What’s Up – Week 20: New Things, Old Things and Catching Up

20 weeks into 2019 already! Spring is finally showing its face and as I go out to do more things, some of these bits might get slowed down a little bit. Its still a little too early to know but I’ve been transitioning between different elements of life and somewhat swapping my routine a little. As some TV series also winds down, I’m thinning it out a little to try to get some extensive backlog out of the way. It won’t reflect here but gradually, as Montreal events start coming into play as well.

READING

crossline

Currently reading: Crossline by Russ Colchamiro

I’ve been getting hit with some spring fatigue so I’m still reading Crossline at a very turtle pace, which needs to be remedied because I have another book lined up that needs to get started by the end of next week. Crossline is pretty good but I’ve been also watching movies with similar themes that I’m not sure if I’m getting an overdose of sci-fi. Keeping an open mind and I’m only slightly past the quarter mark in the book so its just the set-up phase done and things are started to unravel.

PLAYING

The Witness

Currently playing: The Witness

For a moment, I honestly thought this week would be no gaming at all except maybe some mobile game titles to fill up some space here. Those are going well but I like to keep it a little mysterious for the mobile games roundup segment. However, the husband started up The Witness last night and we played a few puzzles together, which was pretty cool. I’m probably going to start it up on my own also and play some of the puzzles also.

WATCHING

  • The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (2013)
  • Europa Report (2013) – rewatch – Review

I’m not going to lie that this list kind of probably should add in rewatching Jaws 2, 3 and The Revenge to refresh my memory for the Triple feature HERE. However, I won’t because I honestly just played it in the background to remind of the story and dialogue and wasn’t actually looking at the screen. So we are left with two films. One is a rewatch for an upcoming podcast which is Europa Report, a little found footage-esque sci-fi film. Trying to get things done in advance is always a good thing. And as I’m still a tad behind on the double features, I’m also trying to save up some more movies gradually and moved onto the M selection. I’m using a general of movies in my list that are rated badly but still I would like to watch so I ended up checking out The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. I love Shadowhunters, the TV series thats in its last season (if it hasn’t already ended) so seeing how the movie interpretation would be. I’ll share my thoughts on it in the double feature but lets just say, when the background world or lore is too heavy, its hard to just rally it all up in 2 hours and hope that its not convoluted.

BINGING

Put Your Head On My Shoulder

  • Dream Space (Season 1, 2019)
  • Put Your Head On My Shoulder (2019)

Currently binging: Le Coup de Foudre, Go Fridge (Season 5), Great Escape, Produce Camp 2019, Nailed It (Season 3)

Two TV series done this week. I’m feeling quite accomplished. One of them is a Chinese social variety show called Dream Space which is something like a matchmaking show which takes a look at romance and opening up a space for single women and men to focus solely on their romantic sides for a few days. I’ll write about this variety show even if I don’t for others because its worth it. I have a few thoughts on this one and they are having a season 2 already getting new candidates so I’m pretty excited to see how it changes. As for dramas, Put Your Head On My Shoulder wrapped up as well and its a nice little dose of cuteness along the line of the A Love So Beautiful universe and they make a point at the final episodes to address that to clear up some of the suspicion that people have been having. More on that in the TV binge at some point….

Most of the things currently binging is still very much the same. The only new addition is Nailed It which released its Season 3 on Friday. Because there were too many other stuff to take care of, its probably one of the first seasons that I didn’t finish it in the first weekend but we’re about 6 episodes in so its not a whole lot left to watch but its still very fun. The only other one I want to talk about is Great Escape which is heading into some more intense escape room experiences and its getting very intriguing to say the least.

That’s it for this What’s Up!
What have you been reading/playing/watching/binging?

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Restaurant: Nom Nom Cantine (Montreal, Canada)

You can see the last visit to Nom Nom Cantine recap HERE.

Nom Nom Cantine

I recommended Nom Nom Cantine as our co-worker lunch spot last week and we ended up going there. I’ve never had the lunch menu before and only been there once before. The restaurant decor was still the same and the atmosphere is still very relaxing.

