Saturday, January 22, 2011

I'm proud of this one

This was my first time using yeast. I've always been intimidated by yeast, probably due to memories of my mom's orders not to make too much noise or run or jump while she was baking bread. "SHHH! The bread will fall! Don't disturb the bread!" I should have known she was over stressing.

I had a bit of a lull in my work situation in the fall and it drove me to attempt baking Challah.
It worked! I ate one all by myself in like 3 days (It made really good toast) and froze the other to reheat at a dinner party later. I just placed it in a warm oven for 20 minutes or so in foil and it was like fresh!

I went with the 4 strand braiding technique after consulting some very helpful people on
you tube. I used black sesame seeds because that was what I had. I don't like sesame seeds much so I was a little stingy with them, you see.

Here's the recipe I used.
I'm so glad I'm not afraid of yeast anymore.

I think I'm in love with baking pretty things.

This blog is now going to be about things I make too.

I threw a baby shower for my dear friend last weekend and got completely absorbed in making the cookies the day before.

I woke up, made sugar cookies, then braved a snow storm to find silver balls. I had to have them. Came back, and started decorating. I painted and piped cookies from noon until I had to go play a concert, then came back and painted more until 2am.

Look at these guys!

I loved every minute of it, although I could have used a massage after.

Ha ha, fun with a piping bag!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Citizen Advocacy of Ottawa is a United Way agency that matches people with disabilities in one-on-one relationships with volunteers from their community.  Check out their fundraiser event, Evening in the Maritimes, with an impressive sounding lobster dinner, live music and silent auction.  May 27th at the Hilton Lac Leamy.  I could sure go for a lobster right now. 

Monday, April 13, 2009

Three Cheers Cupcakes

I must tell you about my new friend Dee.  She and her friend Kristin have a cupcake business, Three Cheers Cupcakes.  I ate no fewer, and maybe a little more, than three of these divine creations Saturday night, when they were featured at La Petit Mort Gallery's Youth League and the Spies hosted event, Insta-bar by Bruno Souliere. 

I had my own cupcake making triumph last weekend at a baby shower I hosted.  I made mini cupcakes with butter icing and was quite proud of them, even though they were a little dry. But Dee's masterpieces were so moist and decadent, and so skillfully decorated and displayed, I was humbled.  I tried the Classic Chocolate and the German Chocolate with coconut pecan frosting (it's vegan!).  I also got to taste the Caliente (chocolate with spiciness)  and the simple yet glorious Snow White.  I think my favorite, though was Lucky Lemon with the lemon curd filling. 

Last night I actually dreamt about the Chai Latte cupcake that I've heard so much about.  So I had to let you know that Three Cheers Cupcakes are available at Xpresso Cafe, 179 George Street. Or you can order them directly for your next event.  

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Raw Sugar

I think the reason I haven't written any posts AT ALL lately is lack of inspiration, lack of cash, and also the wintertime desire for foods that are comfortable and familiar.  But today I was inspired by one of the new additions to Somerset St., Raw Sugar Cafe.  If you haven't had a chance to drop in yet, I suggest you do. 
Kris and I were at our favorite Pho place for dinner and went to Raw Sugar after for coffee and dessert.  I don't drink coffee, but I do drink chai lattes!  And the lovely lady at Raw Sugar, with great care and real loose tea, makes the best one in town.  She also has an amazing knack for finding beautiful vintage kitchen sets.
We had a vegan peanut butter square chosen by Kris and it was so deliciously crispy and chewy, I ate my anti-vegan words.  

P.S.  I hear they may have beer.  Also, cutest bathrooms EVER.
Check out their facebook page for upcoming events.

Friday, October 17, 2008


What?  I have a blog?  Oops, I forgot.  

It's such a pleasure to give a new restaurant a good review.  There is a new Korean restaurant on Somerset and I'm pleased to report that I like it!  I visited Koreana for lunch with my friend Sara.  On the corner of Somerset and Arthur, Koreana is a beautiful old space with high ceilings and exposed brick walls.    

We were warmly welcomed by the very sweet, attentive and rather inexperienced staff and ordered from the lunch menu, which is very reasonably priced.  I had the Bulgogi and Sara had something similar.  (Time to start carrying a note pad.)  We were brought a Korean pancake to start and then the 4 dishes of seaweed (my fave), Kimchi, the radish thing, and the bean sprout thing.  And miso soup.  They just kept bringing things!  Our table became full of unexpected deliciousness.  The Bulgogi was not super exciting, but very satisfying and fun.  And with the bill, a little plate of fresh fruit.  So lovely! 

 For 8 or 9 dollars, it was totally worth it and Sara and I are already planning our next trip. 

Monday, September 1, 2008

NYC Whoopee!

Finding places to eat in New York takes some planning. That's what I learned from our trip. There were times when we were tired and hungry and in the wrong area for food so we'd end up wandering aimlessly and desperately and settling for something disappointing. To me food is sacred and should always be enjoyed, especially while on vacation. So after a very depressing mazoh ball soup at Grand Central Station waiting for the train at 10pm, we resolved not to let that happen again.

As a food loving Jew, I had to make time for a pastrami on rye at one of New York's oldest and greatest delis, Katz's on East Houston. We stood in the shortest cutter line, as we were ordered to do. The cutter gave us a couple slices of the steaming hot, thickly cut meat before making the sandwich. Oh my god... Katz's is a must do. I didn't even care that for a sandwich and a root beer the bill was 20 dollars. Oy, it was worth it.

Sunday was our best food day by far. It was Kris' birthday and I made reservations for brunch at Five Points, a restaurant recommended to us by the owner's father who we met at the Charlottetown farmers market a week beforehand. It's a very popular place for Sunday brunch and it was buzzing. We were seated at the back under a huge skylight and in front of some very beautiful bread. We started by ordering peach and raspberry birthday bellinis, then breakfast! I had eggs benedict with smoked salmon and Kris had something similar but with fennel sausage. They both were beautifully and simply presented. Mine with two poached eggs on one big flaky pastry, and Kris' each on their own homemade tea biscuit. The flavours were delicate, the textures were perfect. I LOVED it. Then, two desserts, the piggies that we are, a warm blueberry tart with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and a rich, but not too rich chocolate tart with creme fraiche on top. Oh boy oh boy. After that, we were ready to take on the city.

The next time hunger struck we were in Grenwich Village. A good place for us with record stores for Kris and lots of clothes for me. It was dinner time and there were lots of options. I had a feeling about this little tiny place I found called Hakata Tonton. We were welcomed by the calm interior, with nothing on the beige walls and red accents.  The bibimbap was carefully mixed at the table for us and the gyoza soup presented in a shallow cast iron pan with a wooden serving spoon that looked like it was from 400 AD.  There were flavours I'd never experienced before in this simple clear broth with sprigs of cilantro floating in it.  And for dessert, my personal favorite, spicy salmon had roll!  It was the hand roll of the gods.  The whole meal was magical.  It seemed like everything was too good. And it wasn't until I visited the washroom and read the New York Times article on the wall that I discovered the secret ingredient in everything on the menu was...guess what...PIG'S FEET!  No wonder we were the only white people there!  Suddenly all the menu items mentioning collogen made sense.  Collogen is abundant in pig's feet, apparently.  As we were leaving, the stunningly beautiful waitress opened the door for us and, in the street, offered us a candy from a pig pez dispenser.  She said that's just what they do at Hakata Tonton.  My new favorite restaurant.