Food

The Friday Five: 5 Things to Do This Month

Here are five festive things to add to your to do list this month.

1. Set a pretty table for you and your guests.

Emily Henderson

2. Make a gingerbread house with little ones in your life.

Keys to Inspiration

3. Wrap presents in a signature style.

Almost Makes Perfect

4. Enjoy an evening by the warm fire.

Wit and Delight

5. Bake up something delicious to share with family and friends.

Your Marketing BFF

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Gift Guide: For the Host and Hostess

I’m so grateful that Daniela has taken time out of her very busy schedule to share four amazing gift guides on White Cabana. Her earlier guides, in case you missed them, focused on babies and toddlers, tweens and teens, her and him.  In this last guide, she’s sharing more original ideas for the host. Or, as she told me, thoughtful “just because” gifts. And, yup, that’s Daniela…always thinking of others!

***

Are you always stuck for what to bring to that dinner party or holiday drop-in? Or maybe you’re stuck on ideas for a small token for a teacher, coworker, or friend? This list is made up of affordable (under $30, with the exception of one!) items that cater to all types of people, but it is especially geared towards those drop-in visits and dinner parties we attend more frequently this holiday season.

Candles. Who doesn’t love a nice smelling candle? This one comes wrapped so nicely, so it’s ready for gift giving!

candle, $14 CAD (on sale), Chapters Indigo

Ornaments are great for those of us who celebrate the holidays with a tree. An ornament is a thoughtful gift your recipients will remember you by year after year. These ones are monogrammed with an initial and can be given by first or last name.

monogram ornament, $6 CAD (on sale), Chapters Indigo

The pineapple trend is still hot, and people are incorporating pineapples in home décor and accent pieces. This pineapple jar can be used for anything “dry,” or it can be left out empty. In addition to it being a trendy item, pineapples signify warmth, friendship, and hospitality. These are all the things you receive when going to visit friends and family over the holidays.

pineapple storage jar, $22.49 CAD (on sale), Well

The store Saje started off with only a few locations, but now you can find many all around. It has the best essential oils and aromatherapy items for home and body healing. No doubt this store will continue to grow and thrive as people are increasingly pursuing personal wellness. This great housewarming gift is priced just under $30.

electric ceramic diffuser, $29.95 CAD, Saje

Know anyone who loves stationery? Eighty Seventh St. is a Canadian company founded by Monica Smiley. Be sure to follow her on Instagram for great illustrations that are sure to bring a smile to your face. These items found online are sure to please the stationery-lover in your life.

notes, $12.50 CAD, Eighty Seventh St.

all occasion boxed notecards, $20 CAD, Eighty Seventh St.

greeting cards, Eighty Seventh St.

L’Occitane En Provence is sure to please anyone on your list. Below are two well-priced hostess/host gifts. I am a big fan of the hand cream and lip balm. They’re packaged beautifully in true “French” fashion.

shea butter holiday bauble, $14 CAD, L’Occitane

shea hugs and kisses, $20 CAD, L’Occitane

Who doesn’t love a magazine subscription? The gift of reading is perfect every time. Start someone’s year off right with a subscription to Style at Home, since it is priced perfectly, and it’s gift that will have your friends thinking of you each month.

Style at Home year subscription, $23.95 CAD for print, $19.95 for digital

As a true coffee lover, I can’t start my day without two cups. I have to draw attention to my favorite coffee – Dineen Coffee Company. We drive here monthly to pick up a few bags of their beans which we grind at home each morning. When I say “we,” I really mean my husband. There is really nothing like a good quality cup of coffee. If you happen to be in the Toronto area, trust me, buying someone a nice bag of Dineen’s temperance roast will not disappoint. It truly is my favorite cup of coffee.

Dineen Coffee

I know that many people won’t be able to make it down to Toronto, so on the subject of coffee, if you have a coffee lover on your host/hostess list, this coffee maker is not only one of a kind, but it makes an incredible cup of coffee. It is on the higher end of my price point for a hostess gift. However, if you know someone who really loves coffee, they will thank you each time you visit by making an exceptional tasting cup. And, cool bit of info, this Chemex coffee maker is featured in the MOMA in NYC!

Chemex coffee maker, $47.99 CAD (on sale), Well

Happy shopping!

– Daniela

***

Oh my goodness, Daniela! You’ve shared another excellent gift guide today! Thank you! I hope you get spoiled this holiday season!

Food: Playing Around with Pasta

I use my KitchenAid stand mixer regularly – mostly to make bread, but I also use it for baking, crepes, and pasta. While I’ve been quite happily making linguine with the KitchenAid pasta cutters for the last couple of years, I’ve had my eye on the pasta press because of the pasta varieties it can make.

Figuring out the right texture for the dough and speed of the mixer has taken a bit of practice, but here’s what I’ve learned so far.

While I do like mixing the dough with the dough hook in the bowl of the mixer, I have found it has worked better for me to do it right on the counter instead. Especially since I’ve been trying to get used to the proper texture.

My very non-precise recipe is eggs, flour, and a touch of water. I know how annoying this lack of recipe is, as I’ve experience the same thing whenever my mom has tried to measure things out when she’s cooking. The thing is is that no matter what recipe I’ve tried, I’ve always had to make adjustments.

Gather the three ingredients and start kneading them into a dough. Rough textured dough is what you’re going for here – rather than smoothy, stretchy dough like you’d use for pizza.

Once you’ve got the dough right, it’s time to use the attachment. Essentially, you take a chunk of the dough (golf ball size is a good guide), toss it into the attachment (into the hopper, specifically), and watch the shapes form!

Each shape will require a different speed. For rigatoni – like you see in the first photo – set the speed to 6. When the rigatoni is your preferred length (i.e., a couple of inches), use the integrated cutter to swipe across and cut the pasta.

Toss the rigatoni with some flour and put it aside. As with my linguine, I place the pasta on a clean tea towel before I cook it or freeze it.

To change the shape of pasta, all you need to do is trade out the shape plate at the bottom of the attachment.

I tried the bucatini next. I didn’t adjust the dough at all, but I did set the mixer to speed 10. It worked out perfectly! Isn’t the middle hole just magic? I could hardly believe that it was actually working!

The fusilli is still giving me issues even after trying several times to get it right. I just can’t get it. I think the dough needs to be even rougher/more textured/drier for it to go through the hopper and come out as a spiral. Speed is set at between 2 and 4 for the fusilli, but I tried both, and neither produced a true fusilli.

For the final trial of the day, I attached the large macaroni plate. And then I smiled when the curvy shape started coming through. Magic once again! I set the speed to 6 as per the KitchenAid manual, and it worked out well.

There are so many great things about fresh pasta. If you have made too much, it’s easily frozen.

If you’re ready to eat it, then it cooks very quickly! Here’s my bucatini paired with my mom’s sauce. Trust me, it’s a great combo!

If you have any tips about using the pasta press, please share! I’ll continue to do the same!

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Food: How To Make a Cappuccino

I recently added to my Alessi collection, and it was a very happy day! I bought the Alessi 9090 espresso maker designed by Richard Sapper.

As with many Alessi items, this one has a story. It was the first product that Alessi produced that was for the kitchen. It was released in 1978, and since then, the company has sold over 2 million machines. The 9090 won a Compasso d’Oro award in 1979, and it was Alessi’s first object to be added to MOMA’s permanent design collection in New York City.

This is a short video from Dezeen where we hear the story of the 9090 from Alberto Alessi:

And now, to the cappuccino! Here’s how I make mine:

I gather my machines – the Alessi 9090 (or, generally, a Bialetti maker) and my frother gadget from Ikea.

If you’ve never used a stove-top espresso machine, then you’ll need to know that it comes in three parts: the base, the middle, and the top. In the base, you put the water (in this machine, I fill it just to the gold steam screw). In the middle – the basket – you put the ground espresso coffee. In terms of coffee, I like Illy and Lavazza, but I also buy what’s on sale. And I recently picked up espresso from Ikea, which I’m looking forward to trying out soon.

A coffee dispenser is handy, but it isn’t essential. After you fill the base with water and put the basket in place, you put the dispenser on top and turn the dial twice (or more for packed, stronger coffee). The dispenser dispenses just enough coffee for any size of espresso machine.

The Alessi 9090’s top attaches to its base via a patented lever-lock system. It’s pretty cool. If you’re using a Bialetti, at this point, you would screw the top onto the water-and-coffee-filled base.

Turn your stove onto high and put your espresso machine on top of the burner. If you’re using a gas stove, keep the flame smaller or the same size as the base of your maker. If you’re using a traditional burner, move the machine so that it’s on the element (off-centre). This ensures that the full base is getting heated and it also means that the handle won’t get hot from the element’s heat.

While the coffee brews, get your milk ready.  I like to heat up my milk on the stove, but a microwave will work, too.

Side note – I love my parents’ Wolf stove!

When your milk is heated (after a few minutes), use the frother to froth the milk.  

Another side note: Check out my parents’ dedicated espresso machine cabinet. It makes me laugh every time I see it. And what’s even funnier – there are more machines stored elsewhere in the house. We do love espresso, and I guess you just never know what size you may need!

When the coffee whistles, it’s done. You can check on the brewing process by carefully opening the lid.

I like to pour my coffee in first, then add the milk. But if I need a bit more coffee, I confidently add it in post-milk. 

To finish, I top off my cappuccino with a sprinkle of cinnamon (and a side of peach pie, when possible!).

Are you a cappuccino fan? How do you make yours?

Check this out – I’ve been writing about coffee since 2010!

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Event: Terroir Symposium, Toronto

Food makes any event pretty darn great, doesn’t it? Well, what about an event that showcases the best-of-the-best in culinary gems? Count me in! Today, I’m sharing news from the Terroir Symposium. Founded by Arlene Stein, the symposium brings together chefs, pastry chefs, food enthusiasts, publishers, bloggers, and more to showcase and share the achievements of Canada’s culinary industry. This year, Terroir was held at Toronto’s Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO). In short – the event was memorable!

I arrived around lunch, and easily made my way around the food booths. Lunch was presented by Ocean Wise, and each chef prepared a dish to highlight Canada’s sustainable seafood offerings. I was in fish food heaven!

Hor mok, steamed white fish from Georgian Bay, and rice in a banana leaf, from Chef Noureen Feerasta of Rickshaw Bar

crispy fried pickerel wings and cheeks with thai larb, from Chef Kristin Donovan of Hooked   

Acadian Shortnose Sturgeon Toasts, from Chef Katie Venables Lloyd of lbs

albacore tuna donburi, from Chef Michael Hunter of Antler

Water and wine flowed.

S. Pellegrino – an event sponsor (and one of my faves!)

I met up with my friends from Langdon Hall for some bonding over food.

me, Anna, Chef Jason Bangerter, and Franco Stalteri (of Charlies Burgers)

Mingling and desserts pair very nicely together, so that’s where we headed post-fish! The desserts were so beautifully presented in the centre court of the AGO. Were they delicious? Of course they were! I had multiples just to be sure! (I had to do the research to report back to you, right?) The flavours were rich, and everything was of the highest quality. The pastry chefs and their teams sure did spoil all the attendees!

eclairs from Atul Palghadmal of Nugateau 

white perfection (white chocolate, vanilla cream, maple mousse, biscuit) from Lior Aronovich of Amadeus Patisserie

from Chris Kwok of Cluny Bistro

With a full belly, we happily attended sessions to learn about Canada’s culinary industry from the experts. We started with a session on cookbook publishing. It seemed right up my alley considering my background in writing. The panel consisted of Michelle Meade (senior editor, Figure 1 Publishing), Lisa Jager (art director, Penguin Random House), and Trish Bunnett (publicity manager, Penguin Random House). It was moderated by Alison Maclean. These four women spoke about the cookbook publishing industry for chefs, bloggers, and enthusiasts. I was pleased that bloggers were included in several presentations throughout the day. The women spoke of the publishing process – for pitch to proposal to editors meetings to writing to food styling – there are so many parts that go into book making, and I soaked it all up!

We then turned from cookbook publishing to Quebec’s culinary traditions in a session titled “French Flavour.” Since my trip to Montebello, Quebec has been on my mind quite a bit, so when I saw this session in the program, I was curious. We heard from Alex Cruz and Cyril Gonzales (co-owners: Société-Original and L’École Buissonnière), Anne Desjardins, Geneviève Vézina-Montplaisir (Caribou magazine), and Simon Thibault.

