Food


Mom Who Runs...runs so she can consume some extra calories. I am passionate about entertaining, trying new recipes, tasting new products, exploring new restaurants and of course...I will be telling you about it RIGHT HERE. So if you are a foodie like I am, keep clicking on this column.

Sep
12

I’ve been on food tours in Barcelona, Jerusalem and New York and I truly believe it’s a great way to discover a city.

Therefore I was positively thrilled that I was able to go on a food tour of Levinsky Market with Delicious Israel.

Even though I lived in Tel Aviv for 4 years and have visited Tel Avis several times in the last 7 years, this particular neighbourhood was never on my radar.

This has now changed thanks to Delicious Israel who introduced it to me the other day.

tour-levinsky

The tour was friendly and fun and consisted of a few tourists from the UK, France and the U.S. Our tour guide was a native English speaker and was super knowledgeable and clearly passionate about food.

tour-table

Not to mention that on this tour I learned a few things. For example, I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen cinnamon that looked like this before.

tour-cinamon

You see this green fruit next to the apple? Notice how its’ bigger than the apple? It’s an orange. ..not an over sized lime! How cool is that?

tour-orange

Plus I ate the most delicious hummus that was WARM. Once again, this was something new for me. I really did learn quite a bit on this tour.

tour-hummus

The tour was certainly comprehensive and we were introduced to a variety of interesting spots in the Levinsky Market i.e a spice shop, bourekas, a hummus restaurant, a cool restaurant that served cured meats and craft beers, a famous bakery and more!! No one left hungry.

At the end of the tour we were given cute business cards. I swear I’m going to try my best to get thru this list by Sept 22nd. Wish me luck.

tour-business-card

This company does more than just tours – in fact I really wanted to participate  in on their “cook and shuk” tours but the timing didn’t work out. I guess this means I will have to book this for my next trip!!

Please take a few minutes and click on their website. Not to mention that I highly suggest you book a tour on your next visit to Israel. You won’t regret it.

For more information:

Website: www.DeliciousIsrael.com

Instagram/Twitter: @DeliciousIsrael

Email: info@deliciousisrael.com

Telephone Number from ABROAD: +972 525 699 499

Telephone Number in ISRAEL: 0525 699 499

Disclosure: This tour was complimentary however all opinions are my own.

 

 

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Sep
05

I wanted to take advantage of the long weekend so I booked a quick trip to New York City. I was originally going to drive and then went on Travelocity and decided to fly. It felt like a smart move till our flight got delayed for a few hours. Ouch.

Sadly this meant that our lovely afternoon on the Go NY Tours –  Hop On and Off Double Decker  Bus Tour was reduced to two hours. However we were so glad we went regardless. We had a great overview of the city while enjoying the double decker bus. I can’t imagine not doing these tours. I really do think they offer tremendous value.

nyc - tour

For dinner, it was recommended that we go to a Kosher Certified and Vegan restaurant called By Chloe.  (185 Bleeker St).  I was SO glad we went. The restaurant was hopping but scored a cute table outside to enjoy this super tasty kale salad.

nyc - kale salad

After dinner, I was able to nip into Murrays Cheese  (284 Bleeker St) where I quickly bought three items: Vermont Butter (which I havent found for years), some unique crackers and this beer that had me buzzed in no time at all. (can you say, 13% alcohol). Sadly no time to even look at the cheese counter. ARGHHH.

nyc - beer

Rushed back to the Residence Inn NY Manhattan/Central Park for a wonderful nights sleep in our beautiful corner suite that had an incredible view! (Blog post to foll0w).

nyc - corner room

On Saturday, my day included two critical elements of any visit to NYC – Shopping and Eating. (not in that order).

I started my day off at Smorgasburg in Brooklyn. (90 Kent St) What a great decision. It was my 3rd time visiting this fabulous outdoor food market since it started in 2011 and it keeps getting better and better. What I like best is the opportunity to see so many creative food vendors.

nyc - smorgasburg 1

I saw a few of my favourite vendors from my previous visits: Bon Chovie (which I get on each and every visit) and Kelvin Slushie plus the Ramen Burger vendor.

nyc - smorgasburg 2

 

I was in foodie heaven.

Late afternoon on Saturday included a walk thru Central Park where we stumbled upon a huge gathering of people and then figured it out: POKEMON GO!!

nyc - pokemon

We also did some shopping on 5th Avenue and did some damage at the insanely huge UNIQLO (89,000 sqf).  Pretty grateful that there were no line ups at the cashier but as you can see from this photo. ..they are prepared.

nyc - unqlo

Can’t wait for UNIQLO to open in Yorkdale Shopping Centre sometime in the fall. Seriously.

