Sunday, December 4, 2016

December Food Revolution Toronto Challenge - Oaty Fruity Cookies

I am one of a group of many Food Revolution Ambassadors in Toronto and around the World a group of people that believe in Jamie Oliver's mission to educate people to eat better food and currently on a mission to fight childhood obesity.

Each month we get Challenges that are sent to us by the team in the U.K. that manage the Ambassadors around the world.  I try and participate in the ones I am able to do.  I wasn't able to do November's because it was a pasta dish although somewhat simple I had a bit of a fall and haven't been able to lift my right arm to make it on my own.  I even purchased the ingredients before I got hurt and hope to make the recipe at some point.

The Toronto Team have decided to select monthly recipes for us to make and to share with out social streams for a chance for people to win a cookbook each month.

December's recipe is Jools' Oaty Fruity Cookies but I wasn't sure if I would be able to make this recipe because of my injured shoulder,  but my friend came over to visit me and bring me a few things and I told him about the challenge and asked if he would help me do it and he provided the reaching, mixing and all the physical things that it took to complete this recipe.  He did most of the work but we did it in my very tiny kitchen as you can see there isn't much prep space.

The reason I wouldn't have been able to do it myself was because of the ingredients and tools were either stored very high and out of my reach or too heavy for me to access.  This recipe requires a lot of ingredients that you may or may not use everyday.  Luckily I got help and together we worked our way through this recipe.

The link to the recipe is below.  For my cookies I used Pumpkin seeds, flax and sesame seeds.  I used coconut sugar and white sugar and I used raisins, golden berries and some dried cherries.  That's what I had. You can adjust for what you might have.  For the spices I used cinnamon, ginger and cloves for that winter spice flavour.  It's not difficult once you have organized all of the ingredients.  They bake very quickly too.

If you would like to try this recipe and get a chance to Win a Jamie Oliver cookbook you can see the link and the details below this photo.

This recipe might be great to make with kids that can gather the ingredients and dump and stir and form the cookies because you just need an ice cream scoop to measure equal portions.  Give it a try and let me know what you added to yours.

Hey #Canada - we want to get you BAKING! Starting today, December 1st 2016 until December 31st 2016, bake up a batch of Jools Oliver's Easy Oaty Fruity Cookies for your chance to win one of four Jamie Oliver cookbooks thanks to HarperCollins Canada!
How to enter:
Bake Jools' Easy Oaty Fruity Cookies with your family, snap a picture and share it on social media using the hashtag #CookwithFoodRevTOand tag us here on FB, or at @FoodRevToronto on Twitter or Instagram and you'll be entered to win a cookbook!
Eligibility and contest rules:
– Contest begins on December 1st 2016 at10am EST on and closes December 31st 2016 at 6pm EST.
– Prize consists of one (1) Jamie Oliver cookbook (various titles)
– There are four (4) prizes in total.
– Open to readers or the age of majority with a Canadian mailing address.
– No purchase of any product necessary for entry.
– Winners will be chosen randomly (using from all qualified entries on December 31st 2016 after 6pm EST.
– Winners will be notified via email January 1st 2017 and will have 48 hours to respond to the email.
– Winners will be required to answer a skill testing question.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Baking with Canola Oil is easy

My friend Vicky (momwhoruns) asked me to join her for a fun Baking with Canola event at the Luxe Appliance Studio on King St. in downtown Toronto recently.  Although the event happened on a thursday and I had a bit of a nasty fall on the monday and had a hard time lifting my arm, I since found out I have a rotator cuff injury, but anyway I really wanted to go so I just did as much as I could at the event an relied on my baking partner Heather (thetastygardner) to do the heavy lifting part.
The event was sponsored by Canola Oil and hosted by Joey Salmingo and special guest Emily Richards who is a home economist, was there to show us some of her favourite family recipes from her new cookbook Per La Famiglia.  

Upon arrival we sampled some of the tasty appetizers that Emily prepared for us.  I really enjoyed the panzerotti stuffed with charcuterie. 

We listened to Jeannette (@farminginpearls) who is a Canola farmer from Winnipeg speak about the Canola farmers and how little space they have to grow Canola and how challenging it is to grow and the benefits of using Canola Oil.

