Tennessy Willems & Café My House

Posted on Tuesday 23 September 2014

We got the artichoke tapas at Tennessy Willems. Pretty hard to the tooth and yet butter soaked. Yes, artichokes were lemony as promised.

daily special pizza
The daily pizza was alright. It was promised to be the heritage tomatoes and pattypan squash. It came as heritage tomatoes and yellow and green zucchini. It is fast-baked so a little char is part of the charm.

We went across the street for dessert. Café My House have all vegan and gluten-safe. It has a dessert sampler. It might be better suited for 4 than 2 people since these are big samples.

dessert platter
In front is key lime (non-)cheesecake. The cheesecakes seem all the same base with an extra flavour added. I suppose that makes sense from production point of view. No variation in texture. Same density, same crumb base. Creamy, smooth. Beautifully displayed.

dessert platter
It presented beautifully with good fruit. On top of the chocolate cake was a truffle.

Used to eating chocolate 80-90% pure, unless something is really richly chocolately it seems chocolate flavoured. The truffles seemed dense like rum-balls and carob-flavored? The problem with loving chocolate is disliking so much chocolate. It’s hard to knock it out of the park for me.

dessert platter
The strawberry basil remains my favourite. That basil as sweet combination is special. (I forget what the one rightmost slice is.)

dessert platter
The tiramisu had the layers and the bitter coffee flavour that was bright and interesting. It would be my second favourite. A thicker but lighter more distinctive layer of filling would kick it up another notch.

12:27 pm
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Mushroom Dumplings

Posted on Monday 22 September 2014

mushrooms dumplings

cook with a little olive oil:
500 g mushroom
1/2 yellow onion

water to fill the pot
1 mushroom bouillon cube
a few grams cubed firm tofu
minced fresh rosemary

when almost cooked, make up dumplings:

whisk together:
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp chopped chives, or other herb
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

chop in:
1 tsp butter or equivalent

pour in:
3/4 cup of liquid: water, almond milk

It makes a dough a little wetter than for biscuits. Scoop spoonfuls onto the top of the boiling mushrooms and cook, covered without lifting, for 10 minutes.

The superstore sells an indian mix that is the rice/lentil equivalent of wheat dumplings that would be gluten-free. Next time I’ll try with this:

rice and lentil

In front is spinach bed topped with a variation of Moroccan beet salad but I left out the raisins, substituted maple syrup for honey, reduced the mint since they’re getting bitter late in the season. And course, thin sliced on the mandolin instead of grated.

For dessert/on the side, bubble tea.

tapioca bubbles
Cooked up some small pearl tapioca.

bubble tea
Sleepy time herbal tea brewed, cooled, mixed with a mixture of cherry syrup and mulled sugar water from those pears.

Curious to try Asian Stars vegan pho on Clyde sometime.

My second food column, Planet of the Scapes went live a few days ago.

12:08 pm
Filed under: Recipes andSoups andVegan
A Thing for Chocolate

Posted on Friday 19 September 2014

hot chocolate
Dark hot chocolate.

A thing for Chocolate
Brie with pecans and maple syrup. I think this is at risk of being my regular.

Death by Chocolate Brownie is the best, but the chocolate meringues are the best I’ve had, of which I’ve had few. Still looking forward to truffles being on offer.

The new issue of Centretown Buzz should be out today with my Planet of the Scapes food column. It’s at Herb and Spice Bank Street among other places.

12:14 pm
Filed under: Vegetarian
Pea Pasta, Pear Cake & a Partridge in the gold tree

Posted on Thursday 18 September 2014

pea ricotta
Green pea and riccotta in spinach pasta, fresh from Parma Ravioli. I like how in the store window they sell the kit to press your own pasta. Think you can do this at home. They invite you to.

On top of the pasta (which had sliced spinach added to the cooking water in the last minute) is mushrooms and onion cooked in a curried tomato with a drizzle of black truffle oil.

I can’t seem to get away from cheese these days. And what’s worse, I bought an egg. At the West Wellington Well you can buy a single egg. I haven’t bought eggs in probably 10 years.

Could it be made vegan. Sure. But nostalgia. What was it.

Every day with some Vachon sugar loads of Jos Louis, Flakey Pastry or chocolate covered with marshmallow with jam, or wagonwheels or jellyrolls or the chocolate jellyrolls with white sugar middle. Now they are too sweet to bear.

Poached Pear Loaf is an interesting method and presentation effect.

pear cake

That’s rather nice looking.

The buttermilk may have made a softer crumb? It didn’t give much flavour. A little too much sugar for my taste.

I doubled some of the spice and there’s no negligible spice. I could double it again. It’s cakey not loaf like. The principle of sticking whole pears in it might be interesting with a vegan carrot cake.


mulled bath for the pears
The sugar bath with the spice became an apple juice yellow eventually and was strained for drink mix. Maybe with tapioca pearls to make bubble tea? We’ll see.

12:41 pm
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Old Time School Lunch

Posted on Wednesday 17 September 2014

So many bread shapes but this is kind of a church-basement tearoom roll with tomato, spinach and goat cheese.Sun ad black truffle oil add the final touch.

black truffle olive oil

table's apple holder
Apples from local orchards taste like apples, finally. I’ve waited all year for flavour.

12:35 pm
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Things that Grow Lumps in the Night

Posted on Tuesday 16 September 2014

Along the edge of the garden we didn’t keep stellar records of what was what. I was sure the turnips didn’t germinate but when I picked some watermelon radishes, some were yellow. The long lost tiny turnips overwhelmed in the leaves.

thinned carrots and unthinned carrots
Thinning the carrots, yes, that is a good idea. Makes a difference.

What have we got here? More beans, tomatoes of 3 varieties (pink large, small orange ripe and small red ripe), and what I thought were all radishes but some a tiny turnips and some are watermelon radishes. I should water the ones remaining to speed this up. And two kinds are kale are ready to harvest, curly and flat.

garden on a plate
Our very own kale, cooked with half an onion, an elephant clove of garlic from the farmer’s market, some fresh basil and hot pepper infused olive oil. At the end the soba noodles.

In front, watermelon radish beside the carrots, beans and turnips.

At the back is a falafel patty with horseradish.

12:20 pm
Filed under: All Posts andBeans & Lentils andVegan
Garden Pluckings

Posted on Monday 15 September 2014

Our raspberry canes are finally producing. Quite a few almost ripe. Our own cucumbers, tomatoes and some grated carrot on the spinach salad. The mushroom risotto was more work but even then, under half an hour to cook 8 or 10 cremini mushrooms and roasted chestnuts with half a mushroom bouillon cube, adding 1/4 cup hot apple cider in with the boiling water, stirring until it was almost done then adding garden herb.

12:14 pm
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