Month: May 2014

thirsty thursday: shock top’s lemon shandy

delicious shandy

I went to my 2nd jays game of the season this past Saturday and headed out to the ‘bleachers’, where I tend to watch most games now. I was about to order my go-to beer and I noticed two different coloured shock tops, in addition to the regular one, I was excited to find out what these were. Turns out, shock top now offers a lemon shandy and a raspberry wheat.

At this game, I tried the lemon shandy, save the raspberry for next time. I’ve enjoyed shandies in the past and this was no different. Last summer when I wanted a shandy, I’d have the ricards version, this one wasn’t as sweet as that one, so you could likely drink more of them if sweetness is not your thing. I would have enjoyed this beer if they had of opened the roof (it was beautiful, I still can’t believe it was cold), but I’d definitely have this again the next time I want a shandy.

delicious shandy
delicious shandy

Have you tried either of the new shock tops?

rosalie sinanan: pathfinder

If you follow me on Twitter, you might have seen some photos form a CD release party I went to on Sunday. The artist was the extremely talented Rosalie Sinanan. This event was the debut of her album “Pathfinder” and she performed the entire CD for us on Sunday night.

I had heard a couple of Rosalie’s songs on the CBC website before going to the show and liked the preview I had, her songs are a bit of a mix between pop, rock and some alternative. The range in her voice is absolutely incredible, it was so powerful. And, not only is she an amazing singer but she can also play the piano beautifully which she did for her song “Lost Girl” as well as the touching song she wrote for her mom (as the party was on mother’s day). The songs are about finding your path, about the decisions you make in life and how they can have a positive or negative impact. Each song had a meaning to Rosalie and it was very interesting to be able to get the insight from the artist about what each of these songs represented. I found it incredibly impressive that she can sing, play instruments and write her owns songs, maybe it’s because I basically have no musical abilities whatsoever so to meet someone with that kind of talent blows me away.

I’d have to say my favourite song from the album is “My Power”, a song about rediscovering yourself, which was a little more on the rock side. I can definitely envision playing that loudly with the windows rolled down. You can find Rosalie on the CBC music website or on Twitter. Definitely a Canadian artist worth checking out. I’d like to thank Rosalie for inviting me to the show on Sunday, it was a beautiful way to spend the evening.

PS: I also have to mention her opening band, Dead Penny Collection (formerly Dead Penny Trio, but now there’s 4 of them). They cover a large range of songs, with a really unique style. They’re on Facebook and YouTube.

 

Ironically, I could only get a picture of three of them.
Ironically, I could only get a picture of three of them.

 

craveTO

It’s no secret that I love Toronto and the local events, food, beverages and art that this city has to offer. I truly believe that this is a city that comes alive in the summer, the beautiful weather makes Toronto to to get ouside. CraveTO will provide the opportunity for Torontonians to celebrate the “official launch to patio season”. The event will have a variety of local food, local drinks and local DJs and here’s what I’m looking forward to.

outdoor patio

The food line up is quite impressive, with 15 food vendors participating. I know for sure that I will be eating perogies that night. I love perogies and even the Spicy Pierogi‘s original looks amazing, it has a lager cheese sauce! I also love roasted corn so I’m excited to try Mr. Corn – they roast their corn and cover it in a bunch of different topics. The Sweet Sammies also look so amazing. They’re homemade ice cream sandwiches, everything on their menu looks
so good, I’m excited to see what they offer at the event. I know for sure I’ll be trying out more things at the event but those are the ones I will be sure to cross off my list.

As for the beers, they’ve got five breweries in attendance. I usually like to try something new at festivals, something I wouldn’t be able to get otherwise or may not be ready to commit to yet but I’ve tried at least something from everyone at the festival so the beer will be a surprise. I’ll take surprise beer any day of the week.
There will also be 3 local DJs in attendance, Amber Long, Mike Glee and Esther Benoit. They’ll ensure the party vibe is in place throughout this delicious event.
The event is May 30th, from 5pm-11pm – a nice after work event. It’s taking place at the beautiful Wychwood Barns near Christie and St. Clair. Tickets are $16.75 and you can earn a 5% discount by sharing on social media. I’m looking forward to this tasty event!

 

 

CraveTOIgniteyoursenses

 

 

powerful read: i am malala

I just finished “I am Malala” and was completely blown away by the story. The story begins with the day Malala was shot by the Taliban. She then begins to narrate the history of Pakistan and her story of standing up for girl’s education.

As someone who grew up going to school freely and have attended a number of post-secondary programs, it’s hard for me to understand that someone could be shot just for wanting to learn. Her desire seems to basic to someone like me that had easy access to education my entire life. It is hard to imagine that there are over 57 million children who do not attend primary school and as she tells in the story over half of them are girls. I also started reading this book shortly after over 200 girls were kidnapped in Nigeria from their school, echoing that even years after Malala was shot, girls’ education is not a right around the world. It is terrifying to me that people could be injured, attacked or killed for wanting something as ‘simple’ as an education. It makes me grateful for the opportunities I have had in my life and makes me appreciate my education just that much more.

The story is beautifully told, it is a remarkable story about a truly remarkable girl. This book I believe is just the begin of her story. Although this book deals with very heavy subjects and I had tears in my eyes on more than one occassion it’s an excellent book and I recommend everyone learn more about the girl “who fought for girls’ education”.

 

May 9-11: what to do/see/eat/drink this weekend

Today is apparently going to be the warmest day of the year “so far”, it’s very exciting. Hopefully you’ll be able to get outside and enjoy the weekend! Here’s some ideas on what’s going on this weekend.

