This past weekend was full of awesome food and fun and photography (alliteration much?).
On Friday, Jen had a housewarming party in her new apartment and she provided delicious marble strawberry cake and made-from-scratch strawberry daiquiris. For myself I brought the "Mill Street Seasonal Sampler" which is six different bottles of Mill Street beers. I like lots of the Mill Street stuff and this gave me a chance to try two I hadn't had before: Mill Street Pilsner and Mill Street Belgian Wit. The Organic Lager and the Tankhouse Ale are still my favourites, but it was fun to try new stuff. Anyway, the party was good and I was able to chat with some people I haven't seen lately (like Holly and Simone!).
On Saturday I got up early and went with Matt to St. Lawrence Market to acquire various foods for later cooking-related adventures. The Saturday north market is really starting to come alive, but it's not quite at capacity yet. I can't wait till the summer produce season really gets going. I love seeing all the fresh and local fruits and vegetables and making delicious things out of them.
Saturday afternoon I cleaned a bit, made muesli, and read for a while on my balcony. It's such a perfect time of year right now; warm but not humid with an awesome breeze coming in off the lake. I can smell it when I sit on the balcony (which I'm also doing right now) and it smells like AWESOME.
Around 3pm on Saturday I headed down to the Harbourfront to check out the "1000 Tastes of Toronto" festival where local chefs and restaurants were serving generous samples of their often expensive food for $5. There was so much available and it all smelled delicious. I was a bit disappointed to see that most people were flocking to "safe" choices but I guess that's the way people are. But for $5 you'd think they'd be more adventurous. Since it was mid-afternoon I decided to only get one thing and I chose it by looking exclusively at the places without lines. I ended up getting something from the restaurant Amuse Bouche because I got close and it smelled really good. It was a pulled pork sandwich except that the sauce was made with cocoa, almost like the Mexican dish chicken mole. It was SO GOOD. The chef was there and super friendly and described what it was and offered hot sauce to give it some kick. I was so happy with my choice and I think I'll try to go to the restaurant at some point.
On my way back from the Harbourfront I stopped at Rabba's and ran into Keizo and Rob! They had been at the Jays game and were meeting Chris and John and Will to get some supper at Volo, a really good bar to get fancy beers and delicious food. I decided to join them and we had a great time eating and drinking. I was able to sample my third new Mill Street beer of the weekend, this time it was the Mill Street "Lemon Tea" which smelled like iced tea and tasted like the Stock Ale. It was a definite chilling on the patio in the summer sort of beer (which is what we were doing). Good times! After supper we played some random game at Chris's house (with more beer).
Sunday morning I got up early once again to go for a long walk with Matt. I've always wanted to check out the Leslie Street Spit so we walked all the way out to Leslie Street and then all around the Spit. We chose to take the Queen streetcar home though as by the time we were done we had walked 17km. The Spit itself was pretty cool, lots of random stuff and about a million birds. I know it's a protected bird area and stuff, but there were many more than I expected.
Once I got home, I relaxed a bit and then started cooking. Kim was in London over the weekend but would be home for supper so I wanted to cook a something nice for her. Matt also joined us since I made a lot of food. I had a package of butter chicken spice mix that we'd been itching to try it out. There was a lot of prep work related to marinating and cooking the chicken in advance but it was all worth it as the result was delicious. We had naan and asparagus to round out the meal and Matt brought mango juice to drink. For dessert I made yummy strawberry-rhubarb crisp which we ate with vanilla ice cream. Supper was a definite win.
Here are some pictures I took over the weekend. My main failure with photography this weekend was that I didn't take any pictures of all the food I ate! I kept eating it before thinking to take a photo. Anyway, first up are some photos from Jen's party:
Then there are some pictures from my dinner with people on Saturday:
Finally here are some pictures from our walk on the Leslie Street Spit: