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.

Jun
28

I recently organized a media dinner for Rashers as they opened up a second location on Ossington.

I’ve probably organized 10 media dinners over the last few years but this event was particularly special.

Here’s my tips on how to put on a great media dinner:

1. Include as much info in the invitation as possible: dress code? start time?, finish time?, is it a sit down meal or just passed appetizers? can extra guests be accommodated? hashtags for the evening? twitter/instagram handles? is parking available etc?!

2. Keep it small. This event was limited to 12 food bloggers and it was just the perfect size.

rashers - group

3. It makes a huge difference if the restaurant can put up a sign: “Sorry we are closed for a private event this evening”.

4. Stick to the schedule. Most bloggers have day jobs and have commutes to get home! The media dinner at Rashers ended in just over and hour and everyone was really really happy about that.

5. Welcome Bloggers. It’s a nice touch.

rashers - sign

6. Allow bloggers to take photos of the food before it’s served so then everyone can enjoy their meal. Signs in front  of each dish allow the bloggers to go home and remember what the photo was!

rashers - bacon caesar

7. Hand out name tags. I’m a huge fan of name tags as I’m having a hard time remembering everyone I meet at different events!!

8. Try to reach out to bloggers before the event on social media channels and retweet their blog posts!!

9. Include a gift card for the blogger to return to your restaurant another time in the gift bag. Don’t forget to include a menu in the gift bag and a business card with all the contact info for the restaurant.

10. Make sure you have enough staff. This will ensure that the event runs in a smooth fashion and ends on time.

Seriously the event at Rashers did all of the above and I walked away from the event beaming.

Oh ya – it helped that my belly was full of bacon goodness as well.

For more information:

www.rashers.ca

Address: 182 Ossington and 948 Queen St. East

Twitter/Instagram: RashersTO

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

Disclosure: Rashers was a client however all my opinions are my own.

 

 

 

 

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Jun
26

Brunch Ideas!!


Today I hosted a brunch for the first time in a long time. It was a delight to put together the menu as I had seen a recipe on my facebook feed that inspired me (one of those sponsored posts!!).

I didn’t think it would turn out so I tested the recipe during the week to ensure that is was “guest worthy”. Guess what? It worked and was indeed guest worthy.

It’s a freakin’ brilliant recipe. The star of the recipe is …WONDER BREAD (believe it or not) and your rolling pin.

brunch - rolling pin

All you need is just a few ingredients and bingo you will have your main course!!

brunch - ingredients

Here’s the recipe for Cinnamon Toast Roll Ups (original recipe here)

8 slices of WONDERBREAD
1/2 cup Ricotta Cheese (I added a touch of cream cheese too)

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 tbsp ground cinnamon

3/4 cup butter, melted

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1. Trim crusts from bread and flatten each slice with a rolling-pin.

2. In a medium bowl, combine Ricotta Cheese with a touch of cream cheese and stir until smooth.

3. In a separate bowl, combine granulated sugar and cinnamon; set aside.

4. Spread about 2 tablespoons of Ricotta Cheese mixture on each slice of bread. Roll up, jelly roll style. Dip in melted butter, then in cinnamon-sugar.

4. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Final Results

brunch - final

I served this along with:

-A gorgeous salad. (hint it was worth the visit to Wychwood Barns Farmers Market to pick up the edible flowers and the gorgeous salad mix)

brunch - salad

-Spiralized cucumber salad

brunch - cucumber

-Mozzarella, Basil and Tomato with a Balsamic Glaze (that I made myself. Thank. You. Very. Much!!

brunch - tomatoes

-Baked oatmeal cups (oops can’t find the photo)

-Watermelon Skewers dipped in Campari

brunch - watermelon

-Baked eggs in a bun!!

brunch - baked eggs

As for refreshments: I served Campari in Soda with the cutest straws that I picked up at Michaels. By the way, I can’t remember the last time I went into Michaels but I clearly need to go more often. I could have bought a lot more than just the straws!!

brunch - drinks

More recipes in upcoming upcoming blogs K?. I promise.

Happy Brunch-ing

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Jun
17

I made Gazpacho the other night for the first time in a long time. I truly forgot how refreshing this soup is.

Seriously it took about 10 minutes to chop the veggies and in no time at all you will be enjoying a fabulous summer time soup.

This weekend is going to be H-O-T, so this soup would be ideal.  In fact I purposely didn’t post this recipe till today! (there is a reason behind my madness. LOL)

See these ingredients? Simply wash them and start dicing.

gazpacho - ingredients

Soon you will have gazpacho once you add those diced veggies into the tomato juice! (plus some spices and other goodies)

gazpacho - veggies

My Favourite Gazpacho recipe is from Moosewood Cookbook. 

