The Mason Jar Experiment Part 2: Noodling around with new flavours

It’s a while since I published the Mason Jar Salad Experiment and it has bred disciples in the break room.

As much as I love the giant colourful bowls of fresh veggies, however it’s time for something new, and with how cold the winter has been, what better way to get cozy than with a delicious noodle soup.


I’m in love with these already!

It’s given me the opportunity to explore some fun new flavours and ingredients I’ve never cooked with before.

Check out the breakdown here:

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Mason jar salads

The Mason Jar Salad Experiment

Instagram makes food look so delicious; especially these crazy concoctions.

I keep seeing the #masonjarsalad tag all over the place, accompanying pictures of artistic veggie arrangements that make your mouth water.

Mason jar salad recipes

It’s been a long, adventure filled summer and, sadly, my eating habits have suffered as a result.

I’m way too busy to prepare lunches every day and takeout salads are usually disappointing and quite expensive.

With all that in mind, I decided to jump on the Mason Jar Salad bandwagon.

Mason jar Greek salad

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Marvellous meat mountain

The Marvellous Meat Mountain

Kit’s never had a birthday cake.

Because Kit is …not like the other kids. For the 10 years I’ve known her, whenever asked what flavour of cake she would like, Kit invariably responds: meat!

It always stirs a couple chuckles, and we end up gratifying her cravings by having massive BBQs. But deep down inside, she still dreamt of having a proper birthday cake somehow made of meat.

I’ve wrecked my head for years trying to figure out how to indulge her crazy wish. The bacon wrapped strawberries only went so far. The closest I’ve ever come was the year I made a meatloaf, laid down mashed potato on top and skewered it with candles: it was actually pretty awful. I’m a decent cook, but neither baking nor cake making are part of my repertoire.

Then a couple days ago Kit showed me this monstrosity:

Bree's Cakes mashed potato cornbread fried chicken cake
Image: Bree’s Cakes

Suddenly it all made sense! Bree is a genius!

  • Cornbread = spongecake
  • Mashed potatoes = frosting/fondant
  • Gravy = caramel drizzle
  • Heap of chicken = heap of chicken

How can you go wrong?

I immediately committed to the endeavour, and the results were outstanding!

The Marvellous Meat Mountain, in all it's glory!
The Marvellous Meat Mountain, in all its glory!

I started reaching out for support amongst the kitchen gurus in my network. Ms. Kimberly of Monster Kookies, who not only bakes adorable clay figurines but is also a very accomplished chef, provided some expert advice and hilariously dubbed the monstrosity:

The Marvellous Meat Mountain

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Endive salad

Recipe: Roasted Chicken, Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Endive Salad

This is Mr Endive.

Endives and mad Photoshop skills

He’s a bitter leafed vegetable part of the dandelion family. There are quite a few types of endives but my local grocery store usually stocks the Belgian variety.

Endives are full of vitamins and high in fiber. For a lazy Sunday night meal, I made a delicious coleslaw-style endive salad with a little kick of heat.

Belgian Endive Salad
Belgian Endive Salad

Oh and a roast chicken with whipped garlic mash. You know, just on the side.

I love lazy weekend cooking.

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Recipe: Thai Green Curry Soup

Home cooked dinners have been a challenge lately. Between working fiendishly on paintings for the Winter Bazaar of the Bizarre, writing reviews for all the awesome shows and albums I’ve enjoyed this fall, a new found love of jogging AND my full time job, I just don’t have enough hours in the day.

I still try to indulge in home made food simply because I like knowing what’s in my meals – even when they’re bacon wrapped nonsense or booze filled milkshakes – and because it’s economical for both my financial and nutritional budgets.

My solution has thus been big batch cooking. I make enormous pots of chillies, soups and stews which I can get 3-4 meals out of with minimal effort towards tossing a side salad or cooking a cup of rice. Since I’ve been craving Thai food all month I decided to experiment with green curry.



This soup came out delicious!

It’s hot and creamy, a quick serving is all it takes to defrost me after a chilly run, and a big bowl fills me for the whole evening. Plus the ingredients are no surprise – simple things you can get at your corner store, and you can toss in more fresh veggies while reheating it to make each meal more substantial.


Give it a try!

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Recipe: Zesty chicken thighs & roasted baby potatoes


The other day I was stuck for almost an hour in rush hour traffic… on my scooter… in the middle of a thunderstorm.

It was every bit as miserable as that sounds. Needless to say I had a lot of time to contemplate dinner and eventually came up with this: the ultimate hearty-comfort-food warm-up-your-weary-bones meal.

You can substitute the Brussels sprouts for any other green side dish, but I find these flavours really complement each others. Also Brussels sprouts are delicious. Delicious, I tell you!

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Recipe: Syn’s Epic Miso Soup


Inspired by Ravi Soup on King St. I decided to make an epic miso soup that’s a whole meal in bowl. This is so filling, healthy and absolutely delicious. It also keeps and reheats very well for a few days so I usually make larger batches of it.

Miso soup is made out of miso paste, kelp knots and Katsuobushi (dried bonito fish flakes). I used this guide to making Dashi stock as practice the day before attempting the final soup.

dashi ingredients: miso paste bonito flakes kelp knots

You can easily source both ingredients at pretty much any grocery store in Toronto’s Chinatown. I also acquired most of the other ingredients fresh from Hua Sheng Supermarket or across the street at Oriental Harvest.

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