Aug
23

Great News for Nutella Fans


I had the opportunity last week to check out some innovative menu items made with Nutella® at the Loblaws® store at Maple Leaf Gardens.

How could I say no?

Once I walked into the store, it only took me a nano second to spot the Nutella® Cafe.

nutella - space Then my eyes went right to the menu!!

nutella - menuThere’s  Nutella® Pizza with a variety of toppings: Strawberries, Cookies ‘n Creme, Berry Medley, Pretzel, Pear, Puffed Rice, Tortilla, Banana, Tropical and Fruit. So many choices and one is prettier than the next!

nutella - pizza

b) There’s Waffles as well. As you can see from the photo, I had a bite and it was DELICIOUS.

nutella - waffle

Theres Crepes (sorry no photo) and even Nutella® Milkshakes.

I took home a Nutella® Banana Panini which is one of my favourite combos. It was indeed a great choice.

nutella - paniniBesides eating, I had a great conversation with Executive Chef Mark Russell who is behind this initiative.
nutella - markSo help “Spread the Word” about the Nutella ®Cafe at Loblaws®. It’s worth visiting. Promise.

I’m always happy to visit Loblaws® at Maple Leaf: underground parking (free for an hour when you spend $20), a gorgeous grocery store, Joe Fresh and an LCBO. What more could one want?

For more information:

Loblaws, Maple Leaf Gardens, 60 Carlton St, Toronto, ON
Phone: (416) 593-6154

Twitter: @LoblawsCarlton

Hashtag: #MorewithNutella

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

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Aug
22

Last month, I took a personal day so I could preview the movie “Bad Moms’ and get spoiled at the beautiful Chateau des Charmes!

The invitation looked like this and I had a feeling it would be a fun event and I was right!!

moms - invite

I knew immediately that I had made the right decision to take a personal day off, when I was served a mimosa on the bus.

moms - drink

When we arrived at the theatre, we grabbed our seats and then proceeded to laugh our way through the movie. The cast is stellar and there are a few scenes that are nothing but hysterical.

moms - cast

I loved the characters, the acting and even the music!!

After the movie, we went directly to  Chateau des Charmes. (1025 York Rd, Niagara -on-the-Lake). When we arrived, there was staff greeting us with more drinks. Again, I knew I made the right decision!

moms - bus

Then we headed to their beautiful new tent for a delicious lunch.

moms - lunch

The movie indeed brought back a lot of memories for me as I’ve had my “moments” as a “Bad Mom” over the years! For example:

moms - sign:vicky2

As  I write this, I’m reminding myself that I MUST submit the bus form this week. See what I mean? LOL

I liked this movie so much that I gathered few friends and we all went to see the movie together at Yorkdale. Indeed everyone enjoyed the movie. (including me despite the fact that I had seen it).

I’m not a movie critic, but I can tell you that this film is certainly entertaining.
So grab your mom or your friends and go have a laugh!

PS Thank you eOne for inviting me to this event.

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Aug
18

Eating My Way Thru the CNE


The CNE Media preview is one of my favourite events of the year. Especially the food. That doesn’t come as a surprise to you, right?  Indeed I cheated on my low carb diet. I just had too!!

Here’s just a few items that you will find at the CNE this year!!

1.) The Big Pickle Dog – Sadly I didn’t get to try it but I will as I’m planning a second visit to the CNE. #onevisitisntenough

CNE - deep fried pickledog

2.) The Chocolate Diablo – Vanilla soft serve coated in cookie crumble, cocoa puffs and wasabi peas with a sriracha caramel drizzle. I loved it. Something about the crunchy and sweet and savoury combo, really appeals to me!!CNE - diablo

3) The Cartoon Dog – No doubt there was a trend this year to sprinkle cereal on many different items! Trust me – I’m ok with it.

CNE - cartoon dog

4) Blueberry Pie Milkshake: I didn’t try it but it sure did look pretty!

CNE - Blueberry Milkshake

5) Deep Fried Butter tart: This was decadent AND brilliant too!

