Monthly Archives: September 2013

Crown Princess

After a few years, we finally found our way back to Crown Princess for best dim sum. We had to go on a Saturday because dim sum is in the afternoon (i.e.: during regular work hours). We were going to get there right when it opened at 11am, alas I was still asleep then. Someone, had not woken me up. It was a quick panicked rush of getting ready and out the door, hoping that there would still be a table available. We got lucky, there was still a free table (as we were leaving that was when the lunch rush arrived).

Crown Princess- best dim sum (1)

We ordered 5 dishes: scallop & shrimp dumplings, shrimp dumplings, pork buns, duck dumplings and chicken feet. We were served mystery buns with what we can only assume were veggies inside, they were not that good and it was confusing. One bite of chicken feet and I was very confused. I assumed you were supposed to eat the bones, they were not that hard- but they were not gelatinous, as they should be when prepared for eating. Brent googled it on his phone: turns out you are supposed to spit the bones out, very politely and discreetly. Oops. It was a weird dish, you were basically eating saucy, messy chicken skin. I was not a fan, but still glad I had tried it. Towards the end the food got to be too much. We had ordered too much seafood-y stuff and did not have a good enough spread. Some beef and/or noodles would have balanced it out a little better, the pork buns helped a little bit (they were good, but I prefer more meat and less bun).

Crown Princess- best dim sum (3)

It’s not very cravable food, wherein I will go back over and over again. It was good to try, just not my cup of tea. Although I did like the ever-flowing tea at the table.

Crown Princess- best dim sum (2)

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Posted by on September 26, 2013 in Fooding


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Kupfert & Kim Made Me (Almost) Like Veggies

On our way down to a Jays game last week we stopped at Kupfert & Kim’s for the best wheat+gluten-free meal. I was super psyched about this, I just loved the idea of eating veggies, mm mm. That is sarcasm. There is nothing I despise more than veggies. Thankfully they also had some desserts on offer, I was a little hesitant but my chocolate/sweets craving was overpowering me. We got a brownie and a chocolate walnut ball to split. I took one bite of the chocolate ball, looked at Brent and grinned, he would be very lucky if he got more than one bite. It was amazing!! The ingredients listed on the label made this seem like an easy thing I can make at home- I have yet to, but it is on my list. The brownie was also surprisingly good, thankfully Brent was leaving room for his salad and I got most of it. The fact that it was wheat and gluten free made me think it just had to be healthy, no way was I eating unhealthy right??

Kupfert & Kim- best wheatfree and gluten free (1)

All I can say about the salad is this: way to go Kupfert & Kim! You actually made me eat (rather happily I might add) veggies!! Free-willingly! I went back for second, third and fourth bites!!!! The only downside was the construction of the salad, everything was layered and compartmentalized. I ended up mixing it all up with my fork so I would not get a bite that was just carrot or just quinoa (which had sadly been relegated to the bottom).

Kupfert & Kim- best wheatfree and gluten free (2)

Kupfert & Kim- best wheatfree and gluten free (3)

Any healthy eating that may have happened before the game was undone during the game. I had initially wanted to get BBQ chicken nachos, but they appear to no longer exist. My anger faded when I saw that they had Quaker Steak & Lube wings! No sooner had I gotten an order of wings, Brent spotted another wacky nacho offering: this time with beef brisket. I was intrigued but ultimately disappointed: what kind of nachos are served WITHOUT cheese?! Non-nachos.

Amazingly I was still hungry after all this and demanded a stop at Marble Slab. I had been having an ice cream craving all day since seeing a commercial for DQ’s new Blizzard in A Waffle Cone. I was sad to see that apparently we don’t have that here in Canada and I was left the rest of the day with an insatiable ice cream craving.

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Posted by on September 26, 2013 in Fooding, Proof I Hate Veggies


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The Best Soup Ever

I recently came across a recipe for butternut squash soup and I could not resist. I had to make it that day. There was no waiting, it is gourd season!! I was a little weary after my last foray into autumn-themed cooking with the apple cider turned out to be a bit of a bust.

Project 49- food network butternut squash soup (1)

I was afraid I would break the bank with this one. Butternut squash sounds decadent and expensive, what rich people use in place of pumpkins. I could not have been more wrong. I had no idea butternut squashes were so cheap, I paid $2 for a rather large one. The recipe from the Foodnetwork, is very simple and straightforward. The only other ingredients were chicken stock, salt, pepper and nutmeg.

