Look who turned 5!
A Recipe For Change Event
Last year I was very fortunate to be invited to attend ‘Recipe for Change‘ and felt extremely honoured to be invited to return again this year. This annual event, held at the St. Lawrence Market north building , is a community filled celebration of food with a distinct purpose that supports Food Literacy education & FoodShare’s innovative and timely work in schools.
A staunch supporter of Food Literacy is Sang Kim of the newly opened Wind Up Bird Cafe who got a chance to promote his restaurant’s contribution to #RecipeforChange this year on Breakfast Television the morning of the event. See the interview here.(via @BTtoronto) Below is the dish and its creator Chef Yumiko Kobayashi.
Foodshare believes the following:”How children eat when they’re young lays the foundation for life-long patterns, but integrated good food education is not the norm in Ontario schools. Students are not regularly provided the tools to make healthy decisions to sustain themselves, nor are they taught how to garden, cook a healthy meal, compost or understand where their food comes from on an ongoing basis.”
“Childhood obesity and diabetes are global pandemics and, in Ontario, major health risks. Barring electives, and a few sporadic science or health lessons, healthy eating, hands-on Food Literacy skills and physical activity are not as regularly integrated into the school day as they should be.” – taken from “Why Recipe for Change”
This year brought together some of Toronto’s all-star chefs for a night of culinary delights with complimenting beverage selections from local vendors:
The collection of Chefs will ensure that there is great, amazing food for all guests so that even vegetarians, vegans, and those with other food considerations are accommodated.
The tasty evening at #RecipeforChange is composed of small plates allowing each chef to present their own creative vision, surprising us with their combining of foods and flavours.
Having chefs were on hand to personally prepare, plate, and serve their food, be available to discuss their inspiration with us gave us the rare chance to get up close and personal as a guest with some of the city’s prominent culinary minds – a rare treat for many and for me a chance to say hello to many of my culinary friends and personal chef inspirations.
Everything that Foodshare Toronto does is centered on the power of food to connect, to inspire and to ultimately transform. Their work is so impactful because of this important and sometimes neglected act of sharing. The power of caring and sharing truly does work and their work clearly shows that every little bit counts.
Supporting FoodShare is easy, and you can be part of its impacts and help it grow and grow. Easy ways to show your support can be found here.
I truly love the opportunity to mingle and chat with the chefs, the beverage partners and many of my writing colleagues, dear foodie friends and general public who are in awe of each culinary expedition from table to table. There are also all the amazing things that FoodShare has been able to do and will do for Food Literacy and creating a healthier future for our future generations.
The opportunity to taste bites from over 30 Chefs, 20 VQA wines, 6 local beers, and so much more, the event was an amazing value for attendees and a wonderful opportunity to support FoodShare’s work to create a healthy future.
My Love Affair with Walter – A F&B Romance
It started off with a teasing photo on someone’s Facebook page, which lead to some tasty shots on another’s Instagram feed and then he was staring me down on a friends counter top. Next I knew there was an introduction, the anticipation and well, the rest as they say, is history…Are your cheeks burning yet? This is no 50 Shades of Grey storyline…it’s a love affair with Walter – Walter All-Natural Craft Caesar Mix that is.
Over the years I’ve always had a few go-to drinks that I use if ever in doubt traveling and a Caesar has usually been in the mix with a good Dirty Martini or Sidecar – the kind of drinks that usually one can make at any standard bar. But as I and my healthy minded community have realized over the years, the standard mix for Caesars is just kind of , well full of a lot of junk like MSG (gives me blinding headaches), artificial colours & flavours and usually a High-fructose Corn Syrup which really is wrong on so many levels for our bodies. This is why I was so excited to be able to try Walter Caesar Mix – so much better and so tasty!
Let’s break down the “Walter Difference”
- · 100% All-Natural Ingredients
- · NO MSG
- · NO Artificial Colours or Flavours
- · No High Fructose Corn Syrup
- · Made in Small Batch Production
- · Bottled in Premium Glass Bottles
- · Comes in 2 Flavours – Well Spiced or Mildly Spiced
- · It’s CANADIAN and launched by two fellow Vancouverites
All of these things honestly make an awesomely better tasting Caesar or straight up on its own if you like your tomato juice to have some zest and body!
I played around with the flavour and made up one heck of a tasty bevvie for myself on one of our now many snowy nights and this is what I came up with.
A good amount of Walter Well Spiced, some lime juice, some premium vodka, some tasty garnishes (home-made Daikon pickles, bacon, and cucumber – my own snacky topper). The perfect blend of seasoning for me in the Well Spiced and on other days I most likely would add in even more heat.
