J’Adore Macarons! Bringing Home Sweets for Grandma from J’Adore Cakes & Co – Macaron Day TO 2014 Adventures, Part I

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4 stops, 2 dozen macarons, 1 memorable, wonderfully delicious day.  Macaron Day TO 2014 came and went last Thursday and despite the chilly, windy weather it was everything I hoped it would be!  Even though I didn’t surpass last year’s total of 5 stops, I truly had so much fun and in addition to raising money for Red Door, that’s the point of Macaron Day: to have fun and to build passion, excitement and awareness for these mouthwatering desserts that we love so much.  I hope everyone had a really great time noshing on macarons and being swept up in the excitement because I sure did!  I was raring to go early in the morning with my trusty Hello Kitty tin lunch box in tow, waiting in the wings to be filled with luscious macarons throughout the busy day and I’m happy to report that the highly anticipated day didn’t disappoint.

I passed by so many macaron-happy folks out and about with their baggies and boxes and I’m excited to find out if our final total for Red Door this year exceeded the one from last year.  I’m hoping – fingers crossed!  I had been anticipating this day for so long, not only because I was looking forward to having a ridiculous amount of macarons in my mouth and belly but also because March 20 is my anniversary with my sweetheart.  Macaron Day, my anniversary, and International Day of Happiness – it was meant to be.

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I switched up my Macaron Day route this year.  For the last two years I generally stayed close to Yonge Street, attacking several different patisseries each time with a few repeats thrown in: in 2012 I hit up Patachou, Daniel et Daniel, La Bamboche and Petit Thuet and in 2013 I paid visits to Patisserie La Cigogne, Rahier Patisserie, and Yorkville Espresso Bar with return visits to Petit Thuet and La Bamboche.  This year I really wanted to choose either an east or west end area and swing back central so I chose to start out east and I’m so glad I did because I FINALLY made my way to J’Adore Cakes & Co. on the Danforth after all this time!

Located at 3308 Danforth Ave. in the east end of the city near between Warden and Victoria Park, J’Adore Cakes & Co. is a beautiful and sweet cake and dessert boutique and cafe specializing in cake design and all the fresh, homemade sweet treats dreams are of made of: cupcakes, donuts (owner Isabelle was a winner on Food Network’s Donut Showdown!) and macarons!  In addition, the shop serves plenty of hot drinks and panini sandwiches for the times when you need some food to round out the sweetness.  The sweet-as-pie shop is painted in pastel blue and pink-and-white stripes with bursts of sleek and modern black and white designs adorning their decorated cakes and beautiful framed watercolours of yummy desserts on the walls.  It’s a lovely space bursting with beauty and delicious things to eat.

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Macarons are $2.25 each with half a dozen coming in at $13 (tax inclusive) and a dozen at $25, also tax inclusive.  On Macaron Day, 8 macaron flavours were on deck, ripe for the picking and patrons were allowed to choose any flavour of their choice as their free one so I chose their Flavour of the Month, Apricot Ginger with chocolate drizzle!  In addition to my free macaron, I bought a dozen to take home with me (L to R): 2 each of their Yuzu, Blood Orange, Praline Crunch, Earl Grey, Guava, and Apricot Ginger.  The only two flavours I didn’t choose were the Pistachio and Peanut and it certainly wasn’t because I didn’t want to!  The peanut one sounded delicious, like a peanut butter cookie with creamy peanut butter filling or something and I’m always up for Pistachio but I wanted to try something different so I chose the flavours that were most different to me.

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Their macarons are so beautiful and colourful and yes, delicious!  They’re about the size of a typical macaron (comparable to an Oreo cookie) and their fillings are mouthwateringly yummy.  While I didn’t try all 6 flavours (remember I took these home for my family with the intent of sharing – I had to keep my word and save some for them!) I did try their Yuzu (the bright yellow with black sesame seeds), Guava (the lovely pinky-coral one), and Apricot Ginger with chocolate drizzle and I enjoyed them all.  The fillings were light as air and so soft and creamy.  If I had to choose a favourite I’d choose Guava simply because it’s extremely true to the fruit and also because it’s very unique.  I haven’t come across another guava at any of the other patisseries thus far so it totally gets my vote!  I can’t wait to go back to J’Adore Cakes & Co. for more macarons and to try their cupcakes and donuts.  An honest-to-goodness sweet tooth like my self wouldn’t do justice if i didn’t!

