CELEBRITY OF THE MONTH: NADIA G June 2015
What do you get when you combine 4 inch stiletto heels, skin tight mini-dress, outrageous attitude and a 10 inch chef’s knife? Well I have a few ex-girlfriends that fit that bill, but when it comes to a total assault of your senses, TV has only one person that can fit that picture, NADIA G. She is the host of Cooking Channel’s amazing show “BITCHIN’ KITCHEN”. It combines cooking with an other-worldly comic style that I find totally enthralling. It’ a cooking show that seems like it was directed by Johnny Rotten from the Sex-Pistols. Nadia G, (Nadia Giosia) is a Canadian born TV personality, comedian, actress, singer and internet entrepreneur. Her show Bitchin’ Kitchen was a smash hit that appeared on Cooking Channel, Food Network Canada and Food Network UK. Lasting only 3 seasons, it garnered a number of awards (the
NewNowNext award for MOST ADDICTIV REALTY STAR in 2012) and a very loyal following.
She grew up in Montreal, Quebec. In a family of hard working men and very strong women who loved to cook. That attribute combined with her first generation Italian heritage shows itself in everything she does as her alter-ego of Nadia G. Nadia started off doing comedy skits combining her favorite things, Comedy and Cooking. YouTube seemed to be a natural setting for the budding star. Bitchin’ Kitchen’s small cast included NADIA G, as chef, PANOS the Greek meat guy, YEHESKEL MIZRAHI, the spice guy and HANS the speedo wearing food correspondent, with the occasional odd players though in for good measure. When Food Network Canada signed Nadia she became the first online lifestyle brand to successfully make the leap from the internet to prime time. It did not happen over-night, as she said “So, would I say that Bitchin’ Kitchen went viral? No, because it’s over-night success took 10 years.” Her marketing approach was a slow and steady building of an audience. Keeping a tight hold on her personal brand from the begging, retaining web rights, cookbook concepts and costume changes, it’s all hers. Having never gone to culinary school she defends her death-grip knife skill and unorthodox techniques, saying “I don’t hold a knife like a chef. I don’t care to.” She tested and prepared filming before launching her web site. “You don’t just turn on a camera… you’ve got to make it look like what it’s supposed to look like five years from now.”
She also opines, “Enslave boys. Make them fall in love with you and get them to pick up a camera.” She also counsels, “Don’t worry if you don’t get it right the first time.” She kept at it and began to create a brand that became hers and hers alone. “The food’s gotta taste good. The concept’s gotta taste good.” “Often with television, particularly with lifestyle entertainment, they try to box you in. You can be smart
and still look hot, you can be a punk rocker yet have a refined vocabulary…I think that’s a beautiful thing.” She has appeared on IRON CHEF AMERICA teaming up with Michael Symon and Benjamin, representing Cooking Channel verses Food Network’s Masaharu Morimoto, Robert Irvine and Ted Allen. She appeared on CHOPPED ALL-STARS and Alton Brown’s CUTTHROAT KITCHEN SUPERSTAR SABOTAGE. It was on Travel Channel series BIZARRE FOODS with ANDREW ZIMMERN in Montreal, that we got a peak at the “other” Nadia, a sweet, somewhat shy and a little vulnerable, the polar opposite of her NADIA G persona. It was a moment in time that made her a real life person, some on we want to help, as opposed to NADIA G, as someone who might chase you out of the kitchen, swinging a frozen chicken over her head and yelling “Shkoff this, sucker!”
Her new show BITE THIS with NADIA G is a culinary road trip, which is what you would expect from her and her merry band of misfits, as they sample some of the best food from coast to coast. Keeping her hand in the internet, she has an original on-line series, SICK KITCHEN, the most watched design show on ulive.com. Also drop by her web site (www.nadiag.com) to check out some of the craziest kitchen, food and drink paraphernalia out there. There is a meat pounder shaped like brass knuckles and coffee mugs with brass knuckle handles (I’ve got to get me some of these little beauties.)
And check out her cookbooks:
NADIA G’s BITCHIN’ KITCHEN COOKBOOK (rock your kitchen, and let the boys clean it up)
NADIA G’s BITCHIN’ KITCHEN: COOKING FOR TROUBLE
Check out her website (www.bitchinlifestyle.tv) for more insights and fun stuff. Let me leave you with a few select words from NADIA G ;
Roses are red; Violets are blue, when the police come, tell them I was with you. When asked what for her preference; sprinkles or jimmies? She answered “Sprinkles; Jimmies can never be trusted.” “Follow your dreams and they can come true, and it is true, just make sure you read the fine print that you got to work 14 hours a day, seven days a week, 10 years to get there.”
