7 Places to Eat and Drink in Vancouver Right Now: Part One

Vancouver is one good-looking city. You have the ocean to one side, mountains on the other and so much good eating and drinking in between. Blessed with milder weather, it can definitely embrace eating and growing local more than any other province in Canada. Here’s a curated list of places to eat and drink in Vancouver right now just in time for all those holiday parties – part 1. I had to break it up into two parts because the post was getting too long! vancouver_prestons_use 1. Prestons Restaurant at The Coast Coal Harbour Hotel

Start the day right with a delicious breakfast at Preston’s with their new regional executive chef Shelly Robinson (@Foodwork). She won Chopped and I can see why. The revamped brunch menu is out of this world! I loved the lil ‘wat’ smocked sockeye salmon, spinach puree, beet pearls on bannock or if you want something sweet, try the gluten-free quinoa waffle stack with avocado espuma (Spanish for foam) and fennel marmalade. Here’s the recipe for those wonderful waffles. vancouver_beaucoupbakery 2. Beaucoup Bakery @Beaucoupbakery

Here’s the perfect spot for a light breakfast, mid morning pick-me-up, or mid-afternoon pick-me-up, or any time pick-me-up. French trained pastry chef/owner extraordinaire Jackie Kai Ellis serves up fabulous French treats that’s good for any time of the day. Her specialty is croissants, try the vanilla-bean version if you can, but her delectable desserts are just as good. They are almost too pretty too eat – almost. Jackie contributes to our site, don’t you know. Be sure to check out her tips on throwing the perfect pastry tasting partyvancouver_edible 3. Edible Canada @ediblecanada

Located In Granville Island Market (another requisite stop for any food lover), Edible Canada is a culinary tourism company with retail store and bistro aimed at promoting local food and highlighting Canadian cuisine. Kick off your meal with the most delicious Maple Bacon Caesar and tuck into their menu of Canadian Comfort Classics. From Gulf Island Mussels Chowder, Wild Mushroom Omelette to Quebec Duck Poutine – you can’t miss at this popular spot. We have the recipes to that out-of-this-world Maple Bacon Caesar and Quebec Duck Poutine. You are welcome. Be sure to check out the retail store attached to the bistro. I picked up some award-winning artisanal chocolate from Beta 5 @beta5chocolates – To.Die.For.

4. Artisan SakeMaker @Artisansake

Stop by and try some Osake sake – Canada’s first locally produced fresh premium sake. Who knew?! vancouver_settlement 5. Belgard Kitchen @BelgardKitchen

Then it’s off to The Settlement Building for craft beer and wines on tap. Be sure to try some signature dishes at the Belgard Kitchen like that yam gnocchi with lamb sausage ragu. Lucky for us Chef Reuben Major has shared the recipe.

6. The Parker @parkeryvr

There are so many dinner options in Vancouver and there’s one to suit everyone’s palate. Head to The Parker, a sexy and sustainable restaurant, serving all vegetarian fare located on the edge of Vancouver’s Chinatown (this area is definitely starting to develop). Start your veggie meal off right with a Vancouver Cocktail and enjoy the intimate space (just 9 tables and an open kitchen that uses hot plates!). vancouver_hawksworth 7. Hawksworth Restaurant @HawksworthRest

You can’t go wrong with a meal at Hawksworth Restaurant – a definitive dining destination (how’s that for alliteration). I had seen the place during its construction phase and I was super excited to see and eat here. Chef David Hawksworth is one of the best chefs we have in Canada – in my humble opinion. He works magic with seafood and you can too with this dungeness crab pasta and chili recipe from Chef David himself. And he’s a do-gooder on top of it all. Read about the Hawksworth Young Chef Scholarship.

Read More: 8 More Places to Eat and Drink in Vancouver Right Now

The Hot Plate: Easy Pulled Turkey Tacos

Leftover holiday turkey has never tasted so good! Use your Christmas leftovers (leftover pork or roast chicken is fine—especially if you feel like whipping up a batch this weekend!) in this flavourful base for tacos. Serve it over rice or noodles if desired.

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Easy Pulled Turkey Tacos

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Serves: 6

Ingredients:

4 slices thick cut bacon, chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper
2 cups barbecue sauce
1 cup sodium reduced chicken broth
2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced
1 Tablespoon maple syrup
4 cups shredded cooked turkey
12 small corn tortillas
1 avocado, diced or sliced
1/2 cup thinly sliced radishes
1/2 cup crumbled feta
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
Lime wedges

Directions:

  1. Heat Dutch oven or high-sided skillet set over medium heat. Add bacon. Cook until golden brown and lightly crispy. Add onions, garlic, cumin, oregano, allspice, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, for 3 to 5 minutes or until softened and fragrant.
  2. Stir in barbecue sauce, chicken broth, chipotle peppers and maple syrup. Bring to a boil. Add turkey. Simmer, stirring occasionally for 20 minutes or until thickened and flavourful.
  3. Divide turkey mixture evenly among the tortillas. Top with avocado, radishes, feta and cilantro. Serve with lime wedges.

amanda riva Amanda Riva is the host of The Hot Plate, a free online cooking show dedicated to inspiring culinary confidence in new cooks. The Hot Plate also offers regular cooking tips and advice, how-tos, and information on seasonal ingredients. 

Amanda Riva is part of the Lifestyle Blog Network family.

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Food Fetish: Harissa-Roasted Winter Squash

If you’ve never tried Harissa, my advice is to run—don’t walk—to your nearest grocery store or spice bar and grab yourself a stash. Because once you get a taste of this fiery Moroccan mixture of crushed hot red chilies, caraway, cumin, coriander, garlic, salt and spearmint leaves, you’ll want to throw this flavour bomb on just about everything.

From a rub on grilled meat, to a spicy addition to your best pasta sauce, Shakshuka, or the way I used it here on roasted vegetables, this bold spice mixture is an addictive way to lend depth to your favourite savoury dishes, and is just the sort of pantry addition itching to be experimented with.

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Since I find that roasted squash can easily veer toward being too-sweet, a healthy whack of Harissa is a real game changer. Once I factored in the bit of crunchy coating is gives the vegetables, this spicy side landed a reoccurring role on my fall cooking repertoire.

Since I was feeling a little festive, I crumbled some goat cheese on top, along with a few bright orbs of pomegranate for some extra pizzazz.

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Ingredients:

1 acorn squash, cut in to wedges
3 Tablespoons Harissa spice blend
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons crumbled goat cheese*
Pomegranate seeds*
*Optional

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Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Whisk Harissa spice blend, oil and maple syrup in a small bowl.
  2. Cut the squash in half from top to bottom and scrape out the seeds with a spoon. Cut each half into 4 equal wedges.
  3. In a large bowl, toss squash wedges with Harissa mixture to coat. Roast for 10 minutes, toss once and continue to roast until squash is tender, 20-25 minutes.

BonnieMo Bonnie Mo is a Toronto-based editor and the face behind Food Network Canada’s Food Fetish column. She’s also a contributing editor over at slice.ca.

Celebrate the Season with Holiday Specials All Through December

Hey, Food Network Canada fans! We’re letting you open your presents early this season.  Our holiday schedule kicks off this Sunday (November 30th) and has everything you ever wanted from chefs sharing their secrets on how to make the best holiday feast to holiday episodes of your favourite shows to a holiday baking extravaganza that’s the best thing since sliced (ginger) bread.

Holiday-Baking-Championship

The Holiday Baking Championship tests amateur bakers on everything baking and holidays. This isn’t your office cookie bake-off! Bobby Deen hosts this six-part special series, and Nancy Fuller from Farmhouse Rules, Duff Goldman from Ace of Cakes and Donut Showdown and Lorraine Pascale are the tough-love judges. Get schedule details here.

