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.

Mar
01

Actually there isn’t much in my fridge these days. Although I can’t say the same thing about my freezer. It’s packed. So what do you see in my fridge? hmm…lots of egg whites, dairy products, peanut butter and a Brita Pitcher.

fridge - content

I’m really trying hard to stick to a low carb diet these days – can you tell?

As for vegetables: I’ve got a goal to reduce the amount of vegetables that I seem to buy and then not use. (arghh). Therefore I seem to be eating more and more “prepared” salads and stir fries. Recently I tried Fresh Attitude Microwavable Ready to Eat Stir Frys. These kits allowed me to have flavourful stir frys in just minutes. Um  – to be exact, my meal was ready in about 4 minutes.  Flavours include: Sweet ‘n Sour, Thai, Teriyaki and General Tao. Bonus: no plates required as you can eat right out of the bowl.

fridge - salads

I’m also trying to drink more water seeing as my Brita pitcher is providing me with tastier and cleaner water!! This brand has been in my kitchen for decades seeing as my friends husband worked at Brita back in the early 1990’s.

What I love about the Brita pitcher is the Filter Changer Indicator. How. Brilliant.

fridge - buttons

Seeing as I’m trying harder to drink more, I’m participating in #BritaBootcamp. There is no question that this statement is true: When water taste better then you drink more! Thanks to the Brita Water Filtration System, I’m now enjoying water that tastes better. Much better!

Tell me what’s in your fridge!!

Disclosure: I was provided with product and/or compensated however all my opinions are my own.

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Feb
26

It’s not everyday that I receive an invite to attend a dinner party at the home of Jessica and Ben Mulroney. Of course, I replied…COUNT ME IN.

Naturally, they were super friendly and wonderful hosts!

danette - jessica

The incredible food that was served, was prepared by Cafe Bar Pasta. (1588 Dundas St. W). Great choice Ben and Jessica!!

danette - meal

Even the table was spectacular. Notice the creative place cards? Love it.

danette - table

Dessert was really the main “event”. You see, Danette from Danone was recently launched in Canada. Made from 75% Canadian milk, Danette is also a source of calcium, making it the perfect nutritious dessert.

danette - dessert2

 

A study from Danone Canada shows that nearly 2 out of 3 Canadians say they feel a desire to treat themselves after a meal. I’m one of those people!! Now I can indulge as it comes in 6 delciious flavours: Chocolate, Caramel, Choco-Coconut, Vanilla and Coffee.
Yes..I tried all of them. (of course).

Danette is a simple and enjoyable way to add more dairy into your diet.
Cheers to that!!

For more information:
Website: http://www.danone.ca/en/products/danette
Hashtag: #danettefordessert

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Feb
19

Recipe for Change!!


Last year, I attended Recipe for Change for my first time. In case you want to read about my experience at this outstanding event, please click here.

recipe

This year I would like to share a quick interview I had with the Executive Director of FoodShare, Debbie Field.

1. Can you tell me the history of this event and how it has evolved over the years? We wanted an event that could highlight the amazing work we do in schools bringing food literacy to students of all ages, and we wanted to raise the needed money for the staff who deliver the food literacy workshops. The event combines both goals.

2. How does this event differ from other events? It combines some of the best food in town, a great sense of elegance with a grounded reality of a multi-ages, more women chefs and more diverse chefs than any other event of its kind. It therefore has an optimistic sense to it that I think is rare in fundraising events. It is one night with great food that will hopefully inspire everyone to be active in the movement for food literacy.

3. Describe where the money goes to? Field to Table Schools work teaching kids how to cook and grow food and be food literate.

4. Any advice for first time attendees? The venue is fabulous, the food is incredible, and it really is FUN. You will meet great people as everyone is very friendly. FoodShare is often referred to as a big family and the event feels that way.

5. What’s the best part of the event? The feeling that we are building a movement together for food literacy.

Recipe for Change not only supports an important cause, but it’s also A PARTY you don’t want to miss. With 30 chefs reflecting Toronto’s diverse food scene, 2 craft brewers and 3 wineries, this will be the most delicious fun night of the year! The festivities take place on Thursday Feb 26th from 6 pm to 9 pm. at the St. Lawrence Market North Building. Grab a friend, buy your tickets and arrive promptly at 6 pm wearing your stretchy pants!

