December 30, 2017

Portugal 2017

clothing line

I never knew how picturesque Portugal was before my visit. It was hard to take a bad photo, which made it even more unfortunate that I lost my camera halfway through my trip. (Cue the sad violins.)

porto sunset
livraria lello douro valley

Photos from my phone will have to do and the beauty of Portugal shines right through. I started up north in Porto, a city known for port wines. As a huge Harry Potter nerd, I had to make the pilgrimage to Livrario Lello, which was where J.K Rowling wrote part of her books. The beautiful staircase in the bookstore was the inspiration for the staircase at Hogwarts. I also did a day trip out to the Douro Valley, one of the oldest wine regions in the world, and drank my fill of wine. Lots of wine was consumed on this trip.

biblioteca joanina
universidade de coimbra old library books

I stopped in Coimbra to visit Portugal's oldest university but my sole target was the Joanina Library, which was stunning. It's a must visit for bibliophiles. Fun fact: university students in Portugal wear capes, just like the students in Harry Potter.

tram 28

November 30, 2017

Sneak Peak: Portugal

lisbon red rooftops

I spent the last two weeks in Portugal, a land for seafood lovers. Meat and potato eaters are also welcomed. Vegetarians - maybe not so much.

More details to come.

October 10, 2017

Creamy Corn Pasta with Basil

creamy corn pasta with basil

I have an infatuation with corn. Once summer hits, I wait in anticipation for the appearance of corn trucks that dots the city. It's the only place I buy my corn from.

corn pasta ingredients

Corn trucks, you ask? More specifically, I look for corn trucks from Sweet Ridge Farm, the last commercial farm to exist in Toronto. They produce the sweetest corn that I have ever tasted. Because the corn is picked the same day that it is sold, it's super fresh and juicy.

fresh corn

I came across this pasta recipe and was intrigued, as the corn is thrown into a blender to make a creamy pasta sauce without the use of cream. Each piece of pasta is coated with sweet, corn-y goodness.

sauteed corn

September 21, 2017

Ratatouille

ultimate summer stew

The end of summer means an abundance of ripe tomatoes, sweet peppers, eggplant and zucchini. These vibrant, multicoloured vegetables go beautifully together, both visually and gastronomically.

summer harvest

Ratatouille is an easy dish to throw together - a one pot meal, which is my favourite kind of meal. I've seen recipes where you roast each vegetable separately (!) before they are combined, which seems like an unnecessary amount of dishes and time. Perhaps the flavours are more concentrated when you roast the vegetables separately, though I find this recipe makes a scrumptious stew using seasonal, ripe vegetables.

vibrant colours

August 28, 2017

Chocolate Raspberry Layer Cake

chocolate raspberry layer cake

It's been firmly established that chocolate is my kryptonite, but do you know what makes chocolate even better? Raspberries. I love the flavour of dark chocolate mixed with the tartness of raspberries, so much that I've made a rugelach with this combination.

chocolate cake ingredients

I first discovered this complementary flavour when I was gifted a chocolate mousse cake filled with a mixed berry coulis, finished with a dark chocolate glaze. It instantly became my favourite cake and in "treat yo' self" mode, purchased it for myself on my birthdays.

cake layers

I then discovered this recipe and it was like the universe knew exactly what I wanted in a cake. Moist, flavourful chocolate cake? Raspberry filling? Chocolate ganache frosting? Check, check and check. I've made this cake several times and it has never disappointed me.

raspberry filling