Christmas Foodie Gift Guide and Giveaway!

>> Monday, December 5, 2016

With less than a month to go before Christmas, hunting for the perfect gift for the people on your list is officially on! I often struggle with what to buy others since it seems that everybody has everything. However this year I ran in to a couple items that I thought would be fun for the foodies out there and I was hoping to share them with you. Hopefully some of the items below will help make your Christmas shopping a bit easier this year!

Photo courtesy of Grey Goose Vodka

Gifts For The Cocktail Enthusiast

For those that love to try their hand at making cocktails – what’s more versatile than using vodka as the base to build upon? Grey Goose Vodka has created some amazing gift sets this year that would be perfect! The gift boxes vary from Grey Goose's VX, which is vodka with a hint of precious cognac to their cocktail sampler with 3 premium flavours: l'Orange, Cherry Noir and La Poir. Here’s a great recipe to get them started in their cocktail making adventures:

Grey Goose Fireside
2 parts Grey Goose Vodka
2 tsp organic maple syrup
1 pint of salt
1 rosemary sprig
Top with fresh pink grapefruit juice

Photo courtesy of iwoot.com

Gifts For The Oenophile

For those who enjoy their glasses of wine, what’s better than sipping it out of a breathable wine glass by Eisch where it makes decanting a thing of the past. Or if they’ve already gotten a lovely set of glasses, let them experiment with a wine subscription. Where every month a new set of wines will be delivered to them and allow them to try new exciting varietals or wineries that they may not have tasted before.

Photo courtesy of pickurgift.com

Gifts For The Chef

For that somebody on your list always trying to create new dishes and experimenting with different flavours the ‘Try the World’ subscription allows them to use their imagination every month when they receive a box filled with eight different goodies from a specific country. The country will change monthly and an expert chef will choose items unique to that location. Recipes and stories accompany the items so you can learn more about that regions cuisine.

Photo courtesy of Cindy La

Gifts For The Food Conoisseur

For those that are on team eat, a lovely night out at one of Calgary’s many fine restaurants is always a treat. But with so many what’s a good one to pick? Luckily I can help a bit with that. I have TWO Gift Cards to GIVEAWAY! One is for the newly opened Oliver & Bonacini’s The Guild Restaurant on Stephen Avenue. The second is for Starbelly in south Calgary, where they have recently welcomed their new executive Chef. Leave a comment to be entered! If you’re looking at other potential restaurants, maybe one of my restaurant reviews can help with your decision! There are so many great offerings in Calgary that you’ll be pleased no matter what the choice.

I wish all those good luck with trying to find that special someone their perfect gift! There's truly nothing more exciting that the holidays. Hope you guys all get to enjoy!

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Win with 'Edo a Little, Help a Lot'

>> Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The holidays are here and Edo Japan is excited to be celebrating this festive season with Simply Better giving through their ‘Edo a Little, Help a Lot’ holiday campaign! Edo will once again be supporting Canada’s food banks by donating 25 cents to local food banks for every spring roll sold during the holiday season. Last year, Edo raised over $74,000 for food banks across the country and with 850,000 Canadians using food banks each month, it’s never been more important to give back.

New this year, Edo will be hosting ‘Double Up Day’ on December 10 – a one-day event during which Edo will be doubling donations (from 25 cents to 50 cents!) to local food banks for each spring roll sold! With signature dishes like Teriyaki Chicken and Sukiyaki Beef, and a full sushi offering, there is something at Edo to satisfy every craving. Edo Japan gift cards are perfect for stocking stuffers, secret Santa gifts and everything in between!

Help spread the word this year and you can be entered to win a $25 gift card to Edo! Tweet out this blog in order to be entered in to the draw, which will happen in the next week! Good luck!

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Restaurant Review: Divino Wine & Cheese Bistro

>> Monday, November 14, 2016

While I was pregnant people were always wondering whether I missed wine since I was such a oenophile before I became pregnant. Funny enough the answer was no. I didn’t miss wine. The reason is because my sense of smell was exponentially heightened which made wine much more potent and sadly…very unpleasant. However, that was then and this is now. Ever since giving birth I have been craving wine, maybe it’s my body trying to catch up with all the months of lack of consumption. So when I was meeting up with a friend and she suggested that we go to Divino’s a classic wine and cheese bistro in town, I was couldn’t be more excited to visit a long time favorite.

