Category Archives: London

Foodie Research

I’ve been in Vancouver for about 6 months now and it was time to head back to the eastern time zone and visit family and friends.  I’ve had a great time on vacation but there is no doubt that I need to lace up my running shoes as soon as I get back! Not that i’m complaining, but the backdrop of all my visits have been in a home or a restaurant with something delicious and decadent not far away.

This trip has made me realize more than ever before how central food and drinks are to our everyday life. Just think to how often you hear or suggest yourself, “let’s chat over coffee” or “let’s catch up during lunch”.  

Anyways, all this to say, I feel out of sorts for not having blogged anything over the last couple of days, but I’ve been too busy visiting and having a fork/spoon/knife in my hand(s)! However, I have been taking pictures, so in this upcoming week, prepare yourself for a load of delicious sounding restaurant reviews. I have been spoiled with the quality of food and restaurants in London (Ontario) and Montreal, ranging from Phad Thai, Portugese chicken and Boustan and I have the pictures to back it up.

Oh and of course, it goes without saying that the quality of food has been enhanced with the even greater quality of  friends and family I have had the opportunity and pleasure of catching up with. It’s been amazing seeing all of you and thank you all for your patience as I take my pictures. I just realized, to date, not a single person has even begun eating until I’ve finished taking my pictures…that is true friendship.

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Filed under Boustan, Family, Foodie, Friends, London, Montreal, Ontario, Phad Thai, Portugese chicken

What do you get when you deep fry a peanut? A Chipnut!

Today’s show and & tell are Chipnuts. I see a hand waving from the back of the class, “what is a chipnut, you ask? Very good question and i’ll do my best to explain it, although I’m not totally sure myself. From what I can gather, it is a jumbo cocktail peanut that has been rolled in some type of batter (crushed chips maybe) and then deep-fried! So essentially it is a peanut with an additional crunchy exterior and let me tell you, it is crunchy, tasty, addictive and comes in 16 flavors. The bag is a good size measuring 300 g and they sell for $2.99 each. For what you get, it’s a good deal!

Chip Nuts

300 g bag of Chipnuts for $2.99

If the massive sign out front of the store is any indication, the origin of Chipnuts can be traced back to Picard’s Peanuts. Claiming to be the home of the Canadian peanut, Picard’s has 8 locations within southwestern Ontario (and distributes throughout Canada). Our adventure took us to Talbotville, Ontario (maybe with a population of 2,000) which is about 15 minutes outside of London. There isn’t much going on in Talbotville, but Picard’s had a steady stream of customers on a Saturday afternoon, which told me that people that know about it will drive a decent distance to get their fill of nuts!

Welcome to Picard's Peanuts

Welcome to Picard's Peanuts

Since this whole chipnut thing is unique and Picard’s is the only one to produce it, they have graciously set out sample containers for each of their chipnut flavors. I suppose that at some point someone abused the “sample” concept and were helping themselves to heaps of chipnuts. So to remedy the problem, they have conveniently reminded us what a sample consists of. I started with the “Original”, but then I moved down the line trying BBQ, Nacho Cheese, White Cheddar, Sour Cream & Onion, Dill Pickle and on and on…I ended up buying a bag of Salt & Vinegar and as long as I have a bottle of water with me, i’ll be fine!

"Sample" up to 16 different flavors of chipnuts

"Sample" up to 16 different flavors of chipnuts

If the world of chipnuts excite you, check out their site – http://www.picardspeanuts.ca/home

And I didn’t even mention the peanut brittle, beernuts, gummies, chocolate covered nuts that they also make. I also bought some “tons of peanuts” peanut brittle. Let’s just say, the chipnuts are not the only reason you should go!

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Filed under Chipnuts, London, Ontario, Peanut Brittle, Peanuts, Picard's Peanuts, Talbotville

It does taste better with friends!

So tonight will be my shortest entry to date as i’m pretty tired, cooking for about 30 hours in a 4×4 (feet, not metres) kitchen will do that! My attempt at a full-blown Rosh Hashanah meal for 8 people turned out pretty well, although there were a few hiccups along the way, namely some unevenly cooked matzoh balls and a roast that had to be coaxed along, but you learn and move on, right?

The dish I was most proud of was the honey cake…turned out great, I just have to buy a cake pan and not use a loaf pan that didn’t cook it quite as evenly as I would have liked.

Recipes and comments to follow during the week, including hopefully a guest appearance recipe for some delicious garlic mashed potatoes!

2 final thoughts

“How did my grandmothers (and my mother nowadays) make it look so easy?”

Thanks to my new Vancouver friends (and old London friend) for allowing me to cook for them this evening.

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Filed under Friends, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Honey Cake, London, Matzoh balls, Roast, Rosh Hashanah, Vancouver