Archive for October, 2009

October 29th, 2009 Uncategorized | Leave a comment !



Grow food at home in a Phillips Bio-Tower, where space-efficient, stackable eco-systems (including live fishies!) feed nutrients to each other. Harvest your own lettuce, herbs, even shellfish.


Forget rickety old barns, no make-up, and tattered house frocks. Be a modern sci-fi farm girl!! (Sexy silver spaceboots and sparkly metallic eye shadow will go nicely with this biosphere tower.)


(FC– Another item for my Christmas kitchen wishlist…?)

October 28th, 2009 Uncategorized | Leave a comment !



Before my screenwriting career took off, I used to work the lunch shift in a French restaurant in Toronto.  Several times a week an elderly French gentlemen named”George” would come in for his Croque Monsieur.   George wore a cravat, walked with a cane, and always ate alone. Taking pity on him, I took extra care of George.  I’d make small talk, laugh at his jokes and smile in his direction when I hurried by with a plate for another table. I also encouraged him to eat the occasional salad. (I was afraid all that cheese, butter and ham was going to give him a massive coronary.)


Eventually, George got used to me. If there was another waitress during my shift,  he would make a point of sitting in my section.   On his 70th birthday I was especially attentive, even giving him a complimentary dessert.  On his way out, George shuffled up to me and gently tapped me on the shoulder.  I turned and smiled, ready to accept his heartfelt thanks for another perfect lunch. He leaned closer and muttered softly, “You have a beautiful… derriere.”


Derierre?!!! I was mortified. All that time I was thinking we had a sweet grandfather/grandaughter relationship, and all this time he was thinking I had a beautiful derriere!!  I was too shocked to think of a reply. Stunned, I watched him hobble out the front door as though nothing had happened.


My point is, men have always had a thing for waitresses and also misconstruing the waitress/customer relationship. Remember the film Adaptation, and Charlie’s fantasy about the diner waitress? Just because she inquires about the book he’s reading, he assumes it’s okay to ask her out for a date.  That day, George assumed it was okay to tell me what he thought of my fanny. (Was it a birthday present to himself? A titillating lunchtime dare?)


Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not saying waitresses and customers can’t be attracted to each other, or even fall in love. My friend Rina is now living with a guy who was a regular at the upscale bar where she worked– and he’s not the only guy she met there. Maybe some girls actually choose to waitress with this idea in mind.  After all, you do meet lots of dudes. Waitressing is also a great filter, (ie,  you can tell a lot about a guy by the way he drinks and tips.)


But what is it about waitresses that men find so alluring? Is it because men can’t help but fall for a woman who serves them drink and food, smiling as she does so?  Or maybe it’s the waitress uniform they find so appealing. A uniform suggests we are in service to them, without choice, and this slavery arouses their deepest fantasies. 


Whatever the reason, here’s today’s recipe for love (or at least, desire.) 


Waitress Allure




Whip up some homemade diner fare, such as my Easy Homemade Poutine.


Play some downtempo 50s rock.


Put on a sassy waitress dress.


Result: He’ll be putty in your hands. And at least in this case, your intentions won’t be misconstrued.


Vintage waitress dress, belted. Hot or dowdy? You be the judge.

Vintage waitress dress, belted, for sale on the net.



Waitress fetish gear, also for sale online. (This is a little too tacky for me, but for guys? I'm sure it's just right.)




Cooking for cock doesn’t just mean cooking for a boy, it means eating well and staying trim even during those times when there’s no decent guy in sight. Too often food is a substitute for love.  Even worse, if you’re pigging out on ice cream and cake every time you feel lonely and unloved, you can easily fall into a vicious cycle, ie, the more you eat, the fatter you get and the more likely no one is going to want to shag you. (Sorry to be blunt, but it’s true.) That’s why nutritious low fat and low sugar desserts are a single girl’s best friend.


This pumpkin custard recipe gives you all the yumminess of pumpkin pie without the buttery crust. Substitute whipped cream for low fat whipped ricotta and you can get a hit of pumpkin pie flavour without the pumpkin stomach to go with it. Individual ramekins keep the portions under control (you eat only one, two if you’re really feeling needy.) This custard carried me through a couple of lonely winters. During this time, my dateless Friday night ritual included working out to a dance dvd, making a healthy meal, and treating myself to a pumpkin custard with a little Law and Order on the side.  I actually enjoyed those nights, like a secret pleasure, and always woke up the next day feeling upbeat and energized (vs bloated and depressed.)


