Tag Archives: Canada

CONTEST: Enter to win a gift box from Nature’s Path!

4 Jan

Disclosure: I received a tasty box of Nature’s Path products from their fabulous team and I loved it so much that I want you to win one too : )

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Now that I’m a mom, I’ve been thinking a lot more about what I eat and what I feed my son. He’s only 7 months old and he just started eating solids but I know that in the next few years we will have a lot of choices to make, including deciding which cereals he’ll have for breakfast. A friend introduced me to Nature’s Path products a few years ago and I’ve enjoyed their cereals and waffles over the years, especially their Flax Plus Flakes and their frozen waffles (yum!). Receiving this box was great because I had the chance to try a range of Nature’s Path products and share them with my family on Christmas Eve.

The box was filled to the brim with tasty goodness and it included:

–          Love Crunch Gingerbread

–          Love Crunch Dark Chocolate

–          Sunrise Crunchy Maple Cereal

–          Whole O’s Cereal

–          Flax Plus Flakes

–          Pure Oats Fruit & Nut Granola

–          Chia Coconut Granola

–          Pumpkin Flax Granola

–          Qi’a Original

–          1 x product voucher valued at $5

I’ll be honest and say that I haven’t had a chance to try everything in the box yet. The folks at Nature’s Path were so generous that I ended up sharing the contents of the box with my whole family. Now I’ll just have to visit everyone to try it all before it’s gone! : )

CONTEST:

I’m happy to share that you too can win one of these awesome #FeelGoodHoliday boxes, packed with Nature’s Path products.

To enter:

If you’re on Twitter:

Follow me on Twitter @savvari or www.twitter.com/savvari

Follow Nature’s Path on Twitter at @naturespath or www.twitter.com/naturespath

Tweet:

I want to win a #FeelGoodHoliday box of goodies from @savvari and @naturespath – http://wp.me/p1yJez-uW #FeelGoodHoliday

Get an extra entry by leaving a comment below this post. Tell me who you would share this box of Nature’s Path goodies with! If you don’t have Twitter, this would be your method of entry.

You can enter on both Twitter and on the blog once per day each until the end of the contest.

Contest runs until Wed January 7 at 5 pm EST, so get your entries in!

Rules and Regs:

-There is one (1) Nature’s Path #FeelGoodHoliday box to be won.

-The winner will be announced by Thursday January 8 at 5 pm EST.

-The contest is open to Canadian and US residents only.

-Prize will be shipped directly to the winner. Winner’s prize will arrive within 15-20 business days from date of info received. US or Canadian shipping address must be provided.

-Total value of the box is $50

Get digital and social with Nature’s Path:

Website: http://ca-en.naturespath.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/naturespath

Twitter: @NaturesPath or www.twitter.com/naturespath #FeelGoodHoliday

THE WINNER IS……Rachel Williams from Twitter! Thanks everyone for entering! 

 

 

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Fab finds at Grocery Innovations Canada 2014

3 Oct

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A few days ago I had the opportunity to attend Grocery Innovations Canada, an industry conference and trade show hosted by the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers. I love to learn about new products and I’m also obsessed with food packaging, so I look forward to this show every year. I should explain that grocery shopping is a huge passion of mine. One of my favourite post-work activities is wandering the aisles of grocery stores (yes, I’m serious). Even when I’m on vacation, I seek out local and chain grocery stores, just to check out their products. So when I got to the show, it was one of those scenarios where I walked in and I was so excited to be there that I didn’t know where to start : )

Warning – this is going to be a LONG post. Not long in words but long because of the number of products I’ll be talking about. Note: Some of the products pictured below aren’t new but the brands were showing them again as a reminder to retailers and media that they are available. Here we go….

For those who follow a gluten-free diet, there’s a gluten-free version of Cream of Rice in market. I didn’t get to sample it but I thought I would share this info for those who enjoy the product. Learn more here: http://www.creamofwheat.com/products/cream-of-rice/

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I love mushroom risotto and I’ve made it at home several times. It’s an easy dish to make but it’s just very time-consuming so I was happy to find out about In Cuisin’s Mushroom Risotto. I’ve seen it in the freezer section many times (often on sale) but I had never tried it. I had a hot sample of the risotto and it was delicious! There was an assortment of mushrooms in it and the rice was just the right texture. In my opinion, for a frozen dish it was as close to restaurant style as you could get. I’ll definitely be picking this up to keep in the freezer for a last-minute lunch or dinner. Learn more here: http://infoodsinc.com/en/products/in-cuisin-risotto/mushroom-risotto/

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Coffee + coconut water? Yes, it’s true. The fine folks at Vita Coco have combined coconut water with espresso and a splash of milk to create a mighty tasty drink. I was surprised by how good it was (Apologies for the poor photo!). Vita Coco was also showing their flavoured coconut waters – I enjoyed the mango and pineapple flavours the most. Learn more here: http://vitacoco.com/products/vita-coco-cafe/#cococafe
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Robin Hood showed some quick bread mixes with flavours including banana bread and lemon poppy seed bread. This looks like a great idea for those who wish to make quick breads at home without the effort of scratch baking. While they weren’t giving out samples of the baked breads to try, I did receive a coupon to try the product. I’m a huge fan of Robin Hood flour, it’s the only brand I’ll buy, so I’m sure this product meets the same standards. Learn more here: http://www.robinhood.ca/Products/Mixes

