Monthly Archives: February 2013

#80 – Watch our parents’ favourite movies in an afternoon

Seeing as it is Oscar Sunday, we figured this would be a good one to cross off today, as all of our parents’ choices are Oscar winners.

We started at 9:00am, and finished around 7:30pm, watching chronologically by release date, without breaks so we would be finished in time to watch the Oscars.  We started out with coffee, moved to popcorn, and started drinking by the fourth movie.

Adam’s father – All Quiet on the Western Front (1930) – Oscar for Best Picture and Best Director

Sam’s Mum – Sound of Music (1965) – Oscar for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Film Editing, Best Music, Best Sound

Adam’s Mom – The Sting (1973) – Oscar for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Film Editing, Best Costume, Best Art Direction, Best Writing

Sam’s Dad – Apollo 13 (1995) – Oscar for Best Film Editing, Best Sound

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#64 – ice skate at the Brickworks

We only discovered The Brickworks this past year, and seriously love it.  We haven’t gone skating at the rink yet, so it made the list.

The rink isn’t huge, and is largely used by families with very tiny children who are learning to skate, which makes for a great vibe (and lots of adorable wipe outs).  Combined with the eclectic soundtrack of ’90s boy bands, Disney songs, Florence and the Machine and The Lumineers and a John Deere zamboni, it’s a really good time.

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Details: The rink is open Saturday & Sundays from mid December to end of February, 11AM-4PM (weather dependant).  More info regarding the rink and The Brickworks can be found here.

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In Progress – #53 – find our favourite mac’n’cheese in Toronto

This one got added to the list due to an intense Mac’n’cheese phase I was going through early January, so adding it to the list somehow legitimized that.  We obviously will not be spending every weekend eating Mac’n’cheese, so we choose our contenders based on the following lists and friend recommendations.  If a restaurant was on a list or recommended at least twice, we’ll give it a go, which leaves us with about 3 or 4 contenders (thankfully, since the intense mac’n’cheese phase has passed, and there’s only so much I can eat!).

The lists we are working with are;

BlogTO’s Best Mac’n’Cheese in Toronto (2010), found here.

Toronto.com’s Best Mac’n’Cheese in Toronto (2012), found here.

NOW’s Mac Attack list (2007), found here.

Luckily, I have a judging partner on this one.  My friend Julia, also a mac’n’cheese lover, joined us at our first restaurant we’re trying and we developed a super serious, totally flawless mac’n’cheese judging system.  Four categories, max score of 5 noodles out of five per category.  Whichever contender comes out with the highest average score between us at the end of the year is declared the winner.

First contender: Victory Cafe.
First impression: this thing is a monster. It’s a huge serving and comes with salad and garlic bread.  Scores below.

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Details: Victory Cafe is at 581 Markham Street (just south of Bloor).  Hours and menu can be found here.

We are not food critics or restaurant reviewers.  All opinions posted are just for fun.

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#93 – Walk in fresh snow

Due to the winter storm coming through Toronto, Adam and I had a snow day, which is infinitely more exciting as an adult than as a child.  We decided to hike into High Park to knock some items off our list.

Walking in fresh, clean and unmarked snow is one of the joys of winter (especially if it has a good crunch, which sadly today’s snow is lacking).  Even without the crunch, it was beautiful and satisfying!     

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Details: High Park is at 1873 Bloor Street West, though is accessible on all sides.  For all information about the park, go here.

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#25 – Make Snow Angels

I remember being a kid having a snow day and playing for hours outside in the snow with my brothers, never noticing cold or discomfort, just enjoying the day of unexpected play.

I think that my last snow angel was at least 15 years ago, I had forgotten how joyful simply playing in the snow can be.  And coming home and warming up with hot cider and rum is an entirely adult bonus.

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#10 – Feed the Chickadees at the RBG

When we were kids, my grandparents used to take my brothers and I to the Royal Botanical Gardens in Burlington to feed the chickadees on weekend mornings in the winter.

We hadn’t been in ages, and then last winter my brother had a friend visiting from Australia so we all trekked out.  I had forgotten how fun it is, and definitely wanted to make sure we did it again this winter.

There’s nothing that makes you feel like you are in a Disney movie quite as much as feeding wild birds from your hand.  Thanks to Will and Sam for coming out with us!

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Details: The Royal Botanical Gardens are at 680 Plains Road West in Burlington.  We go through the Hendrie Park Cherry Hill entrance, which is open daily 10AM-5PM weather permitting.  You can find more info about the RBG here.  Entrance to the Hendrie trails is free with paid parking.  It was an approximate 40 minute drive from our apartment in High Park.

The chickadees prefer the little black sunflower-like seeds over anything else.

For a few more photos, check out my brother Will’s awesome blog aWilltotravel here.

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#35 – Take a tour of a Toronto brewery

We did the brewery tour at the Mill St Brewpub today.  Not an extensive tour (the Distillery location is so small, it only produces 2% of their product); it was quick, informative and the gent leading it was fairly funny.

Things we learned;

1. Dark beer was originally a mistake, made when the malt was unintentionally roasted too long.  The beer brewers of yesteryear would make it into a penny beer that was sold without the standard taxes of lighter beer. .

2. Mill St doesn’t use extracts or essences.  Their beers flavoured with coffee, vanilla, raspberries, etc, means actual coffee or vanilla beans or whole raspberries were dumped into their beer kettle.

3.  Quebec had the shortest recorded prohibition at just a week and half (Go Quebec).

We ended our day in the brewpub enjoying good beers with great friends.  All in all, it was a great day!

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Details: Mill St Brewpub is in the Distillery at 21 Tankhouse Lane.  The brewery tour is at 4PM Mon-Fri, and 3PM & 5PM Sat-Sun.  More details can be found here.

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#87 – Get hot chocolate from SOMA

We were in Paris in the Fall, and I had the most amazing hot chocolate while we were there.  None of the power or syrup and hot water we have over here, but actual melted chocolate in hot milk.  It was heaven.  So, we wanted to try out SOMA’s hot chocolate to see how it compared.

SOMA serves their hot chocolate two ways; either as a shot, or with hot water or milk.  We both ordered a classic with milk, plus a classic shot for comparison.  The hot chocolates with milk were good, but the shot was amazing. Definitely worth the trip!

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Details: SOMA is in the Distillery District at 32 Tank House Lane or at a new location 443 King Street East (east of Spadina).  They have lots of goodies to eat in, or take away, plus delightfully packaged gifts.   Their “chocolate laboratory” is behind glass walls, so you can watch the chocolate being made.  You can find more info here.

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#14 – Make pasta from scratch

Things we learned making pasta;

1. While novelty measuring cups may be adorable, they are rarely accurate.

2. The Kitchen Aid recipe book is not always right.

3. Eating pasta you made from scratch eliminates at least half the calories (not scientifically supported).

This was a ton of fun, and we will definitely make pasta again!  Thanks to Carolyn and Martha for coming over, coaching us through and joining in on the fun!

#14---Pasta-Making-vs2

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