Friday, October 29, 2010


Here is the #1 reason why its great to have friends at Chapters&Indigo - because they tell you when all the celebrity chefs are coming to town and then send you the link to all the events!

Thanks to my lovely friend Kate, I am now prepared for multiple celeb chef book signings/meet & greets this month! If you live in the Toronto neighbourhood get excited - there is a whole roster of fabulous people coming to Indigo throughout November! My fav - Jamie Oliver, the Domestic Goddess herself Nigella Lawson, Toronto's star chef Mark McEwan, Cake Boss' Buddy Valastro and Britain's tough chef Gordon Ramsey. These chefs (and authors) will be there to talk about their experiences, their new books and then sign them for those of you lucky enough to get in line fast enough!

For more information on the upcoming events:

photo credit: indigo

Thursday, October 28, 2010


There is nothing better than comfort food, and sometimes when my mind is thinking comfort food it doesn’t go away until I make something to satisfy the craving. Last week I was given a Chicken Pot Pie recipe and for the past week all I have been able to think about cooking is pot pie! I finally made it last night – and it was delicious! Such a simple recipe, but so utterly easy and perfect! This dish is great for the coming cold winter months or when hosting friends or family as it’s a dish that serves many! I have never made pot pie before but I think it went quite well!



- 2 pie crusts (homemade or the Pillsbury ones: I actually only did the top layer with crust, but if you want a bottom layer you will need two
- 1 ½ lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 /2 tbsp oil
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- 3 medium carrots (peeled and sliced into rounds)
- 4 celery stalks (sliced into similar size of carrots)
- 4 tbsp butter
- ½ cup flour
- ½ cup milk
- 1 tsp ground dried thyme
- ½ cup white wine
- ½ cup frozen peas
- 3 tbsp minced parsley (fresh)


- Heat oven to 400 degrees
- Place chicken and broth in a stock pot over medium heat. Cover, bring to simmer and cook until chicken is done (about 10 minutes. For this step I seasoned the broth with a bit of dried thyme, poultry seasoning, salt and pepper to give the chicken some extra flavour)

- Once chicken is done remove from broth and strain broth into a separate bowl.
- In the pot add oil (and I use butter too, for extra flavour) and sauté the carrots, onion and celery until tender (5ish minutes). Season with salt and pepper.
- Remove vegetables from pot and cut or shred chicken into bite size pieces. Set aside.
- Heat the butter in the empty pot over medium heat. Once melted add flour, whisk together and cook for about a minute. (You need to form a rue to thicken the sauce)
- Then whisk in chicken broth, milk, wine and thyme. Bring to a simmer continuing to whisk until sauce thickens (about another minute)
- Add in the fresh chopped parsley and stir together.
- Pour the mixture over the chicken and vegetables and add in the peas.
- Pour the mixture into the baking dish and cover with the pie crust (if you use a bottom crust, just make sure the dish is lined with the crust before you pout in the mix)
- Bake for about 30-40 minutes until the pie rust is golden brown and the filling is bubbly!

This recipe was adapted from the original at ( )

photo credit: my own

Monday, October 25, 2010


Thanks to a friend’s suggestion, I have now found my number one reason for a trip to New York…asap!
Eataly, a little slice on Italy nestled in the Toy building at Fifth Ave. between 23rd and 24th streets in New York is a massive marketplace in the heart of Manhattan giving New Yorkers & visitors a taste of Italy sans the flight. Eataly is the creation of Italian-American restaurateurs Mario Batali, Joe Bastianich, Lidia Matticchio Bastlianich and the founder behind the gourmet food and wine market (Eataly) in Turin, Oscar Farinetti. The 50,000-foot-space is more than just a supermarket with restaurants, it is an energetic marketplace, a place to taste and take home products that inspire the rustic coking of Italy, and a place to learn about the country, the trade and their products. Eataly is the “heartbeat of Italy.”

The complex includes multiple restaurants (an Italian steakhouse, a Neapolitan pizzeria, a gelaterie, a microbrewery and year-round rooftop beer garden etc.) a cooking school, aisles upon aisles of vendors, and the ability to buy the ingredients of a dish you just ate in one of their restaurants. There is a travel agent who will help you arrange a trip to Italy to visit food and wine producers, there is a bookstore, wine store and houseware store where you can buy things such as espresso makers from Bialetti.

