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michelle amurao





Updated: 2014-10-06T19:43:12.764-04:00

 



NEW WEBSITE!!!

2009-05-14T20:58:38.151-04:00

COME CHECK OUT MY NEW WEBSITE HERE



I'm back... but I'm not the same person I used to be

2009-03-14T21:53:55.589-04:00

Wow.. how fast time flies when you're having fun!

It's pretty much been 6 months since I've written in this blog and I'd like to apologize for being away for so long.  Between moving into a new condo, slowly renovating it, xmas vacation in England, and worrying about if I'll still have my job, I've been busy finding what my true calling in life is.

Almost everyday last year, well.. and this year... my friend Mark and I would ask each other, "What is your dream job?", "If you had money to start your own business, what would it be?".  We both have a serious love for interior design and technology so ideas such as opening our own furniture store that also sells home stereo equipment came to mind.  These are all just dreams right now... unless we win this weekend's Super 7 lottery.

But in the meantime, I had to find something that I could seriously do on the side and well... I found it!  I decided to start my own Interior Design Consulting business.  Thanks to my friend Tas, I had my first referral and it's been an exciting 2 months working on this project.  You'll have to wait to hear and see any details of the project until it's completed which will hopefully be April 2009.

But besides having my current job and my Interior Design Consulting business, I still love to blog!  I almost decided to completely shut this food blog down but I thought... you know what... I can't just talk about one thing.  I love too many things to just not share it with people so I decided to revamp this blog into an interior design, photography, food, and technology blog.  I know, it seems like a lot but I can't help it, I love a lot of things!

So anyway, I'm glad to be back and look forward to an amazing 2009!



Hangover Food

2009-03-14T21:53:46.680-04:00

So last night we checked out Fly for the first time and lucky for us it was Retro Night! Woo Woo!  We haven't been out in awhile so we made up for lost time and enjoyed  a few drinks (perhaps a few too many for some of us) and are dealing with the consequences today.

Just as a side note, we saw Chris Hyndman and Steven Sabados there and our friend Rick introduced us to Chris.  All I remember is that Lou and I both hugged him and said he was awesome.  We are officially the biggest los
ers.

Anyway, back to dealing with the consequences.  As soon as I woke up, I was craving Mc D's Big Mac!!  Lucky I had the "2 Can Dine For $8.98" coupon.

It is now 6 hours after I inhaled my Big Mac and now I'm craving fish and chips.  I decided to check out what restos were delivering on www.orderit.ca (there's no way I was leaving the house to pick up food).  We found a restaurant called Chippy's Fish and Chips so we decided to give it a go.

Survey says.........  6 out of 10.

It's over priced, fish is thin, curry gravy is well... for lack of a better word... disgusting, and the chips weren't your true thick english chips.  And to top it all off, it took 1 hour and 20 mins for the food to arrive.  The best part of the meal was the garlic mayo. 


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How to peel hard boiled eggs without peeling it!!

2009-03-14T21:53:40.467-04:00

Check this out!

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Perfect way to start my Canada Day

2009-03-14T21:53:33.490-04:00

There is no better way to start Canada Day than with a perfectly brewed Tim Hortons coffee.



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Toronto Summerlicious is back!!

2009-03-14T21:53:26.311-04:00

Don't let the summer go by without trying at least 1 restaurant that is participating in Summerlicious!

Click here to see the restaurant list.

Czehoski is definitely on the top of my list.



Loblaws Mango Chili Chicken

2009-03-14T21:53:17.338-04:00

I was at Loblaws one Saturday and they had a stand that was serving sample h'ordeurve size crostinis with mango chutney and mango chili chicken. Do you ever walk by the meat section where the butcher packages the meat for you and notice that they already have marinated meats? I walk by there all the time and don't ever think of buying these marinated meats. But when I tried the mango chicken crostinis... I was hooked!!!

