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
  • Time: 10 mins
  • 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

My Highlights of 2016 Food Bloggers of Canada Conference

Hi everyone,

Is it getting chilly here or warm here in Toronto for this Fall weather, lol, it seems like the weather can’t make up it’s mind lol….I think I have to say that it is officially feels like Fallish weather!!! It’s been a busy few weeks for me with my Full time Admin job being busy and then of course two events that happened in one week so I been trying to do catch up. I hope that everyone have been enjoying the warm Fall early this October before the cold weather has hit as it is now November.

Quick Update

With my busy work schedule, I have decided that I will be doing monthly blog posts so at least one blog post per month until things have settled down with me in regards to my Full time Admin job. I still love working on this blog and still passionate for it especially after attending the FBC conference has inspired me more. I been working on the last few months to have this has my main focus and I haven’t quite gotten there yet. Hope you all will be patient with me and enjoy my monthly sweet blog posts! My special project is still coming end of November is the date of the launch. Look out for it soon!!

You can always check my daily updates and my food adventures through Twitter @SweetBFoodie24 and Instagram @SweetBFoodie24.

Without further delay, here are my highlights of this year Food Bloggers of Canada 2016 held in Toronto, warning it might be a bit long and filled with yummy food photos that might leave you a bit hungry after reading this blog post…:)

My Highlights of Food Bloggers of Canada 2016

This year Food Bloggers of Canada celebrated their 5th Year Anniversary in Toronto, where my hometown city is. They held their 4th Annual Food Bloggers of Canada Conference FBC2016 from October 21-23, 2016 at the Delta Toronto located in the heart of downtown’s bustling Entertainment District.

Saturday, October 22, 2016 – Day Before My Sunday Session

With this year FBC2016 being held in my city in Toronto, I decided for convenience and for a city getaway to stay overnight at Residence Inn Marriott Toronto Downtown for Saturday night. This year I was attending only the Sunday Session and with the early start for the session, I thought it was more convenient for me to stay closer to the conference hotel as I don’t live near downtown. I always love mini getaways and why not even in my own city as I still discover new places and restaurants in my own city of Toronto.

I arrived to Residence Inn Marriott Toronto Downtown late afternoon on Saturday, October 22, 2016. I chose this particular hotel as ever since I stayed at this brand of Marriott hotels with their spacious rooms including a kitchenette with a fridge, I really enjoyed it as they are known for Extended stays and it feels like you are in a bachelor apartment for a few days as some hotels have small rooms. I guess I just enjoy the more spacious rooms. This hotel wasn’t too far away from the conference hotel – Delta Toronto about 10 minutes walk to it so it was a convenient.

Residence Inn Marriott Toronto Downtown is located in the heart of the Entertainment District and steps to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Rogers Centre, Ripley’s Aquarium, Mirvish Theatre, CN Tower and the TIFF Bell Lightbox. All within 3 blocks distance to the hotel. Staying at the Residence Inn Marriott Toronto Downtown you can experience the fine dining, night life and theatres that are offered within. If you are taking the subway like I did, it wasn’t far walk from St.Andrew’s subway station to the hotel about less than 10 minutes walk.

My City View from my room

I had an amazing stay at the Resident Inn Marriott Toronto Downtown hotel and enjoyed what the hotel had to offer for me, though unfortunately didn’t have time to take a swim in their beautiful pool. Hopefully next time. I loved my corner suite with a king bed and sofa, which I loved the sofa as it was very comfy and the style I wanted in my own home one day. The service at this hotel was exceptional and friendly as I was greeted right away when I walked in to check-in the hotel and had no problems checking out. Amazing staff at this hotel with friendly & helpful front desk staff & doorman. I highly recommend this hotel if you are looking for a place to stay in Toronto!

