Under my paella ella eh eh eh.

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Let’s get this out of the way: we’re price conscious.

The main reason we made this seafood paella for dinner was because I bought a paella pan for $10 at Home Sense last year. $10! How could I not? I admit, I have a shopping problem specifically for kitchenware.

One of the dilemmas for this meal was whether to buy Spanish saffron or American saffron. We opted for American saffron since this was our first time cooking paella and who knows what might happen? The price was too steep and not worth the investment unless we were confident that we can make an awesome paella that’s going to leave us wanting more. We love a good bargain, so when we were shopping at Farm Boy and came across deals on fish fillets and scallops - we jumped on deals. Yes, yes - you’re thinking, oh that’s gross - what if they’re stale? Well, they turned out surprisingly great and not at all fishy. Instead of fresh seafood, we went for fresh, seasonal peas. It added a bit of sweetness to the dish.

The dish turned out pretty well considering the amount of shortcuts we made. We know, it’s not the most traditional paella, but it made our lunches and dinners taste quite good that week.

Note to self: the pan we used was a little small for the portion we were making, so we have to half the portion next time.

- Ken

Say Nice Things About Detroit!

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Our mini road trip to Detroit has been a long time coming! I’ve been thinking about visiting for the past couple of years since I’ve been hearing about the revival of the city and how the food is really good. Well, Ken, my sister and I finally visited during a long weekend in May and leading up to the visit, we received so many questionable responses like, “why are you going?” or “be careful”. Honestly, those comments did leave me a bit paranoid, but I’m happy to report back that we felt very safe, we were safe and we had the best time during our 2 night, 3 day stay:

See/Do

Detroit Institute of Art: The DIA is a beautiful historical building, so even if you’re not interested in art, check out the exterior. The DIA’s collection is massive and we were surprised we spent over a couple of hours looking at art. Also, there’s a cafe inside with a beautiful interior - great place to relax at the end. I used beautiful enough in the last 3 sentences.

Detroit Public Library: We didn’t borrow books! We went to check out the historical building that was constructed in the 1870s. It reminds me of the New York Public Library, but smaller. Still beautiful and…why can’t we build libraries like this anymore? Conveniently located next to the DIA, you can check out both historical buildings.

The Heidelberg Project: An outdoor art installation that aims to improve the lives of people and neighbourhoods through art. You can drive by and park your car on the street to view the installations or schedule a tour through their site.

Eastern Market: The first place we visited after crossing the border from Toronto was the Eastern Market and we didn’t know what to expect of the city or this market, and wow - the crowd, the food selection and the plant selection surprised us. We were told by locals we came on the perfect day - Flower Market Day, which means usually on weekends, it’s a food market, but the day we visited included flower and plant vendors. It felt like there was more people than the St Lawrence Market in Toronto on a weekend. We saw peppers and tomatoes we rarely see back home, tried out different kinds of tortillas and more.

Dequindre Cut: The Dequindre Cut reminds me of the High Line in NYC. Previously a railroad, now it’s a recreational path that runs along abandoned buildings, graffiti art, installations. It takes you from the city to the riverfront, where you can view across to Windsor, Canada. It’s a pleasant stroll alongside pedestrians, Bird scooter riders and bikers.

Fisher Building: An art deco building that’s open to the public. Check it out if you’re an architecture and/or interior design fanatic. Or you simply appreciate the history of the city.

The Guardian Building: Similar to the above about the Fisher Building, it’s an art deco building that’s open to the public and worth checking out!

Eat

Anthology Coffee: This cafe was recommended by the company of Aunt Ness, who were at the Eastern Market selling tortilla chips and salsa. It’s a hidden entrance, with no sign but it’s a spacious and quiet cafe to enjoy coffee.

Madcap Coffee: Located next to the Shinola Hotel, Madcap offers alcohol and the standard coffee menu. It’s a great place to stopover and people watch, while enjoying their coffee.

Great Lakes Coffee Roasting Co: We ended up mid-town to visit a friend and there were a lot of students at this cafe. The lavender latte was spot-on!

Green Dot Stables: If you ask any Detroit native where to eat, Green Dot Stables is the restaurant. It’s a horse racing themed interior, with mini sliders and sides that start at $1. Definitely worth checking out if you need a snack!

Sister Pie: There was a line the morning we visited for some savoury pies. If you’re looking for some cookies, brownies and pies - this is the place to visit!

Penny Red’s: We love us some fried chicken and Penny Red’s was delicious! Offering up different hot sauces, this place was a fun venue to play some shuffleboard, drink some beer and then wander about downtown.

Give Detroit a chance. Have fun!

- Robyn

Souper Sweet Potato Potage!

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Let’s start off with the major player in the creation of Soup Stock Tokyo’s Sweet Potato Potage: Google Translate. Yes, here’s the short story: Ken wanted to buy a Japanese cookbook when we were travelling in Japan back in November. Well, he bought one from Soup Stock Tokyo after we tried one of their soups and…did we mention we don’t speak or read Japanese?

Anyway, we decided on the Sweet Potato Potage purely based out of the visuals since we had no idea what the title of the recipe was. After that selection, that’s when the power of Google Translate came into play. We translated the ingredients required, and as we were cooking along, it translated each step as we needed. I know this sounds like we’re selling Google here, but trust us, we were not paid.

Back to the actual recipe, we never made soup with sweet potato before so it was interesting to make and to taste. It was creamy and smooth, but the recipe called for milk. All in all, an easy recipe to replicate if you have mushrooms, sweet potato, onion, garlic and milk.

-Robyn

P.S: we’re not afraid to tackle other recipes in foreign languages :)