Burger + Vino Tuesdays @ The Nash – Calgary, AB

A couple of weeks ago, I was invited to the media sneak peek of The Nash’s Burger + Vino launch. For every Tuesday in September, The Nash will be featuring a different wine and burger pairing for $30. I knew I’d be in for a real treat as The Nash, like its sister restaurant, NOtaBLE, is well-known for creating outstanding burgers. Last year, during YYC Burger Week 2014, NOtaBLE’s pork & wild boar burger with housemade foie gras butter and double smoked bacon was one of my favorite during the 9-day event. And earlier this year, The Nash’s applewood smoked pulled pork & foie gras burger with Comte cheese on a wild boar bacon brioche for Alberta Burger Fest was hard to beat.


For this Burger + Vino launch, we tried the Nash Beef & Pork Burger with basil aioli, friulano cheese, and red pepper & tomato jam. It paired perfectly with the bold Stroppiana Barolo. The burger came with a choice of side salad or fries.


If you want to try The Nash’s Burger + Vino features, you’d better hurry because including today, there are only 3 more Tuesdays left in September!

The Nash
925 11 St SE
Calgary, AB


Posted in Alberta, American, Calgary, Canadian, Dinner, eat | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Pampa Brazilian Steakhouse – Calgary, AB

After opening their first location in Edmonton in 2011, Pampa Brazilian Steakhouse expanded and opened up a second location in downtown Calgary earlier this year. Pampa is definitely a welcome addition to the downtown dining scene as they are a great place for hosting business lunches and dinners. Speaking from past personal experience, Brazilian steakhouses are the perfect place for team lunches since there is a huge selection of food to cater to almost every dietary need and preference, including even the non-meat eaters. With Pampa being within walkable distance from my office downtown, now I won’t have to worry about organizing rides for my team, like I did previously, when our only Brazilian steakhouse options were located down south.


pampa4I was lucky enough to be invited to one of their media events awhile back. When I first arrived at Pampa, the one that I noticed right away besides the gorgeous decor of the dining room, was the amazing spread at the salad bar with it all being made in-house with fresh ingredients. It included everything from seafood salad and ceviche to beef carpaccio. It was really hard to pace myself when everything looks so delicious.  I was so tempted to try a little of everything but I had to remind myself to save belly room for the Rodizio meat. My favorite at the salad bar was this giant wheel of Grana Padano cheese. It was some of the best that I’ve had to date!

pampa3As with most Brazilian steakhouses, Pampa offers an interactive Rodizio dining experience. Their Gauchos come around to provide you with continuous table-side service of various cuts of beef, pork, chicken and lamb.  At Pampa, the meat is seasoned with only salt before being placed on the large hardwood charcoal fired rotisserie grill, which they imported from Brazil.

During dinner service, the meat selection includes the classic Picanha (Rump Steak), Alcatra (Top Sirloin), Contra-file (Sirloin Steak), Fraldinha (Bottom Sirloin), Picanha com Alho (Garlic Rump Steak), Filet mignon com Bacon (Bacon-wrapped Filet Mignon), Linguica de Porco (Pampa Pork Sausage), Lombo de Porco Marinado (Parmesan Pork Loin), Sobrecoxa de Frango com Bacon (Bacon-wrapped Chicken Thighs), Coxa de Frango (Marinated Frenched Chicken Legs), and Costeleta de Cordeiro marinada (Marinated Rack of Lamb). My favourite, of course, was the perfectly juicy Picanha, especially when paired with Chef Joao’s Chimichurri sauce.


If you’re wanting to try this Brazilian steakhouse experience, Pampa currently has an incredible promotion that you won’t want to miss! For the months of September and October, they are offering a buy one get one free deal. For every one paying adult dinner rodizio, one adult dinner rodizio is complimentary. This promotion applies to all group sizes but is not valid for their lunch or kids dinner menus. And of course, beverages, desserts, taxes and gratuities are extra.

Pampa Brazilian Steakhouse
521 10 Ave SW
Calgary, AB
(587) 354-3441



Posted in Alberta, Brazilian, Calgary, Dinner, eat, Lunch | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

[Giveaway & Recipe] Win A Year Supply of Catelli® Healthy Harvest® Ancient Grains pasta and Chilled Noodle Salad with Ginger Wasabi Dressing Recipe

ancient_grainsLast month, I was invited to a cooking demonstration and hands-on cooking session with Food Network Celebrity Chef Lynn Crawford at the SAIT Polytechnic Culinary Campus to celebrate the launch of the new Catelli® Healthy Harvest® Ancient Grains pasta in Western Canada.

