Girls on Food

Dessert

My Yountville Live Diary: A 4 Day Adventure in Wine, Food and Music

Bobbi Hach-Jacobs and Claire Parr

Napa is known for offering the best in wine and food, but what some out-of-towners may not know, is that it’s also a valley rich with music and art. Yountville Live, an eclectic mix of events, organized by Bobbi Hach-Jacobs and Claire Parr, (the girl bosses and best friends behind the successful Live in the Vineyard events) delivered a unique experience that combined live music, and award-winning chefs paired with award-winning wines.

 

Yountville Live does not bring out food and wine snobs. It brings out epicureans who want to absorb as much knowledge as they can and cherish the delicious wine and food in front of them.

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Pi Day or Pie Day?

cherry pie, pi dayHappy Pie Day! Okay, so today is Pi Day, not Pie Day. I am using a little poetic license to make the most of it by eating some pie. I love pie and will pretty much eat any kind of pie: apple pie, pecan pie, pumpkin pie, bumbleberry pie, mincemeat pie, shepard’s pie. I am an equal opportunity pie eater. You know the best thing to put into a pie? Your teeth.  In honor of Pi Day I am sinking my teeth into a couple of my favorites: cherry and coconut cream.

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Jillian’s Homemade Vegan Vanilla Whipped Cream

vegan vanilla whipped cream

To all the whipped cream lovers out there, no need to ever consume dairy whipped again or buy super expensive vegan whipped cream at a health foods store! Whipped cream made from coconut milk in a can has solved all these problems and more. Plus, I find it to be even more delicious than dairy whipped cream, which is so basic now ?

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A Feeding Frenzy in Florence

I had the pleasure of spending Christmas in Florence, Italy. There is truly no place else in the world like it. The sights, the people, and THE FOOD. When I sat down to write this article, I said to myself, “Boy, you are in trouble!” To whittle down all those wonderful bites to five almost became a mission impossible. In my many trips to Florence, I can honestly say I’ve only had three subpar meals. On the other hand, I have had many, many meals that are imprinted on my taste buds as if branded. BUT I am tenacious and accepted the challenge…so here are my top five bites. Enjoy!

Numero Cinque:
Arà: è Sud
Via della Vigna Vecchia 4r,
Florence, Italy 50122
http://www.araristorante.it/home/

cannoli; florence; dolci; foodie; travel; europe; italy

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Summer’s Roasted Pears with Cranberry Goat Cheese

Well we are officially half way through the holiday season, and I don’t know about you, but I have already eaten my weight in ALL the sweets and treats. (Which is pretty weird for me since most of the time I tend to lean more towards the savory). Anyhow, I have come to realize I have a very serious seasonal sweet tooth. What can I say, Christmas time is my jam! Since I am not going to give up all the yumminess, I decided to make a dish that leans a little more towards the healthier side. Roasted pears. Cranberry goat cheese stuffed roasted pears to be exact. I also realize that I post ALOT of stuffed recipes. I don’t know where my obsession with stuffing things comes from; I just know it tastes real, REAL good. So without further ado here is the recipe.

Roasted Pears with Cranberry Goat Cheese

4 medium sized pears (I used d’anjou)

Cinnamon

Cranberry goat cheese (I got mine at Trader Joe’s)

Walnuts, chopped

Honey

pears-ingredients

Preheat your oven to 375

Halve your pears and slice a little teeny bit off the back, so they lay flat in the pan.

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Once you have done that take a spoon, any kind will do, (I used a sugar spoon) and scoop out the core of the pear to make a nice little bowl for the cheese.

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Sprinkle the pear with a generous amount of cinnamon. I wanted to also use some nutmeg, but I didn’t have any.

Once you have that done, take that same spoon and pop a hefty amount of the cheese into the middle of your pears.

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Sprinkle the chopped walnuts (pecans are also an excellent option) and drizzle the honey. I probably put about a teaspoon of honey on each pear.

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Pop those bad boys in the oven and cook for 25-30 minutes.

Once they are done, let them cool for a few minutes and serve.

Enjoy!

