Legit Korean Dining Experience

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In two and a half hours I pretty much ate through nine delicious Korean dishes at Chopsticks + Fork’s Korean Food 101 dining experience at Song Kook’s. Highlights of the night were a few of my faves: really legit Japchae and equally delish Bulgogi. I love the sesame and lightly sweet soy flavours of both Japchae and Bugogi… Song Kook’s did not disappoint! Gotta admit, it was my first “dining experience” ever, and it was pretty fun! To be served a variety of of dope food (I love feasts) with a host talking about the backstory of every dish, can’t complain!!

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Connecting people through food and learning more about its rich cultural backstory is the concept behind Jusep Kim’s Chopsticks + Forks, which currently offers a Korean Food 101 dining experience and Kensington Market food tour. I definitely recommend this experience to those that want to learn more about Korean food, or even introduce it to friends. The food is BOMB and Jusep is an awesome and super passionate host. His enthusiasm is contagious – you can’t help but be drawn to the stories about the food that he grew up eating and listen to the cultural backstory behind every dish. 

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Yep, they also served a Korean classic, kimchi – which Song Cook’s served in generous portions (you had to cut with scissors!!).  Gotta love the unlimited banchan too!!!

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There’s no better place like Toronto to discover different food, and Jusep’s Chopsticks + Forks 101 is the best place to start.

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Mmm! The above was a deep fried sweet and sour pork (Tang Su Yuk). BONUS: use the coupon code FRIENDS2017 to get 30% off a food experience.

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The best thing about sweet cream and cookies + recipe!

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I’ve always loved cookies and cream, one of my fav go to ice cream flavours apart from chocolate chip cookie dough. Used to love the version by Baskin Robbins but…. it just wasn’t the best – until I tried Ample Hills Creamery!!

This recipe is a game changer. No lie. I’m eating it out of the tub right now, and it’s legit crack. I first tasted Sweet Cream and Cookies last summer in NYC, at Ample Hills Creamery. Still remembering that hot day in Brooklyn, and how I declared it the best cookies and cream that ever touched my lips!! Now what makes this ice cream are the huge chunks of Back to Nature cookies, a less sweet version of Oreos that’s sort of an eyeopener (I never knew you existed!!).

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Recreating the ice cream at home was very easy – took the recipe straight from their cookbook! It calls for Walt’s Dream base, a creamy luscious vanilla ice cream base made from fresh milk and cream, skim milk powder and organic cane sugar. The recipe itself stresses that they recommend the organic stuff; but I was only able to find organic sugar from Bulk Barn. SO DELISH!!

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The Only Chocolate Chip Recipe You Need!!!

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WOW okay I gotta I admit that I’ve never made such legit and fancy cookies before.

Look at them!!! They’re straight out of what you would buy at a bakery, or even high-end specialty shop because I used 70% bittersweet Valrhona Guanaja chocolate. YUP, ultra fancy stuff. Valrhona chocolate (from France) is considered one of the finest chocolate in the world, and is also pretty pricy at $4.99 per 100g, not to mention hard to find here in Toronto. I once saw a bar of Valrhona baking chocolate at Pusateri’s for $20!! CRAZY!

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Bought these chocolate disks from St. Lawrence Market, and they really make all the difference! When you eat the cookies warm, it’s almost like drinking hot chocolate in a cookie!!

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This cookie though…

img_0233Perfection!!

Everything about it was right, crunchy, buttery goodness at first bite… Gooey and warm on the inside, with the bittersweet chocolate a perfect touch to balance out the sweet cookie. I topped them off with fleur de sel, an awesome complement because the hint of saltiness really cuts the sweetness of the cookie. BEST COOKIE EVER!

I may have eaten 8 or more (lost count a long time ago)…

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Aglio E Olio

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This right here is one of my favourite pastas of all time!!! I love the simplicity of aglio e olio, where the lovely flavors of garlic and olive oil are the main focus (plus a bit of spice from the chili flakes). You literally only need a few ingredients and only 10 minutes to whip this up. A few things to remember though: to make this dish above average, you really need great quality olive oil and good pasta. Don’t cheap out here!!

Word of advice: ditch the parmesan and just made gremolata (breadcrumbs) for that extra crunch/texture – YUMMMM!!! 

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Double Layered Nachos + Pico De Gallo

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Oh maaaan. These nachos were really, really legit. I inhaled these… Couldn’t stop eating them!!!

Crisp tortilla chips with beef that had just the right amount of heat, plus a mix of melted sharp cheddar and monterey jack and finally topped with fresh pico de gallo and sliced avocados! My mouth is watering just typing this up. These are definitely the perfect Superbowl snack!

You really need to DOUBLE layer your nachos. Yup, scatter a bit of tortilla chips, cheese and beef to a baking tray, then do that all over again. Really makes a huge difference in getting cheese and beef to most chips.

For this recipe I ditched the Tostitos for something a bit different, the brand I picked up was called La Vista Nachos. So delicious and added a bit more authentic flavour. I also made my own taco seasoning, super easy stuff if you have the ingredients in your pantry. Also passed on the mozzarella and used monterey jack, which tasted better when the nachos cooled down (vs the hard mozzarella). Perfect to go with a glass of Coke – seriously, water doesn’t work with this.

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