Atmosphere: Elegant interior which makes full use of the heritage building decor on Stephen Ave in which it is situated. Be sure to make resos as its typically quite busy here.

Price Range: $10s - $30+


Food & Wine: Divino’s is a tried and true classic in Calgary and I was happy to visit again. Since it’s been a while. I was pretty excited when I saw Foie Gras Ravioli on the menu. What could be better than foie? When it’s stuffed in to pasta! Topped with a lovely mushroom jus, it was extremely decadent. When you cut in to the ravioli the foie just oozes out and I couldn’t wait to taste it. I thoroughly enjoyed this dish and will continue to order it every time I see it on the menu.

Another great dish is the Buffalo Tartare made with buffalo tenderloin, saltspring island chevre, black pepper vinaigrette and served with housemade chips. Beef tartare tends to be the norm in most restaurants in town, so it was refreshing to see a buffalo tartare especially since it was made with buffalo raised in the CRMR ranch. With just the right amount of tartness from the vinaigrette and the crunch from the chips it was a nice contrast to the creamy foie ravioli.


For my main I ordered the Rougie Duck Breast accompanied by gingered bok choy, potato confit and topped with roasted duck jus. The duck itself was cooked to a perfect medium well and nicely seasoned. I liked the added sweetness from the jus. I don’t think you can ever really go wrong with perfectly cooked duck with the skin rendered just so.

I couldn’t go to a restaurant that specializes in wine and not imbibe! Especially since I was already craving a glass or two (or more) of wine. I decided to try the 2011 Cantina Terre del Barolo from Piedmont Italy. You really can’t go wrong with a nebbiolo. It was bold, full bodied and smooth. A deep red wine with notes of coffee and caramel. It’s perfect with big bold dishes like the ones we had that night.

My Pick: Foie Gras Ravioli

Overall: As suspected, Divino did not disappoint. The food, atmosphere and wine were all top notch. It was a great place to reintroduce my senses back to wine. You can’t go wrong here it’s the perfect place to unwind whether for happy hour (which is great there) or for dinner!

Divino Wine & Cheese Bistro
113 8 Ave SW
Calgary, AB
(403) 410-5555
Website: divinobistro.com

Divino Wine & Cheese Bistro Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Restaurant Review: Royale Brasserie

>> Saturday, October 29, 2016

I’ve been really feeling the travel itch lately. We love traveling and have tried to make it a part of our lives, but with the birth of our son this year traveling has been limited. Since we couldn't leave the city to celebrate our wedding anniversary we decided to enjoy it here at home at a wonderful new French restaurant called Royale which opened up in Corbeaux's old space.

Atmosphere: They’ve updated corbeaux's decor by making it their own with added French touches to warm up the space.

Price Range: mid $10s - $20s

Food & Wine: I always have trouble deciding on what to eat since I want to try everything! It’s even harder when it comes to French cuisine because everything sounds delectable. We decided to try some dishes that are our favorites including the Tartare de Boeuf or Beef tartare. The tartare came with the egg and mustard to the side, which is then mixed in to the beef itself. This provides the dish that extra creaminess that makes it just right.


We also tried the Escargots a l’Ail, nothing is more quintessentially French then some escargots. We had some crazy ones in France! The ones at Royale are a lot more manageable and smothered in a delicious garlic herb butter, only way to eat escargots in my books. I even dipped my bread in to the butter. If you’ve never had escargots before, they have a distinct chew to them but not too much flavour to them, which is why the garlic butter is perfect in this dish.

For my main I had the Joues de Fletan en Papillote, Halibut checks steamed in parchment served with mixed vegetables. The fish was nicely cooked and the accompanying sauce was a perfect compliment. The whole dish overall tasted amazing and is a nice healthy choice for those who are looking for something a bit lighter.