I immediately purchased 2 chicken breast pieces and thought of recipes I could make with it. I went to a wedding last month and I remembered that the chicken meal that I chose actually had a mango salsa on top of the chicken supreme. It was accompanied with mashed potatoes and summer vegetables. It was one of the best chicken wedding dinners I've every had.


So tonight, I decided to make Mango Chili Chicken with mango salsa, green beans, and mashed potatoes.


I don't have the recipe for the mango chili chicken and what it was marinated in but all I did with it was bake it in the oven.


I can, however, share with you the mango salsa that I made. It's so easy peasy!

1 medium size mango (chopped into tiny cubes)
juice of 1/2 a lime
table spoon of chopped coriander
1/2 a cup of chopped red pepper
1 red chili pepper desesded and chopped into tiny pieces (this is an option if you want a little bit of a kick)
teaspoon of olive oil
salt & pepper to taste


All you have to do is combine all of these ingredients together and voila!


I would totally use this salsa with perhaps mahi mahi, tilapia, or red snapper fish.

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Typical Sagittarius

2009-03-14T21:53:08.606-04:00

Many times I have read that a characteristic of a Sagittarian is that they don't finish what they have started. I confess, this is some what true for myself. There have been times where I get all psyched up for a project or task and then I just for some reason, I lose interest or just don't finish it for whatever reason.

Sad but true... my vegetarian challenge has come to and end :o( I survived 3.5 days of being a vegetarian and just the thought of another 4 days was extremely difficult. After the first 3 days, my body just felt weird. I can't really explain it but it was like my body was changing. It wasn't getting weak but it didn't feel the same. Not sure what it was exactly but in any case, my craving for meat was unbearable tonight. I had a bagel with cream cheese for breakfast and a veggie plate at Jimmy The Greek for lunch. But when I came home from work today, all I could think about was MEAT.. chicken to be specific!

I ended my vegetarian challenge with St. Louis Wings!! mmm..... YUMMY IN MY TUMMY!! 3.5 days of veg and carbs was all I needed to know that I could NEVER be a vegetarian. Sorry people... I love food and meat is a big part of it.

I think I could totally have lasted if I could have a least had seafood but I was cut off from that as well. Maybe I'll try that one week and see how it goes.

Sheryl... my deepest apologies for losing your challenge. I actually enjoyed the first couple of days but that was about it.

Til the next challenge.....



Day 3 - Sunday April 13th

2009-03-14T21:53:01.395-04:00

Happy Birthday Dad!!

Breakfast:
- 2 hashbrowns
Lunch:
- caesar salad
- Penne Rustico

Dinner:
- sweet potato fries (yes... again!)



Today is my dad's birthday and one of my parents favorites restaurants is Canyon Creek Chophouse. First thing that ran through my mind as I made the reservations for lunch was, "What a bad week to do a Veggie Challenge!". I would say about 95% of the menu in this restaurant is either beef, pork, chicken, or seafood. The only veggie item they had on the menu was a veggie burger. I thought, "Ok.. that's what I'll have. Even though I only like Lick's Nature burgers.. I'll try a different veggie burger.". Yeah well... my mind changed when I got the restaurant. I just couldn't take a chance on ordering something that I might not have liked. So... I ordered the only pasta dish they had called Penne Rustico except I had them take out the chicken :o(. The pasta had spinach, peppers, mushrooms, and feta cheese in a garlic tomato sauce. It wasn't bad actually. To start though, I did order a caesar salad. Chomp chomp chomp. 1/3 of the way done, I realized that there were bits of bacon on the salad! I was completely dumb founded. I didn't even realize it. I started to pick all of them hoping that I might not have eaten too many of them already. :o( I was quite upset. I was doing so good but I'll have to put it past me now and move ahead.


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Next time I go to Canyon Creek Chophouse. I'd love to try the slow roasted pork chops with lingonberrry sauce. It looked so good!

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Day 2 - Saturday, April 12

2009-03-14T21:52:48.669-04:00

Breakfast:
- poppyseed bagel with herb & garlic cream cheese

Lunch/Dinner:
- Tomato pizza and sweet potato fries

The sweet potato fries were sssoooo good!!! The brand that I purchased was Alexia. Today was also good as I stayed home all day and loafed around! I love rainy Saturday's.



