Category: Food

Fresh City Is Providing A Healthier Way To Do Groceries

“Fresh City makes it simple to eat a healthy and seasonal diet. Working with some of Ontario’s best farmers and makers to deliver fresh produce and healthy local + organic groceries right to your door.”

They are a city farm and are proud to work with some of Ontario’s finest growers. From sourcing from organic farms, to packing in reusable bags, to delivering with electric bikes, their operations respect both people and planet. They are a Certified B-Corp and have been featured in several documentaries for their pioneering work in farming the city.

Located at Downsview Park, they organically grow on two acres and in a greenhouse. It’s where they run farm tours and events as well as many of their workshops.  The 3,000-square foot greenhouse is fully self-contained and off-grid, the greenhouse boasts rainwater capture and irrigation system and uses solar energy to power the fans.

Fresh City has created a Member Farmer Program as a way to connect urban farmers to land, facilities, and a supportive learning community. Today the program supports over 20 farmers as they pursue self-sufficiency and farming business dreams. Fresh City farmers grow vegetable, herbs, and flowers for them to sell.

Sounds like an amazing operation, doesn’t it?! Well, it just got better with the recent launch of the baby/toddler category.

I had the opportunity to recently try their services and products to see how it would work for my amazing community of readers.

Firstly an account would need to be set up on their website where you would put in all your information and then you can begin to follow the instructions to order your groceries online.

There are many things that can be ordered and I just didn’t know what I wanted to try first but I did manage to put a good list of things from a variety of the different categories but especially from the baby/toddler category.  My order was inputted with a simple click of the mouse and my delivery was scheduled for the following week on a Wednesday. It was very simple!

The delivery date arrived and I was excited to receive the package. It arrived promptly on the Wednesday and was neatly packed in a great reusable bag which can be returned or you may leave it at your door for the next order delivery date. I would call this environmentally friendly!

The baby and toddler products that I received were some fruit snacks, Hugga Bear Chocolate chip cookies, pasta with different shapes (dino and farm ones which are super cute!) and we also got the sensitive unscented baby wipes. We also got ourselves some neat things too.


The products all looked so great and they are high quality food. The fruits we got are fresh and taste great! Everything that we got we have loved.

Therefore, for this #MelandNikkiReview we give Fresh City 5 Kiwis out of 5 for the quality of food, prompt delivery, simple to use service, environmentally friendly and offering healthy options for families in the Greater Toronto Area. It’s a mouth full of great qualities but all worth mentioning. It’s a service that is great for families who want healthy options and it is convenient at its finest.

There is more with Fresh City that you will need to check out such as the prepared meal, recipe kits and so much more.

As a special offer to Momma Braga readers you can receive $20 off your order as a first time customer by using promo code: FRESHREADER. What a great offer – thank you Fresh City!

Make sure to follow Fresh City on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as I am sure there will be so much more to come from them.

Special thank you to Kim from Fresh City for giving Momma Braga the opportunity to review their great service and keep up the great work!

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

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Quash Your Cravings With Quiznos Limited Gyros Sub

For over 35 years, Quiznos has taken pride in bringing big flavour with quality ingredients. As pioneers of the toasted sub, they have been serving with butcher-quality meats and all natural cheeses.

So what has this tasty establishment decided to quash our taste buds with?

They have gone back in time to discover Gyrocleese, faux Greek god and inventor of the ever popular Gyro!

To celebrate, Quiznos is making history with the introduction of two new modern gyro options. They are the Gyros Whole Wheat Wrap and the Gyro Sub Sandwich which is available for a limited time (end of December).

So are they really that great?

We had the honour to be invited as an official taste tester for this special limited time menu item and of course we said YES!

It was time to check out Quiznos for the very first time and take a bite out of the Gyro Sub.

The Gyro Sub is layered with scrumptious seasoned beef and lamb into a traditional toasted sub (of your choice) and its beautifully topped with lettuce, tomatoes, and creamy tzatziki sauce.

Talk about Greek “hero” perfection! (Excuse me…my mouth is watering again!)

I visited the location closest  to my home and ordered our family dinner. When I arrived home it was time for the ultimate taste test. I unwrapped my neatly wrapped sub and I have to say that I love that they cut the 9 inch sub in half.

I took a bite and my taste buds got all the great flavours a Gyro has to offer and enjoyed every single bite!

Now it was time to evaluate on the #MelandNikkiReview and we give it a 5 Greek Gods out of 5. The Gyro Sub offers an abundance of flavour, freshness and high-quality ingredients. The real difference is that their core recipe is around toasting the subs. By toasting the subs, it brings out more flavour and makes it mouth-watering good! “It’s all about the oven.”

