Category Archives: Food

Charidise, I Love You.

Hello Foodie Friends!

It’s been a while but I’m back with a food post, and a pretty damn good one to be real with you.

We all know Toronto is BOOMING with quaint and tasty little establishments all across the city, and more parcticularly the Downtown Core. No matter where you look, turn or try to hide we often find our will power oppressed by some sweet or savoury force with a bright sign leading us to the all great and powerful, food.

I mean even just taking a gander on Instagram now leads to an evening date at a place you may have never even heard of until just 5 minutes ago. Which is precisely how I came across AND ended up at Charidise last week.

Charidise, 27 Baldwin Street

Located at 27 Baldwin Street, nestled into the heart of Baldwin Village just North of Dundas Street at the Art Gallery of Ontario; this Taiwanese restaurant specializes in multiple unique dishes and a healthy choice of desserts. Just head on over to their Instagram for yourself, @charidise_gourmet, guaranteed you’re going to be the next to go. What really caught my attention was their Honey Toast, and when I called up a friend to extend the invitation there wasn’t even the slightest of hesitation from their end.

So we made our way…

I myself ordered the Strawberry Santa Sundae and my friend ordered the Popcorn Chicken and the Cotton Candy Honey Toast, while substituting the bananas with strawberries. Funny enough I didn’t end up with what had originally drove me there, but I’m not going to complain either way.

Strawberry Santa Sundae
Popcorn Chicken
Cotton Candy Honey Toast, with Strawberries instead of Bananas

Firstly, the service at Charidise is definitely up to par with not only the quality of food, but also the price being paid. You can expect to spend a good $40-$50 CAD between two people easily after meal, dessert and a soda to drink; which isn’t entirely bad for a cute date night out in the city. Secondly, the food and desserts were magnificent, I mean really…

The Strawberry Santa Sundae was a journey on its own from start to finish. It began with ice cream and as I ate I broke into spoonfuls of strawberry sauce and fresh cheesecake, keeping me on edge until the end. We then dove into the Popcorn Chicken, yes after dessert, and it was something I’d never tasted before. Seasoned with fresh herbs and spices joined by a tender crisp, not to mention sensationally fresh chicken; each piece hit the spot on target.

Popcorn Chicken

Now of course I need to take a moment to shoutout the Cotton Candy Honey Toast and all the holliness that it bestowed upon my taste buds. I mentioned that we substituted strawberries for the bananas and it was magical paired with the Nutella drizzel across the golden crisp, sweet and perfectly baked Honey Toast base. It was heaven in every bite, and well worth the wait for it.

The atmosphere was super warm and inviting, with an upstairs area accessible at certain, peak, times. We spent about an hour at Charidise before attempting to walk off what we had just devoured, attempting being said loosely.

I imagine I’ll be making my next visit back to Charidise quite soon and I’ll be looking to explore the menu further. Who’s with me?

Check out www.charidise.com and indulge yourself, you won’t regret it.

Stay Sweet,

pG.

White Chocolate Blondie Heaven.

Recently I’ve become obsessed with baking during portions of my spare time. Whether that’s because I have a sweet tooth or I just like keeping busy, I’m not too sure. Either way, I’ve made some magic happen the last little while to the point where I want a dessert in my hands 24/7 going forward.

My most recent creation is the White Chocolate Blondie; which myself, my roommate and my friends all basically fell madly in love with after just one bite.

So you want to know how I did it? Cool, ’cause I’m willing to share.

What you’re going to need is:

  1. 1/2 Cup Salted Butter,
  2. 8oz. White Chocolate,
  3. 1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar,
  4. 1/4 Cup Light Brown Sugar,
  5. 1 Large Egg,
  6. 1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract,
  7. 1/2 Teaspoon Butter Extract,
  8. 1 Cup All-Purpose Flower,
  9. 1/2 Cup Sprinkles,
  10. 3 Tablespoons Heavy Cream.

Before going any further I would suggest dividing the White Chocolate into 2 x 4oz bunches and chop to prepare.

Here’s how to prepare the White Chocolate bars of sheer goodness:

  1. Begin my pre-heating the oven to 350 degrees celcius and by also lining an 8×8 inch baking pan with parchment/wax paper,
  2. In a microwavable safe bowl melt the butter and 4oz of white chocolate for 30 seconds. Stir and melt for another 15 seconds, stir until smooth. Add the two sugars and stir until smooth. Add the egg as well as the two extracts, and whisk. Fold in the flower and sprinkles, stir until combined. Now go ahead and pour the batter into the pan, and then smooth,
  3. Bake for 25 minutes,
  4. Begin preparing the ganache by heating the cream in the microwave for 30-60 seconds until it is very hot, stir in remaining white chocolate until it melts and add some sprinkles. Stir until smooth and pour over bars.

