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.

Jul
02

There’s a festival for everyone – a Hot & Spicy Food Festival, a Rib Festival (or two or three), Toronto’s Festival of Beer,  a Night Market, and many many more. Seriously, there’s no shortage of festivals.

I try to attend as many as I can, seeing as food is a strong interest of mine. It seems as if I’m always on the prowl to eat something different or discover a new product!

Here’s a recap of two food events that I recently attended:

1. Taste of Toronto:

The 2nd annual celebration of everything we love about food, takes place July 2-5 at Fort York. Taste of Toronto features 70 artisanal producers, interactive classes by star chefs and 50 dishes from the some of Toronto’s hottest chefs and restaurants.

This festival should be on your radar as the weather is going to be picture perfect over the next few days.

restaurants - taste

The big draw for foodies this year is the appearance of Morimoto, Chef Morimoto is known to millions as the star of Iron Chef and Iron Chef America—and the big news is the fact that he will be opening a restaurant in Toronto one day soon!

For more information about this event..(hours, admission prices etc) please click here.

2. Restaurantacular

This food festival that is located along Mount Pleasant Road, is a great chance to wander from restaurant to restaurant to enjoy the $2, $4 and $6 amuse bouche, appetizers and small bites they have prepared especially for this event.  Restaurantacular is a chance to try the many great restaurants in this neighbourhood, little bites at time.

food - restaurantacular

I’ve gone two years in a row so I can “eat my way along Mount Pleasant”. It’s a fun, neighbourhood event on a street that is known for their fabulous restaurants and bakeries!

Curious to know if you will be going to any food festivals this coming summer! Please let me know.

 

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Jun
28

Canada Day is soon approaching so here’s a few suggestions how to celebrate!

1. HOTEL TONIGHT
Cue the fireworks! This Canada Day, celebrate the nationwide party and then flop into bed, courtesy of Hotel Tonight. In honour of Canada’s 148th year, Hotel Tonight is offering hotel room deals at top hotels from $48 – $148 on June 30 and July 1. I just secured my room and I’m pumped. So download this app. Stat.

canada = hotelapp

2. WHITTAMORE’S FARM

Nothing like going strawberry picking. Just make sure you don’t wear white. Trust me.

canada - strawberry

3. ATTEND A BASEBALL GAME

For baseball fans, the Toronto Blue Jays will be playing the Boston Red Sox at 1 p.m. July 1.

4. PLAY TOURIST.

Have you ever done this? Recently I went up the CN Tower…just for fun. I honestly couldn’t remember the last time I went up the CN Tower.  PS. You can buy a Toronto CityPass that will allow you to access 5 Toronto attractions. Click here for more information.

canada - tourist

5. HEAD OUT OF TOWN.

A few weeks ago, I went to Elora for the day. It’s such a charming small town and worth checking out.  Next time, I hope to stay over night and really explore this city!!

canada - elora

 6. HOST A BBQ:

T’is the the perfect opportunity to celebrate Canada Day with a BBQ. Head to Walmart for great value on  OurFinest hamburgers, chips and drinks (plus many other products).  Add a salad or two. plus dessert and bingo you have you the perfect BBQ. For a full list of OurFinest products, please click here.


rolling - photo

Wishing everyone a Happy Canada Day!!

Disclosure: Parts of this blog post were compensated or complimentary, however all opinions are my own.

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Jun
25

It’s not every day that I drive to Mississauga to go check out a restaurant but I thought than an Indian Buffet with 150 delicious items, deserves a visit!!

tandoori - restaurant

Tandoori Flame is well recognized as North America’s Largest Indian Buffet & Restaurant with over 14,000 sq.ft. and with a capacity for more than 500 guests! As a result, there’s a lot of wedding parties, and celebrations held at Tandoori Flame. Not to mention that they have 11 food stations which means there is truly something for everyone!!
tandoori - promotions

I ate, and ate, and ate and before you knew it…I was stuffed. I’m pretty sure I went up to the buffet three times, if not 4..but who’s counting. LOL

tandoori - buffet

The food was fresh and flavourful. When I visit a buffet, I like to know that the food hasn’t been sitting out for hours and there’s no doubt that the food at Tandoori Flame is FRESH.

I’m also impressed that they “get” social media.

tandoori - social

 

Tandoori Flame has two locations and I really believe that this concept will continue to expand!

