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Monthly Archives: May 2013

Fancy Omlette

Project 25- omlette (own recipe) chicken, peppers, gouda (2)

What happens when you have an extra cooked chicken breast in the fridge, arugula that is quickly going bad and have been recently reunited with your beloved frying pan? You get fancy over-stuffed omelets, complete with fancy Gouda cheese.

Project 25- omlette (own recipe) chicken, peppers, gouda (3)

I stood in line for almost 20 minutes to purchase two slices of cheese from the deli at Longo’s but it was damn well worth it to get a cheesey bite of dinner. The problem was that I had way too many ingredients for my tiny two egg omelets: cooked chicken breast, arugula, red peppers and cheese. A definite keeper in my recipe book and happily something I came up with myself.

Project 25- omlette (own recipe) chicken, peppers, gouda (5)Project 25- omlette (own recipe) chicken, peppers, gouda (7)

 

 

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Top O’ Tha Mornin’

Now that I have my frying pan back my kitchen is that much better. Earlier in the week I had been craving an omelet- no frying pan to make it with however. Plus the omlete was second in the queue. First I still had a small bottle of Bailey’s kicking aruond, one which I had specifically purchased in order to make Bailey’s french toast, courtesy of the Portabella’s.

Project 24- Bailey's french toast (2)

It is so tempting to just let the bread soak for a few minutes and then throw it on the frying pan, rather than having it marinate overnight. I resisted temptation and hid it in the fridge. It smelled so good, I was looking forward to the next morning. I was a tad worried that the bread would just turn into a sopping gross mess but thankfully that did not happen. In the morning I found two intact pieces of bread smelling of heaven. So tempting was the smell that I ended up adding a tiny bit of Bailey’s to my morning coffee. What could be better than Bailey’s french toast AND Bailey’s coffee? The actual flavour of the Bailey’s was rather subtle, but just enough to make it a new twist on french toast.

Project 24- Bailey's french toast (3)

A delicious success.

Project 24- Bailey's french toast (4)

 

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Let Me Eat Cake

Bakerbots was recently voted best cake slice. For a second I was mad, best cake is from Dimpflemeier’s everyone knows that. Then I remembered, they don’t do slices, so it’s OK. I went to the original blog post about it and everything was not OK again. It said that they only offer chocolate chip banana cake and carrot cake. Don’t get me wrong, I like carrot cake. But best slice? It said that during the week there is one offering and it varies.

I decided to take my chances as I was back in the neighbourhood (I needed to get my frying pan back, we are now happily reunited- more on that soon). There was a 50-50 chance of chocolate chip banana cake it seemed and I was terrified of my luck. I was scared for nothing. Not only did they not have the dreaded banana monstrosity (especially given that earlier in the day I had a nibble of a banana cake my sister made, I had to try it out of courtesy) BUT they had the most glorious of all cakes! OREO!!! I cannot state enough how psyched I was about this. Cake is good. Oreos are good. Together though?! AWESOME.

Bakerbots- best cake slice (2)

The cake was everything I had hoped for. I preferred the chocolate cream in the centre than the buttercream on top and on the bottom layer, but that is just my personal dislike of most buttercreams. It was very fresh and piled high with fillings. The cake slices come in two options: small or regular and seeing as we were splitting it, I ordered a regular- it is enough for two people, a generous helping of cake each (in the above image that is my half).

 

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Best Patio: AstroTurf

There is one giant list of best patio ______ (insert anything). One of those is the slightly obscure, very odd, AstroTurf. I cannot even think of that many patios, or even one, that have AstroTurf and yet it is on the list. The real kicker is we have been there before! Stout, voted best Sheppard’s pie was also voted best AstroTurf patio.

We went on a whim one Tuesday night. It was absolutely gorgeous out and the weather forecast called for rain the rest of the week. We had to go to a patio. Had to. Stout was the closest so by default we went there. Along the way we wondered what we would do if the patio was full. We had no back-up plan. Thankfully there was one table still free and no sooner did we get it, more people arrived in search of tables on the patio. The patio is small, but it delivers what is promised: AstroTurf beneath your feet and no roof over your head.

Given we had already tried the Sheppard’s pie last time, we split a plate of Irish (as opposed to regular) nachos to go with our drinks- no patio outing is complete without a drink. Initially I was going to order a fancy red cider. As soon as the guy gave us our menus I was about to order but he left. And thank God. Turns out the cider was $19/glass. Yeesh. Nothing else really caught my eye and I found myself having a Thornbury cider. Maybe one day when I am rich I will drink fancy ciders that cost an arm and a leg.

Irish nachos are made with kettle cooked chips instead of tortilla chips- and other than that, it was a delicious plate of nachos. Even though the chip to toppings ratio was off and we were left with a plate of onions, jalapenos and clumps of cheese. We finished our drinks before the nachos, which warranted a second round of drinks. In my case it was a glass of Fruli. My tastes have clearly matured as I found it too sweet. Soon we found ourselves with no food and only drinks left. Fearing an endless loop of finished drinks-no food-finished food-no drinks we headed back home.

