Scones & Strawberry Marshmallow Macarons – Afternoon Tea Treats on a Fall Morning at Yorkville Espresso Bar

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Ste. Anne’s coconut black tea at Yorkville Espresso Bar!

An espresso bar and cafe with amazing tea, delicious scones, and adorable macarons among other afternoon tea-style sweets and treats?  In the picturesque neighbourhood of Yorkville?  That’s a cafe after my own heart!  Yorkville Espresso Bar, located at 3 Yorkville Ave. just west of Yonge Street near the Toronto reference library and just steps away from the Cookbook Store and my beloved Italian-vegetarian Mela Cafe, is a new cafe that just opened up last year and after my very first visit, I think it’s a wonderful and splenderific addition to the neighbourhood.  Brunch, vegetarian, Mexican, ice cream, macarons, Italian, Middle-Eastern, pub classics, and now a new espresso bar and cafe – aside from Kensington Market, Yorkville is truly my ideal place to eat to my heart’s content.

The pretty Yorkville park nearby

I know, there are plenty of cafes in the area including Lettieri and Zaza, not to mention around the city in general, so what makes this space so great?  The thing about cafes is that they have to offer something different, something a little more unique in order to stand out from the others.  Because let’s face it, it’s not like we have to go very far to fetch an Americano, a cappuccino, or an espresso and while yes, every cafe will have their own way of making these drinks, it’s the atmosphere and the food goodies that accompany these drinks that will make us foodies feel compelled to come back for more.  Some cafes offer the comfort factor with plushy seats to relax in while you read, sip, munch, or type away on a laptop (or a tablet, sigh), others are great as meeting spots for friends, and then the are the ones that are fabulous purely for the food and drink.  THIS would be Yorkville Espresso Bar’s forte.

It’s a small space so you wouldn’t necessarily see large groups inhabiting it, but it is cozy enough for you to sit down with a friend and a coffee, tea, and light meal or snack.  And let me just say, Yorkville Espresso Bar is awesomesauce in the food and goodies department.  There is something here for everyone: the sweet tooth, the vegetarian, the gluten-intolerant, and the just plain hungry!  Often times I’ll shy away from certain spots, not because I think their drinks are bad persay, but because I want something a little more special than baked goods wrapped in saran wrap in a basket or baked goods that look as though they just got a shot of steroids and a bath in grease.  That could be the food snob in me tsking but really, it’s unappealing and I know I can’t be the only one who feels this way!

Yorkville Espresso Bar is great though because their selection of food and sweets changes on a pretty consistent basis (from what I gather on their Facebook page where they announce menu items for the day), they’re always coming up with new and unique yummies to showcase, they offer a number of gluten-free menu items (see below in the next few paragraphs for examples!), and you know everything is fresh and hot off the press because the adjoining kitchen studio that handles the baking, cooking, and catering for the espresso bar doles them out throughout the day.  They were already baking their 2nd round of scones at 10am on a Sunday morning because they sold out of their 1st round.   Can you believe it?!

Oh!  And I can’t forget about their tea!  I honking LOVE the tea.  They get their teas from Ste. Anne’s (Ste. Anne’s Extraordinary Teas), which is actually a spa located in several spots in Ontario (Grafton and Port Hope) and the whole concept behind the tea is driven by the relaxing spa experience.  I had their black tea coconut tea with my cinnamon scone and strawberry marshmallow macaron (I KNOW – MARSHMALLOW!) and I loved it to itty bitty pieces.

Their food menu is insane.  Let’s start with the savoury, gluten-free muffins first.  These are items that have graced their display case of goodies over the last few months:

  • sweet potato chocolate chip muffins
  • sweet potato and cranberry muffins
  • carrot and beetroot muffins
  • blueberry flaxseed muffins
  • gluten-free, vegan chocolate zucchini muffins!

