Sunday, December 30, 2007

More Toronto Highlights

We've been back home for a few days but with lots of laundry, shopping to replenish the larder and, most important, spending time with Boaz and his parents. How could we miss his first taste of snow - literally! Good thing Daddy captured it on film.

But before we get back into the regular routine (and the South Beach Diet regroup), I want to share some more of my Toronto highlights. Before we arrived everyone asked which restaurant we wanted to go to and, while there are many good restaurants, none really stood out as a "must".

For me it was a trip to St Lawrence Market during the week!....of course a stop at Kozlik's for some fantastic mustards (Lemon & Basil, Bewitching Balsamic, Herbed Rosemary and, my very favorite - Italian Mostarda. Joanna had already brought back my staples - Balsamic Figs & Dates, Horseradish, Lime & Honey - hope these last until someone comes to Halifax for a visit!)...

some New Zealand Honey from Oleg, the Honey Man. He still gives tastes and after about 15, Sharron said "enough". He then said "okay" and gave her some more to try. I finally decided on the smooth and mild Rata. Here's what's on the jar...."Anyone who has seen the Rata flowering in the Otira Gorge Westo of Christchurch cannot forget the sight of this brilliant red carpet covering the mountains. This area produces the purest Rata honey which is a very white colour and has a subtle distinctive flavour, considered by many to be the best of New Zealand Honeys". Of course the Honeyman said that about all of them.

And for the's hard to tell from this photo, but the bunches of basil are huge...think August, think those tall stalks of basil that come almost up to your knees with leaves that are brilliantly green - no brown spots, large and crisp and the scent....don't get me started...and all for $1.99! It's hard to find really fresh herbs in Halifax if you don't go to the market on Saturday or Pete's Frootique. And even then, $2 won't buy you very much!

And cheese...there are at least FOUR phenomenal cheese purveyors with such variety, it could make your head spin. It was suggested that I take some home, but frankly a three day car trip with "fragrant" cheeses didn't really appeal. I'll just whine and wait for the next trip to taste some.

There is one other very Toronto experience I miss living in Halifax...the local fruit and vegetable stores on just about every corner. On Yonge Street near our old home there are 5 fantastic ones within a five minute walk. I wanted to take some pictures but the weather didn't really allow.

And other important highlights...sleepovers with Sharron and dinner at Arlene's. Sharron made "Mush" for breakfast. It's a delicious dish one of her roommates found and they definitely have to come up with another name for it! When she asked me if I wanted some mush, my mind took me to Dicken's Oliver Twist in the orphanage.... not exactly on my "must have" list of things to eat anywhere.

Not Your Average Mush

....but this is what it really looks like and it tastes even better.

Another highlight...dinner at my cousin Arlene's. My photos all came out blurry, but the food was almost as good as the company!

Barefoot Contessa's Cream of Wild Mushroom Soup from Barefoot Contessa at Home

Photo from the LCBO magazine

LCBO's Food & Drink magazine, Holiday 2006 Spinach & Fennel Salad with Creamy Tarragon Dressing. She made it without the fennel or asparagus.

Baked Mashed Potatoes with Parmesan Cheese and Breadcrumbs from Giada's Family Dinners. Sorry, no photos anywhere, but they were tasty!

Nigella' s Brandied Chicken from Nigella Express (see what I mean about less than perfect photo?) I found the recipe here on The Sandwich Life along with a fantastic looking Potato Mushroom Gratin.) Another reason to buy the book!

Photo from the LCBO magazine

LCBO's Food & Drink magazine, Holiday 2006 Dulce de Leche Cream Puffs with Frangelico & Hazelnuts.

Is there any wonder that we've started our New Year's Resolution of back to healthy eating a little early?

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Cynthia said...

Thanks so much for the link to the Sandwich Life and I'm delighted to have found your blog! I'm going to enjoy reading.....and eating.....

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Wow, all that gorgeous food makes me salivate!

Have you ever tasted Australian leatherwood honey? It's ever so unique, wonderful and exquisite!

Cheers and Happy New Year 2008!


Ruth Daniels said...

Cynthia - right back at 'cha!

Rosa, I haven't tasted leatherwood honey, so I'll have to keep on the lookout for it.

Happy 2008 - may it be fruitful and sweet with just a touch of spice- enough to make it exciting, not painful!

Sara said...

Aaaah! That first picture is too cute! Also, the basil is making me cry long until summer?

Jerry said...

It sounds like you had a good time in TO. We try and get to the St Lawrence market every few weeks in the winter (i9n the summer we make the drive to Stratford). I really enjoy the mustards from Kolziks - my favourite is the one with balsamic vinegar - YUM!

Ruth Daniels said...

Sara - he is too delicious! and as for summer....BIG sigh - way too many sleeps to count!

Jerry, you're making me jealous!

giz said...

Now I feel entirely inspired to go to the St. Lawrence market and Kensington Market.

Bellini Valli said...

Thanks for the trip down memory lane and the market in TO. I miss all that wonderful food. The meals also look delicious as well!!!! I'll look forward to many more delicious recipes from your kitchen in 2008!!!!!and many more PPN's!!!