Appetizers

Nom Nom Cantine

Chicken Dumplings

The most impressed dish I had in my last visit was the dumplings so this time, I came back to try them again. These ones are steamed and the sauce is a little sweet and a think maybe a tad bit spicy. While I don’t have pictures, my coworkers also took dumplings. One of them took the pork and the other took the vegetarian. The latter is fried. I actually liked the chicken dumplings the best while the other two are pretty good also.

Main Meals

Nom Nom Cantine

Chicken Poke Bowl ($19)

Nom Nom Cantine

General Tao Chicken (They have another name but I can’t remember it)

Two of my coworkers ordered these two meals and shared it between them as they both wanted to try both of them. While I didn’t try the poke bowl (which wouldn’t matter since I’m not sure what its supposed to taste like as I’ve  never had it before), I did help them finish up the General Tao Chicken. The chicken here is done really nicely. There’s a nice flavor to it and a good texture in the bite of the chicken.

Nom Nom Cantine

Shrimps Soba Noodle

My other coworker and I ended up getting the Shrimp Soba Noodles which had some interesting ingredients like lemongrass and such that gave me the impression that in a soup, it would have this refreshing taste to it. Plus, its supposed to be pretty popular dish at Nom Nom. This noodle bowl did taste good and was quite the comfort food. The shrimps are done perfectly and the soba noodles done in a soup bowl is the first time that I’ve had it this way. Usually its served cold in my recollection. However, it was a little disappointing because the soup lacked a bit of flavor. It leaned a bit more towards the blander side. For myself, I’m used to it so it didn’t bother me too much but my coworker also didn’t quite like it as much because of that. On top of that, the disappointment came with the fact that it lacked all those flavors it seemed to have promised and turned into a very normal bowl of soup noodles.

After Lunch Tea

Nom Nom Cantine

Green Tea

I forgot to take the desserts that my coworkers ordered but I got myself a tea. Its always nice to see the care taken to present the tea and in this case, they had this whole thing. I believe the tea was sencha tea and had a fantastic flavor to it.

Overall, Nom Nom Cantine is still decent. It hasn’t really changed how I felt about it the first time around. The service is pretty good. The waiter was helpful and very friendly. The food presentation is very attractive. The flavors were mostly good except for the slightly blander soup base. The selection of food isn’t a huge amount but its a good idea to limit the options but offer a good quality of food in my opinion.

***As an ending note, the waiter did explain that Nom Nom would be changing form into an Italian restaurant later this year  because the restaurant was always meant to be more of a pop-up concept. You can see their first form was as a French restaurant called E.A.T. where we did go to in this post HERE.***

My Weekly Adventures: Day Trips, Hiking and Foodie Adventures!

Its a day of recaps today! After this morning’s What’s Up, we are going to see the last 2 weeks adventures. Its been a lot more adventurous than normal. Most will have its own post at some point as I sort through pictures and writing and such but here’s a nice overall look at what’s been going on.

Brasserie Elements

Smoked BBQ Chicken Wings

Its been a while since we’ve had date night. My husband had a bit of work change and because of that we had time to go out for a spontaneous night out for dinner. We chose to check out Brasserie Elements.

You can see my overlook of the Brasserie Elements HERE.

Parc de la Chute-Montmorency & Restaurant Cochon Dingue

Parc de la Chute Montmorency

On the same weekend, we also decided to kick off out hiking travels and headed out for a more travel and sightseeing than hiking journey to Parc de la Chute-Montmorency. It turned out to have a lot of nice pictures and I saw a different side on this visit. I was able to see so much more this time after so many years.

You can see the recap of the time at Parc de la Chute-Montmorency HERE.

Restaurant Nom Nom

After a crazy time at work, my coworkers and I went out for a lunch out. We had a few choices but finally decided to go to my suggestion at Nom Nom at the W Hotel. If you were following here back in November 2018, we went for the MTL a Table back then. You can see it HERE.

This time going back, it was with the normal lunch menu. I’ll have a post on that later this week.

Gatineau Park & Mackenzie King Estate

This past weekend, we went looking for out next hiking location. We decided to go to Gatineau Park which  had some trails open. Due to their park situations, only certain trails were open. We ended up going to Sugarbush Trail and the Mackenzie King Estate area primarily towards the waterfall. Its really nice and I have a ton of pictures so I’m going to share a post on this location and kickoff the actual hiking season for this year.

