Jul
21

I grew up with a Baskin-Robbins location a few blocks from my middle school and high school. I have many memories of grabbing a Peanut Butter ‘n Chocolate ice cream cone during a “spare” with my childhood best friend who also shared the same excitement for ice cream.

baskin - store

Decades later, I still love Baskin-Robbins.  I recently read their 2016 National Ice Cream Month survey that states, four in ten Canadians enjoy ice cream at least once per week. I’m one of those four!!

Other findings from the study: most Canadians prefer their ice cream served in a cone – two-thirds (65 per cent) of them to be exact – with a cup or waffle bowl trailing closely behind (55 per cent) and an ice cream sundae coming in third (47 per cent).

Ice cream lovers (like me) can now  look forward to enjoying their favourite Baskin-Robbins ice cream flavours at home with the launch of #Celebrate 31, a promotion available at participating Baskin-Robbins shops across Canada on July 31. On that day, guests can take home their favourite flavours and receive 31 per cent off any Grab ‘N Go Pre-Pack Ice Cream*. The special offer will be available on the 31st day of July, August, October and December in 2016.

baskin - prepak

If you are wondering why the promotion offers 31 per cent  off…here’s your answer: “The number 31 represents history and flavour variety for our brand, which offers a different flavour of ice cream for every day of the month. Plus its’ a great way to celebrate  National Ice Cream Month!

Baskin-Robbins pre-pack flavours include a variety of favourites and classics like Mint Chocolate Chip, Gold Medal Ribbon® and Pralines ‘n Cream. Guests also may enjoy the July Flavour of the Month, BeaverTails® Pastry, where 10 cents from every BeaverTails® Pastry ice cream scoop sold this month will be donated to SickKids Foundation.

baskin - beavertails

Once again, the BeaverTails Pastry ice cream hits home with me, as I grew up in Ottawa eating BeaverTails.

Happy National Ice Cream Month Everyone!

For more information:

Website: www.BaskinRobbins.ca

Twitter/Instagram: @BaskinRobbinsCa

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BaskinRobbinsCanada/

Disclosure: I was compensated for this blog post however all opinions are my own.

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Jul
18

Camping: Year 2


I’m new to the world of camping. Last year, we tried it (read more by clicking here) and decided that we should go camping again seeing as we had invested in all the equipment.

I found myself asking more experienced friends for their favourite campground that was close to Toronto and Sibbald Provincial Park kept coming up in conversation.

Therefore I picked up the phone and dialled 1-888-668-7275  and booked the last camp site available on July 16/17 that had an electrical outlet. FYI –  we booked campsite 902 that was close to three things: the store, the beach, the comfort station

The only reason I use this outlet is to charge my phone. Is that bad? We didn’t use it to blow up the air mattress this year and just brought yoga mats instead. Not sure if this was the wisest move. LOL

camping - outlet

Our Coleman tent that was purchased at Canadian Tire last year, still goes up in 10 minutes. It’s brilliant. I will admit that I’m not putting it up but I believe even I(who has “manual phobia”) would be able to do it.

camping - tent

Our meals this year were pretty basic – dinner consisted of salad, hot dogs and smores and for breakfast I had fried eggs and salami.

camping - eggs

As for my thoughts about Sibbald Provincial Park:

Pros

-it’s close to Toronto i.e. 90 minutes from downtown

-it has a lovely beach thats ideal for families with young kids i.e. its shallow

Cons:

– It’s one busy park. I mean really busy.

I was smart and returned to the beach when it was pretty empty so I could capture this photo at sunset.

camping - sunset

Looking forward to my blog post next year: Camping: Year 3. Wonder which park we will go to? Time will tell.

Hope everyone is having a wonderful summer!

 

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Jul
16

Before I go camping, I had two things to accomplish:

1.Visit Hale Coffee (33 Campbell Ave) to help them celebrate their opening and to grab a free coffee which they are offering all day on July 16th. I’m in love with their space and their coffee these days.

hale - coffee

2. Blog about the Honda Indy which is taking place this weekend July 15-17) at Exhibition Place. I went for my first time last year and I was mesmerized by the whole scene. ..the cars, the complexity of every part, the massive tires, the speed, the “team work” that is involved etc.

