About Me

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Welcome to my blog! I am a Creative Communications student at Red River College. My blog will feature local specialty drinks and my own favourite recipes from home! Take a break from the books and check in every week for weekly specials and events, and holiday features!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Fine wines with Ginny Devine

Kim Crawford - Malborough Sauvignon Blanc - approximately $22.00 (MLCC)
This self proclaimed “Wild At Heart” sauvignon blanc is my mom’s favourite, and I’d by lying if I said we don't keep a bottle chilling in the fridge.
I have to say I still remember the first time I tried this wine a few years ago, and I was torn. I couldn’t decide if I liked it or not. Depending on the day I could take it or leave it, but now I love the sophisticated, sweet, yet slightly, “light to medium bodied aromatic wine taste.”  I guess you can say my mom really does live up to her name with her, "Devine" taste.

This wine includes aromas of gooseberry, passion fruit and citrus flavours. They suggest pairing with fresh oysters, vegetarian and/or asparagus dishes, or summer salads.

Spy Valley - Marborough Pinot Gris - approximately $23.00 (MLCC)
This New Zealand white wine is another that our cellar rarely goes without. They grow concentrated grapes on a stony riverbed terrace in our Marlborough vineyard.
“A complex mix of tropical, citrus and stonefruit with a gentle seasoning of allspice.
Palate. Lush ripe fruit opens the palate with classic flavours of pear and red apples. The structure gives a lasting finish reminiscent of nougat and apricot pith.”
Full bodied wines too much to handle?
How doI manage to go from from full bodied whites and rich reds, to juice in a wine bottle for $5.00? I still can’t figure it out. Every once in a while, when the Kim Crawford and Spy Valley is running low, I resort to a cheaper, yet surprisingly tasty alternative. I’m a student what can I say? I have a few favourites to share, and a few new ideas.

Girls Night Out

Girls Night Out was my latest experiment. I was intrigued by the fact that it is an Ontario based wine, but I have to admit I did buy it as a bit of a gag gift (strictly due to the name), for a male friend of mine. He was less than impressed when I showed up to the party and handed him the bottle in front of our friends.
We ended up all share the bottle and agreed that it was the furthest thing from tasting like wine, and actually tasted more of beverage you would have for breakfast. 
MLCC - Approximately $9.00 - $15.00
“For those informal and relaxed occasions, we’ve created Girls’ Night Out Tropical Tango: a refreshing, fruity, lighter alcohol flavoured wine beverage. Because...it’s hard to be serious in flip flops.”
Strawberry Samba: Strawberry and watermelon flavours.
Girls Night Out Tropical Tango - Grapefruit and Pineapple flavours with Lemonade
Citrusberry Twist: Blueberry and Blood Orange flavours.
Darkberry Duo: Raspberry and Blackberry flavours.

Relax Riesling -  $11.49
Chill and Unwind with my personal favourite!
The authentic German Riesling, RELAX Riesling, found in a sea blue bottle, is one of America's favourite Rieslings. RELAX® is made for people who want to spend less time worrying about wine and more time enjoying it.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Mo drinks fo Movember

Movember Mo’jito
Nothing screams Movember like a delicious mojito with a peachfuzz spin.

Ingredients (serves 4-5 staches)
            3 cups chopped ripe peaches
            1 teaspoon grated lime rind
            1 cup fresh lime juice (4 large limes)
            3/4 cup sugar
            1/2 cup packed mint leaves
            2 cups rum
            4 cups club soda
            Crushed ice
            Mint sprigs
            - Blend peaches in a blender or food processor; until pureed; discard solids.
            - Combine rind, lime juice, sugar, and mint in a large pitcher
              - Add peach puree and rum to pitcher
             - Stir in club soda. Serve over crushed ice
             - add mind sprigs

Sunday, November 13, 2011

My Winter Picks

This week I am going to talk about some of my favourite winter drinks to help you keep warm in our always fun Winnipeg winters. I will also share a couple of my favourite party drinks for your winter formals and holiday get togethers.

Winter and Christmas specials are back at Starbucks. 