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Another packaged baking product I wanted to mention are Duncan Hines Strawberry Flavoured Cupcakes, this product comes with cream cheese icing and a piping bag. I’m very big on baking from scratch but I have to say that the cupcakes I sampled were quite tasty and weren’t too sweet. Definitely a good option for some easy home baking. http://www.duncanhines.ca/products/cupcakes/strawberry-flavoured-cupcakes/

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Rotkappchen De-alcoholized Sparkling Wine….wow, I loved the taste and I thought the packaging looked quite nice as well. It’s a great option for those who wish to have a non-alcoholic beverage but don’t want to feel like they are missing out on anything. Learn more here: http://www.therealbubbly.com/products.html

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I wanted something spicy after having the cupcakes and sparkling wine so I was so happy to spot No. 7 Hot Sauce’s display. They have a range of flavourful sauces with different levels of spice, so there was really something for everyone.  The best part, they are from Toronto! Learn more here: http://no7hotsauce.com

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This was big news for me….I love the Moroccan 9 Vegetable Soup that I can buy hot and ready at Loblaws and Longo’s. I found out that the supplier was Campbell’s and I was thinking of asking them to sell the soup in cans and voila…my wish was granted when I visited their display at the show! I bought a can of the soup after the show and I’m having it right now. While it is close to their Campbell’s FoodService version, it isn’t 100% the same. I’ll still keep a can or two in my cupboard to squash the cravings as needed though. Learn more here: http://www.campbellsoup.ca/en-ca/products/everyday-gourmet/campbells-everyday-gourmet-moroccan-spiced-eight-vegetable-chickpea

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Next up, Supereats Kale + Chia Chips. I enjoyed these, they were tasty, nice and crunchy and left me feeling satisfied. I’m look for these at my local health food store. Learn more here: http://www.supereats.com

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Another tasty chip, Luke’s Organic Protein Chips with blue corn and red lentils. Also really tasty, especially considering the fact that they are “healthy” chips. Another one to look out for in health food stores. Learn more here: http://www.lukesorganic.com

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Mmmm Wonderful Pistachios! These aren’t new but I love their variations on the humble little pistachio. I tried their Sweet Chili pistachios for the first time and I was kicking myself for not trying them earlier, they were so good! I also loved the salt and pepper flavour, it’s simple but oh so tasty. Can we just talk about their cute packaging for a minute? It’s eye-catching and very fresh. Go get some, now. Learn more here: http://getsnackin.ca

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I’m looking forward to trying the Blueapple, a product that was made to help keep fruits and vegetables fresher for longer in the fridge. Learn more here: http://www.thebluapple.com/how-it-works

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These aren’t new but I thought I would share since there is a huge slow cooker movement right now. These liners make cleanup easy, you just line the cooker, make your dish and then just pull the liner out and toss it after. Learn more here: http://www.reynoldskitchens.com/products/slow-cooker-liners/

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KitchenAid was showing their new Produce Preserver, designed to help keep produce fresher for longer. I received a sample of this so I’m really looking forward to testing it out. Stay tuned! Learn more here: http://www.kitchenaid.ca/en_CA/shop/-%5BP1KG6S1B%5D-2104325/P1KG6S1B/

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Maple water. It was the first time I had heard of it and apparently it’s the next big thing. Surprisingly it contains protein, prebiotics and antioxidants and you know what, it tasted pretty good. Not too sweet, just a fresh clean taste. Bonus points, the company is Canadian! Learn more here: http://www.eauderableseva.com/en/

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Huge news…Tassimo and McDonald’s have partnered up to create McCafe t-discs for Tassimo machines. I adore my Tassimo machine and I can’t wait to try the McCafe discs. Learn more here: https://www.tassimo.ca/en/beverages/mccafe/

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Greek yogurt with chia mixed in from Olympic Dairy (they’re Canadian!). A great option for vegetarians who want to add more protein in their diets. Learn more here: http://www.olympicdairy.com/index.php

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Two more great products from Sol Cuisine – the first one is their Tangy Korean BBQ Meatless Chicken. I liked the flavours and the texture of the meatless chicken was great. Their Veggie Breakfast Sausages were great too, they would be perfect in a breakfast sandwich with egg, cheese and tomato. (my favourite sandwich combo). I’ll definitely pick up both of these next time I’m at the grocery store. Learn more here: http://solcuisine.com/canadian-retail

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I loved these Korean filled pancakes (called Hotteok) from Arumi. I tried both the Hotteok Red Bean and Hotteok Brown Sugar, both were really tasty. The rep said these products are available at major Korean grocery stores in the Toronto area. The company doesn’t appear to have a website with these products on it…

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A few side items…Coca-Cola brought their “Share A Coke” machines to the show and I was able to finally get some cans made with my (full) name and my husband’s names on them. So cool! Learn more here: http://www.shareacoke.ca

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Lastly, not a product but a really cute giveaway at the show from McCain Foods. They were focusing on their frozen potato products so they handed out potato shaped stress balls. I just had to share : )

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The show was quite big, big enough that I’m sure that I missed some good finds. Luckily fellow blogger Vicky Weiss  attended as well, so please check out her blog to find out which products she loved at GIC at www.momwhoruns.com

Have you tried any of the above products? Are there any that you’re excited about?

