Skip to content

My blog is back on track

August 10, 2011

As you may know, I am a newly married woman and it is fabulous.  However, a July wedding meant that I had to go into hiding (and planning) for a few months.

Now that I have this ring on my finger, I’m spending more time optimizing my new site and making sure my readers – that’s you – are kept up to date.   If you receive this post update via email that means you were a subscriber to my original blog (www.memyselfandfood.ca) and now officially subscribed to my newer site (www.memyselfandfood.com).  Yah!

If you wish to unsubscribe because you’re sick of hearing me talk about food, eating out or working out, you can do so in the email.

Looking forward to talking again.  Hope you’re still hungry!

 

Blog under construction!

April 20, 2011

I’m alive!  I’m alive!

I’ve received a few emails and inquiries from readers wondering where I’ve been for the past few weeks, which is the impetus for writing this.  What I’ve been hiding is this – I’m in the process of moving Me. Myself. And Food. over to my very own site and doing a little tweaking to make it more reader friendly.

It’s not far from being launched, but in the interim please visit www.memyselfandfood.com for all of your foodie needs and reads.    That’s where all the action is happening as I am no longer posting here on daniellenicosia.wordpress.com. If you’re not following me on Facebook or Twitter, you’ve likely missed my latest posts.

So if you have a moment, join me on the other side for a fresh taste of Me. Myself. And Food.

And the winner is…

April 1, 2011
tags: ,

It’s that time ladies and gentlemen!

The contest came to a close at midnight (22 hours ago) and I’m finally getting around to posting the winners.  Sorry to have kept you in suspense all day, but I have a real job and that took priority.

Now it’s time to announce the 3 lucky winners which I will randomly select at this very moment (gosh, I’m nervous!).

OK, the results are in and the winners are:

  • “Chris”
  • “Jadana17”
  • “Christine L”

Congratulations!!  You will all receive Dr. Cordain’s latest books – The Paleo Diet and The Paleo Diet Cookbook.

To the winners….I will contact each of you directly to get these to you next week (assuming you live in North America).  I’m sure you’re anxious to get started on your Paleo Diet!

To all those who participated…thank you for making my very first contest a success!   Stay tuned for the next one, care of Good Food Conspiracy (mmm..gluten-free flatbread and dips)!

Lil’ Baci – Restaurant Review

March 31, 2011

Hey you.  Yes, you.  The ones who told me that I HAD to try Lil’ Baci because it was SO amazing.  You are going to pay for ruining my birthday dinner.

My family typically ends up at Baldini’s Italian restaurant for birthdays, anniversaries and other celebrations, which is just across the street from us.  It’s so close, I could throw a piece of penne and hit the front window (seriously).  But noooo…I dragged Keith’s family and my own four blocks down Queen St. East to eat at this “must-try” Italian restaurant.  I feel really bad for saying this but I can’t lie – Lil’ Baci was a lil’ disappointing.

I have no qualms admitting that I can get a little (or should I say lil’) nitpicky when it comes to restaurants – I want good food AND good service.  This time I wasn’t the only one who thought Lil’ Baci fell short in some areas.  At the end of the meal, I asked all 8 of our guests to rank their overall dining experience.  The consensus was a solid 6.5 out of 10.  Not terrible.  But not “amazing”.

Lil’ Baci

THE LOCATION: 892 Queen Street East (Leslieville, Toronto)

THE MENU:  90% pizza, 5% pasta, 5% salads (Note: This is a rough weighting.  Just in case someone decides to validate my math).  Lil’ Baci is a pizza place through and through.  Oddly enough, there was only one pizza that caught my eye out of fifteen or so (it was the Nonna).  Just personal preference as I like my pizza the western way…loaded with toppings.  These were limited to just a few items, which might be your thang.   I also love the eclectic feel of chalkboards that double as menus in restaurants like this.  I dig it even more when the menu items they feature  on those chalkboards are accurate.  After scanning the “Antipasti” menu board, I had my heart set on 2 items: rapini and squash.  That’s when the waitress unapologetically stated, “Those are wrong”.  [Um…I don’t think Lil’ Baci got the memo that chalkboards are meant to be erased and updated.]  She then looked irritated when I requested the real options and ignored those at the end of the table when they asked her to repeat them.