Currently you can find Walter at select BC and Ontario grocers, specialty food and gift shops, select restaurants and bars. For their complete, up-to-date list, visit their website at www.waltercaesar.com/find-us
I’m looking forward to my second hot date with Walter’s alter ego – Walter Mildly Spiced – just the right speed for a long week, snowed in on the proverbial “Hump” Day. Now just to sort out the tasty garnishes or perhaps think up some alternative recipes to use this amazing new all natural product in to further extend the tasty goodness of Walter.
Go out and get some soon – it’s now a regular in my house for sure!
Much foodie love,
This is a personal blog. All content is based on my opinions and experiences. I received Walter Products and Product Information from Walter All Natural Craft Caesar Mix to review.
Deborah Peniuk Freelance Writer. Dream Travel Maker. Health &Wellness Retreat Specialist and Master Planner of Culinary Adventures and Escapes. Enjoys Wine+Food+Travel+Music+Yoga+Good Humans
The Sweetest Day October 19th
An American Tradition
– The Sweetest Day observance originally started in the Midwest US in the 1920’s.
The Sweetest Day…
is always the third Saturday in October.
This holiday is much more important in some regions than in others (Detroit, Cleveland and Buffalo being the biggest Sweetest Day cities). It is a holiday that has been gaining in popularity every year throughout the country.
What It Is …
- Sweetest Day is celebrated on the third Saturday in October as a day to make someone happy. It is an occasion which offers all of us an opportunity to remember not only the sick, aged, and orphaned, but also friends, relatives and associates whose helpfulness and kindness we have enjoyed.
- Sweetest Day is not based on any single group’s religious sentiment or on a family relationship. It is a reminder that a thoughtful word or deed enriches life and gives it meaning.
- Because for many people remembering takes the form of gift-giving, Sweetest Day offers us the opportunity to show others that we care, in a tangible way.
How it all began…
One version tells that over 60 years ago, a Cleveland man, believing that the city’s orphans and shut-ins too often felt forgotten and neglected, conceived the idea of showing them that they were remembered. He did this through the distribution of small gifts. With the help of his friends and neighbors, he distributed these small remembrances on a Saturday in October.
The first Sweetest Day was pronounced as October 8, 1921 in Cleveland. The Cleveland Plain Dealer’s October 8, 1922 edition, which chronicles the first Sweetest Day in Cleveland, states that the first Sweetest Day was planned by a committee of 12 confectioners chaired by they candymaker C. C. Hartzell. The Sweetest Day in the Year Committee distributed over 20,000 boxes of candy to “newsboys, orphans, old folks, and the poor” in Cleveland, Ohio. The Sweetest Day in the Year Committee was assisted in the distribution of candy by some of the biggest movie stars of the day including Theda Bara and Ann Pennington.
Of the twelve Cleveland committeemen who planned Cleveland’s Sweetest Day , eleven directly profited from the sale of greeting cards or candy. Three were on the Board of Directors for Hallmark, four on the boards of various candy companies and four owned card and candy shops in the Cleveland area.
The photo of the 12 Candymakers who “Arranged the Details of The Sweetest Day in the Year and Planned Its Success.” The Candymakers’ names are (from left to right) C.R. Canter, A.E. Barton, R.T. Fuller, J.J. Wilsdon, R.H. Sheehan, W.A. Katzenmeyer, A.A. Sarouch, Louis Hahn, W.J. Nichols, C.C. Hartzell (chairman of the “Sweetest Day in the Year Committee”), L. Narwold, and L.E. Gruber.
The caption at the top of the page reads: “Eat Candy as a Portion of Your Daily Meal and Enjoy the Best of Health.” The sub-headline below the caption reads: “Cleveland Committeemen Who Arranged the Details of the Sweetest Day of the Year and Planned Its Success.” Under the photos of the Founders of Sweetest Day is an article written by The Commissioner of Health from New York City, Royal S. Copeland M.D. (later U.S. Senator from New York). The article is entitled “Eat Candy As Part Of Meal And Be Happy.” Below the headline is a caption which reads: “Love of Sweets is an Inborn Instinct, and Craving Should be Satisfied, Since Nature Expresses Her Bodily Needs Through Demands of the Stomach.”
During the years that followed, other Clevelanders began to participate in the celebration ceremony, which came to be called “Sweetest Day”. In time, the Sweetest Day idea of spreading cheer to the underprivileged was broadened to include everyone, and became an occasion for remembering others with a kind act or a small remembrance. And soon the idea spread to other cities all over the country.
