Update: Spring & Summer 2013 To-Do List

Spring is drawing to a close and here is how my to-do list is progressing:

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

I really thought I was doing better with this list but the summer is still young! The next items I hope to cross of the list are everything involving strawberries and the ice cream maker.

Nu Bagel

A few weeks ago we were finally able to check out Nu Bagel in Kensington Market. We had intended on just picking up some bagels and headig home but the aroma of wood and the menu board had us trying two of their sandwiches.

IMG_3796Nu Bagel serves traditional Montreal style bagels in every style, baked fresh in a wood fire oven. I love how the bagels are haphazardly displayed in a jumbled mess from falling off the cooling rack. The entire restaurant smells like wood, ashes and fresh baked bread. It is extremely comforting and arouses feelings of nostalgia. There are also hints of onion, poppy seeds and sesame seeds in the air – adding a nutty, earthiness which makes everything even more woody and magical.

A half dozen bagels is $5.00 which considering how much a bag of Dempster’s bagels are at the grocery store, you are getting a bargain. I am already planning on buying more bagels from here for lazy weekend mornings in the backyard.IMG_3797GC ordered the BLT on a poppy seed bagel. Canadian smoked bacon, Boston lettuce, tomato and onion marmalade. GC said the sandwich was good but the marmalade was a little too messy. IMG_3799I stuck with a classic – lox and cream cheese on an everything bagel. The everything bagel is the king queen of bagel. Nuttiness from the sesame seeds, pepperiness from the poppy seeds, and a slight kick from the onion; all in perfect tandem with one another. This bagel was dense but soft, and served warm and toasted.

Lox and cream cheese is the perfect way to start a Sunday morning and this is a tasty example of it. Soft, velvety cream cheese, topped with layers of smoky, fleshy salmon with freshness and spice coming from red onion and capers. Every Sunday morning should start this way.

My only issue with Nu Bagel? The hours. When we went, they opened at 11 am every day except Mondays. What kind of bakery opens at 11? Now they open 10 am Tuesday-Friday and Sundays and 9 am on Saturdays. Still not great for a bakery but hippies don’t wake up early I guess.

I have never actually had a bagel in Montreal (maybe this August – suggestions?) despite having been there twice but these bagels are pretty good for Toronto! Toronto Life named their Bagelwich one of the best sandwiches in Toronto and I am planning on going back to try it (oh and all the other sandwiches on this list) – who’s with me?

Happy munching!