Friday 5: Toronto Treats

It’s that time of year again. Valentine’s Day! Love it or hate it, it’s a great excuse to eat decadent treats. Today’s Friday 5 is a list of places for sweet treats in Toronto. 

Chocolate and red velvet mini cupcakes from Bunner's 

Chocolate and red velvet mini cupcakes from Bunner's 


443 King Street West | 32 Tank House Lane

There are two locations in the city, but the one in the Distillery District is my favorite. It’s a romantic, historic part of Toronto full of boutiques and restaurants.

Soma has wonderful chocolates and treats for the everyday, but they are offering four layers of goodies in a beautiful stainless Tiffin Box for Valentine’s Day. According to their website the layers include: amaretti with kirsch & brandy soaked cherries, chocolate caramel sable, heart shaped ginger snaps, 5 berry pop (white chocolate bark with popcorns strawberries, cranberries, blueberries, cherries and raspberries), 10 truffles, and a Cosmic Heart (filled with hazelnut raspberry butter and surrounded by white chocolate covered pumpkin seeds). I don’t think I could say no to any of those things. Plus, the tiffin box looks so pretty and, besides, it's reusable!

The Chocolateria

361 Roncesvalles Avenue

S and I took a wonderful winter walk the other weekend just so we could try The Chocolateria for the first time. We picked up some chocolate covered Oreos, chocolate covered Twizzlers and chocolate covered quinoa cookies (gotta get those healthy whole grains in, right?). Everything was so delicious that we’re going to make it a little ritual to walk down every so often and refill our apartment with goodies. Next time with bags and bags of their famous chocolate covered potato chips! 

We have some leftover oreos and quinoa cookies. It's taking all of my willpower not to eat them all right now. I love this place!


653 Dupont Street

A tiny but pretty little shop tucked away from the hubbub of downtown. I’m very much in love with their sea salt dark chocolate bar. They also have a beautiful selection of truffles, tortes and cakes. Check out their chocolate champagne bottle for Valentine's Day


3054 Dundas Street West (The Junction) | 244 Augusta Avenue (Kensington Market)

A gluten-free, vegan bakery located in Kensington Market and the Junction. I had one of their muffins for breakfast Thursday morning and a mini chocolate and mini red velvet cupcake for a post-lunch/post-run snack. Yum! Those little cupcakes are fantastic! 

I’ve been searching for great vegan options in the city since I’ve cut out dairy. I generally only eat homemade treats now, but I’ve had a much harder time giving up chocolate (as evidenced above by my newfound love of The Chocolateria). I will definitely be making a trip back to Bunner’s for their cinnamon buns, full sized cupcakes and what looked like incredible chocolate filled chocolate “pophearts” (like a poptart/handpie). Check out their menu here!


99 Yorkville Avenue

A fun shop for pretty macarons and other treats. They aren't quite Pierre Hermé or Ladurée level macarons, but I always really enjoy them. You can check out their Valentine's and everyday offerings online here. I haven't had it myself, but my friends loves their drinking chocolate. 

Beyond the retail space, there's a cute restaurant for brunch, lunch, afternoon tea, or dinner. It would be a fun date night spot, but I think it leans more girly than romantic. I often go with my best friend when she’s in town for lunch and a big pot of tea. The walls are lined with pictures of celebrities and their handprints in chocolate, so it’s fun wander around and see who has stopped by. The meals are nice and portions are small enough that you generally have enough room for dessert, which is good because it's where they excel. They even had a dairy-free flourless chocolate cake that was to die for when I was there last. 

That's it for today. There are many more chocolate and treat shops to explore in this city. I've only touched on the tip of the iceberg. I will make sure to come back with a new list in the future! 

In the meantime, I hope you have a warm, lovely, and sweet Valentine's Day. I'm off to do some baking! 


Friday 10: Food, Fall, and Farewell to Summer

I can't believe it's almost Labor Day. I'm not sure why summer passes so quickly, but I never feel like I've squeezed all of the goodness out of it before it's gone.

This year I made a list of goals for making the  most of summer. Looking back, I actually did a little bit of everything. 

  • I read more. I especially loved Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter.
  • I explored Ontario and took a great trip to Ottawa
  • I got creative and started taking Skillshare classes on calligraphy. I even made something pretty.  
From my first strokes to my first mini project making wrapping paper. I have a ton to learn but I'm loving learning, practicing, and playing. I'm still extremely proud of that one capital G next to the giant ink blob! 

From my first strokes to my first mini project making wrapping paper. I have a ton to learn but I'm loving learning, practicing, and playing. I'm still extremely proud of that one capital G next to the giant ink blob! 

Maybe I did make the most out of my summer afterall! I think I'll do another list for fall. 