Other savoury bites include jalapeno cornbread, brioche with dates, Parmesan, and thyme, 8-year old cheddar and chive scones, and bacon and thyme scones.  Okay, now the sweet stuff including cupcakes, gluten-free sweet muffins, sweet scones, chocolate and confectionery, and more:

  • mini chocolate cupcakes with mango and Nutella frosting and dried mango
  • mini chocolate cupcakes with mango buttercream frosting
  • mini chocolate cupcakes with mocha buttercream frosting
  • mini chocolate berry cheesecake cupcakes

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Spring Has Sprung! Baby Potatoes, Empanadas, and Food, Food, Food at the Farmers’ Market at Wychwood Barns

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In just a few more weeks, the amazing market at Wychwood Barns will be heading outdoors during the May long weekend into what we all hope will be a happy summer market season for 2012.  I wanted to make one more indoor market visit though, so I took advantage of the pretty weather and made a day out of it, complete with brunch, window shopping, and LOTS of walking!  I walked from the Wychwood Barns neighbourhood on St. Clair West down to the Queen West and Trinity Bellwoods area, then proceeded to stroll along Ossington back up to Bloor and then to Dufferin.  It felt invigorating while I was doing it but I realized just how tired I was from all the fancy footwork when I nearly fell asleep on my laptop after I came home. 

It was so worth it though!  It never ceases to amaze me how I can make these trips to the farmers’ markets and come away just wanting everything.  I was waffling on whether or not it was smarter to go this week or to wait for the first outdoor market later on this month, but my craving for Earth & City’s raw, vegan nut burgers with pesto pushed me out the door at the crack of dawn.  So there you have it.

$8 for a dozen beautiful gerbera daisies!

My beloved baby potatoes, especially the blue ones!

You might be inclined to think that going to these farmers’ markets means seeing and eating the same things over and over again (especially when you make multiple visits during the same season), but that couldn’t be further from the truth.  I was actually surprised at all the new things I saw at this week’s market.  Sure, I saw ChocoSol, Earth & City, and Yorktown Pie Company there among other familiar vendors, but everything felt new and vibrant, like everyone was itching for the new season to take hold and couldn’t wait to dish out new and delicious items to try.  The place was absolutely buzzing (it was actually very difficult to take photos this time because of the sheer volume of people grabbing things in front of me and don’t even get me started on the line-ups and crowding!) and people were picking up goodies and beautiful spring daisies and flowers left and right.  It’s a buzz that you’d only get at an early morning farmers’ market.

Earth & City had containers of some brand new savoury dips and spreads (sweet walnut sauce and preserved basil pesto, $5 each), the Yorktown Pie Company had brand apple cheddar mini pies that looked amazing, Allis Fresh Baked busted out a basket of mac n’ cheese corn muffins (seriously, they need to stop tempting me with all these cheesy, savoury muffins!), and Primeridge Pure Dairy had some of the most delicious soft cheese I have ever had melt in my mouth! 

Peanut butter chocolate thumbprints!

Earth & City's dips and vegan burgers

If it wasn’t for the brand new package of cheese I had sitting in the fridge at home I would have been all around their cheese like mud on a pig.  They had a BLACK PEPPERCORN SOFT CHEESE.  I LOVE freshly cracked black pepper and peppercorns like nobody’s business.  Ask anybody who has eaten in my company, I put the stuff on almost everything.  The fresh cheese was creamy, melt-in-your-mouth, and hella peppery and spicy.  And SO GOOD.  I imagined this on a crusty wedge of French bread and baguette.  I imagined this on a bit of pasta.  Hell, I even imagined it on my raw, vegan nut burger but then I felt bad because that would have made it unvegan.  But you get the idea.

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Peach & Ginger, and Spinach & Blue Cheese Scones, Easter Fun, and More at the Wychwood Barns Market!

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I’ve always felt bad about the summer market oopsie and mix-up I made last July.  The oopsie that resulted in mass confusion amongst the rest of my family and the one that will always make me face palm and mentally roll my eyes at myself.  The mistake I made?  Mixing up my market hour times.  After going on and on about how the farmer’s market at Wychwood Barns was one of the best in the city, my family and I made plans to go one Saturday last July.  Only there was a slight snafu. 

For whatever reason, I thought in my heart of hearts that the market went on until 4pm (which it didn’t and doesn’t), so the family and I frollicked about, eating brunch first.  When we arrived at the market we found the vendors packing up and it was then that I realized what a big boo-boo I had made.  It was 12:30pm.  I was so embarrassed.  Disappointed and embarrassed.  What an awful combination.  BUT!  I made it up to my mum this past weekend by finally taking her there and to my delight, we brought home a bevy of market goodies!

This little piggy went to the market...

and found jalapeno & cheese cornbread muffins...

...and Earth & City's vegan nut burgers!

It was busy, it was bustling, and Easter fun abounded throughout the market with dark chocolate bunnies preening from Chocosol’s table, honey egg-shaped candles from the honeycomb and wax candles table, and tiny tots dying Easter eggs in a rainbow of pastel colours.  What I love about the market at Wychwood Barns, aside from its size, is how there’s a balance between fresh fruits, vegetables, and cheese and prepared foods and baked goods.  Forget inviting friends and family out to a sit-down place – I say we all have a scrumptious and delicious meal right inside the market and barn!  It’s SO easy to shop and eat at the same time here and it would take me weeks upon weeks just to get through all the wonderful food.

As I munched on cheese and pretzel sample and a smoky root vegetable appetizer, I admired the barrels of potatoes (I cannot wait to start buying blue and purple potatoes again this summer!), the gluten-free brownies and chocolate chip cookies (it took all of my willpower not to make a dive for the table), the jalapeno and cheese cornbread muffins (I wanted to stick my face in the basket and inhale them), the vegan nut burgers and coconut brownies from my beloved Earth & City, and the giant sweet and sticky whole grain cinnamon rolls.

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Soaking In the CSI Markets – Biscotti, Apple Cinnamon Walnuts Buns, and Fresh Bread by Nice Buns

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I can’t believe it’s already been three weeks since my last CSI farmers’ market post!  I don’t know if it’s just the hustle and bustle surrounding Christmas and the upcoming holidays or if I’m losing track of my days (probably a little bit of both), but the days are whipping by and there’s so much to do and see I’m driving myself mad trying to do everything I want to do without making myself sick!  If you can believe it, there are still markets I haven’t been to yet and I am making it my mission to get to them during the winter months. 

I have yet to visit the indoor market at Eglinton Park, the market at Wychwood Barns (I KNOW, it’s one of the biggest, most popular markets in the city!  I did try to get to it once but I showed up late because I got confused with the time and missed the whole thing.  Sigh.), and a few of the markets that have moved indoors are still waiting for me.  Farmers’ marketing during the winter definitely isn’t as easy as it is during the summer, but I enjoy maintaining this part of the blog, even if it means going out of my way to visit a market on a specific day and time.  

It’s been a few weeks since my last CSI market trip and I miss it.  I’m so sad that the market will be coming to an end by mid-December and you can bet your bottom cupcake I’ll be trying my darn hardest to make it out to one of the last lunchtime markets of the year.  At this point, I’m not certain if the CSI lunchtime markets will still be around come the new year, but either way, it’s been one heck of a wonderful ride watching this market grow and I’ve enjoyed growing with it so much.  I love seeing what healthy and delicious food Cassandra and Lisa of Earth & City dish up for every market, and the sight of chubby, pillow-soft bread and baked goods by Sara of Nice Buns makes my mouth water and makes me wish the table was an edible ball pit I could flounce around in while nibbling on said bread buns.  I can dream.

Sara brought in her famous cocoa sourdough and fougasse breads, biscotti, and zucchini loaf and along with those, she had a platter of apple walnut cinnamon buns of monumental proportions and an overflowing basket of fluffy white bread buns!  I tried some of Sara’s white bread and I couldn’t believe how amazingly delicous it was!  I mean, all the baked goods are yummy, but this bread just brought a whole new level of foodgasmness to the ball game (and yes, I said foodgasmness.  If people can make up the word foodgasm, I can make up suffixes to go with it!).  It was so incredibly soft it melted in my mouth.  I enjoy bread the most when I can eat it by itself.  Bread is versatile, but the true test of tastiness is when you can eat it without any meat, any vegetables, or any condiments slathered on it.  And these white bread buns were so good they would entice anyone to grab five and inhale them all in one sitting.

In addition to the apple cinnamon walnut buns and white bread, this particular visit to the CSI market was a new and exciting treat because the market had some new faces and yummies!  Fresh City Farms and Boardwalk Chocolates were right there alongside Earth & City, Nice, Buns, and Chocosol with their fruits, vegetables, and vegan chocolates and it was so great seeing new faces and others joining in on the market action.  There’s so much I want to write, so I’m going to continue my big write-up tomorrow and leave you with a whopping batch of Nice Buns market photos from my last visit.  The market won’t be around for long so enjoy a lunch and grab all the great food while you still can at this wonderful little market.

*****

Nice Buns is located at 402 Queen Street East, Unit 2, just east of Parliament Street.  Sara’s fresh baked goods can also be enjoyed at the 99MRKT, Red Line Coffee and Espresso Bar, and Depanneur on College Street.  The Lunctime Markets at the Centre for Social Innovation in the Annex and on Spadina take place on Tuesdays and Wednesdays respectively from 11:30am-1pm.  The Centre for Social Innovation (Annex) is located at 720 Bathurst Street, just south of Bloor Street West and Lennox.  They also have a location on Spadina at 215 Spadina Ave., 4th floor.

