Mythos in Montreal Offers Magnificent Greek Fair

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We recently had the opportunity to share a fine dinner with family at Mythos located at 5318 Avenue Du Parc in Montreal, Quebec. Our waiters, were the brothers, Jimmy (Dimitri) and Peter (Panagioti).

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We had cocktails, that were expertly prepared. My cosmopolitan was just right, as was almost everything else we ordered this fine Montreal evening. They were seasoned professionals, who made sure that the kitchen orders were timed just right.

The Greek salad with fresh tomatoes and feta cheese was delicious.

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TOMATO SALAD

As appetizers we shared deep fried calamari, the grilled octopus platter that came with grilled peppers and a platter of grilled vegetables (yes redundant, but different vegetables).  The calamari were cooked to perfection, not at all rubbery, as sometimes happens. They were cooked in a light batter, spiced with pepper.  I would have liked some marinara sauce to dip them in, but it is a Greek Restaurant and not an Italian one.  Likewise, the grilled octopus was amazing, probably the best we ever had.  It was again, just right, not dry or rubbery.  The kitchen was kind enough to share their recipe with us–check for this below.  The equally splendid grilled vegetable platter came with asparagus, mushrooms, egg plant, red, yellow and green peppers and more, grilled to perfection after being marinated with a nice (balsamic?) vinegar.
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GRILLED OCTOPUS

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GRILLED VEGETABLES

As a main course, my brother had the New Zealand Lamb Chops which were perfectly marinated and grilled to perfection. They came with a potatoe and escarole that had been stir fried with garlic.

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LAMB CHOPS

I had the classic Greek Moussaka.  I have to say that this was likely the best that I ever had.  The bechamel sauce, which was perfectly infused with herbs and flavors, held the egg plant and ground beef together with a creamy and scrumptious texture.

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MOUSSAKA

We ordered the house wine by the glass, it was a Greek wine that tasted like a merlot. For dessert, to accompany the lattes and cappuccino, we all had the baklava.  I was a bit disappointed that it had less honey than I would have liked, it looked like a cake or pie and did not hold together when cut into. It wasn’t your typical few layers of filo dough with pistachios and honey in a square shape.

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BAKLAVA

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Everything at Mythos is big. If you are looking for great tasting classic Greek food with engaging wait staff, pay a visit to Mythos, and you will be delighted.  We give it 4.5 stars out of 5 stars!

So, how do you avoid rubbery octopus?  We visited the kitchen and were surprised that the lead cook was Pakistani, Safraz.  The octopus is defrosted, the tentacles are sliced, and put in a baking pan, marinated with vinegar (I would use balsamic.) Bay leaves are added as are other spices to the marinate.  The marinating octopus is then baked at 400F in the oven for an hour. The octopus is then left to cool and put in the fridge to marinate further until ready to be grilled, on order. Voila a perfect grilled octopus!

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Three Mushroom, Butternut Squash Risotto

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INGREDIENTI

1 lb, 16 Oz, 454 g of Arborio Rice
16 to 20 labels/ cups of chicken stock (actual amount depends on starch content of rice)
1 cup diced shitake mushrooms
1 cup diced baby bella mushrooms
1 diced onion
2 dice carrots (can be in the chicken soup stock)
celery stalks
2 or 3 diced scallions
1 to 2 cups of diced butternut squash

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PROCEDURE

Drizzle the bottom of a medium sized sauce pot with 3 mm or 1/4 inch of olive oil
Stir fry the squash and carrots with the onions for 5 min on high heat

Add the Arborio rice and stir in done more olive oil, about 3 TBSP

After 3 min, start adding 1 ladel or cup of the chicken stock ( I like to have chunks of chicken in it..)

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Stir constantly and as the stock is absorbed keep adding more stock 1 or 2 cups at a time; do so on high to medium heat, depending on stove, continue doing so for about 30 min

At the 20 min mark, add the rest of the vegetables

Season, as needed, especially if the stock has no seasoning (unlikely in my case)

As the rice becomes creamy, let rest and simmer for 10 min

Turn heat off by 40 min and serve as a side or as a hearty meal

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Stir as rice absorbs broth

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Lower heat at 25 to 30 min mark to medium, as continue slowly adding more stock until rice is creamy

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Enjoy!

