Monthly Archives

January 2010


Stylish Sunday Brunch with Baked Eggs Florentine

stylish sunday brunch tabletop on canadian house and home January 2010

stylish sunday brunch tabletop on canadian house and home January 2010

I love these pictures of a Sunday brunch that was featured on Canadian House and Home. You will not have to wake up at 5 in the morning to set up this stylish tabletop. Whether you have a brunch with friends or family and kids, everyone will feel welcome with a navy and white tabletop.

food for a stylish sunday brunch- canadian house and home January 2010

The egg recipe is perfect since it enables the host to cook them in one shot. I typically make eggs in ramekins but the baked eggs florentine are as easy to make. Plus who can resist a sunny and tasty citrus fruit salad.

+ photos by Michael Graydon for Canadian House and Home – January 2010 edition


Wood You Like a Cup of Tea by Jakob Solgren

Jakob Solgren's teapot Wood you like a cup of tea

Jakob Solgren\'s teapot Wood you like a cup of tea

As we visited the Interior Design Show in Toronto last weekend, one trend that is still going strong is the tree barks and branches. My husband and I were happy since our banister design is inspired by branches.

The Swedish design Jakob Solgren put it at a new level with his stylish teapot. I love it. At €1,500 a piece, “Wood You Like a Cup of Tea” seems more like a piece of art than an object you will use on a daily basis. He only produced five. The green ceramic leaf reminds me of the delicious Tea Aura’s matcha green tea cookies.

+ via Coolhunting


Darth Vader’s Macaron Tasting Event at Point G

tasting cocktail with darth vader at point g macaron boutique in montreal

tasting cocktail with darth vader at point g macaron boutique in montreal

I attended last December this wonderful event at Boutique Point G, a must-go place for french macarons in Montreal. They invited the cream of social media crowd for a tasting cocktail at their store. Although I was sick, I could not miss that.

What about Darth Vader?

It was the costume of a molecular chef hired for the event. It was appropriate since Darth Vader served us macarons dipped in liquid azote. That was awesome! Have a peak at the night by watching this video. You can see my husband (a cute long hair guy with a black shirt) and if you really pay attention, you can spot me.

If you visit Montreal, make sure to stop by this little shop located at 1266 Mont-Royal Street.

+ Boutique Point G


My Design Segment on a Web TV

web tv on est ensemble

web tv on est ensemble

I wish to share with you something great that happened to me. I now host a design segment on a french-speaking monthly Web TV show called On Est Ensemble (we are together). The group of people I work with is awesome. Since Monday night, the show is available online. If you wish to have a glance at my performance, it starts at 18:43 minutes.

Just after me, it is the recipe segment. The salad that Elie Benchetrit did was so delicious. I will translate it soon and share it with you.


Fresh Pine Branch Centerpieces

centerpiece idea with cottage vibe

centerpiece idea with cottage vibe

Bring the cottage feel to your dinner table with a winter centerpiece.  I imagine this look for a romantic dinner this Valentine if you plan a weekend near ski cottage.

simple woody centerpiece idea

To reproduce this look, cut all the branches the same height. Then, plant the cut branches on floral foam bricks for fresh flowers.  You can place the floral foam inside aluminum pans, if your decorative container is not waterproof. The every day aluminum pans work well since you can adjust them to fit inside your container. Plus, they are easy to cut if you need to reduce their height. Do you worry about the inside look since the branches will hide any imperfections.

Make sure to use a tall votive candle holder for safety. I captured these at the Interior Design Show this weekend. Sadly, I can not recall at which booth.


Communicative Coffee Table by Di Wu

communicative coffee table by di wu

communicative coffee table by di wu

This table feels so right for an early morning post. The concept is fun for brainstorming – something we often do my husband and I – or to occupy the kids that come for a visit. Di Wu designed the table with eight slide boards. A duster to clean the chalkboard hides under one board. Simply slide one board and start writing.

One small detail: that coffee has been sitting there too long to please me.

+ Via Yanko design


First Coverage of IDS 2010

ids 2010 highlights :: light fixtures against a mural

ids 2010 highlights :: light fixtures against a mural

I was extremely busy with many work-related tasks over the last few weeks. Therefore, a weekend getaway in Toronto to visit the IDS 2010 and to attend a Spanish tasting dinner in honor of the birthday of a foodie friend was more than welcomed.

ids 2010 preview of my favorite design items

I am sitting on the train right now. This post is simply to give you a quick glimpse at stuff I like from the exhibit. I will give you the details later this week as I release my coverage of the Interior Design Show.

Sunday’s Design Talks

design talks ids2010 :: enduring design talk with Brian Gluckstein, Suzanne Dimma and Mark Challen

For people that are on Twitter, I tweeted the last two design talks of the show. Brian Gluckstein and Suzanne Dimma shared practical design tips for enduring design. The top 3 tips from the talk are, in my view:

  • classic does not means traditional. It means refined. Therefore, classic could apply to modern style;
  • comfort is as important as the look. Brian Gluckstein tries any chairs and sofas that he used in his design;
  • before investing in new fixtures, install dimmers on pendants and lamps. Create moods by lowering the light. I add to put bulbs that are less than the maximum written on your lamp.

I filmed Mark Challen’s style talk with my iPhone because I did not want to miss anything.