Warm, Heavenly, Bite-Sized Morsels of Cinnamon Sugar – Mini Donut Bliss at Little Nicky’s Coffee

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It’s about time I started some donut love on the blog!  Last Saturday (November 5th) was Donut Day (or Doughnut Day – I can’t decide which spelling I like better so forgive me if I started using them both interchangably in future posts) and I felt so lame for not having anything donut-related to post.  Even though I don’t eat them on a regular basis, I enjoy donuts in all of their many sugary shapes and varieties.  My favourites are ones with sprinkles (especially ones with chocolate sprinkles, and the pastel-coloured sprinkled donuts in the Bathurst subway station bakery!), Boston Creams, Sour Cream Glazed, cinnamon sugar dusted ones, and jelly donuts.  Oh, and coconut cream donuts.  That sounds like a whole lot!  I promise I’m not a glutton like Homer with a bottomless pit stomach for donuts.  Simply put, these are my favourites and if given a choice, I would choose these over other varieties in a heartbeat. 

I’ve certainly eaten my share of these glazed, powdered sugar dusted, jelly-filled, cream-filled, sprinkled confections over the years, yet here we are with zero donut posts on the blog.  A food blog with an undying devotion to sweets, no less.  All of that changes today though, thanks to my dear Lisa of Le Dolci!  She brought amazing, delicious, scrumptious mini donuts back to the studio for us yesterday and I loved them so much, I ate three of them and asked her where this mini donut heaven resided.  She told me and I went to get myself some more today.  Because they’re that delicious.

Behold, Little Nicky’s Coffee and the magnificent minis!  I know, I couldn’t believe it either when I first found out that these fabulous mini donuts that sent my tastebuds over the moon came from a hole-in-the-wall coffee shop in downtown Toronto just off of Queen Street West and Peter Street.  Finding out about Little Nicky’s reminded me of how much fun it is to visit every coffee shop in town and to see what goodies are hiding behind the espresso machines and coffee mugs. 

Granted, coffee and coffee drinks should obviously be a coffee shop’s strong suit, but these shops function as more than just places to fuel up on some much needed caffiene.  Coffee shops are meeting spots for friends, casual date spots for couples, and over the last number of years, the perfect place to get cozy with your laptop.  Finding good eats and unique sweets is one of the best things about exploring coffee and tea shops and I’ve found some delicious sweets, baked goods, and tea time snacks in some of the most unexpected places.  I couldn’t be more thrilled about these adorable mini donuts! 

Little Nicky’s Coffee is a retro-style coffee haunt with cute decor to match – and I mean cute.  They have 30s, 40s, and 50s style wall ornaments and framed posters on the walls, and even a retro Chiclet dispenser machine on the counter!  I had to keep myself from snorting with giggles when I saw it because I remember how popular Chiclets used to be when I was little and how cool my friends and I felt when we were allowed to chew gum and got these in our Hallowe’en trick-or-treat bags.  Or maybe that was just me.  ANYWAY. 

They serve both coffee and tea drinks including steamers, lattes, espressos, Americanos, cortados, cappuccinos, as well as hot chocolate, apple cider, and smoothies.  They’re food menu consists of a daily assortment of baked goods (cookies, cake loaves, banana bread, and more) and toasted bagels and sandwiches to order.  One of these days I’m going to have to go to Little Nicky’s earlier in the day because some of their baked goods were sold out when I arrived today.  They had an empty glass cases/cookie jar that had a sticker on it that read “Oreo stuffed chocolate chip” which I can only assume refers to cookies.  OREO STUFFED CHOCOLATE CHIP?!  Sigh.  Next time. 

Their amazing, fresh, hot-out-of-the-donut-flippy-machine cinnamon suagr mini donuts are what draws the crowds to this coffee shop though!  Nearly everyone in the shop walked away with either half a dozen ($2.75) or a dozen ($4) warm mini donuts and they are fantastic.  Oh!  And all prices are inclusive are tax.  Hallelujah!  Trust a Canadian like myself to get excited about something like that.

