Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Local Talent

Check out this incredible video from Toronto-based artist Amy Shackleton. She uses gravity and squirt bottles instead of paint brushes to create her unique style. It definitely motives me to always think outside the box and to continuously be inventing new ways of being creative.

New Brides, 1587

"You should not behave as I have seen some women do, who make such a din, and banging and moving about of tables and chairs, and so much noise of plates and knives, that guests expect a sumptuous meal, and at the end realizes that the mountain has brought forth a mouse." 

From a conduct book for new brides (Pietro Belmonte, Istitutione Della Sposa, 1587)

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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

I'm Baaaack!

I have now returned to Canadian soil after eating and drinking my way across South East Asia with my two girlfriends. It was an incredible trip full of adventure, relaxing, and truly enjoying life. I learned a bit about Asian cooking (that I will share soon), but boy have I missed my favorite dishes back home. Don't fear, I will be getting right back into the swing of things with Vanessa's Bazaar. For now, enjoy a few tid bits from my trip!
Gabbs-Me-Carly {Luang Prabang Waterfall}

Pigging out on the best food of the trip {Cafe 43: Hoi An}

Fresh Herbs at the Market {Vietnam}

{Margaritas by the Pool} 

Fresh Crab on the Beach {Served with a Lemon Pepper}

PHO on the street....where pho was created {Vietnam}

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Adios Amigos!

My life has been busy busy busy as of late. (Sorry for the LACK of posts....I know). I have been applying for schools, am in the middle of ending my current job and have been preparing for the trip of a lifetime! In a few days I embark on a six week adventure to Southeast Asia with one of my best girlfriends (eeek!). I bid you Adieu and promise many exciting pictures of the adventures I have and of course, much of the food I eat. Until next time, xoxo.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Sardines Anyone?

Grilled sardines may seem like a strange thing to eat and love and crave. And I would have agreed with you a year ago, but oh how my tune has changed! My Italian boyfriend has introduced me to many a new food, but I think one of my favorite things that he is AHH-mazing at making is his bbq'd sardines. Those little tiny fishes are PACKED with flavour and are oh so good for you (zero fat- plus fish makes you smart!...can't you tell?).

He marinates those little guys in lemon juice, olive oil and salt- keeping it super simple and delicious. On the grill, the skin gets a nice crunchy salty char to it and is actually one of the best parts. So open your mind, ignore the wee eyes, start with an empty stomach and be prepared to fall into fish heaven (yes that is a place).

We also made some truly spectacular grilled calamari. And for the sake of keeping it super simple- grilled portobello, zucchini and red pepper salad with goat cheese, sliced almonds and fresh parsley. A truly perfect meal to kick off your summer eating- I mean it was 34 degrees yesterday!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Fish Tacos

So my cravings a few weeks ago turned into a reality. I met up with some keen girlfriends and together we made, devoured, and extremely enjoyed some fish tacos. And let me tell you, these were restaurant quality fish tacos (watch your back Grand Electric). We whipped up a simple beer batter (2 cups flour, 1 bottle of beer, salt) that we dipped our pieces of cod in. We daringly fried the fish in a big pot of oil- and what a great call it was- the fish turned out perfectly crispy while remaining deliciously soft and flaky on the inside.

We piled our fish tacos high with avocado, chopped green onions, cilantro, shredded purple cabbage and lime crema (lime juice, sour cream, dash of milk). For a more in depth review, check out my girl Tay's blog Love In Spoonfuls

Adios and have a great weekend!

Beer battered cod being fried in canola oil- 2-3 minutes per side

Lots of yummy greens: lime, avocado, green onion

I'll have another please!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Chick'N Caesar

I'm pretty much always craving a caesar salad. There's something about that creamy, salty, crunchy salad that makes me go ga-ga. Have it as a starter, have it as a meal, have it in a wrap- I'm in. My new thing lately has been attempting to perfect the home made caesar dressing. And I think I've almost got there. 

I made this Panko Parmesan Chicken with Caesar Roasted Romaine the other night and it was an easy peasy meal to whip up after work. The chicken roasts at a super high temperature so it cooked quickly. I threw a couple of the romaine halves into the oven for a few minutes to get a different texture on the lettuce (some warm and soft, some with a nice crunch). While everything was in the oven I whipped up a caesar dressing- anchovies, raw egg yolk- the whole shebang!

 And let me tell you, this chicken was incredible! It had so much flavour and a really nice crunch from the golden panko mixture on top- I could eat this everyday. 

Panko Parmesan Chicken with Caesar Roasted Romaine
Inspired by THIS recipe from Bon Apetit and THIS Caesar dressing recipe
4 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Salt and Pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
3 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons chopped flat lead parsley
1 clove of garlic, chopped
2 large romaine hearts, halved lengthwise

For the Dressing:
1 1/2 teaspoon garlic paste (from 2 large, grated cloves)
2-3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
6 anchovy fillets, patted dry with paper towels, minced fine, and mashed to paste with fork
2 large egg yolks
10 tablespoons  olive oil
3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan
Freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 450°. Line a baking sheet with foil. Place chicken on sheet and season chicken with salt and pepper . Combine cheese, panko, 2 Tbsp. oil, parsley, and 1 garlic clove in a medium bowl; season with salt and pepper. Pat panko mixture onto breasts. Roast chicken until crumbs begin to turn golden, about 14 minutes.
Drizzle 1 romaine heart with 1 Tbsp. oil, season with salt and pepper. Remove sheet from oven; place romaine around chicken. Roast until chicken is cooked through and lettuce is browned at edges, about 5 minutes. Chop uncooked romaine heart and put in a salad bowl. Take other romaine heart out of the oven and chop; add to bowl. Toss lettuce with dressing, serve alongside chicken.
Dressing:  mix first five ingredient in a bowl. In a slow, steady stream, whisk in olive oil until the dressing is fully emulsified. Add 1/2 cup of Parmesan and pepper to taste, then whisk until completely combined.