Tag Archives: menus

Winning Recipes for Your Academy Awards Party

Celebrate the Academy Awards with Oscar-worthy spread that is sure to impress even the toughest critic. Hollywood’s biggest night deserves your best kitchen performance and these recipes are sure to earn you at least a ‘Best Host’ nomination.

Whether you’re channeling old-Hollywood elegance or have a casual evening in mind, we have a slew Oscar party ideas for easy appetizers and cocktails that will keep you well fed from the red carpet through to the credits.

Oscar Party Menu

Champagne Cocktail

Champagne Cocktails

Greet your guests with a celebratory champagne cocktail. Crème de cassis, a dark red liqueur made from blackcurrants gives these bubbly sippers their bright red-carpet shade.

Oysters with Caviar

Oysters, Caviar and Bubbles

Your movie-buff guests may shy away from spoilers, but they won’t mind you spoiling them with these indulgent appetizers that are packed with old Hollywood glamour. Reserve a little champagne from your cocktails for the mignonette sauce, which is seasoned with fresh shallots and bright pink peppercorns.

White Bean Puree on Endive

White Bean Puree on Endive

We’d like to thank Patricia Heaton for this delicious and simple bean dip that gets a fancy flourish when served on individual Belgian endive leaves. Place these apps on a gold tray for an elegant cocktail-party feel. Not a fan of endives? Serve this light dip in a dish with toasted pita points or chips.

Deviled Eggs with Caviar

Devilled Eggs

Party like the stars with these lavish appetizers. The ordinary snack gets a lavish twist with a dollop of salty Sturgeon roe. For a paired-down version, omit the caviar and season each egg with a sprinkle of smoked paprika.

Cheese and Spinach Puff Pastry Pockets

Cheese and Spinach Puff Pastry Pockets

Puff pastry is your best friend when it comes to whipping up a tray full of appetizers in no time at all. These spinach bites are everything you want in an appetizer: golden flaky crust paired with a warm, cheesy filling you can enjoy in two delicious bites.

Maple Sriracha Popcorn

Maple Sriracha Popcorn

No Academy Awards party is complete without popcorn! When those acceptance speeches go on and on, you’ll be happy to have this sweet and spicy popcorn to snack on. Leave out the peanuts and cashews if you want to keep it nut-free.

Caramel Popcorn

While not everyone can go home with a golden statue, your guests can each enjoy their own golden caramel popcorn treat. For added fun, shape each popcorn ball into your own version of the iconic statue and ceremoniously hand them out to your special guests.

Rumarita Cocktail

Rumarita Cocktail

As soon as the credits start to roll, that’s when the real party starts. Kick off your after-party with a rumarita, made with gold rum and fresh citrus.

Looking for more ideas? Try our 20 Best Recipes for an Awards Show Party.

Bobby Flay’s Long Weekend BBQ Menu

Bobby Flay, host of Barbecue Addiction and Food Network Star, is all about firing up the grill during the summer months. The boyishly charming chef conquers the barbecue like no other, with an easy approach to making classic dishes and use of flavour-packed ingredients. This long weekend, create a Bobby Flay-approved feast to remember with this spread of sweet and savoury dishes from the grill master himself.

bobby-flay-bbq-menu-sweet-potato-wedges

Grilled Sweet Potato Wedges with Dipping Sauce
Bobby Flay’s mustard, honey and mint dipping sauce is the perfect accompaniment to these hot-off-the-grill sweet potato wedges.

bobby-flay-fish-taco-recipe

Fish Tacos
Flaky white fish marinated in lime juice, ancho, jalapeño and cilantro, is grilled, then served on warm tortillas topped with garnishes of your choice and a homemade tomato salsa.

bobby-flay-grilled-rib-eye-steak

Grilled Rib-Eye Steak with Brown Butter and Blue Cheese
Not a fish person? These thick and juicy steaks make a tasty alternative for a summer main.

grilled-broccoli-rabe-bobby-flay-recipe

Grilled Broccoli Rabe with Grilled Pepper Relish
Serve your tacos and steak with a healthy dose of grilled greens and colourful bell peppers dressed in a red wine vinaigrette.

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Grapefruit Granita-sicle
Finish the meal with a light Italian dessert that will cleanse the palate and quench your thirst on a hot summer’s day.

Watch an all-new episode of Bobby Flay’s BBQ Addiction Saturday, July 2nd at 11 am E/P.

Easy Father’s Day Menu Ready in Under an Hour

Preparing a decadent four-course meal doesn’t have to mean slaving away in the kitchen for hours. This delicious Father’s Day menu is a cinch to make and will surely impress Dad and give him a happy belly (and heart!).

Whipped-Ricotta-with-Garlic-Bread
First Course: Garlic Country Bread with Whipped Ricotta Butter
Time: 20 minutes

We guarantee that the aromas alone from this homemade garlic bread will whet your appetite and set the mood for the celebratory feast.

Butterflied-Lobster-Tails-with-Garlic-Lemon-Butter
Second Course: Butterflied Lobster Tails with Garlic Lemon Butter
Time: 20 minutes

A Father’s Day spread is not complete without a serving of succulent lobster tails to fancy up your dinner menu. Prep these ahead of time.

grilled-lamb-chops
Third Course: Giada De Laurentiis’ Grilled Lamb Chops with Nancy Fuller’s Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Time: 10 minutes for lamb, and reheat make-ahead mash

This mouthwatering dish by Giada De Laurentiis is prepared with rosemary, garlic, thyme and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Simple and classic, pair these mouthwatering chops with make-ahead cheesy baked mashed potatoes. Got some extra time? Add some crunchy texture to your plate with fried zucchini.

cookies-and-cream-cups
Fourth Course: The Pioneer Woman’s Cookies and Cream Cups
Time: 5 minutes

Not everything has to be made from scratch when throwing a memorable meal. Take the stress out of baking a fancy cake and make Ree Drummond’s delightful cookies and cream cups instead. They will be the perfect finishing touch to a well-made meal.

Marvellous Mother’s Day Menu

If ever there was a day to treat the most important woman in your life, it’s Mother’s Day. If you’re lucky enough to celebrate with Mom, treat her to an indulgent meal she’ll remember all year long. Say ‘thank you’ for all her love and hard work with a heavenly menu that starts with bubbly cocktails, and ends with ooey-gooey chocolate lava cakes. After all, she deserves it.

