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Who’d’ve Thunk It

When going out for dinner to a place called Junked Food Co. it is imperative that one ensure that there is sufficient junk food in the meal. Also it might be wise to order the signature dish. I was strongly considering getting the mac and cheese but then I saw that they had a Doritos smash bag (aka a signature dish) that featured mac and cheese. Dinner was settled.

Brent had a personal sized deep-dish pizza because apparently that is what they are listed as being known for on Google Maps. I never in my life thought I would say this but migawd that was the best damn deep-dish pizza I’ve ever had. Sorry Chicago! First off it was a reasonable size, just enough for two people. Secondly it had great toppings, high quality cheese and not too much meat as the base. In a last minute change-up I got the Korean BBQ chicken smash bag instead. It still had the main Doritos component. Going in I had rather low expectations, it was basically a small plate of nachos in a cut-open bag of Doritos, but somehow it just worked and was actually really really good. Unbelievably so.

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Never in a million years, based on our dinner choices, would I have guessed that dessert would be the heaviest dish and the one that led us to complaining and groaning and giving up. The real kicker was that we walked by Dairy Queen- we could’ve had that instead! What was this heavy over-the-top dessert that destroyed even me- a seasoned dessert eater? Raw safe-to-eat cookie dough, served as an ice cream scoop. No one in there right mind would ever eat that much cookie dough. At most you eat little tiny bits here and there. Plus it tasted a bit off (turns out I am also a seasoned professional cookie-dough-eater). The last bites were agony and we had to quit.

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Posted by on April 20, 2018 in Fooding, Uncategorized

 

Can’t Go Wrong With Pizza

Alright, OK, fine, the title is somewhat of a lie. But compared to other foods, it’s up there for dependability. Pizza Shab, on Ryerson campus was voted best halal pizza. It was two-fold great: pizza, and it was close by.

We ordered the beef supreme which had peppers, mushrooms and Persian beef sausage. After we ordered we noticed that it was done deep-dish style. While we waited for our pizza (they don’t serve slices) we reminisced about our deep-dish adventures (and misadventures) in Chicago. Wondering what awaited us for dinner. Thankfully it was a normal pizza, not some monstrosity with a dense layer of meat atop the dough. Cheese-wise it takes top spot for any all pizzas. It was layered on thick and had been cooked to the point that it was stretchy but also just a liiiiitle bit toasted on top. It was perfect. Another winning point: by default it came with garlic dipping sauce on the side. This should be standard practice everywhere.

Between the two of us we devoured a medium pizza. Which worked out for the best as deep-dish, even when it’s not that deep, does NOT hold up well. Anyone who says it does is a liar. Additionally we were able to add another bottle cap to our magnet collection, we both drank Iranian sodas with our pizza. For a split second when I saw them in the fridge I was fooled. They looked like beer bottles. They were decidedly not. Pomegranate beer would be weird anyways.

 
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Posted by on March 23, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

That’s a Tasty Dinner

Sugo, voted best cheap eats 2017, marked the last best of anywhere near us. We had to make it count. When we got there on Friday evening the place was packed, looking in through the window as we approached it was uncertain if we’d even get a table. We got one of the last two.

Looking over the menu my eye immediately went to: sparkling red wine. It seemed like an odd combination- and therefore I had to try it. It was weird but kind of good. It made red wine seem like something that can be refreshing. Eventually a server came by to take our order. We were seriously starting to wonder if we were supposed to have ordered our food at the bar. The menu hung above it and it was mildly confusing that our table only had a drinks menu. We were told the specials of the day and we ordered our drinks. In that time another server came by to take our dinner order. I was relieved. I had really dreaded trying to order the gnocchi (regular, not the special one- it sounded too heavy with the Parmesan white sauce) after our first server said it so smoothly and perfectly. I just knew I was going to butcher it and butcher it I did. At least I did so talking to someone else as opposed to someone who had literally just said it correctly.

