Thursday, November 20, 2008

Vegan in Ontario;Nutella,Coffees,Peanut Butter Fudge(recipe!!!)and more...

Hi,
So since October 23rd I haven't been in Vancouver.I flew to Toronto,went to Brantford,back to Toronto,then to NYC,back to Toronto,and now i'm in some little village near Kirksfield which is about an hour away from Peterborough which is about an hour and a half from Toronto.North East.My dad's family lives all over Ontario and I'm doing important school stuffs so I'll leave it at that why i'm here.Besides,Ben says he hates when food blogs get all personal and 'twitter-y' and that they should be about food and why should he care about yr life.Okay,well when he said this I thought that when he said "twitter-y"" he was just using some silly word/variant of "chit chat" or "chittery",y'know all chatty and stuff,but as it turns out 'Twitter' is an actual thing where people can read about yr life and know what yr doing every 5 minutes,and that you just ate an ice cream sammich,yr on yr way to get yr hair cut,or that yr cat is spewing battery acid from it's stomach and not even have to really know you.Well,I scould care less if a food blog is personal or not,as long as it's interesting.And I show great stories.
Anywhoo...

So Brantford.The backwater town where my Grandama lives,where my dad grew up,and where I was staying for about 6 days,with my Grandma who just broke her hip.Eating was slim pickings there,and I didn't want to cook anything really because I didn't want to stress my Grandma out at all or make any mess or be in the way and all these points were proven to be correct assumptions when I decided to make cookies on the last night and she freaked out that the oven was preheating because it was on but nothing was in it and she thought the house was gonna burn down....
so thank god for vegan nutella!

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only $2.99!

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only 7 ingredients and none of them are weird/gross/hydrogenated/artificial!

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you make me feel...

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like a natural woman...
i mean,of course there was peanut butter around,too.mmm.

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though my favourite way to eat it was mixed with peanut butter in medjool dates.mmmm.

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European chocolate was abound,too...

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I will also mention that,strangely enough,Brantford had a fair-trade organic coffee house.It's called Blue Dog.Even weirder is that it's like 2 blocks from my grandma's and the only things near it are a corner store and a bunch of pharmacies.Weird,huh?
Anyways,they had really good coffee!Their espresso wasn't too strong,but it was super smooth.Not too short,and not too tall either,which seems like a problem at quite a few coffee places.I went there everyday and really enjoyed it.
So much that I bought some of their beans to make at my Grandma's.

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though,she freaked out and looked like she might have a heart attack when I told her they were $8 a bag and that they came in a bag,and not in a tin.and weren't $3.50.But I explained to her what fair-trade was and she kind of understood.

Then I went back to Toronto.
Two days after Halloween my uncles,his fiancee,ava and I went to a punkin patch/park/farm thingy.
I saw a lot of goats,we rode a train,and bought squash.And pickles and jam!

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who DOESN'T like pickles and peanut butter?!

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red currant.

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Uncle Mike is really into music.He took me to see the Smashing Pumpkins.Ain't nuttin' w/o d'arcy.

smashing pumpkins

though i had a great seat.

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Speaking of Ben,I found this glazed nut mix at the Cabbagetown Organic grocery store.Of course I had to buy it,it's PB&J!!!
Well,peanut butter and jam straight from the jar is A LOT better.Sorry.Oh,and i'm supposed to be boycotting Sahale anyways because they were jerks to Ben and wouldn't have anything to do with Taste of Health and when I saw them at the Naturall Living Fair they acted like they never even heard of TOH.Whatever,I don't need to spend $5.49 on a back of processed nuts and dried fruit.Jerks.

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with some work,you could really be a star...

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Speaking of a little but of work and becoming a star,I'm madly in love with the man who works as barista at Jet Fuel coffee in Toronto.
He's kind of goofy,and he smokes,and he's probably a big stoner,and he's really cute and he has a great smile,and my coat was stuck and i looked all ridiculous and he was silly and was like "nice parka" and then like 6 people tried to help me fix my zipper and it was like an episode of Seinfeld,and eventually,after getting my second coffee,I broke one of the zippers off and felt like the Hulk.
Anyways,Jet Fuel had,probably the second best coffee i've ever had.I haven't been a coffee drinker for long,but I try out a lot of places,and drink a lot of coffee.Made up for lost time.
I had their espresso before,and when I got it Tuesday night,it was perfect.Perfect amount,too for a double espresso.Sweet,smooth,no tricks.Very dark.Also,there's no menu at Jet Fuel which apparently pisses people off,but so what,why are you ordering a decaf-skinny-sugar-free-caramel-toasted-marshamllow-latte-macchiato anyways?
It's simple.Espresso=$1,double=$2 etc small latte=$2 and a big latte=$3!!!And no extra for soymilk!
So for $5 on Tuesday I had a double espresso and a huge soy latte.And did I mention the latte was awesome?It was sooo light and fluffy,the foam was killing me.Seriously,I had never had foam like this.Yes,I have tasted a tastier latte(though there'll be A LOT more on that place in a seperate post)it was still delicious and had amazing foam.Hooray.And then when I was leaving,the barista guy,who was singing along to 'Sleep the Clock Around' when I came in,and continued to belt out songs from "The Boy with the Arab Strap" was howling the lyrics to 'This Must Be the Place'.I left him a present.

