Monday, December 16, 2013

Chocolate Granola. The Mast Brothers Cookbook.

I am loving the Mast Brothers Cookbook. On our last day in New York - also the day of the book release - I walked back to the factory to pick up a copy, and found they had all been signed! It wouldn't fit in my already overstuffed luggage, but it was well worth lugging it across the subway system to the airport. Also, have you seen the cookbook trailer? Adorable.

I made the chocolate date cake soon after arriving home - delicious - and marked the chocolate granola for later, soon realizing it would be a perfect give to give coworkers. No last minute baking for me!

A couple weeks ago I made three batches, scooped the granola into six jars and still had some left to keep around the apartment for breakfast. Win.

The recipe is pretty simple - Mix 1 cup each of almonds, pecans and rolled oats with a 1/2 cup of honey and 2 Tbsp brown sugar and place in a 350 degree oven for approximately 15 minutes and let cool. In the meantime, melt 3 Tbsp of butter* with 2 Tbsp cocoa powder and set aside. Combine a 1/2 cup each of cocoa nibs and dried cranberries (or cherries or figs or other suitable dried fruit) with the roasted nuts/oats and stir in the butter mixture. Once everything is cool, mix in 5 ounces of chopped chocolate (I chopped up chocolate from one of the Mast Brothers tablets).

*I used the canola oil from Mighty Trio Organics since I wasn't sure when people would be eating the granola. It worked out well since it's so nutty and light.

So there it is. Christmas gifts (well, some of them) done.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Hawkers Market Edmonton.

On Saturday evening Charles and I stopped in at the first Hawkers Market in Edmonton. We arrived around 7pm to a pretty full room, although the place (and the beer line) swelled around 8pm - Definitely a well attended event!

The Hawkers Market people are from Vancouver, but their intentions work just as well here -

Drift was there with the best booth design ever! They served delicious curry chicken and noodles (khao swe) that you could top with cilantro, chili flakes, egg, green onions and other things. Mine was mostly covered in cilantro and chili flakes - Thanks, Phil!

They also used the event to unveil their jarred ketchup and spice blend for the first time. We walked away with a jar of ketchup that will surely taste just like summer.

Parts and Service, a food truck starting up in the spring of 2014, also made their debut... With bone marrow and duck confit. Needless to say I'm looking forward to next spring; both dishes were excellent.

Torching the bone marrow.

Duck confit with Brussel sprout slaw.

Finally, we stopped at Bully for their pork shoulder medallion with an incredibly creamy wild rice (they said 'au gratin'), crisp kale and pickled red onions.

We also ate very good, fresh donuts from Paper Bag Donuts that I did not take a photo of. There were other vendors we didn't make it to - Sailin' On, Nineteen and Casa 12 Doce.

The event felt similar to Street Feast in London, except, you know, inside (now that I've searched Street Feast for a link, I see they have a 'Hawker House' market during the winter).

Minor things - A second beer tap to get the line going would have been nice, and some more bar height tables to set food down, but of course these are easy improvements, and considering this was their first event in the space...

Excellent - I have to say, we appreciated the forethought of a giant coat rack at the entrance; That space heats up fast! They also had two of the guys from Shout Out providing their dj services, which meant the music was incredible.

Hoping there's another Hawkers Market in the works for Edmonton soon!

Monday, November 25, 2013

S'mores, a speakeasy, Rge Rd and sharp knives.

Whoo. Four items, one post.

I've been making quite a few s'mores lately. Funny, I never really considered them something easy to make in the oven, but Rachel made them one evening and I was hooked. Most recently I made Kim Boyce's graham wafers, picked up some marshmallows from work and utilized some smoky chocolate from Mast Brothers to create a pretty delicious version.

On Thursday, Richard and I stopped in at Three Boars for the third version of their 'speakeasy'. Each Thursday starting at 8PM, the new upstairs portion of the restaurant is turned into a lounge of sorts (just drinks, no food). There's a one off cocktail menu each Thursday. Richard enjoyed spiked eggnog, whilst I sipped tea with ginger and gin. Looking forward to more of these evenings throughout the winter. Drinks were priced from $7-10, with one $20 drink that served two. Keep an eye on their Facebook page for weekly details.

After a crazy day at the shop, and a couple hours at All is Bright, Charles and I headed over to Rge Rd (10643 123 St) and lucked out with a couple seats available at the bar. We enjoyed the 'Questionable Bits' (Tempura battered pig's heart and the best beef tartare ever; $15), Potato and Leek soup ($10), chicken breast with spicy Brussel sprouts ($29) and seared pickerel ($27). We finished the evening with their version of... a s'more ($10). Yeah. We're pretty predictable.

French 75 with Victoria Gin

Chicken breast with braised chicken galette and habanero Brussel sprouts

Seared pickerel with dill, ricotta and beet perogies, cabbage and white onion cream

Last night we stopped by the Knifewear pop up (10816 82 Ave) to buy our Christmas presents. Ta da!

I can't even find the post, but back in 2009/10 I posted about our new Mac santoku knife. Well, a couple weeks later someone tried to cut through a rabbit bone and needless to say, the knife didn't survive. Four years later, we now have two very sharp, beautiful knives, and can't wait to neatly cut many, many onions and vegetables... and no bones, or nuts or chocolate. Merry Christmas to us.

We are looking forward to the Hwkrs Mrkt this coming Saturday evening! I'm determined to pack the big camera and write a real post. See you there!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

New York.

We had a fantastic time in New York last month. There was lots of food and drink and walking, plus some solid relaxation time. I'm slowly working on my New York list, but in the meantime, here are a few pictures from our trip.

