Adams 100% Natural Peanut Butter – Granola Recipe

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Peanut Butter is a lifelong love of mine. As a child, it was my go-to breakfast: 2 peanut butter toasts accompanied by either jam, brown sugar (yes, I went through a pb & melted brown sugar phase as a teen), homemade caramel or banana and honey. It was also my go-to snack after dancing, karate class or the swim team. I would sneak into my mom’s cupboard and grab a spoonful (or two!).

Today, peanut butter is STILL one of my go-to breakfast favorites and spoonfuls of pb have remained a favorite of mine before or after running or working out. Having been a vegetarian for close to 13 years now, peanut butter has been an important source of protein and energy for me.

When I turned 30 this year, I made a conscious decision to adopt the healthiest and cleanest lifestyle possible. I’m therefore a lot more careful with what I put on and in my body and eating as clean, natural and organic as possible. I also cook as much as possible, making most meals from scratch and also adopting a regular fitness regimen (running, NTC classes, biking, surfing, etc.).

I recently discovered Adams 100% Natural Peanut Butter, on one of my trips and immediately added the brand to my cupboard. I love this peanut butter because it has no trans fats, no preservatives, no hydrogenated fats, no stabilizers and no added sugar! They offer a creamy and also crunchy variety so you can switch it up depending on your mood. Plus it’s all natural, which is AWESOME!

These days, some of the favorite things I love to make with peanut butter are stacked rice cakes for breakfast, peanut butter banana smoothies, sauteed tofu, muffins, etc. I’m excited to share with you on the blog today, my favorite recipe to make with Adams Natural Peanut Butter – it’s Homemade Peanut Butter Granola! It’s a super simple recipe that you can make with just a few ingredients in only a couple of minutes. It goes perfectly with fruit and yogurt or even just plain milk in the morning or as a snack.

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What you’ll need:

2 tbsp. of Adams 100% Natural Peanut Butter
2 tbsp. of honey
1/4 tsp. of cinnamon
1/4 tsp. of maple syrup
1 cup of oats

How to make it:

Preheat oven at 325F degrees. Grease cookie sheet with coconut oil. Combine Adams 100% Natural Peanut Butter and honey in a bowl and heat up (either stovetop or microwave) until the peanut butter melts. Stir. 

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Stir in the cinnamon and vanilla into peanut butter and honey mixture. Add oats and stir until the oats are entirely covered by the mixture. Spread the mixture onto the cookie sheet and bake for 7-8 minutes or until the granola is slightly browned. Let it cool until the granola is crunchy.

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Enjoy!

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What are some of your favorite peanut butter recipes? #AdamsPB #NaturalUpside

If you’re in Toronto next weekend, make sure you stop by the Adams 100% Natural Peanut Butter booth at the Green Living Show on Saturday March 28th between 1-3pm. I’ll be there to talk fitness, balanced eating, etc. We can even exchange peanut butter recipes in person if you’d like! 😀 Come say hi!

5 Food Discoveries in New York City

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Looking for new spots to check out next time you travel to New York City? I’ve got you covered! In such a big food city like NYC it’s hard to only pick five, but here are some of my latest favorites!

1) Chalk Point Kitchen. One of the newest restaurants that I discovered upon my last trip to NYC. I was immediately attracted to this place for two main reasons a) they’re all about supporting the local farming and food community and b) they’re very social media savvy! I was welcomed with a super cute personalized card on the table. I loved their farm and barn-inspired interior. Everything that we ordered tasted incredibly yummy and FRESH! They also have lot’s of amazing vegetarian options. You can pay them a visit for brunch and dinner, they’re located in Lower Manhattan. Make sure you also check out their ultra cool bar just underneath them called The Handy Liquor Bar, love the old library and speakeasy vibe they’ve got going on.

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2) Doughnut Plant. If you’re a doughnut fanatic like I am, you have to stop by the Doughnut Plant in NYC. There are two main locations on the island: one close to the Williamsburg bridge entrance and another in Chelsea. Whatever area you’re staying in, it’s definitely worth the trek to get these handcrafted gourmet doughnuts. They make their doughnuts every day from fresh seasonal fruits and ingredients (organic if possible), they’re all natural, all of their jams are made in-house plus they don’t contain any eggs, trans fats, artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. You’ll want to try their signature Jelly-Filled Square Doughnut, I had their peanut butter and jelly doughnut and it was hands down the best doughnut I’ve ever tasted (and I’m starting to be quite the doughnut pro)! If you’re on the go, you can always download their app, so that you are sure to find a doughnut near you!

