Atlantic Lobster- A taste of the Maritimes in the Heart of Toronto

Seafood Lovers everywhere can agree on one thing, that the Maritime provinces are known for some of the freshest seafood money can buy. The icy cold waters of the Atlantic Ocean provide the worlds best Lobster. Each Lobster is carefully pulled with pride from the trap and measured by hand to ensure consumers are provided with a quality product everytime. It’s sweet flavours and delicate textures are unmatched. Farmshare could not be more proud to deliver such a quality product to your doorstep.

     It’s hard to believe that this seafood delicacy was once considered a sign of poverty. In the 1600’s lobster was plentiful, and was said to be a “poor mans meal”, typically only fed to servants, prisoners and farm animals or used as fertilizer and fish bait. In fact, servants at one point in Massachusetts were so disgusted with eating lobster what they took their masters to court, and the judge ruled in their favour, ruling that the servants  were to only eat lobster three times a week. Fast forward to the 1950’s, after the Great Depression, with a feature in Vogue, it quickly became the delicacy we enjoy today.

What’s great about Lobster is that it’s so versatile. The possibilities are endless when using lobster in a recipe. Whether you keep the meat within the shell and use it as a game changer along side a Farmshare waygu steak or remove the meat and use it in pasta, dip or a maritime classic, a lobster roll, you’ll be sure to impress any guest at dinner time. To get you started we reached out to a hometown friend, a Maritimer and lobster lover herself, to create a delicious recipe that will have your guests begging for more. It’s important to note that Lobster is a bit of process and takes some planning, so make sure you give yourself enough time. When you receive your Lobster Tails from Farmshare they arrive frozen. Allow tails to thaw 24 hours in advance in your fridge. If you absolutely must thaw the night of, make sure it’s done in a bowl of ice cold water. Using warm water to speed the process will only leave you with a shell that breaks easily, leaving the potential for pieces to end up in your meat and often times results in the meat being tough. A sure way of knowing if your tails are thawed is to bend the tails back and forth, and if they fold easily they are good to go. A trick to prevent your tails from curling while boiling is to stick a long wooden skewer through the meat from one end to the other. Next, in a large pot, bring water to a boil. Heavily salt the water to mimic salty ocean water. Once water has come to boil, place tails in the water and reduce heat to medium, place cover on pot. You want to boil tails for 1 -1 ½ minutes per ounce. When tails are done boiling, remove from pot and place in an ice bath to stop the cooking process. Remove skewer. When tails have cooled down, take a strong, sharp knife and place on the top of the shell, slice through tail creating two half tails. This easily allows you to pull meat from the

Although Lobster takes delicious on it’s own, melting some butter for dipping is never a bad idea. If you’d really like to kick things up a notch, give this recipe a try. You will need:

2 tbsp of butter per tail

1 chili per tail, minced

2 cloves fresh garlic, minced

Fresh parsley, chopped

1 lemon, to squeeze for juice

1 cast iron griddle 

Step 1: Once ingredients are prepped as directed, add to bowl and blend well together. You’re basically creating a flavoured butter to spread over sliced tails.

Step 2: generously spread flavoured butter over sliced tails and place in fridge for min 30 minutes, the longer you have to let butter sit on lobster meat the better. Meanwhile, heat cast iron griddle on Grill.

Step 3: Remove lobster tails from fridge and place buttered side down on hot griddle and gently press tails onto griddle. Remember, your tails are already cooked, this is just adding beautiful flavour to your tails. They only need about 2 minutes on your hot griddle. 

Step 4: Remove tails and baste lobster meat with access melted butter for full flavour. Squeeze fresh lemon over tails. Enjoy alone or along side a juicy Snakeriver Farms Waygu steak.

     Not only is Lobster an impressive ingredient to use to elevate any dining experience, it’s also a healthy luxury. With high sources of phosphorus which supports kidney function, a great source of selenium,nutrients, protein and omega 3 fatty acids. Its also been known to protect against thyroid disease, and anemia, just to name a few. Consumers want a fresh, healthy product and Farmshare provides that for you.

