I have heard on multiple occasions from multiple friends about Monastery Bakery & Deli in Oakville, Ontario. So after a morning stand-up paddle session, my teammates and I took a “field trip” out to Monastery Bakery for coffee and a bite. I didn’t realize it was more a market than a bakery cafe but regardless, it lived up to my expectations! The front portion of the market houses the deli, ready made food section, Italian groceries, cheeses, pastries and coffee. However, the magic is really in the back room – a room full of bread and baked goodies, racks of them! Everything from homemade bread sticks, croissants, loaves of bread, baguettes, danishes, turnovers, donuts and panettone. Yes, fresh panettone! With so much variety, I had to hold myself back but vowed I would come back. So on this initial trip I tried the bread sticks, croissants, spinach and feta stuffed phyllo and mini chocolate danishes. The best however, were the fresh baked Italian cookies and biscotti – buttery, crumbly and not too sweet. My favourite were the biscotti dipped in white or dark chocolate. They weren’t too hard and the chocolate gives it the right touch of sweetness, the perfect treat!
Tag Archives: market
A few weeks ago, I participated in the Toronto International Dragon Boat Festival hosted on Toronto’s Centre Island. When I paddle in races I don’t typically allow myself to eat during the day, with the exception of some fruit as I like to feel light on race day. However, its not everyday that I get to race at one of Canada’s largest dragon boat festivals on a team put together as part of a cultural exchange between the City of Markham and the City of Nanhai in China. A number of members on the team discovered a booth selling delicious lobster rolls using lobster from the Maritimes. So naturally, I had to go and try it. Driving all the way from Halifax with the lobsters, the Maritime Pasty Co.’s lobster roll was really tasty. Large chunks of fresh tender lobster simply served on butter toasted hot dog buns, so simple yet so good! And of course, I had to wash it down with dessert – some snow ice from Cha Me Cha. Growing up one of my favourite Japanese desserts was shaved ice and yes, I even owned a Snoopy hand-cranked shaved ice machine – did I just admit that? Come to think of it, where did I store that machine! The ones served up by Cha Me Cha are Taiwanese where the ice itself is flavoured (Strawberry, Melon or Taro) and topped with flavoured cubes of soft mochi (sticky sweet rice) and juice filled tapioca. Refreshing and perfect to have on a hot day!
Everyone who knows me knows that wherever I go I must visit a grocery store at least once during my trip. I love walking up and down the aisles looking at the different products, discovering what flavours are popular or in season at the moment. You really get a feel for what the locals are buying and eating. One of the grocery chains we discovered in Denmark was Fotex. In this particular location, I spent almost two hours combing the shelves and found some awesome products. Items like Heinz American Hamburger sauce (aka “Big Mac” sauce), Heinz curry mango sauce (which I brought home with me) and Wasa’s cracker sandwiches made with cream cheese and chocolate. I’m a chip lover and I love the unique flavours you can find and this was the first country where I found Lay’s Ketchup chips outside of Canada! I also discovered that the Danish like their salads, I found an entire refrigerated section dedicated to this product. Everything from shrimp, tuna, herring, mackeral, pickle and egg salad to only name a few. I only wish I was able to try them all :)
One of the gems of Santa Monica is the Brentwood Country Mart. Its a collection of shops, most are specialty and local in nature, with an upscale farmer’s market vibe. We first visited the Farm Shop, a restaurant slash artisan market with a fabulous bakery making a plethora of delicious pastries and baked goods. I tried a number of yummy items but the bacon cheddar scone was especially memorable, moist with chunks of bacon and chives. On another day we went to Caffe Luxxe for a pick me up. Something new for me, I ordered the Shakerato – like a shakened sweetened latte lined with a chocolate sauce, so good. Finally on my last day in California, we made a final stop before saying our byes to friends at Sweet Rose Creamery. An organic ice cream shop making unique flavours from scratch and in small batches. I had two scoops, one scoop each of earl grey and Rasputin stout. Both were subtle flavours but completely identifiable. My friend MA got fresh mint with homemade chocolate chips and to be honest, it was the most refreshing mint ice cream I have ever eaten! It really was bursting with fresh mint – I’d definitely go back again.
For the past 18 days now I’ve been on a “no dairy, no sugar (natural or artificial), no grain” challenge with my dragon boat team. So I thought to take advantage of the summer season, I wanted to go strawberry picking. I remember fondly, strawberry picking as a child with my mom – bringing home baskets of fresh berries for her homemade jams! Last weekend, along with my colleague S and her family we went to Forsythe Family Farms located north-east of Toronto. It was my first time at this farm and the strawberry field looked small but boy, was it full of ripe, juicy strawberries right for the picking. We then stopped by a local farmer’s market shop, Hy-Hope Farms, on the way back home that specialized in homemade pickles, salsas, jellies and preserves. I picked up a jar of Green Tomato Chow (like a relish) and a jar of Red Pepper Jelly (perfect on top of cheese and crackers)! With my fresh produce in hand (including fresh cut rhubarb from S’s garden), I decided to bake from scratch, a strawberry rhubarb crumble pie to take to a Canada Day BBQ! Everything just tastes so much better straight from the farm!
Back in August 10, 2012, I wrote my first post on Borough Market and I love this market so much that I make it a point to go every time I’m in London. What makes this visit different from the others is that I made a point to eat more food! And nothing was a disappointment! So, I’m going to keep the post short because I think the pictures speak a thousand words. Enjoy!
Canadian grocery stores are getting better (thank you President’s Choice) but the department stores definitely need to catch up when it comes to food halls. Oh, how I miss the good old days before Marks & Spencer decided to close its doors in Canada. So every time I go back to London, I hit M&S as many times as I can. Most of the time its a quick stop to grab lunch at a great deal with sandwiches starting at 1.45 pounds, so many different gourmet flavoured crisps (we call them chips) and my favourite, the sausage roll! And I love their packaging – the British are so great at their marketing! If you’re looking for some ideas for souvenirs, their biscuits, candies, etc. are fantastic as gifts…..and yes, I even bring home a couple of bags of crisps (its my weakness)! Check out some of the awesome things I found on this trip!