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3) Le Pain Quotidien. My favorite spot for breakfast, brunch or lunch when in the city. I love their seasonal and organic menu. This place has such a European feel to it, with the big communal tables, their jams, pastries, etc. It’s really homey spot that makes your dining experience really fun and relaxed. I’m a huge fan of their avocado on toast for lunch, their quiches and fresh salads. For breakfast, I love having their organic granola (they also have a Gluten Free option for those in need) as well as their chia seed pudding! The portions are the perfect size so you’re never left feeling too stuffed!

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4) Baked by Melissa. By far the cutest cupcake place in NYC. Melissa’s little cupcake shops are located all around Manhattan. I stopped by the one right by Central Park and Columbus Circle. She opened up her first shop in Soho in 2009. In her store you’ll find more than a dozen different kinds of bite-size cupcakes. I decided to try a box of three, my favorite being the peanut butter & jelly (are you noticing a theme yet on this blog? I have a thing for pb&j!).

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5) The Grill at La Piscine / SNOB. Located in the heart of Chelsea, this summer rooftop pool and restaurant or winter lounge will give you one of the best views of Manhattan. In the summer, they have an amazing outdoor grill where they serve Mediterranean specialties and in the winter, you can relax in their comfy sofas and dreamy lit lounge. Located in the Hotel Americano, this is one of my new favorite hotspots to hang out in. A perfect place for drinks after work or weekend outing!

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5 Food Discoveries in San Francisco

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Writing a food blog while hungry is a little dangerous, especially if you’re blogging about a big food city like San Francisco. What I discovered during this past trip is that San Francisco really has a great food scene. With the big mix of cultures in the city, you’re bound to find some AMAZING spots to eat. Here are the five places I loved most when I traveled to San Francisco this summer:

1) Foreign Cinema. The perfect location for a date. Movies and food? What more could you want? I really enjoyed the sophisticated yet laid back atmosphere there. The restaurant, located in Mission, serves high-end Californian and Mediterranean inspired dishes. The outdoor patio is super romantic with all the little lights strewn across the entire space. Foreign Cinema is also a local brunch hotspot. They serve great charcuterie and cheese boards as well as really tasty mains.

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2) Tacolicious. If you’re into Mexican food and have a thing for tacos, you HAVE to stop by Tacolicious on Valencia Street in Mission. You can also find them in Palo Alto, North Beach and at the Marina. Finding a table at this joint is almost impossible if you show up any later than 5pm. So either show up early or order some appetizers at the bar and wait to be seated. I see Tacolicious as SF’s version of Grand Electric in Toronto but with even more Mexican authenticity, which is awesome! The best thing about Tacolicious is all the different FLAVORS! Everything tastes incredibly authentic, spicy and is so delicious. I definitely recommend trying the plate of 4 tacos for $16, that way you get to taste a variety of flavors. They also have great snacks and yes, DESSERTS!

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3) Dynamo Donut + Coffee. I couldn’t blog about food in SF without mentioning this place. This small joint is located in Mission and there’s another spot at the Marina. People line up every morning starting at 7am to make sure they grab some fresh donuts and coffee. The spot in Mission has a great back patio, where you can enjoy your oh-so delicious donut in a peaceful environment! All of their donuts are made from scratch by hand in-house with REAL ingredients. All of their donuts are made from seasonal, local and organic ingredients. Their donuts aren’t too greasy or big so you can definitely try more than one 😉 I honestly had to stop myself from eating too many.

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4) La Méditerranée.  Located in Noe and Fillmore, this yummy Middle-Eastern and Mediterranean restaurant is the perfect place for quick and fresh lunch or dinner. I love trying out new dishes and flavors, especially when they come from an area of the world I’m not as familiar with. I love being surprised by spices, textures and overall dish presentation. This restaurant did just that. It was all incredibly filling and tasty. A tip: try getting some sharing plates, that way you’ll be able to taste a lot of their different specialties. The restaurant also offers a lot of vegetarian-friendly options (see below!).

