April 25, 2013

I'm off to America!

 I'm off to Ohio for the weekend! Follow me on Instagram to take a sneak peek at what we're picking up! xoxo

 P.S. It's got tonns of wrinkles!!!

And no, it's not an old person.

Dining out at Tandoori House

Make a reservation for Sunday nights!

Date night with Rich involved one of our favourites; Indian cuisine! We both love it and since I had a group-deal voucher ($15 for $30 worth of food) that was about to expire in a few days, we hopped on over to Tandoori House at Yonge and Sheppard. As with most restaurants on Yonge Street, there is no free parking but $4 in the meter will give you more than enough time to dine.

Edited to add: Groupon has this deal on right now! $15 for $30 worth of food for two or more, go, go, go! Thank me by using my referral :)

Butter chicken, naan, samosa and pakoras


Goat curry, naan and a spinach dish cooked with Indian spices
Upon entering the restaurant, we noticed how full it was. We were greeted on our way in and promptly shown our table, which had yet been cleared. We stood beside it for a couple of minutes while our waiter and waitress cleaned off the dishes and laid out fresh linen. With dinner vouchers, I usually show whoever's waiting on us that I plan on using it to avoid confusion when it came to adding up the bill. I did that and although the voucher excluded Sunday dinner buffet ($15.99), the owner was happy to let us use it anyways which I thought was nice.
One of Rich's plates with channa masala, a lentil (dahl) stew, pakoras and samosa
He wanted me to show you how ginormous the chickpeas were!

As you know, Rich is vegan so we wanted to know what options there were for him. His usual dish is the channa masala, eaten with an order of naan or roti and rice. When asked about it, the staff personally showed us which dishes out of about twenty were dairy, ghee, meat and animal derivative free. Bonus points for them to do it with a smile too, as it was super busy! Turns out there were a total of four options available to him plus the mini salad bar.

Totally with the $15.99, which is pretty much the equivalent to ordering off the menu.

Chicken korma, lentil stew, a small piece of tandoori chicken and naan

Galab jamun and Indian rice pudding

Over all, We're really glad to have been able to try an Indian buffet! There were a lot of dishes both Rich and I were able to try that we hadn't eaten before and probably wouldn't have ordered regularly. We loved the variety and the freshness of the food. Naan and roti were continuously being replenished, still hot from the oven! Every so often staff would clean off the buffet table, refill items that were getting low and coming out with delicious pakoras and samosas. The chicken was super moist and not dry, +1.




As for the quality of the food, I'd rate it somewhere in the upper-middle. Everybody makes their gravies and sauces differently, so it's not to say that the flavours were unappetizing, they were delicious, but my taste buds have agreed better with butter chicken and chicken korma from other restaurants. To me, the butter chicken was a little too tomato-y, not enough cream, chicken korma wasn't thick enough and was missing a certain sweetness and the samosas were incomparable to A1 Sweets and Samosa King (read about my visit: Samosa Overload). My favourite was the goat curry, which was divine. Super rich and flavourful!

The other dishes however were so, so, SO good! All the vegetarian food was bang on awesome as were the pakoras and naan. Oh man, the naan was to die for! I could have eaten 10 pieces. I probably did! They were perfectly chewy with little parts of crunchy.

I tried the dessert, but it just wasn't for me. It's not the restaurant, I'm just not a fan of rice pudding and gulab jamun, a deep fried cheese donut soaked in rose water syrup, served warm. But I tried it and if given the chance might try it again!

The final verdict? As full was I was leaving Tandoori House, I was left craving it a couple hours later. I couldn't stop thinking about dipping fresh naan into flavourful gravies! Yes, we would totally return- especially if we had another group buy voucher. I actually can't wait to return or to try another Indian buffet. 

There were so many dishes I didn't get to try due to being waaaaay to full. So sad!

April 23, 2013

All Bran Raisin Muffins


One day, I had a hankering for bran muffins. Moist, dense and subtly sweet with raisins and a thick chewy top. It just so happened that I had a full box of Kellogg's All Brand cereal sitting in the cupboard waiting to be consumed- it was meant to be!  Apparently eating it plain is just too much of a bore, so no one's touched it and thanks to coupons I didn't pay anything for it either. Win win for me, I guess! 



