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 Highlights of Niagara Vegfest 2017

Hi everyone,

It’s officially the month of June and with the start of the official summer this week, the weather has gone from cold to very humid and hot fast here in Toronto!! Thou I am not enjoying the humidity too much, but loving the warmer and sunnier weather now to enjoy esp the outdoors. Maybe less humid lol!!

With sunny and hot days upon us, this means one thing that festival season is officially here and what a great way to cool down and enjoy delicious foods outdoors. I am excited and love attending food festivals especially during the summer days sampling and discovering new foods to share with you all my readers. I already have a few food festivals planned that I would like to attend from June – September so I’m looking forward to it. If you have any suggestions for a food festival you think I should try out, please don’t hesitate to let me know as I always love attending new food festivals that I haven’t been to. I’m looking out for new food festivals for the Fall too. Feel free to comment below or you can reach me by e-mail at blooi24@hotmail.com

RECAP:

quick recap since my last blog entry, since leaving my previous work, been busy with a few projects and prepping for the summer months for my blog of course. Enjoyed my mini getaway to London, Ontario where enjoyed lots and lots of delicious foods including some vegan desserts and looking forward to sharing with you all in another blog post next month. If you were following me on Twitter and Instagram, then you would have seen my foodie London getaway..:)  I’m still learning how to use Instagram stories so please bare with me lol…😉

My 1st food festival for this pre-summer season that I attended was 2 weeks ago during the first weekend of June was to Niagara Vegfest. It was my 1st time attending the Niagara Vegfest as I always love visiting Niagara Falls so I thought it would be great to also attend this food festival to see, discover and sample the Niagara Region culinary vegan foods. I had the most amazing and fun foodie day as someone of you may already seen from my Instagram and Twitter posts. I’m happy that the weather ended up being sunny and warm as it was supposed to rain and I got lucky and it only rained in the morning. I arrived in St.Catherines by bus that day with a beautiful sunny day and enjoyed every minute of Niagara Vegfest.

If you haven’t been to Niagara Vegfest before, here are some quick information about it:

  • Niagara Vegfest is a 2 day multi-venue event – Day 1 (June 3, 2017) is the Niagara Vegfest in the Vineyard and Day 2 (June 4, 2017) is the Vegan Festival Main Event
  • 6th Annual Niagara Vegfest
  • Location: Market Square, downtown St. Catherines (91 King Street)
  • Admission: Free / donation of $2 or canned foods
  • It includes 80+ vendors and exhibitors, guest speakers, kids zone and TD Niagara Jazz Festival Music Stage
  • “A celebration the many benefits of a healthy, compassionate, plant-based lifestyle, and showcases exhibitors, vendors, and speakers from the Niagara region and beyond” -Niagara Vegfest

Overall, I had an amazing and very foodie day at Niagara Vegfest. I loved the atmosphere at the Market Square in St.Catherines as this festival was some vendors indoors and some outdoors, which to me is good because I liked the flow of the traffic it gives for attendees when they attended this event. It also gives options for weather if it rained or if it was sunny to have the indoors and outdoors available. I loved that they had the TD Niagara Jazz Festival Music Stage outside where I was able to enjoy the beautiful jazz music whether I was inside or outside. It brought a different element to the festival by adding music and creating a fun atmosphere to the Niagara Vegfest. Though I have to admit I was a bit overwhelmed with so many vendors to check out, but at the same time it was great to have a variety of vendors and exhibitors to offer to people. I spent half the day at the Niagara Vegfest as there were so many delicious and yummy foods to sample along with checked out a few non-food vendors.

My Top 4 Fave Foods at Niagara Vegfest are:

1) Pizza Rolls by Rise Above Restaurant

  • Best pizza sausage roll I ever had, yum, it was crispy the pastry part and the most tastiest sausage inside, loved it!! As someone who is now dairy free, it’s hard to find places with vegan pizzas so happy to have stopped and had the most yummiest is that a word lol…pizza rolls by Rise Above Restaurant.
  • Quick information about Rise Above Restaurantis the Niagara’s 1st 100% vegan restaurant and bakery. They are located downtown in St. Catherines. They specialize in comfort foods, healthy choices, and fresh baked desserts. Only wish they would open another location in Toronto, I look forward to stopping by the actual restaurant one day.

