Tag Archives: farmers market

Enjoying fall in Burlington

I think one of the reasons I love fall so much is the fact that it’s so fleeting. It seems like that perfect period of time when the weather is still comfortable and the trees are still vibrant with colour goes by in the blink of an eye. So I’m trying to soak up autumn as much as I can. Here’s how I’m enjoying fall in Burlington right now:

Apple picking at Applevale Orchards

A few weekends ago I dragged JZ to go apple picking with me at a local orchard because it’s one of my favourite fall activities. I like Applevale because it’s not an entertainment farm that charges up the wazoo to just enter its property. It’s simple and to the point: just pay for your desired size of bag, and go pick apples. We picked a huge bag of Macintosh apples that have been great for snacking on. I’m also hoping to go back soon to get some Golden Delicious apples for applesauce and apple crisp!

Enjoying fall in Burlington - Applevale orchards

Hiking at Dundas Valley Conservation Area

Fall is the ideal time for hiking in my opinion. The temperatures are just right, and you really can’t beat the views! Dundas Valley is just a short drive away from Burlington, so my friend Andrea and I decided to check it out one afternoon. We hiked the Main Loop, which took us about 1.5 hours (including a 10 minute period where we got lost). But you could seriously stay there and hike all day on its various trails while taking in its gorgeous views:

Enjoying fall in Burlington - Dundas Valley Conservation Area hiking

Fall treats at Kelly’s Bake Shoppe

Before our hike we stopped for a treat at Kelly’s Bake Shoppe, which always has amazing fall goodies (and nut free too!). I went for their ginger molasses cookie since it was one I’d never tried before. I’ve also had their pumpkin chocolate chip muffin and pumpkin scone which are both delicious.

Enjoying fall in Burlington - Kellys Bake Shoppe ginger molasses cookie

Comfort food at West Plains Bistro

As soon as fall hits, I’m hit with cravings for comfort food! Which is why my home cooked dinners lately have consisted of casseroles, risotto, pasta, and stew. I also recently had a fantastic beef bourguignon at West Plains Bistro with the most tender beef! Served over shallot infused mashed potatoes and enjoyed with a glass of Merlot, it was comfort food at its finest.

Enjoying fall in Burlington - West Plains Bistro beef bourguignon

Lattes at Tamp Coffee Co

This is my and JZ’s favourite coffee shop! There’s a little seating nook there that’s the best place to hang out for a few hours on a chilly fall day with one of Tamp’s pumpkin lattes (which, FYI, are eons better than the pumpkin spice lattes from Starbucks!).

Enjoying fall in Burlington - Tamp Coffee Co latte

Fall produce at the Burlington Mall farmers market

Fall to me means one thing: squash! I go nuts for all the great squash at the farmers market. A few years ago you could mostly just find butternut, buttercup, and acorn squash but these days I’m finding all sorts of different varieties like delicata, hubbard, kabocha. It’s awesome! I also love the Brussels sprouts, leeks, potatoes, parsnips, and carrots this time of year too. They’re perfect for using in all my comfort food cooking. Oh, and let’s not forget The Cheese Man’s stand – because comfort food requires cheese, am I right?

Enjoying fall in Burlington - Burlington Mall farmers market

Speaking of comfort food, I’ll be busy cooking, eating, and enjoying Thanksgiving this weekend, so I won’t be posting again until mid next week. Happy Thanksgiving to all my fellow Canadians!

How are you enjoying fall where you live?

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Chelsea Lately #5

In the few weeks that I’ve been back from England I’ve posted about all of my adventures (here, here, and here). So now that those are out of the way, I can get back to my regular posting.

I’ve got lots of updates today, so settle down with cup of tea (I’m drinking my English breakfast tea that I picked up at Fortnum & Mason in London – it makes me feel slightly British!) and let’s get caught up, shall we?

Last week I went out for dinner with an old friend from elementary school who I reconnected with through social media. We checked out Burlington’s new pizzeria Son of a Peach, which has been getting rave reviews ever since it opened. We split the Fig & Prosciutto pizza and the Pig & Peach pizza – both were delicious! The combination of peach and bacon was unexpected, but surprisingly good.

Son of a Peach pizza

I also recently went out for drinks with some of my high school friends who I only see occasionally. As I was sitting there I looked around at everyone and it suddenly hit me how much time has passed since high school. Some have jobs, some live and work overseas, some are in serious relationships… it’s like we’re adults or something. Scary.

I still haven’t found a job as a Registered Dietitian though. I’ve applied to a few positions that interested me, but I haven’t even heard back from one of them. And not only is it frustrating, but it’s also a bit of a blow to the self esteem. I’m just trying to stay positive by telling myself that I’m probably competing with people who have loads more experience than I do, and that the right job will come along soon.

And I guess one of the perks of being unemployed is having tons of time to play in the kitchen. One day when I had an entire afternoon free I decided to make homemade rosemary focaccia (I used this recipe and added rosemary). It turned out beautifully and was the perfect accompaniment to Jamie Oliver’s lentil soup.

rosemary focaccia

I’ve also been loving that I have the time to go to the farmers market so often. In the past week I’ve gone twice! Most of the first loot was used to cook dinner with my friend, and the eggplant I used to make this fantastic open faced sandwich with olive relish.

