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Cacao 70

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Tim Burton’s remake of the 1971 classic novel “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” is amazing for many reasons. Starring Johnny Depp as the incredible Willy Wonka, Burton’s film utilized the latest state-of-the-art special effects, to help in realizing author Roald Dahl’s surreal vision. One aspect that is particularly noteworthy was the use of one actor, Deep Roy, to portray all 165 Oompa Loompas. Roy’s actions were not duplicated – rather, each Oompa Loompa is an individual performance that was later digitally compiled. It is spectacular to watch. Oompa Loompas were apparently paid in their favorite food, cocoa beans (not the worst form of payment, if you ask me- cocoa beans make chocolate, and chocolate makes the world taste good).

One place spreading their love of chocolate across this part of the world is Cacao 70. This Montreal-based chain started as a chocolate drinking bar (yes, you read that correctly), and now serves everything from sweet and savoury brunches to ice cream with all the fixings.

Cinnamon Flax Keto Muffins

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On the rare free Saturday night, my boyfriend and I will often go to Walmart. We like to go walk around, pick up some groceries, and get McDonald’s coffee. Don’t ask me why, it’s just something we like to do.

On one such Saturday night, as I stood in the aisle contemplating whether or not to buy McDonald’s Big Mac sauce for the house – it happened. My boyfriend had what I can only describe as a mid-life crisis.  “YOU’RE TRYING TO MAKE ME FAT!” he shouted, drawing attention from all of the other Saturday night Walmart patrons. The rant went on for the next minute or so, and then he took a deep breath and said “okay, so you want to grab some coffees?”

It goes without saying that I didn’t buy the Big Mac sauce that day. Determined to never let an episode like that happen again, I frantically grabbed any reasonably healthy-looking thing I could find on the shelf. The result was a mishmash of items that could not actually form a cohesive meal.

Some good eventually came out of the situation. We started eating healthier at home, trying new recipes. There is one recipe in particular that we make at least once a week – Flax Meal Muffins. Remember that mishmash of items I grabbed from Walmart? A large bag of flax meal was one of them, and on the package was a recipe for some sort of microwave mug muffin. Since we don’t have a microwave at home, I played around with the ratios of ingredients until I got a dozen delicious muffins. (Side note: for the life of me, I cannot remember the brand of flax meal and have not seen it in Walmart since, but if I do, I will be sure to give them the credit they deserve).

The muffins are low carb, no sugar, and low fat, BUT they are so delicious that you wouldn’t suspect it.

Happy 7-Eleven Day!

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7-Eleven Canada is throwing a birthday party, and you’re invited!

On July 11, better as 7-Eleven Day, 7-Eleven stores across Canada are celebrating by giving away free small birthday-sized Slurpees to customers in a special 7-Eleven Day cup.

Gin Smash and Vodka Smash by Georgian Bay Spirit Co.

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In 1994, Snoop Dogg released the single “Gin and Juice” off his debut album Doggystyle. The song was an instant success and was listed as number eight on VH1’s 100 Greatest Songs of Hip Hop.

After rapping about gin and juice for more than 20 years, Snoop set out to mix the largest paradise cocktail of all time. On May 28, 2018, the dream became reality, when the D-O-Double-G broke the Guinness World Record for the biggest gin and juice, officially cementing his place in gin and juice history.

Gin and juice is an iconic pairing for many reasons. There was a time in my life when I used to order it often, but, the older I got, the more I veered away from anything sugary. While I consider myself a cocktail enthusiast, I rarely order anything beyond a vodka soda.

I recently had the opportunity to try the Gin Smash and Vodka Smash from Georgian Bay Spirit Co. They are craft cocktails in a can, made with premium spirits, mixed and ready to drink. The best part? They are delicious, and not overly sweet. 

7-Eleven Canada: Bring Your Own Cup Event Is Back!

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Slurpee drinkers rejoice! 7-Eleven’s legendary Bring Your Own Cup event is back.

On Friday, May 18 and Saturday, May 19, 7-Eleven Canada is welcoming customers to be creative and bring in their own vessels to hold Slurpee.

Customers can fill up their own choice container for $2 as part of the fifth annual promotion. Limited flavours like Crush Jelly Bean, Pepsi Black Cherry and Crush Banana, will also be available this weekend.

Feel Good Syrup

Long before Harry met Meghan, before they had a Lifetime movie, and before floral flavours became the biggest food trend of 2018 (thanks to the announcement of the royal couples’ lemon elderflower wedding cake), there was the humble elderberry.

Elderberries are full of antioxidants, as well as vitamins A, B and C. They are anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and have been used for thousands of years as folk medicine. In fact, when it comes to antioxidant power, elderberry is higher in flavonoids than blueberries, cranberries, goji berries and blackberries.

I’m all about immune boosting, especially living in Edmonton where the cold and flu season lasts about 10 months of the year. So, you can only imagine my excitement when I learned about Feel Good Syrup, elderberry syrup that is locally brewed. Their syrup is delicious, versatile, and I can’t quite imagine not having it in my fridge. You’ll see why.

Walter Craft Caesar Mix

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When my uncle returned from a recent trip to Mexico, his only complaint was “there were no Caesars.” He also complained about the lack of a blow dryer in his room, but that is neither here nor there. The Caesar thing should not have come as a surprise for a few reasons:

1) Caesars are the beloved drink of many Canadians, but this enthusiasm stops at the US border. The Caesar stubbornly remains a Canadian phenomenon.

2) As a result of the first point, if you go looking for a Caesar south of the border, you’ll end up with a Bloody Mary, which is less than ideal.

3) My uncle has been to Mexico a dozen times and knew all of this.

ACE Coffee Roasters

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It took roughly 14 years of struggle in the rap game before 2 Chainz finally became a household name, but once he hit the big time, he never looked back, embracing only the finer things in life. With that in mind, it only makes sense that the rapper from Atlanta would eventually partner with GQ for a show called “Most Expensive Shit”, a web series which follows 2 Chainz as he samples some of the most decadent, over-the top items money can buy.

Throughout the rapper’s career, 2 Chainz has often established himself as a rap game gourmand. I mean, with lyrics like “I got bunions on bunions, yellow ring look like a funyon, or somethin’”, how could you not be a good authority?