October 31, 2009


A little over seven months ago I wrote about my likes and dislikes when it comes to food. I wrote about how I crave savoury foods and how I normally reach for a bag of potato chips or popcorn when I get a craving. I suppose I forgot to mention that I also don't really like chocolate. Despite what many men believe regarding women and their love for chocolate versus sex, well...let's just say I wouldn't choose the former. I'm just not a big chocoholic. I've never really been a big fan of chocolate. I do have moments where I crave a certain kind of chocolate bar and when I do, I'll reach for a Twix, Skor or Bounty bar.

In the summer, I discovered Vosges Haut Chocolat and not too long after that (about a month later), I discovered Purdy's Chocolates. Ah, Purdy's Hedgehogs. There is nothing like the smooth hazelnut centre of a milk chocolate hedgehog. Those things are so fantastical. I had a box of two as a party favour a week ago and couldn't get the taste out of my head.

After finishing off the Hedgehogs, I wanted more. I finished off the remainder of my Vosges Mo's Bacon Bar but still wanted more chocolate! It was late at night and far too late to have my dad make a trip to the store for some chocolate so I scoured my bedroom for whatever cocoa I could find. I came up with a mini snack-size Toblerone. I sat in bed (eeks!) and ate that mini piece of chocolate and blech(!) it was awful! The taste of "regular" chocolate after you've had some Purdy's and Vosges just cannot compare. It was awful. Seriously. I just don't think I could ever eat that stuff again! I might have to nix regular chocolate all together! Sorry Twix and Bounty--you just don't make the cut anymore.

Anyhoo, less than a week later I found myself standing in a Purdy's store marvelling at all the purple and gold boxes of chocolate. I think that's what did it: the purple. I'm a sucker for purple. And maybe a bit of gold. I can't help it--it's shiny!

After a short consult with a store associate--who was I kidding, I knew what I wanted--I came out with $54 worth of chocolate. My haul included:
- 10 mini Hedgehogs
- 8 Sweet Georgia Browns (more on those later)
- 12 Himalayan Pink Salt Caramels
- a bar of dark chocolate with blueberries and almonds (for Sean)
- a bar of milk chocolate with rice crisps (I am too good for Crunchie now)
- a bag of dark chocolate-covered pretzels

I can't even begin to tell you how much I love Purdy's for their sweet-salty combos. I met up with Sean later that afternoon and before heading into Bloor Cinema for a showing of The Lady Vanishes, I nibbled on a Himalyan Pink Salt Caramel. I can just taste it in my mouth right now: salt sitting on top of milk chocolate with a chewy caramel centre. So freaking good!

And after that it kind of went downhill. I had meant to keep everything until after I got home so I could take a pretty picture of it all, but I couldn't help it--my tastebuds were dying for a taste. In fact, this is all I have photos of because I never got around to the rest of them...
But back to those Sweet Georgia Browns. They're basically salted, roasted pecans, topped with caramel and then a dollop of milk chocolate. If you're a sweet-salty fanatic like I am, this is for you, trust me! And after I quickly devoured half my box of SGBs, I left the rest of them in Sean's car and then his mom ate the rest :( I don't really blame her...they are THAT good. And this coming from me, an almost non-existent chocolate fan. The SGBs are great because they hardly contain any chocolate.

But recently I was at Upper Canada Mall (isn't that place the greatest) and came across yet another Purdy's Chocolates (I didn't even know there was one there!) and just had to buy some more Sweet Georgia Browns. Heck, if you bought $15 worth of chocolate, you got a free 2-pack of SGBs...how could I say no?

October 24, 2009


Gio Rana's Really Really Nice Restaurant is really just a big nose. From the outside, that is. I don't remember seeing a sign with a marquee indicating the Italian restaurant Sean and I were to dine at. All I saw was The Nose.

