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My Saskatoon Blog

Five Things You Need to Know This Morning

posted by My Saskatoon    |   November 3, 2014 08:05

1. There are only 51 days until Christmas!

2. Glass Doctor has great tips for removing fingerprints from glass. 

3. Little Bird Patisserie can create a beautiful custom tart for your next dinner party. 

4. 10 things to do with those empty wine bottles.

5. This delicious cookie butter makes a great homemade gift (or treat yourself!). 

Enjoy your Monday!

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Eat Local

Help Grow the Local Saskatoon Food Scene

posted by Elle    |   September 16, 2014 15:34

Not long ago, I wrote about a post about the importance of supporting locally owned and operated Saskatoon businesses. I thought I would revisit the subject with a slightly different focus- food. We all need it, and most of us seem to love it! So while we're buying it, I propose we all put some thought behind where our dollars are going, and how they can tremendously impact our local Saskatoon economy. Here are a few ways to ensure that your money spent on food is staying in our community. 

Support Locally Focused Restaurants.

This one is, in my opinion, one of the most enjoyable! A few restaurants in Saskatoon that focus on sourcing locally are Prairie Harvest Cafe, The Hollows, Leyda's, and Ayden Kitchen + Bar. Choosing to spend your money in support of a restaurant that sources its ingredients within the region, you're helping to sustain both the restaurant owner and the farmer. Not to mention, everyone employed by both. And, I don't think its a coincidence that the food at the restaurants mentioned is some of the best in the city. If you know of any other great Saskatoon restaurants with a local focus, let us know on Facebook

Shop at the Saskatoon Farmers' Market.

Supporting local farmers and producers is most easily done at the Saskatoon Farmers' Market, as many are congregated there on Saturdays (and to a lesser degree on Sundays). I enjoy exploring the entire market first, and then making my purchase decisions based on what's available. Not only is visiting the market fun, but local food is fresh, tastes great, and studies show that it fuels your body better than food grown outside of your region. I find that there's a huge difference between the taste of produce purchased at the market vs the grocery store. Even during the winter months, there is still much to be found at the Saskatoon Farmers' Market.

Buy from other local vendors. 

There are some great locally owned and operated bakeries, delis, and markets where the breadth of choice may be less than the Farmers' Market on a Saturday in the summer, but are great places to go for specialty ingredients year-round. Think Riversdale Deli, The Bulkcheese Warehouse, Earthbound Bakery, Ingredients, and Night Oven. And you don't have to stop at food! Local liquor and beer producers like LB Distillers, Paddock Wood, and Prairie Sun Brewery have got you covered. 

 

Get on board with a community supported agriculture program.

CSAs provide a great way to support local farmers and advocate for a sustainable food system in our city. CHEP is one in Saskatoon that I am familiar with. Through CHEP, you can purchase food boxes of varying sizes, containing fresh fruits and veggies that come from local producers. The contents of the food box vary by season and availability. Contact CHEP to find the pick-up depot closest to your neighbourhood. There are a few other CSA programs in Saskatoon and surrounding areas, and by doing a little research you can determine which one is right for you. 

The local food movement in Saskatoon is on the rise! If we as consumers continue to choose local when purchasing food, a sustainable food economy in our city will continue to grow. Even small purchases count, so don't feel overwhelmed. Trying different locally made food products, locally grown veggies, and locally-focused restaurants can also be a lot of fun (not to mention yummy!). Spread the local food love by tagging My Saskatoon in your Instagram photos @mysaskatoon, and don't forget to hashtag #eatlocalyxe and #mysaskatoon. 

Herbal Time Tea House

posted by My Saskatoon    |   September 8, 2014 11:33

In our fast paced, high intensity world, many of life's simple pleasures aren't given the attention they deserve. This is particularly the case when it comes to eating and drinking. Meals are increasingly consumed in front of the TV or computer, while driving, or while otherwise distracted. We often find ourselves growing impatient as we wait five minutes standing in line or at the drive-thru. Coffee has become a constant accessory, alongside us all day long without much care or attention paid. Other drinks accompany our meals, but aren't really savoured in the way they could be. 