This is why we recommend to quash your craving this holiday season with Quiznos Gyros Sub or Wrap before they are gone from the menu (end of December). You don’t want to miss it! It is a great family meal idea too!

Also make sure to follow Quiznos Canada on Facebook for some mouth-watering posts and don’t forget to visit a location near you!

A special thank you to Quiznos Canada for the gift card so that I can try this fabulous new sandwich!

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga


 

Portuguese Potato Salad With Tuna

A few weeks ago I was chatting with one of my uncles about my blog and the feature of recipes. We went through a different list of some of our favorite dishes and then he asked if I shared the Portuguese Potato Salad with Tuna recipe…I haven’t! So thank you Uncle John for inspiring this share!

Growing up this was a dish that my mom often made and it was so yummy but I think families will appreciate how quick and easy it is to make.

Portuguese Potato Salad With Tuna

INGREDIENTS

  • Water
  • Potatoes
  • Salt
  • Garlic Powder or a Clove of Garlic
  • Tuna
  • Olive Oil
  • Optional: Eggs, Onion and Chickpeas

DIRECTIONS

  • Peel the potatoes, chop them into pieces and wash them in water.
  • Fill a pot with water and add the chopped potatoes.
  • In the pot add some salt and a dash of garlic powder or a clove of garlic (This is a great added taste). You can also use this time to boil eggs if you would like to add this to the dish.
  • Boil the potatoes until they get soft to eat. You may want to taste them during the process to see if you need to add some more salt for taste.
  • Once the potatoes are cooked, drain the water.
  • Open up a can of tuna and drain out the oil. Break up the tuna to place over the potatoes.
  • Take your plate and add the desired potatoes that you would like to eat, then add the tuna that you would like on top.
  • Drizzle olive oil over the food and mix it all together.
  • Optional: Chop up some onions to add on top and slice up some boiled eggs. You can even add chickpeas to the dish and it will be just as great and filling!


And there you have it, Portuguese Potato Salad with Tuna! Give it a try and let me know what you think of it!

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

– Momma Braga

5 Halloween Munchies Recipes

Written By: Karen Silva
Twitter

We all know that every good Halloween party or get together, needs some munchies to keep your little monsters full and satisfied. I will share with you some “not so scary” Halloween munchies, that are easy to make and yummy to your tummy.

Remember to use your best judgment as to which tasks you can have your child help you with.

Ghost Popsicle’s

What you will need: Bananas, White chocolate wafers, Chocolate chips and Popsicle sticks

  • First unpeel your bananas and cut them in half.
  • Melt your wafers until your white chocolate is liquid (I did mine in the microwave for 40 seconds).
  • Then dip half of your Popsicle stick into the chocolate and stick it into the end of the banana.
  • Once completed, gently dip the whole banana into the melted chocolate and add three chocolate chips (two for eyes and one for a surprised spooky mouth).
  • Then set all the done ones onto a tray over wax paper and put it in the freezer for about an hour.

Veggie Treat

What you will need: A large tray, veggie dip, baby carrots, broccoli and cucumber

  • First lay out your baby carrots in to a circle shape and use the broccoli as your stem of your veggie pumpkin creation.
  • Remove the baby carrots from the areas in which you would like to have the eyes and nose and place a small container with veggie dip in those places.
  • Finally remove the baby carrots to create your mouth and add some sliced cucumbers in that area.

Monster sandwiches

What you will need: Toast bread, cold cuts, mayo, cheese, circle shape cookie cutter and green olives with opening

  • First with your cookie cutter, cut out circle shapes on your toast bread slices.
  • Once completed, assemble your sandwiches using your mayo first, then cold cuts.
  • Before you add your cheese, use a knife to design your cheese slices to look like sharp teeth.
  • Once you have added that and put another circle piece of toast bread you are ready to add your eyes. That’s right you guessed it! Use the olives as your monsters eyeballs.
  • To keep them in place you can add a tooth pick to each one, just make sure your guests can see the tooth picks so that they can pick them out before taking a bite.

Sweet and sticky pumpkins!

What you will need: Rice crispy Squares, Rolo chocolate and green cookie icing

  • Feel free to make your own Rice Crispy Squares from scratch. Or you can just buy a box of Rice Crispy Squares, add two drops of Orange food coloring on each, pop them in the microwave for 8 seconds and then shape them into a pumpkin.
  • Once you have that done stick one Rolo chocolate on the top as your pumpkin stem.
  • Now you can stop right there or you can use the green icing to create some more detail on the pumpkin like leaves.

Eye love cupcakes!

