Exploring Ontario’s Lake Country with #LetsGoMaple

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This time last week I was packing my bags for #LetsGoMaple, a sponsored two-day/three-night trip with 15 other Canadian bloggers to explore Ontario’s Lake Country (Orillia/Rama/Oro-Medonte and area, about a five-and-a-half-hour drive from Ottawa). As someone who struggles with anxiety (social and otherwise), I was as nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs. I needn’t have been. At the risk of sounding sappy, my travel companions and hosts were as sweet and warm as the maple syrup we poured over our pancakes at Shaw’s Sugar Bush. Which made trying small things loom less large, and a lot easier. Come along and see some of the fun and delicious goodness the area has to offer.  Continue reading “Exploring Ontario’s Lake Country with #LetsGoMaple”

Lucky in friendship (and brunch)

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You know that one friend in horror movies who is like, “Here’s a dumb idea: Let’s split up and not be safe.” That friend is an idiot. You are not that friend. — Daily Odd Compliment • Pushing myself out of the house in the winter can be tougher than a two-dollar steak, but the chance to catch up with my pal Carolyn yesterday over a leisurely brunch made it well worth the effort. For months she’s been working harder than a squirrel trying to bury a nut on a marble floor, and a long chat was even longer overdue. We went to Origin Trade, a coffee house and lounge in the Byward Market. Brunch was on the house in exchange for a review and since neither of us had been, we thought we’d check it out.  Continue reading “Lucky in friendship (and brunch)”

Skip The Dishes and order in! + A giveaway

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We could have ordered dinner tonight from any one of hundreds of restaurants around the city and naturally the kids wanted burgers from a place two kilometres down the road. The food delivery network SkipTheDishes comped us a meal in exchange for a review and since we rarely get take-out (or eat out), it was kind of a big deal.  Continue reading “Skip The Dishes and order in! + A giveaway”

DAVIDsTEA’s feel-good collection + A giveaway!

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Why don’t the Maple Leafs drink tea? Because the Canadiens and the Red Wings have all the cups. (Ba-dum-bum-chuh.) Little seasonal tea humour for you there. (Hey, we’re in the thick of winter. We need all the laughs we can get.) If you’re a die-hard hockey fan, you’ll know the joke’s not even true: the Leafs have won the Stanley Cup 13 times over the Red Wings’ 11. (Don’t be impressed — I totally Googled it.) But we’re not here to talk hockey. Let’s talk tea! Pull up a chair and let me pour you a virtual cup from DAVIDsTEA‘s new feel-good collection. The company sent me its five new limited-edition teas to try and I’m curious to know which one you’d like best. (Or maybe you already have a favourite. Do tell!)  Continue reading “DAVIDsTEA’s feel-good collection + A giveaway!”

The Superfun Times Vegan Holiday Cookbook by Isa Chandra Moskowitz + Win a copy!

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I know I’m not alone in feeling overwhelmed this time of year, but if it’s your holiday menu you’re worried about, worry no more! I’ve got your back. The Superfun Times Vegan Holiday Cookbook by Isa Chandra Moskowitz is a fantastic resource not only for vegans (and for those with vegan guests coming to the table), but it has plenty of plant-tastic, comforting recipes to satisfy meat-eaters too. It’s Isa’s largest book (she’s published several other vegan bestsellers) and very likely one you’ll turn to the most, both for celebrations year-round and everyday meals. Continue reading “The Superfun Times Vegan Holiday Cookbook by Isa Chandra Moskowitz + Win a copy!”

The Sprinkles Baking Book by Candace Nelson + Win a copy!

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It’s been a fantastic year for cookbooks, and out just in time for holiday baking (and giving!) is The Sprinkles Baking Book: 100 Secret Recipes from Candace’s Kitchen by Candace Nelson. It’s the first cookbook from the investment baker turned pastry chef and founder of America’s first cupcakes-only bakery, Sprinkles. Inside are 50 cupcake recipes including customer favourites and new ones created for the book, as well as 50 other desserts (brownies and bars, pies and tarts, loaves and puddings and more). I want to try them all! But I started with two.  Continue reading “The Sprinkles Baking Book by Candace Nelson + Win a copy!”

Breaking Breads: A New World of Israeli Baking by Uri Scheft + Win a copy!

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The other day I asked you to share with me something you tried recently and quite a few of you told me about a new recipe you’d made and how well it turned out. It’s so satisfying, isn’t it? I’m confident you’ll have all kinds of success with this book too. Breaking Breads: A New World of Israeli Baking by Uri Scheft of the famed Lehamin Bakery (Tel Aviv) and Breads Bakery (New York) is an approachable and inspiring guide that will excite both novice and experienced bakers with its inventive twists on classic and lesser-known breads, scintillating photography and clear, step-by-step instructions.  Continue reading “Breaking Breads: A New World of Israeli Baking by Uri Scheft + Win a copy!”

MIXIT yourself! Custom-made cereal we’re loving

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Hands up if you could eat cereal for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I see a lot of hands out there! Now would you be bowled over if I told you we made these ones ourselves? Yes! Well basically. We picked all of the ingredients and MIXIT shipped it to our door. The Montreal healthy cereal co. offers custom and ready-made mixes with dozens of good-for-you ingredients and gluten-free options like the pistachios, diced figs, freeze-dried strawberries, organic dark chocolate popped quinoa and other things I put in mine. Naturally the kids wanted something entirely different so they made their own.  Continue reading “MIXIT yourself! Custom-made cereal we’re loving”

Halloween is nigh! Treats from DAVIDsTEA + tricks for bat cookies

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Lord knows I’m a sucker for pretty packaging, but DAVIDsTEA‘s Halloween collection is so cute it’s scary! Die Fledermaus motif inspired me to whip up a bat-ch of bat-shaped chocolate sugar cookies to go with — a little flight of fancy for one of the year’s best holidays. Here’s a few tips and tricks so you won’t turn yourself upside down making them, and a closer look at some of DAVIDsTEA’s spooky-good treats. Put the kettle on and let’s sit a spell.  Continue reading “Halloween is nigh! Treats from DAVIDsTEA + tricks for bat cookies”

Deep Run Roots: Stories and Recipes from My Corner of the South by Vivian Howard + Win a signed copy!

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As I write, North Carolina chef, restaurateur and television personality, Vivian Howard, is ambling toward Atlanta, Georgia in a food truck, two and a half weeks into a nine-week book tour that will take her to more than 20 towns and cities across the southeast United States. Together with a small team, she’s serving up stories and dishes from her new (and first) cookbook, Deep Run Roots: Stories and Recipes from My Corner of the South. The book is a comprehensive record of modern Southern cooking that explores the history of North Carolina cuisine, catalogued by the ingredients that residents have cooked around for generations.  Continue reading “Deep Run Roots: Stories and Recipes from My Corner of the South by Vivian Howard + Win a signed copy!”

Discover The Taste Box + A discount & giveaway!

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The Taste Box is the latest entry into the Canadian food subscription box market. Yes, another subscription box to discover! How much do we love?! Each month Toronto couple Matt and Jenni curate a unique package of food and drink products around a theme and ship it to your door. The first box shipped this month with an assortment of goodies perfect for celebrating yesterday’s World Pasta Day. Here’s a closer look at the Pasta Is Love box (sent to me to try free of charge) and a couple of notes about what’s coming up next.   Continue reading “Discover The Taste Box + A discount & giveaway!”