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A month with Herbamare

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At the beginning of June, I wrote about the 3 Herbamare salts I was given to taste test.  Here’s what I thought/found.

-they were more of a power than a salt.
- I used more than I thought I would
-the flavours were subtle unless it was on something like a cucumber slice; mixed into guacamole or salad dressing,it seemed lost

Would I use them again? Yes but more specifically than normal salt.

Check out A.Vogel’s Facebook page for more info http://ht.ly/yshkk

Thanks to MultiBird Branding for the opportunity. I was given salts to test but all thoughts are my own.

Do you Herbamare?

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All this month, I will be tweeting about how I will be using Herbamare when I cook. What is Herbamare you ask? They are 2 flavoured and 1 non-sodium salts.

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Taken from A.Vogel Facebook page.

They have a contest to win these on their Facebook page too! https://www.facebook.com/AVogelCA

So watch for my posts using the hashtag #herbamare.

 

This is a sponsored post.  I was given 3 full size and 3 mini bottles of Herbamare to try with the understanding that I would tweet/blog/facebook post about it in the month of June.  All opinions are my own.

An aerial view of the Grand Canyon

This year for March Break, we once again whisked away with @munchkinkaty and @scotchguyto.  This year it was to Las Vegas to celebrate their upcoming nuptials.  After a lot of walking around, exploring, great food and some shows, we took a helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon, seeing the Hoover Dam and Lake Mead on the way.

I hope you enjoy the pictures as much as we enjoyed the ride.

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Recipe for Change

February 27th was cold. That deep down, ‘why am I outside’ cold.  Regardless I ventured out to attend the Recipe for Change event in support of FoodShare Toronto, held at the North Market (St. Lawrence Market).  I was excited to go since I had enjoyed The Stop Night Market last year and find helping to support the community while eating yummy food to be a no-brainer.

Inside the warmth of the North Market, I found 30 Toronto chefs, 20 Ontario wines and 6 local beers who had collaborated to bring fresh, local food to a few hundreds guests to help promote food literacy education in schools.  In fact, Bendale Technical Institute  and Eastdale Collegiate Institute culinary students, who are apart of the program,  were on hand with plates for guests to try.

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Bendale and Eastdale students

Bendale and Eastdale students

FoodShare Toronto was created in 1985 to address the need for healthy, affordable and sustainable food access in Toronto communities. They reach over 155, 000 children and adults per month through community based programs.  Currently they run multiple school programs that focus on a “from field to table” approach, including: student nutrition programs, fresh produce programs, school grown market gardens, good food cafés and field to table schools.  At the core is advocating for public policies that will ensure that everyone has access to sustainably produced, healthy food.

The evening's host, Adam Stiles from Citytv

The evening’s host, Adam Stiles from Citytv

I tried to sample as many dishes as possible, even trying tongue for the first time!  Each dish was delicious, with great local wine and beer pairings. I especially liked the maple bacon macchiato from Crema Coffee Company.  It was the perfect temperature (for me) and the bacon added an interesting saltiness to the coffee.  I immediately texted @WineGuyTO to tell him we would be checking them out on our next coffee outing. My other favourite drink was from Carol Marks, tea sommelier.  It was a cold tea, set in dry ice making for a captivating display that drew many people over.  It was refreshing end to my evening.  There was not one dish that I sampled that I did not like!

Cucumber Cup filled with Zucchini Hummus and topped with a Raw Pumpkin Seed Falafel

Cucumber Cup filled with Zucchini Hummus and topped with a Raw Pumpkin Seed Falafel

Annona Restaurant at the Hyatt - Pulled Buschbeck braised lamb slider with spiced mustard glaze, crunch slaw sesame tooney

Annona Restaurant at the Hyatt – Pulled Buschbeck braised lamb slider with spiced mustard glaze, crunch slaw sesame tooney

Tacos de pescado en salsa verde from Frida Restaurant

Tacos de pescado en salsa verde from Frida Restaurant

Vegetarian paella from Carmen Restaurant.

Vegetarian paella from Carmen Restaurant.

Le Select Bistro's Sweet potato gnocchi with wild boar ragu.

Le Select Bistro’s Sweet potato gnocchi with wild boar ragu.

