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

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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

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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!!

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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!

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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/

 

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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!!

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Oct
15

Apple Season!!


The first thing that comes to my mind when you say “September” or “October” is APPLES. It’s funny, I didn’t grow up apple picking but as soon as I had kids it was something we did almost every single year.

Sadly I can’t get the kids (now 17 and 21) to go anymore, but that doesn’t stop me from heading out to Milton to go apple picking!!

So a few weeks ago, my boyfriend and I headed out on a beautiful Sunday and went to Chudleigh’s.

We timed our visit right and went around 2 pm which meant that it was nap time and missed the morning “rush” of families. (#smartmove)

I managed to accomplish everything on my visit.

a) I simply HAD to have the corn on the cob.

b) I simply HAD to go on a wagon ride. Yes – I’m 52 years old and still feel like a 10 year old sometimes. LOL

c) We filled up a bag of apples and then went home to make a delicious dessert that I discovered on Tip Hero. Promise to share this recipe with you in more detail in a future blog post. PROMISE.

Seeing as we went early in the season, there were only two varieties available. However this DID NOT stop us from enjoying our experience.

There’s plenty of apple varieties (throughout the season) to keep everyone happy.

We are still enjoying a warm Fall so don’t hesitate to consider a trip to Chudleigh’s. Here’s proof.

 

Happy Apple Picking!

PS Chudleigh’s is open till Oct 31st!

For more information:

Website: www.Chudleighs.com

Address: 9528 Regional Road 25
Halton Hills, ON L9T 2X7

Twitter/Instagram: @chudleighsfarm

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

Disclosure: I was provided with complimentary passes, however all opinions are my own

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Sep
19

Rosh Hashana Menu 2017


It’s that time of year again!

The Jewish New Year begins on Wednesday night however for many of us, we were thinking about “THE MENU” weeks ago!

Of course, when I think of the word “MENU”, I automatically think of “PINTEREST”.

I was super organized and even created a Rosh Hashanah 2017 Board so I could pin all the recipes and table settings that interested me.

After pinning 18 different ideas, I narrowed it down. Here’s the final menu:

  • Tomato Soup with Homemade Croutons and Parmesan (sorry no recipe)
  • Pan Seared Salmon with Sun Dried Tomato Cream Sauce (click here for recipe)
  • Green Beans with Chestnuts, Pomegranates and Lemony Tahini (click here for recipe)
  • Sweet Fragrant Rosh Hoshana Rice (click here for recipe)
  • Carrot Salad with Tahini and Crisped Chickpeas. (click here for recipe)
  • Dessert: Blooming Apples with Vanilla Ice cream

This Ethiopian tahini that I bought in Israel is going to be put to good use!!

Seeing as it’s traditional to serve apples with honey, I’m going to serve this amazing African Bronze honey that I just discovered at the CHFA show. This honey is so flavourful and I have no doubt that my guests are going to love it too.

As for the table, Pinterest provided me with inspiration once again.

Wishing everyone who celebrates, a Happy and Healthy New Year.

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Sep
17

Israel Arrived in Toronto!


I retuned from Israel on September 4th and lucky for me, I was able to feel like Israel was right here in Toronto due to an event held by Ezer Mizion.

FYI….Ezer Mizion is Israel’s largest Health Support Organization Specifically, Ezer Mizion’s diverse line-up of services includes the world’s largest Jewish Bone Marrow Donor Registry and specialized programs for children with special needs, cancer patients, the elderly, and terror victims.

I was all to happy to find out that this incredible organization was recreating in Toronto one of my favourite markets: Mahane Yehuda.

I knew the event was going to be popular and I was right!! Wychwood Barn had  a massive line up outside (even though people had purchased tickets) right from the start.  It would not surprise me (at all) if this event will take place in a bigger venue next year and perhaps over a Sunday/Monday of a long weekend!

I couldn’t stop smiling when I saw my favourite vendors from Israel right here in Toronto. Seeing this vendor, really made my day!

It was also a pleasure to meet Norene Giletz, who was selling her famous cookbook, Second Helping Please.

Naturally I had to buy these incredible Rugelach from Marzipan Bakery. I didn’t even blink when I found out the price. I overheard someone say: “I can’t believe the price” and I replied “Well they had to get here from Israel” and she came back with a pretty funny line: “They must have flown first class”. I had a good chuckle.

I understand from facebook that they are still available at Kosher City Plus #justsayin’.

Seeing the Halva King also brought a smile to my face (and my tummy too).

Congratulations to all the volunteers who organized this event. Looking forward to next year’s Shuk.

For more information:

Website; www.ezermizion.org

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

 

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Sep
10

Looking for a Backpack?


It’s that time of year again where everyone is searching for the perfect back pack. This is clearly an essential “back to school ” item a long with lunch boxes, pencil cases and more!

I also believe that backpacks are essential when travelling.

The following backpack from WillLand Outdoors caught my attention as I can use it as a backpack OR I can pull out the handle and roll it. The official name of this versatile backpack is: Luminosa Forte Freedom On Wheels!

When I need to walk 5 km thru an airport, the “roll on” comes in handy. Students will appreciate this feature when they have 8 huge books to carry home a long with binders, laptops and more.

But it also converts easily to a back pack when you simply need a backpack.

Not to mention there’s numerous pockets for me to organize my “stuff”. Let’s take a minute and review exactly what when into these numerous pockets on my latest trip to London and Israel.

The front pocket: smartphone and my (beloved) laptop.
The bigger front pocket: passport, wallet and boarding pass
The larger pocket: MacBook, Samsung Tablet, Uniqlo cape (which kept me super warm on the freezing cold airplane)
This amazing travel pack that contains headphones, chargers and more. This is a new purchase for me and I think its a game changer.

WillLand Outdoors is a Canadian company who are committed to developing the very best outdoor gear.

They are also a  company that believes in the combination of QUALITY, DURABILITY, and SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY. Catch this, they have a “NO QUESTIONS ASKED WARRANTEE” where they are determined to keep all their customers happy. Therefore they provide a 100% HAPPINESS SATISFACTION GUARANTEE.

Not to mention they offer a variety of cool backpacks for everyday life/travel/the gym and more. It took me quite a while to decide which model would be best suited for my lifestyle and I’m super happy with my choice.

For more information:

Website: www.WilLandOutdoors.com
Twitter: @WillLandOutdoor
Instagram: @willandcanada

Disclosure: I was provided with a complimentary backpack however all opinions are my own.

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