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All in for All Granola

The holiday season is upon us, and that means an array of parties and gift giving opportunities. What better way to thank your host than with something delicious? This yummy white chocolate granola bark is so easy to make, and it’s just the thing to get you invited back next year!

When All Granola asked me to give their all natural, small-batch granola a try, I was all in! I received a free sample of Nuttin’ Honey and another flavor, Drunken Cherry (infused with bourbon – YUM!), but all opinions are my own.

White Chocolate Granola Bark - All Granola
I had been wanting to try some new “bark” ideas, and when I saw how beautiful the Nuttin’ Honey granola was, with colorful cranberries, red quinoa, and pumpkin seeds, I thought it would be perfect…and when I tasted it, I KNEW it would be perfect.

White Chocolate Granola Bark - All Granola
You will need:
10oz package of high quality white melting chocolate
1 cup of granola
1/8 tsp salt
parchment paper

  1. If you are like me and don’t own a double boiler, you can create your own by boiling water in a small sauce pot, with a glass bowl sitting on top of the pot. Make sure the water isn’t touching the bowl. Pour your chocolate in the bowl.White Chocolate Granola Bark - All Granola
  2. Stir frequently until melted.
  3. Add the salt, and half of the granola.
  4. Use a spatula to spread the granola onto a sheet of parchment paper, on a cookie sheet. Once you have created an even layer, sprinkle with the remaining granola.White Chocolate Granola Bark - All Granola
  5. Allow to cool.
  6. Once your bark is solid, break it apart and it’s ready to eat (or package up to give others.)

White Chocolate Granola Bark - All Granola

All Granola is based out of Brooklyn, NY but is available to order online. Be sure to check out the other varieties available, that are perfect for nursing moms, moms to be, or anyone else who loves delicious, delicious granola!

The Curious Creamery

“You can’t buy happiness, but you can buy ice cream. And that’s kind of the same thing.”

The Curious Creamery started in Southeast Asia as a way to re-imagine the way of bringing and making ice cream in that part of the world. They saw how traditional ice cream making could be environmentally detrimental and they wanted to cut the carbon footprint, plus bringing healthy and delicious treats to the area. The revolutionary treat was brought to the US as a healthier/more in control dessert option for the consumers over here.

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I honestly love the idea of having a base to work with and then creating from there, and that’s what The Curious Creamery allows you to do. It gives you the options to create and make whatever delicious ice cream treat you could ever imagine, and you can decide how healthy or unhealthy you want it to be.

On the packaging, it says “Controls Calories, Fats, & Sugars.”
Don’t want to use whole milk? That’s fine! Would prefer to use yogurt? That works too!

Allergic to chocolate, but love cookie dough?
Now you can make your own cookie dough without the chocolate chips.
That’s the selling point for me right there!

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The other cool factor to The Curious Creamery, is you don’t need an ice cream maker. Let me repeat; you don’t need an ice cream maker! Just a handheld or stand alone mixer will do, plus some ice cold milk and you have the fixings for a delicious treat. Simplicity is also something I love.

For someone who is always busy, the idea of creating a custom ice cream in a half hour of time going to my second job and coming home a few hours later to it enjoy sounds like heaven.

So a few things to note.

The Curious Creamery sells about three products. The first is an ice cream base in powder form. It comes in a tub with two packets from which you can enjoy up to 1/2 gallon of deliciousness of your choosing. Two packets allow you to make two different kinds of flavored ice cream. So you can get creative!

The other two items are Vanilla Sweet Cream Ice Cream Cake Mix & German Chocolate Ice Cream Cake Mix. “The Curious Creamery Ice Cream Cake Mix contains no high fructose corn syrup, artificial colors or flavors, lactose, or preservatives; and is naturally trans-fat, cholesterol and gluten-free.”  The Cake Mix does require a few more ingredients like whole milk, heavy cream and so on, but I love the fact that it last longer in its nonmelting form which makes it ideal for parties or so on.

Take it from me, when making an ice cream cake you WANT to use their cake mix and not regular ice cream. I tried, and I got a pool of melted ice cream in seconds. Your welcome for the information!

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I would also like to point out that ice cream is perfect year round.

