Bitter Endive Holiday Gift Guide - #2

It is exactly what you think it is - the coolest (get it?) ice mold you've ever seen. I picked one of these up in London and went for two more when I was in New York (seriously Muji, why aren't you in Canada yet?). It makes a perfectly spherical ball of ice - my ice of choice for cocktails. Perfect for the scotch-on-the-rocks drinker on your list. $11.75

Both images courtesy of www.muji.us


Bitter Endive Holiday Gift Guide - #1

Now that you've had your fill of the wacky waving inflatable arm flailing tube man, it's time to get down to business: Christmas Shopping. So, I present to you, the Bitter Endive Non-Denominational Holiday Gift Guide.

You know how normally when you go to serve cake, you need both a knife and a cake server? Well not anymore. This thing does it all for you! Because who doesn't need an easier way to eat more cake?

This thing is a work of art. And it is not just me saying this, the people at the Red Dot Design Awards seem to think so, too. Magisso produces simple items that redesign the way we use tools and they do it with a beautifull, modern aesthetic. You just press it down on the cake for a perfectly uniform slice, give a little squeeze, and transfer it to the plate. Pretty amazing. Check out the video if you don't believe me.

It's available through my Amazon Webstore ($44.95) or in Toronto, at Mjolk - one of my favourite design stores that I am sure we will see more from this month.


Back In Action

Merry Christmas!

It's been a crazy month (I think I'm saying that every month!) but we are settled into the new place and unpacking as quickly as can be so that I can get back into the kitchen. Here are some things to look forward to in the coming month and new year:

-Scandinavian Christmas Cookie Extravaganza!
-Bitter Endive Holiday Gift Guide & eBay Store!
-Blog Redesign with some spiffy new features
-Design posts featuring some interesting things in the way of Kitchen Design
-25% more Omar (he's grown a lot and become adverse to having his picture taken)

In the meantime (less than a week, I promise), enjoy this Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm Flailing Tube Man:

Doesn't he look happy?


Pork Cutlets with Spiced Butter

I know a lot of people don't eat pork. I can respect that choice whether it be for religious, cultural, or health reasons (or those of a family friend who just thinks pigs are too smart to be used for food) but I don't know that I'll ever really understand it. In the meat version of the Desert Island game my answer will always be the same: pork. From bacon and pancetta, to ribs and tenderloin, pork can be so easily transformed I could eat it for the rest of my life without getting bored. "The other white meat" is quite simply, to me, the only white meat (chicken has been done so poorly so frequently that the very idea of a skinless boneless breast has put me off poultry. Duck, you are not included in that sentiment).

I try not to buy too many cookbooks and food magazines. Recipes are so rampant on the internet (thank you, Epicurious.com) that more often than not they just feel like a waste of money. Donna Hay Magazine is the exception. Photography worthy of a coffee table cookbook and accessible, doable recipes make it easily worth it's $10.00 price tag. If you can get your hands on the 50th Issue Birthday edition, I highly recommend buying it. So far, I've made the Chocolate Stout Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting (ridiculously good), the Pork, Apple, and Thyme Meatballs (deliciously sweet and spicy), and the Pork Cutlets with Spiced Butter. I'm still cooking my way through the 16 page, 12 recipe Pork section (complete with a breakdown of cuts).

The beautiful thing about the Pork Cutlets is how wonderfully easy and simple they are. They let the pork taste like pork. Because of this, quality, ethically raised meat is crucial (I get mine from Rowe Farms). The chops are pan fried and topped with the delicious herbed butter (we used the leftovers on pasta and some grass-fed beef). The butter really couldn't be easier - through everything in a food processor, give it a whirl, then add the butter and whiz for a few seconds more. The leftover butter freezes well, too (freezing in an ice cube tray then storing in an airtight container lets you use just what you need later on).

Pair it with some brown rice and something green (green beans, steamed broccoli, sauteed spinach) and you have a perfect weeknight dinner. Thank you, Donna Hay!