Ingredients:

4 cups tomato juice (I use V-8)
1/2 cup finely minced onion
1 medium clove garlic, crushed
1 medium bell pepper, finely diced
1 teaspoon honey
1 medium cucumber, finely diced
2 scallions, minced (I didn’t have any and my gazpacho was just fine)
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Juice of 1 lime
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried tarragon
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 cup minced parsley or cilantro.
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups diced fresh, ripe tomatoes (peeled, seeded)
Salt, pepper, cayenne to taste

Directions:

1. Finely dice the onion, cucumber, green pepper, tomatoes, garlic

2. Add vegetables into the tomato juice

3. Add lemon juice, lime juice, honey, oil and spices.

*you could puree all the ingredients but I like my gazpacho chunky

4. CHILL and enjoy

Final Result

gazpacho - final

Happy Summer Cooking!!

 

 

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Jun
08

Do you Love Krispy Kreme? Me too. I can still remember the first time I had a Krispy Kreme donut in Florida.
I also remember when Krispy Kreme arrived in Mississauga. Oh how I remember.
I’m sure you remember too as it appeared that everyone at one point or another had lined up for one of their hot delicious donuts.

I’m pleased to let you know that Krispy Kreme has recently opened their latest Café at the historic corner of Spadina Avenue and Nassau Street.

krispy - store

The iconic brand plans to offer classic menu options as well as share new innovations with loyal Krispy Kreme fans. Downtown Torontonians will be able to enjoy the new shop, featuring a “served hot experience”.

krispy - served hot

Naturally I was all to happy to attend this event which had this very cool Krispy Kreme cruiser outside the cafe.

krispy - van

But I admit, I spent most of my time inside inhaling a hot original Krispy Kreme donut.

krispy - donuts

It wasn’t an easy choice for me to make as there’s quite an assortment of donuts to chose from! See what I mean?

krispy - assorted

For more information:

Krispy Kreme, 400 Spadina Avenue,  Toronto ON

Website: www.KrispyKreme.ca

Twitter and Instagram: @KrispyKremeCan
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KrispyKremeCanada/

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Jun
06

Remember the roasted cauliflower recipe that I blogged about a few weeks ago? Well, there was no way I was going to eat that whole cauliflower by myself. Therefore I needed to figure out what to do with it.

So I went on Pinterest and found a Cauliflower Potato Salad – without the Potatos!! I thought to myself – PERFECT.

Here’s the recipe: (adapted from www.nelliebellie.com)

Ingredients:

1 roasted cauliflower or steamed cauliflower

2 hard boiled eggs, grated

1/4 cup of mayonnaise

3 ribs of celery, diced

Fresh parsley or dill (fresh herbs will make a huge difference)

cauliflower -ingredients

Directions:

1. Roast or steam the cauliflower. Click here for the Roasted Cauliflower recipe)

2. Grate the cauliflower till you have 2 cups

cauliflower - grated 2 cups

3. Combine the grated cauliflower, grated hard boiled eggs and celery together with the mayo.

4. Add salt and pepper and fresh herbs – to your taste.

FINAL

cauliflower - final

This is a fantastic alternative to potato salad.

It’s also perfect for someone like me who is trying to cut down on carbs.

T’is the season to embrace salads, don’t you think?

 

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Jun
03

I’m been a fan of cereal since I was a kid.

True stories: I have fond memories of my sister and I, spilling Raisin Bran on the counter and then picking out the raisins.

I also remember that I would often invite my high school friend over after school to have a bowl of Life cereal and then watch Days of Our Lives.

I also have a strong memory of Weetabix. It was one of those pure cereals that would absorb the milk just perfectly.

weetabix - box1

At a recent Weetabix Lunch and Learn, I found out that Weetabix has a manufacturing plant in Cobourg, Ontario where it produces Weetabix and Alpen.

Here’s some cool facts:

Alpen has a cereal with NO SUGAR ADDED. Something tells me that this would appeal to a lot of people.

weetabix - alpen

Weetabix has only 2 grams of sugar per serving and contains 4 simple ingredients. How awesome is that?

weetabix - 2 gram

If you are looking to increase your daily fibre intake, then these two cereals should be in your cupboard!!

Here’s a recipe that was served at the event that I thought I would share:

Weetabix Adult Mac and Cheese (recipe credit: Jeremy Parsons, 360 Gourmet)

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups of Macaroni

3 cups 18% Cream

1 cup of shredded Gruyere

1 cup of shredded Cheddar

1 cup of shredded Pecorino

Salt and Pepper to taste

CRUST

2 Weetabix

3 tbsp garlic butter

 DIRECTIONS

1. In a non stick sauce pan, add cream and shredded cheese stirring constantly until well combined.

2. Add salt and pepper to taste and keep well heated and reduce so the sauce will stay on a spatula

3. Cook pasta.

4. Combine the pasta and the cream sauce.

5. Spoon into greased ramekins

6. Melt butter and shred Weetabix into the melted butter

7. Sprinkle the “crust” over each ramekin.

8. Place under broiler until brown. (5 minutes)

weetabix - mac

For more information about Weetabix:

