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cities, community, inspiration, markets, photojournal

Evergreen Brick Works Farmer’s Market, In Pictures

The Brick Works Market runs every Saturday morning from 8 until 1pm. It is located at 550 Baview Ave. in Toronto, Canada. A map to the site can be found here

Immediately upon ariving at the market I was delighted to discover my good friends The Elwins were the live entertainment for the day. I encourage you to play their sweet-as-locally-sourced-pie tunes while you browse through my impressions of the market. 







Hope everyone is enjoying their long weekend…
Cooking, eating, playing, giggling and all in all having some fun!
community, dinner, photojournal, restaurants, reviews, snacks, travel

Northern Getaway

As a Canadian who has spent time abroad I often have to convince my foreign friends that I don’t, in fact, live in an igloo. That I use a subway car to get around, not a canoe. That the view outside my window is far more concrete-grey than it is evergreen.

But this past weekend all of that fell to the wayside as I headed North, to a place where just about every Canadian stereotype becomes a reality.

Secluded cabin in the woods? Check.

Eat your heart out, Tom Thomson. 

Cottage meals were simple and hearty, including a cup of homemade parsley soup  – a first for me, but something I can’t wait to try and recreate – and a dinner of roasted vegetables, sweet corn, green beans, baked potatoes and grilled chicken.
Okay fine let’s call this what it was: a summer feast. Especially paired with a half glass of raspberry wheat beer from the local Amsterdam Brewery.
And for dessert…an ICE COLD SWIM!
SPLASH!
While most of our time was spent lazing on the dock, hiking, reading and playing board games, Poppa Hipster and I decided to do some road tripping in the Muskoka region as well, making a few delicious stops along the way.
First one was at a the Lake of Bays Brewing Company a small microbrewery where we sampled some delicious pale ale. I highly recommend you look for it at your local LCBO and pester them to start carrying it if they don’t already. Local entrepeneurship is the jam, people. Especially when it tastes this good. 😉

Next was a cafe we read about called The Deli Lama (located in Bracebridge at the back of the Muskoka Natural Food Market).

I mean who doesn’t like to chase their beer with a wholesome vegetarian lunch? 😉

A whole plate of delicious.

All in all I was pretty pleased with my visit to Northern Canadian cottage country. And while I was pretty vehemently anti-cottage when I was a kid (purely becuase I didn’t have one and was totally jealous) I must admit I was pretty smitten.

Did you have a cottage growing up? Have you visited one as an adult? What are your favourite ways to unwind, wilderness style?  


coffee, community, travel

Local Coffee of the Day

On the road again? You bet I am. This time making my way through Northern Ontario cottage country. First stop: Miss Nellie’s cafe and art gallery in the quaint little town of Baysville.

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Old timey cuteness.

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Standard Americano with soy, made with with local muskoka roastery coffee. Simple but swoonworthy indeed.

breakfast, community, markets, photojournal, reflections, travel

What’s the Capital of Canada, Again?

As promised, here is a little photojournal chronicling my trip last weekend to Canada’s capital city of Ottawa!

First things first: my gracious hostess for the weekend (ain’t she sweet?)

Things kicked off Saturday morning with a lil’ stay-at-home brunch. Sunlight streaming in the window and bouncing off her handmade chandelier? Swoooon.

French toast made with whole grain cranberry bread, a side of fruit & my addition of a perfectly poached egg.

Next came a little downtown exploration, which for me had to include ogling local produce at the ByWard market and of course a  little thrift shopping.


We also stumbled across this so kitschy its cute urban garden in our travels.

The weekend drew to a close with a short drive out to the quaint little town of Wakefield, Quebec for a little bridge jumping, river swimming & rock lazing.

SPLASH!

We look miserable don’t we? 😉 

Hope you don’t mind the epic photo post today…but as the cool breeze starts to roll in and labour day quickly approaches, I’m feeling prematurely nostalgic about summer.

cities, community, culture

Pride Weekend Roundup

Happy Pride Y’all!

Summer solstice be damned, Pride weekend always represents the real kickoff of Toronto summer for me. This year was actually my first time being in the parade, the dyke march to be exact, and lemme tell you it was absolutely amazing! What at an incredible sense of  community & solidarity I felt marching along so many strong, sassy & totally fierce ladiez.

me and my super sassy friend kay representin' for femme ladies everywhere

And how were the pride parties, you ask?

WELL lets just say that weekends like this remind me that sometimes “healthy” is about more than just good eatz.

Living well, supporting your community & celebrating the RAD people in your life…

…make for one very happy, (mostly) Healthy Hipster. 😉

Do you ever bend the rules of “healthy” living for “happy” living?  How did you celebrate this long weekend? 

coffee, community, reviews

Coffee of the Day

I am a coffee snob. No question about it. Growing up my mum owned a coffeehouse & I was pullin espresso before my 14th birthday. So when I say I know coffee you know its in my blood. And when I recommend good coffee, you best believe its time to listen up.

