Tag Archives: eat all the things

Eat All the Food and Drink All the Wine

On Monday evening I was invited to Milestones Empress Walk in Toronto for “an exclusive evening of culinary creations prepared by Milestones’ Executive Chef Jason Rosso.” According to the email I received, Milestones would be serving a six-course tasting menu inspired by their upcoming Summer Chef Menu, and each course was going to be accompanied by a selection of Constellation Brands’ finest wines.

I’m sure you can guess what I said to that invitation. Food + wine? Yes and yes, count me in. I roped my beautiful friend Dawn into joining me for the evening (she didn’t need a lot of convincing).

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I can’t remember the last time I’ve been to a Milestones. It’s been years for sure. And I didn’t even know what was on their menu, to be honest, so I was excited for some exclusive tasting action.

I was immediately impressed with how professional this event was. As soon as we arrived we were greeted by the Chief Operating Officer of Milestones, Montana’s, and Kelsey’s, Mark Findlay, and also Dave Grant, Strategic Account Manager at Constellation Brands (producers of wine. Wiiiine). Usually when I am invited to events like this it is run by a PR company, so I mainly interact with them. There may be a representative from the actual company in attendance, but the COO? Well now, that is just impressive. Everyone was very nice, and they seemed to enjoy talking with us and asked us lots of questions.

All was going well until one of them asked me what my favourite restaurant was.

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I just didn’t know what to say. As I love food so much (I don’t want to call myself a “foodie”), I wanted to seem worldly and cultured and say a trendy place that was well-known without being too popular, you know? But all I could think was chain restaurants, and I didn’t want to name one.

And this was interesting, because one of the reasons for this evening of food was to change our opinion of chain restaurants. There is definitely a bit of a stigma surrounding them, that they may not be as good as independent restaurants. I have been noticing this a lot more lately. When I lived in the suburbs I used to eat at chains all the time, and all my friends did also. But now that I am in the city I am starting to become a little bit of a restaurant snob, and I am not sure why this is happening. Maybe because there are many independent restaurants located close to me? I don’t know.

Anyway, upon our arrival we were immediately set up with two  of Milestones’ new cocktails.

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I can’t remember either of their names, but that raspberry one on the left was amazing. Definitely my favourite. The cucumber martini on the right was good also, but Dawnald and I agreed that it was just a little too sweet.

There were also some pretty great appetizers floating around.

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Mozzarella Cheese Balls

There are few things in life I enjoy more than a good cheese ball, and those did not disappoint. Dawn and I both ate four of them.

And then we were all ushered upstairs for dinner.

I originally expected to be sitting with only Dawn and enjoying a romantic dinner for two, but this was not the case. There were about 20 people in attendance, and we all sat together at one long table. Just an intimate dinner with people who are way more important than me. No big deal. I am really not sure how I got invited to this event (wait, yes I am, ahem Stephanie Fusco, you cheeky minx), because I certainly am not that important.

Dawn and I were sitting with a handful of chefs. Real chefs, who actually cook for a living. I am in serious awe of them. Like Rossy Earle, who coincidentally is the chef at Mysteriously Yours Dinner Theatre, which I visited in January. We talked about how hilarious Prince Charmin is. And Joshna Maharaj, who is probably the biggest celebrity chef I’ve ever met.

Someone asked me if I was a chef.

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No no friends. I just like to eat. I could never be a chef, because you’re never home for dinner! That is very important to me.

So let’s talk about the Milestones Summer Chef’s Menu samples.

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Extensive, and amazing sounding. But the funniest thing about this photo is my place card, Lindsey Evanhoff. That is not my name. It’s just Evanoff. No H. But this was exceptionally funny to me because at my previous job one of my coworkers thought my last name was spelled “Evanhoff” for four months. When she called me that in emails I thought she was joking, until she wrote “Evanhoff” on my birthday card and I realized she really thought that was my last name.

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Just Evanoff. But I do understand how it could be confused, so no worries.

Anyway, moving along. Check out this food. It was AMAZING.

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Crispy quinoa shrimp with chimmi churri aioli and vegetable slaw

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Panko blue crab cakes with fennel and arugula salad

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Spicy Thai basil stir fry

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Grilled Japanese tuna Tutaki with asparagus and fennel slaw

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“Surf and turf” – grilled flat iron and lobster fricassee

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Avocado and lime tart

Six courses in total. I really need to say that everything was fantastic. Everything. Honestly. Best meal I have had in a long time. I cleaned every single plate and it was so good I probably could have eaten more, even though I was dying of fullness. I truly would order any one of those dishes, and they were all even better than I was expecting. Chef Rosso and friends do not mess around.

