Archive for September, 2009

September 29th, 2009 Uncategorized | 1 Comment


Forget Oprah! I’m taking my food and fashion cues from Celia.  I found her blog (Life According To Celia)  while looking for coq au vin recipes and was instantly charmed by her blog aesthetic. There’s a quirky innocence in her writing and her sense of style is impeccable.  Celia wears vintage slips around the house and writes letters to pretty dresses (see Dear Nantucket Dress). With short black hair and big eyes, she’s a North American “Amelie.”  Even her job (a homemade lunch delivery service called The Lunch Lady) feels like a character detail plucked from a charming indie film.  Basically, you just want to live in her world.  Sure, it’s still aspirational blogging (with consumer links to stores and products)  but, in Celia’s hands, what you’re aspiring to just feels so right, so pure…   She also features mouth-watering must-try recipes (see Sunday Recipe) and I plan on trying out a few for upcoming posts.


Even more precious and perfect, Celia also snagged a very handsome dark-haired hottie whom she refers to simply as “Mister.” Her blog is covering their impending wedding, which I’m sure will be picture perfect.


A chef of her own life, Celia knows how to make everyday life beautiful and special and rare.


What man wouldn’t want to be a part of her world?

September 28th, 2009 Uncategorized | Leave a comment !



When my friend’s boyfriend Noah read the blog (see Love: A Dinner Story) he had a spin off idea, (cooch definition.)

Noah is obviously referring to his lady’s desire for a clean house.  And he’s not alone. Lots of women want their men to be tidy. They’ll complain, criticize, they’ll even hold out on the coochie for it. Cleaning is sexual currency. A quick mop of the floor or a scrub of the dinner dishes buys hours of coochie time in the bedroom later.

With the FC, I’m pretty easygoing about his housecleaning (or lack thereof) mostly because he has other important qualities (like a valid driver’s license, an uncanny ability to unclog toilet bowls and excellent communication skills.) Sure, sometimes I’ll wig out when he leaves his dirty clothes on the floor or fails to unload the dishwasher, but I certainly wouldn’t hold out on the coochie for it. (Yet.)

So if the FC made a spin-off blog it would have to be called, because I’ll do pretty much anything for a lift to the airport.


(Pictured above: Noah scrubs for the love, while his lady, Eilidh, nurses a Cosmo.)




When it comes to cooking, everything Julia Child is hot these days, no doubt thanks to the movie, Julie and Julia, and Streep’s magical performance as the passionate Child. Maybe that’s why my friend Peter, when browsing the net for ratatouille recipes for  his dinner party, decided to try her version (from  Mastering the Art of French Cuisine.)


Hearing of his choice, I grabbed my favourite apron and eagerly skipped over to his house to help.  We got quite excited by the recipe. (We even pretended we were 1950s housewives on a Friday afternoon, preparing a dinner party for our ad exec hubbies using Child’s then-new cookbook.)


Since seeing the movie, and adoring it (see Julie and Julia and Me) I’m ashamed to say I still hadn’t actually looked at any of Child’s cookbooks and I have to say, her writing style is remarkable.  I love the way she describes why this recipe works;


“A really good ratatouille is not one of the quicker dishes to make, as each element is cooked separately before it is arranged in the casserole to partake of a brief communal simmer.  This recipe is the only one we know of that produces a ratatouille in which each vegetable retains its own shape and character…”


And she’s right. The extra labour in her recipe is worth it.   The flavours and texture of each vegetable remain truly distinct.  It’s not a ratatouille mush. Even more thrilling, without a drop of added sugar, the delectable sweetness of this stew was astonishing.
I picked up some expensive Italian egg noodles at my local epicerie to go with it. (After all the hard work, I felt this rataouille deserved to be paired with the best.)  I also liked that our dinner party meal was totally vegetarian (we opened with a spinach soup I improvised.) However, this dish would also work well as a side for grilled meat or chicken.


