Maple syrup…I put that sauce on everything.
Just kidding, almost everything.
As a small town Canadian girl living just outside of Toronto, I had the pleasure of eating good country meals and city fine dining all of my life. On top of that, I was also brought up in an Italian household full of vegetable farmers. So it only made sense that at the ripe old age of 10 I would march into the kitchen and shock my mom and Nona with my decision to become a vegetarian.
Don’t worry, I now eat seafood here and there because sushi is life. My Nona was a fantastic cook and my inspiration in the kitchen. She taught me everything there is to know about cooking which led me to try out for MasterChef Canada. Although I didn’t make it all the way, I made it far enough in the competition to make my little heart happy with my accomplishment. Now, I love going on road trips to the city, or up north to find the best food trucks, dives or beautiful restaurants by the water.
I still love to cook and not just vegetarian food. C’mon, I live in the land of Canadian bacon, how could I deprive my husband of such deliciousness? I’m so totally stoked to be on this food ride with you guys and can’t wait to see what the future brings!
Sure, pumpkin pie may seem like a strictly Thanksgiving-time treat but then poof…its gone. What happens for the rest of the year? Especially during late-winter when we’re craving that delicious, warm, treat? I think I found something to tie us over in these frigid months, especially in this Canadian -10 weather.
Now, I’m not a total “pumpkinhead.” Pumpkin is a hit or miss ingredient for me as well. Pumpkin pie= hit. Pumpkin latte= miss. I also don’t like raisins on their own (that’s a hard no from me) but I love them when they’re baked, cooked or thrown into a dish with any other ingredients. Combining pumpkin and raisins together is a combination I’m so glad I found. That’s when I fell in love with Baked Pumpkin Spice Pudding.
There are not many things in my life that would label me as a creature of habit. But every year for our wedding anniversary, we make the trek to Toronto and hit up our favourite restaurant.
The Kit Kat is in the heart of Toronto, in walking distance to theatres and concert venues, sports stadiums and all the major hotels. It’s been a busy restaurant for almost 30 years. I remember being a little kid, walking downtown and seeing the Kit Kat sign lit brightly above this tiny venue and of course, I made sure as an adult, that this would become my regular spot.
The Kit Kat Italian Bar and Grill
297 King St. W., Toronto, ON, M5V 1J5
As one would expect from a classic Italian eatery, you’re greeted with traditional red and white checkered linens, energetic pictures of everyone and anyone along the walls, and there is a tree that grows through it in the kitchen. It is a hustle and bustle kind of spot, with athletes, actors, theatre goers and locals indulging in their Italian feasts. It goes from quiet and romantic to a full packed place in 2.5 seconds.
As we are coming upon the end of apple season here in Canada, other parts of the world are right in the middle of enjoying this beautiful harvest. Nothing screams FALL to me more than delicious apple desserts. Apple pie, apple crisp, candy apples. But have you ever tried Cheesecake Baked Apples?
In Toronto, its not hard to find an Italian restaurant. It seems like everywhere you look, there’s something Italian for everyone. It’s a not exactly a tough problem to have but the biggest problem for me has turned into finding an Italian restaurant I really enjoy. Growing up in an Italian household has set my tastebuds to a different level when it comes to this cuisine. I like my cheese cut from a wheel, I like my bread crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside, and there’s always room for antipasto. The Badali Bar and Cucina, hit my expectations on every level. From the first sip of my cocktail to the crunch of my cannoli.
Badali Bar and Cucina
156 Front Street West Toronto, Ontario
My initial impression was that this is a beautiful establishment. The sign entering is painted brick, there’s tons of wines and alcohol displayed through the restaurant and a lovely brunch area was set up as we arrived. The one thing I noticed as we entered, it looks quite small on the outside, but is actually huge on the inside. In the heart of the entertainment district, close to sport stadiums and the CN Tower, the location couldn’t be better.
One of my favourite things about living just outside of the city limits is all of the wonderful little restaurants and cafés I get to indulge in every so often. One of the most important things I think we all try to achieve is eating healthy and reducing our ecological footprint. Not easy to do in today’s busy world with fast food so readily available at our little finger tips. It’s refreshing to find a spot that is organic, fresh and locally sourced. And did I mention food that is ridiculously full of delicious flavour?
The Bar Café
2 Brock Street West, Uxbridge, ON Canada
When I walked into The Bar Café, the owner and foodie extraordinaire, Trisha Bush, was helping and greeting her customers with a warm smile. Trish and I go way back as I am her hair stylist and she is my vegetarian food guru. She told me she would be right with me and to go have a seat in the back by the Mandala. Nothing gets you more visually into the zone of peace and tranquility like a beautiful Mandala.
The Bar Café serves all types of foods and the Mediterranean influence is strong. Not only are there plenty of protein options, they can accommodate various types of diets including gluten free, vegetarian, vegan and raw.
When I think of Pride Toronto, I think of love, acceptance, and freedom. There is so much love and unity in the air that it is mesmerizing and intoxicating. One little-known gem about Pride is the abundance of gourmet food trucks and stations dishing out mouth watering meals. They are serving up everything from baked goods to fish tacos to every kind of poutine you can imagine! I obviously had to grab my friends, make my way down the line and try a little bit of everything!