 

 

“Waldorf” Berry Salad

11 Aug

Waldorf Berry Salad final

Disclosure: Dairy Farmers of Canada provided me with a basket of fresh ingredients so that I could try this recipe. I did not receive any compensation for writing this post.

I haven’t posted to Milk & Eggs in a long time and there’s a very good reason for it, I had a baby (my first) in May and time has just flown by! As a new mom, I’m on the hunt for quick and tasty vegetarian recipes – bonus points if I can make it and store it in the fridge to have it the following day or days later. So I was quite excited to be asked by Dairy Farmers of Canada to try a recipe which would combine fresh local berries and real cream made from 100% Canadian milk. Dairy Farmers of Canada joined forces with chefs from across Canada to create new recipes that combine berries and cream, seriously one of life’s greatest combinations.

The recipe I chose was Chef Michael Allemeier’s “Waldorf” Berry Salad, as the combination of berries and the crunch of celery and walnuts sounded unusual and very interesting. The recipes from all of the chefs are featured on www.AnyDayMagic.ca – I can’t wait to try more of them before berry season is over for another year…

“Waldorf” Berry Salad

An exciting twist on a classic summer salad. Celery, toasted walnuts, apples, mixed berries, all tossed in a creamy dressing – using half and half cream, sour cream and Greek yogurt.

Ingredients

1/4 cup (60 mL) 10% half-and-half cream

3 tbsp (45 mL) sour cream

3 tbsp (45 mL) Greek yogurt

1 tbsp (15 mL) fresh lemon juice

1 1/2 cups (375 mL) diced celery

1 cup (250 mL) toasted walnuts, lightly crushed, divided

1 red delicious apple, cored, quartered and diced (skin on)

1 2/3 cups (375 mL) assorted berries, (such as blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, or quartered strawberries, if large)

Salt

Black pepper

8 – 10 whole butter lettuce leaves

10 – 12 celery leaves

Preparation

In a large bowl, stir together cream, sour cream, yogurt, and lemon juice. Stir in celery, ¾ cup (175 mL) of the walnuts and apples. Gently fold in berries. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

In a bowl or on a serving platter, arrange lettuce leaves and gently spoon salad on top. Garnish with remaining walnuts and celery leaves.

Tips

For tender and sweeter celery, peel the back part of the celery rib with a vegetable peeler; this really changes the flavour and nature of celery!

Celery leaves can be found in the heart of the celery.

My notes

I made this salad twice, the first time with the celery, celery leaves and walnuts and the second time without these ingredients. I enjoyed the salad more without the above ingredients in it as I wasn’t fan of the textures they added. That said, removing these items really just makes this a creamy fruit salad but you know what, there’s nothing wrong with that at all! It was refreshing and a great way to get good dose of dairy, antioxidants and fibre, all in one dish!

Let me know if you end up trying the recipe and if you have any tips to share!

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Waldorf Berry Salad final

Review: IÖGO 0% yogurt with stevia extract

29 Sep

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Disclosure:  This post is sponsored by IÖGO (Ultima Foods Inc). I’ve received a product sample and compensation for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Last week, I received a delicious delivery at my doorstep. Inside a (cold) black shopping bag with a IÖGO logo was a package of IÖGO 0% yogurt with stevia extract. The flavours: raspberry, blueberry, vanilla and mango-passion fruit. As if the flavours didn’t sound tasty enough, I saw that there was no gelatin in this yogurt, like all IÖGO products! What’s gelatin you ask? It’s a common ingredient that is derived from the collagens of animals. Ew.

So no gelatin and no artificial flavours or colours? The folks at IÖGO had my attention. To top it all off, they sweetened this yogurt with what I think is one of the products of the moment, stevia extract.

Stevia extract is a 100% natural origin calorie-free sweetener made from the leaves of the stevia plant. It has an intensely sweet taste and zero calories. When used in small quantities, stevia extract can replace some of the sugar generally used in food products.

Lately I’ve been experimenting with alternative natural sweeteners, so I couldn’t wait to try the product.  I set myself up with a little taste test station and to be fair, I tried each of the yogurts twice last week.

The verdict…

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Vanilla:  This was the first yogurt I tried and it took me few bites to really get into it. I’ve found that products sweetened with stevia need to coat your tongue first to allow you to appreciate the flavours. I would definitely enjoy the vanilla yogurt with some fresh fruit.

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Raspberry: I enjoyed this flavour and I could taste the raspberry in it, which I really appreciated. The colour of the yogurt was natural. I would definitely eat this again.

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Blueberry:  This flavour was also true to its name, with small pieces of blueberry in the yogurt. This tasted the most like other blueberry yogurts I’ve tried, so I would call this a “comforting” flavour if that makes sense!

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Mango-Passion Fruit: I was most intrigued by this flavour, as I’ve never had mango and passion fruit together. The result was a tangy yogurt that ends with sweetness. I would enjoy this flavour at the end of a heavy meal, as it would make for a light and tasty dessert.

Was it love at first sight/bite? Yes, I would definitely recommend IÖGO 0% yogurt with stevia extract to those who want to include a packaged fruit yogurt in their diet that is 0%, doesn’t contain any gelatin (yay!) and is flavoured by natural sources. I have a lot of respect for IÖGO as I like that they are working to bring fresh, new yogurt products to Canadians. This particular product retails for about $7.99 in grocery stores in Canada.

