Browsing: Food Events

PEI Trip Report Day Two

October16

charlotte6

After leisurely coffees on the front porch, we piled into M’s gorgeous car to hit the local Farmer’s Market. I loved the car so much that a picture of me kissing it was captured!

Charlotte1

I was fascinated by these PEI potatoes. I asked the growers if they had removed the potato eyes to make the product easier to prepare. “No” they said. “They grow that way!”

charlotte2

Peppers were plentiful in all shapes and sizes.

charlotte3

A beautiful sea of sprouts.

charlotte4

The colourful carrots also caught my eye.

charlotte5

We also went “home” with some delicious gluten free bread as well as a product we had never previously heard of -PEI Potato Garlic Jam. We haven’t found a use for it as of yet.

We intended to visit the PEI Shellfish Festival on the Saturday of their four day run. Tickets that we had purchased for a “Signature Experience” included admission to the Festival itself. Our intent was to visit the site until the time came to hook up with the tour leader . I will be frank, we were surprised when we arrived at the festival grounds that the entire event took place in one tent, it was a very large tent, mind you.

charlotte9

We visited the stalls and then found a spot to drink our Clamato Caesar and Moosehead Beer.

charlotte11

charlotte12

Of course we had to have food to go along with our libations so D scouted out some mussels and fries.

charlotte8

As we ate our late breakfast, Chef Lynn Crawford gave a seafood cooking demonstration. Actually she had members of the audience do the cooking as she supervised. There were some hilarious results to this.

So it was not long until we left the festival grounds and hooked up with our exceptional Experience PEI tour guide for a three restaurant shellfish tour of the waterfront.

The first stop was Lobster on the Warf where we could smell the saltiness of the bay.  Our tour guide first took us to the retail area where we learned more about PEI Lobster including how to determine a male lobster from a female one.  The attached restaurant was bustling with their late lunch crowd.

IMG_8629

Our first taste was of Malpeque oysters. They are PEI’s most famous oyster and are grown wild in Malpeque Bay. Their taste was briny but not overly so and they easily slid down our open throats. The correct manner of this was demonstrated by one of the managers of the Lobster on the Wharf. The oysters came with a wedge of lemon and a couple of unique sauces.

charlotte13

The second seafood offering at Lobster on the Wharf was of both soft shell and quahog clams. These too were served with a wedge of lemon and salty melted butter for dipping. Both varieties are native to the eastern shores of North America from Prince Edward Island to the Yucatán Peninsula.

IMG_8635

A short walk along the harbour took us to Peake’s Quay where scallops were the shellfish offering. If you wish to know what a scallop shell looks like, think of the logo of Shell gas stations. We are purists where scallops are concerned, loving when they are allowed to caramelize in a hot pan of butter. Peake’s Quay’s version were bacon wrapped and good too.

IMG_8636

Our last stop on the tour was right next door at Brakish which you might think was an odd name for a restaurant. Blue mussels were the shellfish offering there. Next to scallops, mussels are our favourite as their subtle flavoured flesh take on whatever they are cooked in be it white wine, garlic and/or fresh herbs. Remember though, this was our second feed of mussels for the day!

charlotte34

PS What did we have for supper that evening? Pan fried scallops!

Kath’s quote: “I like seafood in general. I feel when you have really good quality Canadian seafood; you don’t really need to do much to it. It’s just some of the best in the world. It also has this kind of briny, salty quality to it, that you don’t have to season much. You can use the natural flavours of the ocean to your benefit”.- Chuck Hughes

th4_heart

Love never fails.

 

 

 

Food Bloggers Canada 2018 – The Great Canadian Road Trip

October5

ottawa32

Last year at the wind up of the 2017 Conference in Ottawa, the announcement was made to expect a different twist for 2018. Instead of filling a banquet room up with hundreds of food bloggers for three days, a decision was made that the FBC team would come to us. I was faced with a troubling dilemma. D had purchased tickets for us to go to Charlottetown on the weekend that the team would arrive in Winnipeg. I hastily made additional arrangements to catch up to the tour on their final stop in Toronto.

IMG_4622

One of my many blogging friends who have come to Winnipeg over the years.

