Feb
05

Does This Ever Happen To You?


True story:

I was online searching for a new dessert recipe to try and came across a recipe called:  “Lemon Magic Cake”.

I got all excited and starting grabbing the ingredients out of my fridge and pantry.

BUT I  then realized:

-I didn’t have any lemons

-I couldn’ find my whisk attachment for the KitchenAid

-I didn’t read the recipe properly and kept the egg whites but threw out the yolks when I actually needed the egg yolks

-the recipe required an 8×8 pan and I didn’t own one. (can you believe this?)

TOTAL FAIL. REPEAT…. TOTAL FAIL

I was so determined to make something new and returned to the internet in search of a new recipe to try. I came across a recipe for Date Squares which for some reason I’ve never made before.  I checked to see if I had ALL the ingredients and indeed I had everything. (sigh of relief). I even ran out to the dollar store to buy an 8×8 pan.

In no time at all, I made a delicious desert. Trust me, I will make it again.

Here’s the recipe for Date Squares (taken from www.JoCooks.com)

For Filling
3 cups dates, pitted
1 cup water
1 tsp vanilla extract

For Crust
2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1 cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup brown sugar
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
⅛ tsp cinnamon
1 cup cold butter, cut into small cubes

INSTRUCTIONS
Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Line a 9 inch baking pan with parchment paper. Set aside.

1. In a medium saucepan add the water and the dates and cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes, until there’s no water left. Add the vanilla extract to the dates and mix well. Let mixture cool.

2. Add the date mixture to a food processor and pulse until it turns into a paste. Set aside.

3. In a food processor add the remaining dry ingredients and the butter cut into small pieces and pulse until the butter is well incorporated into the mixture and crumbles.

4. Spread ⅔ of the crumb mixture on the bottom of the prepared baking pan and spread it evenly.

5.  Add the date mixture and spread it with a spatula. Add the remaining crumb mixture as the last layer and pat it using a spatula, do not press down too hard.

6. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes until golden brown then let cool completely. Place in the fridge for a couple more hours then take it out and cut into squares.

FINAL PRODUCT.

date square - finalHappy Baking!

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

Feb
01

The Cantina by Campbell’s is a pop-up restaurant that recently opened at 501 Queen West and will be serving delicious soups created by Rock Lobster Food Co’s Chef Matt Dean Pettit.

cantina - outside

There will be four delicious soups designed by Chef Matt Dean Pettit, and trust me all four were DEE-LICIOUS. I wish I could tell you my favourite soup but I loved all four of them equally. I sampled: spicy vegetarian ramen, roasted beer can cream of chicken, creamy tomato black bean taco soup and a thai chicken & rice khao so (curry). Recipes for all four soups can be found here.

cantina - soups

The Cantina by Campbell’s will offer complimentary walk-in lunch and dinnertime soup tasting options. Fact: lately I’ve become a fan of these broths due to the rising cost of celery, parsnips, carrots and other veggies that I usually put in my vegetable stock.

I’ve also become a fan of the Campbell’s Soup Kits as they provide a head start to homemade soup. As you know, I lead a pretty busy life so I don’t mind a little help once in a while and these kits will certainly come in handy!

cantina - image

 

Campbell’s has truly provided customers with a unique experience and something tells me The Cantina By Campbell’s will be a hit. P.S. This pop up restaurant is FREE.

For more information:

Where:  Cantina By Campbell’s – 501 Queen St. West
When: Tuesday, February 2nd – Sunday, February 21st

Hours: Monday – Friday 11 a.m. – 8 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Twitter; @CampbellsCanada

Hashtag: #WeAllSoupTO

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

Jan
31

Super Bowl is around the corner and this means that there will be lots of Super Bowl parties to watch the game AND to eat food. In fact, I have a feeling that the food is equally as important as the game. Wouldn’t you agree?

Last week, I went to an event to get a sneak preview of  Chef Matt Deans Pettits recipes which celebrates NFL Canada and Super Bowl 50. It was held at Rock Lobster Food Co. and the event rocked (no pun intended) to the point that it inspired me to throw a Super Bowl party too!

I’ve got everything I need (thanks NFL Canada)! To be specific, I’ve go the Super Bowl table cloth, forks, Super Bowl napkins  & paper plates, and even a fantastic NFL cutting board that’s shaped like a football. I can’t wait to set the table.

football - stuff

I even have the perfect shirt to greet my guests as well as an official NFL football as a centre piece!!

