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  1. 2012 in a Canadian Foodies Kitchen

    January 19, 2012 by TheCanadianFoodie

    I don’t really gauge the passage of time by the year anymore. Once you have kids, and maybe it’s only while you have young children, you start measuring time by the age – usually of either the oldest or the youngest.

    In 2012 my eldest will be turning 7. He was born shortly before the original incarnation of this blog was – back when Mrs. Foodie and I thought it would be fun to blog about all the great food we found in our favourite restaurants and our efforts to recreate those dishes at home.

    Time flies and boy do things change! With 4 kids under our roof, we don’t make it out to many restaurants now-a-days, and with 6 people stuffed into a little urban kitchen – there isn’t a lot of room for wowing the diners (besides, we don’t have many diner parties anymore either!)

    Not that I’m complaining about any of it (okay, maybe I complain about the tiny kitchen a bit… er, a lot) but life seems to increase in pace each year, and with each kid, and we never seem to have time to do the things we had planned on doing.

    …hence the decidedly sparse number of posts over the past couple of years.

    But, 2012 is going to be a year of change – big change. Trust me, I know about these things.

    For us, we’re about to put an offer on a big (really big) century home in a quiet little town, across the road from a nice little river. And this big home comes with a big kitchen (really big!) Once all the initial excitement died down around here, Mrs. Foodie and I began to talk about all the great things we could do with that kitchen (procrastinating from the packing and cleaning that needs to be done around our current house of course) – and one of the things that we both kept coming back to, was the relaunch of our sadly neglected, but not quite forgotten food blog!!

    So this is a new beginning. Our focus will change around here a little. We are trying to feed a family of 6 every night, while still keeping food fun, adventurous and healthy. We do things a little different, and I’ll be posting again shortly to talk more about that – and updating our About page.

    We’re about to launch on an exciting new chapter in our lives and we are looking forward to sharing some of those stories with you – and we hope you’ll share some of your food adventures back with us here!

    Also, I wanted to say thank you to everyone who has visited over the past year – visiting an almost dry well. Our traffic is surprisingly good despite our neglect, and we’re looking forward to providing better content again soon!

    The Canadian Foodie


  2. Cooking with herbs

    November 6, 2011 by TheCanadianFoodie

    Herb & Spice Guide:

    Herbs

    Basil

    Available as - dried crushed leaves and stems.
    Color - light green
    Flavor - pleasant, mild, sweet, distinctive

    Use - All tomato dishes, peas, squash, string beans, potatoes, spinach; French and Russian dressing or sprinkle over salads; bean soup, pea soup, beef soup, Manhattan clam chowder; broiled lamb chops, venison, beef, lamb and veal stews, veal roasts; shrimp, shrimp Creole, boiled and steamed lobster; spaghetti sauce; scrambled eggs; soufflés.

    Bay Leaves

    Available as - dried whole leaves.
    Color - light green
    Flavor - very mild, sweet, distinctive

    Use - Pickled beets, beets, boiled carrots, boiled artichokes, boiled potatoes vegetable soup, fish chowders; lamb, beef, veal, venison, poultry, fish -stews; boiled or steamed shrimp and lobster; chicken casserole, boiled chicken; pickled meats; brine for smoked meats; pot roast; boiled pork; meat gravies; marinades.

    Mint

    Whole Color - green
    Flavor - distinctive, sweet aroma
    Flaked Color - green
    Flavor - same as above

    Use - Jelly, ice cream, custard, fruit salad, fruit compote; frostings; split pea soup; lamb and veal roast sauces; cottage cheese salad; white potatoes, cabbage, carrots, celery, snap beans; tea; mint sauce.

    Oregano

    Whole Color - green
    Flavor - distinctive, strong
    Ground Color - olive green
    Flavor - same as above

    Use - Pizza pie, spaghetti sauce, meat sauce; Swiss steak, beef stew, broiled and roast lamb, pork and veal, poultry; gravies; stuffed fish; cheese spreads; beef soup, bean soup, tomato soup; butter sauce for shell fish; cream and tomato sauces; vegetable juice cocktail; onions, peas, white potatoes, spinach, string beans.

