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
11

I know..I know….I’ve posted three restaurant reviews in a row. I promise next week there will be NO restaurant reviews K? However bear with me for my last restaurant review K? I attended a media event for Portland Variety and they really nailed it with some spectacular presentation and flavours. Not to mention…they serve coffee that is WICKED.

Ok let’s start from the beginning.

The front of the restaurant serves breakfast (coffee and pastries etc) …take out lunches (sandwiches etc) and after work there is this INCREDIBLE spread of  tapas.  I mean INCREDIBLE…with incredible prices too. There’s also dinner!!

portland - spread

Now let’s talk about the food that is served during dinner. Top Left:  Chickpeas in a creamy sauce, Top Right: Smoked Octopus, Iberico Chorizo, Smoked Tomato, Olive Oil, Lemon. Bottom Left: Crispy Pork Rinds that I wrapped up and put in my purse (no joke).  Bottom RIght: House Made Ricotta with Honey, Hazelnuts and Pear

I’m in love with all the sauces. I could marry them!

portland - food

I didn’t taste any of these cocktails but I sure did want to take a photo of them. One drink was prettier than the next drink!

portland - drinks

Naturally I didn’t have any battery left to take photos of the desserts but I beg of you to try to beignets. (I haven’t begged before but seriously – Im begging you this time).

As for the coffee. It’s not to be missed. Milton (one of the co-owners) made me a spectacular Americano. It was so good that I had one at the beginning of my meal and one at the end of my meal. This is NOT something I do on a usual basis – especially at night.

portland - coffee

ps..Notice how gorgeous the machine is? Well, there’s only 2 in Toronto and he spent a week in Delaware learning how use it!

Congratulations to Portland Variety. I can’t wait to return.

For more information:

Porland Variety  587 King St. W, Toronto (416) 368 5151

Twitter: @PortlandVariety

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Jul
09

A few weeks ago I received an invitation to a media event at Mata Petisco Bar and I have to be honest…I didn’t reply in a timely fashion as I wasn’t sure if I was going to like South American Cuisine. At the last minute, I quickly replied “Can you please squeeze me in?”. I’m ever so grateful that I changed my mind.

The restaurant is located at 1690 Queen St. West and just opened recently. (errr…in time for the World Cup).

Here’s what I inhaled!

Top photo: Cheese Bread and Lobster Pastel; Bottom Right: Corvina Ceviche with Maple Candied Sweet Potato, Celery & Lime Marinate & Fresh Cilantro.  Bottom Left: Smoky Crispy Chicken Hearts w/Cauliflower Puree & Ancho Chili Oil.

mata - 1The meal continued….

Top left photo: Grilled Octopus w/Hearts of Palm Puree, Raspberry & Balsamic Reduction & Taro Root Crisps, Bottom Left: Beef Cheek Poutine w/Casava Frites, Fresh Curds & Scallions. Right Photo: Picanha Sliders w/ Cachaca Carmelized Onions, House Made Catupiry Cheese & Malagueta Pepper Aioli.

mata 2

I was enamoured by these small jars of HOT sauce which I put on everything…ok not everything but close to it.

sauce

If you asked me to nail down my fav dishes…here ya go: a) the crispy chicken hearts, the grilled octopus and the beef cheek poutine. Yum..Yum..and more Yum.

Hope you get a chance to check out this restaurant soon.

For more information.

Mata Petisco Bar….1690 Queen St. West, Toronto (647) 691 0234

Hours: Tuesday to Thursday 5 pm to 10 pm, Friday and Saturday 5 pm to 11 pm

Twitter: @MatabarTO

 

 

 

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Jul
07

I swear it’s been 15 years since I’ve visited a Mandarin Restaurant. So when I received an invitation to check out their “Celebrate Canada Menu” …I quickly replied that indeed I was interested.  Not only did I want to visit their buffet again but I was also interested  in helping them celebrate their 35th Anniversary!

mandarin - canada

I chose a location that’s close to where I live and decided that it would be IDEAL to bike over there to help eliminate some of the calories I was about to consume. What a smart move!!

mandarin - bike

The buffet is much larger than I remember and there truly is something for EVERYONE. I can see why this is a popular restaurant for families with kids and for large group celebrations. I bet it would be hard to find a 10 year old that DIDN’T like going to celebrate their birthday at the Mandarin!