The third session we went to before the break was titled “The Science of Flavour.” In this session, moderated by Brian Gilvesy (YU Ranch), Joshua Evans (PhD student), Mark Schatzker (author and hst on Flavour TV), and John Szabo (master sommelier) addressed questions and concerns about flavour. Why do people taste things differently, what are we doing when we grow our food to enhance or change flavour, etc. “Tomatoes” was a hot topic…flavourful or flavourless? It depends on the time of year and where they’re grown, of course!

At this point in the day, attendees were invited to a reception. While I could not eat more caviar (I know, I know, but I couldn’t!), I did manage to sip on a delicious bourbon cocktail! And just like the food and desserts that were served earlier in the day, the cocktails were made with much attention to detail. Loved it!

The late-afternoon sessions first consisted of a panel moderated by Matty Matheson, Viceland TV host and chef, Parts & Labour. We saw clips from Kevin Kossowan’s dramatic film about food and agriculture, learned about pulses (which are dried goods like chickpeas and lentils) from Courtney Hirota from Pulse Canada, and Michael Ableman, author and organic farmer. It was a session that urged us to think about where our food is grown, where we buy it, and how we can maximize our local efforts.

Following this, we heard about the San Pellegrino Young Chef competition. Jacob Richeler of Canada’s 100 Best Restaurants moderated the session with Alison Ramage (Design to Dine) and Normand LaPrise (Toqué). Could you imagine judging a food competition? That would be amazing! They should get the public (aka people like me) right on in there alongside the top chefs! Right?

To end Terroir Symposium, we attended an “Iconically Canadian” panel with Lynn Crawford, Dufflet Rosenberg, Susur Lee, and Matty Matheson. The four chefs have different personalities and culinary backgrounds, so it was interesting to hear about their perspectives on the Canadian culinary industry. While the session focused on Toronto, I know that there are many gems across Canada that add to our culinary excellence!

So would I attend the Terroir Symposium again? You bet I would! Food, mingling, art, and learning…these are some of my favourite things, and Terroir served them all!

All photos by Jordana.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Event: Relais & Chateaux Congress at Langdon Hall

Please tell me you’re still enjoying all of my #WhiteCabanaGoestoLangdonHall news. I thoroughly enjoy my visits there. It’s a unique gem, and I’m happy to share stories about my experiences. The staff is so kind and welcoming, and I’m thrilled that I get to keep visiting. Some friends have asked me about my recent dinner there, so I thought I’d write a little something about it in case others were interested in learning, too.

Last week, Langdon Hall hosted the Congress of the North American Relais & Chateaux partners. Owners, general managers, and others from Relais & Chateaux properties came to Langdon Hall for a few days of learning and mingling. On the Sunday before the learning began, Langdon Hall hosted a reception for its guests – congress attendees and a few other friends, too. I was thrilled to have been invited to join in on the fun.

I arrived at Langdon Hall on a rainy evening, but the weather didn’t dampen anyone’s mood. As soon as I stepped inside the main house, I was handed a glass of champagne (rain? what rain?). While sipping on the bubbly, I chatted with a few of the guests. Everyone was in a happy mood, and everyone seemed to be amazed by the beauty of Langdon Hall. I know! I get it!

Wine tasting was happening in several of the rooms, and in addition to the Bergström and the Guado al Tasso wines, I was fascinated by the Coravin wine opener. A needle punctures through the cork, and the wine is poured. Through the power of magic (and engineering), after you take the opener off the bottle, the cork remains in place. The wine is protected, and it won’t spoil, since the cork remains as the seal.

While we were sipping on champagne and wine, plenty of hors d’oeuvres were passed around. Presentation was beautiful and we were treated with plenty of delicious treats!

A little while later, all guests were invited to make their way to the Firshade Room which is Langdon Hall’s newest event space (I wrote about it when it was set up for a wedding open house.). Here, Langdon Hall’s owner, Mr. Bill Bennett, welcomed all of his guests and introduced three performers from the Stratford Festival – Sean Arbuckle, Blyth Wilson, and Laura Burton on piano. They performed a few songs, and the songs from Guys and Dolls were especially entertaining. It seems like it’s a really fun show!

costumes from A Little Night Music

And then…we feasted.

Chef Jason Bangerter and his team worked wonders once again. Charcuterie, truffle risotto, beef and pork with turnip purée, oysters, and apple slices topped with cheese and marcona almonds? Oh, jeez, I was in food heaven! The meal was served buffet-style, and everything was plated in style. As is the Langdon Hall way!

And to end our meal? Pastry Chef Rachel Nicholson and her team created so many artistic treats. There was something for everyone. I opted for a creme brulée and a peanut butter and strawberry mousse. It was hard to resist at just two – let me tell you!

The evening was memorable, fun, interesting, and delicious. I had great conversations throughout the evening, and I learned more about several Relais & Chateaux properties.

Thanks again, Langdon Hall, for welcoming me in so warmly!

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Travel: Things to Do in Collingwood, Ontario

As I mentioned on Monday, I recently enjoyed a relaxing time at the Scandinave Spa Blue Mountains in Collingwood, Ontario. The day was a full one, and I’d like to fill you in on a few other things I experienced during this mini-vacation.

As I mentioned, the drive from Waterloo to the Collingwood area is very easy and enjoyable. Driving the country roads is relaxing and beautiful. The route took us through the charming town of Erin, Ontario, and just as we entered the main part of town, we spotted a house painted black with café on the sign – the Tin Roof Café. We grabbed homemade cookies and coffee (healthy way to start a spa day, right?) for our journey. I appreciated the design, and the coffee was well-made, too. I recommend it.

As we made it to Collingwood, we stopped to walk the main street. When we spotted a white bike in a shop window, I knew I had to explore. Turns out that the store – Leuk – was made for people like me. White, white, and more white! In fact, Leuk has three stores – a flower store, a café and clothing store, and a furniture store – all on the main street (Hurontario St.) in Collingwood. I wanted to buy everything.

photo via Leuk

On the recommendation of a Leuk saleswoman, we stopped in at The Tremont for a delicious lunch in a design-y, French atmosphere. Marble tables get me. Every. Single. Time. I had a freshly made quiche and side salad, which I thought was an improvement from my morning cookie. The closer you get to a spa, the healthier you get? 🙂 I would definitely go back to The Tremont on a future visit.

photo via The Tremont Cafe

Not wanting to return home after five hours at the spa, we took the quick drive over to the Blue Mountain Village. This is the ski zone. There are shops, restaurants, and accommodations for all those people who love to ski. In the spring, though, the Village is a great place for a little walk. We were also hungry for dinner at this point in the day (worked up an appetite after all that relaxing!), and we walked around the sweet boardwalk to the Oliver & Bonacini Café Grill restaurant at the Westin Trillium House hotel. I had already known that the Westin was in the Village, but I didn’t know that Oliver & Bonacini was the in-hotel restaurant. The restaurant has a beautiful, modern, and welcoming interior, and the sun was shining brightly in the restaurant even though it must have been close to 7pm at this point in the day. Such a wonderful atmosphere! Here, I opted for a classic pizza margherita. Yum. I’d order it again. And one of these days, I’m going to stay at the Westin because it looks like my kind of place – regardless of season!

photo via Oliver & Bonacini

So, not only did I have an amazing time at the Scandinave Spa, but I also really enjoyed exploring a bit of Collingwood. I know the area has so much to offer, and while we generally hear about the winter activity options, I think now is also an ideal time to take explore the area.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Food: My Experience with a Juice Cleanse

I have been thinking about trying a juice cleanse for quite a while now, but it wasn’t until after Easter weekend that I finally decided to go for it. My stomach had been making grumbling noises for a couple of weeks – probably because my eating habits haven’t been great – and a weekend of eating chocolate at Easter made me feel full and uncomfortable. As such, I thought it was a good time to spring clean my body with a cleanse.

Cleanses get mixed reviews. Some people like them because they give our body a break, give us many nutrients intensely, and give us a fresh start. Others say that cleanses aren’t necessary and as powerful as they claim. I can see both sides of the story. I generally try to take the “everything in moderation” approach so that I can eat crepes one day and not feel like I have awful nutritional habits. And I thought that a cleanse could only help my body.

So, moving on to my actual juice cleanse experience. After doing a Google search for juice cleanses in Waterloo (since I didn’t want to do all the prep work on my own!), I came across Good Vibes Juice Co. I recognized the branding from seeing the juices at Vincenzo’s, and since I’m a sucker for beautiful design, I was hooked into the Good Vibes website and read all about the cleanse options.

I mentally prepared for a 3-day cleanse, went into the Good Vibes shop early Tuesday morning, met with the owners, Lloyd and Drew, and left with 24 bottles of juice. Each day, I was to drink 8 bottles (400ml each) of juice in the suggested order: Lemonade, Eby Apple, The Cool, Heartbeet, Sunkiss, Tiger, Envy, and Cocoagood.

Day 1

I was excited to get started. The first juice was basically lemonade, so it went down easy. The same was true for the second juice  – Eby Apple – which was a really delicious apple-based juice. I reached my third juice – The Cool – just after noon, and this juice, along with juice number 4, took me hours to drink. The Cool is a green juice, and while I didn’t mind the taste, I didn’t love it. Juice 4 – Heartbeet – is a beet-based juice and I didn’t like it at all. In fact, I only drank half of it because I didn’t want my taste buds to suffer.

I drank a lot of water throughout the day – as per Good Vibes’ recommendation and as per my usual habit. It really helped me wash down the Heartbeet juice (the beet-based juice) actually!

I had juice 5 – Sunkiss – around 6pm, and it was a delight. By this time in the evening, I wasn’t actually hungry (as I thought I would be), and I was feeling energetic and awake (no coffee all day, by the way). I still had three juices to go before bedtime!

Before I grabbed juice 6 (Tiger), I had a handful of almonds. I wanted to get rid of the taste of the other juices before I went for another juice. Drew and Lloyd told me that if I was hungry, almonds or raw veggies would be good options.

I skipped juice 7 (Envy), and I was quite excited for juice 8 (Cocoagood), which is made up of almond milk, maple syrup, and cocoa. Yum! I was excited for my “reward” at the end of the day, but I ended up only drinking half of it. I wasn’t hungry. This was certainly unexpected!

Day 2

I thought I would wake up starving, but I didn’t! The first two juices (Lemonade and Eby Apple) went down easily on day 2. The third (The Cool) was easier to drink on day 2 than it was on day 1. I struggled through the rest of my beet juice from day 1, and I ended up giving away my two unused Heartbeet juices to friends who appreciated the flavour much more than me!

Again – I wasn’t so hungry during the day, which surprised me. I did have another handful of almonds around 2pm. And I drank a lot of water throughout the day.

After work, I came home for the Sunkiss, then followed it with a bit of the Tiger (a carrot-based juice). Like on Day 1, I couldn’t actually finish all of the Tiger. I guess my taste buds are not so used to these flavours!

Again, I was really looking forward to the “reward” drink at the end of the evening. I definitely liked the sweeter drinks more than the healthier ones! Good Vibes provides the nutritional information online, and I discovered that my favourite drinks were the ones that were higher in sugar. Go figure.

Day 3

Last day! Hooray! The end is in sight! The cleanse has been doable even if I’m complaining about the taste of some of the juices.

My day was similar to day 2. I had a few almonds mid-day, and I made it through about 6 of the juices again…leaving out Heartbeet and Envy. I know that by skipping juices, I missed out on some of the nutrients, but I accepted this. I wasn’t hungry, and I was feeling energetic throughout the day.

I enjoyed my last drink – Cocoagood – around 8pm on day 3, and I felt great. While I wasn’t craving any of my usual favourite foods (pasta! pizza! Nutella!), I was looking forward to a nice latte the following morning!

Would I do a cleanse again? Yes.
I would do a 1-day or 3-day cleanse easily once or twice a year. Maybe even 4 times a year to go with the change of seasons. More than that – I’m not sure. The timing of this cleanse was perfect considering my work/life schedule, and I think that this helped me stay focused.

Would I recommend Good Vibes Juice Co.? Yes.
The opening hours of the store is convenient for me. This honestly made my decision an easy one. Beyond this and the gorgeous packaging, I appreciate all the ingredient and nutritional info that is provided online about the juices.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Food: Finding the Perfect Pizza Dough Recipe

Among all the other things on my to do list this year, I’d like to try to find the perfect pizza dough recipe. My parents get the best fresh pizza dough from a local bakery near where they live, but I have only been able to find frozen pizza dough here in Waterloo. And it’s okay. Nothing amazing. Just fine.

Recently, I watched Anthony Bourdain’s Rome episode in his show The Layover, and I cannot get over the pizza that I saw in the show. The dough looked just perfect.

I tried this recipe from Ina Garten (side note – Ina and Jeffrey – #couplegoals), but I wasn’t impressed. It wasn’t malleable and, frankly, it was bland.

