maple manhattans + toronto summary

SURPRISE Saturday recipe/post! Because everyone needs a cocktail on Saturday right? Right.

Maple Manhattan | Appetites Anonymous (2 of 8).jpg

Per usual, it's story time! As you guys probably saw on Instagram, Tom surprised me with trip to Toronto for my 28th birthday in February! Along with the surprise trip, he planned a food tour like the one we did in Amsterdam this past October. The Amsterdam food tour was called Hungry Birds and the concept was simple: you visit lots of restaurants and/or bars and try something on the menu (preferably something small or shared since you're going to eating A LOT) at each place. If you ever go to Amsterdam, I highly recommend this tour!!

Naturally, our Toronto food tour was called Adrienne's Birthday Birds! We visited six of our nine intended restaurants because we were full and slightly intoxicated. You'll notice a decline in my photography skills as the night goes on lol. Here's a little photo summary of our trip (which does include inspiration for this cocktail recipe that I'll get to soon):

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Stop One: 416 Snack Bar

Pronounced "four-one-six snack bar" after the area code of this neighborhood in Toronto, not to be confused with "four sixteen" which we called it and got chuckled at, ha! 416 Snack Bar is an Asian-influenced small plates joint with draft brews and craft cocktails. Here we ordered their famous Korean fried chicken, which was tangy and crispy and all around amazing. Plus we also got some fabulous alcoholic beverages (duh) including this hoppy cider called HopX from Revel Cider Co. which was so unique and delicious.

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Stop Two: Boralia

First off, this place had my favorite door and decor of the tour. I mean look at that wood! They also had woodland creature prints on everything. I just loved it!!!! Boralia is known for creative Canadian fare inspired by natives and early settlers (hence the woodland animals?!). Here we ordered their signature dish, L'éclade, which is mussels smoked in pine needles with pine ash butter. I know this sounds odd with the whole pine aspect but seriously, I've NEVER HAD better mussels! These were smokey, buttery, and so tender with a broth that I can only imagine comes straight from heaven. SO GOOD. You know what we also got? A cocktail called North of Vermont which tasted like... Canada! Enter the MAPLE MANHATTAN. After I tried a sip, I knew right then and there that I had to recreate this at home.

Tom's drink is a manhattan and while I do enjoy them as a standard perfect manhattan, sometimes they have too much bite for me. You know what could fix this? Maple syrup!!! Boralia's cocktail included bourbon, maple whiskey, cynar, and black walnut bitters. Now I don't own maple whiskey, cynar or black walnut bitters (yet) so I thought: "well, what if I just add maple syrup to a perfect manhattan and see how it tastes?" You know how it tastes? Like a manhattan with the perfect about of added sweetness and no bite! YAYYY FOR ME. Recipe below but I'm going to continue with the Toronto summary now :)

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Stop Three: Bellwoods Brewery

Overall, this was definitely our favorite place in Toronto! We went here on Friday for the food tour then again on Saturday for dinner and many beers. Bellwoods is a small brewhouse which offers a very industrial yet rustic feel plus a rotating selection of experimental beers (lots of sours!!!) and delicious food (though the portions could be larger for the prices). They also have this adorable outdoor patio space which we got to enjoy because it was like 60 degrees in Toronto.. in February... like whaaa?

As for the food, we got the fries with garlic mayo and fine herbs (duh), the smoked bratwurst with caramelized onion puree, grainy mustard, sauerkraut, potato sticks, pullmans loaf, and white bbq sauce, and the chicken pot pie with mixed mushrooms, edamame and bacon. They were all very tasty but I think the fries were my favorite. I LOVE FRIES.

As for the beer, we had sooooooo many (sorry mom), and honestly I can't remember the names of our favorites (plus their tap list changes like daily)... but they were ALL good and SOUR, our favorite. Seriously, not one beer was bad or ehh. If you plan on visiting Toronto and like craft beer, this place is a MUST.

