We had some friends over for dinner the other night, and Michael brought a dozen mini cupcakes from Prairie Girl Bakery. OMG those cupcakes were good. There are a few bakeries in Leslieville that I love, so I don’t often stray too far out of the neighbourhood for baked goods. But next time I find myself near King and Yonge, I’ll just have to pop in and have a treat. And see that wall of cupcake drawers!
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Just around the corner from our apartment rental in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, is Cake Man Raven Confectionary. You know that saying, “do one thing, and do it really well”? That’s Cake Man Raven. This guy (whose real name is Raven Patrick De’Sean Dennis III) makes red velvet cake with cream cheese icing, and makes it better than anyone else. He’s won numerous awards, made his cakes for many celebrities, has appeared on various TV shows, etc etc etc. Read his Wikipedia entry here – it’s quite entertaining!
My favourite part of the Cake Man Raven shop is how simple it is. Two counters with refrigerated display cases, holding nothing but slices of red velvet cake. No need to be paralyzed by choice in this place. And at $6 per slice (and the slice is huge), it’s a deal.
Cake Man Raven shared his Southern Red Velvet Cake recipe with the Food Network, and you can view it here. I guess I could try and make it, but I’m sure it wouldn’t be as good. I’ll just have to keep visiting the Cake Man Raven shop when I visit NYC.
[photos of Cake Man Raven Confectionary taken by me]
Desmond and Beatrice just opened their shop near Queen and Broadview. Cupcakes, cookies, whoopie pies, scones, cinnamon buns… they all look amazing. Apparently they used to only be a supplier (sending their goods to Te Aro and others), but now you can get the yummies right from the source.
I’ll be sure to pop by next time Little C and I go for a walk in that direction.
In the meantime, I’ll be getting my favourite carrot-cake cupcakes from Sweet Bliss, conveniently located right at the end of my street!
[photos via blogTO]
I’m a pretty big fan of the local food movement. It just makes sense. Especially here in southern Ontario, where we have so much fantastic produce, meat and dairy grown and raised nearby. I love chatting with the farmers at our local market, and getting to know more about them and the food they bring.
Last week, when Ian was picking up our share from the CSA program we’re members of, he grabbed a flyer for “Field Trips”. Field Trips are “local food adventures” to a variety of farms just outside Toronto. Round-trip transportation from downtown Toronto is included, as is a local lunch prepared from farm-fresh food. They have a number of adventures planned all season long, including trips to produce farms, dairy farms, organic wineries, apple orchards, meat and poultry farms, and co-operative farms.
This is such a cool idea. Get out of town and meet the people who grow your food!
Visit the website for more information about Field Trips.
Last week, Little C and I were hanging at my sister’s apartment near Bloor and Spadina. We all went for a walk to Greg’s Ice Cream for a scoop. I ordered something chocolatey, playing it safe like I usually do. My sister ordered cinnamon-flavoured ice cream. I thought she was nuts, until I had a bite. Yummmmmmmy. So rich and creamy and cinnamon-y.
I’ve heard that Ed’s Real Scoop in Leslieville also does a mean cinnamon ice cream. I think I’m going to have to walk over and try it.
Have you had an unusual ice cream flavour that turned out to be delicious?
[photo from SimplyRecipes.com, where you can find a recipe to make your own cinnamon ice cream]
The new Leslieville Farmers’ Market starts this Sunday in Jonathan Ashbridge Park. Vendors include Hooked, Sausage Partners, Merchants of Green Coffee, Beretta Organic Farms, LPK’s Culinary Groove, Bee’s Universe, Chocosol, The Canadian Pie Company, Wild Foods, Le Papillon on the Park restaurant, Monforte Cheese, and a bunch of organic/sustainable farmers.
Sounds amazing, huh? I’ll be there on Sunday for sure. Visit the website for more information.
Apparently cake pops are the hot thing right now (I guess cupcakes aren’t anymore? I can’t keep up). I love this idea from Aubrey and Lindsay’s Little House blog – instead of making cake pops from scratch, put a timbit on a stick and dip it in icing. I’d want to start with a plain timbit so you don’t mix the glaze from the donut with the icing (that’s too much sugar for me).
Excellent idea, don’t you think?
[photo via Aubrey + Lindsay's Little House Blog]
Usually the only time you’ll find me in the kitchen is when I need to refill my glass of wine – Ian does all the cooking in our house. But every once and a while I can bake something.
Yesterday I had a big time chocolate craving, and Clara was in the middle of a long nap, so I made chocolate chip cookies. Not just any chocolate chip cookies – Thomas Keller’s Chocolate Chip Cookies from the Ad Hoc at Home cookbook. They are the best. I think the secret ingredient is an insane amount of butter.
If you feel like making them yourself (and I recommend you do – it’s so easy, even I can do it), you can find the recipe online here.
I just renewed our summer share for the CSA program from Kawartha Ecological Growers. What’s a summer share and a CSA, you ask?
“Community-supported agriculture (CSA) is a socio-economic model of agriculture and food distribution; a system that connects people craving farm fresh local produce directly to the farmers growing their food. A CSA consists of a community of folks who commit to supporting a farm before the growing season begins, in return for a regular dose of seasonal produce throughout. In this way, the farm becomes the community’s farm and the consumers become co-producers of the food, with the growers and eaters supporting one another while sharing in all the risks and benefits of food production. It’s the ultimate model in local eating!”
Great idea, huh? We get our share from Kawartha Ecological Growers – a group of about 20 small farms West of the Kawartha Lakes. They have different pickup locations around the city, and we get ours every Tuesday at the Ceili Cottage (conveniently located at the end of our street). Fresh produce directly from the farm, all summer long = bliss.
Want to know more, or sign yourself up? Check out Kawartha Ecological Growers’ website. And yes, full disclosure, I designed the site. But that’s not why I endorse them – I honestly really love this organization, and the CSA model.