For more information, check out: http://www.iogoStevia.ca/

Have you tried IÖGO yogurt or others with stevia extract? What did you think?

Review: McDonald’s New Signature Veggie McWraps

16 Sep

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Disclaimer: I did receive compensation from McDonald’s Canada for this post, however all opinions expressed are those of myself, my sister-in-law, brother-in-law and my friend. 

My husband and I are always on the go. We are often out and about and we do love the occasional road trip (Montreal anyone?). As a vegetarian married to a meat-eater, I’ve found that over the years there are only a few quick service a.k.a. fast food restaurants we can visit that have good meal options for both of us. When I say a few, I’m being generous, there are only two places that I can think of immediately and both have veggie burgers as their star vegetarian attractions. What about the salads you say? Please. Stop. I want a real meal and there really is a certain joy that comes from eating on the road out of a paper bag. Which brings me to a piece of research provided by McDonald’s Canada…

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So I pretty much jumped out of my chair when I heard McDonald’s Canada released two new Signature Veggie McWraps (new vegetarian items excite me, what can I say!). I ate meat until I was about 14 years old and I loved McDonald’s when I was growing up, actually I still do. To me, McDonald’s means happy times and fun moments, like the incredible birthday parties I used to have there (the little hats and the birthday cake with the M on it were the coolest!). Now my fun moments are with my nephews, watching their eyes light up while they have a Happy Meal. To know that I might have a chance to eat with them instead of just having a coffee was very exciting indeed.

Knowing that I’m vegetarian, McDonald’s Canada challenged me to try their new Signature Veggie McWraps. I learned that the Veggie McWraps had been customized to suit Canadian palettes by McDonalds’ Director of Menu Innovation, Anne Parks. For example, Canada is the first country to use a whole-wheat tortilla.

I’ll review them in the order that I tried them in, with additional comments from my sister-in-law (she also eats seafood), brother-in-law (he will eat anything!) and my friend (who eats chicken on occasion) just to give you all a few opinions. Really though, you’ll just have to try them!

Wrap #1 – The Santa Fe Veggie McWrap

Ingredients: This wrap contains fire-roasted corn, black beans, a blend of real cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses, tomato, red onion, iceberg lettuce, crunchy tortilla strips, chili lime glaze and southwest sauce, served in a whole wheat flour tortilla.

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Was it love at first sight/bite?  Yes! I was immediately intrigued by the packaging (I started my career in printing and I’m obsessed with cool packaging). I loved how interactive the packaging was, asking me to tear around it to release the wrap. Cool concept. I took a peek inside the wrap and it was filled with good looking ingredients and lots of colours and textures.

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I dove in and I immediately liked the crunch of the veggies and tortilla strips. The chili lime glaze and southwest sauce kicked it all up a notch and I liked the light lingering heat that was left on my tongue. I think it’s spicy enough to satisfy those who want a little kick but not so much that it will turn people off. The tortilla held everything together nicely and I was able to taste that it was whole wheat, which was great. There was a good balance of flavour and I was able to enjoy the ingredients to the very last bite. I appreciated the fact that my last bite wasn’t just a mouthful of tortilla!

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I enjoyed the southwest sauce that was used in the wrap, it reminded me of the sauce used in a delicious McSkillet Burrito I had tried at the McDonald’s flagship restaurant in Chicago a few years ago. They were able to make that vegetarian and it was a flour tortilla filled with scrambled eggs, potatoes, cheese, roasted red and green peppers, onions and salsa roja. Filling and delicious with a spicy kick. Yet another awesome menu item that we should have here….can you hear me McDonald’s Canada? : )

My Feedback:

If McDonald’s could give me an option to add sautéed or crispy tofu to this wrap, I definitely would. I really enjoyed the flavours in this wrap but adding a bit of extra protein would kick this up a notch for me. In terms of the packaging, I would like to see the bottom end of the packaging come up a bit higher, as I think too much of the wrap is exposed when you remove the top cover. I ended up having to support the wrap so all of the tasty toppings wouldn’t come out in my first few bites.

Would I eat it again?

Absolutely. There was a spicy kick in it that I really enjoyed. I’m looking forward to eating this again.

 

Wrap #2 – The Mediterranean Veggie McWrap

Ingredients:  This wrap includes two exciting ingredients that have never been on McDonald’s Canada’s menu before: hummus and real feta cheese. Yes, that’s right, I just said hummus! Other ingredients include tomato, cucumber, red onion, iceberg lettuce, crispy lemon-seasoned onions and a creamy Mediterranean sauce, all served in a whole wheat flour tortilla.

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Was it love at first sight/bite?  A few days after trying the Santa Fe, I went back to try the Mediterranean Veggie McWrap. Once again, I was really excited when I unwrapped the box and I realized that it was because it felt like I was opening a present….a vegetarian present : ) My first bite was filled with crunchy lettuce, tomato, cucumber, onion and feta, one of my favourite combinations….yum!  As I went deeper into the wrap, I tasted the crispy onions and I really liked them. The sauce wasn’t overpowering and I could enjoy each ingredient, which I appreciated.

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My feedback: Again, an option to add sautéed or crispy tofu to this wrap would be great. Alternatively, throwing some chickpeas in for extra protein could work?

