Monday, May 28, 2012

Niagara-on-the-Lake and Canada's Best Ice Cream

One of the most peaceful places that I've seen in my almost 40 years of life on this good earth is called Niagara-on-the-Lake. It's a small, quaint and very picturesque community just a few kilometers from Niagara falls in Ontario, Canada.

As we were walking around, I really felt that I was abroad, in a faraway land, like maybe Wisteria Lane from the Desperate Housewives or some movie set.  It's just so pretty! The houses and cottages are so beautiful, some even have picket fences,  most of the gardens are well kept and the community has that laid back feel.

It's also a plus that Canada's best ice cream, Cow's, is located along its main street. The ice cream flavors there are so rich and creamy, no wonder Cow's was voted Canada's best!

I love the feel of the store and it's quirky merchandise.

A certain little girl enjoyed her ice cream so much.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Porchetta and Co - Toronto

I've been baking a lot these past couple of weeks. So far, most of my efforts were worth it, not too many mishaps. Although the cookie dough frosting that I made last week was a complete and utter failure.

I digress. Anyway,  I really have to start posting about our recent trips to Canada and New York. So, through the coming weeks or days (who knows really when I will have the time), I will write about the food highlights of our trip.

Yesterday, as were were having a brunch party at the office, my boss brought Bagnet, an Ilocos specialty of fried liempo (I suspect that it gets fried several times to get super crunchy) and it got me thinking about Porchetta and Co, located along Dundas Street in Toronto.

The pork in Porchetta and Co is roasted until it gets that crunchy texture that we all so love. The crunchy pork is then stuffed into a sandwich with several choices of toppings. I chose mine to have mozarella and rapini. Rapini is a vegetable that closely resembles chinese broccoli but tastes like wasabi. The combination was great and worth coming back to next time we're in Toronto.

This is my nice Ashley, waiting for our order.

And modeling root beer. The root beer was excellent, by the way.


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting at The Magnolia Bakery

My co-workers and I, typical during lunch hour, would talk about various topics. Our conversation earlier veered towards cakes. It made me think of the Red Velvet Cupcake that I had at Magnolia Bakery during one of my walks along Bleecker Street in our recent New York City trip.

I love the smooth texture and the taste of the whipped cream cheese frosting. I couldn't resist and ate one right at the store :-)

I'm seriously thinking of duplicating the frosting at home. So delicious.

I have to say though, you have to consume the cupcake at the store. I took Hubby at the Magnolia Bakery again the following day (because I was raving about the frosting), the ones that we brought back to the hotel weren't as moist or as soft as the ones eaten at the store.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

I love being a (proxy) mom.

I get lots of practice with my nephew and niece.

But with all my efforts, I know I lucked out and got the best of the bunch.

I love you, Ma! Happy Mother's Day.

To all the moms reading my blog, I salute you!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Thank you for the warm welcome

Hubby: "You, Wifey, have neglected your blog."

Sad, but true.

I will be posting the highlights of our Canada and New York trip in the coming weeks. I'm still getting used to being on "reality" mode. We've had some really great eats and lots of ice cream!

Let me start by posting about our first day in Toronto, we were met by family whom we haven't seen for years. My cousin Annie and her family immigrated to Canada about four years ago. I'm so happy to see them again! The kids have grown so much and the girls have forgotten how to speak Tagalog! Tim, my eldest nephew can still manage a few phrases though.

Thank you for the warm welcome! I miss all of you.

Thank you, Tita Socky for a truly wonderful trip.

I'm a grown woman, I shouldn't be crying every time I see these pictures.

I really miss you guys.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Cherry Blossoms at High Park, Toronto

I've been wanting to see cherry blossoms for like, ages. I have plotted and planned for years to take a trip to Seoul so that we can see the lovely flowers. There's always some conflict in schedules, mostly though, I was wrestling with myself and having discussions with Hubby justifying the very costly trip to Seoul. Since the cherry blossoms is the peak season, rates for airfare and hotel are usually double their normal. 

Hubby :"This much?!! Just to see some flowers?!!!" 
Me: "Yes, for flowers, and you taking my pictures amidst the lovely flowers."
Hubby: "I've been to Seoul. Twice. It's not that exciting."
Me, in tantrum mode: "That's because you never explore on your own. You just work, eat and go back to the hotel."
Hubby: "New York or Seoul? Take your pick."

Darn it!

You get the gist.

Anyway, my family spent a month in Toronto, for a vacation. It completely slipped my mind that cherry trees grow on North American countries, too. Duh! Lo and behold, our vacation in Toronto just coincided with the annual blooming of cherry trees :-)

There's a patch of cherry trees in High Park, which were donated by the Japanese government to the city of Toronto. So, off we went, there was only a two-day peak window. 

Cherry blossoms... I love :-)

Hey, we went to New York City, too.

Double wish come true.

Life. Is. Good.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Eataly in New York City

LIFE is too short not to EAT WELL.

Mario Batali, you're so right.

This is my mantra, even though I didn't copyright the slogan ;-)