Oct
24

What’s New in My Kitchen?


I’m a sucker for new product. I don’t know how this happened to me but it’s hard for me to pass new products on the shelf. Take for example..this product: Gaylea Coconut Whipped Cream. Did I need it? NO. Did I buy it? YES. I have to admit that the words “Lactose Free” really appealed to me as well as the three letter word “NEW”. LOL. Please don’t judge me!

kitchen - cream

I was also intrigued by the  new IOGO Moment yogurtThis new product is creamy, creamy, creamy. No need for dessert after a meal. Seriously.

kitchen - iogo

c) This package of lentils  (from Trader Joe’s) which is conveniently PREPARED for you is nothing but brilliant. I chopped up some orange pepper, some onion and then sprinkled some feta on top of it. A perfect side dish with some salmon. Don’t you think? ps huge thanks to my cousin for introducing me to this product.

kitchen - lentil

d) Pringles are also hanging out in my kitchen. They have a clever campaign going on at the moment: To Dip or Not to Dip. Plus the NEW Pringles are now made of hearty corn, instead of potato and the thicker cut tortilla chip makes it easier than ever to dive into a bowl of your favorite dip. Follow the discussion re: To Dip or Not to Dip on facebook or Twitter #PringlesDipBate

pringles

What’s hanging out in your kitchen? Do share…..

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Oct
21

Toronto is pretty lucky to have a Filipino restaurant like Lamesa…right on Queen St. W! Not only do I love the location but I simply adore eating at a restaurant that serves food that I could never (ever) make at home.

lamesa -out

The “Hand to Mouth” dinner was Unique with a capital “U”.  Our meal featured – no cutlery and no tablecloth but PLENTY of food that was beyond flavourful.

The meal consisted of Sauces (4 different types), Salads, Proteins (5 different types) and Sides (4 different types). Here’s a photo that demonstrates how the sauces appeared on our table. For a complete list of what was served, please click here.

lamesa - sauces1

Each dish came out (one by one) till the table was FULL. I patiently waited thru this process as I simply wanted to dig in! It was worth the wait. Can you tell there was no shortage of food?

pretty

This type of meal was definitely a treat and I’m eager to bring friends and family here for several reasons:

-It’s FUN

-It’s a unique experience

-The food is uber flavourful.

The Hand to Mouth Dinner is now being served EVERY Sunday and costs $40 per person. For reservations please email info@lamesafilipinokitchen.com. PS Vegetarian options are available.

For more information:

Lamesa Filipino Kitchen 669 Queen St. W, Toronto 647 346 2377

Facebook: www.lamesafilipinokitchen.com

Twitter: @LamesaTO

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

 

 

 

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Oct
19

Healthy Meals Kids Love!


If you asked me “what is my definition of a healthy meal?”…this is how I would reply.

The meal would consist of fruit, veggies, protein and some carbs.  Now how would I ensure that these meals would appeal to kids?  Let’s see…here’s a few TIPS.

a) Make sure that the meal is colourful.  It’s funny how presentation can go  along way!

meals - fish, potatoes,pea

b) A deconstructed salad (see photo) is a great way for your kids to choose what THEY like. This is perfect for those families where one child doesn’t like tomatoes and the other child does. (you know exactly what I mean..LOL).

healthy - deconstructed

c) Have fun with your food! Again – presentation goes a long way. This is a photo of a homemade healthy pancake with just a touch of Nutella.

healthy - pancakes

d) Invest in a Spiralizer and turn boring vegetables into FUN vegetables. Trust me – this works!!

healhty-spiralizer

To ensure that I stay within my budget, I always shop at No Frills so I can get the best prices and take advantage of using my PC Points.  I signed up for the PC app when I attended the launch of the PC Plus program back in May 2013. I’ve been a faithful user ever since. In fact I’m pretty sure I was downloading the app while Kathy Buckworth was talking about it at the launch. (yup – I’m an eager beaver when it comes to saving $$)

There is no doubt that making healthy meals is important to me and it’s also important to me that I spend my money wisely. No question that the PC Plus program and No Frills helps me obtain my goals.

