About Me

Monday, April 26, 2010

Ok, all you FOODIES! My trip to Toronto..

So the Quebecois tasting people called me and guess what?  They were completely booked up until the end of August.


Oh well, we'll see what happens, as that is the story of my life. Not in a sad way, as seriously...Alan ( my husband) and I tend to fall into " great" opportunities and we are always up for a fun adventure and never turn any down.

So we arrived at the Intercontinental. Beautiful Hotel, right next to the Four Seasons, in the HOLT Renfrew, million dollar mile of exquisite shopping, if you are a multi-millionaire. Sorry, plain ol' millionaire doesn't quite cut it anymore.

Needless to say, I didn't buy much, but got to " window shop" and pretend! lol 

Alan wanted to take me to this steak house that he and the boys went to a few week-ends back. I saw the bill on the credit card, and thought.." no thanks!" a place where the "boys" go and  costs a ton!? ugh. no.

But after  a bit of thought, I thought, what the heck! I don't HAVE to get the $75 steak on the menu.  ( which, by the way, is the JUST the steak, you have to pay for your selection of sides as well! LOL)

So off we go!

This is their website.
Harbour 60- Toronto

We walk in and thank goodness I dressed up a bit.  The place was fit for a King. Not Queen, but KING.  A high end business men's ( on an endless business expense account) type of place. $4000 bottle of  wine anyone? OH! and stick with the $75 steak. The Kobe Steak is in the hundreds!


I closed my menu and told Alan this was nuts...no thanks! I don't really NEED steak.

He proceeded to take my menu away from me and ordered for me..

1 dirty martini
 the shrimp cocktail the size of LOBSTERS!
The $75 steak. ( ugh! the size of a roast!)
Lobster and Brie mashed potatoes- Oh yes! that was all I really needed!
Green beans to say we had a vegetable. 

oh! and a bottle of wine. I can't quite remember what he ordered. Terrible and shame on me, I know!

Well it was great!  The Shrimp was HUGE. Had to take a picture. Ignore my ugly nails! I am a gardener now. The pretty ones had to go.

But the BEST part about this place?

The ladies bathroom!  ( you all know I am a bathroom girl!  Well...the toilet seats were heated, and look at the "options!" I had to try them all out! HA!)

Night #2, we decided we better keep it simple. So I get a text from Alan. A medical company that he is interested in buying surgical mesh for wants to take us to Canoe for dinner.

Ok, don't even get me started about CANOE! my all time, lifetime, FAVOURITE high end restaurant. I can't say enough about this place. Just GO! at least once in your lifetime.  This was our 4th time.  I hope we have plenty more!
Canoe- Toronto

We had our own private dining room.

54th floor Toronto Dominion Building
your view while the sunsets, yachts pass by and private jets land on the Island....and you are served 5 star out of this world food, along with service!

the only drawback? I had to watch the slide show of surgeries! ack!

Dinner and wine was great- as usual! Never an issue at Canoe.

Earlier that night, I was reading a magazine about a place called "Ki" It had great reviews for Japanese cuisine and a fun place to go for a drink on the town.  So when the guys I was with said we should head on over there- across the street..I couldn't turn down the opportunity.

We walk in- WOW! great place! Quite busy, but not packed, fun place for a drink. So champagne it was!

so there we were mingling in the crowd and I asked..." Is that guy over there another Surgeon with us tonight?"

Their response- "no, that is BEN JOHNSON!"


So he was just a couple feet away, with his friend..not much happening, so I introduced myself and asked him. Yup! that was him!  I told him how he has always been a hero to me, and had to get a picture!

We talked fashion, and chatted for awhile. Watched the SENS win in overtime. It was ALL good!


Sunday, April 11, 2010

A " Foodie" date night while in Toronto- a Little Quebecois!?

We are off to Toronto next week...I was searching for some fun things to do..

Well I came across this!

Sounds like something we would most definitly like! Cheese, wine, art!?  YES, YES, OUI!

looks like  a nice place!

A Taste of Quebec's Tasting SeriesCheese and wine a la Quebec

Experience the delicacies of Quebec "une bouchee a la fois" (one bite at a time) while surrounded by art from various of the province's prominent artists in one of the Distillery District's galleries. Fromager Thom Sokoloski and cheese and wine enthusiast Caroline Charest lead the way at each 90-minute tasting soiree , featuring fine cheese and wine pairings. Each tasting is limited to 20 persons



Learn about the practices and the ethics behind organic (biologique) milk production and how it is contributing to enhancing the subtleties of flavours in pasteurized and unpasteurized cheeses. You will be led through a tasting of organic cheeses from Quebec paired with organic wines.

AND look at their selection of cheeses, all for sale!

