My Highlights of 2017 Food Bloggers of Canada Conference – Part 2

Hi everyone,

Welcome to Part 2 of my Highlights of the Food Bloggers of Canada 2017 in Ottawa. Let’s wrap up this amazing conference on a beautiful Fall Sunday and my leisure time to do some sightseeing attractions in Ottawa on Sunday evening and Monday half day.

Day 3 – Sunday, October 22, 2017

On the last day of the FBC2017 conference, we had a hearty and healthy Sunday breakfast consisting of variety of fruits, sausages, grilled vegetables such as tomatoes and mushrooms, Burnbrae Farms provided different types of eggs, and in the vegan section there was red bean & potato hash too. I love that FBC was able to provide different options for different allergies for people. I love the tea station and they even had my soy / almond milk for my tea.

We had the morning session with 2 inspiring speakersPailin Chongchitnant who is the author of the cookbook, Hot Thai Kitchen, host of TV series One World Kitchen on Gusto TV, and creator and host of the YouTube channel PailinsKitchen and Dana McCauley from Food Starter where she helps start up food businesses to grow. Dana also has authored four cookbooks. She discussed the food trends in 2017 and upcoming food trends, which was great to hear about.

My fave treat was during our coffee break with Vegan Glutenfree scones by Strawberry Blonde Bakery. I tried the Apple Cinnamon flavour ones and loved it!!! Yum!! As scones tend to be dried a bit, but this one wasn’t and I love the apple cinnamon flavour, as some of you know I love any apple treats and desserts!! I had my scone with Spiced Cranberry & Iced Apple Wine jam by The Preservatory and it was a great combination the sweet jam with the scones!!

Last, but not least where is FBC2018 headed for next year…..drum roll please…FBC2018 is a Road Trip across Canada for 3 weeks in September 2018 with our hosts, Melissa and Ethan along with special guest: Dennis Prescott. How exciting is this?? They have announced a few set cities/provinces such as Vancouver, Manitoba, Alberta, Halifax, and ending it in my own city, Toronto, but there are no confirmed details at this moment until January 2018 where they will give us more details. I’m excited and hoping I will be able to attend one of the intimate cities conference.

I love to travel to different cities as some of you know, so it would be great to attend one outside my own city maybe the West Coast as I haven’t been to the West Coast in awhile. So we shall see. Waiting patiently for FBC2018 details…😊  Maybe I might see you there too.

Ending the conference with a light and healthy lunch by Dairy Farmers of Canada where I enjoyed a variety of foods including winter squash salad, tofu, fruits and more. We even got a cute small plush cow at the tables. Check out my delicious & healthy lunch below.

After the lunch, there was a brand networking session with sponsors and mingling with our fellow bloggers at the FBC Lounge located at the top level of the hotel. It was a beautiful & stunning view of Ottawa with the beautiful Fall colours. It was great catching up and meeting new Canadian bloggers, so happy to finally meet Deb – The Sugared Teacup where we mostly talk on Instagram.

By the end of Sunday afternoon session, I was tired, but feeling of course inspired, filled with new information and tips for blogging and energized about my new ideas for my blog!!

View from the Top Level of the Hotel

Mary Tang & me on the 1st Night of FBC2017

Me & Debra (The Sugared Teacup) during lunch on the last day of FBC2017

Me with the FBC2017 sign on the last day

Of course, you can’t forget about Food Bloggers of Canada amazing Swag Bag that we get every year. I look forward it to it every year to see what goodies I get to bring home. This year we got cookbooks of course, 2 containers, utensils, cooking tools, and snacks. My fave definitely has to be The Sugared Teacup coaster, it was so cute!!! Check out my photo of my Swag Bag.

FBC2017 Amazing Swag Bag

For more information on the above sponsors, speakers and bloggers, please see below:

Day 3 & 4 – Sunday, October 22 (Evening) & Monday, October 23, 2017

Me with the Ottawa signage on Sparks Street

During and after the FBC2017 conference, I still manage to do a bit of sightseeing and exploring in Ottawa. I was happy to have stayed an extra day after the conference to enjoy the beauty of Ottawa especially during the Fall season as Ottawa has a natural beauty of colourful trees and scenery to enjoy.

Some of the attractions that I visited are: of course no stop in Ottawa without seeing the Parliament building, Byward Market, Sparks Street, shopped at CF Rideau Centre, and Rideau Falls.  I loved shopping at the Byward Market with unique items that you normally don’t find at a shopping mall. I found a great kitchen shop called: Ma Cuisine recommended by Deb (The Sugared Teacup) where I bought a new mug as I love drinking tea and always looking for new mugs or tea accessories. They had lots of variety of mugs and tea accessories so if you love tea I definitely recommend you stop by Ma Cuisine as they also have lots of other kitchen supplies.