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5) Craftsman & Wolves. If you’re looking for the cutest pastries, a good coffee or some tasty snacks, you have to check out the ultra hype Craftsman & Wolves located on Valencia Street. Their specialty tarts, croissants, scones and cube cakes are all ridiculous (I mean SO GOOD!). They’ve also got a selection of sandwiches for lunch and also serve wine and beer.

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What are some of your favorite spots to eat when in San Francisco?

The Tempered Room

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A cute new patisserie opened up in Parkdale recently called The Tempered Room. Located on Queen West, this hip new spot is incredibly cute and homey. The owner and chef Bertrand Alépée, is from France and has brought lot’s of his home country to this little café. At the Tempered Room, you’ll find freshly baked croissants (that taste like France and that are way cheaper than Nadège!), croque-monsieurs, chouquettes, baguettes, flans, etc.

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The space is well designed, you can either sit with you computer on a stool at one of their individual tables or at the big table in the front or even right by the windows. They have complimentary wifi for their clients and always have a killer music playlist. Their staff is also very friendly.

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The flavors of the food he presents is very similar to what you would find in France, which warms my heart and makes my mouth water. It’s so rare to find baked goods that really remind me of France in Toronto. The place seems to be pleasing locals as it’s been busy since they’ve opened. They plan on expanding their food menu come winter and are also working on developing special wine, pastry and dinner events in the future. J’ai hâte!

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Photos by @Offner

Adidas Women’s SL Loop Runner Shoes

 Zara Biker Jacket with zips

Anine Bing Double Zipper Jeans – Light Grey (get them here)

Anine Bing Crewneck Knitted Sweater In Snow Melange (get it here)

The 10th Tribe beanie 

Bear Necklace from Three Fates

5 Food Discoveries in Los Angeles

Here’s the first of a series of blogs I’ll be posting on my recent trip to Los Angeles. The theme for this blog is FOOD! If you’ve ever traveled to Los Angeles before, you know that there are always new restaurants opening up in every part of the city. One of the things I love most about traveling is trying out new restaurants everywhere I go. I’ve been vegetarian for over 12 years now and contrary to what most people think, I can eat just about everywhere (especially when traveling to California, where there are so many vegetarian-friendly dishes on all the menus!). I’d definitely say I’m an epicurean vegetarian! Here are 5 food discoveries I made while in LA earlier this month:

1) Fōnuts. Yes, there’s no typo here, fōnuts and not donuts. Fōnuts are donuts but better! Here’s why: they’re not fried, they are baked and/or steamed and come in so many incredible flavors, many of which are gluten-free and vegan. I first heard of fōnuts through Instagram and have been obsessively following their feed for the last couple of months, promising myself I’d check them out next time in LA. And that I did… not only once… or even twice, but three times! And boy was I not disappointed. I’d say, I became mildly obsessed with their baked goods while I was there. The thing I love most about them is that they use fresh and natural ingredients in every fōnut and they are made in-house daily. I love the “cake-like” taste & texture and the clever combination of flavors. They’re also not too filling as a result of not being fried and have a very different texture. Hands down my two favorites were the “Blueberry Earl Grey” and “Peanut Butter Chocolate“. A must if you’re in the Hollywood area. They’re located on West 3rd street, just at the corner of S. Crescent Heights Blvd.

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2) Gracias Madre. I had been meaning to go to Gracias Madre last summer and then on my trips since but each time, I ended up somewhere else. Gracias Madre’s is all about serving local, organic and vegan food. Three key words that totally attracted my attention when I had first heard of this amazing restaurant. Added bonus: it’s all Mexican food!! But not any kind of Mexican food, Mexican food done with a modern and clever twist. All of the food we ate at Gracias Madre was so incredibly fresh and flavourful! It was just the right amount of spice and all the dishes were very well balanced. The drinks were also so incredibly tasty. I highly recommend sharing a bunch of plates. My favorite appetizer: “Gorditas“, which are potato cakes accompanied by avocado and cashew cream. My favorite main: “El Plato” a dish with butternut squash, cashew cheese and chorizo mushrooms. My favorite dessert: their incredibly yummy “Fudge Brownie” made with salted mezcal caramel. One of the best parts about eating at Gracias Madre, was being on their incredibly beautiful outdoor terrace. It’s decorated with an outdoor fire place, beautiful lights, lanterns and is in the middle of trees and plants. Super romantic! You can make reservations through OpenTable, just make sure you reserve a little while in advance, the place is always busy.