Project 49- food network butternut squash soup (2)

The recipe is rated as intermediate level of difficulty, quickly glancing over I had no idea why this was so. I only understood once I got to the peel & chop part. Butternut squashes are hard, therefore cutting them is less than fun (unless of course you have a super crazy sharp knife). After a bit of a struggle I was done, and the counter-top was only slightly covered in squash innards and seeds.

Project 49- food network butternut squash soup (4)

Project 49- food network butternut squash soup (5)

Project 49- food network butternut squash soup (6)

My batch took a while longer to boil seeing as I have only one functioning burner on my stovetop, one of the small burners. I checked if the squash had been cooking long enough by smushing it with a spoon. I had to use a sieve to fish out the squash pieces, for some reason I had completely forgotten that I had a slotted spoon (in my defense I had never used it once). I also was worried that my blender might die, I had to blend the squash pieces in smaller batches. Then all I had to do was mix the puree back in with the stock, and voila! Soup!

Project 49- food network butternut squash soup (7)

I didn’t even wait for it to cool. As soon as I had seasoned it, I had a giant bowlful. It was heavenly, this has to be my favourite recipe of all time. So much so, that a week later now, I am down to one bowlful, and I have sitting on my counter another butternut squash. I will be eating butternut squash soup until the season ends. Maybe even later… can you freeze butternut squash?

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Posted by on September 23, 2013 in I Will One Day Attempt To Make This


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Waffles & Smoothies, Booze Before Noon

Only- best patio (1)

With patio season winding down, we weren’t sure if we would manage to squeeze in any more. Thankfully the weather was cooperative and the patio at Only was empty. Walking there it was rather cold, but we got a nice sunny spot on the patio, it even got a little bit too warm. The wasps were out & about, trying to steal my cider as usual. I was surprised that Only had more than one cider on top, and neither was a regular run-of-the-mill cider you find anywhere. Unfortunately, it being 11am, I was not too keen on having more than one. Even one seemed like too much at times. Even more-so given that I had basically rolled out of bed, grabbed coffee on the way, and not eaten anything yet. The wasps were thrilled that I was taking so long to finish it.

Only- best patio (2)


Only- best patio (3)

We had looked at the menu beforehand, which was a good thing as we were not handed menus and had to place our order at the bar as there was no waitress on duty, just a bartender. I went with my default go-to breakfast item: waffles piled high with fruit and whipped cream, they rarely disappoint. I could see plastic fruit containers on the counter, I knew I was in for a good breakfast. Brent had the huevos rancheros of which I am not a huge fan given that I hate beans and egg yolks. The huevos rancheros was surprisingly good, the beans were more of a mush making them actually palatable and not gross. Plus it was fun to eat as it was all served a top nachos! The waffle was light & fluffy but it caused some mild confusion: the maple syrup was in a pop-top beer bottle. At first we thought the bartender had brought us another beer. I quickly put two and two together, managing not to make an ass of myself… that is until I tried to open it. It would be an understatement to say it was a struggle. Plus I got all sticky, more wasps appeared. For some reason they were more interested in the huevos rancheros, despite the growing puddle of maple syrup on my plate (they eventually wised up, thankfully this was when Brent & I had swapped for the last few bits- I mostly just had guacamole).

Only- best patio (4)


On our way back we stopped at The Big Carrot, voted best health food store. I was expecting astronomical prices for organic foods as well as things I had never heard of: and that is exactly what we found. I did find a section of cookies though and could not resist the ginger molasses cookie. The sticker on the back informed me that it was 81% organic. I did not care, so long as it was 100% delicious. To finish off, we stopped at The Big Carrot juice bar for smoothies. Only two of them really appealed to me, and then only one as I saw that the other had grapefruit in it (Brent got it, it was gross). A whole list of smoothies and juices and only one appealed to me: it was a steamed drink of lemon juice and ginger. It was delicious, they were generous with ginger, hence the name Lemon Zinger.

Big Carrot

It was only 1pm, I had been awake for maybe 3 hours and I was exhausted. A nap ensued.

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Posted by on September 17, 2013 in Fooding


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As I was walking to St. Lawrence Market I spotted a new hotdog place: Craft Dogs. I was immediately transfixed, I madly texted Brent and in a flurry of misspellings announced my need to visit this fine hot dog dispensing establishment. I had to go, there was no way around it.


After a quick tour of the market, my friend and I headed over there. We were starving, wandering about the Market really builds an appetite. I was not fazed by the price tag, as I had experienced similiar price points at other fancy hotdog places. The menu offerings reminded me of Hot Doug’s in Chicago, I was thrilled that I did not have to wait in line this time. I was tempted to get a beer (yes, you read that right- a beer, there was one taht had caught my eye: Mort Subite*) but the $11 price tag put me off. Somehow $11 for a venison hot dog was a-ok, but for a beer?! The wonders of the human mind.