Me in front of the Rideau Canal

Me in front of the Parliament Building

When travelling to new cities, I always love to discover new vegan bakeries so of course while I was in Ottawa for the FBC2017 conference, I made time for one new vegan bakery shop that I discovered. Because Strawberry Blonde Bakery made some of the delicious vegan desserts at the conference as well, I had to stop by their bakery shop itself to see what other delicious vegan baked goods that they had.

On my last day in Ottawa, I stopped by Strawberry Blonde Bakery shop, which is a vegan, gluten-free and nut free bakery. Their mission is to “create a place where the growing number of people with food allergies can buy a treat and not have to worry about cross-contamination, while also not having to compromise on taste or aesthetics.” –Strawberry Blonde Bakery website.

Their bakeshop wasn’t far from the downtown area of Ottawa, very accessible by transit as I took the bus there. I feel in love with their cute bakeshop from the outside with their beautiful & colourful exterior. They have a sitting area only outside thou. I love the atmosphere of their cozy and friendly bakeshop inside despite the size of the bakeshop quite small, but filled with delicious and beautiful aroma smell of freshly baked goods.

Strawberry Blonde Bakery has a large variety of baked goods to choose from cupcakes, cookies to pies, scones, squares, Nanaimo bars, brownies, cakes along with a few savory items as well. They also serve vegan soft serve (ice cream)…YAY!!! It was hard for me to choose what to get.

I ended up getting one Strawberry cupcake with Vanilla frosting and it was simply delicious with their moist cake and the frosting wasn’t too sweet either. One of my fave new vegan cupcakes for sure!!

I also bought their packaged Oatmeal Raisins cookies to bring home with me to try on the train ride home. These are the best Vegan Oatmeal Raisins cookies I ever had, I love Oatmeal Raisins cookies and it’s rare to find one soft and tastes exactly like a regular Oatmeal Raisins cookie. I wish I bought another box of them!! I loved them!!!

Me in front of the Strawberry Blonde Bakeshop

If you haven’t tried, Strawberry Blonde Bakery yet at Ottawa downtown area in the Wellington West area, I highly recommend you checking out this cozy and friendly vegan bakeshop. It definitely won’t disappoint you!! Go try it yourself…😊

For more information on Strawberry Blonde Bakery, please see below:

Websiteclick here

Address – 114B Grange Avenue, Ottawa, ON.

You can follow them on Facebook @StrawberryBlondeBakery, Twitter @BlondeBaking and Instagram @BlondeBaking.

Another amazing FBC conference for 2017 is done already!! Wow!! As it was my 3rd time attending this inspiring and great conference, I love seeing the growing Canadian food bloggers attend this amazing conference every year. Every year I attend this event, I enjoy networking, learning, being inspired by others and of course the delicious and variety of foods at the conference.

Thank you Melissa and Ethan for putting on another fantastic conference for all of us!!!! Every year you guys bring something new and fun to the conference. I am excited for next year’s 2018 Road Trip Conference!!! Looking forward to further details in January 2018! As I can’t wait to start planning which destination I would love to travel next to.

For now, thank you to my wonderful readers who managed to read most or if you are still following along on my Part 2 of my Highlights of Food Bloggers of Canada conference. I admit it was a bit long to read, but I hope that you enjoyed it that you are just as inspired and eager to attend 2018 Road Trip FBC conference like me! You can check out Part 1 of my FBC2017 Highlights if you haven’t read it yet here -> click here.

Feeling inspired and getting ready for the Holiday spirit, I am busy prepping for my Holiday post that I am excited to share with you soon!! I am also working on a special project slowly yet progress is happening that I will be sharing with you soon for the New Year 2018. Look out for that announcement soon!!

For the latest updates such as when my next blog post is along with you can follow along on my foodie adventures, please follow me on Twitter @SweetBFoodie24 and Instagram @SweetBFoodie24.

Until next time, I am in search for my next sweet Holiday spirit adventure….

-Sweet B.

For more information on Food Bloggers of Canada, 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 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

My Honey Sweet Summer Dairy Free SkinnyPop Popcorn Recipe

Hi everyone,

It is officially summer now and I’m ready for beach days, more food festivals, summer day trips and of course summer foods or for me, summer desserts or snacks. What are you looking forward to this summer?? Is there a summer food you enjoy most at this time of year? Love to hear what you guys enjoy for the summer so please feel free to leave a comment below.

As some of you know, I enjoy dairy free products because of my food sensitivities as I still learn and discover new foods that are dairy free as I always love to share them with my readers. I thought that I always share new vegan bakeries or restaurants that I also share with you new food products.

Now that summer is finally here, I thought what better light fluffy summer food to enjoy than popcorn, right? I recently discovered a dairy free popcorn that is perfect for me that I didn’t know before until now called: SkinnyPop Popcorn. SkinnyPop Popcorn is a premium popcorn kernel that has no GMOs (genetically modified organism), no artificial ingredients, gluten free, dairy free, peanut free, no artificial flavours, zero trans fat, and preservative free. Their motto is using simple ingredients such as whole grain popcorn, natural sunflower oil and perfect amount of salt combine together to give you a “delicious snack that you can feel great about eating everyday” – SkinnyPop Popcorn website.

SkinnyPop Popcorn comes in Popped Popcorn (already popped), Popcorn cakes and mini cakes and their new product is their microwave popcorn. SkinnyPop Popcorn also comes in different flavours from Sea Salt & Pepper to Naturally Sweet to Jalapeño to White Cheddar (Dairy Free).

I recently picked up their Popped Popcorn in the original flavour and I thought it be great to add a healthy and summer twist to it the popcorn. After searching for ideas as I’m not much of a cook or baker, I thought of a simple and easy recipe that I would love to share with you. It’s an easy recipe for the summer and perfect for the upcoming Canada’s Day celebration to share with your family and friends.

My new simple & easy recipe is called: Dairy Free Sweet Honey Popcorn with Dried Fruits. When you think of summer, you think of light and sweet so I thought with a healthy twist to put in dry fruits and with this recipe using dried strawberries and apples as strawberries are known for summer fruits. A great combination with strawberries are apples, but you can also substitute it with other dried fruits that you prefer or have just the dried strawberries on it’s own, which still works out perfectly.

The ingredients for this recipe includes: SkinnyPop Popcorn, dried strawberries & apples, brown sugar, honey, and coconut oil. I’m using coconut oil in this recipe instead of butter as it’s the dairy free alternative to butter. An interesting tip is that I found out that coconut oil is tasteless so if you were worried about making the popcorn tasting like coconut, don’t be as it doesn’t from making this recipe myself.

Instructions:

Once you have all your ingredients, have a large mixing bowl to put the popcorn, dried strawberries and apples ready to mix it with the honey sauce (mixture). To make the honey sauce (mixture), in a medium pot or saucepan – add the brown sugar, coconut oil and honey. Cook it on medium high heat until the mixture is bubbling and well combined. Once it is done, pour the honey mixture over the popcorn & dried fruits in the large mixing bowl that you had prepared. You can pour as little or as much as you want in the bowl. Then mix until the popcorn and dried fruits are covered with the honey sauce (mixture).  You can see below the photos of each step.

So now you are ready to taste and enjoy this sweet and healthy vegan dairy free popcorn treat with a summer twist to it. Yum!! It’s the perfect sweet summer treat to share with your family and friends or a sweet bowl for yourself.

Hope you give my new sweet, summer and healthy SkinnyPop Popcorn recipe a try and let me know what you think of it. Feel free to leave me your comments below as I would love to hear what you think of my recipe.

Don’t forget to stay connected with me on the latest updates on my next blog post or my foodie adventures, please follow me on Twitter @SweetBFoodie24 and Instagram @SweetBFoodie24.

As summer has just started, I’m excited for what the rest of the summer will bring for me including going to more food festivals and my mini summer getaway later in late July!! So I leave you for now with this sweet yet healthy dairy free popcorn treat and continue my search on my next sweet vegan bakery or restaurant hunt. Cheers to a yummy and sweet summer! 🍦 🍧 🍓 🍹 🌞

-Sweet B.

For more information on SkinnyPop Popcorn, please see below:

SkinnyPop Popcorn – website -> click here

You can follow SkinnyPop Popcorn on Facebook @SkinnyPopPopcorn, Twitter @theskinnypop and Instagram @theskinnypop.

My Printable Recipe

Dairy Free Sweet Honey Popcorn with Dried Fruits

  • Servings: 3-4 people
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A sweet honey popcorn with summer dried fruits perfect for the summer.

