[Lifestyle] Grill and Cooking Sets by Urban Bonfire (Holiday Collection)

Urban Bonfire specializes in barbecues, grill accessories, kitchen tools and ingredients. All of their items are available for purchase online, and they ship everywhere in Canada. 

Looking through their catalog, the following gift sets caught my eye. 

The Sportsman ($369)

Seafood Lover ($229)
The Rib Master ($149)
During the holidays, Urban Bonfire has put together a great list of gift items including 15 sets at different price range, with a combination of tools, spices, accessories, grills and pans. These BBQ gift sets are perfect year-round, and perfect gifts for those who love to grill and barbecue.

For more information, check out http://urbanbonfire.com/.

b.good

The Boston-based fast casual restaurant opened its first Toronto location earlier this year, and their second one on Queen St. West opened last week. b.good prides themselves on serving healthier fast-casual food by using preservative-free, sustainable, and locally sourced ingredients. Given that their main message is "make fast-food “real” by making it the way it should be… by people not factories"; it's rightfully so that they use local ingredients. Their menu gears more toward the healthier side of fast-food, as they specialize in burgers & sandwiches, kale & grain bowls, hand-cut fries, and healthy drinks (shakes and smoothies). Located directly across from the St. Lawrence Market; the restaurant is open 7 days a week for dine-in, and take-out.




Their top sellers are the kale and grain bowls, of which there are five options on the menu. I opted for the popular spicy avocado & lime kale bowl - marinated kale (lemon, canola oil, Kosher salt), sauteed veggies (carrots, zucchini, green beans), avocado, black beans, corn, grape tomato, lime, cilantro, queso duro, chipotle puree, and red pepper vinaigrette. The kale bowl arrive packed with tons of nutritious veggies, and I also added a side order of chicken as I needed the protein. The bowl was very filling, and the spiciness of the chipotle puree enhanced the dish. 






Not only do they aim to offer the same quick service that you would find at fast-food restaurants, but they also want to provide the best, and freshest ingredients. In order to do so, they have partnered with many local growers, and farmers in Canada. In fact, their relationships with these farmers are so integral that they have become part of the b.good family. Information on the farmers, and producers are showcased all throughout the restaurant (online, in-store info book and walls), so they are very transparent about it.


b.good does not offer any carbonated drinks on their menu. Instead, customers have a variety of choices of healthy smoothies and milkshakes. I got the strawberry-banana smoothie - strawberries, bananas, honey, and Greek yogurt, which quenched my thirst.



Also on the menu is freshly made lemonade.





 They also have a reward program that offers free food rewards, as you gain points each visit. Upon joining, you are welcomed with a free order of hand-cut, oven-finished real fries. These baked fries are a healthier option, as they are baked instead of deep-fried. The fries are well-seasoned, and crispy right out of the oven. However, I do recommend that the fries be eaten right away, as it got soggier as it got colder.



Lastly, the b.good brand participates in a lot of local charitable initiatives. The Toronto b.good's charitable partner is Regent Park Community Food Centre (CFC). Regent Park Community Food Centre (CFC) is a local charity that helps to provide basic housing, clothing and food needs to those who reside within the Regent Park community. I think it's great that a portion of the sales from the Toronto location helps those in need. 

Overall, b.good is a solid option in the St. Lawrence Market area, especially if you're in the mood for some healthy fast-food options. It's great that customers can be rest assured that all of the food served here are locally-sourced from farmers in Canada. 

Address: 100 Front Street E, Toronto, ON M5A 1E1


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Disclaimer: The food provided in this post was complimentary. However, all of the opinions expressed in this review are of my own.


b.good Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

[Event] Krispy Kreme's #DayoftheDozens (Dec 12, 2015)

What is better than a dozen Original Glazed doughnuts from Krispy Kreme? How about another FREE dozen Original Glazed doughnuts to go with the first purchase? That's right, Krispy Kreme's popular Day of the Dozens (12-12) event is back, and occurring this Saturday, December 12, 2015 from open to close. Join in on the fun that day commemorating the Day of the Dozens event at any of the participating Krispy Kreme Canada locations. 


Ontario
Toronto (Downtown) – 164 McCaul St.
Toronto (Downtown) – 215 Harbord St.
Mississauga – 5920 Mavis Rd.

Quebec
Montreal (Greenfield Park) – 600 Auguste St.
Quebec City – 1560 LeBourgneuf Blvd.

Consumers are encouraged to show the following coupon (either print or show on phone) when purchasing in store on the 12th.


 The Day of the Dozens event first began on December 12, 2012, and has continued to be an annual event to this day. It's $9.75 a dozen, so the deal is super sweet! 

