Food


Mom Who Runs...runs so she can consume some extra calories. I am passionate about entertaining, trying new recipes, tasting new products, exploring new restaurants and of course...I will be telling you about it RIGHT HERE. So if you are a foodie like I am, keep clicking on this column.

Aug
03

Long weekends are the perfect time to host a brunch. I started off with a trip to Evergreen Brick Works Farmers’ Market which provided inspiration to go home and start cooking.

For example: I bought a package of this…which I had never seen before and found out that it was totally edible and a member of the legume family!

brunch - clover

Here’s what I managed to make in slightly over 2 hours:

1. Chopped Egg: Not only did I add a little cream cheese, but I added a touch of Kozlik’s Horseradish mustard to it. Plus..I decorated the plate with the above mentioned flowers.

brunch - egg

2. Chopped Tuna. Here’s my little secret…add a touch of cream cheese when you mix up the tuna and the mayo together.

brunch - tuna

3. Salad: I bought a package of organic salad mix with edible flowers and threw it in the bowl with some more cut up romaine. How pretty is this?

brunch - salad

4. Beet Borsht shooters: These shooters certainly were a conversation starter when guests arrived.

brunch - shooters

5. Asparagus Tart: SO. EASY. TO. MAKE. Click here for the recipe.

brunch - tart

6. Blueberry Cobbler; Um…my guests really liked it. Can you tell? Click here for the recipe.

brunch - cobbler

7. Mint Pea Salad: Always a summer hit however I forgot to take a photo. Can you believe?

8. Avocado Corn Salad: I added a small amount of jalapeno and this made all the difference. Click here for the recipe.

brunch - avocado

9. Roasted Tomato/Roasted Garlic with St. Albert Twisted Cheese on Pumpernickel Rounds

brunch - appetizersAt the buffet, there were bagels, a small cheese tray, banana muffins and a cucumber salad too but I’m too tired to post anymore photos. Plus I don’t want to bore you!! However, here’s what the buffet looked like.

brunch - is served

Can’t wait to entertain again!!

Happy Cooking.

 

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Jul
29

Today I discovered a new product that I think is just brilliant. It’s called Beetborsht Inabeerbottle.
harbord - beet
I’m familiar with Borsht as I grew up with it but would NEVER (repeat NEVER) go near it. It was in a ugly bottle and it was simply unappealing.

However today I went into Harbord Bakery and came across this new concept and in a nano second I was having a sample. Within another nanosecond, I was buying 2 bottles. Just like that!!

harbord - store

The brains behind this bottle are: Rafi, Tyler and Misha.  Rafi (on the right) is one of the owners of Habord Bakery, along with his sister Susan. They are proudly celebrating their 70th Anniversary and this beetborsht inabeerbottle was created to celebrate this occasion.

harbord - rafi

Harbord Bakery is famous for this product as well as many other baked goods.

harbord - challah

On a side note: My dad is turning 87 at the end of August and I’m sure I will be bringing him a few bottles for him to enjoy. It’s going to be the perfect gift. I have no doubt, I will bringing more bottles to Ottawa for the Jewish New Year in September as well.

For more information:

Harbord Bakery, 115 Harbord St, Toronto
(416) 922-5767

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Jul
26

I had the opportunity to go on a tour with Foodies on Foot and visit an asparagus farm as well as a lavender farm! I don’t often get the chance to visit a farm but when the opportunity presents itself …I jump at the chance.

The asparagus farm was indeed a learning experience. I had no idea that asparagus grew like this. (see bottom left photo)

asparagus - farm

At the end of the day, we were given 11 pounds of asparagus. For about a week, I was pretty busy making asparagus soup, roasted asparagus, steamed asparagus etc.

I also made this delicious Spring Asparagus Tart that I discovered online. In no time at all, I had a pretty nice looking meal.