Macaron Day this year was extremely special.  I got to visit a beautiful sweets boutique I had never been to before, I got to try a plethora of new flavours, and I got to enjoy the special day with my sweetheart.  And you know what else?  This Macaron Day enabled me to share my love and passion for macarons with my grandma on her birthday.  6 of those macarons were for her because I knew I’d be seeing her the next day and I wanted her to try these amazing sweets and to be a part of all the fun I had.  Because of Macaron Day, I got to give my grandma her first macaron at the tender age of 81.  And she loved it.

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J’Adore Cakes & Co. is located at 3308 Danforth Ave. between Warden Ave. and Pharmacy Ave. (west of Robinson Ave.), walking distance from Victoria Park subway station in the east end of Toronto.  They are open 5 days a week from Tuesday to Saturday (10am-6pm Tuesday-Friday and 10am-5pm Saturday).  They are closed on Mondays and only open on Sundays for consultations and appointments.  You can visit their official website at  http://www.jadorecakesco.com/, ‘Like’ them on Facebook, and follow them on Twitter @jadorecakesco

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Map Out Your Macaron Munching Routes – 1 Week Until Macaron Day Toronto 2014!

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pre macaron day 2014 collageJust as the title says: only 1 more week until we celebrate the 3rd annual Macaron Day TO on March 20th!  I’m happily volunteering again this year as a Macaron Day TO ambassador and I already have my macaron map figured out.  If you’ve never participated in the delicious occasion before, you must!  Not only is it super fun carrying around a bundle of macarons in your arms (or purse or tote bag or in my case in the last two years, a picnic basket and Hello Kitty tin lunch box!), it’s also for a bigger and more important cause.

Macaron Day, in essence, is a day to support local charities in addition to enjoying delicious macarons and trying numerous wacky flavours made just for the occasion.  Many cities take part including Paris, New York and Toronto and each city chooses a local charity to raise money for.  For the last two years, Macaron Day TO has been donating 25% of all Macaron Day sales on March 20th to the Red Door Family Shelter, an organization that aids in providing care and social, legal and financial assistance to the homeless, low-income families and abused women and children just to name a handful.

On March 20th, participating patisseries, bakeries and cafes all across the city will be baking up a storm in support of this cause.  Here’s how it works: show up at a participating Macaron Day TO location, tell folks at said location that you’re celebrating Macaron Day and receive a FREE macaron!  (One free macaron per customer).  And of course, 25% of the proceeds of any and all macaron purchases you make on the day will go to benefit Red Door.  Obviously, Macaron Day wouldn’t be a success without the enthusiasm and support from everyone who comes out for it, so if you can, visit your favourite participant or make a day out of like me!  Get out early though as each participating location will have a limited number of free macarons to give out.

I’ve had a lot of fun strategizing and mapping out my macaron munching routes the last two years and this year will be no different.  I’ve generally followed a north-south plan, hitting up about 4 to 6 spots each year: La Bamboche, Petit Thuet x 2, Patachou, Rahier Patisserie, Patisserie La Cigogne, Yorkville Espresso Bar, and Daniel et Daniel.  I’m going about my route a little differently this year so you’ll see lots of photos from places I haven’t hit on Macaron Day yet!  I’m excited and I hope that all of you will get the chance to come out, have fun, eat macarons, and benefit Red Door.

Check out all of Ate by Ate’s macaron yumminess!

Macaron Day TO 2013

Macaron Day TO 2012

The Macaron Day Toronto Adventures! A Journey Through Rahier, La Bamboche, Yorkville Espresso Bar & More!

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Happy Easter, everyone!  Ah, the celebration of all things pastel, and the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes of spring.  Even if you don’t celebrate Easter religiously, I hope everyone was able to enjoy the long weekend with some yummy eats and adorable Easter themed things like chocolate, marshmallow, bunny, or Easter egg desserts!  Or in my case, Easter themed macarons.  OH. MY.GOD.  Macarons decorated like baby chicks and Easter eggs with lemon and custard filling!  Check out Ate by Ate’s Facebook page and you’ll know exactly what I mean.  They’re one of the most adorable things I’ve ever seen (and so yummy), courtesy of Daniel et Daniel in Cabbagetown just for Easter.  And speaking of macarons, I FINALLY  get to share more from my day of adventure on Macaron Day.  I know I’m really late but I figure since we’re still waiting on baited breath to find out how much we raised for Red Door Family Shelter, my Macaron Day escapades are still very much relevant.