After a quick trip to the Leslieville Spit to see this:we decided to head to Queen St. West to run some errands and then headed over to Leslieville for dinner since our attempt to grab dinner the last time, ended up in epic fail. We decided upon Gio Rana's because it was close-by and because we were both hungry. I was just about ready to gnaw Sean's arm off.

The decor at Gio's is funny. The walls are not complete and it's quite dark inside, but we were able to grab a table for two on a Saturday night without a reservation. After a few bites of some bread dipped in olive oil and balsamic, we were ready to order. But wait, where the heck was our waitress? Chatting with another waitress? Dilly-dallying infront of the computer screen? Talking to the busboy? This seemed to be the theme of the evening.

Eventually we found our waitress and made our order.

First up was the prosciutto with fig stuffed with gorgonzolo cheese and honey. I have no photo to show, so imagine this instead. There's a round white plate. On top of that plate lies a child's handful of arugula. On top of the arugula is one black mission fig topped with gorgonzola and a drizzle of honey. Surrounding the mound is three strips of prosciutto. It was good. Was it $7.95 good? Probably not but I was hungry. And Sean and I had finished all the bread.

Next up were our entrees. We skipped the option of a pasta in case we ended up with too much to eat, which ended up being a smart decision on Sean's part. I got the ossobucco with roasted potatoes and Sean got the pork tenderloin with chickpeas. Meats hover around $14-15 and sides are an extra $5.95. I neglected to see the latter on the menu so when our waitress told us that sides were an extra order, we ordered but a mention of the cost would have been appreciated. In my case, as you'll soon see, $6 could have been saved.

My ossobucco with mushrooms:My side of roast potatoes (this plate is actually smaller than it looks):Sean's pork tenderloin with a walnut and gorgonzola sauce:
Sean's side of chickpeas (ceci) and cured pork (again, this bowl is actually smaller than it looks):
So I ate about 1/3 of my potatoes, Sean had some and then I had about 1/4-1/3 of my ossobucco and Sean had some and when I asked the busboy if I could have the rest of my meal packed up, he said "of course" but neglected to pack my potatoes! Okay, okay, so I didn't really gesture to the plate of potatoes but only to the plate of meat but you'd think that since someone is paying $6 for a plate of potatoes, you'd pack them up too. Common sense people!!

So not only that but their ossobucco was cooked using chicken broth. Chicken broth, people! And if you're not aware of the fact that I'm allergic to non-organic chicken, you would be right in assuming that Gio's ossobucco did not go down well that night. And just to make sure that it was the ossobucco and not just a fluke, I decided to eat the leftovers the next, next day and had the same reaction. Not so good. Was it my fault though? Should I really have asked if the ossobucco contained any kind of chicken? Sean didn't do so at the amazing Italian restaurant in NYC and his osso buco went down really fine. I mean, really fine. I still think about that osso buco sometimes.

Anyway, back to Gio Rana's. Overall I'd rate Gio Rana's Really Really Really Nice Restaurant a 7.5. The waitress was MIA for the most part; she forgot about Sean's tea, was MIA for our order, MIA for the dessert menu and just about every other time we tried to find her but the food was really good, despite my chicken issues.

October 20, 2009


Today is my oldest brother's birthday and in celebration, the entire family went out to eat at this great Mediterrean restaurant that the birthday boy and I, had not had the joy to experience before tonight.

There were many good eats tonight. Too many in fact. But I was warned about tonight's dinner so I kept the rest of my food on the very light side.

Breakfast (around 8:30, on the drive to work)(My dad was driving, silly!) Organic instant maple oatmeal with 3/4 banana and chocolate PB. Cacao nibs were left at work :( And 3/4 of a banana was waaay too much banana for my liking. I am sticking to 1/2 next time.

Snack bento (around noon)
Triscuit crackers, brie, grapes, dates stuffed with 1/4 pecan and chocolate PB. I also had a star-shaped fudge baby but it was not consumed :( Oh and watermelon.

