Posted by: Gillian | February 19, 2010

Vancouver and Vij’s Restaurant

Canada Fans at Men's Freestyle MogulsI am Canadian. Did you know that? I don’t think I’ve ever talked about it before, but my whole mother’s side of the family is from Vancouver, British Columbia. Lucky me! During my childhood I got a taste of east coast AND west coast, America and Canada from only one side of the family. I’m pretty darn lucky! So another lucky strike for me, the Olympics are being held in Vancouver Canada this year! So naturally during the Olympics I went “home” (or “to the homeland” as my friend Tanya would say) to partake in the festivities, and food of course.
Sunset on the way to Vij's for Dinner
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Posted by: Gillian | February 1, 2010

Chez Pascal, Providence

House Made Charcuterie PlatterI’ve visited Chez Pascal countless times for dates, last minute dinners, birthday parties of 12, and hot dogs after the farmers market. It’s a wonderful cozy place for any occasion. The staff and unbeatable: friendly and knowledgeable but with a laid-back casual attitude that puts the patron at ease knowing the enjoyment of their meal rests in the hands of these competent individuals. There’s far too much to love about chez Pascal: Brunch, Market Monday menus, and Hewtin’s Dog Mobile (to name a few). Using primarily local and seasonal ingredients, Chef Matt Gennuso creates fantastic seasonal menus, not to mention the weekly Bistro menu (a $30 three course menu offered Tuesday-Thursday). The Bistro Menu is not offered Mondays because the Monday Market Menu replaces it, a weekly menu created from the ingredients collected weekly at the Saturday Farmer’s Market down the street.
Hewtin's Mobile Hot Dog Truck
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Posted by: Gillian | January 21, 2010

Emma’s Italian Scarola e Fagioli

Scarola e Fagioli

Emma was my father’s mother. She was born in Boston in 1915. She was a sassy Italian-American tailor who cooked the most amazing Italian meals for her family, which included husband, son, uncles, brothers, sisters, cousins and usually more. As you might expect, she had the Italian maternal tendency to cook three times the amount of food that was probably necessary, pile the food high on your plate and dole out seconds and thirds without you asking.  Unfortunately for me, I only got to enjoy these meals for the first 4 years of my life. She died of lung cancer in 1990, but even in that short time, she left so much with me. One of my favorites of her recipes, and the one I would ask for as a toddler when she came to visit, was her Scarola e Fagioli, beans and escarole. Of course at 3 years old I just called them Greens. Now I make this recipe on an almost weekly basis in the wintertime. I even sometimes make a big batch at the beginning of the week and eat it all week long. It’s seriously delicious, and kids LOVE it. Imagine a recipe that makes any kind of bitter greens not just edible, but enjoyable for young kids, genius!
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Posted by: Gillian | January 6, 2010

Tips for Poaching an Egg

The Set-Up

The Set-Up

Boil a pot of water with plenty of salt and white vinegar.

Have a wooden spoon, small bowl or measuring cup and a slotted spoon on hand.


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Posted by: Gillian | December 19, 2009

Loon Mt.

The Common Man

I’ve been vacationing at Lincoln, NH for 18 years now.  This is more that just a special place in my heart. Beautiful New England scenery, fun and unpredictable ski slopes and hearty home-style meals; what more could I ask for? Oh yeah, Ice cream for breakfast. Last night after a cold afternoon of skiing, I visited my favorite New Hampshire eatery: The Common Man. The Common Man started in Ashland, NH but now has 8 locations around New Hampshire. The second Common Man location opened in 1985 in Lincoln, and I have been a patron there since 1992. It’s a wonderful family run restaurant with North East rustic offerings like chicken potpie, baked macaroni and cheese, and the uncommon baked apple. But delicious comfort food aside, the ambiance is what really makes this place special. In 1985 the Ray family moved an old barn onto their property in Lincoln and without losing its old rustic appeal turned it into a lovely restaurant that makes you feel like you never left grandma’s house. They have red and white checkered napkins, and lace lining the windows.
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Posted by: Gillian | November 25, 2009

People of India


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Posted by: Gillian | November 24, 2009

Chhat Sagar

I was sick when I arrived at Chhat Sagar in Nimaj. We had been in the car for almost 7 hours that day most of which I spent sleeping or blowing my nose. I was not exactly my usual enthusiastic self. But it did not take long to change my tune at this incredible tented camp.  It was dark when we arrived, and we were greeted with a cool glass of delicious sweet limejuice and a cool towel. We got settled in our tented accommodations, which were more than comfortable with all the basic necessities and running water! We sat down to dinner soon after. Even in my sick and exhausted stupor, I thought the food was very comfortable and homey, which was perfect considering how bad I was feeling. Nothing makes you want to go home like being sick on vacation. The food was served family style, but instead of placing serving dishes on the table, Chhat Sagar serves lunch and dinner right off the stove from the pot it was cooked in. The servers come from the kitchen with a series of five or six pots and give you a small pile from each on your plate. But don’t worry; there are always opportunities for seconds and thirds.


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Posted by: Gillian | November 23, 2009

Lassi

Street LassiLassis are these fantastic whipped yogurt drinks I have come to love here in India. To be honest my first lassi was probably at an Indian food restaurant back in the states, but it is here that I have realized how wonderful these drinks can be. They are often listed on the menu with three options: sweet, salty, or masala.  Sweet and salty speak for themselves, but masala contains a spice mix, which is actually the meaning of the word masala. The spices appear to change depending on the person making it.
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Posted by: Gillian | November 22, 2009

Jalebi

The jalebi batter through a strainer

or a makeshift pastry bag

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Posted by: Gillian | November 20, 2009

Ayurvedic Doshas

My first encounter with the word ayurveda was on a spa menu under the massage treatments, but along my journey here in India I have picked up some very interesting knowledge about this ancient art. I have come to feel that it aligns quite well with my own personal ideals for the way I live and take care of myself.
Ayurveda is a system of medicine and health that originated in India. It comes from the Sanskrit words ayus and veda meaning ‘life’ and ‘science’ or ‘knowledge’ respectively. Contrary to western health care, ayurveda concentrates a great deal on prevention and maintaining of healthy lifestyles.  What a novel concept!! (Catch the sarcasm there?) I cant even imagine how much the cost of health care would plummet if we could wake up tomorrow with a healthcare system that focuses on prevention instead of treatment. People just don’t want to give up their luxuries. This is a huge issue in our system of health care that often goes unaddressed. But never mind my agenda…

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