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
23

Indigo recently opened the world’s first cultural department store for booklovers at CF Sherway Gardens. It offers a fully immersive experience, including a cross-section of ‘shops-within-a-shop’ with seamless integration of books and lifestyle products, all merchandised to inspire and delight.

The store is 33,000 sqf and quite impressive!!

indigo - merchandising

This magazine selection blew me away. Can’t remember the last time I saw this type of selection.

indigo - magazines

The merchandising at this particular Indigo is also brilliant. If you are looking for any gift for any occasion – this would be store you should go to.

Need a cottage gift? A hostess gift? A birthday gift? A teachers gift? There’ s no shortage of options.

indigo - gift

While at the event I managed to muster up the courage to ask Heather Reisman for a photo.

indigo- heather

After taking the photo with her, I noticed this amazing wall with Heather’s Picks.

indigo - heather picksOne book in particular that grabbed my attention was this book. I liked the name of the book and the tag line too!!

indigo- book

Happy Reading!!

PS what are you reading these days?

For more information

CF Sherway Gardens, 25 The West Mall, Toronto ON

Indigo

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Jun
21

I don’t know about you, but the last time I had a professional headshot taken was at a bloggers conference back in 2011. It was really time for a new one.

I truly believe that having a professional headshot is important to have for your LinkedIn account, business cards etc. I know we can all snap photos with our smartphones these days but nothing beats a professional photo that is taken in a studio.

Recently I had the opportunity to have a professional headshot taken for me by a talented local photographer, Justine Apple.

She took the time on the phone to brief me before the session on a variety of important topics:

1. makeup 2. hair and 3. wardrobe.

Therefore I arrived at my session bearing a make up kit, hair product to control my frizzy hair and three shirts (black, white and red).

Justine ensured that I was the perfect model! (which is hard work by the way). She gently reminded me how to stand, how to angle my body, and to r-e-l-a-x.

vicky - studio

On the occasion she jumped down from her step stool to show me the photos..which were great!!

Here are two of my favourite headshot by Justine. Which one do you prefer and why? Feel free to leave a comment below. I absolutely hate making these types of decisions so I would really love your help.

vicky - red shirt

Or this photo?

vicky - black shirt

I would highly recommend Justine for all your photography needs. She does headshots, family photos, corporate and social events, parties, bar mitzvahs etc.

Here’s how to contact her:

Email: applejustine@gmail.com

Instagram: @applejustine

LinkedIn: Justine Apple

 

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Jun
19

When I was pregnant (back in 1998), a lot of my friends gave me this piece of advice: Do NOT buy a diaper bag.

I actually listened to this piece of advice and instead I bought this particular knapsack in 1998.

knapsack - black

It was indeed a great piece of advice and I loved this knapsack for decades. It got me thru two pregnancies, day trips, numerous flights, festivals and events.

Fast forward to 2016. It was time to upgrade my knapsack to this gorgeous beauty by WillLand Outdoors. I love the shape, the straps, and the colour too.

knapsack - new

Check out their range of backpacks by clicking here. They also have luggage/travel backpacks and backpacks for exercise and sports. Not to mention camping accessories too.

Who are WillLand Outdoors? They are a company that believes in the combination of QUALITY, DURABILITY, and SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY. I love their commitment to: NO QUESTIONS ASKED WARRANTEE, and their determination to keep all of their customers happy with a 100% HAPPINESS SATISFACTION GUARANTEE.

Not to mention they are a Canadian Company. #supportlocal.

Can’t wait to use it as I envision myself going on a few day trips over the summer and I know this backpack will come in handy!

Website: www.WillLandoutdoors.com

Disclosure: The backpack was provided to me, however all opinions are my own.

 

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Jun
17

Recipe: Gazpacho


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
14

In the event that you don’t have a cottage or you aren’t taking a summer vacation – DON’T WORRY.  I swear to you, that there’s no shortage of events and festivals right here in Toronto.

BlogTO recently posted: Top 54 Festivals in Toronto this summer. Click here to read that list. It’s quite impressive.

BlogTO also posted: Top Ten Food Festivals near Toronto this Summer. Click here to read that list. Again – quite impressive.

I love BlogTO. Don’t you? May I suggest that you subscribe to them or download their app so you can stay on top of all the fabulous events/restaurant openings, etc that are taking place? #hint.

There’s also neighbourhood events like the Mount Pleasant Village Shop, Dine and Wine on June 16th.

shop

My Summer Bucket list includes:

Camping: Went last year to Elora. As you can see from this photo we picked a pretty quiet spot. #score

festival - camping

-Hiking in the Hamilton area to see waterfalls. Specifically Webster Waterfalls. (which I keep seeing photos of on the internet)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

-Learning to row. (I say this ever summer)

-Biking along the lake shore and on county roads. Believe it or not I bought this used bike in the Spring of 2015 and have never used it. ARGGHH

festival - bike

-Visiting a pick-your-own- cherry farm.

Let’s see what I can accomplish. Time will tell.

Have a wonderful summer everyone!

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Jun
10

I’m a big fan of community events and love to support them. Therefore I’m blogging about a community event called Shop Wine and Dine, that I thought I might share BEFORE the event takes place. I know how much you hate when I blog about something AFTER an event.

So mark your calendars for the Mount Pleasant Village Shop Wine & Dine event on June 16th from 5 to 9 pm. FYI – Mount Pleasant Rd is located between Eglinton and Davisville. RAIN OR SHINE.

Retailers and restaurateurs will “roll out the red carpet” for local residents, people who work in the neighbourhood, shoppers, and commuters heading home. Guests will be entertained by live bands,    shopping sales, and order from specialty restaurant menus created exclusively for this event.

shop

The event will feature 4 to 6 live bands along the street which will certainly create a festive environment. Plus many retailers will be offering specials. For example: Manor Hair Salon will be offering FREE braids and Healthwinds Spa will be delighting visitors with free hand massages. You can even drop into Saati Fine Jewellery for an inspection and cleaning. Please note that parents can leave their kids for $5 at Kidnasium  (limited space – call ahead to book) while they walk along Mount Pleasant. Click here for more information about this great service.

Trust me, the whole street gets involved and it’s a lot of fun.

I encourage you to spend some time on their fabulous website so you get acquainted with the shops and services along Mount Pleasant. It truly is a fabulous community with lots to offer.

Website: www.mountpleasantvillage.ca

Twitter: @Mt_Pleasant_BIA

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

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post however all opinions are my own

 

 

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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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