Along with other local food bloggers, we learned about the the health benefits of the all natural Catelli® Healthy Harvest® Ancient Grains pasta and had an opportunity to sample the pasta at this event. We also learned some tips and tricks from Chef Crawford on preparing fail-proof pasta dishes.

Catelli® Healthy Harvest® Ancient Grains pasta, which is available in three cuts –  Spaghetti, Spaghettini and Rotini and retails for $3.29, is Certified GMO-free (NON GMO Project Verified) and blends 100 per cent Canadian whole wheat with five wholesome ancient grains: quinoa, amaranth, teff, sorghum and millet.

Here is a summary of the health benefits of these ancient grains:

  • Quinoa is high in fibre, protein and minerals – including magnesium, potassium, zinc and iron – and low on the glycemic index.
  • Amaranth is rich in protein, containing all the essential amino acids, key vitamins, and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus and iron.
  • Teff is high in protein, fibre, calcium, thiamin and iron.
  • Sorghum is a good source of vitamin B6, riboflavin, thiamin and magnesium; is known to support digestive health, help fight cardiovascular disease and help control blood sugar levels.
  • Millet is heart healthy, containing a high level of protein, magnesium and niacin. Alkalizing to the body, millet is considered one of the most digestible and non-allergenic grains available.


During the cooking demonstration, we had the opportunity to sample the pasta on its own, without any sauces so that we could taste the nuttiness of all those ancient grains. The pasta was cooked for different durations to allow us to sample what the texture would be like at the different cooking times. My favorite was the 6 min cook time on the pasta as I prefer my pasta to be more chewy than soft.  We then got to sample the Catelli® Healthy Harvest® Ancient Grains rotini pasta with Chef Lynn’s marinara sauce and the spaghettini with a pesto sauce.

For our hands-on cooking session, Chef Lynn taught us how to make her Chilled Noodle Salad with Ginger Wasabi Dressing.

Catelli Chilled Noodle with Ginger Wasabi Dressing


Chilled Noodle Salad with Ginger Wasabi Dressing

Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 8 min
Servings: 4
Pasta Salad Ingredients:

1 pkg (340 g)              Catelli® Healthy Harvest® Ancient Grains Spaghettini
2 cups (500 ml)         snow peas, thinly sliced diagonally
1 cup (250 ml)            shelled edamame
1                                     small English cucumber
2 cups (500 ml)          napa cabbage, finely shredded
1 cup (250 ml)             red pepper, cut into matchsticks
3                                     green onions, thinly sliced
1                                      ripe avocado, sliced
1/4 cup (60 ml)           cilantro leaves
2 tbsp (30 ml)              black sesame seeds

Ginger-Wasabi Dressing:

1/4 cup (60 ml)           seasoned rice vinegar
3 tbsp (45 ml)              canola oil
2 tbsp (30 ml)              soy sauce
2 tbsp (30 ml)              lemon juice
1 tsp (5 ml)                    lemon zest
2 tsp (10 ml)                 brown sugar
2 tsp (10 ml)                 sesame oil
1 tsp (5 ml)                    grated fresh ginger
wasabi to taste


1.      Cook pasta according to package directions; drain well. Rinse under cold water until well chilled; transfer to large bowl and set aside.
2.      In a pot of boiling water, cook snow peas and edamame until tender-crisp. Drain and rinse under cold water until well chilled; set aside.
3.      Meanwhile, halve the cucumber lengthwise and use the end of a spoon to scoop and discard seeds; cut cucumber into julienne strips.
4.      Ginger-Wasabi Dressing: Whisk together rice vinegar, canola oil, soy sauce, lemon juice and zest, brown sugar, sesame oil and ginger. Season with wasabi to taste.
5.      Add cucumber, snow peas, edamame, napa cabbage, red pepper, green onions and avocado to noodles; toss with enough dressing to coat.
6.      Garnish with cilantro leaves and black sesame seeds.

Tip: If you have time, you can chill the noodle dish by refrigerating for 1 to 4 hours.

Per serving: 590 calories, 19 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 710 mg sodium, 84 g carbohydrates, 145 g fibre, 13 g sugar, 21 g protein



For a chance to win a year supply of Catelli® Healthy Harvest® Ancient Grains pasta, simply leave a comment in the section below telling me what is your favorite pasta dish. You will need to put a valid email address in the appropriate box when telling me about the pasta dish (not to worry, your email address will not be published), so that I can contact you if your name is drawn. This giveaway contest will close on Thursday, April 23, 2015 at 11:59PM MST. Your name will be entered in a random draw and one winner will be chosen.  I will contact the winner via e-mail and if the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be chosen.

