Compiled by Lisa Day
International Coffee Day
It’s International Coffee Day today – Sept. 29 – so here is some information from Folgers.
- 65 per cent of Canadians drink the hot drink every day making it the most popular beverage in the country, according to the Coffee Association of Canada.
- ‘Wake Up’ Priority No. 1: For 44 per cent of British Columbians, drinking a cup of coffee is the first thing they do when they wake up. The morning shower, getting dressed and checking their phone wait until after the coffee’s been enjoyed. What’s more – women (39 per cent) versus men (34 per cent) say it’s the first thing they do.
- The average Canadian drinks 3.2 cups of coffee a day.
Baskin-Robbins is celebrating its 70th birthday in September.
The company hosted an event at its first Canadian location in York, at 1018 Eglinton Ave. W., earlier in the month. They had a 70 cent 2.5 oz scoop promotion with money donated to SickKids.
Pink bagels at Panera Bread
Panera Bread is joining the fight against breast cancer for the 14th year with its signature Pink Ribbon Bagel.
A staple every October in honour of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the sales of more than 14 million signature Pink Ribbon Bagels over the years have raised more than $2 million for breast cancer charities system-wide.
This October, at all Panera bakery-cafes in Ontario, a portion of the sale of each Pink Ribbon Bagel will be donated to Rethink Breast Cancer (“Rethink”) to help support its mission to continuously pioneer cutting-edge breast cancer education and research supporting the unique needs of young women.
To celebrate the Pink Ribbon Bagel campaign’s 14th anniversary in North America, the Panera locations in Ontario will donate 25 cents to benefit Rethink for every Pink Ribbon Bagel sold during the month of October. The bakery-cafes will also offer limited edition pink travel coffee mugs, good for five refills in the month of October, to benefit Rethink.
On Tuesday, Oct. 6, the Panera bakery-cafes will celebrate Panera Pink Day and donate 100 per cent of all sales of Pink Ribbon Bagels to Rethink.
Shaped in the form of the iconic pink ribbon, the Pink Ribbon Bagel features cherry chips, dried cherries and cranberries, vanilla, honey and brown sugar, and is baked fresh each morning.
Taste Canada Announces Winners
Taste Canada – The Food Writing Awards, the highest honour in culinary writing in the country – announced the 2015 winners in Toronto in September.
After reviewing 96 submitted books and blog entries (69 book entries and 27 blog entries), Taste Canada – The Food Writing Awards (tastecanada.org), the organization unveiled the 2015 winners.
The SoBo Cookbook: Recipes from the Tofino Restaurant at the End of the Canadian Road by Lisa Ahier and Andrew Morrison (Appetite by Random House) for Regional/Cultural Cookbooks and Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Hazelnut, Orange, and Saffron by Allison Day (Yummy Beet) in the Food Blog – Best Post.
Visit http://tastecanada.org for more information.
The Royal Wine Competition toasts 2015 winners
The judges in The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair’s seventh annual wine competition are raising their glasses to the Niagara College Teaching Winery.
The student-run winery at the college’s Niagara-on-the-Lake campus took home Best in Show Red and Best in Show Overall prizes for its delicious 2012 Dean’s List Merlot in The Royal’s wine competition earlier this month.
“It is a real honour to be recognized for such a prestigious wine award, particularly with consideration to the wide field of extremely high-quality VQA wines from well-established Ontario wineries that this competition attracts,” said Gavin Robertson, winemaker at the Niagara College Teaching Winery, in a release.
Robertson said the warm 2012 growing season in Niagara helped produce spectacular later-ripening red Bordeaux varieties with a good balance of flavours and structure.
Other winners at the event included Frisky and Gamble Cellars in Port Dover who won Best in Show White for their Smoke and Gamble Chardonnay, Megalomaniac Winery in Vineland who won Best in Show Rosé for their Pink Slip Rosé and Sue Ann Staff Winery in Jordan who won Best in Show Dessert for their Howard’s Vidal.
