Monthly Archives: July 2011

Friday lunch at Nectar and a Skinny Pina colada recipe


For lunch we went to Nectar in Dartmouth. My favourite dish there is a fusion curry made with penne, apples, mango, shrimp and scallops with shaved parm on the top. I didn’t eat the parm because I don’t think the dish needs it, but I ate everything else. The seafood came out overdone and when I mentioned it to the server she told the kitchen and they prepared some more scallops for me. It came out perfectly done and I was happy.

I ordered the Frexinet cava and they brought this little bottle. We didn’t have bread, appetizers or desserts with lunch. You can see Jeff’s sea trout and chips in the background here

Right after lunch we walked the dogs on the trails and then I did some poolside yoga. I love practicing outdoors.

Post yoga, I made a skinny colada recipe: 1.5oz each malibu coconut rum and pineapple juice mixed with 6oz coconut water with coconut jelly. It was amazing, very light and tasty. The white specs are little pieces of coconut.



Mint iced tea


Missing since morning!! My appetite and passion for food. Not sure what’s going on with that, but it’s certainly hard for me to comprehend, considering my well established food obsession. After being awake for a while and postponing my run due to an irritating twinge, I was still moping around the kitchen at 9am wondering what I wanted to eat. And instead of wresting stomach grumblies at 11am, I wasn’t interested in lunch until 1:30. Maybe I’m coming down with a cold.

Simple Mint Iced Tea Recipe

Large pot of boiling water

2 green tea bags

4 orange pekoe tea bags

Large handful rinsed mint including stems

Agave syrup to taste

Fresh lemon(s)

I find it easiest to make this in the evening when I’m making dinner. Take the pot off the burner and throw teabags and mint in. Set timer for 4 or 5 minutes, then scoop out tea and mint. Allow to cool to near room temperature, stir in agave to taste. I like my tea very lightly sweetened so I only use about 1tbsp per litre. Pour into pitcher and chill overnight. In the morning, squeeze in one or more lemons and enjoy throughout the day.

Lunch at Gio’s


It was a quintessential summer day. And I did manage to swim, run, yoga, read, and nap. I even got bit by an ant, literally an ankle biter. Little bugger, right after yoga too.

River gets some air

Hawkeye jumps in

Back dive for me- I got some distance from the side on this one

Lunch at Gio in Halifax. We’ve eaten there many times and I’m rarely disappointed. Today was a home run! I was hungry but skipped the appetizer and dessert and I’m glad I did. Sometimes the less I eat, the more I really enjoy what I do eat.

I had 2 of these margs. I love blanco tequila but this was made with anejo and I liked it so much I stopped to buy some on the way home. I’ll be trying to recreate this in the coming days.

Tres generaciones anejo, cointreau, fresh lime, agave syrup

And this scallop lunch dish. It doesn’t look large but it was the right amount of food for something so rich. This was perfectly salted (plus they DID have salt on the table if needed) and very nicely balanced. I asked for the scallops rare and they were beautiful, rich and salty from the prosciutto, and the risotto had the mushrooms, cheese and asparagus mixed in. The asparagus was very crisp, and the greens were vinegar-y which added a great touch of acid to all the rich flavours.

seared proscuitto wrapped scallops – mushroom risotto – crisp asparagus – beemster cheese – garden shoots

I was a happy camper! This pic is before we ordered…I love deciding what to have. The hat is because we had the top down in the car today.

Afternoon snack/dessert was a cold oz of liquor at home

Dinner- fresh peas picked from my garden today and cherries, artisan bread crisps with apple butter, blue cheese and almonds

Morning cuteness!


Today is a wonderful day! It’s beautiful outside, I ran 6.5k, and we’re planning to go out for lunch. The pups are relaxing and waiting to go outside and chase balls and swim and eat all the leaves and sticks they can find. I love it when they pose together!

Now to head outdoors for some yoga! I’m forecasting sun, swim, reading and a nap for this afternoon.

Love in a mug! AKA blueberry tea



Blueberry Tea! This doesn’t actually have any blueberry in it! Try it and taste it, you’ll be amazed.

Blueberry tea– serves 1

1/2oz cointreau or triple sec

1/2oz amaretto

Hot brewed black orange pekoe tea

Mix liquors in a mug or brandy snifter, top with hot tea. This can be garnished with a slice of orange or a sugar rim. Sometimes I use a full oz of each liquor but since I’m cutting back on alcohol I went with 1/2oz servings instead and it was still delicious.


