Night out at a Macallan Scotch Tasting

When I first got the invite to head down to a Scotch tasting being put on by the good folks at Macallan, I couldn’t help but think of Will Ferrel from Anchorman: “I love Scotch. Scotchy scotch scotch. Here it goes down, down into my belly..” I wasn’t that much of a fan of it by the end of the night, but it was a great time.

Throughout the night we had the opportunity to sample 10 year old, 12 year old sherry oak, 15 year old fine oak, 19 year old sherry oak and sherry oak cask strength scotch.

After the first sample, which we were allowed to try with the donation of a Macallan coin (not sure why), we were eventually ushered into the next room. With plates filled with cheese, meat slices and bread, we sat down at tables and began the official portion of the tasting with the Macallan brand ambassador.

It was great learning about the various ways Scotch is prepared, from the type of cask it’s stored in, to the best ways to drink it. Did you know there’s no reason to swirl Scotch in its glass? And to smell it, you should leave your mouth open so you’re not inhaling the alcohol, but the aroma? Also, casks used to make sherry are what they use to make the sherry oak Macallan Scotch; they over produce the stuff just so they can have casks to house the Scotch.

As the tastings progressed, each one got a bit too strong for me. I much preferred the 10 and 12 year, since they had less kick and more flavour. That being said, thanks to dropping my business card in the bag at the beginning of the night, I was lucky enough to be drawn for one of the door prizes. I got to walk home with a bottle of Macallan Sherry Oak Cask Strength Scotch, so I guess I have to toughen up and enjoy this one!

Here’s the evidence:

I’d like to thank Macallan and Matchstick for inviting me out to the event. I had a blast!

Did you make it out to the tasting? What did you think?

Breakfast at Cora’s

I’m a huge Cora‘s fan and many may have seen my tweets about the progress of the new Scarborough franchise’s construction. The first time I noticed it was when I was at Starbucks with my nephew and saw the familiar Cora sunshine logo in the window (Twitpic). After that I paid close attention each morning on my way into work since my bus passed by the plaza.

One day I noticed the sign had gone up on the restaurant, so I tweeted about that. With the help my friend Coleman (@ColeYeung) I found out it was opening on September 7, which ended with us planning our outing on Saturday with May (@aMAYzin). I can’t speak for them, but I had a great time. My usual meal, the Crepomelette was perfection on a plate, I got to spend time with two really cool people and last but not least, got to use Facetime on my iPhone 4 for the first time ever (albeit across the table with May).

Fast forward to Sunday morning and I’m back yet again, this time with my girlfriend. I promised I’d take her on a date for her first Scarborough Cora’s experience, so before heading down to the TIFF block party, we grabbed some food. I moved away from my delicious Crepomelette and had the Cora’s Special, which was filling but not the same. One added bonus to the breakfast was my new Foursquare Mayor title, but I’m not sure how long that will last, to be honest.

Long story short, it was a Cora’s-filled (and filling) fun time. If you haven’t been, go! Just go early or else you’ll have to deal with lineups.

Sushi is back on the menu

I’m a big fan of Japanese cuisine of all kinds, but mostly the raw variety. You can imagine my disappointment when each time I went to eat it I found myself getting sick afterward. I stopped limited my intake of the good stuff for a while until I came to the realization that it may have had something to do with the coffee I was drinking around mealtime.

So today I made sure to wait long after my morning cup (free at McDonald’s – take THAT Tim Hortons!) and went to Sushi Shop, a relatively new place that opened up on Bloor Street East, near Church (another location at Carlton/Yonge). After much deliberation I ordered the Double Salmon Maki. Similar to the picture above,  but this version had salmon draped on the outside of the roll. I’m a big fan of Salmon Maki so seeing this made me anxious to try it.

I’m not a connoisseur of cuisine or anything but the food was very tasty. I did takeout and was lucky enough that the roll was just being made, so I didn’t have to wait very long. If you decide to make it a sit down visit there are about five or so tables, though when I was there there was just one table taken up. The service was also great; there seemed to be a lot of people working such a small restaurant, but they were nice and helpful.

Next time I get a craving, I will definitely be heading back to Sushi Shop again in the near future and It turns out my body hates sushi and I’m quite possibly allergic to it (maybe that whole high mercury level thing?) so I won’t be eating it again (sad face). HOWEVER…  if you’re in the area I don’t see why you wouldn’t drop by.

My love/hate relationship with Roll Up The Rim at Tim Hortons

Tim Hortons Roll Up The Rim

Okay if you know me you know it’s mostly a love relationship.

My coffee intake is a well-known addiction,and this time of the year is like Coffee Christmas (or something – I’m coining it either way).  I don’t want to give the impression I’m drinking 5-10 cups a day; it’s a max of three and I try to make the 2nd and 3rd cup, a medium.

Slightly off topic, but even temptations to go into McDonald’s and get a free coffee from them for two weeks won’t sway me. I have this freak brand loyalty to Tim Hortons and I have yet to be persuaded to go elsewhere for my day-to-day fix. Starbucks is great for the occasional fancy beverage, and while at Chapters-Indigo looking through books, but otherwise I like the cost/taste of Tims.

My hate for this month-long treasure hunt comes out when I impulsively tally my score. I blame my competitive nature, but it gets on my nerve sometimes and is actually quite gross to know how much I’ve drank (and how much $$$ I’ve spent). When it comes to prizing, there just isn’t enough coffee winning cups out there (yes I know that’s their plan). I’m actually equally disappointed to win a donut as I am to lose completely.

When the promotion is up at the end of the month I’ll post an update of how I did. It’ll either be a happy or depressed post, nothing in the middle. Until then, here’s a funny clip from The Rick Mercer Report back in 2008 talking about what prizes lie under what rim:

And for those of you having trouble actually rolling up the rim to win. Here’s an instructional video:

Fruit + Safety = Nutrition

If you follow me on Twitter you may remember my tweets about bringing my lunch to work only to find a bruised banana when it came time to eat. Well you may also remember me going out and buying a banana guard, or as Kitchen Stuff Plus calls it, a “Silo Plastic Banana Container“, out of desperation.

I think I bought it sometime in late August and I haven’t had a bruised banana since!

As the title says: FRUIT + SAFETY = NUTRITION

If you’re a frequent transit taker who constantly experiences bruised fruit, then I highly recommend you picking this one up! If you’re not a banana fan, there’s this site that offers guards for the fruit of your choice.

P.S. Don’t think I didn’t notice all the “That’s what she said” jokes. I mean come on now…

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