Eat

Poached Eggs

My very first time poaching eggs! I’ll admit they aren’t the prettiest but they didn’t completely fall apart in the water and somehow had a perfectly runny centre so I was happy! I used Martha Stewart’s  method for these, which doesn’t call for vinegar (something I’ve seen many other sites recommend) and pre-cracks the egg into a dish for easy transfer. I’d say the real key to poaching eggs based on my one time experience is having the correct temperature of water, Martha recommends having water that is just about to boil, and the swirling technique which is basically where you swirl the liquid before adding your egg. However the next time I decide to poach eggs, I think I’m going to skip the whole pre-cracking bit, maybe its just in my head but I feel like I ‘pour out’ my pre-cracked eggs too slowly!

Beignets and Samosas

Yesterday was Family Day in Ontario, Canada. What does Family Day really mean? Who knows. But any reason for another statutory holiday is alright in my books. What did my family do on this special occasion, a day of deep frying of course! Haha but really deep frying is a rare occurrence at my parents house, so this was an extra special treat.

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Theres nothing like the sweet fried taste of a perfect beignet. This batch was made with cafe du monde mix straight from New Orleans. This box was gifted from a family member during their visit this past Christmas and let me say I was definitely transported to my trip 2 years back to my days lounging outside Cafe du monde serenaded by jazz music. These were pretty simple to make just mix with water and roll out to 1/4″ thick. The only tip I would have is make sure your surface is well floured as the mixture will tend to stick.

A mere hour after these delicious beignets were out of the hot oil, my mother decided to make some fresh samosas.

If the oil’s still hot, why not

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Using puff pastry for that crispy, flakey crust the filling was basically made on the fly. Somehow the mixture of potatoes, onions, chilies and spices was nothing short of satisfyingly perfect. Again these were pretty simple to make, cut the puff pastry sheets into rectangular strips (ours were pre-cut as they were specialized for samosas) add approximately 1 tbsp of filling and fold.

Remember back in grade school when you would fold paper footballs in class? That is exactly how you want to fold these tasty treats. I’d recommend having a small cup of water to dip your finger into to seal the edges. Once deep fried, these are too die for. I kept sneaking back into the kitchen for another one these are just so good.

Poutine

One of the foods almost synonymous with Canada, poutine has become a staple craving in my books. Its funny because in my high school years I was never a big fan of poutine, so much so that I wouldn’t even be able to finish a small on my own. However somehow over the years the combination of fries, gravy and cheese curds make the mouth salivate at the very thought.

Being a vegetarian, it can get a little frustrating when your jonesing for some late night poutine only to find out there isn’t any vegetarian friendly gravy; however with the ever increasing number of vegetarians in the Toronto area this hasn’t been much of an issue recently.

Pictured is a vegetarian deluxe poutine from a university town I was at a while back (I realize my blog hiatus was much too long!) and features hot fries, delicious vegetarian gravy, cheese curds, caramelized onions, mushrooms and peas. Its only 11 am and I’ve already got my poutine craving. I feel the beginning of an obsession coming on…

BTW how do you all like the new layout? Of course theres still a spot for my little moustache man 😉

A Middle Eastern Lunch

Food Geek: A Middle Eastern Lunch

Went back home for the weekend which means another mini feast courtesy of moi!

Pictured is:
– kale chips
– tabouli
– falafel
– tabouli (without parsley)
– hummus, tzatziki and jalapeño
– carrots, tomato wedges and lemon

The kale chips were a tasty bit of added crunch to the meal and were a cinch to make! Just baked at 300 until they were nice and crunchy (about 10 min for this batch). I’ve always been a fan of making falafel, its so filling and has such a great flavour. Believe it or not this was my mom’s first time having falafel! Was she the biggest fan? Unknown; but then again she is kind of a picky eater. Tabouli isn’t usually something I’ll have a hankering for, but stuffed in a toasted pita with some falafel, roasted red pepper hummus and tzatziki and my stomach starts to growl!

Dinner at The Works

I’d heard about The Works for months now, a gourmet burger and fries joint with enough options to make your head spin! Finally went last weekend for a friends birthday and let me just say I can’t wait to go back! For a list of locations click here!