Here’s the recipe courtesy of Morgan Hass for Food Network Kitchens:

SPRING ASPARAGUS TART

INGREDIENTS:

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed (a 9 1/2- by 9-inch sheet from a 17.3-ounce package)

1 cup mascarpone

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 large egg, beaten

1 lemon, zest finely grated (about 1 tablespoon)

1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives

1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon

1 pound pencil asparagus, woody bottoms trimmed off

1 tablespoon olive oil

Freshly ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Lightly flour the work surface and roll out the puff pastry to a 9- by 12-inch even rectangle.  Transfer to the prepared baking sheet. I used PC Butter Puff Pastry and was really pleased with the results. This is now by “go-to” puff pastry of choice!

asparagus - puff

Combine the mascarpone, 1 1/4 teaspoons of the salt, the flour, egg and lemon zest, and then fold in the chives and tarragon.  (I didn’t have this spice handy ). Spread over the puff pastry, leaving a 3/4-inch border.

Toss the asparagus with the olive oil in a bowl. Lay half of the asparagus in a neat row across the surface of the tart so the tips meet the edge. Do the same in the opposite direction with the remaining asparagus. (the fancy part)

Season with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and some pepper. Bake until the border of the tart is deep golden and puffed and the top is lightly spotted golden brown, about 25 minutes. Let cool for 5 to 10 minutes and serve.

FINAL RESULT

asparagus - tart

Serve this tart with a few salads and you are good to go!!

asparagus - salads

To find out more information about Foodies on Foot, please visit their website www.foodiesonfoot.ca  or follow them on twitter @foodiesonfoot.

 

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Jul
22

My last blog post was about camping so I thought it would only be appropriate to do a blog post about GLAMPING. Here’s the definition of Glamping according to Wikipedia:

Glamping is a portmanteau of glamour and camping and describes a style of camping with amenitiesand, in some cases, resort-style services not usually associated with “traditional” camping. Glamping has become particularly popular with 21st century tourists seeking the luxuries of hotel accommodation alongside the escapism and adventure recreation of camping

My glamping experience this year, was at Langdon Hall as it fits my criteria when I want a QUICK escape. To be exact: It’s about an hour away from Yorkdale Shopping Centre.

langdon - hotel

I have been escaping to Langdon Hall for over a decade but only for a day trip (think Spa treatment and then hang out at the pool). But this trip I actually stayed overnight. What a treat!!

This meant I had time to play tennis, (twice!!) and go for a quick ride on a tandem bicycle. #FUN

langdon - activity

We even took advantage of the complimentary Wine Tasting that was taught by one of the sommeliers on staff (there’s actually a few of them at Langdon Hall). It was a fun blind wine tasting and sure enough my fav wine was a 2010 Charles Baker Riesling from Stratus Vineyards in Niagara on the Lake.

langdon - wine

During July and August, Langdon Hall offers a variety of complimentary activities for their guests: wine tastings, garden and history tours, cooking demonstrations and even a vegetable garden tour.

Naturally, we also relaxed by their exquisite pool.

langdon - pool

What strikes me the most about this majestic property is their lush grounds and their spectacular vegetable garden. I couldn’t stop snapping photos of GREEN!!

langdon - green

The highlight of our trip was the chance to eat at Langdon Hall and to chat with Chef Jason Bangerter.  Notable achievements while at Langdon Hall include:

  • Relais & Chateaux, Rising Chef Trophy 2015
  • Five Diamond Restaurant Award by CAA/AAA 2014
  • Gold Medal Plates, Toronto 2014 – Received the Bronze Medal, fundraising chefs competition for Canadian Olympic and Paralympic athletes.
  • The Good Food Innovation Awards – Received Gold by Food Day Canada for the demonstration of an innovative Canadian menu.
  • Relais & Chateaux, Gourmet Fest at Carmel by the Sea – selected as the only Canadian Chef to take part in this 60th anniversary celebration.

Sadly, we weren’t that hungry and only ordered two items from their dinner menu.

