28 September 2008

I Was Thinkin' Arby's.

In desperate need of fall/winter clothes, I made a grab and go trip to the Eaton Centre recently. (I did pay for each and every item, however, don't be concerned.) I found a short-sleeved turtleneck sweater that met all of my criteria, so I bought it in every colour, that sort of thing. But since this isn't a clothes blog (thank G-d), let's talk about the food.

I met G at the mall after work. I am sure there are people in the world, you may be one of them, who finds themselves able to perform all manner of activities after work. I find myself just exhausted after work most days and I just want to go home. If I can go to the "activity" before I go home, I am generally okay, but if I go home first, it's all over. Especially this time of year, it just feels so late. Anyway...

G and I decided to go to the Food Court. There are two in the mall and we chose the Dundas end for our food adventure. We chose to eat at the slowest Arby's on Planet Earth. It's crazy slow. Crazy crazy slow. Anyway, as we stood there for what felt like two lifetimes I noticed that they had new mac-n-cheese bites. Well yes, thank you, I have to try those. Eventually.

They tasted like Velveeta Mac-n-Cheese breaded and fried. Gross and delicious all at the same time!

I also ordered the Chicken Cordon Bleu. Not so great. Usually, I love their chicken sandwiches, but this just tasted old and stale.


And they don't have potato cakes anymore! I don't want spicy sweat tasting fries. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Thank goodness for mac-n-cheese.

Shirin Kebab House.

On the way to the Great Canadian Superstore recently, G and I decided that it was time to have some delicious kebabs. We stopped at the Shirin Kebab House in Scarborough. The menu is listed on lightboards above the cash register. We stood there for a minute when the person working the counter brought out the most delicious looking plates of food to the people sitting at a table behind us. We asked them what they had ordered and were told it was #12. So yes, we ordered #12.

And then we sat down and waited. And waited. And waited. During this time the smell of meat cooking was wafting through the little room. The food is fresh made and so lovely that the wait seems almost non-existent once the food is put in front of you...

Can you believe that plate? Grilled lamb pieces, rice, grilled tomatoes, grilled peppers, green salad and yogurt sauce all fought for attention. The smokey flavor of the grill was really coming through, and the meat was perfectly cooked. The tomatoes were soft and squishy, perfect for squeezing on the very flavourful cooked rice. The salad was okay, but the pepper was absolutely amazing! Hot in the afterbite, but really just peppery and soft on the initial bite. Amazing!

The lighting was good, too, so my photos turned out pretty nice!


I highly recommend this place. It's found at 1880 Eglinton Avenue East and is well worth the trip regardless of whether or not you are going to the Superstore!

The bad ending to this lovely day? After grocery shopping, we came home and began putting the groceries away. We had bought a few different cans of beans and I promptly dropped the bag of cans on my foot. No good at all. It's been a week now, and it still hurts, but my Mom is here (and she's a nurse) and says that it's going to sort itself out and already looks better. But I can't wear most of my shoes, which is awkward. Oh well.

25 September 2008

A Lunch to Write About.

This time of year, the best foods are often the simplest.

G and I were given a basket of lovely home grown tomatoes and after a quick trip to the Market to get the basics, we came home and had lovely cheese, tomato and olive oil sandwiches.

We bought this lovely 7 year aged cheddar at one of the cheese stalls at the St. Lawrence Market. It was a cheese untested moment, but it ended up being delicious. The tomatoes from Fernanda's garden were really juicy and ripe, though she says the quality this year isn't as good because it hasn't been hot enough. I say they were prefect! And the olive oil is this Israeli brand that we bought a bit ago. It has a really strong taste, and G just loves it. I will see what the brand is later (blogging from bed this morning...).

(And why am I blogging from bed on a Thursday?! Oh the decadence! My Mom is visiting from the States and I took today and tomorrow off to spend with her. She's still asleep so I am just letting her sleep and doing some blog maintenance. But we are off to the spa and for a nice dinner (I hope I can take photos) and a relaxing weekend.)

Apron Madness.

Let's just get this out in the open right now. I have the best brother in the whole entire world.

I had said that I really wanted a cool French-style apron, but couldn't find one that struck my fancy. Then my bro made this to sell on his zazzle site...


I know! It totally rules the school!!!! Buy your own here. I ordered it (obviously) in the yellow colour, the print comes out a blue-y green. It's really quite lovely and I am consistently impressed with the quality of Zazzle stuff. I have bought the coolest Harry Potter mug that says "This Mug is a Portkey", but was disappointed when it finally came in the mail that it in fact WASN'T a portkey. I blame Zazzle, but I still use the mug.

