Posts tagged food
Posts tagged food
This key lime tart was yet another one of the exquisite desserts the husband and I enjoyed while honeymooning at Sandals Emerald Bay in Great Exuma, Bahamas. I love the beautiful way the whipped cream was formed into an oval and placed delicately on the tart! Yum.
I also had the share this gorgeous display of bougainvillea that we loved to walk under while wandering around on the resort grounds. It was growing on top of and all around a huge pergola that was the focal point of the the outdoor wedding space at the resort. The amazing gardeners and groundskeeping staff kept this place in tip top shape!
Happy hour at Spin Kitchen
After having such a lovely dining experience at Spin for my birthday dinner this past January, I decided to kick back one day after work and try their happy hour fare.
Spin offers a limited happy hour menu that they call the 5 @ 5 (5 bar eats, 5 beer, 5 cocktails, 5 wines for $5 at 5 p.m.). I haven’t had a fruity martini in forever so I was immediately drawn to the mangotini (their name, not mine), and I was not disappointed! Made with vodka, mango puree and fresh squeezed lime juice, this was one satisfying drink.
I couldn’t miss out on trying some cheap eats either, so I ordered the beef short ribs, which was two huge chunks of beef smothered in a red wine sauce and served with a single onion ring for garnish. This item usually goes for $12 on the regular menu, so it is a steal of a deal! It was incredibly tender and delicious; my tongue was tingling from all the savoury flavours.
I will definitely return to Spin for their happy hour, but the key is to order wisely: comparing the items on the happy hour menu with their prices on the non-happy hour menu helps for making smart decisions!
Airport Fare: Heirloom Bakery Cafe at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport
While waiting to depart for our honeymoon, the husband and I decided to have lunch at the airport terminal. There were so many options, we actually had trouble deciding on what to eat! However, we were incredibly intrigued by Heirloom Bakery Cafe - the sandwiches looked fantastic (and we LOVE sandwiches), and who wouldn’t be intrigued by tables with iPads fastened to the tops? That’s right, each table had an iPad for the same number of chairs at that table, so, if it was a four seater table, there were four iPads. Interestingly, you also viewed the menu, ordered your meal, and paid for your meal, all using the iPad!
We decided to split two sandwiches. I ordered the ham, brie and apple panini on cranberry focaccia bread, and it was amazing! I love the combination of flavours that made up the sandwich: the sweetness from the cranberry focaccia, the creaminess of the brie, and the tartness of the apple. The husband ordered the three cheese grilled cheese sandwich, with goat’s cheese and two other cheese that I unfortunately can’t remember. But what I do remember from the bite that I had was that it was delicious and the husband loved it, deeming it one of the best grilled cheeses he’d ever had! It was a wonderfully unexpected first meal of our honeymoon,
Honeymoon desserts continued…
These dark chocolate tarts were, again, one of my favourite desserts that the husband and I enjoyed while honeymooning at Sandals Emerald Bay. The pastry was soft and fresh, and the chocolate filling was incredibly rich and delightful.
We also enjoyed the light and fluffy nutmeg cake with individual whipped cream buds, and the lattice-topped caramel coconut pie squares.
I always feel like the holiday day of a long weekend ends up being like a bonus: it is this free day that I wouldn’t otherwise have had, a day that I normally would have been at work. Most of the time I don’t even know what to do with myself with all the free time of my bonus day: should I clean the whole house? Or should I do a whole bunch of cooking and try some new recipes? What usually ends up happening is that the husband and I relax, read our books, go for a long bike ride, and just generally enjoy the freedom of our free day.
But something that had been lingering in my mind was a half-used bag of edamame sitting in the freezer. I had gone a little edamame crazy a while back, enjoying it prepared simply with a quick steam and a little pepper. But I found I got tired of it quickly, and now did not know what to do with the rest. Then it hit me while I was grocery shopping last week: I’ll make it into a dip! So at last I had a little project for my bonus holiday Monday.
After a quick internet search for recipes, I decided to use Alton Brown’s recipe for edamame dip, but I adapted it slightly to suit the ingredients that I had on hand. It turned out deliciously, and now I have just a little bit more freezer space!
Adapted from Alton Brown
2 cups cooked and cooled edamame (I used President`s Choice, it is pre-shelled and can be cooked in a flash in the microwave)
1/4 cup diced shallot
1/2 cup tightly packed fresh cilantro
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground/dried ginger
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
5 tablespoons olive oil
Place the cooked edamame, onion, cilantro, garlic, lime juice, soy sauce, salt, chili powder, smoked paprika, ginger and pepper into a food processor and process for 15 seconds. Stop to scrape down the sides and process for another 15 to 20 seconds. With the processor running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Once all of the oil has been added, stop, scrape down the sides and then process another 5 to 10 seconds (or as long as you like really until it reaches a smooth-ish consistency). Store in an airtight container for up to five days.
More dessert memories from our honeymoon at Sandals Emerald Bay in Great Exuma, Bahamas: blackberry tart, peach cake tart, coconut cake and chocolate fudge cake.
Leftover Love - weeknight beef tacos
Using our leftover slow cooked beef, the husband and I whipped up some delicious beef soft tacos. We didn’t change the original seasoning on the beef; instead, we sliced and stir fried some red bell pepper and onion and added some taco seasoning to give the veggies some flavour. We piled all of that on taco shells from Lone Star (the husband loves their taco shells) with our favourite toppings to make an almost instant weeknight dinner!
