My Highlights of 2017 Food Bloggers of Canada Conference – Part 1

Hi everyone,

Welcome back 😁 and saying Hello to a new month, November already! How did this year go by so fast that it is the end of the year now? Wow!! Thou will be a busy end of the year with the upcoming Holidays and I love the Holidays!! Excited to be sharing with you guys soon about Holiday posts😀 But first, I been very busy since being back from my amazing Food Bloggers of Canada conference in Ottawa at the end of October. It was a busy yet a fun & foodie filled 3 days conference with my fellow Canadian bloggers. I left the conference feeling inspired, filled with new knowledge & information and excited about expanding my own blog.

This was my 3rd time attending this amazing conference and it has become an annual tradition for me attending the FBC conference. I love getting together with my fellow Canadian bloggers and catching up with friends or meeting new friends. Every year it is different and I love the experience along with learning new concepts and ideas on blogging.

If you were following me along with my FBC conference adventure through Twitter @SweetBFoodie24 or Instagram @SweetBFoodie24 (and my stories), hope you enjoyed the photos and live updates while I was at the conference if you weren’t able to join us.

Quick Update

Things will be busier for me for the end of the year as I have started a temporary Admin job with my focus and career path still as a blogger. As some of you know, I left my full time Admin job earlier this year to focus on this blog and refocus my health situation. I am still continuing to grow with this blog and still maintain a balance between Admin work and blogging. I am looking for the right Admin job to balance what I love to do more as a blogger. We will see how this temporary Admin job turns out…😜

So finally I’m here and excited to share with you all, my readers my full experience at the Food Bloggers of Canada conference for those who were not able to attend this foodie conference.

This is my full Recap (warning has it might be a LONG post…😊) of the amazing and fun Food Bloggers of Canada 2017 conference taken place to our nation’s capital in Ottawa, Ontario this year to celebrate Canada’s 150 birthday and their 5th conference where 150 bloggers, brands and speakers in an intimate atmosphere to network, providing professional development and of course delicious food. FBC2017 was held at Delta Hotels Ottawa City Centre. The conference was held for 3 days.

Day 1 – Friday, October 20, 2017

I took the afternoon train by VIA Rail train from Toronto to Ottawa. I had a relaxing leisure train ride to Ottawa after a very busy 1st work week at my Admin work and at the same time packing & prepping for the conference. I usually take Business class when I take VIA Rail and this was no difference, love travelling business class as I liked the assigned seating and meals on the train. I enjoyed my dairyfree lunch consisting of delicious rice with chicken and beans, salad, whole wheat bun, and fruits! Some beautiful scenery as I headed to Ottawa. Arrived in Ottawa around 4:50pm there was a slight train delay.

I arrived at the Delta Ottawa City Centre Hotel by bus, which took approximately 20 mins not too far from the VIA Rail station. There was a Lentils Lounge to welcome us attendees and for Conference Registration as well in the Life Lounge of the hotel. I wasn’t able to attend as I arrived after 4:30pm.

I took a few minutes to take in, unpack and relax from my train ride of the beautiful and modern Delta Ottawa City Centre Hotel in my hotel room. I had the King bedroom and with a cityview on a lower floor, not much of a view, but enjoyed my medium size room. I guess I’m more used to more spacious rooms, but still enjoy this room with the modern design and high tech gadgets such as the clock with iPod plugin.

Kickoff Cocktail Reception

Starting FBC2017 with a cocktail reception and I arrived for the cocktail reception near the end and enjoyed a few appetizers along with my fave drink to start off the conference – a refreshing & sweet Fall Sangria with apples and cloves inspired by Ontario Apples

There were lots of yummy appetizers to enjoy. My fave was a Vegan Carrot Chickpeas Patties with Lemon Tahini Dressing by Half Your Plate.

Lentils.org Dinner

For the dinner that evening it was hosted by Lentils, it was a mix and mingle type of dinner with tabletops where we were able to chat with other attendees while enjoying a healthy delicious foods that incorporates lentils in each dish. I thought that was an interesting and great idea. I don’t eat much lentils and it was great to see what dishes that each vendor decided to do. There were several food stations to select from. It was hard to find a tabletop to eat though…😀

Thank you to Lentils for our 2nd Swag Bag that includes “All The Things Sweets” cookbook by Renée Kohlman, cute Go To utensils and lunchbox.

My fave dish of the evening was of course not surprised the dessert table, it was the 1st thing that I saw and loved the 4 different dessert that was offered. Love that these desserts had lentils in it.

  1. Top Fave – Spiced Apple Skillet Cake with Streusel toppings by cookbook author of All The Sweet Things – Renée Kohlman, love any apple desserts so it was not a surprise when I fell in love with this dessert!! It wasn’t too sweet just perfect, love the moist cake too. I secretly had more than 2 pieces I’m so bad lol!!
  2. Sticky Toffee Cookies with Dark Chocolate Chucks, this was pretty good too despite me not a chocolate person at all (yes if you didn’t know I don’t eat chocolate, it’s a surprise to lots lol!!) and I don’t eat chocolate. I tasted more the toffee part.
  3. Fruit Skewers – Loved the fresh fruits too, beautiful display! Always refreshing to have fruits and stay healthy.

Besides the desserts, my 2 fave savoury dishes were:

  1. Lentil Sweet Potato Pierogi with Cider Pickled Cabbage and Crème Fraiche, but I had the Vegan option so no Crème Fraiche by The Wellington Gastropub.
  2. Lentil Sausage by Carben Food & Drink. It was a simple yet delicious sausage and love that it was vegan too. Beautiful plating for this dish!!

Overall, a great and delicious different types of food to start of this amazing and foodie conference. It was great to reconnect with familiar friends & bloggers and meeting new bloggers during the mix and mingle dinner as well.

For more information on the above Sponsors, vendors and authors, please see below:

Day 2– Saturday, October 21, 2017

Breakfast with Ontario Apple Growers

FBC2017 started Day 2 with a healthy & nutritious breakfast by Ontario Apple Growers. Unfortunately due to personal reasons sadly missed this delicious breakfast as I love apples too.