Brent ordered the veal sandwich and was presented with a mammoth dish. He laughed that he could now sympathize with me whenever I complain that something is too big to bite. There was no way I was going to even attempt a bite of it. Instead I got him to cut me off a little piece of the breaded veal. That would have to suffice. It was delicious. Definitely the best veal sandwich I’ve ever tasted. I actually liked it. The gnocchi with tomato sauce was delicious but what to do with the extra leftover sauce? Why dip the garlic bread that we had so ingeniously ordered.

 
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Posted by on March 13, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

Well That Wasn’t Worth It…

I thought it would be nice to make marmalade. I had every excuse in the book: hosting a tea party and it was listed in Brent’s book of 1,000 Foods To Eat Before You Die. Plus Brent loves marmalade and would eat it all. This I was assured of, repeatedly.

Things were off to a rocky start. The book listed a Martha Stewart recipe. I couldn’t find Seville oranges, no matter I thought, Navel will do just fine. Then I also forgot to buy lemons. Not exactly something one things of when ones thinks of marmalade. Odd I thought. Could I get away without lemons? Just add in another orange? Turns out Seville oranges are tart and this was going to a sweet marmalade. I would have to use a different recipe.

After much searching and reading I eventually settled on an easy-enough-but-not-cheating (*cough* orange juice *cough*) recipe. I even had the requisite cheesecloth in my drawer. Finally a chance to use my cheesecloth. The recipe called for removing the zest and chopping it small. The fruit was placed in the pot with the sugar and water. The white skin and seeds were carefully wrapped in cheesecloth and placed in the pot. All seemed to be going well. The house smelled delicious. I was carefully monitoring the boiling pot, measuring the temperature and at the ready to turn it off at any second. The moment it reached that sweet 220F spot.

Soon I smelled a faint burning smell. There was no smoke. I assumed it was the shitty burner on my shitty stove. In moving the cheesecloth  bag I realized that the whole bottom of it was burnt. Seared actually. What the actual f-ck had happened. I had a super sweet boiled orange soup of a mess with just the faintest smell of burning. And the pot still had not reached that crucial temperature point. I bailed on it and turned it off. This was an epic failure and beyond saving. In the end I had a piece of cheesecloth seared into the bottom of my only canning pot and I ruined my chopper. The inside was caked with orange rind. I filled both with vinegar and baking soda, diluted it with water and now  it’s a matter of time. Can they be rescued? I am still too mad to go back and check.

This just days after I tried to make Smitten Kitchen’s brioche chocolate chip pretzels. The dough was dry and my (new) Kitchenaid mixer was not having it. I turned it off and tossed the dough. What had I done wrong? Did I not know what the paddle attachment was? Had I mismeasured (not that unlikely). Nope. According to the comments it was just a bad recipe. The comments section was filled with horror stories of broken mixers. Just to be sure, a few days later I whipped up a batch of brookies ~just~ to see if my mixer still worked. It did. And now order has been restored in my kitchen, just don’t look over at the sorry marmalade-induced vinegar-soaked mess. Unless you have any ideas?

 

How Can Cake Betray Me So?!

I must admit, I was super psyched at the prospect of getting a cake from Bake Shoppe and devouring it for no reason other than it being voted the best cake. I’ve had their baked goods before and their cupcakes (from when they were still called Wedding Cake Shoppe). My excitement only grew when I saw that the vanilla buttercream cake was plastered with little rainbow sprinkles.

I was supposed to sit through an entire dinner at Bar Isabel with this cake, awaiting my bites, just siting beside me? Oh boy, I had my work cut out for me. I (half) joked about Ubering home after dinner.

Bar Isabel had been voted best bone marrow. Not exactly a foodstuff that is at the forefront of my mind nor something I would actively seek out. We’ve had it multiple times in the past and yes it was delicious. But what makes bone marrow delicious is moreso the seasonings and all of the accouterments. Not the  bone marrow itself.

