Recent Entries in Food

I have another Kraft Dinner recipe available. This time, I substituted Our Compliments Extra Creamy Cheddar brand macaroni and cheese ($0.66). It's pretty good, and the macaroni is shorter, thicker and more curvey than traditional KD. The sauce is better, and has a sharper taste. This recipe also makes use of Blair's Death Sauce, so it's hot and aptly named Zuckervati's Death Dinner:

  • 3 TBS margarine
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 Pkg. Kraft Dinner or reasonable facsimile
  • 3 Yves Veggie Jumbo Dogs or regular all-beef wieners
  • 1 TBS Blair's Original Death Sauce
  • 1 tsp Jalapeno powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder

Boil the KD noodles as per instructions, boiling the Jumbo Dogs as well. Drain the KD noodles and transfer the Jumbo Dogs to a cutting board. Slice them into 1/2 inch slices (actually, cut them up any way you want, it's your food). Place the pot back on low heat, and add the margarine and the cheese powder, as well as the spices, and Blair's Death Sauce. To avoid lumps, begin mixing the milk in slowly and allow the sauce to thicken before adding more. Once finished adding the milk, stir in the noodles and Jumbo Dogs, and mix it all up.

This recipe was a little hotter than I expected, explaining the late addition of garlic and onion powder -- the heat was taking some of the flavour away. With a little more milk, the sauce became a really nice nacho-style sauce, and the heat is short-lived. Add a little salt if you like. Serves 2-4.

Say what you will about adding wieners to KD, but I've always liked it. The Yves Veggie Jumbo Dogs add a substantial amount of protein to an otherwise high-carbohydrate meal.

This one came out a little salty, but blame the Lipton soup company. Kids will love it, it's super cheap, there's no worry about chopping vegetables, and if you like onions ... well, hang on to your tastebuds pardner, cause this one goes all the way. Here's what you need for Kraft Dinner Onion Extreme:

  • 2 TBS margarine
  • 3/4 cup milk (or "So Good" brand soy milk)
  • 1 Pkg. Kraft Dinner or reasonable facsimile
  • 1 TBS Parmesan cheese
  • 1 Pkg. Lipton Onion Recipe Mix (or Onion Soup Mix, either one will do)
  • 1 TSP oregano

Boil the KD noodles as per instructions, and drain, but do not add cheese, milk, or margarine. Return pot to the stove and reduce heat to minimum. Add margarine, milk, and recipe mix. Stir and increase heat slowly. Bring to a gentle boil and allow liquid to thicken (give it about 5 minutes). Reduce heat, add the cheese package, and stir in the noodles. Mix it all together, and add the Parmesan cheese and oregano. Serves four. Or two. Actually I finished most of it off myself. It was that good.

And be sure to provide plenty to drink. You'll be thirsty later. One good alteration to the recipe is to use only half of the package of onion mix. Another alteration is to not use Kraft Dinner. Heh heh. What I mean is I used a knock off brand called Value Choice Macaroni and Cheese. Just as good. Only 33¢. If you're looking to save money, remember that you can substitute cheaper ingredients much of the time...


Trying out the digital camera tonight. Really brings out the colour in my beard. Shows the importance of ambient lighting when composing a shot.

  Kraft Dinner Frittata

A friend had asked me for some recipes that would be good for someone on a shoe-string budget. I've been practicing a few and thought I'd post them in my recipe section. Later, I remembered I don't have a recipe section, so I'll post it here until such time as I get off my lazy ass and set one up. I'm going to devote several recipes to that curious stuff known in Canada as Kraft Dinner. Here's my latest treat, Kraft Dinner Frittata:

  • 2 TBS margarine
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 Pkg. Kraft Dinner
  • 1 TBS Parmesan cheese
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • fresh oregano and/or fresh basil, chopped fine
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped

Boil the KD noodles as per instructions, and drain, but do not add cheese, milk, or margarine. Meanwhile, in a large skillet (preferably a cast-iron one) sauté the onion and celery in the margarine over medium heat, until the onion becomes soft and translucent. Reduce heat, and stir in the noodles, gently flattening the mound out.

Mix the eggs and all other ingredients in a bowl and whisk briskly until the cheese is fully dissolved, and the eggs are foamy. Pour the mixture over the noodles, making sure all parts are covered. -- the pan should still be hot enough to cause the bottom layer to set. Reduce heat to a simmer, and cover the top. Let stand for 20-30 minutes, and if the frittata is set enough, flip it to cook the top. If you're using a cast-iron skillet, top with cheese, and put under the broiler for about 5-10 minutes, or until the top is browned.

