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