Champagne Cocktail

Champagne Cocktails

If ever there was a person deserving of a champagne toast, it’s Mom. Pop the bubbly and start the meal with a batch of these light and refreshing cocktails.

Blini with Smoked Salmon

Blini with Smoked Salmon

Similar to crêpes, these light and thin little pancakes make the perfect base for a one-bite appetizer. They take a few extra minutes to make from scratch, but one bite of the smoked salmon and crème fraiche, and Mom will appreciate your extra effort.

Strawberry Arugula Salad

Strawberry Arugula Salad with Walnuts and Goat Cheese

Mom will adore this sweet, light salad that’s quick to prepare and packs tons of perfectly balanced flavour. Fresh, luscious strawberries give sweet contrast to the crunchy walnuts, sharp goat cheese and bitter arugula. Top with a simple olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette to really bring out the strawberries’ flavour. 

Mothership Sunday Roast Lamb

Mothership Sunday Roast Lamb

Jamie Oliver’s lamb is unlike any other. The bone-in shoulder is smothered with a fragrant marinade of fresh garlic, rosemary and olive oil, then surrounded by onions and cooked low and slow. The result is tender, sweet lamb that falls off the bone that’s served with fresh spring potatoes and delectable gravy.

Butter Tart Cheesecake

The Best Butter Tart Cheesecake

If you’re looking to score major points with Mom, the ultimate butter tart cheesecake will surely spoil her. The sweet and salty dessert is covered in maple caramel sauce, and sprinkled with lots of toasted pecans. Feel free to add raisins if your Mom likes her butter tarts nut-free.

Luscious Lava Cake

Luscious Lava Cakes

It wouldn’t be Mother’s Day without chocolate, and these decadent cakes pack a double dose of chocolatey goodness. The molten chocolate insides are made of truffles, and the entire dessert is served with a luscious blueberry compote. Be sure to make extra so Mom has one or two to take home and enjoy later.

Looking for more delicious ways to honour Mom? Try our 50 Best Brunch Recipes for Mother’s Day.

ratatouille

Eden Grinshpan’s Mother’s Day Menu

Want to honour your mom like a star chef would? Let Chopped Canada judge and Le Cordon Bleu-graduate Eden Grinshpan be your sous-chef with these delicious ideas for celebrating the lady who raised you.

Love is in the details.

Eden Grinshpan (second from left) with her mom, Riva Grinshpan, sisters Arielle and Renny Grinshpan, and father Menashe Grinshpan.

Eden Grinshpan (second from left) with her mom, Riva Grinshpan, sisters Arielle and Renny Grinshpan, and father Menashe Grinshpan.

“I love making my mother dishes that make her feel great and resemble something we have experienced together or that she just loves and craves the most,” says Eden. Whether you choose to emulate a dish you’ve enjoyed together, feature an ingredient that sparks a happy memory, or just want to cook her very favourite dish, thoughtfulness is the best seasoning for any Mother’s Day recipe.

Appetizer

Anna Olson's Israeli Couscous with Olives, Arugula and Feta

Israeli salad with tahini is a dish that always reminds Eden of good times with her mom. “My mother and I can eat this dish everyday and when we are in Israel together we always eat it,” she says. “It’s one of our favourites. Every time I eat it, I always think of us at cafés in Tel-Aviv.”

Start your Mother’s Day meal with something similar: Arugula and Feta (pictured), Ruth Daniels’ Israeli Salad or Anna Olson’s Israeli Couscous with Olives.

Side

Eden Grinshpan's Ratatouille

“Ratatouille is one of my mother’s favourite ways to enjoy vegetables,” says Eden. “The way the tomato breaks down and turns into a sweet sauce around the perfectly cooked vegetables is such a treat. I love to incorporate some other unique elements like harissa and smoked paprika. The ratatouille goes really well as a side for the grilled fish.”

Get Eden Grinshpan’s Ratatouille recipe (pictured).

Main

Whole Baked Fish with Lemon and Herbs

“Whenever I am in Toronto visiting we always go to Joso’s which is my parents’ favourite restaurant,” says Eden. “The fish is so fresh and simply prepared. When I make my mom fish, I do the same, by either roasting it whole or grilling the fillets and dressing it with olive oil and fresh lemon. She could eat fish everyday.”

Take a page from her favourite restaurant menu and make a similar Mother’s Day main: Whole Baked Fish with Lemon and Herbs (pictured) or Bobby Flay’s Grilled Tilapia with Lemon Butter, Capers and Orzo.

Dessert

Anna Olson's Key Lime Meringue Pie

“I try to keep to keep my Mother’s Day dishes balanced and light, but also with a little decadence. It’s Mother’s Day, after all,” says Eden.

Eden’s mom is “obsessed” with lime, and can never turn down a slice of key lime pie. “It’s the perfect way to treat her on Mother’s day.”

Enjoy a similar Mother’s Day dessert: The Pioneer Woman’s Key Lime PieAnna Olson’s Key Lime Pie or Anna Olson’s Key Lime Meringue Pie (pictured).

Cory Vitiello’s Ultimate Game Day Menu

Cory Vitiello’s goal for 2016 is to stay on the path of clean, healthy eating. But even those who set strict objectives have to allow themselves one cheat day. For this Chef In Your Ear expert, it happens to be football’s biggest night.

“This the one day where you can feel like you hit rock bottom with your dietary choices and be okay with it,” Cory explains. “It’s like New Years. You know you’re going to wake up lying on your bathroom floor face down in a pool of regurgitated sauce and Cheez Whiz and it’s okay!”

Here are the items Cory craves the most on game day.

nachos

California Style Nachos
“It’s the healthy kind,” he says. He prefers his nachos with lots of black beans and fresh veggies with fresh cilantro on top and a little bit of cheese. “I mean, you can’t have a Super Bowl party without nachos.” Because Cory is opting to eat less meat this year, he’s skipping out on adding beef.

Try a similar recipe: Whole Wheat Nachos with Corn

USA --- Spicy Chicken Wings --- Image by © 2/John E. Kelly/Ocean/Corbis
Chicken Wings
Just like nachos, chicken wings are a quintessential food item on game day. Cory admits he’s a simple guy when it comes to these poultry pleasures. “I fry them at a low heat for a very long time until they just get crispy and I toss a bit of salt and pepper, maybe a tiny bit of hot sauce.” Oh, and don’t forget the ranch dressing!

