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Loving Spring Sunrises

7 Apr

By Travel Diva Jenna

The past three mornings along Ontario’s West Coast have been absolutely glorious! Bright sun and warmer weather is the best.April Sunrise

Spring is here!

7 Apr

by Travel Diva Jenna

Hiking Guide Cover

Finally we have reached temperatures above 10 degrees! I am excited to get out and Hike this year. Did you know that Huron has 29 hiking trails? What a great opportunity we have in the area! I haven’t decided what trail to start with, so please send me your recommendations. Take a look at the Hiking guide here: www.hikehuron.ca

Winterlicious at the Black Dog in Bayfield

5 Mar

By Travel Diva Jenna Ujiye

BlackDogWinterlicious10

Before I tell you about my most recent Winterlicious I wanted to make sure that you all know that there are only 4 days left to try out these amazing 3 course meals for $29.00. To find menus and information visit: www.tasteofhuron.ca

Last Friday I headed out to the Black Dog Pub in Bayfield to try out their Winterlicious menu. My three friends Ang, Nisa and Nat joined me and it turned out to be a wonderful evening! I was the only person to order the specific Winterlicious meal and it was yummy!

One of the great things about this facility is the bar offereings, many choices in liquors, beers and wines. Now there was a confusion with the first course, I read the cheddar and ale portion of the menu and thought it was soup. Well I think I need a lesson in reading, cause the first course was actually Traditional Potted Cheddar with Mill Street Organic Tankhouse Ale and Toasted Olive Bread. So it turned out to be cheese and bread. The cheese was very strong and had a unique flavor and the olive bread was nice.

Cheese and Bread

Traditional Potted Cheddar with Mill Street Organic Tankhouse Ale and Toasted Olive Bread

Best Beet Salad

Best Beet Salad

Village Salad

Village Salad

Nat ordered the village salad and Ang got the beet salad, both of which I have had and I must say that the beet salad is one of my favourite courses at the Black Dog.

The second course that I had was Pan-Seared Metzger Smoked Pork Chop with Herbed Stuffing, Mustard-Cider Cream, Braised Red Cabbage and Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes. The mashed potatoes where so creamy and even with all of the food on the plate I wanted more!

Metzger's Pork Chop

Metzger’s Pork Chop

We joked about having favourites and Nat and Ang both got what they normally get. It’s great to try something new, but if you love something it is sometimes what you have to go with. Nat got the curry, which is a favourite of many and Ang got the weth’s mushrooms on toast with brie, which looked super scrumptious. Nisa tried something she had never had before the pasta e verdure, which comes in a lovely cream sauce and has weth’s mushrooms in it as well!

Weth’s Mushrooms on toast with brie

Weth’s Mushrooms on toast with brie

Vegetable Curry

Vegetable Curry

Pasta E Verdure

Pasta E Verdure

For the final course my mouth was exploding with love for the Apple Fritter with Vanilla Ice Cream and Butterscotch Sauce. My friends Selena and Meighan were both trying out the Winterlicious the same night and both stopped by the table before leaving to pump me up about the Apple Fritter. It really was a treat. Nat and Nisa both got the sticky toffee pudding, we’ve had it before and it is amazing! Overall we had a wonderful evening with superb food!

Apple Fritters with Vanilla Ice Cream and Butterscotch Sauce

Apple Fritters with Vanilla Ice Cream and Butterscotch Sauce

Sticky Toffee Pudding

Sticky Toffee Pudding

The Black Dog Village Pub and Bistro

5 MAIN STREET N., BAYFIELD ONTARIO – PHONE (519) 565-2326

http://blackdogpubbistro.ca

Eddingtons Winterlicious

1 Mar

By: Diva Jenna Ujiye

The Divas at Eddingtons

The Divas at Eddingtons

This week has been a perfect week to get to a couple more Winterlicious events. On Wednesday five of us divas went for a wonderful meal at Eddingtons in Exeter. Karen, Claire, Christine, Trista and I had a marvelous time!

Trista, Karen and I all decided to go with the Winterlicious menu. Eddingtons had two choices for the starter and main, here is the menu:

Starter – Local atibo white bean and root vegetable chowder. Or Late harvest kale and beet salad. Parmigianino, hardboiled egg, sunflower seeds and sundried cranberry, tossed in a local garlic dressing.

