Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Café Linnea: Pop-Up Recap

Salmon Galette with layers of buckwheat crepes, smoked salmon, ricotta, poached eggs, fried capers
Salmon Galette
A few weeks ago, Giselle from Duchess Bake Shop mentioned to me that plans were underway for a pop-up featuring their upcoming brunch bistro restaurant - Café Linnea. As I love brunch, this pop-up certainly piqued my interest! When the tickets for the pop-up were released time slots were quickly filling up and yet I somehow managed to score a ticket for the 6:45pm seating. 

Yup, you read that right I got ONE ticket. For any kind of dining out, I have always had at least a dining partner (usually Dan) to accompany me. I have never done something like this by myself before and that is when it dawned on me that I could potentially be eating alone. Visions of sitting by myself at table for one quickly filled my mind. Even though, Dan tells me that he has eaten many times by himself, it is not something that I find in my comfort zone. Of course, there is nothing wrong with eating by yourself, but I felt that I needed to confirm with the planners that this would be ok. To my pleasant surprise, I found out that I would seated at a table with Giselle of all people! Although I've briefly chatted with Giselle at some events, I've never had a chance to have a conversation over dinner with her, and I never imagined that it would happen this way.

picture of the Cafe Linnea pop-up menu

Café Linnea is a partnership between the Duchess Bake Shop and Chef Kelsey Johnson. The dishes on their pop-up menu hinted that their future menu may be a blend of both Scandinavian and French cooking. This pop-up was a chance for them to try out their dishes and for the waiting staff to do a trial run.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Cranberry Spinach Buckwheat Salad

Not sure about you, but this is the time of the year where I am looking for quick easy ways to make my lunch. Lately, I have been making this combination for my lunches. Just a simple cranberry spinach buckwheat salad.

I actually had never seen buckwheat groats before until my mother in law gave us a bag. At the time, Dan and I were trying (still experimenting) on making buckwheat noodles so she thought this would help. It turns out that the buckwheat groats are super easy to cook (sort of like cooking rice) and once it has cooled down I mixed in olive oil and dried cranberries. 

You can likely do whatever combination of toppings you want in your salad! In this one I decided to add in some sliced tomatoes, halved walnuts and provolone cheese. Colourful and healthy! Then, to keep it super simple the dressing is equal parts balsamic vinegar, olive oil and honey.  

Cranberry Spinach Buckwheat Salad

1. Mix 3/4 cup of cooked buckwheat groats with 1 tsp olive oil and 3 tsps dried cranberries.
2. Slice half a tomato, 20g of garlic smoked turkey, and 10g of sliced provolone cheese. 
3. Place 3/4 cup of spinach leaves into the larger container. Top with walnuts and provolone cheese.
4. Place tomatoes, garlic smoked turkey and the cooked buckwheat groats into the compartments of your salad container.
5. Mix 1 tbsp of balsamic vinegar with 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp honey into the salad dressing container. 

Do you have any favourite go-to salads around this time of the year? Let me know in the comments below or tweet, instagram or facebook me. 

Friday, May 13, 2016

Lunch Buffet at Narayanni's

Dan and I were invited to check out Narayanni's for lunch one day! Previously, Narayanni's was only open for dinner (which is when we usually go) but recently they have now opened for a lunch buffet. It was great to see the variety of dishes that were included (3 vegetarian dishes, 1 rice, a meat curry, soups, salad and dessert) in the $12 price. 
We started with a fresh salad (Traditional Wedding Salad) with julienned carrots, cabbage and red peppers mixed with pepper. It was pretty refreshing and had a slight pepperiness to it from the pepper flakes. 

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Chocolate Cake with Matcha Buttercream + A Giveaway

I've always wanted to make a cake! Yes, you read that correctly. I might be a great macaron baker but not a cake maker! I was recently reading through my Butter Baked Goods cookbook and came across their recipe for making a chocolate cake and it looked really good. Now, having owned the cookbook for a while, I have often flipped through the cookbook thinking about how I really should just bake a cake. So, I finally decided to take the plunge.
While their chocolate cake recipe used chocolate buttercream, I wanted to make a cake using the matcha powder my in-laws had given me recently. So last weekend, I set out to attempt to bake my first 4 layered chocolate cake with matcha buttercream. 

Ingredients assembled for chocolate cake making 
The very first thing I did (after checking that I had all the ingredients) was to get a cake pan as I didn't have one! Of course, the gorgeous blue springform one that I found at Marshalls was the one that came home with me.  

Monday, April 25, 2016

Making Crispy Arancini At Home from Mushroom Risotto

So now that you have some "leftover" risotto, the best dish to make is some crispy arancini! Arancini is essentially crispy fried balls of rice with some oozy cheese inside. Not only is it incredibly delicious but it smells great too. It probably is best to make risotto the day before and then turn the risotto into arancini; otherwise it would take a long time to prep and eat dinner. You could also make everything in one go, but you would have to ensure that the risotto is cooled completely (lay it flat on a pan) before using.


  • 2 cups risotto
  • 2 large eggs (beaten)
  • 1/2 cup pecorino romano (grated)
  • 1 cup panko crumbs (more for rolling)
  • Cubes of Provolone, mozzarella (or similar) 


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