This place sounds just fabulous and their manifesto just further highlights the perfectness of this creation! Molto buono!

Learn more at


We love high quality in food and drink. We love the stories about it, the people who produce it, the places it comes from.

Good food brings all of us together, and helps us find a common point of view.
We believe that one of the greatest sources of joy is what happens around a dinner table.

We’ve dedicated our daily lives to promoting a real understanding of high-quality food and drink. How lucky are we that we get to do what we love?

By creating and offering the best products, we improve our own lives, and bring added value to yours. Enter a world dedicated to quality: that means quality food, quality drink and ultimately quality time.

Whether you’re here to buy a loaf of bread, prepare for a lavish dinner or sit down to enjoy a meal, we want this to be your place. We want you to be comfortable, happy, and enriched by every visit.

This is a store with stories. Here, you won’t just discover what you love, you’ll also learn about what you love.

What you choose every day determines what we’ll stock our shelves with over time. When you demand quality products, you support the local farmers, fishermen, butchers, bakers, and cheesemakers who produce them. You create a better environment—for eating and beyond.

Choice: We offer a diverse selection of quality food and drink
Accessibility: We are dedicated to offering the best products at the lowest possible price points.
Knowledge: We feel that it’s not just important that we know everything about what we sell and serve, but that you also learn about the products we are so passionate about. We share with you the stories of the people and places behind all that we offer. The more you know the mote you enjoy.

In all ways, we promise to be scrupulously honest. We’ll never encourage you to buy more than you need or more expensive than you can afford.

Our goal is to have you as our customer for a lifetime. The easiest means to that end is offering the best food and drink as well as the best environment in which to discover and expand your tastes.

photo credit:

Thursday, October 21, 2010


I find that chicken is something you can get so bored by, so I am always on the hunt for new delicious chicken dishes and I definitley found one last night! French Lemon Chicken from an old LCBO Food & Drink Magazine. The chicken was baked, so nice and moist, and the lemon and garlic really enhance the flavours. The sauce is simple but so flavourful. The whole meal is perfect for a weeknight dish. Not too much work for a weeknight, and perfect if you are just making a meal for yourself!

The recipe is for four people, however I just cut it in half for either one or two breasts (make two and then you have leftovers for lunch!) Luckily last night I had one of my besties over to enjoy this delicious meal!

French Lemon Chicken

- l lemon
- 1 head garlic
- 2 cups (500 mL) chicken stock, homemade or low sodium
- 2 tbsp (25 mL) olive oil
- 4 boneless chicken breasts, skin on
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) fresh thyme, chopped or 1 tsp (5 mL) dried
- 1/2 tsp (2 mL) granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) white wine
- 1/4 cup (50 mL) brandy
- 1/4 cup (50 mL) whipping cream
- 2 tbsp (25 mL) chopped fresh parsley

- Grate enough peel from lemon to make 1 tbsp (15 mL). Remove any remaining peel and white pith from lemon and cut flesh into thin slices.
- Separate garlic into cloves, cut off root ends but do not peel. Add to chicken stock in a pot and bring to boil. Simmer three minutes. Strain stock and reserve. Peel garlic cloves. If garlic cloves are large, cut in half lengthways.
- Preheat oven to 450°F (230°C). Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Season breasts with salt, pepper and thyme, and fry skin-side-down four to five minutes or until golden brown. Turn over and fry second side for one minute. Remove breasts.
- Place skin-side-up in oiled ovenproof dish that fits chicken snugly. Discard fat from skillet. Scatter lemon slices and garlic cloves around chicken. Sprinkle sugar on lemon slices.
- Meanwhile, add wine to skillet, bring to boil, reduce by half. Stir in stock, brandy and grated zest. Bring to a boil, stirring. Add cream and continue to boil until slightly thickened, about five to eight minutes. Stir in parsley.
- Bake chicken for 15 to 20 minutes or until it is tender but not dry. Remove chicken and any lemon bits to serving platter. Scatter over garlic cloves. Remove any fat and pour any juices into sauce.
- To serve, pour sauce over chicken.

Serves 4

photo credit: my own

Monday, October 18, 2010


Looking for a new cookbook to add to your collection, or for a perfect gift - well have I got one for you. It was my mom's birthday last weekend and I really wanted to find a fabulous cookbook for her. We love Donna Hay, and have since her start. In fact Entertaining was one of my first cookbooks, and one that my mom gave me when I had my first dinner party in grade seven!

