Category Archives: North America

Look Who Turned 5! FoodShare’s – A Recipe For Change

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Look who turned 5!

A Recipe For Change Event

February 27th,2014

RFC2014

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.

Chef Yumiko

Chef Yumiko Kobayashi

Tofu-Avocado Gratin and Sweet Potatoe Mille-Feuille from Wind Up Bird Cafe (Vegetarian)

Tofu-Avocado Gratin and Sweet Potatoe Mille-Feuille from Wind Up Bird Cafe (Vegetarian)

The Recipe for Change Initiative

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 amazing Recipe for Change Chefs

The Recipe for Change VQA Wines, Breweries, Coffee,Tea and other Beverages

Crema Coffee Co

Crema Coffee in the making

Maple Bacon Crema

Maple Bacon Crema

Frida Restaurant and Bar, Chef Jose Hadad – Tacos de Pescado en Salsa Verde, pan fried and then finished in Salsa Verde Haddock and garnished with Sour Cream, Coriander and Onion

My Little Dumplings, Chef Bashir – Mushroom Bao
(Vegetarian)

Annona at the Park Hyatt, Chef Joan Monfaredi – Pulled Buschbeck Braised Lamb Slider with Spicy Mustard Glaze, Crunch Slaw Sesame Tooney

Lisa Marie/Fidel Gastro, Chef Matt Basile – Agrentinian Lamb Meatball

Urban Acorn/The Depanneur, Chef Daniel Holloway & Marie Fitrion – Haitian Goat Griot & Banana Peze

Accra and Banana Peze

Urban Acorn/The Depanneur, Chef Daniel Holloway & Marie Fitrion – Haitian Accra & Banana Peze (Vegetarian)

SOMA Hot Chocolate

SOMA Chocolate from Chocolatemakers , David Castellan & Cynthia Leung – Hot Chocolate Mix Spiced with Ginger, Madagascar Vanilla, Orange Peel, Chili and Soma Blend Spices

Reuben Caraway Rye Gnocchi

The Beverly Hotel, Chef Eric Wood – Reuben Caraway Rye Gnocchi, Pastrami Lambs Tongue, Dill Pickled Mushrooms with Red Cabbage and Apple Mostarda, Fresh Tarragon and Gruyere Snow

Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Wild Boar Ragu

Le Select Bistro, Chef Albert Ponzo – Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Wild Boar Ragu

Foggy Sunburst Morning Earl Grey Mocktail

The Love of Tea, Carol Mark – Foggy Sunburst Morning Earl Grey Mocktail with infusions of Bergamot and Citrus

Citrus Financier with Chestnut Mousse and Coffee Nougatine

The Tempered Chef, Chef Bertrand Alepee – Citrus Financier with Chestnut Mousse and Coffee Nougatine

Whole Wheat Scones with Goat Cheese and The Chef's House Preserves

Whole Wheat Scones with Goat Cheese and The Chef’s House Preserves

Whole Wheat Scones with Goat Cheese and The Chef's House Preserves

Whole Wheat Scones with Goat Cheese and The Chef’s House Preserves

Whole Wheat Scones with Goat Cheese and The Chef's House Preserves

George Brown Chef School, Chef John Higgins – Whole Wheat Scones with Goat Cheese and The Chef’s House Preserves

Moroccan Inspired Cauliflower Soup with Crispy Chick Peas

Good Earth Food & Wine Co., Chef Therese De Grace – Moroccan Inspired Cauliflower Soup with Crispy Chick Peas, Pickled Vegetable Micro Salad and Tahini Drizzle (Vegan)

Ice Wine Jelly Appetizers

Bernadin, Chef Emerie Brine – Ice Wine Jelly Bite-Size Appetizers

Mini Raw Pumpkin Tarts on Pecan Salted Date Crust

Cruda Cafe, Chef Claudia Gaviria – Mini Raw Pumpkin Tarts on Pecan Salted Date Crust
(Raw Vegan)