Day 1 - Friday April 11

2009-03-14T21:52:27.016-04:00

Breakfast:
- apple muffin
Lunch:
- veg fried rice, noodles, and veggie spring rolls
Dinner:
- spaghetti with tomato sauce

So far so good. Today was an easy day. I went to Whole Foods with Sheryl & Dion and I couldn't believe that I found frozen sweet potato fries. I LOVE sweet potato fries and I've never seen a pack of frozen ones. I'll save it for tomorrow.



Tomorrow is the big day!!

2009-03-14T21:52:16.076-04:00

Ok so Sheryl has challened Lou and I to a Veggie Challenge. Problem is... Lou refuses to give up seafood so for her.. she'll be a pescetarian.

I've stocked up on pasta, veggies (of course), cheese, more pasta, pomodora pizza,. and more pasta. (I need to find some more recipes) Now just to clarify.. I know some vegetarians don't even eat cheese or eggs but according to Sheryl's challenge rules.. I can eat them :o) YAY!! Thank god!

So every day I will post a blog as to what I have eaten. I have to say.... I'm excited but am also wishing that I ate a street meat hotdog, a t-bone steak, a roasted chicken, and some bbq ribs this week but... oh well. I guess it'll have to wait.

Wish me luck!



It's "Empty out the fridge" night

2009-03-14T21:51:49.497-04:00

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Now that I've moved to a shoe box, I'm so lucky to have a tiny fridge that fits practically nothing! (insert angry face). It's good in a way that I don't overload on groceries, however, I also have to be conscious of what I can fit in the fridge. Thank god for Ziplock large freezer bags!


Anyway, I had some food in the fridge that I kept forgetting to cook so today I decided to grab whatever ingredients I had to get rid of out of the fridge and make a pasta out of it.

This is what I had to get rid of:

- raw shrimp
- tomatoes
- mushrooms

Because I just sort of threw everything together, I don't really have a precise recipe. I can pretty much tell you what else I added to those ingredients to give you an idea of what you'll need should you ever want to brave making it.

So besides the shrimp, tomatoes, and mushrooms.... I used.

- butter
- olive oil
- garlic
- onions
- italian parsley
- nutmeg
- salt & pepper
- wholegrain spaghettini

First and foremost, I cooked my spaghettini in boiled water.

While that was cooking, I basically melted about 2 teaspoons of butter and cooked the garlic & mushrooms just until they started to get soft. I added the tomatoes and onions until the onions were soft. Then I added the parsley and just a little bit of nutmeg. (When I say a little bit... I probably stroked the nutmeg across my grater about 15 times..lol. Sorry... I'm crap at measurements). Then I added a good glug of olive oil and added the shrimp and of course salt and pepper to taste.

It took me about 20 mins to make which is just the way I like it.

Oh..lol. Just one more thing. I completely forgot to take the shell off the shrimp so you might want to do that before so that you don't have to do it after it's all cooked and get your fingers messy.



Bacon, Cucumber, and Tomato Salad

2009-03-14T21:51:39.901-04:00

So I woke up this morning and all I was thinking about was that I wanted bacon for breakfast! Not sure what I was going to make it with but I haven't had crispy bacon in ages. As usual, Lou opted for the bacon and egg sandwich but for me... I wasn't really craving egg. I thought... "hhmm.. maybe I'll have a BLT". Uh.. no. No salad in the house. So, I looked at what was in the fridge and I thought.. "I know, I'll have a bacon, cucumber, and tomato salad!".

I've never made it before or tried it before but I thought that I'd try it anyway. I have to say... I liked it. It was fresh, simple, with a touch of salt from the crispy bacon. And when I say crispy... I LOVE my bacon crispy to the point where you can hear it snap when you break it in half.

Here's the recipe. You can choose how much of the ingredients you want but this is what I used for 1 serving.

