Filed under: Foodie Swellness

Foodie Swellness: Grey Goose Sunset Soiree’s perfect picnic

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Last week, I attended the Grey Goose Sunset Soiree in Toronto. I had so much fun at lunch and the party at night last year on the island, that I knew I didn’t want to miss this party!

This year, the dinner was an intimate picnic held at a private home on the Bridle Path, complete with fountain and vintage car at the entrance.

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Chef Justin Kent was flown in from Paris to prepare the elegant picnic. At his restaurant by the Eiffel Tower, he provides custom picnic baskets packed with everything you need, which sounds just wonderful, I must get back to Paris and do this!

After cocktail hour, we all settled on the picnic blankets and nibbled on cheese and charcuterie, and sipped the refreshing wine cocktail (which was made with Grey Goose Original, Martini Rosso, Gabriel Boudier Créme de Cassis, POM Wonderful Pomegranate Juice, Beetroot Juice and mineral water).

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It was the main course of poulet au moutard that stole the show, though. I normally find chicken quite boring, and it’s not something I’d typically order at a restaurant, as I often find chicken bland (I mean I’ll have it in a gyro or fried, but I’ll pretty much never order the chicken breast entree). En moutard, though, and juicy chicken thighs? So flavourful. I had to get the recipe! I don’t have any photos of the dish because we pretty much all dug right into the meal, heh heh. Here is how to make this lovely chicken dish, I plan to make it for my next picnic in the park. Chef Justin’s noted that the sauce works as an insulator to help keep the meat warm for longer, meaning you can enjoy a warm picnic lunch!

Poulet en Moutard

• 10 chicken thighs (skin on, deboned)
• 1 cup white wine
• 1 cup cream
• 150g grain mustard
• 150g lardons
• ½ banana shallot (diced)
• ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
• 1 ½ teaspoons fresh thyme
• Fresh parsley (chopped for garnish)
• Salt & pepper (to season)

1. Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper.
2. In a pan on medium-high heat, sear the chicken thighs, skin side down in oil until crisp and golden brown. Flip and
sear on the other side until lightly caramelized.
3. Remove the chicken thighs from the pan and set aside on a plate.
4. Add lardons to the pan and cook until crisp.
5. Add shallots to the pan and cook until translucent.
6. Add the grain mustard and stir for 30 seconds being careful not to let it burn.
7. Deglaze the pan with white wine, bring to a simmer and reduce by half.
8. Add cream and bring to a simmer.
9. Add the smoked paprika.
10. Place the chicken thighs back in the sauce and cook on medium to medium-low heat, covered, until fork tender.
11. Remove from the sauce and place onto the plate to serve.
12. Spoon sauce over the top of the chicken and garnish with chopped parsley.

Makes 5 servings.

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 They set off white geese balloons at dusk, and we sipped Grey Goose cocktails in this gorgeous green backyard on the warm summer night (we lucked out with the rain holding off!).
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Now having attended two stellar summer parties with Grey Goose, I can’t wait to see what next year’s soiree is!

Leave a Comment June 20, 2017

Foodie Swellness: Florida Orange Cinnamon Smoothie

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I’m always looking for new smoothie recipes (because I can get lazy and just make the same ol’ one over and over — like this zingy green smoothie is tasty, but it’s nice to have something new in the repertoire). This week, I was invited by Florida Orange Juice to a workout at OrangeTheory, and this creamy orange smoothie we enjoyed post-workout is a nice change from my usually berry-based ones. (Plus, while in general, I’m looking to reduce the sugar I drink on a regular basis, and have been using my Sodastream and my Bonne O to do so, I’m fine with some juice after a workout, and this one incorporates protein from the Greek yogurt — and your body needs replenishment of both after you’ve put it through a workout).  Here’s the recipe:

Florida Orange Cinnamon Smoothie

  • 1 1/2 cups Florida orange juice
  • 6 oz low-fat vanilla-flavoured Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup low-fat milk of your choice
  • 1-2 cups ice (depending on what consistency you’d like for your smoothie)
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

Combine the ingredients in a blender and blend til smooth and creamy. Makes 2 servings.

Cheers!

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Leave a Comment March 31, 2017

Foodie Swellness: Hydrating with Bonne O (+ a giveaway!)

Bonne O water

If you’ve ever traveled with me or have followed me on the blog for awhile, you probably know that drinking water is not something I do very often. I drink water when I run, of course, and when I work out, but I haven’t been able to make it a habit to drink several glasses of water daily. I did make a real effort to drink plenty of water years ago when training for my first half-marathon, and found I was frustrated with being in the bathroom all the time. And I noticed that when I stopped guzzling water, my running didn’t seem to be affected, so I stopped drinking it as often (and interestingly, more recent research challenges how much fluid we actually need).

