Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Baking with Peaches....Success?

So, I'm trying my hand at baking again. Hoping this goes better than the last attempt. Hell, if even part of this is edible, I'm ahead. 

When Ontario Peaches were in season, I grabbed a basket. Who the hell eats a WHOLE BASKET? I sure don't, but I couldn't let them go to waste, so I consulted Google for what I should do with them.  

"What should I do with extra peaches?" I'm Feeling Lucky. 

Turns out I'm not the only one with this problem. Looks like industrious people will blanch(whatever that is), skin them, make bellinis, puree, preserves, chutney, etc. F#% that. These peaches are getting one shot at being cooked. 

How about muffins? I can't possibly screw up muffins, right? OooohhhhPeach-Pecan Muffins. SOLD! Looks easy enough, reasonable ingredients. Here goes nothing... 

Following the recipe and having all of the ingredients for once, I start with the Pecan Streusel. I melted butter, I mixed things. So far so good.  

I've never made anything from scratch, so this should be interesting. I might've lied...This is where I stopped following the directions. I just read what went in the muffin batter and mixed it together. Hmmm. This isn't mixing right/at all. There's a reason you mix the dry stuff together first. Got it. Wish I had known that before I got flour all over my laptop, table, chair and cat. Looks like I'm going in with my hands, spatula isn't cutting it. 

Time to get these muffins cooking. Oven preheated, I evenly distribute the batter in all of the cups and top them with my super awesome streusel. (I say that because it looks like the picture. :D) 

20-25min later, I stab them with a toothpick and take them out of the oven. They're not burnt or raw, so things are going well. My apartment smelled delightful. 

They're cooled; I'm going in. 

And.......THEY'RE AWESOME! WINNER! GAGNON! 

I'll conquer you yet, cooking. 

Lisa 




Got recipe for me to try? Email me dorkswithforks1982@hotmail.com 
I'll feature your recipe and what I did to it!

Monday, 12 January 2015

Great Service at the Village Inn

Village Inn 
99 King St W 
Bowmanville, ON 
L1C 1R2 
905-623-4799 

My dad and I headed there for lunch one Saturday afternoon. Easy to find, we went in and seated ourselves. It's an awkwardly laid out place; I felt like nothing is where it should be, including the bar, stairs and walls, even booths seemed narrow. Perhaps that's just my "everything in its place" thing talking, but that's just me. It was almost distracting. At least you could see a TV from any seat. Too cold to enjoy it, but I heard the patio is great! 

The staff are very friendly. I was having trouble deciding, so I asked for a recommendation and he easily said I should go with the Fish & Chips. Done! My dad loves Bangers & Mash; every time we go to a pub he gets them to compare.  

The food was alright. The fish was light, not overly battered. The chips were plain, but I was happy to see they had Kraft Tartar sauce. I'll take tartar sauce any day over ketchup! I've had some hit/miss experiences with house made tartar, so I was not disappointed! My dad said the sausages were good, but he thought the beans had been reheated. The gravy was pretty tasty though.  



The beer selection was good. They had domestic, international and local craft beers. Love the local beers! Glad to see more businesses supporting the local breweries. I went with 5 Paddles, as usual. 

A good casual experience. The service was great, I think the food could use a little something to set it apart from other pubs.

Lisa






Village Inn on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

The Flavour Signature

Signature Indian Cuisine 
1121 Dundas St E 
Whitby, ON 
L1N2B7 
905-655-7392 

My mom and I were looking for something new when we arrived at Signature. It's one of those places you hear good things about from everyone; haven't heard a negative comment yet and you won't see one here. Most of the people we know that frequent this place order takeout and there was no shortage of people picking up on a Saturday afteroonThe d├ęcor is comfortable and rich in deep reds and gold. When I say comfortable, I mean it; the seats are soft and cushy.  

We were there for a weekend lunch and we're kind of new to Indian food. We asked a lot of questions and the owner was very patient with our newbie questions. Our definition of 'hot' is definitely different than hers and I can only imagine how many times she is asked if something is 'hot'. She let us know what is the least hot and away we went.  

We started with the Chicken Pakora. Why doesn't EVERYONE spice batter like this?! Oh my goodness, every other batter will now seem bland after this. It came with 2 sauces a mild chutney and a spicy yogurt sauce. Fantastic. The pieces of chicken were a good size and the sauces complimented the pakora well. 

The lunch prices are fantastic; less than $8 a plate! Your dish comes with a healthy serving of rice. You can't go wrong. As a test of heat level, we tried Butter Chicken and Curry Chicken. So, we went a little crazy on the chicken. We also ordered fresh naan. Mmmmmm. My butter chicken was fantastic with the perfect heat level for someone like me. Yes, my nose was running and I was sweating, but I enjoyed every second! The creamy, savoury goodness of the sauce made that naan disappear fast. My mom's curry had about the same heat level, maybe slightly more, but she, with her runny nose and sweating, enjoyed it. We've been back since our initial visit and I cannot tear myself away from the chicken pakora or butter chicken. I even converted my mom to butter chicken, since I've had it so many times. 

I know they have other fantastic dishes and one day I will try them. I've heard good things about their vindaloo, but I don’t think I'm there quite yet. I'm excited to try one of their Tandoor Specialties.....if the Butter Chicken doesn't suck me back in. 

After a lot of savoury, we needed some sweet and were curious about the dessert selection. Was there a dessert menu? There was! We went with the Gulab Jamun. It consisted of 3 spongy milk balls(same size as Timbits) soaked in a light sugar syrup. It was perfect after a meal like this. I think if I tried these without a spicy meal, they would've been too sweet, but this was great. 

A delightful experience each time and I'll continue to go back. If you can't dine in, get take out, you will be back! 

Lisa







Signature Indian Cuisine on Urbanspoon

Saturday, 3 January 2015

New Year's Redemption

Hello fellow foodies,

It's the start of a new year with new foods and restaurants to explore. My tummy is growling already.

But what about last year's reviews? The year before? The year before that?

Every restaurant has good days and bad days, but did I get it wrong? If you find a review that you feel I rated too low or high, let me know!

If you think my rating was unjust, I'll do it again.

Challenge accepted,

Lisa




Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Something for those Cravingz

Cravingz 
106 Walton St 
Port Hope, ON 
905-855-9232 

Yet again, a Wagjag deal I can't pass up takes us ths time to Port Hope to visit Cravingz. Located in downtown Port Hope, there is ample parking on the street(metered) or lots off of the main street for free. It is a beautiful bright venue with new specials every day. Tapas is only available in the evening and changes often, so instead of printed menus, they use a chalkboard on wheels. Great idea! They have something for almost every dietary requirement and they even source locally. Can't ask for more than that! 

We were seated and our drink order was taken. When you order tea, they don't ask you what kind, they just bring you an assortment with a pot full of hot water. I like that! My mom ordered the Fish Tacos and I chose the Chicken Roti. The 2 tacos came with a kale salad and soup. The fish was lightly battered and topped with housemade salsa. Perfect lunch portion! My curry was delicious. Lots of roasted potatoes and pieces of chicken all cooked in a delightful, mild sauce. The roti shell was a bit thick and very filling; I got through half and ate around it. I had to make sure there was room for dessert! 


Desserts, like the features change daily depending on availability. My mom chose the Carrot Cake Cheesecake and I went with the Gluten Free Black Bean Brownie. We are fortunate enough not to have any dietary restrictions, so I often think if a food is 'free' of something, it's also taste free. Happily, I was wrong. This brownie was rich and chocolatey, just how I like them. If I didn't already know it was gluten free, I never would've thought so. I would order it again in a heartbeat. My mom is a chocoholic and she loved it too! Her cheese cake had actual chunks of carrot cake inside the cheesecake. It was tasty! 


All in all a decent experience. Food wise, no complaints, but the service was slow; we were there for almost 2 hours for lunch. When I called to see if I needed a reservation, they said they didn't expect to be busy because of the weather that day; they were wrong and probably short staffed because of it. 

A lot of the reviews I read said this place was 'hit or miss', but I'd absolutely go back. I do hope that the management read the 'hit or miss' reviews and improve where they're lacking. it's a great spot with quality food and I feel it deserves to be a hit! 

Until next Wagjag, *shakes fist* 

Lisa






Cravingz on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Hot Mama Noi Hits The Spot



Hot Mama Noi's Thai on the Fly
1410 Bayly St, Unit 6A
Pickering, ON
905-837-1037

After a killer exercise class, my fellow workout friends were hungry and insisted we go to Mama Noi's. They are from the Pickering area and said it's one of their favourites. I can't say no to Thai food, so I tagged along.  


Located close to the Pickering GO Station, we entered a small restaurant with glass tables. My first thought was that they would all see how messy I am when I'm eating. Damn. They offered Ginger Tea, Green Tea and the usual assortment of pop and water. Some loved the ginger tea, others not so much. I love that they give you a full size pot instead of those leaky, single serving tea pots. 


The menu is 1 page, double sided and full of irresistible choices. Almost everyone ordered something different, so I really got to see a variety of dishes they offer. My friends were disappointed that Mama Noi herself was not there. They said that she will greet her guests to make sure everything tastes to their liking. They said she is very friendly and pleasant; I was sad I didn't get to meet her! 

My friends ordered the Sweet & Sour Chicken, Pineapple Fried Rice, Pad Thai & Pad See Eew. I had the Masaman Chicken. The couple that frequent this place had the Pad Thai and Pad See Eew. The Tom Yum Soup is highly recommended by them. They've tried many things on the menu and had no complaints about any of them. The couple that shared the Sweet & Sour Chicken and Pineapple Fried Rice enjoyed it. They expected the Sweet & Sour to be more like the Chinese style, but still liked it. My Masaman Chicken(I say it wrong every time) was fantastic. Lots of sauce to eat with the rice and the smell was divine; it was making everyone else hungrier! The veggies were tender and cooked in the sauce with a good amount of chicken. 

The prices are very reasonable and the service was great. I can't wait to go back. I want to try something else and meet Mama! 

Lisa








Hot Mama Noi's Thai On The Fly on Urbanspoon