Pho Boy

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I usually tend to stay within a one kilometer radius of my office for lunch, but last week my coworkers and I decided to venture to Whyte Avenue to try Pho Boy (10037b 82 Ave NW), one of the newest restaurants to hit the Vietnamese food scene. Inside the kid friendly restaurant is covered custom artwork and dragon lights on the ceiling, giving the restaurant a cool, unique feel. The menu is simple and focused with well-developed flavors.  Included on the menu is “Pho You” which gives you the option to build your own pho bowl. An option that you do not find at many pho places.     Banh Khot (Half order- $4, Full Order- $7) These sizzling rice poppers are made with shrimp, pork and coconut.  Served with a dipping sauce. Green Onion Cake ($6) A pho staple, crispy and delicious.  That’s all you need to know.     Pho …

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Duchess Hot Chocolate Mix Brownies

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My boyfriend received Duchess hot chocolate for Christmas from his boss.  Unfortunately, neither him or I are big hot chocolate fans.  Now, if you have ever been to Duchess Bake Shop (10718 124 St NW), you know that everything that comes out of that place is magical.  And not wanting to waste such a great ingredient, I decided to re-purpose it. After searching Pinterest for the better part of an hour, without any luck, I decided to adapt my grandma’s brownie recipe.  To be honest, I was not sure how this little experiment would turn out but was pleasantly surprised with the outcome. With that, I give you my Duchess Hot Chocolate Mix Brownies Duchess Hot Chocolate Mix Brownies   Ingredients 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled 1 cup sugar 3 large eggs 1 tsp vanilla 1 cup flour 1/2 cup Duchess hot chocolate mix 1 tsp salt …

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Perfect Pancakes

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Nothing says “it’s the weekend” like homemade pancakes for breakfast. And no recipe makes having homemade pancakes easier than the one from the queen herself, Martha Stewart. The recipe is built off of basic pantry ingredients, but in true Martha fashion, it takes it one step further and offers flexibility and variations of the recipe for different ingredients (for example substituting milk with either buttermilk or yogurt).  She has also added an instructional video on how to measure flour, just in case you don’t know the Martha way. The batter makes 12-15 pancakes, depending on the size. Regardless of which route you decide to go, Martha delivers a nearly foolproof, delicious pancake recipe.  All hail the queen.   Easy Basic Pancakes (my rendition)    Ingredients 1 cup flour (spooned and leveled) 2 tbsps sugar 2 tsps baking powder ½ tsp salt 1 cup milk 1 egg 2 tbps unsalted butter (melted) …

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Sunbake Pita Bakery

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Being Lebanese, my family often visits Sunbake Pita Bakery for fresh baked goods.  Almost every time we go there, no matter what day or time, there is always a line-up. Because it is always filled with people, and not just Lebanese people, all ethnicites, I assumed that everyone knew about it, but, I was wrong. Like Ellen DeGeneres said – you should never assume. A couple of weeks ago my boyfriend and I were deciding what to do for lunch, when I suggested Sunbake and he had no idea what I was talking about.  Thinking he must be the only one in Edmonton that did not know about this place, I asked a bunch of friends if they knew about it and surprisingly, they had never heard of it.  It was then that I realized how un-well known it actually was and that Sunbake may just be one of Edmonton’s best-kept …

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Sunday Morning Banana Bread

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As the weekend rolls around I usually find myself with ripe bananas.  What do you do when life gives you ripe bananas?  Make banana bread.  Here is my go-to recipe that I’ve adapted over the years:   Sunday Morning Banana Bread   Ingredients 1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour 1 tsp baking soda 1/4 tsp cinnamon 1/2 tsp salt 1 cup + 2 tbsps white sugar 2 eggs (room temperature) 1/2 cup canola oil 3-4 ripe bananas, mashed 2 tbsps sour cream 1 tsp vanilla extract 2/3 cup toasted and chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans, pine nuts – I used pecans this time)   Directions Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F and line bottom of a loaf pan with parchment paper In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt In a large bowl, beat sugar and eggs with a whisk until fluffy (about 10 minutes) Drizzle in oil. …