Note: This giveaway is only open to residents of Canada.

Good Luck!

Posted in Alberta, Calgary, cook, Dinner, Lunch, Noodles, Pasta, Salad | 17 Comments

Sweet Holiday Blog Hop with Calgary Food Bloggers

I was invited by Fareen of Food Mamma to participate in this Sweet Holiday Blog Hop, along with other Calgary food bloggers and food writers. I’m actually a newbie at this as I hadn’t even heard of the term ‘Blog Hop’ until this invite. When I learnt that a ‘Blog Hop’ is simply just a list of blogs or posts on a related topic, in this case, Holiday Sweets , I thought it was a perfect idea for this festive season as it is a great way to share some tasty holiday treat recipes.


For this Sweet Holiday Blog Hop, I am sharing my recipe for Hazelnut Shortbread Cookies. I’m a huge hazelnut fan and this has been my go to recipe whenever I crave shortbread.

Here the complete list of participating local food bloggers and writers and the Sweet Holiday recipes they have chosen to share:

Bakersbeans –  Orange Gingerbread Cookies
Because I Like Chocolate –  Vegan Nanaimo Bars
Dinner With Julie – Sticky Toffee Pudding
Dish N The Kitchen – Salted Pistachio Sables
Food Mamma – Candy Cane Bark
Heather’s EATS –  Butter Tarts
Merry About Town –  No Bake Peanut Butter Crunchies
Miss Foodie’s Gourmet Adventures (that’s me) – Hazelnut Shortbread
Scrumptiously Fit Food – Spicy Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies


Hope you enjoy these recipes!

Posted in Alberta, bake, Cakes, Calgary, Cookies, Dessert, Dessert, Snack | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

[Giveaway] Win a $50 Original Joe’s Gift Card

With the winter chill in the air, Original Joe’s is bringing back indulgent, bold flavoured and comforting foods to the menu. In conjunction with the release of their 2014 Winter Warm-Up Menu, Original Joe’s is launching an exciting new partnership with charitable organization Mealshare. As part of OJ’s growing Community Care Fund, partial proceeds from a featured item off of the winter and summer seasonal menus will go towards Mealshare to purchase a meal for someone in need. All 62 Original Joe’s locations (across British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba) are involved in the partnership, which nearly double the number of restaurants currently involved with the Mealshare program.

Mealshare is a non-profit society that allows people to turn their “dining out” into “helping out”. For restaurant customers, the premise is simple: for every Mealshare item purchased, one meal is provided to someone in need. Half of the meals are provided locally through the Breakfast Club of Canada, Calgary Drop-in Centre, Food Bank, Hope Mission, Mission Possible, Our Place Society, and Warmland House. The other half are provided in developing countries through Save the Children.

Since Original Joe’s is launching the program in conjunction with the release of their 2014 Winter Warm-Up Menu, the featured Mealshare menu item will be the Miso Ramen Bowl – fresh ramen noodles in a white miso stock with thinly sliced BBQ pork and togarashi spice, with red chili hot sauce on the side. For each Miso Ramen Bowl sold, Mealshare and Original Joe’s will provide a meal to someone in need.


Other hearty favourites I’m looking forward to try on Original Joe’s Winter Warm-Up Menu include the Bacon & Tomato Soup with garlic grilled cheese croutons and the French Onion Boar Burger with a house made wild boar patty seared in roast beef jus, caramelized onion jam, melted swiss cheese and mayo on a toasted brioche bun along with a choice of two sides.


For those looking for some lighter fare, the new Winter Warm-Up menu offers a Kale & Quinoa Salad with tuscan kale and english cucumber tossed in a creamy mint yogurt dressing, topped with chopped kalamata olives, dried figs, candied almonds and panko crusted goat cheese.


Thanks to Brookline Public Relations and Original Joe’s, I have one (1) $50 Gift Card from Original Joe’s to giveaway. The lucky winner will have an opportunity to go and check out these items on the Winter Warm-Up Menu.

To enter into this draw for the $50 Original Joe’s Gift Card, simply leave a comment in the section below telling me “Which Original Joe’s Winter Warm-Up menu item are you most interested in trying?”You will need to put a valid email address in the appropriate box when telling me about the menu item (not to worry, your email address will not be published), so that I can contact you if your name is drawn. This giveaway contest will close on Thursday, November 27, 2014 at 11:59PM MST. I will hold a random draw and one winner will be chosen. I will contact the winner via e-mail as well as post the name of the winner here.

Good Luck!

Posted in Activity, Alberta, American, Calgary, Canadian, drink, eat | Tagged , | 20 Comments