Mascarpone Truffles

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If you wanted to make truffles for that special someone but didn’t want to spend a whole lot of money, these are very easy to make and don’t require too many ingredients.

They aren’t the prettiest things but the person you’re giving them to will definitely appreciate the gesture!

Ingredients:

  • 10oz (300g) dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) 35% cream
  • 1 cup (250ml) Tre Stella Mascarpone
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp (30ml) sugar

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The first thing you have to do is melt the dark chocolate. When you buy it, you’ll most likely get it in chunks. Chopping it up makes it melt quicker.

In a saucepan, melt the chocolate with the cream.

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Once it’s blended, remove from the heat and add the mascarpone but don’t mix; stir it lightly so that it’s just marbled. I may have stirred a little too much but it’s still pretty marbled, the picture just doesn’t show it.

Let it cool to room temperature then refrigerate for at least two hours.

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Mix the cocoa powder and sugar separately.

Make small balls with the chocolate mixture and roll them in the cocoa and sugar.

Keep the balls refrigerated until they’re ready to be served.

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They’re simple to make and it doesn’t have that instant melt in your mouth effect but it’s creamy and will satisfy any sweet craving you or a loved one will have.

Skoshbox January 2015 Review

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I’ve embarked on a new monthly subscription journey with Skoshbox and I’m pretty excited. I love snacks in general and we can’t deny that Asians come up with some of the most scrumptious, craziest things!

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You get a personalized rectangular box with all of your snacks neatly packaged like a Tetris puzzle. You don’t get the full sized version but they make up for it by providing you with on average eight samples! They range from sweet to savoury to salty.

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You’ll also get a card that tells you the name, flavour and ingredients. That way, if you wanted to try and find it yourself, you’ll know what to tell stores when they ask what you’re looking for. (It’ll also help when you can’t exactly pinpoint what you just ate)

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Below is a numbered picture of all the snacks included in this month’s Skoshbox. I’ll be doing this for each month so that’s it’s easier for you to follow and less picture heavy.

Snacks

1. Nameko Biscuits

These are suppose to be butter biscuits and it might sound plain but they are surprisingly addicting. The buttery taste is subtle but it gives the cookies a smooth taste. The designs aren’t cute or impressive but they are…interesting. It reminds me of doodles you would find in a sketch book.

2. Shrimp Mayo Umaibo

I actually really liked this and if I see it in stores, I’m going to grab me some! It has a light spicy mayo taste that isn’t too salty and it’s supposed to be a puffed corn snack. Its texture is similar to a giant Cheetos Puff but way more addicting.

3. Potato Chip Sticks

These potato sticks are lightly seasoned and not too greasy. There isn’t much to say about them because frankly, they aren’t anything special.

4. Strawberry Pocky

Strawberry Pocky isn’t anything too new since it’s been around forever but what’s different about this one is that there are some strawberry bits on the coating which gives it a nice little surprise.

5. Sakusaku Panda Cookies

I’ve actually had these before I got them in Skoshbox. I couldn’t resist because of the adorable pandas! These are so good and they don’t skimp out on the chocolate either! The pandas also make cute, funny faces that will keep you pretty entertained.

6. Star Kirby Bubble Gum

I thought this one was cute but if it wasn’t for Kirby, I don’t think many people would get it. It comes with three pieces of gum that are gray, why that colour I don’t know. You also get a small sticker sheet and a card that kids can colour in.

7. Green Tea Kit Kat

Oh Japan and their love of Kit Kat. Green tea is a classic and you can definitely feel the matcha powder in the chocolate coating. The flavour is bold and very high quality.

8. Bakauke Fried Sesame

This is another one I’ll be looking out for in stores. It’s a fried sesame flavoured rice cracker that’s nicely roasted to perfection. It’s somewhat salty but also savoury so it’s very satisfying on many levels. A must try!

Il Fornello (Richmond Hill) Review

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8851 Yonge Street

(905) 530-1153

www.ilfornello.com

Pricing: Average

Cuisine: Italian

Type: Semi-Casual

Rating

Food: 8/10

Service: 7/10

Atmosphere: 8/10

Il Fornello on Urbanspoon

If you’re somewhat of a foodie, you’ll have heard of the name Il Fornello thrown around here and there. The one that gets the most attention is the Toronto location but there’s actually one up on the North end in Richmond Hill. For good reason reason too since Woodbridge and Maple (known for their high populations of Italians) are close by.

I came here for their weekend brunch buffet that’s only offered on the weekend from 11:30am to 2:30pm. I was a little skeptical since buffets usually mean the quality of food is less than their usual fare but I was pleasantly surprised! I guess I shouldn’t expect anything less from one of “Toronto’s best Italian restaurants.”