I put a call out on Instagram, and Deborah from Green Light District sent me over a recipe from Gourmet from 15 years ago. I gave it a go, and it was quite good. Although it was a time consuming process – the rise, punch, rise, punch routine – the dough was soft and easy to work with. It had a nice amount of saltiness, too.

Steps 1 & 2

Steps 2 & 3 

Step 3

Steps 4 & 5

Final product!

Here’s the recipe if you want to give it a try – with a few of my add-on notes at the end:

Ingredients:
2-1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1-1/4 cups warm water
1 tablespoon salt
1/4 cup olive oil
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (over the years I substituted 1/4 cup or so with whole wheat or other interesting floors like buckwheat)
Cornmeal for dusting the pizza tile

Procedure:

  1. In a large bowl, proof the yeast with the sugar & 1/4 cup warm water for 10 minutes or so, until foamy.
  2. Stir in remaining 1 cup warm water, salt, oil and 2-3/4 cups flour. Blend until it forms a dough.
  3. Turn out onto a floured surface, knead, incorporating as much as the remaining 1/4 cup flour as necessary to prevent dough from sticking. Should take anywhere between 7-10 minutes. Should be smooth like a baby’s bottom!
  4. Transfer dough to an oiled bowl, turn to coat, let rise covered with plastic wrap in a warm place for 2 hours, or until doubled.
  5. Punch down, let rise again for 45 minutes until doubled again, covered with plastic wrap.
  6. Divide the dough into 3 balls.
  7. Preheat oven to 500.
  8. On a lightly floured surface, roll one of the three balls out into a 12″ round. Quickly transfer on pizza tile, top with sauce, veggies, other toppings. Bake 8-10 minutes or so. Check it often.
  9. A couple of minutes before the pizza is done, add the cheese.

Additional Notes:

  • I don’t use a pizza tile. I use a cookie sheet. I also don’t use cornmeal. I oil up my cookie sheet.
  • I heat my oven to 450.
  • I use my KitchenAid stand mixer for most of the mixing. I then knead it a few times on my floured counter before I let it rise in the bowl.
  • I used “OO” flour (this one from Granoro) because this is what my aunt in Italy uses, but I’m not sure if it makes a difference. I really need to ask her for her recipe. That’s what I really should do!
  • I really like the classic margherita pizza, so that’s why you’ll see it in my Instagram feed most often.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Food: Riviera Yogurt

Months and months ago when I was grocery shopping and my local Sobey’s, I picked up a package of Riviera yogurt. Now, I’m not much of a yogurt consumer. I buy Greek yogurt every so often, but I’m not a daily consumer. So when I saw this Riviera yogurt, I was mostly interested in the glass jars. They reminded me of France. So I picked them up and hoped for the best.

image via Riviera

Let me tell you, this yogurt is really good. It is like the yogurt I’ve had in France and Switzerland. I opted for the plain yogurt (I’m not that fancy when it comes to yogurt), but I’ve since bought the lemon yogurt (mostly because I like saying citron), and I like alternating between these two. The yogurt is delicious, it doesn’t upset my stomach (some yogurts do), and the serving size is perfect. Plus, les petits pots look fancy and pretty. Beyond plain and flavoured yogurt, the Riviera line also includes parfaits, cheeses, and milk. My local Sobey’s doesn’t carry everything, but the Riviera website helps you find locations where the Riviera line is carried.

So what do I do with the glass jars after I’ve eaten the yogurt? Well, they have so many uses! I’ve used my jars to store nuts, hummus, candy, and candles. You can order plastic lids in just about every colour online, and porcelain lids may be available, too (the website notes that these are currently out of stock).

If you live in Quebec and you don’t want to reuse your pots, you can drop them off at Renaissance. Otherwise, you can check out the 1001 tips for reuse.

pistachio dessert recipe and photo via Maison Orphée

photo via Riviera Facebook

For those who are interested to learn more about this yogurt, the Riviera line is part of the Chalifoux company, an award-winning, family-owned business based in Quebec. Oui oui!

Many thanks to Kathleen H. for sending me some lids for my petits pots.

Save

Save

Save

Travel: Niagara Icewine Festival, Niagara, Ontario

Are you looking for something to do this weekend? If yes, I’d like to suggest you take a trip to Niagara to tour the wineries, sip on icewine, and eat delicious food – all part of the Niagara Icewine Festival. I know it shouldn’t take much more than that to convince you, but if you need some more info before you plan your weekend, this is the post for you.

When I reached out to the Niagara Icewine Festival organization, the kind folks there kindly sent over a pair of Discovery Passes. I was eager to go to the festival because I had never been, and I thought it would be a nice day away from my weekend routine of chores, errands, and work. It turned out to be much more than that!

The Discovery Pass ($40) allows you to visit 8 wineries of your choosing over the period of the festival (January weekends). Planning can be done before you arrive in Niagara via the Discovery Pass Listings and Wine Route Planner. I didn’t actually plan too much before we set off, so I did some of the route planning during the car ride over. Although the plan did change a bit as the trip progressed because of chats with other guests and winery staff, it was nice to have some sense of wineries that I might enjoy. Because the participating wineries extended from Grimsby to Niagara-on-the-Lake, it was nice to visit wineries along the full route. Thank goodness for reliable GPS systems!

We began our tour at Kacaba (pronounced Ka-sa-ba) where we met David, a friendly and informative Kacaba employee. Here, we learned about Kacaba’s history and soon-to-be-completed expansion, sipped on Jennifer’s Pinot Gris, and enjoyed jumbo prawns with our icewine cocktail. It was a great start to the day!

From Kacaba, we headed to Stoney Ridge winery. Here, we sipped on some chardonnay and  munched on some apple smoked bacon mac n cheese. The winery has a specialty cheese counter, too. I wanted to try everything! And for dessert – icewine-infused marshmellows roasted on the outdoor fire pit.

After Stoney Ridge, we drove to Megalomaniac. We drove up a windy road through the vineyards, and were greeted by an impressive, modern  building that had been hidden by the fog. It was pretty remarkable. Megalomaniac’s branding is awesome with wine names like The Narcissist and Big Kahuna paired with labels designed to match perfectly. The staff were friendly and generous. Here, we tasted four icewine cocktails and marveled at the grandness of the building’s design and decor. And the fog – oh the fog was pretty dreamy!

We made another stop at Tawse with good intentions to enjoy the Discovery Pass, but we needed a break from wine sipping (imagine that). Instead, we took a tour of the facilities and had a very informative conversation with Julie, one of the friendly Tawse staff. I’d like to go back to Tawse in the spring/summer to explore a bit more. The cave-like setting was charming, and it certainly reminded me of French wineries. Tawse is also interesting because it’s an organic and biodynamic winery – apparently it’s a place where chickens roam. I must learn more!

So after these stops in the area of Vineland, we headed to Niagara-on-the-Lake for a hearty lunch before our next tour.

Our first stop in Niagara-on-the-Lake – and last of the day – was at Strewn Winery. The event was organized so that while guests stood at large tables in the cooking school area, they were served icewine paired with a chocolate ganache tart.

I honestly thought that visiting 8 wineries in one day would be doable. In fact, it isn’t. We spent almost an hour at each winery – sipping, eating, chatting, touring – and if you add in travel time, the day just flies! Plus, who can actually keep track of time when you’re in wine country surrounded by beautiful vineyards? If you’re planning a trip and would like to maximize your Discovery Pass, I highly recommend you stay overnight in the region.

On Day 2, we began in Niagara-on-the-lake at Reif Estate Winery (Reif is pronounced Rye-f). This easily became one of my favourite spots on the tour. The Discovery Pass had us enjoying icewine paired with porchetta. The pig wasn’t happy, but I sure was! The setting was old-world, and I learned that Reif is one of the oldest winery in Niagara. After visiting some of the younger (less than 10 years old) wineries, it was nice to see a place with a longer history.

From Reif, we drove down the road to Konzelmann. This is another winery with a longer history and German heritage. The staff was, once again, informative and welcoming. We learned about the family traditions, the building’s construction, and some of the plans for the future. The retail shop has bottles at various price points.

Stop number 7 (were you counting?) was Sue-Ann Staff Winery in Jordan. This smaller winery is run by a passionate owner and team. Here, our icewine was paired with a sweet potato crème brulée. Yes, I said sweet potato!

To wrap up the Niagara Icewine Festival adventure, we visited Redstone Winery (by mistake, actually) to enjoy a chocolate-infused chili with our icewine. Redstone is owned by the Tawse family, but the feel of the winery is quite different. While Tawse is old-world and cave-like, Redstone is industrial and bright. The building is absolutely stunning, and we learned that it has won awards in the architectural world (I didn’t take any photos of it, unfortunately!). While we couldn’t see the views from the restaurant on account of the fog, I imagine that this would be a spectacular place in the spring/summer.  I’d love to make a return trip here, too. (Are you sensing a pattern?)

As someone who had never been to the icewine festival, or Niagara wineries in general, the Discovery Pass was an ideal option for casual exploration. The winery listings is large, so there’s something for everyone. The pass is also a nice way to spread out your visits during the month of January if you live in – or close to – the region, since the 8 visits are not confined to one weekend of the festival. What I enjoyed about the tour is the variety of wineries that I got to visit as well as the stories and buildings to go with the incredible scenery. The people I met are certainly passionate about what they do!

The Niagara region is approximately a 1.5-hour drive from Waterloo. The drive is easy and pleasant, and it doesn’t include a 401 traffic jam in Milton (great news, right?). There’s one more weekend to go for this year’s Niagara Icewine Festival. Let me know if you have any questions if you’re planning a trip.

Thanks to K.H. at the Niagara Icewine Festival for arranging my Discovery Passes. All opinions, thoughts, and photos are my own.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Gift Guide: For the Cook

I was debating creating Christmas gift guides because I know there are so many wonderful guides already floating around the internet, but then I thought it might be fun to see what I could come up with all-in-white. I’ll be publishing a few guides over the next couple of weeks so as to not overload everyone, but to also get us into the generous holiday gift-giving spirit.

I’m kicking things off with a “for the cook” guide. While I adore my kitchen, I’m not much of a cook. My go-to handmade pastas and pizzas are top-notch, but beyond those staples, I’m just an average cook. I do like to bake though, so some of these items are good for both the chef and the baker in your life!

white-cabana-gift-guide-for-the-cook-2016

Le Creuset dutch oven, Le Creuset large spatula, Martha Stewart kitchen towels, Kate Spade polka dot apron, KitchenAid Artisan stand mixer, KitchenAid pasta attachments, Peugeot salt and pepper set, GlucksteinHome linen napkins, Sophie Conran for Portmerion pie dish, OXO produce keeper, Stelton ice bucket, marble bowl, Godinger marble cheese board, Cuisinart knife set, Joseph cutting board

Save

Food: Langdon Hall + Shoushin

I absolutely do not know how to begin this post. Do I start by telling you about the 10-course menu? Or maybe about the first time I sipped on sake? Perhaps I could tell you about how I shared an evening with a group of strangers. A good place to start might be to tell you about how two celebrity chefs came together to plan a unique dining experience. Okay, you want me to just get to it, don’t you?

You already know that I’m a big fan of Langdon Hall. Ever since I drove up the winding driveway and saw Langdon Hall for the first time in June 2015, I’ve been hooked. It’s not just something in the water. There’s something in the air, the food, the surroundings, the garden, the architecture, and the people. The place is special.

A couple of weekends ago, I was invited to be a guest at an exclusive dinner prepared by Chef Jason Bangerter of Langdon Hall and Chef Jackie Lin of Shoushin. This dinner was a celebration – and collaboration – of two cultures. It was a dinner that brought together tradition from the Japanese and French. It was a unique feast that showcased the culinary art of two incredibly talented chefs as well as incredible sake and wine pairings from Kado and Halpern, respectively. It was certainly a night to remember!

langdon-hall_shoushin_simon-boucher-harris-7

A 10+ course meal? I trained for it! I only ate breakfast that day in preparation for the event! (Although I did have some Terroir upon arrival…do you blame me?). I’m pretty sure my eyes nearly popped out of my head when I saw the extensive menu. Chef Jackie Lin prepared fish that was flown in from Japan for the occasion. Chef Jason Bangerter worked with Jackie to prepare and pair the fish with French flavour and flair, and, as per usual, he sourced many ingredients from Langdon Hall’s gardens. It was inspiring, educational, and delicious! It was chemistry. It was art.

British photographer Simon Boucher-Harris snapped a collection of beautiful photos that I’m thrilled to be able to share here.