The Beverley Hotel's Rueben caraway rye gnocci, pastrami lamb's tongue, dill pickled mushrooms with red cabbage and apple mostarda

The Beverley Hotel’s Reuben caraway rye gnocchi, pastrami lamb’s tongue, dill pickled mushrooms with red cabbage and apple mostarda

Foodshare Toronto's free-range buffalo chili on a pan de bono and sweet roasted corn and herbs, chipotle in adobo salasa, traditional mole and white mother sauce reduction

Foodshare Toronto’s free-range buffalo chili on a pan de bono and sweet roasted corn and herbs, chipotle in adobo salsa, traditional mole and white mother sauce reduction

Mixed ceviche from TO Ceviche Bar

Mixed ceviche from TO Ceviche Bar

Whole wheat scone with goat cheese and The Chef's house peserves from George Brown Cafe School.

Whole wheat scone with goat cheese and The Chef’s house preserves from George Brown Cafe School.

Gulab Jamun from 416 Snack Bar

Gulab Jamun from 416 Snack Bar

The Love of Tea's Foggy Sunburst Morning Earl Grey Mocktail (earl grey tea, lime, leongrass, orange juice, orange bitters, grenadine, club soda and bergamot citrus.

The Love of Tea’s Foggy Sunburst Morning Earl Grey Mocktail (earl grey tea, lime, lemongrass, orange juice, orange bitters, grenadine, club soda and bergamot citrus.

Duck tamalies from Valdez

Duck tamales from Valdez

Chicken chilaquiles Mexico City style from Santo Pecado

Chicken chilaquiles Mexico City style from Santo Pecado

The maple bacon macchiato from Crema Coffee Co

The maple bacon macchiato from Crema Coffee Co

Click here to see all the food offerings that night.

**Please excuse the photos, it was my first time using my new DSLR. I am still learning :)

Thank you to Mary Luz Mejia of Sizzling Communications for the invitation to attend and cover this event.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Tasty Tours of Toronto

Looking for a gift for that hard to buy friend? Well if they like sweets or chocolate, consider a Tasty Tour.  I participated in two different tours last year, both of which I bought for myself and two friends as Christmas presents (it actually took us all year to coordinate and book a date!).

First up was the Trinity Bellwoods Chocolate Tour in the spring.  I don’t want to give away all the locations we visited, but I was happy to start my tour at Le Dolci! As always, Lisa was a gracious host.  My friend and I had actually gotten there early and enjoyed a lemonade on the patio.

Other stops included a patisserie, an Asian grocery and a chocolatier.  At each stop, the owner would give us some explanation of their product and then we would taste a specific item.  At our last stop, we even got to see and taste a cacao bean.

You may recognize this spot.

You may recognize this spot.

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Cacao bean

Cacao bean

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The second tour was of Kensington Market Sweets Tour.  We actually started in Chinatown and learned the changing history of Kensington Market. Again, I don’t want to give away any of the stops specifically, but the sweets we tasted were very international.

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Chinese egg tart

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Pastries in the Chinese bakery.

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Churros!

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mmm, marshmallows

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Lebanese sweet

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The tours are between $30 and $35 a tour per adult (children are $10 and $15, under 7 free!) plus HST.  Each tour has a guide who not only knows the history of the area but also of the individual shops.  It is not a lot of walking either, even though you do meander through the neighbourhoods.  Our guide each time had much historical information, of the neighbourhood and what we were eating, and I learned many new bits of information.  I enjoyed both my tours though I found that our “tastes” were small in some shops. It actually inspired me to create our Beer Tour of Montreal!

**I was not asked to write this review or was compensated for the tours.  The tours of my two friends were bought by me as presents, and I paid for my own tours.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Maille Maverick

When you think Maille, do you only think mustard? I did until I was offered the chance to be a Maille Maverick through the Food Bloggers of Canada ,and was able to choose 3 Maille products for tasting/testing. I choose the old style mustard, the cornichons (very hard to find!) and the balsamic vinegar.

Did you know that Maille has been in existence for 265 years? I didn’t.  I routinely used their balsamic vinegar when making my own vinaigrette, usually with their iconic grain mustard.  In fact, there are over 9 different mustards and different vinegars in the Maille family and I stumbled upon four of them while in Montréal last summer. Pictured below are  the ones I had never seen: Pesto and roquette, Honey  and balsamic, Fig and coriander and Basil parmesan. I had a lovely and informative tasting at la Fromagerie Hamel within the Marché Atwater.

