Dec
12

Lately I’ve been going to yoga every Monday night at The Rock Store.  However I received an invitation to attend a Chocolate Cocktail event at Cafe CanCan (89 Harbord St) and it was no brainer to skip yoga that night.

Each cocktail featured Green & Black’s premium chocolate and I loved each one. It would actually be difficult for me to pick a favourite!!

These  unique chocolate cocktails are being served at both Cafe CanCan and PianoPiano (89 Harbord St) for a limited time only!! ( from Dec 5-21, 2017).

However if you would like to make one of these cocktails at home, here’s the recipe for the “Highland Holiday” courtesy of Chef Victor Barry for Green & Black’s.

Ingredients (serves 15 cocktails)

200 g (2 bars) Green & Black’s Dark Chocolate

1 Tbsp. (15mL) heavy or whipping cream (35%)

1/4 oz. (7.5mL) Scotch whisky (peated)
1-1/2 oz. (45mL) Scotch whisky (unpeated)

1/4 oz. (7.5mL) Galliano 1/2 oz. (15mL) simple syrup

1 Egg
3 dashes bitters
1 whole nutmeg, for garnish

1 orange zest, for garnish

Directions

Melt chocolate in a mixing bowl over a pot of boiling water, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Whisk in cream and chill. Once cooled, gently whisk soft peaks are formed.

Pour the peated Scotch whisky into a snifter glass. Swirl glass quickly so whisky splashes around the inside of the glass. Tip the glass so whisky reaches the rim then slowly turn to thoroughly coat the inside of the glass. Discard excess rinse.

In cocktail shaker, combine the unpeated Scotch whisky, Galliano, syrup, cream, egg and bitters and shake with ice. Strain into Scotch whisky-rinsed glass.

Spoon whipped cream over liquid. Using a fine grater or nutmeg rasp, garnish with nutmeg.

Using a citrus zester, remove a strip of orange peel, taking care to remove just the coloured peel and not the bitter white membrane. Express oils from the peel by holding it with both hands over the whipped cream and twist. Place peel on top of whipped cream for extra garnish.

Now if you don’t want to go out for chocolate cocktails or serving cocktails at home., please consider giving Green & Black’s as a gift during the holiday season.
These bars make an excellent sweet stocking stuffer, or tie an assortment together with a ribbon for a unique hostess gift. Bars are available in the following flavours:

White, Dark, White Chocolate, Burnt Toffee, Dark Chocolate, 70% Dark Chocolate
Milk, Ginger Dark Chocolate, Milk Chocolate, 85% Dark Chocolate, Butterscotch Milk Chocolate, Hazelnut and Currant Dark Chocolate, Almond Milk Chocolate, Sea Salt Milk Chocolate

CHEERS!!
For more information:

Website: Green & Black’s https://www.greenandblacks.co.uk

Website; Cafe CanCan https://www.cafecancan.com

Website: PianoPiano http://www.pianopianotherestaurant.com

 

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Dec
10

I’ve got a confession to make. See this track? See this pool? Sadly whenever I need to count laps I’m simply UNABLE to keep track. Each time I get out there I really do try and each time I fail. 

However, EPSON has solved my problems.  They’ve  introduced a line of watches (5 models to be exact) that help me out with this problem … and more! There’s 2 GPS Running Watches and 3 Multisport watches that were launched in early November and I was lucky enough to get a sneak peak.

Specifically the watch that I want to blog about today is the EPSON ProSense 307. Here’s why this watch is so amazing:

-Accurate GPS and Heart Rate

Multisport functions: 1. swim (pool or open water) 2. run (outdoor or indoor), 3. bike (outdoor or indoor).

-EasyView Display (no glare) and comfy silicon wrist band.

-Easy to use 5 button design and dedicated back button.

Up to 24 hour GPS Battery life (very cool feature) AND Activity Tracking (5 to 7 days) AND Watch Mode (30 Days). 

This brilliant watch also features, VO2 Max Recovery Time and Training Effect Estimates, Music Control, Interval Training, Workout Alerts, Alarm Clock and Waypoint Navigation.

Plus there’s an app for automatic data upload that goes directly to all your personal devices.

Seriously, this watch has it all!!

