Two of my FAVE Chocolate Treats

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I’ve been flip flopping lately between a keto diet and normal eating habits, getting ready for my big Philippine beach trip coming up! Big problem: I always love chocolate but I had a huuuge craving for it and found it crazy hard to resist baking. So I’m sharing with you one of my favourite recipes, Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cookies, and these super awesome Keto Fudge Brownies!!!

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

Who doesn’t love the combo of chocolate + peanut butter? Such an amazing combination, and works SO well with these cookies. The chocolate cookie itself is made from dutch pressed cocoa powder, and is not too sweet at all. Such a nice contrast to the gooey peanut butter center. If you make this, you’ll be in danger!! Seriously, you won’t be able to eat less than five pieces. The recipe was crazy easy to make, you don’t even need a stand mixer for it. Click the name for the link to the recipe!

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Keto / Gluten Free Fudge Brownies

If you’re going to make brownies while on a hard keto diet, THESE ARE THE ONES YOU MAKE! Yes, all caps on this crazy amazing brownie, with rich dark chocolate flavours, and made with almond flour. Of course, the texture is not the same as a brownie you would make with all purpose flour. It’s a bit dense especially when it cools down, it hardens (so I recommend you reheat it first). Aside from that, the flavours are really amazing, rich chocolate that’s not too sweet (I used Swerve instead of sugar), and I topped mine with the walnuts and sea salt top… my god! I rationed this as my nightly treat and wish I had some more right now!! Click the name for the link to the recipe!

What are you waiting for?? Make either of them ASAP!

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Sunday Brunch @ East Thirty-Six

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Okay, I’ll admit that I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve been to brunch with my boyfriend… and we’ve been together for FOUR years! I normally don’t lean towards it, and maybe it’s because the area that we live in, Yonge and Sheppard, doesn’t have a good brunch spot (sadly). I also always crave for heavier meals like Japanese or Korean, which I can find a lot of near me. Well, after checking out East Thirty Six this past Sunday, my feelings for brunch have now changed!!

East Thirty-Six just started their brunch service, which takes place every Sunday from 11am-3pm, and invited me to sample a few of their dishes.  The food was incredible, and my mouth is legit watering right now just thinking about their Fried Chicken & Waffle. I really can’t wait to go back!!! But first thing’s first: they offer $5 Mimosas and $5 Caesars. A super awesome deal! I really enjoyed both, especially the Caesar, which was well spiced, and even had horseradish in it!

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Up first from the starters were Kimchi Fries and Cauliflower. Both delicious in their own ways, with the Cauliflower being the lighter of the two. It was cooked (roasted?) with capers, lemon, brown butter, roasted hazelnuts and topped with parsley. A unique ingredient list but it works! The Kimchi Fries on the other hand is an indulgent starter, with authentic kimchi made in house by their head chef. I loved the pecorino aioli which went really well with it!

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For the mains we tried the French Omelette, which was a lovely and light dish served with a salad and crème fraiche. If I could describe it with one word it would be: BUTTERY. Wow, totally blown away by the soft and tender texture. The mushrooms inside just adds to its richness. But it’s really the slightly tart flavor of the crème fraiche that really elevates and adds an extra savoury flavor – I really wish I knew how to make this dish!!

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The Eggs Benedict with salmon was also extremely delicious! Everything from the buttery toasted muffins, to the salmon, creamy hollandaise sauce and the perfectly poached eggs – all beautifully done. An indulgent treat of this classic dish and is done exceptionally well! Enjoy my failed egg yolk gif below:

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We also got to sample their Waffle + Fried Chicken, which I’m still dreaming (drooling) about. Their spin on it is unique, because it’s topped with cheese garlic mayo and pickled radish, but they all go with the dish!! First bite of this and my day was instantly better!! The fried chicken was so juicy, crunchy and spiced extremely well. The waffle was light and a nice contrast to the super tasty chicken. This is the dish I would come back and have every Sunday if I could!!