I had the chance to walk around and get pretty close to these cars, the parts, and even a famous driver race driver (Josef Winegarten)

Here’s a few photos to inspire you to go!!

honda - car

honda - racer2

honda - part

Have a great weekend.

PS next weekend is the Rogers Cup (July 23-31). This will be quite the tournament for Milos Raonic  where he will surely receive a warm homecoming from his Canadian fans. Murray is set to return to Rogers Cup as well, as defending champion.

Next weekend is also the Toronto Festival of Beer! (July 22-24) Oh my…so much going on and so little time!

 

 

 

 

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Jul
14

Verkspace is the newest co-working space that is located in the Richmond and Sherborne area.

Derived from Verk, the Icelandic word for labour, Verkspace is a collective work hub that offers a world class office space for entrepreneurs, freelancers and makers and shakers alike.

Seeing as I’m a sales rep and my office is my beloved Versa, I was all too happy to book a desk so I could make phone calls, write some emails and feel more connected.

So I went from this:

verk - vicky

To this:

verk - coffee2

It was such a pleasure to sit at a desk and do some work vs sitting in my car writing emails on my iPhone and/or making phone calls from my car.

The space features a custom-designed, contemporary office including lounges and board rooms, with a range of flexible membership packages. I adored the space the minute I walked in.

verk - space more

See what I mean?

verk - space

This type of co-working space is perfect for sales reps, consultants, real estate professionals, and anyone who is working out of a home office!!

For more information about rates and packages, please click here!

Verkspace …..32 Britain Street. Suite 100, Toronto, ON, M5A 1R6

Have a wonderful weekend!

 

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Jul
13

I read a blog post this week from Glimmer Life and had a good chuckle when I read the following line:  “I basically designed my whole house around inspirational pics on Pinterest”. I left a comment on her facebook page that my entire menu is curated from Pinterest. Seriously.

Here’s a few recipes I tried last week that I found on Pinterest!

Pesto Salmon and Italian Vegetables in Foil Packets (click here for the original recipe by www.cookingclassy.com

1 lb of trimmed and washed Green Beans

4 pieces of Salmon

Pesto (I made my own – click here for an easy recipe)

Directions:

1. Cut tin foil into 4 large squares.

2. Take a handful of green beans and place it in the middle of the square.

3. Take the salmon and place it on top of the green beans.

3. Spread the pesto over the salmon.

4. Wrap the packet up and bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes

FINAL

dinner - salmon

Zucchini Boats ..the original recipe by www.domesticsuperhero.com can be found here). please note: I improvised a lot!

1. Take 4 zucchinis and scoop out the inside to make a “boat”

2. Spread some pizza sauce in the “boat”

3. Sprinkle with shredded cheese and oregano.

Bingo – you have a side dish for the salmon.

FINAL RESULT

dinner - zucchini

As for dessert….Apple Pie Bites:

It really was a simple recipe (um ….3 ingredients)  but I messed up the directions and it looked NOTHING like it was suppose to. However my guests did not notice as they didn’t see the original recipe.

The original recipe from www.cakescottage.com can be found here . (please click on the link so you can see what it was SUPPOSE to look like)
dinner - dessert
 Happy Cooking!

 

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Jul
11

Seeing as I did a blog post about eating my way thru Toronto, I thought it would only be fair to write a blog post about the variety of drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) that I’ve discovered in the last few months.

1. SoCIAL Lite

This new drink is right up my alley as it’s the first ever ready-to-drink sparkling vodka cocktail that has no sugar, no sweetener and no artificial ingredients. It’s made with a blend of premium Canadian vodka, soda and 100% Natural Flavours. What’s most impressive, each 355mL can is a mere 80 calories and is gluten-free. Hello Summer!

I love the story behind the drink: Theses entrepreneurs wanted to drink on a Saturday night and still be able to run on Sunday mornings.

drnking - sociallite

2. Root Beer is the latest trend with alcoholic drinks these days and finally I scored these two products at the LCBO on Yonge Street/Summerhill. The brand on the left (Crazy Uncle) disappeared from the fridge before I got a chance to try it, and the brand on the right (Dusty Boots) is Root Beer with Beer and produced by Crazy Beard Brewing Co. right here in Toronto. I tried the Dusty Boots and I liked it…A LOT. Then again I’m a root beer fan so I was pretty sure I was going to like it. Read more about the guys behind Crazy Beard Brewing Co. here!

drinking - hard root beer

3. Fresh – This apple glow ginger is beyond refreshing. Had a sample of it at an event and will certainly be buying this in the future.

eating - apple ginger glow

4. The Iced Aroma or Lemon Mint at Aroma Espresso Bar is another summer time favourite.

drinks - aroma

Aroma Espresso Bar is also running a cool summer time contest (with Simon & Schuster Canada) where you can win free coffee for a year as well as some great books. Enter soon as the contest closes July 15th … K? Ps the name of the contest is Read, Chill, Repeat – LOVE IT.

drink - aroma contest

6; Smoothies!