(And, since this blog entry is all about my brother's brilliance, I have to say I think it's amazing that he was interviewed on crowdspring.com! Read all about him and his large academic brain, and then buy an apron (or some rocking Thanksgiving cards that he made).

14 September 2008

Spag Bol.

I am learning to rock the Spag Bol. Every time I make it, it just gets better and better.

It's always a variation of the same thing. A little onion, a little garlic, some shredded carrot, meat, tomato, Belazu balsamic vinegar, and time. This was a particularly good batch, and I think the photo turned out quite lovely.
I *think* this will be the last post I make with photos from the Lumix, at least for awhile. I just bought a new Sony camera and am trying out the different modes and whatnot. I have taken a few photos with it, and am about to load them up on the Mac, so we'll see in the next post how they turn out...

Bento Mania.

I am weak to the power of suggestion. And my desire for cute things. And my jealousy of things that others have.

It's true.

Weak weak weak.

So when the Food Pornographer, one of my most favorite food bloggers, started accumulating her bento boxes, I was weak in the knees with jealousy. WEAK IN THE KNEES. So of course, I started scouring the world for my Shinzi Katoh bento box.

Then one day, out of nowhere, I found it. Some store in Yorkville, locked in a cabinet, there it was. And being both girly and childish, I let out a scream of joy! The bento was MINE!

So it's two tiered, pretty small, but cuter than cute.

I am even stealing some of the Food Pornographer's lunch ideas. We made itsy bitsy meatballs that I used in it, and we'll be making some shish kebab's later this week. I love it.

Cabbagetown Festival.

One of the greatest things about living in my neighborhood is that this 'hood really is a microcosm of living in Toronto.

Last weekend (I think) was the Cabbagetown Festival. G and I decided to walk over and see what all of the hub bub was about. Little did I know that I was going to be given the opportunity to take part in an amazing street treat. As we were walking around, I hear someone calling out to me while cooking sounds fill the air.

I turn...

Hello Sir!!! Yes! I would love to have a plate of your delicious smelling chicken kottu roti.

And so for $5, I got this...

Oh yeah!!!!!!! The joys of living near the Sri Lankan part of town! This was absolutely delicious. G and I shared it and I still could not finish this mountain of chicken-y roti. I love it!!!

The rest of the Festival? I didn't really get it. There was just a bunch of people selling weird stuff and some food vendors. Oh, and the ubiquitous Pizza Pizza booth. But whatever, it was nice to be out and about, and the kottu roti was fabulous. G orders this alot from Rashnaa, but this was my first full order of it. I really enjoyed it, and the guy cooking it up was quite proud of this vittles.

07 September 2008

Ontario Science Centre.

I have always been fascinated with the planet Mars. I can't really articulate why. I have read many books on Mars (being particularly fascinated by the Red Mars series), and was very excited to see that the Ontario Science Centre was having a special Mars exhibition!

We had the best time!!!

Yeah. That's me. Operating the Canadarm.

While we were there, we decided to eat lunch. There's a cafe called Coyote Jack's downstairs, and we decided to try it out.

I had a cheeseburger meal.

It was okay. It was funny. I looked around the room at all the people eating, and the clear favorite was the Pizza Pizza on offer. The healthy family there, and yes there was only one to the naked eye) were having soup and salad. Honestly, they looked like a cult in this room full of crap food.

The food was fine. Not blow you away but not throw it away uneaten, either.

I've thought alot lately about how and why people eat. It's funny, but I can't get behind people who don't take any joy in eating.

What do I mean?!! WELLLLLLL..... for example......

G and I went to the Milestone's restaurant at Yonge and Dundas. Really nice. We sat on the patio over Yonge street, enjoying the warm day and watching the people go by outside. We sat next to this ritzy looking family, it was the daughter's birthday. As I often see happen, the Dad had ordered a gigantic bowl of pasta with cream sauce. The Mom and Daughter both ordered a relatively small salmon salad and moaned at how incredibly big it was and how they could never finish it all. Which they didn't. Where's the joy?

I had a fantastic casesar salad...

And finished it off with a pretty great italian sausage ravioli...

Delicious. The pasta was really stuffed with sausage... the sauce on top was really fresh tasting, and the bread was pretty nice. I really enjoyed it.

Can you imagine not being in a place where you enjoyed food?! I just read the Twilight series and while I really enjoyed it, I kept thinking, why oh why would Bella want to give up eating food?! I think I have priority issues.

Some place new...

The other night, G and I wanted to go out for dinner, but wanted to go somewhere we'd never been before. The criteria? Nice location, close to home, and decent food.

G started reading menus on-line. We decided to go to Le Papillon.