2) Peach Fritter doughnut by Beechwood Doughnuts

  • I was so full from all the delicious vegan foods that I had to still get a doughnut from Beechwood Doughnuts as I heard they had the best vegan doughnuts. So I bought one to bring home to eat and chose the Peach Fritter (peaches are one of my fave fruits) and so glad I did lol…Beechwood Doughnuts hands down the best vegan doughnut I ever had!! Wow, I don’t usually eat doughnuts too often, but I would if it is for the sweetest and soft doughnuts that Beechwood Doughnuts make. The Peach Fritter the best lol!! If you haven’t tried, Beechwood Doughnuts, you are definitely missing out!! I would definitely travel for these doughnuts!!
  • Quick information about Beechwood DoughnutsNiagara’s first and only 100% vegan doughnut shop. Located in the heart of Downtown St. Catharines. They opened in January 2015 and become popular and have a reputation for quality in the Niagara Region and beyond. They also won 3 awards in 2015 at the Toronto Vegetarian Association Veg Awards – best vegan bakery, best vegan doughnut and best vegan dessert.

3) Strawberry Lemonade Cupcake by Dolled Up Desserts

  • One of my fave regulars is definitely Dolled Up Desserts who I always enjoy visiting at any vegan food festivals and always love seeing what Katarina (Dolled Up Dessert owner) new delicious desserts she has for that day. She comes up with the most delicious vegan and creative desserts, I love it!! She also has the most beautiful display for her booth I love how creative she is! This time I tried her delicious & sweet Strawberry Lemonade mini cupcake. Loved it!!
  • Quick information about Dolled Up Desserts – Her main shop is based in Hamilton, Ontario. Dolled Up Desserts creates and share high quality desserts that are gluten free and vegan, and are made with 25-50% less sugar, ingredients that are organic, locally sourced.

4) Banana Split Cupcake by Fairly Frosted Bakery

  • I love cupcakes so it was hard to resist when I saw the delicious vegan cupcakes display at Fairly Frosted Bakery. One of my friends also recommended them so was excited to try them and they had an assortment of different baked goods to choose from. It was hard to choose besides the cupcakes. I ended up choosing their Banana Split Cupcake and it was delicious minus the chocolate topping as some of you might know I don’t eat chocolate I know it’s a shock lol!! The frosting wasn’t too sweet either so it was perfect.
  • Quick information about Fairly Frosted Bakery  – A bakery from Guelph, Ontario founded in 2011. Fairly Frosted Bakery serves vegan, gluten free and nut free baked goods.

One of my fave vegan ice cream is food truckSweet Teeth, which is not mentioned above, but they always been my fave regulars at any vegan festivals. So it goes without saying that I always visit their food truck of ice cream and waffles, yum and this time is no difference. I got their OG waffle, which consists of fresh strawberries, strawberry sauce and of course the ice cream. If you haven’t tried Sweet Teeth food truck, I highly recommend it!! This year they also added shakes to their menu and love their new flavours added to the menu. They always come up with new flavours, which is great to see.

One of my fave vegan jeweler is Jewels by SJB, I discovered Sue’s beautiful jewelry last year at one of the vegan food festivals and instantly loved her unique and beautiful handmade jewelry. Sue is from Toronto, ON and has a collection of hand forged, cruelty free jewels and creating beautiful detailed pieces. She uses genuine gemstones that includes .925 sterling silver and 14K gold fill metal. She is also a vegan who shares her message through her jewelry.

I was excited to visit Jewels by SJB booth and see what new pieces she had this time. I always love seeing what new pieces that she brings to each festival as she makes the most beautiful unique pieces. I ended up purchasing a beautiful purple amethyst gemstone to go with my Vegan necklace as well bought a new rose/light pink bracelet with the letter “v” on it. The new bracelet matches my other bracelet (purple amethyst one) I bought from her last year to make a stacking bracelet. I am happy with my new jewelry!! It is always great to see Sue again, she is always so kind and amazing to me especially if I needed any customizing to her jewelry. I love how she can custom to each customer needs. I look forward to seeing what new pieces she has in the next festival!!

My collection of bracelets and pendant necklace from Jewels by SJB

What an amazing 1st visit to Niagara Vegfest filled with delicious vegan foods, desserts, shopping local & unique items, and enjoying amazing jazz music!! If you didn’t have a chance to check out Niagara Vegfest, I highly recommend to see what delicious vegan foods & to experience this festival yourself at Niagara Vegfest next year. Look out for details on their website (information below)! I look forward to joining them again next year after this fun foodie day!! I can’t wait to see what next year they have planned out!

