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Monthly Archives: December 2012

2012 in review

What a whirlwind year! From surviving New York City to surviving deep-fried goodness at the CNE, it’s been a crazy year. TWICE I visited Route 66! In 2012 I finally made it to state #25 and then just for kicks, state #26- meaning I have now seen half the states. I (somehow) managed to graduate (and therefore escape) from university, always fun. And let’s not forget the food, oh ho ho no. This year saw the successful breakfast at Auntie’s & Uncle’s, our many failed and final successful attempt to eat at Grand Electric and of course the curiosity-satiating La Carnita fish taco. And of course there was the super gross Cinncinnati chili-dog. Just gnarly.

There was also the amazing trip to the Grand Canyon, watching the sun rise over the canyon. And let’s not forget, in 2012 I was a business owner and I became a published writer with my article on Route 66, published in Verge Magazine.

Oh, and yeah, the world kinda sorta didn’t really end after all. That is always a good thing to cheers to.

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Posted by on December 31, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Portable Food

The trouble with meat is it is not exactly portable. Sure you could stick it between two slices of bread and hope to God none of it falls out, but sometimes it is just not worth the risk. Enter the empanada, basically the meat or cheese is baked inside the bread, so it can’t fall out. To be specific, the city’s best empanada from Jumbo Empanada.

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Did the empanada’s live up to their name? Yes they did. Well the meat ones anyways, they were in fact giant. The winner was however the tiny little cheese empanada. That is all it had inside, just cheese. The chicken and beef both had a hardboiled egg slice, one olive and some raisins. Thankfully they were rather noticeable and thus easy to pick out, lest I eat one. The egg was ok, but it did not add anything to the taste.

Jumbo Empanada (5)

The empanadas were so greasy that the bottom part of the pastry-bread was soggy and almost breaking apart. They came with a little container of spicy sauce, somewhat like a salsa that was a real stand-out as well. At Jumbo Empanadas we found Inca Cola, which really just tasted like Irn Bru, which really just tastes like bubblegum crossed with cream soda and white freezies.

Jumbo Empanada (6)

 

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Snickerdoodles

Brent’s office was having a potluck, the perfect excuse for me to use up the rest of the butter and eggs in whipping up some snickerdoodles! It was a simple and easy recipe (from Real Simple Recipes, of course)… that I barely followed.

Project 3- Real Simple Snickerdoodles (1)

Project 3- Real Simple Snickerdoodles (3)

I made the dough the night before, due to my tirednesss I did not care that I had no salt to add, that I threw in the cinnamon instead of rolling the dough balls in it prior to baking or that I did not have cream of tartar (I added milk instead, because you know, it’s kind of sort of close?). It turns out that having proper measuring utensils makes the baking-life that much easier. Once again, I had to use a pot owing to the tupperware still (!!) being in the fridge. I think I need to invest in a plastic bowl. Standing around waiting for the first batch to bake, I took to being resourceful and rolling the rest of the dough into little balls.

Project 3- Real Simple Snickerdoodles (4)

The cookies turned out great, they are soft and fluffy and they taste like carrot muffins- despite the complete lack of anything carrot in them. I blame the cinnamon.

Project 3- Real Simple Snickerdoodles (5)

Project 3- Real Simple Snickerdoodles (6)

 
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Posted by on December 22, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Bad Idea

We have managed to make quite a dent in the “best of” list from BlogTO, sometimes venturing out of our comfort zones and ingesting “food” like salads (or in Brent’s case, soup, which he inexplicably hates). Even still, we were barely prepared for this one: mac and cheese. A food neither of us is too fond of. So we called in help, my sisters, who love mac and cheese. The original plan was to order a dish of it and split it. But things started to crumble. Camilla was hungry, Brent wanted a sandwich. In total we wound up with an ungodly amount of mac and cheese in front of us.

Victory Cafe- best mac & cheese, best pitcher (1)

We were at Victory Cafe for some pre-Snakes & Lattes food and drink (voted best pitcher of beer). Camilla and I had arrived early and snagged a table, inside the surprisingly (it wasn’t even 4:30) busy cafe. The waiter came over and proceeded to tell us about the rather extensive beer collection, we nodded along and after all that: did not order anything, choosing to wait for the beernoisseur (Brent) to arrive and help us out. We had no idea. None whatsoever. Getting antsy that everyone was taking so long to arrive, we decided on the beer written on a blackboard behind us instead. Heck, why not. Eventually the rest of the group arrived and one by one.. everyone ordered mac and cheese, or a sandwich with mac and cheese on the side. Maybe I was really tired, or just plain out of it, but for some unbeknownst reason, I ordered the grilled cheese.. with a side of mac and cheese. This was the greasiest grilled cheese sandwich I had ever seen, it was soaked. Yet somehow still crunchy. The mac and cheese was delicious, I managed to actually finish my tiny bowl of it. As per those who ordered it as a main: they gave the rest of us a show to go with dinner. There was so much mac and cheese on their plates. Camilla resorted to moving it around after eating half, just to make it look like she had eaten more. The beer was surprisingly good (we had gone with a red ale).