Behind the scenes…

langdon-hall_shoushin_simon-boucher-harris-1langdon-hall_shoushin_simon-boucher-harris-3 langdon-hall_shoushin_simon-boucher-harris-6langdon-hall_shoushin_simon-boucher-harris-5 langdon-hall_shoushin_simon-boucher-harris-4langdon-hall_shoushin_simon-boucher-harris-19

(Simon took this photo of Chef Jackie during the cooking demonstration the following day, but it’s such a great photo that I had to include it!)

The dinner…

langdon-hall_shoushin_simon-boucher-harris-8 langdon-hall_shoushin_simon-boucher-harris-9langdon-hall_shoushin_simon-boucher-harris-13langdon-hall_shoushin_simon-boucher-harris-10 langdon-hall_shoushin_simon-boucher-harris-12 langdon-hall_shoushin_simon-boucher-harris-14 langdon-hall_shoushin_simon-boucher-harris-15langdon-hall_shoushin_simon-boucher-harris-17 langdon-hall_shoushin_simon-boucher-harris-21langdon-hall_shoushin_simon-boucher-harris-18langdon-hall_shoushin_simon-boucher-harris-20

Each course – as you’ve seen in the photos above – was paired with sake or wine. I had never had sake, so I was a bit hesitant, but since I was sitting beside Kiyoko Miyashita – sake expert and owner of Kado – I was given excellent explanations of what I was drinking. Sake has a higher alcohol percentage than wine, and it has a unique flavour. I thought I had tasted anise, but Kiyoko assured me that there was no anise in the drink. Althought I was told that the flavour is even better after the drink sits for a while, I could never seem to let mine sit for too long since it was so delicious!

As the evening was a celebration of two cultures, we were also lucky to sip on French red wine for some of the fish courses and the venison course.

It’s hard to put into words how special this evening was. Although many of the 30 people in attendance started the evening as strangers, after clinking glasses to toast, sharing travel stories and laughs, we ended the evening as new social media friends and conversations continued after the evening ended. To have two remarkable chefs collaborate to create a menu just for us, share their recipes, and mingle as they put finishing touches on our meals at our tables was extraordinary. Shoushin at Langdon Hall was a very good idea!

This event was a partnership between two well-recognized establishments – Langdon Hall in Cambridge, Ontario and Shoushin in Toronto.

Photos by Simon Boucher-Harris.

Thanks to Langdon Hall for inviting me to be your guest.

Save

Save

Save

Marketplace: Unique Items at UncommonGoods

Online retailer UncommonGoods recently contacted me to see if I would be interested in shopping for some unique items. I’ve known about UncommonGoods for a while now, but I hadn’t ever ordered anything, so I thought I’d give it a try to learn more about what this company is all about.

It won’t take you long to recognize that the collection of items at UncommonGoods is just that – uncommon. Out of the ordinary. Unique. Different. Interesting. Soon after this initial thought, you might notice that the product selection and variety is large. Luckily, the search filters are effective and specific, so if you’re searching for something specific (e.g., gift for a kid), then you’ll get to that area of the site in no time. The site has a ton of cool gadgets for hard-to buy loved ones, birthday gifts for her, for him, and for kids, and the all-so-popular personalized gifts (isn’t this personalized family art adorable?).

As I often do in sites that have a large product line, I search by colour (white, obviously). This narrows things down easily and really helps me to focus my search. From there, I might expand to other colours (black, stainless). Alternatively, I search by need (e.g., kids, food, art). UncommonGoods search bar and filters really did work well for me, and I found items that suit my style (personal and for gifting!).

palm-trees

All the Palm Trees in Florida, $251.61CAD (I also like All the Taxis in New York)

olive-oilolive oil, $34CAD, (US shipping only)

shave-box

shave box set, $78.88CAD (US shipping only)

travel-pack

men’s organizing travel pack, $62.56CAD

travel-pack

women’s organizing travel pack, $65.28CAD

mealtime-stacking-set

mealtime stacking set, $59.84CAD

empanada-fork

empanada fork, $27.20CAD

UncommonGoods was founded in 1999 by Dave Bolotsky, and since then, he and his team has been devoted to connecting makers of unique items to consumers in an easy way.

I placed my order, and I was pleased to see that the taxes and duties were calculated before check-out. This means that there will be no extra payment surprises once my items arrive at my door. I’m sure other Canadian shoppers will appreciate this checkout option as well. Finally, when I had a question about shipping, I contacted customer service, and I received a reply within just a few minutes. I was very pleased about this, too!

Thanks to UncommonGoods for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Food: Langdon Hall’s Terroir Noir

Yes, yes, I’m back with more news from Langdon Hall. I could easily start a regular Langdon Hall series on White Cabana. The place is amazing, and I’ve recently been calling it My Langdon Hall. Yes, I am totally biased and also completely smitten by the place.

Anyhoo – a few months ago, the team at Langdon Hall invited me to interview Executive Chef Jason Bangerter and Pastry Chef Rachel Nicholson. An interview, I asked? About what? Chocolate! Tough gig, I know.

You see, Langdon Hall decided that they should have their own signature chocolate (as if the place wasn’t special enough), and they wanted some help to get their story out.

You may have seen this post on Instagram recently if you follow me or @LangdonHall or @LangdonHallChef:

Langdon-Hall-Terroir-Noir

via @LangdonHallChef

You see those words right there? Yeah, I wrote them (with some edits from LH)! So cool! Since that paragraph only provides a glimpse into LH’s chocolate, I was given permission to share the full story here on my blog. Read on if you’d like to learn more about how this chocolate came to be.

***

Making of Langdon Hall’s Signature Chocolate: The Beginning
Jordana Garbati

Being whisked away to France on a highly unique chocolate mission seems like an incredible experience to add to one’s bucket list. For Langdon Hall’s Executive Chef Jason Bangerter and pasty chef Rachel Nicholson, this experience turned from dream to reality in February.

Jason and Rachel were invited to Cacao Barry’s prestigious Or Noir in Paris to develop a signature chocolate recipe for Langdon Hall. Only a few Canadian chefs, and only about 200 chefs around the world, have developed a signature chocolate recipe! Armed with a few goals in mind and a clear idea of the flavours the chefs wanted to include in Langdon Hall’s future house chocolate, the duo zipped off to Paris for a three-day chocolate adventure.

At Or Noir, Jason and Rachel were confronted with cacao beans from around the world and wasted no time working with Or Noir’s highly-qualified team to begin the process of developing Langdon Hall’s distinct chocolate.

Chef Jason wanted to ensure that Langdon Hall’s philosophy was well represented in its chocolate. He wanted the chocolate to instill ideas of the land, smokiness (we all know about Langdon Hall’s divine fireplaces), warmth, and tradition. Chef Rachel was on the same page and wanted to ensure that the final chocolate recipe would not only work beautifully on its own, but also become that more memorable when transformed into a chocolate ganache or pain au chocolat.

Chefs-Or-Noir-Langdon_hall

 Chefs Jason and Rachel and the French team at Or Noir

The chefs went through Or Noir’s chocolate recipe development process whereby they explained their desired taste profile, explored cacao pastes from around the world, blended flavours, and tasted multiple production samples.

After a few gruelling days in the Parisian chocolate laboratory (as much as crafting a chocolate recipe can be gruelling), the chefs settled on the perfect recipes for dark and milk chocolate that are set to impress.

Terroir-Noir-Langdon-Hall

Langdon Hall chocolate samples – some of the first pieces Langdon Hall’s dark and milk chocolates – ready for a taste test

The dark chocolate has an ideal amount of bitterness. It’s great paired simply with an after-dinner espresso, and it is sure to increase the quality of Langdon’s popular chocolate-filled pastries and desserts. The flavour lingers on the tongue and is of beautiful texture and consistency. The milk chocolate is as creamy and shiny as you would want it to be, and it is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. Both chocolate recipes are as distinguished as Langdon Hall, they embody luxurious hospitality as much as a chocolate could, and they are yet one more piece that will raise guests’ experiences to another notable level. Jason-Rachel-Langdon-Hall-TerroirNoir

Executive Chef Jason Bangerter and Pastry Chef Rachel Nicholson with the first chocolate production at Langdon Hall

For chefs Jason and Rachel, the signature chocolate brings prestige and innovation. The creation of the Langdon Hall chocolate brings outside-the-box thinking and creativity. This addition to the existing repertoire of phenomenal recipes will entice new and returning guests to visit Langdon Hall to experience its inimitable chocolate.

After the recipe was created in February, the chocolate went into production in France. Since the arrival of the first shipment of chocolate, the chefs have been busy in their kitchen creating new decadent recipes.

On April 25th, Executive Chef Jason Bangerter will travel to the Art Gallery of Ontario to launch Langdon Hall’s chocolate and its top-secret name at the Terroir Symposium, which is an event that brings together top chefs, sommeliers, and artists with the goal to promote innovation, collaboration, and creativity in the field of hospitality. Industry leaders will no doubt be enthralled by the story of how Langdon Hall’s chocolate came to be and I challenge them to stop at just one bite.

***

I should say that Chef Jason did make sure I had my fair share of chocolate during the interview (Thanks, Jason.) I preferred the dark, but the milk was so darn smooth. I know, such a tough gig. Hanging out at Langdon Hall eating chocolate – life. is. good.

p.s. In recent news, did you see that Drake went to Langdon, too? Cool.

Drake-Langdon-Hall-ChampagnePapi

via @ChampagnePapi, photo by @CaitCronenberg

 

Food: How to Make Gnocchi

Easter lunch at my parents’ place means gnocchi. This tradition certainly makes me a happy daughter! My mom’s gnocchi and tomato sauce is amazing. While I always help out – we all have our jobs when it comes to making gnocchi for a gazillion people* – this year, I tried to document the gnocchi making process just in case some readers are interested in learning how to make it.

This isn’t a definite recipe. With much of my mom’s cooking (and recipes), you just “have to feel it”. This makes learning a bit of a challenge, I have to say, but I’ve gotten better at figuring out what “feels” right, and I’m sure you will too!

1. Boil a bunch of potatoes with the peels on for a bunch of minutes so they soften.

2. Drain the potatoes, peel them, and smoosh them in one of these potato press gadgets. (You can also use a food mill, but mom recently told me that she likes the results from the potato press better than the food mill.)

White-Cabana-how-to-make-gnocchi-5

3. Spread the grated/smooshed potatoes onto a clean tea towel and let them cool.

White-Cabana-how-to-make-gnocchi-1

4. Once cool, put the grated potatoes onto the counter, crack two eggs on top of them, and spread a bunch of flour around the pile of potatoes.

White-Cabana-how-to-make-gnocchi-2

White-Cabana-how-to-make-gnocchi-3

5. Gather these ingredients together, then knead, knead, knead, and knead some more. The consistency has to be “just right” so “feel” the dough and stop kneading once the texture is good. If the dough is too soft, the gnocchi will lose its shape. If it’s too hard, it’ll be tough to eat. Like I said, the dough should “feel right”. Good luck!

White-Cabana-how-to-make-gnocchi-4

White-Cabana-how-to-make-gnocchi-6

White-Cabana-how-to-make-gnocchi-7

6. Once the dough has been formed, break off small bits, and roll the dough into long dough snakes.

7. Cut 1-inch-ish pieces from the dough snakes. Flour the pieces as you go, so they don’t stick together.

White-Cabana-how-to-make-gnocchi-8

8. Spread all the pieces out on a large, clean tablecloth** and sprinkle flour over top the pieces.

9. If you want to be fancy, invest in one of these inexpensive wood gnocchi rollers. Roll individual pieces of dough quickly down the wood gadget. While the gnocchi is delicious without this step, the rolled gnocchi is amazing because the newly formed ridges catch the sauce, and the little hole/space in the gnocchi holds sauce really.

White-Cabana-how-to-make-gnocchi-9 White-Cabana-how-to-make-gnocchi-10

10. Take a moment to step back and admire your rolling work.White-Cabana-how-to-make-gnocchi-11 White-Cabana-how-to-make-gnocchi-12

11. To cook the gnocchi, boil a pot of water. Once the water is boiling, add a bunch of gnocchi. The gnocchi are ready once they float to the top of the water and the water is boiling slightly again. Scoop them out, drain them, then add them to a bowl of sauce. By rolling them around in sauce right away, the gnocchi won’t stick together.

12. When you’re ready to serve, call out “tutti a tavola” just like Lidia Bastianich (and a lot of Italian people!). The expression is Italian for “everyone to the table”, which signals to your guests that it’s time to eat, and they should hurry up so they don’t keep everyone waiting.

