Sep
22

I was determined to attend the Toronto Garlic Festival despite the POURING RAIN.

garlic - rain

Upon arrival I realized that the rain wasn’t stopping garlic fans from attending as the three parking lots were almost full and it was only 10 am!!

However, the rain stopped and the sunshine came out which meant I could focus on these garlicky treats!!

a) GARLIC COFEE – yes, that’s right…Garlic Coffee. Described as: Warm Garlic Infused Spiced Coffee with Maple Cream and Pumpkin Vanilla Dust. Thank you Incredible Spice for creating this unique cup of java.

garlic - coffee

b) GARLIC Lollipop – oh how I love these creations that mix sweet and savoury.

garlic - lolly

c) BLACK GARLIC BUTTER TARTS – this had my name all over it as butter tarts are one of my weaknesses! Kudos to the good people at Smoked and Cracked. I really hope this will be a regular feature on their menu

garlic - buttertart

d) FRENCH GARLIC APPLE TOAST with Creme Fraiche from Magic Oven. – oh what a combo of flavours. ps did you know that Magic Oven is soon opening on Eglinton Ave W.?

garlic - french toast

Of course I came home with some garlic from Soup Stone Farms and put it to good use…immediately. Please remind me, never to buy garlic from the grocery store again! What a difference.

garlic - soupstone

Congratulations once again to the Toronto Garlic Festival for putting on another well organized and tasty event.

 

 

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Sep
19

Recently I attended the launch of the new Flat White at Second Cup. It was a great excuse to wear white ….AND I love my morning coffee. Kudos to the publicists for encouraging guests to wear white and for having the event at 10 am.!

See how happy I am?

Coffee...Vicky....Happy The new Flat White features more espresso and less steamed milk. I was a fan after my first sip! I could taste the bold flavour and loved the creaminess of the the micro foam.

sign

It’s bold with without being bitter and velvety without using an excess of milk. Of course, I paired it with a beautiful butter tart. …I just couldn’t resist. I now live across the street from Second Cup and know that I will be ordering the Flat White on a regular basis. Sadly the butter tart will only be a treat – once in a while!!

buttertart

PS Look out for this unique Flat White Piaggio truck this weekend at Second Cup at 355 Danforth Avenue on Saturday Sept 20 from 1 to 8 pm and on Sunday Sept 21 from 1 to 8 pm

 

 

truck

For more information:

Second Cup – www.secondcup.com

Twitter: @secondcup

Join the Conversation: #flatwhite  or #espressoloversrejoice

 

 

 

 

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Sep
18

This isn’t going to be a typical blog entry!! However I have permission from my friend Kevin that I can blog about it. You see….I can’t believe I have a friend whose favourite drink is MANISCHEWITZ  CONCORD (on ice).

He was recently in Toronto visiting with his lovely family. His parents threw a party for the occasion and  I noticed there were TWO bottles of Manischewitz amongst the wine/scotch/and beer. I was so surprised to see this brand that I said something to Mrs. D….and she replied: “Oh that’s Kevins favorite drink…he requested for me to buy two bottles”.

Seriously…. this just blew me away.

Please meet Kevin who could be the poster boy for this SWEET…SWEET (err…off the scales SWEET) wine.

kevin

Most Jewish people (including myself) have a long history with this brand but it’s not something we drink socially…except for Kevin!

glass:bottle

A few years ago, I found out that this particular brand is one of ten listed products that you will find in EVERY SINGLE LCBO store. I asked the sales rep: “Who is drinking this brand?” and he replied that it’s widely used in PUNCH, due to its’ high sugar content. Too funny.

Anyway…cheers to my friend Kevin!

 

 

 

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Sep
05

I saw a friends facebook update about “Smore’s Popcorn Balls” and when I saw the recipe I knew that I HAD to try it. Anything that doesn’t require baking and has only a few ingredients – is right up my alley.