1. Caramel Brûlé Latte
 The Caramel Brûlé is made with espresso and your choice of steamed milk or soy. They flavour the beverage with Caramel Brûlé sauce, and top it off with sweetened whipped cream and Caramel Brûlé topping

2. Eggnog Latte
 The Eggnog Latte is Starbucks longest running holiday special. It has been served for 24 years! Order it hot today or make it at home! Espresso and steamed eggnog, topped with some cinnamon or nutmeg on top!

3. Peppermint Mocha
The Peppermint Mocha is a mix of steamed milk, espresso, mocha sauce and peppermint flavouring. Believe it or not you can also make this one at home!

4. Gingerbread Latte
While you’re building your holiday gingerbread house, stop and pick yourself up a gingerbread latte to get in the holiday spirit. Steamed milk, espresso, and Starbucks’ gingerbread sauce.

my good friend Tammy enjoying her holiday special


If you’re in North Kildonan come see what you’ve bean missing at Mountain Bean.
Holiday spirit is in the air and our most popular blend; the holiday roast is back at Mountain Bean. Grab a cup to go, pick up a bag of beans for your family, or the always popular stocking stuffer.
The have three kinds of hot chocolate to choose from! Try the standard hot chocolate, caramel hot chocolate, or white hot chocolate, always topped with whipped cream!
1. Candy Cane Mocha/ White Mocha
The Candy Cane Mocha is similar to Starbucks peppermint mocha but I will argue more delicious. Mountain Bean offers their holiday mocha in both white chocolate and dark chocolate flavours, mixed with their candy cane flavouring, espresso, steamed milk, and topped with whipped cream and candy cane sprinkles.

2. Maple Latte
The holiday favourite and Canadian special is this maple treat! They use espresso, steamed milk and maple syrup flavouring. For an even different taste try it with soy milk!
3. Brown Sugar Latte
The brown sugar latte is a combination of steamed milk, espresso, and their secret brown sugar syrup recipe.
Mountain Bean also offers the Gingerbread Latte and Eggnog Latte.

try this stocking stuffer!
buy a $25 gift card for someone special and get a $5 for yourself!
buy a $50 gift card and get a $10 gift card to buy yourself a treat or two!
Earls Sour Grinch Martini                        
- 1 oz sour apple
- 1 oz vanilla
- 1/2 oz of pineapple juice
- 1/2 oz of cranberry juice
shake and pour over ice!


Oprah’s Pomegranate Martini

Photo: oprah.com

Servings: Serves 2
1 1/2 cups pomegranate juice
2 ounces Absolute Citron vodka or white tequila
1 ounce Cointreau liquor
Cup of ice
Splash of sparkling water (optional)
Squeeze of lemon (optional)
 Shake ingredients in a shaker and put in chilled martini glasses. Put pomegranate fruit into glass as garnish.

Use a premium tequila and white crème de cacao (as opposed to brown) for the best results. Serve a Frostbite on the rocks, filling the glass with cream and turning it into a blue White Russian from south of the border.
1 1/2 oz tequila
1/2 oz white crème de cacao
1/2 oz blue curaçao
1/2 oz cream 
Pour the ingredients and ice into a martini shaker.
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a maraschino cherry

photo courtesy of about.com

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Buddha Bev

Every year for my sister’s birthday we go to the Ichiban restaurant. We started going when she was 10 years old and since then it has become a tradition. 
She just turned 17 on Tuesday Nov. 8 and to celebrate of course we went to our regular spot. It’s always fun to step outside of the box and try something different. The tricks never get old; flipping dishes, tossing eggs, juggling knives and setting the tables on fire, well the grill anyways.
Even though Kate is underage, they still offer fun drinks for all ages! 

Order the drinks below or try Kate's seventeen year old special "The diet Pepsi panda"

Our No. 1 exotic fruit and Rum drink. Served in a BUDDHA MUG YOU GET TO KEEP!
Geisha Girl
A delicate temptress with Rum, Banana Liqueur and tropical juices in a 
A delicious blend of Melon Liqueur, Peach Schnapps, Rum with pineapple and orange juice 

Friday, November 4, 2011

Meyer Family Vineyards

My dad recently brought home a new BC treat! He was raving about meeting one of the owners of the vineyard, and raved about the wines. He brought home a case this weekend and of course I had to try some!
Meyer Family Vineyards have 19 acres under vine, and focus their attention on Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. “To produce the best wines we use the best barrels, absolute care and attention to detail and the best winemaking protocols. As you sip each bottle of wine from Meyer Family Vineyards, imagine that it reflects the soil, the sun, the people and the location of the beautiful Okanagan Valley.” 
My dad is a HUGE red wine connoisseur and brought home a case of the 2009 Okanagan Valley Pinot Noir. I usually prefer my white chardonnays or rose wines but I won’t pass up a free bottle! 
I have to warn you it is a very dry wine. It is made with “aromas of cherries and berry fruits intermingled with dried herbs and spice.” If you are in to the full bodied wines to go with a nice steak dinner this wine is a nice selection. It is reasonably priced at $25.00 a bottle.  
Check out their website and order your case today!

Check out the promo video!!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Check out my bloggy friends!

This week I am going to focus on a few of my favourite classmates blogs that I follow. It’s important to see what else exists in the blog world and I know a lot of people that put a lot of time and effort into their thoughts and posts. I’ll tell you a few of my favs and why they are worth checking out in your free time!

Teemu Salami

First of all I have to give a shout out to my good pal John and his blog Teemu Salami. He always features delicious recipe ideas and some awesome pictures of the cooking process. He has catchy blog titles and includes great detail. This past week he taught the blog world how to make his tasty pea soup! Such a great idea with the colder weather coming…In Winnipeg anyways! Definitely make sure to check out Teemu Salami if you’re looking for a meal idea!

Stepping away from the Blogger world, and enter the word press format of Kulture by Katherine Dow. I love Katherine’s blog for a few reasons. The layout is very clean and easy to read. I like that she uses a different blog format, and it’s something new for me to discover. I appreciate her honestly and fully developed thoughts and opinions. She takes a lot of time and care into her posts, and the passion in her writing jumps off the page. She covers a broad range of ideas and topics from her favourite local sushi review, to the always interesting life of Lindsay Lohan. Check out of the blogger network and check into the word press world of Katherine Dow’s ideas.

My good friend Tammy’s blog will leave you with nothing to whine about with her tasteful thoughts about different wines. I love her blog because similar to mine, she features new and interesting drink ideas. She reviews different kinds of wine, both white and red, and a range of price points. I appreciate layout and design choice. The blog is easy to read and I love her personal pictures. Earlier in October she took advantage of the warm fall weather and made her way to the cabin. She shared her weekend pictures and pick of the week: The Beach House. She always includes pictures of the bottles she is referring to, which makes it easier to identify when you go to pick up the bottle yourself! I always trust her wine sense.  Check it out!

This is the mother of all blogs. Definitely one of my favs! I love Monique’s blog posts because they are so current, and so frequent that you can read her daily thought process. Monique blogs about everything and has such great visuals with her professional pictures. Sometimes I just check out her blog to look at the gorgeous photography she includes! Check out her blog and learn a thing or two about the blogging world from this blog pro!


The only blog to check out if you have a passion for fashion, like my girl Lauren Best, is her very own blog, Dressed by Best. She has the hottest fashion gossip and all the latest styles. She is my very own living breathing vogue magazine... and has even more to offer then the September issue! Check her out, and you will not regret it!

Dressed by Best

Okay so food, drinks, art, and fashion aren't your thing? My last recommendation for today is my pal Mike Cuma's sports blog. Mike is the man when it comes to sports news! He is an expert Winnipeg Blue Bomber Blogger and a Winnipeg fueled Jet of sports information. He hosts a sports radio show called Two Jocks and a Jill on 92.9 KICK FM in Winnipeg. Check out his blog.

Winnipeg Sports Scene

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Winnipeg Blue Freeze

Okay so normally with the weather getting colder you think I would suggest a hot beverage to warm up to, BUT this week I am going to suggest a little cocktail idea to celebrate the big sports weekend in Winnipeg.

First off we have the Winnipeg Blue Bombers kicking off at CanadInns Stadium at 2:00pm on Saturday against the Montreal Alouettes. From there we will move our way downtown the the MTS Centre to watch the Winnipeg Jets go for the "W" against the Carolina Hurricanes. Can't wait for the Winnipeg blue action all weekend.