Victory Cafe- best mac & cheese, best pitcher (2)

And now I am never ever going to eat any cheese for a really long time. As per mac and cheese, I may never eat it again. Holygod there was a lot of cheese.

 

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If You’re Short on Time, Don’t Make Shortbread

In another installation of “I Will One Day Attempt To Make This” I bring you: The Joy of Cooking’s recipe for shortbread cookies.

First of all: these are rather time consuming cookies. I was at it for maybe 3 hours total? Nevertheless, they are delicious and worth the time.

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Yet again the downsides to not having a mixer reared their ugly head. The recipe calls for creaming the butter and then adding in the sugar and creaming that until it has a nice smooth consistency. It is really difficult to achieve this with a table spoon. I resorted to kneading it with my hands. I just tossed everything into the pot and exhausted my poor arm. Did I make a typo and write pot instead of bowl? No. All I could find were little soup bowls. The tupperware containers that I had been using as bowls were occupied with week-old food in the fridge. So I had to use a pot instead. And the double batch had to be done in two goes. Needless to say, (or should I say knead-less?), I had earned the one hour break that came next: leave the dough in the freezer.

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The next steps calls for rolling the dough and then cutting out shapes with a cookie cutter. Two problems here: 1.) lack of a rolling pin and 2.) lack of a cookie cutter. I had foreseen problem #2 and had gone ahead and bought little star shaped baking molds (tin foil ones) assuming it would also solve the lack-of-a-cookie-sheet problem from before. Turns out that freezing the dough makes it rather difficult to cram the dough into a little baking cup, especially a cheap flimsy one that falls apart. So much for that. I tried to freehand it with a knife. They looked horrible. So I just made the rest little round circles. Consider this the test batch from which I learned that shortbread dough doesn’t melt, it keeps its shape. Which in this case was thick and round misshapen blobs and a few hand-made Christmas items. Bad. Thankfully while they baked (taking twice as long as the recipe suggested due to the aforementioned thickness) I figured out a makeshift way to make star shapes. I cut out the bottom of the baking mold and used it to cut around so that my cookies still had the star shape. It mostly worked, they are each individually somehow misshapen, but some would say that is endearing.

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After cooling comes the chocolate dipping part. Here is where it gets time consuming again. Every plate of dipped cookies has to be placed in the fridge. Because I melted the chocolate in the microwave I was fighting time as it re-solidified. It turns out to be a lot easier to control the chocolate and cleanliness of the dip to instead spread the chocolate on with a spoon, that way you get a nice clean line. Just as time consuming is making room in the fridge for all the plates of cookies. You cannot stack the cookies on top of one another, so two plates of cookies becomes four. Four dinner-size plates to be placed in the fridge.

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Up next: either Snickerdoodle cookies or cupcakes (given I know have solved the lack-of-a-muffin-tray dilemma with my baking molds)

 
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Posted by on December 17, 2012 in I Will One Day Attempt To Make This

 

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Mmm Pizza

Is there any food better than a slice of pizza? It is tasty, can be eaten on the go, and comes in such a wide variety of flavours and styles. It is really hard to go wrong with pizza. Even better is the city’s best slice. If you have been keeping track this will be the third time. It seems best slice keeps changing. At the moment it is at the newly opened North of Brooklyn pizzeria.

North of Brooklyn is a tiny little place, the light-bulb sign outside is bigger than the pizzeria itself. But my god the pizza is good. We ordered 4 slices total, so we could try one of each. We split a pepperoni slice and a puttanesca slice (which is what I assume it was? It had spicy sausage on it). And we each devoured our own slice of margherita pizza. As if that was not enough food- did I mention the slices were huge?- we also split some garlic knots. Basically it was tiny garlic bread balls covered in cheese.

North of Brooklyn Pizzeria- best slice (1)

Surprisingly the stand-out was the pepperoni slice. The crust had a sprinkling of sesame seeds, which at first I thought was just for show. But it tasted so good! And the pepperoni slices were of high quality and not ungodly salty. Plus bonus points for it having been fresh out of the oven.

North of Brooklyn Pizzeria- best slice (4)

The pizzeria is so small that you can see right into the kitchen and watch one of the owner’s chow down on a slice of pepperoni pizza, folded in half. You know the pizza is good if the owner is eating it. I cannot wait until they start offering delivery (sometime in January, I forget when).

North of Brooklyn Pizzeria- best slice (3)

 

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VICTORY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We walked by a new pizza place the other week called North of Brooklyn, I mentioned that it looks like a good place to eat. Brent shrugged it off.

I present thee: best pizza slice in Toronto.

At North of Brooklyn.

*victory dance* I was right again.

 
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Posted by on December 11, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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