Ontario Apple Growers provided a healthy and delicious breakfast with Apple French Toast, Apple Parfaits, fresh fruits, and etc.

The Keynote Speaker for the morning was Elizabeth Baird, author and editor of multiple cookbooks both on her own and with Canadian Living who she was also a former Canadian Living food editor. She also is a member of the Order of Canada. With her many years of experience in the food industry, it was an honor to listen to Elizabeth Baird and listen to her vast experience working in the food world about the history of food and cooking and tips.

The rest of the morning was divided into workshops that we (attendees) got to sign up before the conference. I attended 3 workshops that morning that included:

  1. How to Snag Media Opportunities and Survive Interviews – Presented by Zannat Reza and Will Lamont
    • Even though I haven’t pitch to any media yet about my blog and brand, it was a great topic for me to learn more and understand. It was interesting to hear about how to handle radio, print and tv interviews if I was ever to approach towards the media section.
  2. Behind the Brands: What PR Teams Need Bloggers To Know – Presented by Heather Travis
    • Great session with Heather Travis with lots of tips and advice for beginner bloggers like me. Getting a better understanding what PR are looking from bloggers such as pitching the right time of season/year, Earned vs Paid means through relationships, define your business, and more. Learned lots in this short session.
  3. Standing Out In a Crowd: Building Your Brand Identity – Presented by: Sam Turnbull
    • Great presentation and lots of advice & tips from Sam Turnbull on learning more about your brand identity. Her main points was to know your niche so your readers know who you are. Another tip was having keywords related to your topic and blog and use those keywords in your blog or when you talk about your blog so the readers know who you are.
    • She was very inspiring speaker and passionate about her niche and who she is.

Saturday Lunch hosted by Half Your Plate

After a full morning session of learning and filled with lots of information to take it, I was ready for a healthy lunch hosted by Half Your Plate. They provided for us a create your own Buddha bowl (I think that’s what you call it), which is a bowl full of vegetables, healthy grains and lean protein for a perfectly balanced, nourishing meal topped with a unique sauce.

It was actually my 1st time having a Buddha bowl and loved the variety that Half Your Plate provided for us with full of fresh ingredients to create it. I love the vegan Soba noodles!! I created my Buddha bowl with Soba noodles, rice, fresh apples & oranges and tofu topped with hoisin sauce. Yum!!!

Of course, I always love my dessert and loved the fresh fruits and the delicious lemon squares.

Boots & Roots with Farm & Food Care

For the 1st time at the conference, hosted by Farm & Food Care – 8 local farmers (egg, mushroom, diary, beef, hog, grain, vegetables and apples) held a great session for us bloggers to answer our questions about food and farming. Each farmer had it’s own table where we were able to go to different farmers and learn more about that particular farmer food specialty. It was great to learn more about local produce.

Afternoon Treats with Cookina Popcorn Bar

I loved the Cookina Popcorn bar station for our afternoon snack session. I loved that there was a diary free option as well as they had kernels available to pop fresh popcorn with no butter. They used Cookina reusable bag to pop the fresh popcorn and love that you can reuse it. They had a variety of flavor toppings to add to the popcorn as well.

Saturday FBC Dinner

FBC hosted a beautiful and appetizing dinner that evening and sat with a variety of people from bloggers to cookbook authors. It was great to interact and engage with others. I had the diary free option dinner that evening so my main course was the delicious, moist, and flavourful roasted chicken with mini potatoes and asparagus. My fave was the palette cleanser, which was a lemon sorbet with frozen fruits on top, it was soooo beautiful! I loved it!!

Winter Squash Salad

Lemon Sorbet with frozen fruits & flower

Roasted Chicken with mini potatoes, carrots and asparagus

That evening, our dinner speakers were food writers & adventurers and authors of their new cookbook, Feast – Lindsay Anderson and Dana VanVeller. It was a pleasure meeting them and hearing their story on their road trip and how they met each other.

Me with Dana and Lindsay during book signing

Of course, the best part of any meal is my fave desserts, FBC had special desserts by Cake & Shake Dessert Bar to make their famous Nanaimo Bar cakes. For the vegan and gluten free option, Strawberry Blonde Bakery made a replica of the Nanaimo Bar cakes in the vegan version.

I decided to go with the Apple Nanaimo cake with the apple donut on top (I couldnn’t resist lol!) as I spoke with the baker and he explained the apple one doesn’t have any diary product in it except the frosting so I didn’t eat the frosting..:) I also tried the gluten free cookies as well!

What a great and scrumptious dinner to end Day 2 of FBC2017. I couldn’t believe how fast the conference was going and that only Sunday half day left of the conference before it finishes. I booked to stay an extra night instead of leaving Sunday evening so I was happy to have majority of Monday to enjoy sightseeing in Ottawa before going home Monday evening.

This concludes Part 1 of my Highlights of FBC2017 conference in Ottawa, stay tuned for Part 2 to find out about Day 3 of FBC2017 and how my last day in Ottawa went and what places I visited and did I visit a vegan bakery? Stay tuned! Check back this weekend to find out!! ☺

-Sweet B.

For more information on the above Sponsors, vendors and authors, please see below:

Food Bloggers of Canada

Website – click here

You can follow FBC on Facebook @FoodBloggersOfCanada, Twitter @FoodBloggersCA and Instagram @FoodBloggersCA

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My Top 3 Best Dessert Places for Christmas Desserts

Season’s Greetings everyone!!

Happy Holidays to all my sweet readers!! This is my Christmas edition blog entry for this month in December as I can’t believe that Christmas is just around the corner and then it’s the end of the year for 2016. How fast did 2016 go by?? I hope that everyone is enjoying this Holiday Season so far with the warmer winter to now cold brrrr weather and with Toronto’s 1st big snowfall last week and more snow on the way, looks like winter is officially here. I actually love snow especially some during the Christmas time, it’s so pretty outside with the snow with the winter wonderland scenery. Winter means warm yummy desserts like warm apple cobblers and hot delicious baked cookies out of the oven to warm you up.

