Category Archives: Food

Make This! Mini Cheesecake Bites

10th June 2019

Mini Cheesecake

If you have 10 minutes and an ice cube tray, you can make these delicious (and healthy) frozen vegan cheesecake bites that I learned from Moira of Feel Good Guru.

They are 0% dairy but 100% scrumptious and contain just 5 ingredients.

Perfect to bring to summer picnics or snack on at home… but don’t say I didn’t warn you because after you have one, you may not be able to stop!  

Ingredients (use organic when possible):

  • 1 cup cashews soaked overnight and drained
  • 1/8 cup of lemon juice
  • 4 tbsp of maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp coconut butter
  • your favourite berries

Preparation:

First puree your fruit in a blender and pour a thin layer into an ice cube tray. Then blend the rest of the ingredients and pour into the trays to create a second layer. Done! It’s as simple as that.

You can add popsicle sticks to make cheesecake pops. Freeze for at least half a day and enjoy!

 

Tea Time At Crown & Crumpet SF

9th January 2019

It’s ‘winter’ in the Bay Area and that means lots more rain and fog. But a cup of steaming tea + warm scones and a good gab fest with the girls can definitely brighten up the day!

Crown & Crumpet is located in a modern building wedged between authentic shops and salons in Japantown. From the glass exterior, it doesn’t much resemble an English Tea Stop but inside, florals and whimsical decorations adorn white walls and pastel pink bench seating.

Afternoon Tea is reasonably priced at $32 per person. You get a large pot of loose leaf tea, two freshly made little sandwiches, two warm savouries, one scone and crumpet with clotted cream, house-made lemon curd and jam, and five bite-sized sweets.


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BarNotes: Orange Cardamom Cold Brewed Coffee

22nd March 2018

Orange Cardamom Coffee

I had this coffee in Costa Rica and was addicted after the first sip! I was only able to find it at Tacobar Jaco so I started making my own. Rich in flavour (the cardamon is a warm spice), it’s got both the zest and the buzz! I think you will enjoy it too.

Ingredients:

  • Your favourite coffee blend
  • 1 orange
  • Ground cardamom or 3-5 crushed pods
  • Almond or soy milk
  • Ice cubes
  • Simple syrup or sugar or agave

Preparation:

If you want to get fancy, here’s the recipe for homemade cold brew. Otherwise, you can just use your favourite coffee.

 

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El Avion Restaurant & Bar in Costa Rica

10th March 2018

El Avion Restaurant

This scene may look like a plane landed in the middle of a rain forest but it’s actually El Avion. A restaurant that’s built into a US cargo aircraft with a cliff-side patio that spans two levels. It’s located on the main road in the beach town of Manuel Antonio.

El Avion Restaurant

The story is that this is the sister plane of the C-123 which was shot down during the scandalous Iran-Contra Affair in the 1980’s during the Regan Administration. (You can read the full back story here.)

El Avion sunset

I’ll have to say this is my favourite restaurant in Costa Rica! We ate here 6 times during our one month stay. The dining experience is truly unique — when can you grab a cold beer and just chill in the cockpit right?! But what I enjoyed the most was coming for an early dinner (around 5:30pm) and catching the sun set over the ocean.

Shrimp and rice

The food is tasty with a large menu featuring classic American fares like steaks and pastas as well as, traditional Costa Rican dishes. As a seafood lover, I recommend this grilled shrimp and rice plate or the yellowfin tuna salad. Vegetarians/vegans would appreciate the delicious black bean burger or veggie sandwich.

 

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BarNotes: Pitcher Perfect Sangrias

24th June 2017

Sangria Recipe

I’m not much of a wine drinker but when it comes to sangrias, they are my all time favourite summer libation. Refreshing and full of sweet and tart fruity goodness, I’ve perfected making this boozy bevy. Here’s my spin on the classic white sangria…


Ingredients:

  • 1 bottle of white Zinfandel
  • 1 cup of sparkling water (leave this out if you don’t like the fizz)
  • 2 cups of white grape juice
  • 2 cups of your favourite fruit (or use fruity ice cubes as per notes)
  • 8-10 mint leaves

Preparation:

First put your fruit and mint leaves in a pitcher and gently mash to release some of the flavour. Then add your wine and juice. Stir in the sparkling water just before you serve so it doesn’t go flat. Chill for 4+ hours before consuming.

 

Bartender Notes:

Instead of slicing up fruit, make fruity ice cubes instead and have your guest personalize their drink with their favourite flavours – it’s a more pretty and fun way to serve your sangrias! All you need to do is puree 5 or 6 different types of fruit (or herbs like mint or basil) in a blender with water and freeze them in ice cube trays overnight.

For sangrias with a Southern flare, slice fresh peaches and use rosé wine.

Want something exotic and Asian inspired? Pop in lychees, mangoes, passion fruit or colourful pieces of dragon fruit.

If you need to use a sweetner, try organic agave.

If you prefer more tart, substitute the white grape juice with lemonade or fresh wedges of lemons and limes.

Garnish with fresh sugar cane sticks. Cheers!