Jamie-Gordon

Need a little cooking inspiration this holiday season? Jamie Oliver has a new special, Jamie’s Festive Feast, where he shares recipes for those lazy winter days post-Christmas.
Get schedule details here.

In his new three-part seasonal special series, Gordon Ramsay is not only sharing great holiday recipes — but recipes that will keep you and your family warm and cozy all winter long. Get schedule details for Gordon Ramsay’s Season Specials episodes here.

Ted-Alton-Bobby-Holidays

Sabotage does not take a holiday. Get schedule details here on a new holiday episode of Cutthroat Kitchen “Sabotage is Comin’ to Town.”

Ted and Bobby won’t leave you out in the cold, either. You’ll  have new holiday episodes of Chopped and Beat Bobby Flay to unwrap this December.
Get the schedule here of brand new Chopped holiday episodes (and past fan favourites).
Find the schedule here for the Beat Bobby Flay holiday episode “Bells Will be Ringing.”

Ina-Garten-Holidays

Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa to you and me, jets off to London, England to explore the bustling city’s food scene.  Once back in East Hampton, she shares easy and elegant recipes inspired by her trip to Merry England.  The second best thing to being a tag-along on this trip, is to watch her holiday special “Barefoot in London.” The show airs on Saturday, December 13th at 10am ET.

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If you thrive on excitement and you love it hot, watch Kitchen Inferno with Curtis Stone. A chef is challenged to outcook a chain of increasingly skilled chefs to advance to the grand prize. Get the schedule for the holiday episode “Holiday Heat” here.

Guy Fieri is back this season with a brand new holiday episode Guy’s Grocery Games. Get schedule details for this fan favourite here.

The-Pioneer-Woman

The Pioneer Woman gets the holidays right; friends, family, and down-home easy recipes that everyone will love. Ree is back this season with two brand new holiday specials, “Pioneer Woman Cowboy Christmas Hoedown” and “Pioneer Woman Christmas Cocktail Party.” You can also catch her great holiday specials from seasons’ past. Get all the schedule details here.

Find great holiday recipes from The Pioneer Woman here.

Lynn-Crawford

Our down-home Canadian favourite, Lynn Crawford, knows how to put together a great holiday table — with a little help from her friends. A Pitchin’ In Christmas shows Lynn whipping up an unforgettable Christmas feast while some of her favourite Pitchin’ In friends drop in with some of her favourite ingredients. Get schedule details here. 

rachael-Ray-holidays
The holidays don’t have to be stressful. Rachael Ray shows you how to whip up a turkey dinner that’s easy and delicious. And those leftovers? She can help you with those, too. Get schedule details here on holiday episodes from Rachael Ray.

YGEH-Holidays

Catch fan-favourite and hilarious holiday episodes of You Gotta Eat Here!; John Catucci travels across Canada from Whitehorse, Yukon to St. John’s, Newfoundland and Calgary, Alberta to Huntsville, Ontario to share traditional and not-so-traditional holiday eats.  Find out the schedule for holiday episodes here. 

Want even more holiday recipes? Check out our holiday guide! From Anna Olson’s cookies to Michael Smith’s holiday dishes, we have all the recipes you need to treat your loved ones this season.

Celebrity Chefs Battle It Out at KitchenAid Cook For the Cure

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An amazing roster of Food Network Canada celebrity chefs are showing off their culinary skills in this year’s KitchenAid Cook for the Cure Culinary Showdown event benefiting the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. Mark McEwan of Top Chef Canada, Corbin Tomaszeski of Restaurant Takeover, Lynn Crawford of Pitchin’ In and Susur Lee of Chopped Canada will be cooking alongside the top 50 fundraising foodies in a Chopped Canada-style competition. Noah Cappe, host of Carnival Eats, will be the event’s emcee.

Culinary-Showdown-Collage

Last year’s event featured celebrity chefs Tyler Florence and Chuck Hughes, in addition to this year’s attendees Mark McEwan, Lynn Crawford and Corbin Tomaszeski.

The Culinary Showdown will take place in Toronto on November 29th, kicking off at 10:30am with a Celebrity Chef School session where the lucky 50 participants will be taught kitchen skills and secrets from the top chefs in the business. At 6pm, a cocktail reception welcomes all invited guests and celebrity chefs followed by the big event — the Chopped Canada-style competition!

To find out more on how to become a top fundraiser to earn your way to this exclusive culinary event, visit the Culinary Showdown website here.

Last Year's Event

Guy’s New ‘Do? Giada’s Spit Scandal? Bobby’s Baby? Read on!

We love a dish-y story as much as the next pop culture addict, but we also like them to be true. (Or semi believable.) We’re tackling the biggest rumours that involve our much-loved Food Network Canada stars – because you really can’t believe everything you read on Twitter.

Jamie Oliver – Marriage Trouble?
According to some, Jamie Oliver’s marriage has been on the rocks since 2005. UK tabloids are reputed to be especially spotty with their gossip, but the fact that these rumours have persisted – with no proof or validation – for close to 10 years speaks volumes about how silly and salacious tabloids can be. (And Jamie is in good (bad?) company as Rachael Ray, Giada and Gordon Ramsay have had their marriages subject to unfounded accusations and gossip.)

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Bobby Flay – Secret Baby Daddy?
There’s a ridiculous rumour that Bobby Flay is January Jones’s baby daddy. Nope, not true. Mad Men star Jones raised some eyebrows when, after getting into a fender bender, she opted to call Flay for help (he was somewhat puzzled, stating that he had only met her earlier that week and had no idea why she called him. Maybe it was a butt dial?) but somewhere along the way that mushroomed into the rumour that Flay fathered Jones’s son. Jones has never spoken about the identity of the father publicly, but that certainly doesn’t make it Bobby Flay. Can we put this one to rest, already?

Giada De Laurentiis – Refuses To Eat Her Own Cooking?
The New York Post’s Page Six (a column that seems to love to pick on our beloved Giada) claims that she doesn’t eat her own food, ever. We’re calling balderdash on this. Stephen Huvane, Giada’s publicist, cleared up the misconception with some logic. When filming up to three episodes a day, Giada can’t possibly eat the same dish over and over, so she discards some of it. This is a very common practice any time an actor eats on film; otherwise they would be subjected to eating dozens and dozens of bites of the same food.

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Guy Fieri – No Longer Blonde?
There’s a very odd photo floating around Twitter right purporting to be Guy Fieri without his signature frosted tips and goatee. Don’t fall for it – it’s a fake! A bit of Photoshop sorcery was used to create the image (why, we’ll never know) and it’s been making the rounds as an authentic Guy makeover. Fear not, the frosted tips live on.

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Image on right via Hollywood Life

Maria Maria Tallarico is a writer and editor with several years experience in the lifestyle realm, covering everything from luxury travel to pop culture for both print and digital publications including Forbes, LaineyGossip.com and VitaminDaily.com, as well as appearing regularly as an on-air entertainment contributor for CTV Morning Live. She lives in Vancouver with her husband, two boys and grumpy Scottish Terrier.

BS’ in the Kitchen: Pan Roasted Pork Chop With Pan Gravy

This past week, I’ve been focusing on having more structured meal times, and actually taking the time to cook something, instead of making a sandwich, eggs, or *GASP* toast with PB&J. Even though I have been cooking regularly this week, I hadn’t done anything for the blog, so after re-stocking my fridge with groceries, I was motivated to whip something up!

Along with some inspiration from my grocery purchases, Saskatoon’s cold, snowy weather has arrived, which means one thing when it comes to eating: COMFORT. With that in mind, I went about creating a meal I had envisioned. Simple, rustic flavours were the name of the game, and I’m very happy with how it all came together!

