Grilled Tuna Dill Cheese Melts and Kiddie Memories of Wheat Bread

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I love my new sandwich grill, George.  Since the day my mum, my brother, and I brought him home, we have been cranking out the grilled sammies like crazy!  We’ve been picking up different loaves of bread at the bakery and markets, snatching up a loaf of marble rye here, olive oil and sea salt crusty foccacia there, and flipping through my Food Network magazines almost every day for any and all sandwich ideas.  In a nutshell, I have become obsessed.  And really, this new obsession of mine is quite the 180! 

Growing up, I never disliked sandwiches and bread, but I never particularly looooved them either.  Sure, I used to love my PBJs when I was a wee one in kindergarten, but over time the sandwich became, in my foodbook, a safe school lunch stand-by, not a meal that was in any way exciting or “ahhh” inducing.  My brother and mum, on the other hand, have been the bread-heads in the family for years and while I enjoyed sandwiches enough, they were never my first choice for a meal.  Grains such as pasta and rice were, instead, always the ones to win my heart.  The only exception I ever made was for the amazing turkey sandwiches I had in high school from Raymerville Deli and Bakery and I still adore these sandwiches to pieces till this day. 

After trying so many different kinds of bread and sandwiches over the past 3 or 4 years, my tastebuds happily changed their tune and began craving sandwiches with everything from grilled vegetables, different spreads and sauces, and lots of different cheeses and proteins like seafood, tofu, and eggs.  Our new grill, George, has only fuelled this growing love for sandwiches into a fiery spitfire.  Thus far, we’ve tested George out with a simple grilled ham and cheese on caraway rye, a grilled turkey on marble rye with tomato, yellow zucchini, and basil, and today’s special, tuna dill cheese melts on wheat! 😀

And as always, there’s a story behind the food and in this case, the wheat bread!  When I think of wheat bread, I’m reminded of how I’m actually not that fond of the bread crust, but more importantly, I’m reminded of the very first time I ate wheat bread.  It’s such a cute memory and I have my aunt and cousin to thank for it.  The first time I ate wheat bread was at the age of 4 during a play-date with my then 3-year-old cousin at my aunt and uncle’s house during the summer.  After splashing around in his kiddle pool in the backyard, we dried off, washed up, and sat down to lunch.  My aunt placed before me a kiddie mozzarella cheese sandwich made with wheat bread and from that day forth, cheese sandwiches on wheat bread have been that nostalgic comfort food.

Now, enter the beloved wheat bread in today’s tuna melt sandwich post.  And if I may add, I love tuna salad.  If my memory serves me well, I professed my adoration for tuna salad in this post, and when I came across the tuna melt sandwich idea in my Food Network magazine panini booklet, I literally did a face palm and thought, “why in the world did this not occur to me sooner?!”  Tuna in a can is a pantry staple in our house so we put the idea to use right away.  We used flaked tuna in a can, mixed in oodles of fresh dill we picked up at St. Lawrence Market, some mayo dressing, and a nice helping of black pepper.  We spread the tuna salad mixture on slices of whole grain wheat bread and topped it off with slices of soy cheddar cheese.

The result?  AMAZING grilled tuna melts!  Tuna salad, to me, is really versatile.  You can mix in some celery, some onion, and plenty of herbs and spices like parsley, chives, chili flakes, garlic salt, and pepper.  I LOVE having mounds of fresh dill in my tuna salad.  The soy cheddar cheese was perfect for these sandwiches and ugh, they were just so good.  So if there’s a moral to this story, here it is: dill is amazing in tuna and so is soy cheddar cheese.  And my grill George is awesome.  Tis all.

