christie antique show

Over the weekend I made the trip out to the semi-annual Christie Antique Show at Christie Lake Conservation Area in Dundas. It's one of the largest antique shows in Canada and boasts over 300 dealers from across the country. It was busy with lots of people out on the prowl. I thought the show was ok, but didn't come home with anything. I actually found it a bit overwhelming (and expensive). As an avid Aberfoyle-goer (which I also know can be a bit on the pricier side), I just saw a lot of high prices and truthfully, a lot of the same stuff from booth to booth. Regardless, it was still fun to look around and browse.
The second show of the year will be taking place on September 8.


sunny dragon korean chinese

I'm on a bit of a Korean kick these days and decided to try out a new restaurant, Sunny Dragon which specializes in Korean Chinese food. I'm not sure how to define Korean Chinese cuisine, but the most popular dishes are ja jang myun (chewy noodles in a rich black bean sauce), tang su yuk (crispy sweet and sour pork), jjamppong (spicy noodle and seafood soup) and kkhanpunggi (spicy-sweet crispy fried chicken). My usual order includes ja jang myun and tang su yuk, but I'm pretty excited to go back and try out some new dishes from their extensive menu.
Here are the side dishes: kimchi, yellow pickled radish which is perfect in between bites of noodles, and raw sweet onion that you dip in the dark brown black bean paste on the far right.
The tang su yuk was really good. Unlike Chinese sweet and sour pork, the sauce isn't as gloopy and leans more on the tangy side rather than sweet. 
Then came the jajangmyun. Step 1: Mix it all up!
Now, it's ready to eat. Almost every table had some form of this dish—apparently there are a few versions including one with seafood and another that uses rice instead of noodles. 

Sunny Dragon
398 Steeles Ave. W.


seema had a bbq

Over the Victoria Day long weekend, Seema hosted an amazing bbq. Here are just some of the delights from the evening (I somehow missed taking pics of her awesome coconut shrimp and the desserts!)

coconut rice & beans:
mango/papaya salsa + potato & bean salad:
fried plantains:
jerk chicken:
I piled my plate pretty high:
It was such a treat! Here's hoping this becomes an annual event!


butter tart squares

I usually make these butter tart squares when I'm too lazy to make actual butter tarts. You get the same gooey deliciousness with half the work. 

1/2 C cold butter, cut into cubes
1/4 C sugar
pinch of salt
1 C flour

1. Using a stand mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add salt and flour and mix until just combined (don't over mix, there should be chunks of butter and flour).

2. Press into a greased 8x8-inch pan and bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until golden. Let cool completely.

1/4 C soft butter
1 C brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 C corn syrup
1 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1/3 C raisins (optional)

1. Using a stand mixer, bet sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time until incorporated. Add in vanilla and corn syrup, then flour, salt and baking powder.

2. Sprinkle raisins over the cooled crust. Pour filling over raisins evenly. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes or until just set. If the middle puffs a bit, don't worry, it'll go down when cooled. Cool completely before serving.


korean cold noodles

Last Sunday I woke up craving mul naeng myun (Korean cold noodles in slushy broth) and made Joe take me all the way to Markham to Cho Sun Ok. They seriously have the best naeng myun. The broth is slushy, cool and so refreshing; the noodles thin and chewy. The toppings include vinegary ribbons of Korean radish, a thick slice of juicy and sweet Korean pear, strips of cucumbers, half a boiled egg and some spicy sauce. It's the perfect summer meal in my books (though I've craved this mid-winter too). 
Since the mul naeng myun doesn't contain meat, Joe had his with a side of kalbi:
I went for a side of crispy mandoo (gyoza-style dumplings):
Cho Sun Ok
7353 Yonge St.


sichuan green beans

Ever since having these Sichuan-style dry-fried green beans on a recent trip to Hamilton, I've been obsessed with trying to make them at home. Imagine crispy green beans tossed in a salty-spicy mixture of Sichuan peppercorns, garlic and pork. It's such a savoury and flavourful dish that all you need is a big bowl of fresh steamed rice on the side.
Recipes here and here


casa manila

For Mother's Day I decided to take my mom to a Filipino restaurant. Mainly so I could stuff my face with dishes that I don't get to eat too often these days. Truthfully, I haven't been to a lot of Filipino restaurants in the GTA (most are in Scarborough), but I do like Max's and now I can vouch for Casa Manila too. Service is pretty slow (not surprising since I find that service is always slow at Filipino restaurants, especially on weekends), but the food came out piping hot and tasted just like mama would make. 
Daing na bangus: grilled milk fish with citrus and soy.
Lechon kawali: deep-fried crispy pork belly.
Sizzling pork sisig: the menu describes this as "fried pork mask" but really it's chopped up pig face mixed with all kinds of deliciousness. 
Pancit canton: stir-fried egg noodles with chicken, shrimp and vegetables.
The table after digging in (not shown: an enormous communal bowl of steamed rice and our crispy calamari appetizer).
Dessert! Traditional halo halo (shaved ice topped with yam ice cream, fruit, sweet beans, flan, crispy rice flakes)

Apparently Filipino food is starting to become popular in the city. La Mesa Filipino Kitchen recently opened up on Queen West and Kanto (which I haven't had a chance to try) is getting some rave reviews too. 


funnel cakes!

These homemade funnel cakes are one of my favourite desserts. You really can't go wrong with fried dough topped with powdered sugar, sliced strawberries and whipped cream.
1 1/2 C flour
1 1/4 C milk
1 egg
4 tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
icing sugar for dusting
vegetable oil for frying
toppings: sliced fruit, berries, whipped cream, ice cream

1. Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. In another bowl whisk milk, egg and sugar together. Add flour mixture to egg mixture until there are no lumps (but do not over mix). Test consistency: it should be thin enough to run through a funnel, but not watery.

2. Heat oil to 370 degrees. Place batter in a funnel and cover the opening with your finger. Hold the funnel about an inch from the oil and remove your finger to allow the batter to flow into the oil. Swirl and spiral the funnel to make a circular pattern. Cook on each side for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown.

3. Remove from oil and drain on paper towel or rack. Dust with powdered sugar and serve immediately.


lemon cream ice cream

This lemon cream ice cream is tart, tangy, sweet and creamy. It reminds me of hot summer days, Parisian lemon tarts and freshly-squeezed lemonade. First ice cream of the year!
The recipe comes from Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home, but you can also find the recipe here.