Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Food Over Canada Part I: Breakfast of Champions

So I spent the last week over in Toronto and Georgia Bay for my cousin's wedding, and thought I'd do a couple of posts about the food we ate. After all, what's a good wedding holiday without lots of delicious food? My first post is on the breakfast we had over at the Bluebird Meadows B&B in Midland, Ontario. Basically at this place, every morning there was a freshly cooked breakfast by the lovely lady who ran the hotel with her husband. Needless we all spent hours at night discussing what would be for breakfast the next morning. It was that good...

Day 1

Strawberries with Yoghurt and Granola

Something fairly orthodox to start with. Simple but scrumptious. The strawberries seemed to be macerated in sugar to draw out some of their natural syrupy sweetness. On top was some yoghurt and crunchy granola. Crunchy, creamy, sweet, sour...It was almost like a palate cleanser. Which is unusual for a breakfast! But this is no ordinary breakfast...

Freshly baked walnut cake

Next up, the walnut cake was brought out. Spongey and warm...you just don't get this at the supermarket. It was wholemeal too, so good for the more healthier of us out there.

Scrambled eggs with spring onions, courgettes and cream cheese
This was the ''main course'' of the breakfast (!) It consisted of buttery scrambled eggs mixed with spring onions, lightly sauteed thinly cut courgettes and soft cream cheese. I loved the combination between the savoriness of the eggs, the sourness of the cream cheese, bitterness of the courgettes and sweet spiciness of the spring onions. Great flavour combinations!

These chipolatas were sweet, smokey and juicy. Always a big chipolata fan here, and this one didn't disappoint!

Wholemeal banana pancakes

The meal was finished off with some healthy wholemeal and banana pancakes, coated with some powdered sugar. I thought this was a nice, light alternative to the normal white flour pancakes. They were popular amongst all our group too, especially when slathered with oozy maple syrup.

Day 2

Melons with Blueberries

The fruit palate-cleanser today were melons and blueberries. Very refreshing and in-season in Ontario too (always a bonus!).

Freshly baked croissants with Homemade Strawberry and Rhubarb Jam
How many times do you get to have freshly baked croissants? Let alone at a bed and breakfast. The accompanying homemade strawberry and rhubarb jam was quality too, sweet but with that slight almost umami savoriness that jams tend to develop. Warm, flaky and full of butter, this was really delicious albeit a bit indulgent for our more health-conscious party members thinking about wedding outfits and the like!

Bacon strrrips
No explanation necessary...:-)

Tomato, Basil and Courgette Frittata

This was the main course of the day and actually my favourite of the week. I'm not actually a big fan of frittata generally, so me loving this so much is saying a lot! The tomatoes they used were taken from their back garden, where they had a vine full of the juicy monsters just about to hit harvest season. Fresh tomatoes are incomparable in flavour, but something we're of course not used to having in the big cities. They were superb. I've seen that this dish is usually made with chorizo, but it was omitted as there were a few non-pork eaters in our group. We didn't ask for this, and I thought it was very thoughtful of them.

The egg component was crisp and slightly caramelised whilst the courgette added a slightly sour edge to round off the intense sweet and savoury flavours. And of course the basil...what better marriage is there than that of basil and tomato? Suitably matrimonious for such an auspicious week!

Peach and blueberry crumble topped with Granola


Continuing the exemplary standards set by the main course, the ''dessert'' component of the breakfast was a gorgeous crumble, consisting of caramelised pears and blueberries, topped with granola for that satisfying crunchy component. The poached peaches just melted in the mouth with a deep sweetness that was a wonderfully comforting ending to a spectacular second day.

Day 3

Banana bread, encrusted with almonds and pecan on the outside
The bread component here was a type of banana bread, encrusted with nuts. Again the contrast of textures between the crunchy outside and the spongey, soft bread in the middle was incredibly satisfying. Banana bread is always a big favourite of mine, so I couldn't help but love this one.

Pineapple with Yoghurt and Toasted Coconut
The fruit component during this day was pineapple, topped with yoghurt and toasted coconut. I have to say this was my favourite of the fruit selections during the week, as the coconut added a lovely smokey contrast to the sweet and sour pineapple and yoghurt combination. The exotic flavours were a perfect compliment to the tropical weather we experienced during the week (don't let anyone tell you that Canada is a ''cold'' country!)

Canadian bacon
The meat element this day was the famous Canadian bacon, which I hear is somewhat of a religious institution in this part of the world. And with good reason! It's cured loin, as opposed to the streaky, pork belly-based bacon commonly eaten in the USA and continental Europe. Which means it's much more lean and tender, rather than fatty and greasy. I have to say this is where my preference lies and I really did enjoy this as it was really meaty and smokey with a slight sweetness, which I presume is from some sort of maple-based glaze.

Hash Browns with Baked Eggs, Red Pepper, Paprika and Coriander
The main course of the day consisted of sauteed hash brown potatoes, interspersed with big globs of baked egg. These were baked in the oven, in between spaces created by the eggs. There were some lovely middle Eastern flavours due to the addition of smokey paprika and coriander. The spaced-out eggs were a really clever idea as it made for a great sharing dish for our family at the table.

French Toast made with fruit bread

French Toast

This was one of the more successfully guessed items from the night before (!) We were all waiting for the french toast to appear in the selection, and this one was fantastic. Not least when consumed with the staple Canadian condiment, Maple syrup. Incomparable to what is available abroad, it was not very viscous, so could be easily poured. It was also not too sweet, which was perfect for this dish as there was already a fair amount of sweetness in the dish from the powdered sugar added on top.The french toast itself was made from home-made fruit bread, which was a really original idea and worked well for me, making great use of the abundant seasonal fruits available in local Ontario.

Day 4

Eggs Benedict (Great Presentation!)
Sadly, our week of breakfast feasting had to come to an end. Thankfully, not all endings have to be sad ones, as we finished our week with a stunningly presented eggs benedict dish. This must have taken some effort on part of our lovely host, Donna. It consisted of runny, poached egg, topped with the characteristic dill hollandaise sauce on top of what appeared to be ham and hash brown, a suitably Canadian alternative to the usual English muffin.

Pumpkin and Spiced Apple Pancakes
There were a mixture of pancakes today, one consisting of pumpkin and one with spiced apple. An autumnal combination, I'm sure this one will be a big hit in the lead up to the winter months.

Chocolate cake embedded with chocolate chips and courgette strips

The bread component of today's dish was a chocolate cake, unusually mixed with courgette. It worked though, so well we took some home with us! It was again spongey and not too sweet.

Raspberries with Watermelon
The final (sniff, sniff) dish was a summery combination of watermelon and raspberries. With temperatures soaring above 30 degrees, it was a welcome refreshing finish to the breakfast. Overall, we immensely enjoyed staying at the B&B and can't say enough for the food that was carefully and lovingly prepared for us by our host Donna. After all, what's a bed and breakfast without good breakfast?

The ability to eat well is one of the many reasons I love travel so much, and when you have the ability to have homely, comforting food to start the day the rest just falls effortlessly into place. I would love to go back to Canada one day, and if I am lucky enough to, I would be delighted to eat here again!

If you'd like to find out more about the Bluebird Meadows Bed and Breakfast, you can visit their websiteFacebook profile or TripAdvisor page.

Photos by Nathalie.


  1. Fantastic pics, I really want some French toast now! Haven't had that in ages

  2. Gnammm!!! That peach crumble looks delicious!


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