Monthly Archives: September 2012

Soho Road – Naan Kebab


    Soho Road – Naan Kebabs street cart

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While the Vancouver weather is still so nice make a trip to downtown Vancouver and stop by to see Sarb, Mack and Uncle at Soho Road.

Vancouver is lucky to have so many great street food trucks / carts that you should do your best to try one or better yet, mix it up and try a few!!

It is such pleasure to see the many simple ingredients being prepared right in front of you…… Trust when I say, it makes all the difference

Uncle is rolling the naan dough right in front of you and then shapes it and sets it into what looks like a custom clay oven.
Traditional naan is baked in a clay oven reaching temperatures of nearly 900F.

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Beside Uncle, Sarb and Mack are taking the fresh baked chicken and lamb off the long skewers that look so fresh and full of flavor!

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Today Sarb was making a 1/2 Butter Chicken kebab on fresh baked naan bread right out of the clay baker- tandoori chicken with butter chicken sauce, tamarind chutney and salad made of cucumber, tomato, red onion and cilantro….

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The flavors popped and were fresh… The smell of the fresh naked naan while you were eating was a lingering delight!

You Gotta Try This!

Fortune French Toast- brought to you by Chef Michael Smith and Food Network Canada


Good day fellow foodies…..

Just a short blog on a recipe for Fortune French toast brought to you by Food Network Canada and Chef Michael Smith.

The words spoken in the pre-write up to this recipe of Chef Michael Smith’s Food Network – Chef Michael Smith Recipe of the day
are true and profound to all chefs and aspiring chefs alike. It’s like @DavidRoccosVita Quanto Basta – when enough is enough….
Both great statements and cooking words to live by in the kitchen.

A recipe is merely words on paper; a guideline, a starting point from which to improvise. It cannot pretend to replace the practiced hand and telling glance of a watchful cook. For that reason feel free to stir your own ideas into this dish. When you cook it once, it becomes yours, so personalize it a bit. Add more of an ingredient you like or less of something you don?t like. Try substituting one ingredient for another. Remember words have no flavour, you have to add your own!

Make it your own

When you cook, follow your love of flavors and add as much or as little as your taste buds desire.
When you bake, it’s a very different story….. There is very little leeway so follow the recipe as close as possible.

Not be missed, the recipe (words and all) look very good!
Have a great day…..

You Gotta Look at This!

Pig on the Street – Scotch Egg special


Good day great foodie friends….

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In researching this unique play on an egg dish I have found that this British treat is well known in the UK.

The British say that the scotch egg needs no introduction – their English origins go back a few hundred years (they were said to have been created by the department store Fortnum & Mason of Piccadilly in 1738).

The British may need no introduction but I think many North Americans may….
So here is my findings……

A scotch egg is basically a hard boiled egg wrapped in flavorful sausage meat, breaded and deep fried or baked.
What Pig on The Street does is kick it up several notches!

What do they do with it you ask?

Bacon of course
Chef Krissy adds their double smoked bacon, caramelized onions, farmhouse cheddar, avocado and a wonderful spicy heirloom ketchup…. All wrapped up in Pig On The Streets handmade flat bread…. The layers of textures and different flavors found in this sandwich all go towards the wow factor on your taste buds.
This unique sandwich definitely adds a new dimension to the Pigs menu board.

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The Scotch egg is a guest star offering so keep your eyes on twitter (follow the piggy @PigOnTheStreet) for a heads up from Krissy or Mark or also for any mention on the vans “specials” window!

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You Gotta Try This!

Pig on the Street on Urbanspoon

Fraser Valley Food show 2012


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    The Fraser Valley Food Show


Did you get out to see this years show?
If you didn’t you should definitely put it on your calendar for next year!
This was the 5th year of the food show – formerly called Eat Fraser valley.

The show was very well laid out and seem to have a great balance of booths that either represented their products, their industry or both.

There was also 2 stages (plus 1 educational area and a competition kitchen much like “kitchen stadium” or a “chopped kitchen” atmosphere with great camera work and display TV’s showing all of the action.
Each stage brought its own varying level of entertainment, education and fun all depending on what your interests were.

Were you excited to see any of the culinary masters in the “Master Chef competition?
Or was your interest in watching and learning from a celebrity culinary master?

Either choice or both the Fraser Valley Food Show had it all!

