Sunday, December 19, 2010

Lit Wine Bar

Hello hello!
Thursday night my friend Jason accompanied me to Lit Wine Bar (10132-104 Street). Jason and I are "wine friends" and often go to Tzin (across the street from Lit).  However, with Tzin booked up for the night, I thought Lit would be a great option.  I had already been there twice before, and had had good experiences, while Jason had never been.
I was very hungry when we arrived (rushed to the gym after work and did a wickedly difficult boot camp class...) so I had worked up an appetite!

The server suggested Arancini Rossi to start. I described them as "adult tater tots" though there isn't any potato in them... maybe that's why! haha. They were great! Rice, cheese and peas in tomato sauce, stuffed, breaded and deep fried. Came with two great sauces for dipping. Thumbs up from the both of us!

Jason's first glass of wine was the Cline Mouredre (Red from California.) while I started with a Birichino Malvasia Bianca (White from California.) We both really enjoyed our choices- especially because the server offered us samples before we decided on a particular glass.

 Our second course was the Pizza Capricciosa- a fantastic flat bread  with prosciutto, red peppers, olives, mushrooms, cheese... the crust was my favorite part. The only thing I didn't like was the olives.

Jason got to sample three different wines before making his second wine choice! The server really liked him, probably because Jason knows so much about wine and could talk the talk. I can't... I just know what I like!! Regardless, I tasted the samples as well and found something I liked too!

Here I am enjoying a glass of Montere Rapasso 

Finally- Dessert!! Chiocolatto!!
Baileys and Kahlua Chocolate Cake, topped with White Chocolate, Raspberry Mousse and Chocolate Ganache. It was lovely, though it fell apart pretty quickly as we ate it.

All in all I really enjoyed our experience at Lit.  They have a great selection of wine and food.  The menu is reasonably priced too.  I think what put this experience above my previous ones was the really excellent service.  The numerous wine samples and food recommendations from her really made for a personalized and memorable experience!

Lit - Italian Wine Bar on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Lunch with Lauren

Lauren! (and a penguin)
 Since starting my new job, it has been more difficult to see some friends I used to see on a regular basis, especially the ones in school.  Luckily, Lauren and I have been able to go out for lunch every few weeks or so. I hope we can keep this up, and this way, I can let you all know about my eats at some of Edmonton's yummy restaurants.
 A few weeks ago we decided to go to Zuppa Cafe (9843 110 Street), since its close to my work. Overall, I thought it was good. LOTS of food for a good price (I had leftovers and paid somewhere around $10, including drink.) My favorite part was the salad, which was full of green grapes. I also had pea soup, which I really enjoyed. My least favorite was the panini, which was a little on the cold side. That is, however, a minor problem.  That being said, this is a nice little place to hit up for breakfast or lunch- to stay or to go!

 Our second lunch date was at Col Mustard's Sandwich Canteen (12321 107 Ave). In my opinion what a perfect lunch place. So many delicious and fresh sandwich options! I ended up getting a turkey deli sandwich with provolone and red pepper sauce on a french bread.  The only thing I would have liked was maybe a side salad or something... and maybe slightly more flavor with the red pepper spread. But I love that it is made fresh to eat, and the sandwiches are quite large!
My eats.
 Lauren went with something a little different:
Her choice was more vegetarian- a falafel! Lauren gave it the thumbs up, even thought it was on the messy side. We left there happy! 

What are your favorite lunch places? Let me know, especially if they are in the downtown area so I can go their on my lunch break!!

Stay warm everyone!

Zuppa Café on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Meat Pie Madness

20 Pounds of Ground Pork

A Team Ready to go! Ryan, Jordan, Cathy (myself and my mom missing from photo.)

Some serious mashing of potatoes....
30 pounds of potatoes!!

Rubbermaid container with all 30 pounds of potatoes...

Cooking up the meat!

Mix it all together with CLOVES, SALT and PEPPER!!

Now it is time to assemble!

Go team!!

Concentrating hard...


I was working on the crust...

Rollin... Rollin....

We purchased 15 pounds of dough from Grandin Bakery in
 St. Albert)
Rollin the dough!

In the oven at 400F for about an hour!

Baby pies!

So worth the hard work!