A quick update on a few things I have going on before we continue with my Christmas edition blog entry, the project that I was working on unfortunately will be delayed til the New Year 2017 hoping to get it done for January 2017 so please bare with me. It’s been a busy Holiday season working at my Admin job and working on a few changes that’s why. I hope that you guys (my readers) will be a bit more patient with me until things are more settled down. I am looking forward to new things happening for 2017 for this blog. I will be posting my Year In Review for 2016 mid-to-end of January 2017 unlike others who does it in December, as I have more time to work on it and share my new beginnings in 2017. Please come back again in January 2017 to read what you missed or a recap of my 2016!!

With Christmas around the corner, this is always a busy time of year for most people and if you are looking for desserts, treats or baked goods for either your Holiday parties or Christmas dinners or any Holiday event is, here are my Top 3 Best Desserts Shops that I highly recommend you should go to:

Mad Batter Bakers

Location: 135 Jefferson Avenue, Toronto (Liberty Village area)

Website: www.madbatterbakers.com

Social Media: Facebook @MadBatterBakers, Twitter @MadBatterBakers and Instagram @madbatterbakers.

Last year I recommended Mad Batter Bakers and this year is no difference, they are my absolutely fave and must stop during this Christmas season as they have the best soft & delicious gingerbread cookies. Gingerbread cookies always makes me feel like it’s Christmas and time for the Holiday season spirit. Besides how delicious their cookies taste, their cookies look so pretty too, I simply love their not overly sweet icing on their cookies as some places make the icings really sweet. Mad Batter Bakers also offer Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies. Some new items that they have added recently are the gingerbread house to build and their adorable Mug Mates (picture below). They also now have these cute pins, it’s a must buy as I got one myself…:)

For those who don’t know, I first discovered Mad Batter Bakers at the One of a Kind Christmas Show a few years ago and ever since then I don’t go anywhere else for my soft & delicious Gingerbread cookies. It is a must stop at my fave cookie shop, the Mad Batter Bakers booth at my Annual tradition of attending the One of A Kind Christmas Show to get their soft delicious Gingerbread cookies.  If you can’t stop by at the show, they also have a booth at the Spring One of A Kind Show in March or you definitely stop by at their bakery shop located in the Liberty Village district in Toronto. See photos below of their booth at the One of a Kind Christmas Show.

My Goodies from Mad Batter Bakers from the One of a Kind Christmas Show

This year, I finally got to visit their cozy and warm friendly shop. I love when you first walk in the door, there is a beautiful aroma smell of the most delicious sweet gingerbread flavor. There is a large selection of different gingerbread cookies to choose from, it is always so hard for me to pick. You can’t leave the store without having a delicious sample as well!! It is always a pleasure speaking with the owner and the amazing customer service I receive every time I visit her booth at the shows and at the store as well. I love their cute chalkboard signs that they do! See below my photos from her bake shop.

So if you are looking for the best gingerbread cookies in Toronto, don’t look further than Mad Batter Bakers, come by visit this quaint bakery shop for yourself to see what I’m talking about. It surely will not disappoint you!! It is worth the trip to visit and taste these amazing cookies.

christmas-food-dividers-2

Pusateri’s – Saks Food Hall at Eaton Centre

Location: 176 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON (downtown area)

Website: www.pusateris.com

Social Media: Facebook @Pusateris, Twitter @PusaterisFoods and Instagram @pusaterisfoods.

My next recommend is Pusateri’s – Saks Food Hall at Eaton Centre as a few weeks ago I discovered this brand new high-end food hall, which spans about 25,000 sq.ft. It is very impressive food hall with the high-end finishes and serving high-quality food. Pusateri’s has recently (Nov 2016) expanded to the downtown core within the Hudson’s Bay building located in the basement of Saks Fifth Avenue at Queen and Yonge. While this is their 2nd location, their 1st location is at Sherway Gardens if that location is closer for you to check out.

It is a large space devoted to on-the-go food and catering, which includes pizza, sushi, seafood and rotisserie counters, the butcher features a wide selection of prepared sandwiches, and it even includes a champagne bar. It also has a grocery store within this large space, which is great for after work shopping.

Pusateri’s – Saks Food Hall at Eaton Centre has a large selection of delicious desserts to choose from. That’s why I’m recommending them as with their large variety of desserts from cakes, macarons, tarts, cookies, pastries and more that there is a dessert for everyone. Their desserts are high-quality and delicious as I have tasted a few myself that day as I couldn’t choose what desserts to have. I decided on the Oatmeal Walnut Cranberry cookie and it was simply delicious, it was a soft-chewy cookie, which was made perfectly. If you love thumbprint cookies, I had the Raspberry one and loved it!! They make amazing and fresh homemade cookies here, I highly recommend you coming by to try some!!

My yummy cookies I got

Their selection of cakes and mini cakelets are perfect for Christmas desserts for any number of people especially if you are looking for last minute ideas. The hours of operation at this location opens late enough that you can come down to get your desserts after work as well. Please check their website for the hours of operations.

Despite the busy Holiday season and on a weekend, their customer service at the counter was friendly and efficient as when I was there on a weekend. They were very organized and quick to take the orders and attentive to each person’s needs.

With Pusateri’s – Saks Food Hall array of variety, delicious and high-end desserts, I would definitely recommend to check out this Pusateri’s location to get your desserts for your Christmas dinner, any events, parties or even for New Year’s.

Nadège Patisserie

Location: 3401 Dufferin Street, Toronto, ON

Website: www.nadege-patisserie.com

Social Media: Facebook @NadegePatisserie, Twitter @NadegeToronto and Instagram @nadegetoronto.

My last recommendation is Nadège Patisserie at their newest location at Yorkdale mall. This is her 4th location that Nadège has opened in Toronto since her first location opened in 2009 on Queen Street West. Nadège has a French background where she was born in France. The dessert creations are prepared by Nadège, a fourth-generation pastry chef from Lyon, France known for her modern art dessert creations.