 

Food Porn Alert: #AdelaideEatsTO

5th June 2017

Adelaide Eats

Food courts in the Financial District will be abandoned for Adelaide Eats this summer. Perched on the second floor terrace of 150 York Street, this foodie market will be serving up cold drinks and mouth watering dishes by artisan chefs now until July 28, 2017.

So make a lunch date with your co-workers or grab dinner with friends because there is now a reason to linger around the financial core after office hours. Here are a few of our favourites…

Fish'd by EDO

Fish’d by EDO // TO’s original hand-crafted sushi burritos and Hawaiian poke bowls.

Toben Food

Toben Food by Design // fresh and local creations with flavours from around the globe.

Chimney Stax

Chimney Stax // of course the ‘cookie monster’ ice cream sundae caught my son’s eye!

 

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BarNotes: Spicy Tequila & Coconut Lemonade Cocktail

1st May 2017

Spicy Coconut Lemonade Cocktail

This refreshing cocktail takes a Mexican twist on the classic lemonade. It’s become my favourite bevy to serve because it combines tart + sweet with a spicy finish. Perfect to kick off Cinco de Mayo or warmer cottage weekends ahead! Cheers.

Ingredients:

– 3 oz Thirsty Buddha coconut water
– 3 oz lemonade (I like Kiju Juice or Santa Cruz – both organic brands)
– 1 oz Tequila
– 1 jalapeno, thinly sliced
– mint leaves
– sparkling water

Preparation:

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake shake shake! Then pour into serving glasses and top up with a splash of sparkling water. Garnish with additional jalapeno slices for extra zing.

 

How To Make Fermented Smoothie Bowls

7th April 2017

We recently attended Genuine Health’s #LoveHowYouFeel workshop hosted by yummy mummy nutritionist, Joy McCarthy. We learned all about how to keep our guts happy + healthy and made these smoothie bowls. Here are 2 recipes, one for a green bowl and one for berry lovers. Mmmm… like eating a rainbow!

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Coconut Crunch Green Bowl Ingredients:

  • 1 banana
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 1 apple
  • 1⁄2 avocado
  • handful of spinach
  • thumb size piece of ginger
  • 1 scoop fermented vegan proteins+ coconut flavour
  • 1 scoop vegan greens+ o natural
  • add almond or soy milk to desired consistency

DSC_8296

This bowl was Criselda’s delicious creation. She is the Editor’s Assistant of House & Home.

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Chicken Wings in 13 mins with the Philips Airfryer

30th March 2017

Pay Chen

BY GUEST BLOGGER, SHARI ARCHINOFF

I love fried food. Chicken fingers, French fries, chips, chicken wings – if it’s GBD (golden brown delicious) then I probably love it. Unfortunately for me, due to some stomach issues I had to completely cut all fried foods out of my diet. Fortunately for me, Philips has me covered!

A few weeks ago I was invited to attend an event for the NEW Philips Airfryer where I watched food writer and TV personality Pay Chen do a cooking demonstration. As a thank you for attending, Philips sent me my very own Airfryer and let me tell you – I am in love! The Airfryer uses what they call Turbostar technology to circulate hot air around the food, giving the effect of being fried without all the oil and grease.

Airfryer-1

For my first test drive with the Airfryer, I wanted to recreate the Roasted Asian Chicken Wings that Pay made. A cookbook was included with the machine and the wings recipe turned out to be super easy to follow. Just mix garlic with some cumin and ginger, season the wings, and pop them in the basket. Thirteen minutes later and boom! You have juicy, crispy chicken wings that are perfectly GBD – without any extra oil!

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Best Restaurants For Family Date Night

24th February 2017

Piano Kids Menu

Hubby and I go on 2 date nights per week. We love trying new restaurants and dinner is ‘our time’ to unplug, talk about our day and spend quality time together without having to fuss over food prep and cleanup. So when we had CJ we were determined to keep this tradition.

So parents, fear not… you can still have kids AND a fancy dinner!

Of course our restaurant choices now have to be a little more strategic. It’s not always a leisurely romantic experience but we’ve made it work by timing dinners (and lunches) to when CJ slept. Or bringing lots of toys (and fortune cookies) to keep him entertained.

Luckee Restaurant

We live in downtown Toronto so there is no shortage of great restaurants but here are our favourites spots for family date nights…

Note: not all of these places have high chairs or change tables but they all have friendly staff that do an excellent job accommodating children. They are stroller-friendly and have delicious kid’s menus (or at least, a wide variety of food that cater to fussy little palettes).

Piano Piano, the former Splendido offers a kid’s menu that adults would also want to order from! Chose 3 items and create your own Happy Tray (see above photo) for $12. A play area with a chalk board, games and costumes will keep little ones occupied while you enjoy that second glass of wine. $$$

The Drake Hotel hosts Highchair Hangouts (check their website for the next event). Special guest appearances, art + culture exhibits and even a toddler disco party makes this hipster eatery a hit for the whole fam. Parents also get to indulge in a prix fixe lunch for $18. $$

Pizza Libretto is the perfect spot for family date nights because what kid (and adult) doesn’t like pizza right?! During March Break they host a Pizza Camp for 2-10 year olds. $$

Luckee by Susur Lee is our go to place for dim sum. CJ loves sharing and sampling the little dishes – the bite size portions are perfect for tiny mouths! They have high chairs and the bathroom is big. $$$

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