Welcome to our first Blog!

Ali is a world traveller. She has roamed the world by herself, and with her boyfriend. She has lived in London, England and in Toronto, Ontario. Monique, who has also lived abroad, loved to see her daughter follow in her footsteps and travel… but she missed her so much! Now that she has returned home to Edmonton, we are catching up on lost time. We decided to explore Edmonton and its surrounding towns and cities, looking for things adult mothers and daughters can do together. Follow us along on our adventures. We have no idea what we will find nor experience but it will be fun to do so together.

Our first blog is about the things we did on our first outing together in Edmonton. This is when we talked about our blog, what we wanted to do, and what we wanted to write about. Subscribe to it and keep up-to-date. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram too. Drop us a line to tell us about places and activities you think we should explore and share with others. We look forward to the adventure. Won’t you come along?

The Adventures Begin… Donuts, Taiwanese Food and Behind the Scenes at Winspear!

Our adventure began when Ali and her boyfriend Brett moved back to Edmonton.  While helping them unpack boxes, We talked about all the different things we wanted to do together. Of course a lot of it involved trying different places to eat as we both are what some might call “Foodies”. We just love to try new foods, restaurants and places.

Coffee and donuts are a great way to spend quality time together. Sipping on a nice cup of java while nibbling on some freshly baked treats makes for a perfect setting for conversation.

We discussed our plans for our blog over some donuts picked up at Destination Donuts on 124 Street. It was the second time Monique had tried their wares. The majority of their fancy donuts are created using regular honey dips with a variety of interesting toppings such as Oreo Cookies, S’Mores, Crème Brulée and Lemon Meringue. This time around we tried the Morning Sunshine and the Cinnamon donuts. Our advice?  Share one, not two as we did. Our eyes were bigger than our stomachs. These donuts are large, pretty rich and greasy. The Morning Sunshine had a thick meringue topping and was filled with sweet lemon jelly. The Cinnamon donut was a fritter with swirls of cinnamon sugar running throughout. We split each in half and could not finish them. But we certainly made lots of plans!

Have You Ever Tried Taiwanese Food?

In a shopping strip mall, on the south side of Edmonton, snuggled between an Iraqi sundries shop and bakery and an East Indian boutique, is a tiny little Taiwanese restaurant by the name of Formosa Bistro. It is bright and open, the owners and staff are extremely friendly, and the food is to die for! It has become one of Monique’s favourite places to get together with friends for a meal. It was obviously a no brainer for her to want to take Ali there.

Formosa means beautiful. Jeango, one of the owners, told us that Formosa Bistro was named after Taiwan’s former name, Ilha Formosa – Beautiful Island. This quaint restaurant is a local secret, but definitely not for long. It has won national and local awards for best Taiwanese restaurant in Canada and for best Popcorn Chicken in Edmonton. After trying several of their dishes, created by their amazing Taiwanese chef, we both had to agree that it more than deserved the accolades.

Popcorn Chicken
Sweet Potato Fries

When you go, you must absolutely try the Popcorn Chicken. It is moist and extremely flavourful. A delight to one’s taste buds.  It came with a Taiwanese take on Kimchi. This cabbage and root vegetable pickled dish is quite tasty with a bit less of a kick than the Korean version. We also ordered the Sweet Potato Fries, these are not your red yam variety, but real sweet potatoes. They tasted just like mini donuts. We kid you not. Same taste, less calories. Okay, maybe not less calories but they are veggie calories. Tasty, veggie calories.

Ali loves noodles so we had to try one of these dishes from their menu. We chose the Braised Pork Noodles. What incredible rich broth, tender pork and tasty noodles. A mouth-watering dish we are sure to re-order on our next visit.

Braised Pork Noodles

Jeango brought us a special treat she wanted us to try out, Thick Cut Toast with Custard. It is really a traditional breakfast dish but is sweet enough to be served as dessert. A thick cream and butter layer spread on sliced Taiwanese fluffy white bread. So good!

Cheers

We found Taiwanese food to be less greasy than other Asian countries’ dishes. They use different spices and most items on the menu are not “hot”. For those who do like a bit more bite to their food, there are several dishes that will meet your wishes. We will definitely be returning to Formosa Bistro and highly recommend that you give it a try.

Formosa Bistro has a few special events coming up in the next few weeks. The first is a puppet demonstration by Shinergy Puppet Show which “combines the traditional puppet show with high quality animation and visual effect technology. Tickets are $15.00 per person for the May 19th morning show, and you will be credited that amount towards your meal at the Bistro. The offer is in effect until June 9, 2019. You can purchase tickets online via their Facebook Page.

Formosa Bistro is located at 9314 – 34 Ave NW, Edmonton Alberta

Behind the Scenes at the Winspear Centre

Ali and Monique above the Winspear Centre Hall stage

Did you know that the Winspear Centre offers free behind the scenes weekday tours of their facility? When we found out, we just had to sign up for one. All you have to do is call them or register online for one of their monthly tours. These tours also include a light lunch that you get to enjoy in the performers’ Green Room. Did we mention that it is free? The tour, including lunch, lasts between one to one and a half hours and takes you to various levels of this incredible building. Each tour is a bit different as not all the halls and rooms are available to visit each time due to various performances that are either rehearsing or using the facilities.

We found out during our tour that the Winspear Centre and ESO ( Edmonton Symphony Orchestra) are not for profit. Money raised goes to fund special events, camps and community music programs for kids and adults. Construction will soon begin to expand the Centre and add a 650 seat music box music hall, classroom space, a restaurant, and more.

Staff at the Winspear Library

Valerie and Michelle took us behind the main concert hall and showed us where 3 separate buildings connect to make up what appears to us to be the single building Winspear Centre. They are connected by soundproof foam to ensure that the LRT line that runs below it does not cause noise that will affect the concerts being performed.

We also visited the Library where staff are responsible for all sheet music used in performances. They verify copyrights, ordering what is needed for performances, look for possible music errors in the sheet music received, etc. Others also use the Library for research, such as the Edmonton Opera who perform out of the Edmonton Jubilee Auditorium.

Davis Concert Organ


We then followed Valerie and Michelle up to the Davis Concert Organ and its’ 6551 pipes. We will not share with you everything we learned, you will need to check it out for yourselves. But we will tell you that the tour involves a “live” organ performance… Such a thrill when you are sitting right in front of it!

This was Monique’s second tour experience. We will both be returning to tour it again as we want to find out more! We hear that the Rolling Stones made history there…

Ali taking a picture of the Edmonton Valley Zoo’s carousel animal display in the Winspear Centre lobby

To find out more about the Winspear Centre’s behind the scenes tours, you may contact Michelle at mjones@winspearcentre.com.

Coming Up Next

Our next blog will include a Planting Party at Thiel’s Greenhouses in Bruderheim, a visit to a local café and diner, and a gem of a hidden local craft & art gallery.

Do you have any recommendations you would like to suggest for a mother -daughter outing or activity? Please contact us via our CONTACT page and we will try to check these out.

Note: The majority of our outings and food are paid for by ourselves. If we are a business’ guests or receive an item on the house, we mention it.

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