Posts Tagged ‘entertaining’

May
28


Every once in a while I have the urge to host a brunch. But I’m pretty sure I have Pinterest to blame as I’d seen some recipes that captured my attention. Next thing  you know, I’m planning a brunch!

The table looked like this.

brunch - table2

I was pretty happy with the menu I selected, so today I will share two recipes with you. Deal?

Recipe #1: Mini Pancake Kebabs (original recipe can be found here)

brunch - ingredients

Here’s a formal list of what you need:

-skewers

-2 bananas slices

-about 6 strawberries sliced

-your favourite recipe for pancakes. I must admit making tiny pancakes was a bit challenging!

Nutella or dulce leche

Instructions:

  1. Spread nutella or dulce leche on each pancake.
  2. Take a skewer and insert the tiny pancake, then a sliced strawberry and then a sliced banana.
  3. Repeat!

Final Result:

brunch - pancakes final

Recipe #2: Granola Breakfast Pizza (original recipe can be found here)

Once again, all you need is a few ingredients:

brunch - pizza ingredients

Specifically you need:
3 cups of Granola
1 cup of Greek Yogurt (its important that its thick yoghurt)
1 cup of peanut butter
1/2 tbsp of cinnamon

1/2 cup of sliced almonds

Instructions:
1 Mix the granola and peanut butter in a bowl
brunch - pizza granola
2. Line parchment paper in a dish, and then spoon the mixture into it.
brunch - granola in plate
3. Place in the fridge for an hour or the freezer for 20 minutes. Note: I made the base a day in advance and kept it in the freezer overnight. You want to make sure that the base sticks together!!
4. Remove from pan and place on your serving dish. Spread greek yogurt (the thicker the better) on top of the granola mixture.
 brunch - pizza:yogurt
5. Arrange fruit on top. Sprinkle with almonds.
brunch - pizza - final
Both menu items were a hit!!
Stay tuned, as I’m pretty sure I will be posting another two brunch recipes shortly.
Hope this blog post inspires you to host a brunch one day soon as well.
Cheers,
Vicky
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Apr
30


Spring is here. (I think)

Last week, I was checking out beautiful cherry blossom trees.

lowes - cherry blossoms

But today I wore a winter jacket. (no photo – its just too upsetting). However when you walk into Lowe’s – you definitely know its Spring!!

lowes - patio furniture

The Style & Trends team has prepared a wonderful Spring/Summer line of spring outdoor decorating solutions. I’m all for spending more time OUTDOORS than INDOORS when it comes to these two seasons.

This year, Style and Trends Director Cindy Jardim, has designed four collections which are exclusive to Lowe’s Canada. (Gracious Living, Cuban Cool, Renewed Formality, Metro Modern).

lowes - 4 looks

Each collection was created with the goals of empowering consumer creativity and increasing comfort levels with design.

lowes - outdoor solutions

Lowe’s has also  introduced melamine serving and dishware this year! This serving dish makes me smile and would certainly be a conversation piece around a table.

lowes - melamine

I don’t know what it is about melamine dishwater but I’m always drawn towards it. P

lowes - dishes

Seriously, Lowe’s has you covered when it comes to Spring/Summer outdoor living.

lowes - gold

Happy Shopping!!

For more information: 

Website: www.lowes.ca

Instagram and Twitter: @Lowes_Canada

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

Disclosure: Lowe’s provided me with a gift card however all opinions are my own

 

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Apr
13


I’ve been busy in the kitchen lately which is code for “I have some recipes to share with you”.

I must admit, I was nervous when I was making this dish as I wasn’t quite sure it would work out but it did! (hip hip hooray).

This recipe only requires a few ingredients and wasn’t hard to make at all. My biggest tip to share with you is to invest in a cheesecloth (available at any dollar store) to ensure that your grated potato is DRY!

Wringing out the grated potato in a dish cloth just isn’t the same. Trust me. So here’s what you need to know to make this fabulous side dish.

