Monday, March 10, 2014

Carlsberg St. Party's Day


Hi All.

I have been MIA for awhile due to work/school and basically just LIFE. My first post back is a good one because it’s about St. Patrick’s Day debauchery!! The one day a year where everyone celebrates like they are Irish, and the actual Irish look at us like we are crazy Canadians.  I do think Canadians go overboard with celebrating St. Patrick’s day, but then again we will use any excuse to go out drinking so it doesn't really surprise me.  The festivities in Toronto are always lavish and fun and the magnificent outfits that people put together are quite the sight to see. 

If you’re going out this weekend to celebrate, I suggest you check out the biggest St.Patrick’s day event in Toronto, the 4th Annual Carlsberg St. Party’s Day!

What is Carlsberg St. Party’s Day?
Carlsberg St. Party’s Day is Canada’s largest, weekend long, authentic St. Patrick’s Day festival. Thousands of people from different backgrounds come together for a weekend-long celebration of friendship, culture, live music and most of all, unpretentious fun.
What some of you may refer to as St. Patrick’s Day is now commonly being referred to as St. Party’s Day. In 2011 the first ever St. Party’s Day celebration was born when 3000+ people attended in Toronto, ON at the historical St. Lawrence Market. Event goers and members of the community came together and signed a petition for St. Party’s Day to become a statutory holiday which created a huge buzz around town. 2012 and 2013 each played host to over 8,000 patrons celebrating the fast growing, authentic Irish holiday, and St. Party’s is back with its new partner, Carlsberg, for another year of the best celebrations in the country

Where is Carlsberg St. Party’s Day?
Andrew Richard Designs
571 Adelaide Street East
Toronto, Ontario M5A 1N8

Dates: Friday, Mar. 14, Saturday, Mar. 15 & Sunday Mar. 16 2014

Social Media: 
https://www.facebook.com/StPartysDay
https://twitter.com/StPartysDay




HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY EVERYONE!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies


I've been on a bit of a cookie-spree lately and have pinned at least 15 cookies I want to try out this holiday season.  15 seems like a lot so realistically I’ll probably pick 5 of them to test out.  Last week I made these chocolate chip/pecan cookies that were really easy to make and turned out REALLY good.  I usually always give my baked goods to other people to eat but I actually ate majority of these cookies myself, piggish yes I know, but their really addictive.

These cookies go great with milk…as most choco-chip cookies do but the best thing about these ones are that they are light and fluffy!! I'm not really a fan of hard cookies so I was excited that these turned out just perfectly.  Perfect cookies to leave under the tree for Santa ;)


Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies

Ingredients
  • 2¼ cups of all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ cup of butter
  • 1 tsp salt (if using unsalted butter)
  • 1 cup of packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup of granulated sugar
  • 1½ tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans

  • Directions
  • Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs and vanilla, mixing thoroughly. Beat in the flour, baking soda and salt.
  • Fold in the one cup of chocolate chips and pecans by hand, and prepare to put them on       some parchment paper lined cookie sheets.
  • Drop by rounded teaspoonful onto the baking sheets.
  • Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes, until golden brown and slightly underdone. Cool on the            sheets completely.  



  • HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!

    Thursday, December 5, 2013

    Shockingly Healthy Brownies + Blondies


    The holiday’s are here and everyday at work people are bringing in all sorts of cookies and cakes that I keep indulging in! All of those bad indulgences make holiday weight gain almost inevitable so I’ve been trying to find healthier ‘treat’ alternatives to bring to parties and potlucks.  Luckily I discovered a great company from Toronto called Shockingly Healthy Inc. 

    Shockingly Healthy Inc. was founded by holistic nutritionist and personal trainer, Lauren Breuer. The treats she makes allow you to indulge your sweet-tooth into decadent brownies and blondies that are nutritious, tasty, and vegan/gluten-free. Shocking right? Wait until I tell you what the magic ingredients are in these silky bars…Chickpea’s and dates!! I love that these bar’s are whole food based and that they don’t taste a thing like a chickpea.  The texture is creamy and the taste is perfectly sweetened with the dates, cocoa, and coconut oil. It’s always a nice feeling when you don’t have to feel guilty about chowing down on a dessert. 