Ingredients

  • 2-3 cups SkinnyPop Popcorn
  • ½ cup Brown Sugar
  • ½ cup Coconut Oil (you may put less if preferred)
  • ¼ Honey
  • ½ cup Dried Strawberries
  • ½ cup Dried Apples

Instructions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, pour in the SkinnyPop popcorn, put in the dried strawberries and apples. In my case, I sliced the dried apples in smaller pieces as they were in rings to make it easier to eat. If you have other dried fruits, you can prepare them now.
  2. For the honey mixture – in a medium pot or saucepan, add the brown sugar, coconut oil and honey. Cook over medium high heat until mixture is bubbling and well combined by mixing it.
  3. Then pour honey mixture over the popcorn mixing bowl that you prepared before, you can pour in the amount desired or until all popcorn and dried fruits have been covered. In between pouring the honey mixture, use a wooden spoon or spoon to mix in between as it will get sticky to get an even coat of honey mixture with the popcorn.
  4. You can wait 5 – 10 mins before enjoying as letting the honey mixture soak in the popcorn before enjoy the sweetness.

My 2017 Macaron Day with Butter Avenue

Hi everyone,

Welcome back everyone!! I’m back now, did you miss me?? 🙋 It’s been a very busy month of March for me as you all know I went for my birthday trip/vacation to beautiful and glamorous Las Vegas with my sister and niece. I had the most amazing time exploring the Vegas strip and sampling so much delicious and scrumptious food.

A quick update on my Vegas trip – Vegas is definitely the place to be if you want amazing and high quality food, no doubt I was definitely not disappoint with the many choices of restaurants and even desserts to choose from. It also helps that it simply was so beautiful there with the beautiful hotels with the most beautiful water fountains! Loving Vegas both day & night  esp. love the lights at night time & enjoyed the warm desert weather in March. I have to admit though there was a lot of walking, so not a relaxing trip, but lots to see and do. I had the most amazing and wonderful time at one of my fave travel destinations being there for the 2nd time and loving it more! A great way to celebrate my birthday, a bonus was a complimentary upgrade for my hotel room with the most beautiful balcony Bellagio and Paris view ever!!

If you haven’t been to Vegas, I highly recommend visiting there at least once as it is not just about the casinos, but there is so much to see and do especially the most amazing food in Vegas is one main reason I go and the shopping of course…:) Be sure to look out for a special blog post on my fave restaurants to check out in Vegas next month that I am currently working on.

Don’t forget for the latest updates about my sweet food blog or my food adventures, please follow me on Twitter @SweetBFoodie24 and Instagram @SweetBFoodie24. If you were following me on my Instagram account while I was on my Vegas trip, then you would have seen a few yummy food & beautiful scenery photos during my trip.

March seems to be an important month of the year for me because not only my birthday of course lol…but it also marks the 1st Day of Spring, which means warmer weather, but most importantly one of my fave type of dessert is celebrated on March 20, 2018, which is Macaron Day.

Who could forget one of my fave French small and delicate yet big flavour dessert macarons? Not me of course, I love that they have a special day to celebrate in Toronto, Paris, New York and Internationally. Yes, this is a late post on Macaron Day and if you missed it, please mark March 20, 2018 in your calendar for next year for the next Macaron Day or there is always no time like the present to enjoy a simple yet delicious macaron as you can enjoy macarons any day of the year!

If you did celebrate Macaron Day, which bakery did you celebrate it with? Would love to hear where some of you went, please comment below! Thank you!

This year I celebrated Macaron Day with one of my fave bakery shop, Butter Avenue. I wasn’t able to visit more macaron bakeshops that day as unfortunately I was working my full time Admin job and didn’t have enough time to visit more. But I made time for my fave bakery shop, Butter Avenue where purchased half a dozen of macarons to share with my sisters and niece. I also sampled one of their new mini dessert – “Over the Moon” consisting of Vanilla Créme brûlée, raspberry puree, raspberry mousse, all natural lemon crème and their delicious Raspberry mini macaron on top! I loved the mini dessert, it was perfect size and it wasn’t too sweet. I hope that they would make these mini desserts a regular item on their bakery list as this was a limited edition dessert during Macaron Day weekend.

Butter Avenue partnered with Chef David Lee who is the executive chef of one of the best restaurant in Canada, Nota Bene, to create 3 distinctive macarons for Macaron Day. I sampled one of the 3 distinctive macarons, their Uji Matcha Passionfruit and as I’m not a fan of passionfruit, but I simply loved this new flavour. I didn’t expect it at all, it had the right sweetness of the passionfruit and a pop of flavour from the green tea matcha. Wow!!! Great combination for this macaron flavour. I also got my fave Earl Gray, Almond Raspberry Cake along with a few other faves that my sisters love. As desserts are always sweeter to share and was happy to share them with my sisters.

For Macaron Day, Butter Avenue despite not being one of the official participating locations for Macaron Day, they donated their 1/3 of the day’s sales to Kids Cook to Care foundation. I’m happy to celebrate and still be help give back to the community while enjoying my sweets.

