My Favourite Shops on 124th Street

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Edmonton's 124th Street is one of my favourite streets in Edmonton because of all the amazing local shops and restaurants located there. So, I thought I'd make a list of my favourites! 

Here are 6 Edmonton local shops and restaurants on 124th street that are killing it: 

1. Zwicks Pretzels

I swear, these are the best pretzels in the city (and don't even get me started on their McZwick Sandwich!). If you're looking for a delicious soft pretzel with the perfect amount of salt and butter, you've gotta check this place out! 

2. Lipstick Empire

I've been getting laser hair removal treatments at Lipstick empire for almost a year now, and every time I come into their shop, I feel so welcomed and comfortable. Not to mention, their employees are second-to-none! If you're looking for any kind of medispa treatment, Lipstick Empire is the place to go. 

3. Tiramisu Bistro

The fact that Tiramisu Bistro has an entire menu specifically dedicated to spaghetti makes my heart happy. Also, Jenny and I shared two phenomenal desserts here a couple of weeks ago (and I'm still drooling).   

4. Salgado Fenwick & The Barking Buffalo Café

You can't go wrong with locally made garments and coffee! Every time I'm on 124th Street, I make sure to stop by and order an iced chai latte. 

5. Duchess Bake Shop 

This one speaks for itself. If you're looking for delicious gourmet French pastries, this is the place to be. All of their pastries are made daily in-house from scratch. Not to mention, their space is adorable! 

6. Acquired Taste Tea Company 

I'm a tea-aholic and the Acquired Taste Tea Company feeds my addition. But seriously, this tea shop is one of the best out there and has any tea you could possibly need (and even some you didn't know you needed). If you love tea, this is a must-stop shop! 

 

I hope you enjoyed this list of my favourite local shops on 124th street. Make sure to go show these local businesses some love! 

 

 

Until next time, 

Paige Simpson.png

My Everyday Green Breakfast Smoothie

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I'm generally a healthy-ish person when it comes to my eating habits. Obviously, I don't follow an Instagram model diet or anything, but I'm always conscious of the nutrients and macros that I'm putting into my body (thanks to my trainer — before him, I was a mess). 

So, I thought I'd share the smoothie that I drink every single morning! Not only is this smoothie super fast and easy to make, but it's also nutritious and tastes delicious! 

Here's the recipe: 

Ingredients: 

  • Frozen Peaches

  • Banana

  • Fresh Spinach

  • Hemp Hearts

  • Organic Almond Milk

  • Water

I purposely didn't put specific measurements here because the measurements rely a lot on what type of blender you use and your personal taste preferences. Feel free to play around with these ingredients to find the perfect mix for you! 

I use a Magic Bullet to blend up my smoothies in the morning, but feel free to use whatever blender you own. Also, I like my smoothies to be pretty thick — so, if you like yours a bit thinner, play around with the amount of water and almond milk you add in. 

Try it out yourself, take photos of your renditions of this recipe, and tag me on Instagram (@paigesimpsonyeg)! 

 

Until next time, 

Paige Simpson.png

My Favourite Healthy Lunch Ideas For School or Work

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Preparing healthy lunches for school or work can be challenging — especially on those super busy days. That's why I created a list of 5 of my favourite healthy and delicious lunch recipes that are super easy to make! 

(PSA: when I cook, I rarely measure anything. So, these recipes won't have exact measurements; however, they are all pretty straightforward and the amount of ingredients you use will depend on your own personal preferences.) 

1. Grilled Chicken & Black Bean Salad

Ingredients: Mixed Greens, Canned Black Beans, Canned Corn, Avocado, Seasoned Grilled Chicken, Creamy Avocado Dressing

This salad is my favourite salad to make (and eat). Not only does it fill me up, but it's also super easy to throw together the night before and put in the fridge! Feel free to substitute any of the ingredients to include what you like best! Make sure to put the dressing in a separate container to take with you so that your salad doesn't get all soggy (ew). I usually grill a bunch of chicken breast during my meal prep for the week so that it's easy to quickly grab some for a salad or wrap, and rush out the door. 