Roast-Pork-Chop-main2

Pan Roasted Pork Chop on Potato, Kale, & Broccoli with Pan Gravy

Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 25 mins
Serves: 1

Ingredients:

1 pork chop
6-8 baby potatoes (halved)
2 leaves of kale (chopped)
2 large pieces of broccoli (chopped)
3 sundried tomatoes (chopped)
1-inch slice of red onion (chopped)
1 clove garlic (chopped)
1 pinch of minced habanero pepper (or anything to add a hint of heat)
Pinch of thyme
Pinch of sage
Salt & pepper
Olive oil
1 cup stock/broth
1 Tablespoon butter
1 Tablespoon flour

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Directions:

  1. In a large pan (preferably heavy cast iron), add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan, and bring to medium-high heat. Once heated, add the pork chop on one side, and your halved baby potatoes on the other. Season everything with salt and pepper.
  2. Once pork chop has a good sear on the one side (after about 5-7 minutes), flip it and cook until done (a couple more minutes – or until it reaches and internal temperature of 150°F).
  3. Remove pork chop from pan and let rest.
  4. While pork chop is resting, add the broccoli, along with the red onion, garlic, and habanero pepper and an extra drizzle of olive oil, roasting for about 5 minutes, until broccoli and potatoes start to brown.
  5. Once browned, add in your kale, a pinch of thyme, and pinch of sage. Mix to combine, then add about a 1/2 cup of stock. Cook until stock has absorbed.
  6. Remove potatoes and vegetables from pan.
  7. Add 1 Tablespoon of butter, and tablespoon of flour, mixing together. Once flour has absorbed into the butter, and is bubbling, add about a 1/2 cup of stock, mixing until thickened. Add more stock if pan gravy becomes too thick, or cook longer if gravy is too thin.
  8. Serve pork with vegetables and pan gravy.

100x100_BS Carlene and Bob Deutscher are the dynamic sibling duo behind BS’ in the Kitchen. While Carlene leans towards the sweeter side of things, baking up delicious desserts, you can count on Bob to cook up something savoury! Aside from blogging on BS’ in the Kitchen, Carlene works in marketing & communications, and sidelines as a lifestyle & wedding photographer, while Bob operates his own media company, with a focus on food photography, and videography!

Carlene and Bob Deutscher are part of the Lifestyle Blog Network family.

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13 Coolest Canadian Foodies on Instagram

I’m sure you’ve all heard the saying “You eat with your eyes first” and in today’s world — where taking a perfect picture of a plate of food is almost as satisfying as actually eating it — that couldn’t be more true. No matter how much one travels and how much one eats, it’s pretty hard to stay up-to-date on everything that’s being cooked up in restaurant kitchens across the country.

From the West Coast all the way over to the East, here are 13 Instagram accounts that help you get a taste of localized Canadian food scenes. (And will tease you if you happen to be hungry.)

1. Erin Ireland @erinireland (Vancouver , BC)
Aside from putting time and effort into her growing gourmet food empire (It’s To Die For), Ireland also chronicles the best of what this coastal city has to offer through her blog, ItsToDieFor.ca. The nice thing about Ireland’s pictures, is that she has a vested interest in vegetable-forward diets, so there is a lot of worthwhile information for people on vegan, vegetarian or raw diets.

erin ireland instagram

2. Mijune Pak @followmefoodie (Vancouver, BC)
If there’s one person on this list who’s most likely to have actually eaten every single item off every single menu in their city, it’s probably Mijune Pak. Chef competitions, restaurant openings, late night bites…you name it, Pak is at it and snapping pictures along the way. She also travels outside of the country quite a bit, so you get a good dose of worldly culinary content with her too!

Mijune Pak Instagram

3. Bonnie Huang @scrumptiouslyfitfood (Calgary, AB)
If you aren’t quite sure where to go for dinner in this Albertan city, then look no further than Huang’s Instagram feed for some inspiration. Aside from hitting all of the hot spots around the city, Huang also loves to showcase the hidden gems of China Town and International Avenue (17th Avenue SE), as well as the best Vietnamese restaurants in the city. I think we can all appreciate a quality bowl of pho at this time of year!

bonnie huang instagram

4. Vincci Tsui @Vincci_T (Calgary, AB)
Blogging before it was the ‘cool’ thing to do, Tsui is Calgary’s original restaurant review-focused blogger. Now, she’s the restaurant reviewer for a local magazine where she lets Calgarians know which places are up to snuff and which ones aren’t. Her combination of pictures of home cooking and dining out shows you that she can whip up a decent meal at home and knows what a good dinner should taste like as well.

Vincci Tsui  Instagram

5. Karlynn Johnston @thekitchenmagpie (Edmonton, AB)
An avid baker and popular blogger in Edmonton, Johnston dines out regularly at many of this city’s top notch restaurants like Rostizado, Corso 32 and more. It’s always guaranteed that she’ll be at most restaurant launch events, so you can get a sneak peek of the new food in town before you can even reserve a table for yourself.

Karlynn Johnson  Instagram

6. Jenn Sharp @jennksharp (Saskatoon and Regina, SK)
As the editor for Bridges (a lifestyle magazine that focuses on Saskatoon and Regina), Sharp is an expert when it comes to dining in either prairie city. Alright, so maybe Jenn Sharp just got Instagram this week, but her twitter feed by the same name and hash tag #sharpeats are where Saskatoon and Regina foodies know to go to find out what’s happening in both of the cities food scenes. Her Instagram feed is just beginning, but I know it’s going to be delicious.

Jenn Sharp Instagram

7. Renee Kohlman @sweetsugarbean (Saskatoon, SK)
Working as a pastry chef during the day, Kohlman will often share the baking and desserts she whips up in the kitchen, but by night, she works as a food writer for the city’s paper, The StarPhoenix. The fact that Kohlman is a trained chef, makes you feel at ease when she declares something as delicious, A taste bud of a chef’s is a trusted one!

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8. Shel Zolkewich @shelzolkewich (Winnipeg, MB)
As a food columnist for Metro Newspaper in Winnipeg, it’s Zolkewich’s job to eat and drink and then eat and drink some more. A task which she is happy to take on.

Shel Zolkewich Instagram

9. Pay Chen @paychen (Toronto, ON)
Part television and radio personality and part food-loving Torontonian, Chen is always looks for something to eat. The best part about following along with this woman when she’s out on the town having a bite or two, is the fact that you can tell she’s having fun. After all, food should be fun.

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10. Ivy Knight @swallowdaily (Toronto, ON)
When she’s not writing about food for Vice, her own website SwallowDaily.com or others, you’ll find Knight hosting 86’d, an industry party on Monday nights at The Drake Hotel. She’s previously worked in restaurant kitchens, so Knight is pretty tight with a lot of Toronto chefs, so you’ll get a bit more candid photos with her Instagram than just simply plates of food.

Ivy Knight Instagram

11. Ian Harrison @blumsteinboy (Montreal, QC)
As Eater Montreal’s editor, it’s no surprise that this guy gets around town. Eater’s up-to-the-minute style of restaurant reporting is a good tool for finding out what chef is working where, what new spots are opening soon and more.

Ian Harrison Instagram

12. Marie Asselin @foodnouveau (Quebec City, QC)
For many, especially in Western Canada, Quebec City can be a bit of a mysterious, even remote location. Taking away from of the mystique of the food scene here and making everyone hungry while she’s at it, is popular Quebecois blogger, Marie Asselin and yes, her website is en anglaise, mes amis!

marie. asselin instagram

13. Kathy Jollimore @eathalifax (Halifax, NS)
There is a lot more to this city’s culinary scene than simply lobsters and donair and Jollimore’s Instagram feed reminds you of that every single day. Whether she’s grabbing a bite to eat at a hot spot like Edna or stopping by the Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market to pick up some groceries, it’s definitely worth tagging along with her for the ride.