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March 2oth was truly one of the funnest days ever.  I feel so incredibly lucky and grateful to have been a part of this day and event – to buy macarons till they were coming out of my ears, to meet shop owners, to take photos, and to know that I was contributing to a really great cause.  My boss was very gracious in allowing me to take Macaron Day TO off as a personal day and I sure as hell made it count.  This day has meant more to me than I ever thought it would.  When Bonnie recruited me as a Macaron Day Ambassador back in February, I knew it was going to be a fun and exciting experience, but I never thought it would be this much fun.  Myself and the other girls were able to get involved in ways we never would have had we not been Ambassadors and it was crazy just how much we were plugging it on our blogs, on Twitter, and on our Macaron Day Facebook page (yup, that was me laying the smackdown on the Macaron Day TO Facebook page on a lot of those posts with Bonnie and Sonya while Mardi, Amy, Vickie, Vicky, and Sandi plugged away on Twitter!)

It felt so good being that focused and the adrenaline just kicked in – editing photos, finding content, seeking out updates and posting on the Facebook page 7 times a day.  And on that Wednesday, my heart felt so free hopping around town visiting patisseries, getting on and off the subway left, right, and centre, collecting macarons and tucking them away in my Hello Kitty tin lunchbox (yes, that’s right, I carried a number of macarons in a Hello Kitty tin lunchbox – they needed protection from getting squished and crushed!), and eating them ALL DAY LONG!

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I made 5 stops this year; 1 more than 2012!  I started out east and went straight down Yonge Street, hitting up a bunch of  spots I didn’t hit last year.  It was my first time going to Patisserie La Cigogne and Rahier Patisserie, both on Bayview Ave. just south of Eglinton.  Patisserie La Cigogne took my breath away with their gorgeous display case of colourful macarons, petit gateaux, pastries, and baked goods.  It was cold out that day but the beautiful sunshine that streamed in through the front windows just made everything that much brighter and happier.  I picked my free one, Caramel (I got to choose whichever flavour I wanted from their entire display case!) and then I bought a set of 6 in a nice box.

A bunch of photos later, I walked several shops down to Rahier where I had one of the nicest conversations with the cafe owner, Anita, and picked up my free one (a delicious, fruit concoction of raspberry with lychee, rose, and cream!) and another half a dozen.  Interestingly enough, Rahier is one of the few patisseries in the city that charge their macarons by weight.  There’s no $1.50, $2, or $2.50 type of pricing.  Anita explained to me that because everything was made my hand, it was fairer to price them by weight than to price them each.  And they turned out to be incredibly reasonable in price!  Half a dozen only came up to around $9 (because I’m basing this from memory only, I’d say $8-$10) and there were so many beautiful colours and flavours to choose from including lime, green tea, strawberries and cream, and my personal favourite, CINNAMON HONEY!!

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I then jetted to La Bamboche on Manor where I gave Michel (organizer of Macaron Day TO and owner of La Bamboche) a big hug and saw chef Stephen on my way out.  I’ll be doing a separate post just on my macarons from La Bamboche after this one so sit tight!  I hit up Yorkville Espresso Bar afterward (not before taking a macaron break inside the underground PATH of Hudson’s Bay Centre though), nabbed their adorable espresso macaron and took some photos of chef YJ preparing macaron batter in the Yorkville Kitchen Studio!

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And then finally, I ended my macaron collecting at Petit Thuet at Yonge and King where I was flabbergasted by their gorgeous, rainbow display of macarons that spanned over half the cafe!  Now, I know Petit Thuet went about Macaron Day a little differently this year.  Instead of offering a free macaron to every person who made the request, a single macaron was $2 which went straight to donation, or 5 for the price of $4, meaning that the 5th was free.  And 20% of all purchases (not just macarons, but all) made at Petit Thuet would be donated to Red Door Family Shelter.