 

 

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Feb
13

I’m always trying to sneak in more protein into my diet seeing as I’ve tried to reduce my carb intake. Consuming more protein really makes me feel full. Here’s a few products that have caught my attention:

a) Maple Leaf Foods PROTINIS: 

PROTINIS Skewers, are a new line of over-roasted chicken snacks for the whole family. Snacks with complete protein, like chicken, contain 9 essential amino acids that the body needs to support physical activity and weight management. These skewers were perfect for me to take as a snack when I had a 4.5 hour drive to Ottawa!

protini

b) Barilla Pasta

Barilla PLUS delivers 27% more protein than Barilla’s traditonal semolina pata. Each 85g serving of Barilla PLUS provides 14 grams of high quality protein. This high quality protein comes from ingredients like chickpeas, lentils and egg whites.

pasta2

Even though I’m trying to cut carbs this is a pasta that I would choose on a “cheat day”!

PS did you know that celebrity Chef David Rocco recently partnered with Barilla?

c) Kellogg’s Special K Protein Shakes

Sometimes before I head on to the treadmill, I get a bit nervous that I didn’t have enough to drink or I didn’t consume enough food to get me thru my run (yes  – this is what you call “Runners Problems”). LOL. This convenient drink does the trick.

Kellogg’s Special K Protein Shakes are available in Chocolate, Strawberry, Vanilla, Café Latte and Mocha flavours to help shake off hunger without sacrificing taste.

kellogs

What’s your favourite way to incorporate protein into your diet?

Disclosure: I received compensation and/or product however all my opinions are my own

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Feb
11

A few weeks ago, I was totally spoiled and had the opportunity to experience a Winterlicious lunch at the Four Seasons Hotel followed by a Winterlicious dinner the next day at the Toronto Hyatt Regency on King.

From January 30 to February 12, more than 200 of Toronto’s top restaurants are offering three-course prix fixe menus at one of three price categories:

Lunch:   $18  |  $23  |  $28

Dinner:   $25  |  $35  |  $45

There’s still time to pick up the phone and secure reservations of Winterlicious and I do hope that you would consider both of these restaurants!!

Here’s my (brief) review of my Four Seasons Winterlicious lunch at Cafe Boulud:

Cafe Boulud doesn’t disappoint when it comes to service, atmosphere or execution. For some reason, I had never been to the new Four Seasons before but I would certainly return!! I even dressed up for the occasion which is not something I usually do.

Please click on this link to check out their Winterlicious menu!

four season - winterlicious

b) Toronto Hyatt Regency Winterlicious Dinner:

Again, I was treated to exceptional service. There’s no question there’s value in any Winterlicious meal at a hotel!! Please click on the link to read more about their Winterlicious menu.

hyatt - winterliciousNow – go pick up the phone and make a reservation.

Toronto Hyatt Regency:  370 King St. West, Toronto,  416-963-6000

Four Seasons – Cafe Boulud: 60 Yorkville Ave, Toronto 416 964-0411

Happy Winterlicious!!

Discloure: Both meals were complimentary however all opinions are my own.

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Feb
05

Here’s a recap of my day:

It started off at Mr. Mike’s Pizza (269 Morningside) so that I could inhale a slice of poutine pizza…

vicky - poutine

……and it ended off at Brookelynn Bistro (9300 Keele St) to help celebrate World Nutella Day.

vicky - nutella

In between those two events, I went to the gym and ran on the treadmill (I swear).

Seriously. Life is good. Here’s more information about why I consumed Poutine Pizza and Nutella on the same day!!

a) Poutine Week takes place from Feb 1 – 7th,  at 23 participating restaurants. I love the stuff….I’ve had it in sandwich, for brunch and now on a pizza.

b) World Nutella Day is on Feb 5th. I was happy to celebrate this special day  with Brookelynn Bistro, Fables & Foccaccia in collaboration with Continental Noodles and Wild Burger! The menu included Wild Boar Nutella Sliders, Plantain Nutella Springrolls, Nutella Arancini, a Nutella Spread Station, and a Nutella Dessert Station and more!! I was freaking out with happiness. One item was better than another! Kudos to www.sweetboutique.ca for their delicious nutella creations and Wild Burger too. I’m in a food coma!!

group

Le Sigh…..

ps many thanks to Fables and Focaccia for inviting me to help celebrate World Nutella Day. You really are Queen of Nutella.

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Jan
28

My neighbour gave me a recipe from the Toronto Star that she thought might interest me.  I figured: “why not”? I was actually curious if this recipe would turn out and it did! Please note – this is a 2 step recipe that requires you to bake the potatoes and then stick them in the fridge overnight!