Mini Raw Cashew French Herbed Fermented Cheese with Sweet Potato Crackers

Cruda Cafe, Chef Claudia Gaviria – Mini Raw Cashew French Herbed Fermented Cheese with Sweet Potato Crackers (Vegan)

Mixed Ceviche (Seafood)

T.O. Ceviche Bar, Chef Alvaro Valencia – Mixed Ceviche (Seafood)

Ham Hock Terrine with Home-Made Branston Pickle and Quail's Egg

Table 17/Ascari Enoteca, Chef John Sinopoli – Ham Hock Terrine with Home-Made Branston Pickle and Quail’s Egg

Atlantic Salt Cod Fritters with Cilantro and Watercress Pesto

Culinary Students of Bendale Business & Technical Institute/Eastdale Collegiate Institute – Atlantic Salt Cod Fritters with Cilantro and Watercress Pesto from Bendale Gardens

Apple Fruitcake with Caramel Yogurt

Culinary Students of Bendale Business & Technical Institute/Eastdale Collegiate Institute – Apple Fruitcake with Caramel Yogurt

Arroz Caldo

Lamesa Filipino Kitchen, Chef Rudy Boquila – Arroz Caldo (Meat and Vegetarian options)

Duck Tamales

Valdez, Chef Steve Gonzalez – Duck Tamales

Walter's Caesars with Tromba Tequila

Walter Caesar – Caesars and Virgin Caesars

Shucked Oysters

Hooked, Kristin & Dan Donovan – Fresh Shucked Oysters – Shan Daph, Pictou County, Nova Scotia, Cooke’s Cove, Ellerslie, PEI

Gulab Jamun with Masala Chai

416 Snack Bar, Chef Mark Ota – Gulab Jamun with Masala Chai (Vegetarian)

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.

Culinary Students of Bendale Business & Technical Institute/Eastdale Collegiate Institute

Culinary Students of Bendale Business & Technical Institute/Eastdale Collegiate Institute

Lamesa Filipino Kitchen, Chef Rudy Boquila

Lamesa Filipino Kitchen, Chef Rudy Boquila

Valdez, Chef Steve Gonzalez

Valdez, Chef Steve Gonzalez

My Little Dumplings, Chef Bashir Munye and Crew

My Little Dumplings, Chef Bashir Munye and Crew

Hooked, Kristin & Dan Donovan

Hooked, Kristin & Dan Donovan

Grilled Tofu and Edamame Salad

FRANK at the AGO, Chef Jeff Duek – Grilled Tofu and Edamame Salad, Pipian Sauce, Coriander Spouts in a Palm Leaf Boat (Vegan)

Crema Coffee Co

Two of my favourite guys! Crema Coffee Co. – Amazing Maple Bacon never tasted so good.

Chicken Chilaquiles Mexico City Style

Santo Pecado, Chef Paola Solorzano – Chicken Chilaquiles Mexico City Style

Frida’s Chef Jose Hadad

Chopped Canada Season 1 Episode 7 Winner Brianne Nash with Tania Daviduke of The Culinary Adventure Company

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.

The Recipe for Change Super-Supportive Sponsors

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.

Happy Canada Day!

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canadian flag

What is Canada Day?

We, as a nation are still very young as a country – just a mere 146 years old in comparison with other great nations but we acknowledge and recognize the day we became our own nation every year.

According to the latest info recorded in Wikipedia:

“CANADA DAY:(French: Fête du Canada) is the national day of Canada, a federal statutory holiday celebrating the anniversary of the July 1, 1867, enactment of the British North America Act, 1867 (today called the Constitution Act, 1867), which united three colonies into a single country called Canada within the British Empire Originally called Dominion Day (French: Le Jour de la Confédération), the holiday was renamed in 1982, the year the Canada Act was passed. Canada Day observances take place throughout Canada as well as among Canadians internationally.”

 

cdn flag cupcake

 

What do we do on Canada Day?

Many communities across the country of Canada will host organized celebrations for Canada Day, usually consisting of outdoor public events, such as parades, carnivals, festivals, barbecues, air and maritime shows, fireworks, and free musical concerts, as well as citizenship ceremonies for new citizens to Canada.