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Master Chef competition finalists:
Chef Romeo Oloresisimo – Head Chef of Ora in Kamloops
Chef William Tse -Head Chef of Sandbar restaurant in Vancouver

The winner is? – Chef Will Tse with a close finish right to the end…

The winning dish…..

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Both Chefs were working feverishly to beat the clock with the secret ingredients box items when I saw last years winner Chef Romeo pull his perfectly done meat off the grill, turn to put it on his cutting board and ended up bumping something about 6″ from the cutting board only to see the flavorful side of beef fall to the ground! The look of anguish on his face was only there for a fleeting moment as the professional culinary master went right back to the fridge and got a fresh cut with only minutes to spare.

Black box ingredients included black cod, alligator, beef, born 3 eggs
The chefs also had at their disposal a pantry with fresh products, herbs etc….

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Chef Patrick Dore- executive chef of Frankie’s Kitchen and Bar
Returning to Vancouver in 2009 marked the completion of a circle for
Patrick. After leaving Vancouver he has been working in some of the
finer hotels and restaurants on both the West and East coasts of the
United States and the Caribbean for the Four Seasons, Fairmont and the
Kimpton Hotel Group.

Upon returning to Vancouver he most recently headed up the
kitchen as Executive Chef at The Fairmont Waterfront and after a brief sabbatical is excited to dive back into Vancouver’s dynamic restaurant scene as Executive Concept Chef for Frankie’s Italian Kitchen and Bar.

Or maybe…

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Bal Arneson- the acclaimed “Spice Goddess”
Bal had fun with these aspiring cooks teaching them how to make “Roti”
Roti is generally a South Asian bread made from stoneground wholemeal flour, traditionally known as atta flour, that originated and is primarily consumed in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Iran (where it’s called “lavash”), but also now is enjoyed around the world.

Or maybe Chef Chris Remington – Head Chef of the Lakeside Resort Penticton, BC and also competing in the Chefs competition – black box style. Previously a 2 time winner.

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Or Reiko Mackenzie – from the “Real Housewives of Vancouver”
Real House Wives of Vancouver star Reiko Mackenzie appeared live on the Food Network Celebrity Stage with Chef Remington to celebrate the harvest season in the Fraser Valley, where much of our local food comes from. A local and sustainable food advocate and cooking enthusiast, Reiko explored what is new and fresh from the cranberry bog as we head into the Thanksgiving season.

The Real Housewife, Reiko Mackenzie has many interests and hobbies, but she is especially passionate about cooking. When her mother was diagnosed with high blood sugar, she really became inspired to take on baking and cooking with a delicate hand. She wanted to help her mother by choosing the right combination of foods but soon discovered that she loved the creative side of food.

When her 3 year old daughter engaged in a local gardening program, food took on an increasing importance in her life.
The program taught young children how to plant seeds, nurture and help grow things such as zucchini, tomatoes and other local vegetables and then how to prepare them to eat.

Reiko said “seeing the excitement and smiles on her daughter face resulted in our family growing our own food” (she can’t imagine her life without her vegetable garden) and experimenting with gluten-free baking and low-carb recipes. She is always looking for new and interesting ingredients to add value both in nutrition and flavour. Being a mother to two young girls, she wants to help them learn nutrition in a way they can enjoy.
In a gracious interview with Reiko I learned her more personal feelings about this great cause and how she has passionately educated herself and her wonderful children, mother and family on healthy cooking and eating.
Reiko pointed out that why it was wonderful to join Chef Remington – Head Chef of the Lakeside Resort in Penticton on stage was that he was no stranger to cooking with local ingredients. In fact Chef Remington enjoys cooking with vegetables grown right on the resort property which allows the kitchen to use the freshest of vegetable picks.
Reiko was excited and humble but also respectfully guarded about her “passion project in the works” from what I can tell we should keep a look out for an exciting new cook book hitting the shelves sometime in the near future. I am sure that it will likely focus on local ingredients, healthy, organic where possible and simple recipes from a preparation standpoint.
A final word from Reiko as we wrapped up our interview…. A meaningful quote:

True happiness is inspiring others

Reiko also added that if her new found notoriety can help get the message out to inspire young women to learn about local crops, sustainable products and coking healthy that is what she is aiming to do.
Follow Reiko on twitter http://twitter.com/reikomommy

Cops For Cancer

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As a pre-cursor to their official Tour, Tradex and the organizers of the Fraser Valley Food Show kindly donated staging space to us during their event for them to do an official jersey presentation to their riding team. This event was an informal gathering for our riders and their families, our Jr. team members (children who are currently undergoing, or who have undergone cancer treatment) and their families, as well as key sponsors of our event. It will be an occasion where we have the chance to recognize these individuals for their key roles in making our event happen each year, and we’re very thankful to the Fraser Valley Food Show and Tradex for agreeing to host this event for our group.