Serious Mobility for Serious Business

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Press Release

BlackBerry Passport Redefines Productivity for Mobile Professionals with Boundary-Breaking Design and Features

1:1 Aspect Ratio and Touch-Enabled Keyboard Challenge Industry’s Status Quo

Waterloo, ON – Continuing its strategy to arm mobile professionals with tools that make them more productive, BlackBerry Limited (NASDAQ: BBRY; TSX: BB), a global leader in mobile communications, today launched the BlackBerry® Passport. Featuring a large square touch screen and new QWERTY touch-enabled keyboard, the BlackBerry Passport is a device purpose-built for productivity-driven business professionals who want a smartphone that empowers them with the mobile tools they need to get things done, without sacrificing style or portability.

“As we set out to design BlackBerry Passport, we were guided by a simple yet challenging idea – to set aside the limitations of traditional design and to instead simply build a device that fundamentally changes the way business professionals get work done on their smartphone,” said John Chen, Executive Chairman and CEO at BlackBerry. “The BlackBerry Passport was created to drive productivity and to break through the sea of rectangular-screen, all-touch devices.”

Thoughtful Design for the Mobile Professional

Inspired by actual passports, the universal symbol of mobility, the size and form factor of BlackBerry Passport is portable enough to easily tuck into pockets and use wherever you go. Utilizing premium, robust materials such as Corning® Gorilla® Glass 3 for the display and forged stainless steel for added strength, BlackBerry Passport will provide the durability business professionals require in a smartphone.

The large square screen is optimized for viewing and creating content, and will make everyday tasks like reading and writing emails, reviewing and editing documents, web browsing, and map navigation, more comfortable and effortless. The BlackBerry Passport includes the industry’s first touch-enabled keyboard with gestures that make typing, editing and navigating more efficient and accurate. BlackBerry’s physical QWERTY keyboards have always made it easier for users to create polished, professional communications with exceptional accuracy. BlackBerry Passport’s new QWERTY keyboard is almost four times more accurate than BlackBerry® 10 virtual keyboards – the error rate is on average 74% lower – so there are fewer typos to get in the way of what you’re trying to say.

The BlackBerry Passport along with Porsche Design P’9983 smartphone from BlackBerry®, are the first devices to launch on BlackBerry’s latest OS platform, BlackBerry® 10.3. They come preloaded with new productivity-enhancing features including BlackBerry® Blend and BlackBerry® Assistant, as well as the BlackBerry® World™ storefront and Amazon Appstore, offering access to the very best apps for work and play.

BlackBerry Blend

BlackBerry Blend brings messaging and content that is on your BlackBerry smartphone to your computer and tablet. Get instant message notifications, read and respond to your work and personal email, BBM™ or text messages, and access your documents, calendar, contacts and media in real time on whatever device you are on, powered by your BlackBerry. BlackBerry Blend is being introduced on the BlackBerry Passport and will work across desktop operating systems, including Mac OS X 10.7 +, Windows® 7+ and Android™ tablets running Android 4.4+ via cellular, USB or Wi-Fi connections. BlackBerry is also working to bring the Blend experience on other tablets soon. The downloadable version of BlackBerry Blend for Macs and PCs is available today at http://www.BlackBerry.com/Blend, on the Apple® App StoreSM for iPad tablets, or via the Google Play™ Store for Android tablets.

