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Pizzas, beer and board games – how can you go wrong with that? Courtesy of Panago Pizza, Mr. and I threw a pizza party and hosted 6 other friends last weekend.

#PanagoChallenge Pizza Party

Panago is currently featuring six fall pizza flavours, and lucky for us, we got to try each one of them:

  • Deluxe Tropical Hawaiian #dlxtropicalhawaiian
    Sweet + smoky tropical sauce, bacon, extra Canadian ham, extra pineapple, mozzarella + cheddar
  • Steak Mushroom Melt #steakmushroommelt
    Cheezy cheddar sauce, steak, bacon, sauteed mushrooms, mozzarella + cheddar
  • Chicken Club #chickenclub
    Jalapeno white sauce, grilled chicken, Canadian ham, bacon, tomatoes + mozzarella
  • Chipotle Chicken #chipotlechicken
    Chipotle cilantro sauce, grilled chicken, roasted corn medley seasoned with onion, red + green peppers, topped with mozzarella + cheddar
  • BBQ Chicken #bbqchicken
    BBQ sauce, grilled chicken, bacon, caramelized onions, red peppers, mozzarella + cheddar
  • Veggie Mediterranean #veggiemed
    Fresh passata tomato sauce, fire-roasted tomatoes, kalamata olives, red peppers, baby spinach leaves, red onions, feta cheese + mozzarella

#PanagoChallenge Pizza Party

To us, a pizza party wouldn’t be complete without some beer. (more…)

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On August 31, 14 Vancouver bartenders will compete at the regional final of the MadeWithLove Mixology Competition. Each cocktail will be judged based on its originality, creativity and taste.

Participating bartenders include:

  • Alana Bertrand, Notch8
  • Dales Styner, The Cascade Room
  • Graeme MacLeod, Calabash Bistro
  • Graham Masters, Independent
  • James White, Independent
  • Jason Laidlaw, Blacktail Restaurant
  • Kylie Barlett, Blacktail Restaurant
  • Philipp Karatsyupa, Rogue Kitchen & Wetbar
  • Rob Scope, The Cascade Room
  • Samir Sharma, The Keefer Bar
  • Stephen Tufts, Dickies Ginger Beer
  • Wesley Hardy, Calabash Bistro
  • Felix Vallières, Independent
  • Frank Palter, Fairmont Waterfront

Attendees will also get to taste the 14 creations and vote for a deserving People’s Choice winner. The People’s Choice and Judge’s Choice winners will represent Vancouver at the National Finale to be held in Vancouver in May 2016.

Photo provided by MadeWithLove

Photo provided by MadeWithLove

Interested? This could be your lucky day as we are giving away two pairs of tickets (each ticket is worth $65) to the event on August 31 at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver!

3 ways to enter

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[The contest is now closed. Congratulations to Natalie – have a great time at White Spot!]

For the 7th year, you will get to unleash your inner kid on Pirate Pak Day! On August 12, the popular Pirate Paks will be available to adults across BC and Alberta, and for each Pirate Pak sold on that day, White Spot will donate $2.00 to Zajac Ranch for Children, an established BC charity that provides a once-in-a-lifetime summer camp experience to kids and young adults with life-threatening illnesses and chronic disabilities.

The Adult Pirate Pak offers four options: the Legendary Burger, BC Chicken Burger, Bacon Cheddar Bigger Burger and Provolone Veggie Burger. They are served in a pirate boat, and come with fries, coleslaw, a soft drink, a scoop of ice cream and a chocolate “gold coin”.

Joyce @ Pirate Pak Day 2014

Joyce @ Pirate Pak Day 2014

I have been a fan of this charity initiative, and have been crazy enough to wait 1.5 hour to grab a Pirate Pak. If you have never participated before, now is your chance! I’m giving away a $25 gift card to White Spot so you can bring a date with you on Pirate Pak Day!

3 ways to enter

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The contest is now closed. We’ll announce the winner soon. Thank you for entering!

Catelli, the Canadian pasta maker established in 1867 in Old Montreal, recently launched a new product line called Healthy Harvest Ancient Grains. It’s made with 100% Canadian whole wheat with five ancient grains: quinoa, teff, amaranth, millet and sorghum. I was invited to its launch event in Vancouver, over an intimate cooking experience with Chef Lynn Crawford.

Chef Lynn Crawford Cooking Demo

We got to taste-test the doneness of the pasta and find out what our preference was between 7-minute, 8-minute or 9-minute cooking time. For me, I thought cooking the pasta for 8 minutes would give me the perfect al dente texture without being too hard. Overall, the pasta texture is firmer than white pasta, but less grainy and more flavourful than regular whole wheat pasta.

Scroll to the bottom to find out how you can win a year’s supply of Catelli Healthy Harvest Ancient Grains pasta!

Taste test doneness of pasta

We also sampled the pasta with Chef Lynn Crawford’s marinara and pesto sauces. Now, if only I could get a hold of those recipes!

Rotini with Chef Lynn's Marinara SauceSpaghettini with Chef Lynn's Pesto Sauce

The cooking demonstration was quite interactive. Did you see my video of Amy Bronee from Family Feedbag jamming with Chef Lynn while making the pesto sauce? It’s all about the basil!!