Lunch (around 1:30): salad of baby spinach, pecans, grapes, brie...unpictured. I seem to have lost this photo.

More snack time (around 4pm): watermelon, not pictured.

By 5pm I was absolutely starving and asked my dad to bring me an apple on his way to pick me up. It's a good thing I did because I don't think I would have been able to last until 7:30, when salad was finally being served.

Here's the salad:
Mixed greens, carrots, cucumber, tomato (which I picked out and gave to my brother) and spiralized beets. Totally awesome but I didn't finish it. At this point I was already starting to feel full!

Humus and grilled mushrooms with grilled pita bread. So freakin' good. This totally blew my mind. It's probably because I love mushrooms. Ah, so good.

Entree:Lamb chops with a side of rice. The rice is unpictured. It would have just looked like a plate of white.

And here was my plate portion:
I cannot begin to tell you how good these lamb chops were. Several years back I stopped eating lamb because I could not get over how cute lamb were in person. After one visit to a Hakka restaurant for their lamb kebabs (which my brother and dad insisted I have a taste of), I fell off that wagon. These lamb chops though, this is the reason I could never be a vegetarian. Seriously, this are amazing. Despite feeling the want to over indulge because my tastebuds wanted more, more, more, I stopped at one lamb chop and saved the rest for tomorrow's lunch and dinner at work (I'm working a 12-hour shift). The rice was also an excellent accompaniment to the chops. It was a lightly seasoned basmati rice....mmm.

The rest of the evening was spent grazing on the birthday boy's fries and consuming a little bit more humus and grilled mushrooms which I later paid for with a visit to the porcelain bowl. Not fun.

Some cod liver oil, an apple and a slice of strawberry shortcake later, I am SO ready for bed.

Happy birthday David!

October 19, 2009


It's almost 10 and I'm feeling pretty sleepy. It's probably because last night was a late one and work was hecka busy today. I am really not looking forward to the upcoming holiday season at the post office. Ugh!! This is going to be short and sweet...

Breakfast:Organic instant maple oatmeal with 1/2 banana, cacao nibs and chocolate PB. Other half of banana was consumed as is.

Lunch was to be the same spinach, beet and liver salad that I had had for dinner last night but my co-workers enticed me into ordering Chinese, which looking back on it, I probably should not have. Oh well, a lesson learned.

Snack bento which didn't get eaten :(Triscuit crackers, brie cheese, grapes, pecans stuffed 1/4 pecans and chocolate PB.

Dinner:Salad of baby spinach, grapes, brie, watermelon and baked salmon. Dressing of olive oil, salt and lime juice. I have to admit that this combo was mighty weird. The salmon was not a really good idea. It would have been better suited on a side plate, probably atop a bed of brown rice, as the rest of my family had enjoyed their fish. Oh well. A learning experience. I am definitely not having that for lunch tomorrow.

October 18, 2009


I've been suffering from a migraine since Thursday. It hasn't been fun. Yesterday was the peak and it was terrible.

I ran out of Nature's Path Optimum Slim cereal recently. I loved that stuff. I ate it with cereal; I ate it with yogurt. I finished eating it and wanted to eat more even though I knew its fibre content would be enough to keep me full for hours. Anyway, I was too cheap to pay $7 for another box (I originally bought it when it was on sale for $3) so instead I opted for Weetabix Alpen cereal and let me tell you, it is NO substitute for the OS. The Alpen is sugar and salt-free so maybe I can pass it onto my dad, hee hee.

Onto food...

