Gastropost – Cheese

This week’s Gastropost featured cheese and I was asked to host the mission! They sent me an email on my birthday asking me to host the mission because they knew I was a huge cheese lover. It was a great way to start a birthday!

You can see the full pages here and here. My love of cheese found me at Chabichou on Borden Street. Chabichou is a cheese shop and cafe that makes cheese based items like grilled cheese and croque monsieurs. It is very French and cozy inside: wooden counters, pastries, bistro sets, and prints and photographs of the French countryside covering the walls. I went here years ago with GC for croque monsieurs and from what I can remember, they were delicious. I will have to go back to order a croque monsieur in my attempt to find the best one in the city. But my visit last week served one purpose, to buy a wedge of a new cheese.

How perfect was it that the day I decided to visit this little cheese shop they would be sampling cheese? They were sampling Oha and another type of cheddar. I tried the Oha and it was sharp, with a slightly nutty taste. After looking at the countless types of cheeses, I settled on two types of cheese: an Applewood Smoked Cheddar (which I have had before and is therefore still in my fridge) and Guinness Cheddar.

The Guinness Cheddar appealed to me because of its rich colour and marbling. I don’t love Guinness, but this past St. Patrick’s Day I came to terms with it and I can handle it now. I prefer Kilkenny because although a similar type of stout beer, it has a richer, more caramel flavour. This cheese didn’t really taste like Guinness. It had a very sharp, deep flavour, but it tasted aged rather than having beer in it. It was a good cheese and it would pair well with beer (obviously). If you are looking for a good cheese, check this cheese out. It is also available at the Maple Leaf Gardens Loblaws if that is more convenient for you to get to.

Happy munching!

Gastropost – Favourite Food

Last week’s Gastropost mission was your favourite food. If you have known me for 5 minutes you know my favourite food is cheese so it was an easy choice. You can see the newspaper pages here and here and my original post here or below.

I thought about all my favourite meals – pizza, lasagna, burritos, macaroni and cheese – and what they all had in common. CHEESE! And where better to celebrate cheese than at Maple Leaf Garden’s Loblaws’ Wall of Cheese?

Gastropost – Drink like a Movie Star

Last week’s Gastropost mission was Drink Like a Movie Star in honour of the Toronto International Film Festival. Specialty cocktails were featured in a two page spread which can be found here (page 1) and here (page 2).

I decided to make a beer cocktail, an idea given to me by my friend Cynthia. The post can be found here or below. I also submitted the two cocktails we had from Mildred’s Temple Pierce, but you’ve seen those before.

Raspberry Vodka Beer Cocktail – A beer that will turn any cocktail drinker into a beer drinker and a cocktail that will turn any beer drinker a cocktail drinker.

Recipe

1 cup of fresh raspberries
4 bottle of Corona, chilled
1 container frozen raspberry lemonade concentrate
1/2 cup good quality vodka
Garnish: lemon slices or raspberries

In a large container stir together together the first 4 ingredients. Serve over ice. Garnish with raspberries.

This is an easy recipe and it is delicious. I made this again this weekend up at the cottage. When we ran out, I made a version of this using Alexander Keith’s, orange juice, Sprite, vodka and raspberries. It was equally as delicious just slightly less sweet.

Give a beer cocktail a try – I have plans for a Strawberry Alexander Keith’s Cocktail in the near future.

Happy munching!

Gastropost – Tomatoes

This week’s mission for Gastropost was Tomatoes and it can be found here. My face was included but not my post. It can be found here or below.

Grilled cheese with homemade ketchup.

I was inspired to make my own ketchup by the opening scene from “Meet Me in St. Louis”:

Mrs. Anna Smith: Best ketchup we ever made, Katie.
Katie: Too sweet.
Mrs. Anna Smith: Mr Smith Likes it on the sweet side.
Katie: All men like it on the sweet side. Too sweet, Mrs. Smith.
Lon Smith Jr.: Hello. Too flat.
Katie: You can add spice, but you can’t take it out.

Delicious, sweet, with a hint of spice and easy to make. This recipe is from The Williams-Sonoma Comfort Food Cookbook and it is below the cut.

Happy munching!

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Gastropost: Team Basil vs Team Mint

This week’s Gastropost mission was Team Basil vs Team Mint and can be found here. Unfortunately, my submission wasn’t featured in the paper but the margarita pizza submission can be found here and the Watermelon Collins can be found here. I submitted the pizza first and then the Watermelon Collins late on Thursday so that wasn’t suprising that it didn’t end up in the post. No love lost. It just means my next submission needs to be even better. The next week is featuring tomatoes, another mission for my Italian household. I have a few ideas of what to do but any suggestions?

Check out the post below:

“I live with Italians so obviously our household is Team Basil. Nonna grows fresh basil in our small little back garden and its aroma is intoxicating as you walk into the backyard. On Monday night, our basil inspired us to make personal Margherita pizzas on the barbecue.”

