Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Toronto's Garlic Festival!

Being downtown for a month means that I can finally be less sketchy in attending all of the events that are always happening in Toronto.

With a German by my side, it also means I have to be everywhere on time--if not earlier. Against my true nature, I rebel whenever possible. For the Toronto Garlic Festival that took place on Sunday September 18 from 9 to 5, I convinced Bjorn we should go later on in the day cause no one really wants to smell like garlic at 9am. We arrived around 3 after a long walk, but before entering decided to cool off in the shade and of course play backgammon:
The Little Prince!
We went in shortly after and were impressed right away by the cute stamps, and it took me about four photos to get this one because I am an artist:
It was just $5 to enter for the day, and the crowd was quite impressive, all surrounding the various booths inside and outside:
We were promised garlic shots, garlic popsicles, garlic beer, garlic fudge, and a lot of other garlic-based foods and drinks. We prioritized:
Shortly after, we were offered our complimentary garlic shot. I assumed it would be shots of juiced garlic but boy was I wrong. A full garlic clove was crushed directly on our wrists and we were instructed to eat cilantro and then suck on a lemon sliver, like a tequila shot. We both did it and grew stronger immediately:
After realizing that we missed all the workshops, we went inside to see some of the different booths to try some samples. Bjorn tried black garlic and I tried garlic fudge and we were both really impressed and lived vicariously through each others' experiences. We ventured back outside and I saw the booth selling vegan garlic pospsicles with grapefruit and gamay wine. Absolutely delicious and I even tasted a hint of the garlic in it!
He doesn't look impressed but he was!
After that we just walked around more, checking out the different areas but had to leave shortly after to meet a friend, who we felt bad for since we had both just taken raw garlic shots. The festival was fun and the stuff we tried was delicious and next year I would actually come earlier to make it to some of the workshops!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

My Article 'Bring Home Flavours From Your Travels' on FBC!

I am so happy to have contributed to Food Bloggers of Canada! Check out my piece that offers some tips on how you can re-create dishes from your travels at home right here!

North America's First Vegan Butcher Shop Set for Expansion!

I was finally able to visit YamChops, Canada's only vegan butcher shop, and learned about some very exciting news! Check out my review & the upcoming plans for expansion right here!

Monday, June 6, 2016

'Armenia's Horse Whisperers' Published in The Armenian Weekly!

I am so happy to have visited and learned more about the incredible Centaur Hippotherapy Center in Armenia. Check out my article about the center and about the two incredible women who run it, right here!
Photo by Hasmik Hovhannisian

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Spotlight: Toronto's Apiecalypse Now!

Being back in Canada means it's time to check out some of the new vegan restaurants and shops that have opened up. On a recent trip downtown with the always awesome Shaghig, we decided to get dessert. She took me to a gluten-free bakery she discovered recently, and said it was one of the few places where their gluten-free chocolate muffins or cupcakes were not super dense, and told me their vegan items were also great.
I went for a vegan chocolate chip cookie since I had been craving them for a long time, and while most of their items are vegan, some contain eggs, but everything is labeled clearly. 
The last one.
The staff was also super friendly and sweet and hyper and there was cucumber water so that's always a plus. The cookie looked simple but was delicious and exactly what I was craving. Shaghig enjoyed her pretty cupcake too!
Pretty photo so it is by Shaghig of course.
But I digress. I found myself hungry and knowing there was the potential of having vegan pizza got into my head and made me even hungrier. While I didn't know Apiecalypse Now! had moved from their Bloor/Bathurst location to Christie, it was still a short walk away so all was good. But they should probably put a sign on their old storefront so the man in the shop above doesn't get too annoyed with confused people asking where the vegan pizza is at.

The new location is right beside a conventional pizza chain, which I mentioned to Shaghig like three times, thinking it was super interesting (it wasn't).
Raccoons for life.
The aroma inside was incredible and made me very happy with my decision. At first glance I saw colourful and super detailed vegan doughnuts, but reminded myself I just had a massive cookie and was here for pizza.
There were a bunch of different pizza options (including a mac 'n cheese one) and I chose the simple pepperoni pizza, and for $3-something dollars, it was heated and given to me. Before even biting into it, I saw that they had nutritional yeast, hot pepper, and vegan Parmesan for toppings, and was quite generous with all three of them, with Shaghig telling me I should just keep a jar of za'atar with me at all times since that is what I always secretly want. No regrets!
I then ate it. It was very creamy, the sauce was great, and the dough could stand on its own feet. I then went to the park with Shaghig, realized I was still hungry and came back for a second, almost feeling embarrassed. While I could have been interesting and tried a different type, I was in boring-mode of "I'll take no risks thank you" and got the same type. I really appreciated how creamy the cheese was and the fact that the bread was made with with spices and those seeds I can never label, but the pepperoni, by the second slice, was my least favourite part cause of its super strong flavour, like the company who made it was all 'WE WILL TRICK THE NON-VEGANS MUAHAHHA'. But it was still very good and clearly made me go for a second slice and do my excited uneven-eye food smile!
I would definitely go back to try some different pizzas, and maybe even indulge in a vegan doughnut. Maple sugar, I am looking at you. And to rocky road. Ok, I will eat them all.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Live Out There: My First Time Trail Running

My blog post for Live Out There, titled 'My First Time Trail Running: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly', has just been published!

You can check it out right here!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Spotlight: Homemade & Healthy in Yerevan

Keeping up with my new wannabe 'Spotlight' feature, this time I am focusing on Homemade and Healthy, an awesome initiative from Anush from the incredible Khachatryan family!

Being BFF with Gohar, aka superwoman, comes with many benefits (tee hee), including always having access to what her equally awesome twin sister Anush was cooking or baking. Everything I have ever tried from her has been absolutely delicious, and her brownies are still talked about by all those who have had the pleasure to try them (and devour them).

Not only are Anush's products healthy, delicious, and at very fair prices, she is always open to taking special requests (vegan, raw, gluten-free, allergies, etc.) and experimenting, which is why my new favourite thing is her toasted peanut butter with cinnamon and coconut oil.

I regularly buy her almond and peanut butters and granola, and a recent trip to her house left me sampling her delicious real ginger candies, and even some delicious liquors! That was a good day.

You can check out her Facebook page here to see some of her products and prices, and know that she also takes requests as well. Plus both Anush and Gohar are vegetarians, so you can make fun of meat and laugh together.
Toasted peanut butter & nut/seed-packed granola!