changes + muffins

Lets start with the "changes" portion. I've decided to move my blogging over here. Why? No real reason other than I wanted a place where I could talk about other things than food if I wanted to (though lets face it, it'll mostly still be food.) I also wanted to play a bit with the design template and try to make my blog more reader-friendly. I'll probably still pop in here every once in a while though. We'll see how it goes!

Moving on.

These last couple of weeks I've been trying to eat a bit healthier since I know we'll be stuffing our faces to the max when we're on vacation. These bran muffins are great for breakfast, really filling and full of fibre. 

2 C flour (I use half all-purpose, half whole wheat)
4 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
3/4 C vegetable oil
1/4 C molasses
1 C brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3 large eggs, beaten
2 C buttermilk
2 C bran
1 1/2 C frozen blueberries or 1 C raisins

1. Whisk together dry ingredients except for bran.

2. Whisk together wet ingredients. Add bran and stir together. Add dry ingredients to wet and stir until combined. Stir in blueberries.

3. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, up to overnight. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes, then lower to 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

chuck's burger bar

We went to Chuck's Burger Bar for dinner while we were in Hamilton over the weekend. I feel like the layout could have been better since it's a small space (our party of four were seated at an awkward long, high table), but the food was good (and that's what counts, right?) Cooked to medium (exactly how I like mine) and housed within a properly soft bun, the burgers were great. We also shared two of their poutines: the traditional Quebecois and the pulled pork. Both were good, but I've had better.

* pulled pork poutine

* Quebecois poutine

* slider trio (bacon + Blue Haze cheese/Chuck's triple cheese/pulled pork + slaw)

* angus burger

* Chuck's Burger Bar
194 Locke Street South
Hamilton, ON.


Picked these up across the border recently and am now addicted. And I'm not even a peanut butter fan. 

sparkle northern chinese cuisine

While in Hamilton on Saturday, Seema and Steve took us to this northern Chinese restaurant. It was awesome. Plump dumplings, lamb skewers and eggplant in a savoury pork-laden sauce were happily consumed. Finding a hidden gem like this in a city that's not Toronto is always a welcome surprise.

* eggplant with pork

* dumplings

* dumpling with pork and fennel filling

* dumpling with beef and onion filling

* lamb skewers with fennel, cumin and chili

* Sparkle
165 King Street E
Hamilton, ON.

malaysia eats

One of my best friends, Heather, was on vacation in Malaysia and sent me these great food pics. I don't know much about Malaysian cuisine so I found them intriguing. Thanks for these Heath!

corn stand (She said this was in a mall. Corn seems to be a common snack in Asia) 

* cup of corn (tossed in salt and butter)

* Bamakoise Fish (Bamakoise is a local fish. Here it's pan-fried and served with burned butter, banana, saffron rice)

*Dory fish (pan-fried and served with yellow curry sauce, rice and vegetables)

* Black rice pudding w/ coconut and brown sugar sauce

Langkawi, Malaysia

a bad/good breakfast

This is the Maple Leaf's Forever breakfast from Fran's (yes, Fran's). It's the only place that I know of where I can get beans, eggs, maple sausages and sweet potato fries for breakfast, so don't judge! Plus, it wasn't that bad at all, actually.

* Fran's 
20 College Street

monforte cheeses

I picked up these two lovely cheeses from Monforte Dairy at the Wychwood Barns farmers' market. Like all the Monforte cheeses I've tasted (I was addicted to their halloumi last summer), these two are just as delicious. The taleggio is earthy, pungent and buttery-smooth and the torta is reminiscent of a good brie.

one giant pickle

Remember that single giant pickle I picked up at Denninger's? Well, here it is in all its glory...sadly it didn't taste so good. I love (like, really love) pickles so it was a bit of disappointment (though not surprising). I've been tempted to pick up a jar of McClure's Pickles since spotting them at St. Lawrence Market, but a jar costs $10. Normally that price wouldn't deter me, but since I'm saving for my trip to London/Paris, I can't justify buying $10 pickles (yet).

lemon pull-apart bread

I've been seeing a lot of delicious looking recipes for pull-apart bread, so I made this lemon version with cream cheese icing over the weekend. The bread reminded me of the bread you get at Asian bakeries: soft, light and slightly sweet. 

sanko haul

I stopped by Sanko over the weekend to pick up some furikake, but like every time I go to Sanko, I ended up with a few extra snacks.

* Morinaga Biz
cornflakes, krispies and chocolate. pretty tasty.

* Bourbon caramel biscuits
buttery cookies with a slight hint of caramel. loved these.

* Meiji chopan
creamy chocolate + a layer of flaky puff pastry. just ok.

* Bourbon blanchul
a thin square of white chocolate sandwiched between two sandy wafer cookies. liked a lot.

* Sanko
730 Queen St. W.