NFL - vicky

As for the food…I know that dips are always a crowd pleaser and it goes well with beer. LOL  Not to mention I love the serving dish that its’ served in. #socute.

NFL - football dip

Here’s the recipe for a West Coast Crab Dip (created by Chef Matt Dean Pettit from Rock Lobster Food Co.). Seeing as the Super Bowl is being played on the west coast, there’s no better time to serve this recipe.

INGREDIENTS

2 live Dungeness crabs

1 medium Spanish Onion, finely diced

1 jalapeno, roasted and seeded and finely diced

1 tbsp Old Bay seasoning

1 fresh lemon, juiced and zested

1 cup cream cheese

1 cup ricotta cheese

1/2 cup sour cream

1 tsp paprika

1/2 bunch flat leaf parsley, chiffonade

kosher salt to taste

1 large sourdough bread loaf

INSTRUCTIONS

In a large pot, bring salt water to a boil over high heat. Add the crabs and boil for 10-15 minutes.

Remove the crabs from the water and place them in an ice bath or the fridge to cool completely. Carefully remove all the meat from the crabs. Place the crab meat in the fridge until needed.

In a pan, sweat the onions and jalapeños over medium heat for approximately 10 minutes or until the onions are soft and translucent. Remove the mixture from the pan and allow to cool.

In a bowl, combine the onion and jalapeño mixture with the Old Bay seasoning, lemon juice, cream cheese, rocotta cheese, sour cream and paprika. Mix to combine ingredients thoroughly. Check to make sure that no chunks exist!

Fold in the parsley and the lemon zest. Season to taste with salt.

Hollow out the inside of a bread loaf in the shape of a football. Cube the removed bread pieces. Spoon the cold dip into the bread hole and decorate with pretzel sticks to that it looks like a football!

Serve with the bread cubes to dip into the mixture.

ENJOY THE GAME!! (and the food). LOL

For more information:

Website: Rock Lobster Food Co. (538 Queen St. W. or 110 Ossington)

Website: The Great Lobster Cookbook

 

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

Jan
26

Recipe for Change 2016


Recipe for Change is an event that supports FoodShareTO’s innovative school food programs that excite the next generation of healthy eaters, growers, and sharers. Clearly this is something that interests me!

It’s a PARTY you don’t want to miss. With 30 chefs reflecting Toronto’s diverse food scene, 2 craft brewers, and 4 wineries, February 25th, 2016 will be the most deliciously fun night of the year!

There’s a few reasons I like this event so much.

1. You will meet friendly chefs!

foodshare - chefs

2. There’s something for everyone. i.e lots of vegetarian/vegan/gluten free options.

foodshare - veg

3. The environment!

foodshare - room

The event takes place at the St. Lawrence Market South Building, 130 Esplanade, Toronto on Thursday February 25th from 6 pm to 9 pm.

Of course, I will be there and I hope that will be there too. I promise you that you won’t leave hungry plus you will be supporting an important cause!

Online tickets for the public are available here: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/recipe-for-change-2016-presented-by-tangerine-tickets-19712906835?aff=estw

Hashtag: #RFC16

Twitter: @FoodShareTO

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

Jan
24

Here’s a list of typical errands that I face every week:

-grocery shopping

-car pool

-pick up something from the drug store

-dry cleaning

-appointments (doctors, dentist, hair, etc).

If you asked me “what errand do I simply hate doing?” my answer would be DRY CLEANING. I’m generally in denial so the dry cleaning piles up at the bottom of the hamper.

2016-01-11 09.46.24

I hate the whole process:

-dropping it off

-standing there while the clerk counts everything and then waiting for the itemized receipt

-keeping my receipt in a SAFE place

-and then returning to pick it up (which sometimes happens a month after I drop off the dry cleaning).

This is one errand I try to do about 3 times a year – and that’s being generous! However there’s a new service out there that has changed my mind, called Simply Laundry. They are an Eco-Friendly On Demand Dry Cleaning and Laundry service with free pick up and delivery. Sweet.

How was does it work?

STEP 1: I created a profile which was super easy as their website is very user friendly!