So whether you’ve been wanting to try Lobster but restaurant prices intimidate you, or you’re simply hosting dinner and want to make it memorable, Farmshare has you covered. Have your own Maritime experience with Farmshare today!

My Outlook for 2020

Hi there,

It’s been a minute. Well a few months actually… and I apologize, life was a little hectic in 2019 and I needed to take the time to do some soul searching. Blogging for me doesn’t come naturally. I’m not the best at writing and it’s important for me to make sure that I’m in the right head space when blogging, Mind, body and soul, so some distance was needed until I felt “myself” again.

If you were to have asked me in March 2019 where I saw myself by years end, I can most definitely tell you that I wouldn’t have expected myself to have gotten paid for food styling/photography from restaurants, cooked a steak and lobster feast for 40 people at a beautiful summer wedding or cooked private dinners for people in their homes. Like, WHAT?! Life sure does have a funny way of working itself out. I turned my heartbreak pain into fuel for my passion and the reward has left me feeling nothing but grateful and proud.

It all started with an instagram message (because it’s 2020 and no one calls each other anymore). My hairdresser and friend of 10 years had messaged me, flustered, that no catering company was getting her vision. She asked if I would do the food for her cocktail hour. She presented me with photos of what she was looking for and without hesitation I said, “absolutely”. Her wedding was small, only 40 people, and I knew this could potentially lead to more for myself. Not to mention I wanted her to be happy and stress free when it came to food for her wedding. What started out as a cocktail hour, quickly turned into me doing the main dinner as well, and with a little help, I was putting together a grazing table, shucking 75 oysters, cracking open 25 lobsters, and grilling a massive beef tenderloin I had prepped the night before. (Thank god for Champagne )

Everything was a success and I was so emotional. I was Beyond happy when I witnessed everyone together, enjoying conversation on such a special day, over the food I had worked so hard to prepare and execute. From that moment I knew I was on the right path. I belong in this industry.

With the helpful tool of social media and word of mouth in a small town. I gained some attention and have done a few private events since the wedding. Private parties, birthdays, work events for local businesses and I would love nothing more than to continue to do so. Next step is to have business cards made. I get asked all the time for one. I have to be honest I have held back from making them because I felt so much pressure on what to put as a “title”. But a good friend pointed out that what was most important was my contact information and not to be so hard on myself. I’m still figuring out what makes me the most satisfied in this broad industry. I feel a lot of pressure to start a business not only because everyone keeps telling me I should but because I look around and there are a lot of young women entrepreneurs in my city and that makes me feel like I HAVE to do that too. But I’m just not ready. I’m a perfectionist and I want to make sure I’m 100% ready and willing before committing myself to a life long project. For now I’m learning to trust the process. A side from making business cards I feel the next step is also educating the public on what it is I offer. So let’s start with grazing tables.

What is a grazing table?

The term grazing table might leave some confused, so I thought I would explain. Simply put, it’s a massive charcuterie board. Grazing is defined as “to eat small portions of food”. I build beautiful arrangements in which guests gather around and “graze”. The pictures are beautiful but it really is something to walk into a room and see a table, normally 6ft by 4ft, filled with assorted meats, cheeses, dips, spreads, breads, nuts, olives, etc. Orders can be customized and table decor can play on any theme. For example, I can easily do a soup and sandwich table for a corporate lunch event. A pancake breakfast table with fresh fruit and all the fixings. I would love to build a seafood table, covered in cooked and cracked lobsters, shrimp, scallops and grilled corn with potato salad. The possibilities are endless when it comes to ingredients on the table. For me it’s about the “wow” factor of making the tables look grand while still maintaining quality, local ingredients. I try my best to source local ingredients depending on season and support local bakeries and cheese shops. Dips and spreads I make myself, always trying to play along with themes or colours of the season. These tables can be as small or as large as you like, just depends on the event and budget. They are perfect for any cocktail hour or corporate event. Pricing varies depending on clients needs, location, ingredients, decor, and size. I like to sit down with my clients before hand and get to know them, and determine pricing after hearing their requests.