White Potato Nest Frittata (Star Tested – Toronto Star, Jan 3, 2015) written by Michele Henry

INGREDIENTS

2 large russet potatoes

6 eggs

salt and pepper

6 tbsp diced red pepper

6 tbsp diced shallot (I didn’t have any in my fridge…oops)

6 tbsp grated cheddar (I used OKA).

DIRECTIONS

1. Bake potatoes in preheated oven at 350 F for about an hour

recipe - pototatoe

2. Let cool for 20 minutes

3. Place in refrigerator overnight.

4. The next day – grate the potatoes over a bowl and then season with salt and pepper

recipe - grate

5. Generously spray the muffin tin with PAM or grease with vegetable oil. Then pat the potatoe mixture into the muffin tin to form a well. Note; the two potatoes were exactly enough for a 12 piece muffin tray.

recipe - nests

6. Bake in a preheated oven at 425 F for 15 to 20 minutes or till golden brown. (yes – the edges turned golden brown). I placed the muffin tray on the top rack!

7. Remove from the oven and then place a tiny amount of red pepper and cheese and shallot – into each potato nest.

8. Crack open an egg on top of each nest. I swear I thought they would overflow but they didn’t. PHEWW.

recipe - crack egg

9. Bake in a pre heated oven at 400 F for 15 to 20 minutes.

FINAL PRODUCT

recipe - final

I then sprinkled each one with dried dill. Next time I would use add fresh dill or fresh parsley AFTER they were cooked

Again – I thought that they were going to spill over but everything worked out. Pheww!

Note to self…I really need to have company over for brunch one day soon.

 

 

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Jan
13

On Sunday morning, I made a perfectly good lookin’ French Toast to serve to my daughter. However I was still staring at half a loaf of challah and then said to myself: “Vicky…now is the time to try that recipe for Individual French Toast Muffins that you saw on Pinterest 3 years ago!!”.

french toast - rebecca

Here’s the recipe that I used from the website: Two Peas and Their Pod

INGREDIENTS:

1 loaf French bread, cut or torn into 1/2 inch cubes  (I used half a loaf of a whole wheat challah)
2 1/2 cups milk
6 large eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

For the Cinnamon Streusel Topping:

1/4 cup cold butter
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt

Butter and Maple Syrup, for serving, optional

DIRECTIONS

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon.

french toast - bread and eggs

2. Grease a 12 cup muffin tin. Add a handful of bread cubes to each muffin cup. Carefully pour egg and milk mixture evenly over each muffin tin. You may need to press down on the bread cubes after you pour a little mixture and then pour more. Pour slowly or you will have a mess. Cover the muffins with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours or up to overnight. (I refrigerated it for 2 hours)

french toast - muffin

3. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. To make the cinnamon streusel, in a small bowl, combine butter, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt. Mix together with your hands, until you have a crumbly mixture. Remove the muffins from the refrigerator and sprinkle the muffins evenly with the streusel topping.

4. Bake for 25 minutes or until tops are golden brown. Let muffins cool for 5 minutes. Remove from pan and serve with butter and maple syrup, if desired.

FINAL PRODUCT

How cute? I can’t wait to serve these at a brunch one day soon. I have a feeling they will be a hit!

french toast - final2

Happy Brunching!!

 

 

 

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Jan
07

At one my point in my life I was a Food Sales Rep. This meant I was visiting 12-15 grocery stores a day. However my fridge was ALWAYS missing something.

I really do have a love/hate relationships with Grocery Stores. Thankfully Loblaws has introduced a program called Click & Collect, so I can “love” grocery shopping more than hating it!

Here’s my experience using it:

1. I sat on my couch one night and ordered my groceries online using this website: https://shop.loblaws.ca/

After a few clicks, my online cart was full of things I needed…ie Kale, Almond Milk, frozen spinach, and other goodies!

2.  I then clicked on a convenient time for me to pick up my groceries. Sweet.

3. The next day, I drove to Loblaws (there’s 3 locations that are offering this program). When I drove thru the parking lot I saw these “Click & Collect” signs so I parked and followed the instructions. i.e I made a phone call where a friendly customer service rep reviewed my bill.

For more information about substitutions, pricing, etc. please click here: https://shop.loblaws.ca/faq

loblaws - sign

4) The friendly customer service rep came out with my groceries and put them in my car.

loblaws -cart

5) See me smiling from the comfort of my car? I was SO happy with the service and the fact that I didn’t have to leave my car!!

loblaws - bill

Things you should know;

a) There is an additional service fee depending on the time slot you choose. I must have picked a great time, as I only had to pay an additional $3 for the service.

b) You need to spend a minimum of $50

c) There’s 3 locations in Toronto that are offering the  “Click & Collect” program.

