Summer Ice Cream by the Waterfront – Toasted Coconut Island Ice Cream at Chocolates & Creams

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I was a very naughty girl the other day.  I ate a cupcake AND I had ice cream.  I mean, really, a chocolate dipped waffle cone and toasted coconut ice cream?  For a coconut fanatic like me??  I might as well have been a bunny with a carrot in my face.  Or a squirrel with nuts or fruit or something.  I’d like to think that I sweated out all my gluttony in my dad’s boiling, non-air conditioned car yesterday (a slightly opened window on a day with blazing sun and a paltry amount of breeze does not help an inferno of a car that has been in a parking lot for 5 hours, dad!) and I’d like to think that I have no qualms about going back for more.  Maybe in another few weeks.  For the time being, I’m going to ogle the extensive list of ice cream flavours on Chocolates & Creams menu board and decide what flavour I want for my next visit.  And for the one after that *whistles*. 

Chocolates & Creams is a fantastic chocolatier, ice cream shop, and gelato bar located inside Queens Quay Terminal by the waterfront.  I’m can’t say with conviction that they’re the best in Toronto (because Greg’s Ice Cream on Spadina and Bloor is reeeeally awesome too and everyone raves about Dutch Dreams on St. Clair W. as well), but their ice cream is VERY yummy.  I tried their ice cream here for the first time last summer and looooved their birthday cake ice cream so much and to my knowledge, the only other place I’ve seen this particular version of birthday cake ice cream is at the little ice cream shop in Bridlewood Mall in Scarborough! 

I’ve been meaning to come back for so long, but just didn’t get around to it because 1) even though I eat ice cream during the winter, the thought of heading down to the waterfront in windchill temperatures and mounds of snow and slush made me cringe, 2) I got caught up trying out a few other places like Greg’s Ice Cream (blog post forthcoming), Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt, Cold Stone Creamery, and gelato at Pacific Mall, and 3) sometimes it just takes me forever to do follow-up visits.  

They have a bunch of different cone options (regular, sugar, waffle, chocolate dipped waffle, chocolate dipped waffle with nuts) and they have LOTS of different flavours!  The most notable flavours for me: banana, birthday cake, black raspberry cheesecake (this will be mine one day), burgundy cherry, coconut island (a lot of places serve coconut sorbet or sherbet, not ice cream), and watermelon sherbet among others.  Not all their flavours are listed on their menu board though (such as their birthday cake flavour), so definitely take a thorough look through all the flavours at the counter before deciding.

I am not one to pass up anything coconut, so I opted for a single serving of coconut island ice cream in a chocolate dipped waffle cone.  Toasty coconut crunchy bits in super creamy coconut ice cream that didn’t melt at the drop of a hat equals pure fabulosity.  Even though I know Greg’s Ice Cream gives the most bang for your buck, Chocolates & Creams offers some really good, different flavours that are worth it.  Their prices are on par with other ice cream parlour franchies such as Laura Secord and Baskin Robbins, so they’re not cheap nor are they more expensive than the average.  You absolutely must try the birthday cake one and if you love coconut like me, the coconut island is delicious.  Aside from those two flavours, I really want to try the black raspberry cheesecake and watermelon sherbet the most.  Ooo and maybe banana and strawberries and cream together.  Eeeee.  

And one of the highlights of my day: staying still in my seat long enough to get a photo of myself with my ice cream.  I spent half the time whimpering at the pigeons fluttering and pecking nearby (I am petrified of birds…except Tweety) and my boyfriend, being the chivalrous man that he is, snapped my photo for me and shooed the pigeons away ❤  No matter, it was very good ice cream.  Mmmm.

*****

Chocolates & Creams is located at 207 Queens Quay West by the waterfront inside Queens Quay Terminal.  

