icey's Profile

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Sfoglia cake

Agree on La Sem. I would also say Rustic Bakery.

Jul 25, 2014
icey in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Ice Cream, 2014

Hi Nevy,
Can you please explain the Sicilian and Firenze style of gelato? Thanks!

Jun 16, 2014
icey in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Mad Mexican: New Mexican Place from the people behind Frida's

Hi dubchild. I've been to Mad Mexican on several occassions now, and unfortunately, for some of the things I have eaten, they haven't been as good as the first time.
First, let's talk about the things I love: the guacamole, the nachos, the salsas, the tortilla soup (my favourite), the limonada. All of these things I have eaten on several occassions and have been consistent and delicious.
The things that I have had inconsistencies with: the tacos. Primarily, the steak tacos. The carnitas are usually fairly consistent and very unctuous and really yummy. I have had them slightly dry and underseasoned on my last trip there and am hoping this is a one time occurance. The steak tacos, or anything on the menu using "steak" are basically completely overcooked beef cutlets that have unfortunately, never been good any times that I have ordered them and are reminiscent of shoe leather....
Having said all this, there have been a few changes to the menu since the beginning, and last time I was there, I ordered a small tortilla soup and received a large. I spoke to the waitress (only to confirm because I couldn't even eat the other things i ordered because there was so much food) and she said that the kitchen was still trying to get used to the changes that were being made. I am hoping that is the case for the items that turned out less than stellar...
I will continue to go to see if it levels out...

Jun 03, 2014
icey in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

HELP Can you make a cake without eggs? If so,

For certain cakes and muffins, I find that chia seeds are a good substitute for eggs. Combine 1 tbsp of ground chia seeds with 3 tbsp of water. Let it stand for a few minutes until it starts to gel and then add to the batter. This ratio will substitute one egg. I find that if I let the chia seeds soak too long, they get too thick and then don't combine into the batter well.

Apr 15, 2014
icey in Home Cooking

Vaughn, Kleinburg, Etc.

Yes, when you have company dinners where you have to please a lot of different palettes and you don't want to go to Earls again, Spoon & Fork is a decent option.

Apr 08, 2014
icey in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Vaughn, Kleinburg, Etc.

Sorry kwass, it's been a few years but the two times I was brought to Mastro Roberto were terrible. Zafferano is ok but it is the same Italian restaurant that is repeated so often in Vaughan.
If you want pizza, Motorino is the place to go. Peaktop is good for Chinese, Spoon & Fork is decent for company dinners. Other than that, I can't really think of anything outstanding in Vaughan...

Apr 07, 2014
icey in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Best Italian Sandwich

Are you sure vealmaster, that domesticgodess isn't talking about Panini Italian Sandwiches in the same plaza as Five Guys? I haven't tried Parmigiana Sandwiches, but Panini Italian Sandwiches, in my opinion, is by far the best in Woodbridge. They are super fresh, fast, and have a great tomato sauce. Manned by 3 women at the counter. Way better than California in my opinion.

Mar 10, 2014
icey in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

chinese food near Vaughn Mills

I second Peaktop. We were there on Saturday night and had Peking Duck, bbq duck heart and liver, steamed pea shoot leaves, boy choy and mushrooms, soy chicken, and some other things I'm not remembering at the moment, and everything was delicious.

Mar 05, 2014
icey in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

ISO: veal bones

I was at SLM last week and saw veal bones. I don't recall what the place was called but I'm almost positive that it was on the same side of the market as Kozliks...

Jan 16, 2014
icey in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

What's your favorite dijon mustard and where do you buy it locally?

Kozliks is also available at the Brickworks Farmers Market

Jan 14, 2014
icey in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

What's your favorite dijon mustard and where do you buy it locally?

I completely second Kozliks. If you are looking for other mustards other than dijon, try the Kozliks Triple Crunch, Da Deli, and Horseradish mustard. I currently have 5 different Kozliks mustards in my fridge, all for different applications.

Jan 14, 2014
icey in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

So I finally tried Queen Margherita Pizza

Hi Nevy,
Unfortunately, I haven't been to Pizza e Pazzi yet. I feel that Libretto probably has the edge over QMP for their interesting toppings. I like the dough at QMP when they actually get it right. I think that the best sauce that I have tried on any pizza is Pizzeria Defina on Roncesvalles.
And finally, one of the better overall pizzas I have had recently has been Motorino in Woodbridge. Beautiful leoparding on the crust, tasty dough, and nice fresh toppings.
Now too bad we can't get one place that can combine it all together and consistantly!
I don't mind the crunchy style pizza either because it is closer to what I get in Northern Italy when I visit my inlaws. For that, I really like Mangia & Bevi.

