Archive | announcements

Help for Haiti

Unless you live under a rock, you’ve heard of what’s happening to Haiti. A 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck their capital and have killed tens of thousands of people. From the photos, the city is basically in shambles. People are fighting to even get some water.

We’re all about good food and living a good life, but we can’t just sit here and do nothing. As we’ve mentioned in our January newsletter, we aren’t having any giveaways this month. Instead we donated $50 to Médecins Sans Frontières Canada (Doctors Without Borders) and the Canadian Red Cross. It’s the fastest and easiest way to help.

This is the time to give. Money is tight, I know, but we have a roof over our heads, can eat when we want, and we can basically swim in potable water. Every dollar will help. Try to give.

Here’s a list of mobile and online ways for you to donate. Included are Canadian and American charities, including links at the very bottom of this post where you can verify your charities.

Anyone can donate through the following outlets, but feel free to find a local charity of your choice.

TEXT-TO-DONATE (money donated will appear in your next wireless bill)

• (Canada) Rogers and Fido customers can text “HELP” to 1291 to donate $5 CDN. They said 100% of the donations will be provided to Haitian relief organizations.

• (Canada) If you text the message “Haiti” to 45678, you will contribute $5 to the Salvation Army’s relief effort.

• (US) Text the word “Haiti” to 90999 to donate $10 to the Red Cross.

• (US) Text “YELE” to 501501 to donate $5 toward to Yéle Haiti organization for food distribution and emergency relief mobilization.

(all links go directly to the donation page)


The Government of Canada will match the contributions of individual Canadians to eligible Canadian charitable organizations in support of humanitarian and recovery efforts in response to the earthquake in Haiti, up to a total of $50 million. The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) will allocate these funds to Canadian and international humanitarian and development organizations.

Canadian Red Cross
Doctors Without Borders Canada
World Vision Canada
The Humanitarian Coalition (Canada) accepts donations for emergencies on behalf of Save the Children Canada, CARE Canada, Oxfam Canada and Oxfam Quebec


Save The Children
American Red Cross
Unicef USA
Salvation Army USA
United Nations Foundation
Doctors Wthout Borders USA
United Nations World Food Programme
Partners in Health
Mercy Corps

Be an informed donor and check your charity in Canada and USA.

Posted in announcements2 Comments

Secret Santa Reveal

A day late and a few gifts short, I heard! Hehe. ;-) All in jest, dears. I’ve just received a gift shipped from the US before December 15. So, to my fellow Canadian participants, if you haven’t received your gifts, it just might be the postal system.

So are you ready to find out who’s your Secret Santa (SS)? Just look for your name in bold, and to the right of your name is your Secret Santa’s name, website and Twitter ID. To the Secret Santas — check your “baby’s” name and if it has an asterisk (*), it means they’ve emailed me to confirm receipt of their gifts.

Mardi already posted about the gift her Secret Santa sent her! Yay! Great choice, Ms. Secret Santa! If you’d like to share your post about your own, just leave it in the comments and I’ll link to it. :-)

Adrienne M.* : SS Benedetta J.G. of (bennybip)

Amy I.* : SS Dana W. of (danatreat)

Amy J.* : SS Megan P. of (meganpires)

April K.* : SS Adrienne M. of (CelebrationsInt)

Benedetta J.G. : SS Gaby D. of (whatsgabycookin)

Casey B.* : SS Meaghan B. of (iluselu)

Chris P. : SS Thomas A. of (ahnt)

Danielle T. : SS Chris P. of (BlogWellDone)

Dana W. : SS Maris C. of (mariscalla)

Deseree K.* : SS Wendy B. of (pinkstripes)

Dottie A. : SS Mardi M. of (eatlivtravwrite)

Elise K.* : SS Nastassia J. of (LetMeEatCake)

Emily D. : SS Megan M. of (stetted)

Esi I.* : SS Danielle T. of (istelleinad)

Gaby D.* : SS Elise K. of (foodieforkful)

Grace Y. : SS Dottie A. of (foodcents)

Jackie G.* : SS Susan C. of (makebakebehappy)

