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Easy Make-Ahead Dinners When You Are On the Go

August 28, 2015

Easy Make-Ahead DinnersOne of the major advantages to staying in a furnished rental in Toronto is that you will be able to use the kitchen to prepare your own meals, which will save you a lot of money because you won’t have to pay restaurant prices for your meals every night. However, making meals when you are travelling will bring with it a unique set of challenges – as you might be short on time and you might not have all of the ingredients that you have at home.
In order to make cooking in your furnished condo as easy as possible, here are some easy make-ahead dinners that you can  heat up when you need them. Some of these recipes require a slow cooker but if you don’t have one where you are staying, you can always let them simmer on the stove for a while instead.

Black Bean and Pumpkin Chili
This is a deliciously creative twist on chili and the flavour of pumpkin really enhances the dish. Start by heating up a pound

Easy Make-Ahead Dinners

of cubed round steak on a large skillet in oil, simply browning the pieces lightly. Transfer the meat to a five quart slow cooker and leave the oil on the skillet. Use the oil to saute onions and yellow peppers until just barely tender. Add the garlic and cook for another minute, then transfer everything to the slow cooker. Add to the slow cooker one can of pumpkin, two cans of black beans, two cups of chicken broth, one can of diced tomatoes, dried parsely flakes, chili powder, dried oregano, ground cumin and salt. Cook on low for five hours.

Spiced Braised Beef Stew with Sweet Potatoes
A comforting stew that freezes well, this delicious dish is easy to make and delicious. Start by combining 1.5 pounds of beef cut into chunks, 2 sweet potatoes cut into half-moons, cumin, onions, apricots, ginger, cayenne and cinnamon and one can of tomatoes in a slow cooker with ¾ teaspoon of salt and a half cup of water. Cook the ingredients on high for 4 hours or on low for 7 hours. Right before serving, add a can of chickpeas to the mix and let them cook until they are heated through, for about 2-3 minutes. Serve the stew along with cuscous and spinach.Easy Make-Ahead Dinners

Chicken, Mushroom and Wild Rice Casserole
This is a tasty kid-friendly favourite that you can make in advance and keep in the fridge or freezer. Start by cooking the rice while also simmering the chicken until it is cooked through. Cook two chopped leeks until they are brown in oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms and cook until the liquid has been released and evaporated. Add sherry and increase the heat to high and cook until most of the liquid has been evaporated. Sprinkle the vegetables with flour, then stir them to coat. Add milk and then simmer the sauce for one minute before adding parsley, sour cream, pepper and salt. Line an old baking dish with cooking spray and cut the chicken into bite sized pieces. Spread the rice in an even layer in the baking dish, then add the chicken and the green beas – pouring the sauce over top and sprinkling with almonds. Bake in the oven until the casserole bubbles and let it stand for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Do you have favourite easy make-ahead dinners that you turn to? We’d love to hear about them!

Business Travel, Downtown Toronto, Entertainment, Food & Recipes, Lifestyle talk

Top Coffee Shops in Toronto

August 25, 2015
Coffee Shops in Toronto

Photo Credit: Sam James Coffee Bar

Sometimes, you need the professionals to take care of your morning pick-me-up, aka that really strong coffee or espresso to get you ready for the day. Even though you have a coffee maker in your furnished rental in Toronto, going out for a coffee is a great way to explore a new neighbourhood or connect with the local community. We’ve rounded up our favourite coffee shops in Toronto –  for both quality of coffee and ambiance.

Coffee Shops in Toronto

Photo Credit: Ryan Fung

1. Odin and Thor Espresso The Scandinavian inspired coffee house, Thor, located at Bathurst and Wellington near many of our downtown properties, serves up strong espresso and treats to go. It recently got a new sibling, Odin, in the developing neighbourhood of Corktown. Odin’s minimalist designed space is a treat for fans of architecture and of course, coffee. The difference at Odin, however, is that there are more food options as well as a chance to have a drink later in the evening. Watch their space for different events throughout the year, check out the new patio, or purchase locally-inspired swag.

2. Boxcar Social Over a year into the game, these coffee experts located in Rosedale have already opened up a second location in Riverside. What’s fun about this place is that their selections change all the time. Don’t know what you want? Try one of their coffee flights. Want to go next level? Try a whiskey and coffee flight. At night, their spaces transform into a wine bar. It’s a great place to work and socialize.

