Posts tagged ‘Brunch’

July 18th, 2010

Medieval Times

Yesterday was a long but fantastic day!

It started with a 9.5k run with my friend Mandy. She and I are both training for the Scotiabank Half Marathon and it will both be our first half! So we thought we’d get together for a run down into the Lower Don area of Toronto. We met up for 8:30am in order to beat the heat but we didn’t. It was SO hot for the first half out, thankfully there was a nice, cool breeze on our way back and the company made the run feel really fast! I also had an ingenious idea of filling my Camelbak a quarter of the way with water on Friday evening and sticking the bladder in the freezer. In the morning I dumped half a bottle of Gatorade into it and then filled the rest up with water. I highly recommend this! My pack didn’t feel any heavier and although it had melted by the time we started, it kept my back slightly cool for the first bit of my run and the water remained COLD for the ENTIRE run! This is definitely going to make me look forward to more long runs!

When I got back I had an un-pictured raspberry Green Monster, showered and then Alan decided that, even though my birthday is on Wednesday, he couldn’t keep my gift a secret so I got it early! He decided to give me “clues” as to what it was!

I thought it would be fun to have you guys play along and see if you can figure it out. I figured it out on the second gift but that’s because I could read something that I don’t think you’ll see on the photo!

Clue #1

Clue #2

Clue #3

Finally, Clue #4

That’s right my friends! I’ve joined a coveted community of people who now own an Excalibur Dehydrator!!!

(Source)

Several months ago I priced this sucker because I’d seen it around the blogworld with amazing reviews. I thought it would be great to have in order to make really healthy snacks (i.e., homemade wasabi peas anyone?!) and expand my kitchen capabilities. Alan apparently did not forget and ordered me the big 9 tray sucker! I am a LUCKY gal!

After my awesome gift opening we went back to Sarah’s Cafe and decided that, since we haven’t seen much of each other lately and because it’s my birthday week we’d splurge on a bottle of French Riesling!

Alan and I aren’t used to European wines, I admit. We tend to stick with North/South American, African and Australian wines. I just find European wines intimidating. But we both love a good Riesling and so we figured we’d give it a shot. This was a 2008 Reserve and it was incredible! It was stronger than the Ontario Riesling’s I’ve had. Not as citrusy and had a lot more tannins. I also forgot that drinking within a few hours after a run always makes me more of a lightweight so I got a bit tipsy after the first glass! Ha!

For brunch I decided on their Eggs Florentine. I was craving protein in a big way so this was spot on!

I’ve their Florentine before but this time the hollandaise was a bit too tangy. Not sure what that was all about but I still ate it all up! I also found myself dumping salt on everything. I used to never add salt to things but now that I’ve been running I find that I’m adding salt after long runs for more electrolytes. Of course, as a rule of thumb, I try to buy more low sodium products and then if I want the sodium I can control it by adding it myself. Lack of electrolytes causes muscle cramps so please don’t buy into the current media frenzy of having absolutely no salt whatsoever (unless, of course, your doctor tells you otherwise).

On our way to our final destination of the day we happened to be surprised that we were able to get a first-hand glimpse of the Toronto Honda Indy! I knew it was happening this weekend and I knew it was on the grounds of where we were going but I didn’t expect to just hop off of the streetcar and see the action sans ticket!

Sure we were stuck behind fences but it was sooo fun! The adrenalin kicked in immediately! The sound was SO loud, like gigantic, radioactive bees buzzing everywhere and the cars were so fast! It was definitely exciting and we got to see the winner drive around for his/her victory lap before the trains arrived that were dropping off my friends and family.

Both the Indy and Medieval Times are on the Toronto Exhibition grounds, which is why we got our sneak peak. I gathered my friends and family and we trekked down towards the Medieval Times building!

If you’ve never been to Medieval Times you’re missing out! It’s a blast! Basically, what it is is a dinner show. When you get your tickets you’re put into a colour group where you receive dorky hats in your colour. You are then treated to a night of old fashioned medieval games (all choreographed, of course) and shows. They had several horse trainers showing horse tricks and a paragrin falcon handler and then our knights came out!

The colour of the hat you received at the beginning of the show corresponds to the knight you cheer for! We had red! The knights take part in traditional jousting games and then the show ends with a “dramatic” fight between the knights. The green knight is a bad dude and so a final knight has to battle him for the “King” and “Princess”. Lucky for us, red was chosen to fight the final battle in a dramatic showdown and we won!!! Yeah! We all cheered SO LOUDLY for our awesome red knight that our voices were sore afterwards!

It’s such a fun show, even if the story line is cheesy and some of the choreography a bit off. And the food is surprisingly good! Traditionally you’re not supposed to eat with utensils (meat eaters are given a big chicken thigh, ribs and like a big hash brown) but since I asked for the vegetarian option I got to cheat. Forgive the following photos, the lighting in the building was not photo-friendly!

