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How to Have a Fabulous & Sweet Galentine's Day

How to Have a Fabulous & Sweet Galentine's Day


Where my ladies at? It's Galentine's Day! 💕

(Okay well unofficially.)

p.s. if you're unaware of the term - Galentine's started off as a celebration by the hilarious Leslie Knope of Parks and Recreation (seriously just Netflix the show!) Essentially, February 13th is a day to celebrate your sisters, friends and all the other awesome women in your life.

How to Have a Fabulous & Sweet Galentine's Day
Featured: Bread & Butter Bakery Cupcake
In true Rosalyn fashion, what better way to honour this day than by indulging in our sweet cravings around the ladies we can be our true selves around. So hopefully it's cheat day for my fitness gals because we're treating ourselves to a sugar-fueled extravagant night and just one dessert won't do.

To make things easier, I'm sharing my favourite local desserts so what are you waiting for?

Grab your favourite chick flick and call your best gal pals for a cozy night in! And best of all, I've got you covered for all the scrumptious desserts: 

SMALL BATCH CAFE & EATERY

Known for having extra sweet cupcakes, Small Batch caters to all indulgent level. From Nutella-filled cupcakes to vegan ones - your gals will thank you.

Not a cupcake fan? Snag a few adorable Art By Taura mugs (limited quantity) with delicious housemade hot chocolate mix and hand-crafted marshmallows. Get your coziest pjs on and let's snuggle up.

BREAD & BUTTER BAKERY

February's cake of the month is Pink Champagne cake and a MUST try. Take a slice home and get the forks ready!

Want to add a bit of Parisian twist to your night? Try some macarons.

CRAVE Coffee House & Bakery

Calories don't count on Galentine's Day - a matter of fact, these cinnamon buns are big, fluffy, soft and absolutely delicious. Your friends will adore you even more after taking a bite!

COFFEE WAY DONUTS

A foodie staple in Kingston, this shop is known for its fresh, handmade doughnuts made daily.

Better yet, surprise your gals with a layered donut cake. Snag a half dozens of jelly donuts, grab a plate and stack those donuts - easy peasy!

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FARDELLA'S RESTAURANT & BAKERY

This may as well be your meal because Fardella fritters are out of this world. You may need a few extra napkins!

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GOLDEN ROOSTER

The cosiest of eateries in downtown Kingston, you would never know they had home-made jelly-filled Berliner donuts. Better get there before noon as they sell out every day.

BALZAC'S COFFEE

One of my favourite spots in downtown Kingston thanks to its French cafe vibe, treat your girls to a luxurious warm drink. The Parisian Mist and Sweet Love Tea Latte are at the top of the list. 

Happy Galentine's Day to all my fabulous ladies! 

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Rosalyn Gambhir
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7 Places in Kingston To Indulge in Charcuterie Boards

7 Places in Kingston To Indulge in Charcuterie Boards


Cheese. 🧀 Oh, the glorious simplicity of something so flavourful and comforting, especially when paired with the perfect glass of vino or maybe even a cured meat or two. Throw in some sweet honeycombs, nuts and jelly and you've got the perfect shareable with your BFF or date night with that special someone.

Image by Stone City Ales

Thankfully, as a foodie hub Kingston is filled with amazing cheese and charcuterie options, so let's enjoy some nibbles: 

TANGO NEUVO TAPAS & WINE

Grab a glass of red sangria and order yourself a board filled with a delicious selection of cured meats, local and international artisan cheeses with house-made crostini.

SAPORI BOTTEGA

Want a truly authentic Italian cafe experience? Sapori is the go-to spot for samples of Italian cheeses and meats!

STONE CITY ALES

Enough to feed a small army, this charcuterie board won't leave you hungry. Be sure to pair it with one of the many house-made beers, or my favourite a bottle of cider.

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RED HOUSE

This pub's board features local meats and cheeses, roasted olives, fresh fruit, gherkin, pepperoncini, grainy dijon and bread. Don't forget to order a side of their crispy buttermilk chicken bites and a refreshing Liefmans Fruitesse. The perfect trio to enjoy a night out!