Unfortunately, I didn’t take a photo of the final product, but trust me, it was delicious, and the sauce worked beautifully with the rolled gnocchi.  (I was definitely more concerned about eating than taking photos once my plate of gnocchi was in front of me.)

*this year, there were only 6 of us, but mom must have made about 20 servings worth because a few of us like to have seconds and there’s always a bunch to share for leftovers

**The tablecloth is an essential part in our process. It might seem unusual, but it’s our tradition. The pieces might stick to a counter, but they don’t stick to a tablecloth.

Thanks, Mom, for letting me capture you in action!

Food & Drink: Moët for Valentine’s Day (or any day)

I’m of the mind that champagne (whether from Champagne or not) should be consumed during celebrations both big and small: closing on new house, having a great day at work, meeting with a friend you haven’t seen in ages, a new baby, or a school graduation*.

I guess with Valentine’s Day around the corner, bringing out the bubbly is very à propos. Heck, whether you’re in a relationship and you celebrate this day of love, or you’re single and avoid the commercialization of it all, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t toast you and your loved ones with a glass of champers**.

It’s not too often that I actually get spoiled with some of the popular champagnes like Moët or Veuve Clicquot***, but maybe 2016 is the year that I bring this luxury to the forefront of my life (maybe to go with my future luxurious but affordable bed makeover?).

Just look at this work of champagne art:La-maison-depuis-1743_fixed_310x310

And the Moët & Chandon bottle is so beautifully classic.

Moet-Chandon-champagne

If you’re looking to pair this with food, the Moët & Chandon team tells me that the Impérial Brut (feature in the photo above) pairs particularly well with sushi, scallops, oysters, white fish, and white fruit (e.g., white peach tart), but I’m pretty sure my tastes buds are also happy when I pair champagne with the goodness of homemade pizza. Who’s with me?

Or, if you’re looking for a way to switch things up with your champagne, you might opt to try the following recipe for the Moët Ruby Red (festive for Valentine’s, the Oscars, etc.):

Moët Ruby Red
Ingredients
3/4 oz. Lemon
3/4 oz. Tarragon, Raspberry, Citrus Shrub (see below)
1 oz. Vodka
2 1/2 oz. Moët & Chandon Brut

Directions:
Serve over ice in a white wine glass. Garnish with fresh tarragon and citrus.

Tarragon, Raspberry, Citrus Shrub
Ingredients
2 cups Raspberry Purée
2 cups Apple Cider Vinegar
4 cups Cane Sugar
1 Lemon Peel
4 sprigs of Tarragon

Directions
Bring ingredients to a simmer on a stovetop, then remove from heat and let cool.

This drink seems to be right up my alley – even though I generally prefer to drink champagne in its original state. I tend to take my champagne in a coupe, maybe with a raspberry thrown in for good measure.

What about you? How do you take your champagne?

75cl_bottle_MoetandChandonImperialIce-bucketpelle

* Maybe this is one of the reasons why I have pursued more than one university degree (I’m on lucky #5!)
** Is this a word people use, or is this just a word I use with my friends. Blurred lines.

*** Toasting my PhD achievement was probably my most memorable Veuve occasion (see this and this and this).

Images via Moët & Chandon.

 

Travel: Dining at Langdon Hall

Yesterday, I took you on a tour of my Cloister room and the main house at Langdon Hall. Today, I’m highlighting all the delicious food I consumed during my stay. Warning – you’ll likely want to make a dining reservation as soon as you see these photos.

Langdon Hall has received numerous awards and accolades for its cuisine (and accommodations, too). For example, it has held the CAA/AAA Five Diamond Restaurant award for ten consecutive years. Under the direction of head chef, Chef Jason Bangerter, Langdon Hall’s team of chefs create dishes that are made from local ingredients, including treats right from Langdon Hall’s own gardens. From its pastries to its country breakfast to its fine dining options, everything that is served at Langdon Hall is top-of-the-top.

A White Welcome

Waiting for me in my room was a bottle of wine and a beautiful tray of white goodies. White! For me! Just perfect! A white plate was covered with white mushroom meringues and white macarons.

White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-41 White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-42 White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-43Afternoon Tea

Soon after I checked in to my suite, I met my host, Kate, for afternoon tea in the bright white Orchard Room. Oh, this room was made for me! The walls are made of windows,  the tables were dressed all in white, and the beamed ceiling had me staring. The view is amazing, too. You can see some of these things in the photos below.

Afternoon tea began with a generous glass of champagne, and Kate and I toasted to my return visit to Langdon Hall as well as the new year! I then opted for the Cassis tea (yum!), and our individual treats were brought over soon after tea was poured. The three-tiers contained a selection of mini-sandwiches (my favourite was the egg salad in the croissant), two scones, and a selection of bite-sized desserts (I really liked the quince macarons, but the cheese cake was my favourite) prepared under the direction of Head Pastry Chef Rachel Nicholson.

Even if you do not stay overnight at Langdon Hall, you can still make the drive for Afternoon Tea. It would be such a special way to celebrate or just be spoiled on any random weekend.

White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-47 White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-52 White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-53 White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-56 White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-57Country Breakfast

If you book a stay at Langdon Hall, I highly recommend adding the breakfast to your reservation package. The food is high in quality, beautifully presented, and abundant. Service is friendly and attentive, and the dining room is gorgeous. Nothing is rushed, and care is taken to ensure a memorable dining experience.

The coffee is from local brewers Monigram, and the serving platters and flower pots are from Cambridge potters Hillborn. I commend Langdon Hall for its commitment to working with community partners. These details do not go unnoticed!

As I was sipping my latte, and before my meal arrived, a server came to my table with a surprise from the kitchen.  (A surprise? For moi? I love surprises!) Head Chef Jason and one of his sous-chefs, Chef Andrew, had prepared an egg and truffle amuse-bouche for me. (For me!) Chef Jason did not want me to leave Langdon Hall without trying some truffle (his fave), and seeing as I had no room in my belly for anything the previous night (after eating three tiers of goodness at afternoon tea), it was decided that I should indulge during breakfast. Good idea, Chefs! #trustthechef

White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-aOh, geez, was this ever good! It smelled delicious, looked delicious, and tasted delicious! A feast for the senses!

While I was very tempted to order the pain perdu for my main meal (dang it – I have such a sweet tooth), I opted for one of Langdon Hall’s popular breakfast items – the lobster omelette.

White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-bYes, this was as good as it looks! And, yes, I finished it all (and even had a croissant “for dessert”).

Service

The staff’s attention to detail surpassed any expectations that I had before my arrival. My table, for example, was the only one (or one of very few) that had a white rose plant on it (the other tables had colourful rose plants). A white rose plant for White Cabana? Whether this was a coincidence, I’m not so sure. It would be just like Langdon Hall’s team to pay attention to something like this.

Version 2I had the pleasure of meeting Chef Jason Bangerter, and I think it’s pretty common to see him mingling with guests in the dining room. He has achieved much success in Ontario and abroad and was recently awarded Relais & Chateaux’s Rising Chef Trophy.

Langdon-Hall-Chef-Jason-BangerterWhite-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-62Here I am with Head Chef Jason Bangerter in the main dining room.

As I hope you can see, the cuisine at Langdon Hall is top-notch and the staff make the dining experience is of the highest quality. There’s something for everyone, and even if you don’t stay over night, you can still enjoy a meal at this gorgeous hotel.

I’d like to end this two-part Langdon Hall review by extending a warm thanks to my host, Kate, for ensuring my stay was one to remember!

White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-dSee you again soon, Langdon Hall! I won’t be able to stay away for too long!

Note: Part 1: A luxurious stay at Langdon Hall.
Photos by me. I received a discount on my stay. All opinions are my own.

The Friday Five: Orlando Edition

While my friend Shannon and I were in Florida last month, we decided to take a day trip to Orlando. We avoided all amusement parks and opted to try some of the recommendations on Design*Sponge’s 24 hours in Orlando guide written by Jessica Bennett.

Orlando-hwy-signMy TomTom directed every step of the way, and we were very thankful that we had it! We punched in the various addresses, and off we went. Freedom!

Here are five of the stops we made:

One: Orlando Vineland Premium Outlets
Our first stop was the Vineland outlet mall on the southern end of Orlando. It was on our way to the centre of the city, so we thought we might as well stop in to see what it had to offer. Well, it offered us quite a bit. The mall has high-end designer outlets like Fendi and Burberry as well as more mainstream outlets like JCrew, Banana Republic, and the Gap. We were surprised to see a Lululemon outlet at this mall, and we picked up some goodies at Barneys NY and Kate Spade.

Vineland-Outlet-Orlando-1Vineland-Outlet-Orlando-2Two: Prato
After a couple several hours at Vineland, we needed some food. When we learned that we had missed the opening hours of The Strand, we drove straight to Prato in the Winter Park district. We sort of missed the opening hours there, too, but luckily the restaurant was still serving a limited menu, so we were in luck. We were hungry! We ordered a couple of cocktails (to celebrate a successful shopping excursion, of course!) and pizzas. I went for the Fiorentina and Shannon ordered the Widowmaker, and we were both very happy with our meals.

Besides the food, Prato is a feast for the designer’s eyes. It is beautifully designed, and its front black-framed windows are gorgeous.

Prato-Orlando-2Prato-Orlando-1 Prato-Orlando-3 Orlando-Prato-1Three: Hannibal Square
I quickly fell in love with the Winter Park district, and I was surprised to see such a quaint and historic neighbourhood in Orlando. Why does everyone talk about Mickey when there’s Winter Park? Beautiful trees, cobble stone roads, and plenty of sweet stores and restaurants to explore, this is an area worth visiting!

From Prato, we lazily walked around, following as much of the guide as we could. The guide led us to Hannibal Square which included a huge Jenga-style game under this (apparently slanted) structure.

Hannibal-Square-WinterPark-Orlando-2Hannibal-Square-WinterPark-Orlando-1 Hannibal-Square-WinterPark-Orlando-4 Hannibal-Square-WinterPark-Orlando-3Four: Rifle Paper Co.
We knew Rifle Paper Co. was in Winter Park, but we almost missed it! Thankfully, we turned a corner, and there it was. It was our lucky day because Rifle was having a sidewalk sale. Ah-mazing! We were thrilled! Each of us stocked up on cards and artwork. I scooped up a few Garance Doré prints as well as this super bright and happy print for my work office.I was so impressed to learn that Rifle Paper Co. items are made in the USA and assembled right in Winter Park. Just so awesome.

Rifle-Paper-Co-1

Rifle-Paper-Co-4As if the sidewalk sale wasn’t enough, Nick from Mama’s Sauce was at Rifle screen-printing his heart out! Meeting Nick was so fun and unexpected. In addition to all of his design and printing work, Nick is an avid traveller, and he gave us great advice about where to go, what to do, and what to see in various parts of Florida. He spoke so highly of Winter Park, Orlando, and Florida in general, and I just love it when people appreciate where they live so much! The fact that Nick time out of his busy day to chat with us completely impressed me (Thanks, Nick!).

Rifle-Paper-Co-2And beyond the sale and screen-printing excitement, on our way out the door with our hands full of gorgeous letterpress art, we met the very friendly Stephen (The Hyppo and Cousteau Waffle & Milkshake Bar) and Ryan (MC Pressure). They served us up some delicious popsicles which was a very welcome treat considering the fact that we (a) didn’t have dessert at Prato, and (b) it was ridiculously hot! I had the blueberry-lavender-lemonade popsicle, and it was so absolutely delicious. A month later, and I’m still thinking about how great it tasted!

Rifle-Paper-Co-3Five: P is for Pie Bake Shop
Our last stop before we left Orlando was P if for Pie Bake Shop. We opted to get mini pies to go (banana pie and chocolate peanut butter pie), and enjoyed them back home in Madeira Beach (yum!).

P-is-for-Pie-Orlando-1P-is-for-Pie-Orlando-2As you may have gathered, we had a great day trip in Orlando. I would definitely like to go back and spend some more time around the city (especially Winter Park since it was so pretty). I’m glad the Design*Sponge 24-hours in Orlando guide worked out, and I’m extra glad that my TomTom directed us for the day.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

I’d like to thank Meaghan B. and TomTom again for providing me with the GO 500. It is proving to be very useful and dependable!

Travel: A Quick Trip To Toronto

A friend and I met in Toronto last weekend for a fun weekend away from reality. It was glorious. Here’s a quick recap of what we did, saw, and ate during our 24 hours in the city.

Shopping…what girls’ weekend doesn’t include a bit of shopping? Anthropologie was a highlight – mostly for the styling, I have to say. It’s such a pretty place!

