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February, 2011 | Manolo's Food Blog
Archive - February, 2011

Sunday FoodPorn!

Happy brunch!

Dinner with Julian

A toast to Julian Assange

A toast to Julian Assange

How did I miss this? Spies, food, alcohol, anarchy, conspiracy, and double-crossing: it’s got EVERYTHING I look for in a story.

In order to keep government-mortifying website Wikileaks running and pay the considerable legal fees of his (unsuccessful) fight against extradition, Draco Malfoy imitator and human ferret Julian Assange invited the world to dine with him on February 9th of this year.

For a fee.

Nom for Freedom, Julian!

Nom for Freedom, Julian!

No, seriously, how did I miss this? Assange is easily my favorite James Bond villain, and a more stimulating dinner companion could hardly be imagined (just keep all the lights on). According to the website, it was a one-time opportunity to gather with friends and Wikileaks supporters, donate to the cause, and in return be given a link to unlock a Vimeo video of Assange saluting you and presumably pretending to be interested in what your Uncle Harry has to say about kids these days and their crazy music, etc, etc.

Well guess what? Someone leaked the video. So here’s what we missed! [ed note: when the inevitable takedown notice comes, the very fabric of the space-irony continuum will be destroyed]

In the words of Julian Assange – “There are four things that cannot be concealed for long, the sun, the moon, the truth – and dessert!”

A Toast to Toast!

Parker Posey looks forward to the day she can be a Tea and Toast Lady

Parker Posey looks forward to the day she can be a Tea and Toast Lady

Who doesn’t love toast? Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing I like better than a newly-cut piece of beautifully made, fresh bread; it’s just that this exquisite pillowy pleasure lasts, at most, one day, and then there you are with a dried-out husk of rapidly hardening gluten, suitable perhaps for insulation or waylaying passers-by in lonely alleyways without leaving bruises (can you imagine the police report? “and then, *sniff*, and then she beat me about the head and neck with a large ciabatta“) SO much handier than a telephone book, and who even has those anymore? Or you could make spitballs with which to annoy pedestrians outside your window, if it’s not too far gone.

Where was I? Oh yes, talking about old bread. There are several food-based things you can do with superannuated bread, namely Stuffing/Dressing, Bread Pudding, French Toast, and Toast Toast. Croutons don’t count, because croutons are the devil’s own hemorrhoids, and we shall speak no more of them.

Today we are discussing toast in its purest form. It is not warm bread. Carbonization is necessary, if only to justify the word “toast” as a colour favored by hotel designers everywhere. Just look at this adorable Toast Modernist piece. Speaking of imperial levels of chic, let’s check out this fascinating video by Chloe, everyone’s favorite fashionista foodie philosotrix.

We are agreed: toast is charming! Toast is AMAZING!

Only one question remains: Marmalade: spoon or knife?
Toast. Charming. AMAZING!

Dessert of the Year: Paris Hilton’s Birthday Cake

Happy Birthday Paris Hilton. You don't look a day over 40.

Happy Birthday Paris Hilton. You don't look a day over 40.

A sincere Happy 56th birthday to Paris Hilton, the Manolosphere’s favorite celebutard. We saw the pictures from your party (and we wondered, for a moment, if when someone told you to “blow” the candles, awkward hijinks ensued) and it looks like a great time was had by all.

Especially the guy who crashed your party and stole your birthday cake.

I woke up this morning with a $2000 birthday cake in my living room.

It’s big.

It’s red.

It says “Paris”.

And its fucking delicious.

24 hours ago I got a call from my well-connected buddy Kevin. “Dude, I’m crashing Paris Hilton’s birthday tonight. Pretty sure I can get you in,” he says. “Pretty sure you can’t,” I say. “Pretty sure I will,” he says.

90 minutes later we’re strolling down a red carpet like we belong there…

This is as delightful a tale of dessert-based Schadenfreude as the interwebs possess! Yes, just like Kim Kardashian’s $1million birthday cake, this relatively low-rent stunner was just going to be used for decoration and then thrown out. Naturally, in an economic climate as dire as ours, this offended our young adventurer, and he took the only course of action which an ethical partycrasher could, liberating the tasty treat in the name of The People.

and then posting the whole thing to Facebook, god love him.

Even in my sub-functional state, I realize this is going to be a delicate mission. There are still at least 100 people in the building, 20% of whom are employed to be looking for idiots like me.

Parading a confection the size of a small firetruck through the main hall is going to turn a head or two…

I take my cue and make a bullet for cake city.

In one fluid motion, I sidestep a confused waiter, seize the prize, and about face to the door.

I pass the security chief again on the way out.

I nod purposefully… he nods in return.

40 seconds later I’m in the front seat of a Nissan Maxima with 70 lbs. of awesome in my lap.


As the sun rises, I crash hard. In the morning, I’ll awake to an interesting surprise in the den.

It’s red. It’s delicious. And I don’t know WTF I’m going to do with it.

