March 26, 2014

Over the Top - the Art

I just realized that I had not done an Over the Top post-party post! And, really, I have NO excuse. Since the 16th, I have had plenty of time on my hands*.

Other than the fact that I was completely shut out of the raffle (Boo to that!), I had a lovely time at the party; catching up with my artsy friends and watching my two pieces go to good homes.

"We lose ourselves..." (above) sold for $90 and "She decided to start living..." (below) sold for $120!

*Spot the sarcasm!

March 25, 2014

Amazebites at Taste of the Nation

Last night, I had the privilege of attending the Taste of the Nation event at the Fairmont Hotel as a guest of the Manitoba Canola Growers. To say that it was fun would be a ridiculous understatement.

We started out in the VIP room (I know!), with wine, salmon gravlax on buckwheat blinis, tempura shrimp, baked oysters, raw oysters, scallops. It was a great warm-up for the taste-buds and the intimate setting meant that we could all catch up with each other before being unleashed on the wonderful madness of the main room.

Once we were upstairs, chaos ensued. It's hard to describe - imagine table after table of beautifully presented one- two- and three-bite treats offered up by some of the city's coolest chefs. Ok, ALL of the city's coolest chefs. There was everything from cold-pressed fruit juice (delicious) to beef tartare (did not sample) and about a bazillion wines and spirits to wash it all down. And - breaking news - the big story of the night seemed to be fish, followed closely by beets.

 - Pizzeria Gusto's little eco-spoons - arctic char nestled in with little jewel-toned bits of yumminess (above)
 - Chew's lobster/shrimp tacos - in beet chip "shells"! (above)
 - Diversity's house-made ricotta and avocado on grilled bread with an anchovy on top (below) AND polenta with mushroom ragout and fingerling potato chips.
 - Green Carrot's cold-pressed apple/mint/pineapple juice - Obby Khan's new venture!
 - Shawarma Khan's hummous. I told Obby that I would probably never get kissed again, but Kiki G disproved that theory. :blushes:
- Red River College's pike burgers with red and golden beets on gluten-free buns. Yes. Gluten-free. And I loved them!
- Smoked tomato soup and little grilled cheese sammiches from the new place at Kildonan Park. (Opening soon!)
- Everything at Segovia. I don't even know what I had, but I loved it.

All in all, it was a fantastic evening. Besides all the tasting and sipping, and winning a pile of gift certificates in the silent auction (!!!), my favourite part of the night was getting to hang out, laugh and be silly with the gang.

It's true what Julia Child said - People who love to eat are always the best people!

March 14, 2014

Spring is... Over the Top!

For some, spring starts when the snow begins to melt and the heavy coats and boots are relegated to the basement closet. For others, spring won’t start until things start greening up and the patios along Corydon re-open. For me, the official, non-negotiable start of spring is the MAWA “Over the Top” Cupcake Party and Auction.

What makes it “Over the Top”? Well, about a thousand cupcakes and a couple hundred of the city’s coolest peeps crammed in a small gallery vying for elbow room and original art.

This is my 5th year donating art and cupcakes to the party and I think it’ll be the best one yet. First of all, I am absolutely smitten with the two pieces that I made for the auction:


And, as always, I am super-excited to make my cupcakes. This year, I am planning a little salted caramel number and something involving Fruit Loops. (Pictures and recipes will be posted on my other blog after the weekend.)

I’m also really looking forward to the party itself… and the raffle! We have been lucky – and I mean REALLY lucky – twice, winning a $1000 camera the first year and a giant gift basket the next. I don’t want to jinx it, but I think we’re going to come home with something again this year. (I’m planning to double up on the raffle tickets, just in case.)

If you are thinking of going, but have heard that it’s a madhouse, have no fear. This year, the cupcakes, the people and the art will still be there, but the gallery space will be expanded to give artists and art buyers more room to mix, mingle and (for lack of a better word) munch. And, if you can't make it on Sunday, or want to get a jump on bidding, MAWA is kicking off the weekend with a birthday party TONIGHT from 5:00-8:00pm. Admission and cake are free, but if you wanna place a bid on any art, you have to buy a $10 ticket to Sunday's event.