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Abbeshay's Profile

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Whole Wheat Pastry Flour: Does it exist here?

I actually bought some at the Whole Foods in Yorkville a few months ago and still have a bit left over. Look for their own 365 Everyday brand of flour on the shelf. It's also organic.

The Old Toronto Restaurants you make the wishes for the comeback

I used to frequent a place called Burgermeister on Parliament Street because I worked close by. Very good burgers and excellent thick cut fries. If this place were around today, it probably would not be any match for what is going on in the burger wars between certain restaurants-no fois gras burger or duck fat fries, yet it was definitely a better alternative to McDonald's etc.

The Old Toronto Restaurants you make the wishes for the comeback

Arlequin on Avenue Road-a little French restaurant with a small bakery in the front where I could buy some lovely, little cookies after enjoying a meal. These kind of restaurants were special because they felt like they were our little secret in metro Toronto. On the same note, I miss Oliver's at Yonge and Eglinton. Again, they had a bakery in the front with not just small pastries but lots of bread, as well.

Cast Iron Grill Pan

I bought an Emeril Lagasse 4 in 1 smoker a few years ago and went through the process of seasoning it by hand. For now, though, it pretty much serves as a kitchen adornment-jet black, it does look beautiful and rustic on my counter and serves as a small storage space for various items occasionally. Last week, I attempted to use the grill pan "lid" of this baby to make a vegetarian burger with grill marks and hopefully the closest thing to a burger on the barbecue as this condo apartment dweller is going to get. Failed miserably, as the burger was sticking to the ridges of the pan, so I left about a third of the burger on the pan and enjoyed a decent dinner anyway. So, did I not have the temperature high enough or do I need to do more seasoning on the pan? I'm guessing it has to do with the temperature. How long should I heat up this pan? I really do not want to buy another George Foreman. Do I have to press down on the food to achieve the grill marks?

Jul 09, 2013
Abbeshay in Cookware

Kawartha Dairy ice cream is made with disgusting ingredients now

My favorite memory of going on our yearly excursion to a cottage in Haliburton was stopping by the Kawartha Dairy for a scoop with my family. The ice cream was always delicious and handled with love from a small business. I don't know if the original place is still there but perhaps they still do things the old-fashioned way. Anyway, if you ever find yourself in the Haliburton-Mindon area, you could always stop by and check it out.

Kouign Aman ---- somebody must be baking them in Toronto

Butter can be kneaded to leach out most of the extra water content. I learned this trick at George Brown, Start with a pound of cool, not cold, butter, flatten it a bit and then gently push it with the palm of your hand away from you. Obviously, you don't want the butter to get to the point where it becomes greasy, so time is of the essence and work quickly.

Bulk Food Dilemma

Does anyone else know what I mean when I say that I like to shop for baking items at Bulk Barn but I find that some of the items become permeated with a particular odor of the store, I guess. This is not gross or anything, just off-putting. I had recently bought some dried cherries which were moist and plump but when I tasted some after getting home, they had a weird background flavour that made me feel like I was back in the store. Luckily, the cherries were just fine after I used them in a baked cookie recipe, but I is a little annoying because I've bought chocolate, rainbow sprinkles etc. and they had a weird taste as well. Whole Foods bulk area is okay but a little off my beaten path and Ambrosia is just way too far to go for one or two items. Does anyone have a favorite bulk food place that they can recommend for when I get in the baking mood and need a few items.

Bitchin' Kitchen - Are they kidding???

I felt the same way about watching this show as some of the other replies, but you should really give her a chance. Little by little, I realized that she does have a considerable knowledge of what she's cooking and they try to be a little bit more innovative in how they present the show. Yes, it is a little bit over the top but just remember that a lot of people did not like the non-smiling Giada DeLaurentis in the beginning either. Eventually, I hope this show reaches a happy medium between being a comedy and a cooking show. I think it's worth waiting it out.