Winning wines will be served at dining venues at The Royal and featured at various events during its 10-day run from Nov 6 to 15 at Exhibition Place in Toronto.
Keep the taste and smell of summer sizzling all year round with a first-of-its-kind electric hibachi that is being billed as a grilling revolution.
The Downtown Grill, created by a Canadian company, is a 19-by-16 inch unit that is hotter than most gas barbecues, but can be used indoors or out without flame or gas. Developed using a revolutionary high-performance heat transfer technology, called ThermoCeramix, it heats up to 700 F in less than 10 minutes, allowing for quick and even cooking.
Downtown Grill retails for $449 and can be purchased online at www.downtowngrill.ca or www.costco.ca. In Toronto, it is available at Dickson Barbeque Centre and Sobeys.
Editor’s Note: I confess – I love food cooked on the barbecue, but I am terrified of using it myself. And while I taught myself to use a gas grill last year, I hesitate in doing so. If it doesn’t immediately light up, I turn it off and go in the house. So when I saw the Downtown Grill, I was ecstatic. An electric grill. Fantastic. I love this grill. I plug it in and 10 minutes later I am grilling steak and cauliflower – even Ontario peaches and pork chops. I have cooked with it twice inside – once setting off the smoke alarm, but the second time I turned on the stove’s vent and didn’t set off the alarm. Cooking inside is not that easy, at least at my house, as the grill takes up most of the stove top and counter space is a premium. It's also messy, but to me the mess is worth it for grilled food without fear. I have also taken it outside to grill. My husband isn’t interested in using it because he said it’s too hard to clean. I disagree. I turn it on full and, much like a “real” barbecue, I scrap it once it's heated up and it’s good to go again. I love this grill. It’s my new favourite kitchen appliance.
It’s fall, but there is no reason you can’t continue barbecuing.
And to get out of the barbecue blues, where the thought of another piece of grilled meat leaves you wishing for winter, Delissio Rustico suggests changing up what’s on the grill with it’s new pizza.
“But fear not fellow bored bbq’ers,” said a press release. “Delissio Rustico is here to put the excitement back into grilling and save you from the barbecue blues. The solution is as simple as marrying BBQ night and #PizzaNight.”
According to the press release, turn the barbecue to 400 F. While you wait, turn on your music. Grab your favourite pizza, place it on a baking sheet directly on the grill. For the adventurous type, cook the pizza half way before adding your own toppings. (Editor’s Note: We always get a Delissio Pepperoni pizza and add tomatoes on one half and tomatoes and onions on the other.) The release said to rotate the pizza 90 degrees on the grill at the half way mark to ensure even cooking.
In 15 to 17 minutes, once the crust is golden brown and the cheese is melted, your pizza is ready to come off the grill. Cool, pour a glass of wine and enjoy your pizza night without the barbecue blues, the release said.
Varieties include: Spinaci Fresca; Margherita; Funghi: Pepperoni Diavolo; Pollo Toscano; Vegetale Grille
Editor’s Note: Delisso kindly sent me a sample of their Spinaci Fresca thin crust pizza, but I confess I didn’t put it on the barbecue. I love spinach on my pizza and this one was pretty tasty. And it was a great crust despite being thin. My six year old tried it, but prefers “just plain pepperoni.”
Minute Rice Ready To Serve Cups
As if making rice isn’t easy enough, Minute Rice has found a way to make it even easier.
Think one minute. That’s all it takes to prepare unique Minute Rice Ready to Serve Cups, available in six varieties: Basmati, Whole Grain, Oriental Style, Vegetable Medley, Long Grain & Wild Rice – Fine Herbs, Long Grain & Wild Rice – Chicken Flavour and Mexican.
The rice can be eaten straight out of the cup, as a side dish, or combined with a protein, such as chicken, beef, fish or tofu for a quick one-dish meal.
