Monday, September 5, 2011

Enter Cafe Dario...

How would you like to escape to the flavors of Latin America

It has never been easier- all while staying in the Winnipeg limits. 

Café Dario offers it patrons a culinary experience of Nuevo Cuisine Latino in a fine dining setting. This menu complements a key-component Winnipeg is famous for: value.

With the five-course tasting, priced at just $35, people are able to enjoy the flavors, spices and chilies of Latin America, merged with the original components of North America that we know and love.

Chef Dario’s idea behind his first restaurant, Café Dario, was to be able to provide the flavors of his youth in Colombia combined with the culinary market of North America to deliver the refined taste of fine dining at a low cost.

A signature menu item of the quaint Café is a creation that can now be seen in some other restaurants across the city. His caper chimichurria sauce is a blend of red and green peppers, onions, garlic and capers all in a vegetable oil base and can be found on a succulent cut of filet mignon.

“Competition is healthy and re-production of any culinary creation is the finest form of flattery,” says Chef Dario.

With the menu changing regularly with what is inspiring and what is available at a good price, guests can expect different items with each visit. 

“We change the menu to maintain certain parameters of cost. I work with local distributors and search for my product at the best price to be able to offer my guests the best experience,” says Chef Dario.

The Café is a former house with rooms that have taken the shape of quaint dining coves equipped with a terrace and patio. The walls are decorated with culinary accreditation, as well as a collection of masks and artifacts from his homeland of Colombia, all which add to the stature such an establishment and the ambiance of a fine dining experience.

A future aspiration of this ‘diamond in the rough’ is for guests to enter not knowing anything aside from their love of the flavors, and allow the kitchen to prepare a five-course menu according to their creativity and resources.

But for now, you are able to choose an appetizer and an entrée. For the soup, salad and dessert course however, you remain in the capable and creative hands of the kitchen, and inspiration of Nuevo Latino.

Reservations recommended.

Stuck on The Maple Tree Restaurant and Steakhouse...

When your taste buds arouse you for the flavors of Latin America, instead of booking a flight and taking time off, follow the road that leads to an exciting culinary adventure just minutes away.

25 kilometers north of Winnipeg on Highway #9, you will find a timber building, lying directly on the border of Selkirk, Manitoba that The Maple Tree Restaurant and Steakhouse calls home. 

Inside, the Victorian style chairs, clean pressed white table cloths and flatware-being meticulously set, hint to the caliber of an experience you are about to receive, all in the house of a friend.

No need to bring your suit and tie to dine in this four and a half star fine dining establishment. Guests are encouraged to dress comfortably to experience Chef Dario’s Nuevo Latino all inclusive five course menu at a modest $35.

Chef Dario’s idea behind his first restaurant, Café Dario, was to be able to provide the flavors of his youth in Colombia combined with the market of North America to deliver the refined taste of fine dining at a low cost. He has now brought this concept to the Interlake.

The idea behind fine dining, and one that this distinctive menu provides, is to stimulate the appetite of the guest before the meal is consumed. “Presentation is second to none. If you get the attention of the guest before they eat, you’re 50% there,” says Chef Dario.

Aside from flavor, value, and presentation, there is also an ecological aspect that goes into the creation of the many imaginative menu items. The focus on featuring items that include the whole animal is a detail that kitchen considers carefully when preparing. “Yes, we have filet; but filet is just one part of the animal,” says Chef Dario. 

Other items that rotate on and off the menu when availability is abundant is elk ossobucco, paupiettes of venison, wild boar feijoda and turkey Cuba libre-style, to name a few.

A signature menu item of the pastoral restaurant is the pepper crusted rack of lamb accompanied with a chocolate Kahlua espresso reduction. The dish is typically prepared medium rare.

The Maple Tree Restaurant and Steakhouse continues to deepen it roots in the up and coming progressive town of Selkirk, Manitoba. A town that has embraced the fine-dining concept that Chef Dario has trail blazed. The establishment is excited to continue to be able to offer its community an affordable culinary adventure in a rustic atmosphere.

Maple Tree Dinner Menu

On your next way through the gateway to the Interlake, stop by The Maple Tree Restaurant and Steakhouse and let your five senses be captured by the food and flavor of the Americas.

Reservations recommended.

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Moonlight Sonata of Beethoven Blatz

moonlightsonata.jpgWhen I was told that we would be attending a play as a part of our  and Creative Writing classes for CreComm at Red River College, I immediately developed a list of expectations in my head.

I have enjoyed live performances at the ballet, attended skits and shows at the Fringe Festival, and have even taken in a few comedy shows over my experience in the melting pot of Winnipeg's performing art scene.

Having not ever been to a theatre play by my own accord, I was pleased to find that all of the expectations I had set were not only met, but surpassed.

The acting in this play was the caliber of which you would see on the screen. As I sat in my firm seat of the Rachel Browne Theatre, I kept saying to  myself, "Wow, I could never act that out while keeping my composure!"

The play had it all. It dealt with old school life of a Mennonite couple on the prairies, the longing one has for a baby after marriage,  and the means by which one is capable of going to in order to have that desire met.

The live musical performances on the piano complemented the play and tied in the entire character of Beethoven Blatz.

The adultery in the play was the only thing I think was presented a bit too casually. I think if the writer had incorporated more of a physical attraction between the characters that committed the adultery, it would have made for a more real-life scenario. It had all seemed a bit too 'mechanical' where as in real life I think the crime of adultery exists due to incredible passion and physical desire.

The scene in which that act takes place almost leaves one to imagine, "Did Beethoven know what just happened?" Meaning that it was so forced, it was almost a criminal act.

The talk-back at the end of the play was a bit disappointing only because we had hoped for a chance to speak with the actors themselves. Wiebe however, did share his thought behind the script but left one question for his audience to answer: What if it was Beethoven's child at the end?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Breakfast. Yes please...

Here is a recipe of an easy-to-prepare omelette that is healthy and tasty.

3 large eggs

1 cup spinach

1/3 cup mushrooms


Saute 1.5 cups mushrooms in a little extra virgin
olive oil;

Add spinach, just to warm
(1 minute or so... just until it starts wilting).

Remove from Skillet.

Crack 3 eggs, separate whites into a large bowl or
measuring cup; discard egg yolks.

Scramble eggs in cup. Add Mushrooms and Spinach, stir.

Place in skillet. Cook until bottom side is firm, flip, cook until done (Bottom side is firm); fold in half, serve.

"All good mornings should start with good breakfast's."


My montage is complete.

Here are the words to the lyrics of my montage written by Baz Luhrmann. Baz is a talented director and he wrote this song based on his own perspective of life. I decided that I would visually interpret his words with my own perspective of the gift of life.


Ladies and Gentlemen of the class of ’99
If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it.
The long term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience…
I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth; oh nevermind; you will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they have faded.
But trust me, in 20 years you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked….

You’re not as fat as you imagine.

Don’t worry about the future; or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that
never crossed your worried mind; the kind that blindside you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing everyday that scares you.


Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts, don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.


Don’t waste your time on jealousy; sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind…the race is long, and in the end, it’s only with yourself.

Remember the compliments you receive, forget the insults; if you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters, throw away your old bank statements.


Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life…the most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives, some of the most interesting 40 year
olds I know still don’t.

Get plenty of calcium.

Be kind to your knees, you’ll miss them when they’re gone.

Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t, maybe you’ll have children,maybe you won’t, maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary…what ever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself either – your choices are half chance, so are everybody else’s.

Enjoy your body, use it every way you can…don’t be afraid of it, or what other people think of it, it’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own..

Dance…even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own living room. Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them.

Do NOT read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents, you never know when they’ll be gone for good.

Be nice to your siblings; they are the best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go,but for the precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle because the older you get, the more you need the people you
knew when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard; live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.


Accept certain inalienable truths, prices will rise, politicians will philander, you too will get old, and when you do you’ll fantasize that when you were young prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don’t expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund, maybe you have a wealthy spouse; but you never know when either one might run out.

Don’t mess too much with your hair, or by the time you're 40, it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but, be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen…

Friday, March 25, 2011

An incident with chocolate syrup and peanut butter...

As I sit here and write this blog post this afternoon and eat my cabbage and black bean salad, I find my mind drifts away to a moment last night when I lost complete and total self control.