My favourites were probably the stir fry, because it tasted like curry, and the tuna Tutaki. Sweet baby cheeses and all things holy and delicious, that tuna… Dawn was studying the menu before everything came out and she mentioned to me she probably wasn’t going to be a fan of the tuna, and then it ended up being her favourite. It was so good.

Also surprisingly good was the avocado and lime tart. I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about that but I loved it. It tasted like a lime meringue pie to me.

Dawn and I were so impressed with everything that obviously we had to pay our compliments to the chef.

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Excellent job Chef Rosso. If you would like to move in with me and be my personal chef I would be very okay with that. I think I could eat that stir fry every day of my life. But I’ll allow you to cook me new things also. I’m not picky.

Oh, and the wine! I can’t forget to mention the wine. There was so much of it!

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I can’t remember all the selections, but each dish was perfectly paired with a glass of wine ranging from pinot grigio, to pinot noir, to sparkling wine, to ice wine. I am not a huge wine connoisseur, but I do love it. They all tasted great to me, though red is always my favourite.

I eventually arrived home after our night of gourmet eating and face-planted onto my bed, unbelievably full and a little bit drunk. Milestones, I don’t know what I thought of you before, but I’ll tell you what I think of you now. You are delicious. I like you, and I like you a lot. I am coming back and I am eating all the things and I am telling all my friends. Thank you so much for having me! You have definitely changed my opinion of chains in general.

In other news, though kind of related, the subway stop where this Milestones is located is THE subway stop where Dawn and I had our unfortunate accident 15 years ago. Perhaps you will recognize these doors. They are the ones we got stuck in.

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I drew them, though my memory was off slightly.

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Ah, memories. If you don’t know that story you can read it here.

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No Routine? Eat All The Things!

I had definitely planned on recapping my weekend by now, but I was feeling a bit lazypants on Sunday and just not really in the mood for blogging, and yesterday I worked for 12 hours, so…did not happen.

Anyway, nothing too exciting went down. I went out with these beauties on Friday…

And these lovely gals on Saturday…

And both nights were a LOT of fun.

But what I would really like to talk about today is how terrible my eating has been lately.

I’m not kidding. Genuinely. No exaggeration here. I have been eating like absolute garbo, and it needs to stop.

Some of this has been documented on here. Actually, I was thinking the other day that when I post about food it is usually on the healthy side, but the last few months it has just been (ridiculously delicious) crap.

Like the ginormous calzone…

(and that was after all the wedding shower food)

The Wonderland funnel cake (and not to mention the poutine)…

And oh God, the froyo

Annnnd the nachos

Kraft Dinner (more than once)…

And kind of a lot of this goodness:

And some other food items that I haven’t mentioned on here, like this basket of amazingness:

And over the weekend I had McDonalds TWICE. And pizza twice. And a huge plate of greasy (but amazingly delicious) Chinese food.

It is not good (but at the same time it is so, so good.)

If I don’t stop this, I am going to RAPIDLY gain weight. I probably already have. I haven’t weighed myself since before Christmas so it’s hard to say, but my workouts have been sporadic as well, and my clothes definitely feel a little more snug than usual.

This kind of eating is unlike me. Obviously I enjoy delicious and unhealthy food fairly often, and I feel that all of the above foods SHOULD be included in even the healthiest of diets. But I never eat this much crap in this short a time, unless I’m on vacation or something. In my regular, every day life, I rarely eat out and I mostly make all my meals myself (you know this if you have followed my blog for more than six months, back when I used to post about what I ate every day). I eat breakfast at home, I bring my lunch to work, and I’m home for dinner. I eat out maybe once or twice a week. And no, I don’t say no to cookies.

But now…meh. I don’t have a routine. I am staying with friends, eating kind of whatever, whenever, and I haven’t been grocery shopping in a month. All my regular habits have gone out the window.

Don’t get me wrong here, I am staying with my friend Sherrie and I LOVE it. I feel like Sherrie is my sister! And her parents are super awesome and treat me like their own daughter. It is the most positive environment ever and I will be forever grateful.

But on the eating front, I’ve completely lost my groove. I can’t say no to anything that is offered to me. And no matter how close you are with someone, and how comfortable you feel with them, making food in someone elses’ kitchen is awkward. Hence my eating out.

Plus I have been out a LOT more than usual, and just generally busy, so this does not help.