At about $2.75 for a sleeve of two 125 gram microwaveable cups, Minute Rice Ready to Serve Cups are an economical choice for kids’ lunches or snacks, take-to-work lunches or dinner.
Editor’s Note: The Minute Rice Ready to Serve Cups are wonderfully fast and convenient. They were perfect for a quick dinner or for example if you didn’t make enough when your brother and his family came for dinner. I liked all the varieties except for Oriental Style; I found it too salty. My only complaint is the high sodium count. You can’t taste it, (other than the oriental one, but I think it has soya sauce in it) but you know it’s there.
Tyrrell’s Hand Cooked English Crisps
Chip lovers take note – Tyrell’s Hand Cooked English Crisps – or chips – are available in Canada and now come in a new flavour Tyrell’s English Barbecue.
All chips are made from carefully selected potato varieties, grown within a 50-kilometre radius of Tyrells Court Farm in Herefordshire, English. According to a release, British royalty have been to the farm to make chips.
Lady Rosetta and Lady Claire are Tyrrell’s most widely grown varieties, the release said.
Chips are cooked in small batches in sunflower oil to give each chip a distinctive curl. Jackets are left on.
Chips are made with nothing artificial, are gluten and vegan friendly.
They also have vegetable chips.
There are eight flavours of Tyrell’s chips including Sea Salt & Cider Vinegar; Lightly Sea Salted; Sweet Chili & Red Pepper; English Barbecue.
Editor’s Note: Tyrell’s kindly sent over all these variety of chips. Chips are not my go-to snack, but they were pretty delicious. They had a nice crisp bite and a good flavour. I enjoyed the barbecue, the sweet chili was too hot for me (but not for those who can handle spice) and the lightly salted are just that, barely noticeable salt. #TyrellsFirstBite was pretty delicious.
Just Craft Soda
In 2014, volume sales of carbonated soft drinks in Canada declined by almost 325 million servings, accelerating a negative trend that’s been building for over five years.
Canadian consumers are increasingly choosing refreshment beverages other than soft drinks as they seek new product innovations and better health credentials, according to a press release by Just Craft Soda, which pairs a fruit with a “complimentary herb or spice to create an elevated, balanced taste profile that appeals to foodies.”
Five flavours include:
Peach & Habanero
Lemon & Lemongrass
Cherry & Cinnamon
Pear & Vanilla
Apple & Ginger
Just Craft Sodas are “all made with 60 per cent fruit juice and other natural, recognizable ingredients (water, organic cane sugar, natural flavours and carbonation) with nothing artificial. “These flavour combinations, coupled with 1/4 less sugar than a typical soft drink, make for a more exciting, mature taste.”
Just Craft Soda launched in May across Canada. To date the brand is listed in more than 150 independent grocers and restaurants. Just Craft Soda is sold in 355 ml single serve glass bottles at a suggested retail price of $2.39.
Milkies Food Trays
Now there is another way to make homemade baby food.
Fairhaven Health (www.fairhavenhealth.com) presents Milkies Food Trays (www.fairhavenhealth.com/food-trays.html), an easy way to make baby food at home.
According to a press release, commercial factories kill bacteria with extreme heat, but with that, they destroy most of the vitamins and nutrients. Since store-bought baby food only has 20 per cent of the nutritional value recommended for babies, homemade is the healthier way to go.
“Fairhaven Health realizes that busy moms are in a time crunch when it comes to feeding their kids. However, the secret is that it only takes three quick steps (steam, puree and freeze) to produce homemade baby food with Milkies Food Tray,” said the release.
According to the release, Milkies Food Tray:
• Was invented by moms for moms
• Freezes baby foods in convenient one-ounce servings
• Includes two trays – a total of 16 ounces of freezing space (which can also be used for making frozen fruit bars)
• Made in the U.S.A.