It’s so much fun watching them put together your donuts.  The rings of donut dough float in a little vat of oil in the donut machine where a person uses a long chopstick-like stick to flip them over and guide them along until they reach the “conveyor belt” part of the machine.  From there, the mini donuts fly off the moving chain conveyor belt into a large white catch basin where they rest until a generous amount of minis congregate.  The mini donuts are then placed in a metal mixing bowl where they’re first tossed with powdered sugar between two mixing bowls (you can think of the toss and tumble process of the sugar and donuts as kind of like the separation of an egg white from an egg yolk when you use the shells to plop the yolk back and forth) and then tossed again with a generous helping of cinnamon.  The result?  Pillow-soft, mouthwatering cinnamon sugar donuts that are hot and fresh and waiting to be devoured.

These mini donuts are some of the best donuts I’ve ever had.  Are you familiar with Tiny Tom donuts?  You are?  Good.  Little Nicky’s cinnamon sugar minis totally own the Tiny Tom ones.  Oh c’mon, you don’t have to look so incredulous.  I know Tiny Tom donuts have a large following, but I’m not kidding around when I say these blow them out of the water.  They’re incredibly soft, they don’t taste cakey or dry, and the cinnamon sugar flavour is perfectly sweet with that dusted coarse sugar texture that literally melts in your mouth as soon as you eat them.  And one of the best parts?  They’re not greasy!  I was half-expecting my little paper/wax baggy to get blotchy oil spots on it as the day went on, but the bag was clean as a whistle when I brought them home.  It is so easy to eat an entire batch of these and if I wasn’t so concerned about sharing these with the rest of my family, I would have downed the entire half dozen all on my own.  It really isn’t hard.

*****

Little Nicky’s Coffee is located at 375 Queen Street West, just south of Queen on Peter Street.  Peter Street is just east of Spadina Ave.

Bagels, Baked Goods, Pastries, and Russian Matryoshka Dolls! Seventh Sister Bakery on Roncesvalles

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Welcome to Seventh Sister and Roncesvalles!  It took me awhile to get here, I know.  I’ve wanted to explore Roncesvalles and the surrounding neighbourhood for so long and last month I finally did!  Whenever I would go downtown, I would see the King streetcar and see the name “Roncesvalles” at the top and it drove me crazy knowing I had never been in the area.  These past few years have been amazing in terms of city exploration.  Anyone who thinks TO is boring is out of their mind; with all the running around I’ve done, I still haven’t seen all of the city and I know I won’t for quite some time.  Anyway, I made it a mission to visit Roncesvalles and since I had a Teambuy voucher for Cardinal Rule (blog post forthcoming), it was the perfect fit.  Luck was not on my side that day though as Cardinal Rule was closed just for that day because of city sidewalk and curb construction right outside their diner. 

Believe me, I was not thrilled.  I stuffed the voucher in my bag, pouted, and mumbled and grumbled about how much I had looked forward to eating veggie diner food.  I sighed, looked at my boyfriend, and decided that we would walk up and down Roncesvalles to find ourselves some yummy food.  I promise to dedicate an entire Foodie District post (or two) to all the amazing food on and around Roncesvalles, but for now, I’m just going to say that there is no way anyone could ever starve while being here.  Oh my goodness.  You know how we have Chinatown, Little India, and Little Italy?  Roncesvalles is Little Poland.  We’re talking Polish bookstores, Polish cheese and deli shops, Polish bakeries, and Polish and Hungarian restaurants among coffee shops, diners, and other amazing eateries.

As we walked north on Roncesvalles, I saw Seventh Sister and fell in love with it from the get go.  There are SO many things I love about Seventh Sister Bakery.  I’m not going to lie though, I wish Seventh Sister was 100 times bigger.  The bakery is TINY.  There are two tables that seat 4 people each inside and a small 2-seater outside the bakery and that’s it.  I know, the teenyness makes me cringe a bit too.  My boyfriend, Richard, and I had to come back 3 times to nab ourselves a table inside (yes, I refused to give up because I’m just that damn stubborn) and while many people were coming and going and grabbing bags of bagels, bread, and pastries, you know how I feel about having a place to sit to eat my yummies. 

But I’m telling you, the bakery has so much character and so many wonderful sweet treats, the tight corners make it all worth it.  I adore Seventh Sister.  First, who wouldn’t fall in love with the storefront?  Russian matryoshka dolls!!  I adore these dolls.  This scrapbook layout was so much fun to make and I’ve been waiting to make it for over a month now.  The handmade paper doll was inspired by my matryoshka tote bag, makeup bag, and matching compact mirror 😀  If you’re wondering, yes, every single piece of cardstock and part of the doll was drawn and cut out by me!  I also love the bakery’s yellow and orange and chocolate brown storefront with the stripey awning!  And the walls and shop are adorned with adorable toys and matryoshka doll accessories like drinking glasses and ornaments.