We waited for a while before our food was ready, the place was not busy therefore it gave an air of high-quality to the food. One bite and I knew it was true- these were craft dogs indeed. I wish I lived closer or had a bigger stomach. I had been debating getting the Dogfather (a pizza hotdog!) or the kobe beef hotdog, until the guy behind the counter pointed out the specials board: venison, that settled it. The buns were unusual, in that it really seemed like a piece of bread configured to hold a hot dog: the bottom was crust and around the edge was crust, but the sides where you hold it were crustless. The toppings on the hotdog were spot-on perfect, which is a lot to say given I generally despise onions. And yet there I sat, happily munching a mouthful of venison, arugula (another veggie I thought for sure I would hate and yet I love) and onions. I am proud to say I did not pick out a single onion. The only other time this has happened was when I had burgers from In N Out in the animal-style.

This place blows Fancy Frank’s out of the water, higher quality and more different meat options available. I did not have the fries made in duck+beef fat though. Maybe next time. Needless to say I was not hungry the rest of the day (if you know me, you will know that that is quite the feat to accomplish).


*I spent the rest of the walk home stopping at every LCBO I passed to see if they had it. I still have not found it. As I sit here I am contemplating walking to the only downtown location that has it in stock: King & Spadina.

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Posted by on September 17, 2013 in Uncategorized


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Rosemary’s Chicken

At St. Lawrence Market I found an awesome deal on a giant bone-in chicken breast: the enormous thing only cost me $9 and it put everything in the grocery store to shame. I had this amazing plan to throw it in the slow-cooker with some white wine and herbs (hence the original title of Drunk Chicken).

Project 48- white wine slow-cooker chicken breast (1)

All well and good, however the chicken did not fit in my slow-cooker and yet again I had to carve a raw chicken. I have done it so many times it does not gross me out at all. It is just time-consuming and messy. I had forgotten to buy an onion and had run out of garlic, but thankfully Brent had honoured my request and picked them up for me. Up until now I have avoided onions in the kitchen, I hate them and they make me cry easily. It never occurred to me that I could chop one up and freeze it! No more ignoring onions in recipes.

Project 48- white wine slow-cooker chicken breast (2)

Project 48- white wine slow-cooker chicken breast (3)

After a couple of hours the apple cider smell in the house was replaced with a chicken smell, causing a mild panic as I had forgotten completely about the chicken and thought that somehow burnt apple cider smelled like chicken maybe? I don’t know, I was very confused.

The chicken is good albeit too heavy on the rosemary and I would put half the amount called for next time. There will be a next time, it is still so delicious.

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Posted by on September 17, 2013 in I Will One Day Attempt To Make This


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Apple Cider

Somehow I got the idea in my head to make apple cider    , and so I found myself in the kitchen on a Friday night with a giant pot of boiling apples.

Project 47- apple cider (1)

From the get-go things were going not as planned. I had not read the directions and wasted time coring an apple. Then it took forever to get the water boiling, as there is only 1 burner (a small one) on my stove that does not smell (no matter how much I clean it). I did not have any cheesecloth to wrap the spices, so I just threw them in with the water (there were other recipes like that).

Project 47- apple cider (3)

After a few hours the house smelled amazing, cinnamony and warm and just delightful. (This was eventually overtaken by the smell of the chicken I had going in the slow-cooker).

Project 47- apple cider (5)

After mashing the apples through a sieve (I lack an apple press and will not be buying one any time soon) I finally had apple cider! A whole 2 and a half cups of cider.. from 5 apples. After 3 hours of work.

Project 47- apple cider (7)

Needless to say, I will be buying my apple cider from the store from now on. At least until I get an apple press and my stovetop stops smelling so bad.

Project 47- apple cider (8)

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Posted by on September 16, 2013 in I Will One Day Attempt To Make This


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Mathematical Turkey

I downloaded a fancy new app for my iPad (you know, my bestest friend in the whole wide kitchen?) and was confident about tackling a turkey breast (just one, gotta start small and I alone can only eat so much). What I did not realize was that the app would not be too kind to my math needs. I did not get a proper result for 1/6th of a teaspoon.

Project 46- herbed slow-cooker turkey breast (1)

At some point I was standing there, holding  1/4 teaspoon and  1/8 teaspoon measuring spoons wondering out loud how much of each I needed to get 1/6th. There were fractions converted to decimal points and calculators involved. It was not pretty.

