Top Chef Canada All Stars

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Can't wait to watch Top Chef Canada All Stars! What an awesome group of Canadian Chefs!

I remember getting to go to the viewing party for Top Chef Canada All Stars Season 4 with Chef Vikram!

I'll be cheering on my fav West Coast Top Chefs, Trevor Bird & Nicole Gomes. I have been so lucky to have cooked and learned with both of them!!

 

Holiday Gifts for Foodies : TO WEAR

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  1. FEEDFIVE: This foodie gift doesn't only it make you look good, it also gives back. When you buy a feedfive T-shirt, you are literally feeding five people in need. Check out their website for more info, and to get your T-shirts: feedfive.ca
  2. MAIN & LOCAL: Its simple, poutine+socks=AWSOME!!! I have them, I love them! Get some!
  3. MEDIUM RARE CHEF APPAREL: Every chef/foodie/home-cook needs a stylish apron, MRCA makes stylish denim aprons, for everybody! Including me & Chuck Hughes!
  4. FOOD ON YOUR SHIRT: I got my first Lucky Pig shirt a few years ago, but have recently grown out of it ( cough cough, Pierre ;). Food on your shirt was started by Pierre, illustrator and Chef, and Candice, food lover and printer. Swag up people!

This is the World's Most Expensive Donut!! $$$$

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Recently, Dum Dum Donutterie  unleashed their newest doughnut. They call it the "Luxury Zebra Cro". A "Cro"nut is a hybrid of a Crossant and a Donut.

 

 

$$$$Donut

 

 

It is made up of:

  • Saffron infused butter dough,
  • Normandy Butter: which is made using fermented/cultured milk, and considered highly rich and flavourful by the french.
  • Cristal rosé champagne caviar, Made of Cristal rosé champagne, Created in 1974 by Jean-Claude Rouzaud, 100 years after the creation of Cristal.  It is 55% Pinot noir and 45% Chardonnay, and it is aged for about six years in Louis Roederer’s cellars.
  • Rare Amedei Porcelana chocolate, which goes for €13.80 per bar on their website.
  • Tahitian gold vanilla, which only cultivates the finest quality, certified organic an d Kosher Beans from places around the world, including:  Tahiti, Madagascar, India, Papua New Guinea, Tonga and Uganda.

and of course:

  • Gold Leaf. Which makes sense, after all you would be paying a whopping $2000USD/ donut!

No word on how it tastes yet.

(photo: John Phillips/Getty Images)

Hello Fresh: Smoky Sloppy Joes

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The first meal I made out my Hello Fresh box was the Smoky Sloppy Joes. 

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Every meal comes with a recipe card, that is very through and easy to follow.  It's a good idea to ready over the recipe card before you get started. I also laid out all of the ingredients this is called MISE EN PLACE.

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Even though everything comes measured out and some things come pre-chopped.  I was happy that there was still some prep (chopping, mixing) to do.

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These recipe cards are great too for someone who is just learning how to cook, because it has photos with the step-by-step directions.

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While the meat was simmering with the spice mix and the tomato sauce, it was time to make the vinaigrette for the salad.  One thing that didn't come in the kit was Olive Oil. Most people have that in their kitchen. It's a good idea to read over the cards too, just to make sure that you have the few things that are not provided, before you get started.

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I like to mix my salads up by hand.

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This really did take 30 mins to prepare. It was delicious. I added some cheese to the buns for my Smoky Sloppy Joes, which I also didn't toast (as was suggested by the card).

There was enough for 3-4 people with lots of left-over meat sauce which can be used the next day for something else.

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Whats in Season in August in BC? : Part 1

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Every month  is great to eat in-season produce, but August is especially good because there is a HUGE variety of fruits and vegetables that are available! There are over 35 delicious fruits and vegetables in season this month for you to choose from at your local grocers and farmers market.

I've decided to slit the list into 4 posts!

First Up:

In Season August 1

The 3rd Annual We Heart Local Awards!!

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I'm really excited that it's time again for the We ♥ Local Awards! For the past two years I was nominated as Favourite Local Advocate. This is really great because I really do LOVE to focus on the LOCAL food scene!!

