Tag Archives: Summer

Puff Pastry + Whipped Cream + Red Currants = you rock bringing dessert to the BBQ

Berry Tart Whipped Cream

So you buy the puff pastry, roll it and bake it.  Whip cream. Stir in icing sugar.  Spread. Top with summer bounty.   Kick dessert ass.

Really, that’s it.

(Loving Tad’s photo.)

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Mango Salsa- so simple so awesome

Mango Salsa

Hello on Friday!  A sunny Friday even.  Just a quick post if you needed some inspiration for the weekend or for a Father’s Day menu item.

Here’s my easy-peasy, lemon-squeezy recipe- (as Felix would say).

Mango Salsa

Makes about 1 cup.

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup finely diced mango (about 1 large mango)

½ cup finely chopped red onion

2-3 tbsp lime juice

2 tsp rice vinegar

Pinch salt

1 tsp sugar

3 tbsp freshly chopped cilantro.

½ teaspoon chopped chili

 Method

1. In a small bowl, combine mango, red onion and cilantro.  Now add the lime, rice vinegar, salt and mix together. Taste and add 1 tsp sugar if needed.

2. Add some chopped chili if you want to add zing.

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Fruli Strawberry Wheat Beer chills out with Italian Cheese

Do you feel like you could take a sip?  Tempting, isn’t it.

When it gets as hot as it has been, I don’t like to turn on the oven.  Removing things from the fridge on the other hand, that I can do.    I had some Fruli Strawberry Wheat beer chilling  and had been planning on doing a cheese pairing.  No time like the hottest day ever.  Fruli is a Belgian fruit beer that is fermented with 30% real strawberries. It’s also scented with coriander and orange peel.  If you find beer too bitter but cocktails too cloying, this might just hit the sweet spot. It’s refreshing and easy to drink (and only 125 calories per bottle–ideal during bathing suit season, unless you have a wrap, in which case go for it with the iced Frappucinos).

The Fruli is fruity, sweet, with a soft carbonation and a little bit of tang.  A classic pairing would be to serve chevre, with it’s creamy texture and smooth acidity.  But I wanted to indulge myself. (Hey, if the beer’s only 125 calories…)

Piedmonte’s La Tur is made with a perfect balance of cow, sheep and goat milk

I treated myself to a wheel of La Tur which is also a bright, tangy cheese (aged about 10-15 days before hitting the market) with a buttery mouthfeel.  Made in Piedmont, Italy, it has a wrinkled bloomy rind and ripens from outside in, usually firm in the centre. There is an earthyness to the cheese and mushroom notes at the rind which worked nicely with the natural fruit flavour of the beer.

La Tur, wedge

The Fruli’s bubbles cleansed the palate between bites–allowing me to enjoy what is a fairly rich cheese for a humid, hot day.  The sweetness of the strawberry beer contrasted nicely with the tang of the wedge.  This combination would make a great finish to a special meal. (Or just at any time of day–like Tuesday at 4:17 pm).

Ricotta Salata, Italy

Ricotta Salata (salata means salty) was my second pairing.  This is a sheep’s milk ricotta which is pressed and aged about 3 months giving it a firm, slightly spongy texture.  The salt-factor was a perfect counterpoint to the sweet flavours of the beer but the cheese itself was mellow and milky so didn’t overpower the Fruli.  This cheese goes well with grilled veggies and I think the strawberry wheat beer, this ricotta, fresh bread and some grilled zucchini would make a fine, fine meal.

Also a very portable and picnic friendly match–cheese in one hand, Fruli in the other.  Someone rubbing sunblock on your shoulders.  That’s the life.

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Roll with the heat by embracing Cheese Boutique’s old school Gelato

The gelat-area.

In this heat you may want to climb into the little freezer area that stores Cheese Boutique’s scrumptious house-made gelato, but I am pretty sure that is a no-no in terms of health and safety standards.   But it would bring you cheek-to-frozen cheek with the authentic gelato that Cheese Boutique has started making this year.  They had an Italian gelato expert come in and train their gelato-maker (I forgot to ask his name-rude) but there he stands (saddened by my bad manners) behind the counter.

You can see the gelato process right in the gelateria.

They start by pasteurizing the cream themselves, which is how it is traditionally done.

Many flavours all made with natural ingredients (and using real Italian words).

Felix and I tried the hazelnut (nocciola), the fior di latte (fresh cream) and settled on splitting the lemon gelato.  It was all pretty frigging divine.

When I asked Afrim Pristine for his favourite’s at the family store he mentioned the above three and the Frutto di Bosco (wild berry).  He also suggested 25 year old balsamic on the Fior Di Latte (damn, that guy has good ideas).

Best of all– The Cheese Boutique gelataria will be open until 9pm all summer starting next week (July 9).  And you can buy tubs to go!

Address: 45 Ripley Avenue, Toronto

FYI Gelato is slow churned and has less air whipped into it than ice cream.  It is denser, very silky and smooth, intense in flavour and can be kept at a warmer temperature– so gelato is creamy and softer in texture.

