It’s rare that I post a recipe from a magazine. I don’t know why I don’t do it more often, because I honestly find the recipes in Canadian Living to be extraordinary. Not only are they beautifully photographed, but they are often very intriguing!
Last month’s Canadian Living inspired me the make a sweet corn and barley risotto that was a huge success!
Of course, I used Organic Pearled Barley from Gold Forest Grains.
When most of the liquid is absorbed, and the barley is fully cooked, you’re good to go!
Next step is to add the cheese. I used a whole piece of Parmesan from Sylvan Star for this recipe. It added so much to the flavour!I also added some fresh garden chives to the mix.
I transferred the whole lot to the crockpot to keep it warm, as I was bringing it to a potluck that evening. It made for a great addition to a fantastic evening of cider pressing.
Sweet Corn Barley Risotto (courtesy of Canadian Living)
You will need:
1.5 cups vegetable broth
1 cup dry white wine
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 cup pearled barley
1 cup fresh corn kernels
1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup milk
In a saucepan, bring broth and wine to a simmer, keep warm. Meanwhile, in another pot, brown onion and garlic until soft. Add barley, cook, stirring to coat. Mix in corn. Add broth and wine mixture to barley mixture, stirring occasionally, until barley is creamy and cooked, for about 45 mins. Stir in Parmesan, and enjoy!
Ah, fall. ‘Tis the time for leaves crunching underfoot, warm harvest soups and stews in your crockpot, and the time to pick apples. For the past 3 years, Justin and I have been members of Operation Fruit Rescue Edmonton (OFRE). This wonderful organization strives to find the fruit hidden in our city. As a Fruit Captain, I organize fruit picks in Edmontonians’ yards. This fruit, that otherwise would have gone to waste, is divided between the volunteer fruit pickers, OFRE, and a local charity. It’s a great way to save fresh local organic fruit from ending up in the landfill, plus, you get to go home with a plethora of free fruit! This year, Justin and I opted to picked as many apples as we could.
Last week, we were extremely fortunate to be invited to Kevin Kossowan‘s to partake in a fantastic evening filled with great company, amazing food, and (the crowning glory) apple juicing. Some of you may know Kevin as the co-founder and owner Lactuca, as the Canadian Prairie’s Slow Food Hero, or as the co-owner and operator of Shovel and Fork. All around, he is extremely passionate about local food, making it his life’s work. We could not have been more excited to be invited to use his famous juicer.
Upon entering Kevin’s yard, we were blown away at his efficient use of space. It seemed as if every square inch of the backyard was being used to grow food. Here are his famous cold frames, and his cob oven.
The cob oven has its own story. I encourage you to watch it.
The cold frames help supply greens for Lactuca, one of his businesses.
Here’s an example of how Kevin has managed to efficiently use every single inch of his yard for food production. This tiny triangle of greenery is wedged between a cold frame and a walking path. This is pure genius! It inspired Justin and I to do some future crafty landscaping in our yard.
After a while, we wanted to get in on this action and help. I did so by helping to crush the apples in the garburator. That’s right. Kevin uses a garburator to crush the apples before they go into the press. This ensures that you get the most juice possible out of the apples. Genius! I do not, however, think that the inventor of the garburator had this in mind when he came up with the idea…
Slow, fire roasted chicken and pork from Nature’s Green Acres.
This chicken liver mouse was to die for. It’s a Julia Child recipe! Stay tuned for a future recipe post!
In the end, we got 20 liters of golden, delicious, fresh apple juice to take home with us. Thank you, Kevin, for the fantastic evening, for opening your home to us and sharing your knowledge.
While I cannot tell you yet what we’ve decided to make with all the juice (it’s a surprise!), know that it will be a fantastic adventure all on it’s own.
Ah, fall. You can tell that fall is in the air when you see Halloween candy begin to appear at the grocery store, when pumpkin spiced lattes begin to pop up at every coffee shop, and when you begin to crave hearty warming stews.