Made many visits to the Bedford Cheese Shop, and managed to fit a jar of Brooklyn Brine Co. Whiskey Sour Pickles into my suitcase.

Went on a bike tour.

Stopped for gin cocktails at NY Distilling. 

Hopped on the East River Ferry. 

Wandered the High Line.

Found that Northern Spy Food Co.'s Kale Salad lived up to its reputation.

Made many trips to Raines Law Room.

 Toured a roof top farm in the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

Enjoyed large plates of oysters and absinthe cocktails at Maison Premiere.

Made it to little Pok Pok. 

Watched the sun set a bunch of times.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

EBGA on Rails

*2014 EBGA on Rails events and tickets can be found here.

I managed to poke my head up from Folk Fest madness long enough to secure a couple tickets to the late August version of Edmonton Beer Geeks Anonymous' rail car cask session with Hog's Head Brewing.

As we pulled away from the Strathcona street car platform, a volunteer from the Edmonton Radial Railway Society gave us some history about the area and the streetcar itself. Once we reached the High Level Bridge, Shane from EBGA let us know that we would be stopping in the middle of the bridge so we could tap the keg and hear from the head brewer at Hog's Head. From there we continued to hang out for an hour or so, mingling and taking photos. It was a lovely way to enjoy some beer.

This was similar to a cask night at Sugarbowl or Next Act. The brewer came up with a one time only brew for the evening - Hog's Head Death by Pumpkin with some blood orange added. The citrus and spice made for a perfect 'transition to fall' beer, and I'm going to make sure I check tap lists for their Death by Pumpkin this fall.

The evening ended back in Strathcona, where we all left with a bottle of Yukon's Saison. Definitely looking forward to more of these events next summer!

Friday, August 2, 2013

New York, New York.

This is no longer an excuse for my lack of posts, but it's Festival time! I hope everyone attending or volunteering at Folk Fest has a wonderful time!

We're off to New York for a couple weeks this October, and I could seriously use some recommendations. We'll be on the upper west side for about a week, and then in Williamsburg for another.

Remember last year when I was feeling overwhelmed by London... New York is doubly so. Thankfully, we are going with a friend who visits the city once or twice per year, but of course, I'd love to surprise him with some newbie finds.

Leave 'em below!

Well, hello Mast Brothers Chocolate. See you in October!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Double Chocolate Cookies.

Tartine's Deluxe Double Chocolate Cookie recipe has been floating around the interweb since the book came out in 2009, but since I've only come to own the recipe collection recently, it's still new to me. I settled on the chocolate cookies for several reasons, mostly because I have several large bags of chocolate that are out of temper, and any recipe allowing me to melt the chocolate and bring it back to life is golden.

What I was really looking for was a dense, chewy chocolate cookie, a la Duchess' Rosemary-Fleur de Sel cookies. These cookies are opposite in texture - cloud like and closer to a cake style brownie - but they remain incredibly chocolate-y. Very good on their own, I think these cookies are best with a generous pinch of Fleur de Sel.

I kept the batter in the fridge so we could eat (and share) a batch or so a day. Ultimately, they ended up with a centre of Alice Medrich's vanilla bean ice cream. I've made a few different vanilla custards, and this one is by far the best - A solid level of sweetness (1/3 cup sugar), and a near perfect balance of milk and cream (1 cup to 2 1/4), make it super smooth and delicious.

So, another post on cookies and ice cream.

On a separate note, some co-workers and I headed over to What the Truck!? this past Friday in McIntyre Park. It was sort of epic - We planned on a post-it note earlier in the day, left early to avoid the lines, and divided up our tasks accordingly upon arrival. Here's what we ended up with... all delicious, by the way.

Left to right - Lamb and potatoes (Little Village), Big Fish (The Act), Turkey and bacon sausage meatballs (Bully), Crack n' Cheese (Nomad), more potatoes and Seitan Reuben (Sailin' On)

Congratulations to everyone involved! A great kick off to the 2013 season for sure!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Belgravia Hub

After celebrating my dad's birthday at my parents' earlier in the afternoon, Charles and I stopped in at Belgravia Hub for dinner on the way home. Since my grandmother (Nanny), parents and aunt and uncle all living in the neighbourhood, it turned into a bit of a scouting mission that we were, of course, happy to take on.

We arrived for our 7pm reservation to a relatively full space. Although it was a little chilly, I was happy that the front windows - probably my favourite feature of the design - were still wide open. The rest of the space is beautiful, and takes full advantage of the natural light.

Drinks wise we opted for a bottle of Yukon Red each. While they have a few beers on tap, we were told the Alley Kat Amber had just been switched out for Sleeman's Honey Brown - A little disappointing. Other than the Grapefruit Squeeze (also Alley Kat), the rest of the beer offerings were standard fare. Here's hoping it's something they can work on.

For food, we skipped the 'Fill Up' section, opting to share items from the extensive Beginnings' list. Everything arrived at our table shortly after.

Lamb meatballs.

Fries and a very delicious sweet-smokey ketchup.

Mixed greens salad with pancetta and a perfectly poached egg.

Short rib sliders topped with a very enjoyable fennel slaw.

While I'm going to miss having a 'little bookstore' in the neighbourhood (some incarnation of it has held fast in that building as long as I can remember), this is a great addition to the neighbourhood. Throughout our visit, residents and neighbours clearly made up the majority of patrons, making the space incredibly friendly. Additionally, we found the prices accessible, meaning we wouldn't hesitate to stop for a drink and snack at the bar.

We are already looking forward to our next visit to Belgravia Hub (and I'm also hoping that brunch is in their future plans).

There is a bike rack on the side of the restaurant. Thoughtful!