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Rio Mare Tuna in Olive Oil



There is a first time for everything and this month, I had the opportunity to sample Rio Mare Tuna - solid high quality light tuna in olive oil. This isn't your typical fish in a can as it is far better due to its natural taste and fishy smell. The quality is far superior than most North American product as it is filled with flavour and tender tuna, "so tender that it can be cut with a breadstick." It combines the natural properties of fish - healthy, low in fat, rich in protein and the pleasure of good Italian food.


Characteristics:
The unique and unmistakeable flavour of Rio Mare tuna, with its distinctive pink colour and its consistent quality.

Why: 
Its high quality is guaranteed by stringent controls and extremely thorough cleaning processes; the tuna is canned with the sole addition of good olive oil and a pinch of sea salt.

Kitchen tip:
Ideal in all recipes, from starters to fresh and tantalizing salads.

Ingredients:
 Tuna, olive oil, salt, water.



With Rio Mare tuna, the options for meals are endless from lettuce wraps, tuna melt pizzas to penne tuna pasta - my go-to recipe for this product as seen below. Like most pasta dishes, it's easy, simple to prepare and will surely spark a conversation. Since Rio Mare tuna is olive oil based, it makes the recipe even fresher tasting and the combination of lemon and parsley bring the dish to life.



Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add: 
1  T. coarse sea salt
600 g. | 2/3 lb. penne

In a large skillet, add: 
a drizzle of olive oil
2 large onions, minced
salt and freshly-ground pepper to taste

Saute over medium heat, until translucent and add: 
2 cans of Rio Mare tuna

Stir to heat through about 2-3 minutes, being careful not to dry out tuna. Add: 
3 T. dry white wine
juice of 1 lemon

Continue cooking over medium heat until the sauce begins to glisten and much of the liquid is absorbed. Add: 
1/2 cup chopped parsley

Turn heat to lowest setting and add: 
cooked penne
drizzle of olive

Turn out onto a serving platter and garnish with more chopped parsley. Serve immediately.

Servings: 5-7

Riomare Tuna is available in Quebec at Metro, IGA, Costco and Independent Grocery Store for an average retail of $5.99.

Enjoy!

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Rosalyn Gambhir
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Taste of Kingston | Chez Piggy Summer Menu 2014



Kingston is a city that has no shortage of spectacular places to eat out and a restaurant that truly stands the testament of tradition and culinary exception is Chez Piggy located in historic downtown. The brainchild of Rose Richardson and Zal Yanovsky, Chez Piggy continues to stand today as a destination dining establishment for food lovers where the best ingredients are turned into innovative and inspiring dishes. But who is behind all these creations? None other than Chef Ian Arthur - a local boy who truly embraces fresh and local foods.


Like a kid at a birthday party, I was filled with excitement when invited to Chez Piggy to sample this summer's menu orchestrated by Chef Ian. With sounds of compliments and laughs of joy around my table, I grew anxious of what would be plated in front of me, as Chef Ian strives to take adventurous eaters on a culinary journey similar to the ones he’s experienced eating all over the world. Staying true to his roots, Ian is a local boy who has gone local, as he says, "You can't take the farm out of the man."

At Chez Piggy, eating locally means eating seasonally and this summer's menu articulates this notion quite nicely. With fresh elements simply prepared and the finest meats as well as sustainable seafood, this self-taught chef showcases their flavours in a myriad of perfectly executed dishes in what he calls his "pirate ship" i.e. the kitchen as seen below in sample size.

Ocean Wise Smoked Salmon Plate With Patchwork Gardens Arugula Salad Topped With Drizzle Of Lemon
Light Rye Bun - Orange Horseradish Butter - Honey Vanilla Butter - Capers - Red Onions

{Smoked Wild Salmon Plate with Arugula Salad}

Seared Alaskan Sea Scallops with Hoisin Sauce
Shredded Duck Confit - Orange Glazed Bok Choy - Basamti Rice - Crispy Wontons

 
{Seared Alaskan Sea Scallops with Hoisin Sauce}

Mint & Garlic Crusted Lamb Confit
Lamb Demi-Glazed - Orange Pistachio Israeli Couscous & Raisins Infused With Citrus Brandy - Tzatziki - Summer Vegetables

{Mint & Garlic Crusted Lamb Confit}

Shallot & Thyme Marinated Ostrich Loin
Chive Crème Fraîche - Sautéed Mushrooms - Watercress - Root Vegetable Chip Medley i.e. Finger Food Galore

{Shallot & Thyme Marinated Ostrich Loin}

Main dishes at Chez Piggy are about both quality and quantity, as your stomach is left well-satisfied and taste buds savouring each bite. Each plate presented to me had its own distinct feature from sweetness, texture and visual appeal.