Next time, I’m going to double the batch. It was that good.  Here’s Julia’s wonderful recipe:



Julia Child’s Ratatouille





1/2 pound eggplant
1/2 pound zucchini
3-quart, porcelain or stainless-steel mixing bowl
1 teaspoon salt
A 10- to 12-inch enameled skillet
4 tablespoons olive oil, more if needed
1/2 pound (about 1 1/2 cups) thinly sliced yellow onions
2 (about 1 cup) sliced green bell peppers
2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil, if necessary
2 cloves mashed garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
1 pound firm, ripe, red tomatoes, peeled, seeded and juiced (makes 1 1/2 cups pulp)
Salt and pepper
A 2 1/2 quart fireproof casserole about 2 1/2 inches deep
3 tablespoons minced parsley
Salt and pepper




Peel the eggplant and cut into lengthwise slices 3/8 inch thick, about 3 inches long and 1 inch wide. Scrub the zucchini, slice off the two ends and cut the zucchini into slices about the same size as the eggplant slices. Place the vegetables in a bowl and toss with the salt. Let stand for 30 minutes. Drain. Dry each slice in a towel.


One layer at a time, saute the eggplant and then the zucchini in hot olive oil in the skillet for about a minute on each side to brown very lightly. Remove to a side dish.
In the same skillet, cook the onions and peppers slowly in olive oil for about 10 minutes, or until tender but not browned. Stir in the garlic and season to taste.
Slice the tomato pulp into 3/8-inch strips. Lay them over the onions and peppers. Season with salt and pepper. Cover the skillet and cook over low heat for 5 minutes, or until tomatoes have begun to render their juice. Uncover, baste the tomatoes with the juices, raise heat and boil for several minutes, until juice has almost entirely evaporated.


Place a third of the tomato mixture in the bottom of the casserole and sprinkle over it 1 tablespoon of the parsley. Arrange half of the eggplant and zucchini on top, then half the remaining tomatoes and parsley. Put in the rest of the eggplant and zucchini and finish with the remaining tomatoes and parsley.
Cover the casserole and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Uncover, tip casserole and baste with the rendered juices. Correct seasoning, if necessary. Raise heat slightly and cook uncovered for about 15 minutes more, basting several times, until juices have evaporated leaving a spoonful or two of flavored olive oil. Be careful of your heat; do not let the vegetables scorch in the bottom of the casserole.



Peter Dimakos is the new Julia Child. In his loft, he takes Julie's recipe very seriously.



Browning each strip of eggplant and zucchini is time consuming, but worth it.


Constant basting is key in Julia's recipe.

Constant basting is key in Julia's recipe.



Layering also keeps vegetables distinct. (Rachel Ray's orange casserole dish was the perfect vessel for Julia's ratatouille.))



Quality Italian egg noodles paired beautifully with this dish.

September 26th, 2009 Uncategorized | Leave a comment !

There’s something you need to know about me. It’s not pretty, and I’m not proud to admit it, but I used to smoke cigarrettes.  It was before my blogging life began and part of my Montreal party lifestyle. I know it’s disgusting and I finally  managed to quit seven months ago. (I think being with the FC helped. With him, I had a reason to live (plus, him being younger I had to step up my odds of aging gracefully.) Quitting cigarrettes was also a sacrifice to the gods of love that put him in my path.  I’d been given so much, I had to give something up in exchange.


So far, it’s been smooth sailing. (I think blogging helped actually, because it kept my fingers busy and provided an outlet for all the extra energy I had to burn.) 


But now it’s the FC’s turn to quit. (Yes, he smokes.  It’s his one flaw. But he’s French, so it went with the accent. ) 


Right now the FC is on Day Four. No patch. No gum.  Like me, he decided to go cold turkey, and it’s not easy.


Last night at a dinner party chez nous (more on the amazing ratatouille we made in the next post)  he was crawling the walls, fidgetty, and compensating by downing copious amount of wine, cheese, and  snarfing up three homemade brownies my friend Peter made for dessert.  Not very sexy behaviour, right? Wrong!


Sacrifice, discipline and self control are hot.  Watching the FC struggle, and succeed, made me so proud.