I know some people took issue with this arrangement (a free macaron is a free macaron and they should have honoured this) while others couldn’t care less about it – the event is to benefit Red Door Family Shelter, period, and people shouldn’t be petty about the arrangement for the sake of a free macaron.  I have my own opinions about this which I actually don’t wish to divulge here, but I felt like mentioning it because it wouldn’t be fair to pretend like it didn’t exist or to gloss over it.  I picked up some fantastic ones during this last collection though, my favourite being the Blueberry Cheesecake!

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Stay tuned for my photos and post on La Bamboche a la Macaron Day!  And of course, the final numbers on how much we raised for Red Door Shelter this year – I can’t wait to find out!  We should be getting results some time in April so let’s hope we exceeded last year’s total of $6500 and met our goal of $8000!

Macaron Day TO’s Sophomore Year, 2013! The Remarkable Macaron Journey, Part I

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A mesmerizing rainbow display and array of macarons at Petit Thuet!

Today, Macaron Day TO 2013, was  one of the funnest, happiest days.  EVER.  And I am still reeling from it and soaking it all in.  I’m madly trying to edit my photos as quickly as I can so while I’m doing that, here’s a photo sneak peek of my day today – some of the delicious macarons I got the privilege of tasting for the first time, photos from patisseries I paid my first visit to, and the love, support, and passion that has surrounded this event from day one.

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Love all the Macaron Day signage! This one was outside Patisserie La Cigogne on Bayview Ave!

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It’s like a macaron bank! Macarons and stickers at Yorkville Espresso Bar.

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Say hello to Hazelnut Praline from La Bamboche.

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Eating my weight in macarons!

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There’s no better way to welcome the first day of spring – pastels and springtime macarons!

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Keep up with all the Macaron Day TO festivities and chatter!  “Like” and follow us on the Macaron Day TO Facebook page, follow us on Twitter @MacaronTO (hastag #macarondayTO), and visit the official website for a list of all the participating patisseries, bakeries and cafes that took part in this year’s event (it’s a fantastic bucket list for those of you who want to try out new spots!), your Macaron Day ambassadors (like me!), and more!

A Fresh Start for Ate by Ate: Macaron Day TO 2013 & Warming Up with Hot Chocolate & Macarons at La Bamboche

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Creamy hot chocolate and lavender and green tea white sesame macarons at La Bamboche!

I have a lot of explaining to do.  Because I really dropped the ball this time.  I’ll let myself off the hook for the month of December.  I was on-again, off-again and Christmas just swept me off my feet.  There was family, there were friends, there was work (was there EVER work – I was doing paperwork on Christmas eve!), there was my sweetheart and just like that, the month was over.  But the last two months?  I have not been here.  And I should have been.  But it was not happening because life just kept happening.  Things at work became much more hectic and demanding (why, hello there promotion!), I got to travel for the very first time (hello and goodbye, Florida!), I got sick, weekends disappeared before my eyes (if I wasn’t out and about gathering content, I was editing photos and if I wasn’t editing photos, I was sifting through e-mail, and if I wasn’t doing that I was trying to catch up on sleep).  I was utterly exhausted.  I could not keep up anymore.

Forget the clipped pace I was operating on – I hadn’t been to a farmers’ market in weeks, my scrapbook supplies were yearning for attention, and I was literally falling asleep as I was typing on my laptop at 7 in the evening (you don’t even want to know the incoherent gibberish I typed as I dozed off).  When that started happening, I knew I had to stop.  I always took pride in being the best supergirl I could be, balancing everything in life and still feeling happy, fulfilled, and overall, really content.  But things in my life had changed and I needed to be honest with myself about what my limits were, what I could and couldn’t do, and what truly made me happy.  So I took a break.  What the exception of putting together the January and February Food Calendars, blogging and I took a break from one another.  Because if I couldn’t be at my best, I didn’t want to blog at all.  Ate by Ate is my baby and it deserves a lot better than half-hearted, half-ass efforts.

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There was one day where I ambled around downtown in Baldwin Village and Kensington Market on my own, something I hadn’t done in what felt like ages.  And I actually felt a lump form in my throat and I could feel myself start to get choked up because, even though it was chilly and damp and just a gloomy kind of day, I felt SO GOOD.  I felt free and happy.  And I was reminded of how much I missed it and how important it was for me to actually soak in and enjoy everything as opposed to just robotically moving through it and frantically trying to get something done. 