Josie T. : SS Kristen L. of (klink84)

Kate W. : SS Nikki M-K of (NikSnacks)

Kathy S.* : SS Deseree K. of (DesereeK)

Katie G.* : SS Emily D. of (bitesizecakes)

Kristen L. : SS Maybells M. of (feedingmaybelle)

Lindsay C.* : SS Renee J. of (RJFlamingo)

Lys C. : SS Casey B. of (tastestopping)

Mardi M.* : SS Katie G. of (goodlifeeats)

Maris C. : SS Sonja P. of (ActiveFoodie)

Maybelles M. : SS April K. of http://http//

Meaghan B. : SS Jackie G. of (divathatatenewyork)

Megan M.* : SS Josie T. of (Daydreamerdsrts)

Megan P.* : SS Lindsay C. of (ScoopAdventurer)

Nastassia J. : SS Shelley S. of (artsyshell)

Nikki M-K. : SS Amy I. of (amy_i)

Renee J.* : SS Richard K. of (Niteweng)

Richard K.* : SS Amy J. of (wearsmanyhats)

Shelley S. : SS Kate W. of (Savour)

Sonja P. : SS Esi Impraim of (dishingdelights)

Susan C.* : SS Kathy S. of (paninikathy)

Thomas A.* : SS Lys C. of (JustAnothaGal)

Wendy B.* : SS Grace Y. of (gracenotesnyc)

Posted in announcements, dailies5 Comments

Someone has $50 for ChefsCatalog this Christmas…

As selected by…


We have:


The winner is a newsletter subscriber, but there was no name given when I checked the mailing list. If you are #87 above, you won! I’ll be sending you an email after this because I need a shipping address before I can order and ship the gift card to you.

Woohoo! Happy Holidays! =)

Posted in announcements0 Comments

It’s as Sweet as Pie: Our 2nd year “Blogaversary”


Who knew we’d still be —
…blogging about food?
…enjoying this much more than when we started?

And who knew we would —
…get to meet so many great people online and in person?
…STILL BE HERE? Oh, I already asked that. *pinch*

Not us! We’ve just been taking it one day at a time. We have had our share of lulls, hiatuses, and blogging blocks, but we’re still here with renewed passion and interest in food blogging.

THANK YOU for being there!

A special Thank You goes our families and friends who supported us from the very beginning, and for reading and leaving comments when nobody else did. Those are truly what kept as going.

I would also like to give a shoutout to those who have been here since our first two months: Tea, Patricia, Katy, Hillary and Maxine and RowdyFood. Thank you!

The past two years have been as sweet as pie. :-)

Foolproof Pie Dough

Two more years in the food blogging world shouldn’t be too bad then, eh?

To celebrate our blogaversary, we are giving away $50 in** shopping money! It’s all yours to pick a gift for yourself or that special foodie in your life.

To enter:

  • Leave a comment on this post. (gives you 1 entry)
    This is not a requirement though: it would help us a lot if you let us know what you like about the site right now, what you’d like to see more (or less). We would love to get your feedback!
  • Subscribe to our brand spankin’ new Monthly Newsletter (gives you 2 entries)
    Be the first to know what’s going on at, which recipes will be featured for the month, and what nifty gadget we’re loving (and giving away exclusively to newsletter subscribers). We’ll be adding different features according to the month’s theme. We put a lot of work into our newsletter to make it worthy of a spot in your mailbox each month, and we highly encourage you to subscribe. This is our little pet project that we’ve been wanting to launch for almost a year now, and it’s finally here. It’s free, spam-free, and it’s 100% homemade. :-) If you’re already a subscriber, you automatically get 2 entries — ho, ho, ho!

Contest deadline is December 14, at 11:59PM PST time. Winner will be announced on December 15 to give ‘em enough time to shop. =) That’s it…good luck!



As I mentioned in our newsletter, I am going to share the Foolproof Flaky Pie Crust recipe that I’ve been using for months now. It’s pie-idiot-proof, as far as I’m concerned. Before I found this recipe, I’d cower in the corner at the mere mention of making pie. Not anymore. The pie at the beginning of this post was a mango pie I made last summer. This is a Dutch apple pie I made last spring:

Foolproof Pie Dough

Oooh lala!

