Food and Drink: Lobster & Corn Chowder

I’m going to let you in on a little secret. The ladies of On Crawford St. are big fans of Boston. Boston is charming, with red brick buildings and cobblestone streets. It’s a city that has a surprising amount of green, with Boston Common and the Public Garden at its centre. It smells like the ocean. And most importantly, every restaurant menu -- no matter what time of day -- is loaded with fresh seafood. Confession: When I was in Boston with J, I ate nothing but seafood for 5 days. At literally every meal.

This recipe is inspired by a love of Boston.


Places We Love: Grand Electric

After a year of planning, A, P, J, and I finally made it to Grand Electric. Now, you may be asking yourself “it took you a year to get to get to a restaurant?” to which I will emphatically respond, YES, A YEAR! Grand Electric is no ordinary restaurant, as it is arguably the hottest eatery in Toronto. Parkdale’s Grand Electric focuses on Mexican food, craft beer, Bourbon and loud music. They also don’t take reservations, which generally results in lines that twist around the block. Despite being told that it would be 2 hours for a table of four, we decided to put our names on the list and spend the time waiting across the street at the Rhino.


DIY: Winter Wreath

This year my mother left me in charge of decorating the house for Christmas, naturally, the first place I went looking for inspiration was Pinterest. Instead of doing the traditional red and green colour story I wanted to go with something that I could leave up in the new year. My mom and I pretend to be avid knitters, so I thought I would build a wreath around a pastime we like to do together.


Food and Drink: Red Pepper Jelly Stuffed Chicken

A few weeks ago H and I headed to the One of a Kind Christmas Show. Taking in this show has become an H & V tradition over the last few years, and this year was no exception. We have a number of favourites that we like to check out every year, like Jenna Rose Textiles and Matter Company Natural Skincare. We found some new favourites like Dave Murray Illustration, who is well known in Toronto for his neighbourhood word maps and acorn street signs. We both did some shopping - including picking up a few Christmas gifts – and literally had to tear ourselves away from any booth that sold pottery. Apart from the amazing hand made products at the show, I love the “Flavours” section, where 2 entire aisles are filled with some of the tastiest gourmet food products ever. This year, I picked up some Red Pepper Jelly from Wicked Gourmet. It’s a recent addiction that I've been trying to incorporate into a recipe for some time now. I thought that the potent pepper taste would work well with chicken, and decided to use it as part of a stuffing for chicken breast.


Places We Love: Barque Smokehouse

Courtesy of Restos in TO

It's no secret that the ladies of On Crawford St. love brunch. Naturally, we spend most of our Saturday and Sunday mornings roaming the streets of Toronto looking for the best places to brunch. On Sunday, J and I headed to Barque Smokehouse on Roncesvalles. Having been there for dinner, we'd been eager to try their brunch menu for some time. 


Food and Drink: Grilled Fish Tacos

As anyone who frequents Toronto restaurants can tell you, tacos are the “it” thing, and have been for a while. I've been to restaurants that make their tacos in more traditional ways, and to others that fill them with braised wild boar or pineapple salsa. Personally, my favourite are fish tacos. And while I love the deep fried goodness of a Baja style fish taco, I prefer a grilled fish taco. My version is marinated in a Tex-Mex spice blend, and topped with homemade salsa and guacamole. I generally use halibut for this recipe, but you could really use any fish you like. Enjoy!


Hometown Tourist: Cask Days 2012

On Saturday night, J and I attended the 8th annual Cask Days festival at the Brick Works. Founded by the folks at barVolo in 2005, Cask Days focuses on unfiltered, unpasteurized craft beers that are anything but ordinary. This year's festival was Canadian themed with 100+ specialty craft beers to choose from, with ingredients ranging from crab-apples, cherries, coffee, and even Brussels sprouts. The festival also included food from Toronto celebrity chef Guy Rawlings, Parkdale's Grand Electric and chocolate offerings to satisfy any sweet tooth from Chocosol, amongst others. The event space was lined with works of art created by Canadian artists, and the Brewers Backyard featured Collaboration Casks and October themed (and flavoured) brews. The $40 ticket included a Cask Days pint glass and 4 tokens to get guests started. Each beer cost 1 token for a 1/4 pint or 2 tokens for a 1/2 pint, and additional tokens could be purchased for $2.50 each. 


Food and Drink: Cold Weather Comfort Food Part 2

I can’t bake. At all.
This obviously presents a problem for those times that I’d like to end a meal with a homemade dessert. Because of my lack of expertise, I’m always on the hunt for an easy, foolproof recipe. I found a recipe for Baked Stuffed Apples in the autumn edition of Food & Drink. It looked simple enough, but I soon realized that I was missing most of the ingredients. So I improvised and came up with my own version. These stuffed apples are a perfect way to end a comforting dinner on a crisp fall evening.


Food and Drink: Cold Weather Comfort Food Part 1

I've been promising J a Shepherd's Pie dinner for 2 years. Every time the topic of this meal comes up it's invariably 30+ degrees, making it way too hot to sit down to such a winter dish. However, the cold weather has started its descent on Toronto making it the perfect time for Shepherd's Pie.



Food and Drink: Thanksgiving Sweet Potato Casserole

I've wanted to make Sweet Potato Casserole since I saw Anna make her Corn Flakes and Marshmallow version on The OC. I really didn't think that having marshmallows in my casserole would go over well with my traditional family, so this version is on the tamer side. However, I was pleasantly surprised by how quickly this casserole disappeared. This recipe was fairly simple and was made with ingredients I already had on hand. This Sweet Potato Casserole is an instant classic and will definitely be on the menu in years to come. Happy Thanksgiving!


Hometown Tourist: 1st Thursdays at the AGO

Last night, I was lucky enough to attend 1st Thursdays at the Art Gallery of Ontario. Each 1st Thursday will have a different focus, with an artist on hand to discuss their works and will incorporate live musical performances, art classes, drinks and more. The inaugural edition featured artist Evan Penny's exhibition, Re Figured. Penny explained, “I try to situate my sculpture somewhere between the way we perceive each other in real time and space and the way we perceive ourselves and each other in an image.” For me, this provided an entirely new perspective on Penny's exhilarating works. The night also featured a live performance by Bahamas in Walker Court. This sold out event was well worth the $10 ticket, and is definitely something that should not be missed.


DIY: Fascinator


So here it is...it took me about two hours on Saturday afternoon and by the end of it I was covered in hot glue and feathers. This is the fascinator I made V for the upcoming bridal shower she's attending in October.

The idea was to do this post as a tutorial, but since I'd never made a fascinator before the whole project was trial and error and the process completely un- photogenic. However, I will tell you that I started with feathers as my inspiration and I knew from the beginning that they would be the focal point of the piece.

My only tip when making your own fascinator is don't be afraid to try out different things, and it's okay if the finished product isn't exactly what you expected!

If you have any questions on how I made mine or any materials that I used feel free to comment below or email us at oncrawfordst@gmail.com!

PS. Look forward to our upcoming Style post where V will sport her newest one of a kind accessory!
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