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You say Pierogie and I say Perogy

Gluten Free? Why not, I guess

It must be said, and that by me (for my extensive blogging staff appears to have gotten into the sherry and is AWOL) that I am indeed making the very most that can be made of my missing gallbladder and subsequent license to eat whatever I want, whenever I want, regardless of how fatty it is. After months where bacon was an abstract concept and cheese a mere hypothetical, the luscious richness that fat brings to, say, Saint Andre Brie is a revelation.

Now, there are two ways to do this, to dive back into a diet that suddenly includes fat.

  1. The high-fashion route, ie lardons. As in Goop and other pretentious monstrosities such as the Pork Martini. Yes, the Pork Martini: The pork Martini serves many needs on many levels! In these pomo days, when old formulas are reborn with futile twists for our fickle, fin-de-siècle tastes, the meat cocktail stands out above wobbly, cranberry-tainted attempts at bar trendiness. When one abandons the olive garnish for that of a pork-rind wedge, the pork Martini merges the flavors of the working class with that of wealthier ones, bridging social strata. It has the humanitarian goal of bettering the nutrition of alcoholics, offering protein for those who prefer their lunches liquid: since meat digests longer, it will both inebriate and offer nutrients for longer periods! It will open new markets to pork consumption, adding American jobs to every level of the meat-industrial complex. And, finally, it looks really weird. To which one can only reply: Oh honey. Oh honey. Oh honey, shut up and get me another Bombay Sapphire 6:1 with a twist.
  2. The low-rent, diner route. This, my friends, is the route I have chosen (and does it surprise any of you?). The food and the company are both better, and my wallet still respects me in the morning. And in this marvelous, Bukowskian noshquest, I believe I may have found the ultimate food.

Winnipeg Style Perogies.

perogy cat knows when you're cheating on him with gnocchi

perogy cat knows when you're cheating on him with gnocchi

Although there hasn’t been a food invented that can’t be ruined by snobbery (yes, it’s been done with truffle oil; hasn’t everything?), the humble perogy is as pure a peasant food as the world contains, and if there’s one thing the peasants know, it’s that it doesn’t pay to be doctrinaire. When you have three things in the kitchen and you’re bored of them separately, you put them together and call it “Casserole” or whatever the local word is (there’s a restaurant in Portland whose best-seller is called “slop” but we do not recommend this for marketing purposes) and you just eat it.

A Shmenge's favorite food

A Shmenge's favorite food

Perogies are the perfect example of this: their infinitely adaptable, humble nature has spawned some amazing displays of loyalty, whether it’s John Candy diverting his flights to pick some up or inspiring spirited musicals.

A plateful of potato-stuffed dumplings served up with catchy tunes and a bit of humour is heating up into a favourite menu item for Ukrainian Catholics and other Catholic churches across the country.

The Perogy Supper Miracle, the hour-long musical comedy about a church fundraising supper written by Winnipeg musician and composer Danny Schur, is about to tantalize and entice audiences in Sudbury, Burlington, Ottawa, Calgary and Prince Albert in the next months…

Schur says he’s surprised and pleased that The Perogy Supper Miracle has attracted enquiries from churches all over North America since its Winnipeg premiere on Nov. 6…

“I’m pleased about The Perogy Supper Miracle because it’s a chance to do creative fundraising and creative ministry and it’s a good musical,’ says Gnutel, who portrays a priest named Father Mark experiencing a doubts and questions about his work while attempting to recruit enough volunteers to keep his parish’s perogy dinners operating.

Boston Pizza even, apparently, has a perogy pizza; that they serve this in Boston, well, colour me skeptical.

The lineup outside Baba's Perogy Hut could be extensive

The lineup outside Baba's Perogy Pizza Hut could be extensive

I grew up partly in Winnipeg, flying from Paris to Winterpeg at the age of 11 months (and I’m STILL not over the culture shock: Oscar Wilde got off the train and said, “SO this is Winnipeg. I can tell it’s not Paris” and every visitor since has said much the same) and fondly remember the one weekend every Fall when our Ukrainian friend Frida would come over and draft the population of the entire block, turning us into one huge perogy and cabbage roll factory, after which we would have enough to eat until the Communists came marching over the North Pole as they were surely going to do any day now. I remember eating them with everything, including ketchup, but distinctly do not remember eating them in the style known in Vancouver’s iconic Hamburger Mary’s diner as Winnipeg Style Perogies.

A lb of food! Cheese perogies topped with house made beef chili and broiled cheese with sour cream.

And here they are:

Winnipeg Style Perogies in all their cholesteriffic glory

Winnipeg Style Perogies by 604FoodPhotography,in all their cholesteriffic glory

Is this authentic? I SHOULD SAY NOT!

It should be “0.45359237 kilograms of food,” duh!

But what I can tell you is this: if you’re near starvation, after nearly three solid month of fat-free dining, it is about as close as the planet comes to the perfect restorative. Sure, the serving was the size of my head, and sure, there was too much cumin, even for me, but it was, nonetheless, a plate of ecstasy.

The kind you feel dirty about afterwards, which only makes it better.

Happy Valentine’s Day from ManoloFood!



I like their spirit(s)!

Lady Gaga: Legend, Singer, American Dining Activist!

My god, what did we ever do before we had the technological capability to MST3K red carpet events in realtime? Also, the woman has a point.




And don’t ask about dips.

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