Try a similar recipe: Roast Chicken Wings

Hot Italian Sausages
Cory plays by the books and loves sticking to other classics like Italian sausages. Whether you prefer to grill, bake or fry, you can’t go wrong!
Try a similar recipe: Sausage with Caramelized Onions and Pepper

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Pinwheel Cookie

Chocolate Chip Cookies
To satisfy his sweet tooth (and boy, does he have one!), Cory makes sure chocolate chip cookies are on the menu. These warm, gooey treats are easy to bake by the dozens. “If somebody showed up to a party with a platter of cookies, I’d eat 95 per cent of them myself.” Cory’s secret weapon: a dash of Chile de árbol.

Try a similar recipe: Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies

bourbon
Bourbon
Gone are the days of chugging back tall boys. These days, Cory keeps it classy with a glass of bourbon on the rocks. “I like a good slow drinking bourbon. It’s a gentleman’s drink. We’re not kids anymore. One drink every quarter is responsible,” he says. If you want the best of both worlds, there’s even a cocktail that combines bourbon and beer. Who knew?

Try the recipe: The End Zone

Watch new episodes of Chef In Your Ear Mondays at 10 E/P and catch up on episodes online.

Lynn Crawford’s Classic Holiday Menu

The holidays are nearly here and if you haven’t started planning the big meal, don’t fret! We met up with Great Canadian Cookbook host Lynn Crawford to find out what menu she has planned for her family and friends.

This year, everyone’s pitchin’ in with the prep — lucky them that they’ll get to test drive Lynn’s brand new kitchen, set to be complete by Christmas (fingers crossed!).

For Lynn, Christmas is all about preserving tradition and that’s when her roots really show. Drawing from her parent’s Scottish upbringing, Lynn makes sure her mom and dad’s dishes are front and centre.

“The majority of recipes you cherish are those that have been passed down from generation to generation. There’s so much history and so much love,” Lynn says.

Keeping it classic

With a soft spot for tradition,  it’s no surprise that Lynn is serving a classic roast turkey for Christmas Eve dinner. For side dishes, she’s chosen fluffy mashed potatoes and creamed Brussels sprouts covered in crispy bacon.

Herbed Roast Turkey and Roasted Onion Gravy

Herbed Roast Turkey and Roasted Onion Gravy

Creamed Brussels Sprouts with Chestnuts and Parmesan

Creamed Brussels Sprouts with Chestnuts and Parmesan

Of course, no traditional holiday menu would be complete without the stuffing. And there’s only one recipe served in her home, year-after-year.

“My father’s stuffing – He makes the best stuffing and we’ve kept that tradition going.”

While she’s a lover of tradition, there’s one dish that’s never the same on her holiday table: Cranberry sauce. “We always try a different cranberry sauce every year to mix it up,” says Lynn, adding that some family members really like to push the limits with their creations.

Try Lynn’s Charred Onion Cranberry Relish.

Lynn’s Charred Onion Cranberry Relish

“Holidays are a great time to try a new recipe,” she advises. This year, Lynn is adding a Cranberry Gingerbread Cheesecake to her menu, with hopes that it will become a new tradition.

Cranberry Gingerbread Cheesecake

Cranberry Gingerbread Cheesecake

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Ina Garten’s Easy Dinner Party Menu

The best part about throwing a dinner party is the company. Whether you’re hosting colleagues, good friends or family, the crowd hasn’t just assembled for the feast—they’ve come to catch up with you too. Recipe choices are so important during a dinner party, and as a host, your best bet is to avoid dishes that have you running in and out of the kitchen to stir and mix, leaving you much less time to spend mingling with company.

The Barefoot Contessa is the dinner party hostess of dreams. Her dishes are simple yet sophisticated, and top notch when it comes to stress-free entertaining. Take a leaf out of Ina Garten’s book and partygoers will never know how you made it look so easy.

Preparation is Essential

Finger foods are quick appetizers that’ll keep well as you wait for your guests to arrive. You can prepare them ahead of time, while you check off the rest of your to-do list. A light first course also ensures that your visitors have plenty of room for the entrée.

Try a honey-glazed baked Brie and Marcona almonds with sea salt.

baked-brie-honey-recipe

Serve the Brie with a variety of crackers, dried cranberries and sliced apples or pears. (Quick tip: sprinkle a small amount of lemon juice on the apples and pears to prevent them from going brown.) The sweetness from the honey-glazed Brie mixed with the salty Marcona almonds pair perfectly with cocktails.

Family-Style Dining is a Feast for the Eyes

For dinner parties, roasting meat in the oven is a cinch. Lock in tons of flavour by making your marinade early in the day and combining it with your choice meat for at least an hour in the fridge. And the more you can pop in the oven, the better, as dishes cooked on a stovetop require too much attention.

Try this herb-roasted turkey breast with Parmesan risotto and crispy roasted kale.

herb-turkey-recipe-Ina-Garten

Forget individual plating because ‘family-style’ dining can be just as striking. Showcase your herb-roasted turkey on your finest dinnerware. (Quick tip: if the platter is white, be sure to wipe off any extra juices from the meat, which may have spilled along the sides, while transferring the turkey breast from the roasting tray.) Lay the crispy roasted kale on a rustic cutting board alongside a block of Parmesan cheese and a small grater so you can offer guests freshly grated Parmesan for the risotto.

It’s Okay to Delegate

After the main course, leave ample time for the group to enjoy each other’s company at the dining table. (Dessert is best served once the main course has settled.) When everyone’s ready, politely recruit a willing helper to lend you a hand while you put together your final dish. Don’t be shy about delegating—guests are generally eager to learn new recipes.

Try this five-minute Limoncello and ice cream with biscotti.

limoncello-and-ice-cream-biscotti

Limoncello is often served as an after-dinner ‘digestivo’ in Southern Italy. Paired with ice cream and biscotti, it’s a well-balanced dessert—creamy, crunchy, sweet and tangy—that looks lovely in a frozen martini glass and finishes off your dinner party nicely.

8 Must-Try Poutineries From Coast to Coast

A Canadian classic, poutine is always at the top of our comfort food list. And although there are tons of casual chains offering up plates of cheesy, gravy-soaked fries, here are 8 eateries that add a bit more pizzazz to this iconic dish.

