Friday Night Wine Pick: Vegan wine??

Monday’s TBB dining post was about a local Ottawa vegan restaurant, Cafe My House. I mentioned that we had a lovely glass of white wine, Masi Masianco, ’11 Pinot Grigio  & Verduzza from Veneto, Italy.  I liked it, but was originally put off by the smell.  Perhaps the vegan process of filtering wine had gotten into my ‘head’?  Obviously my distaste dissipated as I shared a second glass with my daughter.  True to the tasting notes mentioned on the menu, it was citrusy and peachy, with hints of honeysuckle.  As promised, I am delivering the goods on Vegan wine.  Most wine produced is filtered to remove yeast, cloudiness, off flavours, and organic particles. The substances used for the filtering process are often animal derived. Vegan wine is filtered using non-animal products limestone, clay silica gel etc. Check here for more information of Vegan wine.





LCBO 620773 | 750 mL bottle 

Price $ 14.00 








Maureen thumbnailMaureen 

Donna BorderDonna says:  “Well whodathunkit?  Although I have mentioned to some of you that I spied the following ingredients on the back of a wine label recently:  Milk, Egg, Fish!  So, I guess we need to research the wine making process a little more!”

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Ask the TBBs: A Kitchen Backsplash Conundrum

Last week we received the following email from Cindy:

I hope you can help with a kitchen eye sore.  We had to put a stainless steel sheet wrap-around behind the stove and sides of the cabinets to cover unfinished cabinet sides.  Originally a large micro/convection oven was there.  It was replaced with a new vent hood which just barely fit the space.  The problem is that because of the heat from the stove, the glue will not hold the stainless sheets.  Any suggestions to repair or replace would be greatly appreciated.


This is the “eye sore” Cindy is referring to:


Maureen says: “I saw this for myself yesterday.  It would be nearly impossible to take the stainless steel wrap off the cupboard and replace.  My suggestion is to use decorative upholstery tacks or screws and tap as close to the edge of the stainless steel making sure you catch the wood underneath.  When you have determined how far apart the tack or screw can be to hold the edge in place, I would mark off with a pen (for instance every 1/2″ or 1/4″) from top to bottom.  Do both sides to match.  Drill a tiny pilot hole where the pen mark is, then hammer the decorative tac k or screw in place.  The screws might hold better as they have a longer shank.  If you can, I would take away as much of the glue from the edge, with a knife, to help the stainless steel to lie flatter to the wood.”

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Donna BorderDonna says: “First off, I love a stainless steel backsplash.  I find it has such a clean, unbusy look.  I do see how this issue would be classified as an eye-sore in an otherwise beautiful kitchen.   My suggestion would be to use a stainless steel corner guard,  shown in “A” below.  It would be installed on all edges of the cabinets in question.   It could be adhered with a combination of heavy duty construction glue and decorative tacks and screws as Maureen suggests above.  Or if you have the space available at the top and bottom of the cabinets, I would use the method shown in “B” below.  The mouldings may have to be custom constructed, but it would definitely be worth the cost to complete the look.  Good luck!”

Stainless Steel Corner Guard



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Brandon S. - April 30, 2014 - 12:54 pm

A few years back I designed a kitchen with fabricated stainless steel cabinets and an 18″ tall backsplash that wrapped into the casing of several windows. In the process I picked up a bit about Stainless Steel.

A few items to note about the panels in her photo….

1. Steel has a natural warp. Remember, SS starts life as one big roll of material before being unwound and cut into smaller sheets. This means that sheet material without any sort of complex corners or further straightening will have a very slight curvature. The thicker the material, the harder it is to counter the curve meaning that even most industrial strength glues are not going to bond with exactitude to wood or particle materials.

2. Tacks and brads, in theory, work, but in reality will result in the same issue over time. Why? Because the steel sheet material will pull them out. Brads and tacks only offer a smooth point surface with nothing for the base material to grab onto. I’d highly recommend using screws, in this case wood screws, to ensure that the SS continues to grip the wood base. Make absolutely certain the screws are being driven into solid base material such as solid wood or particle. Luckily, it isn’t necessary to space them 1/2″ apart. You could get away with several inches between screws (with a reapplication of bonding agent between wood and SS). Personally, I’d countersink the screws so the heads are flush with the SS surface.

3. The Angle Bracket method. Certainly angle brackets are an option in this case but remember two things:
– If using the non-screwed angle bracket in Fig. D, allow the stainless steel panel the wiggle room it’s created for itself. Don’t try to force the end panel back to the wood or you’ll end up creating a similar situation where the bracket moves across the face of the cabinet and becomes loose.
– Maintenance – The lip of the angle bracket will be a grease collector and will require extra maintenance to keep it clean.

Maureen - April 30, 2014 - 4:13 pm

Thank you for taking the time to offer your great advice Brandon. Very much appreciated. Mo.

Café My House

I’m not a vegan, and I’m not a vegetarian, but I do enjoy delicious food immensely and I also endeavour to support our local dining establishments.  Café My House used to be located not too far from my hood in Ottawa….a quick drive, but they recently moved to a trendier location, in Hintonburg, Ottawa.