Do you suggest that I give Pizza e Pazzi a try?

Dec 03, 2013
icey in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

So I finally tried Queen Margherita Pizza

Sorry kwass, wasn't responding just to you. More so, in general to everyone that was wondering about whether Vinnie knows or even likes what Neapolitan pizza is. Having had an "undercooked and yeasty" pizza myself at Queen Margherita, I just wanted to share my experience as well.

Dec 03, 2013
icey in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

So I finally tried Queen Margherita Pizza

I'm going to come to the defense of Vinnie here a little bit. I live pretty close to the Annette location of Queen Margherita, and I've been a total of about 6-7 times now. Like all pizza places in the city, it suffers from inconsistency. I have had a pizza at Queen Margherita similar to what Vinnie mentioned and it was not good at all. I have had terrible pizza at Pizzeria Libretto too, and delicious pizza (usually delicious).
On most of my occasions at Queen Margherita, the pizza was lovely, (which is why I go back time after time), and I am familiar with Neapolitan pizza and the fact that it isn't "crispy". Most of the time, the dough is delicious, well cooked and not "yeasty and undercooked". However, there are so many factors that go into making a great dough, and sometimes, like everywhere I have found, they drop the ball a bit.
Maybe Queen Margherita was having an off-night and Vinnie, I think you should give them another try...just don't go Sunday evenings, when you are more apt to run into those yuppy seven year olds. :)

Dec 03, 2013
icey in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Trip Recap - LONG

Hi Everyone,

Thank you all for your suggestions on where I should go for my girls' weekend in Montreal and I wanted to give an update.

Due to some difficulties navigating the downtown core because of the Santa Clause Parade, when we finally parked on St. Laurent, we were famished, and we just walked around to see if we could find anything decent. We ended up stopping at Burger Royal and it was really good. I had the Jun-San burger with arugula, onions, teriyaki sauce, and pickled ginger. The burger was juicy and the fries were really crisp. The other girls both had the Original burger with some generic toppings like ketchup, mustard, lettuce, etc.

In the evening, we had reservations for Pintxo thanks to the suggestion of Plateaumaman and it was really lovely. We had:
* Charcuterie: spicy chorizo was very good
* Calamari with Caramelized Onions: this was one of the weaker dishes. The calamari were super tender but I didn't quite like the combination.
* Bison rib: by far the best dish for me. The refreshing quinoa salad provide a good foil to the spicy bbq sauce
* Octopus with grilled chorizo: another stand out dish, it was a great combination
* Garlic prawns in a red pepper sauce: perfectly grilled shrimp in a very tasty, broth-type sauce.
* Stuffed fig: my sister didn't like the combination of the mahon cheese with the fig (I can't have cow dairy, so I didn't try)
* Goat cheese ravioli: the girls ordered this and claimed for them that is was rich and delicious
*Beef cheeks with mashed potatoes: beef cheeks were deeply flavoured, nicely cooked, but the mashed potatoes could use some work. Not very creamy.
* Roasted Cherry Tomatoes with Goat Cheese: this was also quite nice, as I really like the goat cheese that was used. It had a rind that imparted a slight bitter taste and went well with the sweetness of the tomatoes.
* Molten Chocolate Cake in creme anglaise: Was deemed amazing but one would have been enough to split because it was so rich.

For breakfast the next morning, we went to Maison Christian Faure. I knew that I wouldn't be able to eat anything but everyone else absolutely love the croissants. I bought some pineapple-vanilla jam to bring home which was delicate and delicious. I also brought home some macarons for my DH as well as a tarte tatin, a mango-passionfruit tartlette and a hazelnut eclair. Everyone that tried them said they were really delicious.

Due to some more poor planning on our part, we ended up with not many options for lunch so we went to Rubens on Saint Catherine, and had a decent lunch or smoked meat and fries. I understand it's probably not the place to go for authentic smoked meat but it wasn't bad at all.

