Guest Food Blogger


By: Sara Bakker

Food-a-holic's Note:
Sara is an amazing photographer! Check out her work at these links:

Everyone loves a good wedding, seeing friends or family happily united, the open bars, and the dancing.  But what about food?  I've heard stories about terrible wedding dinners when you can tell the veggies were cooked from frozen, and the chicken tasted like plastic… eek!  Being a food server I have seen quite a few wedding dinners from kitchen, to table to dishwasher, some are exquisite, and no doubt cost the bride and groom an arm and a leg, I've seen other weddings that opted for simple hors d'ourves service, (which is always my favourite because of the abundant left overs!!).  However, I recently (for the first time) was on the dinning side of the wedding dinner, and I must say it was some of the BEST food I've had.

Dinner started with a self serve bruschetta & mussel bar.

Needless to say, for those who know me, I was first in line once they mentioned bruschetta, and boy I was glad I was.  Tomatoes & garlic topped BBQ grilled baguette bread with a side of white wine steamed mussels was just what I needed to go with my warm mug of coffee.

The bride and groom sure kept us well feed for the whole reception, and at a great pace so there was never a time when we were too full.  Next on the menu, cupcakes of course!  Chocolate & vanilla cupcakes were passes around to each table.  We opted for the vanilla, and I don't regret that decision at all, these homemade goodies with Belgium chocolate on top may have been the highlight of my evening!

Next came the wine, red and white.  I'm not sure what type it was, but free wine is always good wine! (even in small plastic cups).

Next came the actually wedding dinner, which was much anticipated by everyone, as we could all smell the BBQ's going all evening.  The wait was well worth it that's for sure when they finally called our table up to get our food.  

Dinner consisted of BBQ’d quarter chicken, baked potato with sour cream, a zesty broccoli and carrot salad, a lovely Caesar salad with homemade dressing and real bacon & fresh buns!  Yumm!   

The chicken was a bit messy and I think we all ended up eating it with our fingers because the plastic cutlery just wasn't "cutting" it.  Once we got into the chicken it fell right off the bone, and was so juicy and tender, just looking at the photo here is making me hungry!

(There wasn't much left by the time we were done!)

Dinner was followed with more tea and coffee as well as the best coffee cake I have ever had.  It was a nice thick (almost like a brownie) chocolate coffee cake.  Sadly I never did get to snap a photo of it, because I ate it to quickly, oops.

By the end of the night I had all the faith in the world in wedding dinners, rumour has it that this lovely dinner (minus wine) cost the happy newlyweds 10 dollars a plate, not to shabby if I do say so myself!


By: Shawn Sieiro

I'm not a huge fan of the apple.  I pies are great and all but in all reality they are kind of played out by the 21st century.  I never really liked cinnamon either.  The feeling of having my tongue paralyzed with the overwhelming taste of cinnamon never sat well on my palate.

I love raisins.

But for some weird reason, if you put all three together, you got a home run bigger than Big Papi Ortiz can serve up.  And the best thing about these dumplings is that, besides the joy of eating one, they look great and make for a great family/group/couple activity.  Hint:  If you don't like your fingers sticking together because of the apple juice you can wear a pair of non-latex gloves or better yet, get your better half to handle them for you!

The Facts:

Apple:  The apple is the pomaceous fruit of the apple tree, species Malus domestica in the rose family (Rosaceae).  It is one of the most widely cultivated tree fruits, and the most widely known of the many members of genus Malus that are used by humans.

Kingdom:  Plantae
Order:  Rosales
Family: Rosaceae
Subfamily:  Maloideae or Spiraeoideae
Tribe:  Maleae
Genus:  Malus
Species:  M. domestica

Raisin:  Raisins are dried grapes.

Cinnamon:  Cinnamon is a spice obtained from the inner bark of several trees from the genus Cinnamomum that is used in both sweet and savoury foods.  Cinnamon trees are native to South East Asia.  Its flavor is due to an aromatic essential oil that makes up 0.5% to 1% of its composition.

These dumplings are served hot with a side of creme anglaise and a split strawberry.

Food-a-holic's Note:  When Can I Try One!?!?!

Since I never go by measurements, I won't have precise values but the following are more or less on par.

The Goods:

  • 1 bag of Apples [any apples will do but those most suitable for baking are prime for this purpose]
  • 1 bag of raisins
  • 1 cup cinnamon
  • Brown Sugar
  • Puff Pastry sheets [you can find these at Sobey's in the ice cream aisle, took me 2 weeks and 30 mins searching for them until I intelligently finally asked an employee...]
  • Butter
  • Pasty brush
  • 2-3 eggs
  • 4 Lemons [medium to large size]
  • 1 large bowl
  • Water
  • Pastry sheet pans
  • An oven...

