Friday, August 30, 2013

My job/internship at the local brewery has been sporadic lately - which translates into less beer in ma belly! I've also been meaning to try a few recipes, pairings, and specific beer for Taste Bud so we hit the LCBO for some brews!

I've already drank the banana bread beer - YUM!

Yes, that is the Alexander Keith's hop series. Don't judge me! :) 

Stay tuned for a Kombucha Themed Month of Food! 


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Food Themed Mail Projects - Bonus: Free PDF Snail Mail Stationary

When I was a kid, I used to have tons of snail mail pen pals! I loved getting mail but it's something that has fallen by the wayside of adult life. I've discovered a few great snail mail projects for adults in recent days. 

1. The Letter Writers Alliance is an adorably vintage themed letter writing club with secret missions and merit based badges!
2. The Paper Doll Army is Jetta Vegas' new mail based project to inspire the art of hand written letters! 

I designed some snail themed stationary for your mailing pleasure! Click the photo of the sad snail to get your free pdf of some weird snail stationary! 

As this is still a food blog, here are some amazing food themed mail projects to inspire you! 




Friday, August 16, 2013

My Vintage Kitchen: Pasta Maker

What is it? This is a pasta machine that has removable plates for cavatelli and for gnocchi.
Where did I get it? Local thrift store for $7.99
Do I use it? Yup. I prolly won't use the gnocchi attachment but I am super pumped about the cavatelli! 

Actually, this machine has inspired a new zine that will be available soon! Pasta zine! 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Unusual PR Emails

Food blogging and PR emails go hand in hand. I understand how PR emails work - you get on a list and then you get everything! It's a number's game and email is cheap! It's not personalized to your blogging niche (which is why you'll hear complaints from vegan food bloggers about bacon press releases in their in boxes) so when I get an unusual PR email I ususally just laugh and delete it. However, some of them are really quite weird...

1. FORE becomes POUR with this amazing golf bag draught unit. (PR email came without links. Will update when I know more information.)


2. A super informal email regarding "Bakin' with Bacon" kickstarter. (Which I actually kind of want...)
 3. Cronuts. Where did this fad come from? Also why PR me an email of a site everyone visits?

4. Quotes from Bill Clinton about his new vegan diet. 
" The main thing that was hard for me actually — much harder than giving up meat, turkey, chicken and fish — was giving up yogurt and hard cheese. I love that stuff, but it really made a big difference when I did it." 
Read the whole thing here

5. Vegan Bands.   

Friday, August 9, 2013

Review: The Culinary Cyclist

I was beyond excited when I saw the kickstarter for this book because come on! Bikes and Food! What could possibly be better!? I quickly 'kickstarted' this campaign and waited eagerly for it to arrive in my mailbox. 

I am disappointed. Like really, really, really disapointed in this book. 

I was under the impression that this book would be about food and biking - and with a name like Culinary Cyclist how could I not? In reality, this is a lifestyle book that preaches and praises the 'Portland Lifestyle' while excluding other possible interpretations of the the 'good life'. This book is a series of badly written proclamations that we should "...make time for that precious moment where everything else subsides and our senses are completely attuned to what we are drinking." (16) and that "Food is a process; a holistic experience." (14)

While there is nothing techniqually wrong about these statements (in fact I agree with most of them) they do not belong in a book about food and biking. Some information about food and biking belong in a book about food and biking. Bikes are mentioned arbitrarily throughout the book (meaning that instead of writing 'when you are at the grocery store' it is written 'after you have biked to the grocery store').    

There are only two instances where bikes and food are combined in any (potentially) meaningful way. On page 37, the author discusses packing glassware for a picnic but instead of offering real information on the best way to do so for bicycle travel she states "If you're up for it though, there's nothing quite like drinking out of real glass, so learn how to pack your flutes well." 