CNE - deep fried buttertarts6) Try to imagine a traditional cheesesteak between a chocolate eclair, topped with bacon, whipped cream and chocolate icing.  Yes – this exists. Talk about creativity!! P.S  this can be found at Philthy Philly’s in the Food Building).CNE - eclair 7) Tim Hortons Froot O’s Donut: Bring it on!!

CNE - tim hortons

8) Canadian Bacon Taco – this was probably my favourite. NO CARBS and freaking delicious. Way to go Bacon Nation!! CNE - bacon nation

9) Deep Fried Peanut Butter Cups: What can I say? I like anything deep fried and anything that involves a Peanut Butter Cup.

CNE - deep fried PB cookie10. Chimney Stax is offering a frozen yogurt dessert in one of their famous rotisserie-baked breads. See…. not everything I eat was fried!!
CNE - chimney staxBy the way,even though food captures my attention, I have to admit these giant prizes captures my attention too.

CNE - toys

For more information:

CNE – Aug 18th to Sept 5th, Exhibition Place, Toronto

Website: http://theex.com

Hours: http://theex.com/main/hours

Tickets: http://theex.com/main/guest-info/tickets/ticket-prices

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Aug
16

This is what happens when you are a foodie and you have a few hours in Montreal to kill before hopping on a plane. You end up at Jean-Talon Market. Trust me, I couldn’t think of a better way to spend time.

Naturally I bought so many goodies that I had to buy a bag!

JTM - bag

In case you are wondering “What did I buy? ” a better question might be “what didn’t I buy”.

Here’s a list of what was in the above bag:

1. Bourgot: I know they are ugly but they are my favourite item to buy at Jean-Talon Market. I discovered that they are also called Whelks and are very abundant in the St. Lawrence River and Estuary.

These Whelks are ready-to-eat as they are sold in brine, which gives them a long shelf life as well as a tender and flavourful taste. Sadly I had to throw the brine away at the airport but they still made it through security.

JTM - bourgot

2. Cult Yogurt – I bought two but one was confiscated at security. Go figure. I discovered this yogurt back in May and hope to see it on the shelves in Toronto one day soon. It’s creamy creamy creamy.

JTM - cult

3. Olives stuffed with Orange Peel. Love this combo.

JTM - olives

4. Nuts: One bag is Lemon/Pepper and the other back is smoked to perfection.

JTM - nuts

5. Cretons with Dates and Herbs: Not something you see in Toronto which is code for: “I had to buy it”.

JTM - creton6. Candied Orange: I have no idea what I’m going to do with this but I’m sure it will be a lovely garnish for something!

JTM - orange1

7. Salt with Herbs: I have a feeling I will be sprinkling this product on my eggs, in dressings, on fish etc. For $3.99 I figured it was a good buy!

JTM - salt

As always, I adore this market for so many reasons. Hope you get a chance to visit Montreal in the near future and visit this market too!

For more information:

Website: Jean-Talon Market

Address:  7070 Avenue Henri Julien, Montréal, QC H2S 3S3

Happy Shopping!

 

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Aug
14

This past weekend I had the opportunity to hang out in beautiful Mont-Tremblant. It was the perfect escape seeing as Toronto was going to be hot and humid. Sorry my Toronto friends, but I was wearing long sleeves and pants in Mont Tremblant!!

vicky - mt tremblant

But enough about the weather, lets talk about the food.

Hee. Hee.

The weekend started off with a trip to a grocery store called S. Bourassa where I picked up a cheese I never had before (Le Samson D’Ici) and some other favourites as well!! #score

bourassa - food

Then we went Ben-Venue for poutine and a pogo. I resisted eating the poutine but I couldn’t resist devouring the entire pogo.

pogo

Somehow I had the willpower not to indulge in this fabulous poutine.

poutine - mt tremblant

Here’s two restaurants that I would highly recommend.

1. L’Escalope 597 Rue de Saint Jovite, Mont-Tremblant, QC, Phone:  (819) 425-3354

This restaurant had a prix fixe menu for $26 which included an impressive salad bar, a main course, dessert and coffee. Of course, I was so full from the salad bar that I wrapped up 90 percent of my main course to take home for lunch the next day.

dinner - mt tremblant

2. Creperie Catherine,  977 Rue Labelle, Mont-Tremblant, QC, Phone:(819) 681-4888

Oh my. What a treat. I ordered the french onion soup which was exactly what I wanted. It was so good that it deserved its own photo on my blog.

french onion soup

The smoked salmon crepe was also outstanding – full of smoked salmon and stuffed with gooey cheese. Was kicking myself that I’m on a no carb diet and could only have a bite!!

crepe

I had a fantastic weekend in Mont-Tremblant despite the clouds. The excellent food and the great company made up up for it!!