-East Coast oysters with rhubarb and green apricot mignonette, garden hot sauce.

langdon - oysters2

-Potted chicken liver pate with elderberry and thyme jelly, spring vegetables and sourdough crisps.

langdon - liver

I can’t wait to return and order more dishes from this talented Chef.

langdon - chef

I also can’t wait to sleep on their beds again. I actually had to look to see what I was sleeping on and discovered it’s a feather bed. I also found out when I was leaving that you can buy it online.  I think I will be treating myself to an early birthday gift (err..about 8 months early. LOL)

Of course, the service we received EVERYWHERE was spectacular. Everyone we encountered had a smile on their face ..the bellman, the pool staff, our waitress at the bar, the front desk staff and cleaning staff too. It was truly a pleasure to stay at this Relais & Chateaux, designated hotel. Just so you know – there’s only two properties in Canada with this designation.

Other exciting news about this property is their expansion, which include a new spa and more event space. It’s scheduled to open in the Fall and I have no doubt that it’s going to be magnificent. Can’t wait to check it out. (note to self: put this in my calendar…NOW)

langdon - constructionFor more information:

Langdon Hall, 1 Langdon Drive, Cambridge, ON
Telephone: 519-740-2100
reservations@langdonhall.ca

Twitter: @Langdon_Hall

Instagram: @LangdonHall

 

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Jul
19

It’s summer and the last thing I want to do is be in the kitchen. I don’t know about you but I cook a lot more in the winter.

Here’s a few things to make that will take no time at all so that you can spend more time enjoying the sunshine.

a) An appetizer with two ingredients: Piggies in a Blanket.

Not sure why I’ve never made these before. They are simple to make and simply delicious.

All you need is hot dogs (or Yves Veggie Dogs) and Pillsbury Croissant Dough.

2 ingredients - dough

Directions: Open up the tube of Pillsbury Croissant Dough. Cut into smaller strips. Wrap around a cut up hot dog. Bake for 25 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Could it get any simpler than this?

2 ingredients - piggies

b) Two ingredient dessert: Strawberry Galette. (sorry no photo)

Directions: Take any berry and boil it with a touch of sugar and a touch of water. Then take some PC butter pastry and put the berries in the middle and then fold it. Bingo – you’ve got yourself dessert.

c) Four ingredient desert: Ice Cream Cake

You will need; No Name Ice Cream Sandwiches, No Name Icing, a few cherries and a few PC chocolate chips.

dessert  - ice cream

Instructions: Place 4 ice cream sandwiches next to each other. Take the icing and spread it on top. (I’ve used the PC ice cream syrup for this and it worked as well). Basically you need something to act as “the glue”. LOL. Then take 4 more ice cream sandwiches and place it on top. Final step: more icing (or syrup) on top and then decorate with cherries and chocolate chips!! THIS DESSERT IS A WINNER. dessert - finalI love entertaining (as you know) and I love discovering recipes that are easy to make as well.

Do share your easy recipes with me!!

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Jul
10

I got tired of  making blueberry crisps, so I made a Blueberry Cobbler instead. (just like that) I searched online for a recipe and discovered that there’s LOTS of recipes out there….and they are all a little different!

After reading (err..scanning) thru many recipes I finally found one that suited my needs. This is code for …I had all the ingredients in the pantry/fridge.

It’s a winner. The blueberries become all goo-ey and the cobbler part was perfect.

Here’s the recipe:

Blueberry Cobbler (taken from www.wickedgoodkitchen.com)

Ingredients:

For the Blueberry Filling

6 cups of blueberries

1 cup of sugar (I used less)

2 teaspoons of grated lemon zest

3 tablespoons of all purpose flour

For the Buttery Biscuit Crumble Topping

1 cup plus 5 tablespoons of all purpose flour

6 tablespoons of sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder

1/4 teaspoon of salt

6 tablespoons of unsalted butter, chilled and cut into bits

1 large egg, slightly beaten

1 teaspoon of vanilla

1 tablespoon of sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Lightly butter a pie plate, baking dish etc.