I Love Cream Cheese and Sashimi – Crunchy, Sweet n’ Sour Moscow Rolls and Little Red Tea Cups at Ginza Sushi

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I’m so excited to finally share my new scrapbook layouts with you all!  I had a huge backlog of pictures that was taking me forever to get through and even though I still have hundreds to organize, I’m making progress! 😀  I never like to rush through a layout and I take a lot of time and care to draw out layout sketches, figure and write out which pictures I want to scrap and in what sizes, the whole nine yards.  And it’s so exciting to get to a new batch of photos even if the photos themselves aren’t the newest; it’s the inspiration and freshness that makes it fun. 

So this is what I would refer to as my personal love letter to cream cheese.  Oh how I love this stuff.  I eat it on bread, with potato chips, mixed in a little pasta sauce, in sushi…I will even eat it by itself on a spoon.  Tis how much I love it.  It’s any wonder I’m not fat.  So imagine my joy several years ago when I discovered sushi concoctions like Philadelphia rolls with smoked salmon, or Philly rolls with avocado and sashimi.  Cream cheese IN sushi!  It’s like the food angels fluttered down to Earth and bestowed these delightful morsels of heaven just for me.  And you can bet that I’m keeping track of all my favourite maki rolls that include cream cheese and where to get them.  A girl’s gotta be organized when it comes to this stuff!  One of my personal favourites so far?  The Moscow rolls from Ginza.

The first time I went to Ginza was a year and a half ago and I loved it from the get-go.  I actually fell in love with it even before I stepped foot in the restaurant!  I don’t know about you, but I’ve become a bit spoiled having the internet at my fingertips and I look up restaurant menus online like crazy when I know I’m going to a place, providing they have a website.  I study the menu with the intensity I probably should have allocated to studying for exams in school, ha. 

Even before the eating experience has started, you can gauge how you feel about a place from their menu.  For one thing, you know the prices.  If it’s unaffordable, you don’t go – it’s that’s simple.  Second, if you’re indecisive like me, it’s makes your life a hell of a lot easier!  You can go into a place at least with an idea of what you want instead of taking eons to decide after you’re seated and everyone is giving you the death stare to hurry the hell up because they’re starving.  And sushi menus are always so much fun to go through! 😀  Since being introduced to cream cheese in sushi, anything of the sort jumps out at me and like a little blinky light, “Moscow Roll” was my little sushi beacon.

 

The rolls are just amazing.  They come in a set of 5 large rolls and are coated in crispy breading for some awesome crunch.  The Moscow Roll contains salmon, tuna, hamachi (yellowtail or Japanese amberjack), tangy cream cheese, and plenty of green scallions sprinkled over top.  And the sauce!  It’s a fusion of sweet chili sauce and sushi mayo drizzled all over and as you can tell from the photos, it’s like an artistic sushi painting! 😀  The taste is wonderfully complex.  You have the texture from the crispy breading, the soft buttery texture of the salmon and fish, and the richness of the cream cheese completely mellows and balances the spiciness of the sauce.  The cream cheese totally knocks it out and it’s just a yummy, messy dish of sushi happiness!

You can tell that I am one happy foodie 😀  Ginza is lovely and not just for the food but also for the atmosphere.  I’ve only been to the Yorkville location on Bay St., but to me, it is the epitome of modern meets fresh meets clean.  It’s peaceful and it’s fresh and vibrant.  And I am especially in love with the little red tea cups!  It gets my heart racing when the utensils and accessories are bright colours and I cannot tell you how much I want to take these cups home with me because they are so pretty oh my goodness.  *laughs*  I’m a tea accessory geek!

Ginza currently serves 4 locations in Toronto and the GTA, with the newest one located in Maple on Major Mackenzie Dr.W and Dufferin St.  That location actually works out okay for me considering I live in Markham, but for those who live in the 416, there’s no need to fret because there are 2 other locations you can gorge on sushi at: Finch Ave. E between Leslie and Bayview in North York, as well as Bay St. and Yorkville which is the one I’ve been to. 

