Aug
24

A New Salmon Recipe.


I was tired of my standard salmon recipes, so I did some research on the internet and found a new recipe that appealed to me. I love how easy it is to find a new recipe these days. Long gone are the days where I use to sit at the kitchen table sifting thru 6 cookbooks. (or more)

The recipe only included a few ingredients and sure enough..I had most of them in my fridge and pantry.

salmon - ingredients

Here’s the official recipe for Garlic Panko Salmon (from www.primaverakitchen.comI used half of the recipe (errr..the ingredients) and then used my own method. Keep reading!!

Ingredients
  • For the Salmon
  • 518g salmon fillets (I bought a big slab of salmon from Costco)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of Dijon
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • For the Garlic Panko
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4-6 cloves garlic, minced, depending on how garlicky you like it
  • ¾ cup panko crumbs
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon parsley, chopped (I used more…lots more)
  • Sea salt and fresh ground pepper
Instructions (according to momwhoruns!)
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F degrees.
  2. Spread the dijon mustard and honey onto the salmon.

salmon - fish

3. In my Cuisinart Food Processor – I whizzed up the parsley, lemon, garlic and panko bread crumbs.

cuisinart

4. Spread this mixture over the salmon

salmon - final5. Bake for 30-40 minutes (depending on the size of your salmon)

6. Serve Warm!

Happy Cooking.

 

 

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Aug
20

Eating My Way Thru The CNE!


I generally don’t include photos of myself in blog posts, but this photo truly reflects how I was feeling at the CNE media preview. I just couldn’t stop smiling. Please continue reading so you can find out why I was smiling!!

ex - vicky

The food served at the CNE is creative, fun, tasty, and memorable!! There is a reason why more than a million people flock to the CNE every year. Here’s what caught my attention at this year’s CNE media preview.

1. Tim Hortons served a Honey Dijon Ham  Pretzel Donut Sandwich that was simply too good for words. I had one bite – then two bites – and then I had to force myself to put it down. I’m still thinking about this sandwich as I write about it as I wanted to eat the ENTIRE thing.ex - tim sandwich

2. Tim Hortons also served  two Timbits (cotton candy and cola) as well as a Tim Horton Poutine. It’s described as a sweet “poutine” made out of Timbits  and decked out in delicious decadent dessert toppings. I had the Timbits (I’m a huge fan) but will have to return for the poutine!!

ex - tim part 23. Fran’s Restaurant Deep Fried Rice Pudding. This item really stood out as it was the perfect combo of crunchy and creamy. I wish this was on their menu all year long!!  (are you listening Fran’s Restaurant?).

ex - deep fried rice

4. This Frosted Flake Battered Chicken on a Stick  (from Iron Skillet Sirloin Tips) also caught my attention. There was something about mixing sweet with savoury, plus a bit crunchy – that really appealed to me. It was truly Grreaaaaat. (Tony the Tiger would approve. I’m sure of it).

ex - chicken

6. Bacon Wrapped Grilled Cheese from Bacon Nation: 6 strips of bacon weaved around a grilled cheese sandwich. Need I say more? I will happily run a few more kilometres so I could consume one of these sandwiches!

ex - bacon

I hope this blog post has inspired you to head the CNE for some imaginative offerings!!

For more information:

Website: www.theex.com

Dates: Aug 21, 2015 to Sept 7, 2015,

Location: Exhibition Place, Toronto

Twitter: @LetsGoToTheEx

Instagram: @LetsGoToTheEx

 

 

 

 

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Aug
16

I’ve just returned from a weekend in Mont -Tremblant. I hadn’t been there in over 2 decades so I was ready for a weekend of great food and some R & R as well. (um, mission accomplished!)