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The wall of Maille products at La Fromagerie Hamel at Marché Atwater, Montréal

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Best though was that this Fromagerie was one of the few with the Limited Edition Moutarde fraïche au Chablis!

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This special mustard is flown directly from France to the Fromagerie where it is dispensed into special jars and topped with a cork.  The jars are important as it was explained to me that the mustard can lose its peppery taste as it ages, and light can change the colour due to oxidation. This mustard is actually a softer mustard from the inclusion of the chablis which also makes it creamier.  I definitely left with my own little pot!

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Moutarde au chablis

I also left with a box of three mustards and the mango vinegar, which I used in the recipe below (pictured top left in the first picture).

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Thank you Maille for this opportunity and the great customer service at Fromagerie Hamel, I really enjoyed getting to know more of the products. :)

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Adapted from: She Cooks and Bakes (Her recipe is for 4lbs, mine for 2lbs or 24 wings and drumsticks)

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

2 lbs of chicken wings
1/2 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 small Spanish onion, cut into chunks
1 whole cloves of garlic
1 package  (12 oz) of pre-chopped pineapple and mango
1 habanero, chopped (I included some seeds)
1/2 cup  Maille Mango Pulp Vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
a splash of water (about 1 tablespoon)
Salt
2 tablespoons of honey (to mask the acid of the vinegar) **I did not do this

WHAT YOU’LL NEED TO DO:

  • Season chicken wings with garlic, salt, and pepper and set aside.
  • In a medium saucepan, heat oil in medium saucepan over medium heat.
  • Add onions, garlic, mangoes, habanero, fresno pepper, and vinegar and cook over low heat for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Place the mixture in a blender add honey and water, then blend until smooth.
  • If the mixture is too thick, add a few tablespoons of warm water or vinegar.
  • In a large bowl mix together wings and half or prepared sauce. Let sit for about 30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • Place chicken wings in a single layer on baking sheet.
  • Bake for about 10-15 minutes until wings are cooked(baking time will depend on the size of wings)
  • Once baked broil wings until they are golden.
  • Serve hot with the other half of the sauce.

**I was given recipes, information and coupons to compensate me for 3 Maille products.  All Maille products found in Montreal were by chance and in no way part of my compensation.  All thoughts are my own.  Product information supplied by Maille.

A Montreal Beer Tour

I may have mentioned this before, but @WineGuyTO and I love Montreal and try to visit each year.  It holds a special spot with us, as it is where he proposed to me!

One of the activities we always do is to visit the Musé des Beaux Arts.  Check out the blog post here I did of the Chihuly exhibit which is currently on.

As we never really have a plan (other than eating!) when we visit, this year I decided to have a theme: beer.  More specifically, Montréal micro-breweries.  We had looked into a food tour, but then decided to do it on our own.  We wanted to have time to enjoy the flights.  I had compiled a list of microbrews from googling some other blog posts, the food tour offerings and made a google map.  We did not get to all of the list, which is fine as it gives us something to do next year!

Here is where we got to, over 3 days:

Where we did not get to:

Though I do drink beer, I only tasted the flights.  I instead tried the Québec ciders at each place (where I could) as I cannot buy them here in Ontario (BOO!) A highlight was spending the afternoon with @35mmMonkey, Rebecca, @laurendorphin, @pat_wall  and friends at Dieu du Ciel!

Les Soeurs Grises

Les Soeurs Grises, loved La Gadoue!

Les Soeurs flight

Les Soeurs flight

Benelux -IPA Day!

Benelux -IPA Day!

IPA flight at Benelux

IPA flight at Benelux

Le Cheval Blanc

Le Cheval Blanc- all formica retro

The Blanc and the IPA

The Blonde and the IPA

Le Saint Bock list

Le Saint Bock list

The Saint Bock flight of their beers

The Saint Bock flight of their beers

Flight #1 at DDC

Flight #1 at DDC

List of flight #1 at DDC

List of flight #1 at DDC

Flight #2 at DDC

Flight #2 at DDC

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