Maybe it’s spring coming up (yes, it WILL come!), maybe it’s the love and excitement for Macaron Day; I finally feel like I’m ready to be back for real and I am so excited.  Admittedly, things won’t be the same around here.  I won’t be able to post every day like I used to.  But I will be here again full-time and as much as I can and I’m really thankful and appreciative of everyone and all of you who’ve stuck around for me.  THANK YOU x a million!

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So, first order of business: Macaron Day Toronto 2013!  If you don’t already know or if you haven’t checked out the Food Calendar listings, Macaron Day TO returns for its sophomore year on Wednesday, March 20th!  Organized by and spearheaded by La Bamboche, the event celebrates macarons worldwide and benefits Red Door Shelter here in Toronto.  You can check out the official website HERE for info on Red Door Shelter and how Macaron Day came to be.  There are some new new participants this year (including my beloved Le Dolci!) and we have a dedicated group of Macaron Day TO ambassadors promoting the cause and event – including me! 

I am SO proud to be a Macaron Day TO ambassador and I will be promoting and sharing all Macaron Day TO content all month long until the 20th, when I’ll be out and about participating in the festivities!  Follow the other girls on Twitter and Facebook (click on the ambassadors link above for blog  and Twitter contact info), follow @MacaronTO on Twitter, and “Like” and keep up with the Macaron Day TO Facebook page for fun photos, news, surveys and more!  Check out Ate by Ate’s journey last year:

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If you need some visual cues and suggestions for the day, you’ve come to the right place!  My most recent macaron purchase from La Bamboche included chocolate, espresso, eggnog rum, green tea and white sesame, lavender, caramel sea salt, pistachio, raspberry chocolate ganache, yuzu, and strawberry champagne!  And let’s not forget about their fabulous green tea mango macarons!  My favourites have to be the green tea mango and the strawberry champagne (the adorable minty green one with the little edible silver pearl on top in the photos!) and I’m hoping to try more fab flavours during future visits. 

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La Bamboche serves two locations in Toronto.  One is located at 4 Manor Rd. E., off Yonge St. south of Eglinton Ave. and the other location is at 1712 Avenue Rd., north of Lawrence Ave. East at the corner of Avenue and Fairlawn.

M is March, Maple Syrup, and Macaron Day TO! The Sweet & Fabulous March Food Calendar!

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Sugarbush Maple Syrup Festival, March 2 – April 7.  All day, every day.  2 locations: Bruce’s Mills Conservation Area (3291 Stouffville Road in Stouffville) and Kortright Centre for Conservation (9550 Pine Valley Drive in Woodbridge).  $10 for adults, $6.50 for children and seniors, and students, children 4 and under with family are FREE.  Prices include HST.  Welcome the spring season with a month-long maple syrup festival!  Engage in syrup tastings, demos, pancakes, a maple syrup dinner, learn about the history of maple syrup, get maple syrup recipes and so much more!  Click the link the schedule of events and more info.  http://maplesyrupfest.com/

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Roland & Russell Brewers Launch Party, March 3.  8:30pm-11:30pm.  36 Harbord Street at the Wolfond Centre.  $35 for pre-booked, early bird tickets; $50 at the door.  Payment can be made directly through Paypal on the event website or by calling 905-738-3339.  Enjoy an evening of beer tasting, food, and music at this exclusive event benefiting the United Chesed, an organization in the Jewish community that supports low-income persons and families in the GTA with financial support and assistance.  Join beer expert, Ben Shillow, for a tasting of 3 craft draughts brand new to Canada by R&R Brewery including He’brew Jewbelation, Southern Tier IPA and Bush Pilot Stormy Monday, plus Mackmyra First Edition, single malt whiskey!  http://www.unitedchesed.com/events.html

Senior’s Community Kitchen at Evergreen Brick Works, March 5.  11am-1pm.  550 Bayview Ave.  FREE (please inquire about transportation arrangements if necessary by calling 416-596-1495 x340 or by e-mailing sforfar@evergreen.ca).  Senior’s Community Kitchen is just one of the many monthly senior’s activities offered by Evergreen Brick Works to provide senior’s and elders with an opportunity to socialize and mingle with others, to share skills and knowledge, to learn about healthy food choices and options, and to have fun preparing nutritious meals.   http://ebw.evergreen.ca/whats-on/seniors-in-action#kitchen