And yes, I know I am making excuses here. If I really wanted to eat healthy, I would. But for me, when I’m out of my routine, I just don’t care. I don’t. I just want to eat all the things!

(Credit to Allie from Hyperbole and a Half for her original Clean All The Things drawing)

It does make me feel guilty though. Pretty sure I raved on all Sunday about how terrible I’ve been eating, but then when Sherrie and my friend Lisa asked me if I wanted to go out for dinner I was all “Um, YES!” So, I am le hypocrite (though I did veto going to the all-you-can-eat Mandarin, and we went out for Mexican and my meal was semi healthy).

But as of Sunday, I will have a home base again. I move on Sunday! Into my OWN place with my OWN kitchen, and I could not be more excited. I am just pumped to have my own space (I hate that line for some reason), and to get some sort of a routine going on.

I may still be eating crappily, we shall see. And I may just have to find something else to blame it on. Fingers crossed I will be back to normal though! I am a creature of routine, truly. Though of course I love a good unplanned adventure thrown in.

Hmm…I had an ending to this and now I’ve forgotten what it was. I bet it was funny too. Oh well.

Edited because I read this over and found a million typos.

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Just a Big Food Fest

So whenever I hear one of my friends telling someone else about my blog, they usually refer to it as a food blog.

This is fair enough. I originally started it as a food blog (well, more of an I-like-to-eat blog), I talk about eating pretty frequently, and it is called Happy or Hungry. So I understand why people refer to it as this (also, I think a food blog is easier to explain than just a blog). But I don’t talk about food or post recipes nearly enough to officially qualify as a food blog, in my opinion. I think I’m more of a random blog.

Anyway, it doesn’t matter. I am only saying this because I would like to put my food blogging pants back on for un momento. Today I would like to talk about food, and the abundance of food that I have consumed in the past couple of days.

I spent Friday and yesterday helping out at the Ontario Coaches Conference, which is put on annually by the Coaches Association of Ontario (CAO).

I don’t work for the CAO, but they are in the same building as my organization and I have gotten to know their staff pretty well over the years. I would consider them friends, especially Jessica, who is my age and started her job around the same time as me. I always have fun hanging out with her, so when she asked me if I would want to be on their conference planning committee I was immediately down.

(Jess and I at the conference)

The conference was extremely fun and motivating (and I’m not even a coach). My job was to go around and take pictures (nothing really new there, it’s what I usually do at events), help run their Twitter page, and generally just help out where needed.

And eating. I am listing this as a job because I ate like it was my job. This event had the best food I have ever experienced at a conference. I did not hold back. I couldn’t help it! Here is an example of the delicious food that surrounded me:

And that was just a snack.

I LOVE cheese. So, so much. It took all my restraint not to dive head first onto that table and start shoving handfuls of it into my face.

And here is what my lunch looked like yesterday:

Salad, veggies and dip, chicken skewer, tofu stirfry (I skipped on the tofu and just grabbed veggies though), mashed sweet potato, veggie lasagne, and a whole grain stuffed red pepper in the middle. That is a LOT of food, and I didn’t even take everything. I did try to squeeze as much as possible on my plate though. It was one of the best lunches I can remember.

And I kicked off my lunchtime food fest with the best mushroom soup I have ever had.

It was perfectly smooth and puréed. Just deliciousness.

And of course I need to talk about dinner, because it blew the pants off me. Dinner was during a tradeshow/social in a huge dining room set up with four different ethnic food buffet stations: Greek, Italian, Asian, and Indian.

There were tons of salads, soups, different kinds of chicken and steak, vegetable dishes, pasta, and desserts.

It was amazing. I was in awe at the amount of food. As they were setting it all up, I was seriously having serious bursts of excitement. I could barely contain myself.

I filled my plate, to say the least.

Some stuff is buried so I’ll list it for you: cucumber salad, corn and potato salad, tomato and bocconcini cheese salad, Greek salad, roasted vegetables, pita with hummus and baba ghanoush, chicken souvlaki with tzatziki, butter chicken, pasta, and an amazing samosa. I really embraced the plate-piling buffet method. That samosa and the butter chicken were the highlights for me. SO. GOOD.

And I hit up the dessert pretty hard as well.

Fruit salad, mango ice cream and baklava (which was to die for).

I can’t eat like this on the regular, obviously, or I would be 300 pounds. I’m pretty healthy in my daily life…but if I have the opportunity to go food crazy every once in a while, I take it.

I say, eat all the things!

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(and photo inspiration obviously taken from the hilarious Allie of Hyperbole and a Half).

You have to take advantage of delicious food opportunities!

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