One thing I have been able to do when it comes to hydration is swap out some of the juice and a lot of the soft drinks (I used to consume a half a can daily and now I don’t usually have any in my fridge) and I’ve replaced it with flavoured sparkling water. As you may recall, I tried out Sodastream last year to help me do this, and I was super curious about Bonne O, another at-home machine to make your water bubbly so when this Canadian company asked me to try out their sparkling beverage system, I told them I was in as long as I could share my honest review to which Bonne O said of course.

So, how’s it measure up? My first reaction to the actual Bonne O machine itself is that it’s not very sleek or modern looking. Compared to the modern look of my Sodastream Power, the white machine and overall shape is much less appealing to me than the boxy and more compact shape of the Sodastream Power I have (besides aesthetics, I need kitchen gadgets that take up the least amount of space in my small kitchen, and I feel like Bonne O takes up more counter space).

Bonne O

Bonne O’s major difference, in my opinion, is the carbonators. What are these mysterious little white pucks that somehow make water bubbly? Instead of the usual heavy canisters of compressed CO2 (the kind you use with Sodastream), Bonne O uses small round pucks, which are made of food-grade materials (think citric acid and sodium bicarbonate) that react with water to create CO2 gas.

Another thing that sets Bonne O apart is you can use it to carbonate lots of different beverages and ingredients. With Sodastream, you’re carbonating water and adding fruit or syrup. But with Bonne O, you can make fruit infusions so that flavours are incorporated during the sparkling process. And, people, you can sparkle wine or your favourite cocktail! Whaaaat. I could get behind some sparkling white wine on a hot summer night!

That said, because I go through phases, lately I’m focusing less on what I’m drinking (my juicer hasn’t been used in while…) and focusing more on cooking, so I’ve been using the Bonne O mostly to drink sparkling water really simply with lemon or lime. But I did whip up some ginger syrup as the Bonne O 100 Sparkling Creations book that comes with the unit inspired me to try the recipe. And the result is delicious, and I like the idea that I’m making my pop from scratch.

So which machine do I prefer? I found that Bonne O, using one carbonation puck, results in exactly the level of bubbliness I enjoy (N.B. You can use half a Bonne O carbonator if you prefer less bubbles). My Sodastream Power, while it offers three levels of carbonation, I found that the results weren’t consistent (I sometimes selected the highest carbonation twice to get a decent amount of bubbles, but sometimes I’d end up with great bubbliness and sometimes less so).

It’s the carbonators that are, in my opinion, the major advantage to the Bonne O system. With my small kitchen’s limited storage and no car to do grocery shopping, I really dislike buying, storing and and returning the CO2 tanks. The carbonators in comparison are lightweight and are in a compact box, and this is what’s won me over. The only thing I feel Bonne O comes in second on is its design, as I mentioned above. Sodastream Power is a much sexier looking machine. If choosing between the two machines, I personally think it boils down to the CO2 tanks vs carbonators and the machine’s design, as I find the actual beverage results pretty comparable if you’re planning on carbonating water (if you’re keen on carbonating wine and other drinks then, of course, Bonne O is the way to go).

And what about that giveaway I mentioned?!

(THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED)

CONGRATS TO SHAMARRA G., the winner of her own Bonne O! Thank you to everyone who entered!

Here it is! You don’t just have to take my word on what Bonne O is like because one lucky winner in my giveaway will win a Bonne O Sparkling Beverage System (valued at $169.99 Canadian/$149.99 U.S.)! The giveaway is open to Canadian and continental U.S. residents. You can enter in three different ways (enter all three ways as each way counts as an entry!):

INSTAGRAM: Follow me on Instagram (@healthandswellness), and comment on the photo related to this giveaway — tell me what beverage you’d use the Bonne O to make. Would you add a certain fruit? A cocktail? Herbs?

TWITTER: Follow me on Twitter (@healthswellness) and tweet:

I love bubbles! And I’d love to win a @bonne_o Sparkling Beverage System from @healthswellness! http://bit.ly/2nCvvQX #bonneoswellness

FACEBOOK: “Like” the Health and Swellness Facebook page, and reply on the photo on the page — tell me how much water you drink daily. I’d love to hear what everyone’s hydration habits are!

This giveaway is open until 11:59 p.m. EST on Tuesday, March 21, 2017. The winner will be chosen at random on March 22, 2017 and contacted via the method they’ve entered to provide their shipping address and contact info.

Thanks, good luck and happy hydrating!

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1 Comment March 14, 2017

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