James Aitchison


Recent Posts

Coffee of the week: Kona

July 7, 2017

For a few years I worked as a barista for a major coffee chain. Arguably the most exciting time of year for our customers was when we received our yearly shipment of Kona coffee. Customers we hadn’t seen for months would pour into the store to get their yearly quota of this highly prized bean.

 

Far from being a case of bandwagon hopping, the popularity of Kona coffee is well deserved. Not only is Kona the only major bean to be grown in the..

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Five beautiful cookbooks you need to read

July 7, 2017

While I love food and cooking, sometimes I suspect that I enjoy researching recipes and poring over cookbooks more than I actually enjoy preparing food. There’s just something about a beautifully presented cookbook that fills me with joy. A good cookbook isn’t just a repository for recipes and ingredients, it’s also the promise of all the delicious meals to come!

Fortunately, there is no shortage of excellent cookbooks out there to satisfy any..

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Three surprising uses for chocolate in the kitchen

July 1, 2017

The problem with chocolate is that one cannot eat it all the time. Or can you? Sure, chocolate is a great ingredient in deserts, and brunches but it’s not really a great addition to savory food, or so I thought. Yes, it seems that chocolate is a amazing versatile ingredient that can be added to any number of sweet and salty dishes. Here are three unusual ways to incorporate chocolate in your meal plan.

Don’t expect to find ideas for deserts and..

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Three cheap (and sustainable) fish you need to try

July 1, 2017

I’ve always had a bit of a love/hate relationship with fish. I like the taste and the health benefits it provides, but I’ve always been rather intimidated by the actual act of cooking it. When one is first experimenting with new foods, mistakes are bound to happen. Normally this wouldn't be an issue, however considering the often high price of seafood when compared with other meats, these mistakes can be rather expensive.

Despite all this, I..

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A beginners guide to Malbec

July 1, 2017

Occupying a perfect sweet spot between taste and cost, Malbec is easily one of my favourite affordable wines. This extreme popular vino is known for its muscular taste and is a great alternative to more expensive Cabernet Sauvignons and Syrahs.

Malbec is largely a new world wine. It was originally grown in France and used as a blending grape for Bordeaux blends. However, its susceptibility to rot and disease meant that French wine growers were..

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A beginners guide to Riesling

June 23, 2017

Personally, I’m not a huge fan of overly sweet wines and tend to gravitate towards wines on the dryer side of the spectrum. For this reason, in the past I've avoided Rieslings as I always assumed that they were defined by their sweetness. However, while many Rieslings are often sweet, it's a far more diverse wine than I had previously thought.

 

Unlike the other “top three” white wine varietals, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling is..

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Three amazing ways to use lavender in the kitchen

June 23, 2017

There are few herbs more intimidating to novice chefs than lavender. Strong and pungent, it has the potential to overwhelm even the most flavourful dish if not used correctly. Therefore, it's hardly surprising that it’s so rarely used in cooking. However, despite its strong flavour a little bit of lavender can add serious “wow” factor to certain dishes.

 

The secret to cooking with lavender is to use it sparingly. As it’s often associated with..

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A beginners guide to coffee and food pairings

June 23, 2017

Have you ever wondered why biscotti and coffee go so well together? Why a delicious fresh omelette tastes so much better when accompanied by a steaming cup of Joe? If the answer to these questions is “yes” then congratulations you’ve already started your journey to the wonderful world of coffee and food pairings!

 

Far from just being a way to get started in the morning, really good coffee is best enjoyed then paired with various flavors and..

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Three cheap cuts of lamb you need to try

June 23, 2017

Lamb is my favourite meat by a pretty wide margin. Whether it’s grilled, roasted, braised, or fried, lamb pretty much always tastes delicious to me. Unfortunately, despite my love of lamb, its high price tag means that I eat it far less than I would like.

Thanks to a lack of demand, lamb is particularly pricey in the United States, a fact that puts off most potential buyers. However, there’s no reason why the more frugal amongst us shouldn’t..

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Three cheap cuts of pork you need to try

June 17, 2017

Pork is already a pretty affordable meat option, especially when compared to beef and lamb. However, for the more thrifty among us, there are several cuts that offer all the taste of the high end options at a fraction of the cost.

Just like with cheaper beef cuts, these pork options are tasty, tender, and won’t cost an arm and a leg. Fair warning though: you’re unlikely to find these at the grocery store. Instead, if you're interested in trying..

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