Internationally, Canadian expats will organize Canada Day activities in their local area on or near Canada Day. Many celebrations have been held at Trafalgar Square—the location of Canada House—in London, England; initiated by the Canadian community in the United Kingdom, and endorsed by the Canadian High Commission. Celebrations have also take place in Hong Kong, entitled Canada D’eh and held on June 30 at Lan Kwai Fong, where over 10,000 have been known to participate. Overseas in Afghanistan, where members of the Canadian Forces mark the holiday at their base and in  Mexico, at the Royal Canadian Legion in both Chapala, and the Canadian Club in Ajijic. In China, Canada Day celebrations are held by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai at Bund Beach. These are just a few locations globally that participate in celebrating Canada’s birthday!

 

 

canada-day-international-feature

 

 

This year our own loved TV Host, George Stroumboulopoulos is hosting Canada Day International in NYC and London, England. You can catch all the details including clips from hockey games in Central Park to amazing concerts through the links below.

“Canada Day Is Taking Over New York City And London, England – And George Is Hosting”

Wherever you are, you can join the conversation by tweeting with the hashtags #CanadaDayNYC and #CanadaDayLondon.

You can follow George on Twitter at:

@Strombo
@Strombodotcom

Wherever you are, whoever you are with – take a moment to wish Canada a very Happy Birthday and enjoy a little moment today to be a “Canuck” however you see fit!

HAPPY CANADA DAY! I’m proud to be a Canadian – born and raised!

Some Recommended Authors for International Mysteries- Get Your Travel Reading On!

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So I’ve started off a great list of authors that a friend and I once created under the subject of adventure and encourage you to add to the list of any great ones you are aware of or love!

Recommended Authors for International Mysteries Reads

Africa

  • Malarkey, Tucker
  • McCall Smith, Alexander

China

  • Bradby, Tom
  • Liang, Diane Wei
  • Xiaolong, Qiu

Cuba

  • Garcia-Aguilera, Carolina
  • Latour, Jose
  • Parker, Barbara
  • Standiford, Les
  • Truman, Margaret

England

  • Armstrong, Vivien
  • Dexter, Colin
  • Fowler, Christopher
  • Hall, Patricia
  • James, P.D.
  • Marsh, Ngaio
  • McCrery, Nigel
  • Rendell, Ruth

France

  • Claudel, Philippe
  • Simenon, Georges
  • Temple, Lou Jane
  • Vargas, Fred

Holland

  • Ewan, Chris
  • Freeling, Nicolas
  • Mathews, Adrian
  • Van De Wetering, Janwillem

India

  • Adiga, Aravind
  • Keating, H.R.F.

Ireland

  • Brady, John
  • Malarkey, Tucker
  • Nugent, Andrew

Italy

  • Dibdin, Michael
  • Eco, Umberto
  • Hewson, David
  • Leon, Donna
  • Nabb, Magdalen

Japan

  • Hunter, Stephen
  • Nonami, Asa
  • Okuizumi, Hikaru
  • Rowland, Laura Joh

Norway

  • Fossum, Karen
  • Nesbo, Jo

Pakistan

  • Benard, Cheryl

Russia

  • Bradby, Tom
  • Kaminsky, Stuart

Scotland

  • Beaton, M.C.
  • Mina, Denise
  • Murray, Colin
  • Rankin,Ian

Spain

  • Perez-Reverte, Arturo

Sweden

  • Mankell, Henning
  • Edwardson, Ake
  • Nesser, Hakan
  • Tursten, Helene

Some Tips to FLY SMART

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Flying Smart is always best and we may not always have our attention when we get down to the weeks or days prior to leaving on our grand adventures or heading home to see family and friends. These tips below can help clear away some of the confusion or be reminders of stuff we may already know but don’t practice on a regular basis.

