Saturday, July 30, 2016

My Recipe Box - Roast Pork Belly

This was very good. I had bought sliced pork belly (like in the photo) in future I would buy the whole piece. I think it would be juicier.

Don't do what I thought was a good idea, pouring the marinade into the roast pan the soy sauce burned and took forever to clean the pan.

Red are my changes.


2 lb pork belly
1 cup salt
for the marinade:
1/4 cup soy sauce I would reduce this a little
1/3 cup shaoxing rice wine
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 cloves garlic, minced
Ginger minced
Thai sweet red curry paste 


1. Using a paper towel, pat skin of pork belly until it is completely dry. Mix marinade ingredients in a bowl and then pour into a rectangular pan that is big enough to hold the pork belly. Place pork belly into the container, making sure only the meat touches the marinade and the skin stays completely dry. If the marinade level is too high you can pour some of it out. Place in fridge for several hours or overnight.

2. Preheat oven to 350F. Completely line a roasting pan with foil (this will make clean-up much easier). Pour 1 inch of water into bottom of pan. Place wire rack on top of roasting pan to hold the pork belly. Place the pork belly on the wire rack. The pork belly will cook above the water, with the pork drippings dripping down below into the water. Make sure the pork belly is level (if one part is lower/shorter the skin will not cook evenly. if you have to, use something oven-safe to prop up a shorter part to keep it completely level). Spread 1 cup of salt evenly across the pork belly skin. Place into top half of oven. Bake for about 40 minutes until meat looks cooked.

3. Remove pork belly and increase oven temperature to 465F. The salt should have formed a crust which you should now remove. Once oven has reached desired temperature, place pork belly back into oven. Bake for another 30 minutes until skin is completely bubbly and crisp. Let pork belly cool a few minutes before cutting and serving.

I roasted potatoes, onions and tomatoes as a side.

inSPIREd Sunday

July 2016 - Toronto ON

On Thursday I was out wandering the city, visited the Mackenzie House and the area that Ryerson University is located.

Come back on Monday to see lots more of the area.

I had spotted this building and since I had time went to check it out. 

This area is dotted with churches documenting the history of immigrants to Toronto.

Close by is St. Michael's Catholic Cathedral (check back tomorrow for some photos), St. James Anglican CathedralLittle Trinity and Holy Trinity.

Formerly: Holy Blossom Temple
Address: 115 Bond Street, Toronto
Built: 1897
Adapted: 1937

Copyright is in the public domain and permission for use is not required. Please credit the Ontario Jewish Archives as the source of the photograph.

Located in the heart of Toronto, St. George’s Greek Orthodox Church remains one of very few examples of Byzantine inspired architecture in the city. Built as Holy Blossom Temple, a Jewish synagogue, the building was originally designed by Canadian architect John Siddall. In the early part of the 20th-century, its façade was adorned with two large onion-shaped domes atop two large towers, as well as several smaller onion domes along the central frontispiece. Due to the rapid growth of its congregation in the 1930s, Holy Blossom relocated to a new building (at 1950 Bathurst Street, Toronto), and its former home was sold and converted into this Greek Orthodox church.

The most notable exterior change was the replacement of the original onion domes with a hemispherical dome inspired by Hagia Sophia in Constantinople. The drum of the central dome was altered again in the 1980s to feature a stained-glass clerestory. Around the same time, the façade’s central tympanum was refitted with a mosaic painted by celebrated Italian mosaicist Sirio Tonelli and the traditional iconography in the church’s interior was painted by Pacomaioi monks from Mount Athos in Greece.

The successful conversion of Holy Blossom Temple to St. George’s Greek Orthodox Church demonstrates that faith-to-faith building conversions are often an easy fit. It also reminds us of the practical origins of adaptive reuse. We consider the adaptation of religious buildings a new trend, but the spirit of reusing and recycling them has always been part of our religious heritage.

Directly across the street was another church.

The history of First Evangelical Lutheran Church of Toronto is, above all else an account of a relatively small number of German-speaking immigrants struggling to create and maintain a spiritual home for themselves and successive generations. Not only did those first immigrants accomplish this goal, but in so doing, earned for First Lutheran the designation of the Lutheran mother church of Toronto.

First Lutheran traces its beginnings to 1850 when a small number of German Lutheran families began to meet in their homes for worship. The German population of Toronto was then extremely small, no more than a few hundred, and probably equally represented by Protestants and Roman Catholics.

The formal organisation of the congregation took place on August 9, 1851 when 12 members signed its first constitution. Served by itinerant pastors for the first several years of its existence, the congregation met in a number of temporary locations which included the First Congregational Church, the Crookshank Street Public School and the Temperance Hall — all in the heart of what is now downtown Toronto.

In that same year, the congregation purchased the property on Bond Street where it began construction of its first church building the following year. This was a small simple wood-frame structure and included a parsonage at its western end. The completed structure was consecrated on August 23, 1857.

Weekend Cooking

July 2016 - Toronto ON

Saturday we attended a friend's 40th birthday party.

Sunday a family BBQ. Lots of good homemade dips, guacamole and salsa, salsa with peaches, beets.

Monday I wanted to go to T and T a large Asian supermarket in Toronto to find sweet potato noodles as I had seen a recipe.

Some T and T photos.
Huge sushi selection.


From left to right - rice ball with chrysanthemum flavour, lily flavour and jasmine flavour.

Partridge head and all.

Silkie chicken - a breed of chicken named for its atypically fluffy plumage, which is said to feel like silk, and satin. The breed has several other unusual qualities, such as black skin and bones, blue earlobes, and five toes on each foot, whereas most chickens only have four.