In the coming weeks of nicotine withdrawal hell, I’ll do my best to support him, encouraging him to exercise and also providing him with nutritious snacks. (I’ll also benefit, since I still have to shed the five lbs I racked up in the process of quitting.) Also, by blogging about it, I instantly up the stakes. If he fails, he fails not just himself, but the blog– and that’s serious, because the blog represents everything I hope us to be. The blog is us at our best. It’s our smoke-free internet alter ego, and the FC is keenly aware of that fact.


So stay tuned.




Last night, the FC was so desparate he grabbed by friend Georgia's cigarrettes, fully prepared to smoke ten ciggies all at once. Fortuantely, we stopped him just in time.

Last night, the FC was so desparate he grabbed my friend Georgia's cigarrettes, determined to smoke ten ciggies all at once. We stopped him just in time.




I’m often disappointed by desserts.  On display, they look so enticing with their sugary glaze glistening under halogen spotlights. Your pleasure sensors go on high alert.  Your heart races.  Temperature rises. You lick your lips. You want it. You need it. Bad.


But the truth is, most desserts are never as good as they look and rarely worth the calories ingested.  Stale, too much sugar, too much lard, you keep eating it anyway, hoping by sheer volume, it’ll deliver the goods, just like a guy you don’t really like but make out with anyway, then afterwards feel empty and unsatisfied. This is why I think it’s best to leave a disappointing sweet on the plate instead of in your stomach. (Cooking For Cock Rule # 1: Only let something into your body when you really, really dig it.  This applies to food and fellas.)


So, given my history of dessert let-downs, I was utterly taken aback and overjoyed when I bit into Cafe Souffle’s plum tart. It instantly fulfilled my deepest desires.  In their small storefront on rue Marie-Anne, co-owners Marie and Anne (yep, how perfect is that?) give this scrumptious baked good a lot of love.  Embedded like sparkling jewels in a bed of sweet soft cake, the plums impart the perfect balance of sour and sweet. I felt the same way about the FC when we first locked lips — he’s just got what I like.  When he’s not around, I think about him, just like I’ve fantasized about this plum tart almost everyday since I first had it.


Pick this tart up for a picnic treat on your way to Parc Jeanne Mance or as a special dessert surprise for the current rooster on your roster. (And if the dude disappoints, at least you know this tart won’t.)



The F.C. Almost as good as Cafe Souffle's plum tart.

The F.C. Almost as good as Cafe Souffle's plum tart.




September 23rd, 2009 Uncategorized | 1 Comment


Red and luscious, beets are a seductive vegetable. Get too close, they stain your mouth, your tongue, your fingers.  They’re a sordid love affair you can’t hide.  And what’s with the unearthly colour? It should be on a bedroom wall or a shade of lipgloss called “beetrayal.”  Put beets in a rissotto and your arborio rice instantly becomes a naughty slut, a threat to virtue and true love (like your boyfriend’s single co-worker with the full lips and penchant for working late.)


Finally: here’s the beet rissotto I made last week with the French Cock and friends. (Tip: Some beet risotto recipes call for pureeing the beets, but I prefer having chunks of beet in mine, and the colouring effect is just as intense.) This recipe is adapted from


Beet Rissotto




3 medium beets (1 1/2 lb with greens), trimmed, leaving 1 inch of stems attached (Tip: roast extra beets for leftovers and to make my Beet Endive Salad.)
3 1/2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth (28 fl oz) (I always use organic stock now, try to buy it on sale, the taste difference is worth it.)

3-4 cups water

1 small onion, finely chopped (I used shallots)

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cups Arborio rice (14 oz)

1/2 cup dry white wine

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon grated fresh nutmeg (my addition, I love fresh nutmeg)

1 oz finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (1/2 cup) 






Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 425°F. Tightly wrap beets in a double layer of foil and roast on a baking sheet until very tender, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours. Cool to warm in foil package, about 20 minutes.


When beets are cool enough to handle, peel them, discarding stems and root ends, then cut into 1/2-inch cubes


While beets are cooling, bring broth and water to a bare simmer in a 2- to 3-quart saucepan. Keep at a bare simmer, covered.


Cook onion in oil in a wide 4- to 6-quart heavy pot over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add rice and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute.