With a very health conscious population out there I am curious how this celebration now almost 100 years old has evolved over the years? I would suspect that the candy companies all still have a plan this close to Halloween and all its sugary creations but there are great healthy alternatives to enjoy this longstanding day amongst our American compadres. Anyone have a great gluten-free brownie recipe? Coconut milk caramels?
Enjoy The Sweetest Day however you see fit…and remember it is more about the message it is meant to convey than the bellyache due to all that SUGAR!
Fresh Canteen – Garam Masala Seared Duck Breast Out of A Box
A short while ago, I was pleased to be invited to join a handful of other blogger and food media guests for a hands-on experience with Fresh Canteen’s new ready-to-cook meal-in-a-box service. This awesome new food delivery service in town is really doing some exciting things. They offer up to the consumer a new version of food prep, giving you an assortment of recipes to choose from each week, and sending you all the ingredients you need to make the dish of your choice. Easey peasey – no shopping required (except selecting on their website) and creative editing allowed!
This service that caters to people who want to cook fresh, delicious dinners in their own kitchens but are often just too busy to shop or perhaps intimidated to shop for all the ingredients they need. They are very committed to using local food producers, focusing on fresh, seasonal ingredients whenever possible and that has a great appeal as I like to support local as much as I can.
Working in teams, (my team consisted of @the awesome duo of @gavmartell & @DailyBreadBlog and myself @TraveliciousDee) and under the guidance of the Fresh Canteen team, we worked our way through the easy-to-follow step by step recipe for – DUCK! The dish to be made was Seared Duck Breast with Garam Masala and Sautéed Grapes (no intimidation at all). While it has been something I have rarely prepared myself, I do so love duck, I love Garam Masala, (yes I could stand and just sniff for a while) and fresh crisp grapes – mmmmhhhmmm. I think we all were impressed by the results of our efforts especially given that our fry pan had its temperamental moments with its heat source.
Each week you have a choice from a great selection of recipes online you can choose from by Friday and then on Tuesday you will receive an insulated box filled with all of the ingredients that you will need to make that dish. Each recipe is portioned out for two (or you can order a double enough for four) but easily the recipes that I have made would easily feed at least three or two with enough leftovers for someone to take to lunch the next day at approximately $12-$15 per serving (includes delivery to your front door) it’s a pretty amazing deal with no tip required (but better ask the chef at hand on that). The included recipe card shows its difficulty rating, estimated time and the step-by-step instructions which guide you through the cooking processes and there is also basic nutrition information – calories, carbohydrates, fat & protein info.
This is such a great idea for those friends who eat out or do take away at least 3 to 4 nights a week because of their busy schedule and when they get home from work the last thing they are going to do is go shopping. It’s also a great option for a weeknight dinner party or intro cooking lesson for your friends – you just come home from work, open the box, and create some kitchen magic with some amazing food and voilà. Having 4 brothers I know this would have been a great way to teach them some cool fancy meals to impress a girlfriend or partner, not break the bank and know that at least on few nights they were eating well.
The food is packed in an insulated bag with some reusable freezer packs and will stay cold all day in case you aren’t home when the box comes. If you pop the whole thing in the fridge, it will stay fresh for a couple of days too so you don’t even have to make it that night. Also, each recipe comes with a plastic covered recipe sheet with super detailed instructions and photos – kind of like DIY cooking for those not friendly with shopping and following a regular cookbook so even those who aren’t 100% confident in the kitchen are going to be able to finesse a meal and feel like a “TOP CHEF” in the kitchen. Most recipes can be made within 35-45 minutes with minimal prep of washing and chopping. Three new recipes are offered each week, and each recipe is available for 2 weeks. The minimum order is $60 with Fresh Canteen (so it’s 2 recipes serving 2 people = 4 servings total) and the maximum order is $180 (4 recipes serving 4 people = 16 servings total)
Right now delivery is only available in the downtown Toronto are but a great idea is to get it delivered to your office downtown and take it home at the end of the day(packaged in an insulated bag with freezer packs so you are safe to have a full day at work). Expansion of their delivery area is sure to follow the more people find out about the quality, value and ease of this great service.
At the end of the night our well-fed bodies left with some great goodies like our wonderful long red Fresh Canteen aprons, signature shopping bag, our box of our next meal and a lovely knife chef knife from Nella Cucina.
