Jun
29

Thought I might share a few things to do on Canada Day.

1) Get up at 9am and take advantage of this $49 deal that’s been offered by HotelTonight!

HotelTonight logo_whiteHere’s more info:  To show their love for Canada, HotelTonight, (a last minute hotel booking app) has announced a special Canada Day promotion for Toronto, Ottaw, and Vancouver. For only $49 – on JULY 1st ONLY.

Participating hotels:

Toronto: Thompson Hotel, Gladstone Hotel, Cosmopolitan Hotel, Pantages Hotel.

Montreal: Hotel Chez Swann, Hotel St-Paul, St. Martin Hotel Particulier.

Ottawa: the Lord Elgin Hotel, among others.

Vancouver:  Hotel Le Soleil, Granville Island Hotel, Moda Hotel.

There are some more details you should know!!

  • Rooms are limited to first come, first served and the $49 rate is only applicable for a July 1 stay. 
  • $49 deals will go live at 9 a.m. local time in Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa and Vancouver. 
  • Look for deals in each destination marked “CANADA DAY.”
  • HotelTonight will have great deals all day, but the $49 rooms and limited. If you see one you like, GRAB IT!

2) Go Strawberry Picking….This is one of my favorite activities and the perfect activity for Canada Day.  My go-to- farm is Whittamores. (8100 Steeles Ave E, Markham). Here’s what I have learned over the years: wear sunscreen, hat, bring water, FLAT containers, and wear black clothes!

strawberry2

3) Visit an outdoor hotel pool – this is such a treat! I recently spent the day at the Sheraton Toronto Outdoor Pool (123 Queen St. W) and when I say “spent the day” …I mean it. I was there from 11 am to 8 pm.  Please note there is a fantastic fitness centre so you can bring your gym cloths and squeeze in a workout in between suntanning!

pool

4) Visit one of the many conservation areas we are lucky to live near…Mountsberg, Crawford Lake, Kelso. My fav this time of year is Kelso because of the beach.

kelso

5) Just chill and relax! Nothing wrong with that, right?

Happy Canada Day!

 

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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
25

Spending Habits….


I don’t know about you but I never seem to carry cash anymore. This drives my mom crazy – however I keep telling her “why do I need cash? I have an Interac card and almost everyone accepts Interac”. Truth be told, the only time I take out cash is for my manicures.

A while ago I received an Interac Flash card – (it has a little ” Wave” symbol on the front of the card) and this enables me to just flash my card at the point-of-sale reader. I adore the convenience and use use my Interac Flash card for all those small purchases – even a coffee.

In fact I remember the day when Tim Hortons started to accept Interac. I was so happy about this news – that I even blogged about it. (click here to read that blog post)

Last week I was invited to an event that was hosted by a wonderful team at Interac and learned a thing or two (or three) that I would like to share with you about  Intertac Flash - specifically about the safety of this technology.

interac - bloggers2

  •  Interac Flash has all the security features of Interac Debit, plus added security features – like spending limits – to protect you from theft or fraud. Some of the security features include:
  • Each Interac Flash transaction is unique and cannot be copied
  •  Interac Flash leverages EMV-based secure chip processing instead of magnetic stripe technology to protect against electronic pick-pocketin
  •   PIN authentication is required when your spending limits are reached (this resets the limits)

I’m a huge believer in technology and have embraced Interac e-transfers, Interac Flash and online banking…as much as I can. It makes my life SO much easier and more convenient.

The hashtag below is truly the way I live now…I’m paying in a flash with my Interac Flash for coffee, for froyo, and more!!

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I might have been apprehensive about paying for a coffee on my Interac debit card a few years ago – but no longer have those feelings. I truly believe that it’s perfectly acceptable these days. Dont’ you?

PS this blog post is sponsored however all my opinions are my own.

 

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Jun
20

Events on My Radar


Here’s a few events that are on my radar:

a) The Niagara Integrated Film Festival (Thursday June 19 to Sunday 22, 2014). This is a great chance to see some wonderful films AND drink wine! Not a bad combo at all. There’s a wide range of films (Canadian, Animated, Documentaries and more) and you will be watching these movies in a truly unique setting. Please visit their website for more info www.niagarafilmfest.com

logo

 

b) Restaurantacular on Wed. June 25th from 4 – 9 pm. This is a great way to eat your way thru Mount Pleasant! There will be a variety of food from local restaurants that will only set you back a loonie or two or three!! LOVE IT. For more information please visit: www.mountpleasantvillage.ca

restaurantacular

c) Night It Up 2014 Night Market takes place this year on Friday July 11th to July 13th. I’ve gone for the last two years and always find something that I’ve never tried before. For more information please check out their website www.nightitup.com

night it up

d) Summerlicious will be taking place July 4- 20th and I’m sure I will be checking out a restaurant or two. I’ve already make plans to visit Pukka for a $15 lunch with a bunch of friends. What great value. For more information – please visit their website www.toronto.ca

Take a peek at how many festivals are going on…there’s no way one can be bored during the summer.

