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Family-Friendly Fun in Winnipeg This Spring

Please note that this is a sponsored post, but all the opinions are my own.*

Spring has sprung in Winnipeg. Guys, I am so excited! The weather is finally warming up and restrictions are lifting, and we are starting to get into a sense of normalcy in our lovely city. With the warmer weather approaching, we wanted to get out-and-about with our boys and enjoy Spring 2022!

Adventure waits for no one, and we took the weekend to discover some family-fun spring activities with the boys. Check out our amazing weekend of fun my favourite city. This is a true testament to a ton of amazing things that Winnipeg, MB has to offer. Family-fun in the city is a throwback to my childhood and all the things in the city that are near and dear to my heart. 

1.) Assiniboine Park Zoo

  • 460 Assiniboine Park Drive

We are Zoo members, and we use our membership throughout the year. It is so wonderful to see the animals year-round and the walk around the zoo is a feel-good activity that we all enjoy. We try to discover new spots when we go. This time we found our way into the Toucan Ridge which was super cool! The boys loved the large tropical plants, and it was so neat seeing the animals so close. (Ps. There are mice running around everywhere!) We also hit up the Dinosaurs UnCovered exhibit and Jasper loved it so much we had a hard time leaving. Overall, the Assiniboine Park Zoo is a classic go-to when you think of activities to do in Winnipeg.

2.) Staycation Location – Viscount Gort Hotel

  • 1670 Portage Avenue

The past couple of years have been amazing for staycations in Winnipeg. There have been so many great programs to get people to stay at our local hotels when they couldn’t go other places. We love a good staycation, and this was no exception. 

We had a wonderful stay at the Viscount Gort. The hotel itself is nice and clean. The staff was very friendly, and our sleep was very good. We had an adorable adjoining room for us, and the boys and it was the perfect set up for us. We stayed on the same floor as the pool and noise levels were good. The pool had a slide, hot tub, and a small shallow pool that was perfect for Jasper. We were not interrupted by the noise at all and there was an 18th birthday the night we stayed and a 7th birthday as we were leaving. 

Our room had a King bed, with an adjoining suite room with one Queen bed and a pull-out. Each room had a bathroom and coffeemaker, microwave, and mini fridge. These were all great options for our overnight stay and even better if we stayed for the entire weekend. 

We also had breakfast the next day and the breakfast was delicious, and the wait staff was top notch. We really do a lot of eating-out and the staff in the restaurant were super attentive and the breakfast was delicious. This was probably one of my favourite staycations in the city! 

3.) Flying Squirrel

  • 1250 St. James Street

If you ever want to get your kids to burn some energy, take them to Flying Squirrel! We love this place. Kato asks to come here all the time. The boys have so much fun and it’s so nice to be able to sit for a bit as parents and let the kids run wild. But don’t get me wrong, I love a good trampoline jump as well. This was truly a fun-for-everyone kind of activity. However, it does remind me that when you get older, jumping is harder on the body (LOL). Exercise with caution, friends 🙂 Also, it was very busy when we went on the weekend! It was super wild to see so many people in one place again, but it felt good!

4.) Dinner is Served – Sushi Cushi

  • 1045 St. James Street

We love supporting local spots. We usually frequent at least one every weekend. This weekend we went to one of our favourite sushi joints in the heart of St. James! Just off St. James St. in the strip mall where The Brick is, Sushi Cushi has been one of our favourite sushi places in the city for years. Our fav rolls include Tuna Bakudan, Philadelphia rolls, and Tuna Tataki. Honestly, everything is good at Sushi Cushi. They even have great party trays and we have ordered from them for many family gatherings. Regardless of where you choose to have dinner, before you pick a franchise or chain– maybe consider trying something new! Check out a local favourite and support a local spot! Some great stops in the area include: A Little Pizza Heaven, Good Earth, Les Saj, Yafa Cafe, Fortune Cooking, FOODTRIP Kitchen, and The Burger Place.

5.) Manitoba Children’s Museum

  • 45 Forks Market Road

How old were you when you first stepped onto the Manitoba Children’s Museum train? Ha! The space is perfect for kids to learn and explore and play. One of my favourite things to do is watch the boys discover new things. The nostalgia from the old train and the newness of the modern exhibits for kids really hit home for us. I also love that they have a dedicated toddler space, Tot Spot.

Jasper really had a lot of fun here (it wasn’t his first time but the first time he can remember). Our favourite spots included the water tables, the excavator, and the train! See below for some of the fun that was had. 

6.) The Forks

  • 1 Forks Market Road

#meetmeatTheForks We frequent the Forks quite often. Pre-pandemic, we would go every weekend and we had a regular routine. We still go a few times a month as it has some of our favourite sips and eats around. Kato’s favourite is the Shoyu Ramen from Fusian Experience. Aiden’s favourite is the Steak and fries from Simon’s steaks. Jasper loves the chicken fingers and fries from Zorba’s. TJ’s favourite coffee joint is both Fools and Horses and Harrison’s (both at the Forks!). My favourite are the Doubles from Bindy’s Carribbean Delights! We loved sitting down after a busy day.