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Stop Four: Lisa Marie

Lisa Marie is a gastropub with delicious eats and craft beer! Sounds like something we'd like right? YUP. Here we ordered the tuna ceviche nachos OMG. Marinated white tuna served over nachos with roasted corn, cucumbers and avocado salsa, topped with green onion crema... HELL YES. I really need to recreate these ASAP. Delicious nachos, solid draft beer selection plus a very cooooool environment. Love love love! P.S. I apologize about the poorly lit iPhone photos but you know, that's life.

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Stop Five: BarChef

THIS PLACE. OMG. BarChef is a dimly lit, ultra badass cocktail bar with like THE MOST CREATIVE COCKTAILS EVER plus they have over 5,000 house-made bitters. Hello awesome! They have three different cocktail menus (these are their words, not mine): 

1. Sweet & Sour Cocktails: typically juice-based cocktails incorporating fresh herbs, bitters, and syrups for complexity and length

2. Sipping Cocktails: a classic style; booze heavy, complex, and composed to savor 

3. Modernist Cocktails: a contemporary and progressive approach to the craft, incorporating aromatics, and ingredients which create an immersive and multi-sensory experience.

We ordered off the modernist cocktails menu because they are all about the experience cocktails and Tom definitely planned this trip to be an awesome experience! I ordered the black truffle cocktail (cue my drooling) which included black truffle snow, smoked salt, coconut foam, lime zest, gin, coconut liqueur, and elderflower
liqueur. The drink was served as platter with little spoons topped with coconut foam snow balls filled with black truffle, smoked salt, and lime zest, along with a glass filled with gin, coconut liqueur, and elderflower liqueur. First you would put the black truffle coconut snow ball in your mouth then drink some of the gin cocktail and BOOM. I know I talked about things being flavor bombs before BUT THIS COCKTAIL was the flavor bomb of all flavor bombs. My tastebuds went CRAZY. SO DELICIOUS. 

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Tom order the essence of fall cocktail which is described as "aromatics of cedar, soil and moss, followed by accents of
orange blossom and mint on the palate." The cocktail included brandy, sweet vermouth, balsam fir bitter, rosemary syrup, spherified ice of maple and Fernet Branca, orange blossom and bitter almond air, fresh mint, forest foliage, and aromatics of cedar and soil. SO MANY INGREDIENTS. Basically, it was a brandy cocktail that was set inside this forrest tree box thing then gets smoked with tons of flavor. Just watch the video (this is not from our trip just one I found on YouTube)!

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Stop Six: Lee

Soooo I forgot to take a picture of the outside of Lee because... alcohol. Lee is an Asian & French-influenced small plates eatery. They are known for Susur's Signature Singaporean Style Slaw which contains 19 ingredients with sashimi of tuna. GUYS. This is the best slaw I've ever had. No booze talking here! Sweet, savory, tangy, crunchy, and all around a-maz-ing. It comes out as a tall stack, then they mix it together for you! So fun! We demolished this even after we'd been eating like ALL DAY. 

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After Lee, we walked back to our Airbnb and fell into a food coma. Only until the next morning though, when we were up early ready to eat and drink again, ha! Here are some photos of our Saturday in Toronto:

Lastly, on our way home we stopped by Niagara On the Lake (thanks to advice from this super friendly Canadian lol), which is this ADORABLE town north of Niagara falls with cute shops, restaurants, and WINERIES. We only went to one winery since we were driving home but we definitely plan to go back and drink all the wine. After that, we finished our trip up with Niagara falls since neither of us had seen them! They are truly magical.

This was seriously one of my best birthdays ever!!! I feel so lucky to have Tom and our wonderful life together. 

OKAY NOW are y'all ready for a recipe?!

Maple Manhattan | Appetites Anonymous

maple manhattan

yield: one cocktail

total time: 5 minutes (or less)


Ingredients:

one big ice cube

2 oz bourbon

2 oz sweet vermouth

2 long dashes angostura bitters

2 tablespoons 100% real maple syrup

1 bada bing cherry

1/2 tablespoon bada bing cherry juice (juice in the jar)

 

Directions:

1. Place big ice cube in an old fashioned glass or whatever fun cocktail glass you'd like to drink out of. I used these beautiful coupe glasses that I got for my birthday :)

2. Add bourbon, sweet vermouth, bitters, and maple syrup to a cocktail shaker the shake to mix up ingredients. Pour contents of shaker over the ice and into glass. Top with one bada bing cherry and cherry juice. 