Thoughts from others on both the Santa Fe and Mediterranean Veggie McWraps:

Santa Fe:

Sudha (my sis-in-law) – “I felt that all of the ingredients were overpowered by the southwest sauce, which made the wrap a bit soggy as well! Perhaps I should try it with the sauce on the side?!”

Craig (my bro-in-law) – “I enjoyed it and would eat it again.”

Mediterranean:  

Kanika (friend) – “Good to see veggie options at McDonald’s. The Mediterranean Veggie McWrap was filled with fresh toppings and I thought it was full of flavour and healthy. I’m hoping to see more vegetarian options at McDonald’s soon!”

Sudha (my sis-in-law) – “I prefer the Mediterranean one over the Santa Fe! It was very refreshing and the best surprise was the addition of flavourful crispy onions!”

More comments from Sudha (my sis-in-law) – “How will they maintain consistency of the wrap? Would it taste the same every time? It is easier when a protein is involved as it is literally the “star”; with veggies, one has to make sure there is a balance!”

Craig (my bro-in-law) – “I enjoyed this one too and I would also eat it again. I actually enjoy all of the McWraps on offer.”

And that’s a “wrap” folks : ) (Pun fully intended).

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As an added bonus to the readers of Milk & Eggs, McDonald’s Canada shared a few original vegetarian recipes that were developed by their Director of Menu Management. These were a few of my favourites. Enjoy!

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Have you tried the new Veggie McWraps? If so, please let me know what you thought of them or if you have any vegetarian suggestions I can pass on to our friends at McDonald’s : )

Day Tripping: Peaches, Pizza and Preserving with Farmers Feed Cities

2 Sep

Peaches at Quiet Acres Farm

The most wonderful time of the year is almost over….peach season in Ontario is coming to an end! I’m obsessed with peaches and as soon as the season hits, I’m one of the first in line for delicious Ontario peaches. The peaches from our neighbouring country to the south are fine for baking or in pinch when I’m desperate for one in the middle of winter. Ontario peaches however are a thing of beauty. I didn’t always appreciate them and actually when I was growing up I preferred nectarines, since they didn’t have “furry skin” but that all changed when I met a beautifully ripe Ontario peach a few years ago and I haven’t looked back!

Last summer, I had the opportunity to join a wonderful organization, Farmers Feed Cities, on a farm and vineyard tour in Niagara-on-the-Lake with a group of food bloggers and journalists. Farmers Feed Cities is committed to supporting Ontario’s farmers and helping the public to understand their importance. The goal of this farm and vineyard tour was to give us “city folk” a chance to understand and appreciate the contributions made by Ontario farmers. We only experience the end product at our local grocery store but behind the scenes, there are so many people and processes involved to get product from the farm to the market and finally to our dining tables.

We started our day off visiting the fruit and vegetable growers at Quiet Acres Farm in Niagara-on-the-Lake, which is just over an hour away from Toronto. Our first stop was a visit to their peach orchards and they looked like they went on for miles and miles. Rows and rows of peach trees with beautiful fruit hanging down, just ready to be picked. We sampled fresh peaches and cherries, straight from the trees and maybe it was the setting but they truly were the juiciest and most delicious fruits I had ever had!

We then took a tour of their peach processing facility, where all peaches are sized, sorted, washed and packaged for grocery stores. One thing I really admired was that no peaches go to waste. They are all sorted and graded and if they don’t make the cut because they rotted on the tree, they are put into piles around the orchard that compost down and get returned to the soil.

Next, we paid a visit to their garlic and potato barn. The owner opened the doors to a huge, dark barn and asked us to all look up. There, in an attic-type space were bundles of garlic! Down below, there were baskets of potatoes, covered up so that the light wouldn’t harm them. I had never seen anything like it and as much as I call myself a “vegetarian foodie” I realized just how little I knew about the growth and handling of some of my favourite fruits and veggies.

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Potatoes, potatoes, everywhere...

We ended our tour of Quiet Acres with a visit to their fruit and vegetable stand for a little shopping. Everything they sell is grown on-site, so you can imagine just how beautiful all of the produce is. If you can’t, don’t worry, I’ve included a few pictures : )

Our next stop was a visit to Southbrook Vineyards, a company that is close to my heart as I used to frequent their Richmond Hill location, where they had a pumpkin patch and sold fresh pies throughout the Fall season. Sadly, the Richmond Hill location is closing this year, but fear not, their beautiful Niagara-on-the-Lake location is going strong! We had a great tour of the vineyard and ended off with a delicious outdoor luncheon with fresh salads, pizza and wine (of course!).

Wine at Southbrook Vineyards

Beautiful fresh salads at Southbrook Vineyards

Fresh pizzas at Southbrook Vineyards

A glorious lunch at Southbrook Vineyards

We ended the day with a lesson in canning and preserving the beautiful peaches and cherries we had tasted on our tour. Lynn Ogryzlo taught us all about how to can Ontario peaches and cherries so that we could enjoy these beautiful fruits and bring back memories of a sunny, warm day by opening up a jar of home-canned fruit, even in the middle of winter!

Preserving with Lynn Ogryzlo

If you’re reading this, please do support our Ontario farmers, they work so hard and they are a huge part of our economy. Even if you can’t visit a farm in person like I did, the next time you’re at your local farmer’s market, please take a few minutes to speak to the farmers and their staff. They’ll appreciate the effort and this simple act will deepen your connection to the food that you’re putting on your table. P.S. I’ll bet your food will taste even better too!