Today's breakfast was supposed to be today's work snacks. Triscuit whole grain crackers, brie cheese, pecans, grapes and apple crisp. I ate everything except for some pecans and grapes. I ate those later in the day along with some leftover watermelon cubes.Lunch was mom's stir-fried vermicelli noodles with carrots, Iceberg lettuce (??) and sliced pork (??).I'm really not sure about the lettuce or pork. I really don't think it's cabbage but lettuce? In a noodle stir-fry? It tasted good though. The pork was a little sketchy. I didn't eat my entire bowl. Instead I ate half and then ate this Red Delicious:Tonight's dinner involved a few different things. As an "appetizer" I had some liver and onions. I know, gross! But my parents have me digesting all kinds of stuff in an effort to boost my immune system. In addition to the below (I swear there's a piece of liver there somewhere), I'm taking cod liver oil which I remember from my childhood and it still tastes as bad as it did back then. Anyway, my liver and onions and is actually onions with a bit of liver because this is the only way I'll eat liver. I hate that stuff. I take after my dad who just flat out refuses to eat it but because I know it's (probably) good for me, I'll consume it with copious amounts of caramelized onions.

And after that I was too full to actually eat dinner so I decided to make dessert instead! I meant to follow this recipe from Chocolate-Covered Katie, however, my reading skills weren't on par today and so I kind of botched the measurements. This is what my Fudge Babies looked like:And here's the recipe...
Star-shaped Fudge Babies
  • 61g raw cashews
  • 13 dates (pits removed)
  • 6g cocoa powder
Put all ingredients into a blender (Magic Bullet, what-have-you) and blend until well blended (hahaha). Shape into stars or whatever shape your onigiri maker is, hahaha. I know my humour is a little bit ridiculous today. Here's my onigiri maker and I used the star-shape because it was the smallest of the three.But honestly, I don't know how they taste because, just before I decided to whip those up (which took no time by the way), I ate a few dates filled with 1/4 pecan and some chocolate PB and now my stomach is mega full.But beet salad is on the menu for today's dinner and I'm one of the only people I know in real life who gets to eat fresh beets, so I don't know whether I'm going to be able to say no to that. I might have it along with some baby spinach and call it a night. Of eats anyway. In fact, I think I might make that for lunch tomorrow...spinach and beet salad with some liver and onion. It doesn't sound awesome but it'll taste pretty good.


Okay well here is tonight's dinner:And as is always the case, my eyes are bigger than my stomach so I will probably only end up eating half of this. After that it's time for Desperate Housewives-watching with my mom, a shower and bedtime.

October 17, 2009


Has it been this long again? Well, last weekend I had a stomach infection so I think that's a worthy excuse not to post on a mainly food blog, don't you? The stomach infection was not fun. In fact, I didn't even know you could get stomach infections! But my trusty (second) doctor prescribed me some (probably) extremely strong antibiotics and five days later, I was almost good as new! The weekend was full of congee and so no photos were taken because a bowl full of white isn't really that interesting.

What is interesting is Thanksgiving dinner! Sucks to you Americans who have to wait, what, another six weeks to enjoy a plump, juicy turkey? (Just kidding!) Of course, our Thanksgiving was this past Monday but whatever. Moving along...I LOVE turkey. I love turkey so much that it should probably be outlawed. And after enjoying my Thanksgiving dinner complete with roast potatoes, stuffing, green beans, corn and brown rice, I fell asleep on the sofa for 30 minutes and then made my way up to my bed for another 90 minutes. After that I woke up, packed leftovers for my lunch today and then slept until this morning. Geez, tryptophan, what are you doing to me?? (Just kidding! I probably just really needed all that sleep.) Plus, my stomach was still on the mend so I opted to take the smart route and stick to incredibly small portions of everything.

My food photos are few and far between because I don't get a chance to take a photo of them at work anymore. I used to take photos of my food while at work, just before I went on my lunch break, but nowadays it's so busy that I don't get my usual lunch break and so an hour and a half later, the last thing I want to do is take a photo of my food when I could just be eating it. It's sad but true. Honestly, most of the time it's because I forget! I'm just too hungry!!