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

Discolour: This is a sponsored blog post, however all opinions are my own

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May
31

Appleseed Cider Fest took place on Sunday May 29th at Wychwood Barns.

cider - two cups

I decided to stop by as I enjoy the occasional cider and love the venue. Plus I wanted to support this unique festival as that’s the way I roll. (It’s true).cider - wychwood

I had the chance to chat with the festival organizer, who told me that he use to run a beer festival in London, Ontario and now that he was living in Toronto  he wanted to continue to run festivals/events.

cider - aaron

Naturally I wanted to try some new ciders and this was the perfect venue to do that. There was no shortage of ciders. This is definitely a growing category!!

cider - list

I had 3 tickets and not a lot of time (story of my life).  Here’s the three ciders that I tried.

1. Ernest CiderThis cider has recently been launched and it’s not to  to sweet, nor too tart; Ernest Cider is a new, lightly filtered, hand-crafted hard cider. Not to mention, it has an alcohol content of 6.4 per cent and has two to three times less sugar than the mass-produced domestic or imported cider. #LOVEIT (plus I like their branding and I’m a total sucker for great marketing)
cider - ernest

2. Coffin Ridge – The Old Orchard Organic Seasonal cider that I sampled was also perfect. I asked where I could find it and the vendor mentioned that it was going to be available at a new cider bar. I replied “tell me more”.  He mentioned that it’s a new restaurant/cider bar called  Her Father’s Cider Bar and it’s at 119 Harbord. Can’t wait to visit this new concept!

cider - coffin

3. The last ticket was shared on two ciders (a little bit of each) that DID not appeal to me. (repeat; DID NOT APPEAL TO ME).  There’s very few items that I taste that I don’t like and I simply could NOT finish either cider. It was indeed funky!!

cider - funk

Congratulations to the organizer of this festival. Looking forward to attending the festival in 2017.!!

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May
29

Having it All


Have you ever wondered what it means to “Have it All”. Well, lately I’ve been thinking what that means.

When I was in my 20’s I was definitely “having it all”. I had a job a month after university, shared an apartment with a room mate, did some travelling and was enjoying living in Toronto.

I somewhere between 25 and 30 in this photo. I think. LOL

I somewhere between 25 and 30 in this photo. I think. LOL

In my 30’s, I continued to “have it all”. I was busy having kids, lived in a lovely house, and still managed to travel.

vicky - 35

In my 40’s I still had it all but “having” it all meant being more responsible with $$ seeing as the kids were growing and there were definitely more expenses.

vicky - 40

I’ve always been budget conscious but I was now paying more attention to my grocery bill, the cost of clothing etc. As for the car I drove – it was always second hand. I loved the idea of buying second hand so much so that I even owned a consignment store for 3 years.

“Having it all” is possible at any age but I really do believe it means being mindful of how much you spend and knowing what your priorities are.

At this stage in my life, (early 50’s), I continue to have the desire to travel and I’ve also added home renovations to that list.

vicky - 50
Seeing as I’m a food blogger, I entertain quite a bit. I love throwing small parties and having friends over for brunch or dinner. I  also love setting a nice table (see blog post here).

All of the above, requires more groceries which can add up. I try my best to create seasonal menus and cook/bake vs buying store bought dishes/desserts. Again, I’m aware that entertaining is an additional expense but it’s definitely important to me.
No question Food Basics knows what I mean by “having it all”  and offers their customers great value. I will continue to look at grocery prices so I can travel, entertain, renovate and save for a rainy day too!!

News alert: Beginning on June 3rd, Food Basics will be launching the I Want It All Event.
Here’s what you need to know:

Film a 5-15 second video answering the question: “If you won free groceries for an entire year, what would you do with the savings?” Upload the video to www.foodbasics.ca/videocontest for a chance to win one of three prizes of groceries for a year—$1,000 in Food Basics gift cards!

In-store teams will walk around with cameras to ask customers what “I want it all” means to them for additional chances to win

Share what having it all means to you on social media with the hashtags #iwantitall #foodbasics

Check out this video to learn more. Check out complete contest rules by clicking here.

Note: To be entered in the contest, videos must be uploaded to the web, sharing on social media won’t count as a contest entry.

Happy Grocery Shopping!

Website: www.foodbasics.ca

Disclosure: This is a sponsored blog post. 