Private dinners:

As someone who’s absolute favorite thing is to get dressed up and try out a new restaurant, there’s also nothing I hate more than paying 5X the amount for a bottle of wine or an over priced steak I can usually cook better myself. Wouldn’t it be nice to have another glass of wine with dinner without doing the math and calculating what your bill is probably at? Dining at home with friends does just that. Hiring someone to come into your home with a customized menu and wine pairings to accentuate flavours, can be just as romantic as dining out. (Plus you can literally wear sweats to dinner and no one will judge you). No need to worry about making a reservation, going out in freezing temperatures, limiting drinks because of driving… I can come to you!

If any of this appeals to you or maybe you know someone who is getting married or is planning an event/ celebration and is still in search of a caterer. Get in touch through my Instagram @ashleypa1ge or by email at ashleypaigecormier@gmail.com.

Grilled Corn in the Husk- 5 ways

When it comes to Summer cooking, all I want to do is grill, grill, grill. I actually enjoy grilling all year round, however it’s much more enjoyable to do under the hot sun, Corona in hand, than bundled up in a snow suit.

More importantly summer brings fresh, local fruits and vegetables that make for perfect grilling sides. Pineapple, peaches, asparagus, potatoes… and sweet, juicy corn on the cob. Mmm. Now, as much as I love corn on the cob boiled, smothered in butter with salt and pepper, you really haven’t lived until you’ve had corn grilled in the husk. The husk steams the corn to perfection, and cooking on the grill brings a smoky aroma and flavour that just can’t be beat. There’s a little more to it than just picking up some corn and throwing it on the grill though, so here’s how to get perfectly grilled corn in the husk, with 5 different flavours that are sure to impress your friends and kick up this classic for you this grilling season.

Let’s start with how to choose your corn before purchasing. Look for corn that’s large, firm and has a bright green husk. Most places will allow you to peel back a bit of the husk to expose some of the kernels. That’s all you need to see, don’t pull up more then an inch or so. Look for full, juicy, milky kernels.

Once home, submerge corn in water for at least 20 mins. Meanwhile, start the grill and heat to 375 degrees.

Remove corn from water, and snip off the ends so that the “hairs” don’t catch when grilling. Cut off any fly away pieces of the husk as well, they’ll just end up completely burnt. This being said, you may want to have a squirt bottle of water close by, just in case. Place corn directly on the grill, I find vertical is best. You’ll be rotating the corn and it just stays in place better this way. Close the grill and set a timer for 5 minutes. You want to rotate the corn every 5-7 minutes to prevent husk from burning and for even steam, for 25-30 mins.

When corn is equally charred on all sides, remove from grill and let sit for a few minutes. Use this time to prepare your flavours for your corn. The combinations are endless. Here are a few suggestions.

  1. Strawberry Basil and cracked black pepper
  2. Prosciutto Wrapped
  3. Classic Garlic butter w sea salt and crack black pepper.
  4. Mexican style- smothered in Mayo, fresh Parmesan and chili flakes
  5. Cool Lime, Mint & Feta.

How To:

Very carefully start to pull back husk. Just like removing a cover off a hot pot, be careful with the release of steam. I held the end with paper towel to allow for a better grip, as the corn is very hot. Continue this process for all piece of corn. Once all the husks have been pulled back, it’s time to get creative.

  • Strawberry Basil: Chop strawberries into small pieces to allow for easier mashing. Chop up some fresh basil and add both into a mixing bowl. Use a potato masher to mash both until desired consistency. Butter corn first and add this sweet topping after. Pair with a glass of rosé.
  • Prosciutto wrapped: This one takes a little bit of patience but is well worth it. Once the husk has been pulled back, wrap cob tightly in prosciutto. Place back on the grill for just a couple minutes, to crisp up prosciutto. It’s ok if prosciutto becomes loose, just re wrap after. Only season with pepper after wards given that prosciutto is naturally salty.
  • Classic Garlic butter: Just a simple switch from regular butter to Garlic butter makes so much difference. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Mexican style: cover the surface of a plate with Parmesan cheese, spread mayo evenly over the cob and roll through Parmesan cheese. Finish with chili flakes, salt&pepper.
  • Cool lime, mint&feta: when husk is removed, take the juice of a lime and squeeze over the cob. Roll in Feta and add freshly chopped mint. YUM!