STEP 2: For my 1st order I placed my dirty clothes and left it with my concierge (oh the perks of living in a condo). If you live in a house or an apartment building, then you would schedule a time for the driver to pickup from your doorstep.

2016-01-11 09.48.08
STEP 3: My clean clothes were dropped off in a reusable eco-friendly bag within 48 hours!

2016-01-23 09.32.27

I love the companies tag line: Save Time, Enjoy Life.

I’m a big believer in that!!

Please note that you can save on your fIrst order by using this coupon code “#Mom10″to receive $10 off.  I really hope that you check out this service too. I know I’m not the only one who hates going to the dry cleaners or doing laundry!

For more information:

Website: http://www.simply-laundry.ca

Twitter: @Simply_Laundry

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SimplyLaundry.CA/

Disclosure: A voucher was provided me to me however all my 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

Jan
22

I’ve just returned from the Interior Design Show and as always I’ve got many photos to share with you. So I won’t bore you any further details. Let’s just get down to business.

Seriously, everywhere you look there’s something that will capture your attention.

I was in awe of this wall covering made from wood. So much texture. So much warmth.

20160121_193429

These tiles are pretty incredible. Don’t you think?

2016-01-21 19.54.20

This light fixture is a statement. Absolutely love it.
2016-01-21 19.42.31

This shelf totally captured my attention. I just wish I had a wall for it! #condo problems

2016-01-21 19.42.18

I hope you get a chance to visit the Interior Design Show too. You won’t be bored. Promise.

For more information:

Website: www.interiordesignshow.com

Dates: Saturday Jan 23 – 10 am to 7 pm: Sunday Jan 24 – 10 am to 6 pm

Location: Metro Convention Centre, 255 Front St. West, Toronto, Ontario

Tickets: $19 online, $22 at the door

Twitter, Instagram, Facebook: IDSToronto

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

Jan
20

Fact: This is the first year I have ever bought winter tires. (insert: applause)

winter - tire

It felt like the right thing to do seeing as I spend quite a bit of time on the roads as a sales rep. Plus I understand that I can save money on my insurance if I have winter tires. (note to self: call my insurance provider tomorrow).

I explored getting my winter tires from Costco or getting my tires from Canadian Tire.

Here’s what happened at Costco:

-I approached the friendly clerk who told me that I had to go online and book an appointment or come back at 6:30 am.

Here’s what happened at my local Canadian Tire (Lawrence and the Allen).

-I approached the friendly clerk who told me he could change my tires on the spot.

Guess who got my business? I left Canadian Tire in less than an hour with 4 new winter tires on my car.

YAY!!

Seeing as I’m writing about Canadian Tire, I want to mention that I’ve had several great experiences buying merchandise at this store. For example: During the summer, I bought camping equipment and a few things I needed from their kitchen department as well.

Thanks Canadian Tire for providing such great service. I’m seriously loving my new winter tires.

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

Jan
16

The Perfect Saturday


This is my definition of “The Perfect Saturday”:

a) 10:15 am – ATTEND A RESTAURANT SALE

IMG_20160116_170245

Sadly I never ate at Splendido but now I own a piece of history! I got there 15 minutes after it opened so stuff I would have wanted was already taken however I did manage to walk away with some goodies. To be exact 6 chairs and some serving dishes. #SCORED

11:00 ENJOYED MY FIRST TURKISH BREAKFASTISTANBUL’S TULIP (1560 Yonge St)

Had no idea that I could enjoy a Turkish Meal at Yonge and St. Clair!!

2016-01-16 11.16.14

12:30 CHECKED OUT A CUTE COFFEE SHOPTHE STRONG ONE (68 Wales Avenue – Kensington Market)

This adorable spot in Kensington Market won me over with their cute atmosphere and goodies made from scratch.

2016-01-16 12.56.54-3

1:30 pm CHECKED OUT A NEW ECLAIR PATISSERIENUGATEAU  (717 Queen St. West)

This stunning eclair cafe is the first of it’s kind in Toronto. There was no shortage of interesting flavours to catch my attention. I had a lovely chat with one of the owners who clearly thought of all the details when opening this cafe. Last year I had a croissant party, and this year I’m thinking of having an eclair party. What do you think?

20160116_142215

3:00 Return home to cook a bit (my favourite hobby)  and rest.