For more information:

No Frills: www.pcplus.ca

Instagram: #PCPlus

Disclosure: I am blogger participating in a program with No Frills. I have received compensation for this blog post however all opinions are my own.

 

 

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Oct
17

Delicious Food Show 2014


The Delicious Food Show is a  3 day food-lovers event designed to engage the consumer with FOOD and entertainment. There’s over 200 exhibitors and 50 live cooking demonstrations and classes.

I had the chance this morning to listen to these 3 celebrity chefs in an informal question and answer! #lucky me.

Top Left: Chuck Hughes: Top Right: Tyler Florence and Bottom Left: Mario Batali. #squeal

dfs - chefs

Then I wondered thru the show in search of new products to share with you! Here’s a few products that caught my attention.

1. nuPasta: I use to enjoy a pasta that was low in carbs and then stopped buying it as I couldn’t take the smell. This NEW (local) product doesn’t have that same strong odour. YAY. Not to mention it’s Gluten Free, Kosher, Sugar Free, Sodium Free, doesn’t need refrigeration and has no preservatives.  Plus it can be ready in ONE minute.

dfs - nupasta

b) I also adored these custom plates  by Jacqueline Poirier.   Wouldn’t these plates just brighten up a kitchen?

dfs - platesc) Strauss Water:   The perfect multi purpose water system as it’s hooked up to your main water line and delivers an unlimited supply of purified, chilled or BOILING or room temperature water. Bye Bye Kettle, Bye Bye Water Bottles!

dfs - strauss

 

The Delicious Food Show takes place Oct 17 – 17 at the Direct Energy Centre, Exhibition Place, Toronto.

SHOW DATES & HOURS

Friday, October 17th, 2014: 10 AM – 9 PM

Saturday, October 18th, 2014: 10AM – 8PM
Sunday, October 19th, 2014: 10AM – 6PM

For more information about the schedule or to buy online tickets, please click here!

Have a great weekend that is full of delicious-ness!

 

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Oct
16

Thanksgiving Recap


I didn’t grow up celebrating Thanksgiving but this doesn’t mean that I didn’t want to take advantage of the long weekend. So off I went to Taboo  to take advantage of some peace and quiet and to enjoy the beautiful Fall season.

Naturally I had to start the trip with a stop at  Webers  to enjoy one of their famous hamburgers.

thanksgiving - webers

The weekend was all about food and snapping photos of the scenery. What a perfect time of year to take a lot of photos. I simply couldn’t stop.

thanksgiving - scenery

I even managed to get off the couch and stroll thru Gravenhurst, Bracebridge and Bala too! Naturally there was a goal. ..to find the perfect butter tart! Sadly Marty’s World Famous Cafe was closed but I managed to find 2 butter tarts to compare.

thanksgiving - buttertart

The butter tart on the right is from The Chancery Lane Co.  (33 Manitoba St, Gravenhurst, ON 705 645 424).  This butter tart is actually called: Rick’s Handbaked in Muskoka butter tarts.

The butter tart on the left is from Gravenhurst Bakery. (14 Brock St, Gravenhurst, ON 705 687 2579.

In my humble opinion: I preferred the butter tart from The Chancery Lane Co. (pastry, filling and flavour)

When I wasn’t busy eating butter tarts I was busy in the kitchen cooking up a storm. I brought up some goodies from Yummy Market as well as a bag of root vegetables from Cookstown Greens. Seriously there was no shortage of good food.

thanksgiving - food

The weekend also included Season 2 of Prisoners of War  which can be found at Videoflicks. I watched Season 1 in Vegas and now I had the chance to watch Season 2 at Taboo. Why is it that I love watching a TV series while Im away? LOL

The best part of the weekend was returning back to Toronto to find out that I had received a Hoptorial Six-Pack from Muskoka Brewery. Each pack features two bottles of the brewery’s famous IPAs. I opened up a bottle of the Detour immediately as a way of reminding myself what a fantastic weekend I had.

thanksgiving - beer

Cheers!!