Frolicking in the vineyard at Southbrook Vineyards

Links:

Farmers Feed Cities – http://farmersfeedcities.com/

Quiet Acres Farm – http://www.qa.on.ca/

Southbrook Vineyards – http://www.southbrook.com/

Lynn Ogryzlo, The Ontario Table – http://www.ontariotable.com/about-lynn-ogryzlo/

Biting Into Summer with Fruttare + a contest!

24 Jul

Disclaimer: I received a free coupon to try a box of Fruttare Fruit & Milk Bars. I did not receive any compensation from Unilever Canada for this post. All opinions expressed are my own.  

It was a hot, sticky night last Wednesday when two of my favourite performers, Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake, were in town for their Legends of Summer tour. Between the heat, the crowds of people and the excitement, we left the concert desperately needing something cold and refreshing. All of a sudden, there they were….little Fruttare carts! After hearing so much about Fruttare Bars, I was looking forward to trying the Fruttare Fruit & Milk Bar in Banana & Milk and luckily, the cart I went to had the exact flavour I was looking for. I tore into the wrapper, took a bite and I was instantly happy. The flavour was exactly what I was looking for, in that it tasted like a cross between a ripe banana and banana pudding. It was cold, creamy and rich-tasting, which was perfectly fine because the bar was just the right size for me.

Fruttare_BananaI had a coupon for Fruttare at home that I hadn’t used, so the following day I decided to pick up a box of Fruttare Fruit & Juice Bars in the Mango flavour. Coming from an East Indian household, the word mango automatically equals awesome/must have, so I knew that my family would be interested in trying them. As soon as I bit into the bar, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the bar did have a true mango flavour and wasn’t too sweet. How did they do that?! My husband thought it had just the right amount of sweetness as well. Overall, I considered our Fruttare taste test to be a success! I still need to try the Peach & Milk and Coconut & Milk flavours…so many flavours, so little of summer left…le sigh.

According to their Canadian website, Fruttare Bars come in two types:

Fruttare Fruit & Milk Bars

Flavours:

• Strawberry & Milk: Luscious pieces of strawberries blended with milk

• Banana & Milk: Bursting with the flavour of sweet bananas and milk

• Peach & Milk: The delicious taste of real peaches blended with milk

• Coconut & Milk: Transport yourself to the tropics with the taste of coconut and real milk

Fruttare Fruit & Juice Bars

Flavours:

• Strawberry: Made with real strawberries that you can see and taste

• Mango: Bursting with real fruit taste of delicious mango

You can find Fruttare bars in major Canadian grocery stores. Let me know if you have any flavour recommendations for me! If you haven’t tried Fruttare Bars and want to, I have a little contest for you….

CONTEST:

The fine folks at Fruttare want to give one reader of Milk & Eggs a set of four Fruttare coupons, to help keep your freezer stocked with tasty frozen treats!

TO ENTER:

Visit http://www.fruttare.ca/ to learn about all of the delicious flavours of Fruttare Bars. Then, leave a comment on this blog post and tell me which Fruttare flavor you want to try the most. It’s that easy!

P.S. Don’t forget to include your Twitter handle or Facebook/blog site address so I know how to reach you! You can enter once per day. Contest closes on Wednesday July 31 at 5 pm. Winner will be announced later that evening.

Note: You must be a resident of Canada to win. Coupons will only be mailed to a Canadian address. Good luck!

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This contest is now closed. Congrats to @kateplummer for winning!

 

Baked Egg Cups and a contest from Egg Farmers of Canada!

14 May

Early mornings, busy days and late nights leave only a short amount of time for many couples and families to make dinner. An easy solution… “get cracking” and make breakfast for dinner! I’m a big supporter of Canadian farmers, so I was excited to receive an invitation from the Egg Farmers of  Canada to test their Baked Egg Cups recipe. With the summer coming up, I’m looking forward to pairing fresh Canadian eggs with produce from my local farmers’ markets.

The Egg Farmers of Canada conducted a survey in April 2013 with over 3,000 Canadians, aged 18 and over. In the study, they found that distance from farm to grocery store is seen as the key to freshness. Eighty per cent of Canadians surveyed are confident products from within Canada are at peak quality when purchased. Conversely, 53 per cent believe imported foods cannot be considered fresh. “In an age where grocery aisles are filled with foods from around the world, it is clear that Canadians place the highest value on locally produced food, exactly what the system of supply management allows for,” says Bonnie Cohen, Manager of Marketing and Nutrition for Egg Farmers of Canada. “The results are identical regardless of socio-economic status, telling us that all households want the food they feed their families produced by local farmers.”

Be sure to visit the Egg Farmers of Canada Facebook page by May 15 for a coupon to save $1.00 off the purchase of 2 dozen eggs! You’ll need them to make the Baked Egg Cups, so why not save a little : ) I’m happy to share that they were really easy to make, as I had everything prepped and ready in 10 minutes, which gave my oven enough time to preheat. I popped them in and less than 20 minutes later, they were ready to go. I’ve included a lacto-ovo vegetarian version of the recipe below. Enjoy!

Baked Egg Cups (Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian version)

Baked Egg Cups (Lacto-ovo vegetarian version)

The original recipe can be found at: http://eggs.ca/cooking-with-eggs/recipe/baked-egg-cups/ and you can see the video at the top of this post.

