Geraldine

Last Friday, Offner and I tried a fantastic new restaurant in Parkdale called Geraldine. We had walked by the place a few times during the last couple of months and it always seemed to be closed but we had loved the black and white floor tile that gave the place a very French bistro look.

Reservations for Geraldine were easy to make through their website. We got a beautiful table at the back of the restaurant close to their upright piano. The piano was beautifully lit with candles, which illuminated all the artwork at the back of the restaurant. I loved the way all the round tables were placed right by the wall, every couple sat almost next to each other instead of facing each other. It was very intimate and romantic. All of the tables were decorated with simple white cloths and adorned with lovely vintage silverware and antique dinnerware. All the plates were floral, some even had gold trim, which gave the restaurant a very classy look. The marble bar was extremely classy. I also loved their vintage fresh seafood display at the back of the bar. photo 1 (37)

All of the restaurant’s staff were dressed in prohibition era garments. The men all wore suspenders, high-waisted pants, short and slicked back hair. The men looked like they were straight out of an episode of Boardwalk Empire. It went perfectly with the big band, jazzy music they were playing and the overall look of the place.

Geraldine had a lovely drink menu called “Libations” all made by the restaurant’s Mr. Mooney. All of the drinks we had were interesting and unique and seemed to have quite a lot of thought put into them.

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The entire menu looked super tasty! Lot’s of French-inspired dishes. They also had a separate menu to order fresh seafood. Offner ordered the seared duck breast and I went for the lentil salad with mushroom and tapenade plus the cheese board. The portions were small but everything was cooked to perfection and perfectly seasoned. Though a little pricey, it was well worth it! We capped off our dinner with a little digestif and tea for myself!

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All in all, it was a beautiful and romantic experience. I definitely consider Geraldine one of my new favorite restaurants in Parkdale. We’ll definitely be back! Geraldine is also having a special until the end of the month, they are serving wine bottles at half the price on Tuesdays. So make a stop on Tuesday night January 28th to enjoy some great wine for cheap!

 

New England Cranberry Duff

Yesterday we did our first ever Thanksgiving (yes, we Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving a month earlier than our neighbours down south, never really understood why…) dinner at home. Offner and I spent tons of time in the kitchen preparing enough food for an entire army (we were only 6!). We had three services: the appetizers (cheese, sausage, cold cuts, vegetables, foie gras, salads, etc.), the mains (chicken, roasted vegetables, Quenelles, quiche, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, etc.) and the desserts (fresh fruit, homemade apple pie and homemade New England Cranberry Duff). It was heavenly!

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I spent lot’s of time in the kitchen as a kid helping my mom make desserts for any kind of celebration or party she’d throw. Since I moved out almost eight years ago, I haven’t made too much dessert. Yesterday’s dinner was the perfect occasion to whip out my old dessert making skills and make a perfect fall creation. I usually always either invent recipes or add my own personal twist on recipes I already know but this time, I tried an all new recipe that I found on Martha Stewart’s website.

Last week I received cranberries with my Fresh City Farms basket so I wanted to make something with them. I found this New England Cranberry Duff cake that looked amazing on her site. It was an absolute hit! Not only does it not require many ingredients, it’s also super easy and quick to make. I decided to double to recipe to make the cake thicker. Not only is it great as a dessert but it’s also perfect for a snack or even breakfast!

Here’s the recipe taken directly from Martha’s website:

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, (1 stick), softened
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1/3 cup pecans, toasted, coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 cup plus 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

DIRECTIONS

  1. STEP 1

    Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter bottom and halfway up sides of an 8-inch square glass baking dish using 2 tablespoons butter. Spread cranberries evenly over bottom of dish. Sprinkle pecans on top, then sprinkle with 1/3 cup sugar; set aside.

  2. STEP 2

    Melt remaining 6 tablespoons butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat; set aside. Put egg and the remaining 1/2 cup sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until pale and thick, about 1 minute. Reduce speed to medium-low; gradually beat in flour, and then salt. Pour in melted butter in a slow, steady stream, beating until smooth.