Jun 16, 2012
Abbeshay in Food Media & News

Coffee with Chicory

Is there anywhere in the GTA that I can get chicory infused coffee grounds or some type of New Orleans style ground coffee. I have a recipe for iced Creole coffee that calls for it.

Lemon Liberte - so good

Just like lemon cheesecake! Too bak it's not very low in fat, yogurt-wise, that would be a damn good excuse to make it a daily meal.

Anchovies packed in Salt : Any sources in downtown Toronto?

Try the seafood department at most Fortino's. They used to keep a small container of them in their showcase. If you have to buy the large cans, you can keep the anchovies in your fridge or freezer as long as you keep them covered by the salt.

Bread Baking Baskets in T.O.

I got my long-awaited Nancy Silverton's Breads from the La Brea Bakery Cookbook yesterday and I was wondering if anyone has seen a proofing basket for sale in these parts (Toronto-downtown or midtown). I haven't even started the starter yet so I have some time to look around.

Remember Arlequin?

I'm just remembering Toronto some 10-15 years back and thinking that there doesn't seem to be anymore restaurants with a take home counter like there was at Arlequin, Oliver's etc. I used to buy the little checkerboard cookies after a meal at Arlequin and have them with coffee when I got home. It was a special little ritual that seemed to transport me from the daily hardships of North American life to a small, french cafe in my own home. Does anyone know of a place that carries it's own selection of pastries, breads etc. for taking home. I'm not necessarily talking about take-out service.

Butter Avenue

This looks promising, especially the name. I was driving by at Yonge & Yonge Blvd. It's not open yet, but I was wondering if anyone has heard more about it. The pictures on the window look like french macaroons but the name implies more homey type desserts.

Sauerkraut minus the wine

I think wine sauerkraut has a funny taste and now I can't seem to find "just regular"sauerkraut on any supermarket shelves. Sometimes I get a craving and want the real stuff! Does anyone know where I can buy it?

Butcher's Son on Yonge

Thanks, gmania! I'll stop by asap for a visit and perhaps the seafood store as well. Like you, I'm very happy about the recent additions in the area even though we are rather spoiled with Cumbrae's etc. on Bayview. It's just that I don't like to deal with the traffic on Bayview so much.

Butcher's Son on Yonge

Has anyone been there lately? I've read good things about it online and I passed by there last week. Is it open on Sundays?

Taza Chocolate Mexicano Discs - west end?

Try the Whole Foods Market, I think it's in Etobicoke. I know that they carry those in the downtown store because I remember being very curious about what they were.

Homemade Mayonnaise dilemma

Does anyone else prefer the store-bought mayonnaise to the homemade versions? I love the idea of making my own, using 3 or 4 fresh ingredients and not having to bother with all the preservatives etc. yet, I am happily back to Hellman's because I simply cannot stand having gone through all the trouble of making it and then not seeing on my sandwich when I go to eat it. All that's left on the bread is a greasy oil spot. Am I making it wrong? I have tried several recipes from reputable sources and they all melt on bread and in various salads into a soppy, oily mess. I have tried different oils, as well, and used many variations of egg yolk to whole eggs. I like the sense of accomplishment I get when my efforts produce a light, fluffy emulsion but I can't help but think maybe my North American upbringing affects my preference. Mom used Hellman's so, maybe, I should stick with it, too. Ugh....Hellman's-you are my secret sin!!!

Oct 26, 2011
Abbeshay in Home Cooking

McEwan vs Pusateri's

Pusateri's is what I like to refer to as "reliable", as most of the produce in their store is always consistantly good quality and I don't feel like everyone has "fingered"everything before it gets to me. Rarely or never have I ever encountered the stalls adorned with the pits or stones of some other ignorant customer's attempt to sample the food before they buy it, or someone's thumbnail mark in an apple that I'd like to purchase. For this reason and especially because of the quality of the produce, I endure the cramped space and the people with 3 or more small kids and a stroller and grandma tagging along while they confer loudly with their business associates on their cell. If price is a concern, I suggest that you try more local varieties of items that they sell as they seem comparable to most other stores.

