Spa Pampering in a Dog’s Life: Bakeries, Bike Trailers and More

In the past few decades, a mini boom of small businesses has sprung up to serve dogs and their dog lover-owners.  At least in some major cities. Bakeries for Dogs I got whiff of the dog bakery business over 15 years ago, when I cycled past a new shop in Toronto’s Beaches area, a gentrified…

Romanticizing the Best: Asian Craze for Gourmet European Desserts

Romanticizing either one’s own culture or another culture, can be as simple as introducing a foreign food dish, which becomes wildly popular over time.  Popular, because not only the dish tastes great, but the consumer purchases and enjoys the dish as partaking in a refined, higher class or more worldly expression of their personal taste….

900 Years of Architectural Legacy: Why Prague is a Royal Empress

I had heard of Prague’s splendid old World charm.  But I was unprepared for the city’s dizzying variety and historical compression of architectural centuries at each street corner and with each turn of my head.  Good thing we could explore its astonishing richness of Romanesque, medieval, baroque, renaissance, gothic and art nouveau building wonders, by…

Cycling For Favourite Foods To Devour at Farmers’ Markets

I tend to be a goal-oriented cyclist –I have a destination in mind. Sometimes that turnaround point involves food. Now any diet-conscious cyclist would admonish my attitude:  to maintain a healthy weight, do not reward yourself by eating calorie laden food.  True.  The reality is at least a snack at the market, is a fabulous carrot…

Lotus Flower- From Root to Flower to Seed, It Feeds Our Senses

To me, eating lotus root, is akin to eating water chestnuts.  Either cooked or raw, they add a slight sweetness and abit of fresh, crunchy fibre to a dish.  If eaten cooked, lotus root must be sautéed or cooked not too long, or else you’ve lost that crunch. One wonders who took the gamble to…

Saskatoon Berries— Wild Little Berry with Potential

Until I came to Alberta, I never saw containers of many fresh Saskatoon berries in either British Columbia nor Ontario.  Only occasionally, I saw saskatoons already processed in jams, jellies, salad dressings or pies at a  farmers’ market or at a gourmet food shop. I might have had a Saskatoon berry pie slice once upon a…

Calgary Stampede Week: Cycle-Ridin’ Through Cowboy Hats and Pancakes

As a cyclist, you know the annual Calgary Stampede festivities have begun when cycling early morning on the popular Bow River bike-pedestrian path, suddenly there’s horse poop every 30 metres or so. It’s just one time, when the horses, their trailers and riders are camped out overnight in the empty grassy park behind Fort Calgary…

An Idyllic Summer Escape to Vancouver Island for Maidei

After feeling the city vibe of downtown Vancouver, Maidei sailed off the next morning, on a B.C. Ferry across the Georgia Strait to Saanich, Vancouver Island. During this 1.5 hrs. long voyage, she was delighted by ever-changing panoramic views of rock outcroppings and lumpy green Canadian Gulf Islands while they plied the ocean waters. These…

Kicking up Focaccia con frutta (Fruit Focaccia): My Way with Ginger Root and Spices

Ever since I discovered that Italians traditionally  studded their focaccia dough with red or green grapes instead of just  sundried tomatoes, I’ve been on the occasional focaccia con frutta-making streak. However the variations I’ve concocted, have morphed into flatbread closer to a dessert pizza. I did not know the Italian tradition when I jumped into…

Supersized Meals Along Cycling Trips : Gulping Surprises

I’m not sure why it is, but the  most memorable super-sized meals have been during our cycling trips.  Why does this happen out of town?  Maybe I don’t eat out often enough in local restaurants in my home city. I spend more restaurant dollars and sample more culinary variety  when we’re travelling and touring. After a 100…

Butternut Squash Chic : Carrying on Stir-Fried Memories

Awhile ago I rattled on in this blog, about the venerable member of the kale and cabbage family: kohl rabi, a veggie of poverty-based childhood.  Here’s another: butternut squash.  It was a cheap buy when my mother could turn a 25-cent whole squash at that time, into a supper dish to grace alongside with rice and…

Roaming Around for Bison: Distinctly North American, Lean and Maybe Gourmet

Canadians, well I should say carnivorous Canadians, may take for granted some of our home grown foods and produce   –maple syrup, wild rice and bison.  Bison have been known for inhabiting North American prairie wilderness more than anywhere else in the world. However in less than one hundred years of rapacious culling by both settlers and…

Kohl Rabi Memories and Redux

Kohl rabi is still one of those under performing root vegetables that hasn’t yet penetrated mainstream North American food consciousness. Or not even in too many other places world-wide.  Let me know if my guess is wrong. This blog post is not going to be a rapturous paean to this pale green, bland-looking veggie.  It’s…

Tour de Gateau, Torte and Kugelhopf

I never thought I would be doing some food blogging as part of my European trip stories. But after my earlier tour de foodie blog posts on  spargel (white asparagus) and dumplings, a European Tour de Gateau (cake) seemed appropos. During my discovery and devouring of delightful cake slices, I did not jot down any…

Come and Get Your Dumpling: Some West-East Comparisons

Dumpling means different textures and tastes for different cultures.  Depending on the country origin, a dumpling can be served with sauce. In other cultural cuisines, the dumpling is never served with a sauce  or else you could insult the cook. In German cuisine, there is the dampfnudel or dumpfnudel. I wondered if we would actually…