Fleur De Sel Review


We made early reservations at a critically acclaimed restaurant. We had eaten here a few years ago and I wasn’t blown away but it was very good so I wanted to give it another try. In 2006 it was voted 8th best in Canada by Enroute magazine and they have some other awards displayed in their case outside, including one from Fodor’s.

It’s nicely decorated inside and very clean

I love eating early, it always seems the kitchen has extra time to make the food perfectly. I had high hopes for the meal and took my time making selections.

We enjoyed the service, our server was personable, relaxed and knowledgeable. We started with some cold tap water and a bottle of Napa Mumms. She brought some citrus for the water which is always appreciated.

The kitchen sent out a delicious amuse bouche, a beet on some bone marrow mayo, along with a few other small bites that we gobbled before I could snap them. We also enjoyed the breads.

We decided to share an app and I’m glad we did. Neither of us were very impressed with this dish although we both love beets. I didn’t enjoy the flavor of the soup and it needed more salt. There was no salt on the table and I hate sending food back to the kitchen unless it’s absolutely necessary. If chefs are going to pull the salt from the table they should ensure that every plate leaves perfectly salted. Also, at $16, this dish was overpriced- I expected more.

Tasting of Summer Beets
Yogurt and beet green soup, goat’s cheese ricotta,
roasted golden, red and candy cane beets   

For a main I ordered the sea trout- about half the skin hadn’t crisped up but I ate what I could. The fish was properly done and the garnish was good. Salt wasn’t an issue in this dish since the dashi broth was salty and delicious. This dish was a hit and I ate almost every morsel.

Sea Trout
Pan roasted Nova Scotian sea trout, new season potatoes,
organic baby bok choy, mizuna,
dashi and mussel broth 

Dessert was chocolate and olives. This was good but not mind blowing. I liked the plate flourishes better than the actual cake.

Chocolate & Olives
Olive oil chocolate cake,
citrus and olive oil ice cream,
black pepper and balsamic local strawberries,
black olive caramel    

Jeff wanted to try a blueberry tea with dessert, even though I make them at home often during the winter and he never drinks them here. I think that will change now that he’s tasted it

There was some bonus sweet treats at the end of the meal, I always enjoy that little surprise! This was chocolate shortbread, rhubarb jellies (OMG yum!) and homemade marshmallows.

Overall this was a great night and we enjoyed our meal. But at approx $200 for a meal for 2 I need to be blown away, and once again I wasn’t. The pricing is on the high side, especially for a restaurant 70 minutes out of town. It’s unlikely we will return to Fleur de Sel, when we return to Lunenburg we’ll go for casual dining and save the fine dining and give other restaurants a chance.

Lunenburg trip


Yesterday I woke up and decided I needed some adventure. We decided to head to Lunenburg, a historic fishing town on the South Shore of Nova Scotia.

Here’s the ride and the handsome travel companion

Our last trip here was 2 years ago and we enjoyed the hotel so we decided to stay at the same place, the Lunenburg Arms.

It’s a nice hotel that has a good basic restaurant and allows dogs. Last time we took River with us but this time the dogs had an overnight at Camp Bow Wow. Overall we enjoyed our stay but we both had some trouble with the bed. The mattress was much too soft and we were both uncomfortable and didn’t sleep much. I mentioned it this morning at the front desk and the clerk was honestly surprised, apparently they receive a lot of calls to find out what type of mattresses they have because people want to buy them. Guess we just like a firmer bed. The room was very clean and I love that there isn’t any carpeting in the hotel. We loved the interior wooden shutters.

We got there at 1pm and immediately headed to the hotel’s restaurant patio- this mural is on the side of the hotel

For lunch I had a lightly dressed caesar salad and some mussels. The salad was great, very crunchy and fresh, but the mussels were a little disappointing and lacking in flavor. I ate them anyway, I was hungry and they weren’t worthy of a rejection back to the kitchen. I also had 1/2 litre of NS pinot grigio that Jeff gallantly assisted me with after he finished his Guiness.

I had a few bites of Jeff’s fish and chips. It wasn’t a traditionally prepared fish and chips but it was great! Better really, very flavorful.

Then we spent a few hours walking around the town and finding Jeff some ice cream

After a while we grabbed a cat nap and then went to the Grand Banker for a cocktail on our way to dinner. I had some sort of day glow neon green margarita while Jeff had a white beer. He made the smarter choice there, but it was happy hour and our bill was $10 so no point in pouting.


I’m starting a new post soon for dinner at Fleur de Sel.