The Process:

1.   Apples:  You first peel the apples and then quarter them.  Make sure to put any peeled apples in a bowl of water with lemon juice squeezed into the water.  This keeps the apples as fresh as possible without going brown [A process called oxidation… Apples have an enzyme that reacts with oxygen causing the 'rust'].  When quartered, proceed to dice the apples. Size is up to you but I usually go small [easier to pack into pastry].

2.   Get out your pastry sheets and brush them with egg wash [that's eggs beaten in water]. Then find the center of the pastry sheet [you got your sheets placed lengthwise] and make a cut through.  With the two new sections find the centers of those pieces and cut down through.  Next you make two more cuts lengthwise.  You should have square looking pieces.

3.     Drain your apples well and add in your raisins and cinnamon and brown sugar.  Toss well so that you see all the apples have cinnamon specks.  Taste to decide if you need more sugar or cinnamon.

4.   Spoon the mixture into a pasty square and fold one corner over the mixture and do the same with the opposite corner. Make sure you are folding tight so that there are no gaps. Do the same with the other corners.  You should have a nice tight pastry dumpling stuffed with apple.

5.   Brush the dumplings with egg wash.  This makes your product come out with that nice tanned oven baked colour.

6.    Have your oven pre-heated to about 375 degrees. Your oven needs to be hot and ready. Place the dumplings on the pastry pan with parchment paper and check on your dumplings every 5 mins.  The dumplings take about 12-15 mins [In our kitchen both our ovens are set at 500 degrees so make sure you check your dumplings].

Your dumplings are done when the pastry has risen up and they are flaky and brown.  Do not overcook.  Set aside for a few mins to cool down a bit and then serve with a side of crème anglaise.

To store:  

These dumplings can be frozen and then reheated in the oven to serve again.



By: Josh Abbott

Hey all, welcome to my first Guest Blog! In honour of Good Friday (of several weeks past) I will be looking at the Wendy’s Premium Fish Fillet Sandwich and the McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish, letting you know where to spend your hard earned cash. 

First up is the offering by Wendy’s:

Comparison Photos


Wendy’s Premium Fish Fillet Sandwich
Bun: The ad for this sandwich makes it look like a delicious, fluffy Kaiser roll was to be placed around the fish patty. Alas, my bun was merely a regular, smooth-surface bun. It was still quite nice, but definitely underwhelming compared to the ad. Quality control is lacking!

Fish: A crisp panko breading that stayed crisp even while steaming away in the foil wrapper and sitting under sweet, sweet fishspread.  A pretty thick slab of fish. Not very fishy smelling. Very nice! 

Tartar Sauce: There was a decent amount of sauce on the patty. One fear I had was that the fish would be dry if it wasn’t sauced up to my expectations. The taste was pretty great. A nice tang throughout. 

Lettuce: Wendy’s opted for a solid leaf or two rather than the shredded lettuce of McDonald’s. I often find leaf lettuce to be of lower quality than shredded, even though most restaurants seem to think having a leaf gets more gourmet-points. The lettuce here was nice and crisp despite being of the leaf variety.

Next is the McDonald’s equivalent. Since the Wendy’s sandwich came with lettuce, and the thought of cheese on my fish sandwich is a bit wrong, I opted to get lettuce instead of fromage. This added a couple cents to my purchase, which actually brought it in line with the slightly more expensive Wendy’s sandwich. I believe they both ended up being approximately $4 each.

Comparison Photos:



McDonald's Filet-O-Fish

Bun: McDonald’s advertised a small, round plain bun and that’s exactly what I received. I believe they’re supposed to “steam” their buns (which means microwaving) but mine was definitely toasted. Quality control is lacking!

Fish: Didn’t have the crispness of the Wendy’s fish but was still nice. Smaller than the Wendy’s sandwich as well. Nothing all that spectacular about the 100% Alaskan Whitefish.

Tartar Sauce: The sauce was very nice. I could’ve used a little bit more but it wasn’t really lacking. The main flavour of these sandwiches comes from the sauce so I expect a good helping of it. 

Lettuce: McDonald’s goes for the tried and true shredded lettuce. While the lettuce was good, it’s not a standard ingredient on these fish sandwiches. I found that there wasn’t a whole lot of it, despite having to pay 50 cents or so for it. Not worth it!


Both places screwed up the buns on their sandwiches so coming out of that they are tied. Moving on to the fish patty, Wendy’s had a crispier and bigger slab of fish so that puts them up 1-0. Both of the tartar sauces were quite nice, and while I wish there was a little more on each, I can’t complain too much about that. Tied again!  Wendy’s lettuce was definitely superior, but since McDonald’s doesn’t have lettuce on their filets by default I would feel bad marking them down for that. All that being said, while the Filet-O-Fish is cheaper, the extra money paid at Wendy’s yields a moderately superior sandwich. If you’ve got the money, go for the Premium Fish Fillet. 

Thanks for reading all! If you have any other restaurant comparisons to be made, leave me some suggestions! I would definitely not be upset about a Big Crunch vs. Big Mary blog, for example. Mmm…