The 9 Highest-Calorie Meals at chain restaurants – brought to us by Health News & Views 

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Health News & Views 9 highest calorie meals at Restaurant Chains

You Gotta See This !!

‘Quick and Dreamy’ Cream Cheese Cookies

A great looking recipe from a blogger friend! Enjoy! Check out her blog as well craftycooknook 

For the past few months I’ve been living 12-hour work and commute days, leaving me with little time to do anything in the weekday evenings except cook dinner and go to bed. Not a big deal in the long days of summer, but with pre-dawn mornings at the bus stop and dusky evenings on my […]

Rustic Artichoke stuffed pasta shells 

Happy Friday great foodie friends.

As fall arrives so does the memories of comfort foods & fall flavors. From savory soups, braised ribs and of course filled pastas. 

Today we look at a perfect heartwarming filled shell pasta! 

Makes 24 stuffed shells


1-16 oz box jumbo shell pasta

Your favorite tomato pasta sauce

2 – 15 oz containers ricotta cheese

14 oz can artichoke hearts, drained and rustically chopped.

1/2 lb lean browned ground beef (I also love to use ground veal mixed in with my ground beef, it makes it extra rich and flavorful) 

1 cup diced red or sweet onion

1 teaspoon minced garlic

2 tablespoons olive oil

8 oz shredded fresh mozzarella cheese

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

2 teaspoons dry parsley flakes

1 large egg, slightly beaten

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided

Parmigiana cheese


Mix the ricotta, egg, salt, pepper and parsley in a large bowl.

Fold in the artichoke pieces and 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese.

Cover and refrigerate until needed.

Boil the jumbo pasta shells following the directions on the box. Drain well and rinse with cold water. Set aside.

Add your olive oil to your favorite pan then add in your diced onion and soften. Brown the ground beef and the minced garlic and let cool once browned. 

Now mix the ricotta mixture with the cooled ground beef and set aside.

Warm up your tomato sauce in another pan and heat through. Then remove from the heat.

Spread 1 cup of sauce into the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish.

Fill each jumbo shell with about 2 tablespoons of the ricotta / ground beef mixture and place seam up into the baking dish.

Repeat until you run out of ricotta/beef mixture.

Spread the remaining sauce over the top of the stuffed pasta shells.

** A little added fun! Make your favorite garlic parm cream sauce and drizzle over the top as well for some added flavor! 

Now cover the baking dish with aluminum foil.

Bake in a preheated 375-degree oven for about 40-45 minutes or until the ricotta filling is heated through and the sauce is bubbling.

Remove baking dish from the oven and sprinkle 1 to 1/2 cups of the remaining shredded mozzarella cheese over the top of the shells and dust with Parmigina cheese.

Recover with aluminum foil and return to the oven for 10 more minutes or until the cheese is melted.

Serve this perfect fall dinner with your favorite garlic bread and salad and maybe even the perfect sip of vino.


You Gotta Try This! 

Study pegs value of food reviews 

Happy Wesnesday great foodie friends – 

Found a great article from Sauder Business School – UBC on 24 hours News. 

This is exactly what drove me to food reviews as it is a tool I have always used. Further to that you get to know different writers in different areas who you feel are honest and real to their word reviewers with culinary knowledge.

Thank you Michael Mui and 24 Hrs. As well as Marketing Professor Chunhua Wu out of the Sauder School of Business at UBC 