    Check out how these bars stack up against your average coffee shop brownie:
    • Less than half the fat content (and full of healthy fats)
    • Less than half the calories of your average coffee shop brownie
    • Less than half the grams of sugar
    •  All natural, pronounceable, whole food ingredients!
    Lauren graciously brought me some of her treats which included the double chocolate brownie, coconut chocolate chip blondie and the holiday treat which was the minty double chocolate brownie. I was feeling generous so I split up the brownies in pieces and shared with the girls in my office.  Everyone was in the PM ‘I need chocolate’ slump and so these treats were greatly appreciated.  The feedback was VERY positive and shocking because we didn’t understand how these tasted so good yet were so healthy! Instead of feeling bloated and tired after eating sugar-filled treats, these gave me a boost of energy thanks to the high-fibre and source of protein packed in these bars. I was a sucker for the minty chocolate brownie and am already thinking about picking up another one soon.


    You can buy Shocking Healthy Brownies and Blondies at a number of locations through the GTA, for a full list please check here: http://shockinglyhealthy.com/where-to-buy/ . Also for the holiday season Lauren is taking order’s for any of your upcoming holiday festive, you can find more information herehttp://shockinglyhealthy.com/holidaypromo/

    Please check her out on FB and Twitter and discover what healthy desserts are all about!

    Thursday, November 28, 2013

    Glory Hole Doughnuts


    Warning: This post will make you hungry.

    I had the pleasure of trying out some gourmet doughnuts from a little shop in Toronto called Glory Hole Doughnuts.  I am a doughnut fan but I find most of the doughnuts out there to be very cakey/dry. On a bit of a mission to find the doughnut of all doughnuts, I succeeded beyond my expectations when biting into a doughnut the size of a NBA player's hand.

    Glory Hole doughnuts opened up on August 25, 2012 by creator Ashley Jacot along with the help of her husband Ron.  Ashley has been involved in the culinary world since 2004 where she attended George Brown college for the culinary skills program.  After that she had careers at Buca and Stubbe Chocolates and eventually made the decision to open up a place of her own.  “Doughnuts have always been the perfect indulgence for me…..a good cup of joe, a cinnamon sugar doughnut and a cigarette to finish it off”. Her love of doughnuts and yeast risen products is what kick started her into creating GHD.

    Here at GHD we add a lot of love and affection to each doughnut. We believe that adding robots and more equipment tampers with the quality of our product. Although robots are pretty cool.

    Every doughnut is made with natural ingredients, by hand, fresh everyday. In order to do this our mornings here at the Hole start long before the sun comes up.

    We use a yeast dough for most of our doughnuts. Yeast dough’s are very time consuming and temperature sensitive, a slight change in temperature affects the dough drastically.




    The shop is located at 1596 Queen St W and I was taken back at how cute and inviting the store felt.  On display were all of the delicious doughnuts that were making me salivate! I briefly spoke to Ashley who graciously let me try a few of her very popular and very massive doughnuts.  I tried the PB and J, Vanilla Glaze, Pina Colada and Nanaimo Bar. I brought the box back to work and cut the doughnuts up into 4’s so that the girls and I could all try a little piece of each. Sharing is caring :)





    We all tried the vanilla glaze first and kind of looked at each other in awe because we really couldn't believe how freakin delicious a doughnut can actually be.  Trying these doughnuts has made me realize that all of those coffee shop doughnuts I grew up eating are the no-name brands of the doughnut world, gourmet doughnuts are where its AT! Every flavor was amazing, the PB and J was my fav though.  The doughnuts were so fresh, airy and just melted in your mouth.  The only problem with these doughnuts were that they were addictive and they kind of put you into a sugar coma that makes you fall asleep at your desk.



