Gastronomy and Life's Other Pleasures

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Posts tagged fruit

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Friday night project: homemade fresh peach margarita
It’s Friday, it’s hot as hell outside here in Ottawa, and it’s time to relax! Why not enjoy a fresh peach margarita while sitting on your deck and reading a good book and let the relaxation wash over you and the stress and worries of the week just melt away.
I came across this recipe on the Gimme Some Oven blog a while back, and knew I had to make it. This year’s crop of Niagara peaches have been incredible: ultra sweet, juicy and perfect. The husband and I have gone through a few 3 lb cases of peaches and there hasn’t been a single mealy or gross peach in the bunch.
We have also been loving our Blendtec blender immensely, and I was excited to use it to puree the peaches in this recipe. It worked like a dream, of course! The result was the most amazing peachy margarita - I adore the taste of fresh, real peaches. It just can’t be beat!
Peach margarita - recipe from Gimme Some Oven
For 1 drink:
Ingredients
- 1/3 cup fresh peach puree (to make, peel and pit two ripe peaches, pop in the blender and puree until smooth. If you have leftovers, make more drinks obviously! haha Or use in a smoothie/on yogurt, etc. - you get the idea!)
- 2 oz tequila (I used gold as that was what I had on hand)
- 1.5 oz lime juice (I used bottled - just so much easier)
- 1 oz Triple Sec
- 1 Tbsp agave nectar or honey (I used agave)
Sugar for rimming your glass (I prefer it over salt), fresh peach for garnish
Directions
Rim two wine glasses if desired. Fill with a few ice cubs (as much or as little as desired) and set aside.
Put all ingredients (minus garnishes) in a cocktail shaker with 4-5 ice cubes. Shake vigorously for 20 seconds. Pour into your wine glass and garnish with a fresh peach slice. 
Relax and enjoy!

Friday night project: homemade fresh peach margarita

It’s Friday, it’s hot as hell outside here in Ottawa, and it’s time to relax! Why not enjoy a fresh peach margarita while sitting on your deck and reading a good book and let the relaxation wash over you and the stress and worries of the week just melt away.

I came across this recipe on the Gimme Some Oven blog a while back, and knew I had to make it. This year’s crop of Niagara peaches have been incredible: ultra sweet, juicy and perfect. The husband and I have gone through a few 3 lb cases of peaches and there hasn’t been a single mealy or gross peach in the bunch.

We have also been loving our Blendtec blender immensely, and I was excited to use it to puree the peaches in this recipe. It worked like a dream, of course! The result was the most amazing peachy margarita - I adore the taste of fresh, real peaches. It just can’t be beat!

Peach margarita - recipe from Gimme Some Oven

For 1 drink:

Ingredients

- 1/3 cup fresh peach puree (to make, peel and pit two ripe peaches, pop in the blender and puree until smooth. If you have leftovers, make more drinks obviously! haha Or use in a smoothie/on yogurt, etc. - you get the idea!)

- 2 oz tequila (I used gold as that was what I had on hand)

- 1.5 oz lime juice (I used bottled - just so much easier)

- 1 oz Triple Sec

- 1 Tbsp agave nectar or honey (I used agave)

Sugar for rimming your glass (I prefer it over salt), fresh peach for garnish

Directions

Rim two wine glasses if desired. Fill with a few ice cubs (as much or as little as desired) and set aside.

Put all ingredients (minus garnishes) in a cocktail shaker with 4-5 ice cubes. Shake vigorously for 20 seconds. Pour into your wine glass and garnish with a fresh peach slice. 

Relax and enjoy!

Filed under food drink beverage peach alcohol fresh fruit recipe booze blog Gimme Some Oven summer margarita

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Brunch at the Scone Witch
Does it ever happen to you that a restaurant up and moves and you have no idea about it until you just happen to stumble upon the new location completely unintended?  Well that happened to me recently as I stumbled upon the new location of the Scone Witch while taking some out of town guests down to Winterlude a few weeks ago.
Granted it had been some time (well, a very long time) since I’d been to the Scone Witch’s location on Albert Street, but in all of my internet reading about the food scene in Ottawa, I had not heard of it’s move to Elgin Street to a beautiful new (and HUGE) space.
So it was a few Sundays later when I met some friends to give it a try.  I had also never been to the Scone Witch for weekend brunch, so it was a double shot of new for me.  
Their brunch menu is quite small, but just go with it: you’re there for the delicious scones anyway!  It is also kind of pricey, but worth it.  I ordered the breakfast plate, which comes with scrambled eggs and your choice of topping (I chose smoked salmon, of course), fruit, salad, a scone of your choice and jam (or clotted cream AND jam for a little extra).  I also ordered the largest cappuccino they could make for me to accompany my breakfast, which was fantastic.  All in all, a great brunch: light and delicious. I went with one of my favourite of their scones, the oatmeal, with wild blueberry jam.  It was heavenly.
I will definitely be back to the Scone Witch’s new location - it is bright, airy and much larger (read: more seating, less chaotic) than their Albert Street location, all which makes for a much more relaxing and enjoyable experience.  Plus, there’s no better spot to get a scone in Ottawa!