Recipe: Spinach Potato Nest (original recipe found here www.MayIHaveThatRecipe.com)

4 large Yukon Gold Potatoes
1 tsp salt
¼ – ½ tsp pepper
2½ tsp garlic powder
2½ tsp onion powder (I went to Bulk Barn to grab this ingredient)
4 tsp vegetable oil
Cooking Spray
4 cups of frozen spinach thawed  (I bought 2 packages and it was more than enough)
4 tbs extra virgin olive oil
4 large eggs

Instructions

Preheat oven at 400F
1. Grate the potatoes, add ½ tsp of salt, mix well and let them sit in a colander with a bowl under it for 20 minutes. Squeeze as much water out of the grated potatoes as you can. (I used a cheesecloth and you should too!!)  Season with ½ tsp garlic powder, ½ tsp. onion powder, ½ tsp pepper. Add 4 tsp vegetable oil and mix well.

2. In a large skillet, sauté spinach in olive oil. Season with 2 tsp garlic powder, 2 tsp onion powder and ½ tsp salt. Cook until most of the water had evaporated, 6-8 minutes. Set aside. (Note: I squeezed out the water with my hands just to make sure it was dry)

passover -spinach

3. Generously spray a 12 muffin tin pan with cooking spray.

4. Arrange grated potatoes into each muffin cup, pressing against the bottom and up the sides. (Another Tip: I spent a bit of time, pressing the potatoes down)

passover - nest

5. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until they start to brown slightly . Remove from the oven.

Final Product:

passover - spinach final

Happy Cooking!

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Jan
17


The other night, we entertained which is code for: “try some new recipes”. So I spent some time on Pinterest looking for inspiration and then planned the following menu:

-Edamame Salad

entertaining - edamame

PC® Vegetarian Pot Stickers

entertaiing - potstickers

-Rice Wraps: trust me I will blogging about this one day soon

entertaining - rice wraps

-Sushi platter from Sushi on Bloor

-Avocado Egg Rolls with a sweet chilli sauce (click here for the blog post with the recipe)

entertaining - eggrolls

-General Tso’s Tofu

entertaiing - tofu

I’d like to share the General Tso’s Tofu recipe with you, as it was beyond delicious and easy to make as well. The trick is to squeeze the excess water from the tofu which is something I’ve just started to practice and it makes all the difference.

Plus I’ve never coated tofu in cornstarch before either and I believe this made a difference too.

RECIPE:  GENERAL TSO’S TOFU (original recipe can be found by visiting www.grumpyshoneybunch.com)

1 block extra firm tofu
3-4 Tablespoons cornstarch
1 Tablespoon canola oil

Sauce: (there’s a lot of ingredients but don’t let this scare you)
½ cup brown sugar
3 tbsp hoisin
3 Tablespoons white or rice vinegar
3 Tablespoons ketchup
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
½ cup water
1 tablespoon Sesame oil
4-6 spring green onions, sliced
3 tbsp fresh ginger finely chopped
Hot pepper flakes (optional) ps I didn’t chose to use hot pepper flakes

INSTRUCTIONS
1. Squeeze tofu of excess water! (this is an important step) I did this by placing the tofu between two plates and then placing a heavy object on top of the plate i.e….I used my water jug! Wait 30 minutes or longer.

2. Prepare the sauce: Miix together the first 6 ingredients and set aside.

3. To prepare tofu for frying: Cut into cubes and then coat lightly with cornstarch and fry in a shallow frying pan with canola oil until browned and crispy. Remove from frying pan and set aside.

tofu - fried

4. Wipe pan clean with paper towel and add sesame oil with onions and chopped ginger. Fry about 1 minute, until fragrant.

tofu - ginger

5. Then combine everything….the tofu, the ginger/scallions and the sauce. Stir till all the tofu is coated in the delicious sauce.

Happy Cooking!

 

 

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Aug
08


On Saturday night we hosted a dinner party. This is not unusual as I love entertaining but this particular party was certainly special.

WHY?

Because all I had to do was set the table. (no joke)

chef - table

The Chef Upstairs provided everything else! Here’s a bit more information about The Chef Upstairs…they are a cooking studio that offers classes & they also offer private dining events where guests choose the menu, wine & decor. As you can see, I had the opportunity to experience the latter!!