Kathy Jollimore  Instagram

And don’t forget to follow us on too! @foodnetworkCA

Effortless Holiday Entertaining Tips From Laura Calder

Want to know how to throw party platter together in 5 minutes? Watch this latest video from Laura Calder, host of French Food at Home.  She’s been shooting these short sweet videos from Paris and this one is so timely. I just love what she does with radishes. So simple yet so chic.

  Related: 

Sweet Eats: Healthy Carrot, Banana and Chocolate Chip Muffins

Carrot Banana Chocolate Chip Muffin recipe

When I was in high school, my friends and I would get these giant muffins from a corner store after class. They were actually enormous rounds of cake disguised as muffins. They were delicious. Unfortunately, my grown-up self can’t eat a giant loaf of ‘muffin’ cake everyday. Now I make muffins that still taste as good but have a healthier ingredients jam-packed inside.

These muffins have healthy components like yogurt, carrot, banana, flax and oat bran, but are cleverly hidden by a handful of chocolate chips and vanilla. Eat these on the go, for breakfast or as an afternoon snack.

Healthy Carrot, Banana and Chocolate Chip Muffins

Ingredients:

½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup plain yogurt
1/3 cup canola oil
2 large eggs
1 cup grated carrot
2 bananas, mashed
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons flax seeds
¼ cup oat bran
1 cup chocolate chips, divided

 

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with muffin liners.

2. In a large bowl, combine sugar, yogurt, oil, eggs, carrot, bananas and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, flax seeds and oat bran.

3. Pour the dry ingredients into the eggs mixture and mix just until combined. Add ½ cup chocolate chips. Spoon mixture into prepared muffin tin.

healthy carrot banana chocolate chip muffins recipe

4. Bake for 17 to 20 minutes until golden. Using a toothpick, insert into the center of a muffin to make sure it comes out clean. Let cool on a rack.

Healthy carrot banana chocolate chip muffins

5. While muffins are cooling melt remaining ½ cup chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl in the microwave on 1-minute blasts. Drizzle chocolate over muffins.

SONY DSC Miranda Keyes is a freelance food stylist, recipe developer and writer who used to live in London, UK but moved back to Canada for nanaimo bars, maple syrup and poutine. To learn more about her, follow her on Instagram @littlemirandapiggy and Twitter @mirandaak.

Made Easy: Colourful Roasted Vegetables and Garlic Quinoa

The leaves have fallen off the trees and the skies are consistently grey. It’s time to head to the farmers’ markets for a dose of colour! Vibrant heirloom carrots, creamy parsnips, ruby red beets, and yellow and red mini potatoes are in season now, so a colourful roasted vegetable platter will impress at the dinner table (or Christmas table for those already planning menus). Serve it with a side of this garlicky quinoa and grilled chicken seasoned with salt, pepper and Italian seasoning for a meal that you can also pack for lunch the next day.

Colourful Roasted Vegetables and Garlic Quinoa

RoastedVegetablesQuinoa_sized

Ingredients:
1 bunch baby heirloom carrots, peeled and cut into smaller sticks
1 bunch baby parsnips, peeled
2 whole garlic bulbs, tops sliced off
4 whole beets
24 red and yellow mini potatoes
1 cup dried quinoa, rinsed and strained
1 1/2 cups water
Vegetable or avocado oil*
Salt and pepper
Italian seasoning

RoastedVegetablesPan_sized

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven at 400°F.
2. In a pot of salted boiling water, blanch the potatoes for five minutes. Drain and let dry.**
3. Toss the parsnips, carrots, garlic bulbs, and potatoes with oil, salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning in a large bowl.
4. Wrap whole, unpeeled beets individually in aluminum foil.***
5. Place all the vegetables in a single layer on two large baking trays lined with parchment paper. Bake for an hour until the vegetables are soft, begin to appear wrinkled, and become fragrant.
6. In the meantime, bring 1 1/2 cups of salted water to a boil in a small pot over medium heat. Add in the quinoa, cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes until the water has evaporated and the quinoa has a fluffy texture. Remove lid and fluff with a fork.
7. When the vegetables are done roasting, remove from oven. Take three or four garlic cloves from the bulb and dice (or mash) into smaller pieces. Add the garlic into the pot with the quinoa. Gently toss with a fork.****
8. Remove the beets from the aluminum foil and peel off the skin. Slice the beets into thin slices.
9. Arrange the vegetables on a platter and serve with the garlic quinoa. Serves four generously.

RoastedVegetables_sized

Notes:

*Avoid using olive oil when cooking or roasting at high temperatures. Olive oil smokes and becomes bitter when exposed to high temperatures, so use oil that has a higher smoke point like vegetable or my current obsession, avocado.
**Have you ever roast potatoes and find that the insides are still hard and raw even after an hour of cooking? Blanch the potatoes first to give them a head start at cooking. This will give the potatoes their pillowy, almost mashed texture inside and a crispy skin on the outside. This extra step was a revelation for me.
***Unlike most vegetables where you first peel then roast, the skin of beets are much easier to remove when you roast them first. You’ll notice that you can literally peel the skin right off with your fingers once the beet is roasted. Of course, let the beet cool first so you don’t burn yourself. You’ll also want to do the peeling over the baking sheet and close to the sink since beet juice stains everything it touches.
****Garlic is downright heavenly when it caramelizes in the oven, creating a sweeter and less sharp garlic taste compared to its raw state. Leftover roasted garlic cloves can be added to soups, hummus, spreads, other roasted vegetables, grains, heck, it makes everything better.

734863_10151322355189438_2070375187_n Karon Liu is a freelance food writer based in Toronto who is slightly lactose intolerant but will otherwise eat and cook anything.

Topics: Made EasyVegetablesQuinoa

8 Coziest Canadian Restaurants You Need to Try this Winter

It’s November and we can’t lie to ourselves anymore. The snow is falling and some of us Canadians are already finding our cars covered in a layer of frost. And the insatiable craving for peppermint mochas and heartier fare has started…Yes, winter is pretty much here.

While food can certainly do a great job of warming you up, it helps when your dining experience feels cozy, too. Here are eight restaurants that do that well.

1. Boxwood Cafe (Calgary, AB) @boxwoodcalgary

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If there’s any restaurants in Calgary that really embody that beautiful, cozy sort of feeling, it’s Boxwood and its (older) sister restaurant, River Cafe. Being nestled in Central Memorial Park in the beltline area of Calgary, this cafe feels like a little urban cabin on a snowy day. The iron antler-inspired chandeliers give the space a woodsy feel and the menu, with warming dishes like the signature rotisserie chicken or cauliflower and kale mac ‘n cheese help ward off any winter shivers.

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2. The Fish House in Stanley Park (Vancouver, BC) @fishhousesp
Built into a heritage building inside Vancouver’s famous park, The Fish House is a nice retreat from the regular urban scenester hotspots (not that I’m not one of those people) that overpopulate the city’s downtown area.

The menu leans to the “everything for everyone” sort of mentality with a ton of appetizers and main plates to choose from. It might not be the most current in terms of culinary execution, but the homey feel with its unique location makes The Fish House a comfortable dining experience.

3. Maison Publique (Montreal, QC) @maisonpublique

Aside from serving some of the best food in the city, this small eatery in the Plateau Mont-Royal area of Montreal can definitely keep you warm on a chilly night. The design is inspired by pubs that you would find in Northern England. You know the kind, the ones you’d find on a snowy corner with a lantern hanging above the door glowing orange. Once you open the door, you find it packed with people, laughter good food and drinks (they make some mean cocktails here too).