So which was my favourite, you ask? All the flavours were delicious for there own reasons. The strawberry Basil gave a dessert feel, and was surprisingly delightful. Not going to lie, I questioned myself on this creation and was pleasantly surprised. The Mint and Feta left a refreshing after taste on my palate and the Feta itself softened from the heat of the corn and was creamy and delicious. But if I had to choose just one. It would have to be the prosciutto wrapped. Although the process was a little frustrating, and it was definitely the messiest , the end result was worth it. Sweet, juicy kernels exploding with the salty mix from the prosciutto was heavenly. Add garlic butter to the mix, ER MA GERD!!

Now if you’ve read all this and you’re thinking “there’s no way I’m putting this much effort into corn on the cob”, I get it. (even though I strongly encourage you to try something new) Just at least do yourself the favour of Grilling in the husk this summer. You won’t regret it.

Fiddleheads- Sources + Health Benefits.

As a child growing up in New Brunswick, I always wondered what the green road sign with a white swirl on it stood for. Now I know.

Fiddleheads, also known as fiddlehead greens, are tightly curled fronds found at the bottom of young ferns. The name refers to their appearance of the head of a fiddle or violin. Mostly found in New England, Maine and Eastern Canada. They require a very wet and wild environment, which explains why our spring months are the best time for harvesting.

In my opinion, Fiddleheads are best when lightly steamed, smothered in butter, and seasoned with salt and pepper. If you don’t care for the actual taste of fiddleheads, you can sauté them like you would asparagus and add hollandaise sauce. They can be pickled in apple cider vinegar with shallots and canned. They can be sautéed with mushrooms and pancetta too for extra flavour, or blended in a smoothie. The possibilities are endless, you just have to get creative, and here’s why you’d want to.

Fiddleheads have many health benefits if eaten regularly. High in Vitamins and nutrients including Vitamin C, Vitamins B1+B2, Iron, potassium, phosphorus, and omega-3 fatty acids, to name a few. There abundance of vitamin A makes for an excellent food choice in maintaining good eyesight. As a rich source of Manganese, which assists in the formation of bone hormones and metabolism enzymes, they can lower the risk of osteoporosis. Because of their fair amount of potassium and almost NO sodium, they can help against high blood pressure. Furthermore, fiddleheads are dense in vitamin A+C so they can boost your immune system.

Needless to say, if your feeling under the weather or unenergized lately (this rain is so depressing) than maybe you should give these swirly, little green guys a try!

A-Z Pantry Essentials

Ok, I know what you’re thinking.. ” How the hell am I supposed to afford all this?” It’s true, having a well stocked pantry and spice cupboard is going to take money, but most importantly, time. You’re not expected to go out and buy everything in one grocery trip. I stock up when things are reduced to sell, and gather spices when needed for a recipe (bulk barn is best). It’s taken a couple of years for my Pantry to have all these items. But knowing I have them makes for a much more enjoyable cooking experience, and now when a recipe requires many ingredients, I’m often only running out to grab 1 or 2 that I may be missing. Here is an A-Z look at what you should have on hand in your Pantry and Spice Cupboard.

spices1

Spices:

  • Allspice
  • Basil
  • Bay Leaves
  • Cayenne
  • Chili flakes
  • Chives
  • Cumin
  • Coriander
  • Curry Powder
  • Celery Salt
  • Cinnamon, Cinnamon sticks
  • cloves
  • Cocoa Powder
  • Dill Weed
  • Fennel seeds
  • Ginger
  • Garlic powder, Garlic Salt
  • Italian seasoning
  • Marjoram
  • Mustard seed
  • Nutmeg
  • Oregano
  • Paprika
  • Peppercorns, black and pink
  • Rosemary
  • Salt
  • Summer Savory
  • Sage
  • Star Anise
  • Saffron
  • Sesame seeds
  • Tumeric
  • Thyme
  • Tarragon
  • Vanilla