Head Staff Writer,
APPLESAUCE CAKE DAY 2015
The humble and unassuming APPLESAUCE CAKE gets a bit of love on June 6 with National Applesauce Cake Day. Yet this simple and satisfying desert can, with the right mindset and a little forethought, be elevated into the realm of sublime delight. Our first recipe takes a little more effort and time, but is worth it. The second recipe is perfect for that last minute, spur of the moment cake fix we all fall prey to every now and then.
The Pinnacle Applesauce cake:
1⁄2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup dried cherries (soaked in 4 Tbsp. Cherry Brandy)
1 cup dried apples, diced (soaked in 4 Tbsp. Apple Brandy, Apple Jack or Calvados)
1 1⁄2 cups unsweetened applesauce
2 cups flour
1⁄2 cup pecans, chopped
2 tsp baking soda
1⁄2 tsp. cinnamon
1⁄4 tsp. ground ginger
1⁄4 tsp. salt
1⁄4 tsp. ground cloves
1⁄4 tsp. ground mace
In a small bowl soak the dried cherries in the cherry brandy for 1 hour or even overnight. In a separate small bowl soak the dried and chopped apples in the apple brandy or apple jack or
Calvados for 1 hour or even overnight
Preheat oven to 350F degrees, butter and flour a 9x5x3 loaf pan.
In a medium mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar, add the sugar slowly, until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well to incorporate, but do not over beat the batter, that would result in a tougher cake. Stir in the reconstituted cherries and apples along with the brandy, fold in gently. Sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ground ginger, ground cloves, ground mace and salt.
Fold the flour mixture into the butter/egg mixture, and stir in the pecans. Pour batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake for 5060 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Place the loaf pan on a cooling rack for 1015 minutes then remove
the cake from the pan and let cool for 1 hour before drizzling with the glaze.
1 1⁄4 cups confectioner’s sugar (powdered sugar)
3 Tbsp. Apple Brandy or Apple Jack or Calvados
1⁄2 tsp vanilla extract
In a small bowl add the sugar, mix in the Brandy and vanilla extract until smooth, Drizzle over the cake and let rest for 30 minutes to allow the glaze to setup before slicing the cake.
Simple Applesauce Cake :
1⁄2 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
1 cup chilled applesauce
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1⁄4 tsp ground cloves
1⁄4 cup Craisins (dried cranberries)
1⁄4 cup raisins
1⁄2 cup chopped walnuts
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour an 8-inch square pan.
2. Cream butter with sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add applesauce; beat well. Stir in flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and cloves. Add Craisins, raisins, and nuts.
3. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 40 minutes, or until done. Serve warm. Bonus if you serve with ice cream.
APPLESAUCE CAKE DAY 2015
There are many common Thanksgiving traditions in Canada and the United States. During the American Revolution, Americans loyal to England moved to Canada and brought along Thanksgiving customs and practices. So there are many similarities in the Thanksgiving meals in both countries. The featured item in a traditional Thanksgiving meal in America is turkey (Thanksgiving is sometimes called “Turkey Day”). The meal is usually a feast cooked for 5-10 people because families (and friends) often get together on this day. Stuffing, mashed potatoes with gravy, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, sweet corn, other fall vegetables, and pumpkin pie are commonly
associated with Thanksgiving dinner. There are some differences between Canadian and American recipes for Thanksgiving. For
Canadian pumpkin pie is spicy, with ginger, nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon, while American pumpkin pie is typically sweet and has custard in it.
Canadians bake their sweet potatoes or mash them into a puree, while Americans add butter, sugar and spices to make a casserole topped with marshmallows.
Canadians use bread crumbs or rice for stuffing and in the U.S. stuffing is made with cornbread base in Southern states, oysters are used in the Eastern states and the Northern states use rice like Canadians.
Canadians traditionally serve wheat-based rolls of bread with Thanksgiving dinner, while Americans tend to serve corn bread rolls, muffins or sliced loaves. The traditional Thanksgiving meal is dinner on Thursday in the U.S. whereas in Canada the feast could be held either on Sunday or Monday. Thanksgiving in the United States is characterized by large parades, the Macy’s Parade being most well known. Parades in Canada are smaller and at a local level. The Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest parade serves as Canada’s only Thanksgiving Day parade and is broadcast nationwide. Canadians also enjoy football on Thanksgiving Day – the Canadian Football League holds a nationally televised doubleheader known as the “Thanksgiving Day Classic”.
