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Archive for September, 2013

Review of Bread and Sons Bakery

Bread and Sons is a wonderful little bakery in Centretown. It’s the perfect spot to pick up some mid-morning treats, a delicious lunch or even a pizza on a Friday night. Actually, one of my favourite maternity-leave moments was right at the end of my leave when my daughter was in daycare – I met a friend for coffee and some treats at Bread and Sons. It was sunny and warm, so we sat on the small tables outside the bakery and chatted for close to two hours. We each grabbed a second coffee and additional treats as we people-watched and talked about graphic novels, school and work. Some people might complain that there is not enough seating but I actually like this feature. It means that there is a high turnover rate for their coffee and baked goods and everything is super fresh. The busy atmosphere means you need to decide quickly what you’d like to eat. Also, it forces you to get outside and enjoy the bustle of the downtown core. Another plus of this bakery – they try to source as many local ingredients as possible – they even have a map painted on their wall with their local vendors displayed! And, if you’re eating vegan they offer almond milk for your coffee which is a great perk since most places only offer soy milk.  Overall, I think it’s a great place to stop and get breakfast or lunch. Below, I’ve reviewed a few of my favourite foods from Bread and Sons.Bread and Sons Muffin and Cofee

Breakfast

Vegan Pumpkin Muffins
By far my favourite vegan offering at the bakery. Moist, sweet (but not too sweet) with crunchy pumpkin seeds on the top. Get there in the morning before they all sell out. Perfect for fall or anytime of the year.

Vegan Oatmeal Chocolate Cookie
Delicious! These don’t look the prettiest, are little on the pricey side and chances are they will leave chocolate all over your hands as you eat them but they are well worth the mess and the price.

Lunch

Pizza – All the World’s Green – Vegan
Before going dairy-free I loved all of their vegetarian pizzas – they have the right balance of cheese to toppings to crust. I never paid attention to the vegan choice assuming it was boring. Turns out this is one of the best choices for pizza regardless of whether or not you are avoiding dairy. It has kale, spinach, arugula, red onions, roasted sweet potatoes, roasted garlic, red peppers, olives and mushrooms. I know, it sounds busy but as a vegan I loved the variety on the pizza – the greens are in perfect harmony with the mushrooms and the olives. And, I adore the taste of the roasted garlic. Also, it doesn’t hurt that the pizzas are named after Tom Waits songs.

Sandwich – Avocado
A great sandwich, actually one of my favourite lunch choices. The avocado is always perfectly salted, the bread is always tasty and the sunflower seeds are a great surprise when eating the sandwich. Well worth the price.

Salad – Avocado and Roasted Tofu
This is the one lunch choice that is “just okay” in my opinion. The tofu is a little bland although perfectly pressed. The avocado shines as the star.

Overall – great place to go for breakfast or lunch.  Highly recommended.

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My daughter started daycare the other day and it was difficult for both of us.  It was her second day and when I arrived she was the only baby there.  Our primary daycare worker held out her arms to grab my baby and said, “Go take a walk, take an hour or two to yourself – leave her with me so that we can bond.”  It wasn’t what I expected.  I expected to spend an hour or two at the daycare with my daughter getting her acquainted with the space.  And, as I walked out the door I didn’t know what to do with myself.  In my mind I debated about grabbing a coffee, shopping for some records (there is a great music store in the neighbourhood) or browsing at the local library.  But, I knew that I would be anxious if I did any of these things.  So instead, I decided to do something productive for my daughter.  I went to the grocery store to buy her favourite foods.  I loaded up on colourful organic carrots, candy-cane striped beets, lovely sweet potatoes, delicious apples, and reliable bananas.  I picked out three new foods for her to try – tomatoes, green beans, and millet (one food at a time).  I took them home and started to cook – I wanted to have a nice meal ready for her when she came home from her stressful day.

I mention this story because while my daughter was starting her daycare journey I was reading Cooking for Gracie: The Making of a Parent from Scratch by Keith Dixon.  In this memoir the author recounts his experience with cooking during the first year of his daughter’s life.  He writes about how important cooking was to him to develop a bond between himself and his daughter.   He recounts his experience trying to get his timing right with various recipes so that his dinners did not burn while the baby was having a melt-down.  As a new parent I could relate to his stories; I found myself nodding in agreement and reading passages aloud to my partner as if to say, “see we’re not the only ones who experienced this or worried about that.”  I could relate to the feeling of pride when you cook something your child seems to really like.

This is an excellent book for anyone that loves to cook and is a new parent.  I think that everyone can relate to the author’s stories about sleep deprivation and how it affects your ability to complete even the simplest tasks (like cooking dinner!).  But, I have a confession – while I earmarked a number of the author’s recipes to return to and try, I never cooked a recipe out of his book.  I find my schedule now is all about making meals that my daughter, my partner, and I enjoy, so I’m tending to cook familiar and easy recipes.

What I liked about the cookbook portion of this book:

  • Recipes that have been tested by a new parent with instructions that are helpful for time management.
  • Separate instructions on how to make a portion of what you are eating for your baby.

What I disliked:

  • Lots of meat recipes (obviously if you are a meat-eater this won’t be a problem.)
  • A bit ambitious for a cookbook geared toward new parents – I never made homemade pasta before my daughter was born and I’m sure as heck not going to start now.

Borrow this book from your local library. Or buy a copy for an expectant mom or dad who loves to cook.

Title: Cooking for Gracie: The Making of a Parent from Scratch

Authors: Keith Dixon

Publisher: Crown (May 10 2011)

ISBN: 978-0307591876

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