Thursday, June 11, 2015

Jugo Juice's New Summer Menu Items!

At work I've had the pleasure to meet lots of people and lots of clients. I'm currently working with the guys at Jugo Juice and I tried some of their new summer menu items yesterday during their big launch.

The flavours to look for are:

1.       Kale Berry Crush - Veggie Smoothie

This berry/veggie blend is new to the Veggie category, and is a great anti-oxidant combination that once again features their love for kale.

2.       Giant Peach Protein - Protein Smoothie

This great tasting smoothie is made with low-glycemic fruit, and offers a protein punch!
3.       Coco Beach - Bliss Smoothie

This is a spin-off of their original Copa Banana but they've created a better-for-you tropical treat with only natural sugars.

4.       Pb Protein - Protein Smoothie

Chocolate, Peanut Butter and Banana - How can you go wrong with this?! This popular protein smoothie flavor combination provides a great pick me up after a workout with 32.5g of muscle building protein.

5.       Kale Nut - Veggie Smoothie

Their Green Smoothie success marches on with this great new GREEN addition. Just 160 calories for a 24 oz smoothie, this less sweet option is for anyone looking to add a clean eating element to your day!

6.       Kale-Aid - Fresh Pressed Juice

They just introduced a new, GREEN option for the ones that are super clean, and like to be filled with nutrients. Not only does it taste delicious, but it has 2 lbs of fresh veggies and fruit and contains ingredients known for their cleansing and detoxifying properties.

7.       Green Glow - Veggie Smoothie

Another awesome addition to their veggie line-up featuring their favourite super green, kale! With healthy fat of avocado and smooth tropical fruit.

8.       Twisted Roots - Fresh Pressed Juice

This ruby red blend of great tasting and healthy root vegetables is brightened up by fresh apples and lemon.

So, Now you know what you're looking for at the Jugo Juice closest to you! Go out there, enjoy and be happy!

Monday, June 8, 2015

Nutella Banana Bread!!!

Two of the worlds best flavours met this morning at my place and I made them marry each other in a delicious recipe that I found online!

They say (I'm not sure who, but I'm sure someone has said it... Or I just made it up) that good kitchen creations start with a craving. I like to imagine flavours in my head before I put them together. Like last night I was wondering what would banana bread and Nutella would taste like together. Don't get me wrong, I've tried bananas and nutella mixed together, in a sandwich or just in a tortilla wrap (like a banana, nutella taco if you would - God, I'm so Mexican...) But, here's where imagination kicks in. Nutella, like any other thing out there, would change it's flavour once you add heat to it. Anything in it's 'raw' presentation tastes completely difference once you cook it.

Imagine a glass of rum or wine, once you add it to a dish and cook it you change the chemical balance in it and then change the flavour... It add a little hint of sweetness to it. It's no different with Nutella. It changes the flavour, but for the better... You're probably like "How can Nutella taste even better???" it can!!!

Give this recipe a try, remember that you can feel free to change up the portions or to add different elements that you think might work... Say Strawberry yogurt instead of milk... I'd imagine that it'll add a different layer of flavour to it. The only best way to find out, is to try it!

Remember that recipes are supposed to be used as a guide... Recipes are not a Mathematical formula that you should use each and every single time to get to that result. Use your imagination and feel free to play with flavours and ingredients. Imagine how one thing mixed with another would taste and then decide if that's something you would like to eat! Best of Luck and enjoy!

Nutella Banana Bread!

- 2 cups flour
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup butter, softened and unsalted
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1¼ cup mashed ripe bananas
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ⅓ cup milk
- ¾ cup Nutella
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Spray 9×5-inch loaf pan with nonstick spray.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt.
4 . In a separate large bowl, mix in low speed the softened butter, the sugar and butter together. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each egg is added. Add mashed bananas, milk and vanilla and beat until well combined. Add flour mixture, beat at low speed just until flour is incorporated (don’t over mix).
5. In a small microwave save bowl, add Nutella and heat for 15 seconds. Stir to evenly mix heated Nutella. Add 1 cup of the banana bread batter to the Nutella and stir until well mixed.
6. Spoon Nutella batter alternately with plain banana bread batter into the prepared loaf pan. Swirl batters together with a knife. (don't over mix if you want to add that 2-tone bread)
7. Bake 50 to 60 minutes. Cool in pan for at least 15 minutes and then remove loaf from pan and place on a wire rack to cool completely.