This custard is nutritious enough for breakfast too. Even better, since cooking is fun and creative, whipping up this dessert will make you feel life is still worth living even if Prince Charming is taking a little too long to show up.


So let’s call this one a “recipe for self-love.”


Low Fat Pumpkin Custard




2 egg whites and one egg lightly beaten
2 cups pumpkin puree (I make my own, cutting and seeding the pumpkin, roasting in a pan for 40 minutes or until tender, then scooping out and mashing until smoothish- ie, a little texture is okay)
3/4 cups brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg (or ground, but I’m now hooked on grinding it myself)
1 14 ounce can of evaporated skim milk

For the whipped ricotta (one serving only)
1 tablespoon low fat ricotta
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon sugar




Preheat oven to 350 degrees.


In a large bowl combine ingredients until they are well mixed. Pour mixture into individual ramekins (little ovenproof ceramic or glass bowls) and bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. (Wetter is okay too, since it’s not a pie and you’ll be eating with a spoon anyway. I also find the custard hardens when cooled so no need to panic over the firmness.)


Let cool and serve with whipped ricotta. (When dining alone, I make the ricotta per serving so I don’t have extra to binge on.)


For the whipped ricotta: whip the one tablespoon of ricotta with the sugar and vanilla extract. Spoon onto custard and LOVE YOURSELF because you are being a very good girl!



The FC prepares the pumpkin for roasting. He needs low fat treats too since he recently quit smoking (four weeks and counting!) and now snarfs down chocolate bars at every turn.

The FC prepares the pumpkin for roasting. He needs low fat treats too since he recently quit smoking (four weeks and counting!) and now snarfs down chocolate bars at every turn.

Even though the FC took a while to show up in my life, at least I was in top form when he did.

Even though the FC took a while to show up in my life, at least I was in top form when he did.


Save the seeds for roasting. They make another great snack.

Save the seeds for roasting. They make another great snack.

The pumpkin goes into the oven for roasting.

The pumpkin goes into the oven for roasting.

October 25th, 2009 Uncategorized | 2 Comments


Something shocking happened to me yesterday afternoon at my friend Georgia’s. While rummaging through her fridge, I found a jar of homemade strawberry jam, mouldy and gone bad. (It was made with no preservatives.) I was horrified. The jam was a gift. From me!! Though I’d made a small batch, I prepared a special jar just for her. Why didn’t she savour every last drop?  And if you’ve read this blog before, you know how I feel about jam– it’s precious. (See: Jam: A Love Story.) Re-gifting is okay by me, but gift-squandering? Unacceptable! 


Can we tell the people we love how to treat the gifts we give them, or does this defeat the purpose of a gift?


Illustration by my friend Ola Kononova. Check out her website, olastyle, to see more of her beautiful digital drawings.




Nothing says “I love you” more than hot soup on a cold day. Margo, my stylish Manhattanista friend, nourturer, photographer, snappy dresser and great cook, whipped this soup up recently and was kind enough to share the recipe and stellar photo. Thanks Margo. (And lovely seeing you in NYC!)


Potato, Leek and Fennel Soup


(adapted from a recipe in Bon Appetit, posted on Epicurious.)




3/4 chopped of a medium size bulb of fennel
3 leeks, white and pale green parts.
3lb bag of red potatoes peeled and chopped/cubed small
1 1/2 tetra boxes of salted chicken stock; I used Kitchen Basics; of course it could also be made with the vegetable stock.
3-4+ tblsp butter ***I really go there when its near




Saute the leeks and fennel in butter.


Add the stock and the potatoe, and boil for a good long while


Use large wooden spoon to mash the potatoes (etc) against the side of the pot until I reached my desired texture/thickness. (I like that there is still some texture there.. not pureed in the blender.)


Add pepper, and a bit of salt to taste.


Serve with fresh bread and butter!  For a creamy/zingy addition, garnish with a dollop of plain yogurt and/or homemade croutons.




Margo hits the streets in her toque.

Margo shows me around her Lower East Side hood.



Margo's smile is so Manhattan! NYC is a seriously happy town.


October 22nd, 2009 Uncategorized | Leave a comment !

I’m starting my Christmas list early this year.  First item?  This retro inspired apron from Anthropologie. Me want!   (FC– are you reading this?) They have a whole bunch of other sexy styles too. Check them out!