While for Macaron Day TO, their participating locations in Toronto and GTA with a simple purchase of a macaron, 25% of the proceeds will be donated to – Red Door Family Shelter on March 20.

With the end of a busy yet fun month of March, marks the start of a new month for April. April means more warmer Spring weather and sweet treats for Easter!! As I unwind and settle back into my regular routine after my amazing Vegas trip, back on the hunt for the next sweet and healthy foodie adventure.

So don’t forget to come back and join me next month and see what sweet & healthy blog post I have in store for you all. Cheers to my fave month filled with sweet macarons in March!!! 🎉🎈🍹 (you think they made Macaron Day in March for me?)

-Sweet B.

For more information on Macaron Day TO and on Butter Avenue, please see below:

Macaron Day TOWebsite: macarondayto.com

You can follow them through their social media on Facebook @MacaronDayTO, Twitter @MacaronDayTO and Instagram @MacaronDayTO.

Butter AvenueWebsite: www.butteravenue.com

Address:

Locations

Yonge & Lawerence -3467 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON, M4N 2N3

Queen & Spadina – 477 Queen Street West, Toronto, ON, M5V 2A9

You can follow them through their social media on Facebook @ButterAvenueCo, Twitter @ButterAvenue, and Instagram @ButterAvenue.

 

 

Happy Valentine’s Day 2 my Sweet Readers!!

Hi everyone!! 🙋

Wishing everyone a sweet Valentine’s Day!! This Holiday for most people is about showing their love for their “loved ones” while for me, this day I love to share & enjoy my love for delicious desserts and sweets. This is the perfect day to indulge in delicious & beautiful desserts, how could you not resist? 😀

I stopped by this past weekend at one of my fave dessert places, Pusateri’s – Saks Food Hall at Eaton Centre, where there were so much delicious desserts to choose from. I love the variety here and was craving for cookies and tarts so that is what I ended up choosing! Thou also craving for macarons & cupcakes? Hmmm…lol…you can never have enough desserts. 😊 Might be picking up my 2nd Round of sweets today! 😀 What yummy, sweet and delectable desserts will you or going to be enjoying on this Valentine’s Day? Would love for you guys to share your desserts and I’m always up to try new bakeries / dessert shops, so please feel free to share below! Thank you!

Don’t forget to stay connected with me on my next blog posts, updates and yummy food photos, you can follow me on Twitter @SweetBFoodie24 and Instagram @SweetBFoodie24. Check out my Instagram later tonight to see what my 2nd Round of sweets for Valentine’s Day was! 💝💌🍰🍫🍸🌹

xoxo,

Sweet B.

For more information on Pusateri’s:

Website – Pusateri’s Saks Food Hall

My New & Healthy Fave Vietnamese Place – Pho Vistro

Hi everyone!!

This is my 1st official blog post for 2017 (not including My Year in Review for 2016) and it’s already the month of February 2017, which means winter is half over…:) With Chinese New Year’s 2 weeks ago, this is technically the start of my New Year’s and the start of the Year of the Rooster, which I was born in. I’m excited that it is MY year, the Year of the Roosters & looking forward to what this exciting year will bring me!! Most of all, I look forward to discovering new foodie & healthy bakeries & sharing my sweet adventures with my readers.

Starting off this Chinese New Year and the Year of the Rooster, I thought in honor of this special occasion to share my love for pho and a Vietnamese type of cuisine, which is also part of the Asian cuisine/culture. I thought it would be perfect to match this type of food with Chinese New Year as noodles in the Chinese culture represent happiness and longevity.

I believe that this is a great way to start the New Year with delicious & simple food that represents happiness and a healthy long life. I recently discovered a new healthy, simple and delicious Vietnamese pho restaurant called: Pho Vistro on Queen Street West. They are not like any other pho place, their focused is on all-natural, organic and old-fashioned Vietnamese cuisine with zero MSG and their traditional broth is slow-cooked with intense flavoured broth that takes over 10 hours of cooking process with fresh herbs/spices. They offer an assortment of Vegan menu options along with gluten free, which is rare for a pho place and believe that this is a great option to add.

They consider their pho soup to be a healthy alternative to other soups to help your immune system. I believe that this is a great concept to have in this type of food as it is rare and I love the option of having vegan options.

Pho Vistro - Interior - 2

Last weekend, it was my first time trying this cozy & warm new pho place, Pho Vistro and when you walk in the door, the first thing I noticed was their beautiful interior design and loved the modern yet home feeling to this medium size restaurant. You can smell the aroma of their freshly made broth as well when you come in. I thought that the size of the restaurant was a good fit as it wasn’t too big or too small. I came just after the lunch rush as I was having a late lunch. It was still relatively busy and more customers arrived after I sat down so I would consider this a good sign that people really enjoy the pho here.