May not seem like a winter dessert option, but I am here to tell you that it is especially with my own personalized White Chocolate Peppermint Ice Cream Cake (used with The Curious Creamery Sweet Cream Ice Cream Cake Mix).

If you’d like to try it, here’s the recipe!
—-
White Chocolate Peppermint Ice Cream Cake
(I used both packages of the Sweet Cream Ice Cream Cake mixture to make double the amount)

1 box The Curious Creamery Sweet Cream Ice Cream Cake Mix
3 1/2 cups Whole Milk
4 1/2 cups Heavy Cream
2 tsp Peppermint Extract
1 tsp Red Food Coloring
Box of crushed candy canes
Box of Betty Crockers Vanilla Cake Mix (or whichever brand you prefer)


Make vanilla cake according to box instructions and let cool completely. While cake is cooling, crush candy canes (as this can be a long process that I was unprepared for). Follow instructions for The Curious Creamery’s Sweet Cream Ice Cream Cake and once to a creamy consistency add in flavorings, food coloring, and crushed candy canes. Cut cake in half (carefully). Keep the bottom of the cake in a cake pan and add a layer of the Peppermint Ice Cream mixture. Top with the other half of the cake mix. Add parchment paper and freeze for at least 4 hours or overnight.

White Chocolate Ganache
12 oz white chocolate morsels
3/4 cup Heavy Cream
1 tsp Vanilla
3 tbsp corn starch
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup Powdered Sugar

In a sauce pot over low heat add all ingredients together and slowly whisk. Let cool slightly.

Once cake is ready, pour ganache over the top.

And ENJOY!

img_0138I’m already having dreams and inspirations come to me for my next creation with The Curious Creamery, and I can’t wait to enjoy again!

XOXO
Miss Semi-Sweet

Isabella’s Boutique Restaurant

Isabella’s Boutique Restaurant
2328 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4E 1G9
https://www.facebook.com/isabellasboutiquerestaurant
https://www.instagram.com/isabellasbeaches

Exterior family shot courtesy of Isabella’s Boutique Restaurant
Interior

Isabella’s Boutique Restaurant is a new boutique restaurant that has opened in “The Beaches” neighborhood in East Toronto. Isabella’s is such an amazing and cozy restaurant owned and operated by an equivalent amazing and sweet couple. This lovely couple met in Japan, and now they are in Canada to offer us authentic, homey Japanese style dishes. This boutique restaurant is named after their bubbly daughter, Isabella, and you can tell where she gets her charm from! It is only the owners that work here but yet they are so attentive to every guest in making sure that you’re as comfortable as you can be.

Now onto the food! We’ve been here numerous times to try their various dishes from breakfast to lunch/dinner to their sweet treats. Below are (most of) the dishes that they currently have on their menu, but there are other surprises that they always have in store.

BREAKFAST

Mochi Mochi Pancakes with Nutella sauce, banana and chocolate chips
Mochi-Mochi Pancakes with Nutella sauce, banana and chocolate chips

Mochi-Mochi Pancakes
These pancakes are so thick, but still fluffy! Plus, Nutella sauce all over these?! Serious, real eats, and treats right here! These Japanese style pancakes are a unique take on your traditional pancakes.

Tamagoyaki
Tamagoyaki

Tamagoyaki
A stuffed Japanese omelet (contains onions, mushrooms, cheese and bacon). If you have never tried one, you gotta try this one! The way they prepare the omelet creates such a fluffy and lush texture that you’re eating a fluffy egg cloud.

Breakfast sandwich
Breakfast sandwich

Breakfast sandwich
The breakfast sandwich may sound like your ordinary thing, but you can taste the freshness of every ingredient. The egg is perfectly cooked and round (c’mon! Round egg!) and that thick cut bacon … C’mon, BACON! They also offer a breakfast combo for $5 (taxes in!) which includes a breakfast sandwich and beverage; perfect for busy mornings.

LUNCH/DINNER

Omurice before cutting
Omurice before cutting
The filling inside!
The filling inside!

Omurice
This was my first time having omurice, and if I could, I would be making this every day. It is another version of a stuffed omelet. This one is stuffed with fried rice, mushrooms and a protein (this one is beef). Traditionally, the omurice is topped with a ketchup type sauce but Isabella’s classes it up by topping it off with a homemade demi glaze. So heavenly!