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Hot Off the Grill: Fresh Corn on the Cob and Baby Yukon Potatoes at the Queens Quay Farmers’ Market

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I may not be an avid beach bunny, but I love being by the water and I feel super lucky that Lake Ontario is so close by.  I get excited taking the ferry to and from the island, I love being around Harbourfront, and there’s no other feeling like sitting on some rocks when it’s gorgeous and sunny out and watching the tide and waves crash in and out.  I recently went to Ontario Place to snap a bunch of photos, knowing that most of it would get eventually get torn down to make way for a newly renovated park, and my favourite part of the day was plopping myself down by the rocks, looking out at the water, feeling the wind whip through my hair, and not having a damn care in the world. 

The Queens Quay Terminal outdoor farmers’ market is quite possibly the closest waterfront market in the city and spending time here really allows you to soak up summer in all its glory.  It’s literally steps away from the harbour and its the perfect way to spend a breezy afternoon.  Peruse the farmers’ market, pick up some fresh food, grab some ice cream, and sit by the water.  It doesn’t get much sweeter than that.  And speaking of sweet, the freshly shucked grilled corn was definitely the highlight of yesterday’s Queens Quay market!  Even though I didn’t have any (I had already eaten ice cream beforehand, oopsie), it was mouthwatering just to watch the corn get fired up with its awesome grill marks and then wrapped in foil for others to eat.  At $1 apiece, this is definitely going to be on my “must-eat” list the next time I go!

Even though the Queens Quay farmers’ market is on the smaller side, there’s still great stuff to check out: a giant pie and pastry table with plenty of samples (and a very adorable apple print tablecloth!), maple syrup goodies with chocolate maple cookie samples (cue drooling), a fascinating grain cake popping machine that pops out giant discs that look like rice cakes (if you’ve seen these at T&T supermarkets, you know what I’m referring to!), fresh baked bread, mounds of strawberries, giant bell peppers, buckets of zucchini and potatoes, and oodles of other fresh vegetables!  I do wish though that there was less wasteful plastic product packaging and all; it’d be great if the pies were packaged in cardboard boxes and if less plastic was used for the samples.  I really need to bring produce bags in addition to my canvas totes because I cringe whenever I’m given a plastic bag for my veggies.  Face palm moment. 

I was very happy yesterday to pick up a giant pint of beautiful and adorable Yukon Gold baby potatoes though!  I have never met a potato I didn’t like.  These were small and cute as a button and my mum squealed when I came home with my prized spuds.  When I phoned her asking her if she wanted me to pick up a few pints of raspberries, she protested when I told her I had already bought potatoes because we apparently we had some regular-sized ones waiting for us at home.  She changed her tune when she saw how cute they were though 😀 

I’m really looking forward to seeing how many different things I can bring home by the end of the summer.  Then the fall stuff will come along and that’s a whole ‘nother project!  On all of my market treks I’ve picked up different goodies each time and it’s so much fun seeing what each market has to offer!  I’ve picked up vegan coconut oatmeal cookies at Trinity Bellwoods, French bread and bell peppers at Nathan Phillips Square’s Fresh Wednesdays, apple buttermilk muffins at Sick Kids Hospital, vegan brownies and magic squares by Jen’s APieCalypse Now at U of T’s market (blog post forthcoming!), and baby eggplants at East York Civic Centre.  And that’s me putting myself in an invisible strait jacket!  There have been sooo many delicious baked goods and beautiful fruits and vegetable that I’ve had to pass up, just because I really need to limit myself on purchases if I’m visiting markets every week!  I’m totally smitten with my baby potatoes though and we’ll see what we end up making with them over the Canada Day weekend.  Potato salad?  Roasted spuds?  Plain boiled potatoes with a little butter?  Oh, potatoes, how I love you 😀  Have an amazing start to the long weekend, everyone!

*****

The Queens Quay Terminal Farmers’ Market is located at 207 Queens Quay West, right outside the Queen Quay Terminal shopping and dining centre.  They will be there every Wednesday from 3pm-7pm until October 26th.