2. Prepare the blueberry filling: Place blueberries into the prepared baking dish. In a small bowl, combine the sugar and lemon zest. Add the flour and whisk until thoroughly combined. Sprinkle evenly over the berries and toss gently.

 

blueberry - filling

3. Prepare the buttery biscuit crumble: In a bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt until well combined. Using a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles a course meal with small pea-sized pieces of butter.  In a small bowl, whisk the vanilla into the beaten egg. Gently toss the egg and vanilla into the flour mixture until moistened and the dough starts to hold together.

blueberry - crumble

4. Assemble the cobbler: Sprinkle the biscuit crumble evenly over the fruit filling. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon (if desired).

5. Bake for 40 minutes.

blueberry - final

**I promise that your kitchen is going to smell delicious and the blueberries will be bubbling away.

This recipe was so good that I’ve made this cobbler twice in one week.

Sadly I never have ice cream in my freezer but I bet this blueberry cobbler would be absolutely perfect with a scoop of ice cream!!

blueberry - plate

Happy Baking.

 

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Jul
06

Did you know that there’s dairy products where the cows are grass fed? Well, Rolling Meadow Dairy are proud to offer premium quality products made with Canadian Grass Fed Milk. They allow their cows to graze on pasture as long as the Canadian weather will allow. 

My kitchen has been “dairy” for over 2 decades so I really thought I was an ideal candidate to try their products. Sadly the butter was out of stock but I will be looking out for it on my next run to the grocery store.

rolling - products

It was natural for me to enjoy Rolling Meadow yogurt for breakfast along with a homemade strawberry/rhubarb jam.

rolling - yogurt

I enjoyed it so much that later that night I decided to serve waffles for dinner, with a dollop of yogurt and homemade blueberry jam. (recipe to follow)

rolling - waffles

Then for an after dinner snack, I decided to make a Strawberry Milkshake (using the strawberries I had picked from Whittamore’s Farm).rolling - milkshake

In my opinion, the Rolling Meadow Yogurt and Milk tastes different than other brands, however I say that in a good way not in a bad way.

In the event you are wondering what’s the benefit of eating Grass Fed products? Here’s your answer: The primary benefit is that the ratio of  Omega 6 to Omega 3 is significantly improved (up to 300%) vs. non-grass fed milk. One could say it’s a healthier product in addition and that it makes it more digestible for some consumer who have had challenges with milk digestibility in the past. (um..like me, who has been suffering from lactose intolerance for 5 years now)

For those who are interested how to make the jam, here’s a not so precise recipe.

1. Take some strawberries, raspberries, blueberries or even a combo of rhubarb and strawberries….and place it in a pot with a bit of water.

2. Add a bit of sugar (a bit).

3. Let it boil and after a few minutes, you have some  homemade jam.

Perhaps one day I will actually use my measuring cups and measuring spoons!!

For More Information:

Website: www.rollingmeadow.com. On a side note: I think there website is so well designed with fantastic content. Please take a peek.

Store Locator: Click here

Disclosure: I was compensated for this blog post however all my opinions are my own

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Jul
02

There’s a festival for everyone – a Hot & Spicy Food Festival, a Rib Festival (or two or three), Toronto’s Festival of Beer,  a Night Market, and many many more. Seriously, there’s no shortage of festivals.

I try to attend as many as I can, seeing as food is a strong interest of mine. It seems as if I’m always on the prowl to eat something different or discover a new product!

Here’s a recap of two food events that I recently attended:

1. Taste of Toronto:

The 2nd annual celebration of everything we love about food, takes place July 2-5 at Fort York. Taste of Toronto features 70 artisanal producers, interactive classes by star chefs and 50 dishes from the some of Toronto’s hottest chefs and restaurants.

