The White Cashmere Collection 2014

 

I was invited to attend the 11th Annual White Cashmere Collection and it was a breathtaking event. It’s hard to believe that it’s been 11 years since the first gorgeous designer bathroom tissue creations walked down the runway and the annual breast cancer fund and awareness rasier has seen the best of Canadian fashion lend their talents. This year’s collection was designed by  Canada’s next generation of top fashion designers. Each designer was nominated by the collections past designers and it is so exciting to see these emerging designers creations made from 100% Cashmere Bathroom Tissue.

This year’s cast of 15 Canadian emerging design stars are:

Here are my favourite designs from the show:

Alan Ta

 

Hilary MacMillan

 

Eugene Paunil

 

Ken Chow

 

You can check out all of the designs, designer profiles and info about the White Cashmere Collection 11 on the Facebook page. AND you can vote for your favourite design to win a Fashion Escape to NYC!! Click the image below for your chance to enter & win.

Toronto’s Fesitval of Beer

On Sunday Jason and I went to experience the Toronto Festival of Beer. We met up with Kyle & Reneta at Betty’s for a pre-festival Stiegl Radler and then headed West to the CNE grounds.

Jason and I stopped by the media tent first to take some pictures and have our taste of Estrella beer and then we all made our way to the ticket booths. We each got $20/20 tokens and started our sampling tour.

I was in a cidery/light beer mood and tasted all of them that I could find. My two favourites were the Magners Pear Cider and Waterloo Grapefruit Radler.

 

Magners Pear Cider,

Waterloo Grapefruit Radler

We walked over to the bandshell to hear the last band before Wide Mouth Mason went on. They were called The Julian Taylor Band and funny enough one of the members was a friend of ours, Dave! Such a small world.

Me and Dave from The Julian Taylor Band

Me and Dave from The Julian Taylor Band

Me and Steve-O

Me and Steve-O

Wide Mouth Mason was on next, I’ve never seen them live, but they wrote one of my favourite songs, Companion, and I was hoping to hear it. They didn’t play it but were awesome live. I was really impressed with their sound and man can Shaun Verreault sing!

Wide Mouth Mason

Finally it was time for the man of the hour to take the stage and you could tell that Sunday was full of Matt Good fans. We all crowded around the stage and sang our hearts out. It’s something else to hear him play. Matthew Good is my favourite musician. He has been since the 90’s and when I hear him play live it makes me feel everything. The memories tied to each song are happy, sad and bittersweet and I could listen to him play forever.

 

 

During the middle of the set he stopped mid song to make sure a fan was ok, then continued on with the rest of the set. After the last song they had to clear the stage and close the festival due to a big storm. I was ready to leave by that point anyway, so we hopped in a cab, went to Aft for a pint and then home to crash.

We had a blast at the Beer Festival and we will definitely go again next year. Thanks so much for the invite!

A Taste of Savour Stratford

I have to admit that I’ve never been to Stratford. So when Jason and I were invited to the Toronto launch event for A Taste of Savour Stratford, well we couldn’t pass it up. We headed down to The Mill Street Brew Hall in Toronto for a preview of the Perth County Culinary Festival (which is coming up this July 19-20, 2014) and it was a delicious time!

The event (and the festival theme this year) was a showcase of food From Coast to Coast to Coast created by Chef Jason A. Robin of the Mill St Brew Hall using Perth County ingredients.

We also got to meet the chef presenters and Stratford Chefs School grads who are involved in the Savour Stratford Festival.

  • Rich Francis, chef/owner, Aboriginal Culinary Concepts, current Top Chef Canada competitor and Stratford Chefs School graduate
  • Carl Heinrich, chef/co-owner, Richmond Station, Top Chef Canada winner and Stratford Chefs School graduate
  • Doug McNish, award-winning vegan cookbook author, Eat Raw, Eat Well
  • Jennifer McLagan, chef and award-winning cookbook author, Odd Bits
  • Yva Santini, chef, Pazzo restaurant, Top 30 Under 30 recipient and Stratford Chefs School graduate
  • The Wine Sisters, sommeliers presenting unexplored Ontario wines

We had drinks from  Dillon’s Small Batch Distillers. I had their Vodka and Jason tried their Rye & we left the Gin for next time 🙂 You can get them in the LCBO or even better, visit their new distillery & sipping room located on the Niagara Wine Route.

