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My New Year’s Food “Resolutions”

El coleccionista de instantes / Foter / CC BY-SA

I do not make resolutions in January.  Being a teacher, I have always felt (and this may sound weird) that my ‘new’ year starts each September.  That is when I make a concentrated effort to shake things up, try new lessons, etc.  In my personal life, I have always felt that you can make changes at any point during the year, but I see the appeal of doing it as of January 1st.

As my blog is approaching its second birthday, I have been inspired by other bloggers posts to push further. Recently I read  What’s On My Plate, and her food resolutions. Gastropost even did it as a challenge and I am excited to see everyone’s posts this Saturday in the paper (New Year, New Menu: This week, your mission is to eat something that embodies how you intend to dine in 2013).  So I have decided to create my own list of new foods I want to try, restaurants to visit and recipes to create.


This year I want to try (at least once a month) a food I have never had before. I am a bit squeamish about different foods, such as pieces of animals like beef checks, offal and marrow.  And I am still learning to like fish, as I did not eat it other than as fish and chips growing up.  So my goal is to try new (to me) foods, different cuts of meat, different types of fish, and maybe even the tentacles when I order calamari.  


This one will be tough because @WineGuyTO and I agreed to eat in more often.  But I have a list of places in Toronto that I would still like to try.  I really want to explore my new neighbourhood and find great spots no one has really eaten at because they do not have a known chef, but are still great.  I also want to get back to brunching more.

  • Arcadia – our friend’s brother-in-law is the chef and has been telling us great things about it
  • La Carnita – loved them at TUM and really want to see the restaurant
  • Campagnolo – we had meant to go last year and then never made it.
  • Khao San Road – I know the chef and partner just recently left, so am hoping it will still be good.
  • Ceili Cottage – Its in my end of the city now and I have only heard good things

I think I will be adding to this list throughout the year.  Where do you want to eat this year?  Let me know!


Mainly I bake and though I enjoy it, I really want to try more meals.  I have a slow cooker and yet never use it, so that is on my list of things to try.  When I got my food processor recently, it came with a massive book of recipes, so I will be perusing it for ideas. As I mentioned above, I want to eat more at home so to that end  I want to try more recipes for actual meals.  This means more dinner parties! One specific thing I want to learn how to make and incorporate more into my cooking is sauces.

I hope you follow along this year as I try to accomplish all these resolutions 🙂


A is for Apples: The recipes

This post is for my friend Pat, who loved the pictures of my apple tart and said that I should post the recipe.  So here are my two go-to apple recipes and the rustic apple tart recipe.  Enjoy and please share your pics/comments 🙂

Prince Edward County Apple-Cheddar Soup (Merrill Inn, Picton, Toronto Star 2003)
6 tbsp butter
1 large onion, chopped
4 MacIntosh apples, peeled, cored, diced
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp fresh nutmeg
1/2 cup apple cider
3 cups chicken broth (my vegetarian friend makes this, so swapping for veggie stock works)
2 cups milk (I usually only have skim, maybe why thin?)
2 cups finely grated extra-old cheddar, I do white (I usually add more )
2 1/2 tsp kosher salt
pepper to taste
  • In a large, non-reactive saucepan over medium heat, melt butter.  Add onion; cook until softened, but not browned, about 10 minutes. Add apples; cook until tender but still firm, about 5 minutes.  Sprinkle with flour and nutmeg.  Cook, stirring, 3 minutes.
  • Add cider.  Cook 2 minutes.  Whisk in broth until well blended.
  • Raise heat to high and bring mixture to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes.  Add milk; return to boil.  Whisk in cheese until melted.  Season with salt and pepper.
  • If smoother texture is desired, puree using hand-held blender, or in batches in food processor or blender.
  • Makes 6 servings (generous ones)
**freezes well though consistency becomes thinner
Apple Crisp (from my mom)
Approx. 4 med-large apples, peeled, cored and cut into slices (baking apples)
*amount of apples depends on size of dish.  All other ingredients should also be scaled to size of dish
For between apple layers:
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
the remaining layer mix +brown sugar to equal 1 cup
1/2 cup of flour
1/2 cup of oats (uncooked)
1/2 cup butter (room temperature)
  • Place apple slices so that they fully cover the bottom of the dish.
  • Sprinkle with layer mixture (as generously as you wish)
  • Repeat until top of dish is reached
  • Mix topping mixture together
  • Spread on top of apple slices
  • Bake at 350F for 1 hour
  • serve warm with vanilla ice cream
*alternatives: mix in pears or berries such as blueberries/cranberries (can be frozen)
Rustic Apple Tart (From President’s Choice Food Magazine)
1 package (about 400g) frozen puff pastry, thawed overnight in the refridgerator
2 tbsp unsalted butter
4 medium cooking apples, such as mutsu, rome or spy
1 tbsp granulated sugar
1/4 cup plus 3 tbsp unpasteurized apple blossom honey or another delicate fruit blossom hony
1 c mascarpone cheese (optional)
  • Preheat oven to 425 F. Line a large, heavy baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper; set aside.
  • Remove 1 block of puff pastry from the refrigerator.  On a lightly floured surface, roll out pastry until it measures 10 x 10 inches.
  • Using an overturned saucer or small bowl as a guide, cut out 4 circles , each about 4 1/2 inches in diameter.
  • Transfer circles to baking sheet, without pinching the edges so that the pastry will puff up evenly.
  • Cover circles loosely with plastic wrap; refrigerate.
  • Repeat process with remaining pastry block.  Refrigerate all 8 circles until apples are ready.
  • In a small saucepan, melt butter over low heat; set aside to cool.
  • Peel and core apples.
  • Halve each from top to bottom.  Place halves, cut side down, on a cutting board.
  • With a thin-bladed knife, cut each half into very thin slices.  As you slice, keep the shape of the apple half intact.
  • When each half is sliced, remove pastry circles from refrigerator.
  • Using your palm, press lightly on an apple half, to force the slices to fan out slightly.
  • Slide a metal lifter under the apple and carefully transfer to the centre of the pastry circle.
  • Repeat with remaining circles and fanned apple halves.
  • Without buttering the sides of the pastry, lightly brush apples and pastry edges with melted butter.
  • Evenly sprinkle tarts with granulated sugar; place in centre of oven.
  • Bake 20-25 minutes or until pastry begins to colour and apples are tender when pierced with the tip of a knife.
  • Meanwhile, in a small saucepan gently warm 1/4 cup honey over very low heat, watching closely so it does not scorch.
  • Remove tarts from over; brush tops generously with warmed honey.
  • Return tarts to oven; bake another 12-15 minutes, or until honey begins to caramelize and brown patches occur.
  • If desired, place tarts under broiler for a few seconds to caramelize further.
  • Place mascarpone in a small bowl. Drizzle with 3 tbsp honey.
  • Serve warm accompanied with spoonful of honeyed mascarpone.

**Tarts can be made up to 8 hours ahead of time and reheated in a 325F oven for 5-7 minutes before serving.

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