Prices vary depending on the type of food you’re ordering but I’d say a meal would normally average around $6-$10 on the lower end and $12-$15 on the higher end if you’re ordering sushi combinations and such.  Let it be known that Ginza is not exclusive to sushi alone, but also serves Thai and Japanese dishes.  Outside of sushi, you can order tempura, soba noodles (which I’ve tried as well), rice, meat cutlet combos with noodles or rice, and a number of different soups and appetizers.  The quality of food is superb and I really enjoy the selection.  So the next time I go, I’m totally going to try out some other maki rolls and report back!  Oh, and hug and squish my beloved red tea cup ❤

*****

Ginza is located at the following 4 locations:

  1. 7330 Yonge St. (at the intersection of Clark Ave. and Yonge St. in Thornhill)
  2. 652 Finch Ave. East (located between Leslie St. and Bayview Ave. in North York)
  3. 1255 Bay St. (north of Bloor St. W just off of Yorkville Ave.)
  4. 9960 Dufferin St. (right at the intersection of Major Mackenzie Dr. W. in Maple)  

Ginza also offers a 10% student discount at certain locations, so call ahead and ask if you want to take advantage.

Scrapbooking materials used: white and gray cardstock (Recollections); red alphabet stickers (Recollections); patterned journalling cards (Anna Griffin, Darcy collection); sushi menu sticker (Jolee’s). 

Welcome to Ate by Ate! First stop: Haru Zushi

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Hi everyone, welcome to Ate by Ate!  I can’t tell you how excited I am to finally go live with this blog.  After thinking about it for months, I finally hunkered down and got my tooshie to work and here we are, launching with the first post! 😀  Feel free to roam around the pages up top.  I babble about food and scrapbooking and all that good stuff, so enjoy!  First stop: Haru Zushi.  Anyone who knows me knows how much I love sushi.  No no, I don’t just love it, I daydream about it.  It’s the type of food I can never get bored with and it excites me finding new places I haven’t yet tried with new maki combinations, hand rolls, gyoza dumplings…oh, would you look at that, my stomach just rumbled.  Go figure.

you can tell I love adhesive gems, yes?

 Anyway, Haru Zushi (located at 1920 Yonge St. in Toronto, just outside Davisville subway station) is one of my FAVOURITE sushi places, definitely in my top 3.  And that’s saying a lot because I’ve been to many!  I first discovered this gem when I was with Richard, exploring the Davisville area back in April.  And I have been back MANY times.  The sushi chef (or see-foo, if I’m referring to him in Chinese) and the lovely waitress who works the 12 o’clock noon shift know me and ask me how I am as soon as I sit down at my favourite spot by the window (better for photos!).  It warms my heart ❤ 

What you see up top here is an 8×8 layout using purple and cream Recollections cardstock, ‘Purple Daze’ patterned paper, sushi stickers by Sticko, and adhesive gems up the wazoo (do ask if you’re curious about brands!).  The page features 2 kinds of maki rolls: spicy white tuna (up top and on the right) and the Boston roll (cucumber, lettuce, shrimp, and mayo).  I want to stick my face in them right now.  What I love about different sushi places is how they interpret their ingredients and rolls.  I’ve had spicy tuna 6 different ways and this is just one of them and by golly is it ever good. 

I love Haru Zushi not just because the food is fresh and delicious and beautifully presented, but also because of how affordable they are.  On weekdays during the lunch time period (which I believe is from 11-3 for them) they have fantastic specials and my favourite is the combo you see here: 12 rolls (2 kinds, your choice from a very decent sized list, of 6 each), and a miso soup and green tea for $6.75.  Any sushi lunch under $10 is fan-freakin’-tastic in my opinion!  What else seals the deal?  The fact that they open at 11am (for ravenous people like me) and their location in up/midtown Toronto means no elbowing people for a table at noon the same way you would on Bloor, for example.

Let it be known that you’ll be seeing many more pages and photos from this place because it’s damn good 😀

Boston Roll

Spicy white tuna