IN JULY AND AUGUST, IT’S SUMMER IN PARIS. “HAPPY BASTILLE DAY”
In July and August: the height of summer in Paris, with hot weather and glorious sunshine. There are all kinds of ways to make the most of the long days and mild evenings. Our top tips for a Parisian summer: join the Bastille Day celebrations; relax on the ‘beach’ at Paris Plages; get geared up for the finish of the Tour de France, or go festival-hopping – here is a selection of the best.
BASTILLE DAY IN PARIS
The highlight of the summer is Bastille Day on 14 July. The programme for the national holiday, which falls on a Thursday in 2016, is packed with events. In the morning the military parade on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées takes place, heading down the ‘most beautiful avenue in the world’ all the way to Place de la Concorde. In the evening it’s party time in fire stations, with firemen’s balls in various parts of the city. Some of the balls are held on the previous night, the 13th, so do check before going. The celebrations wind down with a bang between 11pm and 11.30pm, with a spectacular fireworks display set off from the Eiffel Tower and Trocadéro. A brilliant way to end the day!
More info about Paris celebrates Bastille Day!
Paris gets into the festival vibe in summer, with an eclectic selection of events to suit all tastes. Cinema, music, theatre: take your pick of the summer festivals!
There is a wide choice of music festivals. For electronic music fans, there’s The Peacock Society Festival in the Parc Floral de Paris in early July and Les Siestes électroniques at the Musée du Quai Branly throughout the month of July. In mid-July, the Fnac Live Festival showcases eclectic performances on the Hôtel de Ville square (to be confirmed). If you prefer classical music, head for the Parc Floral in August for the Classique au Vert festival. And rock fans can look forward to the now-legendary Rock en Seine festival, which takes place just outside Paris, in the Domaine National de Saint-Cloud.
Summer is the perfect time to enjoy an open-air film screening. In late July the Forum des Images goes off-site to parks, gardens and squares in Paris with the Cinéma au Clair de Lune festival. If you want to sit back comfortably in a deckchair to watch the movie of your choice, then the Cinéma en Plein Air festivalfrom end-July to end-August at La Villette is for you. And, if you’re keen on short films, you’ll enjoy theFestival Silhouette, which takes place from end-August to early September in the Parc de la Butte du Chapeau-Rouge in the 19th arrondissement.
Summer is also the season for theatre in the open. In mid-July, watch plays and other performances during Paris Quartier d’Été, a multidisciplinary festival combining theatre, music, dance and circus arts. In end-August, Tréteaux Nomades, a travelling festival, comes to the Arènes de Montmartre.
A plate of Chinese takeout with egg rolls and duck sauce
We know that our favorite Chinese takeout is not really authentically Chinese, but more of an Americanized series of menu options very loosely derived from overseas inspiration. (Chinese citizens probably wouldn’t recognize chop suey or orange-glazed chicken, and fortune cookies are of Japanese origin.) It would also be unusual for “real” Chinese meals to be accompanied by a generous amount of sauce packets.
Here in the U.S., these condiments are a staple of Chinese takeout. But one in particular—“duck sauce”—doesn’t really offer a lot of information about itself. What exactly is it that we’re pouring over our egg rolls?
Smithsonian.com conducted a sauce-related investigation and made an interesting discovery, particularly if you’re not prone to sampling Chinese takeout when traveling cross-country. On the East Coast, duck sauce is similar to sweet-and-sour sauce, only fruitier; in New England, it’s brown, chunky, and served on tables; and on the West Coast, it’s almost unheard of.
While the name can describe different sauces, associating it with duck probably stems from the fact that the popular Chinese dish Peking duck is typically served with a soybean-based sauce. When dishes began to be imported to the States, the Americanization of the food involved creating a sweeter alternative using apricots that was dubbed duck sauce. (In New England, using applesauce and molasses was more common.)
But why isn’t it easily found on the West Coast? Many sauce companies are based in New York and were in operation after Chinese food had already gained a foothold in California. Attempts to expand didn’t go well, and so Chinese food aficionados will experience slightly different tastes depending on their geography. But regardless of where they are, or whether they’re using the condiment as a dipping sauce for their egg rolls or a dressing for their duck, diners can rest assured that no ducks were harmed in the making of their duck sauce.
Guest Article writer Jake Rossen