The icing on the cake was being presented a cheese plate with local artisan cheeses, amongst them my current favourites - Highland Blue of Back Forty Artisan Cheese which was showcased at The Great Canadian Cheese Festival and Pilgramish of Bushgarden Farmstead Cheese paired with slices of apples, grapes and crostini from Pan Chancho. If you're a cheese lover, this plate is for you.

Last but not least, dessert. A bowl of custard - but scorch the top and give it a French name and suddenly I have the classic crème brûlée before my eyes. The crisp shell that shattered satisfyingly under my spoon, was met with a rich, smooth layer of custard beneath with a whisper of vanilla. A true favourite of mine.

Chez Piggy is perfect for an intimate evening for two or a large gathering of friends and this summer's menu meets all expectations and beyond.

To imagine that an abandoned limestone stable would once be turned into a restaurant filled with passion, elegance and sophistication - Chez Piggy is truly the vision of two brilliant minds and is now in the hands of Zoe Yanovsky and creative Chef Ian Arthur whose talent for bringing food to life is a stunning work of art and creating memorable dining experiences - with an emphasis on fresh flavours and local ingredients. 

Where: 68 Princess St, Kingston, ON


Chez Piggy Restaurant & Bar on Urbanspoon
Rosalyn Gambhir
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Mother Daughter Date



Let's face it and be honest, I don't reveal a lot about my personal life on the blog but I truly want you to know what I go through on an everyday basis and what inspired me to be who I am today. With that said, I have realized that you should live life to the fullest and cherish every moment with loved ones. Don't take anything for granted. I say this, as my life has been filled with ups and downs. Most recently, my mum had a tumor in her colon (she's all better now as it was caught early!) - this was a wake up call.

Both my parents have had their fair share of being in the hospital and then me assisting in their recovery at home. My dad is in his late 60s and is one of the main reasons that has influenced my way of thinking. He like mum is courageous, resilient and a hell of a fighter. Why? (Sad story...) Imagine losing your wife and two young children. This truly destroyed him but with support and strength, he bounced back, though those thoughts never leave you. Imagine starting your own business from the ground up in your 20s and successfully being your own boss for over 40 years. My dad taught me the true value of money - materialistic items are just things that instil momentary happiness while experiences leave you with a lifetime of memories. These two components combined have shaped the way I view life and my interaction with people. I am an introvert and most time come across as shy/quiet but I am always up for meeting new people and give everyone the opportunity to be a friend but if you don't fit my so called list of criteria then toodles - just a few to name in no precise order: no swearing or drama, positive outlook, be sincere, live life with a passion, don't be loud and obnoxious, it's a two way street etc. As with fashion, quality is better than quantity which is why I am quite content with a knit group of friends whom I know I can rely on. 

This brings me to the point that life is precious. When you're around loved ones and friends, learn from them, motivate one another and do fun and exciting activities that you will remember vividly.

When I went on vacation last week, the famjam made a pit stop in Ottawa before the trip to the cottage where mum and I enjoyed lunch together while dad and I went fishing each morning at the cottage.

Hold those near you as close as can because you never know when they could slip away...

A few snaps from lunch at Hilton Lac Lemay:  









Enjoy!

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Rosalyn Gambhir
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Photo Diary | Vacation at the Cottage



All that needs to be said is that last week, I spent five glorious days at my family cottage in Harrington, Quebec - a 20 minute drive from Mont Tremblant. I was somewhat unplugged from the world and enjoyed mother nature at her finest. Being such a busy bee, it was nice to escape from the city and spend quality time with my parents.

A few of my favourite shots:














Enjoy!

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Rosalyn Gambhir
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Brunch | L'Avenue sur Mont Royal


Trying to find the perfect brunch spot in Montreal? There's only one answer! Say hello to L'Avenue - where calories don't exist. It is the go-to brunch spot in Montreal which is probably why there are insane line ups most days of the week.

L'Avenue sur Mont Royal
{Arc-en-ciel Eggs Benedict}

Located in the Plateau near Mont Royal metro station, L'Avenue is known for its funky decor yet casual urban atmosphere. It's a fun, inviting and happening place, but the food is the main attraction (obviously!) and gets people coming back again. As you walk in, don't be alarmed by the walls covered in graffiti or the motorcycle hanging from the ceiling - definitely check out the bathrooms; they've become as popular as the restaurant itself.