And now it is raining until Saturday. Just awful.

 

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Wine Jelly- Take 2

I decided to try the wine jelly again and this time learn from my mistakes. I bought a giant bottle of red wine so I would not have to cut the recipe in half. Made sure the wine was not a super sweet one. I even brought a timer into the kitchen. And yet…

Project 23- wine jelly take 2 (1)

Disaster. The wine mixture boiled over creating a horrendous sticky mess. I had to take the oven apart to get to the underside and wipe it down. It was horribly sticky and slightly congealed thanks to the pectin. After cleaning the oven and letting it dry I decided to boil the jars shut this time, maybe that would help? Apparently not. When the wine boiled over I had to take it off the stove, thus the pectin-infused mixture was not heated for long enough and I had another set of jars full of syrupy and sweet wine.

Project 23- wine jelly take 2 (3)

For now I give up on this recipe.

 

Hungry Insomniac: Nocturnal Eats

After a day of double work there is nothing more comforting than the thought of relaxing on the patio and sipping a glass of wine- assuming that the patio is voted best patio to do such a thing, as the Midfield Wine Bar was. When we got there we were sad to see that the patio was not open yet. The weather had been nice all day, but it was dark out now, given it is only still May after all. We debated over where to go next: should we try The Hoof’s cocktail bar? We were not exactly dressed up all nice. Maybe Ali Baba’s for best late night shawarma and falafel? That felt like a bit of a cop-out given it was a nice night and they have locations everywhere. We settled on the best late night breakfast at the Thompson Diner.

Thompson Diner-  best late night breakfast (4)

The diner is located in the lobby of a hotel at King & Bathurst, given that you would think the place would be more busy. It was rather empty. This is really rather surprising as the food there is awesome, as is the service. We had easily the best waitress of all time. She was sweet and cheery and not at all grumpy. She even drew a little heart on our receipt. Brent had the pancakes stuffed with bacon and sausage. This seemed like overkill to me and I stared at him blankly… until I had a bite. The pancake was delicious! It was up there as one of the best I have ever had. BUT. My bite had no meat in it. So whether the pancake as a whole was good, that I cannot say. The pancake itself was light and fluffy with a hint of vanilla flavour, and not dry at all. I tried go the healthier route and had an egg white omelet with mushrooms, red peppers and turkey sausage- but it was drenched in grease and came with a side of home-fries- which made me love it that much more. Something so simple and yet so unbelievably delicious I ended up craving it all week (alas, my frying pan is still back at the old place so I cannot recreate it- yet). The toast on the side with little tiny jars of jam made it that much better. My only criticism is that they not offer regular pancakes (as in without meat) or waffles or french toast. There is no sweet staple on the menu. Late night breakfast is not complete without a mimosa, even if it is made with sparkling wine and not the traditional champagne (maybe that is a good thing, as it would seem a waste of good champagne).

 

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Linzer Cookies

What to do when your wine jelly has failed, at least as a possible gift to give to someone? Find a way to bake with it! Enter the linzer cookies from Joy of Baking. I had originally shelved this idea given I (still) lack a food processor. But then one day what did I behold at No Frills, why ground almonds! Now I had no excuse not to make the cookies. The freestanding electric mixer is a god-send, I absolutely love it. Combine it with my new bigger kitchen and it is culinary heaven. Except that the cord is really short, so all that extra space I have thanks to the kitchen island, it is not applicable to the mixer. For that I have a small smidgen of counter space between the stove and the microwave but I’m not complaining.

Project 22- linzer cookies Joy Of Baking (7)

The dough has to be refrigerated, which is a good thing given that the wine jelly is still over at the old place and has not been transported to the new apartment- yet. I could not resist making the dough, I had some time to myself AND I was in major need of some cookie dough to munch on. This is easily the best cookie dough I have ever had the pleasure of eating. The ground almonds really add in that extra flavour that you just don’t get with artificial flavouring.

Project 22- linzer cookies Joy Of Baking (3)

It turns out that when they say to roll the dough out to a certain thickness, they mean business. The first batch I made turned out really thick, not exactly great for stacking as sandwiches. The second problem was that my failed wine jelly just leaked out the side creating a gooey sticky mess around the cookie. So much for using up the jelly for that. Batch two I rolled out a bit thinner, but apparently still not thin enough. Batch three was much better- but I forgot to adjust the baking time and they were a bit darker. Batch four: FINALLY! Success!!! They were perfect and the tart berry jam I used went well with them. The last bit of dough I had left over I just made little blobs that I glazed with the wine jelly before baking. Turns out that was an ingenious idea as those turned out possibly even more delicious? Soft almond cookies with a sweet wine glaze. This one just begs to be done over as a full batch.

Project 22- linzer cookies Joy Of Baking (10)

Project 22- linzer cookies Joy Of Baking (5)

 
 
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