The Stats:
30 pounds of potatoes
20 pounds ground pork
15 pounds dough
27 small pies
13 medium (standard) pies
1 large pie

41 pies made by 5 people in about 6.5 hours!
My freezer is now half full of pies! I love the Holiday Season!!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Dish Bistro

On Tuesday night my friend Matt and I met up for good food and even better conversation at The Dish Bistro (and the Runaway Spoon) on 124th street and Stony Plain Road.
I had never been and while I had heard of this restaurant, had no idea it was tucked away in this location!
It wasn't a busy night, or at least by the time we sat down at 7:30, any rush had passed.
I liked that the menu was simple and small. I always get overwhelmed at places with large menus. Ask anyone I go out with, I often don't decide until the last second and sometimes will ask the server to pick between a few for me.
Matt had heard the tomato basil creamy soup was excellent, so of course I had to go with that! Along with the soup I had their Grilled Portobello and Brie Sandwich. Everything was delicious. I LOVED the soup- the texture was thick and creamy, but wasn't completely smooth, which I liked. I believe it had croutons on top too. Sandwich was served on foccacia. Loved the brie and mushroom- only problem was it was really messy to eat... WARNING: THIS IS NOT A SEXY EATING SANDWICH! DIG IN!
A comforting meal
Matt decided to go with  the Greek Chicken Phyllo Pastry with a side of balsamic salad!
His description was something along the lines of a "eating delicious deck of cards" (if you could eat cards of course... and if cards were delicious... okay clearly I need to take notes when attempting to describe others eating experiences... but you get the idea... right?) Basically: Matt really liked his dinner! And honestly, I think I might get it next time! Cheesy goodness!

Matt: putting up with my terrible photo taking skills!
I can't wait to visit the Dish Bistro again to try out more of their menu. Their price point was just right too!
Also I should note that on their website they have what looks like weekly movie nights! I think in the New Year I will be checking that out! What fun!
Have you ever been to the Dish? Love it? Hate it? Let me know!!

The Dish & The Runaway Spoon on Urbanspoon

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Butternut Squash Soup

This recipe was inspired by Cheap, Healthy, Good's Butternut Squash Soup Recipe.

I bought a butternut squash and intended to either bake it or make fries. But then I stumbled on the recipe and got inspired. And was it ever worth the work!! SO FILLING, SO FRAGRANT, SO DELICIOUS!
The downside- peeling and cutting a squash is a serious pain in the ass... and even worse if you are sore from a hard workout the day before.... haha!
Anyway, here is my version of the recipe!

1 large butternut squash (peeled and chopped into pieces of random size)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion
1 tsp nutmeg
1 apple (cut into chunks)
5 cups of veggie stock (I used better than bouillon)
1 cup apple sauce
1 tbsp cinnamon

How to:
Peel and chop up squash.
Take a break. You'll be tired.
In a large pot, saute chopped up onion in olive oil and while cooking add nutmeg. 3-5 mins here.
Add squash and apple and then pour stock over. Add apple sauce and cinnamon.
Bring to boil and then simmer until squash is soft/cooked.

Then put in blender (took me 5 rounds to get through all the soup.)

Consistency.... THICK AND CREAMY.

Blender soup!!!
Put back on low on stove and ENJOY!!!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Changes and Updates!

Hi Friends!

Just wanted to let you know about a few changes and updates to the blog!

First- please check out some of the new blogs and places I have added to Blogaholic and Best of Edmonton pages! I think you will really enjoy them!
Also- check out my new logo pic on those pages as well! My wonderful boyfriend Ryan made it! yay!

Second- check out the newly updated Edmonton Journal Food Section. They have all sorts of fantastic links and columns about Edmonton food! However, more importantly, they have a Edmonton Food Bloggers section, which includes yours truly!! Yay! Big thank you to Kerry at the Edmonton Journal for putting that together!

Finally- if you have any recipes, restaurant reviews, exercise ideas or anything related to this blog that you would like to contribute, please send me an email at! I would love to hear from you and would love to have others contribute to this blog!

That is all for now- have a wonderful rest of your weekend and keep warm!

Leslie :)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Diets that Time Forgot

My blog update today is free of recipes-- instead I wanted to let everyone know about a hilarious and enlightening British TV program "Diets That Time Forgot" that I watched with my dear friend Benita last week.
Benita got the show from the library and we prepared to watch the 6 episodes over two days.
picture from
The show involves 9 overweight British folks living away from their families for around a month in a castle (or what I would call a castle.. maybe it wasn't... it really doesn't matter.) They were then split into 3 groups- Victorian, Edwardian and 1920- each era had its own specific and original diet. At the end of show, they tallied the weight lost to announce a diet winner.

The Victorians- high protein/low carb diet. (that means mostly meat- and not much else.)

 The Edwardians- the "Chew Chew" diet- chewing each spoonful of food 32 times- but otherwise no food restrictions.