The booths showcased many new products and delectable treats.

Have you ever tried “Birch Syrup”?
I never had before this show and after trying it right away can honestly say ill be on the hunt for more! I tried it on salmon and also in a beef marinade and it was a great new flavor to add to my cooking arsenal!

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As you walked through the aisles you hopefully had enough time to stop and see each booth that caught your eye, nose or taste buds and at the same time learn from some great talented educators from different industries.
You couldn’t go bye this booth without a double take….

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Then If you we’re lucky enough to have a chance to speak with Geraldine, you would have learned a little or a lot about the Cranberry industry and how it recovered and happily sustains itself with creativity of great value added products… A sweet bag of craisins may also have come your way!

You definitely would have had your eyes wander here……..

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Can you say Macaroons?……

How about Caramello?……

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There were too many booths to mention all showcasing their new or unique products and worth a visit…..

On the Grapes and Hops stage you could learn about wines, beer and spirits and how to pair them with foods, fruits and cheese.

There were many showings of different interests and education on the stage that was just off to the right of the Spirt tasting part of the show.

Local wineries, some imported delectable treats, spirits and beers of all flavors etc……..
The Bite of Fraser Valley

This delectable pulled pork sandwich was from Casalinga foods…

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Just a sidebar about the pork industry in BC. I had another meaningful chat with an industry supporter basically trying there best to educate each and every guest at the show. To hear the trials and tribulations of the local producers doing their best to make a responsible living in the pork industry is to better understand all the more reason to buy local and support our farmers whenever or however we can.
Basically the market price paid to the farmer for the “hog” is less than it cost the farmer to responsibly raise the hog.
Foreign product coming into our region at lower prices don’t help the matter.

Just to make sure you didn’t go hungry there were several restaurants, wineries and breweries participating.

The Bite restaurants were:

Wok Box Fresh Asian Kitchen
An Indian Affair Restaurant
Fresh Restaurant
Roasted Grape Cafe
Frankie’s Italian Kitchen & Bar

The Dairy farmers had experts on stage teaching all who signed up for a seat about cheese wonderful cheese.
Each place had a plate with several choices on it and the expert walked you through the names, origins, pairings and pretty much anything you would want to know about each cheese.

Okay if all of this wasnt enough entertainment yet…. How about that nail biting Sausage making competition?
The Great Canadian Sausage Making Contest was broken into a few different categories:
Professional: which included many types of sausages
Amateur: also including many different types and finally People’s choice.
click on this link for the results

From my standpoint what is most valuable in attending a great culinary and agricultural showcase like the Fraser Valley Food Show is the invaluable education that we receive on what is involved in our local farms and food production facilities and what hard work it is to grow, create and distribute the quality fresh vegetables, fruits and livestock that create the great foods that we desire to cook with and enjoy.

When you have such a great showcase with cooking classes and demonstrations available what we really learn is that “we” all can cook and make many of the great dishes that we see on cooking shows or in recipe books. The ease of some simple but great recipes becomes apparent when presented by the chefs in such a friendly and informative environment.

Besides all of the great entertainment, education and countless great local products the simple pleasure of wandering the Fraser Valley Food Show brought a smile to my face and was an enriching experience…

Make sure you look for next years event and come out to support the great food industry that BC has to offer!
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that these shows also need the support of some great companies like Born 3 Eggs
And Food Network Canada

You Gotta Try This!

Check out the Fraser Valley Food Show for any other detailed information on this years show….

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Homemade Cannelloni- delectable


    Homemade Cannelloni

Happy Saturday & first day of Fall! great foodie Friends,

Saturday nights are a great time especially on the first day of fall to get back to the flavors that we have been dreaming about…..

First off I started my tomato sauce made with chicken for added flavor.