I also haven't been very food-motivated since the stomach infection. My stomach still feels like it's on the mend. I just don't know what to do at this point. I feel like there is so much I can't eat, it's becoming kind of hard. I miss shellfish because I love oysters and scallops. I hate eating out because a) I don't know what the heck is in the food, b) it's too salty and c) I never know whether there's going to be a shrimp that will be offend me. More often than not, when dining in a Chinese restaurant, there's going to be something that involves shellfish (usually shrimp) and right now I don't know if they'd (the waitresses) understand when I tell them that I'm allergic to shellfish and cannot have any of my food contaminated. It's become quite a pain in the ass. I feel like the only places I can eat, places which will respect my allergies, are the expensive restaurants in the city and we all know that I can't afford them right now. It's just not a good time for indulgence.

As of late though, this is what I've been eating...
Breakfast at home on Wednesday morning (yay for days off!) consisted of plain lactose-free yogurt, some cereal (I can't remember the type), ground flaxseed and have a Pita Break breakfast muesli pita.
What might have been the offending pasta salad (which gave me a stomach infection)...
Catelli Smart macaroni with broccoli florets, red pepper and zucchini. Again dressed with olive oil, salt, pepper and lots of lemon juice. I'm thinking it might actually be the lemon juice. Actually, I don't really know. I honestly think it was the pork bone soup that I, along with my co-worker who also got sick, had, but the doctor couldn't confirm anything.

Afternoon snack of Triscuit whole grain crackers and brie cheese:

And this is what I've been baking...
Baking with Jessie last week included these mini Oreo cheesecakes
and chocolate chip cookies:Both recipes were from Martha Stewart's Cupcakes and Cookies recipe book. Both turned out perfectly. The cheesecakes were incredibly good considering that I don't even like cheesecake. (It's often too rich and too sweet for my taste.)

I also made apple crisp made earlier today. It contains five Golden Delicious and one Red Delicious. I can't remember where the recipe came from (I just googled "best apple crisp recipe" and chose once since they were all basically the same) but next time I would cut the amount of brown sugar for the crisp topping. It's still mighty delicious. Too bad I don't have any vanilla ice cream to serve along with it. Photo to be added later.

October 9, 2009


The amount of crap I've eaten today is embarrassing. Not just crap but food, in general. I've had a craving for something for days now that I just can't get rid of. I can't conquer my craving because I don't know what the heck it is. As a result I've pretty much eaten everything in sight, including two GIANT Empire cookies. What the heck!?! I'm actually mad at myself. For eating too much and the enlarged belly that I am currently glowering at. *directed at belly* I HATE YOU!

In other news, instead of blogging I've been watching Gossip Girl. My lack of fall TV shows (where the hell is Ugly Betty?) means having to catch onto something else and that something else ended up being Gossip Girl. I couldn't help it. I know I shouldn't have and I know it was a stupid idea but when within the first two episodes, there was not one but two mentions of Nine Inch Nails and Trent Reznor...well I was hooked. Plus, sometimes the music is kind of good.

I'm not by any means obsessed with the show or its characters. I find the characters highly obnoxious at times and does Manhattan's elites really dress like Serena? Her dress to Bart Bass' funeral is something I would deem to be highly inappropriate and we all know I'm by no means a prude.

Anyhoo, not all the food has been completely unhealthy. I'm not one of those people that can solely binge on junk food and not feel the effects the next day. So here are some food photos:

Breakfast of plain yogurt, Optimum Slim cereal (I just like to crunch), raspberries and cacao nibs:Green juice: Granny smith apples, kale, celery, cucumber, a carrot, lime and ginger. This is my fave combo right now.
Lunch: Tripolini with broccoli florets, sliced black olives, tomatoes. At work I added some canned tuna. The "dressing" consisted of olive oil, lemon, salt and pepper. Mmm...lemon. Lunch another day when I was at home: scrambled eggs with sliced black olives and cucumber, atop a bed of sauteed kale with garlic. Quite delicious.And in keeping with the healthy theme that day, I decided to have the following as an afternoon snack:A Golden Delicious apple with some strawberries, a tablespoon of natural PB and some green tea. And that's it for food photos!