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"A gourmet who thinks of calories is like a tart who looks at her watch." - James Beard


Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Road Trip - Ottawa

ottawa parliament buildings

We recently had a quick weekend away in Ottawa.  The main purpose of the trip was to see a concert, but we decided to make a weekend out of it! 

Empire Ontario Craft Cider

As we drove the 401 East of Toronto, I started looking for interesting craft beer and cider stops along the way.  We were lucky to find Empire Cider Co. just off the highway near Trenton. 

This is a tiny operation out of a garage, but they make lovely cider.  We tasted all the varieties and grabbed some bottles to take home.  

Signal Brewery Belleville Ontario Craft Beer

Next, we wanted to stop for lunch and found Signal Brewery near Belleville.  This is a brand new brewery in the old Corbyville Distillery, and it's gorgeous!  

Signal Brewery Belleville Ontario Craft Beer

They were out of a few of their beers, but the ones we tried were tasty.  They have a huge, beautiful patio overlooking the Moira river, and plenty of seating indoors.  

Pork Belly Bao Buns Signal Brewery

The food was great too! We had chicken and waffles and pork belly bao buns. 

Tooth and Nail Ottawa

Once we arrived in Ottawa we wanted to check out some more craft beer.  We headed to Tooth and Nail Brewing in the Hintonburg area of Ottawa. It's a great little brew pub in a fun neighbourhood.

Pastrami Sandwich at Tooth and Nail, Ottawa

They have their own beer on tap, which Matt really enjoyed, plus craft beer and cider from other breweries, and a nice menu of tasty sandwiches.   

Andaz Ottawa Byward Market

We checked in to our hotel, the Andaz Ottawa Byward Market.  We really loved this hotel.  It is right in the centre of the best neighbourhood in Ottawa for restaurants and bars, and easy walking distance to Parliament and other attractions. 

Royal Canadian Mint, Ottawa

We walked around Byward Market and took a tour of the Royal Canadian Mint, which was really interesting!  They don't produce currency at this location, but they do make collector coins out of gold and silver.  They have a great gift shop too!

Fortissimo at Brothers Beer Bistro, Ottawa

For dinner, we headed to one of the top craft beer destinations in Ottawa, which also happened to be across the street from our hotel in Byward Market, Brothers Beer Bistro.   The beer selection, cocktails, food and service were awesome!

Rainbow Trout at Brothers Beer Bistro

I had rainbow trout with Israeli couscous, romesco, rapini and preserved lemon. It was delicious!  Matt had pulled duck poutine and he loved it.  

The King Eddy, Byward Market, Ottawa

The next morning we had brunch at the King Eddy in Byward Market. 

Chicken and Waffles at The King Eddy, Byward Market, Ottawa

Matt had chicken & waffles and I had a great burger. 

MOSAÏCANADA 150/Gatineau 2017

Before heading home, we crossed the bridge to Gatineau, Quebec, where there is an amazing horticultural sculpture exhibit that's free to the public until October 15, 2017. 

MOSAÏCANADA 150/Gatineau 2017

Part of Canada150 celebrations, MosaiCanada fills a public park with huge plant sculptures depicting Canadian history and culture.  

MosaiCanada 150 Gatineau

It's really amazing! 

We had a wonderful time in the Ottawa region and it left us wondering why we don't visit more often.  We'll definitely be back!  

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Blueberry Peach Buckle

I can't believe I've never shared this recipe. It is so simple and delicious! You can have it for breakfast, a snack, or dessert.  It keeps well and freezes wonderfully. You can use fresh or frozen fruit and the rest of the ingredients are pantry staples. 

A buckle is essentially a cake filled with fruit and (optionally) topped with a crumble topping. Buckles, along with similar evocatively-named desserts like grunts, slumps and cobblers, are a great way to use an abundance of fresh fruit before it goers bad. 

At this time of year we still have a lot of fresh berries and stone fruits in the local markets. This recipe uses peaches and blueberries, but you could use any berries you like, or even plums. 

This recipe comes from The Joy of Cooking, and I've been making it for years.  I like to add oats to the crumble topping, but you can leave them out or skip the topping altogether (but I recommend it!)

Recipe (slightly adapted from The Joy of Cooking)

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup milk
2 medium peaches, pitted and diced
1/2 cups blueberries

Crumble Topping
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 cup rolled oats
2 tablespoons butter

For the buckle, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl mix together the butter, sugar and egg until fluffy.  Add the milk slowly and mix until combined. Stir in the dry ingredients until just mixed. The batter will be quite thick. Carefully fold in the peaches and blueberries. 

Spread the batter evenly in a greased 9-inch square baking pan.  

Mix the crumble topping ingredients together until combined and sprinkle over the buckle batter. 

Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes until a wooden skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.  Cool 20 minutes before serving.