21 July, 2013

Hello, Goodbye Toronto


I tried to fit it all in. I built a "menu" of places to go, starting with Kensington Market Monday for Cafe Pamenar and back on Augusta Avenue Saturday morning for wood-fired bagels.  For my last week in Toronto I wanted to indulge in snacks, drinks and of course bike rides on streets that I love in my neighbourhood:  Queen, College, Crawford, Ossington, Dundas...

I also built a list of goodbyes, discovering my Toronto friends and family really know their food:
- five o'clock hugs with Janey accompanied by oysters and white wine at 416 Snack Bar
- artisanal drinks in vintage glasses at the Northwood with Leah
- French pastries at Nadege with Helena
- homemade lobster rolls followed by Leah's dessert with local strawberries
- quinoa and seared scallops and an unbaked local cherry cheesecake by Bojan and Angela  
- "Pie Thursday" at House of Cool with a champagne toast
- sampling the new pastry known as a "cronut" at a cupcake cafe on Dundas (I didn't like it) 
- Friday night steak and asparagus BBQ at Jacob and Jessica's 
- a rustic brunch with our beloved supper club group at Zocalo Restaurant 
- a second brunch at The Saint with the Toronto crew of Sheriden grads mixed with wives, new boyfriends and beautiful children (Maggie and Chloe)

The build up to our leaving Toronto was intense and the drive to the airport a bit stressful with two freaked out felines singing all the way to Pearson.  Then just like that (cue finger snap) we are back in Halifax, driving on a smooth highway flanked by thousands of trees and summer ocean air.

At the airport I was told my luggage was 20 pounds overweight. 
Must have been all the good food I ate. 

05 July, 2013

Bittersweet Summer Days

When life gives you lemons... 

Lawrencetown beach, Nova Scotia
We're leaving Toronto in a week - back to Halifax and the ocean stones and sand, maybe a lake or two for refreshing dips. I'm definitely sad to be leaving my amazing foodie city of Toronto, in particular my corner greenmarkets with six lemons for $2 or organic avocados 2/$3.  Those are not Halifax prices.

This morning I couldn't sleep so there I was prepping fruit salads and an eggwhite omelette for when Nick wakes up in a couple hours.  I even considered baking brioche (see why below) but I used all the eggs in a lemon bar recipe, something I'm bringing to a family BBQ in Niagra Saturday.

I'm crossing tastebuds and provinces already, preparing a special lobster roll backyard picnic for three tonight. All lobster rolls are not created equal and I haven't found a recipe that I like yet so I will come up with my own (I will share after the reviews are in!).  I'm going to bike down the street to Harbord Bakery after breakfast and pick up sweet challah rolls instead of using brioche or a foolishly inferior white bread product.

The lemon bars were spontaneous craving for curd and I found a decent recipe on Pinterest but I'm told by a master home chef in my neighbourhood that Martha Stewart's recipe is all you need.  I screwed up the sugar component - I had a bag of coconut sugar from the health food store, claiming to replace 1:1 for sugar in baking. That's fine except when color is important... my carefully tended lemony & zesty curd immediately turned a caramel brown.  I finished it off with drizzles of coconut flakes to disguise the ugly shade of brown.  They have been in the fridge for two days now and taste amazing - small mercies.

Here's the video about making lemonade with all those life lemonades...from the good people at Food52.

Also, I'm still hunting for interesting popsicle molds to add to my collection.  I already have plastic fourtop so I think I'll look for mini baking cups and do a little DIY on the next batch... cute, no?