Do you think its time we slow down, and stop sipping mindlessly from our to-go cups as we rush from Point A to B?

Herbal Time Tea House in Willowgrove provides us with an opportunity to do just that. 

Walking into Herbal Time in mid-afternoon, the environment feels bright, awakening the senses with lots of light beaming in on the fresh green walls. We are greeted with a warm welcome, and are seated at a table near the window. We expected a coffee shop style of service where people line up at the bar to order, and were surprised when we were brought to a table and presented with menus. The menu is tea-focused, of course, with herbal teas and bubble teas making up the majority. The menu is unique in its detail, with the health benefits of each type of tea outlined. The ingredients are all natural, and are combined into a number of herbal infusions, centred around lemongrass, rose, goji, chrysanthemum, and jujube. An excellent source of vitamins and minerals, benefits for specific body systems are associated with each ingredient. 

 

We ordered the Rose Milk Tea and Raspberry Bubble Tea. The Rose Milk Tea was creamy and floral with a hint of sweetness. We could taste the quality in the Bubble Tea, and witnessed other patrons delighted by their first experience with the tapioca bubbles and giant straw. Most of all, we enjoyed the fact that our beverages were the focal point of our experience. Such great care and attention was taken with them, and it really made us appreciate the simplicity of sitting and savouring a cup of tea. 

Herbal Time also offers a unique Afternoon Tea for Two, which includes tea served in a beautiful porcelain tea set, accompanied by an array of cheesecake, ganache, cookies, and fruit. Next time we go, we will definitely have to experience it! 

 Whether you're looking for a unique date night, a relaxing place to catch up with friends, a quiet place to study (there's wifi), or an opportunity to extend the peace and health benefits of a yoga class, Herbal Time Tea House is now open and waiting for you in Willowgrove Square. 

Visit Herbal Time's Spotlight Profile for a map of their location and hours of operation, and to connect on social media! 

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Eat Local

The Strawberry Ranch

posted by My Saskatoon    |   August 28, 2014 09:32

Growing up, my grandparents made a summer habit of picking pounds (and pounds!) of strawberries from their local strawberry patch - resulting in pies, sauces, bars, and, of course, strawberry shortcake. I’ve always had it in my mind that I’d eventually continue that tradition.  Thankfully, my sister-in-law liked the idea too! A few weeks ago, my husband and I spent a Saturday morning at the Strawberry Ranch with my sister-in-law, niece, and nephews.  What a beautiful and refreshing morning!

For some reason, it was incredibly good for the soul.  Maybe it was the act of harvesting our own food, being out in the country air, or knowing we were “shopping local” in the most basic sense.  

Of course, it didn’t hurt that these super-fresh strawberries cost less than berries at the grocery store!  We marvelled that for such a reasonable rate, we were able to go home with pounds of fresh fruit AND get such a wonderful experience.

The Strawberry Ranch is a family owned and operated farm located four miles southwest of Saskatoon. There are ready-picked berries available, but I would highly recommend the U-Pick option. The experience just simply can't be missed! Its a good idea to call ahead before going, as U-Pick times may vary depending on the crop ripening. 

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Eat Local

An American in Paris (of the Prairies)

posted by My Saskatoon    |   August 14, 2014 12:12

There's a new blogger on the block! We are so excited to introduce Melissa, a Californian turned newbie Saskatoon resident. We can't wait to hear about her experiences and perceptions as she explores our beautiful city! Check out her first post below- maybe it will inspire you to get out and enjoy a tasty treat in this hot, hot weather. Like you needed inspiration...

Not only am I newly married, I’m new to this amazing city of Saskatoon. I met my Saskatoon-born husband in California a few years ago.  He proposed to me in the middle of a NorCal vineyard and we were married five months later. Being a transplant from California, I (literally) cried tears of joy when spring arrived.  Saskatoon winters are beautiful, but they are COLD! I’d been summer-dreaming since January, so we have been living it up ever since the temperatures started to rise, taking in as much of summer in Saskatoon as possible! 

