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)!


Rocky Mountain Wine & Food Fest and Free Tickets!!

>> Wednesday, October 5, 2016

October is in full swing and that means the Rocky Mountain Wine and Food Festival is just around the corner!

Again, I have a set of tickets for Saturday October 16th afternoon session (12-4pm) to give away! So message me through twitter or respond to this post and I’ll do a random draw next week for the winner.

For all of you that are interested, here’s a bit more information. Plus there are still additional tickets available for purchase, but they might sell out soon so don’t wait too long! Also, new for this year, the afternoon tasting session is back for those that want to avoid the long lines and big crowds. It’s also great for those that already have evening plans!

Discover flavours from around the globe at the Calgary Rocky Mountain Wine & Food Festival

WHAT: Explore a world of flavour with the Calgary Rocky Mountain Wine & Food Festival, sponsored by Sobeys Liquor and Safeway Wine & Spirits. The tastiest event of the year is back featuring a wide variety of gourmet food samples from local restaurants along with fine wine, beer and spirits from all over the globe - no passport required.

The Grand Tasting Hall brings together new-to-the-market products, old favourites and the most popular restaurants, catering companies and hotels from in and around the city to offer a weekend of excitement and flavourful fun for adults of all ages. Attendees can explore the world through an impressive winery lineup: 138 wineries from 20 different countries that promise to satisfy everyone’s palate, along with more than 200 brands of premium spirits, single malt and blended scotches, port, liqueurs and craft beers. Experience fresh flavours from more than 45 local restaurants and food purveyors who will cook up a wide variety of culinary samples, creating the perfect pairing for each sip.

Alberta’s most exciting wine and food Festival is proud to offer something for everyone, with samples ranging from value-based to ultra-extravagant. This year, port and scotch lovers won’t want to miss the extravagant pours: Taylor Fladgate 1863 Single Harvest Port (worth nearly $4,000 per bottle) and the Ledaig 42 Year Old Single Malt Scotch (worth over $7,000 per bottle) will be open for sampling.

Great talent will also join us in the Grand Tasting Hall: visit renowned chefs, winemakers, brewmasters and key principals onsite to discover the magic behind their products. Attendees are encouraged to take tasting notes and track their favourites in the Festival Guide, and then vote in The Great Big Tastes Awards post-event survey. To wrap up this unparalleled tour of tastes, consumers can stop by The Sobeys Liquor and Safeway Wine & Spirits onsite store to pick up their favourite finds.

WHO: Wine, spirit and beer lovers, along with those seeking to indulge in delicious food samples.

WHY: To sip and sample dynamic wine, beer and spirits from all over the world accompanied by fantastic local restaurants. Food and beverage creations are brought to light by talented local restaurants and food purveyors, as well as beverage experts. Enjoy everything the Festival has to offer with loved ones and friends!

WHEN: Friday, October 14, 5 - 10 p.m. Friday Evening Session
               Saturday, October 15, 12 - 4 p.m. Saturday Afternoon Session
               Saturday, October 15, 6 - 10 p.m. Saturday Evening Session

WHERE: Stampede Park BMO Centre, Halls D & E

Tickets are available online at www.rockymountainwine.com

. Sampling coupons are required for sampling and are available for purchase onsite.


Sabra Hummus, Pita Chips and Fall Weather

>> Friday, September 30, 2016

With the weather cooling down and summer coming to a close, I have started to shift from wanting to be outside all day to sitting beside the fireplace with a nice cup of coffee. Sometimes there’s nothing better than sitting at home and enjoying a great book. Its inevitable that I start having the munchies. It’s hard to avoid chips and cookies, but there are healthier alternatives out there. One of my favorite combo is pita and hummus. Flavorful while still packing a nutritional punch.

Recently I had the opportunity to try out Sabra hummus, which surprisingly comes in many amazing flavours including Roasted Red Pepper, Basil Pesto and Roasted Garlic. My favorite at the moment is the Supremely Spicy, with loads of spicy chili in the middle to provide an extra bit of kick to amp up the flavour. The hummus itself is creamy smooth with a nice sesame flavour from the tahini and nuttiness from the chickpeas. I like to pair it with my favorite fire roasted jalapeno pita chips! I definitely don’t shy away from spiciness. =)

Pita chips are also a great way to use up leftover pita and are super easy and quick to make. I’ve included a quick recipe at the end of this post. I find that after I cook Mediterranean or other cuisines that utilize pita as a base, I always tend to have some left over. This makes for a quick and nutritional snack when combined with a delicious dip.

I can’t wait to try more offerings from Sabra and have recently found out that they also offer salsas and guacamole in a range of different flavours. Looks like I’ll have a lot more snack combos for all my hibernating this fall. I’m also going to be giving away coupons for readers of the blog to try out some of Sabra’s offerings. Please leave your name in the comments and I’ll make a draw for winners. Good luck!!

Pita Chip Recipe


Olive Oil
Optional: Garlic Powder or other spices


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cut up your pita in half, cut those halves in to halves and etc until you get 8 wedges.

Place pita on a parchment covered oven sheet.