Brunch at the Scone Witch

Does it ever happen to you that a restaurant up and moves and you have no idea about it until you just happen to stumble upon the new location completely unintended?  Well that happened to me recently as I stumbled upon the new location of the Scone Witch while taking some out of town guests down to Winterlude a few weeks ago.

Granted it had been some time (well, a very long time) since I’d been to the Scone Witch’s location on Albert Street, but in all of my internet reading about the food scene in Ottawa, I had not heard of it’s move to Elgin Street to a beautiful new (and HUGE) space.

So it was a few Sundays later when I met some friends to give it a try.  I had also never been to the Scone Witch for weekend brunch, so it was a double shot of new for me.  

Their brunch menu is quite small, but just go with it: you’re there for the delicious scones anyway!  It is also kind of pricey, but worth it.  I ordered the breakfast plate, which comes with scrambled eggs and your choice of topping (I chose smoked salmon, of course), fruit, salad, a scone of your choice and jam (or clotted cream AND jam for a little extra).  I also ordered the largest cappuccino they could make for me to accompany my breakfast, which was fantastic.  All in all, a great brunch: light and delicious. I went with one of my favourite of their scones, the oatmeal, with wild blueberry jam.  It was heavenly.

I will definitely be back to the Scone Witch’s new location - it is bright, airy and much larger (read: more seating, less chaotic) than their Albert Street location, all which makes for a much more relaxing and enjoyable experience.  Plus, there’s no better spot to get a scone in Ottawa!

Filed under food breakfast brunch scone Scone Witch Sconewitch egg scrambled egg smoked salmon fruit salad jam oatmeal restaurant review Elgin

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Weekend baking: pineapple muffins
Well, we made it through January.  It is supposed to be the worst month of the year, right? Funny that my birthday also falls within the supposed worst month of the year: I do agree that celebrating your birthday in January in Ottawa isn’t the most fun.  Snowstorms, freezing cold temperatures and other weather-related events can easily foil the most well thought out plans.
I needed a little tropical infusion to help brighten my January, so I went on the hunt for a pineapple muffin recipe.  I found this delightful recipe on the Yankee Kitchen Ninja blog, which is one of my favourites.
This recipe requires a little bit of extra effort (yup, you have to get out your food processor) but it is worth it!  I followed the Ninja’s recipe exactly as described, so click on my photo to link to her site for the recipe.  You won’t be disappointed!  I love that these muffins are a combination of whole wheat and all-purpose flour: it just adds a nice texture and flavour.  
These muffins were just what I needed to brighten up this most frigid and snow-covered January!

Weekend baking: pineapple muffins

Well, we made it through January.  It is supposed to be the worst month of the year, right? Funny that my birthday also falls within the supposed worst month of the year: I do agree that celebrating your birthday in January in Ottawa isn’t the most fun.  Snowstorms, freezing cold temperatures and other weather-related events can easily foil the most well thought out plans.

I needed a little tropical infusion to help brighten my January, so I went on the hunt for a pineapple muffin recipe.  I found this delightful recipe on the Yankee Kitchen Ninja blog, which is one of my favourites.

This recipe requires a little bit of extra effort (yup, you have to get out your food processor) but it is worth it!  I followed the Ninja’s recipe exactly as described, so click on my photo to link to her site for the recipe.  You won’t be disappointed!  I love that these muffins are a combination of whole wheat and all-purpose flour: it just adds a nice texture and flavour.  

These muffins were just what I needed to brighten up this most frigid and snow-covered January!