This week, I made some more freezer meals for my mommy, who is recovering from hip surgery. I figured it would be smart to make some crockpot freezer meals, because they are super hands off and a cinch to make!
Today on the blog: White Bean Butercup Pumpkin Chili. Nothing says fall to me like squash. I love squash, especially buttercup (my all time favourite). It has deliciously hearty, sweet notes of awesome. Plus, they are extremely good for you!
Here’s what you need to assemble this meal (Don’t worry, the ingredients are listed below!)
First things first, brown up the turkey in a skillet, adding all your favourite spices.
Next, throw all other ingredients into your big ziplock freezer bag.
At the end of the day, I made 8 crockpot freezer meals and loaded up my mom’s freezer. She’s got plenty of tasty deliciousness to get her through the next few weeks!
Here’s the tasty chili, all cooked up and ready to be enjoyed. Serve with a dollop of sour cream, and enjoy. A lot!
Jacquie’s Awesome White Bean Buttercup Pumpkin Chili
You will need:
1 package of lean ground turkey
Your favourite chili spices
1 small buttercup squash
1 can pack pumpkin
1 can white kidney beans
1 medium onion
1 medium red pepper
1.5 cups chicken broth
Your favourite chili toppings, for garnish
Begin by browning turkey in a skillet with a little bit of cooking oil and add you favourite spices to season. Set aside and let turkey cool. In the meantime, using a very sharp knife, peel and cube the buttercup. This is definitely the most labour intensive part of making this recipe, but it is 100% worth it. Next, dice your onions and peppers. Once the turkey is cooled, add all ingredients to a large ziplock bag. You can freeze for up to 3-4 months, or you can have on hard for a quick weeknight dinner. To cook, throw in the crockpot on low for max 6 hrs (I say this because any longer than 6 hrs makes the squash disintegrate, and it is so much tastier when you have cooked, but firm, pieces of quash throughout the chili.) Serve with a dolop of sour cream, or any of your other favourite chili ingredients. Cosy up on a cool fall evening and enjoy, a lot.
I love cauliflower. It’s one of those veggies that is extremely unique to the taste and just looks plain cool. It comes in a variety of shapes and sizes (from white, to green, to even purple), and to top it all off, cauliflower is a cancer fighting agent! So, now that I’ve convinced you to eat your veggies, let me share with you a super tasty cauliflower recipe.
I picked up this bad boy at Riverbend Gardens at the Strathcona Market. They were all the same price, so I opted for the largest one they had!
Now here’s the key to this recipe: Ras el Hanout spice blend from Food You Can Cook. This Moroccan spice blend is sweet on the nose and fiery hot on the tongue. It is smoky, savoury and all around intriguing. I highly recommend picking up one of these next time you’re at the French Quarter’s Farmer’s Market. It’s great to have on hand, anytime you want to add a little spice to your life.
I used Mighty Trio’s Canola Oil to roast these puppies to perfection.
Once they are roasted to perfection, serve alongside a bowl of plain yogurt, for dipping. The yogurt definitely helps takes the edge off this spicy treat. If you can handle the heat, try it without. Your taste buds will welcome the adventure.
Jacquie’s Awesome Moroccan Spiced Roasted Cauliflower
You will need:
1 large head of cauliflower, diced into bit sized florets
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon Ras el Hanout spice blend from Food You Can Cook
1 tsp cinamon
Seasoning salt, to taste
Preheat oven to 375 or preheat BBQ on low. Wash and dice cauliflower into florets. Add all other ingredients and toss to coat evenly. Throw into a baking dish and bake, if in oven, for 15-20 min, until florets are golden; if on BBQ, until edges begin to blacken a little. Serve immediately with a side of plain yogurt, to take the edge off. Enjoy, a lot!