Though I was only in Halifax for a hot minute before I caught my flight home it was just enough time to pop into the newly renovated Seaport Farmer’s Market and snag some of my absolute favourite evaahhh Java Blend coffee.

Java Blend Coffee Roasters, Halifax NS, 1938

 

What’s so great about Java Blend?

 

  • Canadian & Independently Owned
  • Certified Fair Trade
  • Organic Options
  • Bike Delivered Beans!! (Halifax area)
  • Beautifully Bold & Richly Flavoured Coffee
I am currently luxuriating in my daily cups of  Dark Organic Aztec Blend. 

Java Blend Coffee Roasters, Halifax NS, 2011

…though the ones I make at home don’t seem quite as delicious as that first one I sipped, to the soundtrack of wind & gulls, on the Pier in Halifax.

To pick up a lb. for yourself, peruse their online shop. Here’s a link to my favourite blend.

Do you ever buy locally roasted coffee? How important is buying Fair Trade, Organic, etc. to you

 

 

 

community, cooking tips, dinner, diy, recipes

Mussels of a Different Sort

The first time I ever ate a mussel I was at a Movenpick restaurant with my parents. I was a pretty adventurous eater for a 10 year old, but even I was skeptical at first of the dark shelled, black tounged, revolting looking creatures in front of me. But once I tasted one, I was absolutely hooked (not a pun cuz technically mussels aren’t hooked, come on now). I must have eaten 3 whole bowls of the things…at the cost of my obliging parents. Belated thanks, guys!

The only thing better than the first time I ate a mussel, was the first time I ate a PEI mussel. They are impressive in size alone, but the flavour is what really sets them apart. My favourite preparation is the no frills version they serve at the Lighthouse restaurant near West Point beach. Here’s my interpretation.

PEI Style Steamed Mussels:

1. In a large pot with a tight fitting lid, add 1- 2 cm of water.
2. Discard any broken or open mussels.
3. Bring water to boil along with: 

  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 large tomato, diced

4. Once the broth has reached a boil add mussels immediately.
5. Steam until mussels open, 3-5 minutes.
6. Serve as is, with some bread for dipping. 

Hot Tip: Ditch the fork & use the mussel shell as a utensil. Not at all hip, but totally fun to do. Swearsies.

Am I the only one who has a passion for these bottomfeeders? Give ’em a try & tell me whatcha think!

community

Malpeque Bay

Catch of the day, today.

The illustrious Malpeque Oyster shucked fresh to order at small family owned oyster bar right on the Bay.

This is Local Foodie Kryptonite.

community, reflections

May 24 BBQ Roundup.

HAPPY VICTORIA DAY!

May 24 weekend here in Canada only means one thing to me: barbecue season begins! And I. Love. Barbecues. Of course I’m referring here to the whole social event it: folks getting together for the sole purpose of enjoying the outdoors, cooking together and drinking delicious beverages. Best idea evrrrr. PLUS…the food. OMG the food.

multitasking on the grill. soy burgers, beef burgers, melty swiss cheese, pork sausages & a gigantic basket of grilled vegetable insanity

So I thought it was only appropriate to put together a few of my favourite tips for getting into the spirit of bbq season, healthy hipster stylez.

1) Move your bod before supper. One of the great benefits of grilling food is that its super fast! So that gives you and your pals some freedom to enjoy those sunny pre-dinner hours without worrying about meal prep. So whether its taking a walk around the neighborhood or organizing an game of basketball/football/frisbee/etc., I highly suggest finding some way to get outside and your bod movin and workin up an appetite for the epic deliciousness that awaits.

my besties serve it up before they dish it out.

2) BYOV (Bring your own veg). The nice thing about food at a barbeque is that its so predictable. You know for a fact that there will be lots of chips, nachos, meat and bread. So be the one to bring something lacking from that menu plan! Keep it simple. Just find something fresh and in season (asparagus, anyone?) that looks beautiful grilled or just cut up on a plate. You can still dig into all of the standard barbecue deliciousness, in fact you must, but by bringing your own veg you’re also guaranteeing that your meal will have some balance. Check out this post for a recipe that will add a healthy dose of green to your standard bbq fare!

3) And lastly, Drink local. Obvz you’re gonna be drinking. Its May 24 and you have a pulse. There ain’t nothin wrong with that. But why not use this opportunity to try something new and support your local microbreweries? Many of these beers are also organic and much more conscientious about the preservatives and additives in their product. The cost may be higher, but that will encourage you to take your time and enjoy each drink. Make it a treat. 😉