[Product Review] World Vision Introduces Quarterly Subscription Boxes

In October 2016, I was invited to an event hosted by World Vision (WV) inside Toronto’s beautiful Berkeley Field House where we learned more about ‘World Food Day’ and World Vision’s ‘Hunger Free’ global movement campaign (read about the 2016 event and the campaign).

One quote that resonated with me from World Vision was “Food is wonderful. It engages all our senses. It brings people together. It sustains us and comforts us. It’s the center of many of our celebrations. Many of us show our love through the food we cook, and feel loved when someone cooks us our favourite meal”. It truly does!

Related to the #Hungerfree campaign, I am excited to share that World Vision has started “Hunger Free Quarterly”, which are quarterly subscription boxes exclusive to Canada. These boxes are created from partners who truly celebrate food with the main goal to help communities become hunger free.   The box combines hand crafted products from Kenya made by locals, a booklet with stories and information, as well as recipes. I received the first ever Hunger Free Quarterly box (Volume 1) and was truly amazed with the quality and the story behind every single item in the box.

Inside the box was a hand printed tea towel, spoons, pinch bowls, recipes cards with Chef Dennis Prescott’s recipe, a recipe pouch, and HungerFree Quarterly magazine with stories about food, community and impact.

I know that there are tons of subscription boxes out there, but what makes World Vision’s Hunger Free Quarterly Stand out?

  • The boxes are exclusive to Canada.
  • There are quality items that are practical.
  • There are artisan products that are sourced from Kenya.
  • $20 from each regularly priced box goes toward work to empower more than 15,000 young people to become hungerfree over the next five years through an innovative new project by World Vision and the UN’s World Food Programme in Kilifi, Kenya (Source: World Vision)
  • Each box of HungerFree Quarterly is filled with artisan products that funds further impact by empowering people to rise above poverty, as well as unique recipe cards by chefs & food bloggers and inspiring stories in our exclusive Mini-Mag. (Source: World Vision)
  • The boxes are quarterly rather than monthly. Subscribers can cancel their Hungerfree subscription anytime with no cancellation fee.

The Volume 1 box is still available, with the next quarterly box being shipped out in March. For more information about the HungerFere Quarterly boxes, visit https://quarterly.hungerfree.org/

Overall, with the support of World Vision donors, the money has lifted 200 million people around the world out of hunger over the last 15 years. 8.8 million people including children benefited from food distributions, helping them to fight hunger and malnutrition. Donors like you, make a difference. Let’s work together for a #hungerfree world!

*Disclosure: I had received the Vol. 1 box complimentary from World Vision. All opinions in the post are my own.

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[Restaurant Opening with video] Kinton Ramen 7 in Markham

Website: http://www.kintonramen.com/
Address: 505 Hwy 7 East, Unit #54-58, Markham, ON
Date of First Visit: Jan. 2017, 2 people, dinner

2017 is off to an exciting start as Kinton Ramen has opened its 7th location at the Commerce Gate plaza in Markham. Similar to the downtown Toronto location (Kinton Ramen 5 review), the decor is sleek, modern and open, with a vibrant and loud atmosphere!

Check out the 25 second video of the outside and inside of Kinton Ramen 7

My husband and I had a chance to visit a few days before their official grand opening on January 28th, 2017. The menu at this location serves their famous pork and chicken ramen in the ‘original’, ‘shoyu’, ‘miso’ or ‘spicy garlic’ option, as well as the izakaya (tapas) menu from their Kinka Izakaya restaurants (review here). In fact, this is the only Kinton Ramen location to-date that has the dual menu. More reasons to make a trip to Markham!

Our shared dishes included:

  1. Pork Shoyu ramen with thick noodles ($10.99)

Kinton Ramen 7

2. Tako Wasabi-marinated octopus with wasabi stem ($4.80)

3 Spicy Tuna Tartare ($8.30)

4. Original Karaage- Japanese fried chicken ($8.30)

5. Gindara-grilled miso marinated black cod ($13.90)

6. Crispy Ramen Salad with deep-fried ramen noodles with BBQ pork on greens ($8.80)

7. Ton Ton Don-chopped pork seasoned with Kinton original sauce on rice ($3.90)

8. Almond Tofu ($4.5) and Black Sesame Soy Milk Pudding ($4.5)

Almond tofu and black sesame pudding

Aside from the chicken karaage being a tad overcooked, the other food items were consistent to their other locations and delicious. The highlights of the evening for me was the ramen, tako wasabi, black cod, and the black sesame pudding.

Hopefully the restaurant will work out their flow to accommodate a packed crowd as our food orders came out slow during the busy evening. Also, hopefully this location will get their liquor licence soon to accompany the izakaya dishes.


