Friday, September 6, 2013

Weekly Roundup - When a weekly roundup, turns into a monthly roundup

How does a weekly roundup turn into an almost monthly roundup? Life, that's how! With what seems like the speediest Summer ever winding down, I could think of nothing else but indulging in those special moments that make Summer "Summer". I escaped to two different cottages, caught up with some friends, attended a wedding, enjoyed nature, went to parties, ate great food, came down with the 2013 Summer plague that everyone seemed to have caught at one point or another, the list goes on. All that time being away from my blog forced me to do a little soul searching. 
Despite all the fun (minus the never-ending cold that interrupted all the summer excitement) I found myself incredibly stressed about the Fall and slipping into that "back to reality" self remorse. All my neurosis floated to the surface as I began stressing over the fact that I was about to move into yet another season, stuck in the same soul-sucking job that seemed to be taking over my life, with no foreseeable escape in my near future. I had originally planned on getting out of my serving job at a tired pub for the Fall, hoping for a job or at the very least an internship that would lead me to a career in recipe development, working in a test kitchen environment. I cast my line, but no one had bit. No matter all the time and passion I have put into my blog over the years, on paper, I'm just another blogger looking to take the short cut to success. That's not the person I want to be, or be seen as, I never have and I never will. I realized that I couldn't just wait around for someone to see that I have the dedication and the chops to make it in the industry. If people couldn't see that I have what it takes right now, well then I have no choice but to take matters into my own hands and prove it to them. 
With voices in my head telling me how much money it would cost and how much time it would eat up, I ignored them all and made the spontaneous decision to register for continuing education culinary school at George Brown College. Now, having picked up my uniform (I look like a goof in my chefs hat), my equipment (that cost me a almost $1000), and a big ass textbook on professional cooking for Canadian chefs, I find myself exhilarated and a little bit terrified about what I am about to embark on. I am so incredibly excited to learn and master new skills and techniques in the kitchen, and gain the confidence that I have been lacking, but I am freaking the hell out over being back in school after being out for years now, and the pressure that I have heard so much about that accompanies every kitchen. I really hope that this new experience will open doors for me and allow me to find success in something that I feel so passionate about, as well as inspire me to share new stories and insights on my blog with my readers. Thanks to all my friends and family who have been so incredibly supportive of my decision. As much as I know deep down that this is the right direction for me, that encouragement from all of the people close to me has reinforced that I am truly on the right path. 
Doppio Zero - Nothing like finding a delicious Italian restaurant, walking distance from my house, to satisfy my pizza and pasta cravings that hit me way too often. Recently my mom and I checked out Doppio Zero on Eglinton for a light dinner on their small patio. After my mom had raved about Doppio Zero's homemade Tortelli Di Zucca, ravioli stuffed with pumpkin, parmigiano, and amaretto cookies, finished in a butter and sage sauce, she insisted we had to order it again so I could understand her newfound love for this decadent pasta. Along with our pasta that we had decided to split, we ordered the Carpaccio Di Manzo, thinly sliced raw beef tenderloin, topped with arugula and parmigiano shavings, drizzled with a citrus vinaigrette. My mom was right about the pumpkin, it was so incredibly delicious, with the amaretti cookies adding just a hint of sweetness and a bit of crunch that made this dish really stand out. I also swooned over the carpaccio which was tender, zesty, and tricked me into thinking I was eating healthy when paired with the peppery arugula. I look forward to trying more items on Doppio Zero's extensive menu! I hope to be back soon!

Grits & Eggs - For my boyfriend Chris' birthday this year, I treated him to a lovely intimate dinner at Acadia. Of course I got to enjoy our meal as well, but at the time I didn't really realize just how much I would benefit from that meal. After melting over Acadia's unbelievably delicious Anson Mills Grits and Shrimp with aged cheddar, oyster mushrooms, and ham hock, Chris became a little obsessed with mastering the Southern comfort food. Not long after our meal at Acadia, Chris picked up a bag of grits and has been whipping it up for breakfasts ever since! This past weekend Chris put a smile on my face once again by making his grits for breakfast, along with peameal bacon from the market, and my perfect poached eggs. So incredibly comforting, if you have yet to try this Southern treat, you don't know what you're missing!

Golden Zucchini & Feta Cakes - After dropping nearly a grand on chef school equipment, you can bet your boots I was pretty damn excited to start using all of my shiny new kitchen goodies. Ever since I saw a photo of Chatelaine's Golden Zucchini and Feta Cakes that they had posted on their website, I have been dying to make the crispy and salty little rounds of goodness. This week I finally made it happen and quickly whipped up the very simple appetizer. The cakes turned out delicious! I really loved the addition of the feta and dill, adding a bit of freshness, saltiness, and creaminess to the cakes. Next time I will make a yogurt-based dill sauce to drizzle over these babies to take them to the next level! I'd also like to see how I could make a healthier baked version of this dish.

Veal Chops with Grilled Peach Prosciutto & Brie Salad - With the zucchini cakes not allowing me to use enough of my new kitchen gear, I simply had to prepare an interesting entrĂ©e and side for dinner as well that evening. I had never made veal chops before, but with an awesome sale I figured I would give it a try. I quickly found a very simple recipe for a veal chop marinade online, and had my chops soaking in a lemon and rosemary bath in no time. Still obsessing over my grilled peach and prosciutto salad that I had made a few weeks ago, and with peaches still in their prime, I accompanied my veal with the vibrant and summery salad that I have been drooling over since I first made it. This dinner was simple, fast, and oh so delicious and satisfying.

On My Mind:
Ginger Rose is getting a redesign! A great big thanks to the incredibly talented Becca of Freckled Stationary who is working on making Ginger Rose a heck of a lot prettier and more personal. I can't wait to show you what Becca has come up with! Check out Becca's other beautiful work here!

A few weeks ago my boyfriend and I found great success renting a cottage in Haliburton through the vacation rental website Check it out to save money on your next vacation!

While at the cottage, I was able to catch up on some summer reading, indulging in two great books. I read the Oscar Wilde classic The Picture of Dorian Gray and the chuckle-out-loud science fiction novel The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams.

Have you been watching the final nail-biting season of Breaking Bad? I can't get enough! I've often wondered, Why is Skyler White So Hated?

More curious woman hate. Rachel Lefevre on the public hate of Anne Hathaway.

Kind of obsessing over my new Club Monaco vest. Love this classy take on menswear for women this Fall.

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Listening To:
Young Empires - Rain Of Gold

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