White-Cabana-Toronto-9I saw the white background and thought it was perfect for a selfie. Please note: I am actually wearing sandals (spring has finally made an appearance), and I do not have a jacket on. There were big changes in the weather last weekend!

 

White-Cabana-Toronto-1On the recommendation of a friend, we went to The Carbon Bar for dinner. The menu has all the goodness of southern cookin’ – ribs, cornbread, slaw, grits – and the cocktails to match I was torn between the brisket and the squid/mussels/pork belly + lentils dish, and in the end, I opted for the fish. I don’t think you can actually make a wrong decision at The Carbon Bar. Everything that was coming out of the kitchen looked delicious.

White-Cabana-Toronto-2White-Cabana-Toronto-3  White-Cabana-Toronto-4For Sunday brunch, we did a bit of a Google/Trip Advisor search and settled on Smith (Church & Wellesley). I’m rarely on this side of town when I’m in Toronto, so it was nice to see what’s on the go east of Yonge. If you don’t know where Smith is, you might just walk right past it (like we did), but once you find it, you’ll feel like you hit the jackpot. Our dining neighbours told us as much. I opted for the salmon plate (with cream cheese, capers, and bagel crisps), and my friend got the croque madame. We were both pleased. The food was plentiful and fresh. I loved the design of this space, and the patio and bathroom both looked really cool.

White-Cabana-Toronto-7White-Cabana-Toronto-8White-Cabana-Toronto-6   White-Cabana-Toronto-5So there you have it – a peek into my quick weekend in Toronto.

Food: Vanilla Danish Cookies

A couple of years ago, I learned about Danish chef Trine Hahnemann as I was munching on some simple vanilla cookies that a friend made from Trine’s recipe. The little white rings are full of goodness – they’re perfectly sized and have just enough sweetness.

Trine-hahnemann-danish-cookies-White-Cabana-6

I didn’t make them in time for Christmas, but I did bake a batch in time for my family’s New Year’s Day feast.

Trine-hahnemann-danish-cookies-White-Cabana-3Trine-hahnemann-danish-cookies-White-Cabana-4Trine-hahnemann-danish-cookies-White-Cabana-5

before – little ring cookies ready for the oven

Trine-hahnemann-danish-cookies-White-Cabana-2Trine-hahnemann-danish-cookies-White-Cabana-1after: little ring cookies ready to be eaten

Trine-hahnemann-danish-cookies-White-Cabana-7

Trine Hahnemann’s Vanilla Danish Butter Cookies

375 g butter
250 g sugar
1 egg
2 vanilla pods
500 g plain flour

1. Cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl until the mixture is pale and fluffy. Add the egg and continue beating.
3. Split the vanilla pods lengthways and scrape out the seeds with the tip of a knife. Stir them into the flour.
4. Fold the dry ingredients into the butter mixture. (I knead the dough a little bit so everything sticks together.)
5. Wrap the dough in cling wrap and chill for (at least) two hours.
6. Preheat the oven to 200°C (I set mine at 390°F).
7. Roll the dough into very thin sausages about fix or six centimetres long. Curl each on into a ring and press the ends firmly together.
8. Place rings on a parchment-lined baking tray (I put the trays in the fridge for a few minutes before putting them in the oven. This helps them keep their small ring shape).
9. Bake for about eight minutes (I baked mine for about 6 minutes.)
10. Cool cookies on a wire rack.
11. Store the cookies in an airtight container and do not mix them with other types of cookies or they will go soft.

*Instead of converting the measurements into cups and tablespoons, I used a scale and weighed each of the ingredients.

Thanks to Emmy for teaching me about these delicious Danish cookies. Recipe via Red (original recipe is in The Scandinavian Cookbook). Photos by me.

The Friday Five: #HappiMess with Delta Faucet Canada

My life this fall has been slightly chaotic. Sometimes I do wonder why I decide to take on so much work and extracurricular and blogging activities. Why, oh why, do I do this to myself? Then I realize that I have so much fun doing what it is that I do that I have no reason to complain about my sometimes-overly-packed days. A couple of weeks ago, for example, I headed to Toronto to join the very colourful Tiffany Pratt and about 20 other bloggers and influencers to create a #HappiMess sponsored by Delta Faucet Canada. Here’s my recap in five points…

1. Delta Faucet Canada welcomed us into a very white event space at Andrew Richard Designs. The long white table was all set with artsy materials.

DELTA060

DELTA022-2

2. Tiffany encouraged us to create and paint and sparkle up a unique clutch. I was totally frozen when I saw the palette of colourful paints. Luckily, the Tiffany and the PR crew had a spare tube of black paint, and I put it to very good use. I definitely felt more at ease once the black paint made an appearance! (Thanks, team!)

DELTA088DELTA152DELTA166DELTA203-2DELTA274

That’s my clutch! (It sparkles more in real life!)

4. We mingled and laughed and played with paint. And then washed our hands…obviously. Here I am washing up (and pretending to be a hand model):

DELTA346DELTA347DELTA348

 great faucet, right?

3. We nibbled on delicious eats by the Food Dudes and talked about Delta’s collection.

DELTA067-2

5. In addition to the painting, the clutches, the food, the drinks, and the Skittles, we filled our Instagram and Twitter feeds with photos of lovely flowers from Blush and Bloom.

DELTA056

It was a very fun evening, and completely different from my day-to-day university life. Kudos to Tiffany and Delta for bringing out our creative sides (and for showing us how magical sparkles can be!).

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone! Do let me know if you make a #HappiMess over the next couple of days!

Photo credit: Koko Photography

Marketplace: Boxed Water

It’s a bit suprising that I haven’t yet featured Boxed Water. The packaging is right up my design alley. Not only that, but the design is environmentally-friendly.

boxed-water-Jeff

 

photo credit: Jeff G. (my brother-in-law)

That being said, I’m actually one of those people who still drinks tap water. Call me crazy.

Learn more at Boxed Water is Better.

In the Kitchen: Making Bread with the KitchenAid Stand Mixer

Okay, okay. Since you already know that I love my KitchenAid stand mixer, I’ll get straight to my recent bread making experience.

Although I was a bit hesitant to make bread from scratch, I was also very curious and determined. I opened up the handy KitchenAid recipe book that came with my stand mixer, and I flipped to the page that had the “basic white bread” recipe. I prepped all of my ingredients, I followed the directions exactly, and here is a photo-heavy recap of what happened…

White-Cabana-makes-bread-1

basic white bread recipe from KitchenAid + packets of active dry yeast

White-Cabana-makes-bread-2

butter, salt, sugar, milk melting on the stove

White-Cabana-makes-bread-4

4.5 cups of flour to start (I probably ended up using 5.5 cups)

White-Cabana-makes-bread-5

mixing 2 packets of active dry yeast with warm water in a warm mixing bowl

White-Cabana-makes-bread-6

mixing all of the ingredients: yeast, water, milk, melted butter, sugar, salt, and flour

White-Cabana-makes-bread-7

level 2 speed for a few minutes

White-Cabana-makes-bread-9

mixing the dough with the dough hook until the sides are clean and the dough is sticky

White-Cabana-makes-bread-10

sides of bowl are clean and dough is sticky

White-Cabana-makes-bread-11

see – I told you – clean bowl!

White-Cabana-makes-bread-12

dough in a oil-lined bowl

White-Cabana-makes-bread-13

risen dough after 1 hour in the bowl

White-Cabana-makes-bread-14

punched dough

White-Cabana-makes-bread-15

rolling out half of the dough

White-Cabana-makes-bread-16

rolling up the flattened dough

White-Cabana-makes-bread-17

into the loaf pan it goes

White-Cabana-makes-bread-18

risen dough after 1 hour in the loaf pan

White-Cabana-makes-bread-19

after 30 minutes in the 400° oven

White-Cabana-makes-bread-20

the recipe made 2 loaves (one is wonky because I had to DIY a loaf-type pan)

White-Cabana-makes-bread-21

golden bread

White-Cabana-makes-bread-22

crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside

White-Cabana-makes-bread-23

the best way to enjoy fresh bread – with Nutella

The bread was FANTASTIC! It was perfectly golden, had a crunchy crust, was soft on the inside, and the recipe worked! It was as time consuming as bread making is (I think it took about 10 minutes to prep, 1 hour of wait time so the bread could rise the first time, 1 hour to rise the second time, and 30 minutes to bake in the oven). I did a bunch of other things around the house during the wait & rise times, so I really didn’t feel like bread making was a whole lot of work. Oh my goodness – I could probably live on fresh bread and Nutella*. It’s too darn delicious!

Oh – and I know I’m “supposed” to eat healthy, grainy, brown bread, but sometimes I just don’t care. White and simple worked perfectly for me!

* This is not a sponsored post, but if Nutella wants to offer me with a year/lifetime supply of Nutella, I’d be grateful, and I’d make fresh bread more often! 

Guest Post: Peeking Inside Eye Candy Popper’s Kitchen

Do you like to host? I do. I like hosting friends and family at my house. In the online world, I do enjoy having great guests. Blogging is a very social activity, even though communication happens online with “strangers”. I have met so many incredibly interesting and inspiring people over the last few years of blogging, and today I’m happy to welcome one of these people. Gabrielle is the blogger behind the beautiful food blog Eye Candy Popper. We met a few years ago through a mutual friend (Hi Rebecca!), and over time, I have watched her begin and grow her blog, share her love of cooking, and educate many readers about healthy living. Her recipes – and photos – always look so delicious! Today, Gabrielle shares with us her kitchen and her approach to design. Welcome, Eye Candy Popper!

***

Hi! I’m ECP, aka Eyecandypopper. It’s so nice to meet you! I’ve been talking to Jordana about writing this article for months. Yes, months! It took some organization, and a lot of collaboration to get to the final product (including help from my friend at Aya Photography and Design), but here we are, 6 months later! Yay! I’ve known Jordana for a couple of years. We met through a common friend, and because I was just starting in the blogging world, I looked up to Jordana for advice. I also loved her blog immediately because I’m a big fan of white too. This post is different for me, because I mostly talk about food on my blog. I create healthy, but decadent recipes to share with my readers. I focus on organic and healthy whole foods, but I also care deeply about the environment, and the state of our planet, so I share tips and information about eco-friendly and sustainable products. Today, I wanted to introduce to you the place where the magic happens: my kitchen! EyeCandyPopper-kitchen-1 When we renovated the space 4 years ago, I chose these creamy white shaker-style cabinets because I love the old charm and classic element that they bring to the space. My house is really small, only around 850 sq ft, but the 10’ high ceilings add a grand feeling, and since storage is always an issue in any space, I wanted to take full advantage of the height by using tall cabinets (I used a combination of 36” + 15” + crown). I only have upper cabinets on one side in order to lighten-up the space, and we used glass doors instead of full panels. EyeCandyPopper-kitchen-2 In order to fit in my eco-conscious needs, I chose natural materials, like the cabinets made out of painted wood (maple) instead of melamine in order to minimize toxic glues used in the process. They were also Canadian-made, reducing shipping distances and fuel used. We chose quartz for the counter, which is not a natural material, but it uses recycled glass and leftovers that would’ve otherwise been thrown out, so I felt good about it. EyeCandyPopper-kitchen-3 EyeCandyPopper-kitchen-4 The floor tiles are porcelain and the backsplash is natural Carrera marble, both durable and long lasting materials. I’ve done some shopping around to find good prices, but I also spent more money for large ticket items in order to get better quality. Splurging on these items gets you a much better return on your investment. EyeCandyPopper-kitchen-5 My goal throughout the house was to maintain a calm, airy, and uncluttered feeling, so we’ve kept decorative items to a minimum and only keep things that are useful. I like my cake stands, and I use them all the time to store freshly baked muffins or cookies. I also like to integrate souvenirs and pictures brought back from trips around the world. I’ve used a few small paintings throughout the kitchen, 2 from a trip to Paris, 2 from a trip to Hong Kong, and various pictures from trips throughout Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. There’s also an old elephant bell brought back from my husband’s grandfather from Thailand in the 40s. These are the decorative items that make the space comfortable to me. They are not just decorative items, but they evoke memories at the same time, or they are useful and used on a daily basis. What a lot of my readers don’t know is that I share a passion for interior decorating and design. My passion for the environment and design has combined together in recent years to become what it is now. While it is sometimes hard to find an eco-friendly version of a building material, I strive to use really good quality materials that will stand the test of time and fads, and I focus on natural materials as well in order to be less toxic for my health. EyeCandyPopper-kitchen-6 EyeCandyPopper-kitchen-7 So that’s my kitchen! A lovely space which I enjoy every day! I hope you enjoyed it too! Come back next time for a visit of my office.