Add wine and simmer briskly, stirring constantly, until absorbed, about 1 minute. Stir in 1/2 cup broth and simmer briskly, stirring constantly, until broth is absorbed. Continue simmering and adding broth, about 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly and letting each addition be absorbed before adding the next, until rice is just tender and creamy-looking,  22-30 minutes. (The original recipe calls for less cooking time, but I prefer my texture sticky and the rice not too hard. I stir often as well… )


In the last few minutes, stir in beets, salt, and pepper (mixture will turn bright pink) and cook, stirring, until heated through. Thin as necessary with some of leftover broth, then stir in cheese and remove from heat.  Serve with extra cheese and grated nutmeg on top.



Beeting it out. It feels good!


Throw some asparagus on top for an extra hit of virtue.


Joey, Peter, Gigi, me and the FC: A close-knit family no lusty beet can tear asunder.






In “Love: A Dinner Story” my friend Eilidh mentions a grilled polenta dish that won over her vegetarian musician boyfriend Noah. Since she didn’t provide the recipe (bad girl!) I decided to improvise a version for myself. And I’m glad I did! Grilled polenta has a gourmet vibe, yet it’s so easy to prepare.  It’s also a great way to use up all those seasonal peppers that are so cheap right now.   You can also improvise by adding whatever veggies you have on hand (I made it a second time with mushrooms and baked eggplant slices, which was also yummy) .  Cheeses can also be varied as well as herbs (I had fresh basil on my terrace so that was an easy choice, but coriander could be nice too.)  I’m definitely going to start keeping a polenta tube in my fridge or maybe, if I’m more ambitious, start making polenta from scratch.  Instead of barbueing the polenta, you can also pan fry it.


Premade polenta roll, sliced in six 1/2  inch slices 

2 yellow peppers

8 cherry tomotoes, halved or quartered

handful chopped basil

parmesan, two tablespoons

1 tablespoon feta (optional)

1-2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted lightly on the stove in a pan (optional, I know they’re pricey)

2-3 tablespoons olive oil for the marinades

garlic, three cloves chopped]

a drizzle of balsamic on plate to finish




1. Coat sliced polenta in olive oil and garlic.

2. Slice peppers in large pieces, toss in 1 tablespoon of olive oil and one clove of chopped garlic. Grill on medium-high until blackened and soft. Remove and return to olive oil and garlic marinade. Let cool, peel off black bits and chop. Add to tomato, basil, pine nuts, garlic and feta.

3. Grill polenta slices for four-six minutes per side or until browning and crispy on outside.  Return to olive oil and garlic plate briefly to pick up flavours of marinade when hot.  Place on serving plate (3 per plate).  Sprinkle  polenta with parmesan. Top with relish.  Drizzle with vinegraite or just balsamic if you want to avoid extra oil.

If you pre-make a relish at home – or even bring something storebought —  this would be a great camping dish (as Eilidh proved on her first camping date with her true love.)

September 18th, 2009 Uncategorized | 20 Comments

Much debate has been had over the “cooking for cock” title.  My younger sister, a self-professed prude, said she was “shocked”” by the blog name and refused to read it. Determined to win her back, I recently added the image of a rooster to the cfc banner in the hopes of giving readers another way to read the nasty “cock” word.


Good news!  My sister was totally won over and now reads the blog regularly.



Cock = rooster = universal symbol for men


Of course my fabulous gay friends and hip urban girlfriends laugh out loud at the “cookingforcock”  handle, and some days I think it’s my job to make the writing actually live up to juicy promise of the title. Yet when I study the blog readership, I find many hits come from people google-seaching for things like “cock in a hot dog bun” or “hot cock studs.” And though the FC is cute, he’s not prepared to pose naked for the blog just yet. More importantly, porn surfers aren’t really my target audience, though I do like the idea that a few might actually be inspired to cook.  (“Gee, I was going to masturbate right now, but suddenly I’m starving! Hmm. That crumble recipe looks pretty good…”)


Searches for "hot cock stud" lead to this picture of the FC, which gets quite a few hits a week. Does he have a career as a porn star? He is always looking for ways to become self-employed.

Future porn star? Searches for "hot cock stud" lead to this picture of the FC, which gets quite a few hits a week.