What’s better than a hot summer day? A hot summer day with ice cream.

During my first visit to Saskatoon (and to Canada) last summer, I was lucky enough to enjoy Canada Day, Saskatoon’s infamous Jazz Festival, AND ice cream from the amazing Bus Stop Refreshments, aka “the Red Bus”.

Not only is this the cutest idea for an ice cream vendor (I mean seriously - selling summer treats from an antique double-decker bus located in front of the castle-like Delta Bessborough Hotel, does it get better?) but the ice cream is out of this world!

I ordered their cookie dough ice cream and I couldn’t believe it!  As someone who grew up on Dairy Queen’s cookie dough Blizzards, I’ve had more than my share of cookie dough ice cream.  But I must say -- there is something extra delicious about the cookie dough ice cream from Bus Stop Refreshments! 

Now my husband and I live one block away from this glorious ice cream bus (uh oh!) and often pass it on our way to go for a run on the river trail.  Can you say self-control? We are fortunate enough to be conveniently located very close to the bus, but I can definitely say from my experience (and I've had quite a few of them since summer began) that its well worth going out of your way on your next ice cream run! Visiting the Red Bus has definitely been a recurring theme in my first Saskatoon summer, and I plan to keep it that way for as long as the weather permits! 

Saskatoon really comes alive in summer, and I am loving it! I'm looking forward to sharing a few of my experiences with you as I explore this city I now call home! 

Little Bird Patisserie & Cafe

posted by My Saskatoon    |   August 13, 2014 09:50

It's about time a place like Little Bird Patisserie & Cafe opened its doors in the Paris of the Prairies. Go for the macarons; stay for the sandwiches, the soups, the butter tart terrine, the kouign amann. And a few more macarons to go. Seriously. 

The My Saskatoon Street Team recently paid a visit to this sweet spot just off 20th street in Riversdale, and expectations were most certainly exceeded. It is evident that great care is taken with everything at Little Bird, from the tea to the tourtière. The high ceilings and natural light spilling in through big windows lend a bright, fresh feel to the atmosphere.

Elegant details throughout the space give an understated Parisian vibe, as a collection of delicate frames house the chalkboard menu, and an array of antique brass pots and trays line the service area. Vintage-esq wrought iron and wood furniture arranged in intimate vignettes strike a beautiful balance with the gleaming white walls. Fresh cut flowers in glass vases adorn the tables. The space is truly unique, the perfect place to relax and enjoy a cup of organic tea and a dainty French pastry. Or two.

 

 

The macarons at Little Bird are seriously addictive. Apart from their obvious Instagram-worthy cuteness, the perfect sweetness found in these buttery, melt-in-your-mouth morsels are more than enough to warrant frequent visits to the café. While the pastries are expectedly phenomenal, the fresh, from-scratch lunch menu makes Little Bird the sort of place one could visit guilt-free multiple times each week.

Our Street Team enjoyed marinated artichokes, roasted tomatoes, balsamic onions, and creamy goat cheese on fresh baguette. Creamy, flavourful bacon corn chowder rounded out the meal, with a blueberry-thyme macaron to finish. The sun-dried tomato, feta, and olive quiche was the best combination of savoury, creamy, and flaky. Our foodies loved the perfect balance of flavours found in each item they tried. 

 

 

Little Bird goes above and beyond with its beverage menu as well. Beat the summer heat with a refreshing Strawberry Ginger Mint Iced Tea, a Citron Pressé, or a delectable Iced Chai Tea Latté. Catch up with a friend over a craft coffee from Fernwood Coffee Company out of Victoria. Or, pair your pastry with a selection from the extensive tea menu from Bellocq Tea Atelier

Just a two minute walk from Midtown Plaza, Little Bird is the perfect lunch spot to hit if you're shopping, staying, or working in downtown Saskatoon. Or, stop in on a weekend afternoon after a browse through the lovely adjoining Anthology Home Collection. Don't forget to take a box of macarons with you to enjoy later!

