about me

Hello out there.....

Welcome to Unhip Squirrel. My name is Nicola and I cook, bake and write from my little kitchen in Montreal, Quebec.

I'm an avid food lover and a beginning food writer and photographer. I love to cook and bake things from scratch using simple ingredients and fresh herbs. This is where I find my inspiration.

Cooking is my creative outlet, and I'm beginning to find a second one through photography.  More than anything, I love to try making new things, whether I'm following a recipe or experimenting on my own.  I have the most fun inventing outrageous desserts and am always looking for an excuse to do so.
I'm not a perfect cook.  I'm hopeless at making rice and I burn pancakes.  Sometimes my experiments are a flop.  But on the whole, I have to say that I'm quite good for someone who is fairly self taught, though I picked up pointers along the way from my parents who both enjoy cooking very much.

Outside of the kitchen, I'm a nerd at heart.  I enjoy reading, obsessing over tv shows (Dexter, at the moment), British comedy and recently I've taken up (and subsequently given up) knitting.  Also, I'm in a dysfunctional relationship with several pilates DVDs.

Things you should know about following this blog: 
  • I'm not a professional. I'm just totally smitten with cooking, eating and taking pictures! 
  • I absolutely love, love, love to hear from you. Don't be shy - leave a comment. You don't need to create an account to do so. I love to hear feedback of all kinds, including questions, criticisms, photography suggestions, ingredient substitutions, tips and tricks, typos, what-the-hell-were-you-thinkings....
  • I tend to tweak my recipes because I find often that as written, original recipes are too sweet or salty.  I just like things better that way.
  • Sadly, my oven runs hot by about 25ºF. This means my oven temperatures and times will vary slightly from yours. As it would be absurd to purchase a new oven as a student, I've done my best to make things easy for you the only way possible: the temperatures have not been adjusted downwards in the recipes I post. That only happens in my little kitchen.
  • Wondering where the name comes from? It comes from here (which perfectly describes my cooking style and, well, lifestyle... minus the cigarettes):
 9st, alcohol units 9*, cigarettes 42* calories 4295*. *If cannot splash out on birthday, when can I?
6.30 p.m. Cannot go on. Have just stepped in mashed potato in new kitten-heel black suede shoes from Pied à terre (Pied-à-pomme-de-terre, more like), forgetting that kitchen floor and surfaces were covered in pans of mince and mashed potato. It is already 6.30 and have to go out to Cullens for Grand Marnier soufflé ingredients and other forgotten items. Oh my God - suddenly remembered tube of contraceptive jelly might be on side of washbasin. Must also hide storage jars with embarrassing un-hip squirrel design...
Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding

Happy cooking and baking everybody!