Creating A Travel Spice Kit

Measuring Out Chilli Power For My Travel Spice Kit

Anyone who likes to cook can appreciate the challenge of making food without a nice selection of herbs and spices. When I’m back at home, I have a pretty full spice cabinet with probably about 30 different containers ranging from saffron to gran masala to coriander. But unfortunately when I travel finding some of the herbs and spices that I’m used to can be a challenge in many parts of the world, and basically impossible in other parts. A good example of that is chilli powder – it’s basically available in every supermarket in Canada, but I couldn’t find it anywhere when I was in Brazil. Since I was making plans to go travelling for at least a few months, […]

Homemade Fresh Salsa Recipe

One of the hardest parts of traveling to remote countries is that it is not always easy to find some of the foods you enjoy the most back home. That in itself presents a great opportunity for exploring new foods, but let’s face it: sometimes it’s nice to have some tried and true comfort food. A good example of that for me is mexican food. It’s probably my favourite cuisine, and it was pretty rare that we didn’t have tacos at least weekly in my household growing up. Unfortunately in many parts of the world I’ve been in, finding mexican salsa can be a real pain. Even if you can find it (like here in Brazil), it’s an imported item […]

For many software developers, grabbing a can of soda is far more natural than grabbing a glass of water. At several companies I’ve worked at previously the employers even stocked the fridges with free soda. So when given a choice between grabbing a can from the fridge or getting a glass and going to the water cooler, often soda was chosen, especially in my case. When I was younger I never gave much thought to how much soda I consumed, but definitely in the last few years I’ve been more conscious of just how many bottles of diet soda I go through. I remember a period of time where I would show up at work and pretty much drink a […]

Making An Oatmeal Stout

My previous beer, a Milk Stout, was pretty much a total failure. So I decided I would make another attempt at a stout, this time without lactose though (for arbitrary reasons). A beer I’ve always quite enjoyed is Howe Sound Brewery’s Oatmeal Stout, so I thought I would try my hand at making an oatmeal stout. An oatmeal stout, as the name implies, uses oatmeal as part of its grain bill. While the oats don’t really add a dominant taste, they do impart a particular body to the beer as well as some complexity. Recipe The local home brew supply shop I normally use was pretty much out of every English yeast I wanted to use for this stout, so […]

1202 – DOA Milk Stout

About a week after I brewed my first beer I decided I would get another one in the queue so I would have one more to taste when they became ready. I decided to try my hand at a milk stout, another type of beer I thoroughly enjoy. I spent some time looking at other milk stout recipes and ultimately crafted something in BeerSmith2 that I thought would taste pretty good (based on a theoretical imagination in my head of what each of these base malts taste like). Unfortunately I missed my FG on this one by a huge amount (like 15 pts). I finally tracked it down to an improper estimate of mash efficiency in BeerSmith2 based on a […]

Very recently I decided I would try making an American India Pale Ale (IPA). My main reason with choosing this type of beer is that it’s one of my favourite styles, and I have a lot of great memories sitting around drinking a really hoppy beer amongst friends. I decided when I was in Europe that the first method for all-grain brewing I would attempt when I returned back home would be Brew In A Bag (BIAB). Basically you use a big-ass nylon bag to hold all your grains and have your brew kettle do double-duty as a mash tun as well. This method was apparently started by Australian home-brewers as a method to save both time and equipment. The […]

Slow Carb Chilli Recipe

Many people have heard the phrase low-carb before – basically a low-carb food implies food with a minimal amount of carbohydrates in it. I would say that any particular low-carb meal should probably have less than 10 grams of digestible carbs in it if it is be classified as a low-carb meal. The motivation for doing so is to limit the amount of insulin that gets produced after the meal. Since insulin directly influences the accumulation of fat, a low-carb diet/meal minimizes the amount of fat that can be stored after a meal, and often leads to more stable blood sugar. A slow-carb meal on the other hand doesn’t aim to minimize all carbs, just ones that have a big […]

I’ve been itching lately to try cooking some Indian cuisine, and have devoured a few cookbooks on the subject. The cookbook that appeals to me the most includes recipes that entail slow cooking most of the popular Indian dishes, so that’s what I’ve decided to start with. The name of the book (if anyone is interested) is The Indian Slow Cooker: 50 Healthy, Easy, Authentic Recipes. Why Indian? That’s a good question. Probably the best answer is that I really have no idea how to make any of the dishes, so it seems like a fun venture for a few weeks. I also recently spent three months in Argentina where it’s pretty rare to find a spicy dish to eat, […]

My Homemade Guacamole Recipe

The last time I was down in the Caribbean, I took a real shine to eating guacamole. Truthfully, I had always sort of stayed away from it because I thought I wouldn’t like the avocados in it. But really good guacamole is addictive, and I was eating it like it was going out of style in the Caribbean. In fact, I was putting it on hamburgers, hot dogs, chips — you name it. I’ve made about ten batches of guacamole in the last year, each time refining it a bit. It’s actually getting to be pretty good, as evidenced by the number of people who want me to keep making it. So, I thought I’d do up a little post […]