August 01, 2013

Dinner: Spaghetti

The only pasta worth eating is Dececco. Heh, America's Test Kitchen never included it in their testing but when they finally did, it won handily. No surprise, it's not even close.

Posted by JAY at 08:09 PM | Comments (0)

August 02, 2013

Dinner: Ribs and Kale

I bought a big salami that I use for adding to pizza - but also for frying up crispy strips for pan sautéed kale, which is super healthy. I do these ribs in the countertop oven. The sauce is added at the end, which chars and adds the smoky flavor.

Posted by JAY at 08:28 PM | Comments (0)

August 05, 2013

My (New) Fitness Pal

Now that I have a smart phone, I can try using a calorie counter application. It's only been a few days but My Fitness Pal has already affected my behavior by game-ifying my eating, tracking my weight and exercise.

If I want a rich snack, I'm motivated to exercise to increase my calorie budget. I'm motivated to use less oil in cooking and less dressing on my salad. When I complete my daily entry, it tells me things like "If every day was like today, you'll lose 5lbs in 5 weeks!" Expensive restaurants will be a challenge to estimate calories, but I'm pretty good at that (chains post their calories and they're searchable from the app).

Posted by JAY at 05:24 PM | Comments (0)

August 06, 2013

Google Hangouts Blows

I installed Android 4.3 on a Nexus 7 tablet recently and Google Talk was replaced by the horrible, awful Google Hangouts. Suddenly, my chat client sucks at IM!
- it doesn't show status... you can't see who's online!
- it breaks interoperability with non-Google IM standards, most notably Jabber/XMPP, so basically all those people who you could IM with before because their clients followed standards? Not available anymore.

Google product forum
Reverting to Talk (requires rooting your device)

WTF, Google? W.T.F.

Posted by JAY at 09:02 PM | Comments (0)

August 08, 2013

Restaurant: Richmond Station

Richmond Station is headed by a winner of Top Chef Canada, Carl Heinrich. It's been getting good reviews and I admired what I saw of Carl's cooking on TV, so I couldn't pass up a chance to try it myself. Weekend reservations are a bit scarce, though.

The tasting menu is not listed on the menu, which is a shame. At $65 (we only saw the price afterward), it's very good value and a lot of fun. The couple beside us was gazing longingly as dish after pretty dish appeared at our table.

- A starter of raw oysters was fine with a standard but nicely executed trio of condiments.
- Charcuterie was more fun, with most of the meats prepared on-site.
- A tiny cup of gazpacho was bright and full of flavor

- Lobster roll was somewhat of a revelation. I had been considering trying a McDonald's lobster roll - they aren't usually available outside of the Maritimes - but this completely killed that curiosity. Briny lobster flavor dominated a very light creamy sauce. The toasted house-made milk bread was perfect, both on its own and paired with the lobster. I could have eaten a loaf of that. It was the dish of the night!

- Quinoa salad was about as good as a salad can be. Sweet corn kernels and nutty white beans were a perfect contrast to creamy hummus. House-made hickory sticks were a clever vegan substitute for bacon that worked really well. The ranch dressing was maybe a bit understated.

- Rabbit stew didn't do anything for me. It was too lean overall, I think. The rabbit was wrapped in prosciutto and cooked separately and the sauce was lightly thickened but lacked richness. The veggies were steamed separately and while perfectly cooked to tender-crisp, were kinda reminiscent of frozen peas and carrots. I prefer stew less as a composed dish and more of a savory union. An accompanying perogi, however, was delicious,

- Seared tenderloin with roasted veggies was a perfectly cooked surprise - the server had thought we only had dessert left and had thoughtfully offered a burger if we were still hungry (we weren't, we were just thoroughly enjoying the food). No complaints, except that I forgot to take a picture.

- Dessert was a bit too restrained for me. Rhubarb sorbet was packed with flavor but just a bit tart for me. Crumbled angel cake was a bit cottony and burnt honey is neat, but not very sweet. I'd like some sweet richness to go with all that acidity. However, it seems like the current fashion is for not-too-sweet desserts.

Service was great, with knowledgeable staff explaining every dish. The chef came out to check on things as well, likely aware of his minor-celebrity status. Refolding dirty napkins by hand still irritates me. (no touch! germy!) But overall, no complaints. A bottle of still water left at the table is appreciated, since I'm a guzzler.

Great value and a fun time. It even feels pretty healthy. Depending on how often the menu changes, I'd like to come back for each season. But also the Station Burger looks tempting. Recommended.

Richmond Station
1 Richmond St W
Mailbox 8
Toronto, ON
M5H 3W4

Posted by JAY at 07:53 PM | Comments (0)

August 12, 2013

Figs and Cheese

Figs from Costco, Manchego, Parmigianno, Cheddar.

Posted by JAY at 06:20 PM | Comments (0)

August 15, 2013

Pineapple Pizza and Salad

The pizza's not homemade, it just has pineapple, spicy salami and mushrooms added to it.

Posted by JAY at 06:23 PM | Comments (0)

August 16, 2013

Shrimp Curry

This curry is relatively low-cal - around 200 calories/serving.

Posted by JAY at 06:25 PM | Comments (0)

August 17, 2013


When we were younger, we used to dive for mussels at a friend's cottage. This is what we would make with them - grilled mussels with cheddar cheese. They don't taste as good as I remember them being.

Posted by JAY at 06:27 PM | Comments (0)

August 18, 2013

Range Hood

I got seduced by a cheap stainless steel range hood ($99). It took me WEEKS to get set up because I'm not very handy - it was hard to mount because there was very little clearance from the underside to screw it in. Plus I was doing it solo. I'm not sure how long it'll stay up for!

Posted by JAY at 06:33 PM | Comments (0)

August 20, 2013

Eggplant Fried Rice

Fried rice cooked at home is actually pretty healthy. I also found some 'beef rib meat' - trimmings from around the beef ribs that the grocery should LEAVE AROUND THE BEEF RIB. It's good, but pretty hard to trim once off the bone.

Posted by JAY at 03:23 PM | Comments (0)

August 23, 2013

Pizza and Salad

Domino's half price pizza sale will be the death of my diet. I've been eating it with salad (here with some apple that my neighbor picked). But I can't stop gorging on pizza. I've frozen the leftovers in 2-slice packets, which is more reasonable.

Posted by JAY at 03:28 PM | Comments (0)

August 26, 2013

Steak and Salad

"Platinum Angus AAA" steak from Metro was disappointing. Good ratio of veg though - the zucchini was fresh from Jen's garden, which I raided after visiting TImmy.

Posted by JAY at 09:59 PM | Comments (0)

August 27, 2013

Lamb Curry

The lamb shoulder was simmered in large chunks till super tender. I removed almost every bit of fat by chilling, which also took out a bunch of curry flavor, which I guess is mostly fat-soluble spice compounds. Next time, maybe I'll add back some fried curry paste.

Posted by JAY at 10:03 PM | Comments (0)

August 29, 2013


It's hard to get a picture of a leaping cat while holding the camera in one hand and swinging a feather with the other. I did get some video, though.

Posted by JAY at 10:09 PM | Comments (2)

August 31, 2013

Weber Performer BBQ

Got this at a great price - a charcoal grill with propane igniter. Might still get a chimney, though... It's the incidental purchases that add up! My sister picked it up for me - a floor model with some cosmetic scratches in the tabletop. We cooked some steaks on it today... a bit overdone, but still pink.

Update: got the Weber cover, usually $50-70 for $15! Just in time, too - it started raining when I brought the cover home.

Posted by JAY at 10:21 PM | Comments (0)