L'Avenue sur Mont Royal
{Selection of Eggs Benedict}

L'Avenue sur Mont Royal
{Fruit Skewer}

L'Avenue and I have an on-going love affair. As one of the only brunch spots I frequent when I'm back in Montreal, it has allowed me to appreciate the concept of brunch and make it an experience with the people I'm with. It is at this establishment years ago, where I discovered the infamous waffle topped with bacon and cheddar cheese - simply amazing especially with maple syrup doused on. Though now days, my bucket list is to try every eggs benedict dish on the menu as the eggs are always perfectly poached and the hollandaise sauce is always warm, creamy and buttery. But wait! We can't forget about L'Avenue's signature potatoes - seasoned with garlic and herbs, they might be a struggle to finish but you'll be wanting more!

Arc-en-ciel Eggs Benedict
2 Omega-3 Poached Eggs, Smoked Salmon, Cream Cheese and Capers topped with Hollandaise Sauce.

{Arc-en-ciel Eggs Benedict}

This go-to spot is known for wake-up worthy morning meals and is the perfect cure for a hangovers! So be patient when you notice long lines extending out to the sidewalk. Time is on your side - strike up a conservation with a person in line, catch up on news or call an old friend. L'Avenue is phenomenal at what it does and with large portions you are sure to leave a happy camper!

Where: 922 Avenue du Mont-Royal Est, Montreal, Quebec

All images were taken with a Moto X thanks to Rogers.

Enjoy!

L'Avenue on Urbanspoon
Rosalyn Gambhir
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The Socialist Pig | The Shoal Burger



The Socialist Pig has become my weekend getaway from Kingston. Located in Gananoque, a mere 20 minutes away, it is one of my favourite spots to dine for lunch. Whether it is the creamy mac n cheese or baja fish taco, my tummy is always satisfied. I felt adventurous and quite hungry, so I went ahead and ordered The Shoal - the most unique burger I've come across and had to share! Filled with simple ingredients, this dish is bursting with flavours!

What is it?

Two thin patties of house ground brisket and chuck. American Cheddar.
Locally produced 1000 Islands Dressing. Tomato. Onion. Arugula.


Where: 21 King St E, Gananoque, Ontario

Rosalyn Gambhir
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Ontario Gas BBQ Recipe Challenge | Mara Shapiro



In celebrating the BBQ season, 5 food-savvy bloggers have been selected from the Toronto GTA region to compete in a recipe challenge using Ontario Gas BBQ (OGB) grilling tools. Each blogger (Challenger) will create 5 original recipes, one of which will be selected to be part of a fan (YOU!) vote to compete against the other Challengers.

The Challengers
Charmian Christie of The Messy Baker - @charmian_c
Stephanie Caruso of Kitchen Frolic - @kirchenfrolic
Jennifer Maloney of Seasons and Suppers - @SeasonsSuppers
Mara Shapiro of Be Nice or Leave Thanks - @ChickyMara
Steve Cylka of The Black Peppercorn - @blackpeppercrn

But TODAY! I had the wonderful opportunity to talk to Mara Shapiro of Be Nice or Leave Thanks  - one of the BBQ Recipe Challengers. I'm all about girl power and when it comes to barbecuing, hells ya we can do that and Mara truly embodies that vision. Her tip for first time female BBQers is "Don't be afraid to take the grill back! The BBQ doesn't have to be a man's domain. I'm proud to be a Chick Who Grills."

Coined as 'Social Media Miss Fancypants' on Twitter, you could say Mara was a picky eater as a child only eating cheese melted on toast (sounds like me!) but it was growing up and her father's passion for cooking, that inspired her to experiment with creating recipes and learning to make some of her restaurant favourites at home.

"Those were the best times and so the connections between family, food, and love became integral to my passion for cooking (and eating)."

The most important answer we're truly seeking is where did Mara learn how to barbecue for the first time - drum roll please! Her good ol' dad was the king of his BBQ (aren't they the best!) and through his creativity on the grill, her wealth of knowledge grew along with her ability to have fun and trusting her instincts using the power of her senses. Dishes stand out when you put your own personal stamp on them and that's exactly what Mara did, "As soon as you let go of the need to follow instructions and ingredients to the teaspoon...you'll become a better and more relaxed cook. Seriously, what's the worst that could happen?"

With that in mind, it is summer and obviously the perfect time to be grilling but do you have trouble coming up with inspiration or nothing on Pinterest tickles your fancy? Mara gets hers from foods that she's tasted elsewhere and loved. Her particular favourites are mediterranean, ethnic and asian cuisine which can be seen in the dishes she whipped up for this challenge but at times it's off the cuff, "I have a vivid imagination so sometimes I'll just be in the grocery store and I 'see' what I want to make with it. I just envision what I want to cook, how I want the dish to look, how I want people to feel when they see it and taste it." Making her family or guests feel good about themselves and seeing smiles light up as she feeds them truly sparks Mara's creativity and curiosity towards her BBQ dishes.