1920s- the first calorie restricted diet at 1200 cals a day. (mostly veggies- lots and lots of celery)

They also participated in the popular fitness trends of the day- dancing, weights, running and so on... and also had to wear the appropriate attire (ie. corsets)
I don't want to give away the results of the challenge because I think it is worth watching. I will say that I wasn't surprised by the results and I think it gives all of us in present day something to think about. The main idea that Sir Roy (the host and ultimate judge) pushed was that we have lost self discipline and need to reintroduce this into ourselves and society as a whole if we are going to win the fight against obesity.

I recommend watching this show with a good friend and a pot of tea! :o)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Papaya Chicken

 Hi Everyone! I hope you had a FANTASTIC WEEKEND (possibly the last warm one here in Edmonton... brrrrr....) Well... to warm you up I have discovered yet another fantastic recipe by the Spice Goddess!
This Papaya Chicken has the right amount of spicy and sweet and incorporates one of my favorite fruits! hoorah! Not to mention, its right up my alley- 1 pan cooking! woo hoo!

We served it with brown rice and a side of cauliflower!

Note: The only thing we didn't have was Fenugreek Seeds- anyone know what they are and where they can be purchased? I was thinking of hitting up an ethnic food store to see if they maybe had it. Not sure what the flavor is or how it would change the dish.

 We also had Beaujolais wine my sister brought back from France.
 It was superb!!
These kind of treats you have to savor!

Keep your eyes peeled over the next week for blog posts about my Convocation dinner at a Greek Restaurant and Friday Night Pierogi Dinner!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Cauliflower with Sweet Potatoes

Hello Readers!
Just wanted to post this delicious new recipe (passed on from my mom, from the Spice Goddess).
The recipe: Cauliflower with Sweet Potatoes
Its a healthy Indian inspired dish that is super easy to make!!
The original is in the link, and I've added my minor changes at the bottom of the copied recipe:

2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
1 onion- chopped
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 teaspoon tumeric
1 teaspoon salt
1 tomato, chopped
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 small head cauliflower, cut into bite size pieces

Place the oil in a large nonstick skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Add the onion and ginger and cook for 4 minutes. Stir in the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, turmeric, and salt and toast for 15 seconds and then add the tomatoes and sweet potatoes, and cook until they are tender, about 12 to 15 minutes. Add the cauliflower and stir well to combine. Place a tight fitting lid on the pan and cook until the cauliflower is crisp- tender, about 5 to 8 minutes.

Changes: I added 1/2 cup water to the pan when i added the sweet potato and tomatoe, just because it needed moisture. I also added more sweet potato (I had three small ones.) and I left out the coriander seeds, because I didn't have them.


Thursday, November 4, 2010

Made it, Ate it, Loved it: Black Beans and Rice

Hi everyone!
Happy Thursday (yay!!!!)
First off: holy moly, i have been hungry ALL DAY. I decided to write down everything I ate today and quickly realized why- the only fat I'd had all day was little bit of cheese in my lunch. So i promptly opened the fridge and had a spoonful of peanut butter. feel much better :) this will hold me over until dinner (which is salmon so there is a lot of fat there.) Case in point: be aware of what you eat- and if you track your food intake, you will quickly notice trends in hunger level and energy level associated to what you have been eating.

Anyway, I wanted to get to one of the meals I made on Sunday.  After a few weeks of dinner chaos (well what I would call chaos, I dare say most people wouldn't have a problem with this) in which I would just throw random food together, often eggs, for dinner, I decided I needed to make some meals ahead of time, and plan to make some during the week by having everything on hand. It took all over 2 hours to plan, shop and make the food!

The first meal I made was Black Beans and Rice (adapted from
(FYI: I totally dropped the ball on taking pictures of this meal, but thats because it was so yummy!)

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup uncooked brown rice
  • 1 1/2 cups low sodium, low fat vegetable broth (I used Better than Boullion, and love it!) 
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 1/2 cups canned black beans, drained
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a stockpot over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Add the onion and garlic and saute for 4 minutes. Add the rice and saute for 2 minutes.
  2. Add the vegetable broth, bring to a boil, cover and lower the heat and cook for 20 minutes. Add the spices and black beans.

Better than Boullion: After reading this blog post on Cheap Healthy Good, I was on the hunt for the product and was happy to find it at my local Save-On Foods. It cost just over 8 bucks, and yields a lot more stock than your typical 3 dollar container of the stuff. I'd recommend it too. As usual, CHG knows what they are talking about!
Little Jar- Big Results!

Anyway, I hope you enjoy this recipe. It is SUPER EASY and really nutritious (140 cals per 1/2 cup!) so no excuses people!!