Category Archives: Food

Total Twitter Turkey Time!

So, I’m planning to make a turkey dinner today. I wouldn’t say with all of the trimmings (which here in Newfoundland often includes salt meat and a side of turnips), but I’ll mash some potatoes, do stuffing (stovetop) and attempt gravy. Why am I telling you this? Because I find cooking boring, so I’m going to tweet the whole thing, starting now. If this turns out to be a disaster, at least there will be entertainment value in it, right?

Feel free to follow along, tweet back with advice or snarky-yet-good-natured comments, and enjoy what will almost certainly devolve into a prime opportunity for schaudenfreude. Someone might as well enjoy this…

(No, this is not my first turkey, but it’s like a wedding. SOMETHING always goes wrong.)

I’m @kate_sparkes, and I’ll use the hashtag #turkeydinner, unless someone has a better suggestion, and only when I remember to use it.

TO THE COOKATORIUM!

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To The Barkery!

Otherwise entitled: THIS is how you make a great idea work.

I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to get to this post. I really wanted my pictures, but they refuse to leave the camera. Never fear, I’ve stolen some from my husband and asked for help from other people, so we should get through this just fine.

To answer your first question: Yes, it’s a BARKery, not a bakery. In fact, it’s Hamilton, Ontario’s first dog/pet-friendly restaurant!

To answer your second question (which I assume is, “come again?”), yes, pets are welcome. If you’re out for a walk with your dog and you’re in need of a coffee, or if your furry friend looks like he needs some frozen treats made just for dogs, you can both mosey on in.

Pet of the Month photo, yoinked with permission from Munchies' Facebook page. :)

Pet of the Month photo, yoinked with permission from Munchies’ Facebook page. 🙂

Do you have visions of cat hair in your coffee? I know that was my first thought when I heard about this concept, but it’s not an issue. The owners had to jump through hoops of fire to please the health inspectors, but they worked everything out, and food safety is a big deal here. The food is prepared and served in a glassed-in, pet-free area (see photo above- the dog’s in the sitting area). The cook/server puts the tray on the counter for the customer to pick up rather than handing it over, because apparently this makes it safer. The ceilings are made of non-porous materials.

Like I said, ALL of the hoops.

The eating area is cozy and comfortable, with arm chairs for sitting and chatting, or cafe tables for anyone interested in a proper meal. There’s a stage in the corner where the performers come for music nights, and an entire wall is filled with high-quality tricks and treats for cats and dogs (as well as a fridge full of raw food for dogs).

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Some crazy kids enjoying lunch on the stage

The ordering/cooking/serving area, on the other side of the glass wall and door, is filled with tempting treats and the smell of a variety of amazing (fair trade, organic) coffees. The menu covers the top of one wall: all-day breakfast and lunch options plus pastries, salads, and fresh home-made lemonade, lattes and turkish coffee. The counter is a delicious sea of baklava, “magic bars,” butter tarts, muffins and brownies and danishes and… well, it’s probably a good thing I don’t live in the neighborhood. Plenty of vegan options, too.

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AJ’s lunch. He just barely managed to stop eating long enough to take a picture for me!

Photo courtesy of Munchies

Photo courtesy of Munchies

Can any animals come in? As far as I know, yes, though I don’t think anyone has tried to bring in an ostrich or a buffalo yet. We met a lovely old Siamese cat named Angus on one of our visits, a pair of massive Leonbergers, and a dog named Doomageddon, which may be the greatest name ever given to a dog. Apparently we missed a corn snake one day, and they usually have a rabbit living there, on loan from a pet rescue organization and available for adoption.

Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? And yet it works. Part of the reason things run so smoothly is the rules. All pets must be leashed, and anyone who’s being intrusive, unfriendly, or messy will be asked to leave. If a dog is acting up, they’ll recommend going for a nice, relaxing (or exhausting) walk before you come in.

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Actually, I think a lot of bars could use these rules.

The other reason this whole thing works is the owners. Rosie and Gary are kind, warm, wonderful people. Everyone is welcome and made to feel at home at Munchies. Have questions about the facilities or the menu? Ask away. Want to hang around for a while with your friends? Go ahead, you’ll find some games in the sitting area, and there’s a nice, puffy bed for your dog to lie on. Dog has nasty fish breath? Rosie can probably recommend a natural product to help with that, and if they don’t have it in, she’ll see about ordering it. Need a birthday cake to share with your dog? Just give ’em enough notice, they’ll make sure everyone’s tail is wagging on the big day.

Most of you probably won’t get a chance to visit Munchies, unless you’re already living in Hamilton. If you’re ever in the neighborhood, though, it’s worth stopping by 1000 Upper Gage Avenue (aka the Goodness Me plaza). I highly recommend Munchies’ baklava. And the light roast coffee. And the magic bars. And the BLT. And our dog loves the elk antler we brought home for him. And…

This is Lilly. Lilly ikes Munchies. Lilly would also like some of your sandwich, thank you.

This is Lilly. Lilly likes Munchies. Lilly would also like some of your sandwich, thank you.

Want more info?

Urbanspoon reviews

Blog post from Hungry Hammer Girl

Munchies Facebook page

Did I mention the Baklava?

Did I mention the Baklava?


Mmm-mmm good (blog challenge day 21)

Let’s hope for something cheery today…

blog challenge

“Your 10 favourite foods”

In no particular order:

  • crab legs/lobster (cold with hot butter)
  • Lindor chocolates
  • toutons (NOT something you should eat frequently. Or ever, really. But SO good!)
  • black cherries
  • raspberries
  • whipped cream (on fruit, jell-o, meringues, sweet coffee beverages, in a cup… whatever)
  • mashed potatoes
  • hot wings (I make the best ones ever, no lie)
  • Cantonese Chow Mein (but only from this one, amazing place near my parents’ house. It’s perfect)
  • Chicken Shwarma (again, from a place near my parents’ house, but a different place. I swear they put crack in the white sauce. ADDICTIVE.)

I like food. A lot. I could gorge myself on fresh fruit every day, maybe a nice cheese tray. Throw some fresh bread in there and a cup of tea in there, I’d probably be good forever. But those things up there… they make life wonderful. 🙂


What’s for Supper?

What’s for Supper?

I’ll tell you. This. I highly recommend it. I mean, it contains meat and a TON of dairy, and it’s not really the healthiest meal out there (though it’s far from the worst), but if you’re good with all of that, it’s A-FREAKING-MAZING.

Just putting that out there in case anyone needed ideas. Oh, and you can freeze extras, and it’s even better left-over.

You’re welcome.


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