 

 

  • Tip #1 to Fly Smart: Understand your rights and responsibilities as a passenger

 

  • Tip #2 to Fly Smart: Know the fare rules that apply to your ticket

 

  • Tip #3 to Fly Smart: Call ahead with special requests

 

  • Tip #4 to Fly Smart: Be sure to have all of your travel documents

 

  • Tip #5 to Fly Smart: Don’t miss your flight – keep in touch with your carrier

 

  • Tip #6 to Fly Smart: Check in EARLY

 

  • Tip #7 to Fly Smart: Know your carrier’s baggage limits(Also ensure that you properly measure your baggage with a measuring tape..dimensions are not the same across the board with all brands out there!)

 

  • Tip #8 to Fly Smart: Pack smart – keep your ID, medications and valuables with you

 

  • Tip #9 to Fly Smart: Have insurance when you travel (medical and cancellation/interruption advised – don’t assume your credit card or work covers you enough)

 

  • Tip #10 to Fly Smart: Find out more how the Canadian Transportation Agency can help you

 

You can find these tips and much more information to ensure that you FLY SMART at http://www.cta.gc.ca/fly-smart or http://www.otc-cta.gc.ca/eng/home

 

A handy PDF format of all of these tips and much more can be found at : FLY SMART

The Canadian Transportation Agency works to ensure that federally regulated (air, rail, marine and inter-provincial bus) transportation services and facilities are accessible to persons with disabilities.

The Agency has publications and checklists to help you plan travel that meets accessibility requirements.

You can also find some great information regarding traveling with disabilities in the booklet: Take Charge of Your Travel: A Guide for Persons with Disabilities

Take the time to do your double checking – it’s better to do before flight than after or during….being up in the air isn’t always conducive to great travel experiences.

A Traveller’s Checklist

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After speaking with a rather well-travelled client the other day and hearing their tales of passport dramas I decided it would be great to do a short review of a well-advised Traveller’s Checklist!

 

Your safe and well-planned trip begins with most or all of these important steps:

  • Carry a personal passport from your country of residence/citizenship that is valid well beyond the date of your anticipated return to your country of residence; keep a copy of the identification page separate from the original. I also scan one into my computer and take with me in digital format as well/store on an external storage site ie. Cloud etc.)
  • Leave copies of your passport indentification page, itinerary, and insurance policy with friends or family(I also scan one into my computer and take with me in digital format as well/store on an external storage site ie. Cloud etc.)
  • Obtain any required visas well in advance – do your research or ask your travel professional as you might need a lot of lead time to obtain!
  • If travelling with children, carry documentation proving your right to accompany them ( eg. a consent letter or court order)
  • Arrange for Travel Health Insurance
  • Plan your Itinerary and Budget
  • Anticipate financial needs: local currency, traveller’s cheques, departure taxes which may need to be paid in local currency at destination
  • Take care of health needs: vaccinations, prescriptions,medical certificates,supplies, extra eyeglasses/contacts
  • Check whether Dual Citizenship is an issue for you
  • Carry an Emergency Contact Card with the coordinates of the nearest home countyry government office in your destination
  • Obtain an International Driving Permit, if required(you must have a driver’s license in your home country – if not it can prove to be difficult)
  • Carefully attend to luggage, documentation, and airport security.
  • While abroad, keep receipts for purchases and make special arrangements for any food, plants, or animals brought back to your home country.( I try to remember to take pictures with my camera/smartphone or use a small portable scanner that links to my computer by USB like NEAT – fits nicely into the suitcase or carry-on)

 

For those of us here in Canada I also suggest signing up for the Registration of Canadians Abroad Service at http://www.travel.gc.ca/register

Another helpful thing that our Canadian Foreign Affairs and International Trade offices provide is the Bon Voyage, But… from the Consular Services which contains essential information for Canadian travellers. You can also get copies of the Country Travel Reports for your destination(s). before you go that are filled with some great information and contact names and numbers. An email address to keep in your “travel “go-to” list is the following: sos@international.gc.ca and is to only be used in cases of emergency when you are abroad.

I hope this checklist was helpful and informative and will guide you to better planning or remind you for the next journey you head out on!