    If you’re ever around the area please be sure to stop in and say hi to Ashley and indulge in one of her amazing flavors of gourmet doughnuts. These doughnuts are worth the extra cash and are so much more satisfying than anything ever created at Tim Hortons!

    For info about ordering and flavours please check out the website at: http://www.gloryholedoughnuts.com/ordering/


    Tuesday, October 22, 2013

    Non-GMO Month 2013 + PROBAR Giveaway


    Hi all.  October is Non-GMO Month and I wanted to share with you an awesome giveaway as well as information about Non-GMO Month. 

    What is Non-GMO Month?
    Non-GMO Month was created by the Non-GMO Project in 2010 as a platform for raising awareness on the GMO issue. Citizens and organizations across North America are waking up to the failure of GMO technology, and discovering the risks GMOs pose to our health, our families, and our planet.

    Non-GMO Month is an opportunity to coordinate our voices and our actions, so that we can stand up loudly and clearly for our right to know what’s in our food, and to choose non-GMO.
    Protecting consumer choice and a non-GMO food supply require a multi-faceted approach and lots of team work, which is why this website was created. Together, we make Non-GMO Month happen by creating and participating in events, and spreading the word in our communities.

    There are lots of ways to get involved. Make sure your local natural foods store is registered for Non-GMO Month, and pledge to choose Non-GMO Project Verified foods for the month of October. Got another idea? Make it happen! Register your event here.

    What are GMO’s?
    GMOs, or “genetically modified organisms,” are plants or animals that have been genetically engineered with DNA from bacteria, viruses or other plants and animals. These experimental combinations of genes from different species cannot occur in nature or in traditional crossbreeding.

    Virtually all commercial GMOs are engineered to withstand direct application of herbicide and/or to produce an insecticide. Despite biotech industry promises, none of the GMO traits currently on the market offer increased yield, drought tolerance, enhanced nutrition, or any other consumer benefit.

    Meanwhile, a growing body of evidence connects GMOs with health problems, environmental damage and violation of farmers’ and consumers’ rights.

    Are GMOs safe?
    Most developed nations do not consider GMOs to be safe. In more than 60 countries around the world, including Australia, Japan, and all of the countries in the European Union, there are significant restrictions or outright bans on the production and sale of GMOs. In the U.S., the government has approved GMOs based on studies conducted by the same corporations that created them and profit from their sale. Increasingly, Americans are taking matters into their own hands and choosing to opt out of the GMO experiment.

    Are GMOs labeled?
    Unfortunately, even though polls consistently show that a significant majority of Americans want to know if the food they’re purchasing contains GMOs, the powerful biotech lobby has succeeded in keeping this information from the public. In the absence of mandatory labeling, the Non-GMO Project was created to give consumers the informed choice they deserve.

    How can I avoid GMOs?
    Choose food and products that are Non-GMO Project Verified! Click here to see a complete list.


    PROBAR (http://theprobar.com) is proud to be a Platinum sponsor of Non-GMO Month. The prevalence of GMO's in our food system is ultimately up to us (consumers) to demand increased transparency and national labeling for GMO products. Especially with Halloween later this month, it's time for us to think more critically about what we're encouraging our children to eat:

    Top 10 Most Common GMO Ingredients in Halloween Candy
    1. Sugar (GMO sugar beets)
    2. High fructose corn syrup (GMO corn)
    3. Corn starch (GMO corn)
    4. Soy lecithin (GMO soy)
    5. Soy bean oil (GMO soy)
    6. Modified food starch (GMO corn)
    7. Fructose, dextrose, glucose (GMO corn)
    8. Cotton seed oil (GMO cotton)
    9. Canola oil (GMO canola)
    10. “Other” ingredients: isolates, isoflavones, food starch, vegetable oil

    In honor of National non-GMO Month and PROBAR's commitment to healthy all-natural snacks, PROBAR is offering a special give-away to my readers: 1 mixed flavor box of your favorite PROBAR product that they will ship once a winner has been selected. (contest open to North American residents)


    a Rafflecopter giveaway