Thai Sticky Brown Rice with Mango

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!

thericeway thai sticky rice with mango ourtorontolife

Ingredients for this simple dessert included the following:

ingredients thai sticky rice with mango ourtorontolife

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.

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How to Make a Turducken

Happy Thanksgiving How to Make a Turducken Recipe OurTorontoLife

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.

Cyrus Turducken OurTorontoLife

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.

Turducken Turkey Chicken Duck OurTorontoLife

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.

How to Make a Turducken Layers Turducken OurTorontoLife

Slice, and serve! And, secret handshakes.

*Happy Thanksgiving to everyone*

First and last picture by Susan – thank you for being our star photographer!


FYI: There are wineries outside Niagara On The Lake

Judy Cyrus Grange Prince Edward County Winery OurTorontoLife

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!

Rustic Grange Prince Edward County OurTorontoLife

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.

Blended Wine Grange Prince Edward County OurTorontoLife

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).

Lunch Grange Prince Edward County Winery OurTorontoLife No Filter

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.

Caroline Grange Prince Edward County Winery OurTorontoLife

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.


Thai Tapas at Sabai Sabai

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.

Sabai Sabai Squash Fritter Papaya Salad OurTorontoLifeSabai Sabai Grilled Fish Grilled Pork Rice Khao Soh OurTorontoLife
Sabai Sabai Thai Food Toronto OurtTorontoLifeSabai Sabai Taro Egg Dessert OurTorontoLife

Sabai Sabai Cyrus Judy Alison Andrew OurTorontoLife

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
Toronto, ON
M5B 1Y7

Sabai Sabai on Urbanspoon


How to make a Vietnamese avocado shake

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:

ingredients for vietnamese avocado shake #luvmexavocado ourtorontolife

Throw this all into a blender, then blend it on high for about 1 minute until it is smooth. DONE!

vietnamese avocadeo shake luvmexavocado ourtorontolifeIt’s the perfect summer drink! Smooth, cold, and creamy.

#luvmexavocado ourtorontolife

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.


How to make homemade butter

Last week, our friend Say invited us over. We came with empty stomachs because he subscribes to the theory, “go big, or go home”. A fully stocked fridge, several loaves of banana bread, bacon and MORE is what we expect and have come to love.  Italian was the theme this time. There was gourmet coffee, pasta with simple tomato sauce (also an interesting curry alfredo sauce), affogato, tiramisu, Italian waffles, G for Gelato…and bruschetta served on a baguette with homemade butter. I had to ask, “Say, you made butter?”

Mason Jar Whipping Cream Homemade Butter OurTorontoLife

Let’s get started!

Mason Jar filled with Whipping Cream Homemade Butter OurTorontoLife

Say Pouxai JudyeLee Cyrus Making Homemade Butter OurTorontoLifeAfter 15-20 minutes of shaking, you will hear a “POP!” and the butter will have separated from the buttermilk. You will see two distinct entities in the jar: butter and buttermilk.

Homemade Butter Homemade Buttermilk OurTorontoLifePour the buttermilk into another container, and you will be left with butter. It will be a soft, room-temperature butter. Mix in a bit of salt, and that will bring out the sweet and creamy flavours of the butter.

Serve it on bread, bake with it, smother it on corn on a cob, and/or whatever you do with butter! Just make sure to store it, and it can last for about a month or so (get rid of it when you see fuzzy mold).

Your turn, try it!


Sunday Dinner at Rock Lobster

I dare you to disagree with this statement: Ossington and Dundas (Little Italy/Portugal Village) is a hot bed of delicious eats. Because it’s true! A few restaurants that Cy and I have tried in that area include: The Saint, Salt Wine Bar and Pizzeria Libretto (all really good).

Recently, we tried Rock Lobster. Our friends have been raving about this seafood restaurant because it is both amazing and affordable.

Affordable seafood in Toronto Rock Lobster OurTorontoLife

Guess what is on Rock Lobster’s menu?

Rock Lobster Caesar at Bar OurTorontoLife

We started at the bar with some drinks. Take a look at that drink; it’s not an ordinary Caesar. Look closely, and you’ll see a half lobster tail. I kindly requested that Cy order it so that I can try it. You see, I don’t really drink but I like the idea of drinking interesting concoctions. Of course, I couldn’t resist this one and I ended up drinking at least half of it. SUCH A GOOD DEAL – a full lobster tail is $12 on the menu, and here you are getting a drink + a half lobster tail.

Rock Lobster Mac and Cheese Lobster Roll Jerk Crab Shrimp Steak Tartar OurTorontoLifeThe run down of our meal shared with C and D:

Lobster Poutine – $13 Crispy fries with a generous portion of savoury gravy. Topped with lobster, of course!

Lobster Roll – $14 This was everyone’s favourite! The bun was toasty, and there was a generous amount of lobster coated with a creamy dressing inside. It was hard splitting it 4 ways because we wanted to have more.

Jerk Crab + Shrimp – $13 Spicy! I liked the shrimps better than the crab because the flavours really penetrated into the shrimp meat more.

Steak TarTar + Lobster – $12 You have to be into steak tartar to like this, and luckily for me…I am. And, it went really well with the chips.

Next time (and I hope this is soon), we will have to order the famous Mac n’ Cheese and Lobster Supper (try it on Sundays, it’s $25 instead of $39).

To be honest, we were craving more food by the time we were done. So, we head off to the closest McDonald’s for a light and unhealthy snack. Sometimes, you just have to.

Rock Lobster
110 Ossington Ave, Toronto, ON M6J 2Z2

Rock Lobster on Urbanspoon