Foolproof Pie Dough

FOOLPROOF FLAKY PIE CRUST RECIPE (adapted from Cook’s Illustrated) Download the PDF recipe for Foolproof Flaky Pie Crust

Ingredients for one 9-inch Double-Crust Pie or two 9-inch Single-Crust pies

  • 2 1/2 cups (or 12.5 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening, chilled and cut into 4 pieces
  • 1/4 cup vodka, cold (no substitutes)
  • 1/4 cup water, cold
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (use for double crust pie)
  • egg white of 1 large egg, beaten


There are 3 ways to combine the pie pastry ingredients: using a food processor, stand mixer with flat beater paddle attachment, or by hand using a dough blender/pastry cutter.

  1. Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, salt and sugar.Food processor: Use 2 one-second pulses.
    Stand mixer: Mix on low speed for  4 seconds.
    By hand: Whisk using a whisk or dough blender, in a medium bowl.
  2. Add butter and shortening and combine until homogenous, cottage cheese-like crumbs form. For all three methods, it’s important not to overwork the dough. Butter and shortening needs to be distributed in small pieces and everything should be covered in flour. Once you get that consistency, stop. Remember to scrape the sides of the bowl as you go.Food processor: Pulse for about 10 seconds.
    Stand-mixer: Mix on low to medium speed, for 10 to 15 seconds.
    By hand: Cut butter and shortening into the flour in short strokes.
  3. Add remaining cup of flour and combine until the mass of dough has been broken up.Food processor: Pulse 4 to 6 times.
    Stand mixer: Mix on medium to low twice, in 4-second intervals, scraping the sides of the bowl between mixing.
    By hand: Cut additional flour into the mixture, going around the bowl twice, while scraping the sides and bottom.
  4. Sprinkle cold water and cold vodka over the mixture. Fold dough to combine ingredients using a rubber spatula. Scrape the sides and bring to the middle until the dough becomes slightly tacky and sticks together. Remove from the bowl and transfer onto a non-stick pastry sheet, pie mat or parchment paper.
  5. Divide and shape the dough equally into two balls. Flatten each into a 4”-diameter disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 45 minutes, and for up to 2 days.
  6. To bake: Adjust oven rack to the lowest position, and place a rimmed baking sheet on it. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  7. Remove dough from the refrigerator and place on a floured work surface. Roll dough into a 1/8”-thick 12”-inch diameter circle. Wrap the dough loosely around a rolling pin and transfer onto the center of a 9-inch pie plate. Leaving a 1-inch overhang around the plate, gently press dough where the side of the plate meets the bottom. Leave the overhang and return to the refrigerator to chill for another 30 minutes.For DOUBLE CRUST (top and bottom crust) pie: Roll the  other dough into a 12”-diameter 1/8”-thick disk between 2 sheets of parchment paper. Refrigerate as well. Make your filling while the crusts are being chilled.
  8. For SINGLE CRUST pie: Take dough from the fridge and trim the overhang using kitchen shears, leaving about 1/2 inch extending from the lip of the plate. Fold the overhang under itself. Edge of the fold should be level with the edge of the pie plate. Flute the edges or press the tines a fork against them. Refrigerate the dough in the plate for 15 minutes.Remove pie plate from the refrigerator and line with aluminum foil. Fill with pie weights or pennies, and bake on baking sheet for 15 minutes. Remove weights and foil, and bake for another 5 to 10 minutes until the crust is golden brown and crisp. Make your filling while the pie crust is baking, and pour into the crust once baked. Bake according to the instructions for your type of pie.
  9. For a DOUBLE CRUST (top and bottom crust) pie: Take the dough-plated pie plate and the dough between parchment out of the fridge. Place filling into the pie plate with dough. Peel the parchment from one side of the other dough and carefully place that side on top of the filling. Gently peel off the second parchment sheet. Trim the overhang of the two dough layers using kitchen shears, leaving ¾” from the edge of the plate. Fold the two ends of the dough underneath the lower dough and make sure the edge aligns with the rim of the plate. Flute edges using your thumb or forefingers, or press them with the tines of a fork.  Cut four 2”-long slits on top of the dough using a sharp paring knife, they should radiate from the center area, but not connected to each other. Brush the surface with the beaten egg white using a pastry brush and sprinkle white sugar on top of the dough curst. Bake on preheated baking sheet for 45 to 55 minutes until crust is dark golden brown. Cool on a wire rack for at least 1 ½ hours.