I’ve had an excellent summer of new food discoveries. One of them being that Elaine Wilson of Food You Can Cook had created a plethora of new sauces and spices for my culinary adventures. I made this discovery while perusing the booths at the French Quarter’s Farmer’s Market one Sunday afternoon. Well, of course I got a little excited and got a whole bunch of new sauces and spice mixes to try.
Elaine’s Thai Satay Peanut Sauce was heavenly. Sweet, spice and nutty. It was a great base for a stir fry.
I chopped up some veggies (peppers, onions and yellow zucchini).
Then I chopped up some chicken breast into bite sized pieces and browned them before popping in the veggies. When everything’s mostly cooked, add the sauce. One thing I find with Elaine’s sauces is that if you apply too much heat, or cook them too long with veggies, they tend to get a little watery or “break” and loose a bit of their flavour. There’s a simple way to avoid this – only add the sauce at the end, when everything is mostly cooked. You’ve got to treat her sauces with the respect they deserve if you want them to love you back. 🙂
I served the tasty mix on a bed of Jasmine rice, for a Thai feast fit for foodie adventurer. If you have any leftovers, it makes for a great topping for a flat bread pizza. Just add a little bit of smoked cheese on top, and broil on high for 5 mins and voila! Tasty Chicken Peanut Satay Pizza.
Awesome Chicken Peanut Satay
You will need:
1 jar of Peanut Satay sauce from Elaine Wilson’s Food You Can Cook
1 red bell pepper
1 medium onion
1 medium sized yellow zucchini
3 chicken breasts
1 cup Jasmine rice
Or, if making flat bread:
1 flat bread
1 cup aged white cheddar
Begin cooking rice according to package instructions. Chop chicken into bite sized pieces and brown in a saucepan. Dice veggies and add to chicken. Once veggies are cooked almost all the way (cooked, but still a little crunchy), add sauce. Heat till warm. Serve on top of rice.
If you have leftovers, pile on top of a flat bread, top with cheese and broil for 5 min on high in the oven. Enjoy. A lot!
Sometimes you just need meals that are super easy to assemble to have on hand at a moment’s notice. This happened recently in my family, when my mom went in for hip replacement surgery. My little sister, who is running her own business and acting as my mom’s primary caregiver during her recovery, put me and my sisters on food duty. Because I find myself having limited time lately, I crafted some very simple meals that could be frozen and popped in the oven whenever she needed them. This rock awesome taco pie was one of them.
For the seasoning, I used a good old package of Old El Paso taco mix. Ok, Ok. I know. It’s no local and fantastic spice mix from Elaine Wilson’s food you can cook, but sometimes, you just need to use what is on hand for convenience. This is definitely one of those times.
I melted the cheese into the mix and made sure it was fully incorporated.
For 2 taco pie, you will need:
1 lb lean ground beef
1 jar of salsa
1 can of corn
1 can black beans
1 package of light cream cheese
3 large tortillas
1 cup of cheddar cheese, shredded
Dice onion and ground together with beef until fully cooked. Add taco seasoning and follow packages instructions. Once seasoning is fully incorporated, drain cans of corn and beans and add to beef. Add salsa to beef. Mix well. Add cream cheese and let melt for 2-3 mins in the beef mixture before mixing well to combine. To assemble the taco pie, line deep dish pie shell with tortilla. Add a layer of the beef mixture. Top with cheese. Repeat layers 3 times finishing with cheese. You can freeze the taco pie for up to 3-4 months. Or, if you want, pop it in the oven, covered, at 400 for 20 mins, then uncover for another 15. Serve with a side salad and enjoy, a lot!
Back in June, I was invited to take part in an awesome event. Gemma from Dishcrawl had sent me an email inviting me to come and blog about a dishcrawling experience through Southgate. I was even going to receive a free ticket in exchange for a blog post. How sweet is that? I was so for it. Unfortunately, my schooling had other plans. I had to miss out on this awesome opportunity, much to my annoyance. Now, being done school and in a stable job, I am able to attend events on the weekend at my leisure. I emailed Gemma right away and signed up for Neighbourfood.