"...This Shit is bananas, B-A-N-A-N-A-S!!!!" - Gwen Stefani

Sidewalk Citizen has moved!!! :(

Our new station has been based out of the new building for over a year now. It was 1 year ago that we got a really nice 'Welcome to the Neighborhood' package from the guys at Sidewalk Citizen. I'm not going to lie, at first I was like 'meh, just another bakery'... Since that care package, I have to admit that I've eaten there more than I've eaten at my house for this past year. It has become my "Cheers". They actually do know me by name now. I had a moment, and they noticed, then I found out that they were moving their location close to our building to East Village. It was like knowing that your best friend is moving to a different city. It really was that hard to accept the fact that I wasn't going to be enjoying our quick witty conversations while waiting for my food, our jokes while the bakery didn't seem that busy and their delicious, warm, fluffy buns... LOVE THEM BUNS!


Oh, did I forget to mention? Every Friday the also had a Pizza special!!! I'm really going to miss them, the bakers, the smells, the flavours and the odd combinations that they came up with for their savory and sweet scones. They made Lunch time fun!

There's not one single pastry or bread or sandwich that I had over the last year that I honestly say I didn't like. That being said, I never had any of their vegetarian options... Simply because... I LOVE MEAT!!!

So, my request is... Please East Village, take care of them. They're like my extended family now. And Sidewalk Citizen... I promise I'll make a run as often as possible to East Village for a visit and to pick on those delicious buns of yours... And for lunch too ;)

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Jamaican Banana Bread!

I found this recipe and I decided to give it a try... I wasn't sure what to expect... I really wasn't... I've never used Rum or Yogurt in a recipe before... But I do have to say, they do add a je ne sais quoi to the bread and the consistency. You can absolutely notice a difference in the consistency of the dough and the flavour does change, for the better!

If you want to give it a try, please do!!! Remember that recipes are supposed to be used as a guide... Recipes are not a Mathematical formula that you should use each and every single time to get to that result. Use your imagination and feel free to play with flavours and ingredients. Imagine how one thing mixed with another would taste and then decide if that's something you would like to eat! Best of Luck and enjoy!

Jamaican Banana Bread!

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana (about 4 bananas)
1/4 cup
IÖGO Coconut, Banana & Pineapple yogurt
3 tablespoons Rum
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup flaked sweetened coconut
Cooking spray

1 tablespoon flaked sweetened coconut
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

Oven Setting:  350° for 1 Hour

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt, stirring with a whisk.
Place granulated sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add banana, yogurt, rum, and vanilla; beat until blended. Add flour mixture; beat at low speed just until moist. Stir in 1/2 cup coconut. Spoon batter into a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray; sprinkle with 1 tablespoon coconut. Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pan. 

Combine powdered sugar and juice, stirring with a whisk; drizzle over warm bread. Cool completely on wire rack.

"...This Shit is bananas, B-A-N-A-N-A-S!!!!" - Gwen Stefani

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Cirque - Like never before!

Over the last 8 years I've had the pleasure to enjoy several Cirque Du Soleil shows. Most of them here in Calgary and a few ones in Las Vegas.

I had the pleasure to take my wife to see Cirque O at the Bellagio courtesy of the Nickle Slot machine winnings at Treasure Island. I'm really not much of a gambler. We went to see the show and I was not really impressed. After having seen a few shows here in Calgary, I have to say this, and I do honestly believe this is true. The Shows we get here in Calgary with the Cirque tent, are nothing short of spectacular! The quality on the performance, production, and everything else that make a Cirque experience magical and that Cirque is known for is all there.

I went to see Kurios on their opening night here in Calgary and somehow, they managed to find a way to make acrobatics like they've never done before.