ECP xo

 

Pictures, courtesy of Aya Photography & Design. (If you live in Southwestern Ontario, please check out this small talented photography company on Facebook.)
Organic vegetables, courtesy of Eat Green Organics, an organic produce delivery service serving most of Southwestern Ontario. 
Cabinets and counters: Home Hardware
Floor tiles and backsplash: Olympia Tiles Toronto
Light fixture and faucet: Home Depot
Pantry: Ikea

***

Thanks for taking us into your bright kitchen, ECP!

In the Kitchen: Blythe’s Blueberry Muffins

One of the first recipes I tried after my friend Johanne gave me Gwyneth Paltrow’s My Father’s Daughter a few years ago was Blythe’s blueberry muffins. I have been making them ever since because they’re so darn good and easy!

I recently gave them a try using my KitchenAid stand mixer. I didn’t really need to use the mixer, but I wanted to because I love it. Here’s how things turned out.

baking-White-Cabana-6

prepping the mini muffin tins

baking-White-Cabana-7

prepping the KA mixer

baking-White-Cabana-8

prepping the ingredients

baking-White-Cabana-9

mixing everything together

baking-White-Cabana-10

fresh blueberry mini muffins – just in time for breakfast!

Here’s the recipe taken from Gwyneth Paltrow’s My Father’s Daughter:

Ingredients

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
2 eggs (preferably organic)*
1/2 cup whole milk*
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup plus 1 tsp sugar, divided**
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups fresh blueberries

*I use whatever milk and eggs I have in my fridge.
**I always forget about the extra sugar, and I tend to under measure the sugar, especially in muffin recipes.

Directions

Heat oven to 375°. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners*. Whisk butter, eggs, and milk in a bowl. Combine flour, 3/4 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt in another bowl. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients***; fold in blueberries. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups; spring with remaining 1 tsp sugar. Bake until muffins are golden brown and a knife comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Serve warm.

*I often use mini muffin tins, and I think I can usually get 24 mini muffins and 8 regular sized muffins with one batch of the recipe.
**I threw everything in the mixer at almost the same time, and the muffins still baked perfectly.

In the Kitchen: Making Pasta (again)

Remember when I first attempted making fresh pasta with my KitchenAid stand mixer and pasta attachments? I started with the recipe that was in the KitchenAid recipe book. I failed. It was horrible. I then tried out my mom’s very vague recipe and it worked perfectly. Well, some of my family members thought I shouldn’t have been so harsh on the KitchenAid recipe and that, surely, it was my fault and I did something wrong. (I followed the recipe exactly, but noone seemed to want to take my side.) Anyway, when my parents were over last weekend, I tried the KA recipe again (under my mom’s supervision). The recipe calls for: 4 large eggs, 3.5 cups all-purpose flour, and 1 tbsp water. My mom suggested that I reduce the amount of flour by 1/2 a cup. So I did. I followed the exact recipe but I only used 3 cups of flour. I let the stand mixer do its job, and me and my mom watched over the bowl. I could tell something wasn’t right. After a bit of mixing, I dumped the dough out onto the counter and I knew it wasn’t right. It didn’t feel like it was supposed to feel. My mom was pretty surprised (“but you followed the recipe, you reduced the flour”, she said). At this point, I added a bit more water, then a lot more water, then more flour. It wasn’t coming together the way it should have. I gave up. I left my mom to knead the dough for maybe another 5-10 minutes. There was a lot of kneading involved. In the meantime, I started a new batch with her trusted (and very vague) recipe. It worked out perfectly. She was still kneading the original batch of dough, while I was done with my new batch. White-Cabana-pasta-1

here’s mom hard at work White-Cabana-pasta-2

here’s mom still trying to fix the broken dough, my new version is in the mixer

White-Cabana-pasta-3

dough 2.0 is done and mom is still kneading dough 1.0

I tried to measure her recipe this time and it’s something like this: – 1 egg per person – 3/4 cup of flour per egg – a bit of water (I think I may have used about 1 tbsp) – a bit of salt (I might have used 1 tsp) Dump all the ingredients into the bowl with the paddle attachment. Mix for 2 minutes. Dump the dough out onto the counter and knead for 1 minute. After Mom finally got the first version of dough to the right texture, I got to work with the pasta attachments. First, I used the flat one to stretch out long flat pieces of pasta. I set the knob on the cutter to position 1 and then worked my way to number 5. I set the mixer speed to 3 or 4 and the whole process was quick and easy. white-cabana-pasta-6white-cabana-pasta-7white-cabana-pasta-1 When all the dough had been passed through the smooth stretcher attachment, I attached the fettucini (and then the spaghetti) cutter to the mixer (quick and easy) so that I could pass the long sheets of pasta through to make the noodles. I floured the pasta sheets before passing them through the cutter. white-cabana-pasta-5white-cabana-pasta-10white-cabana-pasta-3white-cabana-pasta-4white-cabana-pasta-9 white-cabana-pasta-11 I like twisting the pasta into round spirals, but I flour the heck out of them before doing this to avoid sticky strips. The pasta (both versions) turned out very well, and it was delicious paired with fresh tomato sauce (I tried my mom’s sauce recipe, which she thought was almost as good as hers…tough crowd). In the end, neither of us are sure of the amount of ingredients that my mom used to adjust the KitchenAid dough, but if I try the recipe again, I’ll start with 2 cups of flour and add more as needed. KitchenAid sent over another version of the recipe when they heard I was in pasta-making distress (via Twitter, naturally), so I may give that one a try too.

Thanks, Mom, for your help and for snapping some great photos!

In the Kitchen: Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

I hosted my parents this past weekend and I just had to show off my KitchenAid stand mixer. (I’m a Leo. We like attention.) I decided to test out this lemon poppy seed cake recipe that Joanna Goddard featured earlier last week. To everyone who is reading – this cake was super easy. If you like lemons and cake and poppy seeds, you should make it.

My KA stand mixer worked brilliantly and made the whole cake baking process go really quick and smoothly. For beautifully styled food photos, have a look at Joanna’s post. For photos of my version, keep reading…

photo 1 copy

photo 2 copy

sugar, flour, and poppy seeds are measured out

photo 3 copy

butter and sugar are creamed together with the KitchenAid paddle attachment

photo 4 copy

flour is added once the sugar and butter are creamyphoto 1

photo 5 copy

eggs, milk, poppy seeds & lemon zest are added at the end

photo 2

photo 3the dough is poured into a buttered & parchment lined loaf tin

photo 4

after about 40minutes in the oven, the cake is ready

photo 5

a sugary lemony icing is poured and poppy seeds are sprinkled on top

Here’s the complete recipe – from April Carter of Rhubarb and Rose (via Cup of Jo):

Recipe: Lemon Poppy Seed Loaf Cake

For the cake:
¾ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature 
¾ cup sugar
1 ¼ cup all purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
pinch of salt
2 eggs
¼ cup milk
¼ cup poppy seeds
Zest of 2 lemons

For the glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
Juice of ½ lemon
Poppy seeds, for sprinkling

Heat the oven to 350F and butter and line a one pound (4½ x 2½ x 8½ inch) loaf tin with baking parchment. Place the butter and sugar in a bowl and beat with an electric mixer until pale and creamy. Sift in the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the eggs, milk, poppy seeds and lemon zest and beat until just combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as you go.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared loaf tin and bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and remove the baking parchment.

While the cake is cooling, make the glaze. Use a spoon to beat the powdered sugar with enough lemon juice to form a runny but opaque glaze. Set the cooled cake on a wire rack and drizzle over the glaze. Sprinkle over the poppy seeds and allow the glaze to set for a few minutes before packaging up. 

Let me know if you give this recipe a try. I would love to know how it turned out for you.

In the Kitchen: Making Pasta with the KitchenAid Stand Mixer

I’m in love with my KitchenAid stand mixer. I’ve used it several times and it hasn’t let me down. It’s pretty darn mighty! After baking up a few delicious treats over the last couple of weeks, I thought it was time for me to make some pasta. KitchenAid generously sent over the pasta cutter trio and I was pretty excited to test them out. Short story – I love them. Long story – keep reading.

Kitchen-Aid-pasta-17

KitchenAid’s pasta roller & cutter set

I grew up helping my mom make pasta with the classic Italian crank pasta machine. My mom always took the lead on the dough making, and I was on crank and fluff-with-flour duty. I’ve made pasta with my own machine, too, even though my Italian parents were pretty shocked when I told them that my cheaper machine was Made in China. “You need one that’s Made in Italy, Jordana.”, they said. Um, yeah, it’s a touch life, I lead, I know.

Anyway…

Fast forward to last week when I opened the KitchenAid package and learned that the pasta roller and cutters were Made in Italy. Awesome. Way to go, KitchenAid!

Kitchen-Aid-pasta-16

top to bottom: fettucini cutter, spaghetti cutter, pasta roller

I decided to use the pasta recipe that was in the KitchenAid recipe book…4 eggs, 3.5 cups of flour, 1 tbsp water…mix with dough hook for 2 minutes…etc.

Kitchen-Aid-pasta-4

Kitchen-Aid-pasta-5

Unfortunately, this recipe didn’t work out for me. It was a big fail. My dough, even after more than 2 minutes with the dough hook, was so darn crumbly! Not sure exactly why. I tried adding more water, then another egg. It was a mess.

Kitchen-Aid-pasta-12

crumbly dough

Kitchen-Aid-pasta-13

I couldn’t save this dough

I didn’t give up, though. Instead, I tried out my mom’s recipe. It goes something like this…an egg per person, some handfuls of flour, just enough water. So vague, I know. This is what all of her recipes are like! But, just like probably every Italian Nonna has ever said, you just need to feel the dough and recognize when you’ve hit the right consistency and texture. Anyway, I put the ingredients in the mixing bowl, attached the dough hook, and gave it a spin for a couple of minutes. Things were looking pretty darn good! I then spent a minute (or less) kneading the dough by hand.

Kitchen-Aid-pasta-9

Kitchen-Aid-pasta-15

after kneading – top: my failed project;
bottom: my mom’s winning recipe

When I reached the right texture (smooth, not too wet, not too dry), I knew I was ready to move on to the attachments. The instructions that came with the attachments & stand mixer were clear, and inserting the attachments was really easy and straight forward. No problem there.

Kitchen-Aid-pasta-21

First, I used the pasta roller to flatten out chunks of dough. I started with the knob at 1 (widest space between rollers), and then worked my way to 5 (much smaller space between rollers). I set the machine to level 2 – not too fast, not too slow. Once the machine was on, the rollers got a-rollin’.

Kitchen-Aid-pasta-19Next, I switched attachments to make spaghetti and fettucini. I floured everything up so that nothing would stick.

Kitchen-Aid-pasta-27

Kitchen-Aid-pasta-22

I ate some for dinner (I made pasta carbonara), obviously, and I froze the rest. Amazing.

Kitchen-Aid-pasta-23

The pasta roller and cutter attachments make easy work of pasta making. Let me tell you, they’re really awesome and work so quickly. Incredible. I thought about my Nonna who used a wooden roller the size of a dining table to roll out the dough and then cut it into strips all by hand. Gosh, I don’t think I could have done it her way – I’m much too impatient!

Kitchen-Aid-pasta-24

Oh – and I also could never be a no-carbs gal. I’m too much of a pasta fan!

Many thanks to KitchenAid  & Hayley for sending me the pasta roller and cutter set.

 

In the Kitchen: The KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer

Although I’ve been thinking about the KitchenAid stand mixer for some time now, I only finally bought myself one last week. Everyone and their brother/mother/sister/friend seems to have one and they all rave about how great it is, so I had little doubt that it would be fabulous. There are plenty of colours to choose from, but it was an obvious choice for me. I’ve used my KitchenAid Artisan stand mixer twice already and it’s worked out very well! No surprise there, right?

White-Cabana-KitchenAid-stand-mixer-1 White-Cabana-KitchenAid-stand-mixer-2 White-Cabana-KitchenAid-stand-mixer-3

The first thing I ended up baking with the stand mixer was the brownie recipe that was listed in the instruction/information booklet that came with the mixer. It was very easy and straightforward and the end result was ab fab chocolate goodness. I also made madeleines and they turned out perfectly. I love the fact that the mixer can do the work while I measure out the ingredients. The convenience factor is awesome!

White-Cabana-KitchenAid-stand-mixer-4 White-Cabana-KitchenAid-stand-mixer-5

I used the plastic pour guard at one point, but I didn’t really need it. I was just trying to use as many gadgets/attachments as possible. I used the paddle attachment (above) for the brownies, but I used the whisk attachment to whip up the eggs for the madeleines. Switching the attachments is easy and quick, as is cleaning them.