The second combination of culinary arts and cyclists is well done (and what I expected the entirety of this book to contain) as the author states "What makes this cake ideal for the culinary cyclist is not just that it's easy, but that because it's so dense, it's easy to transport. Once it's baked, the cake and the cake pan can be slid into a plastic bag for protection and placed in a backpack." (82) I'm still left wanting more information - what if I don't bike with a backpack? What if I want a dessert that can be packed into panniers?  

Instead of being a book about bikes and food this is a book about stocking the pantry, creating a relationship with food, and living life at a slower pace. However, there are many better books out there on that subject (Hello Michael Pollen! Hello Wendall Berry!

To add insult to injury, there is not a single recipe in this book that interests me in the slightest! 

If I have not dissuaded you from purchasing this book here's the link    

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Review: Toronto's Festival of Beer

I received free entry into last weekend's Toronto Festival of Beer as part of their Social Media campaign. This allowed me to skip the entry line and have access to an exclusive Social Media Tent (ohhh fancy lady!) The event was heavy on the pilsners and lagers, wildly disorganized, and only really worth it because of the free entry. (Entry tickets were prohibitively expensive!) 

While there was 'an app for that' there were no printed maps for us non-smart phone people (or even worse – us Blackberry people!) The individuals working the 'exclusive' Social Media Tent had absolutely no information regarding locations and after several questions (and helpers) I was sent off with a 'good luck with that'. The worst part is that I remain worried that I missed an entire aspect of the event because I did not have a printed map!
The confusion continued as I discovered that the coupons handed to me at the Social Media Tent were not, in fact, the drink tokens required for beer. I stood in line to purchase the correct drink tokens only to discover that drink tokens were only sold in quantities of twenty – encouraging and ensuring maximum drunkenness! (God forbid that we actually savor the beer at a beer festival!) After the right amount of cash was procured I stood in line again to purchase the drink tokens, after leaving the window I realized that I still had no idea how many drink tokens were required for a drink!
The ratio of beer to token was one of the only satisfactory aspects of the event (although I think this was mostly a consequence of a small tasting glass!) Oh and the beer was okay too! The twenty drink tokens allowed me to sample any and all beers of interest to me and even left a few extras to return to the favorites.
Overall this event was more satisfactory than Cask Days – but only because last year's Cask Day ran out of beer by Sunday!

The Small Print: I received free entry into this event. I did not promise a positive review. The opinions presented are my own.  

Friday, August 2, 2013

Zine Dream

While my blog may have been silent in recent months my life has been anything but! I've enjoyed a three week bike tour of the prairies, sunny summer days, refreshing beers, and many other wonderful summer moments

But I'm back to blogging on a regular basis! I will be returning to a 2x a week blogging schedule but am including a weekly newsletter with exclusive content! So be sure to sign up by submitting your email in the box on the left hand side of this page! 

I will be participating at Zine Dream on the 5th of August (12-5pm) at The Tranzac, Toronto. I will be tabling with two new zines! The main attraction is Winged Snail Brews (and Drinks) Kombucha: Volume 1: A Kombucha Brewing Primer which includes a coffee kombucha recipe, how to grow a SCOBY from purchased kombucha, basic kombucha brewing steps, brewing philosophy, a treatise on the importance and form of labels, and bottling and flavoring information

Included with the $3.00 purchase is a SCOBY and free access to my online kombucha brewing course - found here. (You, dear blog readers can have free access too! Just enter coupon code 'blog'!)

My second new zine is a 24 hour Zine Thing entry entitled "Don't Ask Me How I Know: The Bicycle Touring Edition" in which I give you advice and information regarding bicycle touring. *may be inspired by my recent bike tour!

In addition to these zines I have my "Winged Snail Eats: MoFo Edition" available for purchase here. My new zines will also be available to purchase through that link after the event. 

I will also be selling assorted food buttons.  These buttons were made with the button machine loaned from the Toronto Tool Library.
   (My six favorite buttons!)

Visit me at the fair, mention this food blog and get a free food button!