Coffee Shops in Toronto

Photo Credit: Ryan Fung

3. Tandem Michie Yamamoto, who used to work at Rooster Coffeehouse, has opened up this cute cafe with her husband in Corktown, just east of Parliament. For strong espresso shots, you can currently select from suppliers Pig Iron, Cut Coffee, or Detour. It’s a great pitstop to the Distillery District.

4. Fareinheit. Located on the edge of the Financial District, these award-winning baristas know their coffee and if you need to grab and go, they’ll get your expertly pulled americano or cortados with a smile. Try any one of their choices from Pilot like the silky Diablo beans or Ethiopian selection. Stay for the energy-inducing dance music.

Coffee Shops in Toronto

Photo Credit: Sam James Coffee Bar

5. The Common Now with three locations (it’s most central in the Annex), come for the $2 americano. Stay for the rustic atmosphere. Come back for the Rufino and Mountain View beans.

6. Sam James Coffee Bar Back when he was a barista at Hank’s and Dark Horse, Sam James has moved up the ranks as one of Toronto’s best baristas and making a name for himself with his eponymous cafe now with 5 locations. Serving the Cut Coffee brand, SJCB serves up espresso based drinks from macchiatos to mocha lattes. Every shop minus the Coffee Pocket serves rotating single origins as brewed drip coffee. If you’re on the go, this is your daily pick-me-up.

7. Te Aro One of Pilot Cofee Roaster’s cafes, the industrialized garage space serves up some perfectly executed coffee and is now known for Toronto’s best cold coffee. Te Aro is also the only cafe in Toronto that pulls coffee from a tap. Worth the trip to Leslieville to stock up on beans for your furnished rental or to sit with a cup in hand and watch people walking by on their expansive streetside patio.

8. Manic One of the pioneers in Toronto’s coffee scene, Manic still continues to pump out some of the best espresso in the city. They were also one of the first shops to perfect latte art. There’s no wifi here so it’s an ideal place to read a book or catch up with friends. They also serve gelato if you’re looking for something frozen and sweet.

Photo Credit :Rooster Coffee

9. Jimmy’s This tiny spot at Portland and King has become so popular, it now has three locations. It’s the place to get a strong cup of joe quick.

10. Rooster Coffee Not only does Rooster have one of the most scenic spots in the city to get your espresso at their Broadview location, they also have some of the best coffee. If you’re working or living closer to their King Street location, it’s a great place for business meetings or to savour over their custom Pilot blends or single origin beans. Stay tuned for a third location soon!

What are your favourite coffee shops in Toronto?

Community Events, Entertainment, Food & Recipes, Lifestyle talk, Toronto Family Travel

Our Top Five Favourite Summer Festivals in Toronto 2015

July 10, 2015

Summer Festivals in Toronto The summer season is Toronto’s chance to shine, and especially this year with the number of visitors touching down in the city for the Pan Am Games. While you enjoy your stay at one of our short term or long term furnished apartment, we encourage you to see a festival this summer. There are over 50 summer festivals in Toronto and they keep getting better each year. Here are our top five picks for July and August. Enjoy your stay!

Fringe Festival (July 1-12). This alfresco theatre festival is a cheap way to see performances in unusual venues across Toronto. It’s also a great date idea.Summer Festivals in Toronto

Way Home (July 24-25) Though not in Toronto, this music festival promises to be one of Ontario’s biggest, featuring artists like Neil Young and Sam Smith. 72 artists will be playing the three day festival amongst four stages. It’s a great way to get out of the city.

Toronto Food Truck Festival (August 1-2) A fun festival for the whole family, your chance to eat at Toronto’s favourite food trucks will also be an excuse to bike to and from Woodbine Park back to your furnished condo or apartment. Eating challenges, live music, Summer Festivals in Toronto and a children’s village will also be part of this tasty fest.

Summerworks (August 6-16)
If you missed Fringe, Summerworks will fill the void. The festival is a melange of theatre, dance, music, and live art showcasing Canadian and Torontonian curation.

Sweetery Toronto (August 15-16) Toronto’s first sweets festival features loot bags, pinatas, and so much more. The festival features advanced French Patisserie students from George Brown College, who will be preparing a sweet as part of their final evaluation, so it’s a great way to give back too.

What summer Festivals in Toronto are you looking forward to the most this summer?

