St. Patrick's Day Themed Food....

In honour of St. Patrick's Day, some green food: I made some green waffles, with some green syrup. The green syrup was a mix of pureed spinach, maple syrup and icing sugar.

I also couldn't help using some lucky charms to decorate the outside of the Chocolate Stout cake that I made. Used a Canadian Stout beer: Bolshevik Bastard by Nickle Brook Brewing Co.

Healthy Beet Soup

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-nxCUvItCe4 You can check out the video for this recipe above on my YOUTUBE channel, and please don't forget to LIKE & SUBSCRIBE!

Ingredients:

  • 2 Cups Beets (peeled & diced)
  • 1 Cup Red Potatoes (peeled & diced)
  • 1 Cup of Cauliflower Florets
  • 1 Medium Yellow Onion
  • 3 Cloves of Garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil +
  • 1 Ltr of Chicken Broth
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Happy 2017: YouTube!

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Happy New Year!

I am finally going to work on some videos to add content to my YouTube Channel! I really enjoy sharing my experiences with you, and I think that video blogging is the next step for me!!

I would love it if you would subscribe to my channel:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCceLTXmg3Zd2OONhripv9qQ

I am planning to post new cooking/food videos every week starting in February!

:)

Holiday Gifts for Foodies: To Read

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This is my list of must reads/haves, and I think if you have a foodie on your list, any of these are good bets!!

  • bon appétit: One of my favourite food magazines, full of: awesome kitchen gear, foodie tips, and restaurant profiles. One of my go-to recipes is the Pantry Pasta by Sarah Grueneberg: easy & delicious.  Make It Now!

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  • Lucky peach: My go-to for food stories, comics, how-to's. Hit up their website and you'll find a ton of great videos. Loving the video of The Manufactory.

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We’ve crafted OVER 100 BRAND-SPANKIN-NEW RECIPES to show your lazy ass that cooking at home is cheaper, healthier, and an essential part of being a goddamn grown-up. This book’s also got shortcuts, cooking tips, and a shitload of pretty photos. Plus, we guarantee all these recipes are faster than delivery, so you can serve up some tasty food with simple ingredients regardless of how brutal your schedule is.

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  • Toronto/Calgary/Montreal Cooks: Some of the best chefs from awesome restaurants around the country, share recipes in these city-specific books!

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  • East Van Foodie: So many great restaurants in East Van.  Chicha is on of my favs! Now you can try to recreate some of your fav dishes from those restaurants at home. Rick Cluff (CBC) talks about the East Van Cookbook Here: Listen 

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Giving Tuesday Spotlight: FeedFive

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I included the FeedFive T-Shirt in my Little Locavore's List of Holiday Gifts for Foodies to Wear.  Because it's Giving Tuesday, I wanted to tell you a little more about what you GIVE when you buy one of those shirts! dark-tshirt-sizing-3-0

Recently I went to volunteer at Feedfive. Feedfive is a non-profit organization that gets people together monthly to cook a meal that will feed the less fortunate at the Ray of Hope community centre.

It started out as a group of friends getting together to help cook a meal, but they soon realized that pooling their own money to pay for ingredients wasn't sustainable, so they needed to come up with a product to help raise money.

They wanted to be transparent, so that the person buying the product would know exactly where their money was going, and after some brainstorming and calculations, they figured that the money from one t-shirt was enough to pay for five full meals!  Hence the name: Feedfive.

This may seem unreal, but they actually do raise ALL the funds from selling only t-shirts and tank tops. Soon you'll also be able to buy hoodies and aprons as well!

Once they raise enough money to buy ingredients, they have to think about what they are going to buy, and it all comes down to these four things: what's on sale, what's affordable, what's popular, and what's doable.  Things like pastas with salads are often on the menu.

Once they've costed everything out, and sourced all the ingredients, they need people to cook and serve it.

FeedFive relies entirely on volunteers to do all the cooking, washing up, and serving of the food.  Since all the cooking takes place in the prep kitchen at the University of Waterloo, it was assumed that most of the volunteers would be students, but it turns out that the bulk of the volunteers come from people aged 35 to 60.