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4. The Oakwood Canadian Bistro (Vancouver, BC) @theOakwoodKits
It’s not just the focal point fireplace on the back wall or the warm wood tones of this establishment that keep patrons cozy, but also that Canadiana sort of approach to food they take in the kitchen. Whether its West Coast mussels, pasta with confit leeks and mushrooms or braised beef cheek, simply reading the menu already seems more comforting than a sweater. But seriously, sit by the fireplace.

5. Prairie Harvest Cafe (Saskatoon, SK) @PHcafeSK

There’s something about this place that makes you feel like you’re dining in a good friend’s home. The aromas of dishes-in-process coming from the kitchen command the room, which is filled with vintage kitchen tables and chairs. Prairie Harvest’s famous lasagna made with short rib and pork belly, as well the hand-made pierogies hit almost every table during dinner service because as any Saskatchewan resident will tell you the best way to stay warm when it’s minus a million outside is to fork into some homemade pierogies.

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6. The Queen and Beaver (Toronto, ON) @QueenBeaverPub
Much like Maison Publique, this popular pub in Toronto really embraces that British pub vibe from the menu to the design of the space. Fish and chips with grilled lemon, fish pie made with cod and smoked haddock, and a beef and stilton pudding are just a few of the dishes to order to combat a winter chill. Leaving without ordering a sticky toffee pudding is just as bad as walking out into a blizzard with no pants on. Don’t do it.

7. River Cafe (Calgary, AB) @RiverCafeYYC
A sister restaurant to Boxwood Cafe, River Cafe dons a lot of badges on its sash. It was, more or less, the establishment that brought the local farm-to-table mentality to Calgary when it opened as a fully functional restaurant in 1995 (previously it was a seasonal business) as well as the Ocean Wise movement a few years ago. Also, for years it’s been consistently noted as one of the top 10 best restaurants in the city by local lifestyle publication, Avenue.

The inside of River is peppered with motifs from the outdoors, whether that means fishing gear, snowshoes displayed above the giant fireplace, or a canoe transformed into a shelving unit. Relying heavily on seasonal ingredients, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a dish on the menu here that doesn’t pair perfectly with a table close to the fire or a snowy window sill.

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8. Stories (Halifax, NS)
Close to the waterfront in Halifax, you’ll find this find dining restaurant inside The Haliburton Hotel that only seats around 25 people. With a strong emphasis on sourcing local ingredients and a seasonal menu, Stories is also known for its quality of service. The dining atmosphere is warm and intimate — expect to lose time in this charming eatery.

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Dan-Clapson-Avatar Dan Clapson is a food writer and culinary instructor based out of Calgary. He is constantly creating new recipes and striving to expand his culinary horizons. He thinks yam fries are overrated.

Topics: RestaurantsDining With Food Network Canada, Comfort Food

Homemade Chocolate Éclairs with Banana Cream Filling

At a recent trip to Paris, I fell in love with éclairs all over again. These delicate treats offered in Parisian patisseries were far from the chocolate-coated cream filled ones I’ve had in the past. These were next-level, and filled with all kinds of creative ingredients and topped with incredible glazes. They were a feast for the eyes as well as the mouth!

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It may come as a surprise, but making choux pastry couldn’t be easier. Yes, it requires a bit of muscle to constantly mix the batter but these éclairs, featuring banana pastry cream and chocolate topping, are worth the effort.

Ingredients:

Choux Pastry
1 cup water
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 tsp granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 large eggs

Banana Cream Filling
2 cups whole milk, separated
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup granulated sugar, separated
4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 brown bananas, mashed (about ¾ cup)

Chocolate Topping
1/4 cup chocolate chips
2 Tbsp butter
11/4 cup icing sugar
3 Tbsp hot water
Banana chips to top (optional)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Cover two baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. In a medium sized pot combine the water, butter, sugar and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and add the flour. Continue to mix with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes together. Cook the flour mixture, while continually stirring, for 1 minute.

3. Add the eggs, one at a time. The mixture may look like it won’t mix together once you’ve added an egg, but keep on mixing and it should become glossy. Once you’ve added all the eggs, put the mixture into a piping bag fitting with a 1-inch round tip.

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4. Pipe 3-inch lines, spaced 1-inch apart onto the prepared baking sheets. Place the baking sheets on the top and bottom thirds of the oven for 25 minutes, switching the sheets half way through cooking.

5. After 25 minutes, turn the oven off and leave the éclairs in the oven to cool completely. This ensures the éclairs are perfectly crisp on the outside. You can crack the door of the oven slightly to let out some of the heat.

6. While the éclairs are cooling make the banana pastry cream filling. In a medium sized bowl combine 1 cup milk, cornstarch and 1/4 cup sugar and set aside.

7. In a medium pot combine 1 cup milk, 1/4 cup sugar and the butter. Bring to a boil and turn off the heat. Whisk 1/4 cup of the warm milk mixture into the cold milk mixture. Continue to whisk in the remaining warm mixture, 1/4 cup at a time. Add the egg yolks and whisk until yolks are broken up and the mixture looks smooth. Once the mixture has been combined put it all back into the pot and add the vanilla. On medium heat, bring the mixture to a simmer, whisking constantly. If the mixture looks like it has curdled, continue whisking until it becomes smooth. Mix in the mashed bananas. Let cool.

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8. Put the pastry cream into a piping bag fitted with a ½-inch round tip. Poke a hole in the bottom of the éclairs with a small knife and fill each éclair.

9. For the chocolate topping, combine all ingredients in a small pot and melt together on low heat. Dip each éclair into the chocolate mixture and place on a rack to set.Banana-chocolate-eclair-recipe-4

BS’ in the Kitchen: Rustic Italian Pizza

Along with my insatiable desire for pizza, these posts were also motivated by my insatiable desire for food props and new photography equipment, and I just had to test everything out. Wanting to try a couple different styles, I went about making three different pizzas (you can find the other two recipes here), for three different styles of photos, all of which I am very happy with!

Now let’s get to the good part—pizza!

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Rustic Italian Pizza

Prep Time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 40 mins
Serves: 2

Ingredients:

No-Knead Dough
(makes 3 10 to 12-inch pizzas)

3 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoon active dry yeast
11/2 cups water

Pizza

2 Italian sausage (cooked)
2-3 slices Bacon (cooked & chopped)
3-4 Tablespoons pizza sauce
1/3 cup mozzarella cheese
1/3 cup cheddar cheese
4 Brussels sprouts (thinly sliced)
1 carrot (shaved into ribbons)
1/4 large red onion (sliced)
1 tomato (sliced, seeds removed)
2 cloves garlic (minced)
1/2 Tablespoon dried oregano
Red wine vinegar
Olive oil
Salt
Pepper

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Directions:

No-Knead Dough

  1. Combine dry ingredients in a mixing bowl, slowly add the water, whisking until ingredients are well combined. Gently mix the dough with your hands until a ball is formed.
  2. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, allowing the dough to rest at room temperature for around 18 hours, or until it roughly doubles in size.
  3. Once dough has rested, cut into 3 portions. On a floured work surface, gather 4 corners to the center of the dough, creating 4 folds.
  4. Place seam side down, gently form dough into a ball, dust with flour, wrap in plastic, or cover with damp towel and let rest for 1 hour. If storing in the fridge, lightly coat ball of dough with oil, and wrap in plastic wrap, taking dough out of the fridge at least an hour before using for pizza.
  5. Before cooking the pizza, turn oven to its hottest setting (500°F), allowing to preheat for 1 hour. If using a pizza stone, place it in the oven before preheating.
  6. To form the discs, flour whatever surface you will be transferring the pizza into the oven with (I use a large pizza paddle). Using the back of your hands, gently stretch the dough into 10-12 inch discs, then place toppings on pizza.
  7. If using pizza stone, place pizza on the stone, turn the oven to broil, and bake for 5-7 minutes until pizza is cooked to your liking.
  8. If you don’t have a pizza stone, place pizza on a floured baking sheet, and cook for about 10 minutes on the oven’s hottest setting.