Highlight features of the BlackBerry Passport include:

Large High-Resolution Square Screen – The BlackBerry Passport includes a 4.5″ square screen with a 1:1 aspect ratio, 1440×1440 pixel (453 dpi) HD display and Corning® Gorilla® Glass 3 for added strength.
Innovative BlackBerry® Keyboard – The BlackBerry Passport’s revolutionary new keyboard brings innovation to input with a responsive touch surface like a trackpad that lets you perform many touch functions directly on the keyboard. You can scroll web pages, flick to type or slide along the keys to move the cursor, leaving the full screen space for viewing.
BlackBerry® 10 OS 10.3 – The BlackBerry Passport comes preloaded with the new BlackBerry 10.3 operating system, including new features such as BlackBerry Assistant, BlackBerry Blend and Amazon Appstore. It has a fresh look that incorporates updated icons and an instant action bar so that each user’s most commonly accessed functions are in the center of their screen.
Best-in-Class Battery Life – The 3450 mAh battery is the largest among the top selling smartphones and phablets and, when tested against a very active user, provides up to 30 hours of mixed use. It’s our best battery power to date.*
Dual app storefronts for a Wealth of Professional and Popular Apps – BlackBerry® World – BlackBerry World showcases essential productivity apps for business professionals looking to drive efficient communications and collaboration. / Amazon Appstore – Preloaded on BlackBerry Passport, users can access popular consumer apps through the Amazon Appstore, including the latest Android games and apps, such as Minecraft – Pocket Edition, Candy Crush Saga, Pinterest, Temple Run 2 and Cut the Rope 2.
BlackBerry® Assistant – The BlackBerry Assistant is BlackBerry’s first digital assistant and can be used with voice and text commands to help users manage work and personal email, contacts, calendar and other native BlackBerry 10 applications. BlackBerry Assistant intelligently determines how to respond to you based on how you interact with it – if you type, it responds silently, if you speak, it speaks back and if you activate over Bluetooth, it speaks back with additional context because it assumes you might not have access to the screen.
Premium Components – The device is built for the most demanding user using durable materials mixed with top-of-the-line technology, including a Quad Core 2.2 GHZ Processor, 3 GB RAM, 13 MP OIS rear camera and 32 GB memory.
BlackBerry® Natural Sound – BlackBerry Passport comes with powerful speakers and a quad microphone system that delivers a high-quality listening experience. BlackBerry Natural Sound Technology is built in to adapt Wi-Fi and cellular call sound depending upon phone position and background noise, automatically adjusting volume so you don’t have to.
Availability

The BlackBerry Passport is now available through local carriers around the world and online through ShopBlackBerry.com and Amazon.com. For more information about BlackBerry Passport, please visit http://www.BlackBerry.com/Passport. To learn more about BlackBerry Blend, please visit http://www.BlackBerry.com/Blend.

Based on mixed usage scenario. Many factors affect battery life, including network connectivity, application usage, feature configuration and battery age. Actual results may vary.

About BlackBerry

A global leader in mobile communications, BlackBerry® revolutionized the mobile industry when it was introduced in 1999. Today, BlackBerry aims to inspire the success of our millions of customers around the world by continuously pushing the boundaries of mobile experiences. Founded in 1984 and based in Waterloo, Ontario, BlackBerry operates offices in North America, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Asia Pacific and Latin America. The Company trades under the ticker symbols “BB” on the Toronto Stock Exchange and “BBRY” on the NASDAQ. For more information, visit http://www.BlackBerry.com.

Beauty is All Around

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Sometimes we take for granted the beauty that is all around us. Just this evening I went for a walk in my neighborhood and I was enchanted by the caring gardeners that add vistas of splendor.

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These are certainly nurturing individuals who I am grateful for adding beauty to my walks. Often times, we take long trips by car and plane to escape our immediate surroundings when exploring close to home we might be surprised by what we discover: parks, gardens and folks from home.

Are You A Locavore?

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How local do you buy? It seems that supporting local growers, even city gardens, helps people introduce the fresh produce and greens at affordable prices into their diets that otherwise would be lacking.

Fresh from the garden is pictured above; Italian locavore that I am! The ten best states to eat local, are, interestingly, the top 10 to offer top ten health care:

http://t.co/wspbhKdmkK

Mozzarela Sticks

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2 whole 16 Oz mozzarella
Cut 1/2 inch thick length of cheese
Coat in:
A-flour
B-egg
C-italian style bread crumbs

Deep fry for 30  seconds in cannola oil
Towel dry the oil
Serve with your favorite marinara sauce

Note for easier frying, freeze on sheets for two hours or until ready to use. Deep fry frozen until golden brown.

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