I love that I can come here and have a simple but delicious lunch or afternoon snack.  If you enjoy bagels, sandwiches, baked goods, pastries, and cute decor, this is your kind of bakery.  The set up of the bakery is kind of like this: when you enter the shop, the two tables are in the center.  To your right is a shelf where you’d get your coffee creamer, milk, sugar, honey, and cups.  In front of you past the tables and closer to the back is the cash, the menu board up on the wall, and the sweet lady owners who make your food.  Last, to your left are the shelves with all the delicious baked goods and pastries!  Snatch up a paper bag and go to town!  There are huuuge baskets of freshly baked sesame, poppy seed, and plain bagels for you to grab from, bread and buns, and dishes and cake stands of sweet treats and savoury snacks.

The sweet treats and baked goods alone would compel me to go all the way to Roncesvalles, and not just to Seventh Sister!  The bakery had a fabulous assortment of goodies with prices around $0.50-$3.  There were fruit danishes and pinwheels with sweet icing, chocolate chip shortbread cookies, oat cake squares with cinnamon, chocolate croissants dusted with powdered sugar, dried fruit squares with oats, coconut, almonds, and nuts, lemon poppy seed muffins, soft pretzels, triple chocolate pecan brownies, and – get this – savoury bacon and gruyère muffins!!

That day for lunch, I got myself a bacon and gruyère muffin ($2.75), and a sesame seed bagel from the big basket on the shelf, which I gave it to the nice ladies to toast for me for my veggie and cheese sandwich.  Their menu is full of deli meat and veggie sandwich options that you can have on bread or bagels and prices range from $2-$6.  Oh, and they have Nutella and fluffernutter sandwiches on the menu too!  My veggie sandwich on a bagel was stuffed silly with romaine lettuce, tomatoes, red onion, alfalfa sprouts, green olives, guacamole, swiss cheese, mayo, and dijon mustard.  I loooved my veggie and swiss cheese bagel (yes, even with the olives!) and even though it sounds simple, sometimes that’s the best.  Simple food done well that tastes delicious that isn’t expensive.

And the bacon and gruyère cheese muffin?  Talk about deliciously delicious!  This muffin is amazing and I could eat these day in and day out.  They’re the perfect brunch or afternoon tea muffin and they are so incredibly moist, soft, and flavourful.  There are strips of chopped bacon in the muffin with ooey gooey melted cheese inside and my muffin was still super warm when I got it.  Forget bacon and eggs, this is where it’s at.  If I didn’t care so much about sharing the wealth of goodness with others, I would have taken the entire plate.  

And speaking of plates, Seventh Sister is even more awesome in my book because of the mismatched china they use for their food.  The plates are beautiful and so full of history and artistry.  There are china plates with gold filigree, plates with painted scenes of American states and Canadian provinces (possibly from the 70s or 80s), and plates with pretty, colourful, and dainty floral prints.  The kitchen decor lover in me was in conniptions and the next time I plan on coming here, I’m coming prepared.  I’m bringing tupperware.

*****

Seventh Sister Bakery is located at 53 Roncesvalles Ave., north of Queen St. on the east side of Roncesvalles.  The bakery is sandwiched between Marion St. to the north and Harvard Ave. to the south.  If you are curious about the name, the name is true to life – the owner is in fact the 7th sister in her large family!

Scrapbooking materials used: grape purple, bubblegum pink, grass green, mint green, powder blue, red, and black cardstock (Recollections); bakery dessert stickers (Sticko); gold foiled flower and forest stickers (atd by momenta); adhesive foam squares; paper corner rounder (ek success), black fine point Sharpie.

The Fall Harvest Series – Today’s Thanksgiving! Enjoying Baked Goodies From Evergreen Brick Works, Part III

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Happy Thansgiving to all my fellow Canadian lovelies!  I hope everyone’s had a fun and relaxing long weekend and I hope you all got the chance to eat some amazing food, with or without the turkey!  I’ve had a fabulous weekend, going to Evergreen Brick Works with my family for the first time, having a delicious Sunday brunch at Cardinal Rule (blog post forthcoming!), visiting two more markets on Sunday, and catching up on some much needed sleep today!  There’s so much that I want to do and see still (I still want to get in an apple orchard visit for starters!), and I feel like the days and weeks go by so quickly I can never get everything I want done actually done.  I will say though that this weekend was fantastic and I’m glad I got to fit in so much of what I wanted to do. 