I like to consider myself a body-conscious and healthy individual. My breakfast, which I never skip, almost always consists of egg whites, black beans, spinach, mushrooms, onions, topped with salsa and avocado. Or at least for this week it has.

My lunches are a bit less colorful as I tend to "graze" throughout the day snacking on berries and almonds, all types of veggies, and spinach salads topped with baked chicken breast.

As you read this, you're probably asking, "Where are the whole grains and carbs?"

Well you see, this week I have steered clear of all foods that rank high in the glycemic index as I am attempting to crush a fitness plateau which I fear I have encountered.

I attend the gym about four to five times per week, and have for the last year. While I love the way I feel as I leave the doors and drive home in a serotonin bliss, I know my body composition has a little room for improvement.

Thus the slow carb consumption which I have been living by all week.

This is all fine and dandy, until you reach a moment where your will power is challenged and your thought process is vetoed by the saliva which begins to encompass the taste buds on your very tongue.

This moment was last night. I was standing in the kitchen, peering into the cabinet of wonder as my eyes met the brown bottle of Nestle chocolate syrup, (coincidentally positioned next to the peanut butter) I couldn't look away. I was hypnotized, mesmerized, captivated and enthralled by the very possibility of “cheating”. It had all started very innocently as I coyly pulled a small teaspoon out of the kitchen drawer, saying to myself, "I'll just have a taste." This was the plan.

But it was too good. It's like something came over me. Suddenly the calories, carbs and sugar didn't matter. I was even adding my "healthy" roasted almonds, I recently purchased, to the chocolate syrup and peanut butter mixture for an extra crunch factor. The home of this sinful mixture had now upgraded to a small red plastic cup.

It was only after I washed the mixture down for the third time with my health conscious almond milk, that my craving had subsided and I was left holding the red cup in my hand, saying to myself, "Well Jennifer, was it worth it?"

The answer was YES! It was amazing, everything about it! It was just what I needed and even though as I debated with myself for a moment about placing some guilt upon myself for the complete loss of self-control, I then thought, "There are some things in life, that you just can't measure or feel bad about.."

Last night this was chocolate syrup, and peanut butter. With a few almonds for that added crunch factor... ; )

Friday, March 18, 2011

Feng Shui shall we?

An ancient concept brought into the recent light of new media: feng shui. Translated as “wind-water,” feng shui has been notarized as the art of placement. Placement refers that of objects and colours enabled to nurture the flow of positive energy through a given space. Some follow this practice and believe it is linked to the improvement and well being of life.

Whether the space be small or spacious, the practice of feng shui can be applied anywhere. Even in a bathroom!

According to one of North America’s premier feng shui consultants, Angi Ma Wong, says its simple and the guidelines are all the same no matter which school of feng shui you choose to practice. Wong says to put the right objects in the right locations in order to achieve harmony with the universe, nature and yourself. She also says that certain areas can be activated to affect the areas of your life that you wish to improve, such as health, career, or love.

Here are a few of Wongs suggestions that she lists in her book, Feng Shui- Do’s and Taboos, that can be applied in your space:

Purify antiques with wind, water, fire, sound, salt, or other techniques outside of your home before bringing them inside.

If you have an aquarium, keep fish in multiples of nine, a symbol of a long life, or in odd numbers. Eight fish should be gold and one should be black. Don’t worry if a fish dies, for it means that the deceased has absorbed something negative that would have happened to you.

Hang a wind chime that is made of earth material, such as terra cotta or porcelain, or that has five solid clay rods if your bathroom is in the north. This will keep your business and career success from going “down the drain.”

Don’t use lots of yang colors, such as gold or red in a bedroom. These colors stimulate your energy, resulting in poor sleep.

Do keep your bedroom free of clutter and minimize the amount of furniture so that chi, or life energy, can flow easily through the room.

Clean your room on a new moon at the solstices, or when the atmosphere feels heavy.

Don’t keep too many plants or many plants with sharp foliage, such as cactus in your bedroom, as plants emit yang energy and can disturb a high-quality rest.

Do ring a bell in the corners of a room to clear stale or stagnant energy. Use a bell with a pleasant tinkling sound to activate yang energy in your home.

Do use the color orange in south west areas to promote motherhood, romance, love, relationships and marriage.

Skate, pass, shoot and score.

