Thursday, July 19, 2012

Speaking En Francais in Toronto: Part 7, The Hershey's Store

While I was in Toronto, it felt as though I hadn't taken my camera out nearly as much as I had hoped, but looking back now, it's amazing just how many photos I took while I was there. On one occasion I was able to capture a large portion of the Hershey's store at Niagara falls, and while not as amazing as M&M World in Las Vegas and it's 4 floors of fun, Hershey's had it's own goodies to offer the world.
The Reese's section of merchandise...
And the Jolly Rancher section of merchandise. To be honest, when I think Jolly Ranchers, Hershey's does not come to mind. What a pleasant surprise.
Mmm, I almost bought one of these to take home and make with our fire place here, but I knew I wouldn't have anywhere near enough space to fit a box like this in my suitcase. : )
I thought the giant peanut butter cups looked really good (and almost bought some for myself and my classmates back on campus), and the lady behind the counter was nice enough to let me take a picture of how they are made.
 
So cute! Man, if the icing didn't require so much blue food dye, I would be making these for every party/sports game I go to.
Wow, that is one very large peanut butter cup.
So long story short, don't go to the Hershey's store hungry. : )
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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Simple Blueberry Pancakes

Hey everyone! It's been a lot of fun these past few weeks visiting my old hangouts that I missed while I was away, and trying some new places that were suggested to me while I was gone. But this past Sunday morning, I was in the mood for some simple home style cooking. It's been a beautiful summer so far and everywhere I look there are even more beautiful fruits just waiting to be washed and eaten. So instead of making chocolate chip pancakes (even though they are just oh-so-good) I decided to make use of the fresh blueberries I had in the fridge and made blueberry pancakes.
When I was a child I used to use the pre-made pancake powder from a box. Boy, have times changed since discovering this easy recipe in my mother's old high school cookbook.

Griddle Cakes (Pancakes)
-1 cup all purpose flour
-1 cup milk (normally I'd use almond milk, but I ran out)
-1 egg
-2 tbsp melted butter
-2 tbsp sugar
-2 tsp baking powder
-1/4 tsp salt
*blueberries and chocolate chips are optional

First, wash and dry the blueberries so that they won't be wet when you add them to the batter. Whisk all the dry ingredients together. Then mix all the wet ingredients together. Then add the wet mixture into the dry mixture and use a hand mixer to combine well.
Once the batter has been made, pour about 1/4 cup of the mixture onto a hot, greased frying pan, and then scatter a handful of blueberries on top. When small bubbles start to form in the batter, carefully flip the pancake over, and fry until golden brown. Then serve with extra blueberries on top and either syrup or agave nectar.
The ingredients.
The batter. I prefer to put my batter into a liquid measuring cup like this because it makes it easier to pour into the frying pan.
And that's it. These pancakes were so good and a really nice change from my regular chocolate chip pancakes. Perhaps next time I should make apple cinnamon pancakes? : )
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Saturday, July 14, 2012

Eating Gelato at La Grotta

I love Winnipeg. I really do. Sure it isn't as big or as well known as other cities in Canada like Vancouver, Edmonton, and of course Toronto, but I feel that as far as places to eat go, Winnipeg can definitely hold its own. Why? Because it feels like everyday I find yet another amazing eatery just around the corner that provides delicious and home made food to the people of Winnipeg.
Recently when I got together with a friend, I discovered a place called La Grotta on Taylor Avenue, and could not believe how I had never heard of this place in all my years of living here.
La Grotta is an Mediterranean Market owned by an Italian family and has pretty much anything you could ask for. Inside are shelves and aisles full of authentic Mediterranean ingredients, a produce section, a bakery complete with cakes and treats you can buy by the slice, there's even a hot food section and seating area that feels a lot similar to what you would find in a food court.
There were a lot of pastas and sides for me to choose from, but in the end I settled on getting a plate of cheesy vegetarian pasta for $7.00.
Then when dinner was done, my friend and I moved over to my new favourite section of the market. The gelato counter. There were 24 different flavours for us to choose from (and my friend says that they sometimes change), so we decided to both get two scoops each of different flavours and then share them.
On the left is hazelnut on the bottom and tiramisu on top (complete with lady finger!), and on the right is mango on the bottom and strawberry on top. Wow, the gelato was so delicious and creamy, and perfect for this hot weather we've been receiving lately.
The gelato was definitely my favourite part of the meal, and was a great price at only $3.00 for two scoops. But now I can't wait to go back and try their cakes!
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La Grotta Mediterranean Market on Urbanspoon
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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Ah Bi-Bim-Bap, I've Missed You!