Ellen Pruden explained how Canola is graded with a little Canola crushing demo.  They allow only 2 uncrushed Canola seeds for their top grade.  The portion that is unused is used as animal feed.

Emily started the demo with a Bomb.  Actually she made some Nutella stuffed Bomboloni which means bomb in Italian.  I didn't actually have time to try one but it looked delicious.

We were split into pairs of 2 and we were given one of Emily's recipes from her cookbook to make.  I was paired with Heather who has a blog called The Tasty Gardener.  Heather had to do any heavy lifting with my arm in bad shape I was a bit limited but I did what I could.  Our recipe was Potato donuts, we made them sweet with a coating of cinnamon sugar and savoury with an anchovy surprise in the middle.  We gathered the ingredients and heather did all the kneading to get the dough together.  We both rolled out the donuts from a batch Emily had prepared in advance.  It's a yeast dough so it needed time to proof.  We actually went back to our batch later once it had proofed.

Both of us were set up to fry the donuts.  it was a bit of a slow process because we could only do about 5 at a time.  We made a lot and I was the last person to finish frying them up.  I used my left arm to flip them in the pot.  I'm learning to be a lefty for now.

Heather topped her sweet ones with Cinnamon Sugar and I decided to use Icing Sugar so there would be more variety.  They were very rustic looking but looked great.

I have been using Canola oil for frying for a while now and my mom's Chiffon cake calls for oil in it.  But it was great to see all of Emily's recipes.  Some reminded me of my childhood because one was a peach cookie that my neighbour used to make during the holidays.  She also has a recipe for Struffoli that my other neighbour used to have only at Christmas time.  Most of my neighbours were Italian growing up and I developed my love of Italian food from them.  There was also Crostoli which I think a few of my friends had because I guess it was readily available at our local Italian Bakery.

Emily's cookbook has some fantastic recipes that are Classic Italian generational recipes that you should try and make if you haven't had the experience of having an Italian Nonna around.

If you haven't baked or fried with Canola I would suggest you try it and see how your recipes turn out.  You can even substitute for lard or butter I am told for some recipes.  Canola has Omega 3's so it's a really great product and also Canadian so it's great to support our local Canadian farmers.

Twitter/Instagram: @CanolaEatWell   #BakingwithCanola

Twitter/Instagram @ERiscooking

Monday, November 28, 2016

Grey Cup at Casa Di Mama

I won an invite to go to a special party to watch the Grey Cup from Do the Daniel's instagram contest, but since I am not a football fan and don't know anything about football I asked my friend who is into sports to go in my place.  He is always looking for cool places to watch sporting events and free pizza was a bonus for sure. Thanks to Daniel I was able to send my friend Brian Moran to the special Casa di Mama house to watch the game with a few other chosen people.  Brian said he really enjoyed watching it there and he has taken a few pics and written a few words about his experience. 

Mama and Brian
Grey Cup - by Brian Moran

You can’t predict the result however, you also know it will be competitive game. And that’s exactly what happened while we watched the game and celebrated at Casa di mama and her famous Dr. Oetker pizza in Toronto.

We entered the Casa and were warmly greeted by Mama. She reminded me of a neighbour’s Nonna. She was so sweet.

The game began with Alessia Cara who seriously rocked out during the pre-game show. Great voice and style – she is awesome.

Then we checked out all the tats Dr. Oetker pizzas while waiting for the game to start. My favourite was the hot & spicy Infernal version. Let’s just say I like it spicy!

During half-time we were  treated to  the cool vibes of Brass Tracks in their basement. Think New Orleans horns meeting some very cool hip-hop beats. Perfect mash-up – the sound was vibrant and energetic.

We then settled down to watch the game and in the last few minutes the Calgary Stampeders tied it at 33-33.  Talk about exciting!

In the OT, the Ottawa Redblacks sealed the deal with a 39-33 win ! Incredibly exciting right down to the overtime!

Thanks to Dr. Oetker and Casa di Mama for inviting me to their Grey Cup bash! Great pizza, awesome people to watch with and a beautiful casa to take it all in.