    Parsley Flakes

    Color - green
    Flavor - distinctive, mild

    Use - Soups; salads; coleslaw; meat, stews, fish, poultry; sauces; all vegetables; omelets; potatoes.

    Rosemary

    Whole Color - green (looks like a pine needle)
    Flavor - distinctive, delicate, sweetish

    Use - Roast and broiled lamb, beef, pork, veal, game,poultry; salmon; deviled eggs; cheese sauces; sautéed mushrooms; boiled potatoes, green peas, squash; creamed seafood; chicken soup, split pea soup.

    Sage

    Whole Color - olive green
    Flavor - distinctive, positive

    Use - All pork dishes; meat, fish and poultry stuffing;brown sauces; cheese spreads; consommé, cream soups,fish chowders; salad greens, French dressing; Brussels sprouts, onions, lima beans, peas, tomatoes.

    Tarragon

    Available as - Whole and Ground
    Color - green
    Flavor - distinctive, fresh, pleasant

    Use - Marinades for meat, butter sauce for steaks; poultry; salads; omelets; fish and shellfish; vegetable juice cocktail; chicken soup, consommé, fish chowder, tomato soup; vinegar; broccoli, asparagus, beans, cabbage, cauliflower.

    Thyme

    Whole Color - gray-green
    Flavor - distinctive, pleasantly penetrating
    Ground Color - light olive green
    Flavor - slightly stronger than Tarragon

    Use - Fresh tomatoes, tomato spice, salads; poultry stuffing, croquettes, fricassees; fish chowders, gumbo, vegetable soup; shirred eggs; all meats; seafood sauces; artichokes, beans, beets, carrots, mushrooms, onions, potatoes.


  3. Cooking with spices

    November 6, 2011 by TheCanadianFoodie

    Would you like information on:

    Spices

    Anise: Seed Whole and Ground

    Color - brown with tan stripes
    Flavor - delightful sweet licorice aroma and taste

    Use - Coffee cake, sweet breads, rolls, cookies; fruit compote, stewed apples, preserved fruits, all fruit pie fillings; licorice candies, sweet pickles; beef and veal stew; cottage cheese.

    Cinnamon

    Available as - Whole, Ground

    Whole
    Color - light brown
    Flavor - distinctive, sweet, spicy

    Ground
    Color - light brown
    Flavor - similar to above, sweeter and slightly stronger

    Use - Buns, coffee cake, muffins, spice cake, molasses cookies, butter cookies, cinnamon toast; custards, tapioca, chocolate pudding, rice pudding; fruit pies, broiled grapefruit, apples in any form, stewed fruits, pickled fruits; heated spiced beverages, hot cocoa and chocolate drinks; sweet gherkins; sweet potatoes, pumpkin, squash.

    Cloves

    Available as - Whole, Ground

    Whole
    Color - dark brown
    Flavor - distinctive, spicy, sweet, penetrating

    Ground
    Color - rich brown
    Flavor - sharp, spicy, pungent

    Use - Ham, boiled tongue, pork roast; pickled fruits; preserved fruits; stewed fruits; apple, mince and pumpkin pies; beets, baked beans, candied sweet potatoes, squash; hot spiced wines, hot tea; spice cake; sweet gherkins; rice pudding, chocolate pudding, tapioca; bean soup, beef soup, cream of pea soup, cream of tomato soup.

    Crushed Red Pepper: Spice

    Color - bright red to orange
    Flavor - hot

    Use - Pizzas; sausages; Italian specialties; wherever heat and spot color are desired.

    Nutmeg

    Ground Color - copper
    Flavor - distinctive, exotic, sweet

    Use - Doughnuts; eggnog, custards, puddings; whipped cream, ice cream; fried bananas, stewed fruits; spice cake, coffee cake, cookies, pumpkin pie; steamed and glazed carrots, cabbage, spinach, snap beans, squash, onions, sweet potatoes; meat loaf.

    Paprika

    Ground Color - red
    Flavor - distinctive, very mild

    Use - Poultry, ham, goulash, fish, shellfish; salad dressings; vegetables; gravies; cheese, Welsh rabbit; canapés; deviled eggs; stuffed celery, cream soups, chicken soup, chowders.