LE CHIEN NOIR BISTRO

While it may be hard to resist ordering a French main or two, this bistro offers a mouthwatering selection of local and house-made charcuterie and artisan cheese.

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BELLA BISTRO

Get ready to indulge in a board filled with local goodness! Available on the weekends - a Bella Board is worth every bite and leave room for dessert!

OLIVEA

One of my favourite Italian restaurants in downtown Kingston, Olivea's board has meat served with Italian condimenti cheese alongside nuts, truffle honey and preserves. Oh la la!


Cheers to a delicious charcuterie and stay tuned to learn how to make an awesome board at home!
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Rosalyn Gambhir
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That Time a Vegan Cynic Became a Vegan Sympathizer

That Time a Vegan Cynic Became a Vegan Sympathizer


This is for all my lovely vegan friends out there. As we all know, restaurants in Kingston offer vegetarian options, but sometimes vegans aren’t so lucky. Fortunately, there’s a new spot in town where vegans can feel at home. No matter what you order, you won’t have to scrutinize a list of ingredients first.

Kingston's very own Atomica in collaboration with Knifey + Spooney has launched a brand spanking new vegan menu that will make a debut on February 1st.

Best part, the new menu includes comfort food favourites that satisfy off-diet cravings along with more refined delights.


Atomica and Knifey + Spooney Launch Vegan Menu

THAT TIME A VEGAN CYNIC BECAME A VEGAN SYMPATHIZER

Introducing a guest post by Kelly Keates:

Being a stubborn cynic for most of my life, I find it hard to change my way of thinking without testing the waters first. I have always been a hardcore omnivore, enjoying the tastes and textures of smooth cheeses and hearty meats. In my mind, vegan food just could not compete and I shouldn’t even give them the time of day. I was wrong.

Going into this experience, I was excited, yet apprehensive.

I had never eaten vegan cheese or meat in my life. How was this going to go? I consider myself to be an adventurous eater, but I just could not see how this could live up to my high standards.

Worse: what if I LIKED it? 

Atomica Kingston and Knifey + Spooney Launch Vegan Menu

After taking a seat and ordering some drinks (a Moroccan Ruby for me – potent stuff), our first course was brought out rather quickly. Having come into this tasting menu late in the evening, the servers had the routine down pat and spouted off what was on the plate in front of us:

‘Charcuterie’ board with zaatar-almond chèvre, lomo di vegano, MacKinnon Brother's mustard, tomato jam, crostini, pickled onion and fresh berries. 

Looking at the board, I was a little worried about everything would go together. I decided to try the lomo di vegano (essentially vegan pepperoni) first. I was floored. It tasted nearly exactly as pepperoni. The texture was the only thing standing in the way. It didn’t quite hit the meat texture mark, but I could overlook that. I decided next to just load up a crostini with all the fixin’s and have at it. I was amazed! Everything worked together in perfect delicious harmony. And the chèvre! I had to keep reminding myself that it was not actual cheese because it was nearly indistinguishable from a soft cheese.

Next was the Jackfruit Bao Buns with ginger hoisin, sriracha, cilantro and cabbage slaw. 

Atomica Kingston and Knifey + Spooney Launch Vegan Menu

This was the dish I was most excited about as I had been seeing this jackfruit business all over the internet and had to know what was up. I couldn’t fathom how anything but a pig could possibly satisfy my pulled pork needs. I was – again – wrong. I couldn’t believe the flavours and textures that were in this taco-like bun. This dish was a table favourite. I’ll probably be going back to Atomica just for this little slice of vegan heaven.

Next came the Knifey + Spooney Flatbread with calabrese ‘salami,’ funghi ‘bacon,’ la bomba tomato, cashew mozzarella, kale and caramelized onions. 

