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Dana's blog

A Recipe that Connects Me to My Past

My Baba (that's grandma in Slovak) was an amazing natural cook. She could literally turn seemingly nothing into a meal. And not just a meal but food that really tasted good. Soul-satisfyingly good.

Sitting on her kitchen counter in North Battleford, Saskatchewan and watching her work her magic is one of my fondest childhood memories. She is, in a very substantial way, the reason I became a chef. So facing a mountain of turkey leftovers I decided to make a dish that always makes me feel close to her. Turkey and dumplings.

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My Three Favourite Cookbooks Right Now

Cookbooks go in and out of favour in my kitchen.  Some will endure forever such as all the River Cafe cookbooks.  I worked there in the late 90's and they are signed by Ruth Rodgers and Rose Gray (who died after a long battle with breast cancer this year) and April Bloomfield, chef and owner of the Spotted Pig in NYC.

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Gno the Difference Between Gnocchi and Gnudi

 I recently made gnocchi for a friend and was asked the question "What is the difference between gnocchi and gnudi."  Honestly, it is mostly a matter of how much flour you use, as gnudi has very little.  But here is a short gnocchi/gnudi primer.

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Turkey Talk Continued: Turkey (Crack)ling

Notice the crack in crackling.  Once you try turkey crackling you will be hooked (in a good way).  This is a really simple way to get an amazing side dish for your Christmas turkey.  I tried it a couple of years ago and it has become a fast family favourite.  

Once you have cooked your turkey, remove the skin.  It doesn't matter what size pieces the skin comes off in but larger pieces are easier to work with.  The oven needs to be at 375F and you will need two baking sheets and parchment paper.  

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Christmas Turkey: To Brine or Not to Brine?

People ask me this question around this time every year.  Do you need to brine your Christmas turkey? 

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Give me those old coil stoves!

I really, really don't like the new glass top, induction stoves.  I have tried but I have yet to work on one that doesn't have some sort of glitch.  

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Top Five Favourite Food Movies

What makes a good food movie?  Is it passion for cuisine, erotic scenes stretching the limitations of food, or a ridiculous use of food itself?  All of the above and a good story.  Here are my top five.  I have linked some recipes that you may be inspired to make after viewing!

1)  Big Night

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Salumi

 Salumi.  Pork nirvana!  Mario Batali's dad's masterpiece.  Seattle's finest sandwiches.

Check out the photos!

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Wonderful San Francisco!

 I just spent 5 wonderful days in one of my favourite American cities, San Francisco.  I love the weather, the people and the vibe in San Fran.  Crickey, can you eat well in this city.  And it doesn't have to break the bank.
North Beach is my neighbourhood of choice to hang out in and every day starts with a latte at Cafe Trieste.  Ahhhh.  To view my comments and photos see http://www.flickr.com/photos/cookindana/.

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