Posted in announcements, baking, contest30 Comments

Dude, We Have a Winner!

Fall Giveaway Winner

Did YOU win the Gourmet Fall Cheese Tasting Party Giveaway?

Here is the list of the qualified entries:

1    Maria
2    The Food Hunger
3    Ashley
4    Nikki
5    The Duo Dishes
6    Carole Resnick
7    Kristen J
8    Amy I.
9    Deeba
10    Sunita
11    Laura
12    Wendy
13    NOelle
14    NOelle
15    Victoria
16    Heather in SF
17    Wendy R
18    Wendy R
19    Lisa Cain of (Yes YOU! )
20    Sharon

Lisa, these are all yours:

  • Mariposa Gourmet Two-Toned  Wooden Cheese Board w/ Wine & Cheese Access. (Board is made of Natural Wood.)
  • Cheese Markers
  • Customized Cheese Rating Cards w/ Pens (Party of 10) – customized with your name and date/year of party.
  • Alouette recipe cards for entertaining
  • Alouette coupons for Baby Brie, Spreadable and Crumbles
  • Slow Down & Savour Tips

Please email me at gourmeted /at/ gmail /dot/ com with your US mailing address plus the name and date/year of the you would like to be printed on the cheese rating cards and the pens. You can skip the date/year if you like.

Thanks for joining everyone!

Posted in announcements, contest3 Comments

Asian Ginger Garlic Steak

Even before the show, “Chopped“, was conceived in the offices of the Food Network, millions of us all over the world were already facing and battling own versions of the show–right in our own kitchens–you, me, and all the other home cooks in the world. Unless you’re a complete meal planner, making each homemade meal is like a Chopped episode. It’s all up to us to make the most of what’s available and rock it, right?

I had  fresh flank steak one evening that I didn’t want to freeze and ginger roots that begged to be saved before they go to waste, so it just makes sense to use them both. I was inspired to make a beef steak with the flavors of the beef and broccoli dish I love to order at Chinese restaurants. We always make steaks with wine and some herb as a combination, but I’ve never tried it with ginger …so why not?

Oh…and how my experiment delivered! The ginger-garlic flavor seeped into the meat in 30 minutes. It was so good! At first I wanted to make sauce from the drippings, but the flavors in the meat were already intense so I didn’t find the need to.

Asian Ginger Beef Steak

The photo above is left over from dinner. I didn’t want to take photos at night and waited the next day to get decent daylight photos. It still looked good the 2nd day, huh? :) It still tasted amazing, too.

I like using flank steaks. They’re easy to find and they’re cheap. And with dishes like the one I made, it’s easy to create something nice without breaking the bank. The other ingredients I used are wallet-friendly as well and what’s more, the whole recipe is just made of 6 ingredients. I like simple. I like tasty. I like dishes that look like they took a lot of effort and worth a lot more than they do. Recessionista extraordinaire dish right there.

Asian Ginger Garlic SteakAsian Ginger Garlic Steak


  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1.5 tbsp ginger, chopped
  • 1 tbsp garlic, chopped
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 400 g flank steak


  1. Mix the oil and sauces with the chopped ingredients. Soak meat in this mixture and marinate for 30 minutes in the fridge. You can marinate it in a small bowl covered with plastic wrap or in a ziploc bag. If in a bowl, turn meat after 15 minutes.
  2. Preheat your oven to 350°F then take the meat from the fridge.
  3. Roll the steak lengthwise, as if rolling like a log cake, with ends meeting at the bottom. Place on an oven-safe wire rack on a cookie sheet to catch the drippings. Bake for 20-30 minutes depending on your preferred doneness.
  4. Take the meat out of the oven and tent it with aluminum foil for about 10 minutes. Slice and serve warm with rice and steamed broccoli.