Check out Little Bird's Spotlight Profile for the current menu (changing weekly!)

Prairie Sun Brewery

posted by My Saskatoon    |   August 8, 2014 14:57

The best things about summer in Saskatchewan- the fun, the relaxation, the laid back vibes, and the warmth that we crave all winter long can be found year-round at Prairie Sun Brewery. But right now, in the heart of summer, the place is in its prime. We stopped by to do some beer sampling, and discovered so much more than expected! The experience you get at Prairie Sun Brewery is vibrant. Outside on the patio, the late afternoon sun shining through a wall of sunflowers casts a glow on a group enjoying an after-work pint. Indoors, bright murals adorn the walls, and picnic tables lend a casual, comfortable vibe to the space. The people are friendly and down to earth, and you can sense the local love. A feeling of community resonates throughout the space. 

  

But what about the beer? We tasted 7 different beers, and while we are not connoisseurs by any means, these are our best attempts at describing each of the great varieties of local beer available at Prairie Sun Brewery!

Campfire

This smoked red lager tastes like a campfire. In a good way. 

Toffee 5

Chocolate toffee porter, sweet and creamy, its almost like dessert. It would be fantastic mixed with ice cream in a milkshake!

Prairie Lily

A German lager, smooth with a lingering finish. 

Urban Wheat

This one tastes like a classic- hoppy and complex!

Crazy Farm

The fan favourite, it is a crisp, flavourful Belgian Ale. 

Cactus Tap

The lightest of Prairie Sun's offerings, this one has a mellow, balanced flavour. 

Moose Tracks

Dark and sour, it almost tastes like a cross between beer and wine. This assessment might not be too far off, as it is aged in a barrel!? 

 

If you're looking for a local spot to hit after work with friends or colleagues, or you want to mix up your lunch hour routine, Prairie Sun is ready for you. They've always got pizza by the slice, and additional food offerings change daily as they partner with local food vendors to bring you hot eats to enjoy with your beer! Its also the only North-End stop for Saskatoon's awesome food trucks, so connect with Prairie Sun Brewery on social media to stay updated on what's for lunch!

This weekend is the best time of the summer to visit the brewery- tonight and tomorrow (August 8 & 9), stop in for Prairie Sun Brewery's Beer Launch and sample their latest local creation- Dog Patch Pale Ale. While you're there, order a flight and try 4 different beers for the price of a pint! And as always, enjoy responsibly :)

Check out Prairie Sun Brewery's Spotlight Profile for hours of operation and other fun information!

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Eat Local

Pink Cadillacs Malt Shop & Lounge

posted by My Saskatoon    |   August 4, 2014 17:08

We sent our street team out to experience Pink Cadillacs Malt Shop & Lounge, and the reviews we received were off the charts! Everything from “What a unique place!” to “The service was excellent!” and “The food was amazing!” not to mention all the comments about the decor and vibe the place gives off!

Stepping into Pink Cadillacs is like stepping into a time warp back to the fifties. The fashion worn by the staff, the rock and roll music played over the speakers, and the decor all contribute to that decade's nostalgia. 



The menu is also a throw back to the classic hotrods, actors, performers and hits of that era. “The Caddy Burger” features melted cheddar cheese, onion rings, cherry bacon, finished with a house made Caddy Sauce. The “Aloha Elvis” combines shaved ham, chipotle glaze, pineapple salsa and mozzarella cheese. Try the "Good Golly Miss Molly” which is a delicious combination of BBQ sauce, sautéed mushrooms, and caramelized onions topped with swiss cheese. These burgers and so much more can be experienced at Pink Cadillacs, and they will definitely make your senses feel All Shook Up!

