicy pickled green bean would have been more than enough food, I couldn't help but get the ceasar salad with bacon bits to start. Oh, and a B. Goods  ginger cookie for later (it was made with spelt, how could I leave it behind!?).

My husband had the margherita sandwich, basil, tomato, fresh mozzarella and pesto. Also a winner.

The toughest part was having to go back to the office when I was done eating.  Space is open, airy and bright with church pews and couches. It's the kind of place you just want to stick around and sip lattés all afternoon.

Service was awesome, food delicious but sandwiches pricy. Sandwiches range from $6 to $13.

750 Gladstone, Ottawa

Pressed on Urbanspoon

Monday, March 5, 2012

Clove Chocolates

A few weeks ago I was invited to an event that was catered by Justin Rogers, an Ottawa-based chocolatier. If you ever want to surprise someone with something special, he can definitely help you with that! He has the most delectable creations. Liquid blood orange mimosa truffle shots, salted caramel with whipped milk chocolate cream, spicy mexican hot chocolate, and if you're not feeling like eating a whole slice of lemon pie but want the taste in your mouth, he's got a chocolate for that too!

Check out Lynne's awesome post for a more in-depth play-by-play of the evening.


Sunday, March 4, 2012

Not Hungry, Just Lazy

The past 6-8 months have not been the busiest for me in terms of posts. They've been few and very far between. I look at the wonderful bloggers out there who keep it up, day after day no matter the circumstance. Seriously, you all deserve an award. It's not always easy!

The other night I was invited to Petit Bill's to try a few dishes off their new spring menu (you must go and order the Jigg's Dinner - sooo good), they've recently renovated their kitchen. In conversation with Terry he said something I'd never thought about – I have a positive outlook on food. I don't waste my time complaining about something I didn't like, more that I make the time to shout-out the people and food that I do and that he enjoys reading my blog for that reason.

Then there's the dinners I look back on and regret not having the photos to remind me of it. I recently had a wonderful dinner at Oz's industry night and it reminded me of a dinner I had last summer that I, to this day, regret not blogging about. This is my food diary and that was probably one of he most unique experiences I had ever had. A 5 course dinner using parts of the animals that normally get discarded. It was amazing. Luckily I can still go back and reminisce through Lynne's blog. She, as always, recounted the night beautifully.

All that said, I'm going to pick up the pace a bit, even if it's a one-liner with a photo. All the mouth-watering dishes I indulge in deserve to be recounted and remembered.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Best Beef Tartar in the World

No these aren't little chocolates. Although they do look sweet!

They're the beautiful little quail eggs that my husband served with the tartar he made me on Valentine's Day (yes I'm a little late getting this up). I should also mention it was his birthday, you know, just to make myself look even worse. He insisted on cooking, honest!

We started off with some fried oyster mushrooms with romano and arugula. Soooo delicious.

Then this heavenly tartar that he finely chopped and mixed with capers, shallots, chives, hot sauce, dijon, worcestershire, truffle oil, salt and pepper and egg yolk. He separated the yolk from the quail egg and set it in salted water, which hardened it just enough to stay intact when placed over the mound of bright red meat. The salad along side, which had just as much detailed attention put into it with it's finely chopped sweet potato and beets, was mixed with microgreens and lightly drizzled in truffle oil.

Honestly one of the best meals I've ever had. Love, love, love tartar. I even had some leftovers for lunch the next day. Yum!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Breakfast Gnocchi

If you haven't picked up the new copy of Ottawa Magazine's Interiors Edition, I highly recommend you do. Not only is it filled with images of beautiful local homes, there's also a little food section at the back that's worth checking out.

This delicious breakfast was eaten almost a month ago, but I wasn't allowed to talk about it until the magazine was released. You see, my husband sometimes freelances for Ottawa Magazine and since he worked on the layout of this issue, had a sneak peak at what was coming. The result, his own homemade concoction of the breakfast gnocchi that is available at Art-is-in Bakery. So if you're not lucky enough to have my husband in your home cooking for you, you've got an alternative!

My husband served up two beautifully poached eggs over a toasted fennel and dill baguette and coated them with silky hollandaise. Off to the side, thin slivers of buttery baked potato. The eggs were then surrounded by chopped smoked bacon, halved cherry tomatoes, gnocchi and brussels sprout leaves. Probably one of the best things I've ever eaten in my life. (I must confess that mine was modified with my spelt and kamut bread from Wild Oat and rice gnocchi, you see, I have a frustrating wheat intolerance.)

Later this morning my husband will be treating himself though. We'll be heading over to chez Edgar for the Dutch Baby. Since he layed out the image of that golden pancake topped with caramelized slow-cooked pork belly, he hasn't been the same, waking up every Saturday morning from his dream and questioning "Is it time yet!?"

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Le Kim Chi

So sorry, no food porn to accompany this post, so you'll just have to trust me on this one.

I had my first visit to Le Kim Chi this weekend and it definitely won't be my last.

