Discovering Collingwood Ontario

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This past spring  I spend a weekend bumming around Collingwood Ontario with my girls. With amazing craft beer, wine, and culinary delights, the weekend was better then we ever could have hoped for. Here are the highlights of our trail of eating, drinking, and relaxing.

Northwinds Brew House: A very small brewery in terms of production with a delicious restaurant to dine in.  My favorite part of the brewery component was how artistic Northwinds is with their bottle labels.  They have the original concept sketches framed on the wall representing where each table was born from.  I was disappointed that they have not made prints of the sketches to sell, I definitely would have purchased a couple.

The appetizers were my favourite part of the meal.  Delicious tempura asparagus with chili soy dipping sauce was a hit with the table.  A crispy deep fried treat that didn’t make us feel guilty because the batter was so light. Also for the table we ordered the beer pretzels which are made in house and served with cheese sauce and whole grain beer mustard.  The beer pretzels were served warm in a mason jar, the presentation stole my heart for sure.

As my main I ordered one of the specials of the night, striploin steak served with asparagus, garlic mashed potatoes (which i subbed for the house fries), and bernaise sauce.  The steak did not seem to be of the best quality as a bit chewier then I was used to, the asparagus and house fries were delicious.  The bernaise sauce as well was quite the nice accompaniment except it was a tad too salty which at times overwhelmed the dish.  My companions had one of the regular menu items, the chicken and waffles.  Buttermilk fried chicken served on jalapeño cheddar corn bread waffles and drizzled with local maple syrup that were an instant hit around the table.  Website HERE. Continue reading

Eataly, Chicago

Eataly encompassed

I first discovered what joy was to be found within Eataly while recently walking through the original North American location in New York City. Now That same joy can be found in Chicago. Eataly was founded and created by Oscar Farinetti, an Italian businessmen who got his start in Italy at UniEuro, originally a small appliance and food retail store that he turned into one of the largest electronics retailers in Italy. Oscars mission with Eataly is “to make high quality Italian foods available to everyone, at fair prices and in an environment where people can shop taste and learn”.

Eataly was brought to North America by two driving forces, both sides passionate about true Italian food. The first B&B Hospitality Group which is the collaboration of culinary greats Mario Batali, Joe Bastianich, and Lidia Matticchio Bastianich.  The other force being brothers Alex and Adam Saper whom through their discovery of Oscar’s Eatalys in Italy became passionate in their quest to bring it to North America.

All these amazing people have done something truly delightful by bringing the Italian marketplace experience right to the heart of North America. As mentioned previously Chicago is the second location with locations soon to open in Boston and Los Angeles along with a second location in New York. Future plans include introducing Eataly across more of North America and moving into South America as well. The concept has already been established in parts of Asia and the Middle East. Continue reading

Down the Rabbit Hole @ Fishs Eddy, New York

Fishs Eddy

Fishs Eddy is my favorite kitchen store in manhattan.  You will find a vast variety of dinnerware (new and vintage), glasses, serving items, linens etc.  It literally is like a rabbit hole that you will fall into and not want to leave for all the delights you find around each turn in the store.

With the current lead up to the Presidential election, it’s also the perfect place to find unique presidential themed items (with a side of sarcasm).

I promise you Fishs Eddy must be on your list of spots even just for a giggle.  Make sure you check out their adult art blocks as well, currently a growing obsession of mine.  (artist HERE)

Fishs Eddy Art Blocks

Check out the Fishs Eddy website HERE.

Making Your Restaurant Holiday Gathering Personal

Special Holiday DInner

While lots of us would love to host a holiday party at home every year with an abundance of appetizers, and goodie bags for our guests, let’s face it, it isn’t always possible.  This year I had too many time constraints and did not have the attention span to implement it the way I would want to.

Instead I picked a cozy restaurant that I felt was special and would have delicious food to make everyone happy.  I did not want it to just be like another dinner out though, I still wanted to feel like I was hosting and that the holidays were being celebrated.  Have no fear, this is still possible in a restaurant. Continue reading

Working Off Those Holiday Indulgences 

holiday-indulgenceI like to indulge as much as anyone over the holiday season.  Ok fine, let’s be real, I like to indulge any time of year. My personal weakness is Belgian made Neuhaus chocolates and feel the cravings increasing even as I write this.

It is important to remember though, especially this time of year, that our body needs us to do good things as well.
Check out these tips for helping manage that holiday weight gain.

Step one is to keep tabs on what you are doing to your body.  I have put a calorie counter app on my phone called  My Fitness Pal. This app allows me to enter my weight goal (including just maintenance) and body stats to determine what is a reasonable amount of calories that I can consume each day.  Now, I may not be following this religiously during the holidays, but it does help to make me accountable for how much extra I am eating and what are the wisest food choices.  Continue reading