March 29, 2013

Spring in the Pluses

The weather is finally catching up to its season and I made my first cup of blended iced coffee (in 2013). Ever since winning the Keurig Mini coffee brewer, I've been making fresh coffee more often than ever! As you can see, I haven't busted out my warm weather cups yet, hence my beverage being served in a mug...a very pretty coloured mug, might I add! 

 If you make your own blended coffee drinks, how do you do it?

I like stocking up on strong coffee ice cubes and keeping them in the ice box. They're super handy to have around in the warmer (or sweltering hot) months when you want that coffee slush but hate that it gets diluted with meting ice cubes!

 The fastest way for me to make a single serving is to use my Magic Bullet along side the ice cubes and Keurig. I start by filling the blender cup full of ice cubes, then I brew coffee right into it. I toss in my add ins (syrup, sugar, milk, cream, flavoured creamers, chocolate etc.) and blend away! Perfect every time and doesn't cost $5. 

I'm thinking of picking up a cold tumbler similar to this one, so I can take yummy drinks with me on the go.  :D

It was a really nice day, so I took a stroll around the yard to check things out. Brought my camera along with me and snapped some pictures. Everything's melting, melting, meeeeeltinggggg!!

Tomorrow I'm heading out to meet Miriam, a good friend who I grew up with. We haven't seen each other in more than 5 years!

March 26, 2013

Dinner at Dragon Pearl

The family and I have been to Dragon Pearl numerous times and when it comes to wanting to head to a buffet for dinner, this is it. For just a couple of dollars more per person (vs. other buffet restaurants) we always leave not only stuffed, but impressed with their food and service. There's a wide variety of food available to suit everyone. I only took photos of the dishes I ate, but there were lots more to choose from. The food is always fresh and the place is spotless.

Take a look!
Sushi rolls made with white and black rice: tempura shrimp, California roll, spicy salmon, avocado.
Salmon sashimi, which was super fresh and fatty and a fried wonton chip topped with spicy salmon

Clam chowder, which was unfortunately in need of more clam. Perhaps someone fished it all out?

Peking duck in a flour wrap, fried salt and chili shrimp and a golden seafood pocket

Roast beef, mashed potatoes, Yorkshire pudding with au jus and a side of grilled green beans

Soup noodles in a beef broth- the noodles were hand pulled to order. I got to watch and it was super mesmerizing!
Cold platter: mussel, Thai chicken salad, coleslaw, olived, marinated mushrooms, cocktail shrimp, seaweed salad and mango salad

For dessert we all shared: Fried dough covered in burnt sugar (favourite!), flan, Chinese sugar donut (also a favourite), fudge brownie and tiramisu cake

We also shared: White chocolate mousse, burnt sugar pastry, Chinese donut, chocolate strawberry, cheesecake bite and a mini egg tart, which was still warm and so, so good!
Fortune cookies that came with the bill

This is what mine said. :)

Overall, we had a fabulous time! I can't wait to go back, but not for another couple of months. Buffets are only fun every few of months. Anymore than that, I think my body/system might rebel!

March 21, 2013

Chew Toy

Tank's new best friend, the clown dog gets groomed and snuggled. Soon he'll be torn into shreds and it'll be time for a replacement. Luckily, there are other little creatures waiting for me to operate on (aka. stuff with cat nip).

Gotta love Ikea and their 49¢ children's soft toys!
Who will be next- the monkey, brown bear, little mouse tabby?

March 18, 2013

Is it spring yet?

I'm pretty sure the trick's on us here in Toronto. Spring will be sprung on March 20th, apparently. That's tomorrow and a we just got a hefty sprinkling of snow a day or two ago! A couple weeks back we were at about 10ÂșC with blue skies, sunshine and a crisp breeze. That's passed and we're back into winter. 
Bah. It's not like we can control the weather. I can, however bring some sunshine and garden freshness into the home though! 

I've been on a "make from scratch" ciabatta kick lately. I just love a super flavourful, crispy/chewy bread with lots of big air bubbles in it! It's quite simple to make, but it does take about two days from start to finish. Luckily most of that time is wait time. 

It's worth the wait.

So the bread got baked and what better to eat it with (other than some olive oil or salted butter) than bruschetta! As someone who loathes raw tomatoes in my salads, I really enjoy it mixed with other vegetables and herbs. Everyone's got their own little variation; mine was a combination of diced Roma tomatoes, finely chopped red onion and garlic, dried basil (fresh would be better, obviously but I don't have any!), salt and pepper and olive oil.

I sliced the ciabatta loaf, dropped a small pat of butter in a pan and toasted them on both sides. If you haven't toasted bread this way before, get to it! It's like, a million times better than the toaster oven. A MILLION.

Then I piled on the gorgeous and super flavourful bruschetta and...

..ate it.

Wait- I took photos and then I ate it!
Oh, and shared. Ate and shared, 'cause I'm nice like that. Ha! 

This made for a perfect lunch/just before dinner kind of meal and the freshness was just what was needed on a snow, nearly spring day. The bread was light and crunchy with just the light amount of chewiness in middle, which was perfect for absorbing all the tomato juice! Delicious

Now go make yourself some bruschetta. Go!

March 13, 2013

Katherine's Cupcakes

Here are the baby shower cupcakes I baked  for my adorable little cousin, Katie! The cakes were vanilla with vanilla butter cream and vegan. I used custom coloured sprinkles (click to see colours) to top off the hand swirled frosting which was dyed various shades of pink, coral and peach. I also made the cutest little flag toppers with her name on one side and date of birth on the other!

I've been practicing my swirls and they're becoming more uniform, which means I've become more satisfied each frosted cupcake. Whoo hoo!

What do you think?

I transported the cupcakes in tin trays and they were later divided between three platters for serving. I hope everybody enjoyed them, even after a very filling dinner! There were only a few left at then end of the evening. :)

By the way, I'm sprinkle obsessed! And swirling obsessed! Let me make you cupcakes!!

I love these little flag toppers. They were designed in Photoshop, printed on craft paper, then hand cut and glued together. I value my patients, because the end results were totally worth it!

I had a blast making these and really, really liked how they came out! Can you tell that I was inspired by spring and flowers?

Happy Wednesday! xx

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Hi, I'm Janetta from Toronto. I cook, bake and often veganize recipes. I photograph nearly everything and those photos will most likely end up being posted here. I've got a little black cat named Tank, who's really cute and a little bit nosy. You'll see a lot of photos of her too!

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