Tag Archives: chocolate

20160112_120653

CHASE AWAY THE WINTER BLUES WITH FINE BELGIAN CHOCOLATE!

Dropped in to my fave chocolate shop today, De Meersman Belgian Chocolates, in the Holt Renfrew lower concourse mall at 60 Bloor St West, Toronto and I have to admit, I kinda indulged my sweet-tooth with some fine hand-made Belgian chockies. Yummmmmm!20160112_120647Owners Guido De Meersman and his lovely wife Kay have been fattening me up for years now – in fact, I’m sure all the money I’ve spent in the store must have paid out their home mortgage by now…LOL. Their retail space is bright and welcoming and showcases a number of specialty brands like Neuhaus and Maxim’s de Paris, as well as their own line of fine handcrafted truffles and bonbons. As Guido says…”In Belgium, chocolate is a staple, not a luxury” and I’ve made a point to adopt that philosophy here in Toronto.20160112_120537 20160112_120619I ran into Al Matanovic of Jelly Studio who designed all their posters and signage. Here’s Al doing his best Vanna White impression showing me the new Uddenberg Premium Hot Chocolate also available at De Meersman’s.20160112_120518Al introduced me to the exclusive line of Christmas chocolates he helped create for Liona Boyd, Canada’s pre-eminent award-winning classical guitarist (see below). There are still a few gift boxes available so hurry on down and grab a couple – they truly are “party in your mouth” delicious!!20160112_120637Ladies, tell your sweethearts to pick up one of these girlie-girlie gift packages for Valentine’s that are cuter than the usual red heart-shaped boxes (which they also carry for the V-day traditionalists).20160112_120452 20160112_120456De Meersman can ship direct to you, too, if you’re outside of the Yonge/Bloor neighbourhood (details on their website). So don’t take my word for it, drop in and see/taste why I consider De Meersman Belgian Chocolates the “Disneyland” for chocolate lovers and sweet gourmands. Located in Holt Renfrew concourse shops at the far western end of the mall. Say hi to Kay who is nearly always behind the counter (see, I caught her thru the window – below). 20160112_120746

http://demeersmanchocolate.com/

T: (416) 944-8822

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SHOPBAKE.COM IS THE SWEETEST DELIVERY BUSINESS IN TORONTO!

I recently heard about an exciting new online service for Toronto’s foodies, catering to those inflicted by “sweet tooth” syndrome like me and I knew I just had to share this with you all as we head into the hectic festive holiday season.

Shopbake.com is the city’s first-ever online bakery marketplace, and after being in business for one year they’ve just launched their new on-demand home delivery program in time for the holidays. Shopbake allows Torontonians to order and receive delectable “party in your mouth” goodies within 90 minutes of placing an online order. OMG, dear readers, these are now my new food besties!  The outstanding selection of baked products are sourced from Toronto’s leading bakeries, confectioners and cake-makers including Mary Macleod’s Shortbread, Toronto Popcorn Company, Sweets from the Earth, For the Love of Cake, Rose and Cole Crackey as well as Shopbake’s own signature kitchen.IMG_0014 IMG_0122
p_648_759_648 p_228_340_228IMG_0136“After our first year, my executive team and I have used our customer feedback as a starting point to create a more sophisticated platform that will enhance the user experience for both buyers and sellers,” says Monica Abramov, founder of Shopbake.com. “Our goal is to create an online bakery shopping experience that is fast, intuitive, more user-friendly and of course, delicious.”p_257_559_257So whether you’re serving dinner for the family or planning a fancy-schmancy celebration and don’t have the time or energy left to create a fabulous dessert, Shopbake.com can help you out fast ‘n’ tasty. They offer sweet treats that are gluten free, too, so there’s something for everyone and every palate.  From pop-cakes to flavoured popcorn, cupcakes to candied brittle, cookies to shortbread – you name it, Shopbake.com will get it to your dining table in 90 minutes! And for those last-minute “oh crap, I forgot…..” Christmas emergencies, they can deliver these festive goodies( below)p_503_837_503 p_698_864_698And they even offer seasonal spice blend sachets if you’re serving an old fashioned mulled cider or wine! No Scrooges here…LOLMulled cider stuffIf this blog hasn’t got your juices flowing, you ain’t human!! So stop licking your lips and hurry on over to www.Shopbake.com now to place an order and tell them I sent you. Yum yum yum yum……

20151027_191853

“EAT TO THE BEAT” FUNDRAISING GALA FEEDS THE SOUL AS WELL AS THE TUMMY!

Thanks to my friend and PR colleague, Peter Ashworth, I attended last night’s “Eat to the Beat” fundraiser benefitting the Willow Breast & Hereditary Cancer Support organization here in Toronto at the prestigious Roy Thomson Hall.img284Hundreds of hungry guests strolled around the circular outer hall, indulging in some of the yummiest treats created by the city’s leading female chefs, accompanied by all manner of liquid refreshments including one of my favourites…below20151027_194810

Upon entering the grand hall, my BFF Erena and I were greeted by a bustiered kick-line of charming volunteers from the Willow organization. They were outfitted to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Eat to the Beat and as you can see in this quickee video, all were bedecked in festive accoutrements…LOL

What a great way to start the evening. Congrats to all the energetic, hard-working volunteers! 20151027_185754So Erena (in B&W striped jacket below) and I pressed on and started our safari into the gourmet jungle. Calories be damned!20151027_201504 20151027_193512So many charming chefs who proudly shared their best dishes with us all…20151027_190544 20151027_192934 20151027_190300

20151027_191144 20151027_190955Lamb was a popular meat last night which, of course, made this Downunder lady very happy. It’s no joke when we Aussies boast that Australia was built on the back of a sheep. Yummm.

In between gobbling up the samples, we ran into media friend Christine Bentley (host of “What She Said” on SiriusXM)20151027_193940….and more fabulous funny friends from Willow & event sponsor Scotiabank who worked the room like pro’s!20151027_194534In case you were wondering…yes, there were lots of handsome gentlemen there, too, including reps from Hockley Beer, Pr. Edward County wineries, Ace Bakery and the Bonnie Gordon College of Confectionary Arts!20151027_190451 20151027_191432 20151027_200306 20151027_201154Lots of delicious desserts were on offer, too, and being the dedicated chocoholic that I am, I headed straight for the Succulent Chocolates table (below).  You have to taste their chocky-wokkies…wow, talk about a party in your mouth!!20151027_194319These sour cherry/mascarpone blintzes were amazing, too.20151027_191929So many food stations, not enough tummy space! So glad I wore elastic waisted pants…LOL20151027_190511 20151027_200023 20151027_195938 20151027_192904

20151027_190424Apart from all the festive foods and drinkies consumed, we mustn’t lose sight of the night’s mission to raise awareness and $s for the Willow organization. All of us with family, friends or our own selves living with cancer are so grateful to Willow for providing an amazing network of support services. THANK YOU!
It was so nice to see such an enthusiastic crowd coming out to support the event….20151027_191848 20151027_200844

…just enough time left to enjoy a few more naughty nibbles at the dessert stations….20151027_191521

20151027_200439..and thank goodness for Starbucks and their smiling crew (below) who helped cleanse my palette with a nice strong cuppa coffee.20151027_190045I managed to snap two of my favorite ladies, Erena (below left) with Lynne (below right) from KMH Labs on Edward Street20151027_203442And here he is, the one and only Peter Ashworth (below) who worked so hard with his lovely associate Ashley to bring in the media to cover this important soiree.20151027_203751Please visit  www.willow.org  if you need any support or information. And if you would like to like to donate to their cause, it’s certainly not too late.20151027_204007