This weekend I enjoyed the Wimbledon finals while sipping Smoothies made with Genuine Health Fermented Greek Yogurt Protein +. This Canadian product has no GMO, vegan, soy and gluten free.

drinks - protein

I grabbed some Almond Milk Breeze and some berries – added the Fermented Greek Yogurt Proteins+ and before you know it, I had a satisfying Smoothie. I’m also a fan of the Fermented Greek yogurt proteins+ Cherry Almond Vanilla bar. Check out all their products here.

drinks - smoothie

Here’s to Staying Hydrated over the Summer!!

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Jul
07

A year ago today, I started working as a Territory Sales Manager for St.-Albert Cheese Co-op. It’s been a great year introducing this brand to retailers as well as restaurants throughout the GTA.

My history with this Cheese Co-op goes back to my childhood, as my dad use to buy their famous curds regularly when I was a kid growing up in Ottawa.

FYI – In Ottawa these curds are EVERY where. In Toronto, you can find these amazing curds at Longos, Metro and Food Basics!

Many people say to me: “What do I do with them?” or “I don’t have a deep fryer to make poutine”. Well here’s a few ideas how to enjoy St.-Albert curds!

My favourite way to enjoy curds is simply snack on them right out of the bag.

st albert - bags

However I’ve also added them on roasted potatoes with gravy (my version of a poutine)

st albert - potatoes

I’ve also added them to my omelette with asparagus.

st albert - eggs

One night, I simply added these delicious curds to a plate of steaming spinach. Add a bit of pepper and dig in!!

st albert - spinach

I hope you get a chance to pick up a bag of St.-Albert curds one day soon. You won’t be disappointed. Promise.

For more information:

Website: http://fromagestalbert.com/?lang=en

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FromagerieStAlbert/

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Jul
05

As a territory manager for St.- Albert Cheese, I have the opportunity to visit restaurants and retail stores as well.

Lately I’ve visited a few restaurants that I would like to share:

1. Frankie Fettuccini Food Truck Inc.: I have a foodie friend who posted his favourite dish from Frankie Fettuccini on facebook, and of course I ran to Mississauga quicker than you could say “fettuccini”. I inhaled this delicious pasta dish however next time I’m ordering their famous Ossobuco Gnocchi Poutine.

eating - frankie

2.. Rudy Restaurant: (619 College St). No joke… this hamburger made my day!!

eating - rudy

3. Junked Food Co: (1256 Dundas St. W) I discovered them at the Mac and Cheese Festival when they were serving their Smash Bag – Lettuce, Tomato, Onion, Cheddar Cheese, Black Olives, Jalapeño, Sour Cream and Chili sauce. All piled in a bag of Doritos. Love their creativity!!

eating - junked

4. Harbord Bakery: (115 Harbord St). These little donut holes have a custard in them (one is plain and the other is mocha). How could I resist?

eating - harbord bakery

5. LBS. (100 Yonge St). LBS means Lobster, Burgers and Salads, which is exactly what you will find at this beautiful restaurant that opened a few weeks ago. Love the concept that everything is $22. I ordered a Lobster Salad and those huge chunks of lobster did not disappoint.

eating - LBS

Other restaurants that should be on your radar:

1. Magic Noodle: (93 Harbord St) In the winter I head there for their soup but now that it’s hot, I decided to check out a few of their cold appetizers. This particular simple dish of celery, carrots and peanuts won me over. PS Magic Noodle has just celebrated their 3rd anniversary!!

eating - magic

2. Death in Venice: (536 Queen St. W) This new gelato company has my full attention as I’m a flavour freak and their flavours are INCREDIBLY UNIQUE…for example; Peanut Butter and Croissant, Chocolate Mole, Bourbon and Smoke etc. I dropped by Fiesta Farms to buy a pint (or two) and as you can see from the photo…I’m not the only one who has discovered them.

eating - death in venice

Happy Eating!!