It was a good choice.

For the main course, we had the Pave de Rumsteak. It was the recommendation made by our very friendly waiter, and it was delightful.

Oh yeah. A lovely steak. Lovely frites. Delicious veggies. The steak was served with a brandy butter sauce, and was totally amazing. The meat was tender, juicy, and full of flavour. The frites were crispy and came with a little side of ketchup (not pictured). The waiter was spot on. He said that this was his favorite steak on the menu (and the cheapest!), and he was spot-on.

We enjoyed our steak, having already decided before we got there that we would go the no app yes to dessert to route. (This is a long story, but the short version is that we are really seriously watching what we eat in preparation for our South Africa trip...it's a team effort!)

The waiter brought over the dessert menu. He had one more recommendation up his sleeve, though he seemed uncertain about making it unasked. He dropped off the menu, started to walk away, and then came back. He said, "If you want to know a nice dessert, I would recommend the Pouding Chomeur. It's the staff favorite, we all really love it." We read through it, a rich golden cake baked with caramel sauce and served with French vanilla ice cream."

Wow. Really, there weren't words to describe how amazing this was... It was so delicious. The cake was soft and slightly chewy and creamy from the caramel. The ice cream was cold and creamy, and a nice sidekick to the warm cake. I'd definitely order this again.

My Mom is coming to visit soon for her birthday (yeah!) and I think G and I might take her here for her birthday. I mean, how can she not love it?! It was so tasty, and pretty reasonably priced.

I highly recommend it. It's on front street near the St. Lawrence Market, and is in the old Izakiya space. It's very sweet inside. It's cozy and big. I will let you know what Mom thinks.

04 September 2008

Omnivore's 100 Meme

I am sucker for all things meme... well, no not really. But when I saw this on becks & posh, I had to add it to my blog...

How the Omnivore's 100 Works:

1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.

2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.

3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.

72/100 My Omnivore’s Hundred:

1. Venison

2. Nettle tea

3. Huevos rancheros

4. Steak tartare

5. Crocodile [only alligator]

6. Black pudding

7. Cheese fondue

8. Carp

9. Borscht

10. Baba ghanoush

11. Calamari

12. Pho

13. PB&J sandwich

14. Aloo gobi

15. Hot dog from a street cart

16. Epoisses

17. Black truffle

18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes

19. Steamed pork buns

20. Pistachio ice cream

21. Heirloom tomatoes

22. Fresh wild berries

23. Foie gras

24. Rice and beans

25. Brawn or head cheese

26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper (but just a tiny bite)

27. Dulce de leche

28. Oysters

29. Baklava

30. Bagna cauda (But, I've looked at Nigella's recipe a million times!)

31. Wasabi peas

32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl

33. Salted lassi

34. Sauerkraut

35. Root beer float

36. Cognac with a fat cigar

37. Clotted Cream Tea (I've even made my own clotted cream, baby!)

38. Vodka Jelly/Jell-O

39. Gumbo

40. Oxtail

41. Curried goat

42. Whole insects

43. Phaal

44. Goat's milk

45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth $120 or more

46. Fugu

47. Chicken tikka masala

48. Eel

49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut

50. Sea urchin

51. Prickly pear

52. Umeboshi

53. Abalone

54. Paneer

55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal (only once. i hate lettuce on hamburgers)

56. Spaetzle

57. Dirty gin martini

58. Beer above 8% ABV

59. Poutine (Oh yeah, baby! Thought about having it for lunch today!!!)

60. Carob chips

61. S’mores

62. Sweetbreads

63. kaolin

64. Currywurst

65. Durian

66. Frogs’ legs

67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake (I've had all four, but not at the same time)

68. Haggis

69. Fried plantain

70. Chitterlings or andouillette

71. Gazpacho

72. Caviar and blini

73. Louche absinthe

74. Gjetost or brunost

75. Roadkill

76. Baijiu

77. Hostess Fruit Pie

78. Snail

79. Lapsang Souchong

80. Bellini

81. Tom Yum (This soup with chicken or kai is my favorite nausea remedy!)

82. Eggs Benedict

83. Pocky

84. 3 Michelin Star Tasting Menu (No, but I've done a 2 star!!!)

85. Kobe beef

86. Hare

87. Goulash

88. Flowers

89. Horse

90. Criollo chocolate

91. Spam

92. Soft shell crab

93. Rose harissa

94. Catfish

95. Mole poblano

96. Bagel and lox

97. Lobster Thermidor

98. Polenta

99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee

100. Snake

WELLLLLL... that's not so bad.... I feel pretty good about that all things being considered. Go me.


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