For more information:

Website: www.tandooriflame.com

Locations:
8150 Dixie Rd, Brampton, (905) 451-1686
 5975 Mavis Rd,Mississauga (905) 502-8555

Twitter; @TandooriFlame

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

Disclosure: My meal was complimentary, however all opinions are my own.

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Jun
23

The Stop’s Night Market is a feast for the eyes, belly and heart. The monies raised from this two day event (which was held last week), goes toward community-building programs such as: food banks, drop-in meals, community cooking and gardening, prenatal nutrition and more!

The Stop’s Night Market gets a lot of love as it’s sold out every year and for a good reason

stop - photos

The event is SO well organized plus there’s something special about an event that is held outdoors. Especially when the weather is ideal like it was this year.

stop - weather

The event features different vendors on both nights and I totally get why people would buy tickets for BOTH nights. Oh ya – your ticket includes all the booze and all the food you can eat. This map really helped me navigate my way thru all the different vendors.

stop - map

Highlights of my evening included the Halibut Cakes from Sea Witch:

stop - seawtich

Plus I was digging the Smoked & Roasted Beets with Goat Cheese from FarmHouse Tavern.  Trust me, every vendor served something interesting.

stop - farmhouse

Congratulations to all the vendors, the volunteers and the team at The Stop Community Centre for another incredible event. I hope you consider buying a ticket next year. You won’t be disappointed!

Disclosure: I was provided with a media ticket to attend the attend, however all opinions are my own.

 

 

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Jun
18

I’ve interviewed an NHL Hockey Player before, but never interviewed a Chef till today!!

I put together a few questions for CHEF IVAN FLOWERS  (also known as the “Biker Chef) who brings 25 years of fine cuisine experience as Executive Chef at Top of The Market in San Diego.

Chef Ivan Flowers is in Toronto, as he will be joining forces with Paul Boehmer, owner of Boehmer Restaurant to collaborate on a Mediterranean style meat extravaganza for a U-Feast event that is being held tonight (June 18) at Boehmer (93 Ossington).

Both Paul and Ivan are biker enthusiasts and will be joined by comedian and radio host Mike Bullard (also a biker enthusiast) as the MC for the evening. Sounds like a fun evening, non?

vicky and chef

Here’s a synopsis of my interview:

Question: How many bikes do you own?

Chef Flowers: Only one.

Question: What type of bike do you own?

Chef Flowers: A Harley!

Question: Do you have a favorite cookbook?

Chef Flowers: No I don’t use any cookbooks.

Question: Do you miss NY?

Chef Flowers: I do not miss NY. It was nice when it was diverse but it’s not like that anymore.

Question: Favorite food to eat after a day riding your motorcycle?

Chef Flowers: A sandwich!!

Question: What inspires you to cook?

Chef Flowers: I love to feed people!

Question: Favorite place to travel?

Chef Flowers: Greece (especially the island of Paros)

Question: Poutine..yay or nay?

Chef Flowers: YAY.

Question: When was the last time you were in Toronto?

Chef Flowers: Back in the 1980’s

As you can see, I like to keep my interviews short and sweet.!!

Please keep in mind that U-Feast brings together food lovers who are looking for an alternative to traditional restaurant dining with top chefs, restaurants and wineries.

They offer an experience for those people who are searching for more than just good food – but are looking for “experiential” social dining!

NOTE: Tickets are still available for tonights collaborative dinner!!

For more information:

Website: www.U-Feast.com

Twitter: @U-Feast

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

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Jun
15

Discoveries!!


I discovered a few new things last week, which I would like to share with you.

1. JURASSIC WORLD: This is the perfect summer movie. I’m not saying its going to win any Academy Awards but it will certainly entertain you. After the movie, make sure you head to Dairy Queen to grab a Jurassic Smash Blizzard (Peanut Butter Cookies, chocolate chip cookie dough, peanut butter, and choco chunks blended with creamy vanilla soft serve)
week - DQ

2. HONDA INDY TORONTO: I had never been to a racing event of any nature before, but now I know why people love attending this event. All I can say is “see you next year at the races” (with ear plugs). LOL

week - honda

3. BEAN AND BAKER MALT SHOP: (327 Harbord St.) This adorable shop just opened a few weeks ago and is Toronto’s only fountain soda malt shop! I had a spectacular cherry pie but I know I will be returning for a float one day soon and/or one of their milkshakes.

week - baker

4. SAMSUNG SUHDTV just launched a new TV with 60 x more colour. Seriously, this TV is brilliant (sorry for the pun) and delivers “colour” like never before. PS this photo was taken with my new Samsung S6 #justsayin’

week - samsung

5. Lastly, I discovered that I really like “plating” food!

week - fruit

Do you have any “discoveries” you would like to share? Please do!

