Jan. 31, 2010

I'm growing in front of you! {Victor Restaurant & Bar}

Appetizer: Bread (fresh, warm, + fluffy) with house preserves (mildly tangy + sweet), organic olive oil and balsamic vinegar (so good!). The colour on the preserves photo looks weird but I'm too lazy to correct it. I should really just leave all food photog. to the dogre...
Mains: Berkshire Pork Chop (juicy, flavourful, and succulent) with confit potato (delicious), preserved lemon and rice "sauce" (delicious!), oregano and chickweed (similar to seaweed...I don't like seaweed but I likey chickweed!) I fell in love. The dogre had to listen to me gush during and post-meal. I miss it already (seriously, it's my current desktop wallpaper); Diamond Willow Organic Beef Strip Loin (had its moments but not as good as my chops!) with spinach pie (nice) and organic carrots and olive jus (dogre really liked).
Dessert: Flourless chocolate cake topped with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, and cherries (also really tasty, minus the cherries which were soaked in wine). For drinks, we had a mojito, long island iced tea, Irish coffee, and Baileys coffee (yum, yum, yum, yum).
Victor Restaurant & Bar. Nice ambiance, knowledgeable + friendly staff, and an emphasis on sustainability and high quality organic ingredients. On the left, butter cubes as previously mentioned. You can never have too much butter! (Meryl Streep as Julia Child was awesome!)

Jan. 30, 2010

What type are you?

Archer Hairline. Looks about right!  

Jan. 29, 2010

The Weekend Cometh! Daydreaming about lazy brunches.

Breakfast bruschetta with strawberries and tangy cream   (Noble Pig)
Really good. Really good! Crunchy, soft, sweet, tangy...Very quick and easy to make. I felt so gourmet and fancy pantsy! Alterations: easy on the basil—we personally find the flavour overwhelming; less vanilla extract (the smell bothers me).
Apple-cheddar-bagel snack (Everybody Likes Sandwiches)
Bland. I even doubled the honey and cheese the second time around but..."meh." Then again, this is coming from someone who put cubes of butter on her bread. But, really, we should blame the waiter—it wasn't softened and I hate when you try to spread hard butter. It rips the fluffiness up! What's that? I had a manic grin on my face as I gleefully slabbed the butter on? No, you're mistaking me for someone else! I'm just a dainty little lady...Next time I'm going to quadruple the cheese or substitute in Nutella. Think it'd work?
Or...I wouldn't mind eating one of these instead...

Jan. 27, 2010

There's a polite word for what you are!

A few weeks ago, the dogre noticed that all my car passenger rage was directed at senior drivers (they were driving recklessly). I'm not an ageist, I promise, and get riled up over poor drivers of all ages, despite the fact that I myself don't (can't) drive. On this particular night, they just all happened to be elderly: too fast, too slow, too reckless, too old (purely for rhyming purposes!). In any case, the point of this introduction was to discuss my favourite past time as the dogre's front-seat passenger: schwearing. See the ch there? Intentional. Let me explain. I took the crassness, vulgarity and unclassiness out of swearing by schwearing instead! Here's an example: the old lady cuts us off while switching lanes, just barely missing us, so I yell out "Mother tucker! YOU SUNABEEEECH!" Cute! I'm so adorable and fun, right? The dogre has got me hooked on schwearing and I really like getting a snort out of him. But I have to admit something to you...it's thrilling! I feel exhilarated when I schwear...As a kid, I used profanity in my diary and letters to my best friend without understanding what they even meant. As a teen, I never swore. At my current age, I'm terribly uncomfortable with profanity. Schwearing, apparently, is okay though. And here's another secret, when I was at Nathan Philips Square last month, ducking and avoiding the little people, an uncensored blooper popped in my head. To be exact, it was a "getthef***outtamyway!" Then again, I brain-spoke it in this high-pitched gremlin voice, similar to Cameron's when they accidentally locked Lily in the car on Modern Family and he charged at the car with a garbage can screaming  "I'M BREAKING THE WINDOOOOOW!" Blame the dogre.
By the by, I enjoy Woody Allen movies. Does this appall you? My mid-twenties friends despise all Allen movies. Kind of makes me feel left out. So I gently and lovingly tell myself it's really because I'm that much more mah-tour and cooler than them. Besides, I've only seen a handful of his films and am not some hardcore fan. All I'm saying is that of the few that I've seen, I was really into the awkward and mundane conversations, the banter, and the seductions. Okay? Is that okay with you, mr/ms movie critic fancy pants?
So...I was absent all of last week from posting. No particular reason, really. Just...life happened! Busy eating, watching stuff, spending time with friends and family, cutting and pasting for one of my courses. Any six year old would be better with the scissors—I'm so wobbly and messy. I like to blame it on a traumatic experience as a wee toddler, when some crazy neighbour kid attacked me with a pair of scissors and left me with stitches on my face. True story. Here's another story for you. A classmate who sat next to me yesterday had the most awful case of halitosis. I visibly flinched when she leaned in to ask me a question and assaulted my olfactory. I'm a fairly considerate person so for me to actually frown at her because I couldn't recover quickly enough to save her feelings just goes to show how smelly her breath was!
Sadly, not much cooking to brag about. Plenty of food porn, however, so stay tuned. Also? Not sure whether I want to return to the old schedule of designated days+post topics. I'm feeling very cluttered in the mind and noncommittal. Hey, hey, listen! It's not you, it's me. Don't cry. I just can't commit at this point in my life. I promise to come by at least a couple times a week. But, friend? I've got to go now. I have to stop typing because I'm two sentences away from my typical lengthy posts, yes? Not quite there though, yes? Right? Plus, the dogre thinks I'm in bed! Shh- Et voila. Aussi, comme ci comme ca, tootles!