2. Avocado Caprese Wrap

Ingredients: Whole wheat tortilla, Avocado, Tomatoes, Arugula, Mozzarella Cheese Balls, Drizzle of Olive Oil, Ground Black Pepper 

If you're looking for a taste of Italy, this is the perfect wrap for you! Plus, it's super easy to make — just layer the ingredients on the wrap, then drizzle it with a little bit of olive oil and season with as much ground black pepper as you'd like. When I can, I love using fresh local heirloom tomatoes from the farmers market (it's delish!). 

3. Mini Chicken Lettuce Cups  

Ingredients: Iceberg Lettuce, Shredded Chicken, Bell Pepper, Purple Onion, Chipotle Ranch 

For this recipe, I like to assemble the cups together right before I'm about to eat them so that the lettuce doesn't get soggy. So, I usually pack 4-5 leaves of iceberg lettuce, the shredded chicken, the ranch, and all of the veggies separately and then put it all together during lunch. To make my life easier, I almost always pick up a rotisserie chicken from the supermarket and pull shredded chicken off of that for this recipe (it's also a great lunch idea if you have any rotisserie chicken left over from dinner the night before!).  

4. Honey Garlic Glazed Meatballs & Rice 

Ingredients: Unseasoned Frozen Turkey Meatballs, Honey, Minced garlic, Soy Sauce, Brown Rice, Green Onions. 

This is one of the best microwavable (hot) lunches to make because of how easy it is to prepare! I fry the meatballs in a sauce made out of honey, garlic, and soy sauce until they are cooked all the way through, and then I let them simmer for a bit to soak up more of the sauce. I'll usually put the meatball sauce mixture on top of some cooked brown rice and stick it in a Tupperware container for a tasty microwavable lunch the next day. I also add some fresh green onions on top as a garnish! 

5. Zucchini Noodles & Grilled Chicken 

Ingredients: Zucchini, Minced Garlic, Tomatoes, Basil, Chicken Breast 

My boyfriend bought me a spiralizer for my birthday (I basically have the best boyfriend ever) and one of my favourite things to make with it is zucchini noodles! If you don't have a spiralizer, I would recommend making spaghetti squash as a substitute veggie noodle. I use a large saucepan to fry up my zucchini noodles along with some fresh tomatoes, minced garlic, and a couple of basil leaves. Then, I use that same pan to fry up my chicken afterwards. 

 

I hope you enjoyed this list of 10 healthy lunch ideas. Let me know which one was your favourite in the comments below! 

 

Until next time, 

Paige Simpson.png

Autumn Butternut Squash Soup That Will Warm Your Soul

Nothing says fall like butternut squash soup! Below is my all-time favourite butternut squash soup recipe.  

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Ingredients: 

  • 1 Small Onion (diced)
  • 2 Tablespoons of Butter 
  • 1/4 Tablespoon of Cinnamon 
  • 1 Celery Stalk (Chopped) 
  • 1 Sweet Potato (Cubed) 
  • 1 Medium-Sized Butternut Squash (Peeled, Deseeded, and Cubed)
  • 1 Large Carrot (Chopped) 
  • 1 Container of Chicken Stock (32 Fluid Ounces) 
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Serve with a Dollop of Sour Cream 

Directions: 

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees 
  • Roast butternut squash in the oven for 1 hour on 400 degrees. Once soft, take the squash out of the oven and let cool. Once cooled, remove seeds. 
  • Melt the butter in a large pot. Add the onion, celery, sweet potato, carrot, cinnamon, and butternut squash to the pot. Cook for 5 minutes or until the vegetables are lightly browned. Once browned, pour in enough chicken stock to cover the vegetables in the pot and bring it to a boil. 
  • Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and let the mixture simmer for 40 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Once all the vegetables are tender, puree or transfer the soup into a blender and blend until the soup is smooth. If the soup is too thick for your liking, add some of the leftover chicken stock to achieve your desired consistency. 
  • Season with salt and pepper and serve with a dollop of sour cream. 

 

Enjoy this delicious fall butternut squash soup! Try it out yourself, take photos of your renditions of this recipe, and tag me on Instagram (@paigesimpsonyeg)! 

 

Until next time, 

Paige Simpson.png

HelloFresh: A Review from a Horrible Cook

I'll admit it — I am a horrible cook. Every single time I'm in the kitchen, something goes wrong. Eggs burn, pancakes never cease to stick to the pan, and all meats end up exceptionally well done. I'm not saying I would win a medal for "world's Worst Cook" or anything, but my cooking skills are definitely far below average. 