 It’s your first time travelling to a new place — say, Vancouver — and you’re looking for somewhere to eat. And since you don’t have anyone to ask, chances are good the search will take you to a food review website.
This is the idea that led marketing professor Chunhua Wu, out of the Sauder School of Business at UBC, to figure out just how much value restaurants get out of these reviews.
And if you were a new person in Vancouver searching online, his findings suggest that the search just contributed $1.50 to the local restaurant economy.
To arrive at that conclusion, however, Wu had to find people regularly using these sites, and how many actually visited the restaurants after reading the reviews.
His answers were found in, the largest consumer review website in China, which gives users discount cards if they check in to an eatery.
The findings suggested 15% of the users actually showed up to eat shortly after reading the reviews, based on about 5,000 users’ browsing habits for the top seven hotpot restaurants in Shanghai.
At those restaurants, the average person is likely to spend $17 (prices converted from Chinese currency), and Wu calculated how much value each review reader, on average, contributes to the restaurants’ incomes, regardless if someone shows up — it was about $1.50.
“We found it’s very interesting there’s so many online reviews but we don’t know whether consumers value this, or whether it would change the profitability of restaurants,” he said.
“If you have 200 potential customers looking at your (review) website today, if you have really high consistent ratings, it will give you 200 times $1.50.”
The study is limited, however, in finding out how different types of reviews might impact whether customers show up, since he picked only the top restaurants.
“The content is more important than the rating … it contains more information than just the numerical ratings, people read the messages and try to figure out how it can fit their own taste,” Wu said.
Other questions include whether score ratings are consistent — if they aren’t, customers might not trust the review.
Things like the “star status” of a reviewer and their accuracy also matter, as do the number of upvotes given to reviews considered more “useful” than others.
Ian Tostenson, president of the B.C. Restaurant and Food Services Association, agreed with the author that reviews are more likely to matter if tourists are reading them.
“The emphasis is on people if they are travelling to places, where there’s no reference point. They’re looking for something they feel is an independent point of information. They don’t have friends, they don’t have anyone to tell them — those online reviews, in that case, work better,” he said.
All told, the average total each of the seven restaurants got out of people reading reviews was about $7,300 per year.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of our Canadian Friends

Happy Thanksgiving to all of our Candian friends! 

Remember to be thankful for all that you are greatful in life and spend your time with family and friends.

As I always say I truly believe that food brings us all together through our heart and souls and connects our families and friends forever.

Eat well and share your recipes and photos with us and I promise we will share back! 

Enjoy the weekend 


We Heart Local 3rd annual awards 

Happy Thursday great foodie friends,

As you have probably noticed I am very fond of “buy local” “eat local” as well as getting to know your farmer and equally important where your food comes and what the practices of your food artisans are in growing and preparing your food. 

This great annual people’s choice awards is a great opportunity to vote for and share your appreciation for your favorite local advocate, farmer, artisan, restaurant and the list goes on! 

We Heart Local award page
Let’s hear it for local: it’s time for the We Heart Local Awards!
Get ready to show your favourite local food producer a little love: it’s time for the third annual We ♥ Local Awards! For the last three years, this people’s choice awards has highlighted the most popular food and agriculture businesses and organizations across the province. Your vote helps support the local economy, spread the word about why local is better…and it also tells your favourites- in a very concrete way- how important they are to your community. If you want to support your local butcher, baker, or ice cream maker, nominate them for a We ♥ Local award!
Anyone living in BC can nominate and vote for their favourites in the following 15 delicious categories (simply head on over to!)
· Favourite Farmers’ Market

· Favourite Store to Buy Local

· Favourite Local Meat or Poultry Supplier

· Favourite Local Seafood Supplier

· Favourite Local Cheese Maker

· Favourite Local Sweet Treat

· Favourite Local Advocate

· Favourite Local Winery

· Favourite Local Brewery

· Favourite Local Food Truck

· Favourite Local U-Pick Farm

· Favourite Local Orchard/Fruit Supplier

· Favourite Local Restaurant or Chef

· Favourite Local Florist or Nursery

· Favourite Local Greenhouse or Veggie Grower
Ready to spread the local love? Here’s how the We ♥ Local Awards work: nominations start August 17th, and voting is open from September 7th to September 14th, 2015. And when you vote, everyone’s a potential winner: nominating and voting for your local BC favourites also enters YOU into weekly draws for a chance to win one of five $100 gift cards to your local BC VQA store. Plus, you’ll be automatically entered in the Grand Prize draw for a luxurious three-night stay at Taku Resort and Marina along with your choice of a cooking course for two, valued at $1,800. This prize includes $300 gift card for BC Ferries to cover the cost of ferry transportation to Quadra Island. It’s an unforgettable way to experience local – especially once you hear Taku’s family story. Grand prize winner will be announced on September 15, 2015.
To cheer on your favourite local loves (and discover new ones), head to, or download their mobile app to find what’s in season right from your pocket.