Travel Safe!

 

 

What is Eco-Friendly in 2011?

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Here is a fast-n-furious navigation through the environmental consciousness with some easey-peasey definitions that aren’t too sci-fi when you travel and are reading just what your destinations are providing you for options.

Ecological Footprint: The amount of natural resources required to sustain a plant or animal to full growth

Eco-conscious: Having the awareness and being concerned for the environment

Fair Trade: Those people who make the textiles and the clothing – being paid a fair price and having decent working conditions

Organic: In relation to fabric, Fibres that are grown and produced without chemically formulted fertilizers, pesticides, insecticides, herbicides, growth stimulants, etc.

Reclaimed:Those textiles or garments that have been discarded or given away and are suitable for re-use

Recycled: Those textiles that have been manufactured from previously made items/products such as bottles and cans

Renewable: Those resources that can be replenished within just a few years – not decades

Vegan: Those products that are made without the use of animal bi-products

My Guest Post on Vallarta Escapes :: Food Safety Tips for Home and Away

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Food Glorious Food! Just the thought of tantilizing flavours from far away conjures up the most amazing of sensations. Maybe at this exact moment you are remembering a favourite dish a parent, relative or friend made like Uncle Jim’s perfectly barbequed tasty ribs or Grandma’s expertly rolled homemade cinnamon buns. The thing about food is – it sustains us both emotionally and physically – it’s not just a necessity for living but also a joy and a simple pleasure so let’s discuss the challenges of taking this joy on vacation.

If you’re in a non-English speaking country, it’s a good idea to get referrals from other travellers and your travel agent if possible as well as having a phrase book on hand to help translate the menu and avoid potentially risky dishes. Do some research online or at the library to better understand the cuisine of the location you will be visiting. Make sure that your food is always cooked thoroughly and served hot if that is what the dish is supposed to be. This is not the best time to be super adventurous and have a runny egg huevos rancheros or some prepared tartare in a country not known for its “raw” menu items. It’s also a good idea to see how an eatery runs their clean “ship” as that will usually tell you how clean they might be keeping their kitchen.

One of the best things about travelling is enjoying the tastes and smells, the experience of new cuisine; one of the worst things about travelling is the possibility of food related illnesses. When choosing to place to eat, try to dine in busy tourist destinations, which are more likely to have higher food safety regulations, standards and practices in order to maintain their reputation and the continued return of business.

A new little travel tip I was recently enlightened to has helped to ensure that I don’t create a recipe for disaster and digestive chaos was the following: if the drinking water you will have access to is questionable, simply add 2-5 drops of Grapefruit Seed Extract (otherwise known as GSE) to each glass of water. Be sure to get its full effects by stirring it well and letting it sit for a few moments before you consume it but be forwarned its quite bitter(think citrus on steroids) . As an excellent antimicrobial it’s great to have on hand to keep those digestive complaints at bay while travelling. Most will say that the best advice is to only consume those beverages that are bottled and served to you sealed(it’s not uncommon for bottles to be refilled from a contaminated source and order your drinks without ice,including those ones that are blended- I know- takes away the fun but its about being safe!

Danger Danger …sometimes its only skin deep so only eat fruits such as oranges and other citrus fruits, bananas and mangos that have a protective, peel-able layer of skin. The peel of the fruit acts like a protective barrier to microorganisms that can make you sick. The peel protects the fruit inside but also makes it a net that harbours the growth of bacteria and molds so always make sure you completely wash and peel it first so you don’t tranfer anything.

Wash, Wash, Wash! Don’t forget to wash your own hands many times over! Washing your hands is even more important to travellers in a foreign locale than at home because of the possibility of picking up “little critters” or microbes that you have never been exposed to.

Paying attention to food safety is not just a travelling issue as we are such a global community that comes with a very global food supply. Food is sourced and delivered from multiple sources and your favourite fruits and veggies can travel thousands of miles to grace your table and even our local produce is handled many times over before we pick it up at the supermarket and the local veggie stand.

Travel safe!

~ Namaste ~