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big latte-great foam!

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Toronto has a lot of great coffee places.Way more than Vancouver.Yeah,Vancouver has some good coffee,but not as many cafes as Toronto,not as much personality,not as much diversity.Sorry.
I also had good coffee at Manic.Thye were also selling vegan cookies.

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I usually don't drink lattes,but I heard the ones at Manic are special,and theat their baristas are very talented in the latte art department,and as you can see,they sure are.
I didn't have a vegan cookies from Manic,though I had a fabulous peanut butter cookie from the coffee stand inside Blue Banana,which actually comes from Cora Bakery,Brandy and I discovered the next day.

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pretty,huh?
I usually wouldn't have boughten the cookie,but it was peanut butter.And I ended up buying them on 2 different occasions.They're really sweet and the middle is really dense and chewy.No,not a 'classic' or 'traditional' peanut butter cookie,but obviously good enough to have me buy it on two seperate occasions.

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This is espresso at Tequila Bookworm which was good,with some nasty vegan truffle I bought at this coffee place two doors down from Cherry Bomb.Cherry Bomb had great coffee,too,but maybe it's best I didn't remember the company/bakery that makes these truffles.Gross.And the woman was like " there's tofu in them" all snottily.Jerk.

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Spotted in Peterborough yesterday:

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And let's end on a sweet note.Well,not that we haven't continually been on one...

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Peanut Butter Fudge!
Though what you see above is a failure.It was yummy,but too hard and crumbly.I wanted to make more to bring to Sarah in Brooklyn,but it failed even more,but I remedied it by making a base of caramel,sprinkling failed fudge crumbs a top,a layer of peanut butter,and a coating of dark chocolate.Yeah,I really doctored that up.Anyways,in a quest to conquer peanut butter fudge,I kept tinkering and a my uncle's,first full day back in Toronto,did it!

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softer,has chew to the bite,not crumbly.

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look at those smooth insides!

here's the recipe:

Perfected Peanut Butter Fudge.
2 c sugar
1 c non-dairy milk
1/4 t salt
2 TB non hydrogenated margarine or shortening
2 t vanilla
3/4 cup peanut butter

over medium heat,boil the milk,sugar,and salt,stirring constantly for about 7-10 minutes.
add the earth balance and stir until gone,then let boil until it reaches soft ball stage,236 degrees F.
please use a large pot,the boiling mixture will rise and over flow if you don't.also,candy thermometers are great and cheap.an essential!
when at soft ball stage,remove from heat immediately and stir in peanut butter and vanilla,mixture will start to set,pour it into a greased pan.
voila!

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free-form-fudge;setting.

so,that ain't all,like I had great homemade vegan ice cream at Hibiscus,black sesame(!!!) and pistachio(!!) and plan on going back,and really,I drank a lot of coffee.
I also enjoyed coffees at:
i deal
green avi
dark horse


oh and i bought a lot of cheap kate bush records.
toronto is nice!

17 comments:

kittee said...

dear god. what an epic post. i hope your grandma recovered, not just from her broken hip, but from you fucking around in her kitchen. you preheated her oven?? bad grandson!

the peanut butter fudge looks spot on. i'm tagging your recipe on my delicious. thank ya.
xo
kittee

Laura said...

i love peanut butter with pickles!! yessss!

jess (of Get Sconed!) said...

ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

jess (of Get Sconed!) said...

ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

Carrie™ said...

Holy crap! Full post of amazing stuff. First off, to me, crumbly fudge isn't a failure. It's pure heaven. I love it like that. Then it gets all melty in your mouth. Mmmmmm. I'm gonna try that. I didn't like the PC Organic European chocolate bars. But Ritter's I love!
Toronto is one of my favorite cities. And not only for the Leafs :o) They have so many cool restuarants & coffee houses. $1 for an espresso is a steal! And I want your uncle's Roger Waters mug. Did he go to the concert? I'm soooooo SO JEALOUS!!

Sarah's Blog said...

I thought I was the only one who liked Peanut Butter and Pickles!!

I also like olives dipped in maple syrup. :)

DJ said...

That's one HELLUVA post... I've nominated you for an award - check out my blog for details!

tofufreak said...

dooood. major overloadddd. my brain is going to explode from all the yumminussses!! :D

hello, fudge!!!! :)

black sesame ice cream sounds super amazing. we drink this like sweetened black sesame drink in the winter-- wonder if it's like that? but yeah. it's like an amazing drink.

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

coffee whore! We should have a dance party to Belle & Sebastian when you visit. Yum for vegan Nutella & PB Fudge!

Cristina said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


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