Additionally, I was gifted with two dozens donuts from Krispy Kreme yesterday, which I helped myself to a few. I can't really choose a favorite, as I thoroughly enjoyed both the Original Glazed, and Red Velvet donuts equally. I really liked the donuts from Krispy Kreme, as they are super soft, and sweet. Plus, the holiday season donuts are super cute, especially the Santa's belly one that is filled with chocolate, and dressed in red and chocolate icing.


 Day of the Doughnuts Event (held on Dec 2, 2015)


** All photography from the event are courtesy of Krispy Kreme & EGPR **

Disclaimer: The food provided in this post was complimentary. However, all of the opinions expressed in this review are of my own.


Krispy Kreme Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Flock Rotisserie + Greens

I was asked to test out a new delivery service earlier this summer called Favour. They gave me the option to order a meal from any restaurant in the Toronto downtown core. Naturally, I chose Flock, as I've heard a lot of good things about their food when they first opened. Flock Rotisserie + Greens offers rotisserie chicken, and greens, which are available for both casual dine-in or to-go in the Entertainment District. The restaurant opened its door earlier this summer, and the man behind the restaurant concept is The Harbord Room's Cory Vitiello. Since, Favour is a delivery service, I didn't get the chance to experience the take-out procedure to comment on it.

Clearly stated in their name so it shouldn't come as a shock; the restaurant menu is limited to rotisserie chicken, and green (salads). I opted for the classic chicken (halved) ($9.50) - naturally raised without hormones or antibiotics, and served with house Caribbean pepper sauce. I also got a side order of Rotisseries roasted sweet potatoes with chilli and lime salt ($4.50). The chicken was very well-portioned, and I thought that it was reasonably priced considering the location. However, I thought that the roasted sweet potatoes side was a tad pricy considering that you don't get that much. 


The chicken was marinated with a house blend of spices, and then roasted for a little over an hour. It looked a little dark on the outside, but the meat was moist and juicy. The chicken skin from Flock differs from other places that also serve rotisserie chicken, as it's not crispy, but that's intentional. Overall, what I liked most was that Flock uses fresh ingredients, and that the chicken they use are not raised with hormones, so they are not unnatural huge looking. They have a few salad options for those who are more healthy eaters, but you do have the option to add chicken to the dish as well.


Address: 330 Adelaide St W, Toronto, ON M5V 1R4

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Disclaimer: The food provided in this post was completely subsidized by Favour Toronto. However, all of the opinions expressed in this review are of my own.

Flock Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

[Recipe] Roast Chicken with Persimon®, Fennel and Olives

I was invited to participate in the Persimon® blogger recipe challenge last month, and chose to re-create their Roast Chicken with Persimon®, Fennel and Olives recipe. Persimon® are available in limited quantities from October to mid January at your local Metro, or Sobeys grocery stores. The Persimon® branded persimmon fruits are packaged in two kinds of cases so look for either the Bouquet or Mondo in Blu boxes. I found a case of Bouquet at my local Metro for $6.99, which is reasonably priced. Additionally, I love that they are ready to eat (ripe when firm), and that you don't have to wait until it ripens like other persimmons on the market. 

PERSIMON FACTSHEET:

Persimon® is grown in the Ribera del Xúquer Valley (Xúquer river valley) near Valencia in Spain.
The outer skin of a Persimon® from Ribera del Xúquer is shiny orange and is longer in shape than other varieties.
A Persimon® contains seven essential nutrients and is high in fibre (6 g per fruit, double the amount found in a peach, banana or orange).
A Persimon® from Ribera del Xúquer is firm and ready to eat (unlike other persimmon varieties which must be consumed when they are soft).
Has a sweet, delicate flavour similar to a peach or a mango.
The fruit sometimes speckled with natural sugar freckles, which appear as the fruit ripens (just like bananas). These freckles are a sign of extra sweetness.


RECIPE:

Persimon® persimmons are very versatile, and can used to make an array of dishes (whether sweet or savory). As noted by Persimon®, by adding Persimon®, fennel and olives to this classic roast chicken recipe, it gives a touch of Mediterranean flair to this delicious, home-comfort-food dish.