We started with a tomato bisque and piece of garlic bread that we sipped with these french onion bowls.

It was actually really flavourful! They put a lot of nice herbs in it and the garlic bread was nice and soft!

For our main course I got a TON of food! We had wild rice with red kidney beans, raisins and mushrooms, a skewer with grilled veggies (zucchini, potatoes, onion and red pepper) as well as pita chips with a whack load of hummus. I was STUFFED when I finished!

And apparently dessert was so good I didn’t bother taking a photo! Oops! They came around and served everyone a hot apple pastry! Not too shabby for “medieval” food! I also didn’t hear many complaints from the meat eaters on their chicken and ribs so thumbs up for the Medieval Times cuisine!

I love doing stuff like this for birthdays. A chance where it’s not just about the birthday boy/girl but everyone remembers it as something that everyone could participate in and have a great time. We all had a blast. I’ve actually been twice before but it hasn’t gotten old yet! :)

I’m so grateful for my friends and family. They treat me like gold and my only hope is that I treat them even a fraction as good as they treat me! It was definitely a happy celebration of my 31 years on this planet!

I’ll blog again later this evening, today I have to grab some groceries and then sit my butt down to do some major school work! Hope you all have a fantastic Sunday!

May 30th, 2010

Welcome To The Jungle

Gotta love fabulous weekends. Especially those where nothing of major importance happens but you’re just feeling really relaxed and generally satisfied with the world.

Yesterday, I scored big time at Running Room! I normally don’t shop there because they’re so expensive but I was looking for a Camelbak and it seemed to be the only place I could find one in the city. I popped into one downtown and low and behold, it was only sale for $30! Then the girl working there (I was the only one in the store, by the way) directed me towards the sales rack. I came out of there with a Camelbak for $30, pair of Running Room shorts for $9.99, a pair of Brooks shorts for $4.99(!), a hat for $9.99 and a shirt for $9.99! Those with a Luna bar and Hammer Gels only set me back $74 taxes included! Couldn’t believe it!

Needlesstosay I was really looking forward to my 10k this morning!

Pre-run I had my very favourite pre-run meal: a banana smothered in nut butter, this time it was almond butter. Alan made me painfully aware of what this looks like but I’m posting it anyway!

Then I was off for my 10k! I decided to head down to the Lower Don because the Toronto Womens Half Marathon (& 5K) was dominating my usual long run haunt. I had a fabulous run in my new gear and LOVE my Camelbak! I barely noticed I had it on and finally had a place to bring my phone. I get paranoid without it just in case I’m in an emergency situation. All of my new running clothes worked really well. It was hot so I took it really slow and finished in 1:14:30.

Afterwards I showered and quickly downed a piece of bread with peanut butter and jam before heading out for driving lesson number 2! Today I had my initiation into driving and banked a curb in reverse but it was a low curb and it was all good (other than a driver heading towards his car laughing at me…heh…). Alan and I are turning into pretty confident drivers though and I look forward to these lessons! Next week we’ll be driving from one parking lot to another! Progress!

I was STARVING after the lesson so we went to our favourite little  hideaway on the Danforth, Sarah’s, for brunch.

Sarah’s is a micro-brewery with also a really nice wine and cheese selection. We decided to soak up the patio scene!

We didn’t go for the booze today, though! Alan had a Harvest Latke which was a latke with peameal bacon and grilled cinnamon raisin apples on top with a side salad! It smelled delish!

I opted, last minute, for the frittata of the day: red pepper, sun dried tomatoes and brie with home fries and a salad.

It was awesome! I love how Sarah’s gives you REAL servings and not mammoth portions! Their homefries are to-die-for, perfectly cooked (not too crispy, not too soft) with the right amount of seasoning. The frittata was really yummy, I loved the brie in it, it wasn’t too strong but you knew it was there! I gave this plate a bit of a salt seasoning as I didn’t have a sports drink after my run and I’m trying to make sure I get my sodium levels back up.

The afternoon has been spent making the winning bidder of Shop 4 A Cause 2 and it’s been hell as the house smells amazing and I can’t eat any of it!!!!

We also decided to tackle our jungle of a back garden!

It actually wraps around to the left and it’s even worse! The garden’s been neglected for years so it’s become quite the job to try and fix it back up. We also had to buy a sprinkler today as we haven’t had a good amount of rain in weeks and our grass is slowly burning to death!

Speaking of grass! We planted grass seed along the left side of the fence last week and look what we found yesterday!

We are very happy grass parents! :D Neither of us are gardeners so it’s all been quite a learning experience but we’ve been reaping all the proud benefits of silly things like the first shoots of grass!

While I was busy clearing away some old weeds, Alan got busy planting the tomatoes that our neighbour gave us this morning!

Exciting!!! Our first plants! We also have raspberry bushes that had already been planted in the garden years back but these are our first babies! I’d better get to liking tomatoes more, pronto! I see homemade salsa in the future!

Are you a gardener? Any tips for new gardeners?