Welcome to BoBo Feed

BoBo is a French expression, short for Bourgeois Bohème, and it pretty much describes who we are.

Bobo Feed will be sharing things that inspire us or please us-
from the worlds of architecture & design, fashion & styling, food and drink, travel, urban living, whatever...

We hope you enjoy.


Friday, September 30, 2011

friday frequencies- celtic memories

So, we're approaching our annual Autumn vacation time and a recent episode of "Life Is A Highway" on CBC got us thinking back to a stupendous trip we took to Nova Scotia in 2004. Our second and final week was spent on the road, culminating in a few days on Cape Breton Island, and it was a life altering experience! The annual Celtic Colours festival was in full swing, and although we were unable to partake in any of the actual events, the passion was in the air everywhere we went. So, in tribute to the indomitable spirit of all Cape Bretoners, on whatever shore you may have landed, here are a couple of our favourite tunes to get us into the weekend. May you be lucky enough to attend a raucous ceilidh tonight!!

Up first, Ashley MacIsaac with Mary Jane Lamond workin' Sleepy Maggie. After that, the Rankins performing their iconic "Fare Thee Well"

Have a "reel"-y fantastic weekend!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Seen...the diminutive guard dog

This little guy was seen outside the door of a storefront in one of those bleak suburban business parks. Wonder what his story is?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Seen...Official Notice

 ...in a Kensington Market laneway.

Friday, September 23, 2011

friday frequencies- Koop takes the time to take 5

This jazzy, loungy piece caught our ears a while back. It's from a Swedish duo called Koop, who apparently painfully construct each song using thousands of clips from existing records. We think we hear a little Dave Brubeck peeking out. We like it's laid back vibe.... perfect for coasting through a Friday afternoon!
Have a great weekend everybody!!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Agua de Jamaica

One of our regular lunchspots here in Toronto is Taqueria El Trompo in Kensington Market. Sometime between that original post, when we were ordering Ginger Ales with our tacos, and now we discovered the pleasures of Agua Fresca de Jamaica (or Jamaica Tea). Now before you run out and order something that sounds like the Caribbean nation, keep in mind that this is a Mexican drink so you've got to soften that J and pronounce each vowel individually. It sounds something like ha-ma-EE-ca. Jamaica is the Spanish word for hibiscus so, as you might expect, the beverage is an infusion of the dried petals of the hibiscus flower.
We pick ours up in bulk at one of the Latin food stores in Kensington, but variations of this beverage are so widely consumed around the globe that it should be pretty easy to find. Check your local health food store if you can't find it elsewhere. If you want a packaged variety, it will be labelled Flor de Jamaica.

This is a fantastic summer cooler! On its own it's very tart, and we're pretty partial to it that way. At El Trompo, though, it comes well sweetened- not as sweet as a soft drink, but enough that the sour edge is gone. We usually dissolve a little sugar into ours, but we find the tangy-ness helps make it a lot more refreshing on a hot summer day. We brew up enough to fill a two litre juice container & keep it on the door of the fridge. It has become a household staple. Here's a good recipe. (Although we'd suggest you start first with very little sweetener then add more to suit your personal taste)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Looking Up...on Yonge Street

 ...or is that "Looking Down"?

Friday, September 16, 2011

friday frequencies- 3 x Zero 7

There was a time, just slightly before the dawn of iTunes, when we came to discover a musical duo called Zero 7. Originally it was hard to tell exactly who or what they were- a band? DJ's? In fact, they turned out to be a pair of guys who had not only a strong recording engineering and production side, but were great songwriters as well. And they had a knack for putting together ensembles of musical talent to help them create their luscious albums. We came pretty close to wearing out a couple of their CD's. 

Here's a trio of our favourites to send you into the weekend. Enjoy!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Nigella Lawson, Earth Berm Markets, Jackie Kennedy Pillbox Hat, Tickling

Know what a keyword is? Every time you type a series of words into a search engine window, you've given that engine the key words you want it to use in its search. How the search engine goes about sifting through the billions of words out there on the net is best left to others to explain. Suffice it to say that some search engines are better than others, and even the best, despite their successes, will still tend to present you with a lot of content that's irrelevant to your search.

On the other side of the equation, if you're a blogger your interests are served by frequently using words that are searched most often by folks who are interested in what you write about. To be honest, we're pretty bad at this. There are those that would tell us that our post titles widely miss the mark when it comes to being obvious hits for search engines. We prefer to use titles that are pretty relevant to the post, or are hopefully going to catch your eye, as opposed to those of all the web crawlers.

We have a feature installed on Bobofeed called Google Analytics. It provides us with data on the number of visits to the blog, the countries of origin of that traffic, whether our visitors were referrals (ie from our Facebook page), direct links such as those of you who look us up by yourselves, and traffic driven to the site by key words.

