Really getting excited for the my School Of Styleweekend in NYC in a couple of weeks. I’ve heard lot’s about them so I can’t wait to find out more about styling, fashion and blogging at their conference.
In the meantime, trying to keep warm (yes, still…) by layering sweaters and vests together. Some may feel that camo and red may look to “Christmas-y” but I kind of like the pop of color with the military jacket. I’m also really excited about this DIY necklace I made last week in California. I took a cool key I found at HOME shop in Encinitas and then added a cute surfer girl charm to it and put it together on a gold brass chain at Beads, Crystals & More. I used to love making jewelry as a teenager, I had thousands of beads, threads, etc. Though I’ve been out of commission these past couple of years, I’m thinking it’s something I may want to get back into in the near future, especially with platforms like Etsy, that make crafting so easy to share and sell. To be continued… maybe 😉
Back in Toronto after being on the road for almost a week. I had a great time in Ottawa! I was able to eat at some of my favorite spots in the city: Murray Street (the best cheese & wine in Ottawa!) and also a new hotspot called Sidedoor : where they served the most delicious donuts!! I also really loved their tacos and all of their sharing plates. You have to hit these two restaurants on your next trip to the Canadian capital!
Getting use out of my shorts today! It may be hella cold out but wearing tights with shorts is always a fun look. It makes me think that summer is only a few months away… Can’t wait to soak up some sun rays in Miami and LA next month!
A few weeks ago, Offner and I finally got a table at ICI Bistro. We had wanted to go check out the place but it was always booked every time we had tried to make a reservation. So if after reading this blog, you’re dying to try it out, make sure you plan your visit in advance!
The Bistro is located on Harbord St. just at the corner of Manning St.. There aren’t that many restaurants in the area but I think that when a restaurant is good, it doesn’t really matter where it’s located, people will go to it. And ICI Bistro was sure worth the trek!
The first thing that appealed to me about this place was their slogan: “Food, Wines & Happy People Is What We Are Most Passionate About At ICI“. Sounds perfect!
We received a warm welcome when we arrived at the restaurant. The host took our coats, made sure we had everything we needed. Because there aren’t too many tables in the place (there are like 6 or 7) we opted to sit at the small bar, which gave us a really nice view of the room. The decor was simple but really nice. The restaurant felt extremely cozy. I loved their slightly elevated open kitchen concept.
We started off with a nice bottle of wine from their extensive wine list. We opted for a French wine since we were in a French inspired bistro. We noticed that a lot of the staff were also either from France or from Quebec and as a result spoke both French and English. As we were picking out our meals, the waiter brought us a really yummy appetizer on the house, a sort of fine rice and cheese ball.
We started off our meal with a plate of cheese. It was $18 for a selection of 3. We opted for double that just so that we could get as many different cheeses as possible. The cheese portion was great for the price and the cheese were all different and extremely tasty. The chef even came over to personally bring us a plate of fruit, nuts and jams to accompany the cheese we had ordered.
While we were waiting for our mains, the server came over and offered us some homemade gnocchi on the house in order to tie us over before the mains arrived. I must say I was REALLY impressed by the quality of the service. Little things like that go a long way in my opinion. Plus the gnocchi melted in my mouth!
By the time our mains arrived, I was almost full! Though they don’t have a big vegetarian selection (1 out of 11 dinner choices), I was told that the chef could always prepare something special for me if ever I didn’t like what they had on the menu. I opted for their homemade patties with cheese, fresh salad, pesto and homemade sauce and my boyfriend the duck magret. His said his was pure bliss! Mine was also very delicate and flavored perfectly. The chef even came by again during our meal to make sure everything was ok and asked us if we had liked everything. A very nice gesture!
All in all, our experience at ICI Bistro was delightful. There aren’t too many restaurants in the city that have served us that well and that are so in tune with what their clients want. The staff at ICI made sure that we were fully satisfied with our meal.
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!
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I love finally being home for a few weeks. This will allow me to start cooking a whole lot more. One of my recent favorite snacks, is homemade Kale Chips. Though I love getting some at the store, there’s nothing quite like making your own.
Wednesday I received a whole bunch of kale in my Fresh City Farms basket and decided to make some yummy kale chips to go with my dinner last night. They are SUPER easy to make 🙂
All you have to do is pre-heat the oven at 350, cut up kale in small pieces.
Drizzle olive oil or as I did, flavored olive oil (I went for the hot pepper oil) over the kale and add salt and pepper. Some people also add yeast to the kale to add a crunchier texture but I find that they taste fine without it too!
Put it in the oven for 10-15mins, until cripsy and dark green.
Yesterday we received our first ever Fresh City Farms vegetable and fruit bag, from local organic farmers in Ontario. I can’t believe I didn’t think of doing this before. For $30 a week, they deliver right to your doorstep a bag filled with seasonal fruits and veggies. You can also add a bunch of extras to your bag: cheese, honey, fresh bread, etc. They also give you some sample recipes every week, recipes for the fruits and veggies in your bag. What’s great about getting a different bag each week is that it forces you to not only eat healthy but also helps you be more creative with the food you make. Plus, being someone who eats a lot of fruits and veggies every day, I find that this makes it a lot cheaper.
So last night, I used some of the veggies we had received to make my first ever homemade pottage. It really didn’t take long! I basically just boiled a bunch of veggies from the bag (leek, brocoli, mushrooms, tomatos, garlic), added a few spices, a bit of oil and olive juice, a touch of almond milk and blended everything up. Voilà! Perfect for the fall!
It’s now pant weather again! Feels good to take out some of my favs from last season. Seems like I’m not the only one who’s stoked about fall fashion. One of the things I’m most excited about this season, are all the rad jackets that are coming out. Here are some of my favorite jackets for the fall… Wish I could get them all! AHH they are so heavenly!!
1) MLLE Mademoiselle Rumi Leopard Biker Jacket (get it here)
2) VEDA x Pamela Love special collaboration (get it here)
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!
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?