I am ending a chapter in my life with the writing of Eye’z in a Cookbook.  It has been fun, I have met numerous virtual friends and have enjoyed the challenging tasks of cooking, photography, and even the challenges of others to be part of groups of home cooks.


Each and every post I have written has been a part of my soul.  There are memories that will exist into eternity here and thank the many who have made efforts to communicate with me.


The internet is a universe all its own – a new and vast field growing up.  The possibilities have not even been born yet.


I say goodbye and am proud to have been just a measly food blogger among a generation much younger than me, much wiser than me and much more inventive and to those I wish for all of us, that you succeed and create more and more and more.


To IDEO  I salute you to and for the future.


Natalie Luffer Sztern







I love to eat and write about Food. I also love to shop and dress in a size 10. I cannot, it seems, do both.


Over the two years of writing this blog and another 2 of reading other blogs and a continuous taping of almost every food show competition, not to mention Diners, Drive-ins and Dives; I now dress in a size 12.


I am not happy. Plus my sugars have risen. No good.


However, there is a product on the market sold only in the United States called DiabetiSweet® which is not made of Splenda® or Sweet n Low®. It is natural and does not hike your glycemic levels.



Having so much frozen fruit from the winter sitting in my Freezer I decided I would try from my own gut instincts a fruit cake made with Pancake Batter, otherwise known in my pantry as Bisquick®


I defrosted the fruit over a colander for a few hours so that the juices would drip out.



Once the fruit was drained it remained very liquid and since your fruit should be fairly dry, I added 2 tablespoons of flour and 2 tablespoons of DiabetiSweet®


I let that sit while I took the juices, added 1 teaspoon of DiabetiSweet® and boiled them down unttill it thickened. Your finger, swiped across the spoon, should leave a distinct mark to know your sauce is perfect. In my case, my coulis.



Next I prepared the Bisquick® as a pancake batter with addition of 1 oz of DiabetiSweet® to add sweetness, as the fruit was not especially sweet. Pancake batter is also not especially sweet.





Taking a square Pyrex® I sprayed it with Pam® For Baking and then placed the fruit into the dish. On top of this I poured the Pancake Batter and placed all in a 375 F oven to brown and cook. This took 45 minutes.














When it came out it was nicely browned but too hot and the juices not settled yet so I had to wait until it cooled off.





Since my everyday dishes are either chipped or white I fished in my Dining Room Cabinet for my China and found this beautiful plate. Fitz and Floyd® thank you. Kids, one day my China will be worth something so keep it and distribute evenly – there is service for 24. Including my Sterling.





Once cool, I cut it and plated it. Actually it didn’t really cut as a cake but actually spooned out more like a spoon cake. Top it with Ice Cream and coulis and what a great fast and Easy Peasy Fruit Cake.


*note: If I hadn’t placed the coulis on top of this cake my kids would never have taken a slice and then put on the coulis so I decided to give it to them all at once. If it would have been made for friends as a dessert I would have decorated the plate with the coulis but either way it was delicious. And I, a Diabetic, was able to eat it.



Easy Peasy Fruit Cake
Recipe type: Dessert
Author: Natalie Luffer Sztern
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 45 mins
Total time: 1 hour
Serves: 8
A very easy fruit cake using DiabetiSweet a product that looks, tastes and works like sugar w/o any artificial sweetners. Does not peak Glycemic Index
  • 2 packages frozen Fruit of your choice + the thawed out juices from the colander
  • 2 tablespoons of flour
  • 2 tablespoons ofDiabetiSweet®
  • 1 teaspoon DiabetiSweet® into juices in pot
  • Bisquick® used according to package instructions
  • 1/2 ounce of DiabetiSweet® into pancake mix
  • Pam® for spraying Pyrex® dish
  1. Defrost the fruit by placing in a colander to gather the juices.
  2. Once juices gathered place in pot and add 1 teaspoon ofDiabetiSweet®
  3. Boil until juices become thick like a coulis.
  4. Add 2 tablespoons flour and DiabetiSweet®to fruit mix so it will thicken
  5. Prepare Bisquick®according to Pancake instructions on box.
  6. Add 1/2 ounce of DiabetiSweet® into Pancake mix.
  7. Spray Pyrex® with Pam® or grease it with oil.
  8. Place fruit inPyrex® dish
  9. Pour Pancake Mix over fruit and place in 350 F oven until it browns aprox 45 minutes.
  10. Take it out and let it rest.
  11. Coulis can be bottled in a squeegee bottle or spooned on cold cake

Delicious served with Ice Cream or Whipped Cream.
Coulis can be served instead of on top of the cake, as a sauce around the sliced/spooned cake sitting on the plate

Google Recipe View Microformatting by Easy Recipe




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Me comí en El Rey de Taco

On my way to Sabor Latino for their various South American Tamales, from the corner of my eye I saw a sign that said Newly Opened El Rey Del Taco Mexican Food.


“STOP!” I yelled to my driver (aka hubby)


Right (sic), like on Jean Talon at the market’s corner we were going to find a parking space, but the Taco Gods were with us and sure enough the Beemer leaving it’s spot, left us a lot of room to manoeuver in.


I ran into the Taco Grill thinking I would be one of the few eating there at 2:30 but what I didn’t know was the back door led onto the market.  I managed my broken spanish along with my finger pointing to the pictures on the wall and ordered 1 Quesadillas Platter, 1 Burritos Platter and 1 Tamales Platter to go.  As I waited in front of the open kitchen watching the Chefs calling out orders in Spanish I couldn’t get past how fresh and how utterly delicious it would have been to actually sit there and eat.  I had to do takeout as I had promised the brood hot tamales and I couldn’t disappoint on the at-home eats.