Nadège Patisserie is located in the new section of Yorkdale where Nordstrom is also located. It is a pretty big concept location for Nadège Patisserie making it enough space for a large variety of desserts and a small section for seating area. When I was there, it was quite busy as I am not surprised with her delicious looking desserts, it is no wonder people are there to enjoy the sweet desserts while shopping. It is not just how beautiful it looks, the quality and taste of her desserts matches what it looks like.

Nadège Patisserie main feature are the elegant & delicious macarons as well they offer Petit Choux, tarts, cakes (different sizes), savoury options include sandwiches, pies, and more!! Perfect for the Holiday season is her Holiday collection that includes Yule Logs, Holiday shaped chocolates, candy cane bark, box of Holiday chocolate bonbons and more. The Holiday collection is also beautifully packaged so it makes it easy to give it as a gift.

They also do catering for events by Nadège where they offer à la carte collection includes all the beautiful bites you’ll need to host the perfect office luncheon, team breakfast or breathtaking high tea! Ideal for holiday entertaining, corporate meeting or any event that you are planning!

With the large selection of desserts to choose from, I decided on my fave type of dessert, which is macarons of course, so bought a box of 6 to try and share with my sisters (who also love macarons) and tried my 1st Petit Choux, I sampled the Strawberry one and wow it is hard to describe in words how delicious this puff pastry is. It was very light and airy, but in the centre there was a strawberry filling which was amazing, perfect sweetness. I loved it!! I love how light this pastry was. I’m definitely coming back for another Petit Choux!! It will not be my last one lol!!

The macarons I really enjoyed them, it wasn’t too sweet and as I eat a lot of macarons at different bakery that I now know what a good macaron is now. This is one of them! 🙂

If you are looking for some elegant, modern and delicious variety of desserts for last minute Christmas gifts or desserts for Christmas dinner or treats for New Year’s Eve even, I highly recommend Nadège Patisserie at their Yorkdale location. Or if their other 3 locations are closer, I suggest you check it out.

christmas-snowman-dividers-1christmas-snowman-dividers-1

If you are looking for Christmas treats, desserts, bakery items, or Christmas gifts, please check out my Top 3 Dessert/Bakery shops: Mad Batter BakersPusateri’s – Saks Food Hall, and Nadège Patisserie as they offer the most delicious desserts & bakery items in Toronto.  With my experience with each bakery I would definitely recommend them.

I hope that they satisfy your sweet cravings as much as they have satisfied mines.

Happy Sweet New Year’s to all my readers!!!  Don’t forget to enjoy a sweet dessert on New Year’s Eve and would love to know what you had on New Year’s Eve, so please comment below and let me know or maybe a suggestion for me to try. I always love to hear from you guys!!

Until then, I will be searching for my next sweet & healthy vegan adventure in 2017…😋🎉🍰🌱

-Sweet B.

 

 

 

 

My Magical & Foodie Vacation in Florida

Hi everyone,

Sorry for the delay everyone for not posting this earlier due to some technical difficulties with my cable last week, it is all fixed now & then I got sick lol! Lots of things happening at once, thank you once again for being so patient with me!

I’m back now from my sunny & a bit rainy Florida vacation!! It was definitely a nice & much needed break since starting my new full time Administrative job. I had an amazing time with my family enjoying the Disney side of things in Orlando! It’s been a month since my vacation and it has taken me a few weeks to get back into a swing of things and get settled again with unpacking & more!! I hope that you all didn’t miss me too much and wasn’t craving too much without my sweet posts…:) For those following me on my Instagram or Twitter will already have a sneak peek of my foodie & sunny Florida trip.

I am currently working on my next sweet post so something for you my readers to look forward to, it will be posted by the end of the month, so don’t forget to come back to check what my next sweet adventure is.

(At Magic Kingdom where the Magical Castle is)

In the meantime, I would like to share with you some of my sweet discoveries while I was on vacation in Orlando, Florida. If you are planning a trip to Orlando, if you are looking for some sweet bakery items a must stop is Carlo’s Bake Shop at the Florida Mall. If you haven’t heard of Carlo’s Bake Shop, Carlo’s is a family owned bakery featured on the TLC hit show Cake Boss. It’s one of the shows I love to watch as well as his other show, The Next Great Baker Show and I also saw Buddy Valastro in person at the Baking & Sweets Show a few years ago.

So when I heard that his bakery is at the Florida Mall, I had to of course stop by and check it out. When you first step into the store, you smell the aroma of sweet baked goods and a very friendly atmosphere in the store. There were so many delicious looking baked goods it was definitely hard to choose. I love the variety of selections that they offered and each one looked more appetizing than the other. I ended up trying my fave old-fashion oatmeal raisin cookies, it is probably one of the best oatmeal raisin cookies I ever had! It was soft & it literally melts in your mouth, wish I got more than 1 cookie lol! The size of the cookie was bigger than a normal size one, pretty big too. We also got some shortbread with jam cookies, delicious!! Check out some of the photos of Carlo’s Bakery at the Florida Mall. I hope one day to check out his original bake shop in New Jersey.

Carlos Bake Shop - 5(My delicious Oatmeal Raisin cookie & shortbread cookies from Carlo’s Bake Shop)

If you are in the Walt Disney World area, I definitely recommend you going to Disney Springs, which was formally known as Downtown Disney. It is an outdoor shopping, dining and entertainment complex that is going through a major expansion and a transformation. There are some parts of Disney Spring still under construction and new stores are still coming everyday.

(A view of part of Disney Springs)

With their variety & large selection of dining at Disney Springs, it’s hard to choose which restaurant, pub or dessert shop to go to. I would definitely recommend for a dessert place is, Amorette’s Patisserie, which is a sophisticated pastry shop filled with a delicate gallery of goodies from signature beautiful cakes, éclairs, cheesecakes, cookies and of course my fave macarons. The moment you enter the pastry shop, it feels like you are in a world of elegance and fine pastries from Paris, France with professional chefs to watch them decorate cakes. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to taste any of the sweet & fine delicious pastries that day due to time constraint and was very disappointed. I look forward to trying some next time I’m back at Disney Springs and know where to go for desserts as it was a very popular & recommended dessert place by many. If the photos I took doesn’t show how delicious some of their elegant desserts look to intrigue you to stop by then you are missing out on some fine pastries.  I was able to check out the pastry shop at least, so please see below some of my delicious photos from Amorette’s Patisserie shop.