If you managed to read most of this blog post as I know it was a bit long, thank you!! I appreciate you taking your time to read my foodie adventure!! Summer is just around the corner and I’m looking forward to my next foodie summer festival as some of you might already know (from my Twitter and Instagram posts) I have attended my 2nd one just this past weekend! With the busy summer months ahead, I look forward to not just food summer festivals, but also to my mini getaway in July. Don’t worry I still be posting shortly after I’m back. But this summer along the way, I am still searching for my next sweet vegan dessert place!! Stay tuned!!

As always, for the latest updates or to keep up with me on my foodie adventures, please follow me on Twitter @SweetBFoodie24 or Instagram @SweetBFoodie24.

Until next time, let’s get ready for summer filled with hot weather for foodie summer festivals, cool desserts, travelling and beaches & more!!

-Sweet B.

For more information on Niagara Vegfest and any of the vendors I mentioned, please see below:

Niagara Vegfest – Website -> click here

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

Rise Above Restaurant – Website -> click here

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

Beechwood Doughnuts – Website -> click here

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

Dolled Up Desserts – Website -> click here

You can follow her on Facebook @DolledUpDessertsBaking, Twitter @DolledUpBaking and Instagram @DolledUpDessertsBaking.

Fairly Frosted Bakery – Website -> click here

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

Sweet Teeth Food Truck – Website -> click here

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

Jewels by SJB – Website -> click here

You can follow her on Facebook @JewelsbySJB and Instagram @JewelsbySJB.

 

 

 

My Fave Sweet Summer Treats by Eva’s Original Chimney Cones

Hi everyone,

Can you believe it’s almost summer in just a few weeks while our Spring in Toronto has been pretty mild and lots of rain (maybe a bit too much rain as it been causing floods in some parts of Toronto, yikes, not a fan of rain) with a few hotter sunny days. As May is coming to an end, I always get excited around this time just before summer starts because summer for me means food festivals, beaches, watching live baseball or tennis and summer getaways. What does summer mean for you? What food are you excited to eat during summer??

I’m looking forward to this exciting summer as already lots to enjoy starting with a few food festivals in June and more to come this summer. I can’t wait to share them with you my sweet readers!! I’m ready for a fun and yummy summer! Are you??

RECAP:

As a quick update – there are some new changes in my life, I have decided to leave my Admin work and start fresh, needed a new beginning and looking forward to new opportunities as well as re-focus my energy and passion with my blog where I enjoy working and writing, capturing photos and more. It was a difficult decision, but I believe I made the right one to be in an environment where I am more happier and less stressed. I took a few weeks off in May to relax and unwind as some of you may have seen on my Instagram acct that I enjoyed a day trip to Niagara Falls and time for myself.

I’m still adjusting and hoping this will lead more blog posts for my readers to enjoy. My next city and food getaway is to London, Ontario (not London, England..lol…one day) next week and I’m excited to share this adventure with you all in another blog post in my Travel Review.

When you think of summer, what refreshing and sweet treat do you usually think of?? For me, I love cool and sweet treats like ice cream!!!! Now that I am having dairy free products, I am looking for alternatives such as dairy free ice creams and sorbets to enjoy in the summer.

I’m excited to share with you – Eva’s Original Chimney Cones treat which also offers vegan (dairy free) treats and I discovered Eva’s Original last year at one of the food festivals I attended. Ever since then, I’m always excited to have an Eva’s Original Chimney Cone at any festival.

Me having Eva’s Original Chimney Cone last summer

Eva’s Original Chimneys was first a food truck and within a couple of years grew into a successful business that early this year 2017, Eva opened her flagship store location on Bloor Street West in the Annex area of Toronto.

What is a Chimney Cone you might ask?? Well the owner, Eva was born and raised in Budapest, Hungary. Her creation and idea came from Hungary and they are unique, bread-like freshly baked Hungarian pastries, named after their hollow, cylindrical shape. They have a satisfying crunch on the outside and a delicious, light and fluffy dough on the inside. Their Chimney Cones are all sweet and they also make Chimney cakes that are sweet or savoury flavours.

Eva uses the best ingredients including organic and local wherever possible as they believe in serving simple and wholesome food. Their base dough is suitable for vegans and they also offer toppings that are suitable for vegans as well. The Chimney cakes and cones are baked fresh daily and right before your eyes in the store in their custom-made open rotisserie grill, they are baked dough and not fried.