The Manitoba Moose didn’t exactly tip toe around the latest controversy that lit sports media on fire last week. Fans could watch the players pushing, shoving and checking each other into the boards while trying to complete the objective of any hockey game, that of scoring a goal.

The Manitoba Moose took on the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins at the MTS Centre Tuesday night.

As the fans cheered to the sound of bodies crashing against the boards, it seems forgotten that just last Tuesday, Montreal Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty, slammed headfirst into a metal stanchion after a high check from Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara. Pacioretty suffered a severe concussion, broken vertebra, a loss of his career, while Chara, a penalty.

These common hockey injuries forced officials in the NHL to put misconduct in hockey under a microscope.

Here at home, roughing and fighting in the game of hockey is something that Moose fan, Ron Pluchinski, isn’t a stranger to. “I grew up with the game, played since I was eight years old, took and gave hits, but that hit, that hit on Pacioretty was vicious,” says Pluchinski who says he noticed Pacioretty and Chara “tangling” earlier in the game.

While the Moose took the ice tonight, the whispers of the NHL general manager’s plan on fighting concussions lingered. The meeting was held Monday in Florida and no doubt stems from the recent occurrence of unfortunate events.

Pluchinski says that he has a three-year-old son at home and is thinking twice about enrolling him in the all-Canadian sport. “I mean, my buddies have their kids in hockey camps and are excited about their kids first fight, that won’t be me,” he says.

The ominous outpour of booing filled the MTS Centre as the Moose’s goaltender Eddie Lack let the first goal in with three minutes left in the first period.  The shot made by Penguins right-wing Geoff Walker tallied his count to the eighth of this season.

“Over the years, sure, I’ve definitely seen an increase in fighting, but that’s just hockey,” says Moose season ticket holder Ted Rahal.

“Getting hurt is the risk you run when you sign up to play the game,” says Rahal. “But what happened with Pacioretty, well that was appalling how they kept replaying that hit over and over. The media totally de-sensitized it,” says Rahal.

If the Moose had focused more on skating, passing, shooting and scoring rather than checking, hitting, shoving, and hooking they may not have just penciled in their sixth shut-out of the season. The Penguins just claimed their spot as the top-ranked team in the AHL, while the Moose is fourth in the Western conference.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

"Velkomin" to Gimli...

About 80 kilometers north of Winnipeg’s city limits, on Highway #9, the frozen shoreline of Lake Winnipeg meet the beaches of Gimli’s snow covered harbor front. For a Friday in early March, it is noteworthy to say the streets of this beach town are lined with parked cars.

As you approach the end of
Centre Street
, your eyes immediately explore the baby blue exterior and the white trimmed balconies of the Lakeview Resort and Conference Centre. With 99 guestrooms, the attraction that has called Gimli home since 1991 will have a full house this evening.

Maintaining active participation in Gimli’s tourism industry is something the hotel prides itself on. “I would like to think that our hotel is a big part of the reason why people come to Gimli,” says general manager Michael Lazer.

“We have an obligation to the community to remain in active participation, ensuring that people will want to come here,” says Lazer.

The hotel affiliates itself with events that bring massive crowds consisting of Gimli locals, Manitoba travelers, and out of province tourists every year.

The Gimli Film Festival, attracting almost 3000 people in 2010, is happening July 20-24 this year, and is just one event that the hotel is proud to sponsor. With opening and closing parties being thrown, both by the hotel; you can expect filmmakers, actors, producers, and the media to compose a portion of the attendees. “Can sitting on a beach, at night, while watching a first-rate film get any better? I don’t think so.” says Lazer.

It is a familiar sight to see the streets of Gimli swelled with lively beach-goers in the summer. However, this winter, in comparison to other years, the well-known beach town has seen more activity on the streets, in the shops, and in the hotel than other snow enveloped seasons.

As smiling 37-year old food and beverage supervisor Jennifer Botham tops a slice of apple-pie with whipped cream, she says, “People have said this has been one of the busiest winter seasons in a few years.”

The Interlake Tourism Association is linked with that features a virtual tour of the Lakeview Resort and Conference Centre. “I think our advertising on 360Winnipeg has attributed to business levels,” says Lazer.

With facilities such as a restaurant, lounge, business centre, indoor swimming pool, hot tub and fitness centre, the Lakeview Resort offers the amenities of a city hotel property. “Where else can you drive 45-60 minutes and feel like you’re nowhere near the city of Winnipeg?” says Lazer.

The room rates in the winter months have started as low as $50 per night. They also offer all-inclusive like specials. These ‘Suite Deals’ consist of a stay in one of the hotel suites with meals included at Seagulls Restaurant, and with prices starting at $119 per night. Guests can get more information at

Botham says she loves her job Lakeview Resort, “People are just so relaxed out here, but why wouldn’t we be? Look where we are.”

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Take a moment...

To sit and think if life were so predictable, what would be the purpose of waking up every morning, making decisions and taking risks?

If life were all laid out for you, in a cookie-cutter shaped trail, and all you had to was put auto-pilot on and go with the motions, life would be incredibly boring and we would all become complacent to the little miracles that happen every day.

The sad thing is that some people do live like this.

These little miracles could be the things that allow you to be devoid of tragedy. The cup of coffee that you needed to have, that kept you running late, only to find out that there is an accident on the very route that you take to work every day.

The little things like when a child looks up at you and says, "Why does it snow?" and as much as you know the answer, it's a little more magical to say a person called Old Man Winter has something to do with it.

The moments that a respected elder tells you a briefing about their history and as much as you try to tell them "the times have changed", you stop yourself because you're just happy that they're there to be able to tell you something you 'may already know'.

The little joys that when someone you love, takes a moment out of their day, just to tell you that you're fabulous.

Sometimes, the risks you take, don't always work out in your favor.

Or do they?

I guess it may be a matter of looking at things from an unassuming and appreciative perspective. A glass half-full approach per say. The risk you take may end up in complete and total failure, by tangible means, but a lesson can always be learned from a risk.

A lesson about yourself, a lesson about someone else, a moment where you realize who you are becoming and what you really want to stand for.

The really big miracle- the ability to be free of anything that may compromise you're ability to process and cherish the little wonders around you.

I'm not sure what inspired me to put these very words out into the world today. I guess it may have something to do with being bombarded by external pressures,  personal determination and expectations, and stepping up to the plate knowing that no one is going to bat a home run for me.

I'm going to be the girl who goes to practice, stays late and works on the fact that sometimes, not very often, but sometimes I'll miss the pitch and when I do, I analyze it so carefully that I won't miss the same pitch twice.

Everyone will pass on, but not every really lives. Take a moment, and always remember to stop and pick up that very dirty penny.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Social Media Steps It Up

The use of social media is a growing form of communication in today’s world, and is no stranger to members of the mainstream media.
Those that are in media and communications these days are finding they must familiarize themselves with the concepts that are now taking over the online world.

People are using tools like Facebook and Twitter to self-promote, advocate for something or just to send thoughts and ideas into the online world.

People are now merging Facebook and Twitter together. An example is that people are using Facebook to re-tweet information and ideas @ certain people. Only those who use Twitter would be familiar with this and thus, one must be aware of both in order to use either.

For myself, I use Facebook to stay in touch with friends, share my thoughts/ideas/photos, and promote or advertise certain events.

Facebook has been a good way to reach a large number of people; however, this varies from person to person based on the number of contacts or 'friends' one has.

Twitter is more of a means to 'status up-date' all the time. I do not use Twitter as much for no reason other than I prefer Facebook.

As far as the use of both means of social media in public relations, I think that it is a very useful tool to gain information and reach certain people in a very short amount of time.

These days, most people have their emails and social media accounts linked to their mobile devices and this allows for near instant communication. Of course this is dependent on the reliability of your sources and contacts. For the most part, social media has been a very wise tool to know how to use and I believe, has led to growth in communication of the media world.

Friday, February 11, 2011

If I were to write a book...

One question aspiring writers ask these days is ‘how can I turn my creativity into dollar bills’? Moreover, how do you produce something that will gain the attention it deserves to be published in the first place?

The publishing process is a challenge that writers face at least once in their lifetime.

The excitement and opportunity that lies within the ability to dream up ideas, write them down, and then form them into content that can be enjoyed by others is a very liberating endeavor. It can also be incredibly terrifying.