OUR ORDER: There were 8 entrees and 7 apps ordered, mostly duplicates. So I’ll cover the ones that were closest to me. Note: not everything you see here is Paleo but I’m using the “It’s my birthday and I can eat whatever I want” card. 🙂

  • Beet Salad – Oh how I love the sweetness of roasted beets paired with salty, smooth goat cheese (my first bite of cheese since the 30-day Paleo challenge ended).  It was all served on a bed of arugula.  You know how I feel about arugula!  This salad hit the spot.  But Keith’s basic salad was just that.  Basic.  Dressing wasn’t that flavourful and there was nothing more than a pile of lettuce leaves on a plate for $7 or so.

  • Chicken Leg Special – I was in a restaurant that clearly specialized in pizza, but I decided to go gluten-free and get their only non-pizza or pasta dish – the roasted chicken-leg special with grilled dandelions and lentils.   What an idiotic and amateur move for a foodie.  The chicken dish wasn’t even on their printed menu so it likely wasn’t something they make everyday nor had perfected.  That was clear when it arrived at the table.  I would use these words to describe my meal…dry, blah and blah.
  • Polpettina Pizza – According to Keith, his order was a dud.  Sparse toppings, low-profile flavour. BUT the crust was perfectly crusty.  Not so thin that the dough gets soggy.

  • Nonna Pizza – If I wasn’t trying to be “good” I would have been all over this – eggplant, onions, goat cheese and a mound of my new favourite leaf, arugula.  Instead, I convinced my father that this was the pizza for him.  I knew he would share the love (being the generous, selfless father that he is) if my dish was a flop.  Based on the above review, I took advantage of his offer with a couple bites.  Then, when he was full and distracted, I snuck a few more nibbles (enough to devour a whole slice). I learned later that those extra slices were intentional, and were supposed to be his lunch.  Oops.

  • Tiramisu – Aah,  Tiramisu.  The Italian go-to dessert that can go wrong.   This version had just the right amount of mascarpone (if you love mascarpone) vs coffee-drenched biscuits (if you dislike coffee). It also turned out to be the only dessert menu item (out of 3 featured) that was available. Again…they didn’t get the memo about the chalkboards.  Although, nice of them to serve it with candles while my family embarrased me singing Happy Birthday.  As good as the Tiramisu was, it didn’t fit the bill as a “birthday cake”.  So I ordered another dessert (the only other option).

  • Ricotta Cake – We all jumped to conclusions when we heard ricotta.  Our minds went like this… Ricotta = cheese. Therefore Ricotta Cake = Cheesecake.  Wrong.  This was way more cake than it was cheesecake.  It had a few sparse blueberries tucked inside and was covered in whipped cream.  This was not worth the calories, insulin spike and Paleo-cheat.  No one seemed to be eating it so I kept picking away mindlessly.  At one point, I realized there were just a few bites left and stated “I don’t even like this, so why am I eating it all”.  I kept picking until it was gone.

THE DAMAGE: Our wonderful parents treated us to dinner so can’t really comment here; however, given our order (2 bottles of wine, an appetizer and main each, plus 2 desserts) I’m sure it was a pretty penny.  Thanks mom, dad, mother-in-law-to-be and father-in-law-to-be!