For the last three years, this people’s choice awards has highlighted the most popular food and agriculture businesses and organizations across British Columbia.  Your vote helps support the local economy, spread the word about why local is better...and it also tells your favourites- in a very concrete way- how important they are to your community. If you want to support your local butcher, baker, or ice cream maker, nominate them for a We ♥Local award!

Checking out the website is a great way to find out about all the different food makers/growers/restaurants, that are LOCAL to us in BC!!

Anyone living in BC can nominate and vote for their favourites in the following 15 delicious categories (simply head on over to www.weheartlocalawards.ca!)

·         Favourite Farmers’ Market

·         Favourite Store to Buy Local 

·         Favourite Local Meat or Poultry Supplier

·         Favourite Local Seafood Supplier 

·         Favourite Local Cheese Maker

·         Favourite Local Sweet Treat

·         Favourite Local Advocate  (You can nominate & vote for me in this category) :)

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·         Favourite Local Winery

·         Favourite Local Brewery

·         Favourite Local Food Truck 

·         Favourite Local U-Pick Farm 

·         Favourite Local Orchard/Fruit Supplier

·         Favourite Local Restaurant or Chef

·         Favourite Local Florist or Nursery

·         Favourite Local Greenhouse or Veggie Grower

Here’s how the We ♥ Local Awards work:

  • Nominations start August 17th, and voting is open from September 7th to September 14th, 2015.
  • When you vote, everyone’s a potential winner: nominating and voting for your local BC favourites also enters YOU into weekly draws for a chance to win one of five $100 gift cards to your local BC VQA store.
  • Plus, you’ll be automatically entered in the Grand Prize draw for a luxurious three-night stay at Taku Resort and Marina along with your choice of a cooking course for two, valued at $1,800. This prize includes $300 gift card for BC Ferries to cover the cost of ferry transportation to Quadra Island. It’s an unforgettable way to experience local - especially once you hear Taku’s family story. Grand prize winner will be announced on September 15, 2015.

To cheer on your favourite local loves (and discover new ones), head to weheartlocalbc.ca, or download their mobile app to find what’s in season right from your pocket.

Food Events in Vancouver this Weekend!

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There are some awesome Food Events happening in Vancouver this weekend (May 30 & 31st)!! SATURDAY, MAY 30th:

One of my favourite events is back!! Hawker's Market is happening this Saturday, and for the first time it's FREE!!

Check out all the details HERE!

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Sunday, May 31st:

Whole Foods is presenting the Brain Foods Speaker Series!

Join us for an afternoon of food for thought at this Tedtalk-style event!

Culinary Creators, Bloggers, Entrepreneurs, Activists, Authors, and Filmmakers all take the stage at the Royal Bank Room at the UBC Chan Centre to inspire and educate with their stories of food.

The masterful minds behind Vij’s famous menus, Vancouver’s first cold press juice truck, the most authentic French pastry café in the city, the farms popping up next door to you,  the award-winning documentary that has turned into a movement, and how hunger-relief organizations  are feeding and empowering the people it serves.

 

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The Lineup has some of my fav Vancouver Foodie Friends!!

  • Jackie Ellis! Owner of Beacoup Bakery, Travel Writer, and Pastry Chef

•          Aart Schuurman Hess- CEO of the Greater Vancouver Food Bank

•          Dai Manuel- Entrepreneur, Blogger, & Motivational Speaker

•          Emily Jubenvill- Manager of the Edible Garden Project

•          Jen Rustemeyer- Blogger, Award-winning Filmmaker

•          Meeru Dhalwala- Author, Chef, Restaurateur

•          Michael Markwick- Ph. D, Anti-Homelessness advocate, and Tedx Speaker

•          Zach Berman- Co-Founder & Owner of The Juice Truck

Presented by Whole Foods Market, sponsored by Vega with support from Left Coast Naturals.

Join us for an afternoon of sustenance for your mind and soul!

Your $30 ticket benefits the Whole Kids Foundation.

Get your tickets HERE!

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So excited to be helping out my friends Screamin Brothers for the 2nd year at the VegExpo!

Come by and visit, and try some delicious #dairy-free frozen treats!!

 

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Get your VegExpo Tickets HERE!

