Archive for August, 2009

Recipe: Potato Fish Cakes


Potato Fish Cakes

This recipe makes a great appetizer, or all around savoury snack if you’re a fan of fish and potatoes. You can experiment with any type of fish you’d like (or even mix them like I did), but I think cod, salmon or sole work really well. A helpful hint: if you want to reduce the cooking time, cut your potatoes into chunks (instead of boiling them whole), so that they cook quicker.

Yield: 12-14 fish cakes


4 small white potatoes or 2 large russett potatoes (cut into large chunks)
2 salmon, cod or sole fillets (about 250-300g total)
1 egg (lightly beaten)
1 tbsp milk
1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs
1/4 cup fresh dill (chopped)
3 green onions (finely chopped)
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp salt, or to taste
3 tbsp canola oil (for frying)

Fish for potato fish cakesDirections:

  1. Boil potatoes for about 15 minutes, or until tender.
  2. While the potatoes are boiling, sear the fish fillets in a frying pan with a bit of oil for 5-10 minutes over medium heat. When they are almost fully cooked, remove from heat and flake into bits with a fork.
  3. Drain potatoes and place into a large bowl. Quickly mash with a potato masher, adding milk and egg to themixture.

Frying potato fish cakes

  1. Mix the flaked fish into the mashed potatoes. Add in the breadcrumbs, green onions, dill, garlic powder, salt and pepper until well combined.
  2. Using your hands, roll a portion of the mixture into a ball and form small patties (a little bigger than a squash ball, or larger if you like). Place fish cakes in a frying pan with oil over medium heat.
  3. Fry each potato fish cake for about 5 minutes on each side until golden brown. Drain on a paper towel-lined tray or plate. Serve with your favourite seafood dipping sauce, ketchup or enjoy as is.

Recipe: Mo’s Chicken Korma


Mo's Chicken Korma

I’m a fan of South Asian cuisine. Whenever I visit an Indian restaurant I get so intrigued at the thought of what goes in to making the delicious food. Chicken Korma is something that I just had to try making on my own. Classically, korma is a term given to mild, creamy, curry dish where meat or vegetables are braised in yogurt or cream. To give this korma dish a South Indian flavour, coconut milk can be used, but you can substitute it for regular milk if you like. Another option is to stir in some ground almonds into the sauce just before serving.

Personally I prefer to marinate all the spices with the chicken (instead of adding them to the oil on the stove), and leaving the addition of the yogurt until later on in the cooking process (instead of traditionally using it as part of the marinade). I find this allows the flavours to better set with the chicken. I didn’t have any plain yogurt on hand the first time I made this recipe, so I substituted it with sour cream and it came out tasting just as delicious so I’ve stuck with it.

Yield: Serves 2-4


2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (cut into bite-sized cubes)
1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp fresh ginger root (finely grated)
1/2 cup light sour cream
1/2 cup coconut milk
2 tbsp canola oil (for frying)
1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro/coriander leaves (chopped)

2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp red chili flakes
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp canola oil


  1. Chicken Korma marinadeCut the chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces and place in a large bowl.
  2. Sprinkle spices over the chicken pieces, mixing well with a spoon so that all pieces are coated evenly. Pour in the 1 tablepoon of oil and mix with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
  3. Fry the onion in a large skillet on medium heat, until it begins to soften and lightly caramelize (5-6 minutes).
  4. Chicken Korma cookingAdd the minced garlic and grated ginger. Stir-fry for an additional 1 minute.
  5. Add the marinated chicken into the skillet, increasing the heat to medium-high, and sauté for about 4-5 minutes, until chicken is opaque.
  6. Gradually add the sour cream and coconut milk to the skillet, making sure liquids are blended evenly.
  7. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 20-25  minutes, stirring Chicken Korma simmeringoccasionally until chicken is cooked and sauce has thickened (add a bit of water if needed).
  8. Remove the skillet from heat, and mix in the chopped cilantro, lemon juice and salt to the chicken korma, letting it sit for an additional 5 minutes so that all the flavours are able to intermingle.
  9. Serve over basmati rice or with naan bread.

Get your $1 Megabus tickets to travel between Toronto and Montreal!


That’s right, Coach Canada is at it again. But this time they’ve joined forces with Megabus, new double-deckers that offer a more comfortable ride. Tickets are now on sale (online only) for as low as $1!

Now I don’t know if it was a press release error, but when I read Metro newspaper this morning they said that the seat sale for the $1 tickets will start on August 19th. I decided to check out the website today myself and lo and behold $1 tickets were released up to November 24th! Had I checked a little earlier I might have scooped up some of those high demand weekend tickets for less that it would cost me to buy a happy meal. But I did manage to secure some super-cheap seats for the upcoming months (makes my LDR a lot easier!).

The majority (if not all) of the $1 tickets for weekend departures/returns are pretty much sold out. But I just seen a bunch for mid-week travel on sale for $1. Once the 10,000 $1 seats are sold out, you’ll still be able to find decent prices on Toronto to Montreal travel, between $10 and $60. Don’t fret about not getting a deal, try to make your travel plans as flexible as possible (I myself will have to endure some 3am arrival times, but it’s worth my loonie!).