Let’s address the ‘eating’ portion of the weekend first! Highlights of my weekend included two meals that consisted of a pogo and poutine (from Patate Ben -Venu and La Roulotte).  I also had escargot for dinner one night along with pate and a duck confit salad (Restaurant Des Petites Ventres). I swear I will be eating a lot of egg whites and kale salad this week to make up for my unhealthy diet over the weekend!

tremblant - foodThe relaxing portion of my trip included a trip to Scandinave Spa  for a massage and to take advantage of their water therapy. What a treat. Unlike other spas that I’ve been to – this one was the quietest as they really do enforce a “no talking” policy.

tremblant - spaRelaxation to me, also means spending a bit of time touring the area! Take a peek at this stunning scenery.

tremblant - tour

There was one part of the weekend that wasn’t so relaxing, as we woke up at 6 a.m, to watch the athletes commence the swim portion of the Mont -Tremblant IRONMAN. It was incredible to see 2500 bikes parked in the coral, the swim, and watch the first elite athlete get out of the water and run towards his bike. This race includes a: 3.8 km swim, 180 km bike, 42.2 km run and these athletes are in top physical shape to get thru this challenge!

montreal - ironman Sadly there was not enough time to participate in the many activities that Mont -Tremblant has to offer …ie zip lining, going to the top of the mountain, the luge, mountain biking and more.

I guess this means, that we will just have to return to Mont-Tremblant!!

 

 

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Aug
09

As you know, I kind of keep my eye out for new restaurants, coffee shops and other interesting places! It’s just the way I roll.

Here’s two concepts that I recently discovered:

1. SQUISH Candies

This is a gourmet candy store (err, artisanal candy store) that just opened it’s first Ontario Store on the concourse level of the Bay (176 Yonge St). They have a roster of 100 different gummies, with flavour profiles to match any mood. Not to mention that these gummies are vegan, non GMO, organic, dairy free, and have no artificial flavour or colours!

new - squish (flavour)

I had the good fortune to chat with the lovely founder (Sarah Segal) who launched this idea in Montreal in 2014.

new - squish (owner)

Sarah was the chief tea developer and head of product development for David’s Tea and it’s evident that SQUISH is going to have the same “marketing genius” that David’s Tea has.

new - squish (packaging)

2. MAMAN – Toronto:

Maman, is a New York City bakery and cafe that recently opened a second location at First Canadian Place on the Mezzanine Level (100 King St W). One of the owners is originally from Toronto so it made perfect sense to bring the concept back to her hometown.

This is what the bakery looks like on the outside (plus there’s a magnificent patio).

new - maman (front)

On the inside, there’s communal harvest tables and a very “European” feel to the space. What’s great about this bakery is that they also serve pretty awesome cocktails!! I like how they are mixing it up a bit and you can drop by for a coffee, breakfast, lunch, a cocktail or from cinq-a- sept. (5 to 7 pm).

new - maman

Hours of operation are Monday to Wednesday from 7am to 7pm, and Thursday and Friday from 7am to 9pm for breakfast, lunch and cinq-á-sept. The café and bakery will be closed on weekends.

For more information:

SQUISH Candy: The Bay (176 Yonge St) – Concourse Level. Twitter: @SquishCandy, Instagram: @SquishCanady, Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/squishcandy

Maman Toronto: First Canadian Place (100 King St. W)  – Mezzanine Level, Twitter: @MamanToronto, Instagram: @_MamanToronto_; Facebook https://www.facebook.com/mamantoronto

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Aug
05

A few years ago, I discovered Fluevog while walking thru the Distillery District.  I was instantly a fan. I knew that one day I would own a pair and guess what? This past week, I not only bought one pair but two pairs!!

fluevog - bag

I found out thru Social Media that they were opening up a new store at 686 Queen St and that there would be some additional savings over the weekend.  I’m all about savings so I put it in my calendar to drop by the new store.

Here’s what was in that gigantic Fluevog bag!! Note: If I were super savvy I would do a YouTube Unboxing Video. In the meantime, here’s some photos…LOL

fluevog - boots

I’m in love with the colour, the laces, and the entire design of the boot!

Seeing as I found a boot, I had to find a pair of shoes to purchase too. Don’t you love how I rationalize my shopping purchases?

fluevog - shoes

I love the heel, the colour and basically everything about this shoe.