Jan. 19, 2010

Tuesday Digs: Spruce up your casa - Free DIY Labels

While perusing around in my favourite shop in Paris, I picked up a few vintage labels for a friend. And, at five euros a piece, I don't have to tell you that the dogre was looking over my shoulder, watching my every move, every selection, and every price tag. I felt guilty but had not yet learned that you could find free printable labels online. If only...In any case, I spent the first night of discovery setting up an assembly line (for one), searching, printing, cutting, gluing (when applicable) and stacking. By the end of my shift, my back was in knots, eyes dry, and fingers sore. But it was worth it! Fancy cotton swab jar and wee his and hers cookie jars? Yes please! Envy not because you too can be super snazzy. Just click on over to eatdrinkchic.com (here and here) and get ready to become Martha Stewart's third cousin, twice removed.
On an unrelated note, I checked our mailbox today (which is rare) and was super excited to see a mysterious package addressed to me. Cue in wild imagination involving an acceptance letter for a masters program that I never applied to, a reward for a contest I never entered, or maybe a surprise Etsy gift from the dogre! Cue in boring reality: the cheque books he had ordered last week. It wasn't a complete disappointment though—I flipped open one book to find images of monarch butterflies and dewy leaves! The dogre went and personalized our cheques with cheesy butterflies and foliage! This is entirely apposite of the dogre. Pause. Did I say 'apposite'? Indeed I did. It was in my January 17th word of the day email, meaning "being of striking appropriateness and relevance". Wow, I'm just stimulating your brain with my funnies and education, right? Right! It does you a lot of good to come visit me here. So, I signed up for these emails hoping to increase my vocabulary but of the thirty or so words, I've only retained maybe four. I can't seem to remember them unless they're fun to say. Like, fatuous and flibbertiggibet. Hehe...flibbertiggibet. So silly. It's even funnier to hear it on Merriam-Webster. She's got such a thick news anchor voice!

I leave you with a few favourites from Stephen Colbert:
  Hey yogurt, if you're so cultured how come I never see you at the opera?
  Here's a brain teaser for you. Your brain is ugly. (this doesn't make any sense but it just makes me giggle!)

Jan. 17, 2010

Sunday Suppers: Sausage for one

Hmm, something about the post title makes me think there may be some dirty innuendo which I'll later regret...but never-you-mind—there's ketchup to be discussed!

Since a) the dogre is away at work and b) I haven't been obsessively lurking around the internet for food pornography, I "resorted" to my childhood comfort food of ketchup, sausage, rice, and a pile of kimchi. Now, just as much as devouring books and following Melrose Place, 90210, and Jerry Springer were my childhood staples, so too was ketchup. Ketchup, really, is my taste buds' best friend. Also, you'd think I'd be embarrassed to disclose what was on my tv roster during my elementary and junior high years but, I'm not. It shaped me into the wonderfully wholesome lady that I am today (hehe). Side note: I was seriously craving Korean food and because I lacked a) the ingredients and b) the skills to fulfill said cravings, my heart was brimming with love for the dogre's mom for providing the homemade kimchi.

