WIAW: Light Lunch Menu

Whenever we host a gathering I am usually assigned to food preparation since I am easily distracted when I try to dust, vacuum or tidy. I think it’s a win-win situation since my Emma and my Mom are great cleaners and my Dad and I enjoy cooking. Our family members compliment each other well. IMG_6267

On Saturday, my Mom’s Sister and her Husband came to our house for a visit. We had every intent on going swimming in our backyard but the weather fell through and rained away our plans. My brother-in-law Aaron had even brought this fun pool toy for me to try out. Who needs to swim lengths when this thing pulls you through the water?! IMG_6286

Regardless, it was nice to see my Aunt and Uncle and I know they liked meeting Lottie for the first time. She was the center of attention… next to the food that is. I’m only kidding but we did offer them lunch and afternoon tea since it is a long commute from their house to ours. We figured lighter foods were in need because the heat was very much still present despite the rain. Here’s the menu we came up with.

IMG_6255To Drink: Lime infused Water, Lemonade with Blueberries and Lemon Slices

IMG_6258Starter: Chilled Cucumber Soup

IMG_6257 IMG_6252 IMG_6250 IMG_6271Main: Couscous Salad (Sliced Onions and Red Pepper, Plain Yogurt, Toasted Almonds (Optional), Cumin, Cooked Couscous), Tomato Salad (Fresh and Dried Basil, Tomato, Bocconcini Cheese, Olive Oil, Balsamic Vinegraitte), Coleslaw, Potato Salad, Vegetable Platter, Sandwich Quarters (Cucumber and Cream Cheese, Turkey and Spinach, Egg Salad, Roast Beef and Romaine)

Our lunch left us fairly satisfied but we still managed to make room for some homemade chocolate chip cookies and chai tea. We even enjoyed fresh butter tarts courtesy of our guests. Thank you again! Dessert isn’t complete without fresh fruit so we served fruit salad that we ate using some super cute skewers Emma had pre-made using washi tape. My Mom also decorated our house using hydrangeas from our gardens. These flowers never cease to amaze me as they change from blue to pink depending on the acidity of our garden’s soil!IMG_6276 IMG_6279IMG_6234 IMG_6235

We concluded the afternoon with some cold meats, shrimp, cheese and crackers and then parted our ways. It was nice to catch up as we don’t see those relatives often enough plus it gives me a great reason to wear a fancier dress (not that I need an excuse). My Aunt even brought over some letters she had saved that my Mom had written her. Some were from when my Mom was in High School and others were from just after Caitlin was born. My Mom’s writing hasn’t changed a bit – Is that not the perfect Kindergarten teacher printing?IMG_6965 IMG_3031photo-115 photo-118

Well that’s what we ate last Saturday. Thanks again Jenn for hosting this WIAW link-up!  What do you enjoy serving for lunch gatherings during the summer? Has this heat left you snacking on cold salads and sandwiches rather than grilled paninis and hot soups?  I know Jenn posted a great Sweet Potato and Spinach Frittata recipe earlier this week which would serve well at a brunch. ♥ Molly

“In family relationships love is spelled T-I-M-E.”- Dieter F. Uchtdorf 

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WIAW: The W’s of my Week

I’ve always wanted to participate in “What I ate Wednesday” (WIAW) and what better way to summarize my week of eating out (birthday celebrations) than through Jenn’s great link-up. I really enjoy reading WIAW posts because they teach me about great restaurants, new recipes and favourite products of fellow bloggers. I love that Jenn reinforces how WIAW posts aren’t meant to be judged or compared to. Everyone is different in their eating habits, patterns, likes and dislikes and these posts should never leave someone feeling guilty about what they ate or better yet, didn’t eat. Sure my last week of meals might not have been extremely balanced or nutritious, but they were delicious none the less. The reality is our bodies can compensate to handle a temporary change in our diet and I am learning that it’s okay to skip salads and overdo dessert from time to time.WIAWbutton

I figured I’d add to the “W’s” in WIAW through “Who (The People), What (The Food), Where (The Restaurant), When (Last week) and Why (We all need to eat)”.