This “local diner” is situated in Willowgrove's Village Square, which just makes it that much more unique. Bringing together family fun and hearty homemade food is just the beginning of what Pink Cadillacs has to offer. On Fridays and Saturdays it turns into a late night lounge, open tip 1am, giving people a local place to hang out with friends. Pink Cadillacs is bringing back that “place around the corner.” 



Pink Cadillacs Malt Shop & Lounge is a must visit for both young and old. Once inside the doors, you’ll be taken back to a different time and place. Soon you’ll be grooving to the oldies and swapping stories about the good ol’ days. 

Visit Pink Cadillacs' Spotlight Profile!

 

Salad in a Jar?

posted by Elle    |   August 3, 2014 12:21

Canning jars are one of my must-have kitchen items. They are so handy, particularly if you want to avoid using plastic containers or bags. I also just love the way they look, especially when filled with layered, colourful, fresh veggies! Whats great about using canning jars for salad is that they enable you to prepare one big batch for the whole work week. You can prepare the salad in advance, divvy it up among a few jars, and when sealed tightly, it will keep for up to 5 days in the fridge. So, when I chop all my veggies and do all the prep work on Sunday night, I have grab-and-go salads until Friday. 

Photo Credit: Pinterest

The secret to the perfect salad in a jar is layering. Start with dressing on the bottom, and work your way up from the heaviest and least absorbent ingredients to the leafy greens at the top. This way, as long as the jar stays upright, your greens won't touch the dressing and get soggy. Note: if you're including soft foods like avocado or hardboiled egg, or meats like chicken or salmon, don't add it to the jar until the day you are going to be eating the salad. When you're ready to eat your salad, just pour it all out into a bowl, give it a toss, and enjoy!

This lovely diagram should hit the point home, and provide some inspiration!

I love to make a dressing of a non-specific ratio of the following- balsamic vinegar, olive oil, crushed garlic, dijon mustard, honey, cumin, coriander, salt and pepper. Its seriously the best dressing ever! Then I like to build it up from the bottom with cucumber, tomatoes, quinoa, hemp hearts and walnuts, followed by arugula and spinach. I top it all off with my absolute favourite local greens ever from Floating Gardens, called Elegance. I believe they are mustard greens? They are so delicate and beautiful, not to mention tasty! I highly recommend stopping by the Floating Gardens booth at the Farmers' Market and picking up a bag of Elegance to add to your first salad in a jar :)

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Eat Local

The Streets of Saskatoon Get Yummier

posted by Elle    |   June 25, 2014 15:58

Now that the rainy season seems to have passed and Jazz Fest is underway, its finally starting to feel like summer in Saskatoon! Dining al fresco is one of my favourite things about summer, and the nice variety of food trucks we are seeing pop up in the city makes this extra convenient. With popular set-up spots being Downtown and on Broadway, picking up a burrito, burger, or other tasty treat and enjoying it by the river or in a nearby park is my idea of summer perfection. 

As this is just the second summer of the food truck policy being passed, we are now starting to accumulate some great curb side options here in Saskatoon! Favourites that have returned this year are Snak, Disco Dogs, and Pineapple Express. Joining these "old staples" on our city streets this season, as I'm sure you've noticed or heard about, are:

 Scout Mex Hall & Food Truck

A nice variety of giant, amazing, fresh tasting burritos! The beef is delish. And the cookies...

Keep up with Scout on Facebook and Instagram for location updates!

 


Ace Burger 

This is one that I haven't tried yet, but dang! They look so good. Ace is brought to you by the folks at Congress Beer House. Follow Ace Burger on Facebook and Instagram for updates on their current location!

  

Thrive Juice Truck 

On-the-go nutrition is also something that is much sought after in Saskatoon, and the new Thrive Juice Co. truck is a great way to make that happen. These nutrient-packed, delicious fruit and veggie juices are a great way to beat the heat and up your vegetable intake. Their new raw lattes are also fantastic! Stay tuned to Thrive on Facebook and Instagram for the daily location of the juice truck!

I am liking the way this industry is ramping itself up in Saskatoon, and can't wait to see what else is in store for the summer food scene in our city! 

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