If you're watching the action from home with friends or celebrating afterwards, I have the best blue drink for you!


- 2oz Vodka (flavoured if desired)
     *I like Smirnoff Blueberry

- 1/2 can of 7up or Sprite

- large Mr. Freeze freeze pop (blue raspberry)

- mix the 7up or Sprite with vodka. DO NOT ADD ICE CUBES

- take the Mr. Freeze freeze pop and break into ice cube sized pieces and add to drink

- stir and enjoy!


Thursday, October 13, 2011

tea time!

I've got some more delicious Mountain Bean tea time ideas! With the weather getting colder try them hot to warm up, or quench your thirst drinking them chilled!

1. Canadian Maple:
black tea with real maple flakes!

2. Prickly Pear Sencha
Green tea, papaya bits, pineapple chunks, mango bits, sunflower blossoms, cornflower blossoms, melon flavour

3. Apricot Chai
Green tea, cinnamon sugar, cassia, peppercorns, fennel, apricot bits, ginger bits

4. Masala Chai
Cardamom, cinnamon, fennel star anise, peppercorn, orange peel, coriander seeds, ginger bits, assam black tiger flavour

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Skinny on Skinnygirl Margaritas

Bethenny Frankel of The Real Housewives of New York City has been working on her own line of pre mixed cocktails with fewer calories. They have only been available in the United States until this year and are still not available in many provinces including Manitoba.
"Skinnygirl Margarita" was her first pre mixed drink, and she just recently released "Skinnygirl Sangria." She is currently working on "Skinnygirl White Cranberry Cosmo."
Frankel writes,
"Everyone loves margaritas, but no one ways the guilt or the calories. That's why i created the Skinnygirl Margarita. At only 100 calories for a full 4 Oz serving, natural flavors, lightly sweetened with agave nectar and made with premium Blue Agave clear Tequila, Skinnygirl is the margarita you can trust," however the makers of Frankel's Skinnygirl Margarita are being sued for $10 million with claims that the drink was incorrectly marketed as being “all natural” with “no preservatives.” Apparently this is not the case.
So the real question is, how are these drinks despite this preservative controversy? Over the summer I spent some time in Washington and tried the margarita version. It was okay at best. I would get it again if in a rush and looking for a low cal fix. The bottle retails for approx. $15-20 American.

Click here to see how Frankel makes her margarita, and try it at home!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

SIDETRACKED - Page One: Inside The New York Times

Today's blog is a little different. Instead of a feature drink I have turned my attention to the feature film Page One: Inside The New York Times. What an incredible experience, to learn about what goes in to the making of a leading seven days a week newspaper.
I think the most interesting thing that I drew from this experience was learning about the company's transition of delivering news through social networking and different digital media outlets. Through watching this film you really start to realize how important it is to stay current through blogging, Twitter, LinkedIn etc if you want to working in the communication community.
I learned a lot through the interviews with Brian Stelter. It is fascinating to think that just through keeping an anonymous blog, at 21 years old he was discovered and is now working for such a huge media mogul. He stresses the importance of social media and staying current. At one point in the movie he talks about how he will go to work and overhear lunchroom chatter about a "breaking news story" that he read on Twitter at midnight, almost twelve hours before that. It just goes to show that by being involved in so many different social media networks it helps you to stay current on information, and gives you a leg up on your competition that might not be using social media techniques.
Stelter says in the movie "I don't know how anybody who is a reporter is not on Twitter." If I would have watching this film in August I wouldn't have had a clue what he is talking about. But with my first month of CreComm behind me, I completely agree. Twitter is just one of many ways that I stay connected now. Twitter is instant updates on anybody and anything that you need to follow (as long as they are on Twitter too!), and to be a great reporter you have to be in the loop.
The most inspiring person that the film follows is media desk reporter David Carr. In my experience he really stole the show with his whit and his triumphant success story. To go from being a drug addict and single parent on welfare raising two children, to a reporter for The New York Times, truly is an amazing accomplishment.
Overall I think that this film is definitely worth seeing, no matter what career path or interest you have. It is important to learn about the history of print news, and how these companies are surviving with the change over to digital media.