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Finally, we got to also try their dessert, an awesome chocolate ganache piece topped off with salted caramel sauce and peanut brittle. WOW. What a way to end a delicious meal. The ganache (which I believe was dark chocolate), just melted in your mouth. Ohhhhh boy. You’d be crazy not to love the salted caramel and chocolate combo!!

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If my blog post hasn’t made you grab your phone and make a reservation now (which I highly recommend as they get booked up) – you need to do it ASAP!! I really can’t wait to come back.

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East Thirty-Six
36 Wellington St E,
Toronto, ON M5E 1C7

The Dessert Kitchen Toronto

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I’m a huuuuge sucker for Asian desserts, especially icy goodness topped with fresh fruit and milk. YUM! Okay, it’s probably because I grew up in the Philippines, where it was really hot most days, so I ate halo-halo pretty regularly. If you haven’t tried, its a really delish shaved ice dessert with fruit, beans condensed milk. Most of the time though, these icy desserts are made with sooo much sugar, which is why when I was told that The Dessert Kitchen makes their desserts with low sugar in mind, I was super intrigued!!

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I was invited to try a few desserts during the soft opening of the The Dessert Kitchen, located in Harbord Village (not to be confused with the one in Markham), so I brought along my best friend Stephanie who also looooves these types of desserts. Here are a few things that I learned:

1. Apart from their desserts being made with low sugar in mind, they make a lot of their treats in house, like the really delicious Uji matcha ice cream on this eggette. This Green Tea Eggette was one of my faves, it was super crunchy, and was a lovely contrast to the bitter green tea ice cream. I ate this soooo quickly!!

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2. They have an award winning signature dessert called Purple in Love, which is made up of crushed ice, topped with grape syrup, milk, mochi ice cream, rice balls, fresh grapes and Kyoho seaweed balls (which are also made in house). This one was pretty refreshing and I would really recommend this to grape lovers.

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3. Their menu is HUGE so you’ll find everything from sundaes, shaved ice and they even have a Japadog!! I also tried this ice cream sundae called The Dancing Queen, which has their homemade green tea ice cream red bean, green tea kanten, mini rice balls, milk pudding and soft serve vanilla ice cream (made in house as well).

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Needless to say, it’s my new fav dessert place! I wish they’d open up one near me at Yonge and Sheppard!! Yes, it’s true – pretty much all the desserts that I tried were made with lower amounts of sugar compared to most dessert places (with the sweetest of the bunch the Purple in Love). My best friend and I tried four different kinds of dessert, plus their yummy and super authentic Hong Kong style milk tea, and we weren’t feeling sick at all, which usually happens when you have one really sweet dessert. I can’t wait to go back!!

The Dessert Kitchen
73 Harbord Street Toronto, ON M5S 1G4

Recipe for Change + Three Questions with Chef Nuit

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One night. Thirty chefs. All you can eat and drink!

I was contacted by representatives of Toronto non-profit organization FoodShare to help raise awareness for their upcoming event, Recipe for Change on February 22, 2018 at the St. Lawrence Market. I can’t stress ENOUGH on how crucial their mission is – teaching kids about the importance of healthy eating and cooking food by working with communities and schools. A lot of kids are disconnected from where their food comes from and they need our help to continue delivering healthy food and innovative education to kids. Recipe for change is one night to celebrate the great flavours Toronto has to offer and to raise funds for this super important cause!

Don’t sleep on this event, and make sure you grab your tickets now before it sells out!!

FoodShare's Recipe for Change 2017

To get you excited, read my quick Q&A with one of the chefs participating in the event, Chef Nuit Regular (owner of Pai and Kiin to name a few) below:

1. What is it about Foodshare that resonates with you?

It’s such a good cause. Health literacy and knowledge is something that has always been very important to me and as a nurse I always love to promote healthy food.

2. Can you give us a tease on what dish/dishes you will be preparing for the event?

Yes, I am preparing the rice salad from my new restaurant named Kiin. It consists of rice and 12 herbs. It’s very refreshing and healthy and very tasty.

3. Recipe for Change is about inspiring kids to eat and cook healthy food! Is there a recipe that you can share with us to help promote this initiative with our own families and friends?

Fruit Salad

Dressing
Lime 2tbs
Honey 2 tbs
Sea salt 1/2 tsp
Mix all the ingredients together

1/2 c Fresh pineapple
1/2 c Strawberries
1/2 c Grape
1/2 c cut Apple
1/2 c cherry tomato
1/3 c Cantaloupe

Mix all the fruit and vegetable together. Then pour salad dressing over and mix well.

***

Since 1985, FoodShare has worked with communities and schools to deliver healthy food and innovative education to improve the way people eat and grow food in Toronto. Supporting over 1200 community-led food initiatives, including growing fresh produce in schools and training young urban farmers, FoodShare’s programs have successfully reached over 270,000 people in Toronto last year alone.

Healthy bites at e11even Toronto

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If you’ve been following along with my food adventures, you know that I love indulging in the ultimate comfort food. You may or may not agree, but it’s been EXTREMELY hard to resist pasta and all the wonderful carbs this winter!! Well, ever since it hit January 1, I’ve turned over a new leaf!! I’m on a mission to eat healthier, mostly because I have a beach vacation coming up in a few months… which means resisting the bad carbs and stop eating sweets. Yep, I’m 100% guilty of my nightly Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.

It’s just SO fulfilling to eat comfort food, and where I live, it’s a bit more difficult to find a good restaurant that has delicious healthy food options. Sadly, in North York I’m surrounded by a lot of Asian cuisines (from Japanese, Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese), which I adore, but it also means tons of rice, and really limited salad options.

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Thankfully, there are more healthy options downtown! BUT sometimes you can go overboard when you eat salads, especially if they have a lot of meat, high calorie toppings like bacon or fried chicken, tons of cheese and very heavy dressing. Here are three things I look for in a healthy, well balanced meal:

  1. An awesome lean protein like fish, chicken or shrimp
  2. Good carbs such as quinoa or multi-grain toast
  3. Vegetables

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Eating healthy doesn’t have to be tough and unenjoyable, and my nice sister lunch date at e11even just proves my point!! We started off our meal on a wonderful note with their fresh Peach and Ginger tea – it had the perfect balance of sweetness and a slight spicy bite from the ginger. Delicious! I wanted to gulp mine down.

Up first was the Tuna Tartare appetizer, a beautifully layered masterpiece with chunks of avocado and fresh tuna on a sweet soy glaze, topped with crispy shallots. It was served with fried wontons, but you can pass on that if you’re trying to watch your carbs – the tuna by itself is amazing! We were REALLY blown away by the freshness of the fish. I love how e11even takes two simple and fresh ingredients, avocado and tuna, and combines together to create an awesome appetizer.

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We had two salads next, their Seared Tuna Salad (one of my favourite salads ever!) and the Grilled Chicken Salad. I was impressed that both salads were very lightly dressed, and this highlighted the crispness of the leaves – it was so refreshing to eat and I could tell that the greens they used were very fresh!

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I absolutely loved the Seared Tuna Salad, because I was once again pleasantly surprised by the delicious and fresh tuna! It was served with sliced avocado and a ginger dressing which perfectly complemented the salad as a whole. I highly recommend this as a perfect dish for lunch – something you can grab to-go if you work nearby!

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The Grilled Chicken Salad was also very delicious, tossed with a honey lime dressing and topped with peanut sauce. I think there were hints of sesame as well in the dressing and I’m a sucker for Asian inspired salads. Overall, I really liked how everything came together here!

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Finally, my sister and I both split the Atlantic Salmon, served with couscous and grilled lemon. All I can say about this dish is WOW!!!!!!! I was already feeling confident that e11even would serve us fresh salmon, but I was really impressed by how perfect the salmon was cooked! The salmon was lightly seasoned, very moist, tender and juicy. I cook salmon a lot, and I wish I knew how they made this!! I’m definitely going to have to go back to have this again.

Make sure you add e11even to your list for some really delicious and healthy meals in the downtown core!!

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e11even
15 York St
Toronto, ON M5J 0A3