Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Weekly Roundup: Long Weekend Love

Chicken Tinga Tacos - It's easy to whip up a quick and delicious weeknight meal, all it takes is a little planning...and an extra set of hands in the kitchen sure doesn't hurt! This week my boyfriend Chris and I decided to attack the kitchen together and make something neither of us had ever made before, chicken tinga tacos. On the way to the grocery store, we quickly looked up a recipe for chicken tinga tacos online, and found one that seemed to fit the bill, and would be even better when topped with my Salsa Verde and Chris' guacamole. With both of us working on different parts of the recipe, our dinner was quickly on the table and ready for us to devour. We were so happy with how our tacos turned out, although next time we would definitely add a bit of tomato paste to the tomato and chicken mixture to add more depth of flavour. No doubt, I will be making this recipe again! Check out Gourmet.com's recipe for Bite-Size Chipotle Chicken Soft Taco's here and don't forget to add the tomato paste!
Ecuadorian Feast - There was no better way to kick off the long weekend than indulging in a seemingly never-ending Ecuadorian feast! In August my friends Elisa and Chris are getting hitched! A couple that values their friends and family, they wanted to do something special for all of the people in their bridal party and, lucky for me, their significant others. My boyfriend Chris is one of Chris'  (this is sure to get confusing) groomsmen, so lucky, lucky me, I got to tag along! In charge of the South American feast was Elisa's brother in law Kevin, a fantastic chef from Ecuador who was happily stationed in the kitchen, whipping up dish after mouth-watering dish, while us guests pretty much freaked out over all of the delicious and exotic goods. Empanadas, fried plantain, shrimp screwers, BBQ'd pork, rice, roasted pineapple, are just a few of the delicious items that were on the menu that evening. Although all the food that night was exceptional, the hands-down highlight was the veal and potato empanadas that had me (and everyone else) coming back for more all night long. Thank you so much to Elisa and Chris for the incredible hospitality! My belly thanks you immensely! 
The Agarian Cheese Market & Speakeasy - Wanting to escape the city for at least a little bit over the long weekend, Chris and I decided to go on a day trip to Prince Edward County for some biking, beach bathing, and, of course, food and drink indulgence! Having been to Prince Edward County once before last year with my mom, I knew we were in for a great day. We started off our day trip by renting bikes at The Bloomfield Bicycle Company, a really cool bike rental shop covered in quirky and sarcastic signs, and selling and renting pretty much everything bike related. Rentals come in half and full days, and include a bike, helmet, lock, and a water bottle, which you can keep. The knowledgeable and super friendly staff picked out a cute, little, blue KHS hybrid for me and we were off to hit the quiet country roads! After a couple of hours of biking we were ready to hit the beach. A short drive led us to the sandbanks, which although was packed with lots of families, was still incredibly relaxing.

Before we hit the road to head back into the city, we stopped at the same restaurant my mom and I had enjoyed grilled cheese at the last time we were in the County (read about it here!), The Agarian Cheese Market & Speakeasy. Promptly after being seated, the gentleman in charge of front of house informed us that if we had been there before, they had totally revamped their menu. Long gone were the selection of grilled cheeses, and in their place was a small and carefully selected menu of delicious-sounding gourmet dishes, as well as a large cocktail, wine, and tap list. With their incredible selection of gourmet cheeses, we couldn't help but start our meal with a selection of market cheeses, alongside honey, almonds, dried fruit, and gourmet crackers and a much needed pint of Beau's Lug Tread. We followed the cheese platter with myself ordering their smoked whitefish on a buckwheat pancake with creme fraiche (pictured above) and Chris ordering the pork belly with bok choy. Although the portions were small, they were delicious and the perfect size for us on such a hot day. Another pint and a shot of espresso and we were off to head back home and cozy up to watch some Canada Day fireworks. I couldn't have asked for a better way to spend my long weekend! Prince Edward County, you will be seeing me again soon!

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Listening To:
TV on the Radio - Keep Your Heart

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