Showing Our Pride – Cookie Style! Flags, Rainbows & Drag Kings & Queens From All the Best Fine Foods

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Happy weekend, everyone!  It’s a crazy one with Pride going on, the first weekend celebrating the end of the school year and the official start to summer vacation, World Cup, and Canada Day weekend!  And if you’re one of the lucky ones who gets or is taking Monday off to make it a long weekend, you must be feeling elated!  Sorry for missing the last few days here though.  I’ve been under the weather and in a lot of pain and discomfort and honestly, I just need some serious TLC for both my mind and body because the stress of everything – finding work, losing sleep over finding work, and then getting sick – took its toll for the greater part of this past week and I’m really looking forward to mindlessly watching tv to calm everything down.  BUT!  I did manage to enjoy a bit of Pride Week/World Pride, foodie-style, before a bout of sickness took over so I’m so excited that I was able to squeeze that in because after getting an e-mail about these babies, I did NOT want to miss out: Pride maple gingerbread cookies from All the Best Fine Foods in the Church-Wellesley village!

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I subscribe to e-mails from All the Best Fine Foods, a gourmet food shop here in the city with two locations (one by Summerhill station and the other by Church & Wellesley; check out my first post on them HERE, featuring their chocolate fudge cupcakes!) and I received one last week with a whole bunch of summer news and goodies, including the news about Pride and the Church & Wellesley location selling special Pride-themed gingerbread cookies.  I saw it and freaked out because the little picture of them looked so darn adorable!  So amidst all the chaos of this week, I managed to make a trip down to grab a bunch of these beautiful cookies to celebrate Pride.  It is SO awesome seeing the community decked out in all its rainbow glory and even just walking through the neighbourhood and buying these cookies for the occasion felt special.  It was like being a tourist in my own city.

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I picked up five cookies ($1 each!) including a set of rainbow maple leafs, a rainbow Pride flag, a rainbow Canadian Pride flag, and a cutie-patootie drag king and queen, ha!  And to round out my purchase, I picked up a few Russian doll Pride keychains because I’m a total sucker for cute accessories and knick-knacks like that.  And you know what?  They taste AMAZING!  The cookies, not the keychains.  Some might dismiss decorated cookies as just that: cookies that are decorated but bland in taste and purely admired for their aesthetic.  Not these.  The maple gingerbread cookies are so soft and delicious and I love them.  The icing wasn’t hard (seriously, there are decorated cookies out there that have the capacity to chip a tooth!), the sweetness was perfect, and they screamed fun and cuteness.  I’ve already eaten four – three maple leaf ones and one of the flags.  My brother and I are totally gorging on the rest of them for the rest of the weekend.

However you’re celebrating this weekend, I hope everyone has a fun one.  Happy Pride and fingers crossed for a rain-free parade tomorrow!

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All the Best Fine Foods is located at 493 on Church Street near Wellesley in the Church-Wellesley Village.  Their 2nd location is south of Summerhill station at 1101 Yonge Street in the Rosedale neighbourhood and area.

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For the Sweet Princess in All of Us – Fudgy, Chocolate Frosted “Fairy Flower” Cupcakes from All The Best

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This post is for all of us girls who used to put on glittery fairy wings and dreamed we could fly.  For all of us who love sparkly things.  For all of us who know how to enjoy the sweet things in life.  For those of us who used to skip along, picking flowers up along the way.  For those of us who are sugar and spice and all things nice, but who can still kick major ass when the situations calls for it.  This post is for every cupcake lover out there who loves all things pretty and all things chocolatey, fudgy, and deliciously frosty.  I present to you, chocolate fudge frosted cupcakes from gourmet market All the Best!

Like many of my foodie discoveries, All the Best was unexpected and accidental.  Over a year ago, I had never explored the Summerhill and Rosedale area (so basically the stretch of Yonge St. north of Bloor but south of St. Clair) so one day I thought, “I wonder what’s there, let’s give it a whirl” and did that day ever turn out to be a fun one!  Even though it wasn’t a part of town I initially thought of as foodie, I was excited to see what was around and there were some real nice finds, things like tea shops, gourmet pastries shops, and individual stores for cheeses, meat, and fish. 

All the Best, located on Yonge St. just steps away from Summerhill subway station, is a catering and gourmet food business and a meca of foodie goodness.  Like Daniel & Daniel in Cabbagetown, it’s a great place to pick up salads and food for picnics and lunches to go.  Up in the front, there are loaves of fresh bread and baguettes, and shelves upon shelves of jams, jellies, preserves, honey, tomato sauce, pesto, spreads, coffee beans, candies, chocolates, and packages of sugar cookies and sweets.  Further in the back, you’ll find the gourmet cheeses, and deli sandwiches and salads.  They also offer a selection of seasonal kitchenwares and accessories, as well as cookbooks.  Right behind the deli sits the bakery full of tarts, meringue shells, cakes, and rows and rows of sugar cookies.  Oh, and cupcakes of course 😉 

On any given day, All the Best offers four flavours of cupcakes for $2.75 a pop: red velvet, carrot cake, vanilla, and chocolate.  Think fun cupcakes with lots of coloured sprinkles, sprinkled sugar, and thick frosting.  I’ll definitely report back when I see other flavours, but for the time being, All the Best focuses on several simple flavours of cake and frosting with dainty, pretty toppers and decorations.

I call these my “fairy flower” chocolate cupcakes!  So pretty and so cute, they make me want to prance around sprinkling fairy dust on everything.  These are chocolate cake cupcakes with rich, thick chocolate frosting and adorable edible, sugary candy flowers dotted with a tiny edible pearl.  While the cake is good, it’s the frosting that wins me over.  It’s SO DAMN GOOD.  It’s sweet without being cavity-inducing sweet and the thickness of the frosting is perfect.  It’s not a thin buttercream, yet it’s not a super thick frosting that will stick to the roof of your mouth.  It’s the kind of chocolatey, rich frosting that you imagine yourself secretly dipping your finger into on a cake.  And the pretty edible flower was melt-in-your-mouth sweet.  It was such a nice touch. 

On this particular morning they had so many pretty colours of candy fairy flowers on their chocolate cupcakes: red, blue, green, yellow, orange, and purple.  How does an indecisive girl like me choose which cupcake she wants?  Take a wild stab and guess how I chose the colour I wanted.  Answer: I chose the pretty lilac purple one because it matched my outfit 😀  In a world where cupcake flavours know no boundaries, sometimes it’s really nice to have a good old fashioned fudgy chocolate cupcake with amazing frosting that makes you want to eat it by the spoonful.

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All the Best Fine Foods is locted at 1101 Yonge St. just south of Summerhill subway station on the east side of Yonge St.  It is next to Harvest Wagon and across the street from The Rosedale Diner.  For more info, check out their website here.