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3) Sqirl. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten a better brunch than the one I ate at Sqirl. Sqirl is a small cafe located in the Los Feliz area of LA. It’s packed with young hipsters, businessmen, actors, etc. who all come for their morning coffee, meetings or to just enjoy the incredible food their serve there. They’ve got a few seats inside but also have a great little alcove on the side of their restaurant with a bunch of chairs and tables. What makes Sqirl awesome is not only that everything is made from scratch in-house, including their jams, their almond milk, their hot sauce, etc., it’s also more than just a little cafe. They have an extensive breakfast/brunch and lunch menu that they make fresh in front of your eyes. Everything I tasted there was absolutely to die for! Things you NEED to try when you go to Sqirl: their vanilla bean lemonade, unreal! Also their open faced brioche with kale, tomatillo puree and fried egg. And finally for “dessert” their brioche with homemade jam and freshly milled almond hazelnut butter, WHA?! Take me back now!!

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4) Fig & Olive. A discovery that Offner made while looking for new restaurants to check out in LA. The restaurant has definitely become a city hotspot over the last little while. Located on Melrose Place in West Hollywood, Fig & Olive is a beautiful and classy restaurant. The decoration is sophisticated and so are the people that eat there (or they at least seem to be!). They’ve got a great selection of wine and an interesting choice of plates for dinner. Though a little bit more on the pricier side, the food is delicious, tasty and worth dishing out the extra cash. The fish “Paella del mar” seems to be a favorite among customers, including Offner himself. The thing that I also loved, was their incredibly well presented desert. Good times!

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5) Commissary. You’ll find this little oasis at The Line Hotel, located in Koreatown. The Line Hotel has only been open since the beginning of 2014 and is already attracting people from all over the world and incredibly hype (I will tell you more about the hotel itself on another upcoming blog!). Commissary is located in a greenhouse and is open to the public for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Their entire menu revolves around fruits and vegetables. Though not exclusively a vegetarian restaurant, there are definitely many veggie-friendly dishes. You can either sit at the bar or at one of their beautifully presented tables. The drink menu is original and savoury and so is the food. Another thing that’s super unique about this place, their menu contains no words, just pictures! A clever idea by the one and only chef Roy Choi (founder of the LA Kogi food truck!)! Yup! He’s the one responsible for the remarkably creative menu & space. Totally worth checking out!

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Radio Boka

I just got back from my whirlwind of a trip two days ago (stay tuned for some upcoming travel blogs – Italy, Greece & San Francisco!!) and I’m already missing Europe! I miss it’s amazing wine, food & people of course. I was thus very excited to have been invited by the iYellow Wine Club in Toronto to the launch of the brand new Spanish Tempranillo wine called Radio Boka. It’s not a trip back to Europe, but it made me feel like I was still there for a split second! And who says wine tasting, also says cheese, so I was well served!

It was cool to firstly discover iYellow’s great space in downtown Toronto. They’re up to some really great things; organizing wine events and tastings for people across the city of Toronto. They also represent a handful of really great wine brands from all over the world. If you’d love to know more about wine culture and want to build up your wine knowledge, I highly recommend checking them out.

It was great to taste a brand new label of wine, which will soon be available at the LCBO. Radio Boka is from Valencia and offers a red, white and rosé wine, all three priced around the $10 mark. It has a cool “newschool” label design, something that can definitely appeal to the 18-35 year-olds. It was lovely to have the wine producer from Spain be on hand at the event to talk to everyone about his product, his winery, etc.

If you’re looking for wine to share with friends this summer around a BBQ, a dinner or to bring to a party, Radio Boka could be a new alternative!

Salud!