Below Deck Tavern (Calgary, AB) – Good Ol’ Fashioned Poutine
For East Coasters looking for a little taste of home in Western Canada, this is the spot to be. Revel in deliciousness with dishes such as deep-fried pepperoni and cottage pie. But for something a little extra special, opt for Below Deck’s spin on a poutine. They season skinny fries with old bay seasoning and top with the regular curds and gravy. Add on some donair meat while you’re at it.

kiwianne_Caplanskys_Poutine

Caplansky’s (Toronto, ON) – Smoked Meat Poutine
Food Network Canada personality, Zane Caplansky, has built a big brand for himself in Toronto creating a successful delicatessen-style business. Try his version of the poutine, chock full of quality, kosher smoked meat.

yelp_Resto-La-Banquise

La Banquise 24th (Montreal, QC) – Hot Dog Poutine
Open 24 hours for all your post-bar, drunken food cravings, this popular spot for poutine in the heart of poutine land — Montreal — serves up more variations on this theme than you can imagine. Naturally, after a hard night out, you’re not always thinking, so skip the brain work and just go for the hot dog option. I mean, who’s counting calories at 3 am?

La Pataterie Hulloise (Gatineau, QC)
Most Ottawans will tell you that if you’re really interested in finding a great poutine, then you need to take a short drive over the river from Ottawa to Gatineau. This no frills spot keeps their offerings simple because sometimes, you just don’t need to mess with a good thing.

Peasant Cookery (Winnipeg, MB)
There’s something nice and homey about this restaurant in the exchange district of downtown Winnipeg. The menu is all about good ol’ home cooked food, but taken up a notch. Crispy fries are topped with curds from a local producer, Bothwell Cheese and a bacon gravy. We’ll order two please.

The-Reef---Jerk-Chicken-Poutine

The Reef (Vancouver, BC) – Jerk Chicken Poutine
I guarantee that you’ve never had Caribbean jerk in this application before. Sure, the cheese curds and fries are pretty average, but the pulled chicken in this dish is great and the gravy is sweet and spicy with hints of cinnamon. Out of every dish on this list, this bastardization (if you will) of poutine is one of the most interesting.

Schryers-Smoked-BBQ-Shack_fb-smoked-mozza-poutine

Schryer’s Smoked BBQ Shack (Saskatoon, SK) – Smoked Mozza Poutine
I’m still a little shocked there’s not a poutine-inspired perogy dish in my hometown (maybe there is and I’m just out of the loop) and even more shocked that a good poutine is still hard to come by in Saskatoon, but thankfully this top notch barbecue joint is saving the day. If you’ve never had smoked mozzarella, you haven’t lived. Add this gooey delicacy into a poutine equation and you’ve got something really worth forking into.

Willy’s Fresh Cut (Halifax, NS)
Like I mentioned earlier with Below Deck Tavern, donair meat in a poutine is an East Coast favourite and Willy’s can definitely verify that fact. If donair meat isn’t your cup of tea, try Willy’s stuffing poutine, or one with a big helping of pulled pork on top.

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.

10 Tasting Menus Across Canada You’ll Want to Try

For many of us, tasting menus aren’t a weekly occurrence, but sometimes, it’s nice to splurge a little on a nicely presented and well-put-together dinner.

If you’re looking to sit back, let the chef take control and immerse yourself in a proper tasting menu experience, these 10 Canadian restaurants are places you should be eating.

atelier
Atelier

Atelier (Ottawa, ON)

Molecular gastronomy can go a little too far at times, but a few techniques, when used the right way, can help take a dish from nice to a full-on sensory experience. That’s the approach chef Marc Lepine takes at Atelier. Before the food hits your table, the course names leave it all up to your imagination, and imaginative they will be.

edenrimrock
Eden at The Rimrock

Eden at The Rimrock (Banff, AB)

Banff isn’t always known for having the most bustling food scene, with many spots catering to families and large groups. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but if you are looking for a truly elevated dining experience in the Rockies, you’ll find it inside The Rimrock Hotel at Eden. Sit down, sip on wine and taste your way through their renowned tasting menu while the sun sets behind the mountain peaks in the background.

George on Queen (Toronto, ON)

With a whirlwind of trends always breezing in and out of this city, George has stayed its course (or courses, if you will), serving up one of the well-received tasting menus in Toronto. The kitchen is also happy to make adjustments for dietary restrictions as well (with a bit of notice), making it a night that everyone gets to enjoy.

hawksworth
Hawksworth Restaurant

Hawksworth Restaurant (Vancouver, BC)

Consistently rated as a top-tier restaurant in Vancouver, Hawksworth is known for stunning plating and big flavours, whether you’re coming by for a bite at lunch or taking the time to spend an evening experiencing the tasting menu.

missionkits
Mission

Mission (Vancouver, BC)

One of the city’s newest restaurants takes the tasting menu approach a little more casually in a cozy dining room that offers proper, but more relaxed service. Top Chef Canada alumnus, Curtis Luk works his magic here with a regular tasting menu and a vegetarian one, too. His love of a vegetable-forward cooking approach really shines through.

Momofuku Toronto (Toronto, ON)

David Chang’s multi-level restaurant attached to the Shangri La hotel offers a lot in terms of dining diversity. Starting on the main floor noodle bar, the experiences get more elevated as you go up each floor. Head up a few flights to find Shoto, the most formal dining room that offers up a 10-course set menu for $95.

Q Haute Cuisine (Calgary, AB)

Just a block from the Bow River, you’ll find Q Haute tucked away in a fairly unassuming building, surrounded by tall apartment buildings. Pop in here, head up the stairs and sit down for a whimsical dinner of molecular gastronomy, full of smoke, mirrors and edibles. Alright, the only mirrors are in the bathroom, but you know what I mean.

Raymonds (St. John’s, NFLD)

After winning multiple accolades for their refined culinary offerings in the past four or so years, Raymonds has become both a chef and food lover favourite. With an emphasis on sourcing ingredients from all around Newfoundland and Labrador, you can bet that a dinner here will be like no other.

teatro
Teatro

Teatro (Calgary, AB)

A Calgary classic, Teatro has been going strong for 32 years now and is just as relevant as it was back then. Many well-known chefs have headed up the kitchen but it is currently run by Jason Barton-Browne, offering a tasting menu with an array of interesting Italian-inspired dishes. With some of the best service in Calgary, you can’t go wrong with spending your time (and money) here.