Burlington mall farmers market

But when I’m not job hunting, making bread, or going to the farmers market, I’ve been helping my parents with the basement. Burlington had some nasty flooding while I was in England, and our basement got about 4 inches of water (which is better than the 8 feet that some houses got – I can’t imagine what a nightmare they must be going through). We have to tear up most of it, and also get rid of a lot of stuff, so it’s been busy!

What has been going on lately with you?

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Things to do when visiting London

On my recent trip to the UK, my sister and I spent 7 full days in London, so you bet we did a lot of exploring. And I mean a lot! We walked so much that we actually had to take a day off just to recover because our legs and feet were hurting so much. Since I already talked about where to eat in London, in this post I’m going to focus things to do when visiting London.

Soho – Soho is a neighbourhood that’s a great place to go if you want to escape the hoards of tourists for a while. It’s part of the theatre district, and it also has a lot of great restaurants (check out 10 Greek Street, Bibimbap, Lick, and The Pudding Bar from this post), bars, and shopping. You’ll find stores like Diesel, Miss Sixty, and MAC, as well as independent boutiques and the department story Liberty.

Carnaby Street Soho

Mad Hatter’s afternoon tea at the Sanderson Hotel – I saw this posted on Khushboo’s blog and I immediately added it to our itinerary. It was such a fun experience! First they let you choose your tea from a set of samples on the table, and they bring it out to you in adorable pots with paper crowns.

Sanderson Hotel afternoon tea

Then the feast comes… there were finger sandwiches (ham and grainy mustard on sun dried tomato bread was my favourite), scones, and of course pastries and desserts. The matcha mousse in an edible chocolate cup and the Victoria sponge cake were probably my top two favourites.

Sanderson Hotel afternoon tea

That wasn’t even it though – there was also a carrot meringue with filling, marshmallow mushrooms, and a “drink me” potion. The presentation of everything was seriously amazing, and it all tasted as good as it looked. I highly recommend this to everyone!

Sanderson Hotel afternoon tea

Borough Market – this farmers market is a foodie’s heaven. There are all sorts of vendors with produce, oil and vinegars, mushrooms, meat, and best of all, cheese. We must have sampled cheese from at least 5 or 6 different stalls.

Borough Market

There were also a million places with desserts like meringue and pastries, but unfortunately I couldn’t find any nut allergy friendly places except for Flaxjacks, which had a line of totally nut free granola bars. I went for the date bar, which was fantastic. There are also lots of stands with ready-to-eat foods like sausage on a bun, Indian food, grilled cheese, and Japanese. We split the gyoza and rice noodles with chicken – both were delicious.

Borough Market Japanese food

See a play/musical – we were lucky enough to get somewhat last minute tickets to see Matilda at Cambridge Theatre on my second Saturday night there. We had a hard time deciding amongst all the great theatre options: Matilda, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Mamma Mia, The Lion King, The Commitments, etc. But I’m glad we went for Matilda – it was great to see one of my favourite childhood books/movies on stage. And the male actor playing Miss Trunchbull was spot on hilarious!

Matilda the musical

Hyde Park – I literally had no concept of the enormity of this park until I saw it. It is massive! On my last day in London we enjoyed a picnic lunch of focaccia, cured meats, and cheese one from Whole Foods, then went for a bike ride on rented bikes throughout the park.

Hyde Park

Portobello Market – This is a huge market that runs down Portobello Road in Notting Hill. There was everything from jewellery to vintage clothing to antique dishware to souvenirs. And of course there was tons of street food and baked goods as well.

Portobello market

Department stores – London has some seriously cool department stores. Harrods is the famous one, but personally I found it overcrowded with a confusing layout. I much preferred browsing the designer clothes and accessories at Liberty and Selfridges. Bonus: Selfridges has an awesome chocolate section!

Museums – I didn’t know this beforehand, but all museums in London are free, so they’re a great way to amuse yourself cheaply. We checked out the Science Museum (great exhibit on medicine through history), Victoria and Albert Museum (very cool “Disobedient Objects” exhibit and jewellery gallery), British Museum (loved the ancient Grecian sculpture), and my favourite: The National Gallery. I took a class on art history once, and it’s fascinated me ever since. It was awesome to see some of the paintings I’d studied in real life! I also highly recommend renting the headset for only a few pounds – getting to learn about the context and interpretations of the paintings really adds to the experience.

Crouching Venus

Historical sites and monuments – This is kind of a given, but I figured I’d throw it in here at the end. The Tower of London is a really neat site – but unlike what we thought, it’s not just a tower; it’s an entire fortress. So you definitely need to devote a good 2+ hours to this site. I also recommend buying the audio guide to learn more about its history.

Tower of London

We also made sure to visit the other famous sites like Big Ben, the Tower Bridge, the Parliament buildings, the Marble Arch, London Eye, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, and Trafalgar Square. They were cool to see, but definitely not something you have to plan your entire day around. Most of the time we just walked by and snapped a picture so we could say we’d been there!

londonlandmarks

So that wraps up my long, but not exhaustive list of things to do when visiting London as a tourist!

Anything I forgot to include in this list?

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