Holiday Gifts for Foodies: To Read

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This is my list of must reads/haves, and I think if you have a foodie on your list, any of these are good bets!!

  • bon appétit: One of my favourite food magazines, full of: awesome kitchen gear, foodie tips, and restaurant profiles. One of my go-to recipes is the Pantry Pasta by Sarah Grueneberg: easy & delicious.  Make It Now!

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  • Lucky peach: My go-to for food stories, comics, how-to's. Hit up their website and you'll find a ton of great videos. Loving the video of The Manufactory.

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We’ve crafted OVER 100 BRAND-SPANKIN-NEW RECIPES to show your lazy ass that cooking at home is cheaper, healthier, and an essential part of being a goddamn grown-up. This book’s also got shortcuts, cooking tips, and a shitload of pretty photos. Plus, we guarantee all these recipes are faster than delivery, so you can serve up some tasty food with simple ingredients regardless of how brutal your schedule is.

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  • Toronto/Calgary/Montreal Cooks: Some of the best chefs from awesome restaurants around the country, share recipes in these city-specific books!

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  • East Van Foodie: So many great restaurants in East Van.  Chicha is on of my favs! Now you can try to recreate some of your fav dishes from those restaurants at home. Rick Cluff (CBC) talks about the East Van Cookbook Here: Listen 

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Giving Tuesday Spotlight: FeedFive

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I included the FeedFive T-Shirt in my Little Locavore's List of Holiday Gifts for Foodies to Wear.  Because it's Giving Tuesday, I wanted to tell you a little more about what you GIVE when you buy one of those shirts! dark-tshirt-sizing-3-0

Recently I went to volunteer at Feedfive. Feedfive is a non-profit organization that gets people together monthly to cook a meal that will feed the less fortunate at the Ray of Hope community centre.

It started out as a group of friends getting together to help cook a meal, but they soon realized that pooling their own money to pay for ingredients wasn't sustainable, so they needed to come up with a product to help raise money.

They wanted to be transparent, so that the person buying the product would know exactly where their money was going, and after some brainstorming and calculations, they figured that the money from one t-shirt was enough to pay for five full meals!  Hence the name: Feedfive.

This may seem unreal, but they actually do raise ALL the funds from selling only t-shirts and tank tops. Soon you'll also be able to buy hoodies and aprons as well!

Once they raise enough money to buy ingredients, they have to think about what they are going to buy, and it all comes down to these four things: what's on sale, what's affordable, what's popular, and what's doable.  Things like pastas with salads are often on the menu.

Once they've costed everything out, and sourced all the ingredients, they need people to cook and serve it.

FeedFive relies entirely on volunteers to do all the cooking, washing up, and serving of the food.  Since all the cooking takes place in the prep kitchen at the University of Waterloo, it was assumed that most of the volunteers would be students, but it turns out that the bulk of the volunteers come from people aged 35 to 60.

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I was the youngest volunteer the night that I went to help cook, but everyone was friendly and I got to meet some really great people.

I was in charge of the béchamel sauce. This was the first time I've had to make sauce for 300!

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Feedfive is always in need of more volunteers, thats where you can help, if you're interested in cooking a meal, serving a meal, and being part of a good cause, than check out their website for details and how to sign up.  Or just buy one of their cool t-shirt, it literally does feed five!

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This is me with FeedFive founder Danny Aguizi and his mom who came from Egypt to volunteer!

 

Happy International Bacon Day!

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To celebrate today: National Bacon Day, I've found some bacon-themed things that I love! Starting off with my my Favourite T-Shirt from Food On Your Shirt:

The shirts are designed by Pierre in Calgary and his favourite food is BACON!! FOYS_Bacon These are cool, I found them on Amazon.com:

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This was on Amazon.com too. Hmm... Bacon Breath?! slide_267508_1836545_freeCool Bacon Washi Tape: beve! wtbcn-roll_1024x1024

So even when you need to dress up, you can still show of the bacon, sick cufflinks: FAB6b23607dff2adcd8b34b05bd39140924

Bacon Belt, yes! from: Bacon Freakc4-bacon-belt-23

Hello Fresh: Smoky Sloppy Joes

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The first meal I made out my Hello Fresh box was the Smoky Sloppy Joes. 

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Every meal comes with a recipe card, that is very through and easy to follow.  It's a good idea to ready over the recipe card before you get started. I also laid out all of the ingredients this is called MISE EN PLACE.

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Even though everything comes measured out and some things come pre-chopped.  I was happy that there was still some prep (chopping, mixing) to do.