Bean Soup

Bean Soup

Kale and Beet Salad

Kale and Beet Salad

Main – Local Pork shoulder braised in an apple cider vinegar served on a caramelized onion and blue cheese tart accented with a Grand Bend potato and root vegetable medley. Or  Supreme breast of chicken stuffed with fresh herbs, roma tomato and flavorful Italian sausage glazed in a Chianti red wine and shallot reduction. Served with garlic mashed potatoes and market vegetables.

Pork Shoulder

Pork Shoulder

Chicken Supreme

Chicken Supreme

I had the  soup to start and the pork as my main and they were both great. The bean chowder had a nice mild flavor letting the beans and vegetables show their true flavours. The pork was super succulent and tender.

Claire and Christine both decided to get their courses off of the menu. Christine started with the Thai Chicken Salad and Claire had the martini scallops, both starters looked yummy! They both got the gourmet macaroni and cheese, and my the silence at the table you could tell they liked it!

Thai Chicken Salad

Thai Chicken Salad

Martini Scallops

Martini Scallops

To end the meal Karen Trista and  I had Sticky toffee pudding cake with a coastal coffee caramel sauce, Christine had and apple dessert and Claire had the flourless chocolate cake… Wow, it was amazing!

Apple Cake

Apple Cake

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Sticky Toffee Cake

Sticky Toffee Cake

The Taste of Huron Winterlicious dining program is running until March 9 at various restaurant around Ontario’s West Coast, if you want more information, visit here: www.tasteofhuron.ca

Eddingtons of Exeter:

Address: 527 Main St S, Exeter, ON N0M 1S1

Phone:(519) 235-3030

Website: http://www.eddingtons.ca/

Winterlicious at Benmiller Inn

23 Feb

By: Travel Diva Jenna

Benmiller Winterlicious - Happy Divas

The Group – Ang, Sarah, Jenna, Monica, Kate, Courtney, Griffyn, Katie and Melissa.

I finally got out to my first Taste of Huron Winterlicious event at Benmiller Inn and was it ever delicious! What made the dinner even better was that 7 other divas joined me on this culinary evening, oh plus our token “dude” Gryffin! The Winterlicious events are such a great opportunity for people to try out menus at restaurants across Ontario’s West Coast, Prix Fixe menus, 3 courses and the cost is $29!!!

Benmiller Inn wowed us from the start, before our first course came they served us a mushroom wonton amuse bouche, which indeed made our mouths happy! Of course the whole menu is available during Winterlicious, but all of us decided to go with the special. Between all of us we ordered one of everything. I have always had a tough time getting great photos at Benmiller, since the lighting is low and I never bring extra lights, luckily Katie Schedlich was along with us and had the idea to use our phone lights to make the photos looked posed and perfect… so much better than a flash! Below are the menu options and photos of the food:

Benmiller Winterlicious - Amuse Bouche

Above – Amuse Bouche – Mushroom Stuffed Wontons

 Starter

Benmiller Winterlicious - Duck RaviolliBenmiller Winterlicious - Pork Soup

Everspring farm Muscovy duck confit ravioli, honey beets, sea buckthorn mirin glaze.
or
Slow roasted Metzgers pork, udon noodle, dashi broth, chili oil, scallion

Benmiller Winterlicious - Fish and ChipsBenmiller Winterlicious - Gnocchi

Main

Ausable gold potato gnocchi, Wild boar with cranberry & Berkshire pork sausage, Weth shiitake cream sauce
or
Panko crusted yellow perch goujons, Garlic box scape caper tartar sauce, pomme pont neuf

Finish

 Winterlicious - Poached PearWinterlicious - Cheese Plate

Blyth farms chevre with spiced pecan and Inn made lavash
or
Prosecco poached pear, vanilla ice cream, Johnston’s Apiary honey drizzle

I chose the Roast pork soup, Gnocchi and the poached pear, all of which were wonderful. To be honest I was full after the soup, it had three large pieces of pork that could be a regular serving for a dinner! But of course I was able to find room for the creamy gnocchi and the poached pear. Out of the whole meal I would have to say that my favourite dish was the gnocchi; the wild boar sausage mixed with the perfectly cooked cream sauce and potato dumplings made my taste buds jump for joy!

We left Benmiller feeling happy, full and excited for the next adventure. During the next week I will be heading to Eddingtons and the Black Dog for more Winterlicious dining… I can’t wait! The Taste of Huron Winterlicious runs until March 9, and there are 9 restaurants taking part! For menus and more information visit: www.tasteofhuron.ca

 

 

 

Foodie in Benmiller

19 Jul

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By:  Diva Jenna Ujiye

An inn, restaurant, spa and retreat, The Benmiller Inn and spa truly is a gem on Ontario’s West Coast. If you haven’t noticed, I am a foodie and I typically plan my trips around where I am going to eat! Not long ago my friend Rebecca asked if I wanted to head out to Benmiller for a quick lunch. Yay! Of course I wanted to go. I knew chef Spencer would have many items on the menu that I would want to try.

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I ordered the reuben panini and Rebecca got the smoked cheddar chicken sandwich. As you can see from the photo, the food smelled so good that we ate first and then remembered to take the photo. After we finished we ran in to dining room manager Marianne and she had not started her meal, so I was able to capture the beauty of the plated food. She was having mushroom flatbread and seared flat iron steak with frites.

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I took some photos of the menu and wanted to try out everything! Now I know I have written about the Benmiller Inn before, so if you read this blog often you will also know that Benmiller has many unique rooms, a pool, meeting rooms and a spa. A perfect oasis for a vacation at any time of the year! They also have some great events, so check out their website here: http://benmiller.ca

Benmiller is located just outside of Goderich in Benmiller Ontario, along the beautiful Maitland River:

Benmiller Inn and Spa
81175 Benmiller Line
Goderich, Ontario
Canada N7A 3Y1

Tel: (800) 265-1711 or (519) 524.2191
Fax: (519) 524.5150

Naftels Creek Family Hike

18 Jul
hiking

Hiking at Naftels Creek

By Diva Jenna Ujiye

At almost mid-point between Bayfield and Goderich Ontario there is a wonderful hiking trail called Naftels Creek ( http://www.hikehuron.ca/site/?page_id=53 ). I had been discussing an outdoor fun photo shoot with my friend Dana for a month or so and we finally decided on Naftels Creek trail.

Dana, her husband Dave, their son Cullen and I had a great hike and so much fun searching for lady bugs, fish and other animals! I hadn’t been out to the trail in a while and it seemed a bit different than in the past. Of course, I forgot my hiking guide so I tried to take note of the trail markers along the trail. Well, within about 1 kilometer I totally forgot what colour we were following, so we ended up hiking the whole trail… plus some!

Naftels Creek Hiking

Naftels Creek Hiking

Naftels Creek Hiking

Naftels Creek Hiking

The trail meanders through mixed conifer plantations, hardwood and wetland areas. It is a great length for young families and even strollers would make it through the majority of the trail.

Naftels Creek Hiking

Naftels Creek Hiking

Naftels Creek Hiking

Naftels Creek Hiking

This trail is only one of the 28 that exist in Huron County, so if you are interested in Hiking, make sure to pick up copy of the Ontario’s West Coast hiking guide or visit it online: www.hikehuron.ca

danaanddave-1 danaanddave-53

Information about the Trail:

Distance
3.2 km loop

Difficulty Level
Level 2 – moderate, wear comfortable, sturdy shoes

Trail Use
Walking, Skiing, Pets on leash

Trail Hazards
Poison ivy in wet areas, steep hill on blue trail

Trail Surface
Natural surface, some boardwalks

Cost for Using Trail
None

Driving Directions
Located about 7 km south of Goderich on Hwy. #21. Parking is available just off Hwy. #21 at the trail access point – # 79152. Between Union Rd. and Kitchigami Rd.