Snack size chicken terriyaki
Snack size chicken teriyaki

Chicken Teriyaki
Can you believe that they make their teriyaki sauce in house?! Fresh, from glorious scratch sauce! Also, if you are not feeling rice, then you can also get this beaut in a sandwich form.

Japanese Curry
Japanese Curry

Japanese Curry
This curry is not your stereotypical spicy curry, but it is still rich with that familiar curry flavor. It is smooth and silky that you just want to lick up the whole plate!

Yaki Udon
Yaki Udon with Bonito flakes

Yaki Udon
Who doesn’t love them some noodles?! This yaki udon is a fried udon dish, very simple but delicious. It does come with an option for a protein, but we went simple and got the plain yaki udon which is topped off with some savory bonito flakes.

SWEET TREATS

Nutella macarons and cherry blossom macarons
Nutella macarons and cherry blossom macarons

In the picture are their classic sweet treats that will continually be available. These are their macarons and fluffy cotton cupcakes (also available in a full cake form). The macarons pictures are their cherry blossom (the pink), and a Nutella (brown). These macarons are a delight! They are not cloyingly sweet and are the perfect texture; a perfect portion of the shell and the filling.

(left to right) Nutella macarons, Matcha fluffy cotton cupcake, cherry blossom fluffy cotton cupcake, cherry blossom macarons
(left to right) Nutella macarons, Matcha fluffy cotton cupcake, cherry blossom fluffy cotton cupcake, cherry blossom macarons

Now for their fluffy cotton cupcake. These are my personal favorite. Not only are the ones above matcha iced (green) and cherry blossom iced (pink) but the main base is perfection. They are just like their name, fluffy. These cupcakes are not your typical cupcake taste or texture either; more like a cross breed between a light, airy angel food cake and a flavor-packed dense cake. I realize that doesn’t make much sense, but you have to try it! If you were to visit The Beaches, Toronto area just drop by here to grab a free sample (if available) of their fluffy cotton cake, and you’ll see what I mean!

There is always something new to try at Isabella’s Boutique Restaurant, and I have yet to try everything! If you’re looking for somewhere cozy and relaxing to enjoy a meal, this is the place to be.

A Fatboi in South Carolina

This past September, Fatboi Jess moonlighted as a country bumpkin and embarked on a mini vaca to South Carolina.

Rainbow Row

Boone Hall Plantation (they filmed part of The Notebook here!)

Husk Restaurant & Bar located in downtown historic CharlestonCilantro Will Prevail: tequila, fig, cilantro, lime, tonic, and salt.  Dahl’s Dessert: peach infused Bourbon, peach vinegar, anise, cream, and cinnamon.

Poogan’s Porch, one of Charleston’s oldest independent culinary establishments. The name comes from the pup Poogan that stayed behind when the home was sold and turned into a restaurant. Ole Poogan served as the official greeter before his passing in 1979.Pan Roasted Salmon, watercress, edamame beans, heirloom tomatoes, biscuit croutons, and basil gremolata Mac & Cheese with country ham and aged smoked gouda, bold, savory flavor. This was just the beginning of my mac & cheese journey as I ordered some each day.

Glazed Gourmet Doughnuts open til 2 am on Saturday nights for those post-bar munchiesJeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, a scoop shop with dozens of unique flavors which prompted multiple trips and Forrest Gump imitations…JennayyyyCupcake Down South 

Charleston Farmers Market in Marion Square every Saturday from 8am-2pm April through December, with over 100 local vendors!

My personal favorite flavor, they taste just like a cinnamon roll!

Charleston’s RightOnQue BBQPulled Pork Sandwich, there’s nothing quite like authentic Southern BBQ!

Juice Joint pop-up juice barDreamsicle: orange, strawberry, banana mango (left) Watermelon Agua Fresca with fresh lime (right)Hominy GrillGrilled Eggplant & Herbed Goat Cheese with roasted red peppers and grilled red onion on sunflower toastJalapeño Hush Puppies with sorghum butterIf you don’t smother your hush puppy in mac & cheese, you’re doing it wrong.