4 ingredients

When I made it the first time – I didn’t read the recipe entirely (this is pretty typical of me) and discovered that I added an extra ingredient. OOPS!! But hey it worked.

Here’s my version of S’mores Popcorn Balls.

Ingredients

3 cups of popcorn

1 cup of Kellogs Rice Krispies

1 cups of graham crackers ground up (I just used my hands…nothing fancy)

2 cups of marshmallows

1/4 cup of butter

Directions

1. Melt the butter and the marshmallows on medium heat in a large saucepan. The goal here is to get the marshmallow to break down which means you need to stir constantly!!

2. Add the Rice Krispies and popcorn and the graham crackers.  Again - stir constantly!!

bowl

3. Remove from heat and let it cool slightly. Form into balls.

4. Melt some chocolate and drizzle on top (optional)

FINALY PRODUCT

final

I swear these will disappear before you can say “why haven’t I made these before”.

I’ve now made them 3 times and I have a feeling I will be making them pretty regularly!

Happy Baking!

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Sep
03

Tastemakers Lounge was the first Canadian owned gift suite and it takes place during TIFF. It was founded in 2005 by Debra Goldblatt-Sadowski (Rock-It Promotions) and Lessa Butler (founder of Divine Lab) and this year they are celebrating 10 years!!

Tastemakers Lounge has long been a hotspot for local and International Talent ie. Brad Pitt, Woody Harrelson, Sarah Polley, Samual L Jackson and more.

It’s also open to the media…Lucky Me!!  Therefore, I was taken on a tour of the Lounge which featured products from Brita, Lush, Sorel, Danier Leather, Piloti, Tonia DeBellis, olive + piper, Consonant Skin Care (LOVE their products), Calvin Klein REVEAL and more! Most of these brands I was familiar with but some of them were new and now on my radar!!

tiff - tastemakers

One company in particular caught my attention. …Rise Gear.  They have a very cool product called RISE Jumper Carry-On Bag. This is a Toronto Based company that has created the perfect piece of luggage. I have a feeling I will be using this bag on future weekend trips to Ottawa!!

rise

I was thrilled to see that Sorel has branched out and now offer stylish boots as well as heavy duty winter boots! I’m now looking forward to winter as I’m the proud owner of these Sorels (called Joan of Arctic – don’t you love it!!). Finally my feet are going to be warm this winter. Can’t wait!

sorel

I was delighted to be able to help Tastemakers Lounge celebrate their 10th anniversary! Here’s to 10 more!!

For more information:

Hashtag: #Tastemakers10

Twitter: @rockitpromo

Instagram: @rockitpromo

Facebook: Tastemakers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Aug
25

I scored…I went to two fabulous festivals in one day. I started off at the Wild Blueberry Festival at Evergreen Brickworks and then proceeded to the Coconut Festival at Wychwood Barns!

Here’s more about my experience at both Festivals.

WILD BLUEBERRY FESTIVAL

I’ve been to this festival before as I’m a huge fan of Wild Blueberries. Did you know…that they have 2x the antioxidants of regular blueberries and have a more intense blueberry flavour?

The festival had a variety of vendors who had incorporated wild blueberries into their products and I was all too pleased to have a sample or two!  I even met a new vendor..Celia the Celiac and bumped into a vendor I hadn’t seen in a long time (Augies Gourmet Ice Pops)

wild - grid

Congratulations to the festival organizers for putting on another well organized festival.

THE COCONUT FESTIVAL

I discovered this festival on my facebook page as I follow Ely Products  and he posted that was going to be one of the vendors. The whole concept of a coconut festival intrigued me and naturally I thought it would be fun to “festival hop’.

coconut - flyer

It was their first year putting on this festival and it won’t be their last year. The festival was a huge success with over 100 vendors. It was quite amazing to see all the different applications of coconut!

coconut - gridIt was fun to bump into Marni Wasserman (who has a studio that I’ve been meaning to visit for a class) and to discover a great new non dairy gelato product from Grinning Face (540 Parliament) that just opened in June!  I also enjoyed yummy samosas with coconut and raisins from @andriabarrett.