I veganized this recipe and they came out really good! Of course, I made modifications like substituting soy milk for milk, cutting a little of the sugar and replacing the egg with a flax meal + water mix but everything else I pretty much followed to a T.

Oh and I added a couple handfuls of raisins too.



Since I had cut out some of the sugar in the recipe, I added some course sugar to the tops of the muffins before I baked them for a little extra crunch and glimmer! 

They were delicious warm out of the oven, but I prefer to eat them when they're cool. The next day, even! 

Next time I think I'll substitute apple sauce for the oil, maybe add in a banana and keep them vegan just so they're like.. you know.. extra healthy. ;)

Tank & My Seedings

Peek a boo

I see you!

Waiting..

...for me to leave.

Tomatoes and peppers!

Italian zucchini seedling

Nearly two months since I planted these

Little tiny thing

A more mature ground cherry seedling

Polish in lilac
I'm wearing Eyes Lips Face's Lilac nail polish. It was 50¢ (after a 50% discount, now raised to $2 reg.) and with the right base and top coat it can last me a week and a half before the tips are too worn out to look decent! Of course, I re-apply a quick dry top coat every 4 or so days to keep it looking fresh, which is probably why my manicures last this long. Love the colour!

My little plants are growing and growing. Despite me letting them dry out over the weekend, when I am not at home, they seem to be thriving! A little re-hydration the moment I get home perks them right up and the continue on. Little miss likes to lurk around when I do this. You know, just in case I leave her unattended so she can dive into the "salad bar" and pig out.

Tomato leaves are toxic. What a dummy! <3

P.S. There are two ground cherry plants that are doing really well and one little one that's trying to catch up. I'm really hoping I'll get some awesome fruits this year!

Dining Out: Made in China

Side dishes of marinated fried tofu, pickled daikon radish and Hong Kong style kim chi (which is slightly sweet)

Deliciously rich mystery soup

Excellent Singapore noodles, piping hot, well seasoned and cooked dry to perfection

BBQ glazed pork chops served with rice and their own little side dishes

Stir fried pork slices on a sizzling platter served with rice. The sauce was perfect, not too sweet with lots of umami flavour!
BBQ beef served with rice and side dishes
I was surprised at how ridiculously busy Made in China was when my family and I first arrived, but then realized it was the weekend and the food was priced really well. One can honestly get an awesome, filling meal for about $10 in the afternoon and leave totally satisfied. We ordered and received our food in less than 8 minutes!

The best deal was off the "combo" menus. Depending on which one your order and from which menu your meal could include soup and a drink! I ordered the Korean style stir fried pork which was served on a sizzling hot cast iron plate. It came with the side dishes seen in the first photo, soup, a small glass of soda and rice for about $8. Dirt cheap and you won't miss the sub-par customer service, because guys...it's an $8 meal that is absolutely delicious and will have you walking out with a good sized food baby.

Apparently Made in China also serves Hong Kong style breakfasts in the morning, Korean BBQ and hot pot dinners. It's kind of a Chinese/Korean restaurant that serves both kinds of dishes I guess. I'm pretty sure they merged two restaurants into one; Made in China + Korean Grill House. I'm looking forward to returning!

Located at...
3280 Midland Ave 
Toronto, ON M1V 3Z9 
(416) 332-8807 

April 19, 2013

Rewind, 01

 Back when there was still a little snow on the ground and it wasn't all of a sudden 24C, Rich and I took a little walk around the ravine near his house. Enjoy the random photos. xx


 This was the little dead raccoon we discovered last year! It's gone through the death cycle and his bone(s) are all clean and free of rotting flesh. I'm thinking about collecting the skull when it dries up a bit. All the other little pieces of bones are long gone.

Read about when we first discovered it: Rest Well, Little Ones
and the update: Dead Little Raccoon












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About

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!

Contact me at: jubesandtank@gmail.com

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