Posted in Canada, Daddy, family, Food, Life, Parenting, The Urban Daddy, Toronto, travel

Mother’s Day, Travel and Food


This Mother’s Day represents the first Mother’s Day without my mother, who passed away last July after a brief, but fierce battle with liver cancer.

I don’t need one day to remember her – Her memory is with me every day, especially when I see the numerous things that my kids do, that I wish her, and my father, were here to see.

Love you, Mom.

That aside, I’m fortunate to have another amazing mother in my life, and that is the mother of my children. She’s been the best mother on the planet for my kids – besides the fact that they (thankfully) get their good looks from her – and possibly their smarts from here, but I digress. She’s been a rock for them and I’ll be forever thankful to her.

One thing that she’s instilled in our family is a love of travel.

As a family, we’ve travelled to the following locations;

  • Eastern Canada (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, PEI)
  • US (mainly NY, but also Florida and Georgia)
  • Ecuador (and Galapagos. Quito, Cuenca, Guayaquil)
  • France (mainly Paris with the kids, but most of the country over 4 or 5 visits)
  • Holland (Amsterdam, Zaanse Schans, Edam)
  • Belgium (Bruges, Brussels, Ghent)
  • Japan (Tokyo & Kyoto)
  • Viet Nam (Hanoi, Ha Long Bay, Ho Chi Minh City, Hoi An, Hue, Da Nang)
  • Thailand (Bangkok, Chaing Mai)
  • Cambodia (Siem Riep, Phnom Pehn)
  • Iceland
  • Spain (Barcelona, Madrid, Seville, Girona)
  • Ireland (Dublin)
  • England (London)
  • Italy (Cinque Terra, Rome, Venice, Florence, Milan, Pisa, Lake Como, San Gimignano)
  • Taiwan (Tai Pai)
  • Indonesia (Bali, Ubud, Jimbaran)
  • Central America (Costa Rica, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Dominican, Bahamas, Puerto Rico)

For Mother’s Day this year, I wanted to do something special for her, so I asked my kids to talk about their favourite places they’ve travelled to, and their favourite foods from those locations.

Taking that information, I then created a menu, of sorts, and attempted to create (or buy) foods which could be a reminder of the joy we experienced travelling as a family – knowing also that there will likely be no travel for quite a while, as things presently stand.

I bought some Japanese, Italian, and Thai treats, and I bought plain croissants, chocolate croissants, Camembert, dragon fruit, a sourdough baguette, and a soy milk drink.

I then attempted to make savory mushroom crepes, frites with a garlic aioli, and French macarons with a vanilla buttercream filling.

Well, the macarons caused me a whole heck of a lot of problems, so I ran out of time and steam, and at 3am, gave up on the frites.

The crepes were not that much of a big deal – I’ve made them many times before, beginning in high school when I took a baking class instead of Industrial Arts for a 3rd time. I earned the 2nd highest mark in the class – and I used the skills that I learned in class to bake quite a bit growing up.

I never really cooked that much, even though I enjoyed it. I think along the way I just got complacent and lazy, having a spouse who cooks creatively and very well, I lost my ability to cook. I want to get that back, so this was the start of hopefully many more attempts at cooking delicious food.

Here is how my macaron turned out. I coloured the shell and the filling different shades of purple.

Not bad for a first attempt, eh?

Happy Mother’s Day to the mother of my children, and to all mothers, everywhere.

Posted in Parenting

Hello America… It’s Canada Calling!


Hello America.

Hi. How ya doing?

It’s Canada.

The country above you that you are hopefully not going to want to place a wall between.

Yeah.

It’s us, eh!

Just wanted to let you know a couple of things, this Thursday, September 12th, 2019.

  1. Our hearts are with you today, tomorrow, and yesterday – September 11th. The attack on the World Trade Centre was not just an attack on the US, but an attack on democracy, freedom and all of North America. We’re here for you, always and forever.
  2. In 40-days, were going to boot our Prime Minister from power because he lies, and obstructs justice. Our election was called yesterday. You don’t need 2-years to figure this out. You  can do it! It’s called democracy. I think that you need more options for your people than just 2 parties. In your country, you’re either a Republican or a Democrat. In Canada, you can be a Conservative, Liberal, New Democrat, and more recently, a Green. Heck, we even have a further right party called the People’s Party or something like that, and we have Liberatians, Communists, a  Marxist-Leninist Party, and a whole bunch of other parties.  We get this whole thing wrapped up in a couple of months. Not years.
  3. On a more serious, note, we’re coming for the Stanley Cup.! We have your US Open Tennis Championship and your Larry O’Brian NBA Championship. The Stanley Cup will be ours again soon. 
  4. As for your gun-play, I’m super disappointed that it’s making it’s way up here in Canada. Shame on you guys for not dealing with this and making us do it.  Understanding that the Right to Bear Arms was a constitutional right to allow citizens of the US to take up arms against your government way back in the day, there is absolutely no reason to have them now. You don’t need to take someone’s life, nor do you need to keep a weapon in your pants in case something comes up. It’s time to grow up, stop fear mongering people and deal with criminals who access and use weapons with disdain and not make them heroes for your distorted cause. 

Posted in Canada, Food, Life, news, The Urban Daddy, Toronto

What is the World? Canada Dry Ginger Ale Sued!


Let’s follow this thread for a minute;

Canada Dry ginger ale has no ginger: suit – New York Post

https://nypost.com/2018/07/30/canada-dry-ginger-ale-is-a-sham-suit/

 

A customer couldn’t find any ginger in Canada Dry ginger ale, so she’s

Jul 31, 2018 – Julie Fletcher filed a federal lawsuit against the owners of Canada Dry ginger alealleging the beverage does not contain ginger..

Woman Sues Canada Dry Over Lack of Ginger in Ginger Ale | Fortune

fortune.com › Briefing › canada dry
Jul 31, 2018 – Woman Sues Canada Dry Over Lack of Ginger in Ginger Ale … compound comprised predominately of flavor extracts not derived from ginger, …
Canada Dry Ginger Ale Can’t Claim It’s ‘Made With Real Ginger’: U.S. …
3 days ago – Cans of Canada Dry Ginger Ale at a bottling plant in Louisville, Kentucky, on … it is in everyone’s best interest to get on board for a more prosperous Canada. There is no one group that is entitled to disrupt this great country.
Canada Dry | Made From Real Ginger
Official Canada Dry site. Product information, product ingredients, history, recipes. Features ‘Something Good’ everyday!
Huh?
Canada Dry will still tell Canadians it is ‘Made from Real Ginger’ — just not Americans
National Post·1 day ago
So can you follow this?
Canada Dry, the “Champagne of Ginger-ales” and for whom the street “Champagne” was named in Toronto because the Canada Dry bottle plant was at the corner of Champage and Finch Avenue West, has no real ginger in it, thanks to an American woman who was shocked to find this out.
She sued.
Canada Dry lost.
In the US, they cannot claim to be made from Real Ginger, but if you look at the Canadian link… Clearly not the case in Canada, or we just know better and don’t need to sue them to have that removed / altered / adjusted.
All this chaos is making me thirsty, and since all publicity is good publicity, I’m going to crack open a bottle of the “Champagne of Ginger Ales” or has someone sued them over that too?
Posted in Canada, Community, Daddy, family, government, Parenting, Toronto, travel, urbandaddyblog, US

It’s All My Fault!


canadian iglooIt’s all my fault.

Not the fault of the many who removed their snow tires, or put away their shovels, but my fault that it’s snowing in Toronto on April 4th.

And for that, I’m sorry.

You see we have family just south of the border in The United States of Donald Trump, and for what seems like the past couple of weeks, that area has been pounded by snow.

Snow.

I know, crazy, eh?

Since it is my long-lasting belief that most Americans believe that north of the boarder Canada is always covered in snow, I mockingly sent a Facebook message to said relatives telling them that they needed to move to Toronto, not the Southern US because it was plus 8 here and we hadn’t seen snow in quite a while.

I mean really…

Spring weather in Toronto.

Snow in the US…

In April.

 

Clearly Trump saw my message and commended Mother Nature to sick light snow flakes on the City along with 90 km/h winds.

 

Heck… I’ll take the little bit of snow and I’m okay that Americans generally think we live in igloos in exchange for not having to arm our school teachers with guns, and not electing incompetent leaders…

Wait.

Disregard the leader comment, and let’s stick with no guns!

Brrrrrr.

Posted in Canada, Daddy, family, Food, health, money, Parenting, The Urban Daddy, Toronto, travel

Travel With Kids! Yeah! As Much As Possible, Please!


I opened my Twitter feed this morning (I’m @urbandaddyblog if you’re not following me yet – and if you’re not… SHAME!) and the first tweet that greeted me was this one;

“Up next with on Travel Edition. Are healthy eating and traveling even possible with hotel stays and security restrictions? Tune in to hear more…

Then I thought about all of the travel we have done over the years with the kids and food, make that nutritious food, has never been an issue… anywhere!

By “travel”, I’m not just referring to East York, Mississauga, or GASP, Richmond Hill – which if you live in or near the Greater Toronto Area, you will know take 40 minutes to an hour no matter what time of day, and literally used to take “5-minutes” when I was younger…

Here are some of the places we’ve taken the kids (current ages are 8-13);

  • New Brunswick
  • Nova Scotia
  • PEI
  • England
  • France
    • Paris 3 times
    • Drove the country heading south
  • Spain
    • Barcelona
    • Madrid
    • Seville
    • Drove the country / took trains
  • Italy
    • Venice
    • Rome
    • Amalfi Coast
    • Florence
    • Drove the country / took trains
    • Tuscany
  • Ecuador
  • Galapagos Islands
  • Ireland
  • Switzerland
  • Belgium
  • Holland
    • Amsterdam
    • Ghent
    • Edam
  • Florida

I’m sure I’ve forgotten some…

We’re big into the experience, so I’m not including cruises, but we backpack – take the least amount possible, and when we look for places to stay, there are no hotels.  We want to experience our destination as the locals would, which is why Air BnB is great for us.

With Air BnB not only do we save on accommodations because 5 people at hotels require an extra room, or extra charge, but we ensure we have WiFi, Air Conditioning and most importantly a kitchen!

With a kitchen, the food, especially healthy food, never becomes an issue.   We are so lucky to have a spouse who is almost certified as a nutritionist, and who is so incredibly organized that when we (read: she) plans our accommodations and itinerary around grocery stores so we can gather the food we need for breakfasts, lunches and dinners.

Without having to rely on eating out all the time, we save money, and eat much better and much healthier, plus we have snacks available for taking with us on our excursions / day-trips.

That’s how we get to experience the world with children, while eating healthy, and having a ton of fun.