I ordered the Fried Chicken Spring Rolls to start and ordered the Pho Classic with beef, they also had options with chicken and vegan as well. They also have smoothies with option for vegan/sugar-free as well, which is great to know next time I would love to order one since I only drink dairy-free now.

The pho itself I really liked it, I can tell the broth was freshly made and can tell there was definitely no MSG in it, I felt the cleanse / clear of the broth thou this broth had less flavor than other broths I usually eat and I believe that has to do with no MSG in it as it is more healthier. I added a bit of hoisin sauce on my beef for a bit of more flavor. I loved the noodles itself as I can tell it was made fresh and it is the thicker noodles than other pho places have thinner noodles. They have excellent customer service at Pho Vistro, very friendly and efficient servers and the owner who I saw is very friendly as well engaging with customers and assisting with staff if they required help.

The Back of their Menu

Overall, I would definitely come back for a hot bowl of pho especially on these colder winter days we are now having. I been to many Vietnamese (pho) restaurants before and I definitely think this is one I would recommend people to come and try for yourself as Pho Vistro stands out to me more particularly with their concept and healthier version of pho soup. I look forward to coming back and enjoying some delicious & healthy bowl of pho this winter and anytime during the year as I enjoy my pho all year round.

I hope that you all give Pho Vistro a try and see for yourself why I love this pho place so much! Please let me know what you think of it by leaving your comments below.

Don’t forget to stay connected with me for all updates, when my next blog post is and follow my yummy foodie photo adventures, you can follow me on Twitter @SweetBFoodie24 and Instagram @SweetBFoodie24.

Until next time, in my search for my next sweet & healthy adventure…

-Sweet B.

For more information on Pho Vistro, please see below:

Website – Pho Vistro -> click here

You can also follow them on Twitter @phovistro, Facebook @phovistro and Instagram @phovistro.

My Food Travels – Fall Getaway 2016 to Kingston, Ontario

Hi everyone!

With Holiday Season approaching us very quickly as I can’t believe it’s already end of November and Christmas is around the corner. I can’t wait to share with you some Holiday/Christmas posts soon.

But first, I thought that I share my 1st feature with my readers on my food travels as some of you know, I love to travel and not only travel, but when traveling, I love to try new restaurants and esp. searching for new sweet bakeries or desserts places to share with my readers. There will be a few foodie travels blog posts per year depending where I go that year! I hope that you will enjoy this new feature I’m adding to my blog. Let me know what you think.

travel-icons-3

One of my fave time of the year to travel is during the Fall season because the weather is still warm and not cold to still enjoy the outdoors. I prefer to travel during the Fall season as well it is not peak time to travel (i.e. summer high peak travel time) where certain tourist areas are less crowded and prices are reasonable or lower priced at this time to travel. There are always advantages and disadvantages traveling in the Fall or off season it’s finding the right fit for you to enjoy your trip, which is most important.

Beautiful Kingston Downtown Waterfront Area

Why Kingston?

Why did I pick Kingston, Ontario some of you may ask? Well, even though I’m a Canadian born and raised in Toronto, I still haven’t seen some parts of Ontario. I have always like to discover new cities even in my own province and see what Ontario has to offer for me as I love exploring new cities. I thought that Kingston would be the perfect Fall getaway for a few days to explore, eat and relax!!

If you haven’t been to Kingston, Ontario before, don’t miss out on this historic city located in the Eastern part of Ontario on the end of Lake Ontario where the beginning of the St.Lawerence River is. The city is located midway between Toronto and Montreal. It is known for the “Thousand Islands” tourist region and nicknamed the “Limestone City” because of the heritage buildings that was constructed using local limestone.

Quick Facts on Kingston, Ontario

Some quick facts on Kingston, Ontario for those who would to know more information on this city:

  • Kingston is home to Fort Henry and part of the Rideau Canal of UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Resting-place of Sir John A. Macdonald, Canada’s first Prime Minister
  • The Best freshwater sailing harbor in North America
  • Queen’s University, the Royal Military College of Canada and St. Lawrence College
  • This city offers vibrant arts, entertainment, recreation and leisure communities
  • Has lots of events, festivals, and attractions
  • A bustling downtown core with a variety of independent & unique shops and a variety of amazing restaurants to offer
  • Beautiful parks and trails

View from Fort Henry Historic Site

My Experience

I really enjoyed my getaway to Kingston in mid-September 2016 as this charming small city has a lot to offer from the amazing & superb restaurants, love shopping at the boutique & independent shops, love seeing the waterfront view from almost any point of view in the downtown area, and I love the feel of this small city charm combined with the beauty of the nature in the city that I don’t usually get in Toronto. Kingston also offers lots of different events for everyone from live music to festivals, food tours, farmer’s market, walking tours for attractions and more. Overall, Kingston for a small city has a lot to offer and many things to do & explore.

