Hello! I’m Ariel…

I’m all about that healthy-ish lifestyle and my food is at the center of my universe. When I’m not cooking, eating, or photographing my food, you can catch me passing the time on the trails or playing with purr babies. Happy Eating!

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The Great Eats of Toronto

The Great Eats of Toronto

Summer is coming close to coming to a close and I am in great denial. The only reason I have nostalgia over the end of summer is because I live in Pittsburgh. Here in Pittsburgh we have breathtakingly beautiful seasons, except for one. Winter. Winter is Pittsburgh's bastard child. Real Estate in Pittsburgh would sky rocket if it weren't for winter. I wouldn't have seasonal depression if it weren't for winter. We would have world peace if it weren't for winter. So thank you winter for haunting my dreams during every other season. Since it's almost the end of summer my mother and I decided to take one last little trip to Toronto. 

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On our way to Toronto we stopped by Niagara Falls to catch this colorful view. I even hopped over the fence to look for skittles at the end of the rainbow. Once I got down there all I found was a drunken leprechaun who was wearing a Shamrock thong. I felt very...unlucky. 

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Once we arrived in Toronto we headed up to our room to witness this glamorous skyline as the sun went down. This view is pretty and all but what I really wanted was a view of some poutine and a classic Caesar. A Caesar is a Canadian twist on the Bloody Mary and it's even better. Instead of using just tomato juice the Canadians use Clamato juice, which is a mixture of clam juice and tomato juice. It dilutes the tomato juice and adds a fresher and saltier finish on the drink, perfect for a hot summer night! Poutine sounds derogatory but you must be thinking of something else, it is simply a pile of french fries loaded with gravy and cheese curds. Get your mind out of the gutter. 

The next morning we boarded the Hop-on Hop-off bus and got off at the St. Lawrence market. National Geographic ranked St. Lawrence Market as the number one market in the world, above markets like Union Square Greenmarket in New York City and the Borough Market in London, England. The market has been in operation since 1803 and underwent renovations in the 1970's through the 90's, thus molding it into the flourishing commonplace that it is now. There are three parts to the market: St. Lawrence Hall, the South Market, and the North Market. We did not spend enough time in the market to see every different part but it didn't have the same friendly and open atmosphere as Pike Place Market, where I went on my previous vacation in the Pacific Northwest. Say what you want, but I think Nat. Geo. may want to reconsider their rankings. Regardless, I still found some great eats in the St. Lawrence market!

As soon as we walked in we were immediately drawn to the sweet perfumes of the Italian pasta stand where they were serving free samples of homemade ravioli. I swear there's a little pasta magnet inside my belly that forces me to gravitate towards the nearest raviolis and tortellinis. Some girls are guy magnets and some girls are pasta magnets. The ravs had this wonderful trifecta sauce with marinara, alfredo, and pesto all mixed together. Have people done this before? Why isn't this more common? WHAT ARE WE DOING WASTING OUR TIME NOT EATING ALL THREE SAUCES AT THE SAME TIME?! I can assure you that we did not waste anymore time and quickly purchased a sexy bowl of ravs with the trifecta sauce. 

After you eat a lot of ravioli you must burn off those calories by pumping some yams. 

Next we migrated to the Distillery district where you can find yes, a lot of beer. However it was early in the afternoon and a coffee sounded more pleasurable. Fortunately, we were caught in a rain storm so we quickly dipped into the nearest shop which happened to be a coffee shop. 

A shot of espresso can cure a headache and apparently a rain storm, so we headed across the street to an old hat shop. Inside there were very fancy hats that were round like a nice bottom and don't we all love a nice bottom? In the corner the owner was sewing a hat together without even looking. She was mostly watching me because I was eyeing up the black rounded hat on the top shelf and I'm a very suspicious-looking person. For example, when I was four years old I stole a card from Hallmark by stuffing it in my underpants. I was so proud of myself and revealed it to my mother in the parking lot. She made me return it, God bless whomever purchased that card. Moving on to my last eat of the afternoon. Dumplings.

After a trip to the Art Gallery of Ontario we walked over to China Town to find some dumplings. We thought this would be a simple quest as there are dumplings everywhere, but that's the problem. There are dumplings everywhere. There are bright ugly signs everywhere with dumplings. There are flashing lights with with dumplings. There are people eating dumplings everywhere. There are dumplings eating people everywhere! After walking the block several times we settled for Yummy Yummy Dumplings, figuring they should be pretty yummy. Upon arrival to the small restaurant we realized that we were the only ones, other than the family eating lunch who owned the shop. A woman quickly hopped up from the table, mid bite and greeted us with an overwhelmingly long menu. There were dumplings everywhere all over again. Finally, we settled on dumplings with vermicelli, green onions, and mushrooms. Ten minutes passed and no dumplings yet. I looked up to see the older man standing in the kitchen window carefully crafting each dumpling. Once our dumplings arrived they looked like little puffed up coin purses and with each bite they released savory clouds of steam. 

We finished off our afternoon in Kensington square popping bubbles and eating coconut cream pie. 

Happy Eating. 

Gillian's Squirrelly Granola Bars

Gillian's Squirrelly Granola Bars

Mango & Nectarine Smoothie Bowl

Mango & Nectarine Smoothie Bowl