Community Events, Downtown Toronto, Entertainment, Family Vacations in Toronto, Food & Recipes

Our Top 5 New Places to Eat in Toronto Now

June 18, 2015

Places to Eat in TorontoOver the past 8 years, Toronto has rapidly risen its reputation as one of the best cities in the world in which to live, mainly in part due to becoming a destination for a variety of quality restaurants that range in tastes, cultures, and flavours. The best part? They are in short distance of your furnished rental in the metropolis. 2015 has been an exceptional year for many anticipated openings. Here are our favourite eateries and places to eat in Toronto this year, thus far.

1. Bar Raval
Following his success at one of our top ten favourite restaurants, Bar Isabel, Chef Grant van Gameren’s Bar Raval was most anticipated opening of the year and it has not disappointed his loyal following. Those who have ever had to wait for a seat at Bar Isabel can now chow down on Gameren’s Places to Eat in Toronto pinxtos at his stand up bar, morning, noon, and night. The shrimp and cream pinxtos and the Galician octopus are standout dishes. As much as the bar is adored for the food, the architecture by the firm, Partisans, is just as much of a highlight with its all encompassing wooden curves, bars, and peek-a-boo hideouts.

2. La Carnita Eastside
The neighbourhood of Leslieville has embraced La Carnita’s second location in the east and it’s a quick streetcar ride over the bridge across the Don River from your furnished apartment in Toronto. The funky Mexican eatery is serving up the classics like their fish tacos and feature daily specials which range from arctic char and chicken tostadas to shrimp tacos.

Places to Eat in Toronto3. Dailo
Easily walkable from our downtown furnished suites, Dailo is the perfect restaurant for a special occasion. The Asian-American infused menu bursts with flavour and texture. Try the fried watermelon, the shrimp and the crispy Argentenian red shrimp served with kimchi grits, and tom yum buerre blanc. The 90 day aged rib eye from Oliffe butchers is served with bok choy, radish, soy pickled mushroom, and Asian chimichurri. It is great to share with a group and well worth the indulgence.

4. R&D
This brand new restaurant on Spadina from Masterchef Canada winner, Eric Chong and his mentor, Alvin Places to Eat in TorontoLeung, is breathing new life for experimentation in the old Strada 241.You’ll be hungry after a short walk from our properties such as the Icon, 300 Front St. and the Element. The Peking duck and lobster chow mein were some of the twists on Chong’s dishes he made for the competition show and getting rave reviews.

What are your favourite new restaurants and places to eat in Toronto? What are your favourite places near your DelSuites home away from home?

Downtown Toronto, Entertainment, Food & Recipes, Lifestyle talk, Mid Town, Toronto History

Favourite Patios in Toronto

May 25, 2015

Patios in TorontoHanging out on your balcony in your DelSuites furnished apartment rental in Toronto can be novel for only so long. Though it’s one of our favourite amenities, sometimes you want a change of scenery. As the summer heats up, here are our favourite patios in Toronto to grab a drink and people watch.

1. Amsterdam Brewhouse
Steps away from our downtown properties like 300 Front Street, The Icon, and The Element, Amsterdam Brewery’s patio is situated on the Harbourfront, lakeside, with a nice view of the Toronto Islands. Also named as one of our favourite craft breweries in Toronto, all you need to relax is a pint in hand in a muskoka chair to feel like you’re transported north of the city. Don’t forget you can buy some of their cans to bring home. Their bottleshop is open until 11pm!

Patios in Toronto

(Photo by Tasting Toronto)

2. El Catrin
The vibrant patio, located in the Distillery District, and its Mexican details –cut outs, tiles and firepits –makes this one of the most popular outdoor spots to have brunch or lunch in the summer months. The food is just as great as the location. Try sharing some tacos or ceviche. For dinner, you could try a 7 course tasting menu with your friends. The best part? Your fellow patio-patrons surrounding you are best for people watching. Reservations are strongly encouraged.

3. Terroni (Rosedale)
This rooftop patio of the popular Italian trattoria is a more low key destination and in short distance of our mid-town properties, 173 Duplex and the Republic. Chow down on hearty pasta and many delectable pizzas under minimalist decor and a great view of the downtown landscape.

Patios in Toronto4. Speakeasy 21
This Financial District favourite –at Scotiaplaza–has a brand new 3-tier patio for after work libation. You can watch all of the drama of rush hour unfold from your perch right in the centre of things. Knock it back with a watermelon mojito or bites to share with coworkers or friends.

5. Rock Lobster
The Queen Street West location is a laid back way to enjoy the weekend. Kick back on the Canadiana back patio with a Caesar garnished with a lobster tail and one of their famous lobster rolls. We also recommend the Filet Eh Fish. Enjoy!

What are your favourite patios in Toronto?