1 vine ripened tomato sliced
1/2 cup of sliced cucumber
thinly sliced onion (I wanted to use red onion but didn't have any). I don't like loads of onions in my salad so I literally only used about 7 thin slices for my salad.
5 pieces of bacon cooked til crispy.. REALLY CRISPY!
1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano
extra virgin olive oil
juice of 1 lemon slice

- Mix the tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, and bacon in a bowl.
- Drizzle extra virgin olive oil to your liking.
- Add the dried oregano and lemon juice and mix all of the ingredients together and serve!

Voila!



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60 EARTH HOUR

2009-03-14T21:51:31.628-04:00

I know this isn't a food related blog entry, however, I think that saving our earth is extremely important.

Countries all over the world are participating in conserving energy for 1 hour. It started in Sydney, Australia and is spreading around the world. On Saturday, March 29, 2008, hundreds of thousands of people around the world are going to shut off all of their lights from 8pm to 9pm.

If you'd like more information and/or would like to sign up on the Earth Hour website, click on this link.



Angel Baby

2009-03-14T21:51:22.670-04:00

I was honoured and extremely happy to have been asked to take photos for my long time friend Ellen Fargas' organic baby food business. During the shoot I was so tempted to try some but didn't want to ruin the shoot with traces of my finger having been dipped into the food. Lucky Zach Attack gets to eat his mom's beautiful creation all day long.

It's amazing to me how organic food is just sweeping the world with so many more options of food and flavour. The organic food business is exploding and I truly believe that anyone in it, will be successful.

If you or anyone you know would be interested in more information of Angel Baby, call or email at the information below:

647-286-2989


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I will be back soon....

2009-03-14T21:51:15.191-04:00

Hi folks,

Sorry I haven't been around lately. It's been so crazy lately as I'm moving into a new condo. I've got LOADS of pics and blogs that I want to post but just have no time. Once I'm settled into the new place, I promise it'll be one big blog vomit.

Oh and I did visit the UK again and FINALLY got to London. Here's a couple of pics.

Enjoy and stay tuned....





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Welcome to the blog world Martha!

2009-03-14T21:51:01.175-04:00

I must be slow but I just discovered that Marth Stewart started her own personal blog in October!

Check it out here.

I love it! It's a personal insight into her life that a lover of reality TV like myself would definitely be chuffed about! You can see her house and things that she does to it, her travels, her pets, etc.

Enjoy!



Happy Banana Xango to me!

2009-03-14T21:50:50.496-04:00

...creamy. light banana cheesecake wrapped in a pastry tortilla, dusted with cinnamon-sugar and served with warm caramel, ribbons of chocolate and french vanilla ice cream. (Moxie's Classic Grill)

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The Best 5 minute Tomato Sauce!!

2009-03-14T21:50:42.110-04:00

I'M BACK!!.. Temporarily.

I had to blog about this because it was ssooooo good and so simple! Just the way I like it.

First of all, I have to say that winter is NOT a motivator for blogging. I get home at 4:30pm and it's already dark. How can I cook and take pictures without natural light? I don't have any fancy shmancy lighting and throughout the summer... the sun is what I relied on. Weekends have been busy with studying and other things so i'm too lazy to cook and take pictures and blog. Hopefully after Christmas I can get back into the blogging world and back to cooking new recipes!

Tonight, however, I was really craving pasta and was so impressed with this recipe that I had to blog about it. I bought fresh ravioli with spinach and ricotta and decided to finally use one of my San Marzano canned tomatoes. I've been saving these cans for a special recipe and even though this is such a simple recipe, it was so worth the wait! I quickly searched the www for a recipe and came across one from a woman who is an unbelievable cook! There are so many recipes of hers that I want to try. This was my first one.

Again, apologies for the crap pics.



