Pop Chart Lab

Pop Chart Lab is a graphic design company I stumbled across a few years ago and recently rediscovered while cleaning up my bookmarks. Their goal is to render all human experiences in chart form. I am a visual person so this is perfect for me. Below are an example of some of their food based charts which I am doing everything in my power to not buy because there is literally no wall space in my house.

Pie Charts - A Baker's Dozen The Splendiferous Array of Culinary Tools The Very Many Varieties of BeerA Delectable Kaleidoscope of Candy Bar The Various Varieties of Vegetables

Movie – Letters to Juliet

LettersTo-101310-0015A few weeks ago I was feeling in a romantic-comedy-movie night-type of mood and I decided to watch Letters to Juliet. The movie is nothing remarkable to comment on but the views of Italy and food are reason enough to watch this movie.

Gael García Bernal’s character is starting an Italian restaurant in New York City so on their pre-honeymoon he and Amanda Seyfried travel through Italy and visit Parmesan factories, wineries and learn to cook from local Nonna’s. This is Seyfried’s version of hell, this would be my ultimate honeymoon. The image above of Bernal making fresh pasta while drinking a glass of red wine is like porn to me.

This movie has caused Italy to move up on my unofficial “Places to Visit” list and has sparked an interest in all things Italian.

 

Meals in Minutes – Tomato Soup

Meals in Minutes: Tomato Soup. Image from the cookbook.

1. This soup is everything a tomato soup should be: warm, roasted, with hints of basil and completely rustic. The tomatoes taste as if they were freshly picked off the vine by Nonna. It is hearty, healthy and full of vegetables.

2. We paired this soup with grilled cheese made using caramelized onion cheddar. It was delicate, creamy and with perfect hints of onion. I opt for using flavoured cheeses when making the basic grilled cheese in lieu of adding other ingredients (have a mentioned that April is apparently grilled cheese month? More on that later).

3. Add a dollop of creme fraiche or sour cream if you don’t want to be quite as decadent. Any soup that I can add sour cream for I am totally game for.

4. I also recent made Potato Leek soup using the recipe found here. It turned out extremely green on account of using too much of the leafy bit of the leek. It was ok, but not great.  Next time I will have to bust out  my Julie Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking for the first time and try her version of it. It uses heavy cream so of course it’s going to be infinitely better.

Recipe is below the cut and happy munching!

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Spring/Summer 2013

IMG_3526Summer is fast approaching and I want to utilize as much fresh air, fresh produce and sun as I can. My friend Al over at Le Faz created a list of 25 Things to Do This Spring which inspired me to create my own list of food-related activities for spring and summer 2013.

1. Go to a strawberry patch and pick my own berries.
2. Make homemade strawberry jam.
3. Grow an herb garden including cilantro, basil, chives and green onion
4. Tour a brewery
5. Tour a winery
6. Try a new sangria recipe
7. Use the barbecue as a smoker
8. Cook breakfast on the barbecue
9. Finally use my ice cream maker
10. Make ice pops
11. Go on a picnic
12. Make homemade iced tea
13. Eat more salads – beans, green and fruit
14. Eat as much corn on the cob as possible in the month of August
15. Grill asparagus and wrap it in prosciutto
16. Sit on a patio at least once a week
17. Drink beers in the backyard sitting in Muskoka chairs
18. Visit farmer’s markets
19. Try gazpacho
20. Drink a cocktail decorated with an umbrella
21. Pick peaches
22. Decorate cupcakes with edible flowers like pansies
23. Make a vodka watermelon
24. Cook on a bonfire
25. Eat carnival foods: cotton candy, corn dogs and slushies

Milagro – Part II

Before Easter my sisters, order GC and I went for dinner at Milagro.

Milagro - IITop left, clockwise: Tacos Rosarito with sauteed shrimp, refritos, crema, aguacate and salsa rosarito.

Trio botanero: guacamole, refritos and pico de gallo.

Tacos la Perla with battered snapper, tropical slaw, and chile crema.

Panela Burrito with arroz, refritos, guacamole, chipotle-mayo, jalapeno and fresh cheese a la plancha.

As per usual, everything at Milagro was delicious. Highlights for me included the refried beans (both on their own and in tacos), the housemade tortilla chips, the shrimp in the rosarito taco, and the corn that came with the burrito.

Next time, I swear, I will order something other than fish tacos.

Happy munching!

 

Cupcake Cake Balls

Sometimes you need to celebrate birthdays on a smaller scale, a much smaller scale.

Cake Ball - CupcakeFor my friend Al’s 24th birthday I made cupcake shaped cake balls. Tiny bite-sized yums that are funny and whimsical. I forgot how much of a pain cake balls can be to make but for a good friend, you put in the effort. There are currently about 10 more cake balls sitting in my freezer waiting to be decorated – feel free to ask!

Happy birthday Al! I love you!

Pizza Del Arte

There is a little pizza place just around the corner from two of my sisters’ apartments (they live in neighbouring buildings = cute!) that is serving up thin crust Neapolitan style pizza. It is a tiny little place that doesn’t stand out from the busy traffic at the corner of Bathurst and St. Clair. There is no website and it recently has added a phone number to its menu which is most likely the owner’s cell phone number because it is scribbled on each menu in pen. If you didn’t know about it you probably wouldn’t notice it or even try it out. But now you know about it, please check it out!

IMG_3507A few weeks ago we had a family dinner in Toronto at Theresa’s apartment and bought two different types of pizza: Wild Funghi (above left) and Canadese (above right). The Wild Funghi had san marzano tomato sauce, oyster mushrooms, portobello, shitake mushrooms, mozzarella and gorgonzola cheese. The Canadese had san marzano tomato sauce, mozzarella, mushrooms (none on ours), pepperoni and maple wood smoked bacon.

I don’t know which one I liked more. The combination of mushrooms on the Wild Funghi pizza was meaty and earthy but also creamy from the interplay of two cheeses. The Canadese was meaty, smoky and deliciously fatty – all the things pizza should be. Life is hard when you have two delicious pizzas in front of you and you don’t know which one is better.

They have 17 different pizzas and I want to try them all and I think you should too! Swing by the restaurant or give them a call at 647-706-8706.

Happy munching!

Meals in Minutes – Chicken Pot Pie

Meals in Minutes: Chicken Pot Pie. Photo from cookbook.

1. Chicken pot pie is yums. I don’t think I need to say anything further to convenience to make or eat it.

2. I love the filling of this pot pie. It is buttery, creamy and is spiced perfectly with thyme. The only thing it is missing is peas or some other vegetable. I like pot pie to be filled with veggies like peas, carrots and celery to give it an even heartier weight in my stomach.

3. Pot pie should be topped with actual pie crust, not puff pastry. Puff pastry is used in order to make this a quick, week night meal. The puff pastry does not hold up as well and becomes very gummy rather than staying crispy. I have another recipe for chicken pot pie that does use real pie crust so I will have to give that a try. I want to be one of those people who always has ready made pie crust in their freezer. There is currently a ball of sugar cookie dough in my fridge so I am on my way to becoming one of those people.

Recipe is below the cut and happy munching!

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