Do: With the warmer weather comes beautiful plants and flowers and this weekend will be the first Toronto Flower Market of the year. This is a great opportunity to fill your home with beautiful new flowers or get something special for mom. It takes place at 1056 Queen St W tomorrow from 10am-3pm.

See: Canadian Music Week ends tomorrow but there’s still plenty of shows to see throughout the city. The vary in price, some of the showcases are even free. It’s a great way to discover new, Canadian talent. The CMW site has lots of information to help you find the perfect show for your weekend.

Eat: Tomorrow is the annual M&M meat shops charity BBQ in support of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation. For a minimum donation of $3, you get a hamburger or hot dog, a drink and a bag of chips. Their goal is to raise $1,000,000. This is a great foundation helping people living with these diseases. I know a number of people affected by both Crohn’s and Colitis and hope everyone will hit up their local M&M meat shops tomorrow between 10am-4pm.

Drink: The Gladstone host monthly TV Trivia, usually on a night through the week but the month is special. They’re hosting a special 90210 trivia in honour of Jason Priestly’s new memoir, which will be used for some of the prizes. There is also drink specials and prizes for people who dress up. It starts at 8pm but always best to get there early when it comes to trivia, some people are intense!

I hope you all have a fantastic weekend, and to the mamas out there, I hope you have a great mother’s day!

And now, for the Friday song.

thirsty thursday: somersby

The next few days are supposed to be over 20! Did we think this would happen without a minus in front of it!? Maybe not. One of the few really sunny nice days we had I was out of a patio (shocking, I know) and I ordered what I considered to be a very summery drink.

cider beer drinks summer
somersby for our summer weather

This crisp cider is extremely refreshing and best served over ice. It does have a strong apple taste but if you’re a fan of apple juice or apple cider then you’ll likely love this cider. Cider is definitely starting to make its mark on the beverage scene, Toronto will host it’s first Ontario Cider Week from June 2-7. This will be a great opportunity to get to know more about this delicious, usually gluten-free, summery drink!

kickstarter: sinkers

sinkers kickstarter

One of the best things to happen because of the internet is crowdsourcing. It’s great for the projects because it’s a way to get funding for a great idea, that may otherwise be impossible to get. For the supporters, they know they played a part in the development of a product, a show or a movie.

One of the projects I’ve chosen to support is a film by local writer/director Ian Pozzebon called “Sinkers“. The film is about a comedy two wannabe wise-guys who set their sights on taking the next steps in their criminal careers. The funds from this project will be used to for every aspect of the film including cameras, lighting, sound, location fees, props and wardrobe. The writer has spent the last five years perfecting the script and with the support of kickstarter backers, the film will become a reality. The film also has a lot to offer its backers (depending on their level of support) from tickets to the screening, swag and even a chance to visit the set as a thank you.

 

sinkers kickstarter

 

 

 

I think it’s pretty remarkable that we can be a part of the local art scene in such an easy way. The project’s funding window ends on May 25th, so visit “Sinkers” on kickstarter to support the project and share it on social media to great this great short film made.

again why mean girls is timeless

A local story from a suburb of Toronto has been talked about around the world on social media since Saturday. This is of course the “brampton mansion party“. Long story short, a teen in Brampton had a party at his parents’ under construction mansion and posted it to social media; the result, 2000 people showed up. 60 police cruisers showed up to break up the party and caused around $70,000 worth of damage.

I, of course thought of Mean Girls, because everything relates back to Mean Girls.

mean girls meme
Happy Tuesday!

why our liquor laws need an update

My letter to my MPP, Kathleen Wynne and the Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Employment.

I recently read the story of Mark and Mandie at Left Field Brewery from Toronto, Ontario. I first heard about this brewery when they threw an open house for their community in their future brewery site. I finally got the chance to taste them at the Spring Sessions of the Toronto Festival of Beers. I love the beer festivals in this city because it’s a great way to celebrate these hard-workings brewers making great tasting beer. It’s also a chance to try something new, learn more about beer and be social. The brewers like these events because it’s a great way to get their product out to customers and a lot of these brewers on contract brewers, meaning they rent brew space in order to make their product. It’s an easier way for them to break in to the market without putting up the huge capital needed to open their own brewers.

Problem is, these contract brewers have just been informed by the AGCO that they are not allowed to sell anywhere that is operating under a special occasion permit, which is the majority of festivals and special events. As mentioned in their post, this is special events like YumCha and the very many BEER festivals that take place across the province every year. If this law had been enforced 6 months ago, I may never have found this or other breweries that I really enjoy. It was about 3 years ago that I started going to beer festivals in the city and I’ve noticed in that time more and more communities hosting their own events because craft beer is gaining popularity. This law means that these events will have less options and the brewers will have a lower chance of meeting new customers. Not only does this law not make sense, like many of our archaic liquor laws but it is going to hurt the industry and the local economy, for no good reason.

I was recently at an event and someone asked me how I got into craft beer, and my answer was simple, at first it had nothing to do with it being craft, it was because I wanted to buy local. I think it’s extremely important to support the local economy and these contract beers are a great way to support the growing craft beer scene in our vibrant city. This law is not only bad for beer, it’s bad for business.

If you also agree that this law is ridiculous and out of date, I urge you to share your opinion the MPP in your community, before and after the election and let them know that you want to see beer, from any brewer at your beer festivals.