Brasserie t!

brasserie t

Let the foodie adventures continue, right? I went out for a week night dinner to check out the Brasserie T! at Hotel Alt in the Quartier Dix30. A little hint to those interested in checking out this place, remember to ask for their special because its not on the menu and the waiter/waitress will let you know whats on the menu. I’ll do a short post on this as well in the coming week! I think its a pretty nice place and makes me wonder about their downtown location, which I have yet to go try.

Cute Kitty Pic

Kitty

That’s it for this weekly adventures!
I was mostly travel and food, which is pretty much how I like it!

Have you been on any adventures lately?

What’s Up Week 19

Another week and things are pretty much back on track. Some new things, some currently ongoing and some things finally wrapped up! Its a fun little bit of stuff here and there which is always good.

READING

Justice For Belle

  • Justice For Belle by Didi Oviatt

Currently reading: Crossline by Russ Colchamiro

Working on some ARCs and upcoming blog tour things in the reading department. Justice For Belle releases soon (May 15th) and the review is going up shortly after that time as I wrapped up the novel last week

PLAYING

danganronpa trigger happy havoc

Currently playing: Danganronpa Happy Trigger Havoc

A serious lack in gaming this week but I’m set on working further on Danganronpa while at the same time, I’m trying out some new mobile games for the next mobile games roundup as usual.

WATCHING

Deep Blue Sea

  • The Shape of Water – rewatch (review)
  • Deep Blue Sea

A week of rewatches specifically all for Movies and Tea preparation for recordings! The Shape of Water is the final film in our Guillermo Del Toro season two journey and then we head into our first after hours episode with our shark week selection. As usual, we have three after hours episodes upcoming after The Shape of Water is released. I won’t say too much about it.

BINGING

  • The Brightest Star in the Sky (2019)
  • Idol Producer (Season 1, 2018)

Currently binging: Put Your Head On My Shoulder, Le Coup de Foudre, Dream Space, Produce Camp 2019, Flipped

Finally wrapped up Idol Producer from 2018 which was last year’s season that sparked Nine Percent and a bunch of other entertainment company’s also introduced their own boy groups after their artists have more popularity from this show. I realized that the Idol Producer for this year had actually ended just in April or something so I’ll be checking that out once I’m done with Produce Camp 2019. I realize that I can’t watch two at the time or else I mix up the contestants. As for The Brightest Star in the Sky, that finished up with 2 episodes dropping into the following week and its a really great show. I think that the ending kind of jumped a bit quick to wrap things up in terms of the natural progression of things but it still has its priorities in its plot. I’ll talk more once I get the TV binge done. Just toss it into the backlog pile ;).

Most of the shows I’m watching right now is currently updated every week. Put Your Head On My Shoulder is in its final week or two. Le Coup de Foudre stars the very fun to watch Janice Wu and is also a relatively short series at about short of its halfway point, I think. Produce Camp 2019 is going on at a weekly basis and I do participate on the Weibo voting when I catch it before the time zone difference cut off time. In my mind, there’s slowly a good idea of what the 11 members of this group might be although, the participants keep improving and having different shining points. While Dream Space is supposed to be preparing for its 2nd season but I’m still watching the first one where its a somewhat social matchmaking sort of show but very different from what I’ve seen from the US or Canada and while I don’t review a lot of these shows, I think I might actually talk about it in a TV binge once I finish.

That’s it for this week’s What’s Up!

What have you been watching/reading/binging/playing?

Parc de la Chute-Montmorency (Quebec, Canada)

To celebrate the end of a crazy work phase for myself, we decided to head out of town. Its about two weeks earlier than our normal start of travelling/hiking destinations as most national parks or hiking trails aren’t open yet or doesn’t quite open until Victoria Day. After much debate, I found out that Parc de la Chute-Montmorency had opened in early May which worked perfectly, plus, I hadn’t gone since at least 20 years ago (or more) and my husband had actually never been before and I felt he should go to see it at least once in his life.