3. Change into a Canadian tuxedo and enjoy your cocktail. 

Maple Manhattan | Appetites Anonymous
Maple Manhattan | Appetites Anonymous
Maple Manhattan | Appetites Anonymous

Happy Saturday friends! Hope you enjoyed the Toronto summary and cocktail recipe!

If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment or tag a photo #appetitesanonymous on instagram!! I'd love to see your maple manhattans in action. Peace, friends!

- a

P.S. There are some pretty pin-able photos with text are below. Feel free to do your thing if you love Pinterest.

Maple Manhattan | Appetites Anonymous
Maple Manhattan | Appetites Anonymous
Maple Manhattan | Appetites Anonymous

coconut cream curry shrimp lo mein

Y'all, I'm drinking tea and doing yoga... Who am I?!  

Coconut Cream Curry Shrimp Lo Mein | Appetites Anonymous
Coconut Cream Curry Shrimp Lo Mein | Appetites Anonymous

I started Whole30 on Monday sooo I can't have sugar, amongst many other things, for the next 26 days. Coffee is not as good without sugar and toasted coconut almond milk... so tea it is!! Overall, Whole30 is going pretty well except the SUGAR CRAVINGS. Seriously, all I want to do is drink maple syrup straight out of the bottle and then polish off an entire batch of chocolate chip cookies. I never realized how dependent on sugar I am. Kinda scary? GUYS THERE'S ADDED SUGAR IN EVERYTHING. It's literally everywhere, lurking in the corners, ready to attack your soul and health goals. I had some organic salsa in my fridge last night that I figured I could eat with my scrambled eggs (exciting dinner, don't judge), you know because it's freaking salsa but NOPE... it had added sugar. WTF. WHY DOES SALSA NEED SUGAR?! IT DOESN'T MR ORGANIC SALSA MAKER.

Coconut Cream Curry Shrimp Lo Mein | Appetites Anonymous

Okay, I'm over ranting about sugar... for now. Though, this Whole30 thing is going to get very difficult this weekend when I'm cooking/photographing four recipes for the blog that aren't Whole30 compliant. Tom, you better be hungry!!!! Don't worry though guys, I've tested them all many times before. This is just the time that I make them to photograph (and usually eat ha!). I would never put something on here that I haven't tested. You guys need good, reliable, and delicious recipes. I KNOW THIS and I want to give them to y'all!!

Coconut Cream Curry Shrimp Lo Mein | Appetites Anonymous

I know you're all wondering... the yoga?! YES. And story time.

Background: So I'm a runner. I was born to run and loooooove it! I can run forever and pretty fast too. BUT I had a hip injury last January that knocked me out from running for about 8 months. THIS ALMOST KILLED ME. I missed it everyday and I really HATE the elliptical, now more than ever. I'm almost back to my old running self in terms of pace and mileage but I need to make sure NOT to get hurt again. I used to run five to six days a week but now I'm backing it down to only five because I don't want to over do it and injure my hip again.

Two weeks ago: My friends started this 30 days of yoga thing on YouTube, so I planned to do these yoga videos on my off days from running (usually Thursdays and Sundays) as a good way to strengthen my mind, body, and soul (lol)... plus maybe get a little more balanced and breathe better, which should help my running! I've always heard yoga does wonders for runners so I decided to put this theory to the test. 

Yesterday (Day One): Naturally (with all goals), I started this two weeks after I planned to start ha! That's real life, friends. One thing to remember with goals or lifestyle changes is that it doesn't matter when you start, just as long as you do!!! Well, I started yoga, and after day one, I'm pretty sure I want to do this everyday and not just on my off days from running. It was so peaceful and relaxing! I also feel so loose, stretched out, and freeeeeee. Wonderful feeling! So friends, if you've been putting off a new goal or life change, just start today! YOU CAN DO IT.