Atomica Kingston and Knifey + Spooney Launch Vegan Menu

I was surprised that it was actually quite large and everyone at the table got their own flatbread. I will admit: coming after the jackfruit, this was a bit of a letdown. It wasn’t bad per se, just your generic flatbread. It honestly did not taste any different from any other flatbread, which I suppose is the purpose of experimenting with vegan foods. It would seem that the vegans are always trying to trick us omnivores into thinking the vegan version of something tastes exactly the same as the original.

The fourth course consisted of a Cashew Mozzarella Gnocchi with smoked almond parmesan-basil pesto, roasted cremini mushrooms, funghi ‘bacon,’ roasted garlic & red peppers, and ‘bottarga’ di tofu.


Atomica Kingston and Knifey + Spooney Launch Vegan Menu

I have to say, coming after the flatbread, this was a little much. I was already stuffed by the time this course came around and I don’t think I got to appreciate it fully. Overall it was delicious, but I found the sauce to be a little overpowering. I adore pesto more than my future unborn child, but sometimes you can have too much of a good thing. I think that this dish would have done better on its own as a main, being just a touch too rich for the 5-course menu.

Lastly: DESSERT. Who doesn’t love dessert? 

Atomica Kingston and Knifey + Spooney Launch Vegan Menu

Set in front of me was a Chocolate-Chia Pudding with coconut whipped cream and chocolate-covered espresso beans. 

Until this moment, I didn’t think about how the dessert was going to work sans dairy. I mean, dessert is essentially a combo of all of the best non-vegan things: butter, eggs and cream. As it turns out, dessert can exist without these things. I know! I was shocked too! But this chia pudding was actually delicious. My only caveat was the initial texture, which was not what I was anticipating. The chia seeds thicken the pudding to a similar consistency of tapioca pudding – something I am not a fan of. With the coffee beans and coconut whipped cream, however, this dessert works. I didn’t even miss the dairy.

As my first real experience with any true vegan foods, it went well. I am proud to say that I went in with an open – albeit skeptical – mind that was delightfully changed by the end. This does not mean, however, that I am about to run out and buy some vegan pepperoni and cashew mozzarella to throw on my next pizza. I still like my dairy and meat. I do see the appeal now, though, where I didn’t before.

In my book, that’s a win for the conversion column. 

Photography by Claire Bouvier
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Rosalyn Gambhir
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12 Kingston Foodie Spots to Beat the Cold

12 Kingston Foodie Spots to Beat the Cold


Winter is pretty in theory, but we all feel a little down when the world outside is covered with a layer snow (and ice lately). Seriously, this frigid weather isn't my friend and I'm constantly asking when spring will make an appearance. On the bright side, though the love of carbs might have increased,  I know my foodie cravings are also at an all-time high this season.

Thankfully, Kingston is a foodie destination that appeals to all taste buds and why shouldn't we all treat ourselves once and awhile especially when it's freezing outside? From the cutest coffee shops with amazing flat whites to locally owned restaurants with flair, get ready to make your Instagram feed #goals. You'll be the instant envy of all your foodie-obsessed followers.

12 Kingston Foodie Spots to Beat the Cold

Load up the carbs (in moderation of course), the delicious goodness and let's beat the winter blues with these amazing Kingston hot spots:

COFFEE WAY KINGSTON

The best donuts in town!

NORTHSIDE ESPRESSO + KITCHEN

Best spot to indulge in our caffeine craving.

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CACAO 70

Chocolate lovers rejoice!

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BELLA MARKET

Grab a cup of tea and warm up with a sweet cinnamon bun.

LE CHEIN NOIR

Sometimes all we need is a good drink in hand and our fav gal pals.

OLIVEA

Look no further for fresh pasta after a skate at Springer Market Square!

STONE CITY ALE

Ooey gooey cheesy goodness with a bit of a jalapeno kick to warm you up!

SAKA

This new addition to the foodie scene is a must to escape the cold.

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ROYAL ANGKOR

What better to warm up than with a flavourful curry!

TOAST & JAM

Weekend brunch? You best arrive early to avoid lineups! You won't regret the visit.