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July 7–better than the Canada Day Long weekend (Farm, music, chefs) GROW FOR THE STOP FUNDRAISER

Better than the long weekend? Uh-huh.  In case you hadn’t heard, The New Farm’s 5th Annual Fundraiser for Grow For The Stop is happening this Saturday July 7.  Montreal band Stars will be performing amongst delicious, organic local food prepared by some of Ontario’s top chefs.  Here are the deets:
Saturday July 7th, 2012
Gates Open and Dinner: 5:30
Opening Band: 7:30
Stars Perform: 8:30
Admission: $45, plus eventbrite ticketing fees – http://www.eventbrite.ca/event/3540334235
Food and drink sold separately – cash sales

  • Rodney Bowers of Hey Meatball, Organic French Fries with Ketchup and Mayo
  • Chris Brown of The Stop Community Food Centre – Twin Creeks Grilled Pork Sausages with New Farm Cucumber Slaw
  • Kristin and Dan Donovan of Hooked – Fish Tacos served with Luis Valenzuela of Torito Tapas Bar’s Fresh K2 Milling Corn Tortillas
  • Matt Flett of Georgian College – New Farm Pulled Pork on Brick Street Bakery’s Artisanal Buns
  • Brad Long of Cafe Belong, New Farm Salad Greens and Spring Vegetables with Brown Butter Dressing
  • Giacomo Pasquini of Vertical Restaurant – Fenwood Grilled Chicken with Panzanella Salad
  • Aaron Bear Robe of Keriwa Cafe – New Farm Fried Green Tomatoes with Snap Pea Guacamole
  • John Sinopoli of Table 17 and Escari –  Spring Vegetable Frittata
  • Caesar Guinto of the soon to open, Creemore Kitchen – Heritage Grain Donuts with Sweet Beet Filling
  • Mapleton’s Organic Ice Cream
  • Ingredients distributed by 100km Foods Inc.
Bar Selections Generously Provided by:
  • Creemore Springs Brewery
  • Martini Bar by Tag Vodka with Local Flavours
  • Wine by Innisikillin
  • Organic, Fair Trade Coffee by Merchants of Green Coffee 
  • Cider by Avalon Orchards
  • Dairy by Organic Meadow 

  • The New Farm is a small diversified organic farm, near the Village of Creemore. Three years ago, The New Farm formed a partnership with The Stop Community Food Centre in Toronto, a wonderfully innovative and inspirational organization that works to increase access to healthy food in a manner that maintains dignity, builds community and challenges inequality. The New Farm does many things to support their work, including holding events on their farm that feature great music, dram and delicious food. They built a stage in their 100 year old bank barn and have had bands like Fred Eaglesmith, The Sunparlour Players and Elliott Brood perform. To date, The New Farm has raised over $50,000 for Grow for The Stop’s Food Program, where 100% of the money raised goes towards buying the best organic food grown in Southern Ontario for use in the Stop’s many programs and Foodbanks in Stayner and Collingwood.This year, The New Farm hopes to raise $25,000 on July 7th, with an event that will draw 500 people. The renowned Montreal Band, Stars will perform and this year, the event will showcase a variety of different food stations featuring a number of Ontario’s top chefs and restaurants.



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In case you forgot the pleasures of homemade lemonade

As I scurry around trying to get the “To Do list” checked off so I can leave for the cottage I thought I would leave you with a lemonade recipe which I made for the first time (this heat wave) for the foodnetwork.ca blog.  And you should try it too.

Because it is so very, very easy.  We’re talking the juice of 2 (maybe 3) lemons.  Add water.  You can sweeten with sugar but make a batch of simple syrup and it will last you jugs of lemonade into the future.   And it is delicious.  I used 6 tablespoons simple syrup (infused with spearmint leaves) for 2L lemonade and it took the sharp edge off but kept a refreshing tartness.

Here’s the recipe.  The full on directions with photos will be featured on my Family Fun blog.   With the simple syrup instructions too if you need them.

And PS–yesterday morning a real estate woman who was canvassing the ‘hood rang my doorbell and  looked just melty from the heat and I was able to say, “I just made lemonade.  Could I get you a glass?”.   How often does a gal get to say, “I just made a batch of fresh lemonade?”  Unless you’re in the South.   Sookie Stackhouse offers lemonade.  Though not to vampires obviously— but even to enemies.  But not enemy vampires.  Hmm, it gets tricky.

Ingredients for Lemonade

2-3 Lemons

2 L cold water

6 tbsp simple syrup

Juice the lemons til you have 1/2 cup juice. Add to 2 L cold water. Sweeten as desired with simple syrup (or super fine sugar).

Here is my Chef Basics video on making Simple Syrup if you are interested. (just re-watched it, informative but I’m very serious in it.  Simple syrup is no joke people.)

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Last chance to enter the draw for Artisanal Cheese and Fine Food Fair

Hi everyone

Happy Victoria Day– sorry to repeat myself–but in case you meant to enter the draw or were suddenly free to head to Prince Edward County June 1-3  I thought I’d send out a quick, “last chance” reminder.

CLICK HERE–for more details, this will take you to the full contest post.

Thanks to everyone who has entered so far and I will draw the winner at some point tomorrow.  I’m getting excited about the festival myself!

Sue

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