After listening to Matt Duggan words about the manuscript he put two years of blood, sweat and ink into, only to have it shot down by his editor, I felt frustrated. How can someone tell you, that your dreams aren't good enough? How can this one person, be it and editor and/or critic think that they encompass the mentality and beliefs of the general public?

If I were writing a novel, which I may do one day, all I would care about is the fact that my words would affect just one person. If one person came up to me and said, "I really took something away from that," it would all be worth it.

This is why, as a writer, if I were in a position to publish my thoughts and dreams, not only would I avoid the traditional publishing process altogether, I would hold a party, fundraise to be able to put the manuscript into production, and give it away to anyone who wanted to read it.

I think if it were truly a gem of a creation, someone would then come up to me and say, "We'd really love to publish you."

Friday, February 4, 2011

State of the City Address

This afternoon nearly 1100 Winnipeggers strode into the Winnipeg Convention Centre to hear Mayor Sam Katz deliver his 7th annual State of the City address. These attendees were people who are members of the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce, non-members, and the media. Everyone was well dressed in suits as they sat in anticipation to hear the mayor speak about his visions of Winnipeg in 2011.
I was sporting a grey tie with matching high heels.
The opening address was given by Judy Murphy, the chair for the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce.

While everyone ate their lunch, I had the pleasure of sitting next to CBC’s Mychaylo Prystupa. Prystupa was kind enough to share some of his experiences of the reporting world with me and one story of particular fascination and determination.
Upon graduating from Ryerson College in 2004, Prystupa knew he wanted to work at CBC. He also knew he would have to do something that would set him apart from the competition. He pitched a story to CBC National News about the number one reason for fatality in Africa, road side collisions. He traveled to Uganda, Africa with a fellow journalism colleague. Having previous video journalism experience, he was able to shoot and edit his own material before his return. This tangible experience gave Prystupa support to back up his skills as a reporter and was hired by CBC upon his return.
As the address began, I thanked Prystupa for telling me his story and began to listen in on the words of Mr. Katz.
 “In how many other cities can a bakers’ son born into a struggling immigrant family have an opportunity to grow up to be the Mayor of the same city that first welcomed his parents here to begin a new life.”
This was a sure-fire segue to set the tone regarding opportunity and potential for growth in Winnipeg in the coming year.
He spoke of the Downtown Residential Development Grant and that it has been approved for $7 million for residential projects. This will bring a total number of 800 units to the downtown area.
 The heart of the city is a place where Katz says more people need to live and breathe in.
Katz spoke of the Nature and Adventure Playground and expanded duck pond at Assiniboine Park due to open this spring. He also conveyed that the toboggan hill and skating rink have become places that Winnipeggers now go to have outdoor winter fun.
Katz overall mission through the speech was to relay his love for Winnipeg, and the potential that lies within in the year ahead.
He ended his address with famous words from Bob the Builder, “Can we build it? Yes we can!”

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Dine About Winnipeg...

Winnipegger's are spoiled with the immense opportunity they have to dine about in Winnipeg while exciting and satisfying their taste buds with flavors from around the world. Every year the multicultural buffet that is our city, collaborates with Ciao! Magazine and local restaurants to launch Dine About Winnipeg.  \

This is an event that runs for approximately ten days and features some of the most exceptionally talented chefs that showcase some of their feature styles and cuisines in their restaurants. The dinner menu is three-course and a set price depending on location. This year there are twenty-six participating restaurants and a few of them that I would highly recommend in a very particular order, would be:


For more information please visit:

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Winter Wonderland in Winnipeg

Winnipeg has once again lived up to it's name of the coldest city in Canada. With lows dipping past the minus 40 mark this week, some fellow Winnipeggers have found it difficult to find the motivation to leave the comfort of their own home.

I, however, have worn my not-overly padded leather jacket and high heels all week long. Why, this crazy behaviour, you ask is taking place? For no other reason than, the love I have for my city and cute shoes.

It really frustrates me when I speak to people that repeatedly exclaim how they "hate Winnipeg", "would trade the snow for a beach", and my least favorite, "Winnipeg sucks in the winter". The truth of the matter is not only is Winnipeg one of the most eclectic cities in the country, but is one that offers so much by the means of outdoors to its inhabitants.

