Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Victorious Dinner with Friends

On my final night in Toronto for this Christmas break I was able to meet up with three university buddies for dinner and drinks, the second time in as many years I'd visited Toronto.  The first time we did this was at a pub just north of the University of Toronto, but this time we opted for a place located closer to where one of my buddies lived, was less of a detour from a commute home for another, and was still easily accessible by subway for the remaining two of us.  Of course, with the three others wanting to enjoy some good beers in an atmosphere comfortable for conversation, they suggested a little pub called Victory Café.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

More Dumplings Please, Mom! (Part 2)

Though my family and I usually pan-fry our homemade jiaozi, many familiar with these Chinese dumplings would know that there are also two other traditional methods of cooking them: boiling and steaming.  With boiling, this can either be done in plain water or in a broth, and steaming is a popular method as they can be placed in steamers with other foods such as steamed buns at the same time, allowing for mass cooking.  There are a few Chinese restaurants in the Toronto area where dumplings are a specialty or at least prominently featured in the menu, and Mother's Dumplings is one of them.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

More Dumplings Please, Mom! (Part 1)

Eating together as a family is important not only to my family and me, but also in Chinese culture in general.  It is therefore not surprising to me that in Chinese cuisine as well as in others where eating as a family is important, some foods are traditionally made by a family as a whole as well.  Take jiaozi, a form of Chinese dumpling, for example.  In our household when my sister and I were old enough to competently help in the ktichen, we massed produced the dumplings in the following manner:
  1. Mom and Dad would prepare the pork-and-vegetable filling, sometimes a couple of days in advance;
  2. Dad would prepare the dough for the wrappers;
  3. I would flatten and cut the dough to create the wrappers;
  4. Mom and sis would fill the wrappers and shape the dumplings; and
  5. Dad would pan-fry the dumplings that evening for dinner, with the majority rest of the raw dumplings storedi n the freezer for future use.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

A Graceful Vegetarian Dinner

(This particular entry is not in order compared to my earlier Christmas break posts due to my initial lack of photographs of this dinner.  Special thanks to my sis for the pics!)

It was very nice to be able to see family and relatives after a fairly long absence.  Though my parents did visit me in the spring (see my post on my Mother's Day dinner), I hadn't been back in either Ottawa or Toronto since November 2009, which therefore was the last time I saw my sister.  I also hadn't seen my favourite uncle and aunt since 2002, so it was a very nice treat to meet them again.  After the requisite hugs in the airport's arrivals hall dinner was a must, and we agreed to go to a restaurant my parents and sis enjoyed but only now did I get to experience, Graceful Vegetarian Restaurant.  Considering how I had to rely considerably more on less healthier than usual food during the previous week, it was a nice change of scene to have some Chinese Buddhist/vegetarian cuisine.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Recalling NYE Dinner 2010

Another post from my sister, this time about the 2010 New Year's Eve dinner.  Though I helped a bit for the Christmas dinner by making the roasted Brussels sprouts, I was only in the kitchen to take pictures for my own collection, and even then just once in a while.  When she asks for space in the kitchen, you'd better give her some!

It was another delicious meal for sure!

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Recalling Christmas Dinner 2010

My sister has finally had the time to post an entry about our Christmas dinner.  I must say the goose was delicious... I can't be blamed for choosing something she'd never cooked before, huh?  :o)

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Another Meal Manufactured to Satisfaction

I've concluded that holidays or vacations are times to relax is a myth.  They're actually times to do something, see something and/or catch up on something.  This Christmas break, that meant mainly memorizing my lines for "Much Ado About Nothing", seeing some of my friends, family and relatives in Ontario and catching up on some sleep.  Of course, when seeing some friends and relatives, sometimes that also means dining out, at times trying new places.  Already since returning this week to Toronto, I've tried The Stockyards and Fresh, and I'll be trying a couple more places before I fly back home.  For dinner with a friend this evening, we decided to try Fabbrica.

Monday, 3 January 2011

A "Fresh" Perspective for a Change

After plenty of feasting during the Christmas break (I'll link my sister's entries when she posted what she cooked on Christmas and New Year's Eve as soon as they're up) as well as a meatfest last night thanks to The Stockyards, a lighter, healthier meal was in order.  Originally some university friends and I planned to have lunch elsewhere, but since it was still closed due to the holidays, we decided to go to Fresh Restaurant on Spadina.

Where There's Smoke... There's Meat

KFC and Chicken Chef, eat your hearts out.  I just discovered some even more delicious fried chicken.

After arriving in Toronto with my sister late Sunday afternoon from a busy post-Christmas drive from Ottawa, neither of us were in the mood for cooking and we had virtually nothing in the fridge, so she and I agreed to do some takeout.  Now, Swiss Chalet was an option (and she knows I've a serious weakness for the Chalet sauce), but when she also suggested The Stockyards, I couldn't resist trying this unique local haunt.  Thank goodness my curiosity was well rewarded.

The Stockyards Fried Chicken in a take-out box, minus a drumstick, traded for one of my sister's smoked pork ribs.