I can never say no to one thing. That’s dessert. I could eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Really, I could. Ask Cy, and he would agree and shake his head at the same time.
So, imagine if dessert was actually good for you! No, really it can be. I was asked by Sandy (@savvari) to take part in a recipe post featuring a USA-grown brown rice (“unrefined” kind of white rice). It turns out that brown rice is a heck a lot better for you than white rice. Here are some health benefits you might enjoy:
- High fibre content for better poop
- Rich in naturally-occurring oils to fight cholesterol
- Rich in anti-oxidants just like blueberries
So, brown rice is good for you and I had dessert on my mind. Thai sticky rice with mango using brown rice!
Ingredients for this simple dessert included the following:
Plus, glutinous rice, maple syrup, and water.
1. Soak 1/2 cup of brown rice with 1/2 cup of glutinous rice in 1 cup of water for at least 30 minutes
2. Pour all the rice and water into a pot + additional 3/4 cup of water + 1/4 can of coconut milk, and bring to a gentle boil
3. Add a pinch of salt, and 3-4 tablespoons of maple syrup – then, bring down the heat to med-high with the lid half on so that the steam escapes
4. Stir from time to time, and turn off the heat after 20 minutes. Let it sit with the lid fully covering the pot for 5-10 minutes
5. In a separate pot, prepare the coconut sauce with the remaining coconut milk – heat and add some maple syrup to sweeten
6. To assemble, place rice into a cup to mold it then flip it onto a plate. Pour coconut sauce, and top with sliced ripe mango and grated lime zest
*I tried cooking the rice over the stove top, but you could probably try this in a rice cooker – my favourite way to cook brown rice.
For more information and a special brown rice recipe, take a look at the vid below:
Thanks to Sandy and USA Rice for this opportunity to try brown rice from USA.
Cy and I have a secret handshake when we celebrate small and big things. After we pulled off this turducken, we must have done this handshake like 100 times. I mean, we had to pull this off. We didn’t want to disappoint ourselves and the friends that we promised to feed.
So, this is how we did it!
Buy all of these necessary ingredients: Whole turkey, whole chicken and duck breast. Meatballs are optional.
Buy or make your favourite stuffing.
1) Preheat the oven to 375 Fahrenheit.
2) Debone the chicken – yes, the chicken first before the turkey! You can “practice” on the chicken, and it doesn’t matter if it looks “bad” since it goes in the turkey. Use a sharp knife – we didn’t have a filleting knife, so Cy used both a Chef’s knife and utility knife.
3) Debone the turkey. If you are using a frozen turkey, make sure that it is completely defrosted!
4) Remove the duck skin from the duck breast.
5) Brine all the meats overnight. Use 1 cup of salt, 1 cup of brown sugar dissolved in 1 gallon of water.
6) Remove meats from the brine, and start the meat layering! Open the turkey breasts, and place stuffing inside. Then, layer the chicken, and duck on top.
7) Sew up the turducken. We MacGyvered it, and used the twine we had at home. Once sewn up, we stuffed it with meatballs to “fill it up”. Tie the turducken so it holds it’s shape – across it’s “waist” and from “head” to “butt.”
8) Season the turducken however you want. We used a mixture of rosemary, garlic powder, basil, freshly ground salt and pepper. Plus, we added garlic slivers in the skin.
9) Slather the turducken with melted butter, and cover it in foil. Throw it in the oven, and baste every 30 minutes.
10) Remove the foil with 1 hour left to brown it! 25-30 mins/lb of turducken.
Slice, and serve! And, secret handshakes.
*Happy Thanksgiving to everyone*
First and last picture by Susan – thank you for being our star photographer!
An escape from the city was needed. Toronto makes me rush all the time – to work, at work, and after work to get to whatever sports game that I have that night. It’s the same thing for Cy, and sometimes the odd night in is a relief – this means lying on the sofa and playing Candy Crush or Plants vs Zombies.
While the drive up to the cottage was long (holy 4 hours), it was completely worth it. We are serious about our cottageing, and it was going to be a stress-free, make up-free, and carefree kind of weekend in Tobermory with our friends, R, O, C, and D.
Look at Cy run, jump and climb his away around Tobermory!
Besides all that running around, we were also able to slow down. Our cottage weekend was made up of so many simple pleasures, like these:
- Waking up to a sunny day and fresh coffee
- Hiking around Bruce Peninsula National Park and seeing The Grotto for the first time
- Eating countless handfuls of chips while watching satellite tv (we don’t have this at home)
- Gazing at the dark skies full of countless stars
- Sharing hot chocolate and popcorn around a fire
And, all of the above is better shared with friends. After all, the cottage isn’t the cottage without friends.