They also make a collection of Bitters and Fruit Spirits, but we didn’t try them.

 

My drink was a Vodka and Lemonade with fresh strawberries. It was so delicious and I love that Dillon’s are a 100% Canadian distillery.

 

It was such a beautiful, sunny evening that it was hard to get good pictures with my iPhone.

We sampled the 2012 Cabernet Merlot from Reif Estates Winery and we both really liked it. I’m a red wine kind of girl and this is one that I’m adding to my list for home.

There were also beers from Mill Street Brewery – their Organic, Tankhouse (one of Jason’s favourites) and the Lemon Tea Beer, which is one of my all time favourites.

It was an event full of deliciousness and some good learning, because we also got to try Rosewood Estates Winery’s Mead – a femented honey beverage which is the first and oldest version of alcohol. I had never heard of it before and it was delicious. We met Kristina Roman and she is a 3rd Generation Beekeeper and they use a traditional method of taking care of the bees, which means that they don’t move their homes around, but use a permanent structure/location. Honestly, I asked so many questions and I am looking forward to taking a wine tour on our next trip out Beamsville way. Another great reason why we need to SAVE THE BEES.

It was a great preview and we are looking forward to heading down to Stratford for our first time to enjoy the festival.

 

Good Food & Drink Festival Toronto

Jason and I were lucky enough to attend the Good Food & Drink Festival’s VIP Party on opening night a couple weeks ago. I had never been to the GFDF before so had no idea what to expect.

Our first stop was the Little Rock Honey Farm booth. Man I love honey and these flavours were amazing. We tried the Honey Mustard, the Chai Honey & Ginger Honey. I also tried their Beeswax Handcream and it was AMAZING! My hands were super soft and the scent was very light.

 

Next stop was the Glutino booth. The pretzels we sampled were delcious and you’d never know the difference.

Next to the preztels was the Udis Gluten Free Bread. Also super yummy and paired with gluten free Peanut Butter!Then there was RAINBOW KETTLE CORN!! For reals. It’s from Brantford, ON’s Original Kettlecorn and I wanted to eat all of it.

3 Teas was the next booth and I made my first purchase of the night. I’ve been looking for a new morning tea that rivals my love of Tetley. Since I heard that they are using basically slave labour and children to farm their tea in India, I am using up what I’ve got and unless they change their ways it is Goodbye to my favourite tea.3 Teas was a great booth. I ended up purchasing their show deal of a tumbler & 2 teas for $25. I got the Chocolate Black Tea and the Darjeeling Tea. So far they are both delicious and chocolate tea is amazing, but I haven’t found my morning Tetley replacement yet.

Jewels Under the Kilt is a Fergus, Ontario Maple Roasted Nut company and their story is really sweet.

My husband and I moved to Fergus Ontario in 2010 to a 90 plus acre farm. We made an agreement that I would not work for two years and focus on the farm. During that time I got to go back to what I enjoy, cooking using fresh and local ingredients. It was during this time that the recipes for the maple roasted nuts was concieved. We came upon a local nursery,Green Barn, that specialized in trees that were adapted to our climate. So my husband and I with the help of  the local nursery planted 100+ trees. We chose to plant a variety of fruit and nut trees and each year we will continue to add to the orchard.

We tried Ontario Maple Peach Amanda Walnuts and Ontario Maple Apple Pie Pecans. We bought Ontario Maple Cinnamon Walnuts

I am a spice wuss but manned up and did the No 7 Hot Sauce Challenge with Jason. I actually I tried all 7 flavours from Mild to Hot!! My mouth was burning by the end and I needed a drink but I actually liked all the flavours.

@No7HotSauceTO: @carlyannedotcom thank you so much for being brave @GoodFoodDrinkTO#GFDTOpic.twitter.com/gIzNXPttGF” wow! #TorontoLikesItHot

— Sandra (@Ilive4sweets) April 4, 2014

We stopped by the Mealspirations booth – I had heard about them via Erin Bury and signed up but with no vegetarian options it wasn’t a fit for me. Luckily they have heard our vegetarian cries and will be launching Veggie friendly options at the end of April!