After a busy work week, I spent my Saturday evening taking it easy starting off after I checked in the hotel – went shopping at the Eaton Centre and then a delicious dinner at Pickle Barrel trying their new addition to their menu – Local Harvest. Enjoyed their freshly made – Honey Apple Chicken topped with Ontario apples & cranberry chutney with local seasonal vegetables and fries. It was simply delicious!!! Definitely would come back to try their other new Local Harvest items on the menu. I spent the rest of the evening relaxing in the hotel since it was an early morning session for Sunday. For those who don’t know, I’m not a morning person lol…so it was a bit hard to get up lol…but for the delicious breakfast, it was all worth it…:)

Me relaxing at the hotel

Sunday, October 23, 2016 – Sunday General Sessions

On Sunday, October 23, 2016, it was Food Bloggers of Canada general sessions and on Saturday, October 24, 2016, this year was a bit different that they did workshops sessions, which I was unable to get tickets for that day too as it was sold out quickly. I’m hoping that I will be able to attend the full conference next year.

This year it will be my 2nd time attending this amazing & fun intimate conference for 150 food bloggers along with brands and speakers. If you haven’t been to this conference, then you are definitely missing out on a very foodie and networking event. Though this year, I felt like I wasn’t able to give my full attention to the conference for personal reasons and I felt like I couldn’t enjoy it as much! I tried to take in as much as I could and hoping I will be able to take away some information to focus on after the conference.

This year theme is: “Do the Work”. Food Bloggers of Canada put together this year their lineup of people who have done the work whether they have found success on their terms by doing what they love and by putting hours into it. Here are just some of the speakers that I heard that day including: Noelle Chorney, Claire Tansey, Dana Harrison & Joel MacCharles, Dennis Prescott, and more.

Starting Sunday Session with a wonderful and a selection of delectable variety of breakfast foods hosted by Breville Canada. Despite not being a morning person, it was hard to resist all the yummy and delicious foods, which I decided to have a light breakfast and sample a few of everything! My fave breakfast item was the pork breakfast slider, just the perfect little bite!! I also really enjoyed the Spinach, Green Apple, and Banana smoothie – the non-diary version. I loved the idea that all the breakfast foods was made using Breville Canada kitchen equipment and I simply love the very modern toaster to make my toast..:)  Only recently for who don’t know, I have a mild lactose intolerance and I thought that it was great to see how Food Bloggers of Canada accommodate with the food allergies.

The amazing modern toaster by Breville Canada

1st session – Defining Your Own Success with speakersNoelle Chorney & Claire Tansey

Website – Noelle Chorneyhere, Follow her on Twitter @KitchenAmazon

Website – Claire Tanseyhere, Follow her on Twitter @tanseyclaire, Facebook @clairesrecipes, and Instagram @tanseyclaire.

  • It was very inspiring to hear both speakers talk about their success and how each worked on where they are now. A few key notes I took away from these speakers are – to be happy & successful (which I really took to heart as I want to be at that place to where I am happy and I feel I haven’t gotten there just yet with my Full Time job, so I guess a bit insight for my readers, I’m still trying to find my happy place), being able to say no & yes and the question is “What do you love about it?” Some great key notes to think about and make goals for next year in 2017.

For Coffee Break, we had some delicious Fall-like treats sponsored by Crosbys Molasses. We had Gingersnaps with cream in the middle and I enjoyed the vegan version of it! Love how they can accommodate us like me who eat dairy-free foods!

The amazing view of the CN Tower and Rogers Centre from the conference hallway

2nd session – Food Photography with Dennis Prescott

Website – Dennis Prescott –here, Follow him on Facebook @dennistheprescott, Instagram @dennistheprescott, and Twitter @dennisfprescott.

  • It was great hearing Dennis speak from a photographer point of view and learn how he got into food photography. Key Notes I took away from Dennis – how to tell your story through a photo, the human element in a photo and take photos other than foods.

Dana Harrison & Joel MacCharles

3rd session – Stepping Outside Your Blog To Take It to the Next Level – Dana Harrison & Joel MacCharles

Website – Dana Harrison & Joel MacCharles – here, Follow them on Twitter @WellPreserved, Facebook @wearewellpreserved and Instagram @WellPreserved.

