Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Food Revolution Day - Sign It. Share It.


Food Revolution Day 2015 is coming soon.

15.05.15 is the Global Food Revolution Day so save the date to participate in whatever way that you are able to.

This year's theme is FIGHTING FOR FOOD EDUCATION.

Jamie Oliver wants you to sign his Global Petition to get G20 governments to add Food Education to the curriculum of all schools to stop the epidemic of global obesity and teach kids where there food comes from and that they have the power to make a difference in their own lives.  They will learn skills for life.  Every child deserves that right.




Please SIGN IT and SHARE IT.           www.change.org/jamieoliver


Starting April 1st you can start to register to come to my Food Revolution Day FREE Public Event at Hendrix Restaurant Equipment & Supplies in North York.  If you register on Eventbrite and bring a copy of your registration to the event on May 16th you can hand it in to us to be entered into a draw to WIN a Jamie Oliver Cookbook and there are also other prizes that will be drawn in store.

I will be doing a Healthy Lunch Demo in Hendrix Equipment's Test Kitchen starting at Noon on May 16th.  At 3pm we will be drawing for prizes.  I will be making flatbread from scratch, grilled cheese and Mediterranean vegetable sandwiches and a spicy carrot soup.

You can start registering for my event starting April 1st on this page:  EVENTBRITE

How you can participate:

1.  Attend my event or other Global Events.  for the Toronto Area event updates will be posted on our Facebook page.  Like Us and get the updates.  Facebook Food Revolution Day Toronto

2.  Sign the Petition and pass it on.

3.  Become an Ambassador.  Sign up at www.foodrevolutionday.com

4.  Host your own event or have a family dinner or party and cook a meal together.

5.  Set up a food education program in your community.


Take a Selfie of yourself like this and post it to your social media to get other people to sign the Petition at change.org/jamieoliver
Tag it #Foodrevolutionday and #foodrevToronto if you are in Toronto.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Green Living Show 2015 - living the Eco life

What:  Green Living Show
Where: The Metro Convention Centre North Bldg, 255 Front St. W. Toronto
When:  I visited Friday Mar 27th
Why: I was there to check out new eco friendly products and food innovations.

Show Date & Hours:
Friday, March 27 12 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Saturday, March 28 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Sunday, March 29 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Cost: Adult Admission: $15.00
Seniors/Students: $10.00
Children under 12 FREE
(must be accompanied by an adult)
Group Rate $8.00pp (15+persons)
School Group!Rate: $8.00pp (10+persons)

Admission is free, courtesy of Samsung, when you bring a piece of e-waste to be recycled.
For more information, visit http://www.greenlivingshow.ca, follow @GreenLivingPage and
LIKE  at Facebook.com/GreenLivingPage.

I spent a very healthy and eco-friendly day roaming the aisles of the Metro Convention Centre today in search of innovative and cool new eco friendly businesses and products.  I did my eco part today by taking the TTC to the show and I burned up some of my own energy roaming the aisles the whole day.  I am thoroughly exhausted right now.  I have been to the Green Living Show a few times in the past when it was at the Direct Energy Centre at Exhibition Place.  For some reason it seemed a bit bigger at that venue.  Maybe because the speaker stage area was a lot bigger.  There are still a massive amount of vendors at this show, over 400 to be exact.  I would have liked to see the food sampling area stretched out a bit more as a lot of the vendors seemed to be kind of crammed for space while the other side of the show was relatively empty.  People like to try samples and it always attracts a large crowd.  I can only imagine how busy it will be the rest of the weekend.

So you want to know what I saw and what I ate, right?  Well I started my day with a media tour and they announced the winning Eco cars of the year.  I won't go into detail but some of the winners were a Kia, a Volkswagon, a Honda Accord and a Porsche.  There are vehicles available to test drive but I didn't test drive any.

Also there in the morning was the launch of the "Maple Leaf Forever project"  Colin Cripps from Blue Rodeo commissioned a couple of guitars to be made from a Silver Maple tree that fell in 2013.  A new initiative from the city will have Cripps and one of the Tragically Hips band members use the guitar and then each year it will be passed on to a Canadian music artist.  Many other things were made from the tree and there is a silent online auction that goes along with the project.

Other things that were interesting at the show were an Eco bike that has wifi and if stolen you would be able to find your bike.  There were light bulbs that will last 27 years for a cost of about $40.   There was a company that are launching school supplies that are made from recycled water bottles and will be sold in Walmart stores this fall.

There were eco fashion including clothing from Me to We which are made from Bamboo and new this year were cork handbags and change purses.

There are a lot of new Eco entrepreneurs this year including my new friend Richa from Good Food For Good who is there sampling her new preservative free and organic sauces.  Drop by and tell her I sent you.