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Jun
13

I had some company over on Friday night for dinner and I have to admit – the meal was divine. I served one main course and three salads plus dessert. Right now, I feel like I need to share one particular salad recipe with you STAT.

table2

This Thai Crunch Brussels Sprout recipe was worth all the chopping and all the ingredients. TRUST ME. LOL

Thai Crunch Brussel Sprout Salad (taken from a fantastic blog that I subscribe to..Sweet Eats)

INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound brussels sprouts, stems removed and thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
6 scallions, sliced
1 cucumber, seeds removed and sliced
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 orange bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 small red cabbage, thinly sliced
3 carrots, peeled or grated
1/2 cup freshly torn cilantro
1/2 cup shelled edamame
1/3 cup roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup roasted cashews, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

chili lime dressing
1 cup sweet chili sauce ( I used PC® Memories of Thai)
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup light canned coconut milk
5 tablespoons honey
4 garlic cloves, pressed or finely minced
2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
2 teaspoon-sized knobs of ginger, grated
2 limes, juiced
1 tablespoon soy sauce

directions:

Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add olive oil. Add the sliced brussels and garlic, tossing to coat. Season with the salt and pepper and cook until the brussels are a bit crispy, then remove and place in a bowl.

Add the scallions, cucumber, peppers, cabbage, carrots, cilantro and edamame to the brussels, tossing well to mix. Add in half of the peanuts and the cashews and all of the sesame seeds. Pour a 1/4 cup of the dressing over top and toss the salad well. Top with the remaining peanuts and cashews. Serve the salad with the extra dressing. (The extra dressing can be kept sealed in the fridge for a week or so!)

chili lime dressing
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan, whisking to combine. Bring to a boil, the reduce to a simmer and cook for 3-4 minutes until slightly thickened.

I actually used my beloved Blentec and the dressing came out velvety smooth and super flavourful. I can see myself using this dressing in all sorts of future recipes…that’s how good it tasted.

sauce

FINAL RESULT

thai salad

Happy Cooking.

 

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Jun
10

Today, Aroma Espresso Bar introduced a nutritious AND delicious new salad made with Freekeh!

aroma - grain

I had never heard of this  ancient Middle Eastern grain before but rumour has it that its the next trendy superfood. This salad will now be available to health-conscious consumers as new salad at aroma espresso bar.

I had the chance to try it last week and I loved it. Then again, I love all the salads at Aroma! This particular salad agreed with me, due to the lemony dressing and the dollop of labneh cheese with za’atar sprinkled on top. Other ingredients in this salad include: black quinoa, and brown rice blended with organic baby kale, tomato, cucumber, carrot, pickle, red onion, and parsley!

aroma - salad1

“The 28 aroma espresso bar locations across Toronto and GTA stores are the first among the global chain’s 165 locations to carry the signature salad, which could be adapted in other countries based on Torontonian’s reactions. #verykewl

Freekeh Facts:

  • A flavourful ancient whole grain used for centuries throughout the Middle East, freekeh is made from fire-roasted wheatberries
  • The word freekeh comes from the Arabic faraka referring to the wheat-roasting process
  • High in protein
  • High in calcium
  • High in wholegrain fibre (up to four times the fibre of brown rice)
  • Low glycemic index
  • Rich in probiotic properties
  • Low in carbohydrates
  • Slightly sweet, nutty taste
  • Vegetarian
  • Kosher
  • Not gluten-free

Hope you get a chance to try it soon. I have no doubt that this new salad is going to be a hit with their customers.

For more information:

Website: www.aroma.ca

Twitter: @aromaespresso

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

Disclosure: I was invited to a media event however all opinions are my own

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Jun
07

I’ve just returned from the 2015 President’s Choice® Summer Retreat. To say that I was spoiled rotten would be an understatement. I was well fed and well taken care of!