For dinner, Downtown Josie had given some great recommendations but since my group are kinda picky eaters and a bit squeamish on some of the offerings, some of the places that were actually open on Sunday night were out of the question. I went on a thread from millygirl and we decided on Holder. It was bloody fantastic. I had the beet and gravalax appetizer to start and the duck confit with arugula and roasted potatoes. Along with a perfectly made gin and tonic, this was just the best way to end our trip and was really great value. The others had a cheese course (really good), hangar steak (flavourful and perfectly cooked), creme brulee (the best they'd ever had) and profiteroles (good, but nothing compared to the creme brulee)

Although I didn't get to try a lot of the restaurants everyone suggested, thank you all for your suggestions, and hopefully we'll be back soon to try some more!

Dec 02, 2013
icey in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Company Christmas Party Locations

Hi Everyone,
We have a group of 13 people that I need to find a location for for our Christmas Party. We are looking at downtown Toronto close to any major highways as we are coming from the burbs. Also, my boss would prefer a prix fixe menu and drinks that are not too costly. For example, we had almost decided on Weslodge but then an employee mentioned that the drinks are around $15-$20 each.
We liked the menu at Marben and the drink menu seemed reasonably priced but they are closed on Mondays. Forgot to mention that it has to be a Monday as we have people coming in from out of town for our annual meeting.

Any suggestions? Anyone know about the drinks at Patria? I would assume the same as Weslodge since they are owned by the same group?

Thanks!!!

Nov 21, 2013
icey in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Girl's Weekend in Montreal

Thank you everyone for your replies! I will talk to the girls this weekend and go over everything. Pintxo is really attracting me at the moment and I am definitely going to try to go to Vin Papillon. Hopefully, they all agree on Le Filet as well and I can try to get reservations.

Nov 15, 2013
icey in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

What would you LOVE as a midnight snack @ a wedding? [Do you even want one?]

Ooo! That sounds like such a good idea. I've seen that Hotel Gelato does catering too.

Nov 14, 2013
icey in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

What's for dinner #255 The countdown to Turkey Day edition. [Through November 14, 2013]

Yup, I believe it is more delicate...I tried a piece raw and it was almost sweet. I have made other types of kale that just came not very good and my husband hated it. It just seemed more tender in the store and so I decided to give it a try. And as mentioned by others below, the sign said "Tuscan Kale; Cavolo Nero"

Nov 14, 2013
icey in Home Cooking

Girl's Weekend in Montreal

Hi Everyone,

I will be in Montreal from November 23 (Sat) to November 25 (Mon). We will be staying at Le St. Martin on Maisonneuve Ouest and I need some advice! We are coming from Toronto so we would like to eat at restaurants that are perhaps, distinctly Quebecois, or give us a good feel of what is going on in Montreal at the moment.

After having scoured the boards, I have come up with a list of restaurants that we would like to try for dinner on the two nights but have no idea how to narrow them down. And I am open to other suggestions.
1) Maison Publique
2) Le Filet
3) 400 Coups
4) 3 petits bouchons
5) Au Pied du Couchon (my husband has been 3 times and has loved it)
The one caveat is that I have a dairy and egg intolerance, and I'm a bit concerned at which restaurants are not willing to make any substitutions or modifications.

Also, I am having some difficulty coming up with places to go for lunch. I want good casual places where we can get a decent lunch but still be able to snack throughout the afternoon!

Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

Nov 14, 2013
icey in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

What's for dinner #255 The countdown to Turkey Day edition. [Through November 14, 2013]

Last night, I tried tuscan kale for the first time! It was so yummy. I braised it the same way I did my brussel sprouts the evening before. Sauteed 2 strips of bacon, then removed when crispy. Sweated out an onion in the bacon grease and then added slightly wet chopped up kale. Added half a bottle of beer, and let it go for about 20 minutes. It was delicious, and my husband said it was a "buy again vegetable"!
To go with that, I sauteed up cremini mushrooms in olive oil and garlic, and when they had gone nice and brown, added a good glug of marsala. Served that on top of some thin beef cutlets.

Tips for busy families in the evenings

I actually just got a pressure cooker but am always unsure of what things take time wise. Totally afraid to either run out of liquid while it is still in a pressurized mode or add too much liquid or overcook. I will definitely look at the chowhound threads to see what people are doing.
Biggreenmatt, is there anything that you particularly like to make in there?
Also, agree with tcamp though, if I come home late and am famished, 45 minutes isn't going to cut it. Either I have a night meal ready in the slow cooker or made 15 minute risotto in the pressure cooker!