Inukshuk’s and New Shoes

18 Jul

IMG_4865

By Diva Jenna Ujiye

Last month my friend Adrienne invited me to take part in an Inukshuk building workshop at Lakewood Garden Centre. All I thought was, who wouldn’t want to do this? The workshop was on a Saturday morning and a whole crew of us ended up going. Brenda, Mickey, Jan, Laurie, Hannah, Cathy Ader and I, made for quite the bunch to deal with! I really didn’t know what to expect. I had only been to Lakewood one other time.

IMG_4822 IMG_4819
I expected the typical garden centre items; flowers, rocks, some garden décor. What I didn’t expect was jewelery, clothing and shoes, a large store full of my favourite things! Before I even started the workshop I had spent $80 on store items including some awesome fancy looking Croc sandals.

IMG_4838 IMG_4844

The workshop cost $25.00 and it was well worth it. Our instructor showed us some examples of inukshuks and gave us some background on the garden centre itself. Then it was up to each of us to decide what we wanted to do. There were piles of rocks and we all started picking out what we wanted. We all had a blast and helped each other lift and pick out rocks and watched as our inukshuks all turned into unique pieces of art. Hannah, who is 12, got to make a miniature inukshuk which ended up looking like the ones you see on TV!

IMG_4830 IMG_4843

Lakewood Garden Centre  runs a variety of workshops each year including: preparing your lawn for success, self-watering patio containers, living log, fairy garden building, painting and others.  If you are looking for more information about Lakewood Garden Centre, visit: http://www.lakewoodgardencentre.com/

Lakewood Garden Centre
72856 Bluewater Hwy. (Hwy 21 at St. Joseph)
ZURICH, Ontario  N0M 2T0
519.236.4479

A superb inn on the shores of Lake Huron

17 Jul

IMG_4632IMG_4650

By: Diva Jenna Ujiye

While Travelling around Ontario’s West Coast I see many different and unique accommodations from B&B’s, to hotels and motels, Inns, cottages and resorts. A couple of weeks ago I was invited to attend a meeting at the Pine Dale Motor Inn in Grand Bend, Ontario.

IMG_4644 IMG_4653

I have driven past this location many times and wondered what it was like. Well,  I was shocked at the variety of rooms and amenities that this Inn has to offer. They have done extensive updates in the past couple of years and all rooms have 4 pc. bath, individual climate control, fridge, microwave, clock-radio, hairdryer,coffee-maker and cable T.V.

IMG_4638 IMG_4652

They also have a great indoor salt-water  pool and amazing gardens as well as a picnic and BBQ areas for guests to use. They are located just a short walk to restaurants, downtown Grand Bend and to Lake Huron. I didn’t get to stay overnight on this visit, but I plan to in the future.  The rates are quite affordable offering both hotel and motel rooms with prices ranging from $89 – $220 per night. For more information, visit: http://www.pinedale.on.ca

Pine Dale Motor Inn
107 Ontario Street South
Grand Bend, Ontario
Canada   N0M 1T0

519 238 2231
1-888-838-Pine (7463)

18 holes and a great sunset

14 Jun

By Diva Jenna Ujiye

Cuzzy memorialSunset Golf

Last weekend I played in the Cuzzy Bear Memorial golf tournament at Sunset Golf just north of Goderich. This tournament is in memory of Aaron Cousins, who was killed in a car accident in 2005,  each year we create great memories and help to support Goderih minor baseball.

I only golf a couple of times a year and would typically only prefer to play 9 holes. Tournaments are great though, as they are best ball (use the best ball from 4 players) and you never feel too much pressure from the other players! I entered the tournament with my boyfriend Taylor and friends Lori and John and we had a really fun time.

Taylor and Jenna Lori and Jenna

The greens and tee-offs seemed to be really well manicured and the customer service was great! The Gravett family showed us great hospitality and a well serviced day. This course is 18 holes and they have a nine hole Par 3 course as well! By the end of the day I was still happy and even inspired my friend Amy to do cartwheels on the fringe before teeing off! Huron County has 18 golf courses throughout the area so please check out www.golfhuron.ca .

Sunset golfIMG_4717

Sunset Golf Info:

Phone:   (519) 524-8047
E-mail: golf@sunsetgolfclub.com

7 km North of Goderich
33937 Golf Course Rd.
Goderich, ON   N7A 3Y3
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