Featured/ Restaurant Review

Favourite Calgary Food Spots

Hey guys! Sorry it’s been so long since I’ve posted anything! I’ve just been enjoying the summer weather and the last few months of my maternity leave. I spend every waking moment outside with my baby, either going for walks or lounging in our front yard or back deck. Suppers have been simple affairs since I hate to spend much time in the kitchen when the weather is so gorgeous out.

If some of you follow me on Instagram, you would have seen that I spent a week in Calgary in June. I love that city. If for some reason I had to move from Regina, I would probably move to Calgary. My sister lives in Calgary and she and her husband are huge foodies, so we always end up trying new restaurants and revisiting some old faves. I thought I’d share some of our new finds and and old favourites in this blog post!

Noodle World

Okay, so I obviously have to share our favourite Vietnamese place in Calgary. It’s a place called Noodle World and it’s on 17th Ave SE. It has authentic Vietnamese dishes and great pho. It also has these dinner options on the menu called “Family Dinners” and you can order them for 4 or 6 people. The “Family Dinners” are meant to be like traditional big Vietnamese family dinners where there are several different plates and a soup course, all eaten with generous servings of white rice. We always order the Family Dinners when we go to Noodle World and we all leave full and happy. The family dinners consist of a fish soup (my favourite!), a tofu and bean sprout stirfry (my sister’s favourite), a braised fish dish (my husband’s favourite) and a beef and broccoli stirfry. And you know how you know it’s good? The customers are mostly Vietnamese families!

Noodle World family dinner

Bocce Pizza

For pizza and pasta lovers, I recommend Bocce Pizza in Calgary. It is located on 4th Street SW and it offers amazing authentic Italian favourites.

To start, I highly recommend the Tallegio Friti salad. This salad is fresh, with amazing flavours and the honey truffle vinaigrette is to die for. Also, eating this salad is going to make you feel healthier and less guilty when you indulge in a couple of their delicious pizzas!

Tallegio Friti salad…yes, that is a breaded and deep fried hunk of cheese!

For pizzas, we love the Calabrese pizza with spicy fennel sausage, olives, peppers and mozzarella; the Isola with italian ham, roasted pineapples and pancetta, and the Finocchio with the chopped fennel, fennel salami and ricotta.

Wurst

There was one day where my sister volunteered to stay home and watch Baby E while she napped, so the husband and I took a stroll down 4th Street SW to have some drinks. You know you are new parents anxious for some alone time and some drinks when you’re lingering outside the pub at 10:50AM, waiting for it to open at 11AM lol! I can’t speak to the food at Wurst but they have a great drink selection and a great atmosphere to enjoy some casual drinks. My husband’s favourite beer on this trip was the Project 9 Beer by the Fernie Brewing Company. Has anyone seen this beer in Regina?

My husband loved the Project 9 beer by Fernie Brewing Co. and my delicious drink was Elderflower liquer and Prosecco! So refreshing!

Wurst – love the atmosphere!

La Boulangerie

So also on 4th Street SW is a little coffee and pastry shop called La Boulangerie. The coffee selection isn’t huge and isn’t spectacular in any way, but the pastries are to die for! My sister recommended that I order this pastry called Kouign-Amann (pronounced ‘Queen Aman’) and oh my goodness, it was divine. It’s like a puff pastry croissant with layers of butter and sugar (I know, right? How can you go wrong with layers of butter and sugar?) I’ve been here several times before and I’ve never had a bad pastry. Another favourite of mine is their chocolate croissant. Unfortunately, I devour the pastries so fast that I’ve never had a chance to take a picture!

La Boulangerie

Native Tongues Taqueria

For all you Mexican food lovers, you have to try Native Tongues Taqueria on 12 Ave SW. We went here for lunch one day and ordered a variety of tacos – confit pork, roast chicken chicken and beef brisket. They are simple, traditional tacos and are served with house made salsa verde and salsa rosa. For dessert, I recommend ordering the donas!, which are these little glazed donuts that are made in house.

 

I just love the food scene in Calgary! I can’t wait to go back in a couple months and try out some new places. Do I have any Calgary readers? What are some restaurants that I should try?