I am bummed though that I wasn’t able to get out and capture a Thanksgiving meal to the nines for you all though.  There were some amazing Thanksgiving feasts being put on by some really places in the city, but the timing just didn’t work out for me.  No extravagent Thanksgiving meal photos – not for this year anyway!  Even though my family and I fancy the idea of traditional Thanksgiving food (you know, the roast turkey, potatoes, cranberry sauce, that kind of thing), there have been very few times in my life that I’ve actually had that type of meal with all the trimmings.  Just think, the first time I ever had pumpkin pie was last October and the last time our family did the big Thanksgiving dinner with the turkey was five years ago!

Mini pumpkins from Kensington Market. Awww ❤

Amazing mini buns from Evergreen Brick Works!

Do I wish that I had more of those meals to enjoy?  Sure I do, but at the same time, I’ve been really happy just having fun with the season in other ways.  I love fall comfort food and baking, and every year I get excited about the festiveness that surrounds Thanksgiving.  My brother and I love watching the Thanksgiving episodes of F.R.I.E.N.D.S, I adore reading holiday-centric books (the Baby-Sitters Club fan in me is still alive and kicking!), I get inspired by scrapbooking fall themed pages, home decor and kitchen accessories, and flipping through fall food magazines and cookbooks.  I may not have the tradtional meals under my belt, but what I have are sweet memories from Thanksgivings past (I don’t think I’ll ever forget the amazing spread my aunt put out when I was 9!), wonderful, homecooked food, and a family, boyfriend, and friends to go through life with.

    

Pumpkin cranberry scones!

I’m bookending the Evergreen Brick Works fall series today with a look at some of the mouth-watering baked goods at the market!  Bread and baked yummies and sweets are definitely a weakness for both my mum and I.  She’s a breadhead and I have a sweet tooth, so together we basically carry a whole bakery home with us when we decide to purchase things.  The market is amazing for things like this because there’s so much variety.  Different kinds of baguettes, loaves, and buns, muffins, cakes, pies, squares, pastries, and all sorts of other goodies.  We picked up a beautiful and delicious mini vegetable and cheese pizza  for my lunch, a blueberry maple syrup scone (OH.MY.GOD), a raisin muffin, and a grab bag of 8 mini bread buns in all these different flavours!  The grab bag had plain ones, wheat ones, corn bread, pumpkin, and BEET BREAD!!!

As my family and I were waiting for the Evergreen Brick Works shuttle bus, there was this nice woman who we chatted with who told us about the famous beet bread at the market and we totally lucked out finding the vendor and bakers who made it.  I’m a weenie though because in my giddy haste over cute buns I didn’t take a photo of the booth itself or get the name of the lovely people behind it.  All I can tell you is that it’s one of the first tables you see on the left when you come into the farmers’ market barn.  I promise I’ll get the name for you guys next time!  The bread was absolutely delicious and I loved it because we were able to try so many different kinds in the grab bag.  We popped them in the oven for our Thanksgiving brunch this morning and they were crispy on the outside and mega soft on the inside.  Every farmers’ market has its own draw and for me, this would have me coming back for more all on its own.

I’ve enjoyed doing the Fall Harvest series so much over the past week and there’s so much more that I want to show you guys that I’m going to continue the series intermittenly for the rest of the month!  I would keep it going every day for the next two weeks or so, but if I’m going to be honest, I am so behind on my scrapbooking that there are certain posts I don’t want to post because I want to do my scrapbook pages for them first.  I’m having a lot fun with the series though, so I’m not going to stop it until winter hits.  There’s still too much pumpkin fall fun and delicious food I have yet to unleash 😀

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Evergreen Brick Works is located at 550 Bayview Ave.  The farmers’ market takes place year-round every Saturday from 8am-1pm.  If taking public transit, there is a free shuttle bus that operates 7 days a week beside Broadview subway station, as well as the 28A Davisville TTC bus that runs on Saturdays from 8am-3pm between Evergreen Brick Works and Davisville subway station.  Click here to learn more the site, their events and programs, and how to get here by bus, bike, car, or foot.