Hook-Ups: Cook’s Thesaurus

There are a couple of ingredients I always mean to buy but that never seem to be a priority when I’m at the grocery. Budget’s often tight and grocery bags are heavy, so I sometimes find myself on google searching for possible substitutes for those pantry items that have yet to make their way in to my basket. As I was hunting for a replacement for soya sauce today, I fell on foodsubs.com, a handy, informative, and quick to navigate cook’s thesaurus and encyclopedia that is most definitely favourites-worthy! Apart from its intended purpose, I bet it’s a great way to start playing with old favourites by switching things up a bit with similar ingredients!

Hook-Ups: Food Truck Tracker!

If you’re looking for the location of a specific food truck, or looking to try new ones (I hear a bunch are coming to Ottawa soon!), or wondering if there are any street eats events going on, Ontario Food Trucks’ got you covered!

On twitter: https://twitter.com/ontfoodtrucks
Their website: http://ontariofoodtrucks.com/

Kitchen Party: Sweet and Spicy Green Bean Pomegranate Chestnut Fry

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Pomegranate season usually runs from October to January in the Western hemisphere, and possibly longer this year as the full-on bone-chilling cold hasn’t fully hit us yet. I don’t know about you, but I’m welcoming the extended stay, especially that grocery stores are practically handing them out right now.

Green beans are not in season, but I bought a huge bag of them for 1$ the other day, and although they are not my favourite vegetable, I find them perfect when cooked slightly crispy and tossed in to a warm salad, bake, or fry. I usually fry them up with chopped almonds, but my parents sent fresh chestnuts with me on my trip back from Ottawa, so I thought I’d give that a try. No regrets here.

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So, this is what you need for something like 2-3 servings:

Green beans (about 2 cups)
Pomegranate (half) – get a friend to do the messy work if you don’t like to! I personally love it!
Chestnuts (6, whole) – draw an x in them then microwave them for a couple of seconds, or roast them if you prefer; peel and chop once they’re soft enough
Honey – mine was blueberry honey but any variation should do
Spices – your usual salt and pepper, and most importantly lots of chilli flakes to make the ‘spicy’ in ‘sweet and spicy’
Salted butter (or an oil, if you prefer)

Heat up a good table spoon of butter, then throw in the green beans once you’ve taken the ends off. Cook them to your desired softness, and throw in the chopped chestnuts. Give them a couple of minutes to meet and greet, and throw in the pomegranate seeds. Sprinkle on the spices you want (emphasis on the chilli flakes for me), and drizzle on a fully loaded tea spoon of honey.

It all tasted delicious as a side for my pork souvlakis, but I can imagine it just as well with chicken, or even as a stand alone with rice or potatoes.

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Location: My new apartment!
Damage: Under $5 (maybe up to $10 depending on where you are picking up the ingredients)
Rating: 8.5 pies out of 10
Soundtrack: Yuna’s album, which you can preview online here or watch a clip of:

Hook-Ups: Blog Hop!

Our friend Shelley from Pass The Herpes passed along this fun quiz that allows us to introduce ourselves more properly all the while sending you off to blogs we love. It’s called a BLOG HOP! We’ve changed a couple of questions since this was originally made for authors to promote their books, but overall it’s still the same: just a quick glance at A Finger in the Pie, and some love sharing for other peoples’ work that we enjoy and admire.

What is the working title of your next blog post?

We’re hoping to somehow make time during this busy season to blog about good eats in Ottawa, as well as some recipes to share over the holidays. Our next blog post will be about a little Cuban place on Bank St. called Havana Café.

Where did the idea come from for the blog?

We love to cook and eat, and really it was one of those “Oh! You know what we should do…” moments, that we actually ended up doing. We kept eating out and catching ourselves critiquing the food, and talking about what we would add or take out to make it better. We also often played in the kitchen, making delicious messes of meals, so it seemed like a natural next step.

What genre does your blog fall under?

We like to call it “foodie with some booty”.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

This question quickly made us fantasize about our celebrity crushes in aprons. We’d have to go with Christina Hendrix (Joan, in Mad Men) and Mos Def (in a bow tie).

What is a one-sentence synopsis of your blog?

Innuendo about tasty treats.

How long did it take you to write the draft of your first blog post?

We co-wrote it and it took about an hour.

What other blogs would you compare this to within your genre?

Some of our favourite foods blogs are Turntable Kitchen, Smitten Kitchen, How Sweet It Is, A Cozy Kitchen, and Endless Simmer.

Who or what inspired you to start this blog?

FOOD! (and procrastination…)

What else about your blog might pique your readers’ interest?

We tend to bring you along our eating and cooking adventures, and hilarity ensues. For the music lovers, our Kitchen Party foodagory has music playlists for all our recipes! And other categories offer humour (Spoon Full of Sugar), cooking tips (Hook-Ups), or kitchen wish-lists (Please, Sir), in addition to our recipes and restaurant reviews. Stay tuned for a cheese review section called Cheese Louise!

Here are the bloggers whose work you can check out next:

Sew Poetic by Shushan is one of our favourite people’s Tumblr page, blending words and fabrics to create one-of-a-kind masterpieces you can wear or share. Our wardrobes are looking much more lively! (e-mail her for price quotes at sewpoetic@gmail.com)

New Art Every Day by Elisha Lim – Elisha is an artist, and we wish they would draw our faces. They’ve started a new blog called New (He)Art Every Day that features projects in the works oozing with creativity. If you like what you see, purchase some of their amazing merch (*ahem* holiday gifts!) on Etsy!

Tea and Ink by Hannah – a blog about good looking food you just want to devour! The quote “You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suite me.” by C.S. Lewis, the driving force for the blog, sums it all up!