If you don’t think you need all these features, there are different watches at a variety of price points.  Please consider looking at the entire range of EPSON watches which range in price from around $129 to $539. The difference in price reflects the difference in features and battery range however all of them are waterproof and have the same highly accurate components.

I was all to happy to give this watch to my boyfriend on the day of his first 5 km race. He wore it with pride and he enjoyed checking out all the functions. Not to mention his time for the race was a personal best. I’d like to think it had something to do with the watch!!

For further information:

Website: www.epson.ca

Twitter/Instagram:

Disclosure: I was provided with a EPSON 307, however all opinions are my own.

 

 

 

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Dec
06

Pom’P It Up!!


A few weeks ago I was invited to a pretty cool media event that included both healthy food and a wonderful workout. What a great combo!!

We got POM’ped up with POM Wonderful at a unique venue called Pursuit OCR Gym (444 Dufferin St).

The obstacle course at this gym was something I’ve never seen before and everyone was pumped to check it out.

See what I mean?

We started off with a warm up before challenging ourselves with this workout!

Then we were invited to cool down and enjoy a healthy POM Wonderful smoothie. Here’s the recipe so you can make one at home too!

Pomegranate Tropical Smoothie (serves 2)

3/4 cup of POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice

1 cup of frozen pineapple chunks

1 whole orange peeled

1/3 cup of coconut milk

1 tablespoon of flaxseed

POM POM Fresh Arils for garnish.

Directions: In a blender combine all ingredients until smooth.

Now for some fun facts about POM Wonderful!

  •  Only premium POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice from concentrate has the juice of four whole pomegranates in every 473mL bottle.
  •   There are no preservatives, fillers or sugar added. The naturally occurring sugar in the fruit provides a source of energy (31 g per 236 ml).
  •   Pomegranates are nutritious fruit which can be part of a healthy diet, offering fiber and Vitamin C.
  •   POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice from concentrate has 700mg of polyphenols per 236 ml serving. Polyphenols are phytonutrients found in plants.
  •   Drinking 2 36mL of juice provides a good source of potassium
  •   POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice from concentrate is 100% juice, and that means half a cup is a serving of fruit towards the 7-10 servings a day recommended for adults. (Canada’s Food Guide1).

With nearly 9,000 acres of orchards in Central California, POM Wonderful is the largest grower and producer of fresh pomegranates and pomegranate juice in the United States.

POM Wonderful grows and handpicks and juices its own pomegranates. By managing the entire production process from tree to table, we guarantee that our fresh pomegranates, fresh arils and 100% pomegranate juice come from only one source – 100% California-grown POM® Wonderful pomegranates.

About POM Wonderful….

For more information:

Website: http://pomwonderful.ca

Instagram/Twitter: @pomwonderful

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

 

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Dec
04

I’ve made a traditional chocolate pudding before (see link here) but lately I’ve been noticing a lot of non traditional recipes. For example, puddings that are vegan and involve an avocado!!

Please keep reading…LOL .

The best part of this recipe is that it involves FOUR ingredients and requires no cooking. Seriously it could not get easier.  The first time I made it, I didn’t measure anything (typical Vicky move) but the second time around I took the time to measure the ingredients so I could blog about it (hooray).

So here’s what you need:

Chocolate Avocado Pudding (original recipe by momwhoruns however very much inspired by recipes seen on Pinterest).

1 Avocado

1/3 cup of coconut milk

3 tablespoons cocoa powder

1/4 of a banana

Directions

  1. Please all ingredients in a blender and blend till smooth. (serves 3).  Thats all you need to do!!

I must admit that I was excited to try this recipe so I could bring out my new Braun MultiQuick 9 Hand Blender. The beauty of this appliance is that it can do everything – blend, chop, whip, and more.

I simply clicked on the attachment that I needed and before I knew it my chocolate pudding was lovely and smooth.

See what I mean? Just 4 ingredients went into the bowl and then the blender attachment did all the work in no time at all.

My avocado chocolate pudding was smooth, creamy and HEALTHY too. #score

For more information about Braun products, please click here. (note: there’s a 20 percent discount and free shipping)

Disclosure: I was provided a Braun MultiQuick 9 Hand Blender, however all opinions are my own

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Nov
02

November Events


No shortage of events in November! Here’s a list of a few of my favourites to keep you busy as the days get shorter and the temperatures take a dip (sad but true).