Ingredients for the sauce:
2 fresh chicken thighs
1 bud of fresh garlic minced
1 shallot minced
1 can 398 ml / 14 oz of fire roasted diced tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce 680 ml
Pinch (QB- as much as you feel) of chopped oregano (fresh is best but good quality dry will work)
Pinch of basil chopped (QB- again dried will work if needed)
Pinch of chopped sage (QB – dried if needed)
Olive oil – extra virgin (us your workhorse and cooking quality) QB
Salt and pepper QB

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Directions for sauce:

Pour your olive oil in a large pot and turn the heat to med-high
Put the minced shallots in the pot and slowly stir to soften.
Salt and pepper chicken thighs and place them in the heated oil to brown.
Brown both sides….
When the thighs are browned add the 2 cans of tomatoes / sauce and stir.
Add in the garlic and herbs/ spices and stir until blended.
Once the pot comes to a gentle boil and reduce the heat. Then cover and simmer for approx 1 hour stirring occasionally.

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now pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Celsius
Ingredients for the cannelloni filling:
Virgin olive oil
1 pound of fresh ground veal
1/2 pound of fresh ground pork
Salt & pepper QB
1 or QB bud of fresh garlic minced
Pinch of Oregano minced QB
Pinch of Tyme minced QB
Pinch of Basil minced QB
Pinch of Sage minced QB
1 shallot minced
1-2 fresh celery stalks chopped
2 table spoons of tomato paste
Large dash of red wine QB approx 1/2 cup
1/2 cup or more of bread crumbs
1 large egg (brown and organic if possible, I use Born 3 eggs)
2 table spoons parmigiana cheese

Directions for the filling:
Put the olive oil in a medium large pot and heat at medium high.
Put in the shallots and soften the shallots while stirring over heat.
Add in the veal and pork and stir while browning.
Add in the garlic and herbs / spices and continue to brown.
Add in the red wine and tomato paste and blend in.
Once the meat is almost browned add in the celery and pull off the heat.
Let cool and then stir in the bread crumbs and a slightly whisked egg and parmigiana.
Blend all and put off to the side.

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Ingredients and Directions for the cream sauce:

1 1/2 tablespoon of butter
1 tsp of flour
Dash of onion powder
Dash of garlic powder
Dash of Lea & Perrins
1/2 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
Small pinch of nutmeg
1/2 – 2/3 cup 1/2 & 1/2 cream

Melt the butter in a sauce pan and then add the flour, and all the seasoning to create a “rue” (soft paste)
Then slowly add the cream and stir slowly while heating on medium.
Keep stirring while the cream sauce thickens. Once thickened, remove from heat and stir…. Put off to the side.

Use a large baking dish and put approx 1/4 cup of tomato sauce in the baking dish and spread over the bottom

Use a small spoon to fill your cannelloni shells.
Lay each filled shell in the pan and space approx 3/4″ apart.
Once the pan is filled top each shell with tomato sauce, them drizzle with the cream sauce.

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Then top the cannelloni with a generous sprinkle of fresh grated parmigiana and then top with fresh grated mozzarella cheese.

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Cover tightly with foil and put in the oven for 45-50 minutes or until the pasta is tender.

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Now serve with a great garlic cheese bread and your favorite red wine….
Grab your sweetheart or family and enjoy!
Buon Appetito!

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    You Gotta Try This!

The Spritz- a perfect Italian refreshing cocktail


    The Spritz- Refreshing Italian cocktail with 3 simple ingredients plus a slice…


Happy dog days of summer great foodie friends…. This has to be one of the nicest Septembers in a longtime….. Sunny days brought me back to a perfect refresher that we first tried in Italy and now can happily make at home with ease!
The Spritz!

Ingredients:
Prosecco
Aperol
Soda or Pelligrino
A fresh slice of orange

Both Prosecco and Aperol can be easily found at the local liquor store and are reasonably priced.
This refreshing drink is a pleasant surprise to most and a perfect thing to enjoy with your friends.

The drink is best served in a wine or a rocks glass and over ice.

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The amounts you ask?
Approx 2 + parts of Prosecco and 1 part Aperol and just a dash of soda, and just drop in a nice fresh slice of orange.

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The Aperol looks like this…..