Donna Hay is a culinary goddess and this book just goes to show. Every image in this book is utterly stunning, and you really do feel apart of each season.

The book is perfect, and the recipes are simple, fresh, and based around the goodies of each season - teaching us to appreciate, love and use the traditional foods of fall, summer, spring and winter. Unlike the previous simplicity of Donna Hay cookbooks, this one takes you from the kitchen straight to the outdoors, with the picturesque images of each season, such as an apple orchard or a stormy winter beach. The book is visually rich and is sure to inspire and delight even those who aren't obsessed with the kitchen.

I am so lucky to have stumbled upon the gem!

Thursday, October 14, 2010


After looking at this website and refreshing the page probably 100 times just so I could keep seeing a new picture, I am seriously considering booking a flight to San Francisco just so I can go and enjoy and love this place. Tartine Bakery & Cafe - thank you to Gwyneth Paltrow's newsletter for highlighting and introducing me to this gem of a spot. If only one day I could own somethign that is as delectable and creative and lovely as this!

Pastry chef Elisabeth Prueitt and her husband Chad Robertson co-own Tartine Bakery and Bar Tartine. The pair trained at the Culinary Institute of America! Tartine is continually rated as the Best Bakery and Best Breakfast in San Francisco and the duo were nominated for the James Beard Award for Outstanding Pastry Chefs in 2006 and 2007 and won the award in 2008.

The bread, which they are famous for comes out of the oven fresh at 5pm as their mornings are filled with pastry creations. Their bread is made with locally mild organic flours and sea salt, and baked on a stone hearth. The bread is available in plain, country, with walnuts, sesame seeds or olives.

The cafe menu is simply beautiful as is the food. They use organic produce as often as possible and organic flour, sugar and local eggs. Their meat is from a California ranch, their coffee is organic Four Barell, dairy from Straus Family Creamery and the pastries vary according to season as to showcase the local produce.

Croque Monsieur: Open face sandwich with béchamel, gruyere, thyme and pepper. Topped with either smoked Niman Ranch ham or seasonal vegetable
Mozzerella & Tapenade: Fresh mozzarella with house-made niçoise olive and anchovy puree.
Pecorino & Almond: Sheep cheese & almonds crushed with olive oil, lemon and sage.
Coconut Cream Tart: Flaky pastry coated in dark chocolate with pastry cream, and lightly sweetened cream
Passionfruit, Lime Bavarian Rectangle: Lime-moistened genoise with passion fruit Bavarian. Topped with sweetened cream and coconut.
Eclairs: Filled with vanilla custard, dipped in Valrhona glaze.

Tartine Bakery & Cafe
600 Guerrero Street
 San Francisco, CA 94110
 415 487 2600

photo credit: tartine bakery


The Art of Productions Inc. is putting on a fabulous event this coming November that any food lover (and Jamie Oliver fan) should not miss!

The Art of Cooking : An Evening with Jamie Oliver is November's hottest event as Jamie returns to Toronto for just one night!  The Art of Cooking is a national speakers series featuring a collection of world renowned chefs and best-selling authors who will share an exciting blend of cutting edge thinking and experience on today's most innovative cooking trends.

The night will start with host Bob Blumer and then an hour talk from Jamie Oliver where he will talk about his "pass-it-on" cookign campaign and introudce his new book Jamie's America! After there will be a time for question and answer with the two Food Network chefs and then those who purchase VIP tickets will attend the reception where they will get to meet and talk with Jamie.
Register now online HERE! It is sure to be a wonderful evening!
Thursday, November 18th, 2010

Metro Toronto Convention Centre
North Building
255 Front Street West
Toronto, Ontario M5V 2W6
Phone: 416-585-8000

photo credit: the art of cooking

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Falafel is a delicious Middle Eastern dish made from ground up chickpeas or fava beans. It is a hand made patty/ball that is usually served with pita, toped with salads, pickled vegetables, hot sauce, hummus, and then drizzled with tahini.

Falafel’s are said to have been first made in Egypt, but are now widely known as a Middle Eastern dish. The Copts of Egypt claim to have first made the dish as a replacement for meat during Lent – as they are quite hearty and a good substitute. Alexandria, being a port city made it easy for the Egyptians to export the dish and the name of it to other areas in the Middle East. Falafel’s have become so popular, McDonald’s even began to serve a “McFalafel” in certain countries!