I wanted to bring my wife with me to this show, but we have a small 4-month-old baby that she didn't feel comfortable bringing with us to the show. She was afraid that Julieta might've start crying in the middle of the show and that we would've annoyed the people around us or just plain simple, ruin the Cirque experience for them.

My friend Bryan lucked out and came with me to the show and we had an amazing time. This is a great event that we have the chance to enjoy here, in our city. Make sure you plan a date night with your wife and kids, or with some friends, or perhaps just your girlfriend and you can go an enjoy it. This is a great show for everyone. I'm just saddened that I didn't convince my wife and baby to come with us. They surely would've enjoy it.

Food and Music Experience!

Canmore Uncorked is raising the bar on the way you decide to pair your food! Join the Culinary Symphony!

On April 13thand 14th, Chef James Holmes and a team of local Canmore chefs will blow your senses away by pairing food to the music of the Quartetto Gelato. The team of chefs and the Juno-nominated band have created a custom performance that pairs music with each dish.

Taste the music. Hear the food. The sights, smells, sounds, and tastes will come together to form the Culinary Symphony.

Canmore Uncorked

Have you heard of Canmore Uncorked?

It's a fantastic award winning Food and Drink Festival happening in our own backyard! For 13 days, 25 restaurants will feature 3-course meals showcasing their signature dishes at set prices! $19, $29 or $39 - Think about this for a second... A Chef will not put their name on any plate or dish. It's like you or I at work. If we're going to do something that has our name on it, we want to make sure that it's the best thing/project/email or what ever you wanna call it. Now, picture a Chef putting their name on a signature dish, how do you think it will taste? Now, how much do you think that dish should REALLY cost?! - These dishes are well priced by far! 

A few select people in Calgary got a chance to attempt their Launch Party at The Cookbook Co. Here in Calgary. And let me tell you that this event will bring some amazing food to everyone!

They started us with this PB and J Pork Belly 

Chef James Holmes made this and it was OMG Good! - Maple braised pork belly, roasted peanuts, strawberry balsamic puree, and apple slaw.
It was deliciously cooked! Crispy on the outside and so tender and moist on the inside. I really wanted to go for seconds but I knew I had to leave some room for what followed.

Meet the Risotto Balls, or as I named them that night the Amaze-Balls!

Chef Tracy Little made these while speeches were given and I was amazed by everything that was going on behind the kitchen counter. Lots of little movements. All of them happening very fast and in a very methodical way. Arancini Risotto Balls served with butternut squash, pine nuts, sylvan star gouda, and brown butter béchamel sauce (also known as white sauce).

And last, but certainly not least... Dessert!!! This is definitely the perfect size... this light and flavorful Profiterole with a Chambord & Foie Gras Mousse was the perfect way to end a great lunch day with all my foodie media friends. 

Canmore Uncorked is only happening for 7 more days... Most of their events are already sold out, but you still have time to make it out to some very cool ones that are taking food toa whole different level!

Think about it, Canmore is only one hour and twenty minutes from Downtown Calgary!

Monday, March 30, 2015

Keep a Roof Over Their Heads


I'm more than happy to announce that On Thursday, May 7th I'm joining other people in Calgary to help raise funds for the YWCA of Calgary.

On Thursday, May 7th, I'm going to brave the weather, Line-up outside the YWCA, wait for a cot in the gym and sleep homeless for just one night. I'll get to live what, sadly, lots of women have endured on many other occasions. I'm going to be needed your help as I help create awareness for the YWCA. 

I'm seeking donations to help Keep a Roof Over Their Heads - I'm going to leave the comfort of my house, I'll leave my wife, my newborn daughter and my dog for just one night to experience a homeless life. 

Please, make a donation and help get the YWCA the much needed funds to help them keep their doors open and to Keep a Roof Over Their Heads.

Wondering where will your dollars go?

Your donations provide direct opportunities for women and children to stabilize their lived and move from crisis to economic stability, through the programs and services that the YWCA of Calgary provides. Click here for more information on where your dollars go.