There were a few organic food delivery services and organic markets including my friends at Organic Garage but one of the ones that had something new was Fresh City Farms because they have a newly launched insulated lunch bag meal prep with all the things you need to make a meal for 2.  What is great about this is that there isn't a whole lot of waste and you are only getting what you need for your meal and don't have to worry about finishing a CSA box of vegetables if you don't cook everyday.  It's a subscription service but you can get an insulated bag with fruits and vegetables and other grocery items or you can get the meal prep bag with recipe instructions to make it yourself.  I am hoping to try that soon and blog about it when I do.



And then there is the food.  Lot's of granola type samples, juices, health beverages, some really great nuts and a new Alkaline water called Flow that has recyclable cool packaging so there's a lot less guilt when you need to get water on the go.



In the Mindful Plate section there were ticketed food items from notable Toronto restaurants like Pizzeria Libretto, Hey Meatball, Hawthorne Co and more and wineries such as Southbrook Farms and more.

I sampled the Chicken chicharron from Hawthorne Co and the Banh Mi Sandwich from Chef Rodney Bowers Hey Meatball both of which I really enjoyed.  I also tried the jerk chicken Arancini from Pegasus.  I wasn't that fond of that one because it was cold and I am a purist and prefer Italian style Arancini.  A lot of the food was made from Wonky Ugly Vegetables and underused foods.




There is a lot to see and do at the Green Living Show for pretty much anyone.  There is a kids zone, a car zone, a home zone, a fashion zone, food zone, and all kinds of info and products.

One of the fun things of my day was getting a Gel manicure from BIO Seaweed Gel.  I love my purple grey shiny nails.  Supposed to last two weeks.  Will see if my hands make it.

I even got an apple and seeds from a former colleague at an Ontario booth.

There are so many more things at the show so if you are interested in how you can make some eco changes in your life or you just like cool and innovative products then this is the show for you.



Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Let's Be Frank, DOG!

Let's Be Frank Hot Dog Bar - [Review]

Address: 460 Spadina Ave (Toronto)
Date visited: Mar. 23, 2015
Twitter/Instagram @letsbefrankto
#letsbefrankto
Facebook: /LetsBeFrankTO






Let's Be Frank opened softly in December 2014 and now they are gearing up to welcome people out of hibernation and join them for Dogs and Beers as they say.  Owners, Christa Mula, Simon Colyer and Julie Ford all have experience working in marketing and communications but they all dreamed of having their own bar to hang out in with friends.  Simon the General Manager has extensive culinary experience along with his web technology experience.  He started cooking at 6 and has canning, butchery and bakery experience.  

A great mix of skills to run a Hot Dog Bar.  It takes many skills to operate a successful restaurant/bar including great food, great space, business and marketing savvy and friendly personalities always help.  It seems like this trio of partners and friends have all of these skills, even though they may have had to learn some of the business ones the hard way.  
They started their culinary journey at the Big on Bloor festival where they found that things don't always go the way you plan them.  Their hard work in chili making accidentally went down the drain (literally) and all seemed to be lost but they persevered and proceeded to get a food truck for a while before finding their dream location beside the El Mocambo night club.  While the El Mo was scheduled to close it was recently saved by Dragon's Den business man Michael Wekerle.  It is now under renovation and I think both venues will be ready to rock and roll serving up music and dogs side by side come this summer.

It's funny how things happen sometimes.  It turns out that Julie had been following my Instagram feed way before she found out that I was attending the media dinner.  It was so nice to meet someone that has been enjoying my photos but didn't know me until now.  



The rest of the hungry food bloggers and myself sampled the following menu items, although it's only a portion of the menu.  They had samples set out of other items for us to photograph as seen in the photo collage.
Pulled Pork Po'Boy - Pulled pork, coleslaw,homemade BBQ sauce & hickory sticks.
Katsu Dog - Panko crusted, deep-fried with wasabi mayo, sesame BBQ sauce and green onions.
Corn Dog - Battered and deep-fried, and topped with Dine Alone Foods' Southern Blues BBQ sauce.
Hot Dog Wings - Hot dog bites, breaded and fried, tossed in buffalo sauce.
Hot Dog Gravy Poutine- seasoned fries topped with fresh cheese curds and gravy.
Mac & Cheese - creamy mac and cheese topped with bacon bits and Southern Blues BBQ sauce.

Dessert:  Ivana Banana Dog - Deep-fried banana with peanut butter, jelly & Nutella.

If you are downtown and want to meet up with friends for drinks and some interesting dogs and hang out in a fun space then this is the place for you.  Even the staff got into the act and dressed up as a Hot Dog and Ketchup so you know they will go out of their way to entertain and feed you.





Friday, March 20, 2015

Macaron Day TO TODAY!