Wait... weren't we here to talk about food? OHHH YUP. THAT IS THE POINT OF THIS BLOG AFTER ALL. Food time.

Coconut Cream Curry Shrimp Lo Mein | Appetites Anonymous

Ahhh good ole' lo mein. It's definitely one of my favorite things to order when getting Chinese takeout. I usually order veggie or chicken lo mein because shrimp from takeout places terrifies me greatly, but shrimp lo mein at home? Hell to the yes ma'am. Curry lo mein? Even better. Y’all know how much I love coconut (since I don't eat dairy) sooo of course I had to make the curry sauce using coconut cream. It's seriously creamy curry heaven. You could also use full fat coconut milk but I really enjoy the extra creaminess that you get from the coconut cream (and it's only a little bit worse for you). So we have wide lo mein noodles, creamy coconut curry sauce, sautéed shrimp PLUS a whole bunch more awesomeness: garlic, sweet onions, red bell pepper, sugar snap peas, cilantro, green onions and crushed cashews! Lastly, this recipe is also SUPER QUICK. Weeknight dinner PERFECTION. Recipe time.

Coconut Cream Curry Shrimp Lo Mein | Appetites Anonymous
Coconut Cream Curry Shrimp Lo Mein | Appetites Anonymous

coconut cream curry shrimp lo mein

serves: 5 adults

calories: 575 calories per serving

total time: less than 40 minutes

specialty diets: dairy-free, egg-free*


Ingredients:

2-3 tablespoons coconut oil

1 lb raw shrimp (thawed, peeled, deveined, and tail-off)

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

6 garlic cloves, minced

1 small sweet onion, diced

1 red bell pepper, julienned

1 teaspoon ground ginger

3 tablespoons red curry paste

2 cups sugar snap peas (about 8oz), trimmed and sliced in half diagonally

2 x 14oz cans coconut cream

24oz wide wheat lo mein noodles (I used 2 x 12oz packages of these | *note: not all lo mein noodles are egg-free)

1 bunch green onions, sliced

1/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped

 

Directions:

1. Melt two tablespoons coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add shrimp to the skillet, season with salt and pepper then cook for about 2-4 minutes on each side. When cooked fully, the shrimp should be opaque and pink on both sides. Remove shrimp from the skillet and place in a bowl off to the side.

2. Boil water in a large pot for your lo mein noodles.

3. Add minced garlic to the pan (if there isn't much oil left, add another tablespoon of coconut oil) and sauté about 2-3 minutes or until soft and fragrant. Stir in onion, red bell pepper, and dash of salt and pepper then toss to coat. Cover the skillet and cook veggies about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Mix in ground ginger and curry paste, stir to coat, then cook another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, and scraping the bottom so curry paste doesn't harden too much. Next, add in the sugar snap peas and coconut cream. Increase the heat and bring mixture to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 6-8 minutes (read step 4 really quick).* Lastly, remove lid, stir in shrimp and cilantro, then cook for another 5 minutes.

*4. While the mixture above is cooking, prepare your lo mein noodles according to package instructions using the pot of (hopefully) boiling water from step two.

5. To serve: add lo mein noodles to a low bowl, top with coconut cream curry shrimp mixture from step three, then garnish with sliced green onions and crushed cashews. Enjoy weirdos.

[recipe inspired by How Sweet It Is]

Coconut Cream Curry Shrimp Lo Mein | Appetites Anonymous
Coconut Cream Curry Shrimp Lo Mein | Appetites Anonymous
Coconut Cream Curry Shrimp Lo Mein | Appetites Anonymous
Coconut Cream Curry Shrimp Lo Mein | Appetites Anonymous
Coconut Cream Curry Shrimp Lo Mein | Appetites Anonymous
Coconut Cream Curry Shrimp Lo Mein | Appetites Anonymous
Coconut Cream Curry Shrimp Lo Mein | Appetites Anonymous

IT'S FRIDAYYYYYYY. I hope y'all have a wonderful weekend. I know I'm going to have a blast staying at home the whole time ha!

