Archives for category: Food4Smiles

I have another item on my list in my crosshairs – #67 “win a ‘man vs food’-style challenge”. I’ve always been a fan of the Travel Channel show Man vs Food and have always wondered if I could, to be quite literal, conquer Food. Aided by my friend Adam, someone who has already conquered a food challenge of his own, we plan to take on the “Cuckoo’s Nest” challenge at The Hungry Hollow Smokehouse and Grille in Georgetown, Ontario. The challenge is simple: the two of us have 60 minutes to complete a beast of a dish consisting of 3 burgers (consisting of a beef patty, bacon, and pulled pork) nestled in a humungous bed of pulled pork poutine. I’m confident that with proper training and preparation, we’ll be able to conquer this challenge and cross #67 off my list. Did I mention that I love BBQ?

Have you completed a food challenge before?


Check out the Hungry Hollow Smokehouse and Grille menu HERE!

– Daniel


I just moved to a new apartment literally 5 minutes fron Kensington Market. I am unbelievably happy to have moved out (again). Although returning home to save money for my first trip to Jordan eased my financial burden, living with my family has grown to be one of my greatest sources of anxiety. It’s not that I don’t get along with them, it’s simply that my family does not understand my expectations of life and lifestyle. Anyways, on my way to my favorite army surplus store is in Kensington (AAA Army Surplus) to pick up a canteen for my GO bag, I stopped to try something I had never eaten before. Raw oysters. Since reading Anthony Bourdain’s life-changing experience with them in No Reservations, I had to give them a try. And boy they were fantastic!

– Daniel

Lawrence J. Peter said that, “the noblest of all dogs is the hot dog; it feeds the hand that bites it“.

I love this quote almost as much as I love hotdogs. In fact, I had one for lunch today after I taught one of my final Introduction to Anthropology tutorials for the year. For a mere $2.50 from the “Blue Chip Truck” on St. George, I received what I believe to be one of the perfect meals for a gorgeous day. As a side note, check out the Blue Chip Truck if you’re ever at UofT. Although it’s your average food truck. And as much as I’d like it to be, this is nothing off of Eat St. However, it’s run by two pretty cool guys. Anyways, back to my topic: hot dogs. I share a similar sentiment for hotdogs as I do for grilled cheese and chicken pot pie (don’t you worry Kiron, I’ll write about that soon). Ketchup, mustard, barbecue sauce, onion, and sauerkraut are my toppings of choice, with the occasional use of relish. Nothing fancy. I couldn’t care less about the common damning perception of these “pseudo-sausages”. I say this about a lot of foods, but there’s a reason I eat them. Why they’re a common fallback for anyone low on cash, out late, or just looking for something familiar.  They’re simple, delicious, and (at the moment) perfect to eat on a hot day out in the city.

May the dragon of life only roast your hot dogs and never burn your buns!

– Daniel

I love food. I love the thrill of experiencing something new; something exotic to my palate. However, throughout the course of my life, I have encountered a few dishes/foods that I’ve been less than fond of. At the forefront of this list is bananas. Although I enjoy them when incorporated into pastry, I loath bananas in their purest form. I haven’t eaten a banana in a couple of years. It’s simply the texture. I can’t get over the fact that this fruit straddles the divide between a solid and semi-solid. Maybe I’ll one day learn to like them. One day. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a picky eater. If the situation arises where I’ll have to eat one, I will. However, in the wake of Toronto’s culinary variety, I don’t think I’ll be eating banana any time soon.

– Daniel

“No man is lonely eating spaghetti; it requires so much attention.”

Of any place in the world, I first saw this Christopher Morley (1890 – 1957) quote on a menu in Jordan. It really hit home. I can say with absolute certainty that I’m not the only one in this world who has used food to quell my emotions in times of heartache. It doesn’t have to be Italian food. The point I took from this quote is that food, in its production, consumption and distribution, is good for your soul.

Be it a shared meal with friends, family, and/or a loved one, or a night alone, food will always be there for you.

– Daniel

“In the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is more meaningful than our criticism designating it so…”

In 2004,  The Guardian (UK) reported that “Parents are sending their children to school with lunch boxes that are packed with fat, salt and sugar”. I’m lucky enough to have parents that imbued me with the sense of wonder and joy for food that I still possess. What was your favorite lunch as a youngster? My dad used to make fried rice with Oktoberfest and Chinese sausages. Wonderful flavour! I haven’t had it in years. Perhaps I should whip up a batch.

I saw this image on and had to share it! I can’t help but wonder what type of person I would have turned out to be had my parents made lunches like this. Not that I’m complaining…

– Daniel

In the past two hours, I’ve consumed an inappropriate quantity of pineapple juice. I don’t care!

– Daniel

Ponopl juice


This may be the most superfluous literary work you might encounter today.

I’d like to clarify and expand upon my intentions for this blog. The ABOUT section will evolve. The posts will evolve. I will evolve.

But let’s start from the beginning again. Over the years, I’ve developed what the sentimental kind may call cherished memories; experiences that I’d store in the deepest recesses of my mind with the utmost affection and tenderness. I’d prefer to call them vivid lessons in humility. Lessons that I am more than happy to share with the masses. You may ask why and I’ll almost certainly respond with “why not”. Is this a cooking blog? Absolutely not. Despite what you may read, I hardly would like to compartmentalize myself into the culinary realm. A travel journal? Perhaps. If anything, this will simply serve as a means of sharing my exploratory experiences with everything the world has to offer with those who’d be willing to read the ramblings of an awkward twentysomething.

My go-to response to career questions? Archaeologist. That’s right. I don’t refer to myself as an educator; a teacher; a facilitator of knowledge. Although I may engage in those activities in the frequency one may define as a job, my heart is in the dirt. You heard me. I tore that beating mess out of my chest, melded it with the sweet mineral constituents of the earth, and professed my love for the only academic field that has ever left me truly awestruck. Archaeology.What do most people think about this? I’d like to think that most people are impressed with my career and the direction that it’s taken. But let’s be honest, despite what most people think of me, I really don’t know what I’m doing. And that’s the fun of it.

To paraphrase Einstein, I’m looking for what is, not what should be.

Care to follow?

– Daniel

There’s something special about a grilled cheese sandwich. Making it with a loved one for a night in. A lazy night alone. A quick fix. It’s the perfect cure-all for the blues (unless you’re lactose intolerant) and a great way to put a smile on someone’s face.

Be it fancy or old-school, a grilled cheese sandwich is magical.

– Daniel