Nov 13, 2013
icey in Home Cooking

Tips for busy families in the evenings

I think the slow-cooker would be your friend as well. I love momoftwo's ideas below on the cooler to tide you over. Once everyone gets home, they may want something warm to eat. There are so many great slow-cooker recipes that can be put together the night before (with very little effort or time) and be plugged in before you leave in the morning. And they can certainly be healthy too; for example, my slow-cooker chili is made with lean ground beef (or venison or chicken), literally no oil, lots of veggies and beans, and some really great spices. It is so satisfying and actually freezes very well.

Nov 12, 2013
icey in Home Cooking

What's for dinner #255 The countdown to Turkey Day edition. [Through November 14, 2013]

After a trip to the US this weekend and a stop at Wegmans (I love this store), I had a little Spanish feast last night. Marcona Almonds, membrillo, tortas de aciete, and 18 month Manchego. Tonight will be local lambchops with beer braised brussel sprouts and bacon.
Thank you all for inspiration; I have been in a culinary rut lately.

What's for Dinner #239 - All Summer Long [Through August 18, 2013]

Last night was pizza so that we could play with the new pizza stone. I did a few different toppings; one with a pizza sauce, thinly sliced white onion, caprs, and then when it came out of the oven, some thinly sliced, homemade smoked trout.
The second was a white pizza with toasted pine nuts, sage, capicollo, and sheep's blue cheese. This was my favourite. The final one was topped with a saute of portobellos and yellow and green zucchini from our garden. I had mine with just some sauce and a grating of Manchego. DH had just plain grated mozzarella and sauce on his.

Aug 12, 2013
icey in Home Cooking

Your Favorite Pasta Dish?

Another vote here for Carbonara...by far my favourite pasta. However, this summer, I have been making a cold tomato sauce from a recipe that my friend gave me from Florence. Basically, it is fresh tomatoes, a glove of garlic, toasted almonds (I've also used pinenuts), fresh basil, olive oil, parmigiano shavings, chilis and salt & pepper. I put everything in a motar and pestle and just go at it for a while. When the pasta is ready, I toss it all together. So refreshing and light for a warm summer night.

Aug 06, 2013
icey in General Topics

Surprising find - Cheap but more than decent Dim Sum snacks at a Chinese Supermarket!

Hi Charles,
Have you tried Nations yet at Hwy 7 and Weston in Woodbridge? I'm curious to hear what you think because it has become a staple for our office lunches (also because there are not a ton of good options for a quick, cheap, and delicious lunch in the area). The sushi is better than any other supermarket in the area (and better than many restaurants in the are), but stick with "Salmon town, some of the nigiri as the rolls with the fried shrimp inside are soggy. The BBQ duck and crispy BBQ pork with rice is really good and we have tried a variety of dim sum options which were pretty good, all things considered. I don't often eat off the hot table as a lot of the options are fried, Chinese-Canadian offerings, but the flat rice noodle with beef is decent.
I also noticed that the food in general is not as good (or fresh) around the dinner time as it is at lunch when you see trays and trays coming out of the kitchen.

Jul 23, 2013
icey in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Highland Farms

Scarberian, I also noticed a manager putting up a lot of "homemade" signs in the produce section rather than the green and yellow signs. I really hope things don't change too drastically because I think they have the best produce section of all my local supermarkets.

Jul 16, 2013
icey in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Highland Farms

Maybe I'm reading too much into it, but this past Saturday was the first time that I noticed that they had plain bags in their produce section, not the regular Highland Farms bags... This was at the Dufferin and Steeles location.
Oddly enough, this was the first weekend in a long time that I actually forgot to pick up the flyer so I didn't see what was on sale.

Jul 16, 2013
icey in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Kawartha Dairy ice cream is made with disgusting ingredients now

Duckdown, this is definitely not meant to be an affront as I enjoy your posts and recommendations for BBQ joints. I think it may come down to people have various "tolerances" for what's in their food. For example, I am dairy intolerant, so there isn't a huge selection of cookies out there for me to eat, so when I get my hands on Oreos, (which are dairy free), I totally go for it, and don't worry about the label so much.
Dextrose, yes, is derived from corn but it is important in desserts and ice cream because it's less sweet than sugar and helps to depress the freezing point. Also, I used to sell kitchen equipment and have seen the insides of a lot of high end pastry kitchens in the city...glucose syrup is very very often on the shelf because of it's specific properties, and a lot of great chefs use it. May I ask what the issue is with different sugars being used?
In the end, as was mentioned above, there's room for all different levels of products in the market, and again, this is not meant to go against your post or anything; just trying to understand a bit more about what the problem is with some of these ingredients?