Winnipeg has so much to offer. I’m going to say that one more time (and louder for those in the back) because I find that as a local resident, we really forget all the things that are available to us in our city to experience and enjoy. WINNIPEG HAS SO MUCH TO OFFER. I hope that this inspires you to discover (or re-discover) my favourite city. There are so many family-friendly options and activities available to do this spring. I encourage you to try one of things we did or, tell me what you do with your kids this spring!

Love through Food: Hainanese Chicken Rice

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Something that I learned about myself a long time ago was that I, like many other typical asian moms, show love through food. There is something about feeding the body that to me that feeds the soul. Its like saying “hey, nourish your body with this food I have prepared. I hope you will feel the love I put into it when I thought of making it for you.” If you’ve been watching my Instagram stories lately, you know I’ve been doing a lot of cooking. There is something that comes over me in the creation of food that feels so natural and it is so satisfying to finish a recipe that I’ve never tried before. I know there are a ton of soul foods that start with chicken and carbs and while Hainanese Chicken rice isn’t one of my childhood memories, the amount of videos I’ve been watching lately really show a lot of the love and care that goes into making it. I felt like I had to try it for myself.

So, here’s my take on Hainanese Chicken Rice. I watched a ton of different videos and didn’t base the recipe on any particular recipe but I watched several videos and looked up a dozen different versions and each one had it’s own nuances, different things they slightly added, different varieties of sauce, different ways of making their rice, and this was the version I put together for you.

Video of how I made the chicken and rice on my TikTok and Instagram.

HAINANESE CHICKEN

  • whole chicken (mine was about 2 kg)
  • ¼ cup salt
  • 2 inch ginger cut into 1/4 in slices
  • 4-6 stalks of green onion
  • water (to cover)
  • 1 tbs tumeric
  • 1 chicken boullion (I used Better Than Bouillion)
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil

HAINANESE RICE

  • 2 tablespoons chicken fat, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups jasmine long grain rice, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups reserved chicken broth

CHILI SAUCE

  • 1 tablespoons sambal
  • 1 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar

GINGER GARLIC SAUCE

  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, grated
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons Canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar

SAUTEED BOK CHOY

  • baby bok choy, washed and cut at base
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

Preparation

  1. Rub chicken all over with salt, exfoliate. Rinse the chicken well inside and out. Pat dry with paper towels.
  2. Remove any excess fat from the chicken and set aside for later.
  3. Season the chicken with salt. Stuff the chicken cavity with the ginger slices, 5-6 cloves of garlic, and scallions.
  4. Place the chicken in a large stock pot, cover with cold water by 1 inch (2 cm), and add tumeric and bouillion.
  5. Bring to a boil over high heat, then immediately reduce the heat to low to maintain a simmer. Cover and cook for about 30 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F (75°C). Remove the pot from the heat.
  6. Remove the chicken from the pot and transfer to an ice bath for 5 minutes to stop the cooking process and to keep the chicken skin springy. Discard the ginger, garlic, and green onion.
  7. After it’s cooled, pat the chicken dry with paper towels and rub all over with sesame oil. This will help prevent the chicken from drying out.
  8. Break down the chicken and save the carcass
  9. In a large wok or skillet, add the reserved chopped chicken fat over medium-high heat and render it down. Remove the extra pieces of chicken fat. Add the garlic, and fry until aromatic (about 20-30 seconds – before it starts to burn), then add rice and toast the grains for a few minutes.
  10. Transfer the toasted rice and garlic mixture to a rice cooker and add 2 cups (480 ml) of reserved poaching broth.
  11. Add the chicken carcass you saved to the rice and broth and steam the rice in the rice cooker.
  12. While the rice is cooking, make the sauces and bok choy
  13. Make the chili sauce: combine the sambal, sugar, and vinegar into a bowl and stir to incorporate.
  14. Make the ginger garlic sauce: in a small bowl, combine the ginger, garlic, sugar, heated canola oil, and rice vinegar, and stir to incorporate.
  15. Make the bok choy: in a small bowl mix cold water, corn starch, oyster sauce, and sugar. In a wok with oil at medium-high heat, add garlic and sautee until fragrant, quickly add bok choy and sautee for about 30 seconds to a minute until it starts to wilt. Add oyster sauce mixture and heat until sauce thickens and it is done.
  16. Serve the sliced chicken with the rice, dipping sauces, and bok choy.
  17. Enjoy! ❤

This recipe was a ton of fun, I might make it into a series. Tell me in the comments if you liked this and if you want to see more!