Whole  Life Expo

To be honest, I’ve never been been to this show but I’m on my way this weekend to check it out. Something tells me I’m not going to be disappointed. P.S. This consumer show takes place Nov 3-5 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Click here for more info.

Royal Winter Fair. 

I’ve only started to go to this event in the last few yeas but I’m a fan!! I love the food vendors, the animals, the displays, and more. Just give yourself enough time – its’ bigger than you think!!

My Favourite Sample Sale : I take this sample sale seriously and will be there on Monday Nov 13th as soon as the doors open. I can’t wait to buy my Spring/Summer wardrobe for 2018!!

Toronto Jewish Film Festival – Theres a screening of an Israeli TV series called “Your Honour”  over two separate Sundays and I will be there!! I can’t wait as I’m somewhat in love with Israeli TV series (thanks to Netflix and TJFF). Click here for dates/times/location.

One of a Kind Christmas Show:  Over 800 artisans and 122 exhibitors will be showcasing their creations of handcrafted ceramics, jewellery, furniture, food, clothing and accessories. This show is always great. True Story: I bought a sculpture in the early 1990’s from this show, and its’ still hanging on my walls and receiving compliments from guests!

Wishing everyone a wonderful November! I know I’m not going to be bored. LOL

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Oct
31

The Edgy Veg


A few weeks ago I attended a very cool event for the launch of a vegan cookbook called The Edgy Veg.

It was a blind taste test where we were able to taste the items being served, guess the flavours, and also guess what we were eating. It was tons of fun. I was casually late (for a change) and the only seat available was next to the cookbook author, YouTube personality, chef and comedian, Candice Hutchings. #squeal.

At the end of the lunch, we all received a signed cookbook which I flipped through on the street car. I then decided that I was going to overcome my “fear of Seitan” and attempt the recipe.

The next day I found myself at Bulk Barn and bought the necessary ingredients: 100% Vital Wheat Gluten, nutritional yeast, poultry season, onion powder and tahini.

I was pumped but nervous at the same time. In fact I was so nervous that I tried TWO recipes …”chicken breast” and “chicken burgers”.

Here’s how to Become a Master of Seitan: Chicken (which is so versatile and can be used to make so many different “meat” like recipes.) Thanks to the Edgy Veg, I’m now a master a seitan due to this recipe.

Ingredients: 

1 cup plus 1 tablespoon vital wheat gluten (divided)

1/2 tsp sea salt

2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast

1 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon poultry season

3/4 vegetable broth

1/4 cup tahini

Directions:

In a large bowl combine 1 cup of wheat gluten, sea salt, nutritional yeast, onion powder and poultry seasoning. Whisk to combine. (easy non?)

2. In another large bowl, combine vegetable broth and tahini, whisk until smooth.

3. Using a spatula carefully fold wheat gluten mixture into the vegetable broth mixture until combined (tip: use your hands)

4. Sprinkle work surface with a tablespoon of vital wheat gluten and knead the dough until it is elastic but not too dry.

I then took half of the dough and made “chicken burgers” – I put them into a covered ovenproof dish (um..my beautiful Le Creuset)  and then half-way covered them in more vegetable broth. Bake for 30 minutes (and flip them after 15 minutes).

Crazy delicious results.

I took the other half and made a “chicken breast” shape and then twisted it in tin foil. I baked it for 30 minutes. More deliciousness.

Happy Vegan Cooking!!

For more information:

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

Twitter and Instagram: @edgyveg

Website: www.theedgyveg.com

To purchase a cookbook, click here

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Oct
24

Grocery Innovations Canada (GIC) is Canada’s National Grocery Show and as always I was walking thru the aisles looking for new products. (my favourite hobby).

This show has 110,000 square feet of dedicated space focused on products, beer and wine too! I was one happy blogger.

Here’s a few items that caught my attention:

  1. Burnbrae Farms introduced Flavoured Eggs2go and I was super EGGcited about these new flavours (Dill, Teriyaki, Hot Sauce and Salt & Pepper). I’m all about flavour so this concept really appealed to me.