I'm reluctant to admit that Sunday Suppers may fall apart and turn into Shoddy Sunday Suppers: A snapshot of what we threw together. But, since I'm cheating my tastebuds (not really, are you kidding me? partay in my mouth!) and my avid readers of a journey to discovering delectable dishes (yet another alliteration bitty, I'm on a roll!), I'll toss in a photo of my (first) banana bread. Adding a little pizazz for those of you who don't share my soft spot for ketchup-y sausages and pickled cabbage. Although, I surely hope there are none of those here on my blog because you could never ever be my friend then! Just get out of here. Now! Before I throw down! Joking- I wanted an excuse to use that..."throw down"... Heh, saying it excites me. I'LL THROW DOWN!
So, voila ici, banana bread with my friend Martha, adding 1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips and subtracting 1/2 tsp of vanilla. Seriously though, avid reader, where is my Kitchenaid stand mixer? Do you know how painful it was to cream the butter and sugar with my own measly arm power and a rice cooker ladle? Do you?! I don't suppose you do since you let me endure such pains. Guess what though: you lose, friend, you lose! Yeah, because I creamed that bowl of delicious wonder and successfully baked the loaf.

My mind wandered back to the magic that is called ketchup. I can't believe I never googled it until tonight (shame on me) and in case there are any other sinners out there, I want to encourage you to click here for all things red and delicious.

Okay, my friends on Wisteria Lane will soon beckon and I need to tidy up and air out the fermented cabbage stink before I settle in. Good day!

Here, some more food porn to last you through a gloomy Monday.
And this, which I accidentally created but it makes me feel super artsy and mysterious. I'll let you use it as your desktop wallpaper. I know you want to. Go ahead.

Jan. 13, 2010

Wednesday Loves: Blues, blues, and more blues (no, just two)

I like to visit Kensington Market because it makes me feel really hip and indie. I also go for the burritos. Here are a couple of purchases from the Blue Banana Market that make my eyes smile.
This little whale usually comes in a set of animal friends but I suppose a few broke, as they were selling him individually. He's a candle holder but in my casa, he loves to store my bobby pins. Absolutely loves it. He told me so just the other day! Said it was a much appreciated career change, never really saw himself as a mini candle holder anyhow. You're welcome Little Blue, you're welcome.
When my eyes spied this popping up here, there, everywhere on the internet, I thought to myself, "it's nice, but ugh, I'm way too cool and unique to have what all the other households have." Lies! As soon as we saw them at the Market, we bought one. We felt extremely fancy and posh, we did. So here it sits atop our Ikea Hemnes dresser, behind Little Blue.
I attended my first graphic design class yesterday and learned a few basic Photoshop tricks that will leave me with a slimmer waist, shoulders, and jawline in all future photos. Oh, and kissable lips. Thanks education!

Jan. 12, 2010

Tuesday Digs: A Condo Owner's Backyard

The place we're currently renting is so small that we've "extended" our storage space into our balcony (big blue bins). As unsightly as it is, we don't have to worry about any complaint since our building neighbour is a big, ugly commercial building. Our future home will be slightly, ever so slightly, larger so I'm daydreaming about actually decorating our concrete backyard! I perused the internet and decided that...
...wooden tiles will be a nice touch:
 {photo source: thedeckingoutlet.com}
...a hanging pot to nurture flowers or vegetables will make our eyes and hearts smile:
{photo source: apartmenttherapy.com}
...a romantic lantern will provide a lovely evening ambiance:
{photo source: thekitchn.com}
...candles would be great too:
{photo source: apartmenttherapy.com} 
...furniture to seat and serve many will be a must:
{photo source: odd's flickr photostream}
...but if something smaller came in a punch of colour, I wouldn't complain:
...and of course, a cute little garden gnome would be the perfect friend:
{photo source: apartmenttherapy.com}

Jan. 10, 2010

Sunday Suppers: Crunchy "Pork Chops"