At 4 pm, the talented Chef and his lovely assistant showed up.

chef - chef:assistant

The Chef brought with him everything he needed as he had done the grocery shopping, prepping etc. So I gave him a tour of the kitchen and he started to do his magic.

chef - arrival1

When our guests arrived at 7 pm, I  was actually relaxed and not exhausted as someone else had done all the work (grocery shopping, prepping, and cooking)

We started off with some appetizers:

chef - appetizers

Then w all sat down at the table and I swear to you I did NOT get up ONCE. I didn’t get up to serve, not to check something in the oven, not to clear – I sat like I a guest and it was freakin’ awesome.

The food we ate was spectacular too. We were over the moon happy with everything we tasted. The Chef was clearly trained and had experience in a 2 star Michelin restaurant – this was all evident.

We had discussed the menu prior to the dinner party so the following menu can be tailored to your desire. But here’s what was served!

chef - food

Amuse Bouche
– Rabbit Confit with brandy and fig compote in puff pastry with balsamic pearls (beyond delicious)

First Course
– Warm Avocado soup with brie cream and citrus Pico de Gallo and volcanic salt

Second Course
– Arugula salad with Sherry vinaigrette topped with toasted pumpkin seeds and Bellavitano cheese

Entree
– AAA Beef tenderloin with wild mushroom compound butter, served with roasted garlic french beans and shiitake mushrooms and red beet and horse radish puree (everything was cooked to perfection)

Dolce
– Lemon Granita and espresso cookies with raspberry, lime and vanilla bean coolis

-Naturally we had some pretty special wine to go with our meal.

chef - wine

Our guests loved the experience as much as we did. It was truly special to feel like you were in a restaurant but you weren’t!

Thank you again to The Chef Upstairs for this incredible birthday gift!

For more information:

Website: www.thechefupstairs.com
Address: 516 Mt Pleasant Rd, Toronto, ON M4S 2M2
Phone: (416) 544-9221

 

 

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Feb
14

Table Settings


I seem to be taking a lot of photos of my “table settings” these days. I will admit, I also take a lot of photos of the food I’m serving too!

There are four elements that I believe are necessary to set a “pretty” table.

a) Flowers

b) Vases – I won’t tell you how many I own or where I store them seeing as I live in a 950 sql condo but let’s just say “I’m creative”. LOL

c) Napkins – again, I won’t tell you how many I own.

d) Placements – see comment above

Here’s a few ideas:

a) A Silver Theme: The inspiration for this table setting came from my from mom who bought me the placemats from Bowring 

table setting - leaf

a) A green and brown combo: The inspiration for this table setting came from the napkins. Expensive but worth it. The brand is called Paviot and can be found at stores like All the Best Fine Foods and Summerhill Market.

table setting - brown:green

b) An orange/red/brown combo…again the inspiration came from the Paviot Napkins.

table setting - orange:brown

c) This was my table setting from Chanuka. ..the inspiration for this table came from the runner which I picked up for $3 at a dollar store. table setting - chanuka

e) A red/white theme. …the inspiration for this table came from the placemats that I bought on a trip to Barcelona. They were cheap and easy to pack! Scored.table settings - redAs you can see I love setting my table and I love entertaining.

I have a feeling I will do a blog post about some of my favourite serving dishes too. I have a few. LOL

 

 

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Sep
24


As much as I love to discover new restaurants, I must admit that I really like to eat at home and I also love to entertain.

table2

I swear I have been been sharing my food with friends, since I lived in a dorm at Tel Aviv University. Here’s some photos I dug up for proof.

vickykitchen3vickykitchen4I continued to have people over on a consistent basis throughout the next few decades.

Food unites people. It encourages good conversation, sharing and laughter, and it facilitates a communal experience. No matter where you are from, Real Canadian Superstore® has all the foods that will make you feel at home. I adore this store for many many reasons!!

Please take a peek at this heart-warming video which showcases how Real Canadian Superstore® has committed to uniting people through all of their favourite tastes of home. They believe that family is the secret ingredient to any special meal, so Real Canadian Superstore® brought food and family together for three deserving colleagues.

I really try to entertain at least every month. Lately I’ve been having fun serving brunch. It’s less stressful than serving a dinner and a bit more relaxed.

brunch3

Last year, I hosted a ton of wine and cheese parties.

brunch2

I encourage you to entertain as well. It’s not as hard as it looks and it really does bring people together.

Happy Entertaining.

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Sep
16


It’s that time of year where the Jewish Community is entertaining. Conversations go like this:

Me: Will you be entertaining over the holidays?