You won't catch me walking my dog in my Steve Madden's, or cross-country skiing in a leather jacket. News flash: this just in- You must dress for the beloved outdoor activities that the city offers.

Activities such as skiing, skating, snow-shoeing, winter hiking, and tobogganing are activities that not only warm the hearts of children but adults and teenagers alike.

Here are some of my favorite places to keep warm in the winter in Winnipeg, and yes, they all take place outside, so pop on a toque, some mittens and wooly socks.

Cross-country skiing: Birds Hill Park

The Chickadee trail at Birds Hill Park takes just under an hour to complete. The trail offers mild intervals to keep your heart rate up and halfway through, a lookout tower you can climb to take in the gorgeous view of one of Manitoba's most beautiful provincial parks.

Skating: The river trail at the Forks

Just opened to its full length, this is a winter activity no Winnipegger should miss out on. Even though the trail is considerably shorter than the record setting 8.5 kilometers back in 2008, skaters can still enjoy a 3.5 kilometers slide heading south on the Red River all the way to Churchill drive.

Tobogganing: Kildonan Park

The famous hills have been loved by many for years. An additional bonus to choosing this park is there is not only the hill to slide down on a method of choice, be it a toboggan or crazy carpet; it offers cross-country skiing trails as well as skating on the pond.

Tip to really stay cozy: Pack a thermos of baileys and hot chocolate, or if you like something simpler, Southern Comfort will surely warm you up from the inside out.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Carmenere... The lady that ladies love.

In my ongoing pursuit of finding, obtaining and consuming flavorful grapes and barrel aged creations; I am finding my own palate seems to be changing with the season.

I've enjoyed pinot noirs and pinotages in the spring and summer, then I moved over into more heavy bodied wines like a cabernet-shiraz blend and the list goes on. However, in the case of the unique blend found in that of a Carmenere, this grape is going into owning her second season.

The reason for the committed relationship we now endure? The soft, and chocolaty undertones with an ending that finishes exceptionally smooth. In non-wine drinking terms, this means your cheeks don't pucker in after a sip.

As much as I don't always recommend having dinner with wine, or wine with dinner rather, this sultry wine can be consumed on its own or with a traditional cheese platter.
Some soft cheeses I would recommend would be warmed brie, medium cheddar or even a creamed cheese dip for a nice complement.

A myriad of productions of the Carmenere grape are easy to find in local liquor stores. One particular Carmenere however, is not. The favorite pick of the season is the Casa Silva Carmenere which is available exclusively at Banville and Jones retailing for around $14.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Kristos Razdayetsya!

With the hustle and bustle of the return to work and school, the memories of our very recent Christmas holidays seem to have become vague.

The celebration of Ukrainian Christmas reminds and re-unites me with the joy of Christmas on January 6th of each year.

This is not only a traditional celebration enjoyed by family and many, it is also my Gigi's birthday. He turned 77 years old on this year’s Ukrainian Christmas Eve.

There are many traditions that are followed for Ukrainian Christmas. Fortunately, a lot of them revolve around food.

There is typically an evening of 12, that's right 12, meatless dishes that start off with a serving of kutya.

Kutya is a sweet and cold wheat based soup. Some stories say that the porridge-like dish is thrown onto the ceiling at the beginning of the meal. Whoever's sticks the most, will have the most luck for that year. The symbolism that accompanies the dish is that the grains represent hope and the sweet honey is for happiness and peace.

This coming up Friday, it will be Ukrainian New Years. This marks another day of celebration- Malanka.The end of the Gregorian calendar year is commemorated with similar festivities as the Western World.

The evening revolves around an abundance of food and  lots dancing, specifically that of a polka band, stepping in two's, heel-toes, and most definitely, you are sure to catch a good old-fashion There are many venues in Winnipeg holding festivities for this event. See the information below or visit the link for ticket contact information.

Malanka 2011! Ukrainian New Years Eve Party!
At the Red Cactus
Celebrate New Year’s Eve The Ukrainian Way!
Music by DJ Mami Flaca Flame!
Old Country Drink Specials!
$5 General Admission!
$20 Includes an Awesome Ukrainian Dinner (8pm)!
Tickets at Red Cactus,
or call Johnny @ 204.228.6257 or
Dane @ 204.298.2007
Sponsored by Molson Ukrainian & Luksusowa Vodka