Stoney’s Bread Company

Ever since my summer spent in the city of Montreal, I’ve come to appreciate sandwiches on a whole ‘nother level. They’re so simple to make yet the combinations are endless. I can probably go on and on about my love for sandwiches but I’ll spare ya the boredom!

I’ve heard of Stoney’s Bread Company awhile back but never had a chance to go since it’s located in Oakville and poor Shirley doesn’t have a car #FirstWorldProblems. Stoney’s serves up classic comfort food such as sandwiches, pastas, salads, soups and pizzas. They are also well-known for their Sunday brunches which I have yet to experience. The ambiance is quite cozy and you’ll feel right at home with their wooden tables and dim-lit candles.

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The Grilled Chicken sandwich has caramelized onions, roasted tomatoes, field greens, feta, mozzarella and roasted garlic aioli on grilled focaccia. The chicken was tender and cooked just right; it combined nicely with the crunchy exterior of the focaccia bread. The balsamic vinegar lying next to it was SO GOOD and you can really taste the authenticity of it. My friend got the Slow Roasted Lamb sandwich and oh my was it heaven on a plate. Their portions are quite large so it’s great to share several between friends!

Food: 9/10
Service: 8/10
Ambiance: 8/10
Stoney's Bread Company on Urbanspoon

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Mom’s Famous Stuffed Peppers

I lied, my mom has never actually made stuffed peppers but there is somewhat of a ring to that name. I was surfing the web one night and found this glorious stuffed peppers recipe; needless to say it made me salivate all over the keyboard. I slightly modified the recipe to add more vegetables and made it less carb-y. #girlproblems

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Ingredients:
3 large red or green bell peppers
1 lb lean ground beef*
1 cup of edamame and corn, each (or any veggies)
half or quarter of medium sweet onion, diced
1 to 1.5 cups shredded cheese
½ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt
(Optional) Sriracha or any types of hot sauce
(Optional) 2 cups tomato juice

*Be sure to defrost the beef if frozen

Directions:
1) Pre-heat oven to 400’F.  Cut the top of the bell peppers off and remove stem and seeds.
2) In a large pot, add corn and edamame. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. Set aside.
3) In a large bowl, combine ground beef, diced onion, corn, edamame, salt and pepper. Mix until it comes together. Generously fill the peppers with the ground beef filling.
4) If you like your food spicy, drizzle in sriracha or any type of hot sauce to give it an extra kick.
5) Place aluminum foil in a baking dish and place peppers inside. If you’d like, you can pour tomato juice into the dish to fill ¾ of the way. Bake for 40 minutes.
6) Remove the dish and generously top each pepper with cheese and return the dish to the oven. Bake for about 7-10 minutes until the cheese melts.

This dish is so easy to make and as a student-on-a-budget, I am all for any easy-peasy delicious meals. It’s a great recipe to impress your friends and families without having to become Masterchef Canada!

Fred’s Not Here (Winterlicious)

Fred Who? Who’s Fred? My thoughts exactly. Regardless if we know Fred or not, this restaurant serves to be a fan-favourite during Winterlicious. For all of you not from Toronto (hi international friends!), Winterlicious is a two-week-long event where hundreds of TO’s most popular restaurants offer three-course prix fixe lunch/dinner menus.

I’ve been meaning to go to Fred’s Not Here for some time now based on Yelpers and other food bloggers. This jazzy little restaurant nestles in the heart of Entertainment District and serves up fine seafood and steaks. Their lunch price is set at $23 while dinner is $35. You can find their Winterlicious menu here.

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Famous Lobster & Crab Soup

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As usual, I looked on Yelp for some inspirations on what to order and everyone said to get the famous Lobster & Crab soup. Boy oh boy was this deliciously warm and soothing on a cold January night. The puff pastry coupled nicely with the soup and I’m glad that it wasn’t too salty (which I find most soups in restaurants to be).

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“California Cut” New York Steak

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For my main, I ordered the Wood Grilled “California Cut” New York Strip Steak with vegetables and duck-fat frites. The meat tasted mediocre; it was definitely not up to par with ones from The Keg (which is usually what I compare to, unfair I know). The green beans and fries tasted great though!

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Duck-fat frites

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Banana Chocolate Bread Pudding with caramel rum sauce

Two things first:
1) The dessert was much bigger in person than pictured above
2) It was definitely the best part of my meal

This Banana Chocolate Bread Pudding with caramel rum sauce was probably the best thing that’s happened since sliced bread. It had a nice blend of banana and chocolate flavoring without one overpowering the other. I can also taste the rum but  I’m not sure if the sauce had any actual alcohol or if they’re just good at deceiving taste buds!