20 minutes later I got my order in hands then proceeded to buy their home-made dips of which one was red and one was a guacamole that was better in every way than Rick Bayless can pull off.


When each of these platters were eaten by 4:30, as I could wait no longer, there were sublime at a temperature slightly hotter than room.  I could imagine served hot that they would be mind blowingly delicious in that the layer of flavors would have been more predominant than at the lukewarm stage they were eaten.


Like Anthony Bourdain has said many times “there is no street food like that of Mexican street food” and Rick Bayless says ‘comer en el mercado mexicano de tacos’ cannot be a better way to taste true Mexican street food.


“El Rey del Taco en el mercado de Jean Talon es como estar en México”, rings right up there, Eye’z in a Cookbook says.


Whatever you do find a way to eat there.



Vegetarian options

No Wheelchairs but order to go and eat at the chairs in the market

El Rey Del Taco

232 Jean Talon Est,

Montreal QC





El Rey del Taco on Urbanspoon



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i hope i will return with a wealth of information.


…but first I have a few things to get off my chest.


Writing a Food Blog is a complete exercise in futility. The amount of work to keep you guys interested vis-a-vis pictures and recipes and writing is harder work than I ever did while actually pulling in a salary; which a Food Blog does not.


Social Media is a sham. Those who are already and have been in the spotlight through their own talents now have to hire extra staff just to Tweet and run a Facebook account and I laugh when I see titles in Eater that state @??? said …..


@? said nothing. @?’s intern may have said it or his/her assistant may have said it but there is no way it came from the mouth or hand of the account holders name. That is a laugh.  Ghost writing, however, is not.  There is nothing wrong with a Ghost writer who has the ability to write and tell a cohesive life story of an individual who cannot, themselves, write such a story.


I feel bad for those whose living is made on Food Television, because if you are not mentioned in any format that writes about Food for more than 3 days then your Publicist is not doing her job and her job is to make sure whether good or bad; publicity with your name attached has to be on the net somewhere.


“Chef’ is the new movie star. ‘Chef’ doesn’t really cook any more.  “Chef probably forgot how to cook and all he does now is emcee cooking shows pretending to be Reality Shows.  I mean, really, Around The World in 80 Plates…get real.  The last time I saw Curtis Stone cooking was when he was accosting women in L A Supermarkets and taking them home to cook for their husbands…that’s a chef?  Hell, if he accosted me in a Supermarket that would be the LAST thing I would want to do with him at my house…I could think of a whole lot of other stuff I would and could do with him…just not in the kitchen…actually could be in the kitchen come to think of it…

Given the look that Joe Bastianich gives each contestant on Masterchef is a sad laugh.  No one can compete with Gordon Ramsay in the role of angriest and meanest man in the Food World.  Thankfully those producers had the good sense to put Gordon Elliot as monkey in the middle, because he isn’t really acting he seems to be genuine.  Joe – take some lessons. Your good at running successful restaurants and your newest book Restaurant Man is engaging and enlightening, but for a man who sometimes guest stars on his mother’s cooking show and never once looks up into the camera at us viewers, you are coming across as a bad actor on an audition.  Or you are entirely intimidated by your mother and her presence and thus Gordon Ramsay as well.


Whether or not Restaurant Man was Ghost-written, I am in the midst of it and can’t put it down.  I give him great cudos for his open-ness especially given that Lidia is reading it too.  My first tattoo was done only when my Mother died because even though I was 40 at the time I would not have done it given her reaction.  See, in ‘the olden days’ we kids were brought up not just to respect our parents but to instinctively know what they expected of us.  Tattoos and Marijuana were two.




Good for Ottavia Bourdain. I once told Michael Ruhlman a long long time ago to get him to video his blog. To date he has done some videos and they are enjoyable and interesting that it is White on Rice who does the videography and amazing more so that I like their technique. I also told him to make himself visible in face and not just in words. Of course he won’t remember it was I who suggested it a while back and that is okay.  I am sure many have told him and he gladly has done it successfully.


Ottavia Bourdain and her internet television show is what I thought would take over directly after Vlogging, years ago. She is doing it now. Good for her. Most of the young people under the age of 35 that I know only watch their computers be it television shows or YouTube videos and just like they don’t own land-line telephones and most don’t own televisions.


This must be an amazing feat to produce, direct and film.  If she needs an actress, I know of someone dear to me.


Of course whether CNN will approve if she becomes popular is another story for her husband; I could see the conflict of interest, if just in the medium of how it is televised via an internet show. Can we call it an internet television show? I think we have to market a new name for such avenues that will be soon televised only on the internet.


For God’s sake Canada and the CRTC get your act together and stop banning the videos across airwaves. We can and should be allowed to watch a video posted by any of the active Networks; I promise we Canadians will still buy Cable and Bell. Well the 40+,who live in Quebec, will still buy Videotron and Bell, I think.


Although I find myself wanting to order my newspaper and magazines over the web I enjoy the feel of the hard copy so Magazines I think are here to stay especially the Gossip Magazines and the ones that I love the most which are Food Magazines.


In ‘my day’ walking the dog meant carrying many nickels to buy Kool-Aid from the kids stands but today I have to carry $2.50 to buy Energy Drinks being sold on the corner.


The times they are a changing.


One last thing take a look at this: I saw it in action at a Sushi Shop and then googled it and what a riot and laugh I got out of it. Even, apparently, rolling sushi is too difficult for the masses…. here is the home version and again I say “Only in Japan’.





I certainly can’t leave out my most favorite product that illustrates just how exactly LAZY I really am…watch with disbelief and know that without this in my repertoire of things I love and have discovered by accident I would or could not be called Natalie Luffer Sztern




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