Teach your kids to cook – choices 

Happy Monday good foodie friends,

Just a short blog post to start off your week the right way. The title could easily read teach your kids to cook and re-teach yourselves to prepare real food that feeds the body and the mind. 

Processed processed processed hits us everyday for so many reasons. 

We are to busy, we didn’t have time, it’s really good, it was less money

Whatever the reasons are we always have to remember that everyday we have to fuel our bodies and minds why not do it with food that feeds the body rather than damages the body? 

I mean really tell me you don’t sometimes put more energy into whether to use premium gas or synthetic oil for your car so that it runs better! Is as much thought going into what you nourish yourself with? 

I don’t mean to preach but rather want to remind us all that as long as the burgers, fries and shakes are the exception and not the rule all should be good but don’t forget the rule should be to eat real food that feels good health for a long time.

Simply make it a weekly habit to plan your meals, visit a farmers market or a great corner market where you can buy the rights ingredients. Most cities and Vancouver Metro area is no exception is peppered with great farmers markets all year long as well as some great artisan farmers and producers of great quality choices. 

Get to know where your food comes from and I promise you the flavors will set a new level of expectations for you and your family!

When we cook with our kids it plants the seed of good habits and then we all realize that we have the confidence and ability to cook. Have fun and make things your own… Try different things and new spices or herbs to kick up dishes! 

We also have some great

Farm to Table” style restaurants that excel in local ingredient offerings prepared in healthy ways. Eating healthy doesn’t mean that your aren’t eating tasty delectable meals. 

Real flavor comes from fresh ingredients, spices and herbs. 

The dessert above is fresh pears with parmigiana cheese and 25 year balsamic and delectable isn’t a strong enough word for how good it was. 

Don’t get me wrong and please know that I am totally just reminding you all to try and think more about what you eat and where your food comes from… Balance is the spice of life and fun should be had but treat the body as well as you do your car- “garbage in=garbage out”.

Have a great rest of the week and do get out and enjoy! Just choose what you want after thinking about it! 

Finally a little humor! I don’t want to be a downer just a nudge in the right direction. 


It’s #PiratePakDay at WhiteSpot Restaurants #CONTEST

Westcoast Foodie Blogger:

A worthy cause! Have you done your part today? Come on who doesn’t like a White spot pirate pack?!

Originally posted on Vancouver Bits and Bites:


WhiteSpot’s annual fundraiser for Zajac Ranch for Childrenis back on August 12th, 2015. This is the one day a year when anyone can relive their childhood and order a Pirate Pak at any participating WhiteSpot restaurant, and feel good about it -For every Adult and Kids Pirate Pak that is sold on this day, WhiteSpot willmake a $2 donation to the Zajac Ranch for Children – a BC based summer camp that brings joy to children and young adults with serious medical conditions. Over the years The restaurant hasraise $347,172 for this worthy cause.

Adult Pirate Pak01

All Adult Pirate Paks include creamy coleslaw & ‘endless’ fries plus a soft drink, theirfamous chocolate coin and a scoop of premium rich ice cream. Available for dine-in & takeout.

The choice of burgers include:

The Legendary Burger
Thetraditional 1⁄4 lb. beef burger with signature Triple “O” sauce.

Bacon Cheddar Bigger Burger
A6 oz. beef…

View original 154 more words

2015 Lay’s Canada Do Us A Flavour Canada Finalists

Happy Canada Day to All of our Canadian foodie friends! 

Happy Canada Day to All! 

Enjoy this day as a proud Canadian and celebrate our awesome countries 148th Birthday! 

Enjoy the day with family, friends or quietly with a loved one. Grill, swimming, watch fireworks or a parade or simply head downtown and bump in to a festivity 

Below is a link from Vancity Buzz of top activities going on in the city.

Click here for a list of things to do.


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