Parc de la Chute-Montmorency

Located in the outskirts of Quebec City, Parc de la Chute-Montmorency is a completely different experience outside of going on a tour, which is how I went the first time years ago. Going by ourselves, there are still things still not quite completely open yet like paths and such due to the early season but there are a lot of places to still go. You can choose to take the cable car down to the lower level and there the boardwalk is open to a certain degree until the long wooden staircase, where that is closed access to a part because of the unmelted snow probably. However, you can choose to not take the cable car (like ourselves), and walk the upper path through the overhead suspension bridge over the waterfalls and then to the other side which had a small trail into the forest, various observation points and the long winding 487 steps staircase to get a better angle on the Montmorency Falls, as well as a large field with an orchard to relax.

La Promenade de la Falaise

Promenade de la Falaise

Walking from the manor, you first go through the boardwalk trail to the suspension bridge. There this beautiful easy walking spot which has some stairs and leads to the first observation deck which is a highlight spotm Le Belvedere de la Baronne. 

La Belvedere de la baronne

Suspension Bridge

Chute Montmorency

Walking across the suspension bridge, its quite the experience to look out into the beautiful scenery around it. One looking down the 83 meter waterfall and then to the other side with some nice view on the water coming down to the falls as well as a good look at the long panaromic staircase we were about to tackle from afar.

Parc de la Chute Montmorency

The other side of the Park

Parc de la Chute Montmorency

Once you cross the bridge, there’s an area in the back to look back. Its nice to see the bridge in full as well as the starting point of where the falls start.

From the Panoramic Staircase

Parc de la Chute Montmorency

While 487 stairs is a pretty big task to take on as a starting location, we still decided to take it one flight of stairs at a time. Its not so bad to descend as expected especially because each observation point or open deck really gave such a different angle to the falls. Its a majestic scene to take in to the say the absolute least. Of course, if you were in the season where the stairs can access the boardwalk below, this is what the boardwalk looks like. There were people on it so I can only guess that it was open from the other side if you took the cable car down. Of course, perhaps at this point, it might be open on both sides as the weather gets better.

Parc de la Chute Montmorency

Its been decades since I’ve been back and for a returning trip, it was definitely worth it because this is one of Quebec’s landmarks. Its a beautiful natural beauty and in the park behind, there are also some historical elements as well to look at. We didn’t manage to check out the actual hiking trails which should be 2 other ones, one that is open now called Le Sentier des Resurgences (2.5km round-trip) and also one that opens in July 31st (I would expect) as its called Le Sentier du 31 juillet (1km round-trip). Of course, for the more adventurous types, the season also opens later on for Via Ferrata and Ziplining which should be really cool to do across and around the waterfalls.

That’s it for this trip recap for Parc de la Chute Montmorency!

Have you been here before?

Wine Recap – April 2019

Welcome to the April 2019 Wine Recap!

April is always a little slower in terms of drinking anything alcohol-based due to work (yes, I know..again…). However, its sometimes about quality and not quantity and that’s what we are going to do because we had some decent new tries.

Let’s check it out!

Dublin’s Pub Apple Cider

Dublin's Pub Apple Cider

Producer: A. Lassonde Inc.
Alcohol Content: 5%
Location: Rougemont, Quebec, Canada
Taste Tag: Fruity and Sweet

First up to kick off the month is a supermarket find, Dublin Pub Apple Cider. They actually do sell a glass bottle version in the SAQ outlets as well. A few things unexpected here was that I didn’t know that this was produced in Canada despite its Irish-style cider. I’m not sure what Irish-style is so I can only compare it to other ciders I’ve had before. On that note, I can’t say that in terms of personal preference that its one that I particularly like or dislike. Its not as sweet as some other ciders but also not quite as acidic as others either. It falls somewhere in the middle but yet feels rather light but not so fruity. If you are into something a little more well-rounded on that front, I’d say this one could be one to try out. I personally prefer my ciders with a little more distinct flavors.

