Click the photo above to redirect to All Bartenders, the original publisher of my review.
Click the photo above to redirect to All Bartenders, the original publisher of my review.
For those of you who have been following my writing (outside of Emulating Emily) for a while, you’ll know that I wrote for two U.K. blogs, one of which I wrote articles on drinks recipes. These posts went through the lovely Amy Poole, a writer herself living in Manchester, who helped me master these posts both through her advice and by example of her own writing. In fact, if you want to read her personal blog, you can do so by clicking here.
That being said, what better time to share some delicious winter-inspired cocktail recipes with you all than right now, in the middle of a frigid Canadian winter?
Which of these drinks do you think you’ll try first? Let me know what you think of them in the comments!
In a follow-up of my the Valentine’s Day plans that I posted a while back, I can now tell you how great the restaurant we chose was! We found ourselves celebrating “Galentine’s” (a combination of gals + Valentine’s, in case you were wondering) at Earl’s on King. This night consisted of exchanging V-Day gifts, drinking wine, eating, and talking for hours. One of the gifts exchanged were chokers, courtesy of the lovely Émeraude, which we’re wearing in the photo above (a joke that came from this picture being hilariously dropped into our group chat).
Of course, we started off the evening with the wine, beginning by splitting a bottle of white between each of our glasses and then topping it white wine sangria. It was one of the better sangrias that I’ve had in the city!
We then naturally, as one does at a restaurant, moved on to ordering food. This proved to be fairly difficult, since there were countless viable options we had to narrow down on the menu. I ended up splitting a Dynamite Sushi Roll (see photo below) and Italian Style Pan Bread (which is only $2.50 and was gigantic!) with my friend, and ordered the Oven Roasted Salmon as my entrée. Both appetizers were mouth-watering and I could have eaten that sushi all night! The pan bread, as I mentioned, was huge, and could easily be shared between several people.
The salmon entrée was divine; the dill and caper aioli complimented the taste of the fish incredibly well. Oddly enough, this was also the first time in my life that I’ve tried asparagus. When I saw it on my plate I was a little nervous to try it (mainly because I heard it makes your pee smell weird), but I took a bite and polished it off before I even got to the salmon. So yeah, I can now confidently say that I like asparagus (and even if it’s TMI, that it didn’t make my pee smell, so I felt like I conquered that).
In addition to the amazing food, the service was also wonderful! Our waitress was super friendly and personable, which made the whole dining experience even better. She said that as a group of girlfriends out to have a good time on Valentine’s Day, we were her favourite table of the night. We definitely were having the most fun of everyone dining there, it seemed. Nothing makes a great restaurant better than sharing the time with your friends.
Have you been to Earls on King? What are your favourite dishes? Let me know in the comments!
*Full recipe at bottom of the post*
Picture-perfect French macarons are something my friend of eighteen years (and food blogger extraordinaire) Vanessa and I like to talk about whenever the topic of Paris comes up — which is more often than one may imagine. Because of this, we’ve been planning to attempt making them ourselves for quite some time now, especially since I came back from my trip to Paris this past October. The fact that I’ve so often read that they are difficult and tedious to make; break easily; and don’t always rise to a smooth and beautiful shell has been a longtime deterrent, but I finally decided that putting it off wasn’t going to improve my macaron-making skills any sooner. So, we picked a date and met up with out macaron mats, read to go.
The evening before, we headed out to the Loblaws at College and Church (what used to be the Maple Leaf Gardens), expecting it to be simple to find all the ingredients we would need. Well, first of all, they didn’t carry everything and we had to make some substitutions (like double cream instead of almond pulp and marzipan instead of almond paste… the latter was noted online, while the former was mentioned right in the recipe book). Secondly, I’m slightly ashamed to say it, but we spent the majority of our 1.5ish hour grocery shopping trip blindly traversing the baking ingredients in aisle 6.
When we finally got back to her apartment, we were too tired to start, so opted to begin the next morning. Thankfully we did, because we spent the whole morning and early afternoon struggling our way through the preparation process (photos interspersed below). Needless to say, it exceeded the estimated 2 hour prep time indicated in the recipe book.
The initial step for the macaron shells — sieving the almond flour/icing sugar mix — took over a half hour. This was almost 100% likely due to the fact that we didn’t have a food processor to make the mix finer to begin with and thus, I had to sift the chunkier bits until it was an extremely fine powder [see photos directly above for before (L) and after (R)].
The rest of the process went by not necessarily quickly per se, but the time passed by quickly because of how much fun it was to make. When the macaron mix was completed, we piped them onto our macaron mats and then sprinkled the ones that would be filled with pistachio ganache with crushed pistachios and the other two with crushed almonds before popping them into the oven.
While they baked, we finished up the filling. With the ganache, we experimented a bit with the flavours. Wanting a pistachio filling, we added some pistachio pudding powder into the mix, which not only gave it the needed flavour, but also thickened the filling up nicely. We also wanted a strawberry filling in one of them, and I decided to add some frozen strawberries with about a tablespoon of water in a saucepan, mashing it until it was a purée before adding it into the ganache mixture. It was a bit runny, so Vanessa added a touch of flour to it to thicken it up, and we put it in the freezer; a taste test afterward proved it made no change to the flavour and made it the exact consistency that we needed!
When the shells finally baked (we needed a couple extra minutes for the smaller macarons to bake than the larger ones, surprisingly), we let them cool and carefully pulled each one off the mat, lining them up in pairs and then only icing one from each pair. I screwed up on the first bit of strawberry macarons and added the ganache to both sides. Thankfully it’s easy to scrape off. 🙂
They ended up not perfect, but they turned out absolutely amazing for our first go, at my opinion! And they tasted great, too. Pictured in the photo at the very beginning of this post, you can see that we made purple plain almond (purple); pistachio (green); and strawberry (pink) flavours.
Here’s the full recipe (the original from Ladurée, with our tweaks noted) below!
**taken directly from “Ladurée: Sucré” recipe book. Anything we tweaked or added is specifically noted**
Macaron shells (ingredients):
As I sat down to start this post, the first thing that popped into my mind is: What isn’t there to write about Parisian breakfasts? That is, I think it will be quite difficult to narrow down into mere words the utter bliss of starting off your day so perfectly. While in Paris, I would begin my mornings waking up and thinking, Today I won’t have a big breakfast. I’ll take it easy this morning and save room for lunch. Lunch being a meal I usually only felt peckish for, if I ate at all (mainly because I ate enough to feed a small army for breakfast, but that’s beside the point).
There were a few favourite spots we came across while traversing the city, mainly Le Liège right outside of Liège métro station on Rue d’Amsterdam, right there on the corner. The waitstaff were very friendly and pretended not to notice my lack of Parisian accent, the awkwardly articulated French (unlike so many other Parisians who will haughtily announce, Je ne comprends pas… Yeah, right. Vous me comprenez) while I listed off what I wanted for breakfast: some days eggs folded over chunks of cheese and topped with fresh prosciutto; a soft, buttery croissant; a steaming fresh baguettes; and freshly pressed orange juice, while other days a veggie cheese sandwich on thickly sliced bread with a side salad drizzled in balsamic vinaigrette and freshly pressed pineapple juice was the choice. But always, always, always accompanied with chocolat chaud. Hot cocoa actually was the epitome of my mornings. I felt impaired to tour about if I hadn’t yet had my morning hot chocolate. It’s truly one of the most amazing things I have ever tasted, and I was in withdrawal (and still am) every day since I’ve returned back to Canada at the end of October. I had bought the French processed cocoa powder at a market while I was there and brought it home with me along with whatever other foods I could cram into my suitcase. and it tastes nearly as divine. I mean, as wonderful as it can without fresh French milk. Now I’m hoarding it in the corner of the kitchen cupboard until I feel I deserve a ration.
Grab n' Go camembert and brie sandwich at the Jardin des Tuileries are to die for. 😍 (whilst reflecting on some French Revolution history on the 223rd anniversary of Queen Marie-Antoinette's death, sitting in the gardens surrounding what used to be the palace she last inhabited).
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This is what my mornings consisted of, even in other little cafés around the hotel by Liège station, out by the Place de la Concorde (a little food truck selling sandwiches and hot drinks), or the Jardin du Luxembourg (Le Cercle Luxembourg). I tried to fill my mornings with as much eggs, bread, hot cocoa, and cheese as humanly possible. Really, it’s not so different from my life in Toronto, just about a billion times more flavourful.
If there is one place I can recommend traveling to, even if only for its breakfast: go to Paris and fill your mornings with amazing food. I promise you, you won’t regret it.