My first visit to Eva’s Original flagship store was a few weeks ago, I was excited to enjoy a sweet Chimney Cone before the summer started and now that she had a store, I didn’t have to wait for a festival. Eva’s Original store is a cozy, friendly, welcoming and European style decorated bakeshop. You can smell the freshly baked cones being made in the store as you walked in. With the space they had, they utilized it pretty well and there are space at the back to enjoy your sweet treats as well. I enjoyed watching the bakers make the actual cones on site as well.

It was hard to choose which Chimney Cone I wanted as they had a variety of choices, which is great to make it suitable for different people. From savoury to sweet toppings and different cone choices as well. For those who want the vegan soft serve, it is only served at the flagship store. But during the festivals, they offered the vegan version as with no ice cream, but with the whipped cream instead (hoping that they still will continue this as last summer they did).

I ended up choosing the Thai Mango Sticky Rice with the golden glazed cone instead with a crispy coconut wafer on top though I think I was supposed to get the mango sliced instead. But I loved the chopped mango pieces inside, as some of you know I love any mango desserts so that is probably the reason why I picked that flavour. The only disappointing factor was I think the staff who served me forgot the mango drizzle, I was sad to miss that and only noticed it after I started eating it…☹  Otherwise, it was simply still delicious, loved the cone and this tropical dessert feels like it is summer time and at the beach!! Hoping next time I get that mango drizzle to enjoy!

If you stop by for an Eva’s Original Chimney Cone, come hungry as they are very filling, which is great!! Or they also offer a mini Chimney Cone if you aren’t up to the full size one. I love that there are 2 sizes!!

Whether you are a vegan (dairy free) or non-vegan, Eva’s Original Chimney Cone has a bit of every sweet dessert flavours and taste for everyone.

Why don’t you come stop by Eva’s Original Chimney Cone flagship store or find her food truck this summer during any of the food festivals her truck is at (on her website, see below) and see for yourself why I love Eva’s Chimney Cones sooooo much. You definitely won’t be disappointed!! I’m looking forward to getting my next Eva’s Original Chimney Cone again soon in the summer!

Cheers to a Sweet Chimney Cone Goodness delicious summer!! 🍦🍦🌞

I leave you here with the sweet Chimney Cone yummy dessert as I continue my search for the next delicious and vegan dessert hunt and looking forward to my 1st summer food festival coming up in June, looking forward to sharing my experience with my readers! So come on back next month and see what I been up to.

Don’t forget for all updates on my next blog post along with my foodie & travel adventures, follow me on Twitter @SweetBFoodie24 and Instagram @SweetBFoodie24 (will be trying out Instagram stories too), why not follow along my London, Ontario trip this coming week to see what yummy food I discover in a new city. 🍰 Until then….

-Sweet B.

For more information on Eva’s Original, please see below:

Eva’s Original: website – click here

Location: 454 Bloor Street West, Toronto, Ontario

(Please remember her flagship location – it is cashless)

For her Food Truck schedule – please find it on her website – here

You can also follow Eva’s Original on Facebook @originalchimneys, Twitter @ogchimneys, and Instagram @ogchimneys.

 

My Highlights from Taste of Toronto 2016

Hi everyone!

Welcome back to another of my tasty blog post, some of my posts this summer will be a bit delayed as it is a busy summer for me and with some changes with my other full time job, I been trying to balance work & blogging. I hope that my sweet readers will still continue to come back for more just be a bit patient, thank you all for understanding!

So let’s get to it with the summer weather is officially upon us with the heat & humidity, it finally feels like real summer! One of the things I love about summer is going to food festivals. One of my fave food festivals is Taste of Toronto, which always is my 1st food festival to kick off my summer months. I always enjoy going to my foodie events with none other than my mom, she loves attending these foodie festivals like me so I’m always happy for her to join me on this fun adventure. We have been going to Taste of Toronto every year together so this year was no different. This year the weather was perfect sunny & hot for this amazing tasty festival to go to for a weekend.

Me & my mom with our drinks from Palm Bay

This is my 3rd year going to Taste of Toronto and I had mixed reviews of attending because after checking out the menu online, I was uncertain about the tasty selection and foods this year.

If you are unfamiliar with Taste of Toronto, here is a quick review of it:

  • Dates: June 23 – 26, 2016
  • Location: Garrison Common At Fort York
  • Operates like a restaurant, offering afternoon and evening services. There are a total of six sessions running over the four day festival, with each session lasting between four and five hours
  • Its own currency system, known as “Crowns”. All restaurant dishes and any items that you wish to purchase from the artisan stalls can be bought with your Crown Card
  • Some activities to take part in from live cooking demonstrations, tastings, to hands-on cooking classes, producers market (one of my fave visit were to Ace Bakery booth & Pure Leaf booth), and much more

This year returning Chef Mark McEwan was back along with celebrity Chef, Chuck Hughes and new to Taste of Toronto are, Chef Rob Bragagnolo (Carver) and Jamie Kennedy (farm to table practices).

There were some really delicious dishes this year I tasted and I guess the only thing I was disappointed was the lack of desserts that were offered this year and for me being able to only have diary-free desserts, it was very limited this year though for me.

This year the menu options was slightly changed, they were still offering 4 dishes but the 4th dish was called “the dish”, which was either their signature dish or a speciality dish that the price was quite expensive to me depending on which vendor you went to, it varies in prices. As well this year the layout of the Taste of Toronto area was changed and different from other years. I am unsure if the layout change is good or not, I got a bit confused when I was walking around the area.

My Top 3 Fave Dishes This Year are:

  1. Roast Chicken Sandwich with Charred Lemon Aioli & Grilled Tomato Pesto by Carver (Chef Rob Bragagnolo), simply the best Roast Chicken sandwich I ever had!! It had the perfect flavour and herbs to make this an amazing sandwich! Carver did not disappoint at all! 
  2. Crispy Calamari Po-Boy with Ace Bakery charcoal bun and lemon caper aioli by The Mark McEwan Group, that one seemed to be everyone fave as the lineup for it was long, but totally worth the wait as despite not eating much seafood and not a fan fave of calamari, I was quite surprised how much I enjoyed it with the right amount of crispy and taste to it. Really enjoyed the charcoal bun too. I also had the honor of meeting Chef Mark McEwan that day too.                                                                                                                                                                                         Me & Chef Mark McEwan    
  3. Both Dishes by The Drake – True North Salmon Fried Rice with Salmon Roe, Drake XO Sauce & Pork and Shrimp Dumplings with Szuchuan Chili Jam, I couldn’t choose which one as every year The Drake delivers on their amazing food and this year was no difference, I simply love their light and fresh dishes with the salmon fried rice. Who doesn’t love dumplings, but they made their light and fresh with a bit of punch with the chili jam (I don’t eat much spicy food so it was sure to wake up your tastebuds).                              

My Fave Returning Dish:

  • Station Burger with milk bun, beet chutney and onion ring by my fave The Richmond Station of course! It was a must have when who else makes the best burgers then Richmond Station and they did no disappoint at all, it was freshly made and juicy. Simply delicious!

So that wraps up this year of my visit to Taste of Toronto 2016! I hope that you didn’t get too hungry with some of the delicious foods I enjoyed this year at Taste of Toronto, if you haven’t been to this food festival, I definitely suggest you come next year to enjoy these tasty foods to sample and enjoy. It definitely has something for everyone!

I look forward to next year Taste of Toronto 2017 to be better & for more delicious & new foods to sample and enjoy.

For now, I am off to search for my next foodie festival or new place to try to share with you all. So don’t forget to come back to read all about it, it might be something you want to try?

-Sweet B.

 

 

For more information on Taste of Toronto & the other vendors, please see below:

Taste of Toronto – Official Website -> check here

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

Carver Slow Roasted – Website -> click here

Address: 101 Peter St., Toronto, ON

You can follow them on Twitter @Carverslow & Instagram @Carver.to as well as Chef Rob Bragagnolo (Owner of Carver Slow) on Twitter @RobBragagnolo

The Mark McEwan Group – Website -> click here

You can follow them on Facebook @TheMarkMcEwanGroup & Instagram @TheMarkMcEwanGroup

As well as you can follow Chef Mark McEwan on Twitter @Chef_MarkMcEwan & Instagram @ChefMarkMcEwan.

The Drake – Website – click here

You can follow them on Facebook @TheDrakeHotel, Twitter @TheDrakeHotel & Instagram @TheDrakeHotel.

Richmond Station – Website – click here

You can follow them on Facebook @RichmondStation, Twitter @Richmondstn & Instagram @RichmondStation.

Ace Bakery – Website – click here

You can follow them on Facebook @ACEBakery, Twitter @ACE_Bakery & Instagram @AceBakery.

