Imperial Market & Eatery


When my Aunt first recommended to us that we visit the Imperial Market for the best friend chicken, I was a little surprised. I’d never heard of this place before.. and where the heck is New Hamburg? Having rarely ventured out of my KW bubble for delicious eats, we were very excited to finally get the chance to visit this spot.

The Imperial Market is located in a beautiful corner building in New Hamburg. Clean and classic looking, I was already super excited to head in. Having researched a bit online, I saw that they had a patio, take-out, and were now available for limited dining-in. I’m still a bit skeptical on dining-in, so I had my fingers crossed that they had patio space available. Lucky for us, despite there being several reservations for the evening, we were able to sneak in a table with a 1.5 hour seating limit.

Photo of the front entrance (Source:https://bit.ly/3jAT3TXl)

The patio is private and serene. Tucked away from the street, they’ve done a great job of creating a little back-alley patio space. We were there quite early, but when the other tables began to fill up, there was plenty of space and privacy between each table.

The menu is small, but has something for everyone. They also have daily specials that looked equally delicious. However, we were there for the fried chicken so we decided to get the Fried Chicken Sandwich ($16) and the Southern Fried Chicken 1 Piece ($16). I also decided to try the Iced Tea ($3) and my husband ordered (happily!) a non-alcoholic Coors Edge. The server was very sweet in forewarning me that the Iced Tea was not going to be as sweet as I was perhaps used to, and she was right. While it was refreshing, I have quite the sweet tooth so I might try their lemonade next time.

The food was AMAZING!! The fried chicken was absolutely heavenly. I am not a huge fried chicken person as I usually find it very heavy and greasy. This chicken was the complete opposite. Breaded in what almost seems like panko-crumbs (? I’m not sure 100% on this but it had a very similar texture/taste) and the batter was delightfully seasoned. The chicken was moist and flavourful, and not in the least bit greasy.

The fried chicken sandwich is a chicken thigh, toped with lettuce, sweet mustard, creamy dill aioli sandwiched between a delicious fresh bun. It comes with kettle chips, with the option to upgrade to fries which we happily did.

The southern fried chicken meal is chicken thighs, accompanied with a roasted chicken gravy, house sweet pickles, mashed potatoes, and colonels’ slaw. Despite it being a hot July evening, the meal felt light. The chicken gravy was rich, but not suffocatingly so. Both my husband and I were partial to the friend chicken sandwich, and could have eaten another five.

We passed on dessert this time, but my ears always perk up at the mention of butter tarts so perhaps on our next visit I will investigate further… for science..

All in all an incredible dinner and worth the drive out of the city bubble to come visit. We finished off the evening with a walk along the Nith River, which is right across the street. I’m seriously tempted to grab fried chicken sandwiches take-out style and have a picnic along the river. They also do brunch! So needless to say we will be back for more.

New Hamburg river views

All in all, a must-visit place to visit if you’re in the mood for a delicious classic. Food was great, service was wonderful, and I can’t wait till our next visit!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Imperial Market & Eatery
https://www.imperialmarketeatery.ca/

2-60 Huron Street
New Hamburg, ON N3A 1J3

519-390-6000
info@imperialmarketeatery.ca

REGULAR HOURS Monday | closed
Tuesday – Thursday  | 11:30am – 8pm
Friday & Saturday | 11:30am – 9pm
Sunday | 10am – 7pm (brunch menu 10am – 3pm | dinner menu 3-7pm)

Fresh Pico de Gallo

There are few things in this world that are more refreshing than homemade Pico de Gallo. The crunch, the spice and the flavours come together to create the perfect addition to chips, tacos, or just stand-alone. Easy to throw together using ingredients you likely have on-hand, this recipe is a fool-proof choice for you next Taco Tuesday!

I like adding a couple cloves of garlic to mine as I am a garlic addict. However, traditionally Pico does not include it, so feel free to leave that out if you like!

Prep: 20 minutes

Total: 40 minutes

Ingredients

1 small-medium red onion, finely chopped
2-3 jalapeños*
2 limes, juiced
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
6 Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tsp. salt

* I use 3 jalapeños if I’ve bought them from a grocery store as I find them to be not as spicy. If I’ve grown them myself, or purchased them from a local source, then I use only two.

Directions

  1. Mix diced red onion, jalapeño peppers and lime juice in a bowl. Allow to rest for 5 minutes. ( I sometimes like to roll my limes out to really get the juices flowing)

2. Mix in Roma tomatoes, garlic, cilantro and salt. Allow to stand for at least 15 minutes. Enjoy!

Fresh, crunchy and delicious!

Aloe Plant Diagnostic

So I have this aloe plant, and it used to be very happy. But recently it’s been looking worse for wear.

You can see it’s had better days

So you can see that the leaves aren’t plump and juicy. Also there appears to be browning on the offshoots, and the lower leaves are totally dying.

I’m going to be re-potting it this weekend hopefully, so I will update this post when I do that. But after some research, there appears to be a couple of problems:

  1. It needs to be repotted in the appropriate soil. Cactus/succulent mix is what it needs, and I will need to check on the drainage situation as well.
  2. Light: We recently moved, so I’m not sure if its getting enough light. The light it receives is southern, but I’m not sure if its enough so time will tell I suppose. I’m also planning to move it outside once this yucky spring weather eases up, and I think that will make it happy.
  3. Brown and shrivelled leaves = thirsty plant: I guess I haven’t been watering it enough? If you insert your finger and inch deep into the soil and it’s dry, it’s time to water it.