I just adore falafel’s and they are such a great alternative to meats and fish. Perfect for a vegetarian or for someone just wanting something a bit different!

Christine Cushing's Falafel


- 1 1/4 cups dried slip fava beans (250 ml)
- 1 cup dried chickpeas (185 ml)
- 1 small white onion, quartered
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 small bunch, flat leaf parsley, chopped
- 2 green onions, sliced
- 1 teaspoon salt (5 ml)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder (5 ml)
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds toasted, coarsely ground (5 ml)
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds toasted, coarsely ground (5 ml)
- Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
- Dash Tobasco sauce, or to taste
- Water, to adjust moisture level if too dry of a consistency
- 4 cups vegetable oil, for frying (1 litre)

Minted Tahini Sauce
- 1/2 cup tahini paste (125 ml)
- 1/2 cup water (125 ml)
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (10 ml)
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint (60 ml)
- 2 to 3 tbsp. lemon juice (30 to 45 ml)
- Coarse salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
- 4 to 8 Middle Eastern pita bread, depending on size of pita and serving portion of falafel balls
- Tomatoes, sliced, for garnish



- Cover both fava beans and chickpeas with cold water in separate bowls. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.
- Drain and rinse the fava beans and the chickpeas. Rinse thoroughly under cold water until water runs clear. Set aside.
- Add white onions, garlic and green onions to a food processor. Pulse until a mushy consistency. Add parsley and continue to pulse until mixture is fine in texture and green in colour. Transfer to large bowl.
- Add the chickpeas and fava beans to the food processor. (Note: you don’t have to clean the machine with the onion and parsley mixture). Pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Transfer to bowl with the onion and parsley mixture. Add baking powder, cumin and coriander. Season the mix with salt, pepper and tobasco. Stir to combine. Start adding water a little at a time until mixture becomes a dough consistency.
- Place vegetable oil into a saucepan. Heat oil to 300 degrees F. Mould the falafel mixture into 1½-inch diameter balls. Fry until golden brown, about 4 minutes for best texture. Remove the balls from the oil and drain on paper towel. Make 24 falafels. Serve with tahini sauce.

Minted Tahini Sauce
- In a bowl add the tahini paste. Slowly add the lemon juice and water – as you add the liquid – the tahini paste will cease up but as you gradually add more liquid it will become smooth. Add the parsley, mint and salt and pepper. Check seasoning, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

- Cut pita in half to make pockets and place 3 or 4 of the falafel balls into pita pocket. Top with sliced tomatoes and tahini sauce. Alternatively add the falafel balls onto the pita and top to garnishes and roll to make a sandwich. Serves 4 to 6.

photo credit: & google images

Monday, October 11, 2010


One of Toronto top chefs has done it again, Mark McEwan has added Fabbrica - his newest restaurant to the Mark McEwan family across the city. Fabbrica, located in the Shops at Don Mills is traditional Italian cuisine.

The menu has the classic Italian choices but the restaurant is nothing less than top-notch. Pizzas are made on a wood-burning brick oven from Naples, the tomatoes are from the San Marzano valley, the hand-milled flour is imported from Italy and Fabbrica's executive chef Rob LeCair was sent to New York to train under the Associzione Pizziuloi Napoletani. You can clearly see the restaurant has the makings to be another McEwan hit!  I cannot wait to check this one out! 

49 Karl Fraser Rd. (at Shops at Don Mills)

photo credit: toronto life

Friday, October 8, 2010


Yess! Thanksgiving is finally here which means one thing: PUMPKIN PIE!

I have already blogged about the wonders of pumpkins, but here is the easiest pumpkin pie recipe ever! Give it a whirl this holiday weekend and you will be sure to impress your family and friends!

The Easiest Pumpkin Pie You Will Ever Make

- 1 can pumpkin filling
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup condensed milk
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tbsp nutmeg

- Combine ingredients together
- Fill pie shell with the mixture
- Bake at 425 for 15 minutes, and then at 375 for another 25-30 minutes
- Serve with real whipped cream (flavoured with 1 tbsp vanilla and 1 tbsp white sugar)

photo credit: my own


Looking for something else to do this wekend other than eating turkey? Well thanks to Toronto Life for giving their top 8 suggestions - one of which is SOUPALICIOUS.  "Come sip, slurp & savour a medley of tasty soup creations!" is the slogan for the event.

