Vagabond Cookbook

The best you ate on vacation? Make it at home tonight.


Don’t listen to your family, smoking is great!

Every family’s got one. A jackass uncle. A quippy sister-in-law. A snot-nosed little boy playing with himself at the kid’s table. Every time you’re gathered together for a hearty feast, one of them is going to crack wise about the host’s cooking skills. “When’s dinner ready? WHEN THE SMOKE ALARM GOES OFF! HAR-HAR-HAR!” Hilarity ensues. Hacky jokes aside, there’s a fundamental flaw in that line of thinking. Everyone thinks if you set off the smoke alarm, you’ve done something wrong. I’m here to set you straight: If you’ve set off the smoke alarm while cooking, chances are you’ve done something very, very right. Not always, of course. When thick black clouds billow out of your cake-filled oven, there’s a problem afoot. When the fire department joins your Sunday morning bacon party, it’s time to turn down the heat. But if you’re roasting chicken? Charring poblanos? Stirfrying some pad Thai? Smoke […]

Image of carrot soup

‘I want to make food I’d stab a baby to try’

Thank god that’s over! Maybe it’s just me, but there’s only so much holiday merriment I can handle. By the time week two of egg nog and Burl Ives settles in, I’m ready to break Rudolph’s Bambi legs and get back to my usual routine. For me, that means eating better. We all treat our guts like landfills during Christmas. That’s part of the fun. But, as we kick off this 11-month reprieve from Elf on the Shelf, chances are you’ve set a resolution or two. Why not make eating well one of them? That was my thinking a few years ago, when I started cooking for real. The way I saw it, I had to eat anyway. Shouldn’t I eat something good? I was tired of sitting in the lunchroom at work jabbing my half-frozen Pizza Pops with a fork. I couldn’t take another overpriced, underflavoured salad from the […]