The service was efficient and we both noticed how polite our waiters were (shout out to Richard and Tom).

mandarin - 1

Round #2 to the buffet look liked this.

mandarin 2

Round #3 to the buffet looked like this.

mandarin 3

I swear I ate everything except for one vegetable side dish that didn’t agree with my palate.

Believe it or not I made room for dessert. I could not resist my favorite desserts…a nanaimo bar, creme brulee and a rocky road square.

mandarin - dessert

Needless to say we left the Mandarin and happily got on our bikes in an effort to burn some of the calories we consumed.!!

For more information:

Mandarin Restaurant – to find a location near you please click here.

Twitter: @ Eatmandarin

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/mandarinrestaurant

 

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Jul
04

Cravings….


Sometimes I’ll have a salad or a great kale stir fry and even though I’m full…I will be craving something “extra”. Do you know what I  mean?

Here’s my list of how I satisfy those cravings:

-grab a bowl of cereal (I generally have 6 boxes in my kitchen even though I live in an apartment with my daughter part time). These days Multi-Grain Cheerios + Ancient Grains with 5 Whole Grains has my attention seeing as there’s the bonus of ancient grains (Kamut, Spelt and Wheat).

 

7223030_GM_Cheerios

-grab a packet of seaweed

-grab a frozen choc chip cookie from my freezer

-find a piece of chocolate and dip it into peanut butter

However the other day, I was happily clicking my way thru Pinterest and discovered a recipe with Cheerios that only requires 4 ingredients to make. I love these types of recipes …especially in the summer when I rarely turn on the oven.

I grabbed the Cheerios and within no time at all – I had a sweet, crunchy snack to add to my list when Im craving something “extra”.

RECIPE FOR 4 INGREDIENT  CHEERIO SNACK BARS (taken from My Little Celebration)

INGREDIENTS

2-3 cups of Cheerios….try using the new Multi-Grain Cheerios + Ancient Grains

1/4 cup peanut butter (I used Kraft Natural..Crunchy)

1/4 cup sugar (Im going to try and reduce this next time)

1/4 cup honey (I used agave)

DIRECTIONS

1. In a small saucepan, melt the sugar and the honey – over medium heat.

2. Remove from heat and add the peanut butter and continue to stir

3. Add the cheerios

4. I had these cute little pans to put it in….but you could put it in a small loaf pan, a small dish…anything really.

pan

5. Pop it into the fridge for an hour and then cut up into squares!

final

I have no doubt that I can add these snacks into my freezer so that they are handy!!

Before you start making these amazing snacks, I’d love to talk more about Ancient Grains. I’d love to know….

A) How do you incorporate ancient grains into your lifestyle? (cereal, in your bread, muffins, etc)

B)  What’s your favourite ancient grain? (spelt, whole wheat, kamut,)

Look forward to hearing from you….

PS This is a sponsored post, however all opinions are my own.

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Jul
02

I drove into Ottawa on Saturday at 7 pm and left on Monday at 8 am. This means that I had a lot to do in a short period of time. Guess what? Mission Accomplished. I checked out 4 new places. Here’s what I discovered:

a) Bread by Us…this new bakery is only 6 months old and is already a hit in the neighbourhood.  I had a lovely chat with the owners and enjoyed my coffee with a white chocolate strawberry scone . Next time, I really need to buy a loaf of bread.  Kind of kicking myself that I walked away empty handed.

bread

b) La Trappe a Fromage: I have NO idea why I’ve never been to this store before. It’s only a 15 min drive from downtown Ottawa and WELL WORTH THE DRIVE. There’s a massive variety of Quebec beer and a massive variety of Quebec cheese too. This is now going to be a store that I’m going to visit on a more regular basis.

beerandcheese

c) Beyond the Pale Brewing Company:  I drove by this place in the morning but it was closed and then returned in the afternoon. I’m so glad that I did. What a discovery. I had 3 samples and then chose one to bring back to Toronto. This little brewery is soon to be expanding as there’s a HUGE demand for their beer. Very happy for them.