Filed under food breakfast snack baking muffins pineapple recipe healthy delicious fruit fresh Yankee Kitchen Ninja blog

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Cherry lemonade bars
I realized recently that I had never made a lemon bar! I think lemon bars are a classic, timeless dessert that tend to be loved by all.  So I set out to make a batch but first I had to find a recipe. 
My search for a recipe didn’t last too long when I came across something on the fantastic Realistic Nutritionist blog.  Click on my photo for a link to the original recipe.  
These bars were delicious! A rich buttery crust topped with a tangy, soft lemon layer.  I would make these again in a heartbeat!
Cherry lemonade bars - adapted from the Realistic Nutritionist
Ingredients
For the crust
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 tsp lemon zest
- 1/2 cup cold salted butter, cut into small chunks
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
For the lemon layer
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp lemon juice (I used bottled lemon juice - it worked very well - but you can use fresh if you prefer)
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tbsp dark cherry jam/preserves
- icing sugar for dusting
Directions
Heat oven to 350°. Line an 9 x 9 inch square baking pan with parchment paper, extending up two sides. Lightly grease bottom and sides of pan with cooking spray.
In a food processor, combine sugar and lemon zest. Add butter and pulse until crumbly and well combined. Add flour and pulse until a dough forms.  Press dough evenly into bottom of prepared baking pan. Bake 15 minutes or until set and lightly golden on the edges. Set aside to cool while making the filling.
In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar and lemon juice. Add in 2 tablespoons dark cherry jam/preserves and the flour; stir until well combined. Pour filling onto crust and bake until set, about 25 to 30 minutes. Cool completely in pan before dusting with powdered sugar and cutting into bars.

Cherry lemonade bars

I realized recently that I had never made a lemon bar! I think lemon bars are a classic, timeless dessert that tend to be loved by all.  So I set out to make a batch but first I had to find a recipe. 

My search for a recipe didn’t last too long when I came across something on the fantastic Realistic Nutritionist blog.  Click on my photo for a link to the original recipe.  

These bars were delicious! A rich buttery crust topped with a tangy, soft lemon layer.  I would make these again in a heartbeat!

Cherry lemonade bars - adapted from the Realistic Nutritionist

Ingredients

For the crust

- 1/4 cup granulated sugar

- 1/4 tsp lemon zest

- 1/2 cup cold salted butter, cut into small chunks

- 1 cup all-purpose flour

For the lemon layer

- 2 eggs

- 3/4 cup granulated sugar

- 1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp lemon juice (I used bottled lemon juice - it worked very well - but you can use fresh if you prefer)

- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour

- 2 tbsp dark cherry jam/preserves

- icing sugar for dusting

Directions

Heat oven to 350°. Line an 9 x 9 inch square baking pan with parchment paper, extending up two sides. Lightly grease bottom and sides of pan with cooking spray.

In a food processor, combine sugar and lemon zest. Add butter and pulse until crumbly and well combined. Add flour and pulse until a dough forms.  Press dough evenly into bottom of prepared baking pan. Bake 15 minutes or until set and lightly golden on the edges. Set aside to cool while making the filling.

In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar and lemon juice. Add in 2 tablespoons dark cherry jam/preserves and the flour; stir until well combined. Pour filling onto crust and bake until set, about 25 to 30 minutes. Cool completely in pan before dusting with powdered sugar and cutting into bars.

Filed under food dessert lemon bar sweet tart jam cherry fruit recipe the realistic nutritionist blog butter crust

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Dinner at Sandals Emerald Bay’s La Parisienne

While honeymooning at Sandals Emerald Bay, the husband and I enjoyed the copious and wonderful food the resort had to offer.  We were sure to dine at Sandals Emerald Bay’s two official a la carte restaurants, La Parisienne and Il Cielo.  

Our dinner at La Parisienne was one of our favourites.  Although the restaurant is not oceanfront (it is at the front of the Sandals property that faces inland) the ambiance was wonderfully romantic and opulent with the over the top velvet sofas and plush seating.  

There were so many choices on the menu - it was difficult to decide what to order! For my appetizer, I chose the bacon-wrapped scallop on a rosemary potato cake with truffle oil and citrus glaze.  It was beautifully plated and delicious; the scallop was tender and not chewy, and the potato cake was brimming with rosemary flavour.  

I was making it a point to eat as much lobster as I could manage while on honeymoon, so, for my main dish, I chose the langouste thermidor, which is lobster flambeed in Cognac with Dijon mustard, fresh cream, shallots and bell peppers, and served with fennel and saffron rice.  Wow! The lobster and the sauce in which it was bathing was deliciously rich and creamy.  I ended up putting much of my rice in the lobster dish to soak up all the rich goodness!  The husband ordered the Chateaubriand, which was a dry aged, whole roasted filet mignon with bernaise sauce, which was served with asparagus and roasted potatoes.  He was very impressed with the steak - it was tender, and the sauce complimented it very well.