The stand out of the Kinton Ramen location is that they serve both izakaya style dishes and their famous ramen. Opening a location in Markham was a smart move and I foresee the restaurant doing well.

Kinton Ramen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

*Disclosure: Our meal was complimentary but the reviews in the post are my own. I was not asked to provide a review.

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Tickets for Recipe For Change 2017 available now!

Mark your calendars and get your tickets for Food Share’s 8th annual signature event-Recipe for Change! 

Thirty of Toronto’s top chefs reflecting Toronto’s diverse food scene will prepare their favourite dishes in an intimate setting at the St. Lawrence Market. Guests are invited to connect, celebrate and savour all while supporting vital food literacy work and school food and farm programs in Toronto.

I am so thankful to cover the event once again (2016 and 2015 experience). With the ticket price, it’s all you can eat and drink! Come stuff your faces and support Food Share, and “party for the future of food”!

About Recipe for Change/FoodShare:

FoodShare Toronto is Canada’s original direct field to table Community Food Hub. Since 1985, FoodShare has modeled a food system that is sustainable and accessible to everyone. We deliver good healthy food, and food education to underserved schools and communities through programs focused in fresh produce distribution, food literacy education and nutrition, urban agriculture, and community cooking. All programs support a variety of health, economic, environmental, community, and social benefits, and seek to improve food access for people and communities currently underserved by the food system. Find out more at www.foodshare.net.

Tickets are selling out quickly. Get your Tickets! ($115-135). 


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[Recipe] How to make tender duck confit

Looking for a delicious evening dining in at home? Duck confit is impressive and worth the effort. The best part is that the duck can be cooked hours before serving, giving you time to prepare other dishes.  The skin is then placed on a pan before serving to brown and crisp the skin.

I have made duck confit more than 5 times since this post and I can confidentially say that this recipe creates the most succulent duck that’s tender and packed with flavour from curing it the day before.  I found the oven method of cooking the duck low and low resulted in more tender meat over the stove top. I have tested out several cures, and this one is incredible with the aromatic Chinese 5 spice. I normally make a big batch of the cure and keep it in an air tight jar for future use.

Duck Confit by Mary’s Happy Belly

Where to buy the duck legs and duck fat?

I highly recommend making a trip to King Cole Ducks in Newmarket as they have a huge selection of duck products. Their products can be found at local supermarkets as well. For the duck fat, many grocery stores such as Longos sells it.

For my recipe, 8 of the King Cole Duck legs were purchased from a local butcher. For the remaining 2 legs, I bought an entire duck and sectioned out the legs. Most of the duck fat for my recipe was derived from rendering duck fat from previous whole ducks I had purchased. To render the fat, make sure to remove all the meat from the skin and place the skin on a pan on medium heat. Keep scooping out the fat as it renders and pass it through a sieve to remove any sediments. I know others like to blanch the skin first before placing it on a pan or oven, but I usually skip that step.

Did you know that duck fat can be re-used? Keep it refrigerated


Duck skin cracklings anyone?

Duck confit
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Cuisine: French
  • 10 duck legs
  • 12 cups of duck fat
  • Cure:
  • 4 tbsp of fresh thyme leaves
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 1 cup of kosher salt
  • ¼ cup of (granulated) sugar
  • 2 tbsp of black pepper
  • 2 tbsp of garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp of ground ginger
  • 2 tbsp of Chinese 5 spice powder
  1. Expose the bone near the tip of the duck legs (optional). Cut off excess fat.
  2. Mix all the ingredients in the cure in a blender until it the grind is fine.
  3. Rub the cure mixture on the skin and on both sides of the duck legs.
  4. Leave the duck to cure overnight in the fridge or up to 2 days.
  5. On the day of cooking, rinse off the cure, and pat dry the duck legs.
  6. Melt the duck fat in a pan.
  7. Preheat the oven to 225 degrees F.
  8. Place the duck legs snug in the roasting pan with the melted duck fat. The fat must cover all the duck legs.
  9. Place the duck in the oven and cook for 2 hours. The meat will become very tender.
  10. Before serving, remove the duck legs from the oil. Add duck fat in a heated pan and brown the skin.

Making the spice blend for curing the duck

There are several ways to serve the duck. For this dish, I skipped the browning part, and ripped the meat into pieces served on top of warm pita bread.


The duck can be served with duck fat potatoes and a rhubarb chutney.

You can also skip the step of exposing the bone (Frenching the bone). Here I served the duck with an apricot chutney, Brussels sprouts and basmati rice.

If you have any questions, comment below or connect with me.

For more delicious updates, make sure to follow me on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Maryshappybelly/

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