Canned and Dried Goods:

  • Baking Soda
  • Baking Powder
  • Bouillon Cubes: Beef, Chicken and Vegetable
  • Broths: Beef, Chicken and Vegetable
  • Breadcrumbs: Panko, Italian
  • Capers
  • Cornstarch
  • Coconut Milk
  • Coconut: shaved and unsweetened
  • Canned Goods: Diced/ chunks of Tomatoes, Tomato Paste, Sweet Canned Corn.
  • Chia seeds
  • Eggs
  • Fish sauce
  • Flours: All purpose, blending, bread, gluten free
  • Gluten free pasta ( for guests)
  • Honey
  • Ketchup
  • Legumes: Chick peas, lentils, Kidney beans, black beans.
  • Mayo
  • Mustards: Dijon, yellow, honey mustard, mustard seed
  • Oils: extra virgin/ Olive, sesame, canola
  • Oyster sauce
  • Pasta (dried): spaghetti, penne, vermicelli, linguini
  • Quinoa
  • Rice: Basmati, jasmine, long grain, Arborio (risotto purposes)
  • Sugars: Brown, fine white, icing sugar, Simple syrup
  • Salt: pink Himalayan, coarse sea salt, table salt
  • Soy sauce
  • Sriracha
  • Tabasco
  • Vinegars: White/red wine, balsamic, apple cider, rice vinegar
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Yeast

 

 

Catapult Coffee & Studio

One of the things I love most about Uptown Saint John are all the studios, boutiques,  cafes and restaurants it has to offer. If you simply go for a stroll, you are bound to discover something new, every time. This time I stumbled upon a new Coffee Studio that has just opened, Catapult Coffee & Studio.

catapult cafe sign      When I first walked in, the character of the building of was captivating. I love these old uptown buildings and what they have to offer and was happy to see they didn’t make too many changes. The high ceilings, wood floors, large windows that let in natural light and fire places give off the Uptown vibe that is unmatched.

I’m immediately greeted by the friendly staff, and given a little introduction about the place and what it has to offer. An employee suggests I try the Chai Latte, so I do and while it’s being made I give myself a little tour and explore the other side of the building. There is a long table in front of a fire place that would be perfect for a work meeting or if a few friends wanted to get together. This room also offers high top seating along the large front window. As I look around, I notice some beautiful handmade rugs and other knitted décor, along with a few wooden furniture items that are all for sale.

catapult cafe2

When my Latte is ready, I grab a freshly made granola bite, which can be found beside the cash along with other baked goods. They even offer dog treats! To my surprise the Coffee Shop quickly fills up. It would appear that word has spread quickly about this quant little place on Princess Street, and I can see why. Not only does Catapult provide a cozy atmosphere and great product, they offer a “rehabilitation” program for employees. Here people can learn the basic skills needed to operate in a customer service environment and have experience on a resume. Whether they choose to stay here or be catapulted into the public, it’s a beautiful program that supports their name.

catapult cafe mission

 

Above one of the fireplaces, there is an arrangement of images that show the roasters themselves, and the fields where the coffee is imported from.  The Coffee comes from Bolivia and Columbia but roasted locally in Hampton. The tea is grown and processed in Kingston. If you enjoyed the product, they have roasted beans and tea blends for purchase to take home with you.

catapult cafe1

Catapult Coffee & Studio has only been open for a few weeks now and is still expanding. I can’t wait to see what they do with the place and hope they add a small variety of soups and sandwiches to the menu. Then it would be perfect.