PS many thanks to my friend @sackman66 for sending me this list!

summerHave a wonderful summer everyone!

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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. 

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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

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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

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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

Recipe: Indian Slaw


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!

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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.

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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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Jun
11

Please Welcome YamChops.

What is YamChops? Well..they are positioning themselves as a vegetarian butcher!! Kind of a cool concept if you ask me. They believe that this is exactly the type of store that the vegetarian/ vegan /and flexitarian community is looking for. A store that offers great service, convenience, flavourful food and value.

All I know is I’m sold on their concept, marketing and what I saw when I visited!

Here’s what the store looks like (minus the paper – as they are now open for business)

store

Inside the store,…you will find prepared foods, cold pressed juices, refrigerated items, and plenty of shelf stable items that one does not usually see in a retail store. Plus there’s a small area where you can eat your lunch.

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I had the opportunity to sample  Coconut Ba-Con and all I can say is “WOW”. I had no idea that coconut could ever taste THIS GOOD. There is no question that I will back to sample their Carrot Lox, No Pork Pulled Pork and to try their cold press juices as well. There is one juice in particular that has caught my attention..it’s called “Divine Blush - Carrot, Beet, Turmeric, Ginger, Nutmeg”.  Not sure I’ve ever had a juice with tumeric in it but I’m eager to try it.

I'm going to be sprinkling this on EVERYTHING. LOL

Wishing Michael and his team..only the very best with their new adventure. I have no doubt that YamChops is going to be a welcome addition to the food scene in Toronto.

For more information:

YamChops 705 College St (3 blocks East of Ossington), Toronto  Tel: 416-645-0117

Hours: 11 am to 7 pm daily

Twitter; @YamChopsTO

Facebook: www.facebook.com/YamChopsTO

Instagram; YamChopsTO

Website: www.yamchops.com

Disclosure: YamChops is a client however all opinions are my own.

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Jun
09

3 Events In One Day!


I had one of those days. You know, the type of day that included 3 amazing events!! Here’s what my day looked like.

The day started off like this…

8:00 am – Started off my day with a Farm and Food Care Media Tour.  I love (love) this tour and have been attending this tour for the last 3 years. Over 50 people (food writers, bloggers, cookbook authors, food stylists, etc)  met off the highway for a “tail gate” party featuring coffee and fresh baked goodies.

farm - bus

8:30 am – Bus Departs

9:15 am – We went to visit Burnett Farms in Orangeville. At this stop, we learned about the diversity of grain farming in Ontario. It was also fascinating to learn that there are four generation on the Burnett farm today! They own 800 acres of crops and grow corn, soybean (both GMO and Identity Preserved), seed soybeans, canola, wheat and seed barley.

farm - grain

11:00 am – Bus Departs

Noon – Gourmet Taste of Ontario Lunch that was Catered by the Black Birch Restaurant. The (delicious) menu included;

Sorrel & Spinach Soup with Cider Infused Barley and Creme Fraiche. Hockley Valley Beer Braised Ontario Corn Fed Beef Ribs with Mushrooms, Mashed Potatoes & Roasted Asparagus. Dessert: Honey and Yogurt Semi-Freddo with Rhubarb Compote and Barley Cookies.

farm - lunch

1:30 pm – Bus Dparts

2:00 pm – We visited the Schaus Land & Cattle Beef Feedlot in Alliston. At this stop we got up close and personal  with 3,000 yes- that’s right – 3,000) of Canada’s top cattle.  To my surprise, these cows were so quiet!! Not to mention…well taken care of!

farm - cow

3:45 pm – Bus Departs

5:15 pm – Arrived back in at the bus stop

5:15 pm to 6:45 pm – Drove from Trafalgar Road/401 to Avenue Road and the 401 so I could attend the the first Sip & Savour Farmers Market. I spoke to the organizer who told me that 1000 people had visited. I was thrilled to hear that. Sadly I got there at the last 15 minutes and many vendors had sold out or were packing. However I still managed to buy some gorgeous Kale and some sausage. This market will take place every Thursday from 3 pm – 7 pm at Avenue Road/Old Orchard Grove. (just south of the 401)

farm - farmers market

8:00 pm – I drove the Element Vaughan Southwest Hotel (6170 Highway 7) to attend a super intimate event that was designed for Starwood Preferred Guests. There was a reception followed by a performance by Mayer Hawthorne. The evening was FANTASTIC. I loved the atmosphere they created and the performance was outstanding. Stay tuned for another blog post about this hotel!!

spg

11:30 pm – returned to my apartment to get some much needed sleep. What a fabulous day I had!

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