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eat what you LOVEPIZZA

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If you work anywhere in the downtown core, you will know that food scene is quickly evolving and the different options are becoming endless.  Located at 101 Ave and 109 Street, LOVEPIZZA specializes in flatbread style pizzas.  The restaurant, which opened in early 2015, offers a selection of signature pizza or the opportunity to create your pizza using a wide variety of locally sourced ingredients.  Either option gives you a choice of their 100% organic whole wheat crust or traditional (I recommend the white). Holy Shiitake   Just like the name suggests, the toppings include the roasted mushrooms, caramelized onions, Fior Di Latte cheese (essentially a soft mozzarella), truffle Parmesan sauce and last but not least fresh arugula.  I found that the sauce lacked depth but the addition of chili oil compensated for the lack of flavor.   Ode to Ukraine     This pizza is essentially a deconstructed pierogi.  They have …

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Going Whole Hog

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A couple of months ago my friend Tommy began planning Going Whole Hog.  A southern themed festival of food.  With the help of several local chefs and restaurant owners, including The Local Omnivore, S’wich, Effing Seafood and Clementine (to name a few), the created the North Carolina Whole Hog BBQ menu that I can only describe as epic.  Included in this feast was a whole pig (roasted 22 hours), smoked oysters, collard greens, hush puppies and all of the sides and fixings you can imagine including a Carolina BBQ sauce that was everything a BBQ sauce should be. Above are some of the pictures of the event taken by my wonderful and talented boyfriend (www.vsmphoto.com). Parties like this are few and far between, so I am always grateful when I get to attend them.   Here’s to good friends and good food.   Sincerely, Chrissy …

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3 Cures for the Common Hangover

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Halloween weekend is always busy. Every year one of my good friends throws a huge party, and this year was no exception. The theme this year was “Sausage Party”. Needless to say, I was mildly hungover this morning (maybe more than mildly). Whenever I find myself in such situations (tired, hungover and not wanted to leave the house), I have three go-to hangover fixes:   1. Something greasy to eat   Today’s choice was spicy cheddar Kraft Dinner and a grilled cheese sandwich. If you have not tried the spicy cheddar KD, you are truly missing out. It has the ooey-gooiness of classic Kraft dinner but with an added heat that is almost addictive. For the perfect grilled cheese sandwich:   1. Add 2-3 slices of cheddar, Monterey jack or Swiss cheese (your choice) between two slices of white bread.   2. Heat 1 tbsp of salted butter in a cast …

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Go-To Peanut Butter Cookies

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Peanut butter cookies are one of my favorites.  This recipe is a quick fix to satisfy any peanut butter cookie craving and only uses 5 ingredients.  The last ingredient, sea salt, is the key that gives the cookies an addictive salty finish.  I used natural peanut butter because I feel they hold up better but feel free to try them with any kind – crunchy, smooth, natural, not.  I also add an extra splash of vanilla. Since the cookies are flourless, they’re very tender, so I advise letting them cool on the pan before moving them.   Ingredients 1 cup peanut butter 1 cup sugar 1 tsp pure vanilla extract 1 egg, lightly beaten Coarse sea salt (for sprinkling)   Directions Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F In a medium bowl, mix the peanut butter, sugar, vanilla and egg until well combined (smooth) Spoon one tablespoon portions of the mixture …

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#istaubayopen – Tau Bay Restaurant Review

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Pho is one of my favorite meals and generally speaking, no one in Edmonton does Pho better than Tau Bay.  Located in the heart of Chinatown (10660 – 98 street), Tau Bay is a staple for pho lovers not unlike myself.  In fact, the restaurant, which is infamous for their extended closures, is so popular that the website istaubayopen.ca was created by a local Tau Bay enthusiasts for patrons to find out quickly if they should make the drive down. The menu is simple – different variations of pho noodle soup.  The prices are reasonable and on par with the rest of the pho places in Chinatown, about $10/bowl.  The service is fast and friendly which you do not necessarily find everywhere.  Each bowl comes garnished with cilantro, green and white onion slices.  Accompanied on the side with fresh bean sprouts, Thai basil leaves, Thai red chilies, and lime wedges on …

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