The only thing that was missing from making this day even more perfect, was a trip to the Farmers Market. Next time.

Hope you had a fabulous Saturday 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

Jan
14

Have You Tried Tradyo?


I’m a huge believer in purchasing items second hand. At one my point in my life, I even owned a children’s consignment store).

Recently I was introduced to Tradyo, which allows you to buy and sell locally, and communicate via in-app chat engine. I really think that this chat engine is a cool feature!!  Users can  also set alerts for the items they are looking for and set the distance they are will to travel to get the item.  #loveit.

Even better? Tradyo has one of the first VIDEO listings tool. Users can make 15-second video ads, demonstrating the usability and quality, of the items want to sell.

Seriously, Tradyo has thought of everything.

Screen Shot 2016-01-10 at 10.06.45 PM

They even have an app for iPhone and Android users (that’s your cue to go download the app now).

I don’t know about you but I’ve got probably a dozen items that I could post at the moment. Stuff that’s just sitting around that I’m not using and just taking up space. Know what I mean?

For example, my Tassimo hasn’t been used in years.

tradyo  - tassimo

This glass tea pot that I bought on the Shopping Channel a decade ago (total impulse buy) hasn’t been used in years either. In fact I’m pretty sure I only used it once.

tradyo - tea

NewsFlash: You will get a guaranteed $25 Starbucks gift card if you post 10 items or more with #momwhoruns. Just post your items on Tradyo and place the hashtag where indicated. (see image below)

image008

Website: www.tradyo.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/tradyo

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

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tradyo/

Disclosure: I have been compensated for this post, 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

Jan
12

The Activia Challenge


It’s that time of year where we all attempt to eat healthier. Including me. I’m really trying hard to eliminate carbs and eat more protein. Therefore this Activia Challenge is perfect for me.

You see on Jan 1st at noon, I treated myself to Poutini’s and I haven’t had a carb since that special treat.

activia - poutinis

According to a recent survey by Leger and Activia, Canadian women have an overwhelming tendency to make New Year’s resolutions related to their health, including doing more physical activity (88%) and eating a healthier diet (87%).

The bad news? We’re setting ourselves up to fail. More than half (55%) of Canadian women will keep their healthy living resolutions for less than a year (and some for as little as 2 weeks!), with the most common reasons being a lack of motivation, a lack of lifestyle fit and a tendency to make resolutions that are overly ambitious.

Mid-January will mark the turning point for whether or not most Canadians will keep their resolutions. Guess what? It’s mid January and so far so good I’ve been pretty good with my attempt to incorporate less carbs in my life (yay for me).

Here’s my tricks:

-I’m incorporating more yogurt into my day. The Activia Challenge is currently encouraging women to eat 2 Activia yogurts a day for two weeks. (specifically Jan 11 to Jan 21). I’m in. Are you?

17_productlisting_en_1

-I’m staying away from beer and wine. However Vodka is fine. Hello Martini.

-I’m eating more salads…specifically Kale salad which I find is SO filling.

activia - kale

Professional home economist, cookbook author and Cityline celebrity, Mairlyn Smith has a few suggestions as well. She’s actually serving as an Activia Ambassador! Here’s one of her easy recipes which is an easy way to transform Activia yogurt into a delicious trifle.

Raspberry Trifle (serves 4)

Ingredients:
• 4 lady finger cookies
• 1 cup (250 mL) frozen local raspberries, thawed
• 4 – 100 g 0% fat Greek Activia Vanilla yogurt

Directions
You’ll need four 1 cup/250 mL glass desert bowls or parfait dishes

1. Mash the thawed raspberries with a fork, set aside.
2. Break the lady finger in half and place in the bottom of each of the four bowls.
3. Spoon 1/4 cup (60 mL) of the mashed raspberries over top.
4. Open 1-100 g container of the Activia yogurt and spoon over top of the raspberries. Repeat with all four of the desserts. Place in the fridge. To soften the lady finger the dessert needs to set for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Each serving includes 127 Calories, 0.5 g Total Fat, 0 g Saturated Fat, 0 Trans Fat, 9.1 g Protein

I hope you join me in this Activia Challenge!

To follow along on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, please use the hashtag #ActiviaChallenge

Disclosure: I was compensated for this blog post, 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