Archive for August, 2009

August 28th, 2009 Uncategorized | Leave a comment !


I once had an extraordinary cat named William.

William had a loud vibrating purr like the engine of a race car. He could climb up and down trees (not like most sissy cats that get stuck.) I would often take William for walks around the block, no leash required. If he strayed to explore some little garden or sniff out another cat, I’d just have to whistle and, like a dog, he’d skip along the sidewalk to rejoin me. He’d even follow me right inside the corner store. That’s how amazing William was.

A friendly cat with a fat lip and penetrating stare, people naturally gravitated to William. I once came out onto my front porch to find a cluster of  habit-wearing nuns tickling William’s belly as he lay sprawled out on the pavement. My neighbours adored him too (he would often sneak into their windows and spend the night– the tramp!) My friend Margo used to take photographs of him and she recently honoured William by making him the very first image on her new photoblog,

William also had some pretty extraordinary food allergies. Chicken, fish, beef, pork and even wheat  protein were all a big no-no. If he ate the wrong cat food, he would break out into an itchy red rash. After doing some allergy tests, I found out he could only eat potato, peas and alternative proteins like venison and duck.  You can imagine how hard it was finding a cat food brand with just the perfect mix. When I finally found one on the net, the company didn’t deliver to Canada so I had to ship it to a friend in New York and have him smuggle it into Montreal (I called it my “catfood contraband.”) But William was worth the trouble.

In his last years, when he seemed  too thin or no longer enjoying his pea and venison kibble, I could reboot William’s appetite with boiled fresh duck.  I swear it prolonged his life another two years.

My point is: Sometimes special creatures need special food.  Whether they’re celiac or lactose intolerant or just prefer not to eat meat, feeding them what they need and what’s good for them is a form of love.

Super Simple Gluten-Free Peanut Cookies

Here’s a recipe designed for two of my favourite dietary-challenged human cats; Steve who has IBS and can’t eat egg yolks and diary, and Don, who’s celiac. Despite the fact that it’s dairy and gluten-free, this is my favourite peanut butter cookie.  (The recipe is adapted from Don’s mother, Cathy, a terrific gluten-free cook, especially when it comes to desserts.)

1 cup smooth natural peanut butter  (Cathy liked to use regular Skippy but I like natural)
2 tablespoon potato flakes ( this produces a crumblier cookie, for a chewier cookie, use 1 tbspn one or even none)
2/3 – 1 cup sugar (I use 2/3, and if you used processed peanut butter, less is also better)
1 teaspoon salt
2 egg whites beaten until stiff
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional– for Steve’s IBS, I used vanilla bean because he’d react to the extract)

Mix ingredients until thick and chunky. Roll into balls onto cookie sheet and press down with fork. Bake in 350 degree oven for fifteen-twenty minutes or until bottom starts to brown.  Let cookies sit for ten to fifteen minutes, they firm up upon cooling. Yummy for everyone,  with or without food allergies.  As an option, you can sprinkle a little coarse sea salt on top of the cookie before going into the oven. It gives the cookie an extra salty kick and a pretty sparkly accent.  Makes 20 cookies approx, depending on size of your cookies.


August 25th, 2009 Uncategorized | Leave a comment !



I made a beet risotto last week (more on that topic another day) and had leftover roast beets demanding an encore. I ended up improvising a sexy little salad that the FC liked so much he licked the platter clean (so did I.)  

What I like about this salad is that it’s so composed and pretty, with the endive leaves layed out in petals around the beets, a hint of decadence in the blue cheese (but not too much) and the inviting deep ruby red centre. Simple yet impressive, it’s the perfect cooking for cock appetizer. I recommend this for a fancy Friday night dinner for you and your favourite rooster.

Beet and Endive Salad
2 endives
, washed, stem cut and leaves plucked.
4-5 small roasted beets* peeled and sliced

2 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese

For the dressing:
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
2 tablespoons balsmamic
salt and pepper

Fan endives on a plate. Place sliced beets in the middle (don’t move them around too much or the red juice of the beets will spread, messing up your presentation) Sprinkle crumbled blue cheese on top. Mix dressing in a bowl and drizzle a tablespoon (more or less to taste) over both beets and endive leaves.

I put the FC in charge of the dressing (he’s expanding his repertoire beyond crepes and peanut butter sandwiches). He made his dressing with more oil then I would have but my inner culinary control freak stayed quiet (a lesson I learned in When Cock Turns Cook.)  And I’m very glad I did. His simple dressing easily picked up the sweet red juices from the beets (essentially becoming  another element of the dressing.)  I’m not kidding when I say we both licked the plates clean.

 (*Tip: Because it’s time consuming, I recommend roasting up a big batch of beets and using them all week in risottos, salads, borscht, whatever your “beeting heart” desires! To roast beets, pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. Meanwhile, wash and trim beet stems. Double wrap in aluminum foil and bake for around 45 minutes to an hour, depending on beet size. )

August 24th, 2009 Uncategorized | Leave a comment !

Here’s an interesting article from The New York Times, “Out of the Kitchen, Onto the Couch” by Michael Pollan, a writer who mourns the death of cooking in America.


As you know from reading The Cooking For Cock Philosophy I believe cooking is important too. It’s healthier than take-out, usually cheaper, and it can score you some pretty amazing cock (see How I Lost My Virginity.) But I don’t believe Pollan’s theory that cooking shows are to blame for the death of cooking and the rise of obesity in North America.  


Pollan asks, “How is it that we are so eager to watch other people browning beef cubes on screen but so much less eager to brown them ourselves? For the rise of Julia Child as a figure of cultural consequence — along with Alice Waters and Mario Batali and Martha Stewart and Emeril Lagasse and whoever is crowned the next Food Network star — has, paradoxically, coincided with the rise of fast food, home-meal replacements and the decline and fall of everyday home cooking.”


When in doubt? Blame Martha.

When in doubt? Blame Martha.


Pollan goes on to criticize many cooking show hosts, including Martha Stewart for portraying cooking in a high-stress, inaccessible way. Is he serious? If you’re going to blame TV for the fact that no one’s cooking, blame shows like CSI and American Idol; they take up far more “couch time” than say, Top Chef or Martha.


And if Martha seems too high stress, as Pollan argues, maybe it’s because men like Pollan keep talking about her like that.  Aiming for culilnary excellence is nothing to criticize. Personally, I think Martha rocks, and so do her buttermilk corn muffins which I’ve been meaning to blog about.)


If anything my cooking has actually improved thanks to cooking shows and especially food blogs (the latter Pollan doesn’t really address.) With the help of a quick Google search I can figure out how to cook just about anything. Many of my friends rely on the net too and are cooking more because of it. 


That said, Pollan’s right, there is a big problem with the American (and Canadian) diet. But to inspire real change Pollan needs to change the tone of his discourse (“Eating Manifesto?” “In Defense?”)  He’s so stern and fingerpoint-y that I want to rush over to MacDonalds just to spite him. And why I do get so annoyed hearing this lecture from man? Give me a food article in Self Magazine any day of the week. It’s the same message, but more fun to read and with recipes too.


Instead of blaming TV for the American obesity problem, we need food writers and food educators to find creative and sexy ways to spread cooking values. We also need more movies like “Julie and Julia” that make cooking seem as seductive as a new pair of designer shoes. Then Carrie Bradshaw, who Pollan apparently cites as an anti-cooking culprit) would have been a gourmet cook as well as a shopaholic. 


Did Carrie Bradshaw kill cooking?

Did Carrie Bradshaw kill cooking? Or just any progress women have made avoiding emotionally unavailable men like Big?



When women and men realize that cooking is a joy, a seduction (!!!) an escape, a currency and even a status, things will change. We also need to remember that cooking doesn’t just inspire good health, but love too. It keeps friends, lovers and family close. (I know my cooking does.)


With this kind of upbeat positive language maybe more people (men and women) will discover the real joy of cooking. (This is the goal of my blog, )


I blame CSI for killing the American cook.

I blame Horatio Cane for killing the American cook.

August 22nd, 2009 Uncategorized | Leave a comment !



Pastis is a tradition in the south of France. During my stay in Giens there was always a bottle lying around the villa. I sipped one by the pool with a good book (Le Silence De La Mer was perfect for my French level) or while planning a late lunch or dinner. During a moment of vacation stress (yeah, it happens sometimes) the French Coq poured me a pastis and I was instantly tranquillized.


I love the ritual of pastis. It’s an afternoon reality check, a sanctuary, an anise-flavoured liquid siesta where you remind yourself what really matters in life; good food and good love.


Curious about other ways to drink pastis I googled “pastis cocktails” and found a few interesting combinations, including; the Perroquet, pastis flavoured with creme de menthe, and the Mauresque, pastis with Syrup d’Orgeot (almond syrup.)  


I finally had a chance to actually sample one of these enticing-sounding elixirs today when the FC and I dropped by Le Massillia a favourtie hangout for French ex-pats living in Montreal.  It’s a humble little bar with a bright blue awning and a chill Mediterrean vibe. It was also packed with cute French boys watching football  (aka “soccer.”) I took a note to bring my single friend Georgia next time. The speciality of the house is Ricard (a common brand of pastis) and bottles of it lined the bar. Plastic Ricard ashtrays of green and blue lay on each table. (They were so cute I wanted to take one home in my purse even though I don’t smoke.)


I soon noticed a chalkboard menu exclusively  devoted to pastis cocktails and featuring all the ones I’d read about and even few I’d never heard of.  I opted for the Mauresque, which the bartender reccomended. Wow! It was smooth as a sunny afternoon in the south of France.  The almond sweetness of the syrup mellowed the strong licorice flavour and even the FC (who was practically weened on this apertif) said he preferred it too. 


As the FC glued his eyes to the televised football indoors, I happily sipped my pastis — a little oasis of Europe on a Saturday afternoon.


Two Pastis Cocktails


Classic Pastis with Water


one and half  ounces pastis

pitcher of cold water on the side


Pour pastis into a small glass with ice. Serve with a pitcher or carafe of icey cold water on the side. (Tip:  I only add only a little water at first,  1 tablespoon or 2 savouring the strong flavour for a little while, then gradually adding more as I finish the drink.  By the end, I’m just enjoying a cold glass of water._


The Mauresque


one and half ounces pastis

one tablespoon of almond syrup (more or less to taste)
pitcher of cold water



The FC doesn't agree with my plan to steal the Ricard ashtray. But see-- Isn't it cute?



Too many pastis cocktails to choose from!

A good book and a pastis. Recipe for bliss.

A good book and a pastis. Recipe for bliss.

August 21st, 2009 Uncategorized | Leave a comment !


Stuart cradles his potatoes.


Even the most veggiephobic boy loves his spuds. For this reason I’ve decided to start a new category (“Spuds for Studs”) exclusively devoted to potatoes.


My first recipe was designed by Stuart, the cuddly British ex-pat who lives in my Toronto house. Stuart works for a large Toronto costume and wardrobe company and enjoys dressing up, difficult boys, decorating his bedroom, So You Think You Can Dance, and most importantly, food.


A terrific cook, Stuart has been making mashed potatoes for years and he’s damn good at it. The other night, he whipped up a combination so divine that, with just one taste my pleasure sensors overloaded and my eyeballs nearly exploded with culinary joy. His secret? The addition of sweet potato and feta cheese.


A guaranteed cock-pleaser. Make some for your man tonight.



Stuart’s Mashed Potatoes # 9


Thanks to his Phillipino friend’s mother (who always cooks with sweet potatoes) Stuart realized sweet potatoes were just as awesome and yummy as regular white ones (they also add a hefty boost of vitamin C and carotenoids.) Now all his mashed potato combinations include both. After that he improvises, and what he comes up with his usually spuderific, like this gem.




4 medium size potatoes, peeled and cut into halves or quarters
1 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into halves or quarters
3 tablespoons feta cheese
1 tablespoon butter or margarine (Stu used margarine)
8 garlic cloves, peeled




Boil white potatoes for ten minutes, then add sweet potatoes. Cook until tender.


As potatoes boil, saute the cloves of garlic until brown and carmelized and tender.


When potatoes are ready, mash with garlic, feta and butter. Salt and pepper to taste. Serves six easily; more with smaller portions.  Pair with steak, chicken or pork or layer on a plate with veggies on top. (Tip: On how to choose a good potato, check out;col1. It’s from an article in Men’s Fitness– See? Men really do love their spuds.)

August 20th, 2009 Uncategorized | Leave a comment !

OnlyOneCOLOR2Never send a cock to do a chick’s job.


The other night, the FC brought home the wrong pasta from the grocery store and I was furious. I’d asked for spaghetti, not spaghetinni!


Annoyed by the mistake and too tired and stubborn to go back out to the store and exchange it, I griped and I groaned. The FC was confused. He wondered why I couldn’t just make due with this pasta. Was it really so bad?


Of course when I finally made up the pasta it tasted just fine, better than fine. The texture of the extra fine pasta was just what I craved.


Like in love, sometimes mistakes can lead to discoveries, as long as you keep an open mind. (But I still think we need to go back to calling spaghettini “vermicelli” to avoid future mishaps.)

August 18th, 2009 Uncategorized | 2 Comments



The FC,  Brent and I went to see “Julie and Julia” last week and we were totally inspired, and not just by Meryl Streep’s amazing performance.  The story engages, and, sorry if this sounds narcissistic, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who felt this way, but sometimes watching this movie was like looking in a mirror.


The film follows the lives of two women; Julie, a New York blogger cooking her way through Julia Child’s cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cuisine,  and Julia Child herself, the famous cookbook author struggling to bring French cuisine to America.   Both stories examine the search for creative expression through cooking, as well as providing a heart-warming look at the way relationships (ie, love) can nurture our creative impulses, inspire and “feed” us.


The way Julie’s blog came about felt uncannily familiar; her job dissatisfaction (though I admit being a disgruntled screenwriter doesn’t compare to handing out insurance to 911 victims ) the supportive boyfriend who inspires her to do the blog and sets up the blog template, as well as the frantic cooking meltdown scenes; all reminded me of moments I’d had with the FC.


Julia Child’s story spoke to me even more. For one, her story takes place in France, a country she adores, and I had just returned from there days earlier, equally impressed by the cuisine.  For example, the scene where Julia gushes over her buttery truite meuniere reminded me of an experience I had in small hotel outside of Lyon, biting into a ham and cheese baguette and shouting “Oh my god!! Oh my god!!”  I was having a food-orgasm in public. Amused, my French boyfriend (the FC) smiled and agreed. Just like Julia’s husband Paul (played by the adorable Stanley Tucci) he is (almost) never embarrassed by my loud public displays of pleasure and, in some case, outrage.


After the movie, the FC said it was cool to feel that your life is like a movie, than added, “Actually better zen a movie.”


But despite the similarities, the movie did make me raise a few questions about my blog and its purpose.  In both cases, Julie and Julia had a goal. Julie’s goal was to cook her way through Julia Child’s cookbook in a year; Julia Child’s was to write a cookbook. What’s my goal?


This blog started for two reasons; as a forum for  sharing my own cooking experiences,  and also, and more importantly, to explore the connection between love and cooking (something the film does so elegantly.)


Does that give my blog enough of a purpose?  If so, what is the end game?  Is it finally knowing “the recipe for true love?” Marrying the FC?  Breaking up with the FC? Going back to the AC? Becoming a better cook and inspiring others to cook too?


I once stumbled upon a cupcake blog that was no longer active, and I felt sad. What happened? Why did she suddenly quit? Did she get fat and die of a heart attack from eating all those yummy cupcakes? Or did she get pissed off because Martha Stewart ended the whole gourmet cupcake trend by publishing a giant definitive cupcake cookbook with many similar recipes?  Her food blog just seemed to fizzle and die, and I don’t want that to happen to mine. I want mine to finish with a reason.