Pizza

  1. In a bowl, combine sliced Brussels sprouts, ribbons of carrot, red onion, oregano and garlic. Drizzle with olive oil and a bit of red wine vinaigrette, followed by salt & pepper to taste, toss to coat.
  2. Once pizza dough is formed, spread on an even coating of pizza sauce, followed by chopped bacon, along with a little bit of cheddar and mozzarella cheese.
  3. Spread brussel sprouts, onion, and garlic mixture onto pizza, then top with sliced Italian sausage, tomato, and the rest of the cheese.
  4. Bake according to directions above.
  5. Slice, serve, and enjoy!

100x100_BS Carlene and Bob Deutscher are the dynamic sibling duo behind BS’ in the Kitchen. While Carlene leans towards the sweeter side of things, baking up delicious desserts, you can count on Bob to cook up something savoury! Aside from blogging on BS’ in the Kitchen, Carlene works in marketing & communications, and sidelines as a lifestyle & wedding photographer, while Bob operates his own media company, with a focus on food photography, and videography!

Carlene and Bob Deutscher are part of the Lifestyle Blog Network family.

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Win Tickets to See Chef Lynn Crawford at the Gourmet Food & Wine Expo in Toronto

 

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Fancy a bite? What about a quaff of wine?

And no doubt you’d love to see Food Network Canada celebrity chef Lynn Crawford live on stage, sharing her favourite recipes.

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You can have it all at The Gourmet Food & Wine Expo happening in Toronto, November 20 – 23, 2014.

Over four days, attendees can sip, savour and nibble their way through incredible wines, creative cocktails, and delicious gourmet foods. There will be Tutored Tastings Programs where industry experts share their knowledge about wines from around the world. The highlight of the weekend will definitely be Chef Lynn Crawford on stage, cooking some of her favourite dishes and entertaining the crowd. Her show will take place on Friday, November 21 at 3pm and 6pm. You don’t want to miss her great culinary tips and wicked sense of humour!

We’re giving away 10 pairs of tickets to attend the expo on Friday, November 21 so Food Network Canada fans can have a chance to see Chef Lynn in person.

Here’s how it works:
Send an email to giveaways@foodnetwork.ca with the subject line “Chef Lynn” and answering this question:

What type of fish did Lynn go fishing for in the latest episode of Pitchin’ In? It’s one of her favourites!
You can find the answer on the Pitchin’ In show website here.

For full giveaway rules, please read below.

For more about The Gourmet Food and Wine Expo and to purchase ticket to the event, visit their website here.

Giveaway Rules:

The following are the giveaway rules (“Rules”) for Chef Lynn Crawford Gourmet Food and Wine Expo Giveaway (the “Giveaway”) being administered by Shaw Media (“Shaw”).
RULE 1. HOW TO ENTER
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. To enter, entrants must follow the Giveaway guidelines above, as determined by a Shaw representative. The Giveaway shall run until Friday, November 14, 2014 at 11:59am ET, after which time no answers will be considered.

RULE 2. SELECTION OF WINNER
Upon completion of the Giveaway, a Shaw representative shall review the submissions from each entrant and choose a random entrant to win the giveaway. From the entrants that correctly completed the Giveaway guidelines, Shaw will randomly select the prize winner (“Winner”) and provide the prize to the winner. Selected entrants will be contacted by email on November 14 after the contest has closed. The selected entrants will have 48 hours to respond to the email to claim the prize. If the selected entrant fails to respond, another entrant will be selected and contacted. This process will continue until all the prizing has been awarded. For the purposes of this Giveaway and the awarding of prize, these Rules shall govern in all respects and the decision of any Shaw representatives shall be final.

RULE 3. PRIZE
There are ten (10) prizes available to be won, each prize consists of one (1) pair of tickets (two tickets total) to attend the Gourmet Food & Wine Expo on Friday, November 21, 2014. The approximate value of the Prize is seventy dollars. (CDN $70).

RULE 4. GENERAL
By participating in this Giveaway, you agree to abide by these Rules and the decisions of Shaw in awarding the Prize, which decisions shall be final and binding upon all entrants. Entrants who have not complied with these Rules are subject to disqualification. Shaw reserves the right to modify the Rules, before or during the Giveaway, in its sole discretion, in any way at any time it deems necessary or appropriate without materially affecting the terms and conditions of this Giveaway. Interpretation of these Giveaway rules by Shaw shall be final.
Personal information collected during the course of this Giveaway shall be used by Shaw and its authorized representatives solely for the purposes of conducting the Giveaway and awarding prizes, and will not be used or disclosed for any other purpose unless required by law.
The Prize is not transferable and not redeemable for cash, will not be extended under any circumstances and must be accepted as offered without substitution.
Employees of Shaw and its affiliates, subsidiaries, related companies, advertising and promotional agencies and the household members of any of the above, are not eligible to participate in this Giveaway.
By participating in this Giveaway, the Winner agrees that his/her name may be used in any and all forms of media, without any further compensation by Shaw and waives all rights (including moral rights) with respect to printed, broadcast and other forms of publicity.
In the event of a dispute as to who submitted an electronic entry, the entry will be deemed to have been submitted by the authorized account holder of the e-mail address submitted at the time of entry. “Authorized account holder” is defined as the natural person who is assigned to an e-mail address by an Internet access provider, on-line service provider or other organization (e.g., business, educational institution, etc.) that is responsible for assigning e-mail addresses for the domain associated with the submitted e-mail address.
Notwithstanding the defined Contest Period, Shaw reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to terminate the Giveaway, in whole or part, and/or modify, amend or suspend the Giveaway, and/or these Rules in any way, at any time, for any reason without prior notice. Interpretation of these Giveaway Rules by Shaw shall be final.
The Giveaway is subject to all applicable laws of the province of Ontario and the laws of Canada applicable therein.

Made Easy: Awesome Chicken Soup for the Lazy Soul

We’ve gone over pho and roasted red pepper soup, but when it comes to cold and flu season there’s nothing like a big bowl of homemade chicken soup. It’s surprisingly easy to make and once you taste the made-from-scratch stuff you’ll never buy a can of it ever again.

This basic chicken soup recipe is meant to be customized to your tastes, so once you get the hang of making it feel free to add other spices like curry and cumin, vegetables like potatoes and torn kale leaves, or even make it creamy with coconut milk. You can also turn it into a fuller meal by adding rice, pasta, or dumplings once the soup has simmered down. It reheats quick and as weird as it sounds, makes for a great breakfast since it’s loaded with protein that will get you through to lunch.

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Chicken Soup
Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients:
2 stalks celery, diced
2 medium-sized carrots, diced
1 small white onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tablespoons olive oil or butter
1 whole chicken, cut into smaller pieces
8 cups water
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. In a medium-sized soup pot, heat the oil or butter over medium heat and sauté the celery, carrots, garlic, and onion until they begin to soften, the onions begin to turn translucent, and the carrots start to caramelize.
  2. Add the chicken and stir for one or two minutes. Pour in the water, cover, and bring to a boil. Add the Italian seasoning. Don’t taste it yet—it’ll taste like water and you’ll end up adding way too much salt. Instead, reduce heat and let simmer for at least an hour to let some of the water evaporate and the chicken flavour from the bones, cartilage, and meat permeate the broth. The longer the soup simmers, the more intense the flavour will be.
  3. Give the soup a taste and season with salt and pepper as necessary. Take the chicken out of the pot and with a fork, remove the skin and shred the meat off the bones (the meat should be fall-off-the-bone by now). Discard the chicken skin, bones, and cartilage. Put the shredded meat back into the pot and continue to simmer for 30 minutes. If you’re adding pasta, rice, or dumplings, now is the time to add them.

