CONTEST | Kick-Off Summer At Taste of Toronto

Taste of Toronto showcases the true flavours of the local food scene.

#TasteofToronto

Toronto is not new to the whole food-festival thing. The city is home to numerous festivals all year long. While some go off without a hitch and others are…not so great. Well – Taste of Toronto is def one of the good ones!

Now in its 13th year, Taste has rapidly grown to become part of the social season for foodies, restaurant-lovers, and chef groupies in 19 different cities around the globe.

Taste of Toronto

Each and every Taste festival all around the globe is heaven on earth for foodies. A combination of world-famous chefs, some of the cities top restaurants preparing their fave dishes, delicious cocktails paired with fabulous entertainment – all in a great outdoor setting (hello natural lighting making for the perfect Instagram shot) equals a guaranteed good time.

The four-day Taste of Toronto festival runs with six sessions (afternoon and evening) that are each around 4-5 hours. During that time, you can load up on your crowns and feast on your pick from over 50 restaurant dishes, check out the stalls for some goodies you may want to take home, and even participate in some interactive fun such as live cooking demonstrations.

Taste of Toronto

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CONTEST | Pizza Love At Queen Margherita Pizza

Queen Margherita Pizza – Authentic Neapolitan Wood Burning Pizzeria

Queen Margherita Pizza

So, here’s the thing. Since I’ve started making an effort to eat better and exercise more, I try to only allow myself one 24-hour cheat day per week. M does the same, which makes it a whole lot easier for me to stick to. Typically our 24-hour cheat day falls on Saturday, AKA – date night for JJ and M.

Needless to say, M and I always look forward to our Saturday date nights. Sure – we get to see each other and go out, which is awesome – obvs – he’s hilarious and simply the best, but…but…BUT – we also get to devour delicious food.

win-win

Once we decide where were heading for date night out of our ever-growing list of restaurants that we want to check out –  the anticipation builds daily. Seriously – not a week goes by where a text saying, “Is it Saturday yet?” isn’t sent between the two of us.

Our love for food is just one of the many things we have in common. I’m not going to lie, leading up to our date nights we usually end up drooling over the restaurants Instagram feed for days prior to Saturday night. LOL Don’t act like you haven’t done it yourself!

Anyways – such was the case this past week when we knew we were going to be heading to Queen Margherita Pizza.

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CONTEST | Enter To Win A $50 Dublin Calling Gift Card

Dublin Calling

While St. Patrick’s Day may have passed – that doesn’t mean the celebrating has to end! If you follow me on Twitter and Snapchat (awesomejennjenn) – you’ll likely remember my night of debauchery at the recent reopening of Dublin Calling.

If not, here is a video to refresh your memeory:

…feel free to laugh at my expense.

slushies

New Location, New Menu, Same Party!

Dublin Calling has moved to our new and improved location on 250 Adelaide Street West. Looking for a place to watch the game, play some darts, shoot pool or just a great place to hang out and share a pint? Bring you’re friends down and experience the party!

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Take The Stress Out Of Planning Date Nights – Let Foodism And Zomato Do All The Work

#TOMealsForAYear

When I mentioned the other day that I was jumping back into the craziness that is known as my life, I wasn’t kidding. No days off. No rest for the wicked motivated. Wednesday night was another good one – I headed out to The Good Son for an intimate dinner with Zomato and (the newly launched in Toronto) Foodism.

foodism

Zomato and Foodism brought out a small group of bloggers and foodies to share a delicious meal and head about how Foodism is coming about in Toronto, and what their next steps are.  Having launched in London, England – Foodism has made their way across the pond to Toronto and they are making a splash!

(see what I did there? pond…splash…get it?)

Anyways, you can sign up for a weekly newsletter with Foodism and every Wednesday you’ll get the best of the best in your email inbox. Everything food and drink in Toronto, coming straight from foodies mouths. It was said last night, at Foodism they are not food experts, they are food lovers – and they want to share that love with you.

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Out Of Bed And Back To Reality – Media Dinner At Green Eggplant

Green Eggplant

As you know, from my rants and rambles whilst on T3s – I have been practically bedridden for this past week or so. While my surgeon DID say to give myself two weeks of rest – I’ve forced myself back to reality because I’m a rebel like that.

*insert ‘…don’t act like you’re not impressed’ Anchorman joke*

While I could say my first foray into the real world was on Saturday for my niece’s birthday dinner/party…I actually bailed on that pretty quickly. A bunch of 10yr olds screaming and running around is NOT what the doctor ordered after having ear surgery. So…I gave myself a few more days of rest and relaxation, which really wasn’t rest and relaxation because I can only manage to get 3 hours of sleep a night, and I’m still in quite a bit of pain in the ear area…so…yeah.

jenn

But yesterday – I jumped back into the hecticness that we all know my life is and headed out for a media dinner at Green Eggplant with a bunch of other blogger friends. And it’s like Mother Nature knew I needed some beautiful weather so she graced us Torontonians with sunshine and mild temperatures. See photo proof in the above selfie.

Thanks, boo. 

