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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Glas Winebar

Last week, my boyfriend and I decided to do a raw food and juice cleanse (read a recap here) after our California adventure. The whole time I was cleansing, all I kept thinking about was cheese. I have a mild severe adoration for cheese and not just any type of cheese – the stronger and the stinkier, the better 🙂

During my cleanse, I asked the twitterverse to recommend the best cheese platter in Toronto. Though I’ve tried many cheese boards in the city, they’re usually always overpriced, aren’t that tasty or original and satisfying. The Terroni cheese platter is probably the best for quality vs. price and you know that you’ll be getting more than just an ounce of cheese. Plus, their accoutrements are always fantastic. However, Toronto cheese platters always fall short of what you can find in Quebec and obviously France. I still can’t get over the fact that you can get four full cheeses in France for 8 Euros and here, they charge $24 for 4oz of cheese! Absurd!

Blame my French blood, but if I’m going to dish out $24 for a cheese board it better be damn good or I’d be better off just making my own (which we do quite often…)

The top recommendation on twitter was Glas Winebar in Leslieville. A quaint little restaurant on Queen East. So I figured I’d give it a shot!

It was really easy to make a reservation for the restaurant, I was able to reserve just by tweeting at them. Though it may not look like much from the outside, the atmosphere in the restaurant is warm, welcoming and cozy. Right when we got there, the chef Danny Pantano came up and introduced himself and thanked us for coming. He explained the current menu, cheese platter, etc. He was very friendly and seemed like a really smart and business-savvy owner. He explained that he opened the restaurant last year after having spent several years cooking in Europe, he wanted to finally have his own place and bring Italian and French cuisine to the city.

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The meal started with a free amuse-bouche: some roasted and seasoned nuts and olives. We both ordered a glass of local Ontario wine.

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The meal continued with a citrus marinated kale salad with wine soaked raisins and parmesan shavings for myself. My boyfriend ordered a beef tartar. Danny carefully selects the products and items on his menu, making sure they’re either all local, sustainable and organic. He also changes his menu very frequently.

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The long awaited cheese board then arrived with a selection of 5 local cheeses. To be honest, the cheeses all had an interesting and original taste, some were smoked, others were garnished with different toppings. For the price, 5 great cheeses for $20, you can’t really go wrong in this city! They were also accompanied by some delicious compote and jam. Yummy!!

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Danny offered us a sweet homemade sorbet with blueberrys on the bottom. It was the perfect way to end the meal!

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We spent more time talking with Danny at the end of our meal, he went around the tables of his restaurant making sure that everyone had enjoyed their meals.

Though it may not be France and strong original cheeses aren’t as readily available in Toronto, I can definitely say that Glas Winebar offered an excellent selection for a great price!

We will definitely be making it back to the east end for another platter someday soon! Thanks Danny and you all for the good recommendation 🙂

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)

Cleanse Day 3

Yesterday was my 1st day ever of juicing. I was super anxious when I got up in the morning because I had no idea what to expect, I had no idea how my body was going to react and also how I was going to deal with it mentally. I also woke up feeling super hungry having only eaten raw food the previous night and having spent the night with my stomach in knots.

It’s instructed on the Live Organic Cleanse bottles to drink 6 juices a day, drinking them every two hours and drinking tons of water and tea in between. So I started my day with their Detox bottle. The taste wasn’t so bad but I was having a really hard time finishing it. Though I do drink relatively a lot during a normal day, ingesting all of these liquids was actually pretty difficult for me.

Surpringsly, that juice kept me going for almost three hours. When came time for lunch, I had the Cashew Nut Glow bottle, which tastes pretty sweet and feels filling but is almost too heavy compared to the other juices. I was having a really hard time finishing that bottle as well.

Because two of their bottles were out of stock, including their green juice bottle, I decided to go and buy myself a green juice at the supermarket located in my office building. It may now have been a Live bottle but I made sure that it contained no preservatives, was only real vegetable juice, etc.

I followed that up with a Clean bottle, which tasted really bitter and made my head hurt but I was able to finish that one though.

I spent most of my day at work yesterday going to and from the bathroom, I was feeling like a pregnant lady! Here’s hoping that all the “toxins” in my body are actually being flushed out as supposed to.

Though I wasn’t really feeling that hungry all day, the hardest part was definitely the evening. Psychologically, I love having a nice dinner after a long day at work or going out to a restaurant so only feeding on a juice wasn’t definitely not fulfilling.

I went to bed last night feeling extremely hungry. Though they recommend drinking 6 different juices, I ended up only drinking 4 during the entire day. After 4 juices, I had had enough!

Because I’m doing this cleanse as more of a personal challenge and out of curiosity and not because I wanted to lose weight, I’ve realized that I’m basically just starving myself. Even if I were to lose some weight, I would put it back on as soon as I finish with the cleanse. Though I hope it’ll get rid of the “toxins” in my body, I’m not sure I’ll have too many benefits from this cleanse. It’s a good discipline to adopt for a few days but seeing as I’m someone who eats pretty healthy, I make a lot of my meals myself, eat a lot of fruits and vegetables naturally since I’m a vegetarian and exercise a lot, so I’m not sure cleansing is necessary in my diet. I’m feeling a lot more tired than usual, my muscles are aching and my head hurts. The only positive thing is that I’m feeling a little lighter than usual but who wouldn’t after only ingesting several hundred calories in one full day…

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Today I’m onto day 2 of juice cleansing… We’ll see what the day brings!

PS. Someone bring me a cheese platter stat…. AH! Cravings!!

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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!

 

Long overdue! #DailyOutfit

It was long overdue! I’m sorry for the lack of blog posts in the last week and a half. I spent 9 crazy days in Quebec City covering the Festival d’été de Québec for BRBR. It was my 7th and busiest edition yet! I had tons of fun running around the city filming interviews and performances as well as cooking segments and taxi rides with some super nice Canadian artists. My personal favs were definitely meeting the super sweet Gaële, having Les Indiens perform their rad track “Crâne” for us (stoner rock at its best! Listen to their track here), cooking with Jacquie from The Balconies, doing a taxi ride with Lisa LeBlanc and having the guys from The Hunters perform for us on a boat. Have you seen their performance yet?

I also had the chance to see a few shows during our shooting breaks. My top 3 favorite shows of the festival were:

1 – The Balconies

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2 – Weezer

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3 – Bad Religion

Only a few more days before I head back to California for a vacation! Can’t wait to spend some more time there!! In the meantime, I’m enjoying being home: hanging with friends, BBQing, watching several seasons of Kitchen Nightmares and taking it easy! For today’s outfit, I’m wearing color, prints and keeping the clothing light because it’s a hot one in Toronto today! I can’t complain though, at least the sun is shining and it’s finally summer 🙂

Wishing you a wonderful Monday!

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Aztec print top

H&M neon blue cuffed shorts (similar ones here)

Zara blue rope skull necklace

Lionette SINEAD bracelet (check the site for more info)

Biko black chainmaille bracelet (get it here)

Bing Bang Wanderlust cuff (get it here)

H&M pointed cap toe orange high heel