Fat Bastard Chardonnay

Fat Bastard Chardonnay

Producer: GMDF
Alcohol Content: 13%
Location: France
Taste Tag: Aromatic and Mellow

If I were to place Fat Bastard, I’d say that its in the same league as wines like Rodney Strong (look at in a previous wine recap HERE). We’ve found luck in both full-bodied or aromatic and mellow taste tags especially in terms of white wines. With that said, Fat Bastard has that semi-dry palette in the first taste but also has a smooth finish so is a nice one. Its not quite as enjoyable as some other ones but this one definitely has a distinct taste and layers to it that works pretty well.

Palm Bay Vodka Soda – Blueberry Acai

Palm Bay Vodka Soda

Producer: Mike’s Beverage Company
Alcohol Content: 6%
Location: Ontario, Canada
Taste Tag: Crisp & Berry

Spirit coolers are a fun little territory to explore sometimes and we do every once in a while to break away from the more heavy wines especially during busy times. On our run to the SAQ to check out wines and ended up picking up the previous one, we also found this one. I’m not a particularly huge fan of superfruits stuff but thought why not. Palm Bay has always been pretty good with their flavors and this is no different. Being a fan of vodka based drinks, this one is right up my alley. Its fruity but not too sweet. I actually mixed it further with Canada Dry and it tastes even better.

That’s it for this Wine Recap!
All satisfying choices overall!

What have you been drinking? Share it in the comments below!

Goodfood Recap #37

It sure feels like a while since the last Goodfood recap. We’re back to monthly instalments of these. To be fair, we only get the ones that we think we have time to cook and also the meals work to our liking. This week has two repeats and two new ones so it’ll be interesting to see. However, we took this box mostly because it was the week after some crazy work schedule and just needed time to not think about groceries and the like.

Let’s check it out!

Seared Steaks
with Lemon-Oregano Potatoes & Roasted Zucchini

seared steaks goodfood

A word of the wise to fellow cooks, at least for myself, I’ve learned that any meal with zucchini (or other leafy vegetables) should be the first to go in regardless of when the meat expires. I’ve experienced too many times of bad zucchinis due to my not getting to it quick enough. With that said, its why the random time that steaks got put forward. This meal is actually pretty good. The roasted zucchini is nice and I’d definitely try to do that again. The potatoes were a nice blend. We don’t like eating seared anything and like this cooked completely so the husband, who is almost always responsible for cooking meat, made sure to have it well done. That’s our personal preference, of course.

Chicken Yakitori
with Roasted Carrots, Chinese Broccoli & Miso Butter

chicken yakitori goodfood

The first repeat meal is Chicken Yakitori. I’m going to say right now that starting from this meal, the husband took care of most of 90% of the cooking and I only helped with small prep work and stuff due to work and whatnot. His first attempt at Chicken Yakitori and it still tastes fantastic. I love all the elements of this meal from the sauce to the chicken and the spices and the miso butter on the roasted veggies. I would redo this one on the grill any day in the summer. Works well because its one I’ll consider for the next Battle which is coming up in just a few weeks.

Fried Eggplant Sabich
with Mango Chopped Salad & Red Cabbage

Fried Eggplant Sabich Goodfood

Every box has a meal that we just add in to try out and this time its the eggplant sabich. The husband isn’t a big fan of eggplant to start and I’m not a big fan of this type of eggplant but I’m hoping to find an eggplant recipe which I can like and eat more of because eggplant is a healthy addition to our diet. This is supposed to be put into the pita as a pouch sort of meal but the pitas turned out to be too crispy so we just put everything on top of it. I think the meal still works because its like pita chips with hummus and then the freshness of the mango chopped salad meshes well with the flavorful fried eggplant slices. This was definitely a pleasant surprise.

Pork Chops
with Honey-Glazed Cipollini Onions & Shaved Asparagus Salad

pork chops goodfood

Last meal of the box is also a repeat, one that I was a bit more than lukewarm towards and the reason why it made it in. Under the helm of the husband, I actually think it tastes better than the first time. It could be the potatoes are seasoned really well and finally not burnt as it usually turned out for me when I put it in the oven. The sauce is done really well and I liked it so much that I ended up making some toast to eat the rest up. It all goes well with the pork chops.

That’s it for this Goodfood recap!