Once again, congratulations to the organizers of the Coconut Festival. ..what a truly unique concept.

 

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Aug
19

I recently visited Montreal from Aug 3 to Aug 10. What a treat for both my tummy and my eyes! I’m actually going to dedicate TWO blog posts to the “food” part of my trip. Does that give you an indication of how much food I ate? LOL

Here’s a list  of restaurants that I tried.  Sadly I didn’t make it to Joe Beef as they were closed. Sniff.

Garde Manger:  What did we order? The lobster poutine, Foie Gras with brioche and a blueberry sauce, and the Walleye. We sat at the bar in the back and loved both our food and the cool yet casual vibe of this restaurant. PS almost went back another night for the Foie Gras dish – it was that good.

montreal - garde a manger

Au Pied Du Cochon; This is my 3rd time to this restaurant in the past 7 years and I keep ordering the same thing! Foie Gras Poutine and Cromesquis Foie Gras (basically deep fried squares and when you pop them into your mouth – foie gros oozes into your mouth). This visit I felt like I need to add some vegetables to balance the meal and it didn’t disappoint.

montreal - aupied du cochon

L’Gros Luxe: Noticed that they had a poutine sandwich on the menu AND deep fried avocado. Didn’t take me long to add L’Gros Luxe  to the list of restaurants I wanted to check out. There’s a reason why they just opened their second location…great food, great prices and friendly staff.

montreal - lgros luxe

Olive & Gourmando: This restaurant seems to be packed ALL the time. I went an hour before closing and it was still full of customers (minus the line ups). It was a good strategy not to go for breakfast or lunch seeing as I’m not fond of line ups. The waitress told me that #24 on the menu is a popular salad so I ordered it. It was SO pretty and SO tasty. Just what I needed. I can see why this is a popular spot for tourists and for locals.

montreal - olive

Brit & Chips; One night I was looking for a casual restaurant that wasn’t far from Old Montreal and this restaurant fit the bill. Just perfect.

fishandchips

Ceviches: Oh what a treat to discover this restaurant. Love. Love. Love this restaurant. Again – another casual restaurant and exactly what I was looking for. I wish there was a restaurant like this in Toronto!

ceviches

 

Just so you know – I followed three blogs that were instrumental in helping me decide which restaurants to go to!

1. www.mtlblog.com

2.www.willtravelforfood.com

3. www.shutupandeat.ca

For more information:

Garde Manger 408 Rue St. Francois Xavier, Montreal (514) 678 5044

Au Pied Du Cochon 36 Avenue Duluth Est, Montréal  (514) 281-1114

L’Gros Luxe  3807 St-André  514-447-2227 OR 150 Bernard Ouest  Mile End 514-507-8883

Olive & Gourmando 351 Rue Saint Paul Ouest (514) 350-1083

Ceviches 152 Rue Napoléon, Montréal (514) 419-6391

Brit & Chips 433 Rue McGill (514) 840 1001 or 5536 Cote-des-Neiges, Montreal (514) 737-9555

 

 

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Aug
15

The other night I was on twitter (for a change) and I noticed a lot of buzz about @Poutineville. Naturally I wanted to check it out seeing as I just returned from Montreal and wanted to continue my “Poutine Crawl”!!

I had no idea that Poutineville has 3 locations in Montreal, cause I would have visited them on my recent visit!! However I’m thrilled to announce that they just opened in the Annex and will soon be opening a location in Quebec City too!

The space is super cool and much larger than I thought! It really is a full service sit down restaurant with 130 seats (including the terrace) and a full menu

poutineville - space

As for the menu – you get to choose the the potato (4 varieties), cheese (10 varieties), vegetable (13 varieties) meat (14 varieties), and your sauce (6 varieties)! EVERYONE WILL BE HAPPY!! There’s even an option to select ” all-you-can-eat”.