    Black Pepper

    Whole Color - dark brown
    Flavor - distinctive, pleasant spicy bouquet with palate-tingling flavor and enduring after-taste.

    Ground Color - varies from cream to black
    Flavor - same as above

    Use - Almost all foods, except those with sweet flavors. If you are preparing a non-sweet dish that “needs something” try a little pepper first. It is used universally to add sparkle to foods, including: Pickles; soups; poultry, meats; fish; shellfish, game; sauces, gravies, marinades; salads; eggs; cheese spreads; vegetables; spiced vinegar.

    Saffron

    Available as - Whole and Ground
    Color - predominantly maroon
    Flavor - distinctive, exotic, concentrated (not strong, yet a little goes a long way)

    Use - Rice; rolls, breads, buns; fish stew; bouillabaisse chicken; chicken soup; cakes.

    Turmeric

    Available as - Whole and Ground
    Color - orange (used mostly for its color)
    Flavor - mild, slightly bitter

    Use - Pickles, relishes, prepared mustards, salad dressings; creamed eggs, fish, seafood; to color rice dishes where saffron is not used.


  4. Ontario Farmers Markets

    November 6, 2011 by TheCanadianFoodie

    If I’ve missed any, please let me know.

    Also, eventually I will be trying to create a page for every single Farmers’ Market, complete with pictures and helpful information. If you would like to help with this process and have any information about or photos from your local Farmers’ Market, please send them along to:

    CanadianFoodies@gmail.com

    Farmers’ Markets by Market City
    A
    Algoma Farmers’ Market Sault Ste. Marie
    Almonte Farmers’ Market Almonte
    Argyle Farmers’ Market Port Loring
    B
    Barrie Farmers’ Market Barrie
    Barry’s Bay Farmers’ Market Barry’s Bay
    Beaverton Farmers’ Market Beaverton
    Belleville Farmers’ Market Belleville
    Birch Cliff Village Farmers’ Market Scarborough
    Bracebridge Farmers’ Market Bracebridge
    Brampton Farmers’ Market Brampton
    Brantford Farmers’ Market Brantford
    Brick Works Farmers’ Market Toronto
    Brighton Farmers’ Market Brighton
    Brockville Farmers’ Market Brockville
    Burlington Mall Farmers’ Market Burlington, ON
    C
    Cambridge Farmers’ Market Cambridge
    Campbellford Farmers’ Market Campbellford
    Carleton Place Farmers’ Market Carleton Place
    Carman House Farmers’ Market Iroquois
    Carp Farmers’ Market Carp
    Centre Mall Farmers’ Market Hamilton
    Chesterville Farmers’ Market Chesterville
    Clarington Farmers’ Market Newcastle
    Clover Valley Farmers’ Market Fort Frances
    Cloverbelt Country Farmers’ Market Dryden
    Cobden Farmers’ Market Cobden
    Cobourg Farmers’ Market Cobourg
    Cochrane Farmers’ Market Cochrane
    Collingwood Farmers’ Market Collingwood
    Combermere Farmers’ Market Combermere
    Creemore Farmers’ Market Creemore
    Crows Creek Market Wiarton
    Cumberland Farmers’ Market Ottawa
    D
    Dufferin Grove Organic Farmers’ Market Toronto
    Dunnville Farmers’ Market Dunnville
    Durham Region Farmers’ Market Whitby & Brooklin
    E
    East York Farmers’ Market Toronto
    Erin Mills Farmers’ Market Mississauga
    Etobicoke Farmers’ Market Toronto
    F
    Farmers’ Market @ The Village Niagara-on-the-Lake
    Farmers’ Markets Ontario
    Flesherton & District Farmers’ Market Flesherton
    Frontenac Farmers’ Market Verona
    G
    Gananoque Farmers’ Market Gananoque
    Georgetown Farmers’ Market Georgetown
    Goderich Farmers’ Market Goderich
    Gore Bay Farmers’ Market Gore Bay (Manitoulin Island)
    Grand Bend Farmers’ Market Grand Bend
    Gravenhurst Farmers’ Market Gravenhurst
    Guelph Farmers’ Market Guelph
    H
    Hagersville Farmers’ Market Hagersville
    Hamilton Farmers’ Market Hamilton
    Horton Farmers’ Market St. Thomas
    Huntsville Farmers’ Market Huntsville
    J
    Johnson Township Farmers’ Market Desbarats
    K
    Kapuskasing Farmers’ Market Kapuskasing
    Kingston Public Market Kingston
    Kinmount Farmers’ Market Kinmount
    Kitchener Farmers’ Market Kitchener
    L
    Liberty Village (MyMarket) Toronto
    Lindsay Farmers’ Market Lindsay
    Little Current Farmers’ Market Little Current (Manitoulin Island)
    London Covent Garden Market London
    M
    Magnetawan Farmers’ Market Magnetawan
    Markham Farmers’ Market Markham
    Meaford Farmers’ Market Meaford
    Metcalfe Farmers’ Market Metcalfe
    Milton Farmers’ Market Milton
    Mindemoya Farmers’ Market Mindemoya (Manitoulin Island)
    Mitchell & Area Farmers’ Market Mitchell
    N
    Napanee Farmers’ Market Napanee
    Nathan Phillips Square Market Toronto
    NEMI Farmers’ Market Little Current
    Newmarket Farmers’ Market Newmarket
    North Bay Farmers’ Market North Bay
    North Gower Farmers’ Market North Gower
    North York Farmers’ Market Toronto
    Northwest Farmers’ Market Sioux Lookout
    O
    Oakville Civitan Farmers’ Market Oakville
    OMAFRA
    Orangeville Farmers’ Market Orangeville
    Orillia Farmers’ Market Orillia
    Oshawa Centre Farmers’ Market Oshawa
    Oshawa Farmers’ Market Oshawa
    Ottawa ByWard Market Ottawa
    Ottawa Farmers’ Market Ottawa
    Ottawa Organic Farmers’ Market Ottawa
    Ottawa Parkdale Market Ottawa
    Owen Sound & District Farmers’ Market Owen Sound
    P
    Pelham Farmers’ Market Pelham
    Pembroke Farmers’ Market Pembroke
    Perth Farmers’ Market Perth
    Peterborough & District Farmers’ Market Peterborough
    Port Colborne Farmers’ Market Port Colborne
    Port Hope Farmers’ Market Port Hope
    Powassan Farmers’ Market Powassan
    Prescott Farmers’ Market Prescott
    Q
    Quinte West Farmers’ Market Trenton
    R
    Renfrew Farmers’ Market Renfrew
    Riverdale Farmers’ Market Toronto
    Riverside Farmers’ Market New Liskeard
    S
    Sarnia Farmers’ Market Sarnia
    Seaway Valley Growers Farmers’ Market Cornwall
    Sherway Gardens Farmers’ Market Toronto
    Simcoe (Downtown) Farmers’ Market Simcoe
    Simcoe County Eco Farmers’ Market Barrie
    Simcoe Farmers’ Market Simcoe
    Smithville Farmers’ Market Smithville
    Spanish Market Spanish
    Square One Farmers’ Market Mississauga
    St. Catharines Farmers’ Market St. Catharines
    St. Jacobs Farmers’ Market St. Jacobs
    St. Lawrence Farmers’ Market Toronto
    St. Marys Farmers’ Market St. Marys
    Stirling Rawdon Farmers’ Market Stirling
    Stonegate Farmers’ Market Toronto
    Stratford Farmers’ Market Stratford
    Strathroy Farmers’ Market Strathroy
    Streetsville Farmers’ Market Mississauga
    Sudbury Market Square Sudbury
    T
    The Village Market Thornhill
    The Wednesday Farmers’ Market Peterborough
    Thunder Bay Country Market Thunder Bay
    Thunder Bay Farmers’ Market Thunder Bay
    Tillsonburg Farmers’ Market Tillsonburg
    Timmins Country Market Timmins
    Trinity Bellwoods Farmers’ Market Toronto
    U
    Uxbridge Farmers’ Market Uxbridge
    V
    Vankleek Hill Farmers’ Market Vankleek Hill
    W
    Waterloo Farmers’ Market
    Welland Farmers’ Market Welland
    West Nipissing Farmers’ Market Sturgeon Falls
    Weston Farmers’ Market Weston
    Withrow Park Farmers’ Market Toronto
    Woodbine Centre (MyMarket) Toronto
    Woodstock Farmers’ Market Woodstock

    Back to Farmer’s Market Page


  5. Spinach, Eggplant & Ricotta Pockets

    June 16, 2010 by TheCanadianFoodie

    This recipe is simple, quick, delicious and as long as I call them ‘Veggie Pockets’ our kids love them!

    No really – first I told the kids that they were getting a fancy spinach pastry for dinner, the reaction?

    See for yourself:

    upset child

    But I quickly recovered! “Just kidding! It’s Veggie Pockets!” it worked:

    happy child

    Don’t ask… let’s just call them Pockets. Okay? Good…

    We buy most of our vegetables at the Farmers Market when possible and therefore, in any season other than winter, we eat a lot of whatever is available. Lately that’s been Fiddleheads (now over unfortunately), asparagus, small eggplant, spring radicchio, swiss chard and baby spinach.

    This is a new recipe for us, and we love it (in fact, we’re going to repeat it tonight!) It is really easy and quick to prepare (which is important with 3.9 kids underfoot) and for a ‘fancy’ meal the kids loved it.

    Spinach, Eggplant and Ricotta Pastry Pockets

    • Prep Time: < 15 minutes
    • Cooking Time: 25 minutes
    • Difficulty: Easy
    • Serves: 4-6

    Spinach, Eggplant &amp; Ricotta Pastry Pockets

    Ingredients

    1                   small onion, diced
    1 tbsp          butter
    1 tbsp          olive oil
    1                   medium eggplant, peeled & cubed
    4 cups         spinach
    2 tbsp          of your favourite dried herb
    1 cup            ricotta cheese
    1 package   puff pastry
    1                    egg; beaten with a little water

    Set your oven to 400.

    Drop the butter in your favourite deep pan and heat until bubbly.  Add the diced onion and cook until soft (5 minutes – don’t brown). Add the olive oil and then the cubed eggplant and mix. Once the eggplant is soft (it will change colour too), add your herb – tonight we used a mixture of oregano and dill, but you could add basil or lemon thyme; I’ve even made it once with cumin and coriander to give it a bit of a curry flavour.

    As soon as you’ve stirred in your herb mixture, drop in all of your spinach and heat, stirring occasionally until the spinach is wilted. Remove from heat.

    Remove your puff pastry from the package and cut into 4 equal squares. Ration out equal parts of the eggplant/spinach mixture into the middle of each square and add a healthy dollop of Ricotta cheese to the top. Use the beaten egg to dampen around all the edges of your pastry square and start folding the corners up to the middle, one at a time, pushing them together to seal any ‘cracks’.

    Place the ‘Veggie Pockets’ on a lightly greased baking pan – we use a pizza stone, which I highly recommend! – and cook for 15 – 25 minutes, or until the tops of your pastry pockets are golden.

    Eat and enjoy!

    * Update – June 17, 2010 – I made too much filling the first time around (I’m crazy like that sometimes), so we made this again last night.  This time we mixed it up a little and shredded a carrot into the vegetable filling; adding a nice balance to the colour when cutting into it with a fork!


  6. Canadian Foodies in 2009

    January 12, 2009 by TheCanadianFoodie

    Wow! 2009 already!?

    Let’s start the new year with a confession… I pretty much neglected the CanadianFoodies blog in 2008 (I’m sorry CF blog! I still love you!)

    I didn’t stop eating, or loving food, I didn’t lose my passion to create food, write or share our experiences with you… or anything else like that

    What I did do was try and cope with being busier than I ever have been before.

    Floods and children, increasing demands at the office, our first major garden and all the while trying to not just survive, but improve life for our kids… you know, that whole life thing…

    But it’s a new year, we’re back and this year our focus is once more going to change, or at least shift a bit.

    This year, anyone who has stopped by in the past will notice an increased emphasis not just on food, but on healthier, greener, local and organic foods and the ‘greener’ lifestyle that we’ve been attempting to adopt over the past few years.

    Mrs. Foodie and I have always eaten well (in a ‘healthy choices’ sense), but like almost everyone else, even we were guilty of the odd quick and easy processed foodstuff for times when time was in short supply (a couple frozen lasagna’s were a definite staple within our deep freezer) But, when we started having kids we began taking a hard look at everything that came into the house.

    Foods with transfat were the the first things to go (and Mrs. Foodie felt the pain when our last microwave popcorn was finished).

    Then, over the course of a year, we made choices to minimize foods heavy in sodium and saturated fats, we stopped using the microwave, stopped buying grocery store inst-meals and our occasional trips to the local farmers markets became a weekly event. In fact, in the summer months 80 – 90% of our produce comes from a farmers market.

    We made a lot of headway that first year (2005) but the next year brought child #2, followed a year later by child #3 (yup, 3 kids in less than 34 months!) and we struggled to maintain our momentum forward.

    But heare we are in 2009, the first decade of new millenium is coming to a close and through experience or wisdom the changes that we started 3 year ago have truly become second nature and we’re ready to take our ‘green’ life to the next level.

    What exaclty does that mean?

    Honestly I’m not 100% sure where the final destination is going to land us, but I do know the direction we’re heading.

    The focus of this blog will continue to be food, (we’ll be posting a new recipe/meal of the week column shortly)

    and we’ll continue to investigate the back stories and histories of the foods we eat.  But now, in 2009, we’ll start to focus on food as part of our environmental impact, our carbon footprint. We’ll look at the choices we want to make and followup with the ones we’re actually able to follow through with.

    And that’s just the first step of the journey…


  7. Farmers Market Withdrawl

    July 7, 2008 by TheCanadianFoodie

    We’ve missed out on Farmer’s markets two weekends in a row now for various reasons and I’m starting to go through withdrawl.

    I’ve pretty much run out of produce (except for lettuces and radish which we pulled from our own garden this week) and am dreading having to put in a visit to the grocery store to buy their ‘fresh’ product.

    I’m not sure why Saturday mornings are becoming difficult (3 kids under 3.5 years old) but we’re having a hard time getting out of the house in time to make the markets.

    I think this week we will visit the Eco-market at Hempola farms. We’ve been talking about it for a year, but Friday nights come and go and we always forget!

    Ack – a note from the tech side of my personality… Apparently Hempola Farms haven’t updated their site since 2004! The good news is their Eco-Market will be up and running again in the spring of 2005! Doh! I missed it! Come on Hempola, I know farms aren’t always thought of as being part of the most tech-savvy industry, but try to make at least ANNUAL updates to your site if you are going to go to the trouble of having one!


  8. What does your garden grow?

    July 4, 2008 by TheCanadianFoodie

    Garden specs :

    The 2008 garden is a little below 25 X 30 feet, or ~850 square feet.

    Biggest pests so far:

    • Mosquitos – Installed bat boxes and spray on repellent
    • Ants – Don’t know what to do about this menace!

    Garden 2008

    Grown:

    We’ve planted the following:

    • Corn
    • Eggplant
    • Various Heritage Tomatoes
    • Ground Cherries
    • Various Peppers (green, red, orange etc)
    • Jalapeño
    • Horseradish

    (more…)


  9. Upgrading my Blog

    July 1, 2008 by TheCanadianFoodie

    I am about to upgrade CanadianFoodies.com to WordPress 2.5.

    So please ignore any short term randomness as I disable plugins, upgrade and (hopefully not) troubleshoot. We’ll be back to our regularly scheduled program shortly!

    Thanks for your patience.

    * Update (15 minutes later) – Upgrade complete. If you notice any further randomness, it is completely my fault!


  10. Breaded Veal with Mushroom Gravy

    May 28, 2008 by TheCanadianFoodie

    I forgot to take a picture! -ack- I must be out of practice…

    I took a few days off work to celebrate an extra long holiday weekend (and my birthday – yay me!-) and that generally means a little more time to plan a nice meal.

    And in typical fashion, I went with a few new dishes…

    Thursday night meant Breaded veal in a rich mushroom gravy (a hunters-style gravy) and lemon beans (with lemon zest and more mushrooms) .

    (more…)