What you will need: Your favorite cupcake recipe, white buttercream icing, red icing, black icing and lifesaver candy

  • First make and bake your favorite cupcake recipe and then set them aside to cool down.
  • Now comes the fun part… decorating!
  • Spread your white buttercream icing on all of your cupcakes.
  • Then place one life saver in the middle of each cupcake.
  • Using your black icing fill in the hole in the middle of the life saver to complete the look of your eye.
  • Finally add your final detail using the red icing and drawing out some veins.

I hope I didn’t make you drool too much! All of these ideas are super easy to make and it doesn’t take too much time to make.

Until next time mombies!

 

Malasada World Will Rock Your Taste Buds

Growing up in a Portuguese household it was a special treat when my mom would make us malasadas to eat. For those who may not know, a malasada is a Portuguese confection, made of egg-sized balls of yeast dough that are deep-fried in oil and coated with granulated sugar. It really is delicious and it is well known to be a delight that was created from the Azores and Madeira.

Therefore, when I heard about a place called Malasada World, I was extremely excited! How could I have not known that there was a place that specialized in malasadas and where exactly was this place???

Malasada World is located at 33 Ainslie St N in Cambridge (formerly known as Galt City). They are located in a perfect spot, downtown.

So this meant that Momma Braga had to take a road trip! I couldn’t try this place on my own so I had to bring my entourage (my family) with me.

We planned a Saturday outing to Cambridge which is about a 45 minute drive from where we live. We found a parking lot just a few minutes North from where Malasada World is located and it is free for the first two hours (not bad considering that when you park in downtown Toronto, it is never free). Even though we had a gloomy and rainy day, we were still all excited to try a malasada.

We arrived and were greeted by the friendly staff and we got to meet Steve, the face that runs Malasada World!

Steve outside of Malasada World.
Photo Credit: http://www.bassem.ca

My impression of Steve surpassed my expectations as he is a nice and humble person to meet. He has a great sense of humor and if you are at his shop and you don’t want your family to know, he will keep your secret! 😉 He is also the one at the back working really hard to delight your taste buds. You can say that he made a great first impression on all of us.

Now it was time for the true test…the taste test. Was the malasada going to pass the Momma Braga taste test? Will Malasada World make it on the #MelandNikkiReview?

Yes! Yes it did!

Since I have been known for my candid honesty on my blog, I have to say that the traditional malasada that I tried was much better than any other malasada that I have ever had before (sorry mom!). It was fluffy, light and had just the right amount of sugar. It was perfection! I don’t say that often but I can in this case. Everyone in my group loved it as much as I did and my group is one of the hardest critics to please, so bravo Malasada World!

So how did Malasada World begin and who exactly is Steve? I got the inside scoop to share with all of you!

Tell me a little about yourself.

“I am a first generation Portuguese Canadian, born in Cambridge Ontario. I am a 43 year old father of two wonderful young women. My family is from Santa Maria in the Azores, Portugal. I am a classic trained Chef with just over 20 years of experience in different segments of the food and hospitality business. Food and hospitality industry runs in the family.”

Photo Credit: http://www.bassem.ca

What inspired you to call your shop, Malasada World?

“I was thinking of a name that would really help make the brand/concept stand out and speak for itself. I narrowed it down to three names. Luso Donuts and Tia Maria’s Malasadas were the others. I even did a little survey on Facebook to see what my friends would pick. In the end, we picked Malasada World! It was the one that made the most sense after much thought.”

When did you start your business?

“I started the vision for this business concept many years ago! About 11 years ago, I told one of my colleagues it would be nice to just make donuts for the rest of my career. That was Chef Andrew Dymond at the Prince of Wales Hotel in Niagara-on-the-Lake. The first time I made them for sale was about five years ago in Prince Edward County at a friend’s farm called, Vicki’s Veggies. Our shop in Cambridge has just recently celebrated its one year anniversary! We opened on Portugal Day in 2016.”

Tell me a little bit about what you serve.

“At the shop we offer everything the MALASADA has to offer! Different varieties including the Traditional Style I grew up with. We also make the Hawaiian style that are enjoyed today in bakeries all over Hawaii. We have developed our very own version of the Malasada with different toppings and refer to these as our “Signature Style.” Our most popular is called the DoughNATA. It is a hybrid of the famous Portuguese custard tart called a “Pastel de Nata” and our Malasada. It’s kind of both put together (minus the puff pastry)!

I have also taken the Malasada dough and developed a line of Baked Malasada Buns and Loaves. This Malasada bread is showcased and used in our daily sandwich menu. We are MALASADA WORLD!”

What do you hope your business accomplishes?

“I want Malasada World to be recognized for being the BEST Portuguese inspired fast casual specialty donut shop! I also hope to achieve international success with a location in Sao Miguel in the future.”

Where would you like to see your business in five years?

“I hope to grow the business and have additional locations in and around Southern Ontario. I am currently looking for the right investors to team up with.”