Tuesday was a day of chores and stuff. I didn't buy a pair of shoes that I lusted after as I was trying to be practical.

Wednesday I saw the eye doctor and then went shopping. John convinced me the shoes were obviously a wow but alas my size was gone. I did find a royal blue sweater I had been looking for.
John had his weekly golf day at Burlington Springs.

Thursday I set out to visit MacKenzie House and also ending up walking around Ryerson University Campus.
John golfed at Remington Parkview Golf Club.

In the heart of downtown Toronto, stands the last home of a prominent and controversial Torontonian - writer, publisher, politician and rebel: Toronto's First Mayor, William Lyon Mackenzie. Today, Mackenzie House interprets the Urban History of Victorian Toronto.

This house was given to Mackenzie by friends and supporters, when he retired from public life, and in recognition of his many years of serving the community.

Ryerson University is a public research university located in the Yonge-Dundas area.

Check back on Monday for details of  my walk. After that I picked up some groceries and headed home.

Friday my BFF and I lunched and shopped. We checked out the Adelaide Food Market for lunch. K had strawberry banana waffles and I had carnitas from Tacos 101. Disappointing, pork was unfllavoured and uninspiring. I doubt I would go to their restaurant based on this. I would go back to La Carnita, however, for tacos.

Starving Artist are all about waffles, breakfast lunch, dinner and dessert with gluten free options.

The Merchant.

In the evening John and I headed to Canoe for dinner, my birthday dinner.

The RBC building in front of Union Station.

Canoe is located on the 54th floor of the TD Centre in the heart of the financial district. We were here in March for John's birthday. And back in 2012 for my birthday.

We have been to all of Michael Bonacini's restaurants over the years and have loved all of them. Here he is talking about his essential two ingredients you must have in your kitchen.

Everything is impeccable about this restaurant. No detail is missed. 

And the view???

Five years ago none of this building were here.  Sort of in the middle with the flat roof and red maple leafs is the Air Canada Centre.

I have taken the description of our selections from the menu.

We shared an appetizer.
venison tartare
crispy bacon, puffed bannock, pink peppercorn, wild mustard + foraged pickles.
It doesn't mention the quail egg yolk. 

My main.
gin cured duck breast
chanterelles, sweet peas, foie gras dumplings + juniper infused onion petals 

John chose from the tasting menu.
bison strip loin
pressed cheese pierogi, fireweed sour cream + spiced bigos cabbage roll

Saturday - party finger foods
Sunday - family BBQ burgers, sausages, corn salad
Monday - macadamia crusted halibut with salad.

Tuesday - NEW slow cooker Mongolian beef with rice
Wednesday - NEW crispy pork belly with roasted potatoes and tomatoes, cheesy cauliflower
Thursday - homemade burgers

Lunching around the world

Vietnam Pho soup at Green Mango Boys Cloverdale
Italy pizza at Olympic Bloor/Yonge
International Burgers at Batch in Financial District
New England Clam chowder at St. Lawrence Market
Chinese General Tao Chicken at Sawtow in Chinatown (Spadina)
Thailand Thai curry soup at Noodles and Co. in TD Centre Financial District (twice)
Mexico tacos at La Carnita John St.
Poland Cafe Polonez cabbage roll, pierogis and potato latkes.
India Aroma buffet
Asian Pork won ton noodle soup
England Afternoon Tea
International Hero burgers
Canadian and Israeli Luminato Food Festival and Taste of Toronto
Indonesian Szechuan Taste of Toronto
Japanese steamed pork bun Momouku
International - Taste of Buffalo
Jewish deli
French Canadian and Atlantic Canada

Photo Friday.

Weekend Cooking hosted by

Beth hosts Weekend Cooking where you can post anything food related.

Amanda’s Books and More

West Metro Mommy Reads

 Saturday Snapshots is hosted by West Metro Mommy

Friday, July 29, 2016

Photo Finds

1. Starts with E
2. Week's Favorite
3. Bounce

The first two will be the same, except we’ll work our way through the alphabet. The second can be a favorite image or activity from the week. The third will be different each time.

July 2016 - Toronto ON

Starts with E - Exhibition Place.

Exhibition Place is a publicly owned mixed-use district, located by the shoreline of Lake Ontario, just west of downtown. The 197-acre (80 ha) site includes exhibit, trade, and banquet centres, theatre and music buildings, monuments, parkland, sports facilities, and a number of civic, provincial, and national historic sites. The district's facilities are used year-round for exhibitions, trade shows, public and private functions, and sporting events.

The entrance to Exhibition Place is through the Princes' Gates.

Often mistakenly called the "Princess Gates", the monumental Princes' Gates were officially opened by Princes Edward, Prince of Wales (later Edward VIII), and George (later the Duke of Kent), on August 31, 1927, during that year's CNE. The gates were built in the Beaux-Arts style to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Canadian Confederation and were originally to be called The Diamond Jubilee of Confederation Gates. The name was changed when it was found that the Princes were touring Canada the year of its dedication

It reads Canadian National Exhibition 1879 (year of the first Exhibition)  1927 when the princes' made their visit.

This photo was taken from the car on another day and you can see the wind turbine, a 91-metre windmill belonging to WindShare co-operative, erected on December 18, 2002, is the first wind turbine installed in a major North American urban city centre. The turbine production capacity helps displace up to 380 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually, which is the equivalent of taking 1,300 cars off the road or planting 30,000 trees each year.

Week's Favourite a mural by Clandestino.

OK so I didn't take this and was stumped this week when this showed up in Facebook this afternoon so it must be serendipity!