Maison affinage Maurice Dufour

- Migneron

- Ciel de Charlevoix

- Tomme d'Elle

- Secret de Maurice

Laiterie Charlevoix

- Vieux Charlevoix

- Fleurmier

- Fleurmier small

- 1608 6 month

- 1608 12 month

- Hercule 6 month

- Hercule 12 month

Fromagerie Chaput

- Métis

- Monterigie

- Filou

- Vacherin chaput

- Rose blanche

- Enchanteur

- Champagnole

- St-Maure Chaput

- Prestige

- Rondoudou

Fromagerie Domaine Féodal

- Cendré des prés

Fromagerie Tournevent

- Chèvre noir 2 years

Fromagerie de l'Île-aux-Grues

- Riopelle

- Mi-carême

- Tomme de la grosse île

Fromagerie Perron

- Cheddar 4 years

Abbaye St-Benoit

- Bleu Bénédictin

- Le Moutier

Fromagerie Fritz Kaiser

- Sœur Angèle

- Clos St-Ambroise

- Empereur

- Miranda fromagerie

- Raclette Fritz

- Douanier

Fromagerie FX Pichet

- Réserve de la Pérade

- Baluchon

- Cru Champlain

Fromagerie La Vache à Maillotte

- Allegretto

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter Brunch after all!

Leave it to  my husband...cooking away while I was blogging. Impromptu Brunch with whatever he could find in the kitchen.

My absolute favourite!  Eggs Benny with Italian proscuitto, and his home-made pototo latkes with creme fraiche !

Happy Easter from our sunny dining room!

ps. if you REALLY want to step the latkes up a notch able to plan ahead of time, add some caviar to the top! Or make mini ones as appetizers!  ohh laaa laaa!

Grillling Surf and Turf

First of all, buy the thickest, freshest, best form of beef you can find.  Filet Mignon, rib eye, strip loin  are always a good choice, but buy your meat from a Butcher. You have one life...don't skimp on bad steak that you need to marinate, season endlessly, etc. IF it is good meat, all it needs is a little salt and pepper. Don't poke it, hit it, rub it, NOTHING!  Leave it alone.  Don't mess with a good thing.

Add some nice lobster tails to the mix and enjoy a very simple, easy to grill week-day meal, that could also be served to guests out on your deck on the week-end....  ceasor salad ( my husbands recipe that he refuses to share- it is in his Will---but please don't shoot him for it!)  and a basic olive oil seasoned baked potato topped with garlic butter, shredded cheddar, minced onion, sour cream and bacon bit.

do this to your tails before grilling so they don't curl up. We used these skewers, soaked in water.

I like to add a bit of blue cheese on top of my steak...extra goodness!
Enjoy with a Meritage  full bodied Wine

( more details and steps in the COOKBOOK! to come!)

A dish that won't be featured in my cook book!

Because it was TOO labour intensive for the end result! An Osso Bucco Dish.

Ossobuco alla milanese (in English, often spelled 'osso buco', or as 'osso bucco' with two c's, noted by Merriam-Webster as an alternate spelling) is a dish from Milan, Italy, capital of Lombardy, of braised veal shanks. The veal is usually sprinkled with gremolata, a mix of parsley, garlic and lemon peel, and served with risotto alla milanese, a risotto enhanced with saffron threads. Lamb is sometimes used as a substitute due to dietary restrictions or the high cost of veal shanks, but this is often frowned upon by purists.

The shank is cut across the bone into slices about one inch thick, browned, and braised in white wine and herbs. Occasionally neck bones are used in place of the veal shank.

Ossobuco was formerly made without tomatoes (these being unknown in Milan until the late 19th century). The tomato-less version, in bianco is prepared with cinnamon, allspice, bay leaf and gremolata has by and large been replaced with the newer version which includes tomatoes, carrots, celery and onion, flavoured with a bouquet garni and without gremolata (although 'hybrid' versions exist which include both tomato and gremolata).

In the modern Italian version of this dish, ossobuco is often served with risotto alla milanese, one of the few cases where a grain and meat dish are served together. Other risotto rice side dishes may be used as well.

The shank is called osso buco in Italian (from Western Lombard oss bus classical orthography, òs büüs alternative orthography), lit. 'hole bone' (osso 'bone', buco 'hole'), because the bone marrow is part of the appeal of the dish.

It tasted pretty good, but took all day to make.  Just keeping it REAL! 

so no way! But it still deserved a picture after such effort! 

Beer Can Turkey- for Easter!?

Ok, so my big brunch plans for Easter went out the door, as I had a few extra things to do this week-end. However, we still had to celebrate Easter, as I have had my table all set for weeks now! ( I love setting my dining room table for occasions, and I have been collecting the most adorable Easter Dishes over the past few years.  Not to mention we are usually away for Easter- on Ski trips! Denver last year, and Salt Lake city the year before. But this year we were home and had no plans...soooo

So dinner it was. My parents joined us this year. 

My husband loves Turkey. He will eat it any chance he can get, so he asked for a turkey since we  have been invited for an Easter ham dinner at my in-laws.   I found a nice small one, and just assumed we would be roasting it.

BUT we had some really ridiculously warm weather for this time of year.  28C!  We bought a new Weber BBQ, and decided we needed to BBQ this bird!  So beer can Turkey it was.  My husband is good about making his own rubs ( will be in the cookbook) we keep them on hand at all times.  You need a BBQ, beer, for the bird and the cook!  garlic, onions, etc...and 3 hrs later our bird was PERFECT!  I made the potatoes ahead of time, ooey, gooey, cheesey , buttery, fattening mashed potatoes, maple syrup carrots, a goats cheese, mixed green salad with balsamic and slivered almonds.. My mother made the most fabulous light chiffon lemon cake with a chocolate crust.

It was a great evening. The wine paired well, the Vidal ice wine even came out!  Special night.  A wonderful easter evening...thank-you Mom and Dad!