Harbourfront Sunset Views near my Hotel

The best way to travel for me is I would recommend is taking the VIA Rail train as it is easy, comfortable and affordable. You can avoid the traffic and have an enjoyable with scenic ride to your destination. Ever since I started traveling by train for travels within Ontario & different parts of Canada, I always travel by business class now. It has a lot of perks including business lounge available for you at the station, complimentary Wifi, extra room on the train, power outlet and hot meals, which I love my non-dairy meals on this train, if you could believe it, the train food is pretty good and filling just like any restaurant. Check out my delicious lunch hot meal that I had on the way to Kingston!

Activities & Attractions

If you haven’t been to Kingston before, I would recommend you doing the Kingston Trolley Tour as I did it during my time in Kingston and really enjoyed this tour that takes you on an in-depth tour of Kingston’s historic downtown and waterfront, stopping at all of the city’s most well-known visitor destinations including Fort Henry, the Penitentary Museum, and Queen’s University. I was only disappointed that Fort Henry was closed for the season and wasn’t able to see it just the outside of it. This Trolley Tour captures what is in the city of Kingston in a short amount of time.

Besides shopping and exploring & sampling Kingston’s amazing restaurants, I also did the Kingston 1000 Island Cruise, which Kingston is known for its beautiful water and islands. I did the 90 minutes cruise only, which is called the Discovery Cruise and sailed off on the Island Belle. During this cruise, it introduces the unique sights and heritage of the 1000 Islands region and the historic waterfront of Canada’s First Capital. The cruise passes close to National Park Islands and National Historic Sites, and I enjoyed taking in the majesty of the 1000 Islands.

Hotel

In Kingston, I stayed at Residence Inn by Marriott Kingston Hotel Water Edge, which I highly recommend you stay at because this amazing hotel is right by the water and you have the perfect view of the waterfront overlooking Lake Ontario and the beauty that comes with Kingston. It is the perfect location as it is located downtown Kingston within walking distance of several restaurants, Kingston downtown area, Springer Market Square, Thousand Island dock, City Hall, shopping on Princess Street, and more.

Residence Inn Kingston also offers you spacious fully-equipped suites, free Wifi, complimentary breakfast, indoor saltwater pool, whirlpool & Fitness Centre, and Business Centre. From my experience, they offer outstanding customer service from front desk staff to cleaning staff, the front desk staff were very friendly and helpful including helping me order a taxi and they do luggage storage as well. Overall, a very welcoming, warm and great hotel to stay at, the waterfront views are amazing to see everyday, this hotel will make you feel like you’re at home with their very spacious rooms.

My beautiful & amazing view from my room

View of the beautiful waterfront by the hotel

My Fave 3 Desserts Shops/ Bakeries in Kingston, Ontario

If you are looking for some sweet desserts shops and bakeries, I am recommending coming to this charming city to satisfied your sweet cravings, you will not be disappointed. Here are my Top 3 that I recommend you checking out in Kingston:

1. Cards Bakery & Goods

Location: 115 Princess Street (Downtown Kingston)

Website: Downtown Kingston Website for more info on Cards Bakery -> click here

Updated New Website: Card’s Bakery -> click here

Website for Krista (owner): Cakes by Krista

Social Media: Follow them on Twitter @Cardsbakery & Facebook @CardsBakery.

My fave bakery in Kingston is Cards Bakery & Goods because of their freshly baked and use of finest ingredients from scratch to make the most delicious baked goods. Their baked goods taste like homemade straight from your mom’s or grandmother’s kitchen! I love this warm & cozy bakery after walking in the shop right away filled with variety of baked goods to offer from delicious pies, cookies, cupcakes, turnovers, tarts, and more. It was so hard to choose what to get. In the end, I picked my fave of course oatmeal raisin cookies, cherry tarts & a few assorted cookies. Loved every bite of my delicious baked goods! I took my yummy treats to go to enjoy on the train and at home. As well they offer light lunches with soup. Cards Bakery & Goods also offer selected kitchenware items and gifts. If you are in Kingston, definitely make a stop at this yummy bakery, it is all worth it!

My delicious cherry tart  

2. Mio Gelato

Location: 178 Ontario St. (Downtown Kingston)

Website: Mio Gelato -> click here

Social Media: Follow them on Facebook @MioGelato, Twitter @MioGelato_KTown and Instagram @miogelatokingston.