Alokozay teas were our next stop. I tried the super delicious Jasmine Green Tea and we got their Earl Grey tea in our media goodie bag.

The Big Shott’s Edible Shooter Cups were a big hit. It’s bascially a mini chocolate dipped ice cream cone that you put Panama Jack & Whipped Cream in. Of course we tried these!

 

To be perfectly honest, the coolest thing we saw at the show was the Moose River Garlic Grater. It’s something that has been used in the Mediterranean for years and is a small glass/ceramic dish that has a ridged bottom. You take your vegetable and grate it on the bottom of the dish. It works for garlic, potatoes, veggies, and anything else! Super cool and I forgot to go back and get one 🙁

The Pure Infused Maple Syrup booth was delectable. I tried all the flavours but my favourites were the Lvendar Chai (oh my goodness!!) and the Ginger & Apple Cidar Vinegar. Jason had to take me away from the booth because they were sooooo delecious

Then we hit up the Granville Island Brewing booth. We tasted all 3 of their beers to sample and I of course, picked the seasonal Winter Ale. I have this thing where I only like limited edition, seasonal beers. Last summer I found the Millstreet Lemon Tea beer and drank it all summer, only to be sad in the fall when I had no beer 🙁 I drank the Coors Light Ice Tea Beer (Clit for short, haha!) but it was gone before Christmas. So now, thanks to GIB I’ll have a beer next winter!

 

 Meli Handmade Chocoalte & Baklava was hands down, the BEST baklava I have ever tried. I’ve not really been a fan of the treat before and after tasting these I will buy them when I see them in stores.

Now Ice Syrup was something I’d never heard of before and a pretty innovative idea. It’s pure Canadian grape syrup, from Niagara-on-the-Lake and the grapes are harvested like IceWine. Super yummy and great for a treat or to use as a dressing, glaze and in cooking.These guys were awesome – Jungle Heat Sauces & Jellies. They moved to Costa Rica years ago and started this delicious sauce business. Family owned & operated

Jungle Heat Gourmet began years ago, cooked  over an  open fire, in our garden in COSTA RICA.

11 gluten free sauces, 7 hot spicy snacks, 9 Spice blend

Celebrating 45 International Awards

The highlight of my evening was when The American Rogues 3-piece began playing. As a proud Scottish girl, whenever I hear bagpipes, I immediately find them and listen. There’s something about the sound that calls to this wee lass’s soul. If I ever get married you can bet there will be a piper playing as I walk down the aisle. On a beach. (ok I’ll stop).

Check out the video of their final song.

We walked around the alcohol area but honestly, they were pretty crowded with lineups. We sampled some great reds and a couple beers

 

Our final purchase of the night was a 4 pack of Boylan Bottling Co’s Soda. My iPhone died by this point so no photos of their booth but we tasted and bought the Birch Beer, Black Cherry Soda, Cane Cola and Creme Soda. These are the yummiest soda’s I’ve had and I’ve seen them in stores everywhere.

Boylan Bottling’s hand crafted, cane sugar sweetened sodas harken back to a time when sodas were all about flavor, instead of syrupy sweetness, excessive carbonation and convenience.

We came home with a great goodie back and our tea, soda & nut purchases. I can’t wait for next year’s Good Food & Drink Festival and thank you to The Siren Group for inviting us to such a great evening!

HoHoTO is Back!

Earlier this year the organizers of HoHoTO announced that they would not be able to continue with this awesome charity event.  Luckily, it’s been saved and this year marks the 6th Annual HoHoTO to benefit the Daily Bread Food Bank.

Each year 600 media and tech-savvy people gather together at the Mod Club to celebrate the holidays and to help make the world suck a little less. Called “the party that twitter built” HoHoTO is often sited as one of the first remarkable examples of a hyper-connected social media movement using the power of self-organizing online groups to make a real world difference. Since 2008, HoHoTO has raised over $280,000 for Daily Bread Food Bank.

The event takes place on Thursday, December 19th at 7 pm at the Mod Club (722 College St). Early bird tickets start at $40 and VIP tickets are available at $150 and include drinks and appetizers.

You can find us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/HoHoTO and Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/HoHoTO.