 

My New Fave Healthy & 100% Yummy Dessert Place: Nanashake

Hi everyone,

Welcoming everyone back to my sweet blog!! Did you all miss me?? 🙂 It’s been awhile since my last blog post and now I’m back sharing what I love to eat the most, which are my sweet desserts with you all.

With the weather finally warming up and starting to feel like Spring and soon summer, I was thinking what cool dessert would satisfy my sweet cravings during the warmer months in Toronto then my fave frozen yogurt. I love frozen yogurt and with my new dietary changes (please see my Sweet Update if you are wondering why), I have discovered a new healthy frozen yogurt dessert place called: Nanashake.

Nanashake is the first delicious vegan frozen dessert place in Toronto opened recently in March 2016, located in the North York area by the Sheppard subway station. It is at one of the retail stores within the newer condos. It is a small & hidden gem but a charming & friendly dessert place. Nanashake being a vegan dessert place, their Nanashake’s treats are all made plant-made ingredients. Everything in their store is made freshly everyday and they use all-natural components for their products.

They offer a variety of flavours for the frozen dessert such as: the Original, Chocolate Delight, Strawberry Funshine, Spiced Date, Rosey Pistachio, Minty Chocolate, and the Affogato. They also offer a more frozen dessert called: Nanapops, which is like a popsicle size dessert. I hope that they would explore & expand with their flavours for the frozen yogurt as I love more sweet fruity flavours such as mango or raspberry, etc.

I had to make a 2nd visit to Nanashake because the 1st time I went the flavor I wanted – Strawberry Funshine was sold out as it is one of their popular flavours. On my 2nd visit to Nanashake, I was again greeted by their friendly and knowledgeable staff. I took some time to speak with their staff and with my new dietary changes still learning more about non-diary products that it was interesting to learn more about. I love their friendly and warm atmosphere with their bright yellow concept in the store making it a fun and relaxing place to enjoy! I definitely love their theme with their monkey making it a fun dessert place!!

After finally trying the Strawberry Funshine, I absolutely loved it!! It is a combination of banana and strawberry flavours with nuts in it and you can’t even tell it is a vegan dessert as it tastes just as good as any other dessert I had. I also had a sample of the Original flavour which was surprisingly to me still very good as I normally love more fruity tastes with my desserts. I definitely found my new frozen yogurt dessert spot not just for the summer but year-round.

If you are looking for a healthy & delicious frozen yogurt dessert, look no further than Nanashake made with natural ingredients. Recently Nana Shake changed their store hours and is open longer hours from Tuesday – Sunday from 12-8pm. Perfect timing for the summer and for me too as I love stopping by a little bit later after work.

I am looking forward to coming back to Nanashake to enjoy more of my sweet & healthy yet delicious frozen yogurt dessert and seeing what new items will they bring to their shop.

So I’m off to the wonderful & Magical world of Disney next week for my vacation, for now I leave you with this sweet & cool dessert place to try! Let me know what you think of it, did you enjoy it as much as I did, please leave your comments below. Hopefully I will bring back some sweet & magical desserts to share with you my readers from my trip. Until then….

-Sweet B.

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For information on Nanashake, please see below:

Address: 4750 Yonge Street, Unit 134, North York, Ontario

Phone Number: 416-226-6262

Website: www.nanashake.com

You can also follow them on Twitter @thenanashake, Facebook @NanaShake & Instagram @thenanashake

 

A Sweet Update

A Sweet Update

(Dreaming of warmer & sunny days ahead for Summer

w/ this adorable Ice Cream Cookie frm Mad Batter Bakers)

Hi everyone,

I’m back!!! So sorry I haven’t posted a new blog post for awhile now! I know it’s been awhile since you guys, my readers have gotten their sweet craving fix of desserts & more! Don’t u all worry (a sigh of relieve lol!!) as I’m still here & still have more to share with everyone for my love of sweets and desserts.

So you might have been wondering what is going on with me since the last blog entry, well, I have experienced some health issues during the last month it is not something major, but a minor issue that I have to learn to adapt and change in my life. The minor issue is changing my diet because of certain food that my upsets my digestive system called: Food Sensitivity, which is what it is called. I’m still in the beginning stages, but I’m trying to be healthier and still finding a balance & the right changes to my dietary. But things are definitely better now.