SOUPALICIOUS Toronto is a harvest celebration of 2010 where Toronto restaurants and chefs will create soups featuring fresh and local vegetables that showcase the multicultural flavours of Toronto!

The entrance fee is $10 - but you get 10 free soup tastings with that at the all-you-can-slurp soup stations. Reservations are recommended so buy your tickets online HERE

Not only is it a soup tasting field day, but there are also a variety of exhibits where you can learn about local farming and maybe take some inspiration from the diverse selection of food and gardening presentations/activities.

Here are some of the vendors and their soup creations!

Esther Queen of Soups: Curried Butternut Squash with Apricots
St. Jamestown Steak & Chops: Rosemary Vegetable Soup
Palluci: Charred Sweet Zucchini with Cumin and Truffle Oil
Le Rossignon's French Bistro: Potato, Carmelized Onion & Bacon Soup
Cruda Cafe: Moroccan Cauliflower Soup

Saturday October 9, 2010
11 am - 4 pm
Exhibition Place - Heritage Court
(north of Direct Energy Centre)

photo credit:

Thursday, October 7, 2010


The ACC is stepping it up!

Torontonians - there is a new food in town at the Air Canada Center. You can now add Toronto Chef Jamie Kennedy's famous fries to the menu! JK will be serving his signature menu item at his own fry stand on the third level of the ACC. These fries are famous across the city and have been served in all of his restaurants in the city. These famous fries are thick cuts of organic Yukon potatoes tossed with fine salt (for flavour), coarse salt (for texture) and thyme for a little switch-up! Served with chili mayonnaise or cider vinegar - these chips are the real deal. Served as a snack-sized portion in a paper cone!

"We’re raising the bar on stadium food,” says Kennedy. “We’re contributing to food culture in a way and this is a vehicle for us to reach out to more people.”

Will you give these top of the line fries a whirl? Move over peanuts and dogs, the fries are in town!
photo credit: toronto life

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Dear Food Network:

HAPPY 10th ANNIVERSARY!! Congratulations - keep up the excellent work!

To see more of Food Network over the years check them out HERE!!

photo credit:

Monday, October 4, 2010


Tired of eggs and bacon? Looking for a way to spice up your weekend breakfasts or brunch. Well do I have the recipe for you! Zucchini Fritters with Garlic Roasted Tomatoes. A late lazy breakfast is one of the best parts about the weekend - and sometimes it is so nice to just stay in your pj's and cook at home! A delicious and different breakfast is a great start to any day - but is perfect for trying out when you have loads of time of the weekend. Here is the divine recipe from none other than the LCBO's FOOD&DRINK.

ZUCCHINI FRITTERS (roasted tomato recipe below)

- 1 and 1/2 c flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
-1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup plain yogurt
- 1 and 1/2 c shredded zucchini, approx. one zucchini
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh herbs - basil, tarragon or parsley (we used basil and parsley)
- vegetable oil

- Preheat oven to 300 F - to keep fritters warm as you make them in batches
- Combine four, baking soda, salt and pepper in a large bowl.
- In another bowl, using a fork, whisk together eggs and yogurt. Stir in zucchini and herbs.
- Pour the wet mixture over the flour mixture and combine with a fork just until evenly moistened.
- Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Pour in a thin layer of oil. Drop a heaping TBSP of batter for each fritter into pan (be careful not to crowd the pan) and flatten slightly.
- Cook for about 3 minutes or until dry around the edges and bottoms are browned. Flip over and cook for about 3 minutes until browned and cooked through.
- Transfer to plate in the oven. Repeat with the remaining batter, adding more oil between batches if necessary.
Top hot fritters with roasted tomatoes*.

- 8 deep red tomatoes
- 16 garlic cloves, unpeeled
- 1/4 cup olive oil (more if necessary)
- salt and pepper

- Preheat the oven to 425 F
- Cut the tomatoes in half lengthwise and arrange, cut-side up, in a single layer in a large, ovenproof dish. Place a clove of garlic on each tomato.
- Drizzle the olive oil over the tomatoes and season to taste with salt and pepper. Bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes, or until the tomatoes are softened and beginning to char slightly around the edges. (I usually do 30 minutes and then check on them)
- Remove and serve hot or warm. Squeeze the garlic out of its paper casing - and voila!

photo credit: my own