  3. STEP 3

    Slowly pour batter into pan to cover cranberries. Bake until golden brown and a cake tester inserted in center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack 10 minutes. Run a knife around edge to loosen, and invert to unmold onto a serving platter. Serve warm or at room temperature.

So happy with how it turned out! Yummy!! 🙂

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Cibo Wine Bar

Last Friday, thanks to a twitter recommendation from Chic Darling. Offner and I tried out the new Cibo Wine Bar that opened up just over two months ago on the corner at King and Brant Street in Toronto. We were looking for some good food to enjoy after a long week at work.

Reservations were super easy through Open Table online. Even if we reserved the afternoon of, there were still some spots available.

Right when we walked in, I noticed that the place had completely transformed from the trashy club that it used to be. The big wall of wine bottles, the dim lighting and the wooden walls gave it a very homey and nice atmosphere. I liked that you could see the kitchen from the dining room, the wood oven and also where all the in-house pasta are made.

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As expected, the wine bar had a pretty big selection of wines. We let our waiter recommend us a wine, something we rarely do but figured it’d be the place to do it. To our surprise, the wine he recommended from Napa Valley was delicious! Though a little pricey for the bottle in our opinion ($65), it was worth it in the end.

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The menu was pretty extensive. They had a variety of Italian food – a full pizza list, pasta that was made in-house, others that that weren’t, a list of salads, soups, fish and also some cheese and charcuterie boards.

We opted for an appetizer each: I took the cheese platter and Offner, the fried calamari. Though his calamari was good it was a little undercooked and too chewy for his liking. I was really excited to try their cheese board as it was recommended to me. The presentation was nice and the portions were good for the price ($17). That being said, the cheese itself wasn’t very original – they served Brie and a form of Mozzarella, basically cheeses that are not only easy to find, but unoriginal. The rest of the cheese was a little better/tastier but being a big cheese connaisseur, sadly I was disappointed with their overall selection.

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For our main course, Offner ordered some shrimp pasta made in-house, which he really enjoyed and myself, the endives salad, which was tasty and reasonably priced. Though the dessert menu looked very appetizing (hello Nutella pizza!!), we were too stuffed to order any.

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The one thing that really stood out and gave the restaurant an edge was what I noticed on my waiter’s feet…

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Yup! Some good ol’ chucks! I think having all the waiters wear chucks gave them a cool laid-back vibe.

Overall, a good experience at Cibo Wine Bar. I think they could improve their cheese selection (Terroni in my opinion still offers a better selection of cheese for the same type of Italian cheese board) and perfect some of their dishes a little more but all in all, we had a pleasant time. The restaurant now also serves brunch on the weekends, something I’d be curious of trying out some time!

 

This Week’s Pottage

A new week means a new pottage… at least that’s what it’s meant since we’ve been getting our Fresh City Farms baskets. This week’s pottage is my best one yet (that’s a good thing I guess since I’ve only ever made two 😛 Improvement is good!).

For this week’s pottage I used cabbage, green onions, cauliflower and beets. I never really measure anything when making pottage, I just eyeball it.

I let all the veggies boil in water for 20mins or so. I also added a cube of organic vegetable broth to add a bit of flavor as well as salt and pepper.

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Once everything has boiled, I blend everything up using my hand mixer. I also add a bit of almond milk, dijon mustard and my secret ingredient: maple syrup! Yup! Plus it’s from my family’s sugar shack, so there’s nothing better 🙂 I find that the maple syrup cuts the bitterness and the milk and dijon make the pottage more of a velvety texture.

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Et voilà! Bon appétit!

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Fall Pumpkin

Last week, two small pumpkins came in our Fresh City Farms bag and just like the concord grapes, I had never cooked anything with pumpkins before. Growing up, I saw my mom make pumpkin pie but had never really been interested in making anything with pumpkin because it always looked so complicated.

After looking at a few different recipes (thank god for Martha Stewart sometimes!), I got inspired to make my own pumpkin dishes.