beyondthepale

c) Salt.…this restaurant only opened 2 weeks ago! I’m not sure what I should write about first…the space or the food. Both are outstanding. In fact I can’t think of a restaurant in Ottawa that has paid this much attention to the space! The owners wanted to create a restaurant that is open late at night (i.e the kitchen is open till 2am) and where live music is played. As for the food – everything is made in house (the jam, the mustard, etc) and both dishes that we had were well executed and plated to perfection.

salt - food

For more information

Bread By Us: 1065 Wellington St. W, Ottawa (613) 422 5300 Twitter: @BreadByUs

Beyond the Pale Brewing Company: 5 Hamilton Ave. N, Ottawa, (613) 695 2991 Twitter: @BeyondThePale

La Trappe a Fromage: several locations…I went to 114 Blvd Saint-Raymond, Gatineau Quebec

Salt 345 Preston St. Ottawa  (613) 695 5755. Twitter: @SaltOttawa

 

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Jun
27

Yummy Market is a grocery store that caters to the Eastern European Community. As you know – I’m adventurous when it comes to food so visiting Yummy Market is always a pleasure as there’s a good chance I’m going to try something new!

Their store on Dufferin St looks like this:

yummy - storefront

The first thing you notice when you walk in is wide varieties of bread (with samples too).

yummy  - bread

They also carry a huge range of Kefir.

yummy - kefir

I bought this product – but sadly I haven’t tried it yet. Its still in my fridge. My. Bad. It’s a milk flavoured soda and to be honest…I think I’m a teensy bit afraid to try this.

yummy- milk

I also bought some pickles. I adore pickles and love them even more when they aren’t in a jar!

yummy  - pickle

There’s no shortage of a feta cheese, meats, candy and more! I promise you that visiting this store will be a (tasty) adventure.

Happy Grocery Shopping!!

For more information:

Yummy Market:  

North York Location: 4400 Dufferin Street, North York, ON  Phone: (416) 665-0040

Store Hours: 9 am to 9 pm daily

Maple Location:1390 Major Mackenzie Dr. W. Maple, ON  Phone: (905) 417-4117

Store Hours:
Monday – Sat. 8 am – 10 pm
Sunday 8 am – 8 pm

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Jun
18

I’ve just returned from the Stop’s Night Market and I’m oh so happy and oh so full. I kept hearing the same remarks over and over again from food vendors and participants – “this is my favourite event of the year”. They are so right!!

The Stop really does put on a well organized and very-tasty event!! Line ups are minimal, food portions are generous, the venue is central, and the atmosphere rocks. There is a reason why this event sells out in minutes.

When you arrive, they give you the coolest plate. Thumbs up to whoever thought of this idea. Here’s a photo of @Abbeyskitchen (on the right) and I …with our cool plates.

bloggers

Then the fun started as I ate my way thu the Stop’s Night Market. 

PhotoGrid_1403141753940

There’s no shortage of tasty food at this event….

food

Special mention to a few vendors:

a) Neal Brothers - who served chicken that was coated in their new line of potato chips. I can’t wait to try this with fish or tofu! (stay tuned).

neal

B) This Saigon Sub by Hey Meatball - there was so much flavour in here that it wasn’t funny

20140618_180309

C) The Mustard Spatzle by WhippoorWill Restaurant and Tavern was freakin’ unbelievable. I love the creativity of this dish – I mean, it’s not every day that you see small bits of pretzels in your food! #texture #complex

PhotoGrid_1403141571242

Congratulations once again to The Stop for organizing such a fantastic fundraiser.

For more information about The Stop please visit their website so you can read more about the important work that they do.

 

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Jun
17

My lovely neighbor clipped out an article for me the other day from the Toronto Star and left it on my door step. I scrolled through the article and then noticed a recipe that caught my eye, called Indian Slaw. As always, Star Tested recipes are usually winners and this one was no exception.

The recipe was also a great way for me to incorporate peanuts into my diet as I’m always looking for additonal sources of protein. There’s more great news about peanuts too:

A serving of dry roasted, unsalted peanuts contains no sodium or cholesterol and is:
• a source of fibre, potassium, zinc, iron, thiamin, vitamin B6, phosphorus and selenium
• a good source of folate
• an excellent source of magnesium, vitamin E and niacin

This is great news for momwhoruns!!