Today is MACARON DAY in Toronto.   
Get your Macarons at participating patisseries and support the Red Door Shelter



Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Hendrix Equipment opens in Toronto


I felt like a kid in a candy store yesterday when I visited the brand new Hendrix Restaurant Equipment & Supplies showroom.  It has only been open for about a week and hasn't even had their grand opening yet.  It's a chefs dream store that is equipped with everything you need for a home kitchen, or a restaurant. I stopped by to see their test kitchen facility for my upcoming Food Revolution Day event on May 16th more on that soon.
Hendrix Restaurant Equipment & Supplies is a Canadian company with 33 years of experience in the foodservice supply industry, and 10 locations across Canada.  Each location has a showroom that is open to the public, and provides access to top quality cooking equipment and supplies.  
The new Toronto showroom is located at 77 Samor Rd, near Dufferin/Lawrence. 
The store caters to the needs of Toronto foodservice professionals and discerning home chefs.  You can find everything from high quality knives and cookware to professional large scale equipment.  It's a beautiful open space that is open for retail and for restaurant professionals. 
With their built in test kitchen they are looking to bring in lots of local Toronto Chefs to for demos and events so keep checking their social media for information.
You can follow them on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @Hendrixequip you can find out about their products on their website: http://www.hendrixequip.com/  or call them in Toronto at 416-238-7850.
Photo credit: Some photos supplied by Hendrix Equipment & Linda Matarasso

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

St. Patrick's Day Green Eggs

I got a little creative with my breakfast this morning this St. Patrick's Day.


I was feeling Green today so I decided to make some Green eggs and ham my way.


It started with what was in my fridge. I had some leftover egg whites that I wanted to use so I decided to make scrambled eggs and then thought maybe I can make them green too.  So here's what I did so you can make it too.

INGREDIENTS:

2 egg whites
1 whole egg
1 cup of fresh baby spinach
2 tbsp oil
1 clove garlic
salt and pepper
1 green onion
Prosciutto

DIRECTIONS:

In a blender add the cup of spinach the garlic clove, salt, pepper and the olive oil. Add half of the green onion and reserve the other half for garnish.  Blend until it breaks down into a liquid.  You can add water or oil if it doesn't blend.  Add the egg and blend to combine.

In a frying pan on medium heat add a tsp of oil coat the pan and add prosciutto and cook until crisp.  Remove from pan and set aside.

Before adding the eggs put your bread into the toaster so that it's ready when the eggs are ready.

Pour the spinach and egg mixture into the frying pan using residual oil and stir with a spatula and cook until curds form it shouldn't take more than a couple of minutes.

You can get fancy with your plating but I just went basic to show you what I did.

Sprinkle the rest of the green onions on top of the eggs for garnish.

Since it's breakfast I made some Green Tea to go with it.  But if breakfast starts at noon for you feel free to have some Green Beer if you like.  This Breakfast can be eaten at any time of the day.




Monday, March 16, 2015

St. Patty's Day Beef Stew


March 17th is St. Patrick's Day.  This is the day that everyone wants to be Irish and eat Irish Stew and Guinness Beer.  Well I am not Irish but I do like to make a good and hearty Beef Stew.  In honour of St. Patrick's Day I made this vegetable rich comforting Beef Stew.  I always enjoyed a good Beef Stew on a cold winter day growing up and it's almost a no fail no recipe needed recipe.  It's more about the layers of flavours and the order that you put everything in and then you just cook it low and slow until the meat is tender and the vegetables are tender and the juices start to form a flavourful gravy.


Ingredients:

1 package of Stewing Beef
2 Carrots
1 Parsnip
1 celery stalk
2 cloves of garlic
1 large onion
Beef stock, Guinness Beer or water
1 cup of frozen peas
2 large russet potatoes
salt, pepper
1 tbsp. flour
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. paprika
1 tbsp oil
1 tbsp fresh parsley
1/2 cup of crushed tomato puree

Directions:

Season the beef with salt and pepper and then sprinkle the flour all over to absorb moisture.  It's best if the meat is dry.  In a large dutch oven or a skillet brown off the beef on medium high heat.  Do it in batches so that you don't boil the meat.  Remove the meat and set aside.  You don't need to cook it all the way through.  Just sear the outside of the meat.
If you are using a Dutch oven then you can add the onions, carrots, celery and parsnips and cook for a couple of minutes.  Then add the garlic and tomato sauce and mix through.  Add the potatoes and the paprika, Worcestershire sauce, thyme and parsley.  Add the meat back into the pot and pour a bottle of Guinness beer over the mixture and add additional stock or water to cover the stew to just below the top.   The sauce will form a bit of a gravy from the little bit of flour on the beef.  Let the mixture come back up to a boil and then turn it down to a simmer and cook until the vegetables are cooked and the beef is tender.  This should take at least an hour.  Add the frozen peas to the last couple of minutes of cooking and stir through.

