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Friday, January 16, 2015

The Week In Yum Jan 10-15 Blade and Skillet , My Place and how Bud's Coffee Bar and Starbuck's Flat White Will Fuel My Winter

Bud's Coffee Bar on Queen East

The week started off with a surprisingly good strip loin at My Place in the Beach, a place where we have been regular wing eaters for years (okay, the healthy wine pours don't hurt). A new cook in the kitchen and a bit of a menu shake up has seen the place offering a pretty tasty looking array of nightly specials and since I spent the entire day thinking about steak, thanks to Blade and Skillet, I was all over it when Shack suggested we try their Saturday night $12 steak night.

$12 8oz NY Strip , cooked perfectly med rare as order, with garlic mashed potatoes and sautéed veggies. I know where we will be on Saturday nights now.


Blade and Skillet

photo by Sebastien Dubois-Didcock

As I said, I had spent the entire day thinking about eating a steak last Saturday, due to a pan seared strip loin video on  Blade and Skillet.

So, what is Blade and Skillet, you might be asking yourself? It's the brainchild of a young, hip, urban ex advertising exec, Dorian Burns-Coyne - see? even his name is cooler than my whole life. These slick, well produced videos are aimed at the young professional who wants to spend more time in the kitchen, making delicious, simple food. All the videos are 3 minutes or under in length,  they all use minimal equipment and ingredients and feature Burns-Coyne whipping up staples like a pan seared strip loin, pan roasted white wine chicken with roasted baby potatoes, pear and pecan pitas and kale mango salad. These are perfect for the single professional as an alternative to a lonely plate of spaghetti with jarred sauce or night #3 of take out pad thai. 

They have a few free videos that you can check out to see what it's all about but for $1.95/month you can sign up for a year of video recipes and I have to tell you, I spent a good hour combing through all of the videos on the first afternoon. I am a very visual person and I would prefer to watch a video of someone cooking something that to read the recipe ten times - one viewing and stuff stays in my head but I hate having to comb through ten horrible youtube tutorials to find one that is kind of okay.

These are real recipes for real people who aren't necessarily all that skilled in the kitchen but really do want to be able to fend for themselves. Think of it as a cool, hip older aunt who is teaching you how to whip up a few show stoppers over a glass of wine so you can impress your new date. Come on, the dude pours himself a healthy scotch before showing you how to whip up some guacamole when you have friends over for cocktails. You even get to watch his nice looking friends enjoy the fruits of his labour. Don't you want to have a cocktail party with those people? I do. Okay, I did 20 years ago, but you get my point.

I bought a little strip steak this week and followed the video recipe to the letter and I have to say, it was spot on. Simple, tasty and easy to follow instructions. To me, steak was only for BBQ season and despite hearing that a pan seared steak was, to some, superior to grilled, I had never, ever made one. See? You can teach an old dog new tricks.

* Because I was intrigued by this service, I asked for a temporary membership so that I could check out all of the videos for myself to share if I liked the service and I do, so I am sharing
photo by Sebastien Dubois-Didcock




I made my first attempt at making bifanas, the amazing Portuguese Pork sandwich. It was good but it's not ready to share yet as I think it needs more tweaking



Bud's in the Beach makes a wicked cortado

Next to a cortado from Bud's , my new favourite coffee is the tall Flat White from Starbucks. Bud's in the 'hood, Flat White when out and about for the rest of the winter.

I AM SO SAD THAT TARGET WAS SUCH A BIG, STINKY FAILURE IN CANADA.
I love Target and was so happy that we got one in my neighbourhood and ours was better than some of the other stores but it ended up stinking up the joint and I am sad to see it go and live in fear of a Walmart taking over the space.

Yeah, yeah, it wasn't as cheap as it is in the States (hello 35million vs 350 million people to sell too) and there were lots of stock issues (hello, having to transport goods across a country that is actually bigger than the USA but with that pesky little problem of only 35 million people) and the issue of many of the desirable companies choosing not to spend the dough to have to print all new French/English labels to enter the Canadian market (Again, all that expense to sell to a tiny market). It still had the potential to be a viable alternative to Hellmart, it seemed to treat it's employees decently and they trained those employees to give really good customer service.

I just had to get that out. There, I feel better now.

Don't forget to start making reservations for this year's Winterlicious and make sure you choose wisely. Don't waste your time on places that are easy to get into or that aren't all that expensive in the first place. This is the time to check out restaurants that might normally be a bit out your budgety comfort zone or that are hard to snag a table in. Best bets are always at lunch for the really $$ places. I am going to attempt to commit to visiting one new restaurant a week, at minimum. Please share your Winterlicious experiences with me so I can eat, vicariously, through you.

Pin of the week: How cool are these pocky?

Instagram of the week: four_magazine's feed is absolute food porn

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