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I was the youngest volunteer the night that I went to help cook, but everyone was friendly and I got to meet some really great people.

I was in charge of the béchamel sauce. This was the first time I've had to make sauce for 300!

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Feedfive is always in need of more volunteers, thats where you can help, if you're interested in cooking a meal, serving a meal, and being part of a good cause, than check out their website for details and how to sign up.  Or just buy one of their cool t-shirt, it literally does feed five!

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This is me with FeedFive founder Danny Aguizi and his mom who came from Egypt to volunteer!

 

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!

Happy International Bacon Day!

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To celebrate today: National Bacon Day, I've found some bacon-themed things that I love! Starting off with my my Favourite T-Shirt from Food On Your Shirt:

The shirts are designed by Pierre in Calgary and his favourite food is BACON!! FOYS_Bacon These are cool, I found them on Amazon.com:

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This was on Amazon.com too. Hmm... Bacon Breath?! slide_267508_1836545_freeCool Bacon Washi Tape: beve! wtbcn-roll_1024x1024

So even when you need to dress up, you can still show of the bacon, sick cufflinks: FAB6b23607dff2adcd8b34b05bd39140924

Bacon Belt, yes! from: Bacon Freakc4-bacon-belt-23

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)

August is National Peach Month!

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August is National Peach Month, and peaches are in season in most parts of Canada, so it's the best time to eat them! I have been making crisps with apples and pears.  So I decided to make one with Peaches this month!

Crisps are pretty simple to prepare, and they are great for desserts or breakfasts or snacks!

Pre-Heat your oven to 350:

First Start by washing and slicing up 5-6 peaches,

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In a medium sized bowl add:

Your chopped peaches

-1/4 C flour

-1/3 C light brown sugar

-1 tsp vanilla

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Mix it all up until it thickens.

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Grease a 8" baking dish with coconut oil and add your peach mixture:

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In another bowl mix up your crumble topping:

  • 3/4 C light brown sugar
  • 2/3 C flour
  • 2/3 C rolled oats
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 1/4 tbsp coconut oil

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Sprinkle your crumble on top of the peach filling, and bake for 45-50 mins.

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I served mine with whipped coconut cream on top, but it would also be amazing withmy friend's Screamin Brothers Vanilla frozen treat!!

 

 

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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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Hello Fresh: Sneak Peek

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I had the chance to check out Hello Fresh, and though it would be cool to see how a meal prep delivery service works! HelloFresh is new to Canada as of 2016, and delivers “cook from scratch” meal plans straight to your door, with carefully curated, easy to follow recipes and locally sourced fresh ingredients in just the right quantities.

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Everything that you need to prepare all of the meals comes right in the box that is delivered to you! There are some basics that you should have alerady in your kitchen, like salt & pepper, oil.

Hello Fresh is a meal subscription service. You can choose form either the:

 3 Meal Pronto Box for Two - $79.99

 3 Meal Pronto Box for Four - $139.99

 3 Meal Family Box for Four - $129.99 - This is the box that I am trying out!

The boxes are delivered once a week on either a Tuesday or Wednesday right to your door, and delivery is Free!

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All of the directions for each meal also come in the box, so for someone who is just learing how to cook, this makes it really easy to follow along step-by-step!

The meals are divided into seperate boxes, which are easy to store in the fridge:

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The meats & items that need to be refridgerated are in a special panel at the bottom of the box, with ice packs to keep them cool!

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Hello Fresh tries to use as many LOCAL ingredients as possible, which is why I thought I would like to try their service.

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This week I'll be making 3 Hello Fresh Meals:

  • Shrimp Pad See Ew
  • Smoky Sloppy Joes
  • Chicken Penne

If you want to try them out too! You can go online to HELLO FRESH and use the code : LOCAVORE-60

That will give you $30 off your first order, and $30 off your second order!! Look out for my posts later this week of me making my Hello Fresh "Cook from Scratch" meals.