Here’s more about the Fluevog story: John Fluevog is an independent designer and retailer of forward thinking footwear, since 1970. There are Fluevog stores in Chicago, Boston, New York, Vancouver, Montreal, Ottawa, Denver, Washington, San Francisco…and the list goes on!!

Not only am I a fan of his shoes but I adore his marketing too:

fluevog - marketing

Happy Shopping!!

For more information:

Www.fluevog.com

Twitter; @fluevog

Instagram: @fluevog

Facebook: www.facebook.com/fluevog

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Aug
03

Brunch is Served!


Long weekends are the perfect time to host a brunch. I started off with a trip to Evergreen Brick Works Farmers’ Market which provided inspiration to go home and start cooking.

For example: I bought a package of this…which I had never seen before and found out that it was totally edible and a member of the legume family!

brunch - clover

Here’s what I managed to make in slightly over 2 hours:

1. Chopped Egg: Not only did I add a little cream cheese, but I added a touch of Kozlik’s Horseradish mustard to it. Plus..I decorated the plate with the above mentioned flowers.

brunch - egg

2. Chopped Tuna. Here’s my little secret…add a touch of cream cheese when you mix up the tuna and the mayo together.

brunch - tuna

3. Salad: I bought a package of organic salad mix with edible flowers and threw it in the bowl with some more cut up romaine. How pretty is this?

brunch - salad

4. Beet Borsht shooters: These shooters certainly were a conversation starter when guests arrived.

brunch - shooters

5. Asparagus Tart: SO. EASY. TO. MAKE. Click here for the recipe.

brunch - tart

6. Blueberry Cobbler; Um…my guests really liked it. Can you tell? Click here for the recipe.

brunch - cobbler

7. Mint Pea Salad: Always a summer hit however I forgot to take a photo. Can you believe?

8. Avocado Corn Salad: I added a small amount of jalapeno and this made all the difference. Click here for the recipe.

brunch - avocado

9. Roasted Tomato/Roasted Garlic with St. Albert Twisted Cheese on Pumpernickel Rounds

brunch - appetizersAt the buffet, there were bagels, a small cheese tray, banana muffins and a cucumber salad too but I’m too tired to post anymore photos. Plus I don’t want to bore you!! However, here’s what the buffet looked like.

brunch - is served

Can’t wait to entertain again!!

Happy Cooking.

 

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Jul
29

Today I discovered a new product that I think is just brilliant. It’s called Beetborsht Inabeerbottle.
harbord - beet
I’m familiar with Borsht as I grew up with it but would NEVER (repeat NEVER) go near it. It was in a ugly bottle and it was simply unappealing.

However today I went into Harbord Bakery and came across this new concept and in a nano second I was having a sample. Within another nanosecond, I was buying 2 bottles. Just like that!!

harbord - store

The brains behind this bottle are: Rafi, Tyler and Misha.  Rafi (on the right) is one of the owners of Habord Bakery, along with his sister Susan. They are proudly celebrating their 70th Anniversary and this beetborsht inabeerbottle was created to celebrate this occasion.

harbord - rafi

Harbord Bakery is famous for this product as well as many other baked goods.

harbord - challah

On a side note: My dad is turning 87 at the end of August and I’m sure I will be bringing him a few bottles for him to enjoy. It’s going to be the perfect gift. I have no doubt, I will bringing more bottles to Ottawa for the Jewish New Year in September as well.

For more information:

Harbord Bakery, 115 Harbord St, Toronto
(416) 922-5767

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Jul
26

Recipe: Asparagus Tart


I had the opportunity to go on a tour with Foodies on Foot and visit an asparagus farm as well as a lavender farm! I don’t often get the chance to visit a farm but when the opportunity presents itself …I jump at the chance.