There you have it, the White Chocolate Blondie. I do suggest waiting at least 2 to 3 hours before slicing the bars into your preferred sizes.

I also stored mine in the fridge that way they would keep fresh and be safe from predators, aka the roommates.

I also suggest having your Blondies with some milk, because the pairing of the two is beyond what any cookie tastes like after being dipped in milk.

Additionally, I’d like to know how your experience was while baking these bars of gold. So please, comment AND share your photos/videos.

Stay Sweet,

pG. =D 

The Italian Baked Goat Cheese Salad 

Since I can remember it’s always been easier to pull out the debit card and buy a pre-made dinner opposed to making my own after a hard days’ work. Although this recently became slightly unsatisfying as I consistently allow food to burn a hole through my pocket, not fun!

I mean, where’s my paycheque going?

Italian Baked Goat Cheese Salad

To alleviate some of this unnecessary spending I finally took up the joys of cooking and I’m certainly glad I did. One super tasty, easy and fast dish to make is the Italian Baked Goat Cheese Salad that I try to incorporate into our dinners at least once a week.

Goat cheese on its’ own is one of my absolute favourite foods, more particularly a herb & garlic blend. Once soaked in a homemade Italian bread crumb mixture, baked and added to a bed of mixed greens, fresh fruit and some nuts; it becomes a luxurious meal that will have folk asking for second.

Italian Baked Goat Cheese Salad

So, want to know how it’s done?

Well read on down…

To make 3 SERVINGS, here’s what we’re going to need:

For the Italian Seasoned Bread Crumbs:

  • 3/4 cup of unseasoned Bread Crumbs,
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Salt,
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Black Pepper,
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Basil,
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Oregano,
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Garlic Powder,
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Onion Powder.
Italian Style Bread Crumbs

Before we go any further I’m going to suggest you mix each item into a bowl with the bread crumbs, mix and set aside now to get it done and out of the way.

Well done. 

Now we can begin with the salad, and here’s what you’re going to need.

For the Italian Baked Goat Cheese Salad:

  • 2 Eggs,
  • 1 Teaspoon of Dijon Mustard,
  • 4 Teaspoons of a Cooking Oil,
  • 3/4 Italian Seasoned Bread Crumbs,
  • 140 grams of Herb & Garlic Goat Cheese,
  • 5 ounces of Mixed Greens,
  • Fruit of your choice (I jump between Granny Smith apples and Strawberries),
  • 1/3 cup of Pecan Halves or Walnuts,
  • Italian Style Salad Dressing,
  • *1/2 cup of Grated Parmeasan – OPTIONAL*
Ingredients for Italian Baked Goat Cheese Salad

How to prepare:

  1. Start by cracking and mixing the two eggs with the dijon mustard. This will serve as your paste that you will soon soack the goat cheese in.
  2. Cut the goat cheese into 1/4 inch slices and then roll them into balls.
  3. Having your Italian style bread crumbs, egg mixture and goat cheese out in front of you; soack each goat cheese ball in the egg and dijon mixture, then roll them in the Italian style bread crumbs and set aside on a cooking tray lined with foil.
  4. Once completed all goat cheese balls, flatten each one into a disk and then place the tray in the freezer for 30 minutes.
  5. Pre-heat the oven to 475. 
  6. Once the 30 minutes are up, lightly dress each disk with cooking oil and place in the oven for 6-8 minutes.
  7. During this time prepare a bowl for each person eating with the mixed greens, small bits of the fruit you have selected as well as with either of the nuts.
  8. Once the goat cheese is done baking place the desired amount on the salad, dress with Italian dressing and serve to your guests.
Step 3
Step 4

Like I said, I find myself making this dish at least once a week not only because of its’ simplicity but also because of the tasteful explosion with each bite. Before discovering the powers of baked goat cheese I wasn’t even that much of a salad lover and I now find myself craving them often.

If I could put goat cheese on everything I certainly would, which is why I’m definitely glad that you can’t.

Well go on then, enjoy this dish as much as I do and give me some of your feedback feedback, I want to know your thoughts on the Italian Baked Goat Cheese Salad

Stay Tossed,

Peter. =D