Connecting over food online

 by Leah Moldowan

If you grew up with the Internet you’ve probably been told not to talk to strangers online (and in person too for that matter). But, times have changed tremendously and the Internet can be a wonderful place to make friends. With the click of your mouse, you can connect with like-minded people with similar passions or even struggles, which you might find wherever you call home.

Thanks to social media, if you’re looking to connect with fellow foodies, it’s become really easy. While Instagram and Facebook are obvious options, if you’re just interested in finding blogs that share recipes that suit your taste, check out recipe submission sites like Foodgawker, Tastespotting, Finding Vegan and Healthy Aperture. You can scroll through a plethora of recipes, find some that make you drool and continue on to the linked blog that’s responsible.

Thoughtful eating

by Josh Racho

Thoughtful eating is very important to me. I have classes Monday to Friday 8 am to 5 pm with a one-hour lunch break that usually includes twenty minutes of travel time to and from my house. Wanting to get all my schoolwork done, eight hours of sleep a night and time at the yoga studio or gym everyday leaves very small windows of actual eating time. It’s for this exact reason that being present and truly enjoying the process of eating has become so important for me. Taking the time to enjoy your food is my favourite way to claim the day as my own and remain aware and mindful—even as a busy student with the stresses of schoolwork and exams always impending.

How the internet taught me to cook

 by Madeleine Brown

Don’t worry I do own a copy of Rombauer’s classic, The Joy of Cooking along with about 30 different titles split between my and my parents’ houses. And, yes, you are guaranteed to win me over on any gift-giving occasion with a well-written, artfully designed cookbook. But, in all honesty it’s the internet I turn to time and time again for cooking inspiration and advice. In fact, I proudly attribute the bulk of my cooking knowledge to it. (Sorry, mom and dad.)

Maybe it’s laziness. When I’m running about in the kitchen and second guess the appropriate temperature for baking a potato with the tap of my cellphone screen and clearly articulated, “baked potato temperature” without a hint of condescension, my Moto G replies, “Oven-baked potatoes. Pre-heat the oven to 425°F.” And, you’re telling me Ms Rombauer would expect me to run to my bookshelf, scour Joy’s index or the chapter on vegetables and skim (in the case of the 75th anniversary edition) page 297?

Clearly someone didn’t live in the twenty-first century.

My first school lunch

 by Josh Racho

In kindergarten, my beloved Ninja Turtles lunchbox and in particular its contents consistently made my classmates laugh.

How did my lunch differ from the other kindergarteners?

For starters, I always had a peanut butter and honey sandwich on the nuttiest of breads possible. I figured if birds ate nuts and seeds then they had to be good, right? Next up, I ate celery sticks topped with Cheez Whiz. Not that I would ever consider Cheez Whiz an item to keep in the house anymore, but at the time for some reason there was nothing I enjoyed more. Then I always had one giant carrot that had been washed and left in its full form. I had a moderate obsession with the Looney Tunes and, well, Bugs Bunny always had a carrot. I probably asked the teacher, “What’s up, Doc?” a thousand times. Poor Mrs. Maric… Finally, my all-time favourite snack at lunchtime was lemon wedges. No one understood me. My teacher even had a meeting with my parents to ensure that everything was fine at home and I did in fact just have an atypical palate for my age

How to restock your pantry and refrigerator after a summer away

by Emily Davies

September offers a fresh start filled with new opportunities. It’s the time of year when we say goodbye to sun-kissed skin and sandals and say hello to fall scarves and the new semester. September also provides us a fresh start in terms of our diet; we move from abundant supplies of sweet fruits to comforting root vegetables. But, how can we prepare ourselves for all these seasonal changes and methodically replenish the barren cupboards of our residence dorm room or off-campus abode after a summer away? 

Food selfie etiquette

by Madeleine Brown

I have and will never take a selfie. Never ever.