Amorettes Patisserie - 2(Love these cute Mickey & Minnie cakes, very Disney like)

On a very hot day in Florida like the day I went, the perfect place to stop by in Disney Springs is, Vivoli Il Gelato, where they make with freshly made & finest ingredients the most delicious Italian gelato. This world-famous, family-run gelato shop from Florence, Italy finally chose to open its second storefront in Disney Springs. Besides gelato, they also offer sweet and savory baked goods in the bakery case that includes an assortment of panini sandwiches and traditional Italian cookies and tarts.

Vivoli Il Gelato is a small shop with no seating area inside but there is a small patio sitting area just outside the shop to enjoy your sweet cool treat!

If you are unsure of what flavour you would like to try, there offer samples to make your decision from the 24 flavours available. I ended up with two flavours my fave Strawberry & Mango, I love mango flavours and desserts!! It was simply delicious and tasted like authentic Italian gelato made smooth and melts in your mouth. I definitely recommend you drop by this sweet cool Italian spot to cool down!

Another sweet spot to mention is Sprinkles where you can find gourmet cupcakes. Unfortunately due to time constraint I was not able to stop by Sprinkles, but if I were to come back definitely will stop by to try a cupcake as they are well known for delicious cupcakes and Florida has the World’s Cupcake First ATM that dispenses freshly baked cupcakes, how cool is that??

(View of Sprinkles from across the water)

Those are a few of my recommendations if you are looking for some sweet baked goods & dessert places in Disney Springs.

My recommendations for the more savory/non-sweet places, in Disney Springs and Universal Studios Walk are the 2 main places to discover more restaurants to dine to fit any appetite in the Orlando, Florida area.

For one of our dinners, we went to Wolfgang Puck Grand Café in Disney Springs it is divided into 3 sections: express, café, and dine in. Wolfgang Puck is an Austrian-born American celebrity chef & well known restaurateur, so it is no surprise that I had to dine at one of his restaurants. It was my first time dining at a Wolfgang Puck restaurant and enjoyed his take on casual dishes with his homemade Austrian cuisine. I ordered the Rigatoni Bolognese pasta and thought it tasted pretty good, but to be honest I had more authentic Bolognese sauce. Overall, enjoyed my experience at Wolfgang Puck.

One of the places I love going to when I was in Orlando, Florida is the Universal Studios City Walk as we stayed near the Universal Studios side and if you didn’t, I definitely recommend you stopping by to check out this unique entertainment complex. Universal Studios City Walk is the entertainment and retail districts located adjacent to the theme parks of Universal Parks & Resorts. This is where one-of-kind-collection array of themed restaurants is available along with boutique shops prefect for anytime.

During my stay in Florida, I went to the Universal Studios City Walk several times dining at different restaurants that they offered, which I also recommend and dined at Hard Rock Café, NBC Sports Bar & Brew (you can check out my Instagram @SweetBFoodie24 for those food photos) and more.

(Evening view of Universal Studios Walk with the Globe)

If you are looking for some authentic Italian food, I definitely recommend Vivo Italian Kitchen as I love Italian food and of course while I’m on vacation love to have some Italian food. When I first went to Vivo Italian Kitchen, I was welcomed with a modern Italian decor but with the aroma of the old Italian cuisine of simmering sauces, freshly baked breads and freshly made pasta that is made right in front of you. The restaurant has the modern open concept kitchen that takes center stage where guests are able to observe the chefs cooking from fresh bread, preparing homemade mozzarella to fresh pasta.

I enjoyed the classic Parmigiano with chicken and marinara sauce with Raspberry Ice Tea (love my sweet teas and it was freshly brewed tea), it was simply delicious! It tasted like an authentic Italian meal with the sweet marinara sauce and freshly made pasta. Some of you many already seen this classic authentic meal on my Instagram account.

I would definitely recommend stopping by Universal Studios City Walk, it would be definitely worth to check out with the many dining options, shops and the beautiful atmosphere of Universal Studios that it has to offer.

Here are 2 more photos from my magical day at Magic Kingdom with my family, see below:

(Me with my sisters, my mom and my niece in front of the castle)

(My mom & me in front of the Mickey Mouse entrance at Magic Kingdom)

What a magical, sunny and sweet Disney Florida vacation I had filled with yummy treats, shopping, sunny poolside days and fun magical theme parks adventures! I hope that everyone has enjoyed reading my Florida foodie adventures and I look forward to sharing my upcoming summer adventures with everyone. There are a few exciting summer foodie festivals coming up and I can’t wait to taste & explore new foods to share with you all.

So please don’t forget to check my Twitter @SweetBFoodie24 or Instagram @SweetBFoodie24 accounts for updates on when my next post is coming or what foodie adventure I’m enjoying on a more daily basis. Don’t forget to come back in a few weeks for my next sweet post.

For now I leave you with my magical fairy dust of a sweet Disney adventure, until then…

-Sweet B.

Mickey Mouse - Border - 4A

For more information on any of the dessert places or restaurants in Orlando, Florida, see links below:

Carlo’s Bake Shop – Website: Carlo’s Bake Shop Florida Mall

Social Media: You can follow Carlo’s Bake Shop on Twitter @Carlos_FLMall & Facebook @CarlosBakeryFloridaMall & if you want to follow Buddy Valastro himself, check him out on Twitter @CakeBossBuddy.

For all Disney Springs restaurants/shops, check out their website: Here and you can follow them on Twitter @DisneySprings, Facebook @DisneySprings & on Instagram @DisneySprings

Amorette’s Patisserie – Website: Disney Springs – Amorette’s Patisserie

Vivoli Il Gelato – Website: Disney Springs – Vivoli Il Gelato

Wolfgang Puck Grand Café – Website: Disney Springs – Wolfgang Puck Grand Cafe & Follow them on Facebook @WolfGangPuckOrlando

For Universal Studios City Walk, check out their official site -> Here, Twitter @UniversalORL, Facebook @UniversalStudiosOrlando & Instagram @UniversalOrlando.