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My favorite salad

2009-03-14T21:50:32.224-04:00

It's been a busy quite stressful week and today is exactly what I needed!! I've finished the last 3 days of my course and now I have 2 weeks to study for my exam. My mind is completely consumed with studying studying studying as I'm worried that I won't pass this exam. I haven't had to study for anything for over 10 years and I admit.. it scares me. I even researched on what foods are good to eat when studying. Of course it was all boring veggies, nuts, fish - not that I'm comlaining cuz I love all that. I was just hoping that there would be some sort of brain nutrition in a Big Mac.So after being in class for 3 intense days in a row and a day of studying on Saturday, all I wanted to do today was NOTHING TO DO WITH STUDYING!! Lou and I went to Milestones, one of our most favorite restaurants, then watched "Gone Baby Gone" at the cinema (which was pretty good btw), and then took Ziggy for a walk at Queens Quay where I grabbed a Tall Non-Fat No Whip Cafe Mocha at Starbucks. And now, I've finally made some time to blog and read blogs I've been wanting to read all week. Usually I'm on my laptop every night updating myself on everyone's blogs but I've forced myself NOT to get side tracked so I had to put the blogs aside for awhile.When I woke up this morning at 11am, I knew that I desperately need a serious break. I don't think my brain could have handled another day of studying so when Lou asked me what I wanted to eat, the first thing that popped into my head was MILESTONES Vegetarian Thai Noodle Salad. I NEVER usually order salads when I go out to eat but this salad has me hooked. This time I ordered grilled tiger shrimp with it instead of the usual grilled chicken. The ingredients of this salad are "Fresh chopped greens and oriental noodles stacked with artichokes, sliced mushrooms, shredded carrots, spicy house-made avocado and papaya salsas, feta and honey mustard vinaigrette". I could eat it again right now!!!Lou had the "CERTIFIED ANGUS BEEF® 8oz TOP SIRLOIN With trio of signature Steak sauces: House-made Worcestershire, Kobe mustard, Gaucho sauce with Black Peppercorn & Cognac sauce: Served with a grilled Portabello mushroom.". I would have had taken a picture of it but she said, "HELL NO" when I asked her to wait. Can't blame her really.. it looked so good. You could really taste the cognac. Now when it comes to steak though, to us, nothing can compare to Ruth Chris Steak House. I'll blog about this next time I go which will HOPEFULLY be in 2 weeks because if I pass my exam, that's the first place I going to celebrate![...]



Montreal has poutine... Toronto has hot dogs

2009-03-14T21:50:18.851-04:00

I remember clubbing in Montreal and starving after last call. I must have asked 3 or 4 Quebecois where I could get a hot dog and no one had a clue. One person actually sent me to a place where they used toast (for the bun) and a boiled hot dog. It was disgusting but I was starving. I wasn't in the mood for poutine. All I wanted was a juicy bbq'd hot dog.Toronto hot dogs ... aka.. "street meat" can be found on MANY street corners in downtown Toronto and outside of many suburban areas at Canadian Tire & Home Depot stores. It might be the weirdest thing for people from out of town to see but Torontonians can't live without street meat. 3am and most clubs have ended their night.People spilling into the streets drunk, buzzed, high, but more importantly.. HUNGRY!They want something fast, cheap, and easy to cure the drunkiness.Street meat is the answer to all their prayers.To top off your bbq'd hot dog, you've got a selection of condiments from ketchup, to hot peppers, to sweet corn relish. Personally, I take my dog with loads of onions, 3 or 4 peppers, and tons-o-ketchup!!Many a times we've taken little Ziggy (my daschund) for a walk by the Harbourfront and we always stop at "Mike's Hotdogs". I keep forgetting the guy who actually makes the hot dog (don't know if he's actually Mike) but I know he's from Japan. Every time he sees Ziggy he says the same thing. "I had a hot dog dog once with my ex girlfriend in Japan. When I left, she took it.". Mike's Hotdogs is located at Bay and Queens Quay on the South West corner. He is by far the friendliest hot dog guy and has the juiciest dogs in Harbourfront.If you're a hot dog vendor, you're lucky if you get the prime spots in downtown Toronto. Apparently, it's randomly selected each year where each hot dog vendor will be located each year. I remember one hot dog guy I spoke to (who was located on a side street right across the street from a car shop - not exactly a money making location) once said that while Mel Lastman was our Mayor, it seemed as though the Italians were getting all the hot spots like Yonge & Bloor but of course.. paid a nominal "fee" for it. Don't know if it's true but about 3 years a later, I ran into this hot dog guy by University of Toronto. I guess he moved up in the hot dog world! What more could a student want for a cheap and quick lunch. He seemed quite happy at least. [...]