So, this Dishcrawl experience is a little different from the traditional ones, where you could crawl from restaurant to restaurant and revel in tasty food throughout a community. The neighbourfood dishcrawling experience was more like a festival. Like a Taste of Edmonton, if you will, but a little different…
First things first, we received our map and food tickets (they were sold separately from the admission ticket to the event.) Because we had only purchased 7 tickets, Justin and I sat down and planned our route wisely. We wanted to try interesting dishes at restaurants we’ve never been before. And so we began dishcrawlin’ ’round the neighbourfood…
First stop, the Manor. Beautiful! While I have been there before with my family, I liked it so much I thought I’d give it another go. They served a duck sausage with caramelized onions on a crostini. It was surprisingly… ok. The sausage was rather salty, although I liked the texture (it had no casing), but the onions and other condiments were nothing to write home about. The portion was really small, so Justin and I were still pretty famished, so we moved on to our next location right away.
Next stop, Violino’s Gastronomia. We stopped in because a friend, in passing, had mentioned that their food was the best on the crawl thus far. Well, now I had to check it out. Wowza. Incredible! They served wood fire pizza (on the only outdoor wood fire oven in the city), and pasta with tasty Italian sausage. The pizza had ground chicken, pistachios and a sweet sauce. I have never had such a unique combination on a pizza before. This one won my dishcrawling experience. It was incredible!
The pasta was very good too. Fresh pieces of Italian sauces mixed in with a luscious pasta sauce. Loved it!
Next stop, the Bothy.
They served peppered steak and salad. It was also ok. Nothing too special.
I say that, yet we eat every bite. I guessed we liked it. Or we were just really hungry.
At this point in our crawl, we were down to our last ticket. We wanted something desert-y, so we headed down to Cookie Love. We needed to purchase one more ticket in order for us both to enjoy an ice cream sandwich (made with Pinocchio ice cream!!), so we bought one before leaving the Bothy. 5 dollars. For one ticket. Holy smokes, batman! That better be one tasty ice cream sandwich to justify the price…
We got in there, and man, was it ever cute! Milk bottle chandelier, awesome cow paraphernalia. We were quite enamored by the decor.
They even provided mini root beer floats while we were waiting for our sandwiches. Nice touch, cookie love, nice touch. The float was darn tasty, too!
Then out comes the sandwich. Or should I say baby sandwich?Yep. I am not exaggerating. It was that small. Justin ate his in one bite and I tried to savour mine, but I even managed to finish mine in two. For 5 dollars, you could have purchased one of their regular sized ice cream sandwiches (Think DQ sized- so normal sized). Justin and I were seriously bummed, because ice cream cookie sandwiches are one of our favourite treats.
Overall, we had a decent time. It was quite the unique experience to be able crawl from restaurant to restaurant in a community; however, the portion sizes provided at the restaurants were much too small for what you are paying for the ticket price.
It breaks down like this: You buy a general admission for 15 dollars. Ours were generously donated by to us by dishcrawl in exchange for a post. We were super thankful to them for that. Then, you can purchase tickets according to how much you’d like to enjoy throughout the crawl. The more tickets you buy in advance, the more you save. (We only purchased 7 tickets, because we didn’t want to get too full. We also had no idea what to expect in terms of portion sizes…) To be honest, I had expected the portions to be similar to Taste of Edmonton, but they were much, much smaller.
It might have been better if we initially bought more tickets in bulk, but having to pay 5 dollars at the end for one tiny ice cream sandwich really busted our chomps. It doesn’t help that that was the last experience we had, so it left a little bit of a sour taste in our mouths, and an empty feeling in our bellies.
Overall, I wouldn’t dishcrawl around a neighbourfood again, but I would like to try a regular dishcrawl, where patrons are greeted with regular portion sizes that fill their bellies. It was a very unique experience and I applaud Dishcrawl for organizing such a well run and unique event.