Toque! (Montreal, QC)

Established in 1993, Toque! was not only one of the first restaurants to experience gastronomic cuisine in Montreal, but one that also began placing an emphasis on sourcing locally and ethically. Today, this spot remains as one of the top restaurants to experience a tasting menu in the country, and they are as big of a local food advocate as ever, taking part in Food Day Canada 2015 this Saturday.

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.

5-Ingredient Summer Sides for Any Main

Side dishes round out any meal — how could you possibly have a summer BBQ dinner without grilled veggies, corn on the cob or a flavour-packed salad? Side dishes may complete a meal, but they also need to be simple, and relatively quick and easy. No one wants to be slaving away over the hearty main and then have to spend another few hours cooking up a veggie side. These 5-ingredient side dishes will blow your mind — and your taste buds!

 brussel sprouts raw in bowl  

 Maple Brussels Sprouts Explosion

 Ingredients:
2 cups Brussels sprouts, halved
4 Tbsp maple syrup
4 Tbsp whole mustard
1/4 tsp sea salt
4 Tbsp grapeseed oil

 Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. Wash and slice the Brussels sprouts in half.
3. Mix the maple syrup, mustard and grapeseed oil in a large bowl.
4. Add the Brussels sprouts to the bowl and make sure they’re all nicely coated with the marinade. Add the sea salt and keep mixing. If you like this dish a little sweeter, add a bit more maple syrup.
5. Place the Brussels sprouts on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake for 35 minutes until Brussels sprouts are crisp and sweet.

 kale-in-wooden-bowl

 Oh-So-Pine-Nutty Kale Salad

 Ingredients:
1 bunch kale
1 container cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup pine nuts
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (for tomatoes) + 4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (for salad)
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar (for tomatoes ) + 3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar (for salad)

 Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Wash and cut the cherry tomatoes in half and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Pour 2 Tbsp of extra virgin olive oil and 2 Tbsp of balsamic vinegar over the tomatoes and roast for 25 minutes. Alternatively, you can use 1 cup of chopped sundried tomatoes.
3. While the tomatoes are roasting, lightly toast the pine nuts by placing them on a baking sheet. Place them in the oven for 5-7 minutes and watch them so they don’t burn!
4. Wash and chop the kale into pieces and add to a big salad bowl.
5. Once the tomatoes are roasted, add them on top of the kale and then toss pine nuts on top.
6. Dress the salad with 4 Tbsp of extra virgin olive oil and 3 Tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, mix and enjoy!

mediteranean 

 Mediterranean Madness 

 Ingredients:
1 1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted
1 1/2 cup sundried tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup feta, crumbled
4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 lemon, squeezed

 Directions:
1. Slice the kalamata olives in half and make sure they are pitted. Place them in a bowl
2. Slice the sundried tomatoes and add them to the olive bowl.
3. Crumble feta and place in the bowl. Pour extra virgin olive oil and squeeze lemon over, mix around until everything is coated in oil.

sweet-potatoes-glazed

 Caramelized Balsamic Sweet Potatoes

 Ingredients:
5 sweet potatoes, cubed
5 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
4 Tbsp grapeseed oil
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped

 Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. Chop the sweet potatoes in cubed and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
3. Drizzle grapeseed oil, balsamic vinegar and sea salt over the potatoes. Mix around so they are all covered in balsamic vinegar.
4. Roast in the oven for 35 minutes until caramelized, soft yet slightly crisp.
5. Place in a bowl and mix with fresh basil.

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 Zippy Fennel Slaw

 Ingredients:
1 fennel bulb, sliced thinly
1 green apple, sliced into matchsticks
1/2 lemon, squeezed
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
Pinch sea salt

 Directions:
1. With a mandolin or a sharp knife, slice the fennel bulb into thin pieces and place in a bowl.
2. Slice the apple into matchsticks and add it to the bowl.
3. Immediately squeeze the lemon over the fennel and apple. Add 1 Tbsp of apple cider vinegar and sea salt. Mix around so everything is coated.

tamara-green-living-kitchen Tamara Green is co-founder of The Living Kitchen, and a Holistic Nutritionist and Natural Cook. She combines her knowledge of nutrition and passion for cooking good food to work with clients to create lasting changes in their lives.

Made Easy: A ‘50s Wintertime Dinner

You can thank generations of mad men and their brilliant commercials for making you crave the oddest things during the holiday season: Triangular-shaped chocolates that come in a tube, quarter-chicken rotisserie dinners, pop chugged by dancing polar bears… For me, it’s the dishes you’d find on the dinner table of a typical suburban family during the ‘50s and ‘60s, like green beans topped with crispy onions and chicken with cream of mushroom soup. This is quite remarkable since I’m a kid born in Hong Kong during the ‘80s.

Inspired by the two most famous recipes created by the Campbell’s soup company—the Classic Green Bean Casserole and the Quick Mushroom Chicken Bake—as well as the classic sweet potato and marshmallow casserole, try this simple and pleasing meal for five (or four ravenous people) that takes about an hour from start to finish.

Begin with the sweet potato mash since the potatoes take the longest time to cook, followed by the green beans, as both dishes can be kept warm in the oven (at 350°F) while the chicken is being cooked. The plastic tablecloth really maxes out the kitsch factor (thanks, mom).

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Mashed Sweet Potato

Ingredients:
4 pounds sweet potato (about 6-7), peeled & chopped into evenly sized chunks
1/4 cup heavy/table cream
2 Tablespoons maple syrup
2 teaspoons unsalted butter
Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. In a large pot, toss in the chopped sweet potato and pour in cold water, enough to cover the potatoes completely. Salt the water and bring to a boil. Continue boiling for 30 to 40 minutes, until the sweet potatoes are soft.
  2. Drain and let the potatoes air dry for a few minutes.
  3. Transfer the potatoes to a large mixing bowl. Add the cream, maple, syrup and butter. Using a potato masher, whisk, or wooden spoon, mash and whisk everything together until you reach a smooth, fluffy consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Transfer the mashed potatoes to an oven-proof serving bowl and keep warm in the oven at 350°F until ready to serve.