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These recipe cards are great too for someone who is just learning how to cook, because it has photos with the step-by-step directions.

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While the meat was simmering with the spice mix and the tomato sauce, it was time to make the vinaigrette for the salad.  One thing that didn't come in the kit was Olive Oil. Most people have that in their kitchen. It's a good idea to read over the cards too, just to make sure that you have the few things that are not provided, before you get started.

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I like to mix my salads up by hand.

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This really did take 30 mins to prepare. It was delicious. I added some cheese to the buns for my Smoky Sloppy Joes, which I also didn't toast (as was suggested by the card).

There was enough for 3-4 people with lots of left-over meat sauce which can be used the next day for something else.

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Hello Fresh: Sneak Peek

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I had the chance to check out Hello Fresh, and though it would be cool to see how a meal prep delivery service works! HelloFresh is new to Canada as of 2016, and delivers “cook from scratch” meal plans straight to your door, with carefully curated, easy to follow recipes and locally sourced fresh ingredients in just the right quantities.

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Everything that you need to prepare all of the meals comes right in the box that is delivered to you! There are some basics that you should have alerady in your kitchen, like salt & pepper, oil.

Hello Fresh is a meal subscription service. You can choose form either the:

 3 Meal Pronto Box for Two - $79.99

 3 Meal Pronto Box for Four - $139.99

 3 Meal Family Box for Four - $129.99 - This is the box that I am trying out!

The boxes are delivered once a week on either a Tuesday or Wednesday right to your door, and delivery is Free!

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All of the directions for each meal also come in the box, so for someone who is just learing how to cook, this makes it really easy to follow along step-by-step!

The meals are divided into seperate boxes, which are easy to store in the fridge:

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The meats & items that need to be refridgerated are in a special panel at the bottom of the box, with ice packs to keep them cool!

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Hello Fresh tries to use as many LOCAL ingredients as possible, which is why I thought I would like to try their service.

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This week I'll be making 3 Hello Fresh Meals:

  • Shrimp Pad See Ew
  • Smoky Sloppy Joes
  • Chicken Penne

If you want to try them out too! You can go online to HELLO FRESH and use the code : LOCAVORE-60

That will give you $30 off your first order, and $30 off your second order!! Look out for my posts later this week of me making my Hello Fresh "Cook from Scratch" meals.

Karameller Candy Shop

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My new fav shop in Yaletown is Karameller Candy Shop! IMG_20160326_164516115

 

All of the candy at Karameller is imported from Scandinavia & made from high-quality ingredients:

  • free of GMOs
  • NO trans fats
  • NO high-fructose corn syrup

I went to visit when I was looking for some candies to decorate a beetroot chocolate cake that I made.

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You can choose from a wall of brightly coloured candies and chocolate. My favourites are the gummies!

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Then you weigh your candy on a scale.

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This is the owner Louise, she is so nice and helpful and she started Karameller in Vancouver based on her memories of sweet shops as a kid in Sweeden.

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You can customize your selection of candy in little bags, or they even have little glass jars that you can fill up and take home.

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These # and LOL gummies are what I picked out to decorate my cake, but in the end I just went with some jelly beans!

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Next time you have a candy craving, you should absolutely check out Karameller!

 

Seattle

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My first visit to Seattle: IMG_20160312_131257915_HDR

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Pike Place Market

Our first stop on our self-guided tour of Seattle was the iconic Pike Place Market.  I have seen so many chefs on TV visit Pike Place, I knew I had to go.  It was packed with tourists.

Watching the fish mongers was my favourite part.  The fish was so fresh, and there was such a huge variety!

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We tried to go into the very first Starbucks, but the line up was so long!

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Just outside the Starbucks, was this cute little truck called the  Soda Jerk.  Not only was the Sparking Lavender Lemonade that I ordered amazing, backstory to the Soda Jerk is also great.

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   It was also important to me to create an environmentally conscious company. I have chosen to use as many organic ingredients as possible and proudly display the ingredient list. While not all ingredients we use are able to be grown in the Northwest, we always seek out ingredients that are locally produced first and locally distributed second to reduce our carbon footprint.

IMG_20160312_132502785      I also wanted to use 100% compostable serving materials. The cups (corn based), straws (corn based) and napkins (made from recycled material) are all safe to put into the compost bin. When the occasion allows for us to sell growlers, we offer a deposit program to encourage patrons to return the glass bottles for sanitizing and reuse.

Another place that we had heard about was Juice Box.  Juice Box is a little cafe in Capitol Hill that serves breakfast, lunch & weekend brunch. They focus on Cold-Pressed Organic Juice.