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As you can see from my first platter, there’s quite a variety. There are different types of pizza, pasta, salads and breakfast foods. The scrambled eggs are flavoured and fluffy and the dishes are made fresh so nothing is stale of cold. Every time I walked by, the chefs were always making a fresh batch of something.

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Eggs Benedict, french toast, bacon and mussels are just a few more items available. Can you believe you can have mussels for brunch? A definite bonus! The eggs benny was runny like its supposed to be, the french toast was a little soggier than it should be but still great. And who doesn’t love crispy bacon?

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For my last platter, I got a few of my favourites and a few new ones. The tuna pasta salad was creamy but not overdone and the fried chicken was a little dry so I didn’t finish it.

I would recommend coming here for brunch because it’s a nice sample of their full menu. I plan on coming back because I got a little taste and I want more!

Happy Holidays!

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Hi everyone! I know there haven’t been regular posts lately but with the holidays coming up it’s been a little hectic. I’ll try to get things up and running again in the New Year but I hope you’re all spending it with loved ones and take this time to relax and enjoy yourselves a little :).

Happy holidays! <3

NatureBox Canada – November 2014 Review

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NatureBox has provided a lot of yummy snacks over the last few months and while I enjoyed a lot of them, I don’t know if it will be worth it for me to continue to be honest. Duy has already unsubscribed and brought up a valid point that a lot of the snacks seem to be a bit repetitive but then again, there are only so many variations right?

But also, having that many snacks at my disposal makes me want to eat them all as well. Everything should be in moderation but if I put a bowl of chips in front of you, you’re going to pick at it, even if you didn’t want any in the first place.

For now, I’ll unsubscribe. Maybe I’ll try it again when they get their full site running. But I’m always on the hunt for new food boxes so if you find one that sounds interesting, do let me know about it!

In the November box, you’ll find:

  • Lemon Almond Biscotti Bites
  • French Vanilla Almond Granola
  • Roasted Kettle Kernels
  • Garlic Plantains
  • Tart Apple Mango Crispy Chews

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Lemon Almond Biscotti Bites

“I’m usually not a fan of biscotti but the lemon really makes it nice and fragrant. It’s also hard but crumbles in your mouth when you bite into it. If I saw this in stores, I’d definitely pick it up.”

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French Vanilla Almond Granola

“I love putting granola in my Greek yogourt and while I like this one, it’s nothing special.”

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 Roasted Kettle Kernels

“I loved these, they were the first thing I finished from this month’s box. Just throw a handful in your mouth and listen to that loud satisfying crunch. It’s lightly salted and I like how they kept it that way so you could enjoy the simplicity of the corn.”

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Garlic Plantains

“It’s an interesting pairing; I’m not quite sure if I like it or not to tell you the truth. I like plantain chips but I’m not a fan of garlic which could be why I’m a little hesitant. They’re a nice snack but not satisfying in any way.”

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Tart Apple Mango Crispy Chews

“Apple and mango make a great mix and these remind me of those real fruit snacks that came in those packages that your parents threw into your lunch box because they thought it was healthy. It’s like the name says, tart, but it the fruit gives it a nice aroma I’m loving the rice crispy bits.”

Bitter Melon Soup

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Bitter melon is a hit or miss with me; I don’t hate it but if I’m not in the mood for it, I won’t eat it. Many people I know won’t even go near it but sometimes, it really hits the spot on a chilly day.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 tablespoon fish sauce + 5 tablespoons
  • 1 small package (about a fist full) of bean thin vermicelli noodles, soaked
  • 4 bitter melons
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 300g ground beef
  • 4 pieces of dehydrated fungus, soaked
  • 2 stalks green onions, sliced
  •  3 pork or beef bones
  • 1 egg white

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First, soak the bean thin vermicelli noodles and black fungus in warm water until they are soft.

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Meanwhile, cut the the bitter melon into thirds and scoop out the insides. Make sure you get as much of the white as you can.

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When you’re done, it should look like this. Give it a quick rinse and set them aside. Drain the noodles and fungus; cut the noodles half an inch thick and dice the fungus.

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Mix the pepper, fungus, noodles, 1 1/2 tbsp of fish sauce, green onions, egg white and beef in a bowl. Set aside the mixture and boil half a large pot of water. Place the bones in and let the flavour soak.

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Fill the bitter melon with the mixture. Press down with your fingers to make sure all the air is removed.

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When the bone water comes to a bowl, drop the bitter melon in and add 5 tablespoons of fish sauce. When the “scum” rises to the top, scoop it out to ensure your broth is as clear as possible.

Keep the heat on med-high for about an hour. If you want it to be less bitter, you can boil it for longer.

All that’s left is to enjoy! Let me know how you guys feel about bitter melon and if you’ve never had it, are you willing to give it a try?