On Sunday morning, I scrambled to the US Open. I was only there from 1030 to 1230 but it was worth it. I’ve been watching the US Open for decades on TV and it was great to experience being there even though I wasn’t there to watch a match.

nyc - us open

Just like that – it was time to head to Newark to catch our flight. I wish we had time to visit MOMA or the Whitney Museum or Washington Square or Chelsea Market but it just means I will have to go back, right?

Hope you had a wonderful weekend too.

For more information:

Go NY Tours Websitehttps://www.gonytours.nyc/double-decker-tours

Address: 2 E 42nd St, New York, NY, Phone: 1 212-664-0300

Website:  Residence Inn NY Manhattan/Central Park

Address: 1717 Broadway, New York, NY Phone: +1 212-324-3774

 

 

 

 

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Sep
01

I’m a huge fan of serving appetizers before a meal. There’s something about putting it all together that really appeals to me.

My appetizer plate usually includes olives, cheese, roasted garlic, dried fruit and whatever else I have hanging around the fridge.

tapas - round 2

However recently I’ve discovered Espuna Tapas Essentials that have elevated my cheese board to another level. There’s a huge range of products and you will find them at major retailers like Metro and Longs.

ps see the package in the middle – I often snack on them in the middle of the day. #goodsnacktoo
tapas - product

Now my cheese platter looks like this!

tapas - round

Along with appetizers, of course there has to be an aperitif. Lately I’ve been enjoying the Aperol Spritz which has been described as “THE drink of the summer”. This aperitif is widely available at the LCBO for $26.55 , and had its own cocktail recipe book come out this year called “Spritz: Italy’s Most iconic Aperitivo Cocktail” by Talia Baiocchi and Leslie Pariseau.

tapas - aperolTo make this lovely cocktail you need:

3 parts Cinzano Prosecco

2 parts Aperol

1 splash Soda.

Start by adding ice to a glass, then pour the Prosecco, the Aperol and a splash of soda. Top with an orange (oops I forgot this step).

Happy Entertaining!!

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Aug
30

I was in Ottawa this past weekend – one of those very (very) quick visits. i.e. drive in to Ottawa on Saturday and drive back to Toronto on Sunday.

Clearly when we got home, no one was in the mood to cook dinner or even go out for dinner.

This is where the foodora app came in handy. Oh how I love technology!

foodora - image

We were in the mood for Thai and within minutes I was able to place the order, add tip, and even track the delivery. When placing the order, I could even find out what ingredients were in each dish (in the event I was allergic to something or didn’t like a particular spice etc).

When dinner arrived, we ate in comfort (on the couch) – where we belong!!

foodora - dinner

I wanted to bring it to your attention that it’s possible to enjoy some of the city’s most decadent menu items without venturing down to Exhibition Place with foodora, Toronto’s leading on-demand meal delivery service?

Celebrate the end of summer with fair-type foods delivered so quickly that you’ll enjoy every ooey, gooey bite. For example!

The Notorious P.I.G from Bacon Nation
The restaurant cautions that this item is only for true bacon lovers. This hand-crafted beef burger is topped with bacon strips, peameal bacon, pulled pork, lettuce, tomato, cheddar cheese, onion straws and BBQ sauce and come served on a bacon brioche bun. It’s also served with fries.

Fran’s Triple Decker Reuben
This Toronto special features sliced corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and Fran’s homemade dressing, on three slices of marble rye.

The Jurassic Junkie Thin Crust Pizza from Junked Food Co.
This ingenious Junked Food Co. pizza features creamy mac & Cheese, Dr. Pepper pulled pork, maple bacon, mozzarella and Junked cheese sauce.

The Lord Cheesus from OM Grilled Cheese
One of the city’s best grilled cheese sandwiches is the Lord Cheesus which comes loaded with cheddar, brie, brick, harvarti and mozzarella.

Don’t Even Go There from Old School
This cheesecake stuffed egg bread is rolled in toasted coconuts, topped with whipped vanilla cream and orange honey drizzle.

Foodora really left an impression on me and I have no doubt that I might be using this app more often!!

For more information:

Website: www.foodora.com

Twitter and Instagram: @foodora_ca

Disclosure: I was provided a discount code however all opinions are my own

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Aug
23

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
18

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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