Portuguese Egg Tarts

Portuguese egg tarts emerge from the oven!

Tonight was our first dragonboat social after the roster was finalized. Super exciting!! We all gathered at one of the other asscaps (assistant captains) house and ate. Ate. Ate. Oh, and there was black ops, and kung fu movies as well. 


Key Lime Pie


Key lime pie? Could use a kitchen torch's preciseness.
On our way to Craft Burger last week, my friends and I saw that two women across the street were handing out things to pedestrians who were passing by. Giveaways happen all the time downtown so this wasn’t intriguing. The van had a Corona label on it so perhaps it was free beer?!! Nope, free limes for your beer. That was a little let-down, until I realized I can make stuff with those limes! Jaywalking it is!


Chocolate Chip Cookies


Need there be such a post-it when one is baited with cookies?
Although I love baking, I’ve never baked chocolate chip cookies in my life. I know, blasphemous right? Don’t worry, I’ve finally righted my wrong.

Of course I’ve got about 5 recipes for this quintessential cookie already. Comparing all of them, I decided on the one I’ve got from Marty’s World Famous Cookbook. It seemed really interesting, what with the powdering of whole oats…mhm. Healthy component --> excuse for eating a couple more?


Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies


Piled cookies.

Fridays. Hands down my favourite day of the week (for now). No class. I can sleep in, YESSSS. Today was sort of a special day. A friend of a friend is doing a sort of Foodie Project for her Broadcast & Media program (cool eh?!) and I’m one of her interview subjects. Couldn’t decide what to bake so I put out some options. She and her project partner chose “Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies”. That’s good because I know how to bake those relatively well haha.

Potato Fritters


I was doing my readings for class when I looked at the clock, 2:30PM. About time for lunch. My mom had bought red potatoes specially for me since she knows they’re my preferred type. (YAY! thanks mom! haha) They’d been sitting there for a few days so I figured I should make use of them. 



Chocolate Sour Cream Cupcakes


Bitten cupcake. More like "carefully" engulfed.

Sour cream. Never knew it was such a versatile ingredient, but it seems to be. So cupcakes with sour cream doesn’t sound as odd to me anymore. 

Well, anything with chocolate in it can’t taste bad. (Although, I’ve failed before, waaahh).



Rainbow Roll and Unagi Roll (wild guess.)
What? Nikada Sushi Robata for AYCE sushi dinner (Jess’ birthday dinner!)
Where? 1883 McNicoll ave (43 Kennedy bus, in Scarborough)
Price? $20.99 for AYCE dinner
The skinny: Think AYCE (all-you-can-eat) sushi. Open kitchen. Now add onto that a decent variety (during dinner) including some of the more “unique” rolls. The name changed from “Mikado” (think north of Yonge/Dundas as well) and the food has improved as well.


Craft Burger


Simple, but unique logo.
What? Craft Burger for dinner (post-workout)
Where? 830 Yonge st (30 sec from Bloor station.)
Price? $5.95 - $12.20 (burger vs. burger combo)
The skinny: I’ve heard good things about this place. The patties are hand-made from fresh (not frozen) Ontario AAA beef. It's topped some "Best Burgers in Toronto" lists so expectations are pretty high. There are currently three locations (Yonge st, King West and King East—the latter being the newest). Their menu is simple and straightforward. 


Lemon Pound Cake

Signature cracked top of any pound cake.
Had 4 egg yolks leftover from the meringue I made yesterday. Of course they have to be used! My first idea was pasta but then how often do you have 4 egg yolks at your disposal to use however which way you choose?! Lemon pound cake it is.

Classic Blueberry Crumb Cake


Narrow, tall slice of Blueberrry Crumb Cake.
I’d consider this a “semi-heavy” cake, because of the sour cream and butter. You do end up with a considerably larger cake than what you get from most conventional cake recipes (9½” round pan is the norm) so that’s good. Especially when your brother likes it.


Valentine's Lemon, Orange, Grapefruit Meringue Hearts


Awesome fake ribbon ftw!

(Please excuse the super long title...went for "descriptive")
As depressing as this may sound, this year was the first year that Valentine’s Day affected me. This day is when every guy is given the excuse to be super-mushy for the sake of “love” and girls can expect pretty cheesy manifestations of it. 