This is a pretty filling meal so serve it with a light salad and don't forget your Guinness Beer if you are having it to celebrate St. Patrick's Day.  If you like you can also make up some Soda Bread and bake it while the Stew is in the Oven.

"There are only two kinds of people in the world, The Irish and those who wish they were."


HAPPY ST. PATTY'S DAY
CHEERS!


Saturday, March 14, 2015

PI (Pie) Day



In honour of PI Day I decided to make some Hand Pies.  I am not the biggest baker but I was inspired to make some hand pies for a change.

For an experiment I filled them with three different fillings.  I had some gala apples on hand so I chopped them up and cooked them with brown sugar and cinnamon.
I was also thinking chocolate so i filled one with Nutella and I had some Cherry Jam in the fridge that I never seem to eat so I filled a couple with the jam.  Note:  filling with jam is messy, the sugars spread like mad.

The Pie Crust was a basic pie dough I found online on many different sites:

Pie Dough Ingredients:

2 cups of flour
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar
2 sticks of butter cut into small pieces (cold)
1 egg
1 tbsp milk

1 extra egg beaten for glaze.

Directions:

In a large bowl add the flour, salt and sugar and mix it up.  Add the chilled pieces of butter and either use a pastry cutter, a food processor or your hands.  I started with a pastry cutter and switched to my hands.  It's easier to clean your hands than more utensils.  Squish the flour and butter between your fingers until you get pea sized crumbly pieces.

In a bowl whisk an egg and add the milk then pour into the flour mixture and mix it up with a fork.  Gather all of the dough together once it's mixed and form a disk and wrap in cling film and put in the fridge for a half an hour to relax.  This gives you just enough time to clean up and the apple pie mixture to cool.

On a floured board roll out the pie dough into whatever sizes you like. You can cut them rectangular or round or use muffin tins if you like.  No rules.  I made them pop tart sizes, although my sizes were all over the place.   On the bottom piece add about a teaspoon full of the apple pie mixture and leave a ridge around it.  Cover with a second piece of dough and then crimp the edges with a fork.

Beat an egg and brush the tops of the pies before putting them into the oven.

Bake at 350F for about 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Leave to cool for about 10 minutes.  The filling will be extremely hot.

Glaze:

Vanilla extract
Milk
Icing sugar
food coloring

In a small bowl add a teaspoon of vanilla extract and a tablespoon of milk and add sugar and mix until it is thick but still able to pour.  Add food coloring as desired.   I used a Ziploc bag to drizzle the glaze on the pies but you can just spoon it on top.



Friday, March 13, 2015

Aroma Espresso opens Kosher cafe




Aroma Espresso Bar is a Cafe that goes above and beyond what a lot of cafe's do.  They really listen to their patrons and provide a place and food that they are looking for.

Aroma was founded in Jerusalem in 1994 and in 2007 they opened in the Annex on Bloor St. in Toronto.

This month they listened to their customers in the Jewish community and opened a Kosher Aroma Espresso Bar on Bathurst Street just north of Wilson Ave in North York.  This area has a high density of people that follow Kosher practices so it is a really great thing that they are now able to meet up with friends and family in a space that serves their needs.

I dropped in this week on my way home to check out the space and pick up an Ice Aroma, one of my favourite things there to take it to go.  It's a good thing I planned to take it to go because every seat in the place was taken.  It was a monday night even, so obviously this is something people are happy about.

What I really like about Aroma is the Mediterranean menu of fresh made in house dishes.  They have fresh salads, the chopped salad is a great one in the summer.   They also bake fresh bread on site and serve up massive slices with their fresh sandwiches.  They also make fresh Mint using real mint tea and not the stuff in tea bags.  I doubt you will find that at any other chain coffee house.  Also their Ice Lemon Mint is also made with the fresh mint.  I love to have these in the summer when it is really hot outside.

They have also launched a new BOLD coffee recently. Although I haven't tried it yet I am sure it fills the need of coffee lovers who like choices.


Their Hot Chocolates are made using real chocolate.  You will find actual melted chocolate at the bottom of the cup.  No pre packaged powder mixes. They also have delicious pastries to go with your teas, coffees and hot chocolate or cold drinks.


There are about 20 locations in Toronto and ever growing.  They will be opening one very close to me soon on Yonge Street near Mel Lastman Square.  I am sure it will be a busy place and I am sure I will stop in with friends.

For locations near you check out their website: Aroma Espresso Bar with this link.

And for a bonus when you order your drinks they give you a tiny piece of chocolate.  Who doesn't love chocolate at the end of their meal.




Pan American Food & Music Festival

Festival:     Pan American Food & Film Festival Date:          August 11-13, 2017 Location:   Yonge & Dundas Square Website...