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California Wine Fair

If you’re always on the lookout for the hottest new wines or an avid wine fan, the California Wine Fair is where you wanted to be last night! Many of California’s wineries are currently in the midst of their 35th annual wine fair tour across the country. Yesterday, 450 wines from the state of California were being presented at the Fairmont Royal York in Toronto. This was the wine fair’s fourth stop this year. Several hundreds of people came out to sip wine, meet folks and chow down on yummy appetizers.

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We were all given a map, a fair guide and pencils to mark down our favorite and not so favorite wines of the evening. Though I’m in no way the biggest wine “connaisseur”, I’ve really developed a lot more wine knowledge in the past year and a half, thanks to travels and also Offner, who had sold wine back in the day in France. Honestly, after tasting a dozen wines, it became a lot harder to differentiate all the smells and tastes.

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There was an all-around great vibe at the fair last night. Offner and I had fun looking at different wine names and labels, looking for the ones that stood out the most. I particularly enjoyed this rad label taken from a poster found in Nashville and transformed into a wine label by the Three Thieves called “The Show”. I also really enjoyed hearing about the history and location of each winery, their vines and products.

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If you’re on the west coast, fear not, the tour will be coming to Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton at the end of April. Same goes for the east coast, the tour will be in Moncton and Halifax at the beginning of May.

Last night got me even more excited about my upcoming Napa Valley winery tour this summer! Great times!

 

 

A Little Lux

Spent a fun evening at Spin last night, Toronto’s hip ping pong club with the Fresita Canada (Chilian sparkling wine with fresh strawberries?! Yum!) crew for their A Little Lux girls night. I was lucky to be joined by two of my best gals for the eve. To recap the evening in three words: Ping Pong x Wine x Girlfriends!

HAILO graciously shuttled everyone to and from the event. Though I had downloaded the app a while ago and heard lot’s about HAILO, it was my first time actually using their cab service. Honestly, I was so impressed by the system! Not only did my cab to and from the event come pick me up within 1 minute, it’s also hassle-free! Since everything automatically passes through your credit card, there’s no printing out receipts, faulty interact machines, angry cab drivers, change, any of that stuff. A receipt from your trip gets emailed right to you within minutes of your trip. Really impressed with this system!

I was really excited to be back at Spin. I shot one of my shows there last year and have also had the opportunity to visit some of their other locations such as their first club in NYC as well as their club at the Standard Hotel in downtown LA.

Fresita welcomed my girlfriends and I with a bunch of yummy snacks (hello cheese!) and drinks. We got a bit of time to warm up before the night’s event.

During the night,  they were holding a ping pong round the table tournament. I had participated in it before in NYC but had never gotten really far. Playing ping pong always brings me back to my childhood. As a kid, I played ping pong after family dinners almost every weekend at my grandma’s house. She had bought a new ping pong table in her basement for our enjoyment. Though my ping pong skills are less than acceptable, playing is always a good time!

I got a bit of practice time in at the beginning of the evening but I don’t think I’ll be taking up a career in ping pong any time soon! I was terrible at the round the table. That said, with great tunes, a little wine and some of my best gals, it was hard not to have a great time!

Thanks to everyone for having us! I’ll be back soon!!

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Geraldine

Last Friday, Offner and I tried a fantastic new restaurant in Parkdale called Geraldine. We had walked by the place a few times during the last couple of months and it always seemed to be closed but we had loved the black and white floor tile that gave the place a very French bistro look.

Reservations for Geraldine were easy to make through their website. We got a beautiful table at the back of the restaurant close to their upright piano. The piano was beautifully lit with candles, which illuminated all the artwork at the back of the restaurant. I loved the way all the round tables were placed right by the wall, every couple sat almost next to each other instead of facing each other. It was very intimate and romantic. All of the tables were decorated with simple white cloths and adorned with lovely vintage silverware and antique dinnerware. All the plates were floral, some even had gold trim, which gave the restaurant a very classy look. The marble bar was extremely classy. I also loved their vintage fresh seafood display at the back of the bar. photo 1 (37)

All of the restaurant’s staff were dressed in prohibition era garments. The men all wore suspenders, high-waisted pants, short and slicked back hair. The men looked like they were straight out of an episode of Boardwalk Empire. It went perfectly with the big band, jazzy music they were playing and the overall look of the place.