I'm sure you've all heard of HelloFresh. Lately, many famous YouTubers and social media influencers have been promoting the service through their videos, posts, and Instagram stories. I actually heard about HelloFresh for the first time from a TheDeFrancoFam video on YouTube about a month ago!

Ever since watching that video, I have wanted to try the service. So, I finally decided to bite the bullet and order my first week of meals from HelloFresh. I ordered 3 meals a week on the "Pronto Plan" which cost me approximately $11.67 per meal. 

In this blog post, I will be highlighting my overall experience with HelloFresh. I'll review all three of the meals in terms of 1) how difficult they are to make, 2) how much time it took to cook them, and 3) whether or not they took me to flavour town! 

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Rosemary Lamb Burgers

with Sweet Potato Fries and Sweet-Chili Sour Crema

DIFFICULTY: easy TIME: 1 hour TASTE: 8/10

The first meal I tried was the Rosemary Lamb burgers. I was a bit hesitant about this meal since I had only tried lamb once before and wasn't the biggest fan of it. But boy was I mistaken. This burger was probably one of the most delicious burgers I have ever tasted in my life! I am a sucker for sweet potato fries, so I knew I was going to love this side from the start. The sweet-chilli sour crema was TO DIE FOR and easy to make by simply mixing sour creme and sweet chilli sauce. The thing I loved about this meal was that everything was seasoned with such simple but delicious ingredients, making it super easy to recreate the meal in the future by buying groceries at the store. The only reason I didn't give the Rosemary Lamb Burgers a 10/10 for taste is because the meal only came with one burger topper — lettuce. In the future, I would definitely add some fresh tomatoes and onions as toppers. 


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Double-Smoked Bacon Penne

in a Tomato Arrabbiata Sauce

DIFFICULTY: easy TIME: 1 hour TASTE: 10/10

The second meal I tried was the Double-Smoked Bacon Penne, which was my all time favourite dish of the week! I am, and always will be, a pasta lover, so I was eager to try this recipe out. HelloFresh gives you the perfect amount of ingredients to make your dish, which helps if you're used to cooking 10x more pasta than you originally planned. LOL. To me, this meal was the most flavourful of all of the meals during the week. The double-smoked bacon, and the wilted spinach in the sauce, MADE this dish. My boyfriend and I could not stop gushing over how good this meal was as we ate it. Oh, and this definitely pairs well with wine (just in case you were wondering). 


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Oven-Roasted Lemon Chicken

with Hearty Vegetables, Quinoa and Lemon-Thyme Pan Sauce

DIFFICULTY: medium TIME: 1 hour TASTE: 8/10

The last meal I tried for the week was the Oven-Roasted Lemon Chicken. This meal was my least favourite of the three but was still enjoyable to eat. I absolutely loved the roasted vegetables and Quinoa base to this dish, but I found the lemon taste a bit overpowering. One great thing I noticed about all of the HelloFresh meals I have received so far is that the protein that comes with them is always a great cut with little to no fatty areas. This meal was a bit harder to cook for me, though I'm not sure why as it's just chicken and roasted vegetables, but it took a bit more effort than the last two. I would cook this again, but would probably leave out some of the lemon and season the chicken with different spices. 


Overall, I would definitely recommend HelloFresh. Hell, I've ordered three other boxes since this one! My meals are always delivered just in time for dinner, which is a great asset for individuals who may be coming home from work a bit later in the day. Also, all of the HelloFresh packaging is completely sustainable and recyclable.

Another asset about the meal service is that you get to keep the recipes with every meal. This is great if, in the future, you ever wanted to recreate the meals with groceries that you buy at the store. Although HelloFresh is a bit expensive, it is worth it if you can't find time to go to the store and shop for your groceries. In the long run, I think HelloFresh probably saves you money because each meal comes with the exact amount of produce you will need, so you are not buying an excess amount of groceries that can go bad in your fridge. 

If you are thinking of trying out HelloFresh, you can use the code PAISIM for $40 off your first box! 

 

Until next time, 

Paige Simpson.png