The asparagus farm was indeed a learning experience. I had no idea that asparagus grew like this. (see bottom left photo)

asparagus - farm

At the end of the day, we were given 11 pounds of asparagus. For about a week, I was pretty busy making asparagus soup, roasted asparagus, steamed asparagus etc.

I also made this delicious Spring Asparagus Tart that I discovered online. In no time at all, I had a pretty nice looking meal.

Here’s the recipe courtesy of Morgan Hass for Food Network Kitchens:

SPRING ASPARAGUS TART

INGREDIENTS:

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed (a 9 1/2- by 9-inch sheet from a 17.3-ounce package)

1 cup mascarpone

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 large egg, beaten

1 lemon, zest finely grated (about 1 tablespoon)

1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives

1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon

1 pound pencil asparagus, woody bottoms trimmed off

1 tablespoon olive oil

Freshly ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Lightly flour the work surface and roll out the puff pastry to a 9- by 12-inch even rectangle.  Transfer to the prepared baking sheet. I used PC Butter Puff Pastry and was really pleased with the results. This is now by “go-to” puff pastry of choice!

asparagus - puff

Combine the mascarpone, 1 1/4 teaspoons of the salt, the flour, egg and lemon zest, and then fold in the chives and tarragon.  (I didn’t have this spice handy ). Spread over the puff pastry, leaving a 3/4-inch border.

Toss the asparagus with the olive oil in a bowl. Lay half of the asparagus in a neat row across the surface of the tart so the tips meet the edge. Do the same in the opposite direction with the remaining asparagus. (the fancy part)

Season with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and some pepper. Bake until the border of the tart is deep golden and puffed and the top is lightly spotted golden brown, about 25 minutes. Let cool for 5 to 10 minutes and serve.

FINAL RESULT

asparagus - tart

Serve this tart with a few salads and you are good to go!!

asparagus - salads

To find out more information about Foodies on Foot, please visit their website www.foodiesonfoot.ca  or follow them on twitter @foodiesonfoot.

 

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Jul
22

My last blog post was about camping so I thought it would only be appropriate to do a blog post about GLAMPING. Here’s the definition of Glamping according to Wikipedia:

Glamping is a portmanteau of glamour and camping and describes a style of camping with amenitiesand, in some cases, resort-style services not usually associated with “traditional” camping. Glamping has become particularly popular with 21st century tourists seeking the luxuries of hotel accommodation alongside the escapism and adventure recreation of camping

My glamping experience this year, was at Langdon Hall as it fits my criteria when I want a QUICK escape. To be exact: It’s about an hour away from Yorkdale Shopping Centre.

langdon - hotel

I have been escaping to Langdon Hall for over a decade but only for a day trip (think Spa treatment and then hang out at the pool). But this trip I actually stayed overnight. What a treat!!

This meant I had time to play tennis, (twice!!) and go for a quick ride on a tandem bicycle. #FUN

langdon - activity

We even took advantage of the complimentary Wine Tasting that was taught by one of the sommeliers on staff (there’s actually a few of them at Langdon Hall). It was a fun blind wine tasting and sure enough my fav wine was a 2010 Charles Baker Riesling from Stratus Vineyards in Niagara on the Lake.

langdon - wine

During July and August, Langdon Hall offers a variety of complimentary activities for their guests: wine tastings, garden and history tours, cooking demonstrations and even a vegetable garden tour.

Naturally, we also relaxed by their exquisite pool.

langdon - pool

What strikes me the most about this majestic property is their lush grounds and their spectacular vegetable garden. I couldn’t stop snapping photos of GREEN!!

langdon - green

The highlight of our trip was the chance to eat at Langdon Hall and to chat with Chef Jason Bangerter.  Notable achievements while at Langdon Hall include:

  • Relais & Chateaux, Rising Chef Trophy 2015
  • Five Diamond Restaurant Award by CAA/AAA 2014
  • Gold Medal Plates, Toronto 2014 – Received the Bronze Medal, fundraising chefs competition for Canadian Olympic and Paralympic athletes.
  • The Good Food Innovation Awards – Received Gold by Food Day Canada for the demonstration of an innovative Canadian menu.
  • Relais & Chateaux, Gourmet Fest at Carmel by the Sea – selected as the only Canadian Chef to take part in this 60th anniversary celebration.

Sadly, we weren’t that hungry and only ordered two items from their dinner menu.

-East Coast oysters with rhubarb and green apricot mignonette, garden hot sauce.

langdon - oysters2

-Potted chicken liver pate with elderberry and thyme jelly, spring vegetables and sourdough crisps.

langdon - liver

I can’t wait to return and order more dishes from this talented Chef.

langdon - chef

I also can’t wait to sleep on their beds again. I actually had to look to see what I was sleeping on and discovered it’s a feather bed. I also found out when I was leaving that you can buy it online.  I think I will be treating myself to an early birthday gift (err..about 8 months early. LOL)

Of course, the service we received EVERYWHERE was spectacular. Everyone we encountered had a smile on their face ..the bellman, the pool staff, our waitress at the bar, the front desk staff and cleaning staff too. It was truly a pleasure to stay at this Relais & Chateaux, designated hotel. Just so you know – there’s only two properties in Canada with this designation.

Other exciting news about this property is their expansion, which include a new spa and more event space. It’s scheduled to open in the Fall and I have no doubt that it’s going to be magnificent. Can’t wait to check it out. (note to self: put this in my calendar…NOW)

langdon - constructionFor more information:

Langdon Hall, 1 Langdon Drive, Cambridge, ON
Telephone: 519-740-2100
reservations@langdonhall.ca

Twitter: @Langdon_Hall

Instagram: @LangdonHall

 

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Jul
20

For many years, I went to summer camp and fondly remember many canoe trips and even a sailing trip! However as an adult I’ve only gone camping three times. Sad but true.

Last week this all changed, as I finally went camping again.

Here’s what was involved:

a) I googled “best camping spots near Toronto”. Found this great website  that inspired me to pick up the phone and call a  1 888 number to book a camp site at Elora Gorge Conservation Area. On a side note: I found it extremely interesting (?) to call an American Call Centre to book a Canadian Camp Site.

b) I sent out a tweet: “Going Camping. Need a recommendation for a tent”. My fellow lifestyle blogger friend (who goes camping regularly) suggested: Coleman.

I swear her camping blog posts inspire me and I encourage you to click here to read about her camping adventures.

c) Went to Canadian Tire to buy a tent, sleeping bag, cooler, lanterns and a bbq grill. The Coleman tent said it would go up in a minute and I swear it went up in a minute. It took less time to set up the tent than it does to make my bed!  As for the sleeping bag – it kept me warm and cozy and it was on sale! $39.99 ! (hooray). Actually the tent was on sale too. ($189)

camping - tent

d) As for food: I wanted to follow the rule: K.I.S.S (keep it simple) – so eggs, bread, hot dogs, jiffy pop corn, pancake mix, salami, bagged salad, oysters, tuna patties, muffins, blueberries, cheese, etc were on the menu!!

camping - cooking

e) The camp site we selected (area C number 166) was quiet, well shaded and included electricity (so I could charge my phone…I’m bad eh?). It wasn’t near the water or the quarry but I didn’t care  – it was QUIET and peaceful and truly beautiful to be surrounded by so many trees.

camping - trees Even though it rained and we left early, we did get a chance to hang out for a few hours at the Quarry.

camping - quarry

What did we learn?

-we forgot oven mitts and toilet paper. Oops!!

-we didn’t bring the right clothes and it rained an rained and rained. In fact it rained so much that we packed up our tent and left a day early.

However, we can’t wait to go camping again and trust me, I will be blogging about these experiences.

To book a campsite this summer:

Grand River Conservation Area: 1-877-558-GRCA (4722)

Reservations at Ontario Provincial Parks: 1-888-ONT-PARK (1-888-668-7275)

To buy camping equipment:

Head to www.canadiantire.ca for all your camping needs!

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