Unrolling un cinnabun.
Cinnamon is quite a versatile ingredient and it can add a nice touch to certain dishes. A certain franchise knows how to make a mean cinnamon roll. They’re (in)conveniently located in several subway stations (ie Sheppard-Yonge, which I used to pass by daily) so the lure of the cinnamon smell is intoxicating and almost overpowering. And then I remember the price. 


MMM. Oatmeal!


Oatmeal sprinkled with cinnamon.
I genuinely love oatmeal. There, I said it. That steamy, gooey morning porridge that most dread eating. A couple of additions will make oatmeal DELICIOUS. Here goes:

Apple Strudel Muffins


Apple Strudel Muffin

This is kinda sad. My parents brought home a muffin for my brother. I didn’t get one…neglect?! Not exactly since my brother’s got a lot of allergies. Instead of being bitter, I made my own muffins! Muahahahaha It saves money and I get 24 instead of 1!





Macaron time!

What? Pusateri’s for macarons
Where? 2901 Bayview ave (inside Bayview Village shopping centre, right outside Bayview station)
Price? $2-$15 (Think biscottis vs. prepared meals)

The skinny: Pusateri’s is an uber successful fine foods shop with 3 locations around Toronto. The most recently opened one is at Bayview Village (in my old neighbourhood). I was shocked to find on a visit back “home” that there’s valet parking. I shit you not. Valet. Parking. As you shop for artisan cheeses, fresh milk, and other obscure fancy-pants food items (I only say it in that way because I can’t afford it, unfortunately). Come here to indulge once in awhile, it’ll be worth it.


biff's bistro


Entrance. Inviting façade I must say.
What? Biff’s Bistro for Winterlicious lunch
Where? 4 Front St E (5 min walk from King Station)
Price? $20 (normally $20-$40 for lunch)
The skinny: Having already been to Jump, Oliver & Bonacini at Bayview, and Auberge du Pommier, I had high expectations for Biff’s Bistro, and it did not disappoint. The reservations were for 1:45pm so it’s no surprise that the service was great and the wait for food was short.

Future Bakery & Café


We came here around 9PM on a Wednesday night. BUSY!
What? Future Bakery & Café for dessert
Where? 483 Bloor St W (walking distance from Spadina station)
Price? $2-$10 (Around $6 for a slice of cake)
The skinny: This place is located in the University of Toronto vicinity so it’s no surprise that most of the people who frequent this bakery are students. Known for its European fare and relatively cheap eats, the original location on Queen st has expanded into a small chain including another location on Front st. 

Came here after dinner at Pangaea for more dessert. I used my credit card for the first time! (Course I’d use it on food haha).


Taro Apple Cinnamon Pancakes


Taro Apple Cinnamon Pancakes
After years of making pancakes without a recipe, I finally found one last year that is so easy, reliable, and delicious! Pancakes can really be personalized depending on your mood and cravings.

Feeling indulgent? BAM! Banana slices and chocolate chips!
Summertime? SUN! fresh berries!

Chinese New Year's Cake


Cracked Sticks of Chinese New Year's Cake

Happy (super belated) Chinese New Year! We all now how the Chinese LOVE to eat. No joke, where you find Chinese people, you will find a bustling plaza with an asian supermarket and a dozen restaurants. The new year symbolizes renewal, rebirth, and generally celebrating the year that has past and the one that is to come. Every dish traditionally eaten during these celebrations have a unique history.




the menu. Sorry that it's so blurry!!

What? Pangaea for Winterlicious dinner
Where? 1221 Bay Street (right outside Bay station)
Price? $35 (normally you’re looking at $60-$100)
The skinny: Popped up in 1996, this restaurant strives to reunite “international inspiration and regional ingredients” like its name “pangaea”. They are the recipient of a prestigious four Diamond Award. If you are a wine connoisseur, then take advantage of their sommelier.

The three of us (Mike, Phoenix, and I) decided to come here for Winterlicious since their dinner price ($35) is pretty reasonable. The meal overall was very pleasant and enjoyable. Unfortunately, I am only able to base my opinion on my Winterlicious experience, which can be deceiving.

Porchetta & Co.


The cute pig, too bad we're eating him! Eek. 