 

Mother's Day Savoury Bread Pudding

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If you saw me on Global Morning News today and want to make the Savoury Bread Pudding for you Mom, here's the recipe!

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 3 Cloves Garlic (thinly sliced)
  • 1/2 tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 Medium Bunch Asparagus (2" from top tip) Sliced
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp White Pepper
  • 6 Large Eggs
  • 1 1/2 C. Whole Milk
  • 8 C. Uprising Breads (Honey & Buttermilk)- Cut into 1" pieces
  • 3/4 C. + 2 tbsp Finely Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 6 Thin Slices of Pancetta

 

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 350F
  • Heat Butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
  • Add garlic and red pepper flakes. Stir until garlic is softened, about 30 seconds.
  • Add Asparagus, season with salt and pepper. Cook and continue tossing until wilted, about 5-6 mins. Let cool slightly.
  • Meanwhile, whisk eggs, milk, 2tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper in large bowl. Add asparagus mixture, bread, and 3/4 C. Cheese, tossing to combine.
  • Transfer to a baking dish. Top with Pancetta and remaining cheese.
  • Bake until puffed, browned in spots and set in the centre, about 35-40 mins.

(* Adapted from a recipe from Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts)

Eat! Vancouver Ticket Contest!

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So the largest food festival in the world is happening this weekend in Vancouver!! I have two sets of (2) tickets for General Admission to giveaway!!

Here's how to WIN:

  • Follow both @LittleLocavore and @EAT_Vancouver on INSTAGRAM AND/OR TWITTER
  • Tag a PHOTO of yourself in front of you favourite place to EAT in Vancouver!!

EatVan_ContestTwo lucky people will be chosen, and the winner's announced at 4pm on Friday, May 1st!

*Tickets have no cash value and are non-refundable.

Ener-C!

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I discovered Ener-C when I tried a sample of it at Whole Foods last year. My mom bought the packs of the Orange Ener-C when we all had a cold one time, because it was a great way to get more Vitamin C. I really don't like eating the chalky chewable vitamins.  Ener-C has great flavours, and it's a little fizzy when you mix it with water, so it's kind of like a healthy soda!

The Flavours that you can get Ener-C in are:

  • Orange
  • Cranberry
  • Raspberry
  • Lemon/Lime
  • Tangerine/Grapefruit
  • **(NEW)** Coconut Pineapple (so good)!!

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Ener-C isn't only Vitamin C, it's great for:

  • A boost of energy throughout the day, because of the Vitamin B!
  • Getting your Electrolytes if you're an athlete (Like Me)!

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One of the other great things about Ener-C is that it's LOCAL! Made in Burnaby, BC!

 

April 25: National Zucchini Bread Day

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Today is National Zucchini Bread Day! It's also my dad's birthday, so I decided to make a Chocolate Zucchini Cake (close enough)! First you start with your Zucchinis!

Zucchinis are a summer squash and in different countries (like England) they call them Courgettes.

Ingredients:

  1. 2 cups flour
  2. 2 cups sugar
  3. 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  4. 2 tsp baking soda
  5. 1 tsp baking powder
  6. 1/2 tsp salt
  7. 1tsp cinnamon
  8. 4 eggs
  9. 1 1/2 cups veg oil
  10. 3 cups grated zucchini
  11. 3/4 cup walnuts or unsweetened shredded coconut

Method:

Wash & Grate your Zucchinis (to get 3 cups, I used 2 medium zucchinis)

 

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Mix Ingredients #1-7 together (dry ingredients)

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Add Eggs & Veg Oil, and mix well.

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Fold in Zucchini and Coconut.

Pour Mix into greased Cake Pan.

Bake at 350F for 50 mins.

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Sometimes when the cake comes out of the pan it's not perfect. Not a big deal because you can cover it with the icing!

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Vancouver Hawker's Market is Happening Feb 28th!

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The first Hawker's Market of 2015 is happening on Feb 28th! Support many local food vendors, and have a great evening of delicious eats!

Get your tickets here!

A really great thing is Hawker's Market + Mealshare tickets!