Vivo Italian Kitchen – Website: Vivo Italian Kitchen

 

 

 

Happy 2 Year Blog Anniversary!

Hi everyone!!

Can you believe on this day, On February 23, 2014, is when I first started this blog site? I can’t believe it has been 2 years now that I wrote my 1st blog post. Time sure flies by. I started this blog to share with everyone my love for food and particularly my love for sweets and desserts and the last few years, it has grown into something I couldn’t imagine where it is today.

I just wanted to thank all my sweet readers for letting me share my love for sweets and desserts and for following me on this sweet foodie adventure! I didn’t know where blogging would take me and have learned so much in this short amount of time already. I will be continuing to learn, network & grow within the blogging world as new things always come up!

To celebrate this special 2 Years Blog Anniversary, I stopped by one of North York’s café, Capriccio Café located in the Yonge and Finch area. Capriccio Café is a warm & friendly little European café to enjoy their wide selection of hand-crafted & all-natural desserts and well known for their delicious cakes. They also offer macarons, gelato, cookies, tarts, cupcakes, scone and much more! They also offer a variety of drinks such as coffee, teas, espresso and more. It was my 1st time stopping at this café after hearing about it from my sister that I decided to give it at try. There were so much to choose from when I arrived and I ended up trying the Mixed Fruit Cheesecake (pictured above) as I love Cheesecakes and haven’t had one in awhile. I was just disappointed that there were no more Mango Cheesecake as it was one of the options. I love any mango desserts! But the cheesecake was pretty good!

I look forward to sharing with you more new or re-visiting dessert shops with all my sweet readers along with my foodie events & travels along the way. I hope that you will continue to join me in this foodie adventure!! 🍴🎂🍧🍦🍭🍩🍓🍎🍍🍜🍁✈

Cheers to many more sweet years! 🍹

-Sweet B.

                    

For more information on Capriccio Café, please see below:

Address: 5375 Yonge Street, North York, Ontario, M2N 5R6

Website: www.capricciocafe.ca

You can also find them on Facebook -> CapriccioCafeToronto

Valentine’s Day Desserts frm the Elegant Pastry Shop: Bobbette & Belle

Hi everyone!!

Happy Valentine’s Day to all my sweet readers 2day!! Valentine’s Day is a definitely one of those days that you don’t need an excuse for desserts as it is the perfect time to enjoy lots of yummy sweet desserts!! That is why I love celebrating these special occasions like these just to enjoy and satisfy my sweet cravings what a great excuse to have some desserts. On this special Valentine’s Day holiday, sharing my sweet desserts and my love to my 2 amazing sisters who are not just my sisters but also my best friends. Desserts always taste better when you share them with the ones you love!

This year I’m celebrating Valentine’s Day with Bobbette & Belle, an artisanal pastries shop featuring their baked goods made fresh and everything is baked from scratch with their finest ingredients. I stopped by their 2nd location at their Yonge shop (Yonge Lawrence Village area) for the first time. Bobbette & Belle has 2 locations with their first shop located in the heart of Leslieville area on Queen Street.

I have been always wanting to try Bobbette & Belle and for some reason never tried it until now, which the question is why have I been waiting this long to go to Bobbette & Belle? No idea ‘cause it, I absolutely fell in love with this chic, elegant, yet cozy & welcoming shop!!

Bobbette & Belle is known for their lavish & elegant wedding cakes, their famous cupcakes and delicious French macarons. They also offer other baked goods including scones, croissants, pies, tortes, cookies, and more! Drinks include their famous homemade hot chocolate served with toasted marshmallow, espresso-based coffees and a wide range of teas. I tried their Hot Cider especially on one of the coldest day and wow simply delicious, I loved it!! Bobbette & Belle also offer their services to provide corporate sweet events and gift ideas as well.

My Take-out Hot Cider Outside

My 1st experience with Bobbette & Belle was simply amazing, as mentioned I instantly fell in love with this cozy & elegant pastry shop. I went on the coldest day in Toronto but it was definitely worth it. I entered the shop with the warm smell of baked goods and sweet smell of coffee too. I love the warm, quiet chatter atmosphere as I entered the shop. It was actually quite busy when I went but I was still greeted by one of the servers and didn’t felt rushed to decide which delicious desserts to get as there were so many to choose from. I wanted to try them all lol!! Great customer service for sure. I simply love their Valentine’s Day decorations as well, check out some of my photos below!

After finally deciding on which desserts to take home with me to share with my sisters, I ended up with a pack of 6 macarons, which flavours I picked was: the special Valentine’s Day flavour – Strawberry Champagne, 2 Raspberries, Chocolate, Pistachio and Passionfruit. Of course I had to try one of their delicious cupcakes as I been craving for cupcakes so I chose their Vanilla Raspberry & Mango Passionfruit Buttercream Coconut cupcakes. And I have to say these are one of the best cupcakes I ever had, the Vanilla Raspberry one was simply delicious, I loved their icing and usually icings are very very sweet and this one was not, it was made fresh and real Raspberry pieces was inside the icing and I never had icing made like this and loved it!! The cake itself was light and fluffy, loved it, this is almost a perfect cupcake..:) I also couldn’t resist those special Valentine’s Day Shortbread cookies, how can you? LOL!! I love cookies as well. So I had to at least try one and it was almost too pretty to eat with the sparkly icing, it was light and perfect!

I have to add that I love Bobbette & Belle adorable boxes that they put the desserts in, it is very elegant and chic, loved it!!! I’m keeping them! 🙂

I look forward to coming back to visit Bobbette & Belle as I definitely have to come back to try their other sweet desserts as I saw their apple tart and simply looked delicious. I definitely would love to sit and enjoy a cup of tea there as well as it looks like a cozy spot especially on the weekends to warm up or enjoy a simple and elegant dessert. I hope that you would come and see this little chic and cozy bakery shop yourself, I definitely recommend it!!