$16 million dollars has been invested by Coach Canada for the 15 new Megabus buses that will depart/arrive at the following cities: Whitby, Mississauga, Toronto, Scarborough, Kingston, Kirkland and Montreal, at up to 8 daily departure times.

The 81-passenger, 3.99 metres (13.1 feet) high, two-level coaches have front and rear staircases and offer free Wi-Fi, power outlets and DVD video capabilities, as well as a panoramic view, two folding card tables, comfortable reclining seats, restroom, safety belts and mobility impaired accessibility.

I’ve taken Coach Canada buses before, but have never been on a Megabus. Head over on to and book your dollar tickets before they’re all sold out! Good luck on finding the good ones!

Review: The Teastick


The TeastickI wouldn’t call myself a tea connoisseur, but I drink enough of it to warrant purchasing a new tea infuser. Now I had a tea ball that I purchased from Dollarama last year, but after a bunch of uses and as cute as it is, it’s a bit difficult to clean the wire mesh, and I noticed that when I use fine leaf teas, they often seep through the tiny holes.

That’s when I decided to try something a little different. When I visited the new David’s Tea, I picked up a delicious tin of crème caramel rooibos tea. After looking around at their selection of infusers I came across the Blomos Teastick. It seemed pretty cool, but I didn’t want to shell out $25 plus tax for it. I searched the net for similar teastick, since I was worried that the perforations in the Blomos model were a little too big for oh-so-scrumptious rooibos tea. I stumbled upon Gamila’s Teastick,  and found one selling on eBay for $15.99. After reading some favourable online reviews, along with the fact that it saved me a few bucks over the Blomos Teastick I decided to purchase it. Gamila states that:

this is the ultimate infuser for tea enthusiasts features intuitive “scoop-slide-steep” functionality while it reflects the aesthetic of traditional loose tea service. Durable enough for industrial use, it has no breakable mechanisms and is constructed entirely of 304L stainless steel with holes small enough to infuse the finest of teas.

The Teastick - group shot

Entirely made of kitchen-grade stainless steel, The Teastick boasts it’s made for a lifetime of of home use (we’ll see about that). I must admit, the design is very stylish, but does it actually work like an infuser should? I can now say that it does after finishing a warm cup of tea. Even the packaging is pretty cool, complete with info on how to use and care for your teastick, as well as some brewing tips.

After washing my Teastick in warm, soapy water, I dried it off and got ready to test out my new gizmo. It slid open pretty effortlessly, and I noticed the little locking mechanism on the top of the perforated sleeve. It’s pretty

roomy inside the Teastick once you slide the sleeve all the way to the top. I was worried that the tea wouldn’t have enough room to steep.

The Teastick - scooping

When scooping up loose tea with your Teastick, make sure you kind of shimmy the tea in the scoop so that it levels off with the fill edge. And you want to be careful not to overfill it because tea needs room to unfurl.

The Teastick - closed

I had a small cup, so I didn’t fill it too much. The sleeve slipped back down and locked easily and I dunked the stick into my cup of hot water and waited about 5 minutes for my rooibos tea to steep. What I also like about The Teastick is that it doubles as a stir-stick (and it also looks pretty chic in my cup of tea).

The Teastick - steeping

Clean-up was a breeze: I just slide the sleeve back up, dumped out the tea, and washed The Teastick with soap and water (note that it’s also dishwasher safe). If some loose tea leaves get stuck in the little holes, the sleeve is large enough that you can use your finger to pry any out (and this is coming from someone with pretty big hands ). I also like the little curved handle at the top of The Teastick. It prevents it from falling into larger mugs or teapots, and allows it to rest evenly on your table or saucer with minimal drippage while you sip your tea.

The Teastick - leftovers

Now, because the type of loose-leaf tea (rooibos) that I used it had some small needle-like leaf particles in it, and a few did float through the perforations, but it wasn’t as much as I thought it would be. For drinkers of full-leaf tea, such as green or black, I think The Teastick would be perfect.

Scoop it. Slide it. Steep it. Brewing a cup of tea is that easy with The Teastick. I think this was worth what I paid for it, but if you can’t afford to pay for the $18 + shipping as noted on the Gamila site, check out eBay for sellers. I haven’t seen this model of infuser in any stores in Canada as yet. And if a teastick isn’t your thing, then you can always test out the various tea infuser balls, glass tea infusers, infuser cups, Gamila’s new super-cute Teastick Gems, or simply stick to the ol’ teabags. Happy sipping!

Gee… I feel like making more tea!

I’m a finalist!

2009 has been pushed through to the finals for the 2009 Black Weblog Awards, in the category of [drumroll please]… Best Food Blog! Yeah, I know that you’re thinking, “Monique, you’re blog isn’t called ‘Alotaboutfood'”. Well that’s obviously correct, but I have enough posts and reviews on food, recipies and kitchen gadgets that should warrent a best food (and more) blog title! :D

So for all you faithful readers out there, please visit and vote for my blog,, in the “Best Food Blog” category. I know there’s a lot of other great blogs out there, but I assure you that there will be plenty of recipes to come by the end of this month (I am a self-proclaimed procrastinator and my hard drive is filled with food photos I have yet to post the recipes for).

Thanks! Alotaboutnothing for the win!