Toronto’s Best of Brunch on Where Magazine

Drake's Corner Cafe + Bistro in Toronto

Drake\'s Corner Cafe + Bistro in Toronto

I am looking for a place to eat breakfast this morning before we head to the IDS. The current issue of Where Toronto that I found in my hotel room featured a Best of Brunch article. Cool!  Sadly, one suggestion that interested me, the Brassaii Bistro Lounge is closed for renovations (May 30th, 2010 Update: Brassaii reopened in March 2010 with a new decor, new menu and new chef). The Drake’s Corner Café seems like a good option that feels hip.

+ Finds more restaurants on the Best of Brunch from Where Toronto


Top 5 Toronto Weekend Meals by Alexa Clark

kultura restaurant in toronto

kultura restaurant in toronto

I am so glad that Alexa Clark accepted to participate in my top 5 Toronto places for a weekend Toronto. Alexa writes for CheapEats Toronto and has a blog called Unsweetened. I ask her to tell us the best places to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Three of her suggestions qualify as cheap eats. To have eaten at Kultura, I can attest that this is a worthy indulgence.

Where to Eat in Toronto this weekend?

Le petit dejeuner in Toronto

Le Petit Dejeuner

Still one of my favorite brunch spots in town and based on the weekend crowds around 11:30, I’m not alone. However if you sneak into Le Petit Dejeuner before 11pm or after 1pm chances are good you’ll be delighted by the funky space and wonderfully prepared meals. The menu is exclusively breakfast and brunch items including grilled sandwiches, but it’s nothing like a greasy spoon. The Toast Champignon is a great savory way to start your weekend, but I often go with the sweeter Eggy Fried Bread – which is a caramalized French Toast served with fresh fruit. The Apple Pancakes are also lovely and I usually add a side of peameal bacon just to round them out. They also make excellent coffee, one of the ways I measure the quality of a brunch spot.
Le Petit Dejeuner 191 King St. E

The Fish Store & Sandwich

The Fish Store and Sandwich in Toronto

This tiny little store front makes the best fish sandwiches in town. By far!  I’ve even had a long conversation with someone from the James Beard Foundation about how it’s one of his go-to places to eat when he comes to town.  It is not, however, fine dining.  In fact, there are only 4 seats and the tiny spot is decorated a bit like a shoreside blue tiki hut.  But it is so very worth it to get such fresh fish, prepared with a very gentle hand and wonderful seasoning on fresh panini from an Italian bakery across the street. There is a different fish sandwich special everyday and that’s usually what I order since these guys aren’t going to steer you wrong.  However many of my friends go for the tuna every time. That’s tuna steak not tuna salad.
The Fish Store & Sandwich,  657 College Street.

Granowska’s Bakery and Cafe

With great perogie, sandwiches and lunch specials you can get a bit of a feel of the traditional Roncesvalles neighborhood when it was almost exclusively Eastern European families. Walking into Granowska’s feels more like walking into bakery than a restaurant, but that is part of the charm. And the steady stream of customers popping in to buy pączki provide a great people-watching opportunity. No matter what you get for lunch, finish up with a pączek – a traditional Polish filled-doughnut (pączki is the plural, pączek singular). The rosehip are my favorite and they have mini-pączki too if you are worried you won’t have room after lunch.
Granowska’s 175 Roncesvalles Avenue


Cava is open and beautiful, with accents of the Spanish taverna to keep us in the mood.  It’s just north of St. Clair, tucked into a little courtyard on, but almost hidden from, Yonge Street. It’s a fantastic spot for a casually romantic meal, or an evening with a good group of friends. The primarily Tapas-style menu allows for sharing and great conversation especially if you are just starting your exploration of Spanish food. Chef Chris McDonald obviously has a lot of fun in the kitchen and it shows both on the menu and the plate, for example, his Chipotle-caramel popcorn is a playful and flavorful way to start your meal. The Charcuteria plate is one of their most popular dishes, and pairing that with a selection of tapas makes for a great group meal. My favorite option is to leave my meal up to the kitchen. While Chef’s-choice is often an exclusive offering for VIPs or special guests, at Cava this is a standard offering to everyone and you can get it with or without wine pairings.  Make sure to check out Xococava next door, it’s Chef Chris’ sweet playground – an adult candy store – where he adds unusual flavors to chocolate truffles and ice creams.
Cava, 1560 Yonge Street


Just east of King and Jarvis, Kultura has made one of the many historic buildings in this neighborhood warm and exotic without losing the old stone charm. There is a lounge-style bar on the ground floor, and upstairs there are 2 floors of dining.  The menu is an exploration of cuisines with some items reinvented and all reinterpreted like the Indian Samosas with truffled paneer and Mushroom Orecchiettie with a pear chutney. I always order something new when I am there, mainly because there is always something new on the menu or the specials which tempts me away from what I planned to order.  Everything is prepared and plated beautifully and the service has always been a delight. The food, space and decor all meld together to create an intimate dining experience, even when you are with a group.
Kultura, 169 King St East

Thanks Alexa for participating. Your recommendations inspire me. I went to Kultura in 2008 and I still remember the great meal I had there. Remember that you can read Alexa on Unsweetened and follow her on Twitter.