Downtown Charleston

Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit, they ship nationwide if you’re in need of that Southern comfortSausage, Egg, and Pimento Cheese with The Glass Onion’s “Belle” sausage patty, pimento cheese, and scrambled eggs. I wish I could’ve eaten this twice.Blueberry Biscuit, blueberries baked inside with lemon cream cheese frosting made in-house with sugared blueberries

Magnolias, upscale Southern cuisineSweet Chili Rubbed Ahi Tuna, habanero hummus and Pepper Jack spring rolls, roasted mango salsa, Créole remouladeSouthern Fried Mac & Cheese, BBQ pulled pork, collards, black-eyed peas

Bakehouse Bakery & CafeNot your average s’mores bar with a cold block of chocolate sandwich between a toasted marshmallow and a thick graham cracker. Cold chocolate is the way to go.

Prohibition  Margarita Caliente: El Jimadore Blanco Jalapeño infusion, Cointreau, lime, agave, Scrappy’s lime, chipotle saltGrass Fed Angus Burger, bacon jam, cheddar, house pickles, garlic aioli, fries

I can’t report too much here on account of the jalapeño margaritas and a failed attempt at initiating a dance off with a bachelor party.

We stumbled upon the Savannah Bee Company tucked away in the King Street Shopping District, where they offer mead tastings. Mead is the oldest alcoholic beverage made by fermenting honey with water and fruits, grains, hops, or spices. While you won’t ever find me ordering rounds of mead at the club, it was a great experience tasting the different types and learning about its rich history.

Notable Food Trends: Pimento cheese, Fried green tomatoes

Closing Thoughts: “If I lived down here I would most definitely end up on my 600-pound life.”

Jess, @FatboiTendencies

Catherine Takes a Seat at Andrew Tarlow’s Table

These days, I rarely have time to sit down and read a book. Let’s be honest, I am lucky enough to keep up with meetings, conference calls and only because of The Skimm am I well aware of what’s going on in the news. When I found out that Andrew Tarlow was making a trip to Nashville and partnering with one of my favorite restaurants in town, Rolf and Daughters, I knew this was an event not to be missed. I put aside the magazines, hit pause on the DVR, sat down and read Dinner at the Long Table from cover to cover.

Andrew Tarlow is the “unofficial mayor” of Brooklyn. This restaurateur is single-handedly responsible for transforming the New York borough into the world class dining scene that it is today.  His empire is vast and truly knows no bounds. Consisting of five restaurants ( Marlow and Sons, Diner, Roman’s, Achilles Heel, Reynard, ) a butcher shop (Marlow and Daughters) a bar (The Ides) a bakery ( She Wolf Bakery)  and a hotel (Wythe Hotel), Tarlow has most recently added handcrafted leather bags (Marlow Goods) to his list. I seriously want to know when this man sleeps!  What’s the latest with Tarlow? His Cookbook, Dinner at the Long Table, a collaborative effort penned with Anna Dunn. Dunn is yet another superstar who serves as the editor in chief of the famous Diner Journal, a magazine dedicated to art, literature, and recipes. Oh, and by the way, add that one to his list as well. This man is pure genius. Clearly, I am a huge fan 🙂

It’s no surprise that this “cookbook” reads more like a personal journal or book of short essays exploring family traditions and celebrating those that have shared dinner at the long table with Tarlow from the beginning.

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Tarlow and Rolf and Daughters carefully selected dishes highlighting multiple menus throughout this gorgeous book.

We started with Turnip and Apple, which was a slight variation of the Turnips and Oranges recipe under One Good Goose. This menu focuses on the importance of people and procuring ingredients from local purveyors. The apples were the perfect juxtaposition to the turnips. The heartiness of the dish was balanced out with local watercress and Gruyere cheese. A perfect opener for the evening.

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Anxiously awaiting our next dish, the Eggplant with Bone Marrow Agro Dolce was served from the section I love, you love, we all love bluefish. This menu pays tribute to those who enjoy and find pleasure in highlighting the unsung heroes of the sea. Speechless. I was left speechless after my first bite. This dish was the epitome of agrodolce. The richness of the broth provided balance to the sharp vinaigrette. And the marrow? Melted in my mouth faster than any M&M I’ve ever had.