What? Porchetta & Co. for linner (or dunch? Haha either way, it was a 5PM meal)
Where? 825 Dundas St. W (Palmerston, take the 511 from Bathurst OR 505 from Dundas)
Price? $5 - $15 ($5.95 for the basic Porchetta burger, $0.75 extras)

The skinny: Opened just in the last week of this past December, Porchetta & Co. offers a very bare bones menu but the quality of their porchetta (mouth-wateringly savoury, fatty, boneless pork roast) is undeniable. 

The Dundas St W strip is just brimming with new eateries it’s remarkable. I’m thinking this is the new pork central with The Black Hoof and the recently closed Hoof Café (expect it’s reopening in April).

P.S. I know the logo in the photo's backwards, it was raining outside and I didn't want to kill my phone!

Harbord Bakery


Oatmeal Raisin. Prewrapped in a 3-pack.
What? Harbord Bakery for pastries
Where? 115 Harbord St. (The Annex, 510 Spadina streetcar to Harbord)
Price? $3-$17 (think $7 for a mini loaf of double rye bread)
The skinny: A neighbourhood favourite, this Jewish bakery has a long history dating from 1926. They’re known best for their Challah (no doubt) and their rye breads.

Brown Butter Sponge Cake Custard Pie


One of the food blogs I'm following momofukufor2 is so inspiring; the lady who writes this blog is amazing! The food she cooks, bakes, prepares are photographed so well that you can SEE how good it tastes. A particular recipe caught my eye so I had to try it. That’s how this stress-relieving session came about.

Various stages of the cinnamon toast crust.
The cinnamon toast. I realized I didn’t have white bread so I used twelve grain bread. Unfortunately, my springform pan is way too big for what the recipe calls for (think 4.5 inch versus 12 inch). This means more crumbs for the crust and for some reason I decided to toss in some frosted mini-wheats in there as well. 

Pumpkin Pie


As terrible and lazy as it seems, most of the things I bake or cook are out of convenience-sake. I’ll plan it out sometimes, buying any ingredients I lack but usually, I’ll get lazy and use whatever’s at hand.

That was definitely tonight’s case. My heavy cream was staring at me from my fridge door. Ok fine, I’ll use you (this came after my dad threatened to use it for his coffee. Uh no dad, this cream’s expensive). Time to make pumpkin pie!

Browning the butter.
Seeing as it was already late and I have a midterm tomorrow morning at 9AM, I decided to make the same crust as the Brown Butter Custard Pie, once again using twelve grain bread. The aroma of the browned butter, cinnamon, and bread cubes baking in the oven is the reason why I bake. Fresh and homey, I can’t get enough of it! (The only smell I might prefer over things baking in the oven is fresh laundry. But it’s a close race). 


Spinach Artichoke Dip & Caramelized Pear on Baguette


I made my first dip (of any kind) last night! It seems simple enough, and it really is, so long as you have a food processor. You can even use a blender, although that may prove to be a little more difficult than just a food processor. 

Wash spinach, fry until wilted in a bit of butter and minced garlic. Purée with sour cream and artichoke then voilà! Dip!

Halved pear.
Sliced baguette with butter.


aunties & uncles


Discreet storefront. They've fixed the door now.
What? Aunties & Uncles for breakfast
Where? 74 Lippincott Street (College & Bathurst—easily TTC accessible)
Price? $10-$15 (you’ll be satisfied for the day)
The skinny: For those who don’t eat breakfast, wake up early one morning (you’ll be greeted by a lineup if you sleep in), come down, and be converted. This place used to be an old 50s barbershop and the owner has wisely kept the décor. The service is warm and welcoming as is the food.




Patachou shopfront sign.
What? Patachou for brunch
Where? 1120 Yonge St. (5 mins walk from Rosedale station)
Price? $1.10 - $15 (macaron vs. full brunch)
The skinny: This place is a neighbourhood gem with regulars frequenting the cute café during the morning and lunchtime hours. The display cases and windows are stocked with mouthwatering desserts, sandwiches, and pastries. You’ll want to try everything so come prepared with a list in mind. 

petite THUET


petite thuet. Basket of pain au chocolat.
What? Petite Thuet for macarons  (gourmet food shop / bakery)
Where? 1162 Yonge St  (5 min walk from Rosedale station)
Price? $2-$85 (think pain au chocolat versus decadent cakes made to order)
The skinny: Petite Thuet currently holds 3 locations downtown and are the successful ventures of Chef Marc Thuet. They offer gourmet sandwiches, Paris style patisseries, and even do catering!