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We tried a flight of Wellness Shots:

  • ginger: with local raw honey
  • turmeric root: with beet & apple
  • parsley: with cayenne & lime (my fav)

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and we also had the 'Green' (kale, celery, cucumber, apple, lemon).

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Totally not food related, but something you should definitely check out if you go to Seattle is:

Bill Speidel's Underground Tour

The Underground Tour is under the streets of current Seattle.  In 1889 a fire went out of control and burned down almost all of downtown Seattle.  During the rebuild, the streets were raised to prevent tidal flooding, but the sidewalks stayed at the original height for many years.  Eventually, business owners raised the sidewalks to the same level as the street.  What were originally street level storefronts are now underground tunnels and basements.

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We had a really awesome tour guide named Scottie, and she told us about the History of Seattle while we walked through the underground tunnels.

 

 

 

2014 Highlights- Part 1

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A huge HIGH FIVE and thanks to all of the amazing food people who made the past year so awesome! 2014 Collage_3

Top L-R: With Jackie Kai Ellis (Beaucoup Bakery), Clair Sears (Eat Vancouver!) & Ashley Watson (Brown Paper Packages Ice Cream)

Bottom L-R: With Chef Rob Feenie & Chef Vikram Vij

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Top L-R: With Chef Trevor Bird (Fable Kitchen), Chef Eric Arrouzé (911ChefEric.com)

Bottom L-R: Coach Darcy Feenie, Melissa (Nice Pops)

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Top L-R: Hunter J. Moyes (The Tiffin Project), Friend Jackie

Bottom  L-R: Stéphane Mouttet (Shangri-La Hotel), Chris Flak (CTV Vancouver), Audrey (Living Lotus)

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Top L: Ryan Squire (Lighthouse Japanese Restaurant)

Bottom L-R: Oolo Teas, The Daddy Blogger

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Top L: Bounty Hunter Vancouver & Vancouver Pie Hole

Bottom L-R: Friend, Carson, Richard Wolak

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Top L: Taser Grilled Cheese, Paddy from Sous Chef (Lethbridge)

Bottom L-R: Roberta from Crazy Cakes (Lethbridge), The dudes from Brasserie Kensington (Calgary)

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Top L: CRU Juice (Calgary), Market (Calgary)

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Top & Bottom : Chef Nicole Gomes, Top Chef Canada, Knifewear (Calgary)

T-Shirt by: Food On Your Shirt

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Top L: Jay from Flip Top Truck, Chef Ned Bell (Four Seasons, Vancouver)

Bottom L-R: Meal Share, Screaming Brothers

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Top L-R: Friend Carla, Johnny Pops

Bottom L-R: @Pizza Fabrika, Knifewear (Calgary)

 

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All the vendors and Staff at Vancouver Farmer's Markets!!

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Top L-R: Friend Tiara, Geoff Rogers: Top Chef Canada

Bottom L-R: Hunter Moyes:The Tiffin Project, Shawna (Whole Foods Cambie)

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Top L-R: BC Potato Farm, Melissa & Ethan (Food Bloggers of Canada)

Bottom L-R: Ryan (The Juice Truck), Kat (Dirty Apron)

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Top L-R:  Jackie Ellis (Beaucoup Bakery), Chef Vikram Vij

Bottom L-R: Caren (Gourmet Warehouse), Jackie Ellis

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Top L-R: Vancouver Mayor, Gregor Robertson, Joel & Friend @Hawker's Market

Bottom L-R: Creme Brûlée (aka Johnny Pops), Viranlly (The Social Life)

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Top L-R: Rachel Parent (Kids Right To Know) , Adrian (The Food Gays)

Bottom L-R: Maya & Ashley (Pazzo Chow & Brown Paper Packages), Michael (Re-Up BBQ)

 

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Top: Hunter Moyes & Mumbai Dabbawalas

Bottom: Alison & Shelome & Sous Chefs @ Chicha

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Top L-R: Dulciene, Sail On Food Truck & Chris (Hawkers Market) @Eat Vancouver!

