California by Food

LA Pier

Three weeks ago, I had the pleasure of visiting the L.A. area for about 5 days. Since Nicole is off galavanting in Tanzania, I’ll use this week’s post to give you all a tour of L.A + Palm springs… by food! Continue reading

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Alyssa & Rory’s Cajun Nachos & Guacamole

Cajun NachosFor those that have been following us awhile, they might remember how snobby I was about nachos in our first post at The Whistling Walrus. Part of the reason is because most places just don’t do a very good job with nachos – not enough cheese, too soggy, etc. But the other part of the reason for my high standard is because of this nacho recipe.

When I first started hanging out with my friend Alyssa, we bonded over our love of nachos, and quickly started arranging times to make them together. After a few times making them, we ended up with this recipe, which has since been fed to many other friends with huge success. I’m now posting it to the world in the hopes that all of you will enjoy them too!

I’m also including Alyssa’s tomato-less guacamole in this post, since we always serve them together. It’s one of my favorite guac recipes, so give it a try!

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Jack & Lois

Jack & LoisIt seems that recently, Hamilton has become a locus of excellent burgers. With offerings like Chuck’s Burger Bar, the Chef’s Wagon, and The Works, it’s hard to complain about the local burger world. This week, we’re reviewing one of the lesser-known burger (and breakfast) joints on James St. North, Jack & Lois. Despite being open for over two years, I only found out about Jack & Lois last fall when some visiting friends, back from a year of travelling, chose it as a meet up spot for some beers. I only had drinks on that particular visit, but the menu was exciting enough that I made a note to get back there and try the food as soon as possible. Well, it took longer than I was planning, but Nicole and I finally made it out recently for my birthday dinner, and we weren’t disappointed.

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Kushi Yaki

Kuhsi Yaki Sushi, Hamilton It’s funny – I’m originally from Maine, but for most of my life, I HATED seafood. If you brought fish, lobster, or shellfish anywhere near me, the smell would make me gag. I know – what a waste to be surrounded by such excellent seafood and not eat any of it! Fast forward to today and the word “sushi” will perk up my ears from a mile away! Well, not a mile; not unless you were yelling through a megaphone. Really, it would perk up my ears if you were within earshot.

So far, I’ve been lucky enough to try sushi in Maine, Vancouver, Toronto, Hamilton, and even the Tsukiji fish market at 5 AM in Tokyo! This week we’ll be reviewing one of Hamilton’s All You Can Eat (AYCE) sushi restaurants, Kushi Yaki on King St. East.

I should note that Kushi Yaki was previously called Sushi Star, and seems to have been re-branded. I say re-branded rather than “a new restaurant” because despite the Kushi Yaki sign in the picture above, the windows and order slips still say “Sushi Star.” Continue reading

Mushroom Bourguignon

Smitten Kitchen CookbookI think it’s about time we put something up for the vegetarians. We haven’t actually posted a vegetarian main dish yet, so today is the day!

For Christmas, Nicole got me the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook. I’ve been using the website for recipes for years now, so I was very excited to now own Deb’s book. It’s only been just over a month since christmas and we’ve already made three dishes from it (all of which were excellent – you’ll likely see many posted here).

So, this week’s post is our first from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook – a Mushroom Bourguignon (that’s bor-gin-yawn). The dish is usually beef-based (often called Beef Burgundy, as the dish originates from the Burgundy region of France), but this particular dish substitutes the beef for a giant helping of cremini mushrooms (did you know that cremini, white button, and portobello mushrooms are all the same mushrooms? They’ve just been left to grow different lengths in time). The dish is fantastic and, while a bit labor-intensive in prep work, is well worth the work. Continue reading

Jacob Wirth

Jacob WirthThis past weekend, Nicole and I visited Boston to see Jim Gaffigan. Despite growing up in New England, I haven’t spent all that much time in Boston. So, I asked my friend Mike, for some recommendations on things to do and places to eat at and atop his list was a German restaurant named Jacob Wirth right near the theater. And after our last post on pretzel bread, we might as well keep the German theme going! The visit was made particularly special because most of my family joined for the dinner (and the whole weekend)!

Apologies for the photo quality, but we were stuck using the cell phone again for our pictures. Nicole just got a new camera so we’ll have to start remembering to take that with us! Continue reading

Clare’s Pretzel Bread

Pretzel BunsAwhile back, my friend Clare (the same who does some of the graphics on this site!) introduced me to some pretzel buns she had been making. I had eaten similar pretzels while at a bar in Heidelberg, Germany and could never forget them. The soft, warm, and just a bit salty pretzel went perfect with beer and left me quite disappointed when I couldn’t get them at bars in Hamilton. When I had the pretzel buns Clare had baked, I was brought back to that little pub in Germany. Here is Clare’s recipe.

As a side note, this recipe is mostly just for the pretzel dough. We’ve made small buns with them, but you can also make a single loaf or even proper pretzels! Continue reading