That’s all I got for now! I will update later on to see how the repotting goes!

Lazy Girl Cheese Bread

There are a few foods that I could eat every day for the rest of my life, and cheese bread is definitely one of those. It’s got my two favourite things in it, carbs.. and cheese! You couldn’t ask for more!!

Navigating the grocery store has been really tough recently. I’m finding it stressful in general to visit, let alone struggling to find the ingredients I need to cook or bake with. I’ve especially had a tough time finding yeast to bake bread with, which is what inspired this recipe!

Since this recipe uses no yeast, the bread comes out with a more corn-bready texture, but its still delicious! We still use it for sandwiches, toast, ect. It’s also super versatile. The spices I added to it are how we like it, but feel free to add/remove whatever your family prefers!

Alright, enough babbling.. lets get to the good stuff!

Lazy Girl Cheese Bread

Prep: 15 minute
Cook: 35
Ready In: 50

Ingredients

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/8 cup white sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 egg, beaten
1 cup milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2-3 sliced and seeded jalapeños

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease 9×5 loaf pan.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, spices and cheese. In another bowl, whisk together egg, milk and oil. Remove seeds from both jalapeños. Dice one into small pieces, and cut other in circles.
  3. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture, and add diced jalapeños. Stir just until moistened. Pour batter into the prepared pan. Place the circular jalapeño slices atop the batter.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the loaf comes out clean.

Voila! So easy, pretty and delicious.

And that’s all there is to it! Such an easy bread recipe to make if you are running low on time or can’t find any yeast. Did you make it? Let me know what you think in the comments!

A girl, a dog, and mental health

When we first discussed getting a puppy, we were hesitant. The familiar arguments circled around us.. “It’s a lot of responsibility”.. “They’re expensive”… “We don’t have the space”… “You have to train it”.. We thought of every reason why we were not in the right spot in life to get a puppy. But then, during one of our casual sessions of looking at puppies online, we found one that called to us. So, somewhat impulsively, we decided to go for it.

And that’s how Turtle came to be.

Turtle is my best friend in the whole world. She is now two years old, and just as much as a monster as the first day we brought her home. She doesn’t realize it, but she helps keep me grounded everyday. Even before all of the COVID19 business, she played such an important role in my mental health. Now with me being stuck inside, unemployed, and scared about the future, she helping me stay grounded more than ever.

Her need for routine helps me keep a routine. I am one of those people who thrives on routine and a schedule. It could be the Capricorn in me, or that I’m just a nut. But I need routine to keep me balanced, grounded, and happy.

But, with COVID19, I am no longer working.. It would be so easy to fall into the trap of late nights, eating sporadically, and doing whole lot of nothing with my days. But that is where my dog comes in. For her, it’s just another day. Another day where she needs her morning walk, her breakfast, her evening walk, and lots of snuggles of course. She is unwavering with these needs, and she doesn’t understand that things are different right now. She has a set routine, and it needs to be met. This rigidness has helped me stick to somewhat normalcy. She wakes me up every morning. She gets me out of the house at least twice a day for (safe and socially distant) walks. Her feeding times help me stick to mine. Not to mention her boundless optimism, energy and love. In her world, nothing as changed, so we continue to carry on as normal.. something that we can find especially tough to do right now given these times of fear, anxiety and uncertainty.

Dogs are tough, and a lot of responsibility. But they also give back tenfolds in love and kindness. I have learned a lot from my dog, and I am especially grateful for her right now. I wish I could express to her all that she’s done for me.. But I guess in its place I’ll give her lots of cuddles and lovings instead.

Meet Turtle

Lemon Lentil Soup

In case you haven’t noticed, I am on this lemon kick. I can’t get enough lemon!

This recipe is one of my go-to’s when I am looking for something easy, healthy and filling. This recipe uses ingredients that you almost always have on hand! I always double this soup because the leftovers are just as delicious and great for school or work lunches!

Ingredients

  • 3 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 TBSP tomato paste
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper, or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. chili powder, or to taste
  • 4 cups vegetable broth (can use chicken if you prefer!)
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 2-3 carrots, diced
  • 2 TBSP lemon juice, or to taste
  • fresh cilantro, to taste
  • extra virgin olive oil for drizzling

Directions
1. Heat 3 TBSP. of olive oil in large pot over medium heat. Stir in onion and garlic and cook until onion is soft, about 7 minutes. Stir in tomato paste, cumin, kosher salt, black pepper, and 1/4 tsp. of chili powder. Cook and stir until spices are fragrant.

I aways love photographing the spices all together.. the colours just speak to me!

2. Stir in vegetable broth, lentils, and carrot. Bring to a boil over high heat, and then reduce heat to medium-low. Cover, and simmer until the lentils are soft, about 30 minutes.

3. Using an immersion blender, puree soup directly in pot. Make sure to not puree all the soup. Leave some chunky bits!

4. Stir in lemon juice and cilantro, and season to taste. Drizzle with olive oil to serve.

And thats all there is to it! Let me know how it turns out!

Recipe adapted from:
https://armagazine.com/34vSYtT