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Basking in the deliciousness of my first two courses, the Agnolotti in Brodo was served. This dish comes from the Night Before a New Year menu. Dishes concocted for this meal are both elaborate and laborious, as what would be expected on New Year’s Eve. I enjoyed this dish and could taste the amount of effort that went into crafting each piece of pasta. The agnolotti was stuffed with a crumbled pork mixture, lighted covered in brodo and topped with Parmigiano-Reggiano. Confession: If I weren’t in public, I totally would have had every drop of that brodo. AMAZING!

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Wild Striped Bass with Polenta, Tomato and Mint highlighted in the Agro Dolce menu strives to find the balance between sweet and savory. The bass was placed atop a soft, creamy bed of polenta drizzled with olive oil and garnished with mint. The creaminess of the polenta played very well with the acidity of the fish.

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Ending the meal on a sweet note, we ordered Toasted Rice Ice Cream with Bitter Chocolate.  I could not think of a better conclusion to this flavor filled journey. The ice cream was both delicate and sweet, topped with crisps that provided that extra crunch with each bite. Maybe one of the best ice creams I’ve ever had. And yes, I realize what a strong statement that is.

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Tarlow and Dunn open with the poem, “Eat Sunshine.” This will speak to each person in different ways, but I wanted to share a few of the nuggets that sang to my heart:

  • participate in the timeless
  • never measure
  • make drinks
  • spend your life thinking about dinner
  • game changers
  • remember what you forgot
  • eat with your fingers
  • set off the smoke alarm
  • write a menu for every meal, even the small ones
  • find your heroes

Pour yourself a glass of wine and have a seat at Andrew Tarlow’s table. He truly is a hero and an innovator when it comes to American cuisine. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Empire Espresso & Amandine Bakeshop in Seattle

14794067_10154657478534628_798819453_nIf you’re a Seattlelite, coffee runs through your bloodstream. You’re constantly searching for the next best thing. Well, I’m here to tell you that Empire Espresso is stiff competition and with Amandine Bakeshop right by its side, you are bound to fall in love.

Empire Espresso has been around for 7 years, with locations in Capitol Hill and Columbia City. Owners Ian and Natural put a lot of thought into the process of making coffee, from the type of drinks they serve to the employees and even the milk. This attention to detail makes all the difference. They make their cashew milk in house, turn that into a Chai latte and you’re good to go!

amandine 2Need a pastry? Amandine Bakeshop bakes all of their goodies right in front of you.

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Chef Sara Naftaly and her team provide most delicious assortment of daily macarons (featured: Lime + Tahitian Vanilla Bean, Guava + Cajeta and Indian Blood – Peach).

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My favorite pastry? Their chocolate, carambar, sea-salt and hazelnut cookie.

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When you visit, be prepared to get a slice of cake (featured: Buttermilk Cake with seasonal berry (mine was blueberry) and candied ginger). And if you’re feeling adventurous, try the macaron ice cream sandwiches!

Empire Espresso was also featured in Seattle Met Magazine for Best Coffee shop in Columbia City/ Capitol Hill. Treat yourself, grab a coffee and a pastry and enjoy their upstairs area.

OktoberFEAST: Feasting for Cancer Research in Toronto

Instagram: @CCSGTA @CancerSociety

Facebook: Canadian Cancer Society

Website: OktoberFEAST

OktoberFEAST Shan 6

CCS logo
Canadian Cancer Society
OktoberFEAST logo
OktoberFEAST

 

 

 

 

 

 

October is filled with Thanksgiving (Canadian Thanksgiving, eh!), Halloween, Oktoberfest and, of course, it is Women’s Cancer Awareness Month. I was given the opportunity to attend a fundraising event called OktoberFEAST Toronto which was hosted by the Canadian Cancer Society. My boyfriend’s family has a history of breast cancer so anything to support the research, I am in! If you are interested in attending an OktoberFEAST event definitely check out their website to find a location near you! The night was filled with music, company, drinks and of course FOOD!