They use fresh, local organic ingredients, appealing to vegans and non-vegans.  I had frequented the original location a few times and although parking was an issue, I was always so impressed with the freshness and beautiful plating of the vegan food I was served.  I went to the new location this past week.  It’s much bigger, the parking less stressful and my meal, just as delicious.


My daughter, who had never been to Café My House, and I decided to participate in the 5 course sharing plates offered for $29.  This is a fabulous way to sample  and share several of the items on the menu.  Our chef’s choice plates included:

IMG_8988.jpg…Cheese and Pickle Plate….assorted cashew nut ‘cheeses’, heirloom carrots, beets, garlic cloves…YOWZA!… pickled in gin (and something else, but I forget what) and gluten free crackers. This was DELICIOUS and I could become a vegan on the basis of this plate alone.

IMG_8991.jpg.jpg…. Curry Chickpea Cake Salad… A huge plate of micro greens, sliced radish, lima bean puree, with small chickpea cakes buried underneath and garnished with grated orange peel and curled beet strings. I want to get the veggie tool that peels the beets into long skinny threads like pasta.


OK…I have had vegetarian lasagna before, but this was superb. This is RAW lasagna … layers of thinly sliced zucchini, tomatoes, micro greens, cashew herbed brie, red pepper pesto, heirloom beets and carrots. Totally filling, and with two more courses to go.


I’m not 100% sure, but this may have been my favourite plate.  Crispy Tempeh…parsnip & pernod puree, miso & maple glazed grilled cauliflower, red wine-pomegranate reduction, oven roasted spicy chickpeas and polenta crusted tempeh. OH MY  OH MY  OH MY!!

I need to mention that we enjoyed a glass of vegan Pinot Grigio with our shared plates. Vegan wine you ask?  I asked too and will reveal the answer in the next TBB Friday Night Wine Pick.


Our last course.  Vegan tiramisu.  Holy Camoly this was yummy!  You might think a little chintzy in size, but honestly, we only needed a few bites.

Café My House has a small menu …  small desert offerings and a small vegan wine list.  They do have a mixology menu which I will certainly try next time….and there will be a next time. I would make reservations if you are heading out at the usual rush hour lunch and dinner times.


Maureen thumbnailMaureen

Donna BorderDonna says: “Wow!  These plates look so delicious!  Will have to be a TBB lunch destination I’m thinking!”




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Johng855 - April 29, 2014 - 5:32 pm

Thanks so much for sharing all with the awesome info! I am looking forward to checking out far more posts! gdakecfeeekb

[…] Café My House […]

Friday Night Wine Pick: La Citadelle

Are you planning a trip to France? I recently had the pleasure of spending two weeks in France and have come back with a few wine recommendations so I will post each one in the weeks to come.

The first in this French wine series is a white wine from the Luberon area of France in Provence.

Screen Shot 2014-04-24 at 5.10.12 PM

This area of France is known for its Spectacular countryside of vineyards and orchards and fascinating “perched” hill-top villages. We stayed in this very area on our second week of our vacation, it truly is beautiful.



Here it is submerged in a bucket of ice……..ahhhh, what a beautiful sight, the memories….oh the memories

This wine is produced with white wine grapes harvested from the younger Clairette vines.  It is a well balanced wine with tastes of  fruit and citrus with a well balanced finish.  LOVED this wine!

Unfortunately, you can not purchase this wine through the LCBO but mark it on your list for your next trip to France.

There is a Canadian distributor of this wine out of Quebec so you may be able to purchase by the case.

SAQ 514 873 5716 H2K 3V9 MONTREAL, QUEBEC
WINES BALTHAZARD (our agent) 514 288 9009 H3E 1N3 NUNS ISLAND, QUEBEC


You can visit their website:

Or Facebook Page:


sonya thumbnailCheers!







PleaseDrinkResponsiblyDonna BorderDonna says:  “Le sigh…..”


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TBBs do Lunch – Carmen’s Veranda

Three of us had the occasion recently to meet up for lunch.  We love to do this!  It’s a quick face to face touch-base for us to share what’s been going on in our busy lives and gives us the opportunity to try out some of Ottawa’s great restaurants.

This time we chose a charming little spot on Bank Street called Carmen’s Veranda.  Located “between the bridges – Landsdowne and Billings”, the decor is a delightfully eclectic blend of your mom’s kitchen and a laid back art gallery.  Not so coincidentally, the walls were covered with the work of local artists which are available for sale.

CV-photos-big-3Photo credit: Carmen’s Veranda

With a small menu that changes monthly, Carmen’s Veranda offers a Latin based menu that includes soft shell tacos, enchiladas and tostadas. Very reasonably priced, the presentation of these dishes is truly a work of art.  Check out these delicious Chorizo Meatballs:

CV Meatballs

I am STILL talking about them!

Carmen’s Veranda is open for brunch on Saturday and Sunday and you can bring your own wine (for a $10 corkage fee) on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings.

CV collage

I am definitely returning for a din-din soon!

Donna ThumbnailDonna

Mary Anne BorderMary Anne says: ” I find Carmen’s Veranda never disappoints. I really enjoyed my carrot-ginger soup,  my chicken taco, and, of course, the company I dined with!”

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