I’m not a fan of emotional eating, but some emotions need to be fed. Like heartache. That’s how my friend Alexandra felt when her sometimes-hot/sometimes-cold boyfriend stood her up yet again. Her first stop on the road to recovery? La Banquise for a poutine. (La Banquise is one of Montreal’s most famous poutineries. I made up that word, isn’t it cute?)  When I heard this, I was concerned. I don’t like the idea of a girl, alone, ordering take-out junkfood. It’s just too sad. How could we repair Alexandra’s broken heart in more constructive and creative way?


I’d been wanting to make my own homemade poutine for a while– it just seemed like a fun dish to have in my repertorie, and a very effective heart-mender (except for the artery clogging part). So that’s precisely what Alexandra and I did. It was a blast.


The twist? What was going to be a girl’s-night-in of making our own poutine turned into a double date when her suddenly-hot-again boyfriend stopped by. He and the FC were both very impressed by the idea of homemade poutine and we ended up having a great evening, adding a little wine to the mix, listening to music, and me quietly deciding if Alexandra’s sometimes-hot, sometimes-cold boyfriend was worth the trouble. (Admittedly, he is cute.)


In any case, see how doing something fun and creative draws people into your life? 


That’s the best medicine for a broken heart.


Forkful of homemade poutine, shared with friends, Alexandra's happy again.

Forkful of homemade poutine, shared with friends, Alexandra is happy again.



Fast and Dirty Homemade Poutine


Even the most kitchen-challenged girl can master this shameless recipe I devised using cheap and easy grocery store products. For me, the result was actually better than diner poutine (and for some reason, it seemed healthier.) The frozen crinkle cut fries weren’t as soggy and greasy as restaurant fries. You can also heat the poutine in the oven before serving so the cheese curds are warm and soft (I sometimes find the cheese curds in diner poutine hard  and cold by the time they arrive at the table).  Trust me, homemade junkfood is always better, and no one needs to see you ordering it. In my book, some sins are best kept hidden.




Two packets of Knorr brown gravy. (Don’t use canned gravy, it’s too bitter.)

One bag of frozen fries, crinkle cut.

1/2 cup frozen peas (for nutrition!)

1 pouch (200 grams) of cheese curds




Cook french fries per package directions, even longer, because the fries need to be crispy and brown on the outside. But be careful not to scorch them, which can happen suddenly if you’re not watching. Monitor and turn them frequently after 20 minutes.


Meanwhile, make gravy per package directions. If it’s clumpy, throw it in the blender (this worked like a charm for me.)

When fries are ready, layer them on a serving plate then sprinkle over the cheese, peas and gravy. (Add more or less gravy depending on how “wet” you like your poutine.) Place serving dish in oven for a few minutes to melt cheese curds slightly.)


Serve the poutine in the one dish, with forks for sharing.


NOTE– Gourmet poutine recipe to come, so stay tuned!

October 17th, 2009 Uncategorized | 1 Comment



written by guest blogger and newborn cook, Brent Lambert


It’s early September and I found myself leaving Montreal for a three-week vacation in Vienna. It’s here where my beau, Dominic, has freshly transplanted himself for a year of music studies (he’s an excellent violinist.) After coming down with a cold, Dominic had been ordered by his male nurse, yours truly, to get plenty of rest, fluids, and of course: chicken soup. Now I’m no whiz in the kitchen by any stretch, but I can certainly whip up a homemade chicken soup if I follow the recipe, and that I did. The soup was a big success and there was easily enough for me and Dom to eat for two days straight. We had the healing food, but what about the entertainment? Dominic quickly found the solution: every single episode of The Golden Girls is uploaded on YouTube and available for free viewing. It had been a solid fifteen years since I had seen one so I ask, “Why the hell do you wanna watch ‘The Golden Girls’?”


The show is actually quite a big deal in the gay community of Vienna and Dominic, who grew up in French-speaking Montreal, had just discovered it. Go figure. It was his choice, so I said “Why not?” and after a few episodes I went from being completely indifferent to being completely hooked.


The whole thing sent me spinning in nostalgia to when I was just a young teenage boy and how much I used to love watching “The Golden Girls” with my family. Perhaps growing up deep in the rural route forest (and when I say deep I mean hermit territory deep) of the Ottawa Valley had something to do with it. Who wouldn’t get a kick out of a bunch of senior-aged women and their adventures in Miami, especially if there’s snow up to your roof outside and your closest friend from school lives a twenty-minute drive down the snowed-out gravel road. Not that I had much of a viewer’s choice in the matter with our rickety aerial television in charge. Those crazy old broads in that far away land with those far away ages sure knew how to keep me entertained.


