Tuesday, November 20, 2012

the buzz: Nov 20

So my life has quickly gone from 0-60 in a few short weeks. After completing the Self Employment Benefits program at CEED, I started doing cooking class a la Superstore as a second source of income. Well, now I find myself running from work to class and back again. But no complaints here. I'm thrilled to be spreading the love of real food and am especially excited to be getting our kids cooking. My six week program with high school students is going so well that it's more fun than work. Seriously. And next week I begin a four week program for students interested in doing a co-op in a local restaurant or hotel. Even if I ignite the passion in one student, I've achieved my goal. But honestly as long as they have fun, I'm happy.

Now on to the reason I started this post, the weekly buzz. First up, Food Bloggers of Canada as always have some great contests running although many are for members only. If you have a food blog and have yet to sign up, get on over there and do your thing. It's not only free to sign up, but it puts you in touch with a whole world of fellow bloggers, gives you access to information on photography and other blog related content, and, like I said, includes a ton of contests. And this lady likes her contests. Mostly cuz I win. Ask Lia, apparently my mojo can rub off!
In local news, last week the Restaurant Association of Nova Scotia handed out some industry awards at their Restaurant Awards Dinner. Many were some of my favs so without further delay, the winners are...
And be sure to pick up this week's Coast out Thursday. I have a funny feeling I know it's cover story and perhaps a few contributors. ;)

Alright, so I know it's only November but the city is already alive with the Christmas spirit. I'm a firm believer in at least waiting til December 1st but I totally understand the desire to get that shopping done early, especially if it means avoiding the dreaded mall line-ups. But last year, I avoided the malls altogether and went all local on my shopping, opting to keep my money right here in NS instead of giving it to the Walmarts of the world. This year I'll once again be kickin it local and I invite you to do the same. I could go on and on about the importance of shopping locally but honestly, it's simple. When you shop local, you help your local economy grow by keeping small businesses alive. Period. And who runs small businesses? Well, regular folk like you and I. Think of the impact on our local economy if we all simply shifted just 10% of our spending to local biz. If that isn't enough to convince you, head on over to The Coast and sign their Buy Local Pledge. Spend 100 bucks at local, independent businesses this season and be entered for a chance to win one of 6 $500 shopping sprees. Booyah. But I'll make it even easier. Below is a list of awesome local businesses that would rock any wish list, many of which I shopped at last year.

Sugah - chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate!
Carbonstok - Lost Cod t's plus a whole store full of cool shit
Inkwell Boutique - hand made cards, letter press and super cool prints
Taz and Obselete Records - vinyl is totally making a come back people
Biscuit General Store- cool clothes, cool stuff, it's where the cool kids shop
J&R Grimsmo - great fashions for the ladies
P`lovers - for the eco-conscious on your list
Bishop`s Cellar - wine. Nuff said. (But may I suggest a NS wine)
Cucina Moderna - for all your houseware needs  (be warned, this place is addictive)
Nurtured - for the wee ones or the expecting mamma
Any of our Farmers Markets - all local, all the time

You'll also wanna hit up the Halifax Crafters Society's Holiday Market Dec 1-2 at the Olympic Centre. Think art, pottery, jewelry, leather, woodwork, handmade chocolates, and clothes all in one place. Last year I scored big. Plus, ain't nuthin better than a gift certificate to any one of our incredible locally owned restaurants or cafes. The ilovelocal site is a great place to start. (And be sure to follow the #shift10 conversation on twitter for more ways you can shift 10% of your spending to local biz.) Lastly, if after all that you still need some ideas, the lovely Drew and Gillian of the Local Traveler NS blog are also compiling their own local wish list complete with pics.You can thank me later for pretty much doing all your holiday shopping for you. I accept all food and wine related payments.

And while I bet there`s loads more news and probably a whole slew of food events that suddenly popped up, this gal is tired. Nuthin like a lil stomach bug to set you straight. So, take care of yourselves people and, like always, eat up.