Bottom L-R: Screaming Brothers, Patty (Whole Nourishment)

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Top L-R: Jeremy (The Food Gays), Janell (Vancouver Pie Hole)

Bottom L-R: Chef David Robertson (The Dirty Apron), Miriam Laroche (Vancouver Eco-Fashoin Week)

Umami Shop: Southern Alberta Food Adventure- YQL (Part 1)

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I recently visited Umami Shop Canada, which is located in Lethbridge Alberta. I was so surprised to see how cool it was. When I lived in Lethbridge, it used to be a Skateboard shop, where I used to go skate ! IMG_4633 umami-7

Umami was opened just one year ago by Patricia and her partner Sven.  Patricia was born and raised in Lethbridge and her parents own an Asian grocery store on the Northside.   She moved to Germany, where she lived for several years and met Sven.  Sven is born and raised in Germany, he is the head of logistics and operations, and he does all the ordering. It was a big risk to come to Canada, and open Umami Shop, but also a big opportunity!

Patricia and Sven moved to Lethbridge, and wanted to open a  grocery that people would love, with  a  kitchen to teach cooking lessons, and a store that had more to offer than other stores in Lethbridge. The prototype for Umami Shop is in France.  It is about ten times smaller and has a lot more European products.

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Umami Shop Canada has many more Asian products like Japanese, Korean and Indian, to cater to the growing demand for these type of foods in Lethbridge.  There is also a good selection of German and  Italian and French products.

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At Umami they have cooking classes with fully trained chefs and a very beautiful kitchen.  I was lucky to be able to have a one-on-one cooking class with Chef Mi-Ran Shin. Chef Mi-Ran is from Korea, so she taught me how to make a traditional Korean Bi-bim-bap (rice & veg bowl).

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Check back tomorrow when I show you what Chef Mi Ran taught me!!

 

Photo Credits: Jonathan Ruzek (www.lethbianlove.ca)

Piggyback Poutinerie - Southern Alberta Food Adventure: YQL

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Piggyback Poutinerie has been open in Lethbridge just since April 2014.  The owner Dylan, has been in the food industry for several years, and started his career out at the Keg.  When he realized that their was a niche in the market in Lethbridge, he and his wife decided to open a poutinerie. IMG_7226

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As much as is possible, Dylan tries to buy local ingredients.  But there are just some things that you can’t get in Alberta;  Lobster for example. Which was a special poutine a little while back.

All of the potatoes are pre-blanched, which work better for preparing, as frozen potatoes don’t work because there is too much water on them.

In the first 6 weeks that they were open, Piggyback Poutinerie sold over 7,500 lbs of potatoes!!

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One of the favourites on the menu is the Triple Porky : BBQ Pulled Pork, Bacon, Maple Sausage, Cheese Curds and Brown Gravy! This was my favourite!!

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Another one that I tried when I was there was the Daisy: Duck Confit, Bacon, Cheese Curds & Brown Gravy.

There are often specials that Dylan comes up with. On the day that I got to help cook it was Chicken Parmesan Poutine, lots of people ordered that one!

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There are also vegetarian options available.

Piggyback Poutinerie uses a cheese blend of Quebec Curds and Mozzarella  for that pulley stringy texture. So delicious!!

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So Aberta foodie friends! Take a drive to Lethbridge and go visit Dyaln at Piggyback Poutinerie. 315 6th Street South.

Love My Local

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Leah has a company called Love My Local.  She makes awesome bamboo cheese boards in the shape of the Canadian Provinces. We met on Twitter. I visited Leah to see how the boards are made and to learn more about Love My Local.

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Leah decided to make the boards in the shape of the Canadian provinces because everyone has a place that is special, and even if you don't live in the province that you were born in, you can have a board that reminds you of that place.  In the future Leah plans to add some other countries to the collection.

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The bamboo for Love My Local boards comes from a company called Plyboo.  All the Bamboo is FSC certified, and all the workers are treated ethically and are happy.  Leah chose bamboo instead of hardwood because bamboo only takes five years to mature, instead of 70.  Love My Local boards are made at a workshop in Langley, BC, but Leah finishes them at her back-yard studio in Vancouver.

I got to help finish some boards:

First Leah taught me how to sand the edges:

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Then Leah taught me how to brand the Love My Local logo onto the boards.  We used a press.

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After branding, the boards are dipped in mineral oil, then set to absorb the oil for 48 hours.  Next they are dipped again in the mineral oil, and set to dry for another 48 hours.

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Fun fact: you only need to plant bamboo once, it re-grows by itself.

To care for the boards, wash them in warm water with soap.

DO NOT put them in a dishwasher, DO NOT submerge them in water.

Leah had grouped together a bunch of items so that I could style some boards!  I was so lucky!

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I got to work on the British Columbia and Vancouver Island boards.  I learned that how you design your board will all depend on the shape, you have to work with the board. It was really fun.

Here are my board designs:

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I want to thank Leah so much for letting me spend the day, and for my awesome new Love My Local boards!! Expect some styled board blogposts from me in the months to come!!

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Check out Leah's site: http://www.lovemylocal.ca

 

The Juice Truck: New Storefront Now Open!

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Recently I went to visit the newly open, and awesome storefront by The Juice Truck, 28 West 5th Ave in Mt. Pleasant.

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They have some of The Juice Truck (truck) favourites and some items on the menu too!

Somethings that look so good and I have to try soon are:

The Noodle Bowl: Rainbow chard, kelp noodles, carrot, zucchini, pea shoots, snap peas, cloud mushrooms, cabbage, sesame seeds, and spicy toasted almond dressing.

and

 The Sushi: Raw nori, parsnip rice, pea shoots, avocado, yam, cucumber, carrot, red pepper, chilli avocado sauce, black sesame seeds, coconut aminos for dipping, wasabi, and pickled ginger.

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There is also some new JUICE TRUCK brand products:

herbal remedies, coconut oil and protein powder . JTProducts

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When I visited, I ordered The Patio : Blueberry, pear, lime, mint, coconut water, aloe vera juice, and ginger (optional).

I also shared (with my mom) the Strawberry Coconut Smoothie: Coconut meat, coconut milk, banana, raw cacao nibs, raw vanilla, and coconut nectar, SO DELICIOUS!!

I also was just getting over a cold, so I ordered two of the WELLNESS SHOTS: Ginger, Lime & Cayenne!!

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This is what your face looks like after a WELLNESS SHOT!!

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I wasn't the only YVR blogger checking out the new location that day!  When I was there I met Daddy blogger, Ricky Shetty.

(Me, Zach Berman (Juice Truck Guru), Ricky Shetty)

So on these hot days, pop over to the Juice Truck for a refreshing cold-pressed juice, smoothie,  snack or even lunch!

High Tea: : La Petite Cuillère

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Happy Easter Sunday.

Rainy Sunday afternoons are a good time for Tea!

So today I decided to go to La Petite Cuillère for High Tea.

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It's a beautiful little place with authentic tea room decor:

And these lovely Vintage China Tea Cups & Saucers.

We selected two of their many teas to try.

-Earl Grey Cream: A blend of fine Ceylon, Darjeeling and China teas, lightly scented with real oil of bergamot, sweet vanilla, and a hint of caramel.

and

-House Blend Chai: A traditional chai blended in house with the delicious tastes of cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and other exotic spices blended with fine black tea.

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The Menus seem to be made from the covers of Vintage Books.

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We decided to have the High Tea:

A selection of two miniature sweets, two finger sandwiches, one miniature scone, fruit preserves, and Devonshire cream.

Served on authentic English bone china with your choice of tea from our premium loose leaf tea selection.

A lovely array of mini sandwiches and small cakes shortbread and scones.

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They were so delicious, and had beautiful presentation.

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My favourite were the scones with cream and jam. Mmmm!

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Even the smallest details of the Sugar Cubes stored in Vintage China.

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I highly recommend that if your feeling queen- like that you hop in your carriage and trot down to La petite cuièllre for your afternoon tea.

Foodie Pen Pals REVEAL DAY!

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In October I signed up for Foodie Pen Pals. It is something that was started by Lindsay from the Lean Green Bean Blog. I saw it on twitter.
I sent her my info, and she liked me up with a Foodie Pen Pal! On the 5th of October I got an email from my Foodie Pen Pal Ashleigh! She send me some questions, so that she could figure out what types of things I like to eat!
I sent her back the same list of questions. Just like me she LOVES spicy things!! She also just like me LOVES seaweed! So I what to buy her!
On the 15th of October, we both sent our boxes to each other! Here was me getting mine!!
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Here is what Ashleigh sent me!!

1. SOMA: It's a local chocolate shop which is close to her house. She sent me their famous Mayan Hot Chocolate (it's spicy)!! & A Chocolate Candied Orange.

2. Sha Sha Coco Snaps: She grew up with them (SO DID I)!!

3. Chimes Ginger Chews: She saw that I loved ginger from my JUICE TRUCK BLOG POST.

4. Evelyn's Crackers: Ashleigh saw my Cheese & Cracker BLOG POST, and chose these.

5. Some Cheddar Onion Dip (I still have to make this), but I've already tried some of the crackers, soo good!

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Thank you so much Ashleigh for my box of goodies! I'm signed up for a new Foodie Pen Pal for November!! Can't wait!

If you want to get a Foodie Pen Pal too:

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http://www.theleangreenbean.com/foodie-penpals/

LOVE YOUR LITTLE LOCAVORE LIAM