The first recipe I made was a pumpkin, roasted garlic, beemster cheese, concord grape, tomato, avocado and cantaloupe salad. It really took no time to make. The only kind of preparation it took, was cutting up the pumpkin in small cubes and placing them on a cookie sheet. I drizzled a bit of cumin, maple syrup, olive oil and salt and pepper on them. I also added a few fresh garlic cloves on the cookie sheet to bake with the pumpkin. I cooked the pumpkin in the oven for 40mins at 350F, I kept adding water throughout so that the pumpkin didn’t dry up. When it got nice and mushy, I took it out of the oven and peeled off the skin.

For the dressing, I just mixed freshly squeezed lemon juice, olive oil and dijon mustard. Contrary to what I was expecting, the pumpkin tasted really soft and sweet. It was delish!

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For the second pumpkin recipe, I made a pumpkin and tofu stir-fry with the left over pumpkin I cooked for the salad. I pan fried cubes of tofu, added pineapple pieces, garlic, pumpkin cubes as well as sweet and sour sauce. I cooked everything in the pan until nicely roasted and then placed it on a bed of fresh kale. I was also surprised by how amazing it tasted!

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With the leftover seeds I had from the pumpkin, I put them on a cookie sheet, drizzled a bit of olive oil on them and spices and baked them in the oven at 350F for 15-20mins. They were the perfect lunch snack for the next day!!

There you have it! Some quick and easy pumpkin recipes. What have you made with pumpkin this fall?

 

Concord Grape Spread

Last week we received our first Fresh City Farms local fruit and veggie bag. I challenged myself to use every single item they gave us, even if the bag contained some items I had never cooked with before.

One of these items was Concorde Grapes. I opted to try a grape spread to serve with cheese as an appetizer on the weekend. It’s super easy to make!

All you need is a big handful of grapes, rosemary, olive oil, sugar and salt.

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Rinse the grapes and then place them on a baking sheet. Drizzle 2 teaspoon of olive oil over the grapes. Add a pinch of sea salt and 1 teaspoon of rosemary on the grapes. Also add 1/2 a teaspoon of sugar over the grapes to cut the bitterness.

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Place grapes in the oven and cook at 400F for 15-20 minutes or until grapes burst. Once they’ve cooled off you can place them in a bowl.

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I opted to serve the grape spread with blue cheese on whole wheat toast but they can be served with burrata cheese, compté or any type of cheese you like. The strong taste of blue cheese fit perfectly with the sweetness of the grapes! It was a succulant appetizer to kick off a Saturday night meal. Hope you’ll enjoy 🙂

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Promo Day #DailyOutfit

Happy Friday everyone!

Since my cleanse last week, I’ve been staying as healthy as possible, making most meals myself and eating lot’s of fruits and veggies every day. Last night, I made a pretty great salad with apples, almonds, blue benedictin cheese, beets, avocado, cucumber, fresh mint and homemade dressing (olive oil, red grape vinegar, maple syrup, salt and pepper). It was absolutely delicious! Nothing more refreshing than a light salad in the evening!

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I’ve been spending my Friday in meetings and shooting new promos for season 2 of BRBR. For the promos, I decided to wear the lovely new dress that Offner surprised me with earlier in the week. I’ve never owned any French Connection items, so I’m thrilled to finally have one of their lovely dresses in my closet. I’m not gonna lie, he has pretty amazing taste for a man. I’m a very lucky woman!

I’m off to Ottawa for 24hrs and then back for a few days before I leave for some more festival coverage in Northern Quebec. Looking forward to a nice dinner and brunch with friends on the weekend. What are your plans?

Wishing you all a great weekend! xo

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French Connection Flower Lace Dress (similar one here)

Lionette HARLEM necklace (get it here)

Biko black chainmaille bracelet (get it here)

Bing Bang Wanderlust cuff (get it here)

Lionette Joplin bracelet (similar one here)

Lace-Up Platform Boots (similar ones here)

Pilot Day 2 #DailyOutfit

Happy Thursday! What a crazy day of shooting it was yesterday! I was completely exhausted after work so I headed to my favorite place for comfort food in the city – when I say comfort food, I don’t mean burgers and fries, I mean a good cheese platter 😉 Terroni has a great and affordable cheese platter with little jams and homemade croutons. I love combining that with their Giuggiolosa salad and a good glass of red wine, the perfect way to end the day!

