Welcome the Year with Waffles

>> Monday, January 9, 2017



Happy 2017!!! What a chilly start it’s been! I know we live in Calgary and it’s meant to be cold but I feel like we haven’t really gotten many chinooks so far this winter. So there hasn’t been much of a break to this bitter cold. Maybe it’s because we were so spoiled last year. I remember I barely even had to take out my boots last year. I suppose that’s what we go on winter vacations to warm destinations. I can’t wait to leave on our trip for a bit of sand and sun but until then I wanted to share a recipe with everyone before I take a little break from blogging.

In the Chinese culture we like to start the new year with something a bit sweet to signify that it will be a year full of happiness. I know it’s not quite Chinese New Year yet, which is near the end of Jan but since I’m still out of town then I thought I might kill two birds with one stone. I figured it might be nice to start with a delicious waffle recipe that’s made to be a bit more healthy for those who are starting off the new year with a new eating plan.

I enjoy waffles at all times of the year, they’re great sweet or savory and with this recipe the waffles taste great even when made the day before and then reheated in the toaster oven for those days when we just can’t seem to find the time. Hope this recipe brings with it a happy and healthy 2017!


Whole Wheat Waffle Recipe

Ingredients:

1 egg
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup melted butter or vegetable oil
3/4 cup + 2 tbsp of soy milk or regular milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt

Preparation:

Preheat the waffle iron and set aside.

Separate the egg yolk and egg whites. Whip the egg whites until stiff peaks and set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix together the egg yolks, melted butter or oil, milk and vanilla extract.

Sift in the flour, baking soda and salt. Mix until combined.

Add in the whipped up egg whites and fold until incorporated.

Scoop out roughly 1 cup of batter in to the waffle iron and cook as per instructions of waffle iron.

Makes 3 large waffles.

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Restaurant Review: Frenchie Winebar and Una Takeaway

>> Monday, December 19, 2016

Brr!! It is cold outside lately! From what I hear it’s suppose to stay that way for the next little while. So what better time than to keep warm with a couple glasses of wine. Then again, when is it not ‘wine o’clock’ in my books. Recently I had the opportunity to check out this lovely new gem called Frenchie Winebar and it totally took my breath away. Not to mention that it is also hidden behind one of the best takeaway places – Una Takeaway!

Atmosphere: Like stepping in to a traditional bar in the heart of Paris, making it the perfect place to impress a date or get cozy with some wine. Be sure to get there early in order to get a place at one of their coveted tables (there’s only 15 seats!).

Price Range: Mid $10s - $30


Food & Wine: As I hinted earlier Frenchie Winebar is actually located at the back of Una Takeaway. Making it a neat little secret that I’m sharing with everyone. I was lucky enough to get the grand tour of the whole place including the lovely Una Takeaway up front and their amazing kitchen in the basement where all charcuterie is made fresh in house by Empire Provisions.

When I sat down at the bar I got to sample some of their delicious charcuterie along with some lovely wine paired by the sommelier. On our lovely charcuterie platter was the Beef Bresaola, Chicken Liver Mousse, Pate and for the cheese we had La Grand Crème and Wensleydale with amazing accompaniments such as a pepper chutney, pickled vegetables, dates and cashews.


The Beef Bresaola, made by air drying the beef in a humidity controlled environment. You could taste the flavour of the beef with was enhanced through being lightly dehydrated with a hint of salt. There was also the creamy Chicken Liver Mousse which I couldn’t stop spreading it over the crostinis! Salty, unctuous with a hint of sweetness made it perfect for the crispy crostinis. The Pate was meatier and had amazing texture. I enjoyed it on its own and didn’t need the accompaniments but they were tasty as well. We got the chance to try the Finocchiona as well, made with fennel and pepper and you can see them speckled throughout the meat and you can definitely taste it!

I tend to stick to lighter cheeses and both of the selections we had that night were quite mild, which was perfect because they paired very nicely with the meats and the wine that we had. The La Grand Crème is exactly that light and creamy made from cow’s milk. Whereas the Wensleydale also made from cow’s milk was firm providing the texture contrast between the two. The cheeses went very nicely with the olives as well, the brininess seem to balance the milky taste from the cheese.


We had to try the dessert offerings since seeing the display at Una Takeaway up front it was hard not to want to order everything! They bake all their pastries and desserts in house and the Churro Pie caught my attention right away. It tastes just like what you’d expect, churro in the form of a pie! Delicious graham cracker crust with a creamy filling and topped with cinnamon sugar and chocolate ganache, what a great way to end the evening!

Throughout the night we had lovely suggestions of different wines to try starting with the Sperling Vineyards Brut Rose from Kelowna Canada. Bubbles to start is always lovely, especially since this was a rose. Next was an interesting ‘Orange’ wine from Portugal, which is made similar to rose wine by keeping the skins of the grapes on. Unfortunately I didn’t get the name of this wine! I’m sure you can ask them though if you’re really intrigued! Lastly was a Grenache from McLaren Vale in South Australia with lots of cherry notes and light tannins. If you’re looking to try something outside your norm let them know and they’re take care of you!


My Picks: Chicken Liver Mousse, Finocchiona

Overall: What a great cozy spot to hide away from the cold outdoors with some delicious charcuterie and unique wines. Plus if you’re looking for a bit more there’s Una Takeaway just out front where you can order off the full Una menu plus delectable in house made desserts and pastries. A perfect location to start the evening or end a crazy day.


Frenchie Winebar
618 17 Ave SW
Calgary, AB
(403) 457-1432
Website: frenchieyyc.com

Una Takeaway
616 17 Ave SW
Calgary, AB
(403) 453-1183
Website: unatakeaway.com

Frenchie Wine Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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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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