Marc Smith of 30 Days of Adventures also got called up to help with plating the pasta dishes.

Interactive demo with attendee participation

At the end of the evening, we all had a chance to replicate Chef Lynn’s recipe of Chilled Noodle Salad with Ginger Wasabi Dressing. It was easy to make and tasted light and refreshing; it would be a great dish for the warmer days to come this summer. I’ll share the recipe with you at another time.

Joyce cookingWith Chef Lynn Crawford

Now is your chance to get your hands on some of these nutritious pasta! I’m giving away ONE-YEAR SUPPLY of the Healthy Harvest Ancient Grains pasta. Yes, one year’s worth of pasta! I’ve won a year’s supply of product before, and let me tell you, it’s a pretty sweet deal 🙂

3 ways to enter

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[UPDATE: Our partner has generously donated another $25 gift card so we are now giving away 3 White Spot gift cards! Deadline has been extended to Monday, August 4, 2014]

Summer has officially started, which means our local farms are also busy harvesting. BC produces a huge variety of fresh ingredients — cherries, blueberries, apples, peaches, corn, cheese, salmon, tomatoes, etc. — everything is so close to home! Earlier this week White Spot launched its new Celebrate BC summer menu to celebrate exactly that, featuring local ingredients and select wines from farms and vineyards around the province.

Available until September 7, the Celebrate BC menu offers six seasonally-inspired creations:

  • Prawn & BC Brie Flatbread
  • Candied Salmon Spinach Salad
  • BC Beet, Brie & Bacon Bigger Burger
  • Gala Apple & BC Brie Chicken Burger
  • Lois Lake Steelhead with Warm Crispy BC Potato Salad
  • Legendary Burger, Caesar Salad & Fresh BC Blueberry Pie Combo

To make sure you get to try these items, we are giving away three $25 White Spot gift cards. Yes, three chances of winning!

3 ways to enter

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The contest is now closed. Thank you for entering. We will draw a name and announce the winner soon!

Wendy’s Canada recently added 3 new chef-inspired flavours to its permanent salad menu: Asian Cashew Salad, BBQ Ranch Chicken Salad and Taco Supremo Salad. To be honest, my guilty pleasure fast food joint is McDonald’s, so I rarely go to Wendy’s. But frequently seeing its commercials on TV and learning about this new line of salads, their food doesn’t look half bad. I was intrigued. That’s why when I was offered to try one of the salads, I decided to go for it.

And I opted for the classic BBQ Ranch Chicken Salad. You may think it’s a safe choice but the use of applewood-smoked bacon caught my eyes. Who can say no to bacon? And look how much bacon you get in the salad:

Wendy's BBQ Ranch Chicken Salad

This full size salad was huge! It’s packed with lots of ingredients: roasted corn, tomatoes, shredded cheddar, a blend of lettuce and a whole grilled chicken breast. I was glad to see that the greens were not wilted and everything tasted fresh. There was a barbecue sauce drizzled on top of the bacon pieces, which was a bit sweet. Combining with the BBQ ranch dressing, which also had honey and brown sugar, the sauces on this salad were more on the sweet side for me. Therefore I would recommend starting with a small amount of dressing then add more as needed; otherwise, it may get too sweet and you can’t revert it.

Wendy's BBQ Ranch Chicken Salad

For $8.49 I thought it’s not too bad as a lunch option. Looking at the nutrition details, though, the BBQ Ranch Chicken Salad has higher calorie and sodium count thanks to the addition of bacon. The sacrifice you have to make for something good haha. On the other hand, the Asian Cashew Chicken Salad is lower in calorie and sodium, and with the Asian spicy flair it sounds like a decent choice. I might give it a try some other day.

Asian Cashew Chicken Salad (image provided by Wendy's)

Asian Cashew Chicken Salad (image provided by Wendy’s)

Giveaway

Now is the chance to try these salads yourself! We’re giving away $20 worth of Wendy’s gift cards to one lucky winner. To enter:

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[UPDATE: The contest is now closed. Congratulations to Megan on winning our signed copy of the new White Spot Cookbook!]

To celebrate its 85th anniversary this year, White Spot Restaurants has been working on a big project — its very first cookbook. On November 18, they have launched The White Spot Cookbook.

White Spot Cookbook Launch

The White Spot Cookbook features classic dishes and contemporary entrées inspired by local celebrity chefs, like John Bishop of Bishop’s – all specially tailored for the home cook. Fully illustrated with beautiful food photos and iconic images from its archives, it is a collection of the restaurant’s signature recipes, its story of innovation, and memories from staff and celebrity guests like Michael Bublé, Red Robinson, Pat Quinn and more.

The cookbook is authored by Kerry Gold, a journalist who has covered the stories of many musicians, pop culture icons and entrepreneurs. She is a regular contributor to the Globe and Mail and other publications; she also co-authored Michael Bublé’s 2011 memoir, Onstage, Offstage.

To help celebrate this milestone with White Spot, we are giving away a copy of this new cookbook, with an autograph from Kerry.

Kerry Gold signing the book

3 ways to enter (more…)

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