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A Night For The Ladies With HiM Revolution

#HiMRevolution

HiM Promotions is back at it again with an all-new, hot and steamy show – and I’ve got a chance for you to catch it!

Did you know that Handsome International Men were selected to promote the theatrical release of Magic Mike XXL. HiM has been featured on CP24, BT Breakfast Television, Global Morning Show, and e-Talk.

Have you seen HiM? It’s time you did.

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What’s New With Ford Canada At The Canadian International Auto Show (CIAS)

CIAS

It may only be February, but 2016 has already been a whirlwind of a year for me…and I’m loving it! This past weekend was no different. I got to head back to the Canadian International Auto Show (CIAS).

I had visited the CIAS briefly on the media day before the show actually launched, but had to leave early to catch my flight to Quebec City. (You’ll read more about that trip soon!)

Ford Canada brought me out on the CIAS media day to learn more about the automaker’s advancements in safety, including Gorilla Glass. The team set up a hail bazooka shooting giant ice balls at your face, don’t worry – we were protected behind the Gorilla Glass! Though I will admit, it was terrifying standing there having giant ice balls shot at your face!

I’m sure you’re thinking to yourself, “What the heck does JennJenn know about cars?!” And that’s a fair question – because, I really don’t know much. But what I do know is that I throughly enjoy heading out on road trips, and more often than not – I like to drag my two young nieces along for the fun. So learning more about the safety features that different brands are implementing is important…because, I love those rugrats to bits! LOL

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Scot on Scotch – The Glengoyne Way

#ScotonScotch

The Glengoyne Way – “Our craftsmanship can be tasted in every bottle that leaves our distillery.”

A couple of weeks ago I was asked to invite a couple of whisky-loving friends out for a private, intimate dinner and whisky tasting with Neil Boyd, of Glengoyne.

Over the past couple of years I have been fortunate enough to attend many different whisky and scotch tastings, and have developed a taste for both. Being able to chat with, and learn from, different brand ambassadors has given me the ability to strengthen my palate and find what I like, and don’t like, about different whisky and scotchs. 

Glengoyne is filled with bold, complex flavours from the slowest stills in Scotland matured in only the finest sherry casks.

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CONTEST | Win A Romantic Valentine’s Day Dinner For Two At Brassaii Thanks To Zomato

#ZomatoValentines

T-minus 10 days until Valentine’s Day…but no pressure or anything!

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and if you have yet to make plans – don’t fret! I’ve partnered with Zomato to bring you a chance to win a romantic dinner for two (wine and cocktails included!) at Brassaii Restaurant and Lounge.

Brassaii Logo

Brassaii Restaurant and Lounge is Toronto’s sophisticated and cosmopolitan destination. Nestled amidst a romantic cobblestone courtyard patio, Brassaii elevates the finer dining experience by surrounding its guests in what can be described as architectural heritage integrated with modern trends of progressive, SOHO-inspired design innovations.

Brassaii

This past weekend I was lucky enough to have the chance to head out to Brassaii. I hadn’t been in years, and when I say years – I mean YEARS. I hadn’t been since before I moved to Las Vegas in 2010! So needless to say, I was excited to check out the restaurant and lounge, and see what changes they have made over the years.

…and changes they have made!

Brassaii

Brassaii‘s Mediterranean inspired menu is constantly changing to give their guests a new and exciting gustatory experience. Executive Chef, Marcus Monterio specially crafted the menu after travelling and working in 25 countries and 100 cities. 

Combing his fine-dining experience with his newfound knowledge and love of new-aged Mediterranean, Monteiro brings an uncompromised approach to Brassaii’s culinary vision and aims to elevate the menu beyond borders to highlight a vast variety of unexpected Mediterranean cultures.

I often go out to eat and am overwhelmed with options. Pages and pages of menu, leaving me confused and unsure what I should order. Brassaii keeps it simple, with a handful of appetizer and main course options to choose from. There is still a wide variety, so you’re sure to find something no matter how picky your palate may be!

Brassaii

To start, I chose the delicious and light, Arugula + Chicken pictured above. 

Arugula, grilled corn, turtle beans, goats cheese, crispy tortilla and lemon vinaigrette. 

Brassaii

I’m a pasta fiend, so when I see that freshly made pasta is being served, I will almost always order it…like I did at Brassaii when I ordered the Taglioni.

Three cheeses, fresh pasta, beef and veal meatballs, tomato sugo and fresh basil.

Brassaii

After our first and second courses were served, the table beside ours had already ordered dessert. Both Jo and I couldn’t take our eyes off of their dessert options! While the Dark Chocolate Mile High Shard Cake did look impressive, I opted for the Blue Moon Cheesecake. (Don’t worry, Jo got the chocoalte cake – so really, I had the chance to try both. LOL)

Lemon, gin and Crème de Violette with warm apple satellites.

Fun Fact: Pastry Chef, Mark Cheese actually baked for the Queen’s mum

Brassaii

Our dinner was nothing short of amazing, so my go-to restaurant app – Zomato – and I want to give YOU the chance to experience a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner for two at Brassaii!