As you may have guessed from the title, I didn't have a chance to eat bi-bim-bap even once while I was in Toronto, so I was missing it badly. So as soon as I had the chance, my mother and I made a trip to my favourite place to get bi-bim-bap here in Winnipeg, Sushi Hiroba.
I think what I love so much about the bi-bim-bap at Sushi Hiroba is the amount of vegetables they put inside. Heaping piles of white radish, carrot, spinach, mushrooms, and cucumbers that lie on top of a bed of rice and then covered with a fried egg and go-chu-jung sauce, come together to make a really delicious and healthy meal.
And then for the first time ever I got to see what a bento box looks like. My mom had always wanted to order one, so she did! Her decision was to go for the bulgogi box since she loved the bulgogi she had at Sushi Hiroba last time.
Because my mother is allergic to shellfish, she told them to leave the shrimp out. She was so surprised and happy to see that instead of shrimp, they gave her some fried gyoza.
My mom and I wasn't sure what this was, but I think it might be some kind of sea vegetable. She didn't like it when she tried it, so I just added it to my bi-bim-bap. More vegetables! : )
And here's the bulgogi and stir-fried vegetables that she loves so much. Just like last time, she said the meat was sweet and tender and oh so good.
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Sunday, July 8, 2012

Speaking en Francais in Toronto: Part 6, Le Select Bistro!

So definitely one of the coolest experiences I had while I was in Toronto was when my class and I went to a French restaurant. Not only was it amazing going to a restaurant where the restaurant was owned by French people, the servers spoke French, and we had to order everything in French, but the food was also soooo good. The meal I had at this place was by far the best I'd eaten my entire trip.
Here's a small look at the menu. As you can see, the descriptions were all in english (whew!), and there were also lots of vegetarian dishes to choose from.
The server brought out small bowls of butter and warm buns. They were great, and one of my classmates even said that she could have eaten just them for her meal.
The dish I ordered was the Saumon Roti au Quinoa. I am a salmon girl. Really, I love the stuff! And this was salmon just how I like it. Not smoked (I don't like the texture), not raw (my friends all tease me when we go out for sushi), but cooked all the way through and flakey. Forget the quinoa salad on the bottom, although that was delicious too, I hadn't had salmon since landing in Toronto, so this was just the thing I needed.
Another vegetarian dish that one of my classmates ordered was the Risotto Aux Asperges, and it looked amazing.
And yet another vegetarian dish that was ordered was the Fricassee De Champignons, and while not as pretty, it smelled really good.

Le Sélect Bistro on Urbanspoon
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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

My First Trip of the Summer to The St. Norbert Farmers' Market

Hi everyone! It is currently pouring outside, so what better time to reminisce about the beautiful weekend we had. On Saturday morning my mother and I woke up early in order to head on over to the St. Norbert Farmers' Market. I missed being able to go to the market while I was in Toronto, but now that I am back, I'm going to enjoy it as much as I can.
Contrary to what some folks may think, farmers' markets are not only about selling fruits and veggetables. It's also a place where people can sell their paintings, jewellery, baking, flowers and other plants, and other food like free range eggs and home made jams. Some times, there's even a tent that sells fudge!
During our trip to the market on Saturday, my mother and I ran into a large number of co-workers and childhood friends, so I wasn't able to capture as many pictures of all the wonderful things at the market as I could have. Oh well. Guess I'll just have to go again! : )
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