Friend:  Having 1o guests for dinner on Sunday night and on Monday night, 16 guests are coming over. For lunch we got invited to X house on Monday and X house on Tuesday.

Me: I’m off to Ottawa. I won’t be cooking a lot but will be bringing in kasha and bow ties for my parents and some challah buns for my friend.

So let’s talk about those challah buns. You see, I saw a link for 20 Rosh Hashanah Inspired Dinner Ideas by www.shiksaguide.com.   I shared it on Facebook and asked my friend in Ottawa if I should make #16 and bring it her house for lunch. She replied: Yes Please.

So I assembled the ingredients: (P.S. for the complete recipe please click here).

-small frozen Challahs (available at No Frills at Bathurst/Wilson).

– 1/2 cup of Craisins

– 1/2 cup of PC  Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips

-Zest from one orange.

new year - ingredients

Then I had fun breaking the challahs apart and stuffing them with the combo of chocolate chips, orange zest and Craisins, and the forming them into little knots. The last step was a quick egg wash. Then they went into a preheated oven at  325 F for 20 minutes.

new year - bun

From those six small frozen challahs, I got 12 small DELICIOUS stuffed buns. They were almost like a dessert bun. Next time, I think I’m going to stuff with them with apples and cinnamon. Seriously, one could get very creative with this recipe!!

new year - final

I also bought 16 honey sticks for each guest. I took this idea also from facebook as I follow these four fabulous sisters who have a blog called Dinner Table HQ. When I read their latest blog post about Rosh Hashana and the Dinner Table, I said “wow I like that idea” and went out and bought some honey sticks at Wychwood Farmers Market.

new year - plate

To all my Jewish Friends……wishing you all the best for a sweet New Year.

 

 

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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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May
05


Mother’s Day is around the corner!! If you haven’t bought a gift yet, here’ a few ideas.

1. FOR THE MOM WHO…….Who Loves To Be Pampered.

A getaway to Ste. Anne’s Spa is the answer! Please take a peek at their amazing website which now offers auctions (which I think is a really cool idea). I’ve never been there for an overnight however a day trip certainly does the trick for me!!

gifts - st annes

2. FOR THE MOM…Who Loves Yoga

Buy her the B Mat. Why? Because  its exceptionally grippy texture, its eco-friendly and its durable. Not to mention it’s NEW, NEW, NEW…it recently launched in February 2014!!

yes..thats momwhoruns trying to be momwhodoesyoga!

yes..thats momwhoruns trying to be momwhodoesyoga!

3. FOR THE MOM…Who Runs!!

The Samsung Gear Fit is the perfect gift.

Oh what a treat for someone who loves technology and running. I’m now the proud owner of this watch and can’t wait to get off the dreadmill and use it. I’ve already signed up for a one on one lesson with Telus to learn every possible feature about this watch.

gift - watch

4. FOR THE MOM…Who Has Everything

Head to the AGO Gift Store. I swear you will find SOMETHING. This store really does carry unique (and beautiful) products.

5. FOR THE MOM….Who Loves to Entertain.

I promise you will find something for her at Loblaws!. Once again,  President’s Choice has a STUNNING SPRING line! ps I’ve already bought the napkins (on the left) for my paper napkin collection. Yes – that’s right – I have a paper napkin. (yes..I’m normal)

gift - dishes

6. FOR THE MOM…Who Loves Tea

Consider buying Tea from Lemon Lily which offers a beautiful range of organic teas!

gifts - lemon

7. FOR THE MOM….Who LOVES Handmade Creations.

Head over to ETSY.  Seriously.

8.FOR THE MOM…Who Loves to Read.

I would suggest buying her a Kobo. I’ve been a proud owner of a Kobo since 2010 and can’t say enough about their customer service.

gifts - kobo

9. FOR THE MOM…Who’s FOODIE

OMG..this is a hard one for me to answer!! In fact I don’t know where to start. A cookbook? a certificate to her favorite restaurant? a cheese box from Taste of Cheese? a cooking class? 18 kg gold chocolate bar from Baroness Chocolates? a food crawl to all her favorite spots? a fresh truffle?
grandbaroness

Wishing everyone a Happy Mother’s Day!!

Disclosure: A variety of these companies provided me with product, however all opinions are my own.

 

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