In the end I actually needed double what I had. No way was I going to re-do all those calculations (no way I could remember them). I winged the second half and you know what? The turkey turned out delicious.

Around hour 5 you could really smell like the slow-cooking turkey, it was making me so hungry. To the point that I kept cutting off little pieces of it as I stuffed it into Tupperware. It had just bumped my baked chicken fingers from being the next day’s dinner.

Also: slow-cooking turkey avoids the hassle of dry meat.

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Posted by on September 13, 2013 in I Will One Day Attempt To Make This


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Mangled Cornish Hen Anyone?

Project 45- roasted cornish game hens  (1)

A long time ago I had spotted what looked like the cutest little roast chicken ever- it was a cornish hen. I made a mental note of it and decided that one day I would cook one of those lil suckers. That day finally came when I went to No Frills and the only chicken they had was ground chicken, so I opted for a cornish hen instead (basically a mini-chicken). It was so small, how hard could it be? After browsing through recipes until I came across one that did not involve using kitchen shears to “remove the spine” (shudder) I finally found a reasonable one at the Food Network website: Roasted Cornish Game Hens. Season the chicken, stuff it with onions and veggies, cook it. Voila, easy as pie. No.

Project 45- roasted cornish game hens  (2)


Project 45- roasted cornish game hens  (3)

To start with, I decided to cut slits in the skin and peel it back a bit to season the meat itself (I had no intention of eating the chicken skin, bleh). It quickly took on a rather horrific look, no matter, I wrapped it in foil and stuck in the oven. An hour passed and I checked on it, it looked cooked, I did not have a meat thermometer to verify though. I started to cutting it into four quarters when I realized that inside it was still pink… and a bit bloody. It had cooked for an hour!!!

Project 45- roasted cornish game hens  (5)

Project 45- roasted cornish game hens  (6)

I threw it back in the oven for another half hour, should be enough right? Nope. As I cut further in I had the same problem. That was it the (oven) gloves were off. I grabbed a knife and started carving angrily. An hour and a half and still not cooked?! I made a mini-bowl out of tinfoil and tossed the chicken pieces in it, added some more spices and the red pepper and garlic bits from inside the hen, wrapped it up, shook ti a bit and put it in the oven for another 20 minutes- finally I had some cooked chicken emerging from the oven. After almost two hours of cooking mind you.

Project 45- roasted cornish game hens  (7)


Project 45- roasted cornish game hens  (8)

There, I did it. I cooked a cornish hen… and I will never, ever in my life do it again. Ever.     



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Posted by on September 9, 2013 in I Will One Day Attempt To Make This


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If The Patio is Full, Eat Souvlaki

Walking to The Only Cafe, we passed a bunch of places still on our list of where to eat. We were tempted to stop at The Big Carrot, but we wanted more time to browse around the shop as well. We were on a mission: we wanted a patio seat at The Only Cafe. Patio season is quickly winding down and we are desperately trying to squeeze in what we can. It was a Wednesday and there were clouds looming on the horizon, threatening us with rain. We were confident we would get a table, we discussed our drink options and if we would be getting food on the way there.

The front patio was taken by a lone man with a box of cigarettes. No worries, we passed through the bar and to the back patio- only to find that it was also full. Fail. Thankfully we had walked by a couple of good back-up food places on our way over. We turned on our heels and headed back from where we came, to Astoria for best souvlaki and best gyro. We had been to Astoria once before during Taste of the Danforth- and somehow we had not ordered the souvlaki.

The waitress took us to a table, inside. We never even had a chance to ask for a patio seat outside (despite there being plenty of open tables). We barely had to look at the menu, we knew what we wanted. However, gyros did not appear to be on the menu, not that bad though given we now had a chance to try two different souvlakis.

The souvlaki dinners came with two sides (rice, roast potatoes or fries). Apparently they also came with a Greek salad as a starter. I was not too happy when a heaping bowl of lettuce with tomatoes and feta cheese was placed in front of me. I poked at it, had a few bites but I could not do it, I could not eat it. Brent commented that he was surprised that I had eaten so much of it, i.e.: any of it I assume.

Astoria- best souvlaki and gyro (not there) (3)

The sides were bland, which is expected of rice, but roasted potatoes? I was surprised. The souvlakis were the real winner. Bonus points for the stick being removed before serving, saving me from having to battle it. The pork was a thousand times better than the chicken, I can now understand why there are always such giant line-ups outside of Astoria during Taste of the Danforth.

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Posted by on September 9, 2013 in Fooding


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