Kraft Dinner has always been there for me. From early memories to last week’s last-minute meal, KD has been a part of my life…but which brand reigns supreme? You’ll never guess.
I love Vietnamese food, but I don’t cook it very often. Last year, I made Bun Cha for the first time during the Around the World in 12 Plates challenge, but for the most part I was used to making regular pilgrimages to Toronto’s Chinatown for giant bowls of soup at Phở Hưng Restaurant! Now I am back in Newfoundland with few restaurant options for Vietnamese, so Vegetarian Vietnam by Cameron Stauch couldn’t have showed up at a better time! This cookbook changed my frame of mind, teaching me how to make Vietnamese staples and simplifying prep for weekday dinners.
Is there anything better than the smell of fresh-baked bread? A nostalgic bouquet familiar all over the world, spanning thousands of years warms the heart and makes you drool. Fogo Island Inn’s bread initiated my love for the place, and within hours I felt at home. When I started researching my stay at Fogo Island Inn, I found dozens of dazzling images of it’s behemoth exterior, the comfy beds (and the spectacular views from them), but there was one huge element lacking. What about the food? While the food at Fogo Island Inn remains an integral part of the experience, there are few Instagram pics and patrons reviews don’t discuss it a whole lot. So you’re in luck…
Visiting Ottawa in the winter might seem frigidly foolish, but it’s delicious! Small lines make hole-in-the-wall restaurants even cozier. From waffles and ramen to Spanish tapas, the restaurant scene is anything but cold.
This is not so much a gift guide as it is my personal wish list. After perusing Amazon’s Cyber Monday sales and dozens of blogger gift guide I decided to jot down a list of my deepest Christmas cravings. I’ve never done a gift guide before, but every year people ask me what I want (hint: don’t buy me another apron). Because I have such varied interests (like most people) I wanted to post a gift guide where there is something for everyone, in case you also have a traveling, pasta-obsessed, moonlighting archaeologist on your list.
For the constant wanderluster: An Airline Gift Card
It doesn’t matter if it’s West Jet or Air Canada, money towards an expensive flight to your dream destination is never a bad thing to receive. Just because you can’t buy someone a ticket to Paris doesn’t meant $50 towards that red-eye flight will go unappreciated!
Another treat? Lounge passes! Give the gift of a luxurious stress-free (and Champagne-fueled) wait in the airport.
For the eater: A Cooking Class
While cookbooks are always appreciated, why not give the gift of cooking for Christmas? I’ve taken several cooking classes while travelling, like Cooking with Poo in Bangkok, and I’m hooked! This Christmas, I’m coveting foraging lesson with Cod Sounds for the spring. This St. John’s based company has lots of cooking instruction from pasta making to learning the art of fermentation.
For the beloved imbiber: Tickets for a beer tour
If the apple of your eye loves a drink in the glass, why not get them tickets for a beer tour? My experience on St. John’s Beer Tours last summer was so awesome it’s on my list so I can go again! If you’re not based in Newfoundland, check out Beer Lovers’ Tour Company in Toronto or Vancouver Brewery Tours in B.C.
Not a fan of the suds? Check out the Urban Whiskey Trail Experience in Toronto.
For the cuisinier: A Benriner mandoline
Surprisingly I don’t own a mandoline even though I’ve been saying I needed one for a decade. The Benriner mandoline is perfect for the first-time mandolin owner as it’s inexpensive and of great quality (the company has been around since the 1940s). Just make sure you always use the guard, don’t be like those bleeding schmucks on MasterChef.
For the history nerd: A book about snacks
The history lover on your list will always be happy with the latest publications. As a food history nerd, I was really excited about the release of Janis Thiessen’s book Snacks: A Canadian Food History. It’s at the top of my list this year.
For the disaster packer:
I’m always on the hunt for the next great carryon, and while I’m lusting after Steamline Luggage’s The Artiste carryon, I have to recommend CabinZero bags to the new carryon traveller. The CabinZero bag I reviewed earlier this year is a great bag for learning how to pack carryon only — plus the British designed bags are super affordable ($100 CAD) and comes in a bajillion colours.
For the mixologist: Third Place
Newfoundland-based Third Place Cocktails is at the top of my list when it comes to making cocktails. They had a range of tonics to make any drink sing and they’re are taking pre-orders on their new line of shrubs so giving the gift of future imbibing is also a great idea!
For the spa snob: A luxe hotel stay
Spa certificates are nice, but want to do something twice as nice? Give someone a good night’s sleep. If you know someone is making a big trip in the next year, find the fanciest hotel in the city their going and give them a night of luxury. With tentative plans for a trip to England and Ireland next fall, I’m drooling over a night at the Henrietta Hotel. No travel plans for 2018? Even the gift of a night at a local hotel is a great idea for a quick urban escape — it’s fun to be a tourist in your own town sometimes.
Expedia’s hotel arm, Hotels.com also does gift cards if you’re not sure where the person on your list will travel.
This year marks the 41st edition of the Milk Calendar from the Dairy Farmers of Canada we’re featuring March’s Rustic Veggie Chili.
As a blogger, writer and food photographer, I’m constantly staring at screens. Whether it’s editing photos on my home computer, writing a blog post in an airport on my laptop or taking an Instagram photo at the hottest new restaurant, most of my day is spent inside the screen. (more…)