Drizzle olive oil over top.

Sprinkle some salt and pepper on to each of the wedges.

If you’d like additional flavours, you can sprinkle garlic powder or other spices on top. Feel free to make it all your own by playing with different flavour combinations!

Bake in the oven for 8-10 mins or until pitas become crispy.

Serve with your favorite hummus or dip!


Get Creative at PopBar

>> Friday, September 23, 2016

Not too long along ago I visited Crossiron Mills Mall and was surprised by their revamped food court. I knew that they were planning an extension but didn't know when or how fast it had happened. The space has really opened up with this new expansion and the food court looks great! Not to mention it has allowed new vendors to open their doors. I was particularly intrigued by one - Popbar - as I was strolling through the mall. Gelato on a stick? What isn’t better on a stick.

There are three types of Popbar’s you can choose from, either the PopSorbetto, made from fresh fruit, the PopGelato, which is creamier and milk based or the YogurtPop, as you probably guessed, made from yogurt. All the popbars are made from natural ingredients in small batches to ensure amazing freshness every time. I was shocked to find out that they made all the popbars right on sight at Crossiron Mills just behind the food court! They’re also gluten free and kosher certified so everybody can indulge. You can customize each popbar if you like, with toppings such as white, milk or dark chocolate, either drizzled on top or dipped and add additional nuts, crunchy waffle bits or more chocolate chips to your hearts desire.

I got the chance to try a couple of the popbars starting with a fresh watermelon PopSorbetto, which I had just as. It was very refreshing and it felt like you were eating a watermelon itself. It also reminded me of a watermelon bubble tea. For the PopGelato I decided to dress it up a bit more. I had the hazelnut PopGelato with dark chocolate drizzle topped with crushed waffle cone. The combination of the creamy gelato and the crunchy waffle topping was a huge hit in my books. The added dark chocolate was just a bonus providing more depth of flavour and really making it “pop”, pun intended. I was extremely surprised at how there was no milky aftertaste which can often happen with some other gelatos out there. Instead my palate was clean and the popbars definitely quenched my sugar craving.

With 40 flavours and limitless topping combinations there are endless combinations to try. Not only is it a perfect treat, its even better coupled with shopping. I can’t wait to go back and can foresee myself indulging every chance I’m at Crossiron. I’ve already got a couple flavours on my must hit list. What’s yours?

Check out their site here: www.pop-bar.com for more information and to salivate over your next popbar creation.

CrossIron Mills
261055 Crossiron Boulevard
Unit K22
Calgary, AB
(403) 454-4733
Website: www.pop-bar.com


Fly Beyond with Grey Goose Boulangerie Bleue

>> Thursday, September 8, 2016

Looking around at the trees reminds me that summer is truly over. The yellowing of the leaves signals fall is just around the corner. Now that August is over and September is in full swing I can't help but look back at all the great times over the last couple months including the boulangerie bleue event held by grey goose vodka. Although the weather was a story in itself this year. We were lucky enough to have a beautiful sky the night of the event. The sun peering over us on the rooftop bar at the Simmons building as we got to enjoy the French Riviera here in Calgary.

Grey goose not only brought France to Calgary but they did it in style. The blue and white outdoor party along the bow reminisce of the beautiful river seine in France. To top it all off we were treated to a lovely four course menu paired with scrumptious grey goose cocktails from the farm to table Chef Jamie Kennedy along with delectable bread creations by Marc Thobor, who deliberately flew in wheat from France to create the bread which is also derived from the same wheat that is used to make grey good vodka. What a treat indeed.

After a brief introduction and tasting of said delicious bread and the Grey Goose fizz (take on the French 75) we began our food journey with some fresh oysters from both the east and west coast. The oyster dish was paired with the vodka martini. Where the dryness of the martini compliments the briny oysters to perfection. It was a great start to the night.

Next was a divine marinated wild salmon with fresh strawberry aigre doux salad complimented by the Grey Goose Cocktail de Vin Rose. A wine inspired cocktail which tasted exactly like sipping on a lovely crisp rose. The sweetness brought out the amazing salmon flavours along with all the lovely fresh fruit on the plate.

The main was a Grilled Hanger Steak with duxelles made from different mushrooms, served with baby vegetables. The Grey Goose inspired drink was the Vin Rouge aka a dark red wine. The addition of black peppercorns in to the cocktail brought out the same flavours in the steak. I was surprised at how well the vodka was able to double as a wine substitute.

For the final course, our dessert was a decadent chocolate almond cake with sour cherry and vanilla. The cake was moist with the perfect amount of sweetness and chocolate. This course was served with the Grey Goose Espresso Martini, a creamy smooth cocktail made from coffee liquer, vanilla bean, chocolate, espresso and of course, grey goose original.

After our amazing dinner, we were all invited to attend the after party held along the banks of the bow river, where a luxurious outdoor setting was there to whisk us away to the banks of the Seine. People were invited to sample more delicious Grey Goose cocktails as well as have a cocktail developed just for them. It was definitely the celebration of the summer. One that many could not stop talking about!

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