I have always contended that my favourite part about an FBC Conference are the relationships that come to be as a result of the gathering. This year, we had less time to make the rounds. Sitting to one side was Fables + Foccacia curator Jenny Arena as well as Stacy Blair from 27th and Olive. Both were a delight and I hope that we find a way to meet up again.

fbc2

I was particularly impressed with two of the speakers. Suresh Doss of the CBC Metro Morning Show is an expert in the suburban food of Toronto, stating:

“We’re talking about places that are not your ‘typical’ restaurants,” Doss said. “They offer food that reminds people of life back home. They’re often times the best places to get good food.”

fbc1

I understand that his back stories are fascinating tales of the lives of new Canadians and how they ease into the transition of settling into a new country by sharing familiar food from their home.

fbc4

Afrim Pristine was the final speaker of the day and therefore the last presenter of the Great Canadian Road Trip. Afrim is a passionate lover of food and his family business: The Cheese Boutique. I was thrilled to come home with his new book: For The Love of Cheese.

“Afrim Pristine may possess the most distinguished professional title a cheesemonger could ask for–maître fromager–but if you ask him what business he’s in, he’ll tell you he sells happiness. That’s because cheese is inextricably linked to wonderful memories and celebrations for so many of us. No matter the occasion, cheese and cheesy dishes are always greeted with a smile.”

fbc3

The highlight of the day was a tutorial and cheese tasting with Afrim. I loved them all but was particularly proud of the smoked Gouda from Manitoba’s own Bothwell Cheese.

My husband D and I are always trying to figure out what are the best varietal cheeses to place on a cheese board and how many ounces of cheese to allocate for each guest. Afrim’s book answers these questions and more. D was thrilled that I arrived home from FBC 2018 with this fabulous reference and cookbook. Having just gotten home a couple of days ago, I haven’t had a chance to make and serve any of the scrumptious looking recipes but this one caught my eye…

Cheese Boutique Very Much Alive Pasta

Entitled “Very Much Alive Pasta” it contains rapini, orecchiette pasta with a creamy goat cheese as the star of the show. Thank you Penquin Random House for hosting us and for permission to use this gorgeous photo.

Every year I come home from Food Bloggers Canada inspired to devote more love and attention to my blog and this year was no exception.

Kath’s quote: Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow.”― Ronald E. Osborn

 Heart Book
Love never fails.

 

 

 

 

Friends for Life-Ladies Luncheon in support of Jocelyn House Hospice at The Fort Garry Hotel

June18

20180614_120714

Recently I received a late in the evening email asking if I would care to attend a luncheon at the Fort Garry Hotel the next day. A friend had been invited to attend at a sponsored table and asked if I would like to come along as well. The detail that our lunch was already paid for didn’t even matter as the invite would provide an opportunity to visit with this friend and enjoy the fabulous food of the Fort Garry Hotel.

20180614_121714

When I arrived I realized that I would be exclusively in the company of women, a pleasure I truly love. Whether it be my daughters, my sisters or the “Media Mavens” I love the company of women. In fact one of the Mavens was unexpectedly there as well as a number of old friends. It was a truly lovely assembly of beautiful females.

IMG_20180614_160714_167

The chicken and poached vegetable salad was simply exquisite, enhanced by hazelnuts and goats’ cheese. The inclusion of fennel and beets were lovely and the chicken breast was perfectly prepared.

20180614_130839

While we finished up with gorgeous fresh fruit tarts, the Manager of Volunteers, Spiritual Care and Development began to share her personal story as well as the reason she is so devoted to the work of Jocelyn House Hospice.

I was very moved by her story, partially because I am about to have my 2 year cancer check up (there but by the grace of God go I), but also because of how inspiring Jacqueline’s personal journey was.

I am what is known as a “fixer”, always wanting to solve the problems of those I love, even when they might quite simply need only a sympathetic ear. That’s the down side of being a fixer. The upside is that I really feel compelled to contribute my time to the work of Jocelyn House in some way. Right now I am trying to discern in what manner.

In the mean while, I will continue to gravitate to the company of women, in beautiful places, sharing lovingly prepared food.

Kath’s quote: “The best kind of friendships are fierce lady friendships where you aggressively believe and defend each other and think the other deserves the world.” -Ashley Hall

Heart-Attack-Symptoms-in-Women

Love never fails.

Christmas Party in a Box

December15

When Christmas comes it is so lovely to be able to carve out some extra time with good friends. Sometimes this is hard to do when one of your besties has a medical job where she is on call on a regular basis. With some advance planning though we were able to pull it off.

We were celebrating a Christmas birthday as well as exchanging Christmas gifts. The festivities were planned to take place at the home of one friend who has recently had knee surgery. By bringing supper and gifts to her place, she was able to be comfortable and stay put.

We had thrown around some ideas for a simple supper and then I struck upon the solution. I had been invited to the annual “party in a box” hosted by the Manitoba Chicken Producers the evening before. D was given instructions to stay out of the boxed goodies that I stacked up and brought home. As a result of his self-control, I was able to supply three wonderful chicken appetizers for the evening. In fact, we enjoyed the appetizers with a festive salad adorned with roasted sweet potatoes, goat cheese and cranberries and were delighted with our light supper.

IMG_3622

Blue Moon Chicken Bites (recipe link here) were delectable chicken meatballs that we dunked into an easy to assemble mixture of hot sauce, ranch and blue cheese dressing.

IMG_3617

A second dish was Curried Chicken & Cashew Bites  where chicken breasts were slowly roasted in cream and then tossed in mango chutney and a coating of crushed cashews.

IMG_3620

My favourite were Chicken Tartlets topped with Cranberry Salsa.

As we assembled our plates of chicken treats and salad we congratulated ourselves on our festive meal that was also wholesome and nutritious. We saved our calories for dessert which I also had been gifted the evening before.

IMG_3626

Christmas sugar cookies had been beautifully decorated by High Tea Bakery. We each chose one to go with another treat of Bernand Callebaut chocolates.

We didn’t linger at the table long because we had presents, presents and more presents to exchange and open.

Clean up was a breeze and I packed up the leftovers so that D could indulge in the tastes he had resisted the previous evening.

Kath’s quote: “The spirit of Christmas is the spirit of love and of generosity and of goodness. It illuminates the picture window of the soul, and we look out upon the world’s busy life and become more interested in people than in things”. -Thomas S. Monson

Xmas Decoration

Love never fails.

Food Bloggers Canada Conference-Ottawa 2017, Part Two

November7

fbc11

Day Two commenced with a satisfying breakfast sponsored by Ontario apples.

fbc10

I chose yoghurt with an array of fruit and nuts and a hearty muffin. I was set for a fabulous day.

Her Royal Highness (in the Canadian Culinary world at least)-Elizabeth Baird was our key note speaker. I was captivated by her every word and fascinated by her wealth of Canadian Food History so appropriate for our conference celebrating Canada’s 150th.

Soon after was our first breakout session. I had selected the group led by Thrive 360’s Zannat Reza and Will Lamont. I knew Zannat from previous conferences and Will remembered that I had taken on the food-styling for his client (at that time) Canadian Milk Produces and their cross country cheese winners.

I couldn’t miss out on Heather Travis otherwise known as Heather in Heels and her presentation. I first worked with Heather when she made me a Canadian Beef Ambassador. I hung onto her every word.

I also had the opportunity to hear the ensights of Laura-Jane Koers of The Rawatarian.

By then it was lunch…how did that happen? Lunch was sponsored by Half Your Plate. Their eating philosophy is that you should try to fill half your plate with a variety of fruits and vegetables at every meal. Even though I find this a challenge sometimes, it was so easy at the conference.

fbc13

fbc14

The zucchini spirals and fruit selection made up half my lunch consumption. I knew that I needed some protein to focus for the afternoon and sautéed shrimp and ahi tuna did the trick.

IMG_3434

I couldn’t ignore the date squares called matrimonial cake on the prairies.

At Canadian Food Bloggers in 2016 I toured Ontario farms with Farm and Food Care.

IMG_3440

I welcomed the opportunity to meet with more farmers directly. Having come from an Ag family, I have so much respect for Canadian Farmers.

Before heading out for an afternoon walk, I popped into the Cookina Popcorn Bar. I have many Cookina baking and roasting mats at home and was pleased to see that they also have cooking packs for a variety of uses including popcorn!

fbc16

At our dinner that evening we had assigned seating. I was sat with a variety of lovely folks including my old friend  from Canola Camp Mairlyn Smith and Carol Harrison.  Ironically, Carol and I go even further back then Mairlyn and we had tried and failed to connect all weekend. One of those serendipitous occasions.

fbc17

Dinner was the lovely salad above, a cleansing sorbet and a hearty salmon and potato pie.

fbc15

I intentionally saved room for dessert but how could I choose from theses masterpieces from Holland’s Cake and Shake. In the end the butter tart cake was the winner.

Our evening’s entertainment was home grown. Fellow bloggers Lindsay and Dana who recently launched their Feast Cookbook were in the house. I was impressed with their gumption to eat their way across Canada. But even better was their response to a question from the room: “What place was your biggest surprise”? With careful thought they said “Winnipeg-their culinary scene is amazing”!

Kath’s quote: “Pull up a chair. Take a taste. Come join us. Life is so endlessly delicious.” ― Ruth Reichl

capital hill heart

Love never fails.

 

 

 

 

« Older Entries