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Oct
14

We all have our standard comfort foods, right? I have two comfort foods (with a twist) that I would like to share with you that might surprise you. I don’t know about you but as the temperatures start to drop and the days get darker, I’m seeking more and more “comfort foods”. There’s no question that my diet in the summer is different than my diet in the winter.

As always, No Frills helps me find the right ingredients for my healthy comfort foods at the right prices. I’m one of those people who’s aware of prices and No Frills has been my grocery store of choice for years to help me achieve my goals!

So here’s my two favourite healthy comfort foods…..with a twist!

a) GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICH WITH MUSTARD.

My dad taught me this trick when I was a teenager and often crave this sandwich on a cold wintery day. Try it – you might like it too!!

comfort - grilled cheese

b) BAKED TOAST WITH COTTAGE CHEESE AND CINNAMON

I got introduced to this combo when I was on Weight Watchers many decades ago. Basically you take cottage cheese and spread it on a piece of bread. Sprinkle with cinnamon and bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes.  The cheese gets all gooey and it’s truly a comforting snack.

comfort - cheese toast

I know that my local No Frills is always there to provide me with great prices and I can enjoy my comfort foods without having to spend a lot of $$. Naturally I love collecting my PC Plus points too. So don’t hesitate and download the PC Plus app today.  It’s a win win!!

sign

Please feel free to share your favourite comfort foods!!

For more information:

No Frills www.pcplus.ca

Instagram: #PCPlus

Disclosure: I am blogger participating in a program with No Frills. I have received compensation for this blog post however all opinions are my own.

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Oct
10

A Kensington Market Food Tour


 A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of walking thru Kensington Market with a fellow foodie from Ottawa. Here’s a recap of where we went.

a) Fika: (28 Kensington) We started off our tour with a cup of coffee at this charming coffee shop.

kensington - fika

b) St. Andrew Poultry (17 St. Andrew Street). This place has been on my radar since the summer and I’m so happy that I finally checked it out. I managed to inhale a chicken shawarma (in a box without the bread) and will definitely return to inhale some more of this goodness. For me to say this is huge as I rarely eat chicken. I also bought the “spice crunch” which I’m throwing into everything I make….salads, soups, etc.

kensington - st andrew

c) Blackbird Baking Co. (172 Baldwin). Again, I’ve been meaning to check this place out since the summer! Sadly I didn’t buy anything as I’m trying not to eat a lot of bread but I really (really) wanted to. Seriously, I’ve heard nothing but excellent comments about the quality of their bread.

kensington - blackbird

d) Sanagan’s Meat Locker (176 Baldwin). I was too fully from the chicken shawarma but I was lucky enough to return the next day to enjoy one of their sandwiches. #yum. I don’t buy meat but if I did I would be buying it from this place!

kensington - sanagans

e) Jimmy’s Coffee: It was so beautiful out that we decided to end our tour with a cup of coffee. We wanted to enjoy it on their backyard patio but everyone else had the same idea!!

We met for close to two hours and I enjoyed every minute of playing tour guide! Kensington Market is really a fantastic unique part of Toronto that is often forgotten by people who live in Toronto. Hope you get a chance to visit soon.

 

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Oct
07

CAA Road Test Revival


I’ve been a member of CAA for decades. I can’t imagine driving a car without being a member. CAA has come to my rescue many times. So many times that I can’t even count. In fact just last week I had a flat tire on the 401 while driving to Ottawa and CAA came to my rescue in no time at all.

caa - truck:tire Recently I was invited to a CAA Road Test Revival event where we re-learned a few important driving skills. WOW….what a great reminder. We were reminded that driving is a skill that really does require practice!

For example – the benefits of reverse park driving. ps congratulations to @BigDaddyKreativ who rocked this exercise!

caa - reverse We also reviewed how to parallel park (um ..always a favourite!!)

caa - parallel

Here’s some benefits of being a CAA member!

