Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Fruit Cake

We had sampled some traditional fruit cake at the christmas market last week, and it was so delicious that we decided to buy some for my parents for Christmas!  These are some pics of the packaged cake...

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Balzac's Café - Distillery District

These are a few extra shots I took while having some yummy hot chocolate at Balzac's Café, during our visit to the Christmas Market!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Toronto Christmas Market

Today, we spent the afternoon at Lowe's Christmas Market at the Distillery District in Toronto!  It's basically a street market with stalls selling traditional european products (local and handcrafted) as well as specialty beer, bakery treats, and a variety of food (including traditional oktoberfest sausages, hot chocolate, pretzels, baked goods, french canadian poutine, etc).  There was also a big Christmas tree set up next to a stage with carollers singing every hour.

At first, we strolled through the market and looked around (it wasn't as big as I hoped it would be, so in that respect, I was a little disappointed), then listened to a few songs the carollers were singing.  We were verry hungry as it was lunch time, and couldn't find a proper restaurant (which served something other than paninis, pasta or grills which seemed to be all there was there), so we ended up getting some Poutine from one of the stalls; it was sooo good!  After that, we visited one of the stalls selling european baked goods, where we sampled some fruit cake :)  At the end of our visit, we stopped by the Balzac café and drank some yummy hot chocolate!

As promised, here are the photos of the traditional european style market and decorations around the distillery district.  Also, you can check out a few videos of the christmas market here, which I will be uploading on my youtube page.

The Christmas Market is open from Dec 2nd - Dec 18... for more info about the market and the Toronto Distillery District:  and

More pics to come of Balzac's Café and the Christmas Cake we bought :)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Done and Done!

I'm done with my Italian course for this semester!  The exam was last night, and hopefully I did well... I still have my text books and notes all over the bed, and I've been thinking in Italian for the past week! lol  

My favourite poster in my room... A bella Venezia (hope to be there one day!)

I also had my 3rd/4th driving lesson today, which went much better than my first... I think I'm getting more comfortable with this car (at first I wasn't used to how sensitive the gas pedal was :S ).

I guess this was another one of those boring posts, but I will be going to the Christmas Market this week and then I'll have lots of nice pics to share with you :)  Hope you're having a good week! 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

La guida!

Oggi, ho avuto la mia prima lezione di guida in Canada!  Sono stata un po' nervosa ma quando ho cominciato, sono stata più tranquilla e veramente era divertente!  Però, guidare nella città non è facile perché ci sono molti pedoni, molti automobile, e molti segni... devo guardare molte cose in una volta!


Comunque, sono contenta che ho finito la prima lezione e adesso devo aspettare per la seconda!  Anche, ho l'esame d'italiano la settimana prossima quindi sono occupato e devo studiare molto... mi dispiace se non scrivo molto per il blog, ma ho molte cose da fare.  Sarò libera dopo l'esame!
(Sedici giorni per il Natale! :D)


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Salmon Fish Cakes

This was our dinner a couple of weeks ago (I think!), and I had taken pictures of it to put on the blog, then I completely forgot about it! :S oops!  Anyway, here it is now (lol); a simple baby spinach salad on the side of salmon potato cakes and a yoghurt dip to go with it.  It was my first time making a fish cake, and it turned out pretty well, although it might not be the traditional way to make a fish cake.

From what I can remember, I first baked two salmon filets in the oven, and boiled sweet potatoes to be used to make a mash (with spring onions, some half and half cream, an egg, and spices).  I then mixed in the baked salmon (which I flaked into pieces) and formed them into cakes.  I placed these on a baking tray, sprinkled bread crumbs on top and sprayed with some olive oil.   These were baked for around 20 mins.

For the yoghurt dip, I mixed low fat plain yoghurt with dried mint (or finely chopped fresh mint), and finely chopped cucumbers - delicious! The salad was simply baby spinach, olive oil and lemon juice.  (Don't forget to season everything with salt and pepper, to your liking!) 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Goodie Bag from Pharma Plus

Last week, Pharmaplus was having a 50% off special offer on cosmetics in the entire store...and when you spend more than $10 on face products, you are entered to win a gift basket at the end of the day!  So it was a good thing I needed some face powder anyway :)   As for the draw...well, it shouldn't come as a suprise that our ticket was not drawn for the gift basket (sigh)... but I was given a little goodie bag full of samples and a free Revlon blush! :)

Marcelle Revival Cream

L'oreal Paris foundation sample - 'Blurs pores and smoothes lines' - 'Air whipped formula blends seamlessly'

Hypoallergenic Herbacin Chamomile cream sample

NeoStrata Anti-Wrinkle Lip Enhancer (sample attached to back) - probably won't use this one

NeoStrata Exfoliating lotion sample

Revlon Crazy Shine Nail Buffer sample - '400% shinier than bare nails'

New sample fragrance from Nina Ricci Paris - L'AIR 

My favourite! Revlon 'A Floral Affair' Sheer Powder blush

Colour: 475 - Honey Bunch

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Mobile uploads - Christmas in Eaton Centre

Took a few pics of the christmas decoration at Eaton Centre ... there was a lot but only managed to take a few photos since I didn't have any space on my phone!