Being a Challenger, Mara had to create 5 unique dishes using Ontario Gas BBQ (OGB) grilling tools and she did so quite seamlessly. Incorporating the maple wraps within her Grilled Maple Sausage Breakfast Hash dish made the sausages taste spectacular while the fish basket she utilized
 for the Thai Grilled Salmon with Coconut Lemongrass Sauce dish was most versatile.

During the process of concocting all these mouth watering dishes during the challenge, the Mole Turkey Tacos with Jicama Slaw was Mara's favourite to prepare - "Smoking the turkey and making the mole bbq sauce was quite a feather in my cap. I was pretty darn proud of myself." Though the easiest dish was the Maple Sausage Breakfast Hash as it was one she could prepare over and over on the fly. It's always a tough call trying to decide which of your dishes is your favourite but Mara executed all hers to a tee and her food photography was exceptional.

Good luck Mara!

Mara's Challenge Recipes:

Day 1: Thai Grilled Salmon with Coconut Lemongrass Sauce



Day 2: Inspired Gado Gado Lettuce Wraps with Roasted Garlic Peanut Dressing




Day 3: Mole Turkey Tacos with Jicama Slaw



Day 4: Grilled Maple Sausage Breakfast Hash



Day 5: Sweet Potato and Fig Salad


Now where do you as a public viewer come into play?

You have the opportunity to head over to the BBQ Recipe Challenge page to vote for your favourite mouth watering dish until July 31st. Each vote will be entered to win one of five $100 Ontario Gas BBQ Gift cards!

To see Mara’s recipes or any of the other 4 challengers, visit:
www.bbqs.com/bbqrecipechallenge

Images from Be Nice Or Leave Thanks.

Enjoy!

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Rosalyn Gambhir
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Taste of Kingston 2014



The city of Kingston is one that is well-versed in the culinary scene and attracts tourists from every corner of the world.




This past weekend, Kingston was the place to be as it was filled with foodie events and it made it all more exciting when a good university friend came into town who shared my passion of staycationing and of course good food. With lunch at The Common Market, drinks at Lone Star and lobster rolls at Dianne's, nothing was stopping this duo from attending a downtown Kingston chef cooking demo and filling our bellies up even more at Taste of Kingston in support of the Canadian Diabetes Association at Confederation Park on Saturday, July 5th.


With 23 vendors on site serving up numerous options to satisfy peoples taste buds, though not a lot of local restaurants were featured - I kept an open mind and had my nose guide the way. 10 food tokens in hand, we scoured the grounds like hungry children. 



Of course the first stop of the day had bite sized grilled cheese paninis from Wilton Cheese. Gotta support Canadian cheese!

FREE!


As I've already had Tandoori Sizzle countless times before, I snapped a picture instead to show my support for my culture and delicious tasting butter chicken! This establishment is dubbed as healthy Indian takeout and you betcha it is!


An oldie but a favourite - who doesn't love brushcetta?! It's easy to make and great for any occasion.

Jack Astor's Kingston
Roasted Garlic Brushcetta

1 Ticket


Let's face it, Milestones would be the last place I'd get a curry chicken dish because growing up in an Indian household, I've had my fair share of curry dishes and can tell if one is lacking in spices or flavour. Milestone's dish was quite different as it was Thai inspired in a red curry coconut cream sauce combined with red peppers topped with green onions and steam Asian greens over a bed of Jasmine rice. It was very filling and quite appetizing!

Milestones Grill + Bar Kingston
Red Curry Chicken Bowl with Rice

3 Tickets


Boy oh boy was this dish spectacular! It was filled with aspects that all complemented one another and my sweet side truly enjoyed the play on the camp fire treat. The Garrison Culinary team went above and beyond with their dish!

Garrison Culinary Team
Roasted New York Striploin with Peppercorn Sauce
Garlic and Lemon Potato Brochette's
Southern Style Roasted Vegetables
Bacon Wrapped Scallop
Smore Explosion Shot

3 Tickets


Two thumbs up for this marvellous team that worked so unified together in their mobile kitchen. One of the longest lines at Taste of Kingston, it was also one of the fastest and filled with laughter.



To end the day, a cold bevy from the one and only Starbucks had to be had for the drive back home.

Starbucks Coffee
 Passion Tea Lemonade

3 Tickets


Silly Rosalyn Highlight of the Day:
And let's just say I had two other tickets I may have used at Urban Paws Downtown booth and got vanilla frozen yogurt as I was a tad hot... but it was meant for dogs. How silly could I be? Then again it was made out of all natural yogurt and milk.
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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