Hope that everyone is having a sweet Valentine’s Day celebrating with your loved ones!! Hope everyone had a yummy dessert on Valentine’s Day too. If you haven’t had a sweet dessert yet, there’s still time if you are in Canada and those who have a long Family Day weekend like me why not check out Bobbette & Belle for your sweet cravings! Definitely check out Bobbette & Belle on any occasion not just Holidays, they offer so many wide selection of fresh and high-end quality desserts, it’s simply worth it to check out anytime!

I hope that everyone enjoyed my Valentine’s Day special post, until my next sweet adventure….

-Sweet B.

For more information on Bobbette & Belle, please see below:

Address:

Leslieville Location: 1121 Queen St. East, Toronto, ON

Yonge Lawrence Village Location: 3347 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON

Website: www.bobbetteandbelle.com

You can also check them out on Facebook -> Bobbette & Belle, Twitter -> @BobbetteBelle, and Instagram -> BobbetteandBelle

My Three Fave Bakeries for Christmas Desserts

Hi everyone,

Happy Holidays to all my sweet readers!! This will be my last entry before the end of the year, wow, can’t believe how fast this year has passed! I’m excited and looking forward to 2016 to sharing more sweet bakeries/shops and my love for sweets and treats with you all. I hope that you will continue to join me in discovering new sweet places together and for those new readers, you are definitely welcome to join me as well. I will definitely not disappoint you in satisfying your sweet cravings, you can check out my previous blog entries to see what you have missed out in 2015 -> HERE. 🙂

As we all know, the Holidays is always a busy time of year for everyone between Christmas shopping, hosting or attending Christmas parties, decorating Christmas trees and more, where do you find the time to bake? Well for those readers who either looking for a last minute or even those looking for desserts, sweets or bakery items like cakes, cupcakes, etc to bring to their Christmas dinners to family, friends and even Christmas work parties, here are my 3 Faves and Best Bakeries Recommendations.

The first bakery I recommend is my fave and go-to bakery and well known as Toronto’s ultimate One Stop Sweet Shop is Dessert Lady. Dessert Lady is conveniently located in Yorkville in their cozy quaint shop where they have over 350 menu items to choose from ranging from Gourmet Cakes, Handmade Chocolate Truffles, French Macarons, Cupcakes, Banana loafs, ice cream, and much more. Dessert Lady also specialize in beautiful custom 3D cakes for any celebration as well they offer catering with custom treats with corporate logos. Check out some new photos below when I recently stopped by their bakery for their Christmas decorated cozy shop!

Dessert Lady has always been one of my go to bakery shops because I can always rely on them with their friendly and exceptional customer service. Every time I visit their shop, I am welcomed with their warm atmosphere filled with sweet treats coming from their freshly baked oven. Dessert Lady has never disappointed me in satisfying my sweet cravings. On my most recent visit to the bakery, I was surprised to find the last one of my fave oatmeal cookies on the shelves, perfect timing! No one makes oatmeal cookies like Dessert Lady. I never leave the shop without purchasing one sweet treat, it is so hard to resist!!

Recently, Dessert Lady upgraded their website to a brand new updated look, it looks amazing and now you can check online live what cakes are available that day along with a special Rewards program to earn points to get discount on their sweet bakery items! Who can resist that? Check out a sample of their new updated website with my screenshot.

Check out my link below for more details & photos on Dessert Lady on a previous blog entry I have done:

Dessert Lady: Best Bakery & Dessert Shop in Toronto

For more information on Dessert Lady, please check it out below:

Address: 12 Cumberland Street, Toronto, ON

You can also follow them on Facebook @DessertLady, Twitter @DessertLady_TO, and new on Instagram @dessertlady_to

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The 2nd bakery I recommend is Mad Batter Bakers esp during the Christmas time as they make the most delicious Gingerbread cookies in Toronto. I first discovered Mad Batter Bakers at the One of a Kind Christmas Show a few years ago and ever since then I don’t go anywhere else for my soft & delicious Gingerbread cookies. After discovering Mad Batter Bakers at the One of A Kind Christmas show, it is a must stop at my fave cookie shop, the Mad Batter Bakers booth at my Annual tradition of attending the One of A Kind Christmas Show to get their soft delicious Gingerbread cookies.

Mad Batter Baker specializes in soft Gingerbread cookies and Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies. Besides how delicious their cookies taste, their cookies look so pretty too, I simply love their not overly sweet icing on their cookies as some places make the icings really sweet. It is made perfectly! Mad Batter Bakers also have cookies available for ready to decorate your own gingerbread cookies too. They also do custom cookies order as well. Check out some of my photos from their booth at One of A Kind Show.

Gingerbread cookies always reminds me of Christmas as I’m sure most people do too, but for me Gingerbread cookies also reminds me of the Holidays and a time spent with my family and if you love Gingerbread cookies as much as I do then look no further than Mad Batter Bakers who make the best Gingerbread cookies with their light spice aroma of the cookies when you open the box it smells like Christmas and the soft chewy taste. What I love about their Gingerbread cookies is it lasts for quite awhile as I had them for 2 weeks and they are still fresh and soft. According to their website, their Gingerbread cookies last for 3 months. Please see below more photos from their One Of A Kind Show booth when I went this year. This year one of Mad Batter Bakers new items is called: Mug Mates, it is so cute, it comes in a set of four, check out the photo below of the one I saw at the show.

If you can’t make it to the One of A Kind Christmas show or they are also at the One of A Kind Spring show in 2016 (who can wait that long lol! For your future reference as they do attend both shows) to pick up one of their delicious boxes of Gingerbread cookies or Old Fashioned Sugar cookies for Christmas, you can visit them located in the Liberty Village district in Toronto. Their bakery shop is located in between Dufferin and Strachen Avenue.

I haven’t had a chance to visit their bakery shop in person yet, but I definitely can’t wait to check their shop and pick up more Gingerbread cookies for Christmas as I can never get enough of their delicious & soft Gingerbread cookies.

Check out below of their sweet Christmas sign in front of their shop posted on their Instagram account.