As soon as you walk into Brassaii, you will be greeted with a custom cocktail made especially for the evening by Mixologist Extrodinare, Orlando. You’ll be swept away for a romantic, VIP Valentine’s Day dinner like no other, featuring a three-course dinner, with wine pairings for each course and ending the night with a bottle of Chandon Brut Classic Sparkling Wine to be enjoyed with dessert.

Valentine’s Day Set Menu

Course 1, with wine glass pairings
Option 1 (Salad): Quinoa and Arugula Salad – apple + goats cheese + dried cranberries + crispy quinoa + fresh pomegranate
Option 2 (Soup):  Roasted onion and Sherry soup with fried pickled onions

Course 2, with wine glass pairings
Option 1 (Vegetarian): Roasted red beet and reduced balsamic Risotto
Option 2 (Fish): Pan seared arctic char + fingerlings + sundried tomato + arugula + yellow pepper burre blanc
Option 3 (Meat): Grilled 6 oz AAA Tenderloin + mashed potato + roasted root vegetables + béarnaise sauce and a crispy horseradish garnish

Course 3, accompanied by a bottle of Chandon Brut Classic Sparkling Wine
Dessert: Strawberry Meringue, Dark Chocolate Seduction

(Value of the dinner is $250 before tax and grat)

Let me, Zomato, and Brassaii take the stress out of planning your Valentine’s Day dinner plans!

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Go Sports! Tailgate At Home (Homegate) For Super Bowl 50

#SB50

Sports, go sports!

In case you’ve been living under a rock, or just don’t follow sports – it’s Super Bowl weekend! And last week I was invited out to celebrate and learn how to host my very own #HOMEgating party at Rock Lobster.

Don’t know what #HOMEgating is? Neither did Ibut how do you say no to an invite that reads,

“Food and drink will of course be provided in Rock Lobster tailgating fashion!”

The answer is – you don’t. 

#SB50

So, I put on my most festive Super Bowl gear (just kidding, I was in a skirt and boots LOL), and headed out to Rock Lobster.

While there, I got to chat with some of the NFL Canada team, (shout out to Daryl for hooking me up with an awesome Super Bowl 50 cap – #selfie to come!) and they told us they wanted to change the way viewers watched the game.

#SB50

While tailgating at games is apparently a blast – often people are watching the games at home, with friends and family. So many people create and build on these traditions, watching the games every Sunday (or Monday, or whatever other night it comes on…Thursday too, I think) – so NFL and NFL Canada decided to partner with Chef Matt Dean Pettit to create some delicious recipes that can easily be made right at home.

And just like that, #HOMEgating was born!

Superbowl 50 Cheeseboard

The night was filled with delicious food, fun games (I threw a football for the first time in my life, and didn’t make too much of an embarrassment of myself! *self high five*) and great company.

Just like any #HOMEgating party should be, right?

Chef Matt Dean Pettit put together an awesome menu of Super Bowl recipes including a West Coast Crab Dip made with Dungeness crabs and served in a breadbowl made to look like a football (how clever!) and even a Football Ham with which you can literally…toss the pig skin!

I’m so PUNNY.

While those recipes were delicious in their own right – the two standouts from the night were the Canuck Chili and the Golden Drumsticks.

Y’all know how much I love me some chicken wings, and while these drumsticks aren’t wings, per se…they were just as good!

Superbowl 50 Golden Drumsticks

photo credit: goatrotichronicles

50 GOLDEN DRUMSTICKS RECIPE – via NFL.com

Chicken wings are fun but for Super Bowl 50 let’s bring the MEAT! You’ll need thick delicious chicken drumsticks for the perfect #HOMEgating party! I love my chicken wings so it makes sense on the big day to make 50 of them!

50 chicken drumsticks
1/2 cup light soy sauce
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper 2 cups unsalted butter, melted

2 cups hot sauce (choose your favourite) Preheat oven to 425°F.

Rinse chicken drumsticks under water, and pat dry using paper towels.

In a large roasting pan, lay the drumsticks flat and evenly pour across the soy sauce, and sprinkle the brown sugar and black pepper. Using your hands, toss the drumsticks to fully cover them in the marinade mixture. Cover the pan with tin foil. Place pan in the fridge for 30 minutes to allow flavours to combine.

On two large baking sheets, divide the chicken drumsticks, laying them side by side. Place one sheet on the top rack and second sheet on the bottom rack in the oven. Bake for 25 minutes.

Meanwhile in a small bowl, combine the melted butter and hot sauce. Set aside until needed.

Remove the drumsticks from the oven, and turn each of them over. Baste them with the butter and hot sauce mixture. Reserve the remaining butter and hot sauce mixture. Place the drumsticks back in the oven and bake for another 20 minutes.

Remove the drumsticks from the oven, and toss them in the butter and hot sauce mixture. Eat and watch the Big Game!

Looking for more recipe ideas for your very own #homegating party (or just any day really)? Check out Matt’s 5 Easy Recipes For Your Super Bowl 50 Party HERE

Superbowl 50

Don’t forget to add me on Snapchat for more behind the scenes of the debauchery that is my life – find me: awesomejennjenn

#SB50

#SB50