It's fascinating stuff. Rest assured, your visits are private- we have no way of knowing exactly who stopped by, but we do know that in the past 30 days we've had over 240 visits from 25 different cities within Canada, amongst Americans we're most popular in California, and that our #4 and #5 countries for visitors are Brazil and Argentina. Visitors have come from more than 50 countries across the globe.

And if we start looking at the key words that brought people to Bobofeed, (often to end only in disappointment, we presume, based on some of the words searched!) the results can be hilarious. We've had several searches looking for content about earth berms and earth berm markets. (What the heck is an earth berm market? Maybe we should Google it!) OK, Bobo Areas of Paris is pretty on the mark, even Hot Boots if you consider that we've posted about sexy footware. Jackie Kennedy Pillbox Hat Inauguration, and a half dozen variations on that theme, seems to also be popular.

But our all time favourites are:
  • foot tickling fetish provider brooklyn (bravo!- very focused search, although we're not sure how we ended up a hit!)
  • tickling newark (OK, this searcher was obviously willing to travel around greater New York to scratch that itch)
  • Nigella Lawson
  • Nigella Lawson Cardigan
  • Nigella Lawson Sweater
  • Nigella Lawson Hips,    and of course, the inevitable after that foreplay,
  • Nigella Lawson Sex
Of course there is good reason that Ms. Lawson garnered hits at Bobofeed- you may recall that we cooked up a batch of her Butternut Squash Curry last year. And so to please her many fans, and hopefully to make a few new friends here at the blog, especially those searching the net for, uhmm, "culinary indulgence", we present a little more Nigella:
 Happy Googling!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Seen- sign on the door...

 ...of our local video shop

Friday, September 9, 2011

friday frequencies- bacharach 1

 So who's your favourite- Dionne or Aretha?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

In Support of Bread AND Circuses...

Even in these very challenging times of municipal fiscal restraint we continue to believe that for any city to thrive, the arts and culture must also flourish. This is why our collective hearts burst with pride at the beauty that is the latest to open in the new East Bayfront area.

After the success, albeit a somewhat misunderstood and under-appreciated one, of the "Wave Decks" east of Spadina on Queen's Quay....
...what a breath of fresh air it was to find this glorious little "Beach" on a bright sunny week-day morning.

In two great examples of combining public infrastructure with enlightened design, Torontonians are now benefiting from improvements to waterfront public spaces and cleaner waste water entering the harbour while simultaneously enjoying a couple of additional parks.

"Sugar Beach" and the new beautifully finished Sherbourne Commons (also known less poetically as the  Sherbourne Storm Water Treatment Facility) have been a joy to discover. Combining function and beauty has never looked so effortless. And as they say, that is a very good thing...

Of course, there are the naysayers: "What good is that? We can't swim there, why do they call it a beach?", "How much did that cost? Couldn't we have used that money to combat the variety of ills this city already has?" "What are they actually doing down there on the waterfront? So much money, and nothing's happening"...

Some of these questions are worthy of discussion, and in fact it can be demonstrated that the works will pay for themselves in added value, but in its "nickel and dime" mentality all of this misses the bigger point:

A city is more than cheque books and balance sheets. In order to thrive it has to engage, support, and foster pride of place within it's citizens. Although a balanced city budget is commendable, it alone will not contribute to residents' quality of life, nor attract the bright minds and 21st Century employers that will power the city's economy into the future.

Cities are not bucolic landscapes. They are creations of human expedience. People gather because doing so is mutually beneficial.  And yet we are all genetically programmed to appreciate nature and beauty. So over the centuries mankind has developed ways to make their communal living spaces more beautiful, from parks to boulevards to the buildings that provide our shelter. Human beings are also inherently curious & creative, so naturally there are those among us who seek to express new ideas, including new ideas about what is beautiful.

The R.O.M. Chin Crystal is the perfect example of a new idea that, so far, few of us appreciate or understand. What it has brought us, though, is discussion and engagement, and this is what ultimately powers cities. IDEAS! The Chin Crystal is good for Toronto, even if we all have agreed to disagree.

Currently Winnipeg is going through what one might call somewhat of a civic renaissance. Why? They have just gotten their beloved NHL franchise back and The Bombers are super hot this season. There's a flurry of new construction, including the new Canadian Museum for Human Rights All this brings smiles and pride to the city, and when you feel good it's not long before those around you feel it as well. When you feel good you also feel more confidant, which if our friends in Winnipeg will forgive the winter analogy, "has a snowball effect. Pride equals confidence. Confidence equals investment. What every city needs!