INCLUDED: Edible Bug Experience & Tasting by Chef David George Gordon & This option Includes a Hawkers Market ticket, and you will be providing a meal to someone in need through Mealshare, as well as supporting the growth of this amazing new non-profit. Mealshare makes it extremely easy to provide meals to those in need just by dining out. Food security is an important part of local food culture and Hawkers is excited to support it.

 

What's in Season in October in BC?

October has a really long list of fruits and vegetables that are in season. My favourite place to get some produce is at a Local Farmer's Market! IMG_6550

Some of the same fruits and vegetables that have been in season for the last couple of months are still on the list. And then there are some new things to check out.

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Pumpkins are in season and an important part of October! Pumpkin Pie for thanksgiving, and carving pumpkins for Halloween! Also, you can make some great pumpkin spice muffins or even soup.

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Broccoli is in season in October. The great thing about Farmer's Markets is that you can find things that you probably haven't seen before. This is Purple Sprouting Broccoli!

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Or have you ever seen PURPLE Cauliflower? I am going to share some recipes using Cauliflower in the weeks coming up.

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Herbs are great to add to all of your Fall dishes. This was a GIANT punch of parsley.

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I also discovered that this is how Brussel Sprouts grow, on a stalk! I had never seen this before. I bought one and made a delicious Brussel Sprout Graitn.

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There are a few less fruits in season in the fall. Pears and Apples are available.

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This GIANT onion was nearly the size of my head!

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Baking with Jackie Ellis

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A couple of weeks ago I got the chance to bake with Jackie Ellis. In case you didn't know, Jackie owns Beaucoup Bakery, and is an amazing pastry Chef!! I first asked Jackie to teach me how to make Pain au Chocolat, but since I don't have a lot of baking experience yet, we decided that cookies would be a better thing to start off with. IMG_7584Jackie decided that we would make oatmeal- cocoa- nib and chocolate cookies. Mmmmm!

IMG_7600We started by mixing all our ingredients together to get nice dough.

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I  got the chance to ask Jackie when her passion to bake first started.  She told me she loved sweets as a kid. but when she was little her mom didn't let her eat any treats with sugar unless they were home made.

So, when she felt like sweat treats, she would ride her bike to the library to find a cookbook with a recipe and then make them herself.  Learning how to bake also helped Jackie connect with her friends at school and  Canadian food culture.

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Once we were done spooning the dough onto baking sheets , we balled them up and put them in the oven to bake.

IMG_7605Now for the fun part. We wanted to make s'mores, and for s'mores you need Jackie Ellis' home made marshmallows.

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First we brought the corn syrup to a boil. We later mixed it in the gelatin mix that we had sitting in the mixer.

We were flavouring our marshmallows with Vanilla, so Jackie taught me how to slice a vanilla bean and get out all the good flavour from the inside! VanillaBean_JE

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Then we mixed in the sugar syrup into the gelatin & water until we had the right consistency.

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 Once we had the marshmallow to the right texture, we coated them in a cornstarch-icing- sugar blend so they wouldn't be sticky. IMG_7611

Then we used a cookie cutter to cut them into discs, so they'd fit into our cookies.

IMG_7616 The cookies smelled so delicious coming out of the oven! IMG_7619

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Cookies + Marshmallows = AWESOME

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Baking with Jackie was an amazing experience. Maybe you'll see a Day at Beaucoup Bakery post soon! Pain Au Chocolat here I come!!

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And if you're craving some amazing baked goods after reading this! You totally have to go to Beaucop!! Also recommended by me is the Kouign Amann!!

What's in Season in BC in August?

Welcome back to What's in Season in BC!  August has a very big list of fruits, vegetables and herbs. I went to the Vancouver Farmers Market (Trout Lake)  to see what I could find. InSeasonAug_Apples_Onions

There  were some beautiful green and purple beans.

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Even some purple potatoes!

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And purple plums.

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And look, the list goes on:

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I met Milan (aka Tomato Man) he's a tomato farmer (Stoney Paradise Certified Organic); and from what I saw, he's got the biggest tomatoes at the market:

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This season is also very colourful, with the radish,

a mix of summer squash, beautiful swiss char, and some lovely carrots.

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I was also visiting Alberta this month so stay tuned for...

What's in season in Alberta in August!