  • It was interesting and insightful to hear from the authors of “Batch” and their approach and how they got to be successful. Key Notes I took away are they mentioned: “Find Your North Star”, basically that means why are you doing this?, which I thought it’s such a simple question yet not quite an easy answer and Know your audience. As well, I thought it was a good idea that they mentioned that these days everything is electronic and they mentioned about having something physical for you to visual like for example if you did 30 blog posts have 30 pieces of pages in a binder and you can physically see it. I agree that sometimes you need something physical to see how things are in prospective.

Finishing off FBC2016 with a delicious & healthy lunch courtesy of Half Your Plate. Enjoyed the variety of veggies, fruits & meats that are available for everyone. My fave item for lunch was the beef and pork skewers, it was very tasty and grilled perfectly, I always love skewer foods lol!! Of course, we can’t forget desserts and they saved the best for last as they used Breville Canada’s mixer to make the most delicious Virtural Ice cream!! I was quite excited to see how they made it as they made it to you right in front of you and I was even more excited when they were making my fave flavor – mango..:)  I enjoyed the dairy-free version of the mango ice cream with fresh raspberries and candies on top!! A great way to end the conference.

My delicious & healthy lunch filled half my plate with veggies & fruits

There were also one-on-one blogger/brand networking during the lunch. As most of the timeslots to speak with certain brands I was interested in was taken, I did end up speaking to Nature Path’s and enjoyed introducing myself and getting to know the brand a bit more. I’m looking to connect with other brands in the next conference and I guess one of my goals for 2017 is to connect and network with other brands.

Special thanks to Melissa and Ethan of course who put together this amazing conference every year for us food bloggers to get together, network, learn and grow in one united community!!! I can’t thank you guys enough, it has been another fantastic conference filled with these amazing speakers and sponsors!!! Every year it seems to grow and become a great conference making it annually something I always look forward to going to. It was great seeing a few familiar faces again and making new connections along the way again.

Some of the amazing sponsors at this year FBC2016 to name a few are: Breville Canada (love their tea maker, definitely need one), Half Your Plate, DeltaFaucet, Canadian Turkey, Lentils, Diary Farmers of Canada, Farm & Food Care Canada, Mushrooms Canada, Cookina, Ontario Apple Growers, Nature’s Path, Egg Farmers of Canada and more!! You can their links and connect with them from Food Bloggers of Canada website (will be listed below).

Of course, every year we get these amazing Swag bags, check out below some of the goodies I got this year! If there’s one way of tempting you to come this conference are these foodie filled swag bags!

Next year the FBC2017 conference, will be held in Ottawa in celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday and it will be Food Bloggers of Canada 5th Anniversary!! How exciting can this be?? Right now, Food Bloggers of Canada have an early bird ticket sale if you are interested in going!! Can’t wait to get my ticket soon!

I’m hoping that I will be able to attend the full conference next year!! See you guys next year in Ottawa!!

If you manage to read most of what I wrote, thank you. Probably my longest blog post, I hope that you enjoyed reading it and checking out some of my delicious and fun photos!!

After this inspiring and delicious foodie filled conference, I am in search for my next sweet vegan dessert place….:)

Until next time…

-Sweet B.

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For more information on Food Bloggers of Canada community & conference & links to the sponsors,

Website – Food Bloggers of Canada -> click here

You can also follow FBC on Facebook @FoodBloggersofCanada, Twitter @foodbloggersCA and Instagram @foodbloggersca

 

My Highlights of Veg Food Fest 2016

Hi everyone,

Can you believe that summer is already over? It’s been a busy summer with my full time job as an Admin, but it’s been filled with delicious foodie events, watching the Rogers Cup tennis and going to one baseball game at least! I hope that everyone enjoyed their summer and this very humid summer weather in T.O.

It is officially Fall now and I’m excited for the cooler weather, the beautiful colourful leaves and if you didn’t know, Fall is one of my fave season and with Fall comes sweet delicious apple desserts, warm yummy desserts and Thanksgiving of course!