Here are some pictures of my meal, along with two of my companions who were sitting on either side of me. (Unfortunately I couldn’t get a picture of everyone’s meal!) We all chose a burger with a different side, and let me just say everything was devoured! The birthday girl ordered a poutine (which was huge!) and I was told it was equally delicious!

Whats nice about the works is the sheer amount of options. Ordering a burger is a subsequent series of steps, beginning with your choice of burger (veggie burger, grilled portabello, gourmet ground beef, chicken breast, turkey burger and if you’re feeling adventurous there is also an Elk burger!). Next is 2 FULL COLUMNS of burger options, broken down into categories for those who want a crowd favourite, the adventure seekers who want a strange combination, burgers with a lot of sauce, a spicy burger, a carnivorous burger, some specific vegetarian options (there are numerous options throughout each category…excluding the carnivorous one of course!) and lastly a world tour category with tastes such as jamaican jerk and teriyaki.

All the drinks we were served came in measuring cups!

I’ve heard their milkshakes were all to die for! So you better believe our entire  table ordered a round! I ordered a mocha- chocolate cherry milkshake (this is the kids size) to round out my ‘Not so Thin Lizzy‘ veggie burger on a whole wheat bun.

The ‘Not so Thin Lizzy‘ burger consists of crushed chipotle peppers, smokey bbq sauce & gouda cheese. I ordered a side of Spicy Die-cut chips. Let my just say that my mouth was on fire! The burger combination was listed under the spicy column, and spicy it sure was! That in combination with the spicy chips had me reaching for my water. Nonetheless the burger was delicious, and one that I would recommend. However a different side would probably be wise. My milkshake was also quite good. The color was almost that of a strawberry milkshake and although it was very sweet I liked the bit of a coffee aftertaste. I think this particular combination (yes you can mix milkshake flavours!) would have been better with just coffee instead of a mocha.

My friend J got the meal pictured above. Her milkshake was a special called the 2001 Shake Odyssey which consisted of caramel, peanut butter and oreo cookie crumbs. While her burger choice was a ‘First Date‘ veggie burger on a whole wheat bun with fresh cut fries. The ‘First Date‘ burger consists of  wild mushrooms, diced tomatoes, fresh garlic & brie cheese. J was actually the only one of us (pictured trio) that didn’t have any leftovers! C and I both brought back our sides…which were devoured later that night.

Lastly, pictured above is C’s order. She chose a peanut butter chocolate, raspberry milkshake, and let me point out that this is a delicious combination,  with a ‘Tiger Dunlop‘ Gourmet Ground Beef burger on a whole wheat bun with Sweet Potato strings. The ‘Tiger Dunlop‘ burger consisted of tomato, fresh red pepper, cucumber, shredded carrot & curry mayo.

If you have a The Works restaurant in your vicinity, or are visiting an area with one in the near future, I would HIGHLY suggest you go. Even if you aren’t up for trying adventurous food combinations there is still a simplistic burger with lettuce and burger with cheddar option (one of our dinner companions had the former, along with a plain vanilla milkshake). My mouth is watering just thinking about the meal!

Open-faced Flatbread with Dressings

Sometimes the best food combinations come out by accident. Made this meal one night after coming back from night class and just threw some things together. My roommates made fun of me for calling this a lazy meal; but hey what can I say, I guess i’m just not a KD girl. Honestly though, can’t even describe how good this combination is!

Toasted flatbread with ricotta cheese, cucumber, fried egg, honey mustard, ranch dressing and BBQ sauce. Added some mint for a garnish

Delicious.

Cold Spring Rolls

Food Geek: Cold Spring Rolls

An easy recipe that can double as an appetizer or a light dinner. These cold spring rolls were made with rice paper sheets, carrot, celery, cucumber, red pepper and thai basil. The key to cold spring rolls is giving them enough flavour and moisture so they don’t taste like a boring salad or raw vegetables. For these I layered the flavours with different sauces to make them more interesting. I used sweet Thai chili sauce, teriyaki sauce and a poppy-seed dressing. A great quick and easy summer treat