Our desserts were also impressive; we asked our server for her recommendation and we were not disappointed.  I had the apple tart tatin, and the husband had the tart duo, which was a lemon tart as well as a fruit tart.

We were completely stuffed, but it was one of the most memorable dinners of our trip!

Filed under food dinner lobster steak potato dessert Sandals Sandals Emerald Bay Great Exuma Bahamas honeymoon tart fruit berry scallop bacon chateaubriand filet mignon La Parisienne apple tarte tatin lemon meringue

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Sunday brunch
The husband and I had the pleasure of hanging out with our friends and their adorable kids this past Sunday for brunch.  As usual, the food was amazing - when the six of us get together, we always pull together the most delicious eats! Among the spread was smoked salmon, smoked duck breast from Bearbrook Farm, bbq’d bacon, fresh fruit, grilled asparagus, egg cups and so much more.  We were all stuffed! Thank you to the wonderful hosts for a delightful afternoon! xo

Sunday brunch

The husband and I had the pleasure of hanging out with our friends and their adorable kids this past Sunday for brunch.  As usual, the food was amazing - when the six of us get together, we always pull together the most delicious eats! Among the spread was smoked salmon, smoked duck breast from Bearbrook Farm, bbq’d bacon, fresh fruit, grilled asparagus, egg cups and so much more.  We were all stuffed! Thank you to the wonderful hosts for a delightful afternoon! xo

Filed under food brunch eggs egg cups fruit smoked salmon buffet smoked duck Bearbrook Farms Ottawa asparagus

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Weekday breakfast: (my) Bircher museli
I had eaten so-called Bircher muesli a few times at restaurants before I even knew what it was; I just remember thinking it was some form of cold oatmeal that was totally delicious.  It wasn’t until I came across this blog post on Peanut Butter and Peppers that I finally figured it out.  
I was thrilled to read that making this concoction is incredibly simple and that it uses ingredients that I always have on hand like rolled oats, greek yogurt and an abundance of fresh fruit.  Here is my version, adapted from the recipe on Peanut Butter and Peppers.
My Bircher Muesli - serves 2 (small servings)
- 1/2 cup organic quick oats (I used quick cooking and it worked fine, but most recipes say to use regular rolled oats and not quick-cooking oats)
- 1/4 cup shredded apple, cored and unpeeled (use your favourite - I used a Gala)
- 1/3 cup fat-free plain greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup 1% milk
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- a small handful of dried cranberries
- a big dash of cinnamon
- dash of vanilla extract
Directions
Mix all ingredients together in a sealable container (I prefer glass). Refrigerate overnight for best results!  Top with fresh fruit (I used strawberries), nuts, seeds and more yogurt.  Perhaps even some honey or maple syrup if you like yours sweet!

Weekday breakfast: (my) Bircher museli

I had eaten so-called Bircher muesli a few times at restaurants before I even knew what it was; I just remember thinking it was some form of cold oatmeal that was totally delicious.  It wasn’t until I came across this blog post on Peanut Butter and Peppers that I finally figured it out.  

I was thrilled to read that making this concoction is incredibly simple and that it uses ingredients that I always have on hand like rolled oats, greek yogurt and an abundance of fresh fruit.  Here is my version, adapted from the recipe on Peanut Butter and Peppers.

My Bircher Muesli - serves 2 (small servings)

- 1/2 cup organic quick oats (I used quick cooking and it worked fine, but most recipes say to use regular rolled oats and not quick-cooking oats)

- 1/4 cup shredded apple, cored and unpeeled (use your favourite - I used a Gala)

- 1/3 cup fat-free plain greek yogurt

- 1/4 cup 1% milk

- 2 tablespoons orange juice

- a small handful of dried cranberries

- a big dash of cinnamon

- dash of vanilla extract

Directions

Mix all ingredients together in a sealable container (I prefer glass). Refrigerate overnight for best results!  Top with fresh fruit (I used strawberries), nuts, seeds and more yogurt.  Perhaps even some honey or maple syrup if you like yours sweet!