If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment or tag a photo #appetitesanonymous on instagram!! I'd love to see your lo mein in action. Peace, friends!

- a

P.S. There are some pretty pin-able photos with text are below. Feel free to do your thing if you love Pinterest.

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brussels sprouts and toasted coconut bacon slaw

How's your week going?! It's Thursday which means we are SO CLOSE to the glorious weekend. Are you doing anything fun this weekend? Tell me more. You know what I'm doing this weekend?? 

Appetites Anonymous | Brussels Sprouts and Toasted Coconut Bacon Slaw {gluten-free & vegan}
Appetites Anonymous | Brussels Sprouts and Toasted Coconut Bacon Slaw {gluten-free & vegan}

NOTHING. And I couldn't be more excited about it. Don't get me wrong, I love a good jam packed weekend with fun and friends but there's something so enjoyable and exciting about a weekend full of relaxing at home getting shit done. If y'all follow me on Snapchat, then you know that I'm working on moving my blog over to WordPress (.org) from Squarespace. I looooove Squarespace. It's so pretty and easy to use BUT the functionality I need for my blog/recipes/indexes just isn't there. I'm quite worked up about it. I'll be fine... eventually. Any who, this weekend is time for me to buckle down and finish all my WordPress site edits so I can launch it on Monday. Fingers crossed that I can cook/photo four recipes this weekend AND complete my new site. I CAN DO IT. Tom, I guess you're cleaning the house and doing the laundry ;) This is a test to see if he reads my posts. OH ALSO, I made a new logo... Do y'all like?! My awesome graphic designer friend/coworker taught me about to make a watercolor image the color of my text and I'M OBSESSED. Yayyy.

Appetites Anonymous | Brussels Sprouts and Toasted Coconut Bacon Slaw {gluten-free & vegan}
Appetites Anonymous | Brussels Sprouts and Toasted Coconut Bacon Slaw {gluten-free & vegan}

Ready for brussels sprouts again?! I know I hit y'all with a b sprout recipe last week but I JUST LOVE THEM SO MUCH. I really do. It's a serious obsession. I read an article the other day that said cauliflower was the new brussels sprouts or kale of 2017. NOPE. I mean I like cauliflower and all but I looooooooooove brussels sprouts. Not really the biggest fan of kale though. I know I'm supposed to like it to be healthy and "cool" but it always gets stuck in my throat and makes it all scratchy. TMI? Probs.

Back to brussels sprouts and toasted coconut bacon slaw.

Appetites Anonymous | Brussels Sprouts and Toasted Coconut Bacon Slaw {gluten-free & vegan}

I won't bother you with more brussels sprout talk because we've been there and done that. Let's chat about this toasted coconut "bacon"... ok y'all, let's be real here, obviously this isn't exactly like real bacon. I mean... what can compete with real bacon? Nothing. BUT this toasted coconut bacon is savory, sweet, salty, and most importantly, crispy! Will this make up for real bacon in a bacon and egg sandwich? No. It will trick you into thinking you're eating the real thing in recipes like slaws, salads, soups, quiches, frittatas, dips, you name it. Honestly, it also just tastes super amazing by it's self with a spoon... 

In this recipe, the toasted coconut bacon breaks up the bitterness of the brussels sprouts with its savory, sweet, and salty flavor. The crispiness also pairs with the texture of the brussels sprouts nicely. Lastly, we throw in some walnuts to add a little crunch to the mix. This brussels sprouts toasted coconut bacon slaw is perfect as an appetizer or side dish. However, I also think it would taste awesome on top of a pulled pork sandwich or burger. Need to try that ASAP. 