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Yesterday, the lovely ladies of Uranium in Montreal sent me some goodies from their new fall collection so it was only fitting that I wore some of them for our pilot shoot today. Love love my new “Tripple Thick Ring” and my “Glazing” necklace. The items will be available for purchase on their website very soon! Thanks to Lynne Ryan for the lovely makeup today, she’s the sweetest!

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Uranium White Stripes tee (from the upcoming Fall 2013 collection)

Uranium Glazing necklace (from the upcoming Fall 2013 collection)

Uranium Tripple Thick Ring (from the upcoming Fall 2013 collection)

Zara Batik Mini Skirt (get it here)

Lionette Joplin bracelet (similar one here)

Biko black chainmaille bracelet (get it here)

Forever 21 spiked and rhinestoned bracelet (get it here)

Zara fabric wedge ankle boots (get them here)

 

Punch Of Red #DailyOutfit

Happy Monday!

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend! I spent a rare weekend in Toronto and it was a gorgeous one! Nothing quite like going for brunch on the weekend. I discovered a new spot in Little Portugal called Bivy, owned by a lovely French man. I had a great tartiflette quiche and a yummy homemade almond croissant. Cute little spot, tasty food and good prices!

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Like most Torontonians, I went to check out this year’s CNE yesterday. Though it seems like the perfect day-trip for kids, as an adult it’s a pretty pricey outing! $16 per person admission fee, $22 for two rides (I recommend skipping the Euroslide, looks rad from far but you barely make it all the way down) and $5+ for games! The food building is always a trip though. I actually resisted the temptation of getting any deep fried mac n’ cheese balls or deep fried mars bars… After my cleanse last week, I figured it wouldn’t be the best thing 😉 My favorite part of the afternoon – meeting the Alpacas!! They have the best hairdos!! Nevertheless, we had a fun afternoon in the sun, walking around and enjoying the sights! The Ex is on until September 2nd, a bunch of Canadian bands are playing so check out the schedule!

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For today’s outfit, I’m wearing punches of red – red plaid shirt, red belt and my rad red and gold spike boots!

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Zara black and white striped tee (similar one here)

H&M felt-print black cut off shorts (similar ones here)

Zara gold stud plaid shirt (similar one here)

TOPSHOP arrow necklace

Biko black chainmaille bracelet (get it here)

Bing Bang Wanderlust cuff (get it here)

Biko Third Eye bracelet (get it here)

Zara red studded ankle boots 

Cleanse Day 2

So yesterday was Day 2 of my cleanse – another day of raw foods. I was feeling ok after breakfast but as the day went on my stomach really started hurting and I was feeling really hungry. Though I’ve only been eating raw food for over a day, my taste buds were already telling me that they were over all of these raw snacks, the seasoning and whatever I was eating. Props to people who do these cleanses often or who only have raw diets. I don’t think I could ever do it! Even questioning ever doing a cleanse again…

After work, Offner and I took a trip to Whole Foods to buy all of our juices for the next three days. Unfortunately, a lot of their juices were out of stock. Though the juice brand Live recommends drinking 5 different types of juices a day, two of them were sold out. So we made due with what they had and also got ourselves a ton of raw food items for our last supper 😉

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MEAL 1

Freshly pressed unpasteurized orange juice

Peanut Butter Lärabar

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MEAL 2

Homemade salad with sprouts, tomatoes, cucumbers, hemp seeds,

Grapes, strawberries and shakaroons

MEAL 3

Live raw lasagna italiano, Live raw kale caraway bread and fresh pesto

Live raw organic walnut brownie, pineapple and an orange

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I was feeling really anxious yesterday at the thought of starting the juice cleanse. Here’s hoping not too many food pictures pop up on my twitter and instagram feed in the next few days. Though I’m really motivated, I’m not sure I’ll be able to handle three days of juicing… To be continued!