Welcome to Uptown Catapult Coffee & Studio, I thoroughly enjoyed my day here and most definitely will be back!

catapult me

Catapult Coffee & Studio can be found at 116 Princess Street or check them out on the link below.

https://www.facebook.com/catapultcoffeeandstudio/

 

Is your 2019 Resolution To Get Cooking? Here are some Helpful Tips to Get You Started.

market veggies 2

Everyone always says ” I wish I could cook like you”. Well the truth is, you can! If you’re motivated and have the right tools, the rest is just practice. You don’t need a fancy, massive kitchen, equipped with high end appliances (even though that would be amazing). Trust me, I have about 3 1/2 feet of counter space. Limited cupboard space. I have to stand to the side when opening the oven because there is no space to stand in front. Oh and I have no dishwasher to help with the clean up. But, I believe if you have a passion for something, you’ll do anything to make it work. With some patience and an open mind, you’ll be hosting the next dinner party in no time! I’ve compiled a few tips for getting you started.

 

#1. GET ORGANIZED: Before I turn on the oven or start the BBQ, I always make sure everything is ready to go. My veggies are washed and cut, I have the proper utensils within reach, I’ve pre mixed marinades with spices, I even have my plate ready for when it comes time for presentation. Cooking demands your focus, so anything you can prepare in advance, do so. Being organized also applies to your ingredients. I don’t always meal plan but before I start cooking, I make sure I have everything I need in my pantry or fridge. There is nothing worse then being half way through your recipe and realising you don’t have a main ingredient.

#2. TIME MANAGEMENT: Don’t take on a massive recipe that requires 2-3 hours of prep time when you have to work in 30 minutes. Cooking should be enjoyable, and when you’re pressed for time, it takes the joy out of your dish and you’re most likely going to burn it because overall, you’re scrambling and not organized.

#3. START SIMPLE: starting simple builds your confidence. Once you pick a simple recipe and it turns out the way you wanted, you realise ” hey, I can do this”. A simple place to start in my opinion is a salad with your own dressing. Or a pasta with your own sauce. The more you make a pasta, the more you’ll adjust. For example, the first time I made pasta I had no idea that salting the water was a very important factor in making a great tasting pasta. Or that adding oil in the water helps with noodles sticking together, or that using too small of a pot doesn’t allow enough water to cook the pasta… you learn as you go, and that’s ok.

#4. BE INFORMED: There is no such thing as watching too many Gordon Ramsey videos on youtube or reading too many cookbooks. Everyone has a different style of cooking and the more you know the better prepared you’ll be when it comes to making the dish. I constantly research other bloggers, creep foodies on Instagram, read cooking magazines, try bizarre foods and have watched countless cooking videos. Not only will you obtain skills, but you’ll become more confident and eventually you wont need to watch the videos before you make a dish. You’ll know the difference between mincing, dicing, and slicing and you’ll just pick up your knife and start.

#5. KNOW YOUR PALATE: Everyone’s taste buds are different. The best way I can explain this is with Beer. My boyfriend enjoys IPA’s, I know that I don’t like the bitterness of hops so I much rather drink an amber or a stout. The same rules apply with food. Something that tastes salty to someone, might not for others. Knowing your pallet will leave you satisfied every time. That being said, I encourage you to try new things as well. Our taste buds mature as we age, so just because you didn’t like tomatoes when you were 5, doesn’t mean you won’t like them now ( yes that is a personal example).

#6. TRY SOMETHING NEW: I used to be the person who ordered the Chicken Alfredo at every restaurant we went to. Now I order the most intricate dish on the menu. You have to expand and step out of your comfort zone to discover what your palate likes. I never used to like ginger, but I gave it another try and I’m obsessed, I want fresh ginger in everything now. Start slowly, maybe dine with friends and ask the adventurous one in the group for a small bite to see if it’s for you. It’s mind over matter, so just give something new a chance.

#7. HAVE FUN: Cooking is meant to be fun. Don’t be afraid to try different combinations. If you mess up, start over. If you think that Jamie Oliver has never burned a dish, or that I personally get it right the first time, always.. you are wrong. It’s all about staying calm and fixing the issue. If something is too bitter, sweeten it up. Too runny? thicken it up. there is always a solution!