Buttery Green Beans

Ingredients:
1 1/2 pounds green beans, washed, ends removed
1 medium sized white onion, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons unsalted butter
Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Blanch the green beans in a pot of salted boiling water for three minutes. Drain and shock the green beans with ice-cold water. Set aside.
  2. In a pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Sauté the onions until they become translucent and start to turn a golden colour. Add the garlic and stir.
  3. Add in the green beans and butter and continue sauté for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to an oven-proof serving dish and keep warm in the oven at 350°F until ready to serve.

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Chicken and Mushroom Cream Sauce

Ingredients:
8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
2 cups heavy/table cream
1 pounds cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 celery stalk, minced
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven at 350°F.
  2. Season the chicken breasts with Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Cook on a cast iron skillet or a frying pan until well done, about 6 to 8 minutes for each side. Keep the cooked breasts warm on an ovenproof dish in the oven while the remaining breasts are being cooked.
  3. In the meantime, sauté the mushrooms and celery in an oiled saucepan over medium heat until the mushrooms are browned and the celery is softened. Add the cream and simmer for 15 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Arranged the cooked chicken breasts on a serving dish and let them rest for about 5 minutes. Pour the mushroom-cream sauce over the chicken, or serve the sauce on the side in a separate bowl. Serve immediately.

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.

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

7 Things You Need to Eat & Drink in Tofino, B.C. Right Now

Surfing isn’t something that you’d generally associate with our vast country, but if you head to one of the most Western points of British Columbia, you’ll find that surf culture is alive and well in Tofino.

Beside the cool, crashing waves of the Pacific Ocean, this coastal town boasts a surprising amount of delicious food and drink. Actually, I can say with 100% certainty that I have not eaten one thing in this charming little destination that I didn’t like. Maybe it’s something in the water?

Rain or shine, here are 7 things that will make the trek over to Tofino well worth your while.

Great Room at the Long Beach Lodge Resort @greatroom – Basil Gin Caesar

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It’s hard to beat the view here in the Great Room, which looks out onto Cox Bay Beach, so definitely get a seat by the window before you start sipping on the bartender’s spin on our Canadian classic cocktail with muddled gin and lemon. Great for hangovers…am I allowed to say that?

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Rhino Coffeehouse @rhinotofinoBro’nut Sandwich (a.k.a. a doughnut breakfast sandwich)
If you’ve ever had a savoury doughnut sandwich, I’d compare the sweet doughy exterior to enjoying something on a brioche bun. A fried egg, ham (or bacon or sausage), cheddar, tomato and lettuce is always a decent start to your day. Oh yeah, grab a cup of coffee too, obviously…

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The Pointe Restaurant in the Wickaninnish Inn @TasteWickInnBCSmoked and Candied Salmon

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The Pointe Restaurant inside of one of the most iconic properties in town, The Wickaninnish Inn (pronounced how it’s spelt) has long been known for their culinary prowess. At night, you can opt for beautiful tasting menus with ocean views while sipping on well-paired wine, but if you’re going a la carte, then the house-smoked and house-candied salmon is as delicious to eat as it is beautiful. Even though it’s big enough to share, sometimes things are tasty enough to warrant being greedy. Eat it all yourself.

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Shelter @foodwineshelterCortes Island Mussels and Fries
It’s hard to be in this part of Canada and not have the amazingly fresh seafood be incorporated into every meal of the day. Start lunch off at this popular locals haunt with a big bowl of mussels in a smoked bacon, white wine and thyme sauce. Served with fries to soak up all of the liquid goodness too, of course.

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SOBO @sobotofino1Smoked Salmon Chowder
You’ll be hard pressed to find an eatery as charming as this one in all of B.C. Chef/owner Lisa Ahier finds harmony in her Tex-Mex-meets-coastal cuisine. From the tofu pockets to the broiled oysters with salmon bacon (both are must must orders), you can tell everything here is made with love. If the chowder doesn’t warm you up on a rainy day in Tofino, then nothing will! Oh and if you’re lucky, you might catch Sarah McLachlan in here as it’s her favourite spot to eat in this town.

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Tofino Brewing Co. @tofinobrewcoTasting flight
Everyone loves a good microbrewery and Tofino’s premier brewer certainly does not disappoint. Their brews, which range from pale ales to coffee porter and a kelp stout (interesting!), are poured at most restaurants and bars in the town, but are slowly coming available in Victoria and Vancouver as well. Pop into the microbrewery for a tasting flight to decide which microbrew you like best. Me? I’m a Tuff Session Ale man all the way!

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Wolf in the Fog @wolfinthefogCedar Sour
Tofino’s newest restaurant is getting a lot of buzz nationally and for good reason. Chef Nick Nutting knocks west coast ingredients out of the park with dishes like his potato-crusted beach angel oysters (massive and massively delicious) and his seafood-heavy ‘Spanish picnic’, but what is good nosh without refreshment? Wolf’s mixologist, Hailey Pasemko infused rye with local cedar to come up with a drink that is, by far, one of the most dynamic cocktails I’ve sipped on this year. It’s almost like drinking a Whiskey Sour in a sauna sans old men in towels beside you. I mean that in a good way.

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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.

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The Ultimate Hawaii Five-O Viewing Menu

The party continues! For  Global TV’s star-packed premiere week, Food Network Canada celebrates the marriage between food and TV watching with its kick-ass guide to themed menu pairings with powerhouse series Hawaii Five-O.

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The Ultimate Hawaii Five-O Viewing Menu (written by Anne Vranic)

Whether you tune-in for the bikini-clad babes, bare-chested bros, ballin’ beaches, badass-ery, bromances or blood-pumping action, Hawaii Five-O is your jam and we don’t blame you – it’s totally awesome, brah. In celebration of the return of one of TV’s sexiest series, prepare a menu that will distract your friends from Alex O’Loughlin’s abs…smile…tan…laugh…tattoos… or at least get them drunk enough to think he’s within reach (aloha!)

To get into the island spirit, serve your guests (and yourself) a vodka-laden pineapple coconut flavoured Hawaiian cocktails followed by shrimp and scallop coconut ceviche.

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Pre-viewing Cocktail and App:

The big kehuna is a shrimp tasting platter that will bring guests to their knees. Inspired by Big T’s (i.e. Kamekoma) recently opened shrimp truck, put your hands up for an assortment of glazes from orange-pineapple to sweet and sour. Much like the fiery procedural, guests will be on the edge of their seats awaiting the next dish.