Before we get into this blog post, a quick update is I am working on a special project that will be revealed soon, I’m excited about it, but it’s been taking a lot of my time so that is why there hasn’t been another sweet blog post until now and a lot of exciting events & trips such as the Food Bloggers of Canada Conference that I will be attending in October are happening the next few months so please be patient with me. So stay tuned this Fall for some exciting sweet warm posts & my special project!!

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To end the summer, what better way than attending an outdoor foodie event, the weekend of September 10-11, 2016, I attended my 2nd Vegan festival, but my 1st time attending this particular one – Veg Food Fest 2016, which was held at the Harbourfront Centre. I was so excited to go after my 1st vegan one despite the rainy day (you can read it my review on Vegan Food & Drink Festival 2016 -> here), I enjoyed it so much that I thought that I go to another one to see what this one has to offer. This festival was run over the weekend of 3 days from September 9-11, 2016.

I went on the Sunday on a beautiful warm sunny day and what a perfect day to be by the waterfront. I was very impressed with the Veg Food Fest 2016 run by Toronto Vegetarian Association – a non-profit from Toronto – in partnership with Harbourfront Centre. I really enjoyed this event with the beautiful waterfront views, variety of vendors, workshops, samples from vendors, demonstrations, live music, and the atmosphere itself. I also enjoyed interacting with vendors and learning more about the vegan lifestyle as I’m still new to it as some of you might know (on a diary-free diet with a mild tolerance for milk as I still do eat meat). I attended this event with of course my sis who also loves attending these events, my 2nd foodie partner besides my mom…:)

Beautiful view of the waterfront at Harbourfront for the event

As this is my 1st time attending the Veg Food Fest 2016, I didn’t get a chance to do everything at the event such as watching cooking demos or attending the workshops or speakers seminars as there were a lot to see and sample. So I’m hoping next year I will try to attend one of them as I was excited to find out MasterChef Canada: Mary Berg was there this year and missed it.

Here are some more detailed information about Veg Food Fest 2016:

  • When: September 9-11, 2016
  • Location: Harbourfront Centre
  • Host: Toronto Vegetarian Association
  • How long has this festival been running for: This is their 32nd Veg Food Fest
  • What’s New This Year: Expanded their location to East side of Harbourfront Centre, 1st ever Veg Out relaxing zone, World Café will feature King’s Café, Green Zebra, Boon Burter and more.
  • Activities: workshops, lectures, fitness classes, music, panel discussions, cooking demos
  • Mission: “Inspiring people to choose a healthier, greener, more compassionate lifestyle through plant-based eating.” –Veg Food Fest Official Website

My Top Fave Desserts at Veg Food Fest 2016:

  • Nanashake – their delicious Nanapops of course, tried their delicious healthy yet yummy Mango & Strawberry mixed flavour one and loved it!! Who wouldn’t? I love anything mango!! As for those who don’t know, I always visit Nanashake shop before so it is no doubt that I love their yummy frozen desserts and always love seeing what new products that they come up with. If you haven’t been to their shop before, I highly recommend it, it’s definitely worth a trip to enjoy a delicious and healthy treat with a warm friendly welcome from their amazing staff.
  • Sweet Teeth Vegan Food Truck – 1st time finally trying Sweet Teeth Vegan as I been waiting to try it from the other festival but didn’t have a chance. Unfortunately this time there was no vegan ice cream left, but I still tried it anyways and got the OG, which was their Belgian waffle with fresh strawberries, strawberry sauce and instead of ice cream got whipped cream instead. Despite no ice cream, it was delicious the waffle, loved it was freshly made and soft and the strawberries was the best part to top it off!! Definitely coming back next time with the ice cream..:)
  • Sweets From the Earth – Tried their delicious vegan mini Strawberry Cupcake, which was absolutely delicious with the cake part of the cupcake was moist and soft and loved the frosting as it wasn’t too sweet! I also bought some Oatmeal Raisin cookies to bring home and enjoyed it while I was at home. Loved the cookies, you can’t even tell it was a vegan cookie, simply delicious. This is my 1st time discovering Sweets From the Earth and would love to try their other vegan products. They are a family-owned business and maintains two production facilities. Both are egg-free, dairy-free, and kosher. One is dedicated peanut- and nut-free and the other is dedicated wheat and gluten free. Products are available in stores across Canada, with new retailers being added all the time. (Info from their website). That’s a quick information about Sweets From the Earth if you are interested. You can check out their website link below after my blog entry.