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Aug
11

Meatballs….


I had a packet of ground beef hanging around in the freezer from TruLocal and wanted to do something with it besides making a hamburger. So I decided that meatballs might be a good idea. Believe it or not, this was my first time making meatballs!

I then headed over to Pinterest and selected the recipe where I didn’t have to buy anything for the recipe. Am I the only one who does this? LOL. I love cooking but hate having to go get the ONE item I might be missing for a recipe.

Here’s what I made:

Incredible Baked Meatballs (Original Recipe Found Here)

Ingredients:
1 lb hamburger
2 eggs, beaten
1⁄2 cup milk
1⁄2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 cup panko breadcrumbs or 1 cup breadcrumbs
1 small onion, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1⁄2 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon salt
fresh ground pepper
1⁄4 cup minced fresh basil

Directions:

1. Mix all ingredients with hands.
2. Form into golfball sized meatballs.
3. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Before I knew it I was making those golf sized meatballs.

meatball - oven

And 30 minutes later I was eating these delicious baked meatballs.

meatball - finalHappy Cooking!

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Aug
08

On Saturday night we hosted a dinner party. This is not unusual as I love entertaining but this particular party was certainly special.

WHY?

Because all I had to do was set the table. (no joke)

chef - table

The Chef Upstairs provided everything else! Here’s a bit more information about The Chef Upstairs…they are a cooking studio that offers classes & they also offer private dining events where guests choose the menu, wine & decor. As you can see, I had the opportunity to experience the latter!!

At 4 pm, the talented Chef and his lovely assistant showed up.

chef - chef:assistant

The Chef brought with him everything he needed as he had done the grocery shopping, prepping etc. So I gave him a tour of the kitchen and he started to do his magic.

chef - arrival1

When our guests arrived at 7 pm, I  was actually relaxed and not exhausted as someone else had done all the work (grocery shopping, prepping, and cooking)

We started off with some appetizers:

chef - appetizers

Then w all sat down at the table and I swear to you I did NOT get up ONCE. I didn’t get up to serve, not to check something in the oven, not to clear – I sat like I a guest and it was freakin’ awesome.

The food we ate was spectacular too. We were over the moon happy with everything we tasted. The Chef was clearly trained and had experience in a 2 star Michelin restaurant – this was all evident.

We had discussed the menu prior to the dinner party so the following menu can be tailored to your desire. But here’s what was served!

chef - food

Amuse Bouche
– Rabbit Confit with brandy and fig compote in puff pastry with balsamic pearls (beyond delicious)

First Course
– Warm Avocado soup with brie cream and citrus Pico de Gallo and volcanic salt

Second Course
– Arugula salad with Sherry vinaigrette topped with toasted pumpkin seeds and Bellavitano cheese

Entree
– AAA Beef tenderloin with wild mushroom compound butter, served with roasted garlic french beans and shiitake mushrooms and red beet and horse radish puree (everything was cooked to perfection)

Dolce
– Lemon Granita and espresso cookies with raspberry, lime and vanilla bean coolis

-Naturally we had some pretty special wine to go with our meal.

chef - wine

Our guests loved the experience as much as we did. It was truly special to feel like you were in a restaurant but you weren’t!

Thank you again to The Chef Upstairs for this incredible birthday gift!

For more information:

Website: www.thechefupstairs.com
Address: 516 Mt Pleasant Rd, Toronto, ON M4S 2M2
Phone: (416) 544-9221

 

 

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Aug
05

Summer Salads


Often I head to a farmer’s market and all I want to do is buy veggies and go home and make salads.

Therefore I encourage you this weekend to head out to a Farmers Market to buy some beautiful local veggies so you too can rush home and make a delicious salad too.

Here are a few salads that I made last weekend!