The point is, I want my blog to be for all kinds of people interested in the topic of food and love. I’d even like my mother to read it. (Right now, she doesn’t even know it exists.)  So here’s the question:  Is my cock just too much for people to handle?


I’ve been debating alternate titles, like “therecipeforlove” but is that too cheesy?  I also like “confessions of a culinary control freak”  and even “cookingforcoq” which ties into my blog cartoon. (See, Cooking For Cock: The Cartoon!)


Thoughts? Opinions?  Alternate titles?  Would love some feedback.  Thanks!!!


September 16th, 2009 Uncategorized | Leave a comment !

My friend Eilidh, a BC costume designer and cooking for cock pioneer, has taught me a thing or two about both boys and food.  She finally put her cute little fingers to the keyboard and wrote the following food/love story.   (Readers, feel free to send me your own food/love stories too. Romances, cautionary tales, tragedies and comedies welcome. We’ll gobble them up, I promise.)



I’m not saying food likes and dislikes are a 100% reliable barometer on a guy, but they definitely can offer some insight into the way he thinks about relationships.


CALLUM ate fast food because he was always busy working and did not have time for much else.  I fit into his schedule the same way that Vera’s Burgers did, in between, when it was convenient. Our dates left me with guilt-hangovers. I knew I deserved something more nutritious.


OLAF was 10 years older than me, which lead me to believe he was mature. He had a discourteous habit of reminiscing about previous girlfriends or checking out chicks while he was with me. I once bumped into him as I was walking past the Memphis Grill patio. He was elbows deep in sauce-soaked meat, pulled pork I believe. The over-indulgence of his massive meat plate flashed Neanderthal visions in my mind, which cured me of any remaining romantic notions I once had for him.


GUS was charming. We had a steamy start. It was going well until one night I invited him over for dinner. Instead of the delight I expected to hear from the other end of the phone, there was silence followed by a very apprehensive, “What are you making?” The silence sounded an alarm. Turned out Gus’s favorite food was pepperoni pizza and had been for at least a decade or more. I thought I could help him develop his tastes… It was a lost cause. I tried to make plainly flavored food, which made me miserable and was never appreciated anyway.  One night I told him about my off the deep-end ex who had just reappeared & was causing me problems. I thought Gus might rise to the occasion and offer some support. Instead, he split instantly. He wanted his life simple without complications or unexpected twists; like pepperoni pizza.


NOAH and I met at The Libra Room as a bluesy folk band played. If  it weren’t for my experience with the culinary-challenged Gus, I may have by-passed him all together.


Our conversation flowed like our drinks and suddenly the bar was closing. We had our first date at a Mexican restaurant called Lolita’s. That is when the V-word surfaced. He is a hardcore vegetarian, a first for me. I like to share plates. I realized I’d have to order separately or convert to his limiting palate. I was unsure if he was worth the trade off. Still his gentlemanly manner continued to intrigue me and slowly I became hooked on his sweetness and the way he constantly morphed from geek to hotty.  We took an impromptu camping trip early on in the relationship. I combed my fridge & pantry for camping food. He picked me up in his Subaru wagon packed full of gear, the tent, mattress, stove etc. We headed for the mountainous town of Squamish. By the time we set-up camp it was dark. We made a fire & on it I fried polenta with a tomato-eggplant sauce accompanied by a simple salad. It was pretty superb & he was truly impressed. The stars were bright and we were satiated with booze and delicious food. I realized that though he was a strict vegetarian he was open to flavour and trying new dishes. That night his simple tent was a palace & I knew it wasn’t another throwaway relationship.


My love still raves about that dinner.



Eilidh d Noah (the hottie musician she snagged with her bbqed polenta.)

Eilidh and Noah, the hottie musician she snagged with her barbecued polenta. Check out Noah's band Queso Blanco at


Couples who camp together....

Just like the FC and me, Eilidh and her man like to cook with fire.

Bears like good food too.

Bears like good food too.


Camping breakfast table.  Eilidh's morning menu was pancakes. Way to camp Eilidh!

Eilidh's morning camping menu included pancakes. Way to camp Eilidh!