My favourite! Swarovski crystal tree :)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Chicken Soup... from the Soul

I've always been scared of making chicken soup from scratch cos I thought it takes ages to make and just seems complicated - but I was wrong!   I did some searching online, got a few pointers from my mum and decided to make my very own soup for the first time.... surprisingly, it turned out great on my first try!
There was one thing I was right about though: it does take a LONG time until it's ready to eat, but it's worth it in the end!  Here's what you'll need for my chicken soup:

  • One whole chicken
  • Carrots (peeled and diced)
  • Sweet potatoes (Peeled and diced)
  • One large white onion (chopped)
  • Seasoning (you can use your own seasoning mix/poultry seasoning - I just used Salt and Cinnamon)
  • Noodles (egg noodles, or regular spaghettini pasta)

1.  Rinse chicken under water, and place in large soup pot (which I did not have, so I used two regular 

2. Fill pot with water to cover most, if not all, of the chicken (just over 3 L of water)... add 2 tbsps of salt. (Since I used two regular pots, I placed half a chicken in each and 1 tbsp of salt in each). 

3. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for around 2 to 4 hours (I usually don't bother timing   
    after 2 hours - just make sure chicken is tender and falling off the bone)

4. Remove chicken from broth and set aside to cool. 

5. Pour carrots and onion into the broth and bring back to a boil.  Add seasoning and simmer for about an hour.

6. While soup is simmering, pull apart the cooled chicken meat into strips/pieces (remember to remove the skin too!)

7.  Add the sweet potatoes, noodles and chicken meat back into the soup and boil for around 15-20 minutes until the pasta and potatoes are tender. 

8.  Remember to taste the broth to see if it needs more seasoning (which it usually shouldn't because you added enough salt at the beginning... but it's up to you!

9. Serve, and enjoy! 

P.S.  Unfortunately,  I didn't take pictures during the process... these pics of the left over soup were taken the next day (we had 3 tupperwares full!).  I will be sure to take pictures of each step next time I make this soup and will update this post when I do, so remember to check back if you'd like to see that! :)

Featured on Bloggers! :)

I just wanted to do a quick post to write about '' ... I came back from an outing tonight, and discovered my inbox was full as I have been featured on the Editor's Picks page today along with two other top bloggers! So,  I'm really pleased with that and I just wanted to get the word out about the Bloggers community... if you want to discover new blogs, have a blog and just getting started, or want to encourage more traffic on your page, I highly recommend you sign up for Bloggers - great community, and great blogs!

P.S. More posts to come soon, and I will be recording the "Another Day in Paradise" piano piece... so stay tuned! 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Chocolate Pots

This recipe was adapted from Nigella's Choco-Hoto-Pots... I had to substitute a few ingredients from her original recipe since I didn't have a few things.  It still turned out to be delicious, but not exactly the same texture.   If using the original ingredients, your choco-hoto-pots should be cracked on the top (like a brownie), and soft and gooey in the centre.  My chocolate pots are more of a cake like/brownie texture on the outside, and very moist in the middle.

- 3/4 cup sugar (I used brown)
- 1 stick/1/2 cup of butter (I used low-fat margarine)
- 3/4 cup of dark chocolate chips
- 3 table spoons of flour (I used sifted whole wheat flour)
- 2 eggs

1. Preheat oven to 200C/400F
2.  Grease 4 ramequins
3.  Combine chocolate and butter in a "bain marie" (or melt them together in the microwave).
4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar.  Then add in 3 tablespoons of flour
5. Combine with cool chocolate mixture and stir.
6.  Divide into four ramquins.
7. Bake on tray in oven for around 15-20 minutes, until the top looks cracked.


P.S.  I baked the left over batter in the next couple of days after it had been in the fridge.  The mixture was thicker since I had stored it in the fridge and when I baked it, the centre was melted - which is exactly how it should be!