-CAA drivers education

-24/7 road side assistance (this is #1 for me)

-CAA insurance

Would also like to share with you some details about the Tear-up-the-Tuition contest!

caa - tear up

  • Contest period: September 15 to November 30, 2014
  • Students registered for the CAA How to Drive Course at any ADSN location can enter the Tear-up-the-Tuition Contest by visiting caasco.com/learndrivewin
  • Contest Prizes include:
    • 2 x Grand Prize of CAA How to Drive Course tuition reimbursement
    • 2 x $200 Apple Store® gift cards
    • 3 x choice of $75 CAA Rewards Partner gift card
    • 39 x Cineplex Great Escape Packages

For more information, please visit their website.

Twitter: @CAASCO

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

Disclosure; I was compensated for this blog post however all opinions are my own

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Oct
05

I entertain a lot! But I really really enjoy it. I’m passionate about all aspects of entertaining….planning the menu, buying the flowers, setting the table, and cooking too! The only part I don’t enjoy is cleaning up and I’m quite sure that I will never enjoy that part!

table

Entertaining can be expensive but it doesn’t have to be! Here are some tips for Holiday Entertaining.

a) Try and not buy prepared foods. In fact, try and make everything from scratch. Trust me it will taste better AND it will be cheaper. I even make my own pita crisps!

b) Prepare a menu with vegetables that are in SEASON. This will really reduce the cost of your meal.

c) When I shop at No Frills, I’m confident that my grocery bill is going to be lower than shopping at competitors. Not to mention I can use my PC  points to help offset the costs of my meal! Im positively thrilled that PC Plus is now available at No Friils. It’s so easy to earn points toward dollars off your grocery bill and that’s right up my alley!!

no frills - sign

c) Develop a menu where you get a lot of bang for your buck. For example, this apple crisp recipe or these two ingredient desserts.

d) My rule of thumb: soup/salad….one main course with three side dishes, and dessert.

salads

I would like to end this blog post with a personal story: No Frills comes to my rescue EVERY year around Passover. I save up all my points for that one holiday where my grocery bill is going to be triple what it usually is. I received this “tip” from a friend years ago and have been following her advise every since.  (Thanks D.K)

For more information about the PC Plus Program, please click here.

Twitter Hashtag: #PCPlus

Disclosure: I am a blogger who is participating in a PC Plus No Frills program and have received compensation for my participation. However all opinions are my own. 

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Oct
02

I’m a pretty decisive person however when it comes to  selecting paint, I really need help. Thankfully …Susan who is a fellow blogger and CIL’s resident colour and design expert is also my friend! She was all too happy to come over to my apartment to help me select two colours so I could “perk” up my bathrooms.

CIL - susan

Indeed the colours she selected, were exactly what I was looking for.

My bathroom is now ALIVE with colour. Please excuse the poor photo – I’m use to take photos of my food and not my walls!

CIL - bathroom

I was SO happy with the colour that I decided to paint my kitchen red too.

CIL - kitchen

The second bathroom is the perfect colour of grey which matches the tile beautifully. Now all I have to do is find some colourful hand towels to really make the bathroom complete. One step at a time, right?

CIL - grey bathroom

Who knew that two tins of CIL Paints could transform my mood so much? I really had fun redecorating and would like to thank CIL Paints for inspiring me. Now I know why CIL is Canada’s favourite brand of decorative paints and has been sold by leading Canadian Retailers and Dealers for over 85 years!

One more thing: in the event you want to know what colours I used:

CIL’s Amazing (04YR 11/537)

CIL’s Tulle White (50BG 72/006)

If you want help selecting a CIL paint colour too, feel free to mail your questions to askanexpert@cil.ca. Also, you can get up to 20% off CIL Paints by visiting www.stoppaintparalysis.com. I just LOVE the name of this website link. BRILLIANT!

Happy Painting!

For more information:

Website: www.cil.ca 

Twitter: @CILpaints

Facebook: www.facebook.com/cilpaints

Disclosure: CIL Paints provided me with the paint, however all opinions are my own

 

 

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