Get to Know Karma Food Co-op, March 6.  7pm.  739 Palmerston Ave.  FREE.  To register, e-mail karmaorientation@gmail.com.  Have you ever wondered how a food co-op operates, the types of products that are sourced, or just what a food co-op entails?  This informative session will inform you about everything you want to know about co-ops and the Karma Food Co-op specifically in the context of food politics and sustainability, and food sourcing.  Learn about food products, the people who run the co-op and more.  http://www.nowtoronto.com/news/listings/listing.cfm?listingid=800069150&subsection=&category=&nav=1

Kitchen Sisters 2013 – A Benefit for Sistering, March 8.  6pm reception, 7pm dinner.  85 Hanna Avenue at Mildred’s Temple Kitchen.  $500 ticket/person ($350 tax receipt issued).  Celebrate International Women’s Day in the company of some of the city’s most exceptional and admired women chefs in the industry!  The night, in support of Sistering, an organization that provides assistance to homeless, underhoused, at-risk, and low-income women in the Toronto community, will include a cocktail reception, 4-course dinner, wine pairings, door prizes and more.  http://sistering.org/events/kitchensisters.php

California Crusin’ Wine Tasting by the iYellow Wine Club, March 9.  7pm-10pm.  69 Bathurst Street at The Hoxton.  $55/person; to purchase tickets, visit the website.  Forget spring break in Florida; California taste and sunshine come to Toronto with this exclusive wine tasting event presented by iYellow Wine Club!  Sip over 60 wines from California, nosh on delicious food truck eats, and enjoy a vibrant Saturday night party celebration!   http://iyellowwineclub.com/upcoming-events-tours/california-cruisin?regevent_action=register&event_id=3

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Seedy Saturday, March 9.  11am-4pm.  Evergreen Brick Works at 550 Bayview Ave.  $5 or PWYC.  Take part in this annual, national event where you can buy, sell, and trade seeds!  Swap seeds and heirloom varieties with other passionate seed and plant enthusiasts, buy seeds from local vendors, and learn about this long-standing tradition.  You just might end up with some special heirloom tomato seeds that you can plant in your very own backyard!  http://ebw.evergreen.ca/whats-on/special-events/seedy-saturday

Toronto Underground Market at Evergreen Brick Works, March 9.  5pm-10pm.  550 Bayview Ave.  Online tickets ON SALE NOW (February 22nd on); tickets are $22.60 + $2.50 service charge.  The Toronto Underground Market is a special, monthly event that aims to bring our community together via food pathways by uncovering and illuminating hidden culinary talent within our city.  TUM offers food entrepreneurs and budding chefs a platform to share their food and stories, as well as an avenue to promote local food and businesses.  Tickets for the April TUM will go on sale on March 22!  http://yumtum.ca/index.html

Food 4 Thought: A Taste of Lebanon, March 15.  7pm-9pm.  631 Crawford Street at the Kadampa Meditation Centre.  $20/person or $35 for two; register through the website.  Find your inner zen at this relaxing meditation and 3-course vegetarian meal session at the Kadampa Temple.  Meet new people (community volunteers serve the meal!) and enjoy a taste of Lebanese food.  http://kadampa.ca/event/food-for-thought/

Get to Know Karma Food Co-op, March 16.  10am.  739 Palmerston Ave.  FREE.  To register, e-mail karmaorientation@gmail.com.  Have you ever wondered how a food co-op operates, the types of products that are sourced, or just what a food co-op entails?  This informative session will inform you about everything you want to know about co-ops and the Karma Food Co-op specifically in the context of food politics and sustainability, and food sourcing.  Learn about food products, the people who run the co-op and more.  http://www.nowtoronto.com/news/listings/listing.cfm?listingid=800069150&subsection=&category=&nav=1

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St. Patrick’s Eve Céilidh at Montgomery’s Inn, March 16.  7pm-11pm.  4709 Dundas Street West at Islington Avenue.  $5 +HST/person; cash bar.  Party the evening away, Irish style, at Montgomery’s Inn!  Enjoy hearty Irish stew, fresh baked bread, and plenty of music!  http://www.toronto.ca/culture/museums/featured-events.htm#montgomery