The appetizers had me drawn in right away, so many delectable choices. My friend Sue and I managed to narrow it down to the KimChi Twikim Mandoo – 4 homemade, lightly deep fried kimchi dumplings drizzled with a creamy spicy sauce. And the Pa Jeon, a delicious seafood and scallion pancake panfried until golden and edged with crispy bits. The pancake was served sliced like a pizza, perfect for sharing.

Sue suggested the Bulgogi to share for the entrée, but my eyes, being much larger than my stomach, gave me the courage to convince her we needed more. So along with our thinly sliced, oh-so-tender beef (which was served with vegetables, rice, kimchi, seaweed salad and pickled sprouts – somehow I managed to miss that part on the menu), we also ordered the Vegetable Bibimbap. What a beautiful dish. A medley of vegetables and grainy rice arrived in the hotpot (we ordered without the egg yolk). Normally we'd be the ones to mix everything together but I think our server could tell we just had so much on the table and it would just be easier if she did it for us. There's a small dish of hot sauce that comes on the side, it's not that hot so you can add the whole thing. In fact, I would have liked a little more spice. That said, I enjoyed every morsel as it was.

Although we did order a bit too much, I didn't regret it this morning when I served up the leftover bibimbap with some eggs. Yummy!!

Prices at this restaurant are very reasonable. Their wine and drink list is a bit limited but good and fairly priced. Atmosphere cozy and dimly lit with really good service.

Le Kim Chi
420 Preston Street, Ottawa

Le Kim Chi on Urbanspoon

Monday, January 9, 2012

Asian Style Halibut

Amazing dinner from my husband. Halibut, fried quinoa, shredded carrot and snap peas doused in a delicious ginger, soy, wasabi, rice vinegar and sesame oil. Yum!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

A Few New York Gems

We recently spent a week in NYC and, rather than do a post on all restaurants we went to, I've decided to write only about the 3 that really stood out to me.

The first is Cookshop. After a stroll along the High Line in very cool temperatures (I can only imagine how beautiful this must be in the summertime though), this lunch stop was a massive treat. The menu had me torn between garlic sausage with baked beans and pickle relish, crispy fish tacos with jalapeno-cabbage slaw, or the cookshop mezze salad. I must admit, at this point I hadn't had much in the way of vegetables for quite a few days, so I opted for a parsnip soup with rye croutons and walnut butter to start (and warm me up), and the salad. But this was not your boring old salad. A massive plate arrived filled with garlicky escarole, marinated beets, spiced carrots, farro salad and sauteed kale, braised green cabbage and apples. Oh, and toasted to perfection whole grain naan. I got my veggies for the rest of the week! Service impeccable, portions much bigger than you would imagine, and oh-so-yummy. They're lunch cocktail list is pretty impressive too.

Cookshop on Urbanspoon

The second on my list is Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill. Let's just say, we ate, and ate, and ate. Wakame – seaweeed salad with sesame dressing, Ebi Shumai – amazing homemade shrimp dumplings, vegetable tempura (the onions were to-die-for), Sake Kawa maki – salmon skin rolls, Karai Kaibashira maki – spicy scallop and smelt roe rolls, spicy tuna and tempura flakes rolls and spicy crab roll. Everything super fresh and delicious. Service was also fantastic.

Blue Ribbon Sushi on Urbanspoon

And last but certainly not least, Gramercy Tavern. I'm still in awe about my meal. I began eating before taking a photo. This is one I took trying to piece it back together after devouring my first few bites. I started off with mussels, red beans and chorizo in a delectable cilantro broth. Then came my main, bass (it's normally flounder but they were out of flounder) over yummy spaghetti squash and topped with a sinful walnut and sherry sauce. This heavenly dish still pops into my head now and then. I just want to have it all over again! My wine pairing was also perfect – Txakoli, Txomin Etxaniz, 2009, Pais Vasco, Spain. I even got to share some desserts at the end – pumpkin butterscotch pudding with cinnamon whipped cream and the warm chocolate bread pudding with cacao nib ice cream – wow. With desserts like these, there's always room for dessert. Once again, outstanding service.

Gramercy Tavern on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Beautiful Handmade Gifts

I think this is officially the longest I've gone without doing a post. But it doesn't mean I haven't been eating well! Fortunately, my only excuse is that my blogging time had been eaten up by time spent with family, friends, and travelling. How beautiful is that!? 

And how beautiful are these!? Once again, our lovely friend Jane had us in awe with her delectable, intricate, handmade treats.

I mean seriously, look at the details on these labels and paper ornament. Everything cut and glued, piece by piece.

We've been telling her for a while she needs to start her own blog. I know a ton of people who would just love to have a helping hand at making cookies that look like they should be hung on the tree (but you can eat them!).

Preserves that you thought were only available in your dreams – plum Frangelico jam anyone? or how about blueberry vanilla bean? And mmmm, pickled tomato chutney.

Thank you so much Jane! You rid us of many hunger pangs during some long drives. And cheese will never be the same without jams like these.