But maybe I shouldn’t predetermine its end. (It’s something I’ve done my whole life, forecasting myself out of good things, including the FC.) I just have to realize that every day I’m cooking up a little nibble, and everyday it’ll be different.  Besides “Julie and Julia” only scratches the surface of the food/love connection. The topic is endless. And unlike a cupcake blogger, there’s no danger of me getting terminally fat or Martha Stewart deciding to write a cookbook called “cooking for cock.”


Sure, I admit, in my biggest craziest dreams the blog could be fodder for a TV series or romantic comedy about cooking for love (I already have a few ideas on how to spin it.)  Or it could morph into a new blog, depending on how things go with the FC. Gourmet baby foods? 364 movie premises? (Actually, I like that one.) Cooking for no cock?


The future is open.  And I think I’m okay with that.


The FC and me in our later years?

The FC and I in our later years? I hope so! These two are the sexiest middle-aged couple I've ever seen.

August 16th, 2009 Uncategorized | 1 Comment



Now that I’m no longer cruising and boozing it up in Montreal bars (thanks to the FC, who’s affection keeps me happily intoxicated right at home) I find myself missing certain summertime cocktails. Maybe that’s why, at the SAQ yesterday, I decided to stray from the wine section to see what else was on offer. That’s when I noticed a bottle of white port (“porto” for les francais) and remembered one of my favourite summertime cocktails; White Port and Tonic.


I discovered the drink last summer at the Baldwin Barmacy where my friend Rina tends bar. It’s tart and sweet and way more exciting then a gin and tonic. Before then, I didn’t even know white port existed!


It was 31 degrees yesterday and the perfect occasion to whip up an icy cold “wp and t” and head out to the terrace. Sadly, the FC wasn’t crazy about it, but at least that means I’ll always have a bottle of white port in the fridge for me and my girlfriends. So let’s call this one a “chicktail.”


White Port and Tonic


2 ounces White Port
4 ounces Tonic
Lemon or lime wedge
Sprig of mint from the garden (I grew some on my terrace this year)


Mix, garnish and enjoy.


So refreshing!

August 12th, 2009 Uncategorized | Leave a comment !

I have big news. The FC moved in with me. He’d mentioned the idea about a month ago (see Mi Pasta, Tu Pasta) but I wasn’t sure. Yes, I was thrilled he would even entertain the notion (it meant he was serious about us) but I still had questions.


When I told him, “It’s a big decision” he smiled and replied in his adorable French accent, “Laura, I am already leeving ‘ere.” (Since we met, we’d spent almost every night together.) He also said he’d rather pay me rent than his landlord. Both good points, yet still I wavered. I said we should wait until after our trip to France– and I guess he took me at my word because when the FC returned to Canada (several days before me) he immediately started moving in his stuff. He also put some rent money under my pillow saying “the tooth mouse” had visited  (yeah, in France, it’s a mouse.)





I have to admit, it’s exciting talking about dressers and closet space and trips to Ikea. There’s a new energy. A sense of possibility. We’re making a go of it and I’m happy. It’s what I want, and the FC knew that.


I think that’s why he’s such a good match for me. I may be the chef in the kitchen, but he’s the chef of the relationship. He cuts through my Libran fear and indecision with reason, humour and action. He keeps us moving forward, and he knows a thing or two about love and what to do when you find it.


So maybe I’ll just follow his recipe.


The FC’s Recipe for Living Together




1 practical boy who knows what he wants.
1 flip-floppity chick with more questions than answers
1 apartment belonging to flip-floppity chick




1. To avoid girl changing her mind, boy moves stuff into apartment when girl’s still in Europe
2. Since there’s no room in the closet, leave stuff on the floor in a big messy pile.
3. When girl comes home, pick her at airport with a big smile and kiss.
4. That night, don’t let her cook, take her out for sushi instead because you know she likes it.
5. Have passionate sex. (This will keep her from noticing big messy pile of stuff on floor.)
6. When girl falls asleep, put rent money under her pillow and in the morning tell her “the tooth mouse” has visited. (This means you avoid awkwardness of money changing hands, which is not very romantic.)
7. Enjoy your accomplishment while planning next relationship adventure.