The hubby ordered the Cote d’Agneau Grillees aka Grilled lamb chops with herb de provence. It was definitely a hearty serving. The lamb was cooked to a perfect medium well and came with green beans, mushrooms and potato gratin. I had a couple bites and really liked the sides as well as the lamb itself. It’s the French version of meat and potatoes and was definitely filling.

After a quick look at the dessert menu I knew I wanted the Profiteroles especially since they came with house made vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce. Anything that has ice cream is a must for me. The profiteroles are light and airy, it does become a bit hard due to the ice cream filling but you just need to give it a couple mins to warm up once you take a bite. It was the perfect way to end the meal for me.

My husband ordered the Tarte Fine Aux Pommes, a light apple tart with salted caramel sauce and ice cream. I couldn’t resist and had to try it as well. The apples were nicely spiced and the salted caramel provided an extra depth of flavour. The ice cream was literally the icing on the cake. My husband said he liked it even more than the profiteroles. I don’t know if I agree with that, but rather I’d say it was hard to pick between the two.

Our wine for the evening was the Domaine Begude pinot noir. It’s a light bodied red with cherry notes and made for a nice sipping wine. It was also perfect for both our seafood and red meat dishes. It was a bit lighter than the reds that we normally order but it worked well with our meal.


My Picks: Escargots a l'Ail, Tarte Fine Aux Pommes

Overall: Although we couldn't leave the city I'm glad we live in a place where we can dine on cuisines from around the world. The food at Royale has roots in French cooking but still encompasses the unique qualities of Alberta. I hope to be back to try more dishes and am eyeing the foie gras for next time. The food here will definitely hold me over until our next scheduled trip!

Royale Brasserie
730 17 Avenue SW
Calgary, AB
(403) 475-9457
Website: royaleyyc.ca

Royale Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Enjoying the Last Weeks of Autumn - Things To Do in YYC!

>> Friday, October 14, 2016

Walking through the mall the other day I saw stores already carrying Christmas decorations and I thought to myself, way too soon! We’re not even half way through October yet! We still need to enjoy all the fun things about autumn before moving on to winter and finally Christmas. I’m also not ready to say goodbye to 2016 just yet. So I’ve come up with a list of activities that I thought would be fun to check out over the next couple months as part of Eventbrite’s listing of fun fall activities before the snow really sets in.

Photo courtesy of Google
1) Cobb's Corn Maze

This can make for a great day out for the whole family. Not only is it fun for kids but adults can enjoy the corn maze as well. There is also other fun activities such as a climbing wall, mini golf and a ropes course to keep all the kiddies entertained.


2) Grabbing lunch from Sidewalk Citizen and a coffee from Phil and Sebastian's in East Village and wondering along the bow river

There’s probably only a handful of days left for us to enjoy the Riverwalk in Calgary while taking in the beautiful autumn colors before all the leaves fall from the trees. What better way than to grab a snack at Sidewalk Citizen and a coffee from Phil and Sebastian’s at the Simmons building before heading out for that stroll?


3) Watching live sport matches while enjoying great pizza at Azzurri!

For those looking for something indoors, you can always warm up your stomachs while watching the flames start their preseason at Azzurri Pizzeria where there’s always a sports match on the tv. The thing different here than a typical pub is you’re also dining on some top notch pizza creations!

Photo courtesy of Studio Bell

4) Checking out all things music at the new Studio Bell

Another great indoor activity would be taking the kiddies to experience music in a whole new manner at the newly opened Studio Bell. Right now they’re showcasing the history of Alberta music which is both fun and educational!

Photo courtesy of Avenue Calgary

5) Checking out the fun fall events at the Calgary zoo such as Illuminasia

You can never go wrong with fun events at the zoo! Right now they’re still showcasing Illuminasia, which features amazing animal laterns all lit up for the evening! This isn’t going to be on much longer so be sure to catch them. Their next big event will be zoolights so be sure to check out their site for more information.

Those are some things I could think of off the top of my head to try and enjoy Calgary as much as possible before the snow comes down. What are your favorite activities? Is there anything I should add to the list? Let me know! Eventbrite is a great site to find more fun local events or even to create tickets to an event of your own! Hopefully everyone can make the most out of the last couple weeks of fall before we really have to start thinking about Christmas decorations and shopping for gifts (gasp)!

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