 

Summer Kickoff on the Beautiful, Prince Edward Island

When I was younger and began travelling, I always felt the need to travel as far away from home as possible. I had no desire to discover new places in New Brunswick or surrounding areas at all. No appreciation for the fact that we have the highest tides in the world, or the freshest seafood money can buy. It wasn’t until I took a girls trip to Jamaica, and asked a question to a local that clearly stated I was a tourist.. ( as if my pale skin and accent wasn’t enough) I asked ” when does the tide go out?” He was extremely confused and had no idea what I was talking about. I said, ” You know, like when the water goes out and you can walk on sandbars?” Still no clue what I was saying. We finally reached a conclusion that the water in Jamaica only moves in and out by a foot. At this moment I realised how lucky we are in NB to experience this part of nature, and I vowed to change my attitude and embrace our beautiful country of Canada.

Prince Edward Island aka P.E.I, is one of Eastern Canada’s maritime provinces, off New Brunswick and Nova Scotia in the Gulf of the St. Lawrence. To get there, you cross the longest bridge built over freezing water. The large island is known for it’s red sand beaches, lighthouses, fertile farmland, and world renowned seafood. Almost anywhere you are in the world, if you’re eating mussels, they are from PEI. Charlottetown is it’s capital and where our adventure begins.

After what was literally the most brutal drive over the Confederation Bridge that my best friend Amy and I have ever experienced ( literally drove 40 the whole 12 KM ), we needed a drink, ASAP. Amy had been ranting and raving over this cute café for weeks prior to our trip called Leonhard’s. So we headed there for mimosas, and a quick, light lunch. The moment we walked in I knew why she loved it so much. Leonhard’s is bright, quaint, and full of character. We shared the club sandwich of the day and a side salad, with a mustard dressing that woke up our taste buds. We were so in the moment that I forgot to take pictures (insert palm to face emoji). However, here’s a link to check them out yourselves, I promise you wont be disappointed.

http://leonhards.ca/menu/

On our way out, Ames told me to check out how cute the bathrooms are. Which led to the owner saying ” If you like cool bathrooms, go up to the beer corner and use their bathroom, and press the button”. Slightly confused, we said “ohh k?” and headed up to our next destination.

Just a block up from Leonhard’s you will find The Craft Beer Corner.

beer corner.jpg

Here you can find local craft beers, coffee, kumbucha and some cocktails. We were immediately greeted by a friendly face, offering us a beverage. Great minds think a like and we both chose The Rhuby Social, a rhubard infused beer.

beer corner 2.jpg

 

It was refreshing on the sunny day that we were so lucky to have. What I loved about this place was the selection of local beer, different size options of 6oz, 12oz and 17 oz, and that they also served other beverages incase beer isn’t your thing. We saved the best of this place for last. After enjoying our Rhuby Social, and feeling fairly good at this point, we headed to the bathroom to.. dun dun dun.. press THE button.

Immediately when you walk in there are two buttons, a red and blue. We pressed the red button not knowing what to expect. The lights went out, music started blaring, a disco ball started spinning and there was flashing lights and glowing neon patterns all around us. We could not stop pressing the button and having our own dance party. It’s a good thing that we were only on drink 2 at this point because I can guarantee you, there would have been no leaving. I will say that they should add another bathroom for the purpose of using the bathroom because we definitely held up the line, sorry not sorry. This place is a must see in Charlottetown.

http://www.canadianbeernews.com/2018/03/16/upstreet-craft-brewing-opens-craft-beer-corner-in-downtown-charlottetown/

charlottetown selfie

High on life after our dance party, and in matching outfits ( this happens to us more times then it should ), we headed to The PEI Brewing Company, which happens to be the location of my beautiful besties wedding next summer. She was taking me to get my official stamp of approval, which it did. The friendly staff allowed us to view the venue, where her reception would take place and things got emotional. Yes, I cried because I’m a freak and I couldn’t be happier for her and her Fiancé, who is the reason she is in my life. I’ve watched their relationship grow over the past 8 years and I couldn’t be more proud of them and their accomplishments.