Celery, Carrot, and Onion: The Holy Trio of Flavour

One of the basic flavour elements of French cooking is the mirepoix: the combination of chopped celery, carrot, and onion. It’s used commonly in soup and sauce recipes, and not to mention adds a delicious base to stir-frys (this one is less French).

Other nations have their own version of the mirepoix. In Italy you’ve got the soffritto (basically a mirepoix with garlic, which is the base for this soup); Spain and Latin American and Caribbean nations have the sofrito consisting of bell peppers, onion, garlic, paprika, and tomatoes (even then each country in these regions have their own variations on this); Poland has the wloszczyzna that contains carrots, parsnips, celery root, leeks, and cabbage; and Germany has Suppengrün, which is carrots, leeks, and celeriac.

Save Your Bones

The next time you pick up a rotisserie chicken from the supermarket, keep the bones to make a future batch of chicken broth (assuming you or your loved ones haven’t sucked on the bones because… gross). Store the bones in a bag in the freezer, and take them out whenever you’re in the mood for soup.

734863_10151322355189438_2070375187_n Karon Liu is a freelance food writer based in Toronto who is slightly lactose intolerant but will otherwise eat and cook anything.

Topics: Made Easy, Soup, Chicken

6 Things You Must Try at the Devour! Film Fest

Did you know one of the biggest food film festivals in North America is about to kick off its fourth year in Wolfville, Nova Scotia? Well, you do now!

What started off as a humble arts initiative back in 2009 has now grown into a five-day event attended by thousands of people, craving food, wine and good film. Devour! The festival’s director, Chef Michael Howell, has drummed up an impressive line-up this year including keynote speaker, Anthony Bourdain. I mean, come on people. Bourdain!

It’s going to be a heck of a time; from meals cooked up by talented Canadian chefs to hands-on culinary workshops and, of course, food-related screenings, there is a ton to see and do. But make sure to add these six events to the top of your list. (Aside from the gala featuring Bourdain, which has already sold out. No surprise there.)

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Thursday, November 13th

Workshop: Cooking game with Top Chef Canada alumnus, Jesse Vergen (11:30AM)

One of the most bubbly personalities from the entire roster of Top Chef Canada competitors, Vergen will be demonstrating how to work with protein—that you have to head into the forest to find. With a mention of ‘all the fun bits’, there’s likely to be some cooking done with offal as well. Organ meat done right can be a tasty thing, so this will be a fun demonstration to watch.

Film Screening: The Search For General Tso with Sriracha (9:00PM)

We’ve all come to love Western Chinese. Harnessing that love, but taking into account our lack of understanding when it comes to where this type of cuisine stems from, this documentary tries to get to the roots of the food. Immigration, cultural integration to what we all see on our Chinese take-out menus in 2014. That being said, it is an American-made film, so there likely won’t be a mention of ginger beef, the popular ‘Canadian’ Chinese dish that was supposedly invented in Calgary.

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Friday, November 14th

Workshop: Food writing in the modern age with Lucy Waverman and Ivy Knight (2:00PM)

I’m sure this comes as no surprise to anyone reading this, but there’s been a huge shift in the medium of writing over the past 5 or so years. Being a long-time contributor to The Globe and Mail, author of multiple cookbooks and the editor of LCBO’s magazine, Food and Drink, it will be interesting to hear Waverman’s thoughts on a solid approach to food writing in 2014 where there are so, so many voices shouting out in the food world. On the flipside of the presentation, there’s Ivy Knight, an edgy writer/editor based out of Toronto who contributes to VICE, among other things. This will be a very interesting discussion to watch.

Dinner: Nova Scotia Food Trucks Pop-up (5:00PM-9:00PM)

The Halifax area has a booming street-food scene and some of the province’s best are rolling into Wolfville to feed festival-goers before the Friday night screening of Food Chains, a film exposing abuse of farm labourers in the United States. This one’s going to be heavy, so you might want to head into the theatre with a full stomach.

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Saturday, November 15th

Brunch: Devour! The Grills at the Wolfville Farmers’ Market (8:30AM-1:00PM)

Even a film festival knows that food lovers need to get their brunch on when Saturday rolls around. Three different teams of chefs will be ready to feed the crowds starting at 8:30AM, but if you want to see a familiar face that we all know and love, then come between 10:00-11:30AM to see Top Chef Canada’s Lauren Marshall serving up some of her quality vegan dishes. If you aren’t already a veggie lover, Marshall will make one out of you!

Party: Devour! Cocktail Event at Anvil Pub (10:00PM-1:00AM)

After the Saturday night screening of A Tale of Samurai Cooking head over to Anvil to drink and mingle with other festival-goers. I have it on good authority that you may see some very recognizable chefs in the room, such as Connie Desousa, Rene Rodriguez and maybe even Chuck Hughes!

For the full festival line-up and ticket information, head to devourfest.com, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter and to see our latest festival updates and behind-the-scenes pics!

Dan-Clapson-Avatar Dan Clapson is a food writer and culinary instructor based out of Calgary. He is constantly creating new recipes and striving to expand his culinary horizons. He thinks yam fries are overrated.

Topics: Top Chef Canada, Video, Chuck Hughes

Ina Garten’s Make It Ahead: Review and Giveaway

Make-it-Ahead-Ina-Garten

Ina Garten is my spirit animal. Ask me which celebrity chef I’d want to break bread with and the answer is hands-down, don’t-miss-a-beat, always and forever, Ina. I’d kill for a tour of that glorious herb garden in the Hamptons, or a seat at one of her beachside picnics or butter tastings, and I’ve often pictured myself in the passenger seat as me and the Barefoot Contessa sail through California wine country a Mini Cooper; matching scarves fluttering in the wind.

In her ninth cookbook, Make It Ahead, I get the next best thing: 150 of Ina’s tweaks and secrets for preparing all sorts of meals in advance. From weeknight dinners to special occasion menus and even a step-by-step game plan for a completely made-ahead Thanksgiving (Or Christmas) dinner, you can guarantee I’m digging in for these time-saving, stress-busting Ina-hacks.

Herbed Pork Tenderloin with Apple Chutney

From a succulent Slow-Roasted Spiced Pork to a lump-free Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy to a truly Decadent Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake; she’s pinpointed the exact bits and pieces of a meal you can do in advance; without sacrificing taste or quality. These are the types of recipes you need if instead of hovering over the stove while your guests sip cocktails, you want to break away from babysitting duty, pull up a seat and join them.

Make It Ahead is a must-have for every home cook who has ever tried to choreograph a multi-course meal and thought: “What can I make ahead?” And with holiday feasts on the horizon, this is the cookbook you’ll want to have on hand to coordinate a knock-out meal that’s effortlessly chic.

asparagus and prosciutto bundles

This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations Shaelynn Turman. You’ve won a copy a of Ina Garten’s Make It Ahead

For a chance to win a copy of Make It Ahead, send us an email at giveaways@shawmedia.ca with “Make It Ahead Giveaway” in the subject line.

Giveaway Rules:
The following are the giveaway rules (“Rules”) for Make It Ahead Giveaway (the “Giveaway”) being administered by Shaw Media (“Shaw”).

RULE 1. HOW TO ENTER
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. To enter, entrants must follow the Giveaway guidelines above, as determined by a Shaw representative. The Giveaway shall run until November 13, 2014 at 5 pm, after which time no entries will be considered.