1539 Avenue Rd, Toronto, ON M5M, CA

Plugras butter

I would love to try it here, but, having seen some of the artisinal butters priced at a whopping 15.00 a pound and up, I think I'll stick with Lactancia cultured unsalted. For those of you who think they're missing out on something because of the border rules, let's just say that most Americans probably don't have the luxury of choosing a cultured butter from their average grocery shelves like we do in Ontario. By the way, having read some of the discussions below regarding water content in butter, I have a suggestion that I learned from school - knead the butter to reduce the water content in a block of butter. Simply allow the butter to come to a manageable temperature without becoming too soft, and knead it with your hands like bread until you can feel the water separated from the butter. This is a good way to make the butter "block" for making homemade croissants.

Strawberry milk powder?

If you're willing to buy a whole box, try Carnation Instant Breakfast. The box has three flavors-vanilla, chocolate and strawberry. Each envelope contains enough powder for an eight ounce drink when milk is added. The strawberry one tastes just like the mixed milk drink or the syrup drink.

Looking for Jif!!

Ah, yes, I can remember buying things like Old Bay Seasoning there at a time when nobody up here knew what Old Bay Seasoning was! Well, now I guess I"m off to Walmart's.

Looking for Jif!!

Õops, I guess I got overexcited about the prospect of finding my long lost peanut butter ( I really feel silly, but peanut butter can be a big deal when you have a craving for it!!) Thanks to the posters anyway and I guess I'll just have to wait for a surprise package from home or when I travel back in the future.

Looking for Jif!!

Oh, Happy Day! I'll be off to Longo's as soon as I get rid of the jars of mediocre peanut stuff from Skippy and Kraft. Actually, I think I'll go there and buy some immediately so that I don't miss it if they decide not to carry it. Thanks to all the posters for their comments!

Happy Day Restaurant
2383 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6P1X2, CA

Looking for Jif!!

I used to buy Jiffy Peanut Butter at Pusateri's, but it's not there, as a transplanted American who grew up with the stuff, can anyone tell me if it's being sold anywhere else? I also tried Metro or at least one location of Metro because I remember seeing it there long ago when Metro was Dominion, but to no avail. Skippy, Kraft etc. pale in comparison.

1539 Avenue Rd, Toronto, ON M5M, CA

Where can I buy vanilla paste in toronto?

I saw it the other day at Pusateri's on Avenue Road, in the baking aisle. It was attached to another bottle with vanilla extract so I guess it's a package deal and probably on the pricey side.

1539 Avenue Rd, Toronto, ON M5M, CA

Where to buy meatballs?

I'm a fan of Pusateri's meatballs. When I'm making my own sauce, I'll buy a pound of these from their meat counter to flavour up the recipe. Yes, they are big boys and I usually split them into two or three smaller meatballs before frying them, but it really is a big timesaver as they are very well seasoned and perfect for the pot!

1539 Avenue Rd, Toronto, ON M5M, CA

ISO: Vanilla

Check out Williams-Sonoma vanilla-sometimes it can be as low as approximately $14.00 for a bottle (if memory serves me, the bottle looked like it held about 6 ounces of vanilla). This stuff lasted me for about 9 months of average baking.

Whole Foods shout-outs (2010)

The cinnamon swirl bread is something I buy at Whole Foods exclusively-I love the fact that it's just sweet enough and that it doesn't have any raisins or anything obstructing the cinnamon taste.
The coffee beans appear to be somewhat of a bargain and they're roasted on premises.
Real fruit popsicles in coconut flavour-these are like the ones that I get in Florida when I visit my mother and father; I haven't seen them anywhere else up here.

I agree with kattyeyes about the baked on premises bread, and I'm definately going to check out the crabcakes next time I'm there.

Jan 10, 2010
Abbeshay in Chains