Side note: I did not come up with the concept of coconut bacon. One of my favorite bloggers Cookie + Kate did. I altered her recipe slightly to create my own toasted coconut bacon for this recipe. Always give credit where credit is do :)

Appetites Anonymous | Brussels Sprouts and Toasted Coconut Bacon Slaw {gluten-free & vegan}
Appetites Anonymous | Brussels Sprouts and Toasted Coconut Bacon Slaw {gluten-free & vegan}

brussels sprouts and toasted coconut bacon slaw

yield: serves 6 (as a side or appetizer)

calories: 285 calories per serving 

total time: 45 minutes

specialty diets: dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free (with gluten-free soy sauce like La Choy), vegan, vegetarian


Ingredients:

2 heaping cups shredded unsweetened coconut flakes

1 tablespoon avocado oil

1 tablespoon maple syrup

4 dashes of worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon liquid smoke (you can find this in hot sauce/bbq sauce aisle)

2 tablespoons soy sauce 

2 teaspoons paprika

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

1 heaping cup chopped walnuts

1 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil

2 lbs brussels sprouts, trimmed and thinly sliced (using a knife or mandoline)

3 shallots, minced

6 garlic cloves, minced

 

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. Make your toasted coconut bacon: Add coconut flakes through black pepper to a large bowl. Mix with a wooden spoon until all the coconut flakes are evenly coated. Bake at 375F for 6 minutes then stir the flakes around and bake for another 4-7 minutes. Be careful not to let it burn. I would start checking the coconut around the 4 minute mark then check every minute after until done. Let cool for about 10 minutes - the flakes with crisp up more while cooling!

3. Add chopped walnuts to the second prepped baking sheet (make sure they are spread out evenly). Roast at 375F for about 15-20 minutes (you can bake this simultaneously with the coconut flakes). Start checking the walnuts at around the 15 minute mark - you don't want them to burn!

4. In a large cast iron skillet, heat coconut oil over medium heat. Once hot, add minced shallots and garlic and sauté about 3-4 minutes or until slightly caramelized and fragrant. Add trimmed and thinly sliced brussels sprouts to the skillet then stir to coat. Cover the skillet and sauté for about 4-5 minutes (stirring occasionally). Remove lid, add in toasted coconut bacon (except about 2-3 tablespoons for garnish) and walnuts then continue cooking for another 3-4 minutes (stirring occasionally per usual). You want the brussels sprouts to be slightly caramelized and crispy.

5. Remove from heat, garnish with remaining toasted coconut bacon, and serve! 

Note: I found that the slaw was best the day it's made. It was totally fine reheated the next day or two but it was definitely at its BEST the first day. 

[coconut bacon inspired by Cookie + Kate | slaw inspired by Minimalist Baker]

Appetites Anonymous | Brussels Sprouts and Toasted Coconut Bacon Slaw {gluten-free & vegan}
Appetites Anonymous | Brussels Sprouts and Toasted Coconut Bacon Slaw {gluten-free & vegan}
Appetites Anonymous | Brussels Sprouts and Toasted Coconut Bacon Slaw {gluten-free & vegan}
Appetites Anonymous | Brussels Sprouts and Toasted Coconut Bacon Slaw {gluten-free & vegan}
Appetites Anonymous | Brussels Sprouts and Toasted Coconut Bacon Slaw {gluten-free & vegan}
Appetites Anonymous | Brussels Sprouts and Toasted Coconut Bacon Slaw {gluten-free & vegan}
Appetites Anonymous | Brussels Sprouts and Toasted Coconut Bacon Slaw {gluten-free & vegan}
Appetites Anonymous | Brussels Sprouts and Toasted Coconut Bacon Slaw {gluten-free & vegan}
Appetites Anonymous | Brussels Sprouts and Toasted Coconut Bacon Slaw {gluten-free & vegan}

If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment or tag a photo #appetitesanonymous on instagram!! I'd love to see your slaw in action. Peace, friends!

- a

P.S. There are some pretty pin-able photos with text are below. Feel free to do your thing if you love Pinterest.

Appetites Anonymous | Brussels Sprouts and Toasted Coconut Bacon Slaw {gluten-free & vegan}
Appetites Anonymous | Brussels Sprouts and Toasted Coconut Bacon Slaw {gluten-free & vegan}
Appetites Anonymous | Brussels Sprouts and Toasted Coconut Bacon Slaw {gluten-free & vegan}