Category Archive: Gourmet

SOMA On King




Really due for another trip to SOMA. This particular chocolate was filled with pop rocks – so much fun!

Fruit + Yogourt Popsicles


So almost one year later I finally get around to making these popsicles!

They are loosely based on this recipe. I placed three different fruit (peach, mango, raspberry) with a couple tablespoons of turbinado sugar in a saucepan and stirred on low heat until the sugar melted – add enough sugar for the mixture to taste quite sweet, as it will taste less sweet when frozen. Then I used a hand blender to break up some of the bigger pieces. Alternating spoonfuls of the fruit mixture and yogourt into the popsicle molds (star-shaped!), the recipe turned out really well. I made two batches: one with lemon yogourt, and one with coconut. These are my two favorite flavours, and they both work very well with the popsicles. Delicious!

Also, I just heard about this new Zoku Quick Pop Maker from Williams Sonoma and it looks amazing. As soon as I had made my yogourt pops, I wanted to eat them straight away, which was impossible. However, this new contraption makes popsicles ready to eat in 7 minutes! So tempting!

Good Day, Rainy Day



This afternoon, over coffee, I had a lovely meeting about an exciting new illustration project. Coffee meetings are the best.

PS my new umbrella reveals a cherry blossom pattern when wet (thanks L!)
Click here to see a close up of the action!

Letter Writing and Coffee




I needed to finish writing a letter. So I went for coffee.

Dessert Break at Jedd’s



Brownie, peanut butter cookie, and most importantly: frozen custard. (too much?)

If you’ve never had frozen custard, it’s like ice cream made with the addition of egg yolks. And it’s pretty delicious. They normally have chocolate, vanilla, and a flavour of the day. They’re all good, but the vanilla is my favorite.

Jedd’s Patisserie Cafe is at Yonge and Eglinton. And PS he’s very nice.

Wine Club : France





The wine club recently met for a French lesson. And the food pairings were fantastic – thanks to A & J for hosting such a lovely evening! xo

Coffee Break at Little Nicky’s




Maybe I had been resisting my first visit to Little Nicky’s because I am in the neighborhood so often that I thought it would easier to resist temptation if I hadn’t experienced it. Makes sense, right? So anyhow, my brother Aaron offered to take me when we were both in the area this week, and I couldn’t say no. And it was amazing.

Taking in all the details around me while sipping my latte, the interior design caught my attention. The shop gives off a relaxed vibe, but also very polished and very done – very Toronto. The efficient use of space stood out – making great use of the high ceilings, they have placed an assortment of vintage furniture and fixtures to keep your eyes occupied, if you can pry your attention from the coffee and donuts that is.

Their mini donuts are a novel idea – made fresh right in front of you. I think they are priced at about $4 for a dozen – though I’m pretty sure we got a few extra. They are definitely a perfect accompaniment to a latte. If you haven’t been yet, you should go.

Best Day Ever!


I recently went to Shops at Don Mills for the first time, and had such an amazing time!

First I met up with Natalie at McEwan grocery, where we spent so long I don’t even want to acknowledge it – I’m pretty sure it was hours. They carry product I’ve only ever seen abroad, like Niederegger marzipan, and brands like Wilkin & Sons who make jams and marmalade (even lime marmalade!) which you can find around, but not easily. And while pasta is not something that is usually of much interest to me, they carry the most amazingly beautiful pastas – I had to pick up some of the rainbow bowtie pasta – they have stripes of 6 different colours. They even carry beautiful butterfly-shaped pasta!

Of course I had to try some chocolate, so I chose an organic mexican taza chocolate disc for drinking, and a small Simon Coll con leche chocolate bar from Barcelona.

Then, passing through by the condiments aisle, I could not leave without some Blackcurrant Tarragon mustard from France. It’s purple. Need I say more?

Lastly, while admiring the whimsical, fanciful pastries, a woman came out from behind the bakery counter to see if we needed anything. We spoke for some time about baking during the holidays, family traditions, and delicious memories. Finally, when it was time to move on, she gave us a little rocky road brownie for energy. It was so something my mother would do and say. Needless to say, I found it endearing.

Okay, so this has quickly turned into a post entirely about McEwan. I’ll post more about my visit to Shops at Don Mills soon. In the meantime, here are some highlights on my List of 10 reasons why you might want to visit McEwan:

1. Niederegger marzipan and drink mixes
2. Large selection of tea (including Kusmi) and drinking chocolate
3. Unsweetened matcha lattes
4. Marble slab ice cream
5. Variety of Honey, including chestnut honey
6. Impressive mustard selection
7. Kewpie mayonnaise from Japan (what?!)
8. Most colourful pasta selection I’ve ever seen
9. Bakery (would love a birthday cake from here!)
10. Customer service



Grilled Cheeses!


An avid fan of the grilled cheese sandwich, I decided to experiment a little (inspired by a delicious lunch from Mangez – thanks Roz!).

This is my homemade grilled cheese with brie, grape tomatoes, and basil pesto on half/olive tapenade on the other half. Both sides = amazing!

I also had to slice it up then flip it so it looks like a heart shape (better picture here); my brother Aaron taught me this important technique. Good for any time of year, but especially Valentine’s day appropriate!



While helping out with visual merchandising in a shop the other night, I stopped by a rack holding a white cotton shirt with cream stripes and little black dots, and said to the girl steaming it, “I really like that shirt!” She responded, “That’s so funny, because when I was pulling this look, I totally thought that Ayalah would like this.”

Am I so clearly defined that others could pick out what I would wear? Or are the people I surround myself with simply very acute visually in the fashion realm? Or, am I just like everybody else?

Recently I joined Pinterest, after a friend was raving about it, and so far so good. It’s a great space in which to post (or “pin”) images you find online in a bit of a categorized collage format of boards, where you link directly to the source without having to remember where you found it. I am constantly pulling pictures from magazines and storing inspiring images and interesting interview and videos in a number of formats, but Pinterest is a nice and easy way to quickly have a overview of your finds.

The site is new, so its relatively few participants are having a large say as to how the site will shape and develop. One interesting thing I noticed at a quick glance, was that the people who have joined thus far appear to be quite similar. Or, visually they seem to share quite a specific aesthetic, not only in regards to the images they select to “pin” in terms of content, but also in the style of photograph, and even the categories which they create in which to post said pins. That said, there are a few generic categories that the site has set up as default boards for posting, however, even the category titles people edit and create are very similar. On this site you will find a lot of girls who like pretty things, textiles, pattern, crafting, home dec, interiors, baking, a particular fashion of dress – there is a definite type. So, are we all the same girl?

Have a look. I am curious to see if more diversity is introduced as the site grows and evolves. In the meantime, I’ll marvel at how I could have posted any number of images that are pinned to the boards of others, and just enjoy all the pretty pictures that we collectively love.