STEAM WHISTLE

Steamwhistle beer

To start off, I’ll share our beer of choice of the night — Nico, my boyfriend, and I chose SteamWhistle, a local beer brewed next to the lakeshore in downtown Toronto. It is definitely our local beer of choice because it has a full body, yet is still light without being watery. When I get my hands on a favourite beer, better not accidentally take my glass otherwise I’ll take yours too!

Two glass filled now!
Two glass filled now!

NORTH POKE

Three different pokes available (front to back): Salmon, Ahi Tuna, Octopus
Three different pokes available (front to back): Salmon, Ahi Tuna, Octopus

Now for the food: first up, North Poke! Lately, poke has been a big trend in Toronto and there’s probably a new poke restaurant popping up every other week. This is my first time trying North Poke and I definitely enjoyed it!

OktoberFEAST Shan 9

There were three choices of poke, and I went for the salmon poke which had gochuchang dressing, kimchi crema, radish, fried shallot, scallion and microgreens on a bed of sushi rice. Nico is not much of a fan of raw foods but he ate majority of this poke! This poke was not only fresh but made us want more and more. I will definitely be dropping by their store-front for a large size!

KANTO by Tita Flips

OktoberFEAST Shan 10

Next, we went back to our roots and got a Filipino classic from Kanto by Tita Flips. We are big fans of Kanto and were super happy to see that they partook in OktoberFEAST! Featured is a lumpia, a Filipino spring roll! They had a pork and a vegetarian option, but of course we had to go for the meat. The lumpia was perfectly crunchy and the meat was moist and flavourful. We can’t wait to have more!

HAWTHORNE FOOD & DRINK

OktoberFEAST Shan 11
Crunchy Cauliflower Trio and Siu Mai

Hawthorne Food & Drink was new to me. They serve “Farm-to-Fork City Food” using only local, seasonal and sustainable ingredients. For this event, they brought out their Siu Mai and a Crunchy Cauliflower Trio. Not only were these dishes beautiful and colourful, but knowing that everything on these dishes are local makes the flavours brighten. I can’t wait to explore more of their menu!

HEDWIGE DUMPLINGS

Jerk Chicken on lentil rice with Oxtail Gravy
Jerk Chicken on lentil rice with Oxtail Gravy

Now, who doesn’t love a good Jerk? We indulged in some jerk chicken with rice, lentil and oxtail gravy and also some African coconut donuts from Hedwige Dumplings. The chicken was moist and the jerk was simple enough that it worked really well with the lentil rice.

African Coconut Donuts
African Coconut Donuts

Now those donuts, they definitely remind us of the Jamaican Dumplings which are fried sweet dough. Man, anything sweet and fried is bomb and these donuts are no exception. On top of that, the two ladies who own the booth are filled with so much energy and smiles that you can’t help but smile along!

WAFEL BAR

OktoberFEAST Shan 16

I don’t know how but we managed to have room for dessert! Here is the Turtle Waffel from WAFEL BAR food truck, a classic sweet Belgian liege waffle topped with chocolate sauce, caramel sauce and pecans. Oh man oh man, so delicious and so perfect. The waffle has the classic hard outer shell but was still soft  in the inside. If you’re in the area, you have to seek out this truck!

TORONTO POPCORN COMPANY

OktoberFEAST Shan 15

The best part of this experience is that we were given VIP passes — and paying an extra few bucks is definitely worth it. Not only do you get the mason jar included, a cool orange bracelet, one free drink and a VIP lounge,  but you also get popcorn —  not your ordinary popcorn, no no, but gourmet fancy popcorn! And the best part? You get to take as many as you want!! Not going to lie, if I had a big bag with me then I would have taken all of these, but unfortunately I only took home three. The Toronto Popcorn Company is a local popcorn company that creates and sells some crazy flavours, from classic caramel to maple bacon to vanilla spongecake popcorn… they have ’em all!

OktoberFEAST Shan 17

Overall, this event not only had amazing food but also brought cancer awareness to a whole new level. We wish them all the best and cannot wait for next year! Two more locations will be hosting an OktoberFEAST event so definitely check out their website.