White-Cabana-KitchenAid-stand-mixer-6 White-Cabana-KitchenAid-stand-mixer-7

I am very happy that I opted for the lift-arm mixer rather than the bowl-lift mixer. The arm lifts at the flick of a switch and the bowl attaches securely and simply to the base.

White-Cabana-KitchenAid-stand-mixer-8

Here are the brownies before I put them in the oven:

White-Cabana-KitchenAid-stand-mixer-9

It’s a stylish machine, yes, and it looks wonderful on my counter (a stylish appliance? really? this is what I’m talking about these days? how old am I?), and so it seems I’m joining the “it’s so great, everyone should have one” club. I’ll share a few more photos in the upcoming weeks as I’m eager to try the pasta roller/cutter attachments!

Marketplace: A Kitchen Investment

Do you know what I think goes really well with a marble countertop? One of these…

Kitchen-Aid-Artisan-stand-mixer

 

KitchenAid Artisan stand mixer

Um…I bought one! It’s been four years since I wrote about wanting one and I finally took the plunge and made the big ol’ purchase! I’m SO excited. Now let’s just hope I can bake something delicious with it! I’m going to put it to its first test in my kitchen when I bake up some madeleines later in the week.

Event: Wine, Thai, & Blogger Time

Last weekend, a bunch of bloggers got together at Melissa’s (The Sweet Escape) fun and colourful loft for a wine tasting event sponsored by local favourites Union Wines and Linda Modern Thai. Lucky us, right?

wine+food

The first wine was Union Gold and this stack of white plates didn’t stay empty for long.

Andrew von Teichman from Union Wines was on hand to teach us about four varieties of wines (gold, white, noir, & red) and to make sure our glasses were never empty! Union is a virtual winery owned and operated by Andrew and his partner Allan Jackson (former owner of Jackson-Triggs), and it sources all grapes from the Niagara region. All Union wine varieties are less than $20 a bottle and are available at select LCBO stores.

The chefs from Toronto’s Linda Modern Thai served up some delicious nibbles that paired extremely well with the four wines we tasted over the course of the afternoon.

Union-Wines-Linda-Modern-Thai-Blogger-Brunch-White-Cabana

Union Wines and Linda Modern Thai made an excellent pair.

Sweet-Escape-White-Cabana

Melissa’s home has so many beautiful vintage details.

Sweet-Escape-White-Cabana-1

Melissa’s milk glass collection looks amazing on her floor-to-ceiling bookshelves.

Read Melissa’s recap of the afternoon (her photos are much more colourful than mine) and see her beautiful home in Covet Garden Home. Thanks for hosting, Melissa, and thanks for spoiling us, Union & Linda!

Photos by Jordana.

Marketplace: Chapters-Indigo Spring Collection

Chapters-Indigo is one of those stores that is continually improving. Each season brings new home decor, fashion, beauty, and food and entertaining items, not to mention a variety of new and interesting books. I know I’m not alone when I say that spending an afternoon at Chapters-Indigo is really relaxing. If only I had more time, I would read every one of those best-selling books!

Anyway, I headed to Toronto’s Eaton Centre a couple of weeks ago to attend Chapters-Indigo spring kick-off. I snapped some photos of some of the things that caught my eye.

Mugs…why am I such a sucker for a good typographic mug? I’ve got most of the ones featured in these photos (I spoil myself regularly, it seems):

Chapters-Indigo-Spring-White-Cabana-Mugs

The fashion/style department is the largest I’ve seen it, what with the jewelry, scarves, totes, clutches, and watches. The items are super cute.

Chapters-Indigo-Spring-White-Cabana-Fashion

Chapters-Indigo has partnered with Etsy and has featured collections from 8 Etsy designers. Way to support artists, Indigo!

Chapters-Indigo-Spring-White-Cabana-Etsy

I was surprised to see the Nest thermostat in the electronics department. Then again, I shouldn’t have been that surprised considering what a hot product it is for the design conscious customer.

Chapters-Indigo-Spring-White-Cabana-Electronics-Notebooks

The selection of gourmet food and home decor items seems to be expanding. I loved the little jars of salt (reminds me of the jars I picked up in France earlier this year).

Chapters-Indigo-Spring-White-Cabana-food & decorAnd some books…of course…wouldn’t be a bookstore without a great selection of books!

Chapters-Indigo-Spring-White-Cabana-books

Photos by Jordana.

Design: Princess Margaret Home Lottery – Vaughan Showhome

Earlier this week I was invited to attend an event at the Princess Margaret Home Lottery Vaughan showhome. The evening included a tour with designer Jack Celli of Greenpark Homes, as well as wine tasting lessons from Krystina Roman of Rosewood Estates in Beamsville/Niagara, and delicious food and cooking instruction from Steve Gonzalez of Toronto’s Valdez (and Top Chef Canada – Season 1). Laura was our happy host for the evening, and design and food bloggers mingled and ate in a $4 million home. Not bad for a Monday night, right?

The Vaughan showhome is far…in the country…north of Woodbridge…almost in Barrie? Joking…it’s just north of Woodbridge, but it’s definitely in the countryside (and just over an hour drive from Waterloo). The massive showhome is surrounded by other massive homes and a beautiful landscape. The house is full of white so, naturally, I went a overboard with the photos. Black and gold are accent colours throughout the house.

White-Cabana-PM-Lotto-1

first floor hallway

White-Cabana-PM-Lotto-2

details in the dining room – moulding & art

White-Cabana-PM-Lotto-3

main floor family room – beside the kitchen

White-Cabana-PM-Lotto-4

open concept kitchen

White-Cabana-PM-Lotto-5

white bathroom ensuite – 2nd floor

White-Cabana-PM-Lotto-6

the elevator (yes, an elevator!)

White-Cabana-PM-Lotto-7

substantial doors throughout the home

White-Cabana-PM-Lotto-8

high ceilings & crown moulding

White-Cabana-PM-Lotto-9

Greenpark‘s Director of design – Jack Celli – in the master bathroom

White-Cabana-PM-Lotto-10

Rosewood wines: Riesling, Semillon, Mead (honey wine)

White-Cabana-PM-Lotto-11

chef Steve Gonzales in the kitchen (cooking up things like ceviche, arepa, & chorizo…yum!)

White-Cabana-PM-Lotto-12

Danica (Country Chic Renovator) & me with our Rosewood honey

White-Cabana-PM-Lotto-13

beautiful view from the lanai

White-Cabana-PM-Lotto-14

hakwood floors & oversized armchairs in the library

White-Cabana-PM-Lotto-15

winged art sculptures

White-Cabana-PM-Lotto-16

one of the 2nd floor bedrooms with ensuite

White-Cabana-PM-Lotto-17

master bathroom (the size of a football field – well, almost)

White-Cabana-PM-Lotto-18

his & her toilet rooms in the master bathroom

White-Cabana-PM-Lotto-19

door & floor details

White-Cabana-PM-Lotto-20

the runway room

White-Cabana-PM-Lotto-21

half a dozen switches in the master bathroom

While the house is much too fancy for my taste, it has a good layout, it’s really airy, and the lanai off of the kitchen & family rooms is a beautiful space that can be used year-round. I also quickly noticed – and liked – how substantial the doors, moulding, and trim was throughout the house.

I loved the Hakwood flooring throughout the house. My favourite room in the house was the library – it is currently set up with four large comfy chairs and shelves of vases and other interesting objects. If I lived there, I’d obviously fill those shelves with books. The room has good light from a large window, it’s near off the main foyer and living rooms, and it has a mini-kitchen beside it. How handy.

So, are you interested in this big ticket item? Have other prizes caught your eye? Have you bought your ticket?

Thanks to Laura Z. for being such a wonderful host and event coordinator.

Photos by Jordana. Additional photos here.

20 Below: Drip Maple Syrup

I LOVE waffles. Love ’em. I also love maple syrup. Put those two together and you’ve got a perfect (any time of day?) meal. Yum. Yum. Yum.

I read about Drip maple syrup in the LCBO’s recent Food & Drink. Great packaging, beautiful website, and I am sure Drip’s maple syrup is pretty darn delicious.

dripmaple-enchante_message

The three maple syrup varieties – blond, copper, amber – are each $20 and can be purchased online.

Marketplace: The Panasonic Induction Cooktop

I recently learned that Panasonic has introduced a new induction cooktop. Induction heat has been around for years, but I feel like it’s only gaining momentum for home kitchens now.

Panasonic-Induction cooktop

Panasonic’s new induction cooktop sort of looks like a television, doesn’t it? So sleek and shiny, it is! Panasonic says, “The induction cooktop features infrared-sensors for precise temperature control and electrostatic glass touch technology for easy operation.” The cooktop also has the ability to rapidly generate heat. The fact that the induction cooktop doesn’t use flames or elements has got to mean that it’s pretty darn safe to operate*. Panasonic assures its customers that the cooktop surface remains cool to the touch, except just beneath where the cookware sits. The cooktop’s flat surface is much easier to clean than a traditional stove with burners and (those darn) burner guards.

But that’s not all that I’ve learned. Panasonic is also sharing news of its new convection oven.

Panasonic-induction-HL-BD825

I love that, like the cooktop, the convection oven is so sleek. It looks perfectly stylish in an all-white kitchen. Use of the convection oven should result in “even baking, browning, and crisping” as well as juicy and flavourful poultry and roasted meat. I wish it promised that it would cook for me every night. 🙂

I’d love to hear your view, but I am especially curious to know if anyone has an induction stove. Well worth it? Did you buy a completely new cookware set?

Come on back on Monday to learn about a not-to-be missed giveaway that I’ve organized with the good folks from Panasonic. Your kitchen will definitely want you to enter this one!

 *I have never actually cooked on an induction cooktop.

Images courtesy of Panasonic Cooking Canada.

Celebration: Happy New Year

As you may have noticed, I’ve taken a few days off from the blog to celebrate the holidays, have some downtime, and continue to do work around my home. I hope you have enjoyed a wonderful Christmas with friends and family and that you’re now ready to welcome in the new year!

cake-topper-happy-new-year

via Style Me Pretty

I am wishing all my readers, sponsors, and blogger colleagues a most happy and successful 2014. Happy New Year!

The Friday Five: Tea & Teapots

As much as I love coffee, I love tea. There are so many flavours and I am a fan of most of them! Earl Grey, yes please. Vanilla Roiboos, don’t mind if I do. Chamomile, indeed. I’m not too particular when it comes to loose leaf or tea bags – I like it all. I take milk with most of my tea and sometimes I add a drop of honey. Delicious! Since I talked about coffee last week, I thought I should give some attention to tea this week.

teapot-modcloth

Swans Upon a Time teapot, Modcloth via Luxe Life

West-Elm-tea-pot

Enamel Teapot, West Elm

teapot-white-Marks-and-Spencer

Maxim Teapot, Marks & Spencer

alice-teapot-anthropologie

Alice’s Teapot 4, Anthropologie

weave-teapot-with-porcelain-infuser

Weave Teapot, Crate & Barrel

What do you prefer – coffee or tea?

Happy Friday! Have a wonderful weekend!

***

Did you enter this week’s giveaway?

The Friday Five: Coffee Pots

I have been drinking more coffee than usual over the last few weeks. I go through phases of preferred coffee types. I normally rotate between Café du Monde drip coffee, espresso, and lattés. While I love French pressed coffee too, I don’t have a French press so I never make it. My local café has pour over coffee which is kind of – sort of – like French press. I love the taste of pretty much every kind of coffee (and I’ve written about my interest in coffee here).

img39o

Toddy Cold Brew Coffee System

chemex-8-cup-coffee-maker

Chemix Coffee Maker

71YuKn7nVlL._AA1500_

Black & Decker Coffee Maker

img63o

Cuisinart Compact Single Serve Coffee Maker

611_80550_P

Bosch Tassimo

What about you? What’s you coffee of choice? Do you frequent the cafés or do you prefer your own make-at-home coffee?

 

Marketplace: Summer Barbecues

barbecue-LIFE-magazine

Life Magazine

One of the best parts of summer in Ontario, in my opinion, are barbecues. When I was little it was all about hot dogs and hamburgers. Nowadays I love grilled veggies and shrimp. The barbecue has grown to be a sophisticated cooking machine and accessories such as veggie trays and rib racks make grilling that much easier.

BBQ-The-Home-Depot-White-Cabana.jpg

Weber Genesis BBQWeber rib rack, Weber roast holderWeber vegetable basketWeber Skewer setWeber BBQ tool set

Images via The Home Depot.

1 2 3