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Main Course:

Go cuckoo for cocopuffs with Chin Ho Kelly’s favourite dessert – a chocolate cream puff that put Liliha’s Bakery on the map. Crank the heat up, don your lei from five Halloweens ago and feel inferior as Grace Park’s six pack inevitably appears on screen… it’s Hawaii Five-O time baby!

Hawaii Five-O Season 5 premieres Friday, September 26 – 9PM ET/PT on Global.

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Dessert

Related:

The Ultimate NCIS: New Orleans and Chicago Fire Viewing Menu

To celebrate Global TV’s star-packed premiere week, Food Network Canada celebrates the marriage between food and TV watching with its kick-ass guide to themed menu pairings with powerhouse series NCIS: New Orleans and Chicago Fire.

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The Ultimate NCIS: New Orleans Viewing Menu (written by Kaitlyn Ward)

Are you still reeling from Zeva’s departure from NCIS last season? Are you looking to satisfy your craving for a hearty helping of heart-pounding drama? Your calls have been answered with NCIS: New Orleans! Y’all better get to the quarter because this show is hotter than a Cajun catfish! With back-to-back premieres of NCIS and the series premiere of NCIS: New Orleans, the non-stop bone-chilling cases, chemistry & adrenaline-inducing action will come at you like beads at the Mardi Gras parade! As delicious as Special Agent Lasalle is, the kitchen will be even hotter with these NOLA-inspired dishes.

To get things started and let loose like you’re in The Big Easy, sip on a creole bloody mary. But don’t confuse this kicking cocktail with an ordinary bloody mary – feel the heat with a blast of cayenne pepper and garnish with pickled okra to help you channel your inner Abby Sciuto (go on and take a dance break during the commercials!)

Now laissez les bons temps rouler (or let the good times roll to those of you that aren’t up on the lingo) and dig in to a spicy jambalaya that will have even no-nonsense Gibbs leading the march for the second line parade.

Would an episode of NCIS be complete without a DiNozzo wise crack? Hell no! And this meal would not be complete without dessert. Undo that top button and indulge in a beignet (or a dozen!) that is sure to tide you over until next week’s all-new episodes!

NCIS Season 12 returns to Global on September 23 – 8PM, followed by the series premiere of NCIS: New Orleans at 9 pm.

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Pre-viewing Cocktail:

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Main Course:

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Dessert:

 

The Ultimate Chicago Fire Viewing Menu (written by Anne Vranic)

So, you want cut abs like Kelly Severide? Bulging arms that could carry a kitten out of a tree? In the words of Dawson, “bitch please.” This Chicago-style cuisine will be as satisfying as your dreams about Taylor Kinney and way more fun than the gym. So sit back, loosen your cargo pants and enjoy the season three premiere of Chicago Fire!

To kick things off and appropriately cleanse your palate, down Creator Derek Haas’ favourite cocktail, the “highball” comprising whiskey, ginger ale and lime (and take a subsequent shot every time Dawson stares lovingly at Casey).

Then, channel 51 Firehouse’s resident cook and heartthrob Mills, and prepare some family-style, feel-good Bucktown samplers that will fire up your friends’ tastebuds including mini pizzas, mini Chicago-style hot dogs and slow-cooked Italian beef sliders. Warning: consumption may set off a five alarm fire.

Chicago Fire Season Three returns to Global on September 23 – 10PM

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Pre-viewing Cocktail:

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Main Course:

 

Related: 

The Ultimate Sleepy Hollow and The Blacklist Viewing Menu

Continuing Global TV’s star-packed premiere week, Food Network Canada celebrates the marriage between food and TV watching with its kick-ass guide to themed menu pairings. Tonight it’s Sleepy Hollow followed by The Blacklist

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The Ultimate Sleepy Hollow Viewing Menu (written by Kaitlyn Ward):

Wake up Sleepyheads! It’s time for fan-favourite Sleepy Hollow to be resurrected, saving you from TV purgatory. Put on your roomiest britches and get ready to throw the viewing party of the century.

Prepare to be transported to the colonial days with a “stone fence”. You will be bound to this cocktail featuring spiced rum and apple cider, casting a spell on your taste buds. Garnish with a lemon twist and you will have all of the Four Horseman ready to party!

You are sure to lose your head over this colonial beef stew that will satisfy your inner Crane but appeal to your modern Mills. Don’t forget to leave some room because you would be as crazy as Jenny if you skipped dessert.

Unleash your devilish side with sin-eater cinnamon beignets! Dip these supernaturally-sweet morsels in a cream cheese frosting to tide you over for another 230 years (or at least until next week’s episode) and set Twitter on fire with your fabulous food pics that may even get Captain Irving’s attention (#yum).

Sleepy Hollow Season 2 returns to Global on September 22 – 9 pm ET/PT

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Pre-viewing Cocktails:

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Main Course:

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Dessert:

The Ultimate Blacklist Viewing Menu (written by Anne Vranic):

You’ve spent the summer perfecting your evil (yet irresistible) laugh, purchasing the perfect fedora and tinted shades, and conjuring up theories about who the hell Red is and whether or not Tom is alive – yes, you are in The Blacklist withdrawal club.

To celebrate one of the most highly anticipated series returns, it’s time to recruit a culinary task force and make a meal that would land on the most wanted list (or at the very least blow up your instagram).

So, let’s kick things off “Berlin” style with bratwurst and German potato salad. To ensure maximum criminal-fighting stamina – and brain power for Red’s mindgames – serve your guests an extra protein punch in the form of sausage stuffed mushroom caps.

Now would be a good time to take a break to sip a full-bodied merlot and loosen those Italian wool pants in preparation for the main dish: a mean beef stroganoff (fans will recall that Red had to raincheck after shooting the cook’s husband – surprise, surprise.)

You’re probably feeling like Lizzie post-break up but it can’t be as bad as getting a pen in your neck so pony up: it’s time to cap off your meal with a crime brule, Lizzie’s favourite dessert.

The Blacklist returns to Global on September 22 – 10pm ET/PT.