Salad Saturday consisted of sliced zucchini, black olives, goat cheese, and romaine lettuce.

saladtwo

The romaine lettuce that I purchased at the  Wychwood Farmers Market had a huge root at the bottom of it. I swear I never see this root when I go to the supermarket to buy a lettuce.

salad - root

Salad Sunday consisted of roasted garlic, cherry tomatoes and onions with a salad mix. Then I added some crumbled blue cheese to make the salad interesting!!

salad #2

I should mention that one night I made another veggie dish that I would make again…..Zucchini Noodles with an Avocado Pesto Dressing. Please click here for the recipe. Notice the little avocado star I made? I was so proud of myself. LOL

zuchini - salad

I love making salads!

I hate making dressings though. They always take a long time but I know the effort is worth it!

Happy Salad Saturday/Sunday!

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Aug
02

I know I know….it’s hard to believe its August. But it’s here and there’s no shortage of things to do.

I will be off to Mont Tremblant and Ottawa in August so there goes two of my weekends. However some of these events are during the week and I will be there!!

Here’s my round up!

1. The St. Lawrence Market Summer Series – presented in partnership with The Food Dudes – kicks off Thursday, August 4 with a party like no other.
This innovative production merges cuisine and art in an iconic setting to create an unforgettable evening you won’t want to miss. (Which is why I will be there).
The St. Lawrence Market patios will be transformed into a downtown oasis of food, drink, music, performance and celebration, joining the Market’s storied purveyors with Toronto’s finest chefs, musicians and artists in a true feast for the senses.
$30 general admission (plus taxes & fees)
General admission tickets include two food tickets.

Tickets can be purchased here!

SUMMER

2.  Toronto’s newest summer food festival, Feast of St. Lawrence Festival  is taking place from August 12-14, 2016. The festival will begin with Toronto’s newest dining event on Friday evening in support of Foodshare Toronto. On Saturday, the celebration moves to the coveted St. Lawrence Market and Market Street. Activities include indoor food demonstrations using local farm-fresh produce, outdoor food stalls, canning sessions, and seating areas.
Market Street will be also be buzzing with live entertainment. For more information please click here.
events - feast

3. The CNE – Always my favourite.  ps. You will find me in the food building.  You might also find me on the ferris wheel too. LOL

events - cne

5. If you like cider, then this event is for you….Toronto Cider Festival is taking place on Aug 27th at Yonge Dundas Square from 1130 am to 1030 pmevents - ciderLooks like August is going to be a tasty month!!

Enjoy the rest of summer everyone.

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Aug
01

The other day I had the opportunity to check out the first ever Sport Chek Atmosphere Combination flagship store at CF  Sherway Gardens. I’m not kidding but lately I’ve been to CF Sherway Gardens more than I’ve been to Yorkdale Shopping Centre (and I live 7 minutes from Yorkdale).  CF Sherway Gardens keeps getting better and better. However in a few months, Yorkdale is going to explode with some great new stores as well!! #excited

OK back to Sport Chek and why you should visit this impressive store!

sports - building

This flagship store is 80,000 sqf but don’t worry there’s technology everywhere to get you to the right department.

sports - find

Speaking of departments – this unique store features:

-a high the basketball department

-a hydraulic footwear display

-two storey monolif display

-hologram podiums

-The New Balance Stride ID Lab and Shop in Shop (which uses 3D technology – very cool)

-Atmosphere Climb station climbing treadmill

Seeing as I’m “momwhoruns” I was eager to put on a pair of white socks and check out the New Balance Stride ID Lab. This piece of technology is the only one in North America and provides you with precise information about your foot so you can select the right type of shoe. Don’t you just love technology?

sports - feet

I also noticed this display, so you can personalize your own shirt. It brought back a lot of memories for me as my dad used to have a sports store in Ottawa and I remember the “old school” method he used to personalize shirts for his customers.

sports - personalize

Congratulations Sport Chek on your new flagship store. I have no doubt that this store is going to be a huge success.

Happy Shopping!

For more information: 

Website: www.SportChek.ca

Twitter: @sportchek

CF Sherway Gardens, 25 The West Mall Toronto. (416) 621-1070

 

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