About me

Wow, I’ve been staring at this blank screen for at least five minutes now.  Everything I’ve started so far either sounds like I’m writing my own eulogy or trying to wow you in a job interview.

Let’s start by suggesting that you follow me on Twitter at @AnnAllchin.

So cooking, then.  I am the home chef in our household, pretty much exclusively.  If I go out for an evening, I have to leave a box of spagetti and a jar of sauce on the counter, and then I may or may not get a text asking for further instructions.  My husband does many other helpful things, like cleaning, laundry, and changing the occasional diaper, but cooking and grocery shopping are my departments, and I like it that way.  Please don’t tell him, though – I have to look slightly put out at all times so that I don’t suddenly acquire new departments.

I firmly believe that a person can only be a good cook if they’re a good eater, and enjoying food has long been something I’ve been passionate about.  I like going out for a nice dinner, and if I was wealthy I would eat at a different restaurant in this great city of Toronto almost every night and would revisit my favourites until I had made my way through their menus.  Alas, I cook at home a lot.  I am the opposite of a creature of habit, and I cook that way too.  I also enjoy sampling foods from diverse cultures, and I believe I have more opportunity to do that in this city than anywhere else in the world.

I’m a good cook, but I’m not a fantastic cook.  I’m not showy, and I don’t know how to plate things, which is why you may not always see an “after” picture.  I have no formal training and no aspirations to enter the culinary industry.  I wouldn’t know how to debone a duck…but I could figure it out if I looked it up, and I wouldn’t shy away from trying it if I thought it was worthwhile.

If you’re a home chef too, I think you’ll like my style.  I have a refined sense of taste, and good intuition about whether a recipe will work.  I’m practical.  I try to choose healthy, balanced meals, but I’m not fanatical.  I avoid recipes that are overly complex but that doesn’t mean that I won’t dedicate time to a meal, and I try to cook mostly from scratch.

I will always try to make you smile with my writing.

As far as personal taste goes, the only foods I can think of that I would flatly turn down are traditional mustard and hard boiled eggs.  Maybe this blog will add to that list, though (insert suspenseful music here).  I get annoyed if a dish is too dry or too bland or too spicy or overcooked, but I think that my tastes would align with those of most people of similar cultural background with a diverse palate, and I’m not overly picky.  I’ve never eaten a pet, except for rabbit and goat, neither of which were my pets, and I’m fairly inexperienced with organ meats, although I like a good pate.

Oh, and since I brought it into evidence…  My cultural background is Canadian (Southern Ontario) and English/Scottish/Irish four or more generations before that.  Meat, potatoes and vegetables were present at almost all dinners when I was a kid but I also devoured seafood whenever I could get my claws on it.  I began to experiment (with food) in college.

Ann Allchin, Dangerous Cook

Comments

  1. Leave a Reply

    Jackie Dale
    March 15, 2012

    I have been enjoying your culinary adventures from afar! Great job!

    • Leave a Reply

      Ann Allchin
      March 19, 2012

      Thanks! Bring me back some Marlin or something exotically Floridian! Hope you guys are well.

    • Leave a Reply

      Ann Allchin
      August 5, 2012

      Nice to virtually meet you! Your prosecco jelly looks interesting! I’ll stay tuned for more ideas. It’s also nice to meet you because you’re from Ireland – we have lots of close relatives there and so we pop over every few years.

  2. Leave a Reply

    Melanie
    August 14, 2012

    I’m so glad to have found your blog! I totally feel the same as you–would love to eat my way around Toronto, but alas, I have to eat at home more often:) Looking forward to more great posts here.
    Melanie

    • Leave a Reply

      Ann Allchin
      August 15, 2012

      Bright side – if you eat at home more often, you can splurge when you go out every so often! Glad to meet you virtually!

  3. Leave a Reply

    Melanie
    September 4, 2012

    Must point out (as I have been titled “pickiest eater EVER”) that i actually like hardboiled eggs, unlike our talented authoress (is that word?). and i have eaten a variety of pets, including guinea pigs (…doesn’t taste like chicken…).

    • Leave a Reply

      Ann Allchin
      September 5, 2012

      Were you at gunpoint when you ate the guinea pigs? Otherwise I’ll only believe that if you can produce video footage or three reliable witnesses.

  4. Leave a Reply

    Tara
    November 19, 2012

    Awesome blog Ann! Great pics and fabulous food! We also love T & T, they have the best bok choy..

    • Leave a Reply

      Ann Allchin
      November 19, 2012

      Thanks Tara! Glad you found me! Let me know if there are any weird foods you’ve tried that I should experiment with. Hope the fam is well!

  5. Leave a Reply

    johnnysenough hepburn
    December 22, 2012

    Your response to Melanie made me chuckle! Seriously? Guinea pigs?!?

    Hmmm…how do I follow you on WP?? Or are you that elusive…

    • Leave a Reply

      Ann Allchin
      December 23, 2012

      Thanks, and thanks for the retweet! I think people can only be followed on WordPress if they have a blog with wordpress.com, and I’m self-hosted. Feel free to register your email with me on the main page though! Thanks for dropping in! 🙂

  6. Leave a Reply

    santhi
    June 29, 2014

    nice to see your website and nguyen’s fan too.. from malaysia and have siamese blood as well so asian food like vietnam and thai are the perfect taste. got your website from korean site.

    • Leave a Reply

      Ann Allchin
      June 29, 2014

      Cool! Looking forward to hearing your advice on cooking with Vietnamese and Thai ingredients! 🙂

  7. Leave a Reply

    Marlus Silva
    July 28, 2014

    Hi Ann,
    I invite you to take a look at our online store http://www.opuszone.com (Opuszone Design & Gifts), which has just been launched! Our warehouse is located in the beautiful Quebec City but delivery is free for orders of $ 99 or more in Canada. Our site is bilingual.
    Many of our products are winners of major design awards around the world, as the IF Product Design Award and Red Dot Design Award, which can also serve you as inspiration. We have a lot of great kitchen gadgets.
    The idea is to introduce you to our new store in the field of design. Opuszone remains available for any kind of visibility.
    Do not hesitate to contact me directly if you have ideas, questions or orders. Opuszone remains available for any kind of visibility.
    Thank you for your attention.
    Best regards,
    Marlus Silva

  8. Leave a Reply

    Trish
    January 12, 2015

    This is my favourite food blog BY FAR!!! Thanks for making me laugh and drool all at the same time 🙂

    • Leave a Reply

      Ann Allchin
      January 12, 2015

      Thanks! Actually, a bunch of pictures of people drooling might make for an interesting post

  9. Leave a Reply

    Marni
    April 12, 2015

    I wish I could come over to your house for dinner.. all.the.time.

  10. Leave a Reply

    Michael
    July 20, 2015

    Hey Ann, the last thing I expected when I typed in “beef finger meat” into a browser was to find you waiting for me…I had to check the picture just to make sure!
    Very cool site – and love the honest approach to your recipes and comments.
    Glad to see you’re doing well, and jealous as hell that you’re having so much fun.

    • Leave a Reply

      Ann Allchin
      July 20, 2015

      Pretty hilarious that one of my work BFFs would find me randomly on the Internet!! And searching beef fingers, no less. You haven’t stopped making the big bucks so that you’re digging in the bargain bin at No Frills, have you?? Sincerely hope that you’re doing well and miss our daily chats. Keep in touch! I’d get such a lift to see you comment on my posts from time to time.

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