If you are looking for a cool & freshly made treat, I definitely recommend Mio Gelato as some of you know, I love gelato and I seem to always find the perfect and best Gelato place wherever I travel. This is no exceptional if you are in Kingston, please definitely go to Mio Gelato where they offer homemade fresh & delicious gelato, sorbetto, and frozen yogurt as they use local fruit in their product if possible. One of the highlight of this gelato place is perfect for me as they offer dairy-free gelato and sorbetto, YAY!! I couldn’t choose a flavor so I went with 3 lol…I enjoyed their delicious Ontario Peach as it was in season in September, Raspberry and Mango. Loved it!!! They also have very friendly staff to assist you if you can’t decide what flavor you want, there are samples of course. So when in Kingston, definitely come by this friendly & yummy gelato shop.

3. The Common Market

Location: 136 Ontario Street (Downtown Kingston)

Website: The Common Market -> click here

Social Media: Follow them on Facebook @TheCommonMarket and Twitter @TheCommonMarkt.

A great coffee/tea and bakery shop to go to is The Common Market as it was across the street from my hotel so great location wise as it is downtown Kingston and near the waterfront. They had a variety of baked goods such as croissants, loaves, & etc., sandwiches, wraps, soups and of course coffee and tea to offer. I ended up ordering a refreshing ice tea and loved their fresh cranberry cookies for snack! This coffee shop had a warm and cozy environment as you can probably sit there for hours.

Even though I didn’t get a chance to stop by this cozy coffee/tea & dessert bar called: Sipps Coffee, which is located in the main part of downtown by the Market Square, I heard many great reviews on this place so I also would recommend it. I’m hoping to go back to Kingston one day and definitely be stopping by Sipps Coffee as you can see Kingston has so many bakery and coffee shops to offer that keeps you coming back.

Website: Sipps Coffee Info from Downtown Kingston -> click here

Social Media: You can follow them on Facebook @SippsCoffee and Twitter @SippsCoffee.

My Fave Burger Place in Kingston, Ontario

Besides my love for desserts & sweets, I also love burgers who doesn’t right? I usually love trying new authentic burger places in new cities or places that I usually travel. So this is no difference being in Kingston, I discovered the best burger place, which is Harper’s Burger Bar, located downtown Kingston on the shopping district on Princess street.

Location: 93 Princess Street (Downtown Kingston)

Website: Harper’s Burger Bar (Kingston’s Local Burger Joint) -> click here

Social Media: You can follow them on Facebook @HarpersBurgers, Twitter @HarpersBurgers and Instagram @HarpersBurgers.

Why Harper’s Burger Bar? I really enjoyed this local burger joint with it’s modern and friendly environment with their delicious & fresh “AAA” local beef made burgers. It was probably one of the best burgers I had, loved how fresh it was and homemade. Where can you get waffle fries? I love waffle fries! They offer hot & fresh Yukon fries, onion rings and along with their yummy premium shakes. They also have friendly and excellent customer service by their wait staff.

If you are looking for local and fresh burgers, don’t look any further than Harper’s Burger Bar.

It was an amazing Fall getaway to Kingston, Ontario where I relaxed after a busy summer filled with food festivals and working, it was great to enjoy both the beauty of Kingston’s nature & waterfront views and at the same time enjoyed their amazing restaurants with delicious foods and desserts. I enjoyed the small historic city charm that Kingston have to offer.

If you haven’t been to Kingston before, I highly recommend you come and explore this beautiful historic city for yourself to see what I been talking about. I can’t wait to come back to Kingston again to further explore this beautiful city and sample other bakeries that I didn’t get a chance to try…:)  I love exploring new cities in Ontario so I can’t wait for my next adventure!

I can’t wait to share my next travel location and exploring new dessert / bakeries with you my readers! I already have a few trips planned out for next year 2017 so look out for them!

Until next time, getting into the Christmas spirit, look out for my next blog posts (yes there will be more than 1 posts next month..:) ) feeling more festive and ready for Christmas & Holiday season!

To stay updated on my next blog post, please connect with me on Twitter @SweetBFoodie24 and Instagram @SweetBFoodie24.

-Sweet B.

For more information on Kingston, Ontario, please see below:

Website: Kingston Official Site -> click here

Website: City of Kingston -> click here

Social Media: You can follow the City of Kingston & stay up to date through

Facebook @StayInKingston, Twitter @VisitKingston1 and Instagram @VisitKingston.

Hotel: Residence Inn Kingston Water’s Edge -> Website – click here