Food: 8/10
Service: 9/10
Ambiance: 7.5/10
Fred's Not Here on Urbanspoon

Healthy Fruit Tart

I find most cakes and tarts bought in-store just too freaking sweet I feel like I downed a whole bag of sugar (seriously though). We live in an era where it’s all about being healthy and decreasing our sugar-, fat-, carbs-, calorie-intake. I decided to take matters into my own hand and make a healthy DIY fruit tart!

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You can also customize your tart by choosing your favorite fruit toppings and styling however you like. I picked colorful fruits that complement each other such as strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, kiwis and peaches.

Ingredients:
Crust :
You can either use store-bought crust or make your own

Custard filling:
2 cups half & half
1/3 cup + 1/4 cup granulated white sugar, divided
pinch of salt
5 large egg yolks
3 tablespoons cornstarch
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Fruit Topping:
2-3 cups of fruits of your choice
*If you choose to use bananas, make sure to coat it with lemon juice so that it doesn’t turn brown

Glaze (optional):
1 tablespoon of cornstarch
1 tablespoon of sugar
2 tablespoons of water

Directions:
1) Prepare pie crust according to instructions on the packaging and cool completely.
2) In a saucepan, combine the half & half, 1/3 cup of sugar and salt. Simmer over medium heat and stir occasionally.
3) In a bowl whisk together the egg yolks, cornstarch and remaining 1/4 cup of sugar for a minute.
4) Once the half & half mixture has reached a simmer, slowly whisk it into the egg yolk mixture one pour at a time so that it doesn’t “cook” the eggs.
5) Pour the whole mixture back into the saucepan and whisk vigorously on medium heat until nice and thick. There should be a few bubbles bursting on the surface.

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6) Remove from heat to cool for a minute. Whisk in butter and vanilla.
*If there are any lumps, you can remove them from a spoon or strain it through a fine mesh sieve
7) Press a layer of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the cream to prevent a layer of coating to form on top.
8) Refrigerate for approx. 3 hours or up to 2 days.

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Wash and cut (if necessary) your fruit toppings and arrange however you like! I browsed through Google and Pinterest for some inspirations. If you want a glaze on your tart, simply heat the water, cornstarch and sugar until melted and brush it over the fruit.

Brighten any gloomy Toronto winter day with this easy and delicious fruit tart!

(Original recipe here)

Jabistro

Last summer I finally visited the famous Jabistro situated in the trendy entertainment district of downtown Toronto. This Japanese restaurant boasts a sleek and chic interior, serving authentic Japanese cuisine with a modern twist. They pride themselves in being a cozy “hideaway” for Toronto’s sophisticated crowd.

We shared several dishes between 4 people:

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Miso soup – $5

As usual, I had to ask my fellow friends on Yelp for the best dishes to order and one of the first ones mentioned was the miso soup. Now this was not your ordinary tofu-and-seaweed Japanese soup. This was a lobster broth miso soup with a large lobster claw inside. It tasted nice and warm – perfect for a breezy summer night!

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Lobster platter – $80

The next dish we ordered was the lobster platter. Although this plate of sashimi will cost your wallet $80, it was well worth it with a great selection of seafood!

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JaBistroll – $22

Another popular item that Yelpers rave about is the JaBistroll. This roll is part of their sushi aburi which means that the sushi is blowtorched. Each piece had a nice crispy texture on top with a hint of smoky flavoring, filled with salmon, snow crab, uni, cucumber and tobiko.

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Aburicious – $20

The next sushi aburi roll that we ordered was the Aburicious. This blowtorched sushi roll had 2 ebi, 2 saba, 2 salmon, and 2 JaBitroll. The ebi and saba ones were by far my favorite! The smokiness perfectly infused with the seafood.

JaBistro is definitely in the higher-end of pricing but you can really taste the quality of their ingredients and seafood. This place is perfect for a romantic date night or a business dinner!

Food: 9/10
Service: 8/10
Ambiance: 9/10
JaBistro on Urbanspoon

Arrrroma!

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Ice Aroma Light is seriously, ridiculously, heavenly delicious! One of these bad boys will cost your wallet a whoopin’ $4.65 +tax but only 115 calories and 0.5g of fat. Say whuuuuuuuuut! Say bye-bye to Starbucks’ 578394-calorie fraps forever!

Check out Aroma Espresso Bar’s whole menu here

Aroma Espresso Bar on Urbanspoon