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May
26

Long Weekend: Montreal – Part 2

I hadn’t been to Montreal since 2014 so I was due for a visit. When it comes to food, this city is right up there with New York, Vegas and Chicago. (in my humble opinion)

Day 1:

How could we not stop at the epic Gibeau Orange Julep (7700 Boulevard Décarie) . It was the perfect way to say “Hello Montreal. We have arrived!”

montreal -orange

Then we continued to Jean-Talon Market (7070 Avenue Henri Julien). I absolutely adore this market. It’s one of my favourites for so many reasons. I bought a new yogurt I had never seen, (which I hope we will see in Toronto one day) a cheese I had never tasted (Tahlia) goat cheese curds and a gorgeous mustard with black sesame seeds.

montreal - what i bought
Sadly I found out that the butter I use to buy is no longer available. I use to buy this butter on every visit and was so sad to hear that they went out of business. Sniff.

Then we went to the Montreal Biodome (4777 Avenue Pierre-Coubertin) to see something other than food!! We encountered an oasis of beautiful birds, penguins and more. So glad we included this in our itinerary. This special space is accurately described as an indoor zoo, an aquarium and a botanical garden wrapped into one space!

montreal - penguin

Naturally a trip to Montreal wouldn’t be complete without visiting Au Pied Du Cochon. (536 Avenue Duluth E). We couldn’t get reservations but showed up at 5 pm and scored a table on their outdoor patio.

montreal - au piedI already know what I’m ordering next time (I’m a planner – can you tell?) – this incredible looking hot chicken sandwich.

montreal - au pied next time

Day 2:

Woke up and headed directly to Patisserie Au Kouign Amann (322 Avenue du Mont-Royal E) for their incredible Kougin Amann which I was introduced to in 2012. (see blog post here). I’m almost grateful that I’ve never seen this pastry in Toronto!

montreal - kougan

Again, a trip to Montreal would not be complete without a trip to Schwartz’s Deli (3895 Boul St-Laurent).  The smoked meat sandwich I inhaled is the real deal.

montreal - shwartz

After lunch, we walked thru Old Montreal and the Port. My new Keen shoes were a pleasure to wear as we walked and walked and walked.

montreal - touring
Seriously, these Keen shoes saved me. By the way, if you haven’t seen this colour before it’s because this colour is one of their newest colours. #loveit

montreal - keens

On both days we were wiped and never made it out of the hotel after 8 pm. Just. Too. Tired.

Day 3:

Went for breakfast with a childhood friend at Maison Christian Faure(355 Place Royale).  This almond croissant is something else and the best part is that they are coming to Toronto in September.

montreal - maison

Last stop before heading on to the highway was La Diperie. (68 Avenue De Pins E) OH MY. OH MY. OH MY. This soft serve ice cream shop has 30 different dips (turtle, cookie dough, milk banana, baileys, espresso, cheese cake etc) and a variety of toppings (pretzels, pistachios, almonds, coconut etc).
I decided to order Becky’s Fave from their menu – which was soft serve vanilla ice cream dipped into ginger dark chocolate and topped with pistachios.

montreal - la dipperie
As for our hotel: We stayed at the beautiful Loft Hotel which was located at 338 Terrace St. Denis. Our room was just stunning and complete with a FULL kitchen i.e. dishwasher, pots and pans, etc etc. I couldn’t have been happier with the space and the location. Would stay there again in a heart beat.

montreal - hotelHope you get a chance to visit Montreal one day soon!

Please click here to find out more about Montreal attractions, festivals, events and more.

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May
24

I’ve tried hard over the years, to make it to the Canadian Tulip Festival in Ottawa. I decided to take Friday and Tuesday off of work and visit Ottawa AND Montreal. This particular blog post will be dedicated to the Ottawa segment of the trip.

As always, the first thing I did upon arriving in Ottawa was to stop at Golden Palace (2195 Carling Ave) for an egg roll (or two). Please google “best egg rolls in the world”,….guess what appears?

ottawa - eggroll

It also dawned on me that I hadn’t been to Perth for a while so on Saturday we headed to this charming city to visit their farmer’s market.

ottawa - perth river

Naturally I wanted to buy something and this product intrigued me. I’m thinking of putting it on a piece of salmon and then baking it. What do you think?

perth -jelly

I didnt’ buy this Loon Kombucha but I should have! #next time

perth - kombucha

After the farmers market we drove back to Ottawa and went directly to Dow’s Lake to visit the tulips. Please forgive me but I’m going to bore you with a few photos of some beautiful tulips.

ottawa - tulip pink

See what I mean? One flower is more stunning than the next one!

ottawa - tulips red

I can’t decide which photo I like best.

ottawa - tulips lots

I had a little bit of energy left to drop by Seed to Sausage (729 Gladstone) to pick up a bottle of this root beer syrup by Michael’s Dolce. I had been seeing this product on Instagram and was waiting to return to Ottawa to pick up a bottle, so I was thrilled that I have my hands on it!!

ottawa - rootbeer After our quick trip to Ottawa, we proceeded to Montreal.

Stay tuned for Long Weekend: Montreal – Part 2.

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