What I got to come home with for our #recipe challenge was their Mock Butter Chicken of which I made a few additions and a substitution to the original recipe. I was very happy to open the box 2 days later and find that all of the ingredients were still super fresh and enticing.
Still keeping it with an Indian theme I chose to add in peaches to my Chicken instead of the recipe included ingredient of raisins (never been a big fan of raisins in my cooked food but understand their place in the original recipe), toasted coconut to the most amazing light and fluffy rice (think nutty pilaf) and the addition of pan toasted black mustard seed to the great crisp cucumber and radish salad dressing.
So here is my mashup redux recipe from Fresh Canteen’s Mock Butter Chicken –
Dee’s Peachy Chicken Remix
2 Chicken Breasts
1.5 Tbsp Vegetable Oil (I prefer EVOO)
1 Tbsp chopped Garlic
1.5 Tbsp chopped Ginger
1 heaping Tbsp Tomato Paste
1.5 Tsp Cumin Seeds
1.5 Tsp Ground Coriander
1 Tsp Turmeric
1.5 Tsp Garam Masala
½ tsp Chili Flakes (I like mine hot so I did ¾ tsp)
1/5 tsp Brown Sugar
½ tsp Salt (this is always to taste but you do need some with all of these spices)
3 tbsp Plain Yogurt (I find if you are doing dairy free – plain coconut yogurt works)
½ Medium Onion chopped
½ tbsp Butter (optional – I use Coconut Oil)
1 small Japanese style cucumber
2-3 large radishes
2 tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
1-2 tsp Olive Oil
1 cup Basmati Rice
1-2 Naan Bread
1.5 tbsp toasted unsweetened coconut flakes
1 tbsp toasted Brown Mustard seeds
1 medium peach diced small
What you need to cook:
1 small saucepan
1 frying pan
Prepare ingredients and read through the recipe noting what needs to be washed, chopped and sliced.
Chop the onion, garlic, ginger and cilantro. (I use my Cuisinart chopper for the 1st three ingredients and it creates a great chunky paste which is very traditional for Indian starters for recipes.
Cut chicken breasts into bite size pieces. Slice cucumbers and radishes into similar size pieces.
Bring 2 cups of water to a boil and add ½ tsp of salt (sea or Himalayan preferred). Add rice, reduce the heat to minimum, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. When done, fluff with a fork and add in toasted coconut. (Coconut can be toasted in fry pan quickly over medium heat to a golden brown and leaves pleasant oil behind to sauté your onions etc. in)
In the fry pan head up your 1-2 tsp of Olive Oil on medium heat and add in the mustard seeds. When you hear the first popping of the seeds immediately take off of the heat and allow the oil to cool. This is the base of your dressing. In a small bowl, add the sliced cucumbers and radishes. Whisk together the Olive Oil, Mustard Seeds, 1.5 tsp of Red Wine Vinegar and add Salt & Pepper to taste. Set this aside.
Heat the remaining oil on medium-high heat until shimmering (or if using a wooden cooking utensil it should start to bubble where it touches the pan). Add your chopped ginger, garlic and onion. Cook until the onions are slightly golden in colour. Add your peaches at about a 2 minute mark and cook for about 4 minutes.
Remove the pan from the head and add in the cumin seeds, coriander, tomato paste, garam masala, brown sugar, chili flakes and turmeric. Return to the heat and cook stirring constantly for another 2-4 minutes to infuse the spice mix into the onion, garlic, ginger “paste” and releases the fragrances and flavours of the east.
Add the chicken, stirring to coat all the chicken with the spice mixture. Add 1/3 cup of water and the 3 tbsp of yogurt. Cook until chicken is done approx.7-9 minutes. If your sauce is too thick add a bit of water while cooking and you can finish with a tbsp of Butter or Coconut Oil to put an extra shine on the sauce (totally optional)
Sprinkle with chopped Coriander and serve with the Toasted Coconut Rice. Enjoy with your Cool Crisp Cucumber and Radish Salad and your Naan Bread which can be heated and sprinkled with your Chopped Coriander as well on the side.
As long as you get your order in by end of day Friday, you’ll get boxes Tuesday. They currently have a serious PROMO going on! Use code “FALL30” at checkout for $30 dollars off your first Fresh Canteen order of two recipes.
I know the next time I am trying to plan ahead I will have Fresh Canteen bookmarked and on speed dial for easy access to order my next food experience to share! I’m excited to see how Fresh Canteen grows and develops as a local start-up and to see the recipes experiences they choose to create for your shopping and cooking pleasure!
Summer is definitely here in North America and Friday’s are a great jump-off to hopefully a relaxing weekend.