St. Patrick’s Day Tea at Montgomery’s Inn, March 17.  1pm-4pm.  4709 Dundas Street West at Islington Avenue.  $10 +HST/person.  Pinkies up at this St. Patty’s Day themed afternoon tea!  Enjoy classic porter cake, shamrock cookies, and more.  http://www.toronto.ca/culture/museums/featured-events.htm#montgomery

Macaron Day Toronto, March 20.  All day at 20 participating cafes, patisseries, and bakeries across Toronto!  For the 2nd year in a row, Toronto is celebrating the delicate, dainty, and delicious macaron in support of Red Door Family Shelter!  Patisseries will be offering complimentary macarons for the entire day, while supplies last.  25% of all additional macaron sales will go toward the Red Door Family Shelter helping abused women and children, the homeless, and families in need with emergency support and shelter.  Check out the official website to find out about our ambassadors and which patisseries are participating this year!  http://macarondayto.com/macaronDay.html

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Get to Know Karma Food Co-op, March 23.  10am.  739 Palmerston Ave.  FREE.  To register, e-mail karmaorientation@gmail.com.  Have you ever wondered how a food co-op operates, the types of products that are sourced, or just what a food co-op entails?  This informative session will inform you about everything you want to know about co-ops and the Karma Food Co-op specifically in the context of food politics and sustainability, and food sourcing.  Learn about food products, the people who run the co-op and more.  http://www.nowtoronto.com/news/listings/listing.cfm?listingid=800069150&subsection=&category=&nav=1

Pati’s Mexican Table at The Cookbook Store, March 23.  2pm-3pm.  850 Yorkville Ave.  FREE.  Pati Jinich comes to The Cookbook Store to promote her new cookbook, “Pati’s Mexican Table: The Secrets of Real Mexican Home Cooking” and to share her love of all things Mexican!  Meet Pati Jinich, learn more about her Mexican cooking and techniques, her PBS tv show, “Pati’s Mexican Table”, and enjoy a number of Mexican treats straight from her cookbook!  http://www.cook-book.com/events/index.html

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Book Launch at The Stop Community Food Centre – The Stop: How the fight for good food transformed a community and inspired a movement, March 24.  Time TBA.  601 Christie Street at The Stop Beer Garden.  FREE; beer, food and books will be available for purchase at the event.  Celebrate the book launch and support The Stop’s mission to continue fighting for equitable food politics in and around our city.  http://thestop.org/event/24-mar-2013

Korean Lunar New Year Temple Feast: A Rusholme Park Supper Club at The Depanneur, March 24.  7:30pm; 8pm dinner.  1033 College Street.  $40+HST/person.  Join Chef Jonna Pedersen for a fresh, spring, meal inspired by the Korean Buddhist temple cuisine!  Pedersen, who studied cooking in Korea, will be serving Korean-style tapas (Temple Food Banchan) including pumpkin porridge, acorn jelly and soybean stew; Korean soup (Ddeok Guk soup) with crispy seaweed, seitan, ricecake, julienned egg, along with dumplings and more; and to finish off, a traditional Korean tea service!  http://thedepanneur.ca/event/supper-club-korean-lunar-new-year-temple-feast-by-jonna-pederson/

Get to Know Karma Food Co-op, March 31.  1pm.  739 Palmerston Ave.  FREE.  To register, e-mail karmaorientation@gmail.com.  Have you ever wondered how a food co-op operates, the types of products that are sourced, or just what a food co-op entails?  This informative session will inform you about everything you want to know about co-ops and the Karma Food Co-op specifically in the context of food politics and sustainability, and food sourcing.  Learn about food products, the people who run the co-op and more.  http://www.nowtoronto.com/news/listings/listing.cfm?listingid=800069150&subsection=&category=&nav=1

Rainbows and Artwork at Petite Thuet – Yuzu Chocolate & Chocolate Coconut on Macaron Day, Part III!

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After nearly an entire week of macarons, I have learned something very important: 1) I should only ever bring a macaron home for my brother and 2) putting them in the fridge makes them last longer and they taste just as delicious the day after.  And the day after that.  And the day after that.  That’s right, folks.  I brought home four perfect, plump, beautiful macarons on Tuesday (I ate four all on my own during the day.  Don’t judge me, you know you’d do the same) and I still have one sitting on my kitchen table waiting to be devoured.  And most likely, it will be devoured by me.  I know, I live a tough life.  My family has exasperated me to the point of no return.  Anybody else would be empty-handed by now.  Or at the very least, swatting somebody else’s hand away for attempting to eat mine.  But noooo. 

