ham and cheese waffles

When I saw these ham and cheese waffles in the March issue of Bon Appetit, I knew that I had to try them out. 
Topped with maple syrup, these waffles were crunchy, salty and sweet all at once. The perfect breakfast for dinner meal. 


cinnamon rolls

I decided to surprise Joe with a warm batch of cinnamon rolls for breakfast last Saturday. This was my first time making cinnamon rolls, so I was ecstatic when they turned out just how I wanted them to: soft and gooey. And they weren't sickly sweet. 
I rolled out the dough quite thin so that I could maximize how much surface area got covered with the filling.
The great thing about this recipe is that you actually make the rolls the night before you want to bake them. Once formed, just place them in the fridge to rest overnight.
The next morning, after coming up to room temp, the rolls get baked, frosted, and are ready to eat!
1/2 C milk
1/4 C heavy cream (can substitute with milk)
1 pkg rapid-rise yeast
3 eggs
4 1/4 C flour
1/2 C cornstarch
1/2 C sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
14 tbsp butter, room temp,cut into cubes

filling: if you want extra gooey rolls, add more butter and sugar

1 1/2 C brown sugar
2 tbsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
6 tbsp butter, melted


1/3 pkg cream cheese, room temp
1 tbsp milk
1 1/2 C icing sugar
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

For the dough: 

1. In a bowl, combine the milk and cream and heat in the microwave until warm. Add in the yeast and dissolve. Whisk in the eggs.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook (or by hand), mix the flour, cornstarch, sugar and salt. Add in the milk mixture in a steady stream until the dough starts coming together. Add in the butter, one piece at a time, until incorporated. Continue to mix until the dough is smooth and comes away from the bowl (about 5 minutes). Add more flour if your dough is too wet.
3. Place dough in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for two hours or until it doubles in size.

Rolling and filling:

1. Combine the brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. 
2. Roll out the dough into a large rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Brush the melted butter all over the dough and sprinkle with sugar.
3. Roll up the dough tightly and cut into two-inch pieces. Place rolls in a baking pan lined with parchment paper or tin foil. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight.

Baking and frosting:

1. Remove the rolls from the fridge 1 1/2 hours before you want to bake them and let them sit at room temperature.
2. Bake at 350-degrees for 35-40 minutes or until golden. Let rest for 5 minutes.
3. Meanwhile make frosting by whisking cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and milk until smooth. Smear (heavily) over warm rolls.


holy chuck burgers

I've been wanting to go to Holy Chuck Burgers for months, so I was pretty excited when Joe suggested we go over the weekend. Joe had the signature Holy Chuck (a bacon double cheeseburger w/ caramelized onions) and hand-cut fries:
I went for the Mad Cow (a junior cheeseburger + a deep-fried cream cheese-stuffed portobello mushroom) and house-made chips:
A closer look at my burger:
So how did it rate? Well, I'm not entirely sold on this place. First off, it cost about $34 for these two meals (including drinks). That's quite steep (but I guess not really crazy for "gourmet" burger joints). The burger patties were fresh and juicy, the buns were pillowy soft, and the fries and chips were awesome. My main problem was that the portobello mushroom on my burger wasn't cooked enough. The coating was uber-crisp, but the mushroom was pretty much and I am not a fan of raw shrooms. I actually took it off my burger and just ate the cheeseburger portion. I also didn't like the herb aioli which was too overpowering. I still want to go back, however, next time I'll go for a plain burger (Joe's was really good) and maybe try one of their outrageous milkshakes (uh, Nutella and salted caramel? Yes, please!). I'm also planning a visit to The Burger's Priest soon to see how their burgers compare.

Holy Chuck Burgers
1450 Yonge St.


fruit fantasy

Is it summer yet? I've been sick and craving fruit like mad. So sad that it's only February.


guu sakabar

When Guu came to Toronto a few years ago, I remember people raving about the food. But I also heard about nightmarish long lines (they don't take reservations) and a noisy atmosphere. Last year, a second location opened up on Bloor St. and a recent dinner invitation gave me the opportunity to finally check it out. The wait was about 40 minutes on a Friday night and the space is loud—really loud—but it's a fun vibe, especially for a group. First up, drinks: sake and nama grapefruit (half grapefruit that you squeeze yourself, vodka, soda). 
The menu is typical of a Japanese izakaya with a bunch of small dishes meant for sharing. There were five of us and we ordered 12 dishes plus dessert. My favs of the night: the saba sushi, takoyaki, tataki and both types of udon.
gomaae: blanched spinach w/ sesame sauce
karaage: deep-fried soy sauce marinated chicken w/ garlic mayo
bbq pork: pork belly w/ honey soy sauce
carbonara udon: udon noodles with bacon, onion and half-boiled egg
ikapiri: deep-fried calamari w/ spicy ketchup and wasabi mayo
kimchi udon: udon noodles w/ spicy cod roe topped w/ kimchi
maguro tataki: seared B.C tuna sashimi w/ ponzu and garlic chips
evening special: seared saba sushi w/ grilled rice
salmon tataki: seared B.C. salmon sashimi w/ ponzu, wasabi mayo and garlic chips
takoyaki: deep-fried octopus ball w/ tonkatsu sauce and karashi mayo
tontoro: grilled pork cheek w/ salt and yuzu pepper
ebimayo: deep-fried prawn w/ spicy mayo

The desserts were just as awesome. Not too sweet, but a perfect ending to our meal.
goma zukushi: sesame ice cream, sesame mochi rice cakes, sesame wafers
roasted green tea cheese cake

Guu Sakabar
559 Bloor St. W



I went to Sanko for one thing and, as usual, came back with a bunch of Japanese snacks. I can't help it, Asian snacks are a major weakness! My latest obsession is Cratz. Part cracker, part pretzel, they're kinda like the Japanese version of Combos, but way better (there's even almonds mixed into each bag). The two below are smokey cheese and black pepper bacon flavoured. 
730 Queen St. W


chocolate chocolate cookies

I recently made the chocolate chocolate cookies from the Milk Bar cookbook (last Momofuku post for a while, I swear).
They definitely had a very rich chocolate flavour (maybe too much so for my taste). But the texture was great. That's the thing that I've found with all the Momofuku cookies that I've made—the texture is perfect: crispy edges, chewy middles. The recipes always call for what you think will be too much salt, but that salty bite really complements and balances out the sweetness of the cookies.
I actually went one step further with these and made a Cherry Garcia ice cream sandwich...that I sadly couldn't finish for fear of falling into a sugar coma.


scadding court market

The Scadding Court market at the corner of Bathurst and Dundas opened last summer and is a pretty unique concept. Rather than having stalls, vendors are housed in refurbished shipping containers that stay put all year long. Food vendors (such as Monforte Dairy and La Pupusa) have small menus akin to food trucks. I feel like this project has a lot of potential and have my fingers crossed that the warmer months bring even more vendors. 
Happily, I walked by last week and saw a new vendor being advertised—a Filipino vendor nonetheless! Exciting times. I sampled a couple of items from Tita Flips when they were at the Toronto Underground Market so I'm pumped to see what they'll offer here.
During the winter, the vendors' hours vary (and some vendors seemed to have closed up shop altogether), but I recently grabbed a few bites from Kim's A La Carte: Ddukbokki (chewy grilled rice cakes smothered in a sweet-spicy sauce, $1) and kimchi mandu (kimchi filled dumplings, $1).


crack pie

Davis brought over a Momofuku crack pie over the weekend. It was gooey and sweet with a crunchy oatmeal crust. Kind of like a pecan pie, but without the nuts. Best eaten cold. I owe Davis big time!