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The Prosecco can be found easily as well and there are several brands. You don’t need to spend too much but it is advisable to look for one from the Valdobbiadene region of Italy. Any producer or brand will do….you will also see an organic Prosecco on the shelf which is very good.
What is Prosecco?:

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A word from Wkipedia
Unlike Champagne, its main commercial competitor, Prosecco is usually produced using the Charmat method, in which the secondary fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks making the wine less expensive to produce. The rules for the DOCG Prosecco Valdobbiadene also allow the use of the Metodo Classico: secondary fermentation in the bottle.
Approximately 150 million bottles of Italian Prosecco are produced annually. As of 2008, 60 percent of all Prosecco is made in the Conegliano and Valdobbiadene area.Production there amounted to €370 million in 2007. Since the 2000s, Glera (Prosecco) grapes are also cultivated and wine from the grapes is produced in other countries including Brazil, Romania, Argentina and Australia.
Most history shows that Prosecco originates from the Valdobbiadene region and that is where most of the production comes from.
As stated gone are the days of overly sweet bubbly….. You will enjoy this refreshing frizzante vino and if you get a chance visit this beautiful area of Northern Italy….it is breathtaking.

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You Gotta Try This famous Italian drink!

The Red Wagon


    The Red Wagon-a great Vancouver breakfast spot and all day diner!

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Pick any day of the week that you are craving a great breakfast for a reasonable price that cures that “breakfast aching” and head into The Red Wagon
The Red Wagon – location
I first heard about this great little spot from friends and then saw it appear on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives with Guy Fieri and now luckily I have tried it myself thanks to my beautiful wife stealing me away for a special day breakfast! Thank you

It’s a comfortable little spot on Hastings just off Nanaimo…. The staff greets you with a smile and the scents lure you in right when you get near the door.
Take yourself a little bit back to a simpler time and arrive in the diner of yesteryear …. Quaint, small and a little quirky in a good way.
Take a look at the menu but you also must ask the server what they are known for!
The Red Wagon – Menu
The answer right away will be “our pulled pork pancakes”
If you want that perfect blend of semisweet and salty savory then this is your dish….

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On the menu for me today was the
Super Trucker
2 eggs, 2 pulled pork pancakes, crisp pork belly, homefries, toast….
The reputation of the pulled pork pancakes was true…. Sometimes you wonder how sweet and savory combines for flavor wow but trust me when it works it is delectable.
The pulled pork had a smooth and almost sweet rub that combined very well with the fluffy and light pancakes. Topped with Jack Daniels maple syrup…. Sinfully good!
The pork belly was also fall apart melt in your mouth goodness…. The rub used on this beauty…. More of a 5 spice Asian touch. The bark was flavorful and a perfect pairing with the tender fall apart inside of the pork belly.

From what I can tell all of the great flavors are made in house (with a few exceptions where they import a few items from some great deli’s in town)

The smoker……

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Happily smoking away the next flavor treat to hit the plates later in the day…. Brisket in this batch I believe according to the smiling prep cook.
If breakfast isn’t your pleasure then you should still head in for lunch, brunch or dinner.
Pulled pork or pork belly or some other great smoked treat is always on the menu…..
They also serve great Benny’s, sandwiches and many other house made treats.
They are licensed and I saw a fairly nice selection of micro brews……
This is truly a diner and it serves breakfast, lunch and dinner.
{The Red Wagon Restaurant’} 2296 East Hastings Street
604-568-4565

Open Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Look for the little red….

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Wagon on the side of the building and the “come in we are open” sign but be prepared to wait if you arrive to much past opening on the weekends…..

Guy Fieri was right….. You Gotta Try This!

The Red Wagon on Urbanspoon

Canada’s 8 Greatest Burger Restaurants- according to an article in RD


    Canada’s 8 Great Burger restaurants

Good morning great foodie friends,
Just a quick blog of an article in Readers Digest that I read thanks to Dana McCauley.

When you have that hunger for a great burger and your BBQ is no where near….
Read this article for some great reviews.
Thanks Readers Digest!
click here for Canadas 8 Greatest burger restaurants

You Gotta Try This!

The 10 Most Unhealthy Fast-Food Items on America’s Menu


    The 10 Most Unhealthy Fast-Food Items on America’s Menu

Happy dog days of summer foodie friends….

I thought that this article was worth a read. For us to continue to enjoy foods and our health it requires us to be educated and understand what we are eating. The choices of course are

ours / yours


but shouldn’t we make those choices with knowledge?

An article that I found posted by “Cool Food Dude” and posted on:
By 24/7 Wall St.
Posted 3:30PM 06/15/11
Posted under: Health Care, Retail

http://www.dailyfinance.com/2011/06/15/the-10-most-unhealthy-fast-food-items-on-americas-menu/?a_dgi=aolshare_twitter

Edible Canada- unique and wonderful spot


Edible Canada- unique and wonderful spot.