After spending two days in our Vienna bed I think we watched at least two seasons worth of shows, and even after his runny nose had stopped the reruns kept running. The theme song “Thank You For Being A Friend” was now burned into our brains (we found ourselves singing and humming the song incessantly). Dorothy (my personal favorite), Blanche, Rose and Sophia were still up to their old shenanigans and they hadn’t aged one bit after all these years (unlike me). In their late fifties and early sixties (except for Sophia who was in her eighties) there was no problem that these four women couldn’t solve over a cheesecake at one in the morning.


When the Golden Girls Vienna Marathon came to an end and I found myself back in Montreal I couldn’t quite shake a little voice that was nagging me with the question: who will be in my kitchen at one in the morning when I’m fifty-five and have a problem that needs solving or a story to tell about my crazy youth back in Saint Olaf–I mean–The Ottawa Valley? Because in a little more than twenty years’ time I’ll be nearly the same age as the amazing Dorothy Zbornack was when she met crazy Rose Nylund and the always horny Blanche Devereaux. Who will I be living and loving with in my own home when I get older? Will I have someone to share my cheesecake with? 


Before the question could nag at me further, Dominic suddenly returned to Montreal for a few days to fix a visa issue and once again found ourselves curled up in bed watching more Golden Girl reruns and getting more and more obsessed with cheesecake. We decided it was a sign from the late Bea Arthur herself telling us to bring back the spirit of the Girls into our own kitchen and make a cheesecake of our own.


The next day we gathered only the best and most decadent ingredients for our ultimate chocolate espresso cheesecake. After sitting the cheesecake in the fridge overnight for the flavors to meld, night turned to day and then evening and we found ourselves surrounded with our own “Golden” friends (golden by candlelight, that is, not by age): Laura, the FC, and Georgia. After sharing a rich chocolate cheesecake slice each, as well as a bottle of sparkling Hungarian mousseux, I realized there might just be something to this whole cheesecake/friendship combo thing. We talked and laughed about so many things that night, just like we always do, the kind of conversation that warms your heart and feels just as good as a warm bath or even an ocean view in Miami for that matter.


It was somewhere between having a respectably thin second slice and the tissane that I realized the little voice inside of me that was pestering me all week had vanished. It had quite simply just disappeared. Somehow I had found the answer I was looking for. The answer was in the love that surrounded me at my kitchen table that night.


My cheesecake guest list twenty years from now will be staying exactly as it is.


Thank you for being my friends…



Dominic relishes the hunk of cream cheese.

Dominic relishes the hunk of cream cheese.



Brent beats it out!

Brent beats it out!


IMG_8402Heavenly rich.

Heavenly rich.


Flowering friendships.

Brent's "golden" friends.

October 15th, 2009 Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Williamsburg Bridge


The Craig’s List ride to NYC worked out perfectly (cheap and fast) though, when crossing the border, the female official wasn’t very impressed. “Rideshare?” she squinted distastefully. “Aren’t y’all afraid of being killed?”


Luckily “Bobby” our rideshare driver was a sweet man (not a serial killer) and I am alive and well and writing to you from a Williamsburg apartment where my friend Chris, a “Smoke” artist at Deluxe, lives.


Last night Chris took us to Diner and we gorged our faces on the bloodiest medium rare burgers I’ve ever seen. The restaurant is in a converted train car, packed with ethusiastic hipsters, geeksters and wannabes geniuses. Chris says it’s his regular spot, and I can see why. (The all-brunette waitresses were a mod squad of loveliness.) As good as the Diner food was, the walk after dinner was even better. I particularly loved the curves of light marking the Williamsburg bridge, the inspiring view of Manhattan and the gaggle of Hassids who gathered near us in the little riverfront parkette. (Was Montreal following us?)


Next stop? Lower Manhattan, including a trip to the New Museum, shopping, and maybe lunch at Cafe Habana, a Cuban restaurant/cafe I stumbled upon in an earlier trip and totally loved. For the weekend? Bowling. Chris says The Gutter bowling alley is like “a hipster rally.” We were going to go last night, but I felt it would be better to wait for Saturday, when the FC arrives (he’s good with balls). I can’t wait to observe the French Cutiepie in a New York context.