To begin with the retreat took place in a spectacular 18,000 sqf “cottage” that was situated on Lake Rosseau. Yes – that’s right, 18,000 square feet!

pc -cottage

When I walked into my room there were no fewer than 3 bags of goodies waiting for me:

1. a personalized outfit from Joe Fresh

2. Sun Bum Sun Care products from Shoppers Drug Mart

3. Products from Real Canadian Superstore® including some fun PC®  products (animal baking tray, waffle maker from Everyday Essentials, napkins and more)

pc - swag

When  I woke up in the morning there was an incredible spread that featured sweet AND savoury waffles, fruit and more. Chef Andrea Buckett ensured that we started off our day on the right foot with a solid breakfast.

pc breakfast

I especially loved this PC®  Pineapple Kale Smoothie that I had never tried before.

pc - juice

After breakfast, we were treated to a relaxing yoga session on the lawn. My Bad…I only took a photo and didn’t participate!

pc - yoga

For lunch, there was a tasty BBQ….seriously no one was hungry. I was in condiment heaven!!

pc - bbq

Naturally in the afternoon, I relaxed on the dock with my favorite beer that I purchase all the time – the PC® 2.5 Carb beer.

pc - beer

There were certainly no shortage of magazines to read or snacks!! I must admit – I was in heaven!

pc magazines

Here’s one of the recipes that was used over the weekend that I really enjoyed:

RECIPE: Cauliflower and Sweet Pea Salad

1 bag PC® Frozen Cauliflower, thawed

2 cups PC® Frozen Peas

1 cup thinly sliced celery

1 cup thinly sliced radish

2 tbsp chopped tarragon or dill

2 tbsp chopped parsley

1 tsp pepper

1 tsp sea salt

Dressing:

1 tbsp PC® whole grain Dijon Mustard

3 tbsp PC ®black label Honey & Ginger Condiment

4 tbsp PC® New World EVOO Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Directions:

1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl

2. Whisk the ingredients for the dressing together

2. Pour dressing over vegetables and serve.

As you know, I’ve been along time fan of PC® products and gravitate toward them for their unique flavours and quality. I’m actually going to be posting a dessert using a few PC® products later this week so stay tuned. It’s a winner!!

Many thanks to the entire team at Citizen Relations and the team from Loblaws who worked really (really) hard to put this fantastic retreat together. I am truly grateful.

For more information:

President’s Choice: Twitter: @PresChoice, Instagram; @PresChoice Facebook: PresidentsChoice

Joe Fresh: Twitter: @JoeFresh, Instagram: @JoeFresh, Facebook: JoeFresh

 

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May
30

I have no idea why I have never owned  a Waffle Maker before. However I’m thrilled that I now own a Breville No Mess Waffle Maker.

This waffle maker really made my FIRST experience making waffles super easy!!

breville - machine

 

Features that I liked about the Breville No Mess Waffle Maker:

– it has a wide wrap around moat that catches the over flow. Which also makes cleaning up, really easy!

– you can select your preferred color from light and fluffy to crispy golden brown. #loveit

-the best part? It BEEPS when the waffle is ready. How cool is that?

I’m delighted to announce that this is what my morning breakfast looked like!waffle - final

Here’s the recipe I used. (taken from www.bettycrocker.com)

INGREDIENTS

2 eggs
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil or melted butter (I used melted butter of course)
Fresh berries, if desired

DIRECTIONS

1. Heat the waffle maker

2. In large bowl, beat eggs with wire whisk until fluffy. Beat in remaining ingredients except berries just until smooth.

3. Pour slightly less than 3/4 cup batter onto centre  of hot waffle iron. Close lid of waffle iron.

4. Bake about 5 minutes or until steaming stops. (I simply had to wait for my waffle maker to BEEP!!)

5. Carefully remove waffle. Serve immediately. Top with fresh berries. Repeat with remaining batter.

I promise that you will continue to make waffles on a regular basis as the Breville No Mess Waffle Maker really delivers.

breville - final

P.S. Now it’s time for me to host a brunch with a Waffle Bar. I’m already thinking about the topping options – whipped cream, strawberries, blueberries,  raspberries, banana chips, nutella, chocolate chips, chopped pecans etc. OH MY!!

Disclosure: The waffle maker was provided to me, however all opinions are my own

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