 

 

Canadian Recipes/ Featured

The Husband’s Banana Bread

In our household, our roles and duties are strictly delineated. I do all the cooking. My husband mows the lawn and shovels the snow. I do all the laundry. My husband changes the Diaper Genie (I actually refuse to learn how so that I’ll never have to do it). I do all the grocery and household shopping. My husband builds and fixes all the things. This arrangement may seem traditional but it works for us. When I cook, I’m basically cooking for him and when he builds things, most of the time it’s something for me. Like when I found an old secretary’s desk for sale for $80, and he refinished it for me for Christmas.

Old Secretary’s Desk

 

Refinished Secretary’s Desk

 

Refinished Secretary’s Desk

Or like when I said I needed a beer caddy so I can bring a few beers out to the deck, he built me one and he even let me choose which stain colour I wanted.

Which one would you choose?

 

I chose this one!

And when I said I had no wine storage, he built me a wine rack for above the fridge, complete with a stained glass backing that lights up. I mean, what else can a girl ask for?!

My favourite place in the house

I have never attempted to crossover into any of his duties. I wouldn’t know how to start the lawnmower, I don’t know how to open the Diaper Genie, and I don’t know which shovel to use to shovel the snow. But sometimes, the husband surprises me and cooks or bakes in the kitchen. For my collection of recipes, I have a few of my favourite cookbooks of all time stored in my pantry, and this blog serves as my diary of personal recipes. For him, he has this tattered grey plastic covered notebook that he keeps in the garage, and there are a few of his favourite recipes jotted down in there. I have no idea where he got these recipes from – he says they are either from his mom or from some random place on the Internet.

Anyway, he decided to make a banana bread the other day and it was sooooo good. I was pretty impressed!  It was super moist, and it was the perfect snack to have with my morning coffee. Although I appreciate his efforts in the kitchen, this doesn’t mean that I’ll be learning how to change the Diaper Genie any time soon!

Husband's Banana Bread

Print Recipe
Serves: 6-8 Cooking Time: 50 mins baking time

Ingredients

  • 1 cup ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup margarine at room temperature
  • 1 1/3 cups white sugar
  • 2 eggs at room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Instructions

1

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour loaf pan.

2

Combine banana and sour cream. Set aside.

3

In a large bowl, cream together the margarine and sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time and then stir in the vanilla and banana mixture.

4

Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl; stir into the banana mixture.

5

Spread the batter evenly into prepared loaf pan.

6

Bake for 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the centre of the bread comes out clean.

Featured/ Life

What New Moms Really Want for Mother’s Day

I had the pleasure of chatting on the 980 CJME Morning Show this morning about Mother’s Days gifts that don’t break the bank and what mothers really want for Mother’s Day. As a new mom about to celebrate my first Mother’s Day, this basically gave me the opportunity to drop major hints for my husband as to what I want! If you missed me on the radio this morning, here are my tips and ideas on how to create a special day for Mom.

Mom-ming is a never-ending, 24/7 job, so the best gift you can give a mom on Mother’s Day is a one-day holiday, and I have a few ways you can do that and it won’t cost you a penny.

  1. Let mom sleep in. From the first days of motherhood, moms are getting up every time the baby cries and this continues as the kid grows up, waking up to get the kids to school or waking up for early hockey practice. So on Mother’s Day, let mom sleep in! Dads, husbands, wake up with the kids, take them out for breakfast or something and let mom snooze in a quiet house. Then when she wakes up on her own time, you can make her breakfast or brunch or lunch.
  2. Next, give mom some alone time. Wrangle the kids, take care of the housework for the day, and send mom out of the house for some alone time. It would be a real treat for any mom to go shopping alone, or to head to a coffee shop with a good book, guilt-free and without any housework or time pressures.
  3. Next, the luxury of single tasking. Moms are the queens of multitasking and often will multi-task an activity they enjoy with an activity that they don’t. For me, I only allow myself to watch my PVR’ed TV shows if I’m doing something productive at the same time, like folding laundry.  So on Mother’s Day, allow mom to single task an activity she enjoys, whether that be binge watching a TV show without having to fold laundry or being outside in her garden without having to keep an ear open for the baby monitor.
  4. And finally, end the day with some quality family time. Plan a movie night or a dinner as a family (that she didn’t have to cook herself!), and celebrate your mom!

What do you think, moms? What else can I add to this list on how to make Mother’s Day special for new moms?

P.S. Can someone send my husband the link to this article? haha!

My beautiful girl who gave me the gift of motherhood