2. Kraft introduced THICK cheese slices (that are also flavoured). Go figure that we have lasted decades with thin cheese slices and finally someone thought of this genius idea! Something tells me that my grilled cheese sandwich is going to be kicked up a notch.3. MapleFarms  introduced O’Rice that looks like rice but it was 100 percent Canadian Oats. I loved the texture and would definitely buy this. Not to mention its’ super healthy. #winnowing4. Heinz is about to introduce these three new sauces. I sampled the garlic Aioli with a french fry and was impressed. I will definitely be buying this when it hits the shelves.5. That Dam Tea is another Canadian product that caught my eye. DAM stands for Damiana which is used to relieve tension, calm anxiety and improve blood flow. Happy to support a delicious product that is created by a young entrepreneur from Peterborough.6. Astro introduced these two yogurts (a Parfait with fruit at the bottom and Whipped Greek Yogurt). I brought them home for my mom to try and she gave both of them a thumbs up!!

7. Thornloe cheese introduced grass fed cheese. Love it. FYI – Thornloe Cheese has produced a respected brand of cheese products in Northern Ontario for over 71 years!

Not only was I well fed at the show but visitors to the show had to opportunity to get their photo on a bottle of Heinz Ketchup.  #fun

Looking forward to GIC 2018!!

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Oct
22

Restaurant Update


As much as I like to cook, I must admit that I also like to eat out. There’s always a new restaurant that I want to check out, or a a restaurant that I pass by a gazillion times but I’ve never stepped inside.

Lately I’ve managed to check out the following restaurants/cafes. If I’m blogging about it – then this means that I will be going back.

1 .Tiffin Box (938 Bathurst St)  This restaurant has been around for a few years and is in that category of “I pass by it a gazillion times but I’ve never been in”. I ordered a vegetarian Thali platter for $9.95 and loved every mouthful. Plus it’s owned by the loveliest couple that have been in the restaurant industry for decades. Please note; closed Monday and Tuesday

The platter consisted of a choice of 2 vegetable dishes with dhal, basmati rice, raita and salad. YUM.

2. Almond Butterfly Cafe and BakeShop  (100 Harbord St.) Again, this is in the same category as Tiffin Box. I pass by it ALL the time but have never gone in. This cinnamon bun was gluten free (but there’s plenty of vegan options too) and it was delicious. Really delicious. 3. Pi Co – This is the type of place where you can get a “good pizza’ but don’t want to sit down and be served. Know what I mean? (FYI – otherwise knows as QSR – Quick Service Restaurant). I liked this pizza so much that I went back a week later.  Not to mention I liked the price point too! PS. there’s two locations: 1200 Bay St and 2177 Bay St. According to their websites there’s more locations opening soon!!4. The Drake Commissary: (128a Sterling Rd, Toronto) I’ve been for a quick coffee but finally made it back for brunch. We were so impressed that once again, we went back a week later  for dinner!

This smoked cured and potted fish platter is described as: House cured fish, octopus terrine with nori moroccan olive tapenade, smoked mackerel, roast beet and horseradish dill crema, smoked salmon and caper cream cheese. Served with amazing sourdough bread.

5. Craque de Creme (1360 Bathurst St). This lovely cafe serves unbelievable creme brûlée, waffles (that aren’t your typical waffles) and ice cream too. What a great concept and what a skilled chef!

There’s a few more restaurants that are on my radar too! So stay tuned. In the meantime, I will be eating at home and have every intention of trying some new recipes too!

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Oct
19

For the last few years, I’ve been going to Israel and with every trip there’s new discoveries to share. Here’s my review from a recent trip to Israel that I took. (Aug 28 to Sept 4th – if you really want the exact details. LOL)

Where to Stay:

This time I stayed for 3 nights at the Centre Chic Hotel which is part of the Atlas Boutique Hotel Group. It’s worth noting that they have several locations in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem , Haifa and Eilat too.  I fell instantly in love with this boutique hotel.

Here’s a few reasons why:
-the location was ideal (right across from Dizengoff Square which is as central as you can get)
-the funky chic decor
-the perks: free bicycles, beach bags with towels, and complimentary happy hour (wine and food), fridge in the room, cute balcony with a table etc.
-the friendly staff

PLUS it’s affordable!!

