I resurface briefly from the school thing to shamelessly promote my neighbourhood again. (Yes, there remain back-burner posts that I have neglected, including our November 2013 turducken adventure I promised on my Northern bread baking post; I have not forgotten!). There may or may not also be a boastful gleeful lookee!-my-lunch-was-really-the-bestest sentiment that motivated today’s post.

Bread By UsShortly after Hintonburg Market opened, Wellington Street West welcomed a new bakery: Bread By Us. Over the past few weeks, I’ve had the pleasure of trying a rather dark and dense sourdough, a walnut-apricot loaf, baguettes, and both sweet and savoury croissants. I feel neutral about sourdoughs most of the time (but when I’m in the mood I’m sure I’ll go back to pick something up–likely a lighter rendition). Furthermore, the boy is an avid baker, so I wasn’t blown away by the (objectively delicious) walnut-apricot loaf. It’s really the baguettes and croissants (and the very lovely folks behind the counter) that keep me coming back.
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I’m in Iqaluit for a January internship! Somehow, this has translated into cooking up a storm (though I can’t be held responsible for the blizzard that blew through on my 5th day here / 2nd day at work). Between aimless internet rabbit holes and late night classes (and much to the boy’s chagrin), my fall semester was very much not full of kitchen adventures (though: turducken. Which is a back-burner blog post to come).

I decided to make bread, a two fold challenge: 1) I can count on one hand the number of loaves I’ve ever made (the boy is the baker) and 2) I would have to mix the dough by hand (our Kitchen Aid is one of my favourite kitchen acquisitions). Mixing dough by hand gives me pause in appreciating generations past – grandmothers and wives who made bread for years without gadgets.

Below chronicles my very exciting Friday night / Saturday morning. Following that is the recipe the boy’s instructions – let me know if you decide to give it a go!

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Chez Lucien

source: Chez Lucien

Back to back burger post! I’m delighted to report that this burger platter, while not the perfect burger platter, left me satisfied (and way more so than the last). I’d heard tales of Chez Lucien since moving here and was happy to finally visit this week with a lunch companion who worked close by. Lucky for me, it’s also spitting distance from campus.

On my initial visit to any restaurant, my usual tactic is to get a sense of their food by establishing a baseline with something they really should be nailing. That is, a dish that any self respecting [insert descriptor here] restaurant wouldn’t screw up. For example: rare beef pho at a Vietnamese restaurant; pad Thai at a Thai joint; chicken’s feet and BBQ pork buns at dim sum; steak at a steak house.
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The new grad building is looking great! I just won’t be coming back to Café Nostalgica for food. Their bar and beer selection will be pretty good too — once the administrative mishaps get ironed out. The staff are always lovely at Nostalgica, and I’ve had many catch ups with friends during my first year at U of O. If I recall, their food used to be descent, too. But I’ve been less than impressed since their re-opening last month:

On my first visit last month, my soup was cold. On my second visit, my fries were assaulted by white pepper.

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Source: http://zazazapizza.com/

Source: ZaZaZa

The food was OK, just nothing to write home about especially at their price point (which rivals the tastier & better executed Tennessy Willems across the street). Don’t get me wrong – you might have an good experience here (service was great, staff were friendly, neat looking restaurant with a pretty good vibe; fun pizza names / theme). I just found it a bit gimmicky (check out the menu), and my rule for eating out (or returning to a restaurant) is only if it blows me away and/or is a tasty dirt cheap hole in the wall / hidden gem of a mom and pop shop and/or something I don’t make (or can’t make better) at home.
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source: @Gen_Larose

We had a bit of a snow day in Ottawa this Wednesday, which meant and plenty of buses that were jack-knifed and traffic was a mess. Not surprisingly, plane delays also ensued from the weather. Which is most inconvenient when you are scheduled to travel to a 4 day conference on the other side of the continent.

Cue phone conversation with my dear friend and co-conspirator for CAELS (an initiative we started to connect environmental law students to each other and the larger legal community). Incidentally, this is the same friend who is my source of poultry.

Me: How’s it going?
MJ: Our 6AM flight to Portland has been cancelled.
Me: …

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