Filed under food breakfast healthy oatmeal oats muesli Bircher snack fruit yogurt milk cinnamon craisin cranberry almond strawberry Peanut Butter and peppers blog

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Breakfast at Eggstyle (again)
The fiancé adores Eggstyle, so much so that he begs me to go there every weekend.  Most of the time I say no, but even I have to give in every once in a while! haha
We try something different each visit, and this time we set our sights on the french toast.  But not just any french toast: apple bread french toast!  Two generous pieces of apple bread dipped in french toast batter, grilled and topped with hot cinnamon apples, yogurt, caramel and toasted almonds.  It was quite a treat!  The bread was fluffy and light and the combination of the apples, yogurt, caramel and almonds was a delightful taste and textural adventure.  

Breakfast at Eggstyle (again)

The fiancé adores Eggstyle, so much so that he begs me to go there every weekend.  Most of the time I say no, but even I have to give in every once in a while! haha

We try something different each visit, and this time we set our sights on the french toast.  But not just any french toast: apple bread french toast!  Two generous pieces of apple bread dipped in french toast batter, grilled and topped with hot cinnamon apples, yogurt, caramel and toasted almonds.  It was quite a treat!  The bread was fluffy and light and the combination of the apples, yogurt, caramel and almonds was a delightful taste and textural adventure.  

Filed under food breakfast brunch Eggstyle french toast cinnamon apple bread yogurt caramel almond Ottawa review restaurant fruit delicious sweet treat

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Individual baked oatmeal cups
Just when you thought I couldn’t find yet another way to love oatmeal, I did just that!  When I saw this recipe for individual baked oatmeal cups on the lovely Peanut Butter and Peppers blog, I immediately e-mailed it to myself to make on the weekend.
These little muffins are so versatile; you can add anything you like for flavours (spices, fruit, nuts) and you can adjust your preferred level of sweetness too.  I opted to leave mine unsweetened save for a few pieces of chopped granny smith apple on top.  
So simple to make, I whipped them up in no time, and I froze the whole batch to be able to pull them from the freezer for week day lunch snacks.  They are fantastic!

Individual baked oatmeal cups

Just when you thought I couldn’t find yet another way to love oatmeal, I did just that!  When I saw this recipe for individual baked oatmeal cups on the lovely Peanut Butter and Peppers blog, I immediately e-mailed it to myself to make on the weekend.

These little muffins are so versatile; you can add anything you like for flavours (spices, fruit, nuts) and you can adjust your preferred level of sweetness too.  I opted to leave mine unsweetened save for a few pieces of chopped granny smith apple on top.  

So simple to make, I whipped them up in no time, and I froze the whole batch to be able to pull them from the freezer for week day lunch snacks.  They are fantastic!

Filed under food breakfast oatmeal baked fruit healthy recipe Peanut Butter and Peppers blog

12 notes

Breakfast at Eggstyle

The boyfriend and I used to be avid brunch-eating folk.  When we lived downtown, we’d go out for breakfast or brunch almost every weekend!  All that changed after I perfected my breakfast sandwich recipe and started making weekend brunch for us in the comfort of our own home a while back, so it’s not often that we will eat out for a morning meal. However, when Eggstyle-a new restaurant serving only breakfast items along the lines of Cora’s and Eggspectations-opened up a while back, we thought we’d give it a try.   

Upon entering the restaurant, we were greeted by its very bright yellow and orange interior and decorations and were seated immediately by a friendly hostess.  I had no trouble deciding on my order: the smoked salmon eggs benedict, which is served with sliced red onion, cream cheese, and, of course, hollandaise sauce, and comes with homefries, fresh fruit and and warm cinnamon apples.  The boyfriend chose the two egg breakfast (scrambled), which is served with bacon, homefries and warm cinnamon apples.  Both were fantastic, and absolutely HUGE in portion size - neither of us could finish our meals - and reasonably priced!  Everything was cooked perfectly; the boyfriend even said it was the best breakfast he’d had in Ottawa!

Because it was our first time, we decided to go all out and share a one of their waffles to go with our breakfast: we chose the banana chocolate waffle.  All I can say is WOW! Two of my favourite things in life are bananas and chocolate mixed together, and I enjoyed this waffle very, very much, as did the boyfriend.  The menu goes far beyond what the boyfriend and I ordered: smoothies, freshly squeezed juices, crepes, blintzes, pancakes, omelettes, french toast, breakfast sandwiches and more!

All in all, the service, the food and the atmosphere were all fantastic, and we can’t wait to go back again!

Filed under food breakfast brunch restaurant Eggstyles eggs benedict smoked salmon hollandaise bacon waffle chocolate banana fruit review Ottawa