How about a cool bevvie to go with all that. Below is a recipe I collected over many years of travel.
Sadly I have forgotten which country I was in to have tried it out but it seemed fitting to set this weekend off with!
Fill a glass with ice and add:
1/2oz Triple Sec
Dash of Lime Juice
Dash of Sour Mix
Shake, Pour and Top with Cranberry Juice
A busy schedule and lots of travel put my writing on standby for a while but I had to make sure I got this tasty article up and readable to share!
Back on February 28th, Toronto’s historic St. Lawrence Market looked like a stage set for a culinary celebration! The event – Toronto’s Annual Event – Recipe For Change
I timed my arrival to the North Market Building for the 6pm door opening and before I could reach the inner sanctum of the market building, I experienced a taste-bud explosion by way of an amazing Smoked Duck Tostada by @FidelGastros – Matt Basile, star of “Rebel Without A Kitchen”.
The evenings’ event was a market done in complete transformation! This building is generally left to those farmers and craftspeople selling their edible bounty to the public of fresh fruit, eggs, vegetables, cheeses and many other tasty little bits of flavour. That night the team at FoodShare designed a map through a garden of flavor overload put forth by those who rise to the top, sometimes are seldom seen by the general public, and have a deep love for their craft, for their annual Recipe for Change fundraising event.
Over the course of the next few hours, with fork, napkin and wineglass in pocket, the room filled to capacity with over 400 Toronto eager food fans supporting such a good cause and sampling culinary delights from over 30 chefs and students, 8 wineries from Niagara and Prince Edward County, and a few breweries as well. I eagerly sipped, nibbled and photographed as many tasty tidbits as I could. This year’s FoodShare event was presented by GE Cafe Appliances and students from both the Bendale Business and Technical Institute and Eastdale Collegiate presented some tasty offerings that they cooked in their culinary programs that are in collaboration with FoodShare.
Some of my most memorable bites were: Brisket Steamed Buns from Momofuku Toronto, Yakitori Bar/Seoul Food’s vegetarian Bibimbap, Torito Tapas & Monforte Dairy’s collab of Dates stuffed with Toscano Cheese, Orrechiette with White Pork Shoulder Ragu by Ascari Enoteca, Savoury Bread Puddings by the George Brown Chef School, and the Luscious Beet Root Chocolate Brownies from Pimenton.
It was a joy to see that Toronto’s culinary community spotlights the collaborative efforts for such an amazingly good cause. It was fun night to be out and about as many enthusiastic chefs served their very best and I had a chance to catch up with some of my favourite restauranteurs, chefs, bloggers and food writers. From the culinary schools to top chefs, breweries, wineries and to my love…the Detour Espresso Bar, Recipe for Change certainly gave those of us in attendance, an honest testimony to the talented and creative culinary industry in this city I now call home.
Food Share empowers and enables Ontario children to identify what good food is, where it comes from, not only teaching them that healthy food also tastes great, but educating and helping them learn to choose it for themselves. The organization is leading the challenge to create a healthier future for our children by working with students from JK to Grade 12 ,parents and educators to ensure that good food education is an included part of the Ontario curriculum and make Food Literacy a requirement for graduation. Children across Ontario are being taught how to plant, tend, harvest, prep ,cook and compost – something I took for granted growing up when I was a child, having a family involved in food and backyard farming.
This year’s event also marked the launch of FoodShare’s first cookbook – “share:Delicious Dishes from Foodshare and Friends” which showcases affordable, healthy, and culturally-diverse cooking that is a joy for the palate and the eye. Just $24.95 + HST at your favourite bookstore or available on www.foodshare.net
“A delight for the palate and for the eye, share showcases the joy of healthy, affordable culturally-diverse cooking and highlights the power of good food to bring people together. Celebrate home-cooked meals with Adrienne De Francesco and Marion Kane as they guide you through recipes that are thoughtfully selected, carefully tested and thoroughly delicious. Feast on contributions from FoodShare’s chefs, staff, volunteers and program participants, along with local celebrities who all share their favourite recipes in this beautiful full-colour cookbook.”
Take time to support the Foodshare community on any level ! I came with to Recipe for Change with an appetite on full tilt mody, ready to be amazed and flavour – challenged by the 30 chefs works in food and I left satiated with an even better appreciation of the chefs I know and new wonder from all the ones I met for the first time and what the Culinary Culture of Ontario truly has to offer. A delish food adventure experience that I would highly recommend all of you look out for next year and make certain you have tickets as soon as you can.