THE SCENE: Loved the rustic feel of this little space. In part due to the walls adorned with chalkboard menus (albeit, inaccurate) and exposed brick.  You could walk in here with jeans and a tee, and noone would look twice.  My kind of place:)  The service on the other hand, that’s where where things gets a lil’ less impressive.  We’re a fun-loving crowd but the waitress was a hard nut to crack.  Maybe her dog died or she was PMS-ing, because she hardly cracked a smile the whole time we were there.  When we had questions about the inaccurate menu she looked a lil’ annoyed which made us feel a lil’ uncomfortable.  You’d think she at least fake it for my birthday!  Thanks to the gentleman assisting her, there was some reprieve.

YOU SHOULD GO IF:

  • I haven’t tainted your view of this place (sorry!) and if you’re not on a Paleo diet.
  • You like minimalistic thin crust pizzas (they do it well)
  • It’s noon and you’re in the mood for some Italian.  I hear they have an awesome $10 pizza, panino or pasta + salad deal.  What do you have to lose?

Now I’m feeling really bad about all of my lil’ criticisms.  Maybe I’m being uber sensitive because it was my birthday and had high expectations.  You should go and see for yourself.  Afterall, the chances are pretty good that this was an off night for them since I seem to be the only person who had complaints.  I’ll give it another shot too.

Lil' Baci on Urbanspoon

Enter to win…ONE day left!

March 30, 2011
tags: ,

Hey foodies!  Just one more day before this contest is OVER.  So move it or lose it.

HOW TO ENTER:

Choose ONE of these two ways to enter (it will take less than a minute):

  • Write a comment on any one of my posts, right here on my blog.

OR

  • Follow @memyselfandfood on Twitter, then tweet the exact message you see below. Just copy the green text and paste it in your Twitter.

#Paleo giveaway! You could win Dr.Cordains books – THE PALEO DIET & THE PALEO DIET COOKBOOK. http://wp.me/pL2Cw-qQ @memyselfandfood

WHAT YOU COULD WIN:

I am giving away these awesome health/nutrition books to 3 lucky winners:

    If it takes you more than 60 seconds to enter, I’ll buy you a gluten-free, dairy-free, Paleo lunch (actually, that might not be very appealing to most of  you..heehee).

    Gotta try this Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake!

    March 30, 2011
    This cake saved the day after our 30-day Paleo Challenge.  Don’t let the “gluten-free” in the description deter you – this baby is moist and will make your mouth water.
    I sampled the cake batter before it went in the oven and was already head over heels for this recipe.  Why bake a cake when the mix tastes so darn good like so?   I intentionally did a poor job scooping the batter out of the bowl, just so there was enough to lick clean while I paced the kitchen for 35 minutes.  Cranking up the oven temperature to expedite the baking time did cross my mind, yet somehow I held myself back. In the end, the baked cake was worth waiting for.  Before I continue raving about this recipe, let me address two caveats:
    1. My review of this delicious dessert may be a little biased.  If you recall, my last baking attempt was a flop with the Flourless Chocolate Cake. Remember the one that I struggled to swallow?  Also, having been deprived of real desserts for 30 days might have skewed my rating.
    2. This is predominantly made with healthy ingredients but it’s still dessert and should be eaten in moderation.  It is loaded with fat (the good kind) and contains sugar (I used 1/4 cup of agave instead of a full cup as prescribed).  If you go for an average-sized slice you’re looking at ~24 grams of fat (see nutritional chart on the right).  So have a sliver instead and savour every bite.  That will help keep the weight off…and the cake will last longer too:)

    Gluten-Free Cake - Nutritional Info

    As mentioned, the base of this recipe is coconut flour which is made from finely ground coconut meat with most of the moisture and fat removed.  The coconut flour tastes absolutely heavenly and has earned itself a regular spot in my kitchen cupboard.  Why?
    • It’s gluten-free and tastes WAY better than the alternative flours
    • It can replace wheat flour to make most of your favourite carb-based desserts, breads, etc.
    • It contains fewer carbohydrates than other nut flour (10 grams in 2 tbsp)
    • It contains more calorie-free fiber (9 grams in 2 tbsp) than other wheat-based alternatives
    • It provides a good source of protein (2 grams in 2 tbsp)

    Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake

    Ingredients:
    • ¾ cup coconut flour, sifted
    • ¼ cup cocoa powder
    • 1 teaspoon celtic sea salt
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 10 eggs (I only had 8 eggs so added a few tablespoons of water to compensate for the missing eggs.  The eggs play the role of gluten and are necessary if you use 100% coconut flour in a recipe such as this.)
    • 1 cup coconut oil
    • ¼ cup agave
    • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
    • ¼ teaspoon orange zest (I omitted this since I did not have any oranges on hand)
    Instructions:
    1. In a small bowl combine flour, cacao, salt and baking soda
    2. In a large bowl using an electric hand mixer, blend eggs, oil, agave nectar, vanilla and orange zest
    3. Add dry ingredients into large bowl and continue to blend
    4. Oil (2) 9 inch round cake pans and dust with coconut flour (or use one pan as I did)
    5. Pour batter into pans and bake at 325° for 35-40 minutes
    6. Remove from oven, allow to cool completely then remove from pans
    7. Frost and serve (you can find the frosting recipe here, but I was just fine with cake)
    I’m so excited for you to try this!   You’re going to love the batter, let alone the cake!

    My birthday gift to you! Free stuff:)

    March 28, 2011
    tags:

    Today might be my birthday, but I’m not the type who enjoys being the center of attention.  So I’m throwing a contest instead to divert the attention and include you, whoever you are, in the celebration.

    With all of the recent talk around the Paleo lifestyle (which was even featured on CP24 this week, by my other boyfriend, Bryce Wylde), I wanted to give you a chance to get your hands on some of the best Paleo books written by Dr. Loren Cordain.  He is “one of the world’s leading experts on the natural human diet of our Stone Age ancestors.  Also the author of more than 100 peer-reviewed scientific articles and abstracts…and his bestselling guide on Paleolithic eating has been adopted as a bible of the CrossFit movement.”

    I pretend to know what I’m talking about, but this guy is the real deal.  He’s done all the research for us and summed it up nicely in his books.

    My birthday gift to you:

    I am giving away these popular books to 3 lucky winners (total value per prize is approximately $41 plus HST):

    • The Paleo Diet – This will give you all the reasons WHY you should be following a Paleo lifestyle.  Whether you’re healthy or not.  This book includes a breakthrough nutrition program based on eating the foods we were genetically designed to eat plus the latest information drawn from breaking Paleolithic research.

    • The Paleo Diet Cookbook – This will arm you with the HOW and WHAT as far as Paleo eating goes.  It includes 150 simple, all-new recipes for delicious and Paleo-friendly breakfasts, brunches, lunches, dinners, snacks, and beverages.

    Your gift to me (and for a chance to win):

    I’ve participated in enough contests to know how painful and time consuming they can be.  Since it’s my birthday and I’m in a great mood, I’ll make this easy for you.  No need to submit a 200 word essay telling me why you deserve to win.  There are two simple ways to enter into the contest (CHOOSE ONE) :

    1. Write a comment, any comment, on any one of my posts.
    2. OR…Follow @memyselfandfood on Twitter, then tweet the exact message you see below.  Just copy the green text and paste it to your Twitter.

    #Paleo giveaway! You could win Dr.Cordains books – THE PALEO DIET & THE PALEO DIET COOKBOOK. http://wp.me/pL2Cw-qQ @memyselfandfood

    The rules:

    • You must be 18 years of age (just so I don’t get myself into any legal trouble:))
    • All “entries” must be submitted by March 31st, 2011.

    The three (3) winners will be selected at midnight on March 31st, 2011.  Keep those fingers crossed.   YOU could be the one!   These books just landed in my mailbox, so if you don’t win you’ll always have my upcoming book review:)

    Alright, it’s time to make my own Paleo birthday cake:)