Pinterest was invented for pictures to be taken at The Grange of Prince Edward, a winery about 2 hours east of Toronto. Cy and I snapped away as we enjoyed our “Day in the Life” tour as part of our fun times to celebrate our 2-year wedding anniversary. Really, it felt like yesterday when Cy was doing cartwheels at our wedding reception!
After a breakfast fuel up for our tour (and cartwheels), we were led outdoors to get started. You would think that the owner would be way too busy to take a small tour of four people (Cy, me, and our new and charming friends, T and D) for an entire morning and afternoon. But, no. The Grange of Prince Edward is run by Caroline Granger who is so hands on with her operation of the estate vineyards and winery. She gets and respects the field-to-table mentality with a sustainable spin on it all.
For example, all wine is produced from the on-site vineyards grown free of nasty pesticides – nature helps nature with alfalfa plants used to attract insect pests away from the grapes.
After touring the lush vineyards, we went to an organic chem. lab. Well, it felt like it with the beakers and graduated cylinders when it came to the blending exercise with white wines including Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, and Riesling . After three tries, we perfected something that actually tasted sweet, light and didn’t burn our throats! Caroline said that it was a “racy” wine blend.
Check out our bottles with our homemade labels – Cy and I created the ones with the castle die cuts (such keeners).
Next up was lunch! Chef Kyle prepared a too-cute picnic basket packed to the brim with goodies like with egg salad sandwiches (the eggs were freshly laid earlier that morn!) rainbow beet salad, Seed to Sausage meats and desserts – maple brioche “tim bits” and pear cheesecake with fresh cheese.
The tour continued with a view into the entire wine production process and a wine tasting! I recommend the Grange Fumé Blanc for it’s smokey and fruit taste.
After everything, we were pooped! Thank you, Caroline for your passion for honest-to-goodness approach to “craft” winery that turns the other cheek to the “corporate” ways of producing delicious wines.
NOTE: Cy and I were lucky to have enjoyed this experience as affiliate bloggers for Buytopia! Thank you to Melissa and her team there.
At home, I’ve made my own versions of Thai food. Think pineapple fried rice with tons of cashews, green curry with chicken, and ketchup-y pad thai. That’s the kind of stuff that I see in a lot of Thai restaurants in Toronto too. But, that’s not the case at Sabai Sabai (owned by the Khao San Road folks). The menu is made up of unique Thai tapas including an entire vegan selection.
Order a bunch, and share it with your friends like we did with our buds, Andrew and Alison.
1) deep friend freshly grated squash fritters,$7 I did not expect them to look like this, and they were really good! Ask for extra sauce.
2) fresh green papaya salad, $5 Colourful, and pretty but it was probably my least favourite. The papaya wasn’t quite ripe so it had a raw taste to it.
3) massaman curry with braised flat iron beef, $9 Tender just the way it should be.
4) grilled northern thai pork skewers with spicy nam chim dip, $8 These remind me of the Singaporean-style skewers, and they were pretty good!
5) crispy fish with housemade sweet & tangy tamarind reduction, $8 Order this, I only wish that the portion was bigger. Yeah, I know they are tapas size so I can’t complain.
6) khao soi, egg noodles in coconut curry gravy with shrimp, $9 My favourite! The perfect, homey noodle bowl with creamy broth and chewy noodles.
7) taro egg custard, $5 Not too sweet, and everyone really liked it. I might have liked it even more with condensed milk (I like my desserts to be sweet).
Not pictured because they were gone in 60 seconds: crispy shrimp chips with tamarind dip and slushy Thai iced tea.
Plus, this place has a great vibe and kitschy decor accents. So I’d give up your ketchup-y pad thai for this place, 100%. Thanks for the recommendation, Andrew…and the fun 2 thumbs up picture.
SABAI SABAI KITCHEN AND BAR
225 Church Street
Cy and I love going for pho especially as a post-ultimate meal. Usually, we get the amateur’s pho with rare beef and meatballs. If we treat ourselves, we split an avocado shake.
Avocado nerd-alert fact: “Avocados contain no saturated fat or cholesterol and are virtually the only fruit that provides good-for-you mono-unsaturated fat.” via missavocado.ca.
So, there we have it. Vietnamese avocado shakes are kind of healthy. Here are the easy instructions to make one at home:
Throw this all into a blender, then blend it on high for about 1 minute until it is smooth. DONE!
P.S. We were asked to take part in the #luvmexavocado project with missavocado.ca, and we was compensated for the ingredients. However, all opinions are both Cy and I’s.