For more information on Mad Batter Bakers, please check it out below:

Address: 135 Jefferson Avenue, Toronto, Ontario

Website: www.madbatterbakers.com

You can also follow them on Facebook @MadBatterBakers, Twitter @MadBatterBakers, and new on Instagram @madbatterbakers.

Information on One Of A Kind Show, check out their website: www.oneofakindshow.com

The 3rd bakery that I would recommend if you are specifically looking for macarons would definitely recommend of course my fave Butter Avenue. Butter Avenue is specializes in macarons and they simply make the best macarons with natural ingredients and no added artificial flavours or preservatives.

Butter Avenue also have delicious cakes and tarts as well as beverages including coffee, espresso, tea, and more. They currently have decorated cakes and tarts with limited edition chocolates & macarons just in time for Christmas! So go check them out!

Another reason why I would recommend Butter Avenue is because of their exceptional and friendly customer service. I been to both of their locations and have always received very friendly and also very helpful customer service. If you need assistance or advice on particular maracons, the staff at Butter Avenue is quite helpful and they know their products, which is why I keep coming back to this elegant and amazing bakery shop.

I recently stopped by their Yonge & Lawrence location as I haven’t been by the shop recently and picked up some macarons to share with my sister for Christmas as well my first time trying their Tarte Aux Pommes w/ granny smith apples, crème pâtissière vanille, cinnamon sugar & caramel apple concentrate and it was simply delicious!!!! I loved it!! I love apple desserts and this is probably one of my new faves. Please check out some new photos I took of the bakery shop while I was there with some beautiful Christmas decorations and Christmas desserts like one of their tarts in a Snowman shape. There are a few Christmas macarons flavours that includes: Gingerbread, Candy Cane, Molten Chocolate Marshmallow and Hazelnut Cranberry.

For further details and more photos of Butter Avenue, please check out my 3 previous entries on this amazing macaron shop & why I keep coming back to them for macarons.

  1. Butter Avenue: Best Macarons in Toronto
  2. Celebrating Macaron Day at Butter Avenue in Toronto
  3. Butter Avenue Update: Sharing More of My Love of Marcaons on Easter Weekend

For more information on Butter Avenue, please check it out below:

Their two locations: Yonge & Lawrence – 3467 Yonge Street and Queen & Spadina – 477 Queen Street West.

Website: www.butteravenue.com

You can also follow them on Facebook @ButterAvenueCo, Twitter @ButterAvenue, and new on Instagram @butteravenue.

If you are looking for Christmas treats, desserts, or bakery items, please check out my 3 fave bakery shops: Dessert Lady, Mad Batter Bakers, and Butter Avenue as they offer the most delicious desserts & bakery items in Toronto. With my experience with each bakery I would definitely recommend them.

I hope that they will satisfy your sweet cravings as much as they have satisfied mines.

Happy Sweet New Year’s to all my readers!!! Don’t forget to enjoy a sweet dessert on New Year’s Eve and would love to see what my readers have on New Year’s Eve or if you enjoyed a dessert before then, if you would like to share your dessert photo with me, please send me an e-mail at blooi24@hotmail.com or fill out the form below with a link to your photo. I will post a few in the New Year’s to share for everyone. I will also be sharing my delicious dessert with everyone in the New Year!

Until then, searching for my next sweet adventure in 2016…:)

-Sweet B.

 

 

 

Upside-Down Pineapple Cake (A Simple Cake Recipe For Beginners To Try)

Hi everyone,

This is my 1st blog entry and decided to share this sweet and tropical delicious recipe with everyone! If you didn’t know, I love my sweets and have recently started baking with my sister on the weekends. Last long Family Day weekend (I believe Family Day holiday is only in Canada and in some provinces, lucky me Ontario has it), we decided to try one of our mom’s dessert that she used to make for me all the time when I was younger, which is the Upside-Down Pineapple Cake.

I thought it was going to be a difficult recipe to do as I’m new to baking and it ended up being an easy cake recipe thanks to my sister for helping me. We enjoyed baking this sweet Upside-Down Pineapple cake together! I would definitely suggest this yummy sweet dessert cake for beginners.

We were deciding on which pan size and ended up with a rectangle glass pan instead of a round pan as per the recipe and the photo below. It still turned out pretty good – soft and sweet! Though I think next time, I would try to use a round pan to see how that works out. I definitely recommend putting the cherries in as it tops off the pineapples for more a sweet taste. Love the maraschino cherries!!

Please bare with me with the photos as I’m still learning how to take more professional photos for my food pictures.

For now, enjoy this delightful and tropical dessert with its sweet & juicy pineapples reminding you of the beach and the taste of what is yet to come for summer again during this cold and wintery weather that we are having in Toronto especially those sick of seeing snow or freezing rain, but I love the snow. I have to admit I love summer more…:) I definitely recommend this sweet & fruity dessert!!

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The Ingredients

Photo-2

After Step 1 was completed, this is what it looked like w/ the juicy pineapples arranged in the pan.

Print

After Step 2 was completed, this is what the batter looked like! We used a whisk instead of an electric mixer and it still does a good job!

Photo-4

After Step 3 was completed, the cake is baked & ready to be turned upside down! It looks like a plain cake for now!

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Surprise!!!! Last step is completed, the cake is turned upside down! And you get to see the delicious pineapples & cherries!

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Recipe Source: Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook (12th Edition)

Prep: 20 minutes

Bake: 30 minutes

Cool: 30 minutes

Makes: 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ¼ cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 8-ounce can pineapple slices, drained and halved
  • 4 maraschino cherries, halved (Optional)
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • ¼ cup butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Preparation

  1. Melt the 2 tablespoons butter in a 9×1 1/2 –inch round cake pan. Stir in brown sugar and 1 tablespoon water. Arrange pineapple and cherries in the pan. Set pan aside.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl stir together flour, granulated sugar, and baking powder. Add milk, the ¼ cup butter, egg, and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until combined. Beat on medium speed for 1 minute. Spoon batter over fruit in the prepared pan.
  3. Bake in a 350o oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 5 minutes. Loosen cake from pan; invert onto a plate. Serve warm!

The recipe also suggests that you can make this cake with Pear or Apricot Upside-Down Cake