Sunday, May 31, 2009

Hot House Cafe

Hot House Cafe (35 Church Street, Toronto)

I decided to check out their award winning brunch buffet, and see what all the fuss was about. There was a live jazz band, which was pretty cool; too bad we were on the other side of the restaurant.

The buffet was pretty comprehensive. There's the standard eggs, sausages, bacon, and croissants, but there were also things that we didn't expect. I was pretty impressed with the variety.

Plate #1: chipotle mussels, lasagna, rice pilaf, some sort of tortellini, salmon, and roast beef.
The salmon was a bit dry, but I quite liked the lasagna and roast beef. The lasagna was very cheesy on top.

Plate #2: cheese and mushrooms omelette and crab salad.
There was a bit of a line to get to the omelette station, but it was pretty worth it. You pick whatever you want in it, and one of two friendly guys makes it for you. For me, cheese is a must. Berta said that hers wasn't salty enough. I think that's because she didn't ask for cheese.

The crab salad was pretty tasty.

Plate #3: cantaloupe slices, pineapple slices, apple crumble, and half a croissant. 
I didn't just pick up half a croissant; I split one with Berta. I liked the fact that the apple crumble was heated, but I would have preferred more crunch in the crumble. 

I wanted to try the giant waffle pieces and cakes, but alas, my stomach could take no more. The cakes looked pretty good though.

"This tastes plasticky," Berta said several times of the cantaloupe chunks, as she kept eating them until there were no more on her plate. I had no such issue with my cantaloupe slices.

Berta thought that the orange juice wasn't concentrated enough, and she does not recommend the Thai noodles. 

There was virtually no lineup when we arrived at the restaurant at a bit past 11 A.M, but the front entrance seemed packed about thirty minutes later. 

Total damage for the buffet brunch and juice: $30. The buffet alone is $18.95 per person, plus tax and tip.

Boston Pizza

Boston Pizza (7020 Warden Avenue, Markham)

My baked seven cheese ravioli with bolognese sauce:
I didn't actually taste seven different types of cheeses, but it was a nice meal.

Marianne's crispy chicken pecan salad:
It looked nice, but I thought it was a bit weird that none of the ingredients were mixed together. I guess it's good for compulsive people who must eat everything separately. 

 There was chocolate cake at the end since birthday celebrations were in order. Nice!

Total damage for my pasta dish: $17.

Richmond Court

Richmond Court Take-out (328 Highway 7 East, Richmond Hill)

Rolls with meat, street style "siu mai," and a bowl of mixed vegetarian "jai." 

Everything in the picture fed two hungry people. It fed us well.

I've never had street style "siu mai" before, but it was pretty good. I liked the rolls as well. 

Total damage: $9, I think. I can't really remember anymore.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Screwdriver with a Twist!

It's great with oatmeal raisin cookies.

It's orange juice and this 50 mL bottle of Smirnoff Twist of Lime vodka.

As Renée would say, "Deliciousness!" I appreciate it way more than the typical screwdriver.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Chocolate Mousse

Homemade Chocolate Mousse

This is how we do it...

Attempt #1
This chocolate bar came from the set that I received from Aurélie (from France, yay!). A recipe for chocolate mousse on the back? I must make it!

What was exciting about this chocolate bar was that the packaging had secret recipes on the inside too!

We're three former French immersion students, and none of us know what "pépites" are. I'm assuming they're chunks.

My hack translation of the chocolate mousse recipe:

1) Melt the chocolate, and let it cool. (See inside for instructions.)

2) Separate the egg yolks and egg whites. Add salt to the whites, and beat them to very stiff peaks.

3) Pour the melted chocolate little by little on the egg yolks, while beating them vigorously.

4) With a spatula, delicately incorporate 1/3 of the beaten egg whites, then add the rest while folding the mixture from bottom to top to combine the chocolate without deflating the egg whites.

5) Fridge the mousse for at least 3 hours. Serve chilled.


Left: Sheila's expert egg separating techniques. Right: melting chocolate.

We took a lot of shifts beating the egg whites.

Stiff peaks!

We mixed the chocolate into the egg whites, which was just wrong. It's supposed to be egg whites into chocolate. Woops! After we finished folding it, the mixture looked really soupy. We put it in the fridge, and decided to try again.

Attempt #2

Attempt #2 was made with President's Choice extra dark chocolate.

We saw some recipes online that had butter, so we threw some into the bowl of chocolate before the melting process.

Ambidextrous Andrea beats first with the right hand, then with the left:

How did people do this on their own before Kitchen Aid mixers?

The Final Products
The lighter coloured mousse came from attempt #1. It was good, but a little lumpy. The other batch produced a really dark and dense result. I'm not sure if that was because of the type of chocolate, the lack of measuring, or the butter.

With ice cream and a piece of chocolate!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Galleria Supermarket

Galleria Supermarket (7171 Yonge Street, Thornhill)
This grocery store is like a Korean T&T. There's a bakery shop and a mini food court in the back, there's prepared food that's even marked with a sticker that identifies the name of the person who made the package, and there's loads of food you wouldn't find at your regular Loblaws.

Renée was right: this place is exciting.

Red bean waffles:

They're crispy on the outside and filled with red bean paste. The imprint from the fish mould is pretty exciting. At three for $2, I think they're worth it. These can be purchased at the tent just outside of the entrance to the supermarket. 

Rice cake wrapped in fish cake batter on a stick for one dollar:
This deep-fried treat is very filling. The fishy layer is not as solid as I thought it'd be, but I enjoy the overall taste. It's a bit annoying trying to gnaw the sticky rice cake part off the stick.

The pickled white radish slices that came with Renée's meal:
I've never seen such yellow pickled vegetables.

The deep-fried treats are also available in the hot dog variety.
Total damage: $4 for two stick treats and three red bean paste waffle thingies. 

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Second Cup

Medium iced moccaccino [sic]:
Again, tastes more milky than I would prefer. Maybe I should just make my own iced coffee drinks.

Total damage: $4.19 + tips.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


Broccoli, red pepper, celery, and mangos. Lime juice mixed with teriyaki sauce poured in the pan last minute for flavouring. Served on top of leftover white rice.

I like the bright colours. Perhaps I should've put the sauce in before the celery chunks so they wouldn't get so discoloured. Oh well, this meal had good crunch and a lot of vegetables.

Tim Hortons

Tim Hortons

I tried the iced coffee since it was free today.

Small iced coffee and chocolate dip donut:
My first reaction involved thinking that it tasted like McDonald's iced coffee. My second thought was that it doesn't have much coffee taste. I prefer the iced capp. 

Total damage: $0.89 (for the donut). 

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Chocolate From France!

The following chocolate is courtesy of my friend from France. Aurélie was too kind to send me a bunch of delicious chocolate bars! She has great taste!

The first thing I did was open them all to try a piece of each of them. 
Please excuse my hack translations. 

1848 dark chocolate with hazelnuts, caramel, and bits of crêpe:
It's like a party in my mouth. I love the richness of the dark chocolate and the different textures in it. I also like that the width of the bar is a bit thicker than usual. This is something that I can really sink my teeth in.

Lindt crème brûlée:
It actually tastes like crème brûlée. I'm a big fan of the crunchy pieces of simulation burnt sugar.

Milka Tender Moments (chocolate mousse):
Triangular pieces! I was expecting it to taste like an Aero bar, but it is very creamy. It's very smooth, and melts in my mouth. 

U white chocolate with coconut bits and almond fragments:
I like the design on the chocolate pieces. The coconut goes really well with the sweet white chocolate. 

I savour them all.

Total damage: Free for me thanks to Aurélie!