But, it’s true I have and will definitely continue to take the odd food selfie. That said I have mixed feelings about the act. I haven’t worked long enough yet in hospitality to downright despise it, but on the other hand I firmly believe that there’s a way to go about doing it. So until society deems it utterly socially inappropriate or restaurants confiscate the cameras and cellphones of guests who attempt it, go ahead document your breakfasts, lunches and dinners, but keep in mind the following advice.   

Are farmers’ markets or organic food boxes student-friendly?

by David Kitai

Student living isn’t helped by the selection at most grocery stores. Our culinary novice and the undeniable appeal of Mr. Noodle often results in skipping the produce section. Easier to let somebody who knows what they’re doing try and tackle that celery root, right? But how then will we ever take that leap of adulthood that is learning to cook for ourselves?

My favourite answer is to replace the grocery store with farmers’ markets and community supported agriculture groups (CSAs). There’s a reason, though, why those vendors are synonymous with yuppie-dom: that organic ratatouille of yours may have just eaten up half a week’s food budget.

Take heart though, fellow broke students, we can do this without living off canned corn three weeks a month.

Family recipes

by Leah Moldowan

Most of us have fond memories of our parents’ or grandparents’ cooking from quick weeknight dinners to fancier party appetizers. These memories can be comforting and very nostalgic especially when away from those loved ones. While I didn’t grow up with a family who made extravagant spaghetti dishes from scratch or awoke to the aroma of freshly baked cinnamon rolls on Sunday morning, I still have plenty of fond food memories from my childhood. We were more of a Hamburger Helper (always with extra noodles) or meals that come from the freezer kind of family. Don’t worry though there was always something green on the plate too—my mom made sure of it. But, there were a few special meals that we’d have every so often and since adopting a vegan diet I sometimes miss those familiar family meals. It’s not so much the foods I miss: I crave the memories and feelings that those meals bring back for me.

Why food and drink pairings aren’t just for over forty-somethings

by Caitlin Hart

The first food and drink pairing I vividly remember as a child would have to be milk and cookies. There was something magical about putting those two together. They complemented each other in ways that made them better together than apart. Meanwhile I witnessed fancy adults conversing about how this chardonnay worked with chicken and this cabernet sauvignon with steak. At 22 I mostly get this, but to be honest wine and food pairings are still a bit of a mystery to me. Wine pairing is complicated. Based on type of wine, region, year and personal taste, it can take years of reading and tasting to figure this out. Not to mention wine is expensive.

This is where beer comes in. Beer and food pairings are still relatively new to most people yet far more accessible to twenty-somethings. When pairing a beverage with food the first thought is usually wine. It’s true of my favourite publication LCBO’s Food and Drink where most recipes include a wine pairing.

Beer is way more versatile than most people give it credit for. With a wide variety of types from bitter to dessert sweet there is literally a beer for every mood and every dish. To top it off beer doesn’t have the limitations that wine does. Beer can cut through the spice in curry in ways that wine can’t.

Different oats for different folks

by Toula Nikas

Over the course of my four years at the University of Toronto I learned to never underestimate the power of the oat. In my mind, oats are a humble “superfood”. Standing next to kale and chia seeds, they’re far from attention-seekers. They’re more like, “Hey, I’ll always be there for you if you promise to take care of me.” Oats aren’t finicky. You can add them to pretty much anything—be it simple or complex—and they won’t cause any trouble. Oats also won’t draw attention to you during that early morning lecture or tutorial. They often make for smooth and chewy breakfasts—unlike the apple that both your classmates and the entire GTA can hear you crunch into.

I thought I’d do oats two ways—in muffin and in oatmeal form. Muffins: because you can make them on a Sunday evening and have them for the week. Oatmeal: because you can let it simmer on the stove while you print that last-minute assignment. I tied these two oatmeal recipes together with strawberry, coconut and banana, but they’re both versatile enough that you can play around with the additions. Walnuts? No problem. Chocolate chips? You saucy minx.