All this is still new to me and I want you all to know that it doesn’t change my cravings for sweets as I have always had a sweet tooth. Lucky me I still can have certain or most sweets still and there are definitely alternatives to still enjoy desserts.

So with that said, been working on a new blog post and it will be posted by next week. May is a busy month for me as in 2 weeks I will be going to Florida this year for my yearly vacation. I usually have 1 big trip per year and a few getaways in between to destress & relax.

I hope to come back from my Florida trip with a sweet review for everyone as you all know I love discovering new dessert places esp when I’m travelling.

I’m looking forward to getting back on track with my sweet blog and giving you my readers something to look forward to this summer with new healthy or non-healthy desserts places and of course summer means outdoor fun food events as I already looking forward to attending a few!

Until then, I’m off with my new perception on a healthier, but still sweet adventure…

-Sweet B.

For more Information on Mad Batter Bakers:

Website: www.madbatterbakers.com

You can also find them on Instagram @madbatterbakers, Twitter @MadBatterBakers & Follow them on Facebook @Mad Batter Bakers.

Discovering The Best Charming Bakery on Niagara-on-the-Lake: Nina Gelateria & Pastry Shop

Hi everyone,

I’m back with another sweet update, sorry for the delay as it has been a busy summer for me!! Summer is a great time for me to explore and search for hidden or special places for a delicious sweet dessert.

One of my fave destinations to travel to during the summer time and even year round is Niagara Falls. I love the spectacular and beautiful view of the Falls and as well this magical city has so many attractions, variety of restaurants, and activities to do.

During my recent trip in August to Niagara Falls, I went exploring to the town of Niagara-on-the-Lake which is often described as the prettiest town in Ontario. I haven’t been to Niagara-on-the-Lake for many years despite how often I travel to Niagara Falls and thought since it was a beautiful sunny summer day that day, it would be great to go exploring this charming town.

A little history on Niagara-on-the-Lake is that it is the heart of Ontario’s wine region along with its upscale restaurants and elegant architecture. Niagara-on-the-Lake is home to the world class theatre the “Shaw Festival”, boutique shopping, glamorous hotels, cozy B&Bs, Charming Inns, farmers market, golf courses and historical sites like Fort George and Historical Society Museum. Only a few minutes from Niagara Falls, Niagara-on-the-Lake is a quaint location to get that true authentically ‘Niagara’ feel.

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As I was exploring the shops along the beautiful landscaped shopping district with many boutique shops, outdoor cafes, and fine dining restaurants, I discovered Nina Gelateria & Pastry Shop and was immediately drawn by how popular it was this quaint and welcoming pastry shop. The outside of the shop was the main focus that drew me in as it had an old-fashioned look. Nina Gelateria & Pastry Shop had a variety of desserts to choose from, but they are known for their European inspired pastries and their very popular authentic Italian gelatos made with the finest ingredients and without preservations. Since it was such a hot day out, the bakery shop was quite busy and popular, which means that the gelato here must be that good!! I was greeted as I entered in the store and immediately felt welcome at the shop. Despite that it was a bit busy, very friendly and great customer service by the staff.

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I ended up having some cool & delicious gelato as it was quite warm that day and I was still full from my late lunch that day too. I tried the Peach & Raspberry flavours and they were simply delicious esp. the peach as it was the Peach Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake and you can taste the actual freshness of the peaches flavour in it. There were other desserts too like crepes, tarts, parfait cups, and etc that I would love to come back to try some. This pastry shop also has drinks like coffee, juices, and lemonade.

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If you are visiting Niagara Falls and looking for an authentic and freshly made dessert place, please check out Nina Gelateria & Pastry Shop at Niagara-on-the-Lake, it will definitely be worth your trip! You will not be disappoint with the natural Italian gelatos and many sweet selection of European exceptional pastries to sample and enjoy along with this charming beautiful town to take in.

As the summer is winding down with the end of August approaching, there is always time to enjoy a sweet dessert anytime of the year! Niagara Falls is one of those travel destinations whether it is summer, fall or winter that with many fine dining restaurants, cafes, and diners that I love exploring this magnificent city for new dessert places.

So for now, I leave you from the beautiful and charming town of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario with sweet & fresh summery desserts into the Fall season where I will be searching for my next sweet adventure…

-Sweet B.

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For more information on Nina Gelateria & Pastry Shop, please check out their website:

www.ninagelateria.com

Address:

37 Queen Street, Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON

Phone #: 289.868.8852

Contact e-mail: info@ninagelateria.com

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