So in honor of Labor Day and the unofficial end of summer, I have a list of (mostly) foodie links have been inspiring me this week. 

#1 I'm looking for something delicious to make from Food52s 27 Genius Recipes for Labor Day. Oh how I want to eat that Atlantic Beach Pie! (via Food52)

#2 New Mexico is gearing up for chile roasting season. There's nothing quite like the smell of roasting chile hanging in the air to herald the change of seasons. Not to mention the endless supply of delicious, flavorful green chile (my favorite!). I had a conversation with a hot sauce producer this week. When I told her I was from New Mexico,  her response was "Oh, I get it! You like hot but you also like flavor." Bingo! Nothing compares to or beats New Mexican green chile in my book. For the uninitiated, here's Eater's "Definitive Guide to Santa Fe Green Chile."  (via Eater)

#3 Apparently the snowball is a Baltimore, Maryland specialty. I grew up with a snowball shack just down the street and crave them all summer long. Maybe this explains why my love of snowballs/snow cones/shaved ice seems so out of place here. (via Serious Eats)

#4 After drooling over the things I can't have from places I don't live anymore, I was happy to see that one Toronto restaurant on my "must try" list, Edulis, has a $100 black truffle-covered chicken that's been called the "most succulent bird in North America." I'll have to take their word for it, but the $50 tasting menu sounds right up my alley for a special night out. How can I pass up an opportunity to have "one of the warmest fine dining experiences in North America?"  (via Eater)

#5 & 6 Upon reading the (unsurprising) news that Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte has insane amounts of sugar and no actual pumpkin, I decided to make these baked pumpkin spiced doughnuts as my first fall-flavored treat instead of the annual PSL. (Food Babe link via Self | doughnuts via Against All Grain  )

#7 & 8 Dreaming about eating my way through France thanks to my favorite food writer, David Liebovitz's Tour de France post part 1 and part 2. (via David Liebovitz)

#9 Five regional French dishes to try while attempting to eat my way through France. (via New York Times Travel)

#10 A beautiful homebase called La Maison Matelot (Homeaway link) for a French getaway in the fishing village of Port-en-Bessin, Normandy (near Caen). I've had this place in mind for over a year and remembered it while honeymoon brainstorming. The timing didn't work for our trip last year and we won't make it next year, either. But my emails with the owner were always great and I think someone should go and report back. For science! 

Bonus! Every year the Canadian National Exhibition, a giant fair in Toronto, signals a last hurrah before school starts. It started in 1879 and I stumbled upon these great archival photos while checking out tickets. 

That's it for this week! My plans for this weekend are to relax completely. I'm going dress shopping and then S and I are going to have some kind of adventure. I may even take the plunge and unplug--no phone, no computer--on Monday, which means there won't be a new post, but I'll be back. 

What about you? Any plans or Labor Day traditions? What about favorite foods for this summer/fall shoulder season?  

Enjoy your (hopefully long) weekend!

The 2012 Canadian International Auto Show, Part 2

Are you ready for more car pictures? Yes? Great! Not so much? Hmm. You might want to skip this post, then.

So after seeing the Pagani, I figured we reached the pinnacle of greatness at this show and the rest would just be gravy.

First up today, the Lamborghinis. A Gallardo Super Trofeo Stradale:

Then, the amazing Aventador, the Murciélago's replacement. It does 0 to 62 mph in 2.9 seconds. Yeah.

 I found this video of the production oddly mesmerizing.

After the Auto Exotica room, we took a quick peek at the north building.

My favorites here were the ridiculous but fun Hot Wheels Camaro. Check out the paint job.

They had the tiny Hot Wheels version as well.

Pretty close, huh?

Right next to the green monster Camaro was the Corvette Stingray concept.

It reminds me of a movie but I can't put my finger on what movie.

Ooh I just loved the rear. Seriously, look at that. Crazy.

At this point we were running out of time (and my phone battery was dying), so we made our way to the Triumph exhibition. These are the ones that really caught my eye.

The 1935 Gloria Southern Cross

The 1948 Triumph Roadster complete with a Dickey Seat.

Such a beautiful color and the dash looked amazing.

A completely original 1974 TR6. It has had just two owners. There are only has 8521 miles on it. It is probably the lowest original mileage TR6. . .ahem, best Jeremy Clarkson voice. . .in the world.

I loved this cover and the badges on some of the cars.

A TR2 with globe hubcaps.

And, finally, a couple of lovely vintage racing cars.

There you have it, a few of my favorites from the 2012 Canadian International Auto Show. Even though I spent over 3 hours there, I didn't even scratch the surface of everything I could have seen.

Did you see anything you'd like to take for a spin?