At a Friend’s Birthday Party

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Our buddy Chops was honoured on Sunday evening, with a nice birthday party hosted by his lovely lady, Leslie, and his brother. I know these pictures are not so good, as the lighting wasn’t ideal for photo taking, but I feel that badly lit photos still trump ones taken with flash. Anyway, regardless of the quality of the shots I hope the love that was in that room shines through.

Chops is a fun, funny and kind person, who deserves to be celebrated. He’s also a really good drummer, who we first met through the music scene. The three of us used to be in a band together, (which we’re technically still in but currently taking a break from), so we’ve spent a lot of time in this man’s company, and we still like to hang out with him. He’s a good one!

The party was held in a dedicated section of a place called Louis Cifer Brew Works, located 417 Danforth. We took the subway and got off at Chester Station.

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The servers there were really friendly and helpful in giving us a hand in deciding what to drink. I went with some Cider, made with local apples, called Pommies. In spite of the cold weather outside I was encouraged to have it served icy cold, as a slushie. Pommies actually provided the bar with the special piece of equipment used to get it that way, so how could I refuse. It was great. I enjoyed it so much that I may have had a couple more before the evening was out. I’ll be looking for this brand of cider at the liquor store for sure.

Nick started with a Rusty Nail, which contains Drambuie and Scotch. Then he switched to some craft beer from their very wide selection.

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As we chatted with the other guests and the hosts, we were treated to some tasty snacks. On offer were perfect small servings of fish and chips, complete with a wedge of fresh lemon and malt vinegar on the fries. We also had some Mac and Cheese Poppers, which to quote the menu were ‘Cheddar & jack cheese, panko breaded, pickles, smoked habanero ketchup’. The third thing they brought around were pieces of bruschetta.

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Oh, and the cake … check it out. Leslie had it especially made by the people at For the Love of Cake in Liberty Village. It was so cute and entirely edible. The pictures of tickets on the side of the cake represented some real life tickets to sporting events that Leslie got Chops as a gift.

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Not only did the cake look great, it was quite delicious too.

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We left this party quite full and very happy to have these people in our lives.

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As the sign over the road on our way home says, thank you for visiting.

I hope you’re having a great Friday and that your weekend will be a good one. I’m excited to be going out for dinner and to a concert with a friend.
xo loulou

Posted in Out at Night, Restaurants of Toronto | 2 Comments

Pictures Throughout A Day : Our Anniversary

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It was our 15th anniversary last week! Since we had already been out for dinner that same week (as mentioned in this post) we decided to cook at home. We both like doing that so it was fun for us, although we will probably go out to a restaurant for dinner sometime in the upcoming weeks too. We had originally planned to do some travelling to celebrate the momentous occasion but circumstance has caused us to postpone that until sometime in the spring.

The day began as they usually do, with Nick making some cappuccino. (He heats the milk in the microwave and makes the foam with the little gadget described in here post, and tops it with a sprinkle of mixed spices as described here).

You might think the mug with hearts was chosen especially because it was our anniversary, but the truth is that this, the only novelty type mug we have, has been in regular rotation since I picked it up as a little present for Nick for Valentine’s Day a few years ago.

Then we had grilled cheese sandwiches made with Nick’s homemade bread, some aged cheddar and sliced tomatoes. In case you’re wondering, it looks like there are grill marks on the bread but these were made in a regular frying pan. The marks were a result of the pattern the knife made when cutting the bread.

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The cotton hearts on sticks are something I made for Valentine’s Day a couple of years ago (and showed on the blog here). They also do double duty as decorations for anniversaries.

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I’ve mentioned before that I’m a fan of xbox games so I played a little while Nick popped over to get some groceries for our meal. Like any fellow gamers out there, you know you’ve really enjoyed a game when you see it through to the very end, what we call ‘Seeing Credits’ around here. The conversation usually goes something like, ‘awe, I saw credits’, which translates to mean that it was an excellent game and we’re sad it’s over. Anyway, so the credits rolled on the game I had played, a secondhand surprise find that we both loved, called ‘Dishonored‘ from 2012. As you can see by the screenshot that Susan Sarandon and Carrie Fisher voiced a couple of the characters in the game.

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Then we took a walk to buy ourselves a small anniversary souvenir. The traditional gift for a 15th anniversary is ‘crystal’ and we happened to need some wine glasses, so we got some crystal ones. Then we needed to get something to put into those glasses, so our next stop was the liquor store to get some wine to go with dinner.

The store we went to is at Spadina and King street, where I was excited to see this building under scaffolding. It was built as a hotel in 1873 and over the years had begun to show its age. (I did a post about it here so you can see what it looked like. Now it looks like it is going to be completely refurbished, which is excellent news. I so look forward to seeing what unfolds there.

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Our walk home took us along King Street. As opposed to how the weather was on the day we got married, so warm that we didn’t even need coats, this day saw our first light snowfall of the year.

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A sneak peek at a beautiful building I will tell you about in an upcoming post soon.

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Lots of construction going on on this street …

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When we got home I made us some chocolate covered strawberries for dessert, while Nick did some work in our home office.

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Then I joined him in there and edited some photos (I didn’t get any pictures of that!)

Nick started on dinner by prepping some carrots and small potatoes for roasting in the oven, while I set the table.

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The tablecloth with the hearts on it is something I got on sale the first year we were married, in the ‘leftovers from Valentine’s Day’ section at Winners. It gets pulled out for the week of our anniversary and, of course, for Valentine’s Day every year. I remember when I bought it, along with 4 matching napkins, that I had no idea how often we would use such a thing but it was inexpensive and the newly-wed in me took it home with dreams of many romantic dinners to come. In hindsight I am glad I got it way back then, as it has been an enjoyable little detail to have in our lives, which has now come to signify many happy years together.

Our new glasses. They are Riedel ones, especially shaped for red wine …

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We opened the wine, Zolo Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon from Argentina, and decanted it to let it air. We found the wine in the Vintages section of the store, and both really liked and would recommend it.

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I stepped outside to pick the final herbs and quickly moved the rosemary and oregano plant inside, where I hope they’ll live through the winter.

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Then I prepared the mushrooms for an appetizer of Warm Mushroom Salad with Goat Cheese and Pine-nuts (shown here … we actually had enough ingredients left so that I could make more the following day, and then take new pictures in daylight to illustrate that recipe.)

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Our main course was Filet Mignon that Nick bought at a place on Queen Street West called The Healthy Butcher. Their mission statement is ‘To ensure your food is produced the way nature intended.’ He cooked it under the boiler, over a bed of finely cut white onions and chopped dates, that he topped the meat with for serving.

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Horseradish!

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And Chocolate covered strawberries for dessert …

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Here’s a very important member of our household. Eddie has been with us from almost the beginning, after we brought him in from the streets 12 1/2 years ago.

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We ended the evening with a spot of Netflix, watching a couple of episodes of Brooklyn Nine-Nine that our friend Andrea turned us on to. It’s pretty hilarious.

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And that wraps up our day in pictures. Having such a small family leaves us with few of the more traditional reasons that people celebrate in life, so we like to make a bit of fuss over our anniversary every year.

I thank you for taking a look,
xo loulou

Posted in Dinner Details, King Street West, Our Anniversary, Wine | 14 Comments