PS Next blog post: What I’m Drinking. Stay tuned.

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Jul
03

Long weekends are meant as an opportunity for a quick getaway (in my humble opinion. Seeing as I didn’t visit Niagara on- the-Lake last year, I decided that it would be an ideal destination.

We broke up the trip by stopping to pick our own cherries at Vanderburgh Farms (5511 Greenland, Beamsville, ON).It was on my bucket list and now I can cross it off! I have to say, the cherries were plentiful and delicious too. NOTE: the season is something like 3 weeks so don’t go in August!!

niagara - cherries

We headed into Niagara-on- the- Lake and got there just in time for the Canada Day parade…which is small. I mean really small. It consists of a marching band, a big cake and politicians. That’t it. But we got our flags and we were a happy bunch.

niagara - family

Then we visiting friends who made the most incredible strawberry ice-cream with a balsamic glaze. The best part of this ice cream was that it was made with a sugar alternative (that I must get my hands on).

niagara - ice cream

On Saturday morning, we headed right to Balzac’s and then roamed around the park to soak in the beautiful scenery.

niagara  - balzacs

Of course, I stumbled upon the Exchange Brewery which is a new brewery and tasting room. I couldn’t resist and plunked myself down at the bar for a quick tasting.

niagara - beer

On our way out of Niagara -on -the 0Lake, we stopped at Stratus Vineyards. Sadly I never have time for a tasting but snapped a few photos of their gorgeous space. One day I will make it a point to do more wine tastings in Niagara on the Lake. One day!!

niagara - stratus

Also stopped at The Pie Plate. Snapped up a savoury tart to take home but wish we would have had time to eat lunch on the premise. Again – One Day!!

niagara - pie plate

There’s no shortage of things to do in Niagara- on -the -Lake. Usually I have time to drop into the Pillar and Post for a spa treatment and to enjoy their outdoor pool (the only hotel that has an outdoor pool in Niagara-on the -Lake #justsayin’) – but there was just not enough time!!

I guess this means that I should visit again and stay for two nights!! One day it will sink in, that going there for one night is nice but one more night would do the trick.

Hope you had a wonderful long weekend too!!

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Jun
28

I recently organized a media dinner for Rashers as they opened up a second location on Ossington.

I’ve probably organized 10 media dinners over the last few years but this event was particularly special.

Here’s my tips on how to put on a great media dinner:

1. Include as much info in the invitation as possible: dress code? start time?, finish time?, is it a sit down meal or just passed appetizers? can extra guests be accommodated? hashtags for the evening? twitter/instagram handles? is parking available etc?!

2. Keep it small. This event was limited to 12 food bloggers and it was just the perfect size.

rashers - group

3. It makes a huge difference if the restaurant can put up a sign: “Sorry we are closed for a private event this evening”.

4. Stick to the schedule. Most bloggers have day jobs and have commutes to get home! The media dinner at Rashers ended in just over and hour and everyone was really really happy about that.

5. Welcome Bloggers. It’s a nice touch.

rashers - sign

6. Allow bloggers to take photos of the food before it’s served so then everyone can enjoy their meal. Signs in front  of each dish allow the bloggers to go home and remember what the photo was!

rashers - bacon caesar

7. Hand out name tags. I’m a huge fan of name tags as I’m having a hard time remembering everyone I meet at different events!!

8. Try to reach out to bloggers before the event on social media channels and retweet their blog posts!!

9. Include a gift card for the blogger to return to your restaurant another time in the gift bag. Don’t forget to include a menu in the gift bag and a business card with all the contact info for the restaurant.

10. Make sure you have enough staff. This will ensure that the event runs in a smooth fashion and ends on time.

Seriously the event at Rashers did all of the above and I walked away from the event beaming.

Oh ya – it helped that my belly was full of bacon goodness as well.

For more information:

www.rashers.ca

Address: 182 Ossington and 948 Queen St. East

Twitter/Instagram: RashersTO

Facebook: www.https://www.facebook.com/RashersInc/

Disclosure: Rashers was a client however all my opinions are my own.

 

 

 

 

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