We were pretty productive on this visit. We compiled the questions she should be asking when meeting the event coordinator, and basically planned the whole wedding while enjoying beer flights of our choice.

brew flights.jpg

PEI Brewing Company is located a quick 5 minutes outside of the downtown action, but worth travelling too. It’s a cool hangout spot for friends to gather for beer, food and fun. They have provided a couple ping pong tables and games tables for your entertainment. Not to mention a pretty cool photo wall that we obviously took advantage of.

brew company.jpgFor more info on the venue of events taking place this summer at PEI Brewing Company click the link below.

http://peibrewingcompany.com/

We headed back into town to end our evening at Merchant Man and hang out on the patio know as Next Door. Amy had mentioned that they have life sized Jenga to entertain our youthful spirits, but unfortunately it wasn’t ready for the season yet. We settled with Caesars and reminisced about our fun filled day and our love for Charlottetown. I bugged Amy the whole time to get THE picture of the day on this patio. The brick walls, hanging lights and pebbled walkway just created the perfect photo opportunity. Don’t you agree?

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We will definitely be back for fresh oysters, tasty caesars, and to play on the patio again this summer. For more info on menu options, click the link below.

http://merchantman.ca/

In closing, I want to give a shoutout to Charlottetown for once again providing us with memories that will last a life time. The friendly locals, Character and Cleanliness are truly one of a kind.

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We always have a blast, “Heron” the island… ( insert crying lauging emoji face, because I have the coolest puns).

Cheers to you, Charlottetown.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Behind the Blog

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Hola,

 

First off I want to thank you for taking the time to get to know me. My name is Ashley Paige. I’m from Moncton New Brunswick currently residing in Saint John, N.B. with my boyfriend Andrew and our cat, Simba. I cook, I take food pictures constantly and I’m ready to share my creations with you.

 

I’ve spent the last 12 years working in restaurants. I’ve been a hostess, expeditor, waitress, bartender and I absolutely love the Food and Beverage industry. The hustle and bustle of a busy, functioning restaurant is so addictive, however, I’m ready to explore more of the culinary side of things. I constantly ask Chefs questions on ingredients or cooking methods, I’ve dealt with food questions and comments from a guests perspective. I’ve worked in every type of restaurant from fast food to fine dining, in big cities and small towns. I’ve served high profile celebrities and athletes. Through out my experience I’ve constantly taken mental notes and been extremely observant of what works and what is trending.

 

Aside form the Food+Beverage industry, I’ve had experience being a live in Nanny for a couple families. It was my responsibility to cook and prepare meals, so I’ve been in the kitchen regularly since I was 18 years old. I also have a year of paramedicine, in which I learned lots on which foods our bodies need and  how the body breaks down food and uses it to fuel our bodies.

 

I would consider myself a fairly well travelled individual and I’ve tasted many different cultures food. My favorite being Jamaican. Jerk Chicken and the reggae way of life stole my heart. In this culture they barely cook the vegetables, allowing the nutrients to stay within. This alone gave me a new found respect for what I was putting in my body and my hopes with this blog are to educate and inspire you as well.

 

Cooking is fun and easier then most people think. To me There is no greater satisfaction then bringing friends and family together over a dish you put time, energy and love into creating. My favorite dish to create are beautiful, vibrant salads. The possibilities are endless! I also enjoy grilling or barbequing, steaks especially. Love to play around with herbs and spices. My favorite dish to eat is Shepard’s Pie. It’s an Acadian dish and reminds me of home. Every year I would ask my Momma to make me this on my birthday. I’m not really a dessert person so I apologize ahead of time for my lack of desserts. Lastly, my favorite part about cooking is presentation or “Foodography” as my boyfriend and I like to call it. I truly believe that presentation is equally as important as taste.

 

In closing, my mission for this blog is to inspire people to get back into their kitchens and create something flavourful. I want people to realise what they are putting into their bodies. Someday I hope to have my own restaurant or bistro and play an active role in decreasing food waste and world hunger.

 

Cheers,

 

Ashley Paige