Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Q&A with UofT's Bulletin

About a month ago I was approached by the University of Toronto's newspaper, the Bulletin, to participate in their 'Off the Clock' series. "'Off the Clock' is an ongoing series of short Q & A's with faculty and staff and their lives outside the university, i.e., what they do ‘off the clock'."

A coworker recommended me to the Bulletin and mentioned my love of food. The Bulletin thought it would be a great idea to focus on that, so most of the Q's were related to that. I even included a recipe in my answers.

You can read the article here.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Playa Cabana Cantina

This past Sunday I went to the Junction Flea Market with some friends. After walking around for a while and making some vintage purchases we were feeling a little peckish. We walked along Dundas until we came to Playa Cabana Cantina. It's a traditional Mexican restaurant, where you're encouraged to eat with your hands - "The tortilla is your plate and your fingers are your forks".

The decor is Junction-themed with neon signage and vintage Mexican film posters.

It's Tapas-style dining, so we ordered guacamole for the table and each ordered two different tacos, and of course, margaritas! The food was incredible and the portions were perfect. I'm already planning my next visit.


House-made chips and guac

Flor De Calabaza Con Queso - Zucchini-blossom with Oaxacan cheese

Ancho-Braised Shortrib - AAA Ontario Beef shortrib braised in ancho chiles on a crispy tortilla with guac, crema, queso

Pollo Tinga - Braised chipotle chicken breast on a crispy tortilla with guac, creme, queso and a Mexican pineapple soda

Monday, September 9, 2013


A few weeks ago I had a night out with some friends from high school. It was my turn to choose the restaurant and the only suggestion I had was that we dine on a patio. After a quick Google search I came across BlogTO's article "The Best Patios in Toronto". I went through the list and looked at the menus and locations of all the restaurants. My criteria was that it be located somewhere that was easy to get to by all the girls, and have great vegetarian options for my non-meat eating friend. Smith seemed to be the winner, and when we got there we all fell in love with it. It's located at 553 Church (Church and Wellesley) with a hidden patio behind the building.

We loved the open bulbs lighting the patio, as well as the mix-matched plates and cutlery, the chalkboard directional signage and the newspaper-like menu. The food was incredible and we had such a great time catching up and enjoying the atmosphere.

Patio lights and little flower pots

Table setting
Chalkboard directional signage

Newspaper-like menu

Appetizer of bread and avocado spread

Grilled corn-on-the-cob with chili powder, goat cheese and lime juice

Heirloom tomato salad with roasted beets, fennel, cucumber and pickled beats

Myself at Smith

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Shakespeare in the Park

I recently went to Shakespeare in the Park to see MacBeth. They encourage you to arrive early to the park to get a good seat, and we brought along a picnic to enjoy while waiting.

My contribution to the picnic was some aged Cheddar, Brie and homemade Fig and Honey jam. The jam was very easy to make and was a big hit at the park.

I used this recipe from Well Preserved

I used these great figs from Kensington Market!

One of the most important steps of the recipe is to have the mixture boil and reach a temperature of 210 Fahrenheit so the jam sets

The finished product! The fig skins and seeds give the jam a great texture

Enjoying our picnic in High Park while the actors rehearse

Jam and Brie on a cracker - Absolutely delicious!