This festival should be on your radar as the weather is going to be picture perfect over the next few days.

restaurants - taste

The big draw for foodies this year is the appearance of Morimoto, Chef Morimoto is known to millions as the star of Iron Chef and Iron Chef America—and the big news is the fact that he will be opening a restaurant in Toronto one day soon!

For more information about this event..(hours, admission prices etc) please click here.

2. Restaurantacular

This food festival that is located along Mount Pleasant Road, is a great chance to wander from restaurant to restaurant to enjoy the $2, $4 and $6 amuse bouche, appetizers and small bites they have prepared especially for this event.  Restaurantacular is a chance to try the many great restaurants in this neighbourhood, little bites at time.

food - restaurantacular

I’ve gone two years in a row so I can “eat my way along Mount Pleasant”. It’s a fun, neighbourhood event on a street that is known for their fabulous restaurants and bakeries!

Curious to know if you will be going to any food festivals this coming summer! Please let me know.

 

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Jun
28

Canada Day is soon approaching so here’s a few suggestions how to celebrate!

1. HOTEL TONIGHT
Cue the fireworks! This Canada Day, celebrate the nationwide party and then flop into bed, courtesy of Hotel Tonight. In honour of Canada’s 148th year, Hotel Tonight is offering hotel room deals at top hotels from $48 – $148 on June 30 and July 1. I just secured my room and I’m pumped. So download this app. Stat.

canada = hotelapp

2. WHITTAMORE’S FARM

Nothing like going strawberry picking. Just make sure you don’t wear white. Trust me.

canada - strawberry

3. ATTEND A BASEBALL GAME

For baseball fans, the Toronto Blue Jays will be playing the Boston Red Sox at 1 p.m. July 1.

4. PLAY TOURIST.

Have you ever done this? Recently I went up the CN Tower…just for fun. I honestly couldn’t remember the last time I went up the CN Tower.  PS. You can buy a Toronto CityPass that will allow you to access 5 Toronto attractions. Click here for more information.

canada - tourist

5. HEAD OUT OF TOWN.

A few weeks ago, I went to Elora for the day. It’s such a charming small town and worth checking out.  Next time, I hope to stay over night and really explore this city!!

canada - elora

 6. HOST A BBQ:

T’is the the perfect opportunity to celebrate Canada Day with a BBQ. Head to Walmart for great value on  OurFinest hamburgers, chips and drinks (plus many other products).  Add a salad or two. plus dessert and bingo you have you the perfect BBQ. For a full list of OurFinest products, please click here.


rolling - photo

Wishing everyone a Happy Canada Day!!

Disclosure: Parts of this blog post were compensated or complimentary, however all opinions are my own.

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Jun
25

It’s not every day that I drive to Mississauga to go check out a restaurant but I thought than an Indian Buffet with 150 delicious items, deserves a visit!!

tandoori - restaurant

Tandoori Flame is well recognized as North America’s Largest Indian Buffet & Restaurant with over 14,000 sq.ft. and with a capacity for more than 500 guests! As a result, there’s a lot of wedding parties, and celebrations held at Tandoori Flame. Not to mention that they have 11 food stations which means there is truly something for everyone!!
tandoori - promotions

I ate, and ate, and ate and before you knew it…I was stuffed. I’m pretty sure I went up to the buffet three times, if not 4..but who’s counting. LOL

tandoori - buffet

The food was fresh and flavourful. When I visit a buffet, I like to know that the food hasn’t been sitting out for hours and there’s no doubt that the food at Tandoori Flame is FRESH.

I’m also impressed that they “get” social media.

tandoori - social

 

Tandoori Flame has two locations and I really believe that this concept will continue to expand!

For more information:

Website: www.tandooriflame.com

Locations:
8150 Dixie Rd, Brampton, (905) 451-1686
 5975 Mavis Rd,Mississauga (905) 502-8555

Twitter; @TandooriFlame

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tandooriflame

Disclosure: My meal was complimentary, however all opinions are my own.

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