Ok back to the recipe! Here ya go….

RECIPE: INDIAN SLAW (from Indian Cooking Unfolded by Raghavan Iyer)

1/4 cup dry roasted unsalted peanuts

14 oz coleslaw mix or 1 lb green cabbage shredded (I used a cabbage)

1 to 2 serrano chilies or 1 jalapeno (I used jalapeno)

1/4 of a large red pepper, cut in thin strips

1/4 cup unsweetened dried coconut (I used Co-Conut Bacon from YamChops)

1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro

Juice from 1 lime

1-1/2 tsp kosher salt

2 tablespoons oil

1 tsp mustard seeds

1/4 tsp tumeric

DIRECTIONS:

1. In a mini food processor or spice grinder, pulse nuts to a consistency of coarse bread crumbs (of course, I did not do this step and kept my peanuts whole). Infact, I used fresh peanuts and unshelled them – one by one. Here’s proof!

20140613_163330

2. In a large mixing bowl, combine coleslaw or cabbage, peanuts, chilies, red pepper, coconut, cilantro, lime juice and salt.

3. In a small skillet, heat oil over medium high until shimmering. Add mustard seeds. Cover skillet. Cook until seeds stop popping – about 10 to 20 seconds. Remove from heat. Add tumeric. Stir. Pour over coleslaw mixture.

4. Toss slaw thoroughly until well coated.

20140613_163653

MY DINNER LOOKED LIKE THIS! 

20140613_164304

Note: the lovely looking placemat is designed by the very talented Kate Thornley Hall (www.katethornleyhall.com) who has the most impressive line of fabrics, pillows, wallpaper and more.

Many thanks to the Peanut Bureau of Canada for inviting to me to an event so that I could learn more about peanuts!

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Jun
16

The other day I got a tweet from @TheCulturedPearl that said: Hey @momwhoruns I’ve found a new #coffice @TherollingpinTO.  I immediately clicked on the twitter username so I could learn more. Their profile said “Sweet Treats, 3429 Yonge St, Toronto, www.therollingpin.ca.“. I didn’t need more info..LOL…I knew that I would be visiting (sooner than later) as it’s close to where I live.  Before I knew it, I found myself dropping by on Sunday morning as soon as they opened (10 am). The outside of this charming bakery looks like this. rolling - outside The inside of this charming bakery looks like this. rolling - inside Now let’s talk about those SWEET TREATS. There’s an assortment of donuts, macarons, pies, cakes and more. Naturally everything is made in house. I decided to try the banana cream pie. However the donut I really would like to try is the “Elvis” which is described as “a delicious peanut butter topping with crisp bacon, bananas and chocolate drizzle”. Other donuts that might interest you – Tiramisu, Boston Cream, Cannoli, Maple Bacon, Blueberry Cheesecake and more!! rolling - banana I’m also going to return so my waistline can try this! rolling - cake Hope you get a chance to visit one day soon. ps a huge shout out to @theculturedpearl for introducing me (and my waistline) to The Rolling Pin!

For more information: The Rolling Pin: 3429 Yonge St, Toronto 416 691 4554

Twitter: @therollingpinTO

Instagram: therollingpinto

email: hello@therollingpin.ca

Ps closed on Mondays!!

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Jun
12

Last week, I attended the launch of the TELUS House Toronto Rooftop Community Garden. I went to the event, as these days I’m in awe of anything related to gardening. Would you believe….I’m presently living in an apartment WITHOUT a balcony. Don’t get me started.

I absolutely adore their philosophy: “Because the environment matters to YOU and you matter to US”.

To build this garden was not an easy project. They had to take into consideration – the shade, the wind, finding the right soil mixture and many other factors. The garden will feature many varieties of vegetables and fruit too. What’s kind of neat, is that the produce will be sold to the employees and the proceeds will go back into the community. Plus the produce itself will be donated back to those in need.

telus - soil

They thought of everything – including a watering team!!

telus - watering

I couldn’t help but notice that they are growing watermelon. To be honest, I’m already looking forward to attending their Harvest Party to see what grew!

telus - watermelon

After many years of planning – TELUS now has a 5th floor space that is truly admirable. You should be applauded for your commitment to the environment and to to the community.

Congratulations and Happy Gardening!!

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