Category Archives: Cooking/Food

Eating Toronto

We didn’t know it ahead of time but our Toronto visit coincided with Summerlicious – a two week special promotion where participating restaurants have discounted, prix-fixe lunch and dinner menus. (not including drinks, gratuity, etc)

In other words–cheap eats!

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3 Canadian Bucks

Okay, not really that cheap, but I digress. We tried three Summerlicious restaurants…

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IMG_1237IMG_1247From our table, we had a close up view of Ganesha’s behind. This was not a good omen. The best parts of the meal were the very beginning (sun-dried tomato goat cheese stuffed whole wheat bread) and the end (strawberry kulfi in a chocolate cup).

 

Luma

Luma is located in the Tiff Bell Lightbox – where we saw the Queer Outlaw Exhibit. Dinner here was a very nice. I started with a fantastic soup–chilled cucumber and coconut soup (with Jonah crab, chili mint crème fraîche and toasted coconut).

My main dish was spiced roasted chicken supreme (with collard greens, birch-baked beans, cheddar biscuit and red-eye gravy). The chicken itself was great. Say no the the cheddar biscuit. NO. Everything else was okay…  I didn’t take a photo but I’ll try to paint a picture for you.  Imagine an empty plate. Now, put three or four tablespoons of Bush’s baked beans with chunks of maple flavored bacon on it. Toss a couple of pieces of wilted collard greens on top of it. The chicken goes on top of the greens and pour the pan drippins from the chicken on top.

For dessert: ontario stilton with niagara plum compote and spiced oat crumble. I have to give Luma props for including an after dinner treat that wasn’t sugar overload. How did I eat it? Take a forkful of the savory stilton (blue cheese) dip it in the tart plum compote and then roll it in the slightly sweetened crumble. I smile just thinking about it.

shore

The Shore Club was awesome.

Short Rib Agnolotti (Stilton, Shiitake Mushrooms, Leeks, Red Wine Jus) – this was basically rib dumplings filled with tasty goodness.  The grilled New York Striploin with sweet pepper chimichurri was tender and flavorful.  I originally turned down dessert (sigh, no sorbet or cake for me) and would have been fine with that. Our waiter showed up with a bowl full of berries for me–even though it wasn’t part of the Summerlicious menu.

Martina started with the grilled calamari and had the pan seared atlantic salmon with citrus passion fruit emulsion. Everything was good and we paid a 2nd visit to the Shore Club.

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Striploin

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Salmon

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grilled calamari

 

 

Also had good experience at two non-Summerlicious restaurants:

Chez Cora – which is an Ihop like restaurant chain. Think crepes and fresh fruit  instead of pancakes and sausage.

Yuzu No Hana – M was extremely pleased with the sushi here.

Souper Bowl 2014 – Butternut Squash Soup

After a recent trip to the grocery store…

Me: (unpacking groceries) Butternut Squash??
M: I know it wasn’t on the list, but I didn’t like the way the zucchini looked.
Me: Okay, but what are we going to do with this?
M: You’ll think of something.

After scouring several recipes online, I settled on soup. Wolfgang Puck’s Roasted Butternut Squash Soup. He made it look easy.

However, there were some challenges. I don’t have an immersion blender and scrapping the (hot) roasted squash out of it’s skin didn’t appeal to me. I ended up using most of Puck’s ingredients with techniques cribbed from other recipes.

Pre-Game – gathering of the key players. There’s no cardamom here–and that’s the ginger trying to attract attention by separating from the group.

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1st quarter – learning how to peel/seed the squash – This “peels” picture is early on; it’s much messier than it looks on youtube!

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2nd quarter – I depart from WP’s method by cutting up the squash and other veggies to roast them together.

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Halftime Show – Pot Roast and the Sensational Seasonings danced and sang their way into the crock pot. They made a 2nd appearance at dinner.

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3rd quarter – The Food Processor justifies it’s place in our kitchen! Puree-fy my love.

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I added rosemary and a cinnamon stick to the cream.

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4th quarter – Touchdown! Butternut Squash Soup topped with toasted pine nuts!

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*It was good. Sweet, but good. In the video, WP adds honey–no need for that. Roasting the squash does the job of caramelizing/intensifying the natural sweetness.

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