INGREDIENTS:

1 whole chicken (3-1/2 pounds, 1.75 kg), cut into 8 pieces and breasts halved crosswise
1 tbsp (15 ml) paprika
1 tsp (5 ml) salt
1/4 tsp (1 ml) pepper
2 tbsp (30 ml) parsley, chopped
1 Persimon®, topped and cut into 1/2-inch (1 cm) wedges
1 fennel bulb, topped and cut into 1/2 -inch (1 cm) wedges
1/2 cup (125 ml) cracked green olives, pitted and halved
1 tbsp (15 ml) olive oil
salt and pepper 
 
1) Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C).
2) Line a rimmed bake sheet with parchment paper. Place the chicken pieces in a large bowl. Add the paprika, salt and pepper and half of the parsley; toss to coat. Place the chicken, skin side down on the tray and bake for 20 minutes.
3) Place the Persimon® wedges, fennel, olives and remaining parsley in a separate bowl. Add olive oil, season with salt and pepper and toss to coat.
4) At the 20 minute mark turn the chicken pieces over. Add the Persimon®, fennel and olives to the bake sheet and bake for an additional 20 – 25 minutes, turning once halfway through. Cook until the fennel is browned and the chicken is cooked through. Serve with rice or salad.
5) Makes 6 servings




 


 

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Disclaimer: I was comped a gift card to Metro to purchase the ingredients to make the dish. However, all of the opinions expressed in this blog post are of my own.

MoRoCo Chocolat

I had the pleasure of attending a menu tasting at MoRoCo Chocolat to try their afternoon tea service and brunch a couple of weeks ago. MoRoCo Chocolat is a restaurant and chocolate boutique nestled in the affluent Yorkville neighborhood. Established in 2008, the restaurant offers a French inspired menu for lunch, dinner, weekend brunch, desserts and afternoon tea. As you walk into MoRoCo Chocolat, you are greeted by the bright chocolate boutique filled with various pastries, and treats such as hand-crafted chocolate, and macarons; all available to-go.



The interior of the restaurant area of MoRoCo Chocolat is heavily influenced by French decor, as the space is truly reminiscent of a Paris cafe. The subtle yet sophisticated details of the dark walls with the crystal chandeliers and mirrors blend both modern and traditional decor. It's also furnished with purple detailing, and velvet couches. Although, the couch was comfortable, it was unfortunately way too low for my comfort.



Looking through the menu, MoRoCo Chocolat offers an extensive menu of contemporary French bistro fare including two Parisian café staples; the croque monsieur, and croque madame. I had plenty of those two French dishes while in Paris, so I opted for the afternoon tea service instead.

J decided to get start the afternoon off with a warm cup of cappuccino ($7) - served with a macaron. I think it's great that each cup of beverage comes with a macaron on the side.



Missing Paris - I got us a pot of Breakfast in Paris (tea) to share as well - our tea master's version of a traditional breakfast blend. Created with smooth summit level black teas from three top growing regions. A full body with depth and refined balance. The tea was perfectly light, and tasted great with both milk, and sugar.





Next up was my choice of afternoon tea, which I opted for the MoRoCo High Tea ($60), which comes with the following:

Choice of a selection of our tea or sipping chocolate
Choice of truffle mac & cheese or daily quiche
Fresh MoRoCo scones served with devonshire cream, lemon curd, and an assortment of seasonal preservers
A variety of lovely mini pastries

Like most traditional afternoon tea, it's served on a three-tier stand. The first course is from the bottom tier, which consists of four finger sandwiches. If my memory serves me correctly, the sandwiches were cream cheese with cucumber, smoked salmon, avocado/mushroom, and L.T (lettuce/tomato). My favorite was the smoked salmon, as the creamy cream cheese was the perfect complement to the smoked salmon.




The middle tier was fresh MoRoCo scones served with Devonshire cream, lemon curd, and an assortment of seasonal to be used as a spread. It came with two large scones; classic, and chocolate. I really enjoyed the classic scone with the Devonshire cream - completely heavenly. On the other end, the chocolate scone was a little overly sweet for me, but if you love chocolate, then this scone is for you.





Finally, the top tier consisted of sweets including a passionfruit macaron from their front boutique. It was a great end to a lovely afternoon tea with the mister.
 




The afternoon tea also gives you the option to choose one of two savory items available, and I ended up choosing the truffle mac & cheese. The dish consisted of macaroni topped with crispy layers of cheese, truffle, and buttery panko. This was a tasty spin on the comfort food that is mac & cheese. Lastly, there's also a full-size version of this dish on their brunch menu.


J opted out of the afternoon tea, and ordered the Classic Benny ($15) - poached eggs with roasted peameal bacon, topped with hollandaise sauce, and our finest mixed cheese, served on an English muffin, and a side order of sausage ($6) off the brunch menu.

 


 

If you're looking for a place to chat over some tea, and pastries, then look no further. As one of Toronto's leading afternoon tea establishments; MoRoCo Chocolat has that to offer, and more. The staff were knowledgeable, and attentive to details. I wasn't able to finish my mac & cheese, so our server quickly packed it up to go for me, which I appreciated. I was all sugared out that day, but I will definitely be back to MoRoCo Chocolat to get a box of their colorful macarons.


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Disclaimer: The food provided in this post was complimentary. However, all of the opinions expressed in this review are of my own.

MoRoCo Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato