Thursday, 7 December 2017

Get Going: Commuting with Company Using GoManitoba

It’s no secret that I believe movement should be integrated into our daily lives. One of the ways to maintain long-term health is to create routines and habits to move our bodies while fulfilling other purposes at the same time. Like commuting. Everyday, I have to get to my studio somehow, so might as well use my body to it.

When I heard there was a new app that helped connect like-minded commuters to one another, I knew I had to give it a try. After all, it combines all of my favourite things – being outside, active commuting and meeting new people.

The Go Manitoba app is for all types of commuters – walkers, cyclists, transit takers and drivers. After entering your home and work/school destination, it provides a list of all potential commuters in your area. There are six cyclists and four walkers in my neighbourhood! I have never winter cycled—I’m thinking this would be a great opportunity to pair up with someone who can show me the ropes of winter cycling!

But for now, I was mostly interested in finding someone to walk with. So I arranged a walk with Kristin, who was also walking along the river trail to The Forks.

Winnipeg is such a small city—turns out I TOTALLY know Kristin. Ha! So we grabbed a coffee and made our way from the Village to downtown via The Forks on a sunny winter morning.

It was so nice to have someone to walk with! I’m mostly a solo walker, so it was great to have someone to chat with as a change of pace. If you wanted to start the habit of walk commuting, I think many people would benefit from having a walking buddy to help hold them accountable to the habit. When someone is expecting you—you have to show up!

For those not within walking distance of their workplace, the ride share option seems like it would be quite useful. Save money on parking, fewer cars on the road, and better for the environment. And, potentially…make a new friend!

Would you try active commuting if you had a buddy? Sign up for the Go Manitoba app and see who’s around you to try active commuting with!

Lindsay Somers is a Lifestyle Health Coach you can follow her on Twitter and Instagram. All photos by Janine Kropla.

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Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Holiday How-to: Hosting + Guesting

The holidays are prime time for hosting - and attending - all kinds of parties and gatherings.

Whether it's a potluck with friends, Christmas Eve with the in-laws or you're hosting your entire department for a cocktail party, there's a delicious and easy array of options available at The Forks Market to swing by and pick up on your lunch break, or have on-hand should the need arise.

Ellement Wine + Spirits

Bringing a bottle of wine is always a nice gesture. The folks at Ellement are super helpful and willing to help you find something that pairs well with whatever might be on the menu, as well as your budget.

To make things even easier, they also have red + white carrying cases made up and ready to go.

Empanadas and Company

Empanadas are always a hit. Pick them up frozen by the dozen, and bake them up at home!

Empanadas and Company makes some of the best, most authentic Argentine empanadas in the city and they have a huge variety of meat, seafood and vegetarian options. And don't skip the chimichurri.

Grass Roots Prairie Kitchen

Absolutely stop here if you are on charcuterie duty. They have dozens of options for pickled Manitoba veggies including hot peppers, beans, asparagus, beets, artichokes and much more.

And do not skip the freezer section, where you'll find many options for prepared meals and beautiful pastry-wrapped brie with delicious saskatoon or apricot, which you can bake at your destination, or, if you're hosting, plan to pull out of your oven all melty + golden brown just as your guests arrive.

Tall Grass Prairie Bakery

While sometimes it's hard to look (and smell) past the cinnamon buns, do, because there are so many high-quality and tasty meal or appetizer accompaniments hiding right before your eyes! From fresh-made hummus, dips or salads in the refrigerator case, to the perfect vehicle for your baked brie - crispy seasoned crostini or nutty rice crackers. Of course, dessert from Tall Grass Prairie is always a highlight - perhaps a vineterta, carrot cake, or Manitoba fruit or cranberry pecan pie would do the trick!

Zorba's Pizza

Zorba's sells some of the most delicious + potently garlicy tzatziki sauce in the city. Pair it with chicken souvlaki (be sure place your order in advance if you're ordering for more than a few), or pita wedges.

The Almond Tree

They offer almost every candy under the sun, but if you're picking up the tzatziki from Zorba's, be sure to grab some peppermints for your guests who choose to indulge!

Forks Trading Company

You'll need something to serve all your fancy treats on - pop into Forks Trading Company on the second floor of The Forks Market for locally made ceramics and an array of locally crafted wooden boards that will take your cheeses and charcuteries to the next level.

They also stock an impressive variety of fantastic host or hostess gift options - sauces, oils, bitters, fancy chocolates, re-fillable growlers - it's pretty much guaranteed you'll find the perfect gift.

Many of the other Forks Market restaurants and kiosks offer catering as well - call to place your order in advance, and pick up all your fixings under one roof this entertaining season!

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Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Pizza Magic: An Afternoon with Franco Pepe

Who is Franco Pepe?

Franco Pepe is where old school methods and modern vision meet to create magic – pizza magic.

He is a world-class pizzaiolo who comes from generations of master bakers in the little Italian town of Caiazzo.

He's turned this town of 6,000 residents into an international pizza hot-spot with his restaurant, Pepe in Grani. Every night, 400 people fill the restaurant to try his world-class pizza pie, and that's a LOT considering the tiny population of the town.

Why is his pizza so good?

For Pepe, it's all about the dough and the ingredients. In Italy, he focuses on sourcing from local farmers – oil made with the olives from Caiazzo, cured meats from black pigs bred in the area, the chickpeas from the hills surrounding Caiazzo, and onions from Alife.

The right stove is also essential to creating the signature Pepe flavour. That's why he's here – to test out Red Ember's Forza Forni oven, which was hand-built in Italy, of course, and is the only one of its kind in Winnipeg.

His pizza making is one part intuition and three parts research. Pepe investigates combinations of flour to make the perfect dough for the humidity and temperature of the environment. Then, once he has that perfect combination, he searches again through ancient and modern techniques of mixing, tossing, and kneading to make it even more delicious.

Can I try it?

You bet! On Saturday, November 18 from 2-4PM, Franco Pepe and a shipment of exclusive, high-quality ingredients direct from Italy, will be at The Forks Market, christening Red Ember's stunning pizza oven with his world-class pizza! Tickets include two slices of pizza and a glass of wine from the same region, paired by the folks at The Common.

(They're going quick!)

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