Remember last week when I mentioned a struggle at the supermarket? Well it was worth it! On my pork chop hunt, after staring at the meat section for a good fifteen minutes noting variations of the name pork chop but no PORK CHOP (I told you I was new to this), I gave up and walked away with the freshest looking and tastiest sounding cut: pork rib eye steak. 
Tonight: Crunchy Pork Chops (Nigella Lawson) and Smokin' Red Roasted Potatoes (Cathy from the Noble Pig). After reading about Nigella's food pornography and seeing proof here, I was eager to try a dish of hers. She didn't let me down. I did expect stronger flavours from her but the chops still came out crispy with a nice mild flavour. As for the potatoes, I mistakenly thought the asterisks indicated optional ingredients. I was wrong. But, they were still hearty and buttery...and I do love me some butter! All in all, a long time in the kitchen but left very satiated.
As feared, my journey to becoming a cooking enthusiast and domestic superstar has lost a little steam. I don't know how people do this on a daily basis! All that energy and time spent ogling recipes and pictures, the planning, shopping, prepping, and cooking—I'm tired! On the other hand, my joy of baking hasn't plateaued. More on that next time. We're on a classic movies + baking marathon. Just finished up Annie Hall, which I loved, and now onto The Philadelphia Story, which I'm really not enjoying...
Hope you had a relaxing weekend!

Jan. 6, 2010

Wednesday Loves: I look awesome (Retro Panasonic Headphones)

Picture me wearing these headphones. Clearly, I look awesome, right? I can't help but feel like I'm better than you when I'm strolling down Bloor street with these on. You see me and I may look bored and mild but on the inside, I'm thinking "Teehee- yeah, these are mine, I'm hip, I'm cool!" And you're thinking "Woah, she must have a more refined and superior taste in music than me!" To tell you the truth, you're probably right...The real truth: I'm that goofy looking girl who looks a bit loopy and frazzled, listening to Christmas music even though it's June. But, I am feeling smug about one thing and it's that I've got warmer earsies than you! So, ha! (Unless you have a tuque or earmuffs on...in which case, stay out of this).
Kidding aside, the music really does sound better (in comparison to the white ipod ear-buds) and the price isn't too bad. I plan on furnishing our tiny balcony with little chairs and a round bistro table so that I can sit in the hot summer heat, wearing my oversized shades, feet up, book in lap, holding a glass of fancy fruity water, and listening to my music, leaving you in the dust of lameness. See ya!

Jan. 5, 2010

Tuesday Digs: Let's Talk Magic Boxes (a.k.a. refrigerators)

Since we live in such a small space, I'm constantly feeling the urge to purge and strive for a minimalistic look. So, you'd think I'd keep my fridge clean...but I don't—I present to you a diarrhea of photos, postcards, stamps, drawings, and the occasional recipe. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that my childhood Magic Box was bare of A+ report cards, affectionate cards from mum to child/child to mum, or proud artwork.
It might explain why I felt the need to put up my drawings of a prissy eggplant in pink glasses, prepubescent potato, headset wearing broccoli, bowl haircut carrot, chubby peach, blueberry bosom buddies, perplexed apple, and a snarky looking banana in a blue-green polo. I wonder what hidden gems a psychologist could drudge up about me, based on my selection of fruits + veggie characters. I suppose the fact that I drew this at the age of 25 already says a lot...
In any case, for someone whose favourite past-time is eating, talking about food, looking at food photos, recipes, and thinking about food, I'm pretty disrespectful towards the Magic Box. The inside is as messy as the outside. I should be ashamed of myself!
{image credit: Sub-Zero.com}
Our new home will have a standard stainless steel fridge but in my dream home, I'd have the Sub-Zero with the glass door. Although, considering the fact that our fridge alternates between empty and messy due to our erratic grocery shopping schedule, this may be a terrible idea. Seriously, we had Christmas dinner leftovers in there for nearly two weeks....And I knew after the first week that I had no intention of eating any of it! Maybe a chalkboard fridge instead. Would that be unhygienic? I often wonder.
{image credit: Design*Sponge
How about a Big Chill refrigerator! Look at the many awesome colour options they've got. Look!

{photo credit: bigchillfridge.com}
Who owns the house with the powder blue fridge in the last few pictures? I want it! If you're reading this post, fancy home owner, give it to me! Look at all that space! And the beautifully distressed coffee table, the adorably mismatched dining set, and natural light. GIMME! (Insert creepy Gollum eyes and rage here.)
All this Magic Box talk has made me hungry. Must scavenge. Luckily, the dogre cleaned it out last night. What remains after the exorcism of old leftovers is a mystery to be unfolded and I am the unfold-er to unfold such a mystery. Now. Good day.
 {photo credit: Vintage-kat}