Maclean's Magazine: Canada's Stories

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It was very much an honour for me when I was contacted by Maclean's Magazine to be part of their Canada's Stories. They have chosen one person for every year since 1905 until 2016 to share a story. My story is about my cooking journey, which I hope will inspire more kids to get into the kitchen.

Once I watched some of the other videos, it was amazing to hear all of the different things that people have lived. A girl named Dakencia was born the year before me in 2001 and survived the earthquake in Haiti. The story of Marguerite Nerny who was born in 1905!

You should take a moment and check out all of the Maclean's Canada's Stories

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IR7iANh4Ya8

#Throwback: VijCookLive- Chicken Coconut Curry

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I'm making Chef Vikram's Chicken Coconut Curry for dinner tonight! I haven't made it in a while! Had to remind myself, by wathcing a little #throwback video of the first time I learned how it make it!! I can't believe this was already 3 years ago!

If you want to make it, and have us guide you step by step, here are the list of ingredients, and watch the video to see what to do!!

Here are the ingredients you will need to follow along.

Shopping list:

  • 2 chicken thighs deboned, skin off, chopped
  • 2 chicken breasts, skin off, chopped
  • ½ tsp saffron (optional)
  • 1/3 cup cooking oil
  • 1 Tbsp cumin seeds or black mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp asafetida (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped garlic (6 medium cloves)
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp paprika (optional)
  • 5 cups coconut milk
  • 2 cups stock (chicken or vegetable)
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro (optional)

[embed]https://vimeo.com/70664519[/embed]

2016 Better Together: Hands-On Cook-Off!

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Last year I had the honour of being selected as a judge for the the Better Together Hands-On Cook-Off! It was a great opportunity to be able to see all the videos that people submitted, showing their creativity  and passion for food! It's that time again to submit a video:

If you’re a BC resident, you can submit your 3-minute long (or less) home video cooking show between April 20 and noon of May 20. Grab a friend or relative and show us your stuff!

Videos must include two or more people preparing a recipe together… and having fun!

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Don’t forget to socialize! Share your video on social media, tagging @bettertogether #HandsonCookoff.

  • Now in its 7th year, the Hands-on Cook-off family foodie video contest goes national this year! Manitoba has adopted the contest.
  • The goal for the contest is to raise awareness around the significant benefits of cooking and eating together, inspiring families to have fun in the kitchen across Canada.
  • This year’s panel of judges represents all of these groups, and includes: Claire Newell, Jennifer Pallian, Ethan Adeland, Alex Gill, and Denise Marchessault. Every judge brings their own unique flavour to the ever-growing contest

Vote

Vote for the video you think is the best in each category!

  • The video with the most votes in the Multigenerational category will win the People's Choice award in this category and $300 cash.
  • Videos submitted in the Youth category have a chance to win a prize for their team and a prize for their school or youth program. The video with the most votes in the Youth category will win the People's Choice award in the Youth category and $150 cash for their team plus $150 cash for their school or youth program of their choice.

http://bettertogetherbc.ca/contest

Here was a great video example form last year:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d1Ta8wxYBo0

Karameller Candy Shop

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My new fav shop in Yaletown is Karameller Candy Shop! IMG_20160326_164516115

 

All of the candy at Karameller is imported from Scandinavia & made from high-quality ingredients:

  • free of GMOs
  • NO trans fats
  • NO high-fructose corn syrup

I went to visit when I was looking for some candies to decorate a beetroot chocolate cake that I made.

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You can choose from a wall of brightly coloured candies and chocolate. My favourites are the gummies!

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Then you weigh your candy on a scale.

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This is the owner Louise, she is so nice and helpful and she started Karameller in Vancouver based on her memories of sweet shops as a kid in Sweeden.

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You can customize your selection of candy in little bags, or they even have little glass jars that you can fill up and take home.

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These # and LOL gummies are what I picked out to decorate my cake, but in the end I just went with some jelly beans!

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Next time you have a candy craving, you should absolutely check out Karameller!