Posted in announcements, Asian dish, beef, dailies, dessert, dining, experiments, original Gourmeted recipe, quick & easy3 Comments

I Have an Adoptee!

Meet Scott of BRB…Eating, he’s my “adoptee” for the 3rd round of the Adopt A Blogger program organized by the fabulous, soon-to-be-mom-of-4th-baby Kristen of Dine and Dish. [Thanks, Kristen!]

<br />

I discovered Adopt A Blogger last year when they announced the matches, and it was too late for me to join to be adopted. A year later, here I am as an experienced blogger and eager to help out Scott, my “blogging baby”. As a blogger since ’01 and a food blogger for over a year, I’ve learned a few things here and there. Working with another blogger would be beneficial for me as well –the 3-month mentoring process will definitely be a learning experience for both of us.

My mentee is quite funny. He sent me an email in which he noted in the first paragraph that he came “fully potty trained”. And indeed he is, if you check out his blog, he is quite the writer and photographer already. When I clicked to see his site from the announcement page, I had to go back the previous page to make sure I didn’t click another “veteran” link. His writing style is definitely something I can connect with, and the photos…man, he could definitely teach me about a thing or two!

Scott loves food and has been cooking since he was eight. His passion for food makes him look at cooking as therapy, and I couldn’t agree more.

Please join me as I welcome Scott! Hop over to BRB…Eating and say Hi! Add him in your RSS and hang on as I whip him into shape (I kid, I kid!) to post more often. He said he needs an extra push to make him accountable to posting, so please come back often and we will be reading together as he posts more. Right Scott? More, more, more!

Ok, stay tuned. Off to bed now. BRB…sleeping. :)

Posted in announcements, events2 Comments

Happy Easter! Plus A PJ Party invite!

Dan and I would like to wish our dear readers, friends, and family a Happy Easter! Hope the Easter Bunny is nice to you. Hop, hop.

Regular posting would resume soon, I promise. I have been busy being on the road and up in the air (flying) and just settling down again on the ground…welcoming Spring in Vancouver. I need two weeks to get settled even though I’ve lived here for a long time. Traveling like I have gypsy in my blood gets to me. I do love to travel, but I would easily skip the packing and unpacking portion if I could help it! :) Who loves to (un)pack? Come on over!

In other exciting news, I will be joining the lovely and amazing mommies Ria and Suzanne at My Mommy Manual on Tuesday night for a virtual Pajama Party to help raise money for Mom It Forward and The 12 for 12K Challenge’s joint mission for April/May to help empower women in Kenya:

Practical Mommy (Ria) and Zen Mommy (Suzanne) will be on for their first ever

Pajama Party LIVE on Tuesday, April 14 from 6-9pm CST

to raise money for the cause. Join the party in your PJ’s from home for giggles, live music, and of course, Practical and Inspired Tips… and more.

We’ll be:

  • whipping up some goodies in the kitchen with the help of Joy (@gourmeted),
  • listening to live music from Ann Hirschfeld of String Buzz,
  • connecting with entrepreneurial experts like @GuyKawasaki and @pajamaspr on starting and running your own business and leveraging social media to do it!

ON TUESDAY, APRIL 14 at 6pm CST, Click here to VIEW THE BROADCAST AND CHATROOM. Everything you need is on that page:

• Instructions on HOW TO ENTER THE RAFFLE


• ChipIn widget for donations (you can donate anytime!)

Please come along in your PJ’s! Donate for a good cause and have a chance to win some fabulous prizes. :) If you would like to donate a prize for the raffle, get in touch with Ria here or Tweet her (@riasharon).

Ok, I’m heading back to my cave as I try to get over this bad cold and sore throat, and get rid of that frog that’s trying to replace my voicebox! See you all on Tuesday! Mark your calendars and save the popcorn!

P.S. Yes, I’m on Twitter: @gourmeted I don’t think I’ve really announced that. :)

Posted in announcements, events0 Comments