I also got to visit Tori’s Bakeshop booth, but unfortunately they were out of my Vanilla cupcakes sadly I don’t eat chocolate (another fact if you didn’t know about me, shocker I know who doesn’t love chocolate and desserts go as a pair, that’s me a bit strange one here lol!). They had beautiful cupcakes display that I had to admit look delicious, check out my photo below. I’m hoping to stop by their bakeshop one day. Can’t wait to!

There were some booths that were giving out some free samples and who doesn’t love samples? I got a sample of Veggemo: 1st non-dairy beverage to originate from veggies. I got the original flavour as there were two other ones giving out as well as unsweetened and vanilla. I never tried Veggemo non-dairy beverage before so I thought it would be great to try it out and see if I like it so I can use it as part of my food dietary. Veggemo uses pea protein, tapioca, and potato to create this delicious non-dairy beverage. I’m looking forward to trying it!! You can find out where you can buy one yourself or more information on Veggemo at their website here -> Veggemo.

It was a fun foodie day filled with yummy & delicious sweet treats and desserts and who could have guess it was dairy-free, healthy and plant-based yet it tastes so delicious still. As I’m still learning my new dietary living dairy-free, part vegan that I’m enjoying and happy to see there are other options for people who can’t eat dairy or choose to be vegan, that I can still enjoy my love for desserts still without having dairy in it. I love attending these events who open my mind and see what products are out there that I didn’t know before. So if you didn’t attend, Veg Food Fest 2016 this year, I highly recommend coming to check out this event, come & sample some delicious foods and maybe you might discover some new products that you didn’t know before? Always a plus is the event is free.

I look forward to attending next year Veg Food Fest 2017!!!

Me & my sis, Cindy at the Veg Food Fest 2016

I hope that you enjoyed my yummy review on Veg Food Fest 2016!! If you have been following along on my Twitter and Instagram, I had an amazing foodie & relaxing Fall getaway to Kingston, Ontario last weekend. Don’t forget to come back later in October to check out about my trip and see what places you should eat & see. There are more exciting Fall blog posts coming up.

For the latest updates, please follow my foodie adventures on Twitter @SweetBFoodie24 and on Instagram @SweetBFoodie24.

For now, I leave you with sweet & yummy vegan desserts to crave for while I’m in search of my next scrumptious foodie adventure!

Until next time…

Xoxo,

-Sweet B.

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For more information on Veg Food Fest and the other vendors, please use the links below:

Veg Food FestOfficial Website

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

Toronto Vegetarian AssociationWebsite

Other Vendors/Bakery/Dessert Places

NanaShakeWebsite

Address: 4750 Yonge Street, Unit 134 (Yonge/Sheppard area)

You can follow them on Facebook @nanashake, Twitter @thenanashake and Instagram @thenanashake.

Sweet Teeth Food TruckWebsite

You can follow them on Facebook @SweetTeethVegan, Twitter @sweetteethvegan and Instagram @sweetteethvegan.

Sweets From the EarthWebsite

You can follow them on Facebook @SweetsFromTheEarth, Twitter @SFTEBakery and Instagram @SFTEBakery.

Tori’s BakeshopWebsite

You can follow them on Facebook @TorisBakeshop, Twitter @torisbakeshop and Instagram @torisbakeshop.

Veggemo

You can follow them on Facebook @veggemo, Twitter @Go_Veggemo and Instagram @Go_Veggemo.