And if you are looking for a salad – they have a few varieties on the menu as well. Trust me – there’s something for everyone!

menu2

I am well aware that poutine is not the prettiest dish to photograph so please excuse the less-than-glamourous-photos. But trust me they all tasted fantastic…each and every combo!

poutineville - samples

Wishing Costa (on the left) and his staff all the very best in Toronto!

poutineville - owner

PS I have a friend visiting from California next week and think this would be a fun place to visit with an out of towner! Oh how I love introducing friends to the novel restaurants here in Toronto!

For more information:

Poutineville 296 Brunswick (647) 349 2345

Twitter:  @poutineville

Instagram: @poutineville

Disclosure: I was compensated for my meal however all my opinions are my own.

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Aug
13

I love the CNE. What’s not to like? There’s plenty of entertainment, rides, the Canadian International Air Show and FOOD. For me…it’s all about the food and this year my taste buds were introduced to the following.

1. Chocolate Fried Chicken with Chocolate Ketchup. This is NOT to be missed and can be found Coco’s Fried Chicken

cne - chicken

2.The Chunky Elvis…  A Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Cheddar Cheese, Peanut Butter, Sliced Bananas and bacon. Again – NOT to me missed. Brought to you by: Chunky Cheese Cafe and Espresso Bar

cne - grilledcheese

3. The Thanksgiving Waffle. Sadly I didn’t get a chance to sample it but I will be returning the CNE and #itsonmylist. Brought to you by: Fran’s Restaurant. 

cne - waffle

4. Bao with Nutella, Graham Crumbs, Marshmallow whip and Condensed Milk. If you like something sweet – this is for you! What a combo! Brought to you by: Far East Taco

cne - bao

5. The Crow Bar….A croissant with a chocolate bar inside. What will they think of next? Brought to you by: Hula Girl Espresso

Clearly I didn’t need lunch after this media preview!

This year the CNE runs from Aug 15 to Sept 1st at the Toronto Exhibition Place.

Twitter: @LetsGoTotheEx

Facebook: Www.Facebook.com/theEx

Instagram: LetsGoToTheEx

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Aug
11

Dear Readers…


Dear Readers…

I hope this blog post finds you well and enjoying your summer. I’ve had a SUPER busy sumer. In fact it’s been so busy that I haven’t blogged for an entire month. This is the first time I’ve taken a “blogging break” since 2009….when I first started to blog.

Heres’3 reasons why I took a “Blog Break”:

a) I went to my boyfriends’ cottage from July 12 to July 27 and for some reason Rogers (my internet provider) doesn’t work up there. A neighbour suggested that I buy a Bell  pay-as-you-go-package and indeed it worked. YAY. I used it to work and occasionally update facebook and to reply to emails. However I have to admit – I just wanted to sit on the dock and do NOTHING (which is what I did).

cottage-sunset1

b) I’m moving which means I’m drowning in boxes. It’s insane…. I have-so-much-stuff. I’m moving to a rental condo that is several hundred dollars cheaper and has 8 amenities. At the moment I live in an apartment with ZERO amenities and when my rent went up – I decided it was time to move. Despite the fact that I’m stressed with the move, I’m thrilled that I get to redecorate using CIL Paints. (stay tuned for a blog post)

CILpaint

c) I went to a family reunion in Ottawa from Aug 1-3. This meant I had ZERO time to blog. All we did was TALK and EAT. Repeat.

family

d) I also went to Montreal from Aug 3 to 13. See what I mean? I’ve been BUSY. I’ve never spent so much time in Montreal and can’t stop snapping photos ..this city is SO beautiful. (stay tuned for several blog posts..LOL).

montrealI look forward to sharing lots of summer adventures with you – starting NOW. It feels good to be back on track blogging again.

Cheers,

Vicky

 

 

 

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