September 30, 2013

Afternoon Tea at The Royal York

Rich's mum took the ladies in the family and I out for afternoon tea earlier in the month. This is an annual little get together that has been happening since her granddaughter Hanna, was wee small! She's twelve now. Super cute, right? This year included, was my third year and it's always such a treat. In 2011 and 2012, we had tea at the King Edward. This year we visited the Royal York.

Afternoon tea is served in the Library Bar from 12:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m on the weekend. One unique thing about having tea at the Royal York, is that there are various designs of tea pots, cups and saucers at the table. Everyone's is a little different!

I selected to have the Jasmine Butterfly #1 tea.
Generously floral cup imparts a peerless Jasmine bouquet.
Highly aromatic nose. Delicate white blooms said to resemble butterfly wings.

Butterfly wings, flowers and tea, sounds good enough to me!

In honor of the birth of William and Kate's baby boy, Chef Collin Thornton, Executive Chef at The Royal York arranged a special menu to celebrate.

September 29, 2013

Blanket Time with Katie

Katie from last month. She's grown so much since then!

After snack a light snack of Cheerios, we played with blankets!

Hehe, bundled up Katie!

September 27, 2013

Jerk Steak Tacos

Tacos are one of my favourite meals that I just never get around to making as often as I'd actually like. It's probably because of all the prepping it involves and my love for homemade tortillas. The best part is, you can make it however you want to, with whatever toppings you wish and with any filling you want. Beef, chicken, pork, beans, fake meat...the list goes on and on! 

Last time I had tacos, was with Richard. I made mine with ground chicken and his, meatless with ground chick'n. They came out delicious! 

To change things up a little, I decided to use strip loin beef steaks which I had slathered with jerk marinade. I don't use a recipe, but if you're looking for a starting point try this one. The steak gets pan grilled, cooled and finally sliced into thin strips. 

Jamaican x Mexican fusion!

There's four delicious steaks in there. I love the dark caramelised parts!

If you have a little spare time the day before or even a couple days (or weeks, as these freeze beautifully; just defrost them and microwave wrapped in a damp clean towel in 30 second intervals) before taco night, make tortillas! It's quite simple to make, taste and have a better texture than store bought. It's even easier if you've got a helping hand. aka. your kids, friend, spouse, neighbour etc. 

Obviously don't want the little children to man the stove as you'll end up with burnt tortillas!!! Which means no tortillas!

That and burnt little fingers, which usually results in wailing and flailing and dinner not being made.

Either scenarios could end up with everyone dining at a Taco Bell. Not that that's a bad thing, as I myself quite enjoy a taco supreme from time to time along with a fries supreme. mmmMm.

Okay, back on track.

I used up whatever was in the fridge as taco toppings. This included...

Sliced radishes, which add a nice refreshing and peppery crunch.

Chopped cherry tomatoes from the garden.

Green onions, also grown from the garden.

and a half of a sweet onion, diced.
There was also shredded ice berg lettuce and plain, unsweetened yogurt instead of sour cream/crema.

I put everything on and added a couple dashes of hot sauce. Yum!

You know what would have made this over the top amazing? AVOCADO! 
I always forget the avocado. $%&@(!!!

Next time. I promise.

I hope this makes you crave tacos now! :)

September 26, 2013

How Well Do You See Colour?

"FACT: 1 out of 255 women and 1 out of 12 men have some form of color vision deficiency.
Take the online color challenge, based on the official FM100 Hue Test by X-Rite."

The test only takes a couple of minutes and after the program tallies up your score. The lower the better. Try it! 

Apparently I have perfect colour vision. :)

September 25, 2013

Quick Picks From the Garden

 I picked these about two weeks ago when the weather was anywhere from 40C to 10C. It was the right time. Bright colours stood out from the greenery and it was just calling out to me! 

 Roma tomatoes, scotch bonnet peppers, jalapenos.

Black Krim tomato and red cherry tomatoes.

 This year I grew mini bell peppers! I thought they would turn different colours, but they all turn out to be orange ones. Not that I mind, they look like mini pumpkins!, really little pumpkins.
WHAT IS THIS? A bell pepper booger??

Regular vs. tiny baby booger.

 Tank's thinking this is pointless.

 It's so small, Tank doesn't even notice it. (That's what she said)
 My Black Krims have been splitting a lot lately thanks to the funny weather. This particular one was spared, except that when I brought it in, I dropped it. #@$^!

 That's a "regular" red bell pepper. It's kind of stunted. Rich and I ate it raw and it was super packed with flavour. Would have been awesome roasted and made in to a dip!

Below, is what a Black Krim looks like on the inside.

 Isn't it pretty?

My family won't eat it, because "it looks ugly". Little do they know, most heirloom fruits vegetables are! This is what tomatoes used to look like before everything got modified to bits. :)

September 22, 2013

Bumble Bee's Friend

 Rich and I were sitting out on the patio, when he noticed a bumble bee resting on one of his raspberry blossoms. I ran inside to fetch my camera and snapped a couple of photos. It looks like his little friend wanted to be photographed too! Or just wanted to wake him up by fluttering about.

 Or perhaps to sneak a little snack while his buddy was sound asleep.

September 21, 2013

Finally, Ground Cherries!

 I tried to grow ground cherries last year, but something went wrong and the plant ended up being perpetually stunted. It produced maybe three berries, that were the size of a booger. That something wrong, was that I had let the plant and it's soil flood, for days. Why? I had forgotten to make drainage holes in the pot and kept on forgetting to add them! Lesson learned. Always make sure gardening pots have holes in them before putting anything in them. 

 CHECK! I did it right this year and ended up with two decent sized ground cherry plants that produced a good amount of fruit. Happy girl! 

 If you're not familliar with these golden gems, read a little more about them here. They are in the same family has tomatoes and tomatillos, but depending on the variety you get they can taste similar to a mango, pineapple or even guava! I'm growing Aunt Molly's ground cherries, which are a little citrus-y, taste of mangoes with just a tiny bit of savory.

 They grow inside a little green husk which dries out, becoming light and papery. Then they fall to the ground, hence their name. That's when you know the fruit inside the cute little package are ripe and ready to be eaten. Neat, huh? Best thing is, that husk acts like as a camo, so critters don't know to eat them. 

 I'm going to save a bunch of seeds for next year so I won't have to scavange stores online and offline for them once it's seed planting time.

That right there (above) is my little makeshift photo set up. It consists of a piano bench and foam board set up beside a giant window. I also used another piece of white foam board as a reflector. It was a bit late in the day and quite gloomy, so it was nice to have a tripod on hand.

Now you know my secret. :)

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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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