Remember when our beloved Jays won the World series? TWICE!! What a feeling!! It's not all about sports teams, though that seems to reach the most people, but architecture, design, art or an incredible stage production can have just as much, if not more, "thrill factor".
Because cities are the centres of expedience that they are, the instillation of civic pride usually requires a little additional investment. Could we imagine that iconic symbol of Toronto, new City Hall, ever being built in these current tumultuous financial times? Not to mention it's green roof! Or Ontario Place, once a symbol of hope in the dreary "waspishness" that Toronto was in the early 70's? There was vision then. Civic Pride. Yes we paid a little more for it, but we also saw beauty flourish for all to enjoy, and these civic works helped us in becoming the great metropolis we are today.
...Or going even further back, how about the Harris water filtration plant in The Beaches? Or the Prince Edward Viaduct over the Don Valley? Had civic leaders of the past not seen the merit in investing a little more up front in major (& even minor) public works, so that they would become sources of civic pride, we would certainly not have any more money in our pockets today, but we would all be poorer for the short- sightedness.

Some time ago our forefathers agreed that by taxing ourselves and pooling the resources we could advance society for the benefit of all. Today we take for granted all that taxes do for us. We all want to pay less of them, but the reality is we must sacrifice (read pay taxes) for the things we want and continue to demand more of. Roads, bridges, social housing, libraries, public transit...the list goes on and on. The infrastructure of our cities is in need of a major overhaul, but since the mantra of lower taxes became the norm, we've even stopped maintaining what we have, let alone creating new!
We don't have answers as to how to solve all of our fiscal woes (OK, we have a few ideas, but...). We're simply here to argue that continued public investment in our communities is necessary, in many cases urgently so, and that a little more up front today will pay off in spades down the road. We're not even sure that the beautiful new waterfront infrastructure cost any more than rock bottom basic engineering would have, but we are sure that there was an added investment in nourishment of the human spirit, and for that we are grateful.

The Roman Emperors did it out of self preservation, but they were smart enough to realize that grouping a lot of people together in a city, if efficient, was stressful, and that the citizens needed to have their minds stimulated. In our cheek to jowl urban existence we not only need to be fed, but to be entertained. We're arguing for a higher form of mental engagement than gladiator rings (some of our current city councilors may disagree, however!), but we nonetheless firmly believe that we need investment in both bread AND circuses.

What do you think?

Monday, September 5, 2011

Fancy Boy Dinner- Roasted Halibut from The Balthazar Cookbook

The Balthazar Cookbook, from the folks who founded the New York restaurant of the same name, is one of our favourites. The recipes are not overly demanding and they are very reliable. We love this roasted halibut dinner- delicious fresh fish; an earthy base (literally, a base) provided by the roasted potatoes, and a beautifully balanced topping of chopped fresh tomatoes punched up with "pickled" shallots, and a satisfying crunch of toasted sliced almonds.
One thing about this volume (which we've noticed before in other cookbooks from the kitchens of restaurants) is that they often rely on the use of several basic "house recipes", which they group together in a section at the end of the cookbook. This can create a hazard for the unsuspecting or unprepared cook- the shock of realizing after you've begun preparations at 9:00PM that the little confit on page 242 requires 45 minutes on the stove top! Well, we confess to having taken a few time-saving shortcuts last evening, and we don't think the results were diminished in any way. Firstly and foremost, we did not bake the potatoes in the oven. We gave them a short steam, then finished them of in a sautée pan. Being farm-fresh fingerlings, they were absolutely delicious. Secondly, we did not spend 45 minutes gently reducing our sweet and sour shallot mixture- more like 15 minutes in a larger diameter saucepan. And finally, we never remove the skins from our tomatoes. If someone wants to do that for us when we're paying for dinner, then go ahead, knock yourselves out! But chez nous, we always eat our tomato skins!
We paired our dinner with a Niagara white from Malivoire. The "Guilty Men" of the label refers to the fact that the winemakers once vowed to never produce a blended bottle, but are now guilty of recanting and doing just that. This is a nice blend of Reisling, Sauvignon Blanc, and Chardonnay. The Riesling allowed this wine to pair well with the sweet and sour shallots, we thought.

So here it is- simplicity on a plate, really. Golden browned potatoes, crushed rather than mashed, the luscious roasted halibut, topped with fresh tomatoes from the "balcony farm" which have been "infused" with a confit of sweet and sour chopped shallots (simmered in sherry vinegar and white and brown sugars long enough for it to reduce to a syrup), all sprinkled with toasted sliced almonds and fresh Italian parsley.

Friday, September 2, 2011

friday frequencies- There's Somethin' Happenin' Here...

Our reactions against recent political activities in our neck of the woods have been causing us flashbacks to our youth. Here's a classic from our library:

Have a peaceful long weekend, man!