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Patak’s 3-Step Kits

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I grew up in a Lebanese family in which food played a starring role. Before we could finish one meal, my mom was already asking what we wanted for the next one. Despite working all day, my mom always had dinner on the table every day at 5:00- a feat I did not appreciate until I was much older. Eating dinner together was a non-negotiable in our house. No matter how busy our lives got, the one thing we could depend on was a home-cooked meal. Even if it meant my mom being in the kitchen until 9 pm preparing dinner for the next day. Like my mother, I understand the importance of a home-cooked meal. Unlike my mother, I do not plan my dinners three days in advance, sometimes even one day ahead is pushing it. This usually results with me scrambling for ideas only to realize I am missing …

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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. 

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Feel Good Syrup

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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.

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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.

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