A few weeks ago, Trevor and I took a walking tour of what could best be described as “the sweeter side of Kensington Market.” If you’ve ever heard of Tasty Tours, then you know exactly what I’m talking about. Tasty Tours offers guided walking tours of Toronto neighbourhoods and showcase various bakeries, patisseries and shops to satisfy your ever craving sweet tooth. It may sound a little silly to take a guided tour of a city we’ve been living in for the last 3 years, but it’s a great way to discover places we would have otherwise walked right by. In fact, the first time we set foot in at least half of these places was during this very tour.
Tasty Tours has a great ongoing promotion where they will waive the ticket price if you take a tour during your birthday month and bring along someone who has paid for an adult-priced tour. This deal doesn’t apply to their special holiday tours (Christmas, Valentine’s Day, etc), but this was fine since this was our first time with Tasty Tours and we ended up deciding on the Kensington Market Sweets Tour based on the location and 2-hour length of the tour.
Tasty Tours likes to keep the locations they visit a secret, although you can check out the list on their website. If you intend to take this tour, I wouldn’t recommend reading further as the element of surprise is one of the fun things about taking their tours. If you do read ahead, please note that the order of the tour sometimes changes based on the tour guide and the availability of the locations.
Without further ado, on with the tour!
So like a true sucker, I believed that the worst of winter was over. For the last few days I’ve been noticing that it’s no longer dark when I come home from work and the weather has been warm enough that I don’t require my mitts to already be on my hands before I step outside. I even broke out some of my spring dresses (worn with leggings) because I’m sick of my drab winter wardrobe. I’m not surprised that I’ve been let down though, considering it’s still February and what with my mom warning me about the never-ending snow they’ve been experiencing up in Northern Ontario. It was only a matter of time before the impending snow made an appearance down south as a roaring slushy mess (also known as a typical Toronto winter).
So to celebrate (if that is even the right word) this continuation of colder days to come, I thought I would share a fun recipe for homemade vanilla bean marshmallows. You know, to enjoy in your cup of hot chocolate after you shovel the driveway, dig out your vehicle or even if you just manage to get home in one snowy, wet piece. And if you happen to be blessed with warmer weather right now, I’m sure that these little guys would taste fantastic roasted over a bonfire and sandwiched between two graham crackers and a piece of chocolate.
Try as I may, I’m not a very good plan-ahead-of-time-food-blogging person. And you know what? I’m okay with that.
I’ve always enjoyed reading special milestone posts from other bloggers, such as blog anniversaries (blogoversaries?), birthdays, wedding anniversaries…generally anything that celebrates this day as being just a little bit more special . For some of my favourite food bloggers, I can tell you exactly when their birthday is, the date they were married and even when they started their blog based on the above and beyond creativity of these posts.
A couple weeks ago, I decided to join a gym near my office. I figured that it was well enough passed the busy resolution season and I really needed something to get me off the couch. Now three times a week, I pack my running shoes, gym clothes and a water bottle in my old university backpack and lug everything onto the subway during my morning commute. I find that the best motivation is having my workout gear under my desk seeing as how there is no excuse for not going immediately after work if I’ve already made the effort to bring everything with me.
Easing into the gym routine hasn’t been as hard as I thought it would be. Of course, I’m clearly knocking on wood here seeing as how I’m only a few weeks into this and my attention span for all things exercise can be pretty bad. A couple summers ago I took advantage of a hot yoga studio’s 30 days for $30 deal and ended up bailing the moment my month was up. I’ve also done pilates (lasted 2 months), exercise DVDs (still on my shelf – I refuse to get rid of them) and Zumba dance classes (just finishing now). At this rate, it will be interesting to see how long this gym thing works out.
I’m not sure how I started this post talking about exercising at the gym and taunting you all with pictures of chocolate doughnuts, so let me start this again. I recently discovered my little mini doughnut pan and realized that I had fallen into the exact trap I had predicting about owning single-purpose items. The last time I had even looked at this pan was in October when I made my Caramel Candy Apple Mini Doughnuts. Beautiful friendship? More like shifted to the bottom of a kitchen storage drawer. (I’m sorry little pan).
“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.”
― Charles M. Schulz
This first month of 2014 can best be summed up as writer’s block. I have no idea why it’s been such a struggle to write this month, only that all of my posts would have been published much sooner without this sudden huddle I’ve had to face. For some reason as of late, when I sit down to write, my mind goes completely blank. And then when I do start typing, it becomes a mumble-jumble of thoughts and ideas with no real structure and then I turn into the Queen of Random Ideas and Run-On Sentences. I’ve completely run out of new ways to say “delicious” that now I feel like it’s easier if I just call a recipe “awesome.”
Hopefully with February just around the corner, this writing issue will pass and then I can move onto more important things. I definitely have a lot to talk about, it’s just lately been a struggle to find the best words to express it.