Monday, August 24, 2009

Yummy Chinese Food in Parkdale

Portions were huge. Food was good. Really, you should check this place out. I am not sure why Tasty Tastebuds and I waited so long.

Yummy Food, located at 1533 Queen Street West, offers free delivery after 4:00 pm, and besides the waste packaging created by take-out food, I would recommend this place as a take-out joint more than a dine-in restaurant.

We dined in, and ordered the house special pad thai and eggplant in yu-xiang spicy sauce. The pad thai featured various meats and vegetables, including shrimp, chicken, mushrooms, broccoli, etc. The eggplant dish in a sweet and spicy sauce would have been good served on a bed of rice. We were not offered water to drink, even though the food was very hot/spicy. For this reason, I can see why this would be a good take-out or delivery place. Your own tap may be readily on hand. In the end, we were so full on our $20.00 (including tax) meals that we had to package a portion to go in a styrofoam container anyway...

Next time I'm looking to treat myself to huge portions of chinese food from down the street, without leaving the comfort of my own home, I'll order Yummy Food. Their menu boasts different dinner for two to five combos as well -- what I'll definitely be trying next. Call to order: 416-588-1333 or 416-588-5664.

It's Harvest Season! What's Cookin' in my Kitchen this August

Last week I made a) spicy pickled peaches using a recipe from a decades-old Women's Day Encyclopedia that I picked up at a thrift store on stuff-a-bag day, and b) peach and pear conserve with lemon which is so sweet and delicious spread on homemade bread. I got the recipe for the latter from the Canadian Living's Country Cookbook, which you can purchase used at BMV Books (471 Bloor Street West). I noticed they had several copies there the other day, when I was hunting for more pickling and preserves recipes.

Yesterday afternoon, I made a fresh basil pesto. I do not happen to own a food processor, so I invited a friend and her visiting guest from Norway-via-Halifax over for a pesto party. My friend and neighbour brought over her food processor (apparently bought at a yard sale for $4.00, which she has been dragging around with her for several years as she moves around the country) and a baguette bought on Roncesvalles. We used fresh basil that I had harvested that same morning from my small community garden plot near Richmond and Augusta. We froze much of the pesto in an ice cube tray for later use, omitting the cheese, because cheese doesn't freeze too well. Later, when serving, I can add fresh parmesan and/or romano cheeses.

During the pesto party, I also prepared a lamb and pumpkin stew. Admittedly, I still had some pumpkin stashed away in my freezer from last season, so it really needed to be cooked. The stew should taste great today. It was infused with fresh mint leaves from my windowsill herb garden.

This week, I plan to pickle cauliflower, trying out another recipe from the Woman's Day Encyclopedia (sadly, I only have the 'P' section, from 'peach' to 'plantain').

I will also be receiving a small food box from FoodShare on Wednesday (only $12.00), so I will have to see what's at my kitchen's disposal by mid-week.

Happy harvest, foodies!

Monday, August 17, 2009

More Farmers' Markets: Sorauren Park and Liberty Village

Every Monday afternoon, from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm, you can check out the Sorauren Park Farmers' Market in Parkdale. Vendors offer artisinal baked goods, cocoa desserts, empanadas, organic meats, cheeses, and garden-fresh, seasonal veggies. The atmosphere at the Sorauren Park Farmers' Market is festive, with live musical performances, dancing children, and friendly adults lounging on the picnic tables in the shade. Mondays in the park near suppertime is a nice and relaxing gathering of neighbours, where you can sit on the grass and drink a cool apple cider, watching the children play. A little pricier than other farmers' markets, Sorauren Park is more of a community-building block party -- on every week until Thanksgiving.

On Sundays, in Liberty Village, from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm, the parking lot on the corner of Atlantic Ave. and Liberty St. is a bustling spot for serious market shoppers. This is where I go to buy produce for canning, because I know they'll have everything I need. My favourite stand is the one that offers your choice of five vegetables for $10.00. There, grocery shopping finished. Then head over to the trailer, where you can buy a breakfast bun for a morning snack. I also recommend grabbing a bushel of tomatoes for all of that salsa you've been meaning to make (which can also be preserved for winter) or a basket of peaches for jams, jellies, or cobblers (which you can keep in the freezer, ready for a potluck). I am thinking corn and cauliflower will be my next bulk purchases, for relish and pickles, respectively, yum, yum.

It's harvest season, my friends! Time to eat vegetables, and preserve the tastes of summer! Cold winter months are but a few months away...