Ingredients

Baby spinach leaves (approximately 1 cup)

6 tsp (30 mL) crumbled goat cheese

6 eggs

6 tsp (30 mL) milk

2 tsp (10 mL) finely chopped chives or dried herbs

1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) black pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).

Spray bottoms and sides of 6-cup muffin tin with cooking spray. Line inside of each muffin cup with baby spinach leaves (about 8-12 leaves, stems removed). Then sprinkle 1 tsp (5 mL) of crumbled goat cheese over spinach. Carefully crack an egg over top. Spoon 1 tsp (5 mL) milk over each yolk. Sprinkle chives or dried herbs and black pepper over top.

Bake in preheated 350°F (180°C) oven until whites are set and yolks are cooked as desired, 18 to 20 minutes. Run knife around inside of each muffin cup, then remove and serve.

Variations: 

  • Instead of a muffin tin, use six 1/2-cup (125 mL) ramekins or custard cups.
  • Instead of spinach, use a large kale leaf to line the cups.
  • Instead of spinach, using a rolling pin to flatten a piece of bread and arrange in the muffin tin to form a cup. If you would still like to use spinach, line your bread cup with it before adding the other ingredients.
  • Instead of goat cheese, use feta cheese, cream cheese or a grated hard cheese of your choice.
  • Omit goat cheese and milk; sprinkle grated Parmesan or Cheddar cheese over each egg before baking.
  • Over spinach leaves, place a thin slice of tomato and a slice of large white or cremini mushroom.

Sandy’s notes:

I chose to make two of the Baked Egg Cups with flattened pieces of bread (I used up the end pieces) and the other two with baby spinach leaves. I enjoyed both versions, however the spinach version was lighter and more impressive to look at. Overall, the Baked Egg Cups were easy to make, tasty and left me feeling full and satisfied. For a group gathering, I would serve them with a soup, a salad and a fruit tray for a quick and easy brunch, lunch or dinner.

For more information on what you can do with eggs, visit http://www.eggs.ca for recipes, tips, and more!

Egg Farmers of Canada prize pack

Egg Farmers of Canada prize pack

CONTEST: I’m giving away an Egg Farmers of Canada prize pack including a muffin tin, a “Get Cracking” apron, microwave egg cookers perfects for couples and moms-on-the-go, a magnetized grocery list, the Farmers’ Favourite recipe booklet, and a $20 grocery store gift card to buy the fresh ingredients you need to make these tasty Baked Egg Cups. Please note that you must be a resident of Canada to win, it is an Egg Farmers of Canada contest after all!

TO ENTER:

Visit the Egg Farmers of Canada site and check out their amazing list of recipes here: http://eggs.ca/cooking-with-eggs/all-recipes , then leave a comment on this blog post to share which recipe you would make on a busy weekday night.  P.S. Don’t forget to include your Twitter, Facebook or blog site address so I know how to reach you! It’s that easy! You can enter once per day.

Again, you must be a resident of Canada to enter!

Hurry, contest closes on Saturday May 18 at 12 pm EST. Good luck!

And the winner is….Zach Bussey @zachbussey ! Thanks everyone for playing : ) 

 

Disclaimer: I received a basket from the Egg Farmers of Canada with everything I needed to make these Baked Egg Cups.

The Art of Marketing in Toronto on June 5 + a special offer!

12 May

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It’s almost June, which means that it’s almost time for my favourite conference of the year, The Art of Marketing! I’ve attended this amazing conference for the past 3 years and I think this year they’ve outdone themselves…the co-founder of Twitter, Biz Stone, is speaking! I’ve been using Twitter for the past four years and it really has changed my life. I’ve had so many great experiences and I’ve met some terrific people in the past few years, so I would love nothing more than to hear from one of the people that started it all.

This year’s incredible lineup of speakers includes:

Biz Stone – co-founder of Twitter

Seth Godin – New York Times Bestselling Author, Purple Cow, Tribes, Poke the Box & Linchpin

Charles Duhigg – New York Times Investigative Reporter & Bestselling Author, The Power of Habit

Jonah Berger – Professor of Viral Marketing at University of Pennsylvania and Author of Contagious: Why Things Catch On

David Usher – Juno Award Winning Musician & Creativity Expert

For the full list of speakers and bios visit: http://www.theartof.com/marketing-toronto-2013/speakers

In addition to hearing from top notch speakers, I look forward to the networking breaks as it’s a great time to catch up with former colleagues and friends from Twitter. I feed off of the energy of others and I love the boost I get when I spend the day surrounded by people who are passionate and excited about what they do. If you do decide to attend, please let me know, as it would be great to meet up or have lunch during the break (that’s the foodie in me talking!).

Event Details:

When: Wednesday June 5, 2013

Where: Metro Toronto Convention Centre

Time: 8:45 am to 5:00 pm

Website: http://bit.ly/XIQcXs

You can follow The Art of Productions on Twitter at @TheArtOf  and follow the conference hashtag at #TheArtOf

GREAT NEWS! The good folks at The Art of Productions Inc., would like to give the readers of Milk & Eggs a SPECIAL DISCOUNT OFFER on tickets…

SPECIAL OFFER! Use exclusive discount code TWITTERFAN to save $50 on your ticket! Even better, if you purchase 3 or more tickets using the above code, you’ll be eligible to save $100 per ticket.