MEMORIAL FARMERS MARKET

Did someone say perogies? I guess I know what you're doing this Sunday!

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BUBBA'S

Late night cravings in the downtown core? That's an easy one - poutine of course.

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CHEESECAKERY BAKERY

Netflix and chill anyone? Grab your cheesecake in a jar and enjoy.

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What are your go-to spots on a chilly day?

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Rosalyn Gambhir
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Grilled Jerk Shrimp with Pineapple Rice

Grilled Jerk Shrimp with Pineapple Rice


As the days get shorter and the months get colder (especially with the freezing rain), I simply dread coming home and thinking about what to make for dinner. What ingredients do I have? How long will it take? I'm a 30-minute prep dinner type of gal during the week or else I get 'hangry' and it ain't pretty. My foodie partner-in-crime can vouch for that.

So while I wish it was sunny and above 20 degrees, what better way to bring a little bit of Caribbean flavour to my kitchen than with jerk seasoning.

Are you ready to dial up the heat for dinner tonight?

Whether you're planning a Caribbean feast or just want to snack, fire up the grill and get ready to enjoy some great mouthwatering jerk shrimp with pineapple rice thanks to Grace Foods.

Not only will jerk provide a punch of flavour to your meal, but it will also give you an extra boost during these colder months and perk up your palate.  The heat of the jerk marinade complements the freshness and sweetness of pineapples in this dish with just the right amount of spice and happy tingle.

Scroll down to learn how to keep the spice alive with island sizzle!

Jerk Shrimp Pineapple Rice

Jerk Shrimp Pineapple Rice

JERK SHRIMP WITH PINEAPPLE RICE

Prep Time: 10 min
Total Time: 30 min

Ingredients

Shrimp
1 pound large shrimp, tail on, deveined and cleaned
1 tablespoon of Olive Oil
1 cup of Grace Jerk Marinade
1 cup of cubed pineapple
1/2 cup pepper diced
1/2 cup baby tomato diced
1/2 lime

Pineapple Rice
1 cup of Basmati rice
2 cups of water
1/2 cup of diced pineapple
1/2 lime

Instructions

Step 1 - Shrimp

Combine Grace Jerk Marinade and shrimp in a large bowl. Toss well to coat and let marinate for a few hours to overnight. Prepare grill to medium-high heat (350° to 400°) and oil the grill once it's preheated with your choice of oil. Olive oil was used here.

While the grill heats up, thread shrimp evenly onto metal skewers along with tomatoes, pepper and cubed pineapple. Then squeeze lime over top for extra flavouring. Set aside.

Step 2 - Pineapple Rice 

In a medium-sized pot add water, diced pineapple and lime juice. Bring a pot to a boil. Add the rice, stir, and wait until the water comes back to a full boil. When it does, reduce to a simmer and then cover. Cook rice for 15 minutes or until all water is absorbed and rice is soft. Remove from heat and let rice sit for 2-3 minutes covered.

Step 3 

As the rice is being prepared, place shrimp skewers on the grill for 8 minutes and then turn once for 4-6 minutes or desired tenderness.

Place rice in a bowl and top with grilled jerk shrimp, pineapple and tomatos!

Jerk Shrimp Pineapple Rice

Jerk Shrimp Pineapple Rice

Jerk Shrimp Pineapple Rice

Thank you to Grace Foods for sponsoring this post!
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Rosalyn Gambhir
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[name=Rosalyn Gambhir] [img=http://i1139.photobucket.com/albums/n543/Rosalyn_Gambhir/Rosalyn_1.jpg] [description=Rosalyn Gambhir is the gal behind the blog The Staycationer. Whether its exploring the local food scene with her foodie partner-in-crime or taking in the view from her favourite cafe, Rosalyn is always a tourist, looking for the next exciting adventure. The Staycationer allows you to rediscover hidden gems in your very own backyard.] (facebook=https://www.facebook.com/thestaycationer) (twitter=https://twitter.com/rosalyngambhir) (instagram=https://www.instagram.com/rosalyngambhir/)

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