RULE 2. SELECTION OF WINNER
Upon completion of the Giveaway, a Shaw representative shall review the submissions from each entrant and choose a random entrant to win the giveaway. From the entrants that correctly completed the Giveaway guidelines, Shaw will randomly select the prize winner (“Winner”) and provide the prize to the winner. For the purposes of this Giveaway and the awarding of prize, these Rules shall govern in all respects and the decision of any Shaw representatives shall be final.

RULE 3. PRIZE
There is one prize available to be won, which consists of (“Prize”).

RULE 4. GENERAL
By participating in this Giveaway, you agree to abide by these Rules and the decisions of Shaw in awarding the Prize, which decisions shall be final and binding upon all entrants. Entrants who have not complied with these Rules are subject to disqualification. Shaw reserves the right to modify the Rules, before or during the Giveaway, in its sole discretion, in any way at any time it deems necessary or appropriate without materially affecting the terms and conditions of this Giveaway. Interpretation of these Giveaway rules by Shaw shall be final.

Personal information collected during the course of this Giveaway shall be used by Shaw and its authorized representatives solely for the purposes of conducting the Giveaway and awarding prizes, and will not be used or disclosed for any other purpose unless required by law.

The Prize is not transferable and not redeemable for cash, will not be extended under any circumstances and must be accepted as offered without substitution. Employees of Shaw and its affiliates, subsidiaries, related companies, advertising and promotional agencies and the house-hold members of any of the above, are not eligible to participate in this Giveaway.

By participating in this Giveaway, the Winner agrees that his/her name may be used in any and all forms of media, without any further compensation by Shaw and waives all rights (including moral rights) with respect to printed, broadcast and other forms of publicity.

In the event of a dispute as to who submitted an electronic entry, the entry will be deemed to have been submitted by the authorized account holder of the e-mail address submitted at the time of entry. “Authorized account holder” is defined as the natural person who is assigned to an e-mail address by anInternet access provider, on-line service provider or other organization (e.g., business, educational institution, etc.) that is responsible for assigning e-mail addresses for the domain associated with the submitted e-mail address.

Notwithstanding the defined Contest Period, Shaw reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to terminate the Giveaway, in whole or part, and/or modify, amend or suspend the Giveaway, and/or these Rules in any way, at any time, for any reason without prior notice. Interpretation of these Giveaway Rules by Shaw shall be final.

The Giveaway is subject to all applicable laws of the province of Ontario and the laws of Canada applicable therein.

BonnieMo Bonnie Mo is a Toronto-based editor and the face behind Food Network Canada’s Food Fetish column. She’s also a contributing editor over at slice.ca.

Topics: Giveaways, Cookbooks, Restaurants

Sweet Eats: Easy Phyllo Apple Strudel

I remember the first time I was taught how to make strudel. The chef I worked for at the time made the dough with a very secret recipe. Me, along with three other cooks had to stretch the dough over a huge tablecloth and had to be very careful not to tear any holes.

It was such a fun process, pulling the dough until it was paper thin. We filled and rolled the strudel and cooked the flakiest, most delicious pastry—it was certainly worth the effort.

Making paper thin pastry at home can be a lengthy process. I love using store-bought phyllo pastry. Phyllo makes strudel a quick and easy dessert that doesn’t require a team of people to make! Though you may want a team to help you eat it or you might just manage to get through the whole thing yourself!

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Phyllo Apple Strudel

Ingredients:

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
4 medium sized apples, peeled, cored and chopped into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs
1/2 pomegranate, seeds removed
Zest of 1 orange
1/4 cup butter, melted
5 sheets phyllo pastry
1/4 cup icing sugar

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl mix together sugar and cinnamon. Set aside 4 Tablespoons of mixture.
3. Add to the large bowl the remaining filling ingredients. Mix together apples, raisins, breadcrumbs, pomegranate seeds and orange zest.
4. Lay out one sheet of phyllo and brush with melted butter. Sprinkle with sugar mixture. Place another sheet of phyllo on top and continue layering butter and sugar until all 5 sheets of phyllo have been layered.
5. Place the filling mixture on the middle of the phyllo sheets. Leave a border around the edges to make rolling up the strudel easier.

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6. Roll the strudel up lengthwise and tuck in the ends. Lay the strudel seam-side down with ends tucked in onto prepared baking sheet. Brush the top of the strudel with the remaining butter and sprinkle the top with the rest of the cinnamon sugar.

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7. Bake in the oven until golden brown, about 50 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes. Sprinkle icing sugar on top before slicing. Serve with vanilla ice cream or enjoy as is!

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SONY DSC Miranda Keyes is a freelance food stylist, recipe developer and writer who used to live in London, UK but moved back to Canada for nanaimo bars, maple syrup and poutine. To learn more about her, follow her on Instagram littlemirandapiggy and Twitter @mirandaak.

Topics: BakingDessert, Apples, Strudel

Guilty Kitchen: Classic Turkey Pot Pie

Buying a turkey after the holidays means it’s inexpensive, and will probably feed a family of four for a whole week (if you can stretch out the leftovers). We ate it plain for two days, but then we got inspired to make some turkey pot pie, because, well… pie! For dinner! I mean, you can’t really go wrong with pie for dinner, can you?

This traditional turkey pot pie with an all-butter double crust is the perfect way to use up all your turkey leftovers!

Turkey Pot Pie

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Yields: 4-6 servings

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Ingredients:

1 double crust, all-butter pie crust recipe for a 9″ pie plate (feel free to make your own or go pre-made)
1/4 cup butter
1 large sweet onion, diced
5 stalks celery (leaves are fine)
4 large carrots, peeled and diced
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 1/2 cups turkey stock or drippings
1/2 cup whole milk
3 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon each dried basil, marjoram and sage
1 teaspoon sea salt
5-6 cups chopped turkey, white and dark meat
1 whole egg, beaten (optional)

Directions:

  1. In a large heavy bottomed pan or Dutch oven, melt butter. Add vegetables and stir to coat. Cook for 3-4 minutes. Sprinkle flour over and cook for 3-5 minutes more, stirring constantly.
  2. Add stock, milk and seasonings and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and continue to cook for another 3-5 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in chopped turkey.
  3. Place half of rolled out dough into pie plate, leaving edges hanging over the sides. Pour half of filling into pie (or as much as you can safely fit). Place second rolled out crust on top and roll edges into a thick crust (I like mine extra thick, which also helps to keep it from burning).
  4. Freeze whole pie for reheating later or preheat oven to 425°F, place on baking sheet, brush crust with beaten egg (if using) and bake for 35-40 minutes, checking halfway to ensure crust is not burning. If it is darkening too much on the edges, cover edges in aluminium foil and continue baking.
  5. If cooking from frozen, place on baking sheet, brush with beaten egg (if using) and bake at 425°F for 30 minutes. Turn oven down to 400°F and continue to bake until crust is golden brown and internal temperature of pie is 165°F. If it is darkening too much on the edges, cover edges in aluminium foil and continue baking.

Elizabeth-Nyland-0012-2 Elizabeth Nyland, author behind “Cooking with Coconut Oil: Gluten-Free, Grain-Free Recipes for Good Living” and “Cooking with Avocados: Delicious Gluten-Free Recipes for Every Meal” is also a mother of two and is the blogger behind guiltykitchen.com, a food, fitness and health blog that’s been going strong since 2009. You can find Elizabeth in her home gym lifting heavy things, in her kitchen cooking up new recipes or at the bakery down the street attempting to uncover the world’s best doughnut.

Elizabeth Nyland is part of the Lifestyle Blog Network  family.

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Topics: Turkey, Pot Pie, Leftovers