The Restaurant: Fresh, Toronto

The Food: The Holiday Wrap which was a whole wheat tortilla filled with avocado, marinated tofu cubes, garlic mayo, grated carrot, jicama, tomato, lettuce, cucumber, red onion & alfalfa sprouts. It came with a side of marinate kale slaw and we ordered sweet potato fries to share. It was extremely filling and I only managed to eat half since I was saving room for dessert.

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The People: I enjoyed Megan’s company while dining at Fresh. We were staying at her apartment in Toronto since she is a student at UofT which is right down the street from from Fresh, a restaurant we’ve both been dying to try. We followed our meal off with frozen yogurt from Menchies (I got blueberry cheesecake, lemon cake and birthday cake) and later snacked on some fruit and candy while watching Glee.

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The Restaurant: Pumpernickels, Toronto

The Food: There were so many delicious sandwich and wrap combinations to choose from, but I ended up ordering a medium salad instead. They let me choose as many different blends as I wanted so I ended topping a bed of romaine with lentil salad, chickpea salad, black bean corn salad and pickled beets.

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The Company: In March I met Alex at “Unleash the Noise” which was the first ever youth-led Mental Health summit. The experience was life changing and left me with everlasting friendships. Alex goes to school in Kingston so I haven’t been able to see her since, but she was employed for the summer with the same project. I stopped in to say hello and Alex and I used this opportunity to catch up over lunch.26

The Restaurant: The Cheesecake Factory, Buffalo, New York

The Food: I started my meal off with a coffee as I hadn’t consumed any caffeine yet that day. Our waiter also brought us some freshly baked pumpernickel bread that really hit the spot. I ordered Ahi Tartare, which was avocado layered raw tuna and ginger, seasoned with soy-ginger sesame sauce. It came with pita crisps for dipping. I also shared the Fresh Strawberry Cheesecake with my mom. Emma got the Margherita Fresh Baked Flatbreads, my Mom got the Shrimp Summer Rolls and my Dad got the Chicken Lettuce Wrap Tacos. My mom and I shared the Fresh Strawberry Cheesecake where as Emma and my dad went for a chocolate based variation.

blogpost 3The Company: My family and I traveled to Walden Galleria for some shopping, the day of my birthday. We usually just grab a quick bite to eat so that we can maximize our shopping time, but the Cheesecake Factory didn’t look busy so we chose to have a sit down meal instead. I went in without the intention of having cheesecake but after seeing the pastry case I decided on having a light lunch to save room for dessert.

969774_315887578547027_175737680_nThe Restaurant: The Keg, Oakville

The Food: I hadn’t been to the Keg in ages so I let my friends choose our appetizers since they are more familiar with the menu. We ended up getting Lobster Gratiné which was oven-baked lobster with garlic, herbs and melted Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheese, Sante Fe Chicken Dip which was a mixture of smoked chicken, cheeses, chilies, black beans and bell peppers and served with tortilla crisps and Calamari that was lightly fried, with red peppers, jalapenos. I really enjoyed my Bellini as it masked the taste of alcohol and our waitress surprised me with free dessert! She knew about my allergies and brought me Crème brûlée.

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The Company: Caitlin and Elyse, two friends from elementary school, treated me to dinner at the Keg. Despite us being separated in High School and University, we’ve managed to stay extremely close. We opted for appetizers to share rather than one big meal, which allowed us to try more menu items. The food was great but their company was what made the experience so enjoyable. A girl’s night was exactly what I needed.Oh no

So while this isn’t a typical WIAW recap, I hope you enjoyed seeing some of the highlight meals and snacks thaT I munched on this past week. What do you prefer, cooking for yourself or dining out? Do you enjoy chain restaurants or local cafes? What was your favourite meal from this past week? ♥ Molly

“We all eat, and it would be a sad waste of opportunity to eat badly.” – Anna Thomas