Anything new on the horizon for Malasada World that we can officially announce on Momma Braga?

“We are currently working on the business plan for a mobile unit for Malasada World. Either a food truck or trailer. We would then be able to serve our customers at private parties and corporate events!”

How important was it for you to bring a piece of your culture to share with the world?

“It was very important for me to somehow include my cultural background and family food experiences into my business model. I think that Portuguese cuisine in general is under represented and is not as familiar as other cuisine’s of the world to the general public. Portuguese cuisine is wonderful and I would like to showcase it more.”

Photo of Steve’s dad and mom who is expecting Steve. You can tell the family’s love of Malasadas!

Thank you so much Steve for the inside scoop and for allowing Momma Braga the opportunity to feature you!

For this #MelandNikkiReview we give Malasada World, a 5+ DoghNATAs out of 5! This is the first review over 5 and it is much deserved. Malasada World has made it on the #MommaBragaApproved and #Recommended lists. If you are looking for a taste of culture done at its finest then Malasada World is for you! Make sure to follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and please note their posts may cause you to drool.

A Momma Braga tip is to order your malasadas in advance especially if you are travelling from afar as they do sell out fast! To avoid disappointment, feel free to call them at 519.267.7177 or email them at malasadaworld@gmail.com. Walk-ins are always welcomed but you will need to arrive early to taste some malasada goodness!

Once again thank you Malasada World and Cambridge for having us and I will be back!

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

*Please note that this is not a paid or sponsored post. Momma Braga did not receive any form of compensation in exchange for this review and all opinions in this post are my own honest opinions.

 

Momma Braga’s Mini Pizza Recipe

This recipe is one of my favorites and super easy to do especially for your family. I remember my mom making this for us to eat when we went away to our trailer many years ago. Get ready to learn how to make mini pizzas and enjoy them at your next family dinner.

INGREDIENTS

– English Muffins (6 pk)
– Mozzarella Cheese (shredded)
– Tomato Sauce
– Toppings (e.g. pepperoni, green peppers, mushroom, etc.)

DIRECTIONS

– Cut the English muffins in half (the 6 muffins will then become 12).
– Spread tomato sauce on each muffin using a spoon.
– Drizzle mozzarella cheese on each muffin and use as much cheese as you desire.
– Add your favorite toppings (the ones mention above are my favorite but I use turkey pepperoni instead).
– Once each muffin has it’s ingredients place them on a baking sheet and place them in the oven at 400.
– Time may vary but usually 30 minutes later you have yourself some mini pizzas to eat.
– Let them cool down before consuming.


There you have an easy and fast mini pizza recipe to try out and feel free to share if you try it!

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

– Momma Braga

Momma Braga’s Portuguese Beef Stew (Carne Guisada)

Beef stew (Carne Guisada) is a favorite in my household and one that I grew up with. Like with many recipes there are so many different ways of making it! Here is how my family makes this popular dish.

Carne Guisada

INGREDIENTS

  • Over a pound of chopped beef stew meat
  • 1 Onion
  • Half of a tomato
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Garlic Powder
  • Paprika
  • Half a cup of red wine
  • Half a cup of water
  • 5 to 7 potatoes
  • Portuguese buns

DIRECTIONS

  • Marinate your beef stew meat. I usually do this the night before to have the meat soak in the juices for more flavor.
    • Wash meat well.
    • Place meat in a bowl and add the following ingredients; salt, black pepper, garlic powder, paprika, half a cup of wine and half a cup of water. Measurements for the ingredients are based on what you normally use in your meat marinating. Then mix well.
    • Leave the meat covered and in the fridge for the next day cooking.
  • The following day start by washing the onions, tomato and potatoes. Chop up the onions, tomato and potatoes. Everyone has a preferred style for potatoes in their stew, we like it diced. Set the potatoes aside as you will need them later.
  • Once the onions and tomato are cut, place them in a pot with some olive oil with a pinch of paprika. On low heat cook the onion and tomato until the onions are a golden color. Then add your meat with it’s sauce that you marinated with the day before.
  • Let it cook on medium and stir.
  • Once the meat is almost cooked, add your potatoes and a pinch of salt. This will add flavor to the potatoes you just added. If you feel that you need to add some more water then add another cup of water. Sometimes the meat soaks up a lot of the liquid as you are cooking.
  • Now cook until the potatoes are cooked and you are done. If a fork goes through the potatoes then that is my sign that they are done.
  • You can serve your beef stew in a bowl and if you like Portuguese buns, then provide some at the dinner table as they are great for dipping into the stew (my favorite part of the whole meal!).

And there you have it, Momma Braga’s beef stew! Give it a try and let me know what you think of it!

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

– Momma Braga