The first day of 2017! And it’s a lazy day. Tomorrow I will plow full steam ahead with healthy dishes. But today, being a Sunday, it’s the last chance to relax the rules a touch. Time for Brunch.
So I present, The Bloody Caesar. Like the Bloody Mary, only better! And uniquely Canadian. So unique, that for the most part, if Canadians are visiting the States, and try to order one in a restaurant, they will be hard pressed to find a bartender who can make one. First of all the bar tender will think you want a salad, with bacon, cheese and romaine lettuce.
This is my way of sharing because I care about your time. This is all about time well spent.
When it’s warm out, we Margarita! These days, even if it isn’t warm out we Margarita! We have had the most schizophrenic Spring so far up here in Toronto. We get a few sunny days that convince us that the warm weather is here to stay, and then the forecast for the weekend is 13 degrees C (56 F) like this weekend, and we are left high and dry, yet again.
For May’s Cook Book Club, we’re using ‘Mexico, One Plate at a Time’ by Rick Bayless. Jim and I love Mexican cuisine, what we’ve enjoyed on our travels to the country, as well as what friends have made us, and what we’ve enjoyed when eating out. Okay, eating out may not count every time in years past, since what we up here have historically called Mexican, is probably more of a Tex-Mex interpretation of it, not even close to what we know as fabulous Mexican cuisine today.
The weather is showing signs of cooperating here in Toronto. We are getting sunny days, warmer temperatures, and the patio furniture has come out and has been dusted off. So the next logical step, tropical drinks, right?! We’ve been itching for summer-like activities, and an easy one to embrace is one that doesn’t even involve a bathing suit.
We have had a strange winter this year. It started out so benign, rather warm, and caused a lot of wishful thinking to happen. ‘Perhaps winter would forget about us this year?’ ‘Maybe we’ll get off easy!’ And we were told that El Nino would grace us with a milder than typical winter season. And for the most part, that was the case. Now, I’m in that very small minority that actually wanted to see winter in all its glory. I love snow. I love watching it fall; I love the way the moonlight makes walking in the snow seem like I’m walking on diamond chips; I love the crunchy sound beneath my Sorels; I love seeing trees wearing capes of drippy snow. And I love playing in it. As soon as the weather turns, we try to get our snowshoes and poles and stash them into the back of the car, so that when a forest or field covered with freshly fallen snow confronts us, we can jump out and be the first ones to make prints on the vast nothingness of the snow carpet.
I hope I’m not the only one who remembers taking their allowance money and heading down to the corner store in the summer to buy a popsicle or ice cream on a stick of some sort. Or there was the classic sound of the bells coming down the street, heralding the approach of the ice cream truck, Good Humor or Dicky Dee! And we’d run out, hoping that he hadn’t run out of our favourite flavour. There was the Drumstick: the cone filled with vanilla ice cream, covered in chocolate and nuts. There was the neon, pyschedelic Rocket Pop: the popsicle in those distinct shades of red, white and blue. There was the Strawberry Shortcake: Creamy vanilla popsicle, a sweet strawberry centre and an irresistible strawberry shortcake crumb coating. And my personal favourite: the Creamsicle: a luscious vanilla bar coated in orange sherbet.
Smoothies are more of a experiment than a recipe for me. Sometimes they work, and I try to remember what I did; other times I cringe with the first sip, and try to forget what I did! Usually it’s just a matter of using up stuff in the fridge before they go bad. Of course there are classic combos, and often frozen bananas, kale, pineapple, or berries are involved.
Getting caught up on all sorts of odds and ends. Sitting here at the computer going through slips of paper and scribbling on the chalkboard wall reminds me that I’m a tad behind on projects. Well, I will tackle them, one by one.
It’s kind of funny that I’m documenting this recipe today. Because the sun is shining, teasing me, making me think that Spring is on the horizon. But I can’t be fooled by you Sun! As if we would get off that easy. However even in the dreariness of realizing that it is still a February day, we can have a moment in the tropics. …In our smoothie!! These days, a smoothie is as much of a breakfast go-to as Cheerios and milk, as toast and peanut butter, as apple cinnamon oatmeal. I made this smoothie a while back, and the colour just transported me. My glass of happiness and cheer said ‘Tahiti’ even though the view out my window said ‘Toronto”, gloomy and cold.
We’ve finally had some snowy days here in Toronto. I like it! There’s something so soothing about watching snowflakes making their way earthbound. And then when the sun shines afterwards, everything is so crystal clear and ethereal. And cold, snowy days deserve ‘warm your insides’ treats, like hot cocoa. Any treat that just smiles at you and whispers ‘comfort food’ is worth having around. Often. So it is with this drink. It isn’t cocoa. It’s Sahlep or Sahlav. I discovered it on Instagram. A chef that I follow was spending time in Israel, and was documenting her gourmet feasting at the various restaurants and hotels she was visiting. One morning she showed us a photo of a drink that she was having for breakfast. It looked so dreamy, so enticing.
I’ll be honest, I just wanted a fresh take on my morning cup of coffee this morning. I didn’t want it piled high with whipped cream, dripping in chocolate sauce or caramel syrup. But I didn’t want just a cup of joe with cream. I can do that anytime. So, I went to my trusty Pinterest and did a search on ‘coffee drinks’.