Loblaws: 17 Leslie Street, Toronto

Loblaws: 11 Redway, Toronto

Loblaws: 301 High Tech Road, Richmond Hill

Would I use the Click & Collect program again?  YES. YES. YES!!

Happy Clicking and Collecting!!

Disclosure: I was compensated to try the Click & Collect program however all opinions are my own

 

 

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Jan
05

It’s a new year which is code (for me) for checking out some new recipes! So here are 3 recipes that I want to share with you that I recently tried. I hope you like them as much as I did.

a) PERSIMON MIXED SALAD:

I was recently introduced to PERSIMONS for the first time in decades. This particular variety from Spain has completely changed my mind about this gorgeous looking fruit. They have a sweet, delicate flavour similar to a peach or a mango and are only available for a short period; usually from mid-October until January/February. I think their limited availability makes them even more special, which is why you must seize the opportunity when they are in market!

Here’s a fabulous salad that I whipped up one night wtih just a few ingredients that were hanging around my fridge.

For more information about this fabulous fruit: www.persimonsays.com, Twitter: @PersimonSays

INGREDIENTS:

-Salad Mix

-Persimon

-Toasted almonds

-Pomegranate

DIRECTIONS

1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl.

2. For the dressing: take the pomegranate juice, add oil, dijon mustard and salt and pepper. Whisk together.

FINAL PRODUCT

recipe - salad

b) APPETIZER: Mediterranean Ricotta fritters

I couldn’t believe how easy this recipe was to make. I will be making these again but probably going to add a different topping. ie fresh sasla or a spicy ailoli or mango chutney or a pesto. Clearly this a versatile recipe!! ps if you are looking for more amazing recipes please check out www.dairygoodness.ca

INGREDIENTS

1 egg

1 cup Canadian Ricotta

1/4 cup flour

1/2 tsp nutmeg

salt and pepper

1 cup Canadian Swiss Cheese, grated

1/2 cup tomato sauce

1 tsp black or green olive tapenada

2 tablespoons fresh herbs..ie parsley and/or chives

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 425 F

2. In a bowl, whisk egg with Ricotta, flour and nutmeg. Season generously with salt and pepper. Incorporate Swiss Cheese and half the herbs

3. Drop small spoonfuls of dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake in the oven on top rack for 10 to 12 minutes or until fritters are puffed up and golden brown.

4. Place fritters in wonton soup spoons (which I own of course..LOL), with hot tomato sauce, tapenade and remaining herbs.

FINAL PRODUCT

recipe - fritter

c) DESSERT: Cherry Vanilla Blintzes (recipe from Food Network courtesy Wayne Harley Brachman)

I generally buy blintzes from a box but I was in the mood to make something from scratch and came upon the recipe while searching on the internet. It’s a winner. Next time I’m going to make a blueberry filling though!

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water
3 large eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons melted butter
Nonstick vegetable spray

Cherry Filling:

1/2 cup dried cherries
1/4 pound cream cheese, at room temperature
1 -teaspoon vanilla extract or 1/2 scraped vanilla bean
2 tablespoons sugar
1 large egg
1 pound (2 cups) farmer’s cheese, pot cheese or cottage cheese

DIRECTIONS

Put the milk, water, eggs, and flour into a food processor or blender and process until smooth, about 10 seconds. If necessary, scrape down any solids that stick to the sides. Add the butter and process for a few more seconds to blend. Refrigerate, covered, for at least 2 hours or overnight. (I let it sit overnight)

Set a 10-inch, non-stick crepe pan over moderately high heat, then spray with non-stick vegetable spray. When the pan is hot, remove the pan from the heat and add 2 tablespoons of batter, swirling to coat the bottom of the pan. Cook for 1 1/2 minutes and lightly browned. Set aside on a plate, cooked side up, and continue with the remainder of the batter.

To make the Cherry Filling:
In a small saucepan, cover the cherries with water and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and let rest. In a bowl, mix together the cream cheese, vanilla, sugar and egg until blended. Gently mix in the pot, farmer or cottage cheese. Drain the cherries and fold in.

Place 2 tablespoons of Cherry Filling in the lower center of the blintz. Fold up once from the bottom then fold over the sides. Roll up the rest of the way. Repeat with the rest. Heat 1 tablespoon of canola oil and 1 tablespoon of butter in a pan. In 4 small batches, fry the blintzes fold side down until golden brown. Gently flip to fry the other side. Serve with sour cream or yogurt.

FINAL PRODUCT:

recipe - blintz
Happy Cooking!!

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