I am going to apologize in advance. I will be posting a lot of photos of desserts in the coming while. You see, while honeymooning at Sandals Emerald Bay in Great Exuma, Bahamas, I am embarrassed to admit that I ate an obscene amount of dessert. I ate dessert at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and many times in between. Their desserts were that good. They were excellent in fact! I was absolutely astounded at all the different desserts that I could find to eat.
This was one of my favourites, both visually and taste-wise. It was a delicate pineapple cake, beautifully decorated with a caramel nut crackle. Delicious!
Weeknight dinner: slow cooker beef
A combination of factors contributed to this dish: for one, the slow cooker had been collecting dust in the cupboard for much too long, and beef was on sale!
I had also been craving a pot roast kind of flavour, so I decided to cook the beef in the slow cooker using this recipe I found on the Zesty Cook blog (click on my photo to link directly to the recipe). I only made two small changes to the original recipe: I added one medium sized chopped onion, and I used all red wine and no chicken/beef stock.
I paired the slow cooked beef with steamed baby red potatoes and frozen green beans; we used the gravy (which you can whip up easily from the slow cooker drippings - there are directions in the recipe) to pour over the potatoes instead of butter and sour cream. We both loved it: the beef was incredibly tender and so flavourful. We also had fun with the leftovers…stay tuned!
Dinner at Grounded Kitchen and Coffee House
I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying lunch at Grounded, but had not yet been there for dinner until one recent evening.
I met a friend for dinner and, as luck (and Mother Nature) would have it, the patio was open and we could dine al fresco! The dinner menu at Grounded is not huge but there is lots from which to choose. I settled on the soft tacos, which were under the small plates section of the menu. The tacos come with your choice of shrimp, pulled pork or vegetarian, and are served with mango chutney, house made chipotle bbq sauce, guacamole, pico de gallo and pickled jalapenos. I chose the shrimp, and they were good! Maybe not quite bursting with the exact kind of zingy flavour that I had hoped for, but everything was fresh and well put together, and the shrimp were nicely cooked.
Would I return? Absolutely. There are many other menu items that I would like to try!
Excited to try this new #almond #coconut Almond Breeze that I found at the @NatrlFoodPantry today. Have you tried it?
Summer project: iced lattes
I’m a huge fan of iced lattes, and iced coffee in general. I would love to be able to go to Starbucks a few times a week for this treat, but that would just be crazy expensive!
I decided to try out my own DIY iced lattes after seeing and buying Illy ground espresso at Costco during one our recent shopping trips. The can cost about $9, which is still less than what I would typically pay for two iced lattes from Starbucks! (Sad, I know).
After prepping my ingredients and espresso-making apparatus, I got started on the brewing. I let the brewed espresso cool slightly before pouring into a glass. Next, I sweetened it slightly using 1 tsp of Torani vanilla syrup and added a dash of cinnamon. I topped off the glass with cold skim milk and a few ice cubes and voila, an iced latte!
I was quite pleased with the results; the Illy espresso packed a strong punch and I added just the right amount of milk for my taste. I can’t wait to make these all summer long! I also think it would be delicious your favourite non-dairy milk - I am going to try unsweetened almond milk next time.
Breakfast at Alice’s Village Cafe
This is only the second time that I’ve had the chance to dine at the lovely Alice’s Village Cafe in Carp, but it won’t be the last! My first trip to Alice’s was for dinner, so I was excited to try their breakfast!
I ordered the basic breakfast sandwich, which comes with egg, your choice of bacon or sausage (I chose sausage) and cheddar cheese. It is served with Alice’s in-house made ketchup and a few slices of fruit. The sandwich was great - lots of flavour, and I believe they locally source their meat (but I didn’t ask to confirm). I also adore their in-house made ketchup, which I tasted during my first visit and fell in love. It is so tangy and the spices used to flavour it are spot-on. Unfortunately, the fruit slices were a little dreary and dried out, but I overlooked it due to the deliciousness of the sandwich!
To accompany my sandwich, I ordered a cappuccino and one of their apple cinnamon scones. Both were fantastic - I love the size of their cappuccino: it isn’t too big and isn’t too small, and it its perfect in its ratio of milk to espresso. The scone was impressive with lots of cinnamon flavour and big chunks of fresh apple. All in all, it was a delightful breakfast and I can’t wait to return!
I love these shots. They are so simple, but capture a moment that was a special part of our wedding day. These photos were taken by our wedding photographer, the lovely FindleyFOTO, and I happened to be watching her the moment she took these photos. I remember thinking to myself that this was such a cool shot and I couldn’t wait to see how it turned out, which it did beautifully. This is just one of hundreds of stunning photos that she took of our wedding day, and we were overjoyed with her professionalism and the results of her work.
Brunch at Panera Bread
The husband and I decided to take a drive to New York State one recent weekend to do some shopping. We go a few times a year just to hunt for new grocery/food items, and, while there, we always dine at Panera Bread.
I tend to try their new menu items whenever we go because we don’t go that often. This time, they had a new breakfast sandwich which was a flatbread stuffed with turkey chorizo, scrambled egg, potatoes, cheese and veggies and grilled until hot. Yum! We also shared their new muffin, the peach pecan crunch muffin, which was super moist and packed with huge chunks of peach. I also loved the crunchy granola baked into the top of the muffin.
The husband got his usual (the bacon turkey bravo sandwich, the mac and cheese and a cherry cheese danish) and he ate every bite like it was the first time. Sigh. haha