Bar Isabel was busy, as would be expected. But the service was exceptionally slow. Oddly though it did not bother me too much, as the drink service was not as slow. By the time I had finished my first drink our server was back to take our food order. And an order for a second round of drinks. I had enough time to really thoroughly read over the drinks menu. I settled on drink #1 being a house cocktail, drink #2 being a seasonal (in this case winter) cocktail and if there was time drink #3 would be a featured sherry. It made perfect sense. I was initially tempted by a fruity sour beer but when I had Brent look up the label for me I recognized it as one I’d had before.

We started out with the cheese and meat plate. The winner of the four was clearly the manchego cheese. We were voraciously hungry, and needless to say the dish did not last very long. Nor did my drink. By the time our server came around to clear the plates I ordered a glass of the sherry, making that drink #3 when only one of the three dishes we had ordered came out.

The bone marrow was alright but nowhere near the calibre of what we had at Pinky’s Ca Phe or at Ici Bistro. Towards the end it just became too much for my poor recovering teeth, having to chomp through all that sourdough bread. I was about ready to give up on Bar Isabel when our final dish, the pork jowl came out. Sweetmotherofgod, it was up there as one of the top pork dishes I have ever had. It was spicy and so flavourful and moist and perfectly seasoned. Everything about it was outstanding, so much so that I claimed as taking both first and second place- it was that good.

We transited home as it was getting late (dinner took longer than expected) and it was awkward to carry a cake so far. Yet all along the way I got so many compliments on our pretty cake. I bit into it with very high expectations- which promptly crashed down around me. Yes there were speckles of real vanilla. But that’s about where the positive aspects end. The cake itself was dense which did not pair well with the oh-so-heavy buttercream. How could anyone think that was better than Bakerbots?! I am bewildered.

 
 

Propeller Coffee: Take Two

What better outing for fooding a week after dental surgery than going out for coffee. This time around before heading to Propeller Coffee, best coffee, we grabbed cash first, just in case. I was nowhere near 100% great so we transited out there this time.

I decided to go with a fancy pour-over coffee because Brent ordered a latte. That way we had two different drinks.  While we waited we chowed down on a brownie topped with coffee-flavoured soft stuff (cream cheese possibly? I forget) and chocolate chips. I had to take tiny little pieces of it, hacking with my fork, and picking out the chocolate chips. It took me forever and I soon gave up. It felt so futile. It was delicious just too hard for me to eat.

When I ordered a pour-over coffee I had assumed they would do the pouring. Instead I was handed a carafe of brewed coffee and a mug. So this is how it was going to be, eh? I felt a little ridiculous as no one else around me had their own personal carafe of coffee. I looked like a severe caffeine addict. All in all, both drinks were delicious.

 

 

1001

For Christmas I got Brent a list-book of must-try foods. It only made sense as it combined our two loves: food and travel. Plus living in Toronto it would be more than easy to knock off items from the list. It’s the book I had been sneaking peeks of before we flew down to Austin, Texas. The last thing I wanted was for him to open the present a few weeks later only for us to realize we had just been there, we just missed (insert food). It would be too painful.

I’ve always loved being in the kitchen. Ok, lie. I’ve loved being in the kitchen since moving out. So when Brent gingerly suggested we cook/bake whatever items from the book were doable, my eyes lit up. And then I looked at him. Like really looked at him: you, want to cook??? Challenge accepted.

And so we found ourselves one Saturday evening, bumping elbows in our tiny kitchen while saying to each other- in terrible British accents- bangers and mash. Yup, item one in the book, which is divided by country, was bangers and mash. Something I had not eaten since we visited England in 2016.

We splurged and went to a fancy butcher. The plan had been to go to Cumbrae’s but oohh-noo they just had to go and close the Church St. location. Off to the place by Summerhill LCBO- which I later found out is called Oliffe’s. The only directions I gave to Brent was that it was near Nadege on the way to the LCBO.

Everything went off without a hitch. We had a delicious (romantic? nah, almost, but not quite) dinner. It was a lot of fun to cook together. So much so that neither of us noticed how smoky the house had gotten from all the frying. Hey, in our defense, neither did the smoke detector.

 
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Posted by on February 23, 2018 in 1001 Foods, Uncategorized

 
 
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