Another way to cure hiccups

2009-03-14T21:49:57.698-04:00

I was reading the Amateur Gourmet's "How To" section on his website and I saw "How to cure hiccups". I thought, "Oh.. I wonder if this is the same way I've heard you can cure hiccups.".

Actually... it wasn't.

For Lou's birthday this summer we went to Brownstone Bistro & Bar. One of our friends had the hiccups and someone heard that drinking water backwards was the sure cure for hiccups. Derek was the demonstrator and I'm sure that people were thinking, "What the hell is this guy doing?" lol It's definitely not something you'd just get up and do at a restaurant (or maybe you would) but it works!

lol... it's an odd thing to do but I swear.. it works like a charm. You just have to be careful that you don't spill water all over the place or laugh while you're trying to drink cuz you know you look ridiculous. lol You don't have to drink a lot. Just a big sip.

Make sure the glass is full to the top. It's easier to drink.

Check out this video on how to works.



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Crepes a GoGo

2009-03-14T21:49:12.677-04:00

Happy Thanksgiving Canada!I don't think I've EVER experienced Thanksgiving in 25 degrees celcius weather! It was so hot and humid today and I kept thinking that we need to try more restaurant patios before it gets cold. Especially since Sassafraz reopened. Wait a second... what the heck am I talking about. It's bloody October! It should be cold by now. It's bitter sweet really. I hate what's happening with global warming but at the same time... it's 25 degrees in October!!!!! They say that we will be experiencing warmer months than cold in the near future. I remember probably over 5 years ago, it was cold from September to May. Anyway, I enjoyed my day off today with my friend Sheryl. We walked around Yorkville, checked out Whole Foods (unfortunately... came out empty handed because I didn't want to walk around all day with bags of endless delights), and finally stopped at a place called Crepes a GoGo. I've only eaten at 2 crepe places before - Cafe Crepe & Le Creperie in Quebec City. When it comes to fruit crepes, the peach crepe at Le Creperie is at the very top of my list of the most heavenly crepes I have ever tasted. I've had a chicken crepe at Cafe Crepe and "eh".. it was ok - Nothing spectacular. But today... Sheryl and I tried a scrambled egg, swiss cheese, mushroom, red onion and dill crepe. After walking around for over an hour with throbbing heals, it was just what the doctor ordered. The edge of the crepe was crispy just they way I like it and all the flavours of the filling were warm and fresh. My favorite part of Crepes a GoGo is that it's a small family owned business and the staff speak french! I could have stayed there for hours just watching people coming in and out enjoying the best crepes in Toronto (in my opinion). Crepes a Gogo... I will see you again soon![...]



Let's give the General a try

2009-03-14T21:48:31.842-04:00

(image) I know some will argue that it's not authentic chinese or anything but I have to admit that General Tso Chicken is a chinese dish I really enjoy. Even Wikipedia says it's more for an American/Canadian dish.

I've thought about making it myself but never really looked into finding a recipe until yesterday. I googled it and found many different recipes but found one that looked exactly what I'm used to seeing it look like as the end result. Some of them looked dry or not cripsy.

After preparing the chicken, frying, cooking, and of course eating this tasty delite.. I'm exhausted and admitedly so... too lazy to type out the recipe so you can find it here if you're interested.

The only thing I added was toasted sesame seeds, a bit of lime juice just before serving to add that bit of tang to it and served it with basmati rice.



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