  Chili vs. Chilli

Ahhh, that chili is much better the second day around. Nice heat, not too salty... If I added an 8oz can of tomato sauce and some kidney beans, it would rate at least a 7.5. Note: I'm not a big fan of kidney beans, and prefer to use pintos or brown beans, if any... Besides, according to the official CASI rules, beans (or any obvious vegetable chunks) are not allowed in competitive chili cook-offs. Authentic Texas- style chili is supposed to contain two main ingredients: meat and chiles. Other spices are allowed, but almost everything is powdered or granulated -- the chili should have no discernible bits in it other than the meat...

Of course, being a vegetarian makes Texas-style chili difficult at best. You've got to either fake it, or allow other vegetables, and you got to allow beans, at least.

  Penzeys Spices and Chili

HUZZAH! My spices are in today! I made an order from Penzeys, and picked up the rich, spicy goodness at the local Purolator depot. Had to make some chili as soon as I got home. I've got to start using up the 10 lb. bag of powdered chipotles I bought...

The chili turned out OK, but not as good as it has been in the past. Definitely had a complex flavour, but wasn't as bright a red as I would have liked it. I used TVP chunks and black beans, when I normally use cubed Yves ground round and a combination of pintos and brown beans. Here's how it went down:

  • 1 spanish onion, chopped finely
  • 1 TBS chopped garlic
  • 2 TBS corn oil
  • 1/4 cup margarine
  • 2 cups filtered water
  • 1 cup TVP chunks 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick
  • 1 5oz can tomato paste
  • 1 TBS ground Ancho chiles
  • 1 tsp Adobo spice
  • 1 tsp ground Chipotles
  • 1 TBS Mexican oregano
  • 1 tsp Italian oregano

Simmer for 30 to 45 min. Then add the following:

  • 1 19oz can of black beans
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 TBS ground Ancho chiles
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 tsp liquid hickory smoke
  • 1/2 tsp powdered Jalapeños

Simmer for another 30 min. or until the amount of liquid is reduced. Finally, add:

  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 TBS brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Club House celery pepper blend

Final result: Hot enough to make you sweat, but the heat is short-lived, and the flavour is nice. A little too dark to be pleasing to the eye, and the TVP was too thick to be a comfortable texture in the mouth. The overall flavour had a thick, slightly burnt overtone, likely due to the addition of the Chipotle chiles and liquid smoke. The Anchos were also overpowering but mild -- the recipe would have benefited from the addition of plain, garden-variety chili powder. This would have given it a bright red colour, and less of a heavy flavour. Not enough of a "tang" to it. All together, 7 out of a possible 10 points.

  Marinated Tofu Recipe

Been cycling for about two weeks now, sometimes twice a day (I'm not sure what it is that drives me these days, but I'm exhausted). I'm starting to feel a difference even if I'm not seeing it yet. It's helping me to wake up in the morning, and sleep a more sound sleep. But my knees are killing me...

I was cycling tonight instead of watching TV. I made grilled, marinated tofu tonight, and had to do something while it was marinating (marinating?). Good stuff this tofu -- and great on the barbecue. Here's what you need:

  • 1 brick of firm or extra-firm tofu
  • 1/4 cup umeboshi vinegar
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 TBS chopped garlic
  • 2 tsp coarse black pepper, or a pepper blend

  • 3 TBS hot sauce (some Asian hot sauce is best here)

  1. Mix above ingredients (except tofu) in a 9 inch glass loaf pan or a bowl
  2. Cut the tofu into 1/4 inch thick slices, and add to liquid
  3. Marinade for 1 hour or more, then grill on barbecue over medium heat for 15-20 minutes, or until slightly crispy
  4. Use it instead of meat on toast, with vegetables, or on a bun

  Yeo's Chilli Sauce

Just kicking back this evening, not doing much at all. I'm almost done another painting, but it's missing something, and I can't quite put my finger on it. Visited the Asian grocery store just down Krug St. and picked up some spices and a bottle of Yeo's Chilli Sauce. This stuff is really good -- it's just like ketchup, but made with peppers and garlic. I was almost out of ketchup too.

Had some toast with miso, and a couple of Yves veggie dogs for protein. I like really simple and easy-to-make foods. When I'm with friends, I'm more likely to make something complicated, but when I'm alone, I get lazy. Tonight I was very lazy.

Tried out a new colour for my beard. What do you think? Always wondered what it was like to be a redhead (although I'm doubtful that having a red beard makes you a redhead). Not wanting to do the rest of my hair, I decided it was best to shave it all off. It didn't look right.


"The Schick Xtreme III: Good for shaving heads". There's some free advertising. I particularly like how the flexible blades adapt to the contours of my scalp.


Also wanted to show off my new LeaderWearez T-shirt. Can't very well sell quality cult clothing without first trying it out. Now you go buy some. Check out LeaderWearez right now!