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Pre-viewing Apps:  

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Main Course:

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Dessert:

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Must-Try Canadian Steakhouses: Alberta Edition

For years, Albertans have been stuck with that ‘steak and potatoes’ rap when it comes to their dining preferences. But, if nationally buzzworthy restaurants like Rouge or Model Milk in Calgary and North 53 and Tres Carnales are any indication, there’s a lot more diversity in an Albertan palate than some people may assume.

That being said, it’s hard to ignore the places that highlight one of the things Alberta producers do best. And, well, that’s undeniably beef.

Bears Den (Bear’s Paw, AB)
Nestled into the Alberta countryside, about a 30-40 minutes drive from downtown Calgary, you’ll pull up at The Bear’s Den. The restaurant has been around for years in the community of Bear’s Paw and just last year went through a big renovation.

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Fireplaces and ambient lighting make this classic restaurant a cozy one. For starters, stay somewhat vintage with their take on a Waldorf salad before diving right into the mains. Prime ribs, tenderloins, rib eyes…you name it; they’ve got it.

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Buchanan’s (Calgary, AB)
Dubbed as the city’s ‘original chophouse’, this eatery just a couple blocks away from the Bow River does right by beef. At dinnertime, Buchanan’s grills up New York strips, beef short ribs and all of the regular suspects, but what they’re consisting known for are their hand-ground burgers. After being open for over 25 years, I can say with 100% certainty that they were definitely hand-grinding and forming beef patties here way before it was the ‘hip’ thing to do.

Caesar’s (Calgary, AB)
Heading into its 43rd year, Caesar’s is one of the longest-running establishments in Calgary. Going with the ‘don’t mess with a good thing’ mentality, I don’t think this place has changed the menu much over the years, aside from minor updates. Dining here is a throwback, for sure, but a fun one.

Escargot, scampi, lobster tails and Caesar salad (prepared tableside, of course!) are just a few of the items that can grace your table along with whatever cut of beef tickles your fancy.

The Grizzly House (Banff, AB)
There are few places in Banff as iconic as this one. The set-up of the dining room has always been of interest to tourists, seeing as each booth in the restaurant is equipped with a phone, which diners can use to contact other tables throughout the meal. It’s rumoured the phone system was created when a ‘swingers’ culture was more prominent in the early 1970s. Back then the place was a disco bar. For real!

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Aside from a large selection of beef for main courses, you can also opt for hot rock grilling and a variety of fondues. This really is an institution of the little mountain town, so if you have a little extra cash to spend, it’s an undeniably fun spot to grab dinner.

Melissa’s Missteak (Banff, AB)
Sadly, Melissa’s doesn’t offer an inter-communication system at her steakhouse, several blocks down from Grizzly, but she’s got some character nonetheless! Over 30 years old, this family-friendly spot offers the classic steakhouse dining experience for parents while boasting a lot of dishes that will appeal to kids (even the pickiest) like pizza and a mini ‘missteak’ weighing in at 4 ounces for any little carnivores in tow.

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Vintage Steakhouse @VintageChop (Calgary, AB)

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Out of all of the steak-centric restaurants on this list, Vintage should take the top spot for putting the most effort in. From the lobster mashed potatoes, creamed spinach (amazing!), and ridiculously gooey mac n’ cheese to their premium chops including a massive prime rib chop for two, this steakhouse kicks some serious ass.

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Once you’re done slicing into your meaty meal – drowned appropriately in peppercorn sauce, obviously – the night is not complete without ordering Vintage’s spin on a Baked Alaska. Truly a thing of beauty, proving that some things really do get better with age.

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Von’s Steakhouse and Oyster Bar @steakshucker (Edmonton, AB)
If you love some more extensive ‘surf’ with your ‘turf’ when you’re trying to pick out a steakhouse to try in Edmonton, then Von’s is a safe bet.

Start off with some classic bacon-wrapped scallops or a big ol’ shrimp cocktail and then get your fill of filet mignon, rib eye and more. Oh yeah, a steak dinner is never complete without a loaded baked potato, so you better opt for one of those too!

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.

Related:

The Ultimate Good Wife Viewing Menu

To kick off Global TV’s star-packed premiere week, Food Network Canada celebrates the marriage between food and TV watching with its kick-ass guide to themed menu pairings starting with powerhouse series The Good Wife (which we LOVE. Go Alicia!)

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Let’s be real: you are a modern day superhero. You are an awesome mom who’s calm under pressure, yet protective; you’re a boss at the office, bringing suits to their knees with your cool demeanor and legal prowess, all the while channeling a Vogue editor as you stroll down the hallway in tailored pencil skirts and blazers. Or you’re the other 90 percent of the population.

Either way, you can appreciate a strong woman at the top of her game and live for Sunday nights anchored by a full-to-the-brim glass of red wine and The Good Wife. Not to mention, your Sunday lineup just got a presidential size bump with new series Madam Secretary. We’re giving you full permission to kick your feet up, eat until your blazer pops and drink until Will becomes a distant memory (kidding – no amount of alcohol can do that).

Let’s kick things off with a tequila infused cocktail or two – not only does it bring you closer to Will and Alicia, it serves as the perfect palate cleanser for your main dish: Fully loaded pizzas, and if you’re feeling extra ambitious infuse said dough with beer. Will would have wanted it that way. Arrest your guests with the mother (in-law) of all pies: a Jackie-Florick inspired mince pie. Proceed with caution as you serve the grand finale — wine steeped plums and/or peaches. No objections here!

Madame Secretary and The Good Wife premiere Sunday, September 21st on Global TV starting at 8pm ET/PT.

The Ultimate Good Wife Viewing Menu:

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Pre-viewing cocktails:

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Main Course:

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Dessert: 

Written by Anne Vranic, a publicist/writer who loves wine and The Good Wife in equal measure.

Related: 

5-Course Snow-tember Survival Menu

Brrrr…. We know summer’s over but who knew we’d be reaching for winter boots in September! Folks in Calgary have been digging themselves out from three days of heavy wet snow this week! Don’t fear my beloved Calgarians, we’ve put together a hearty menu to keep you toasty warm. And take heart – warm weather is on its way.

Drink: Spiked Hot Chocolate

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Appetizer: Sausage Not Quite En Brioche

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First Course: Beer, Ham and Cheese Soup

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Second Course: Squash & Spinach Pasta Rotolo

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Third Course: Stew-Pendous Beef Stew with Biscuits

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Dessert: Apple Cinnamon Galettes

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