| frankie’s italian pt II |

I said we’d be back again soon & last night we enjoyed another weeknight dinner at Frankie’s Italian.  This time my dinner date was my mini me, & the hubs joined us mid appetizer.  Another delicious meal of fresh bread, greens & pastas.  I love that they always have three pasta specials that change daily.  Italian food can be so simple, yet satisfying, especially when the star ingredients are fresh and in season.  Mini me loved her personal sized margherita pizza, as well as the “po” which is delectable bread with roasted garlic, butter & pecorino.  Frankie’s Italian – 892 Queen St. East, Leslieville 

Kale & treviso ceasar saladTube pasta with rapini, chick peas & sausageOrrechiette with lamb bolognese, ricotta

| Gare de l’est |

Gare de l’est opened up last year in my lovely neighborhood.  We finally went last week for an impromptu dinner with friends.  As I’ve mentioned before, french food tops the list as my favorite food group (wink) so I was totally excited to try this brasserie which serves up traditional french fare.  All in all, everything was delicious & fresh with perfect portions.  I left feeling extremely satisfied with my meal.  The service was bar none as well.  Definitely be back again soon, next time to try their brunch!  Ps – pics are of what my friends & I ate, I did not order all although I had a bite of everything as I always do!  Gare de l’est – 1190 Dundas East, Leslieville

Cured salmon gravlax, capers, fennel, cucumberBeet salad, watercress, greens, cashewsSalad special of the evening, tomatoes, greens, goat cheeseConfit de canard (duck confit) roasted onion, charred rapini, pomme pureeSpecial of the evening, roasted lamb, cauliflower puree, friseeTarte au citronRemeaux au chocolat

| my summer garden |

Although we live in a climate that really only allows us to garden from May to September, I still try to get in as much as I can and enjoy the fruits of my labor all summer.  We live in an urban area in a semi-detached 100 year old home, and so my gardening is limited to a small area in the front of my house and also in our quaint backyard.  Every year I’ve been trying to fill in spots with mixed perennials, shrubs, and vines, all while constantly shifting plants around as they grow.  I wouldn’t say that I’m an expert, but my thumb is green enough I really love getting my hands dirty on the weekends.  I don’t plant vegetables except tomatoes and herbs because the local raccoons and squirrels think it’s a buffet and I also don’t get much sunlight in the yard.  Oh wait, I did plant green onions and garlic this year, the animals stay away from those!  Can’t wait for the weekend to see what has bloomed…