But enough about the cult stuff. More importantly, I've made a startling discovery! You may think me mad for what I'm about to say, but those narrow-minded fools at the University will soon see!!! Tonight, I made grilled tofu that tastes just like ribs! HUZZAH!!! What's crazy is that it's so darned easy to do! It's all about the sauce and marinade you use. I'll try over the next couple of days to perfect the recipe and then I'll make it public.

My only fear is that I'll be silenced before I can make my findings known. If I disappear before the end of the week, you can be sure the Pork Producers' Marketing Board is to blame. Please, help spread the word. Don't let me die in vain!!!!

Made some good grilled food tonight. Here's the recipe in case you want to try it:

Grilled Italian Sandwiches:

  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 spanish or white onion
  • 1 small eggplant
  • 1 loaf Italian or French bread
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 TBS hot sauce (I used Louisiana brand sauce)
  • 3 drops liquid hickory smoke
  • 2 TBS tomato paste
  • 4 or more slices of provolone cheese

  1. Cut the red pepper into quarters then half each quarter, discarding seeds and stem. Cut the onion into 1/2 inch slices, and the eggplant into 3/4 inch slices.
  2. Mix the olive oil and spices together, adding the hot sauce and liquid smoke.

  3. Brush the vegetables with the oil mix and cook for 15-20 min. on a med-hot grill, brushing with oil until most of the mix is used up.
  4. If you can't get a small eggplant, or it's a little old, brush it with extra oil.
  5. Slice the bread lengthwise, and remove some of the bread from the top and bottom halves, making a hollow for the vegetables.
  6. Brush the inside of the loaf with the remainder of the oil mix, and the tomato paste.
  7. Line the top and bottom halves with the provolone cheese, and assemble the sandwich, using a layer of each vegetable. Separate the onion into rings and evenly distribute it.
  8. Put the top and bottom halves together, compressing the loaf until it's easy to manage, then wrap tightly with aluminum foil.
  9. Place on a cooling barbecue grill, away from direct heat (best to do this when the BBQ is just turned off), and let sit until the cheese is melted -- anywhere from 5-10 min. Turn it occasionally, and be sure the bread doesn't burn or scorch.
  10. Remove from heat, unwrap, slice into quarters, and enjoy. Serves 4 people or 2 really hungry ones.

  Cheap plastic chairs

Really warm today, and very windy. I was worried that all my cheap, plastic chairs were going to blow right off the balcony. Oh, and I got this very cool little barbecue from the Home Despot. It's a Broil King 2400 propane unit, with no side burners or fancy attachments -- only one grill too. Not too big, not too expensive.... The starter doesn't work; it's missing the wire that goes to the burner. I'm not sure what to do -- on the one hand, those starters never work for very long ... but I did just buy it, and those two extra screws I got barely compensate for the lack of a starter.

Ah barbecued food. There's nothing like it. A little olive oil, two slices of toasted rye, some garlic powder, a whole mess of Gibbs Mo' Hotter Bottled Hell, and you've got one fine veggie burger. Top it off with a cold bottle of Kawartha Lakes, a sunset and a warm wind -- you've got magic.

There are times when I regret saying everything I say. I don't know why I do it, nor do I believe I'm unique in this way, but sometimes I just can't say anything nice at all. This bothers me. What bothers me more is that in some cases, my criticisms are limited to one or two people in particular; I may be the biggest sweetheart to everyone else, but for those one or two people, I'm the biggest arsehole.

I need a barbecue. I crave the taste of barbecued food, and I'm not sure I can wait for Spring. Specifically, I need a Fiesta 300 with the side burner. I know it's not for everyone, but the thought of having such a decadent piece of cookware gets me all weak in the knees (and this specific model is on sale, since it's off-season). Just imagine it: the warm Spring day has meandered to a cool, dusky Spring evening, and all my friends and I are out on my deck, grilling up some portabella mushroom burgers, and we're all just chillin' and drinking beer, while the soothing sounds of ambient techno music wash out from my computer lab. HUZZAH!


Spoke with the elusive UberBoy tonight: Hacker, Leader worshipper, Trance maniac, and a regular Don Juan with the ladies, if you know what I mean. Just started chatting on ICQ, and lost all track of time. He's studying Comp-Sci in London, and may be coming back home for a summer Co-Op position. Pretty rad. He's the kind of guy you'd trust to hang on to your last joint, and he'd only be halfway through by the time you got back to him.

Dinner consisted of white rice and miso. It's a great and easy meal to make. You gotta be sure and give the rice enough time to cook, but an hour in the steamer is perfect. Topped it all off with some Hakutsuru Draft Sake.

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