My brother happily ate his, but my parents have repeatedly rejected my beloved macarons day after day and the only reason I didn’t just eat their share after a day is because I didn’t want to be selfish.  That, and also a pig.  Even if I have boundaries as blurry as they may be.  But for goodness sake, I think I’m the only person on this earth who still has a macaron left from Macaron Day!  And for that, I am embarrassed.  Note to self: save one for the brother and call it a day to save yourself from the face-palming and head-on-wall-banging.  Sigh.       

You’d think that after a day of macaron trick-or-treating and a week of macaron eating I’d be pooped out.  Nope, far from it.  Macaron Day has only fueled my giddiness over macarons and now I can’t get enough.  They’re delicate, cute, and as colourful as watercolour paint pucks.  They are delightful.  This love is going to be just as bad as cupcakes, if not worse.  One of the very first macaron posts I wrote on the blog was for Petit Thuet but this time around, I have the goods from a different location!  On Macaron Day, I paid a visit to the Rosedale location for the first time and I really fell in love with the space, much more so than the one on King St. in the financial district.  The Rosedale location, located in the heart of midtown Toronto on Yonge Street, has beautiful paintings and artwork on the walls and gorgeous wooden accents including a wooden light fixture and a wooden table bench by the storefront window.  The space is a little sunnier with more pop and personality to it and even though it’s small, I like it a lot.

Petit Thuet is a French bakery/boulangerie and gourmet shop that serves croissants, baked goods, pastries, and desserts, along with gourmet meats, jarred preserves, salads, and more.  Pastries and desserts include lemon bars, meringue tarts, fruit tarts, danishes, almond pastries, small cakes, and the ever popular macarons that have put Petit Thuet on the macaron map.  My very first Petit Thuet macaron was their rosewater one and while I really enjoyed it then, I LOVED the macarons I picked out on Tuesday even more!

There was literally a rainbow of macarons to choose from on Macaron Day and right off the bat, I picked up on the noticable differences.  The macarons were larger and plumper than I remember and there were a number of flavours that were completely new and exciting to me!  I snatched a bright yellow yuzu chocolate macaron (the yellow one you see on the far left in the macaron photo up top) and a creamy chocolate cocoa coconut one (the chocolate one with the toasted sprinkled coconut on top) and there were plenty of others that looked sweet and delicious.  My brother took the yuzu chocolate (his first macaron ever!) while we shared the chocolate coconut between the two of us and both were deeply loved. 

While I can’t give you an excited assessment of the yuzu chocolate yet, I can tell you that my brother was over the moon over it and loved it to itty bitty pieces.  He prefers citrus fruits over others such as berries and he’s a mega chocoholic so it was perfect for him.  It was his very time eating a macaron and he was hooked after the first bite.  And if you love coconut milk, the chocolate coconut macaron needs to be in your life.  Coconut and lemon are my two dessert flavour weaknesses so this made me all sorts of happy, especially because the filling was so creamy and so true to what coconut milk tastes like.

Macarons are $2.20 a piece which puts them in the middle price range as macarons in the city go for $1.50 to $3.  The new flavours and bigger sizes took me by surprise in the best way possible and I couldn’t be happier with the changes and additions.  They are fabulous and I am going to have the hardest time staying away.  Between Petit Thuet, La Bamboche, Bobbette & Belle, and other patisseries, I am going to be one very macaron-occupied girl for quite some time!  The last time I was this excited about a food event was last Septemeber during Vegetarian Food Fair and Macaron Day totally lived up to the fun and excitement I was expecting, and then some.  I had some of the most delicious flavours, the funnest time taking photos, and sharing the sweet treat stories with all of you and I can’t wait to do it all again next year now that the event has come to the city.  I hope you all enjoyed the macaron posts these last few days – it’s the beginning of a whole new delicious adventure!    

*****

Petite Thuet serves 3 locations in downtown/midtown Toronto:

  1. 1162 Yonge St. (between Summerhill and Rosedale subway stations, on the west side of Yonge St.)
  2. 1 King St. West (at the corner of Yonge and King St.)
  3. 244 King St. East (between Sherbourne and Princess St.)