Geraldine had a lovely drink menu called “Libations” all made by the restaurant’s Mr. Mooney. All of the drinks we had were interesting and unique and seemed to have quite a lot of thought put into them.

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The entire menu looked super tasty! Lot’s of French-inspired dishes. They also had a separate menu to order fresh seafood. Offner ordered the seared duck breast and I went for the lentil salad with mushroom and tapenade plus the cheese board. The portions were small but everything was cooked to perfection and perfectly seasoned. Though a little pricey, it was well worth it! We capped off our dinner with a little digestif and tea for myself!

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All in all, it was a beautiful and romantic experience. I definitely consider Geraldine one of my new favorite restaurants in Parkdale. We’ll definitely be back! Geraldine is also having a special until the end of the month, they are serving wine bottles at half the price on Tuesdays. So make a stop on Tuesday night January 28th to enjoy some great wine for cheap!

 

Twenty Valley Winter WineFest

This weekend the Twenty Valley Winter WineFest was being held in the Niagara region, one of many wine-related activities happening in the area this month. It’s an absolutely fabulous month for fans of wine, food, cheese and the speciality of the season: Icewine!

I was really excited to make it down to Jordan Village, located just an hour away from Toronto. This quaint little village in the Niagara region is super easy to get to. Though the temperature wasn’t ideal (it rained most of the day!), everyone had big smiles on and were excited to be there. Not only was it free admission but the event also had free parking for everyone and a shuttle service going from to and from the event.

I received a very warm welcome from organizers when I arrived. I was given a beautiful wine glass for all of my tastings as well as some tokens for food and wine. The event was very well set up: there was a tent for their cooking demos (Chuck Hughes from Chuck’s Day Off and Danny Smiles from Top Chef Canada!!) as well as a tent for all the wine and food sampling. They also had a bunch of food trucks (yay!) parked on the main street, a few vendor tents as well as a big main stage in the middle of the street where would be held all the live entertainment.

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I started my day by watching the welcome presentation on stage, which was immediately followed by a cute fashion show of local retailers. I loved the fact that everyone was all about promoting the shops around the area.

Not long after, the cooking demo featuring chef Danny Smiles began. Being a fan of Top Chef and all of The Food Network shows, I was stoked to see his presentation. He was super friendly and funny, he made everyone laugh and have a good time during his 1 hr demo. He was also gracious enough to pose for photos with fans before and after his demo.

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I then headed into the main tent to use some of my tokens (tokens could be bought for $3.25 each and could be used during the entire weekend to claim food or wine samples). Inside the main tent, 30 + premium wineries from the area had brought some whites, reds, sparkling and icewines for tasting. What I loved was also the food pairings that were being offered by some of the top Niagara area restaurants. It was great to see all the local producers having such pleasure explaining their wines to everyone in the tent. I loved hearing about all of the winemakers’ history, process and stories. They were even kind enough to give us little cards for free wine tasting and tours at their wineries.

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I was thrilled to see that the food and wine tent was packed pretty much all day long! Some of my favorite food was the Wellington Court Restaurant and Catering Truffle Parmesan and Lemon Arancini, Spicy Tomato Fondue and Kale Pesto as well as the Sticky Toffee Pudding and Sticky Bun dessert. Everything was absolutely delicious! It’d be hard to pick my favorite wine of the day but I did very much like the 2010 Mountainview Pinot Noir from Angels Gate Winery and the GreenLane Estates Winery 2008 Riesling Icewine.

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What was great about the festival was also all the musical guests they had. All day long, they had good bands (Hollerado, Treble Charger, etc!) on stage who performed either classic covers or their own original material. People braved the rain to go sing and dance with them. Fire pits had been installed in the street to keep people warm, a nice little touch!

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Though I did miss the barrel roll out competition and the Steamwhistle After-Party, I had an amazing day at the Twenty Valley Winter WineFest.

In you’re looking for something to do next weekend, the 18th Annual Niagara Icewine Festival continues with a handful of other activities and events. For more information, go here. Events will be taking place until January 26th