To learn more and buy tickets using the special discount code, visit http://email.theartof.com/KT13/TWITTERFAN/

Use promo code TWITTERFAN to save up to $100 per ticket!

Disclaimer: I’ve received a ticket to The Art of Marketing conference for writing this post. Seriously though, I would have bought a ticket anyway. You should get one too. Now. 

Monsieur Félix & Mr. Norton in Markham + a CONTEST!

10 Mar

My husband and I were on our way to brunch in Markham and we were in charge of bringing dessert. I knew this crowd would be into bite-sized treats and I immediately thought of the delicious, gooey goodness of fresh cookies from Monsieur Félix & Mr. Norton in Markham.

Monsieur Félix & Mr. Norton

This company has been a part of my life for years and I’ve been buying their scrumptious cookies since I was in my teens. A few years ago, I was looking for something fun and cute to give my fiancé (now husband) at our engagement party. I immediately thought of Monsieur Félix & Mr. Norton`s popular Cookie Bouquet® and I knew it would be perfect. They made up a 24 stem Cookie Bouquet® of his favourite cookies and they were a hit!

Monsieur Félix & Mr. Norton

We walked into the shop at about 11 am on a Saturday and the amazing aroma of fresh cookies was in the air. I don’t know about you, but the smell of baked goods makes me weak in the knees and I let out a sigh of happiness every time!  We noticed that quite a few things had changed since our last visit. In addition to fresh cookies and fudge, they were now selling…wait for it…CUPCAKES!

Monsieur Félix & Mr. Norton

When we visited, they had Belgian Chocolate, Vanilla Bean, Baileys Mocha, Caramel Crunch, Lemon Coconut, Peanut Butter Chocolate, Red Velvet and Double Chocolate. It was so hard to choose which flavours we wanted to try. I was excited to hear that they change their flavours seasonally, so I’m looking forward to trying their spring and summer cupcakes too.

Monsieur Félix & Mr. Norton

I was so distracted by the cupcakes that I almost forgot about the cookies, their signature product. My favourite flavour is Ménage à Trois®, which contains a yummy blend of milk, white and dark chocolate chunks. My hubby’s favourite is Lemon Delight which is a delicious lemon cookie with white chocolate chunks and candied lemon.

Monsieur Félix & Mr. Norton

Since my last visit, they’ve expanded their cookie gift packaging selection and they are now selling wedding favours – beautiful little boxes filled with cookies (to my friends who are getting married soon, THIS is THE takeaway gift that guests want!).

Monsieur Félix & Mr. Norton

Thank you Dan, Michele and Amanda for sharing your passion for all things sweet – we came in for cookies but we left with cupcakes too! P.S. Monsieur Félix & Mr. Norton is proudly Canadian and the staff wear beautiful Canadian flags on their chef coats too. They only use fresh, high quality ingredients in all of their products and it shows.

Monsieur Félix & Mr. Norton

I’ve almost filled up my Monsieur Félix & Mr. Norton V.I.P card (you get a stamp for every $10 you spend in the store and after 12 stamps, you get 1lb of cookies for free!) and I’m already thinking of what I’m going to get next time I visit…mmmmmm : )

Monsieur Félix & Mr. Norton

Info:

Monsieur Félix & Mr. Norton
Markham Town Square
8601 Warden Ave, Unit #16
Markham,ON L3R 0B5

North-East Corner of Warden Ave & Hwy 7

Phone: (905) 479-2172
Website: http://www.cookiesandfudge.com
Facebook: Monsieur Félix & Mr. Norton Markham
Twitter: @felixnorton_gta

 Here comes the fun part… 

CONTEST – Win a Magnummm of Cookies® (I have 2 to give away!)

The lovely folks at Monsieur Félix & Mr. Norton are giving away a Magnummm of Cookies®  to two readers of Milk & Eggs.

What`s a Magnummm of Cookies® you ask? It`s a beautiful champagne bottle filled with 25 freshly-baked cookies, presented in a handsome black gift box – valued at $34.99

Monsieur Félix & Mr. Norton

To enter:

STEP 1 – Visit the Monsieur Félix & Mr. Norton website at http://www.cookiesandfudge.com/ to learn about their yummy products

STEP 2 – If you`re on Twitter, follow @savvari and @FelixNorton_GTA and tweet the name of any of their cookie or cupcake flavours that you would like to try. Example:

@savvari I want to try the ___________ from @FelixNorton_GTA #FelixNorton

OR

If you`re on Facebook, “Like” Monsieur Félix & Mr. Norton Markham

Then, leave a comment on this blog post with the name of any Monsieur Félix & Mr. Norton cookie or cupcake flavours you would like to try.

Are you on Twitter and Facebook? Follow all steps above to receive more entries into the contest!

Contest closes on Friday March 23 at 12 pm EST, so get your entries in soon!

IMPORTANT!

-You may enter once per day.

-If you are one of the two winners, you MUST pick up your prize from Monsieur Félix & Mr. Norton in Markham, Ontario. Therefore, you must live in the GTA (Greater Toronto area) or be willing to drive to Markham.

Good luck!!

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WINNERS! 

Congrats to @_Lenito from Twitter and Fiona Thom from Facebook for winning the #FelixNorton contest! You’ve each won a Magnummm of Cookies® from Monsieur Félix & Mr. Norton!

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