April 2009

My Fort Myers trip wasn’t all about oysters, but we did some cooking too. I’m not use to all the strip malls, but our trip to Publix was amazing. The staff there were super awesome to us.

Anyway, by the end of our trip, we had a fridge full of odds and ends. I made up a quick quinoa salad with green peppers, red peppers, red onion, pear, cilantro and tomato. I learned about quinoa in university, and loved it ever since. It’s a nice alternative grain to throw into the mix when you’re tired of making rice.

quinoa salad in fort myers


Just got back from 5 days in the Fort Myers area… Lovely tan, ate very well, avoided the swineflu.

oysters from Snook Inn

HUGE oysters we ate on our first night there. Not the most flavourful oysters I’ve ever had, but definitely the biggest. If you’re ever in Marco Island, check out the Snook Inn. Delicious grouper sandwich and cold beers.

I like wine. No wait scratch that I love to drink. Drinking wine that costs more than $10 a bottle is a new thing for me. I usually get really nerdy about new things that I love. However, wine is going to be the exception. The amount of knowledge out there and potential spending a lot of money on this new adventure is the deterrent. Anyway, from time to time, you’ll see that I’ll be commenting on wine. I ain’t no expert, just someone who enjoys a decent affordable glass of wine. Currently my MO is to sample as many wines as possible and figuring out what I like. I think wine tasting is wholly subjective and the marketing folks have made a racket at selling us stuff we don’t need.

I have lived in New York and Montreal. The SAQ (Quebec’s liquor commission) has a great wine selection. You have to hunt around for the stores that stay open late, but I’ve always been pleased with the SAQ. Sometimes you can find a grocery store that sells wine, and depanneurs sell wine and beer. New York has spoiled me because their liquor stores are open ridiculously late. The city that never sleeps likes to get its drink on. Also, at my old apartment, there were 2 huge liquor stores within stumbling distance.

Now, I’m moving to Toronto. The LCBO (Ontario’s liquor commission) has a good selection of wines. I picked up a great bottle of Castillo de Almansa Reserva 2005 for about $13. Tasted nice, and had a nice finish.

Castillo de Almansa Reserva 2005

I visited the Wine Rack on Friday night because it was the only wine store in walking distance from where I was staying. The staff there was extremely helpful, and helped me choose a 2006 Jackson Triggs Meritage. Which I pronounced Meritage it with a French accent, and the woman at the shop pronounced it more Anglo-y. Anyway, I spent around the same amount and got a less tasty product. My drinking companions voiced similar sentiments. Roxanna said it tasted like dep wine.

I’m going to give Jackson Triggs more of a go, but honestly, the Canadian wines have got to do a little better.

One of my absolute favourite restaurants that I’ve been to in Toronto so far is Hibiscus. The place is yummy vegetarian. This ain’t no bland vegetarian (I’m looking at you Rice Bar), but simple, reasonably priced, lovely cooking.

I had the buckwheat crepe with cheddar, pesto, spinach, apples, cinnamon and mango chutney.

buckwheat crepe at hibiscus

Added a salad,

side salad at hibiscus

and a cup of coffee. The whole thing set me back about 11 bucks. By the way, the salad was absolute perfection. A little of everything. Quinoa salad stood out particularly with lots of fresh mint. The staff there is super nice, and the place felt really nice and cozy. Can’t wait to get back there.

I’m currently apartment hunting in Toronto and traveling all over the place, so my posts will be a bit sparse.

But, I did check out an apartment on Sterling which so happened to be right next to the Nestle factory. The street smelled like chocolate.

Also, I snapped a few pictures:



Coffee Crisp


Chocolate and Zucchini is a favourite of mine. I’m in the middle of traveling, and moving, so I’ll be kitchenless until May-ish. Meanwhile, I’ve been filing away recipes to try, including this one from Chocolate and Zucchini on Chocolate Chip Cookies.

HT to Raj

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