Gastropost – Food on a Stick

Here is my first world problem of the day: they didn’t include my “food on a stick” in this week’s edition of Gastropost! It is understandable, and quite alright because there were a lot of other great submissions and they included my face as other Gastroposters who completed the mission but were not featured. You can find my post on the Gastropost website here or down below.

That inevitable moment when the marshmallow you have been carefully toasting for 15 minutes bursts into flames. My favourite food on a stick is roasted (or slightly charred) marshmallows.

This week’s mission is basil vs mint and since I live with an Italian I think it’s clear which one I am going to be featuring…

Happy munching!

Gastropost – Taco Take Over

This week’s challenge for Gastropost was Toronto’s Taco Take Over. I decided to do a little research into a new food truck that is starting, Gourmet Gringos, and find out what kind of tacos they will be serving up. The people at Gourmet Gringos were great, they gave me a photo of their Mahi Mahi fish taco and a description of all the deliciousness that it contains. You can check out my Gastropost page here and the the contains of the original post below.

Photo Credit: Suresh Doss – Spotlight Toronto

Instead of featuring a taco that I have had and so has everyone else, I decided to feature “The Taco I Can’t Wait to Eat” – the tacos from Gourmet Gringos. Gourmet Gringos is a new food truck that will be launching in the next couple weeks and is Toronto’s first Latin American inspired truck. The truck will feature a variety of tacos: mole braised short ribs, carnitas, cochinitas, braised shredded chicken, Argentinian steak and what I can’t wait for, the Mahi Mahi Fish Taco.

The Mahi Mahi Fish Taco uses fresh Mahi Mahi fillets marinated overnight, then battered in a seasoned beer batter and fried until crispy and golden brown. The fillets are served on a fresh corn tortilla topped with homemade coleslaw, guacamole and finished off with a chipotle aioli (as described by the chef behind Gourmet Gringos).

Umm, yes, please! Only two more weeks until this becomes a reality!

This week`s Gastropost challenge is pack your food… Anyone up for a picnic?

Pour House

Last week’s mission for the National Post’s Gastropost was patios. I love patios. They are my summer escape and I can be found on a patio from anywhere from April to October. Check out the article because my face is on a map and I thin kthat’s pretty great.

My favourite patio in Toronto is Pour House and here is what I had to say for the Post:

“My favourite patio in the city is the patio at the Pour House at Dupont and Davenport. It is the perfect blend of everything the Annex has to offer: a converted old Victorian style home, a crowd consisting of students, young professionals and hipsters and tree coverage to make you feel like you are in a forest.

The patio has two levels and it is the second level that is the most sought-after. A flight of stairs leads you to a rooftop patio that is the perfect escape from the city in the city, completely engulfing you in trees and sun. My preferred time to enjoy this patio is brunch on a Sunday morning – quiet, peaceful and equipped with a Caesar bar.”

What I didn’t include in the article is what we ate that day. GC had the Irish Fry.

And I ordered the Double Dare Donut Burger.

No, I did not need a double dare to order this burger. Yes, I ordered a side of breakfast sausage as if this meal wasn’t ridiculous enough. And no, this isn’t my first donut burger.

Best patio in the city.

Summer Memory – National Post

The National Post is doing a series this summer called Gastropost. Each week, they create a mission and foodies can participate by completing the mission and doing a write up about their food adventure. I was told about this when the program first started but I didn’t really get into it until this week. I submitted my first write up to the National Post and I’m in today’s paper! They only use a line or two from each person’s submission but the full post can be found online and, more importantly, I now have a National Post cartoon.

Next week’s assignment is all around the patio. If you have a patio suggestion or you want to come over for a BBQ, let me know and you can be the inspiration for my writing!

In case you are feeling lazy, I have included my post below.

When I was about 4 or 5 and we would go up to my grandparents’ cottage. The drive seemed to take hours and hours and it was forbidden to ask for food or drink along the way. In reality the drive took less than 2 hours and the family minivan was loaded with enough treats and snacks to quiet 4 children. After endless “Are we there yet’s,” we would wind down the long driveway, entering further and further into the wilderness. Surrounding the driveway were dozens of raspberry bushes, growing wild and crowding the edges of the driveway. These raspberries replaced meals, being tiny morsels of refreshing sweetness. At the cottage, raspberries were enjoyed in their purest form, picked fresh off the bush and popped instantly into your mouth.

There is nothing comparable to raspberries picked off the bush while being eaten alive by black flies. This is an experience I long for all winter and results in me purchasing at least 4 bushels of raspberries every time I visit the grocery store. This begins to be a problem and I find myself forcing raspberries into every dish. My latest tribute to my favourite fruit of summer is Raspberry Basil Popsicles. The popsicles have three ingredients: raspberry, basil and simple syrup. Fresh, grown up pairings with a hint of nostalgia – the perfect summer treat.