What to Do:

Of course I went to Carmel Market, Levinsky Market, Sarona Market, Mahane Yehuda Market and the Western Wall too. Sadly no time to visit the Tel Aviv Museum, Jaffa, The Port and many other tourist destinations. Sniff.

However I did make time to relax (for a change) and enjoy the wonderful beaches in Israel.

I even went shopping and made it to the Azrieli Shopping Centre for my first time!! This mall has three floors of shops, eight cinema screen and approximately thirty restaurants, as well as the only H&M in Tel Aviv. There’s even an indoor viewing platform on 49th floor which will allow you to overlook the entire city.

Where to Eat in Israel?

There’s wasn’t enough time to connect with Delicious Israel (kicking myself) or Fun with Joel either.

However I did enjoy a wonderful dinner with two Israeli food writers. I met Keren Brown on my last trip to Israel and we connected instantly. She wrote “38 Essential Restaurants in Tel Aviv” and this is definitely one list you want to refer to on your next trip to Israel.

The other Israeli food writer that I met was Phylis Glazer who published the first vegetarian cookbook in Hebrew.  How cool is that? Please click here to check out her YouTube video of the Carmel Market.

In a nutshell here’s where we ate:
Magic Burger – for some reason we were craving a kosher burger.
– HaAchim – great local restaurant that had a line up at 9 pm on a week night! The words: fresh and good quality come to my mind.
Shlomo & Doron (in Carmel Market) for amazing hummus. Huge thanks to my Washington foodie friend, www.foodwanderings.com for the recommendation.
– Segev Concept (in Sarona Market)
-During a visit  to Machene Yehuda; I went to Jachnun a few years ago and I didn’t hesitate to return as his food is truly a unique experience.
-While in Ra’anana; Falafel Nona…Finally I had a falafel. Hip Hip Hooray.
-While in Herziliya; Cafe Fresh for Shakshuka….A great way to end of my trip.

Where I shopped:

Last year I bought a few things from a store called Hoodies and this year I went back for more. I adore the quality of the cotton, the price points and the basic styles. Its perfect for my lifestyle! (um, casual)

As always, I’m looking forward to another visit to Israel. However I promised myself that my next trip will include more time in the north and south parts of Israel. It’s time to explore! (even though I love visiting Tel Aviv).

For more information:

Website: https://new.goisrael.com

Need Food Suggestions in Tel Aviv? https://www.eater.com/ (another great list written by local food writer, Keren Brown)

Need More Food Suggestions? https://www.thestar.com/

 

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Oct
17

Lately I’ve been entertaining a lot which is code for “I’ve been spending time on Pinterest”.

As always Pinterest inspired me to put together the following menu:

-Carrot Soup

Spinach Feta Pinwheels

-Pineapple Coconut Quinoa

-Roasted Mushrooms in Browned Butter

Baked Tilapia Veracruz

-Pear/Apple Crisp

I was also inspired to set the table using some placemats I hadn’t used in a while!

In particular I want to share the Pineapple Coconut Quinoa recipe with you. It was SO flavourful and not hard to make at all.

The flavour was due to these two ingredients: Dole Pineapple Juice and Cha’s Organic Coconut Milk

Hurry up and make this fabulous side dish – you won’t be disappointed. Promise.

Recipe: Pineapple Coconut Quinoa (original recipe posted by www.theharvestkitchen.com)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup unsweetened pineapple juice  (I used a can of pineapple and drained the juice from it).
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • juice of 1/2 lime
FOR THE MANGO SALSA
  • 1 cup chopped mango
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 cup red onion, minced
  • 2 limes, juiced

DIRECTIONS:

  1. This is the interesting part – heat the pineapple juice and coconut milk in a saucepan over medium low heat.
  2. Then add the quinoa and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low.  Add the vanilla and lime juice.
  3. Cover and simmer on low for about 17 to 20 minutes or until most of the liquid has absorbed, but still a little moist on top.
  4. Remove from heat and set aside.
  5. Lightly fluff with a fork. (an important step)
  6. Add chopped mangoes, coriander and red onion. Feel free to add a touch of lime juice as well.

Final Result:

Not only did it taste amazing but I was happy the way it looked as well!!

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter