Sunday, January 24, 2010

St. John's Bakery

This is one of my favourite stalls to visit at the Green Barn Farmer's Market. C usually buys the Red Fife and has a chocolate brioche. I just like to sip my coffee and admire the bounty of bread.

I discovered that the St. John's Bakery is a social enterprise business owned and operated by St. John's The Compassionate Mission and that bakery workers have included refugees, people struggling with addictions, people with emotional troubles or mental illness, and single parents struggling with poverty.


Wednesday, January 20, 2010


A quick and healthy, crispy, tasty dinner : Mark Bittman, Andalucian Tortillitas - chickpea flour, water, shrimps, parsley and salt and pepper cooked in a pan like a pancake. Use any fish or herbs on hand. Una comida mue buena.


Sweet fluffy clouds

I made marshmallows! It was my first attempt and I almost gave up. The recipes I read said to whisk the mixture for about 15 minutes to get it thick and stiff. Um, it took me FORTY minutes, people. Whatevs, it all worked out in the end as you can see by the little cloud floating in a mug of homemade Callebaut hot chocolate. I like this recipe from Orangette although it's a tad too sweet for my taste, especially if you'll be adding a fat marshmallow on top, so I cut the sugar by half. And about the marshmallow? You'll never go back to store-bought. These babies are delicate, fluffy, and totally gourmet. A bit messy to make but definitely worth it. Hopefully it doesn't take you 40 minutes of high-speed whisking!


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Spicy shrimp

More home cooking : Anchovy, garlic, oil, pepper flake, parsley pasta with garlic, oil, parsley, lemon shrimp. Tasty.


Friday, January 15, 2010

Home cooking finally

This pic didn't come through last post, I hope it did this time, I'm emailing via blackberry. Poached halibut on Gios tomato sauce. Gios tomato sauce made by thick slicing tomatoes and covering them in minced garlic on one side and frying them in a pan w olive oil on each side until they turn to mush (about 8 min per side on med). Drop the halibut on top after the tomatoes are done and cover c and after another 5 to 8 min, voila healthy tasty french restaurant erasing meal that makes you feel happy. The wine was awesome, ontario small winery, foreign affairs that I found in lcbo vintages - expensive but worth a try its great. I just remembered I left a full bottle of vodka in my hotel room dangggg!


Monday, January 11, 2010

Second brunch of 2010

For our second brunch of 2010, we were feeling adventurous and headed on over to the Hoof Café. It was highly recommended, and rightfully so. I've barely begun to tell you about what we ate and I'm just so excited to go back!

Not only is the room tiny and charmingly decorated, the food is delicious and special. Like things I couldn't get anywhere else for brunch, like tongue grilled cheese or marrow donuts? My gut was to go for the tongue grilled cheese, but since I'd never had tongue before, I ordered the hash which had tongue in it, but also potatoes, caramelized shallots and soft poached eggs on top. I also had the toast which came with goat butter and blueberry jam (oh so delicious!). Turns out, I like tongue! Although I'm not sure if it was cow or pig. I'm going to say pig, since their sign has a picture of a pig on it. C decided on the sweet and ordered the brioche french toast with a side of spicy sausage that came on a bed of baked beans. Hey, that's two for two now with C ordering french toast at both 2010 brunch spots! C felt like he still needed something when he was done but turned down the marrow donuts when our server made the suggestion, thinking they'd be too heavy. Instead, he ordered the house granola with goat yogurt. He liked the yogurt, but thought my homemade granola was better! Yayaya! Oh, I should also mention that we both ordered tea (Earl Grey for me, green tea for C) which were freshly brewed from leaves, not bags.

All in all, there is something for everyone here: traditionalists, adventurers, meat-lovers, vegetarians, coffee-drinkers, tea-drinkers, booze-drinkers. But definitely more geared toward adventurous carnivores. Check out the slideshow of our brunch here.


Sunday, January 3, 2010

First brunch of 2010

Happy New Year! What better way to start off the new year than with brunch, and on a Friday to boot. Circumstances somehow landed us in the Junction and at Cool Hand of a Girl, a charming café C and I would pass by many times but never had a chance to stop in. I'm so glad we did because we're definitely going back.

I had the all-day breakfast which consisted of scrambled eggs, roasted potatoes and toast, to which I also requested a side of spicy chicken sausage. C had the French toast special which tasted like it had lemon poppyseed cheesecake melting between the layers of bread. Delicious and decadent. The food is organic and locally produced, which was a great bonus for us, and what we really liked was the vibe of the place. Very mellow but cool. Maybe I'm just biased because they were playing the Cure, but that in combo with a good coffee and cozy breakfast while it snowed outside put me in good spirits for the first day of the year.


Sunday Scones

My whole apartment smells like a buttery bakery right now. I just made Apricot and Sour Cream scones from the King Arthur Flour scone mix (A Christmas gift!). Y-U-M. I've been running all over Chicago since returning from Omaha last week, on the hunt for a mini-scone pan. My Mom got this same pan couple of years ago for only $10.95 at the Crate and Barrel outlet. She's the smart one...I bought mine FULL PRICE yesterday...but makes the best looking scones! And the size is small enough you don't feel guilty eating 2 or 10? Right? The box says, "serve warm"...which is why half of a scone is missing above. A warm scone or two and good coffee on a v. cold Chicago Sunday. Happy New Year!