Thursdays own my Heart

At 10:30 p.m. on a Thursday evening, I rolled into my driveway. As I walked into my house, I felt a sense of comfort and happiness. I had a complete day. Did the 9 – 5 thing, and then did a quick catch up with a friend, before meeting another friend of mine for dinner on Ossington, the newest ‘it’ spot in the city, for now. We managed to find an evening that worked with both of our overly-busy schedules and easily decided our restaurant of choice: Delux, Located between Queen and Dundas, this hip hot spot was a no brainer. One of those small, I feel like i’m in an exclusive industrial art gallery kind of place, was the home for us to sip on our glasses of wine (hers red, mine white), while catching up on about three years worth of ‘The Life and Times of Each other.’

I walked into the restaurant and loved it immediately. Like a hidden gem suddenly found, I felt proud to be in there, as if I was in on a dining secret that no one else in Toronto knows about. Consider this me whispering in year ear and filling you in on its overly welcomed existence. Though I tend to dine later in the evening, we met at 7pm. The early crowd was tamer, and more calm than expected, but when you are catching up with a close friend who you haven’t had a face to face talk to for almost three years, nothing else really matters.

The deal: So my fellow blonde, bronzed, twentysomething friend Robyn has been in my life since I was a child. We met one summer at a summer day camp (camp run at a country club, who am i kidding?), bonded immediately, and have been friends since. We loved being a part of camp plays- In the Wizard of Oz, she was cast as Dorothy, and I was cast as Auntie Em; In Beauty and the Beast I was cast as Belle and she was my Lumier. And boy, do her candles shine bright! Robyn is a staple in my life. You know those cards that say friends forever that you give to your closest friend at the moment and then regret a year later when that friendship has faded into the background along with last seasons, well I have cards from Robyn from when we were 12 years old, and those words still apply today. She is one of those friends who you don’t talk to for a month, but the second you speak again it’s as if you just got off the phone. I consider her family, and as Carrie Bradshaw says, “The most important thing in life is your family. There are days you love them, and others you don’t. But, in the end, they’re the people you always come home to. Sometimes it’s the family you’re born into and sometimes it’s the one you make for yourself.”

Robyn is part of that extended family I have made for myself. That’s why I was extremelly caught off guard three years ago, when she told me she was offered a job in Montreal. For three years we did Starbucks catch ups when she was in the city. Well needed, but not the same of knowing she’s a half hour car drive away. Having her back is so monumental. Welcome home girl!

Back to dinner: So here we are sitting at this restaurant and though I was distracted by our convo, I was almost relieved when her Blackberry went off with a work related call, just as our appetizer arrived on the table. We started off with a mushroom and cheese tart which was so melt-in-my-mouth to do for. Despite the obvious fact that there were mushrooms inside, I actually debated whether this was a dessert. As I politely cut a piece, I noticed what looked like a maple-like sauce on the plate. The flavour was as sweet as I imagined it would be. The tart was unique and light and I could actually focus on the flavours of every bite since she was occupied on the phone. I think my moan of delight went over her head. For my entree I had the Roast Chicken and risotto, which I sort of rushed through in anticipation of dessert – get this – cookies and milk. Our freshly baked chocolate chip cookies came on a long white plate, with a glass of milk at the end of the plate, perfect for dipping. Robyn and I gave each other a knowing smile after our first bite, and a moment later, the long white plate was empty. Who could blame us?

As our glasses of wine emptied, we closed up the conversation for the night. ‘The Catch Up’ never fails. We pretty much tackled all the key subjects in our lives, paying intrinsic detail to the parts that need attention paid to. After agreeing that this was well needed, three years in the making, we’ve decided to do bi-weekly dinners, travelling to Toronto’s latest and greatest up and coming restaurants. And as always, you can read my selections and thoughts on them here at

I highly recommend Delux. There are no signs outside the restaurant, but it can be identified as 92, which is the number it occupies on Ossington. It’s one of those places you drive by and try to look in to see what it actually is inside, without getting in an accident. I stepped out of the restaurant content with my evening. I had good tunes on in the car for my commute home, played some ‘crazy or on a handheld device’ as I informed you about in my last posting, and I arrived home to enjoy some down time while listening to jazz music and baking in the kitchen. Those warm, insanely perfect chocolate chip cookies brought out my sweet tooth, and it wasn’t going to go to bed just yet. I always make sure to have an Emergency Brownie kit in my kitchen for evenings such as this, and boy did it ever come in handy. In less than a half an hour, I was staring down a pan of low fat bitching brownies, ready to be tackled (Take that Rachel Rae!)

Ever fiend a chocolate fill but nothing seems to conquer that craving? Be sure to buy a box of Betty Crocker’s Low Fat Brownie mix. I’ll put up an image on the weekend to ensure you grab the right box.

Bitchin’ Brownies for Blondes:

– pour the mix from the box into a medium sized bowl
– add 1 egg
– add 1/3 cup of water
– mix all three ingredients with a spatula in the bowl until completely mixed (about fifty strokes)
– grease a 9″ pyrex dish
– once mixed, place the mix into the greased pan
– place in oven for 25 minutes
– let cool, and enjoy!

Sounds blonded down enough for you, right? That’s what I thought. Bon appetite my little blonde baker you.

– Jenny Jen


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