Natasha's Pick of the Week. Duchess Bake Shop. (Need I say more?)

Today I had lunch in heaven. Or at least as close as I can get to heaven here in Edmonton!

I had lunch with our interior designer, the very talented Dawn Stiles, at the Duchess Bake Shop today.

Duchess is one of those places that you walk into and you feel like you are immediately transported to another era and quite possibly another place. In this case it is a little bakery on a side street in Paris, circa 1957.

In reality, Duchess Bake Shop is on 124 Street just north of 107 Avenue right here in our own lovely city. They make ALL of their fabulous pastries in-house every day from scratch and use only the freshest and finest ingredients!

I am pretty sure EVERYTHING there tastes divine, but I definitely know that their signature cake 'The Duchess' is fan-freakin-tastic. Today Dawn introduced me to the Salted Caramel Macaroon and it was like a sweet, decadent party, complete with streamers and lutes, was happening in my mouth! In other words, it was really, really GOOD. I only had one, but I am pretty sure I could have easily eaten a dozen of them (luckily they come in a nice box all packed up and ready to go in case that is exactly what you want to do)!

I also had one of their lovely croissant sandwiches today (the pastrami and pickle) and it was so simple, yet so yummy. Maybe it has something to do with the specially imported butter they use to make the croissants! Maybe it was because I was imagining I was eating it on a cobblestone street in Paris. Whatever the case, I will be back there again for another one. Soon!

You can eat in at Duchess or take your goodies to go and you can special order cakes and pastries for special occasions as well. I feel that a Mother's Day cake from Duchess might be in order, or some yummy grown up Easter treats if I can't wait that long!

So for something a little different, a nice date night dessert or an afternoon coffee with your girlfriends, check this place out. I promise you will not be disappointed! Expect maybe if you don't get a table, it really is a popular little boulangerie!



P.S. And of course, you can follow them on Facebook and on Twitter too!

The Organic Box - Good Food LOVE!

A few weeks ago, mostly out of desperation because I had just dislocated my hip, I ordered the 3-week trial of The Organic Box. This fabulous local Edmonton company delivers Organic produce right to your door. Year round!! And since I really could not picture me in a leg brace and on crutches pushing a cart with 2 kids around Superstore, it seemed like a very viable option for us.

The Organic Box is Edmonton's source for local organic food, delivered right to your door. They source a lot of their produce from local Alberta and BC farmers and when they can't find it here (we do have a long winter) they ensure that it comes from a fully traceable source and only buy from small producers.  They even have a list on their website of all of producer farms.

I really did not know what to expect that first week, but as you can see, they really do not disappoint! Just look at this fabulous organic bounty!

Here is how it works:

Weekly or bi-weekly, members of The Organic Box receive a delivery of seasonal organic fruits and vegetables from local and non-local organic farms and distributors. Members are notified late Friday regarding the contents of the next weekly Box and can use our website to customize their box contents until early Monday morning.

Delivery days are scheduled according to your postal code and along with your produce the Organic Box partners with some other great local companies to provide you with organic or free-run eggs, organic milk, organic dry goods and my personal favourite, organic chocolate!!  I ordered us some milk for this week and will soon be getting our eggs from them too (as soon as it warms up enough for the laying hens)!

I love that I am supporting a local company, our local farmers and I have also found that I am spending WAY less time and money at the grocery store. We are eating healthier and my kids can't seem to get enough of the fabulous apples and pears these past few weeks.  My three week trial ended last week and I am now signing up for it full time.

Good Eating Everyone!!