• Completely reusable and recyclable
• Hand washing recommended
• Made from BPA-free and phthalate-free food safe plastic
• Each tray comes with a lid for easy stacking in the freezer
Since 2003, Fairhaven Health has designed and provided products that support fertility, pregnancy and nursing, all of which are manufactured in U.S. GMP-certified and FDA-regulated facilities, distributed worldwide.
Truvia Brown Sugar Blend
Truvia Calorie-Free Sweetener is born from the sweet leaves of the stevia plant, and is the calorie-free sweetener of choice when people want to reduce calories. Since stevia leaf extract is 200 times sweeter than sugar, only a small amount is needed to deliver a clean, sweet taste.
According to a recent survey, consumption of total sugars averages 21 per cent of daily energy intake in the Canadian diet – a startling statistic for anyone watching their waistline.
According to a release, “the Truvia Brown Sugar Blend provides the texture, moisture and taste that we all love about brown sugar, but with 75 per cent fewer calories.”
Truvia Brown Sugar Blend:
• Bakes and browns just like brown sugar
• Suitable for individuals with diabetes
• Gluten-free and non-GMO
• One-half cup contains just 210 calories (regular brown sugar contains 830 calories)
Prana Biovegan ProactivCHIA
Prana Biovegan Inc., an importer and manufacturer of organic nuts, seeds, dried fruits and snacks from Quebec, now offers ProactivCHIA, a new-to-market superfood, combining the traditional goodness of chia seeds with probiotics.
Each serving of ProactivCHIA contains four billion CFUs of probiotics from two live strains (Lactobacillus acidophilus and Lactobacillus helveticus).
“Prana is delighted to share this wonderful new product that promotes digestive health while nourishing the body with organic, vegan and gluten-free sources of omega-3, vitamins and minerals,” said co-founder of Prana Biovegan, Marie-Josée Richer in a release. “Chia on its own is a wonderful source of prebiotic fibre, which helps feed gut flora, and now with the added goodness of probiotics, we are combining the natural virtues of chia with the life enhancing health benefits of probiotics.”
Chia seeds have grown in popularity over the years due to the many health and nutritional benefits it provides, mainly being a great source of omega-3, protein, calcium and gut balancing fibre. One tablespoon of Prana ProactivCHIA sprinkled in smoothies, cereal, yogurt, salads, dressings and juices enhance not only the nutritional profile, but also the texture of the food a well. Chia is also great for binding and thickening foods naturally.
Prana ProactivCHIA offers two varieties of 284 g (whole) and 200 g (ground), with a suggested MSRP of $7.99. ProactivCHIA, whole and ground can be found at all major grocery chains, health food stores and supermarkets with healthy living aisles across Canada.
Summer is officially over, but Sol, the authentic Mexican Lager, encourages you to enjoy the taste of it a little longer.
According to a press release, Sol offers a “soft, quenching dry finish that is slightly sweet and completely refreshing.”
It also has a new look, the second package change in 116 years.
The new package recently won the international packaging awards.
175 Essential Slow Cooker Classics
Robert Rose, www.robertrose.ca
Using Judith Finlayson’s recipes, thousands of home cooks have discovered how delicious and convenient food prepared in the slow cooker can be, and also how this handy appliance can be used to create an extraordinary range of dishes. This full-colour cookbook is now available in trade paperback with a new cover. Included are 60 new recipes, in addition to the favorites from three of her previous slow cooker cookbooks that span a range of meals for all occasions. Recipes include Santa Fe Sweet Potato Soup, Poached Eggs on Spicy Lentils, Marble Cheesecake and more.
Editor’s Note: I really don’t like the slow cooker. I want to like it because it is super handy and great for meals that are ready when you walk through the door. But I find I don’t like the taste of things cooked in a slow cooker, particularly meats. Who wants stewed stuff all the time? What I like about slow cooker cookbooks is that it offers ideas for meals that are different – and not just stewed or poached. I like that this book is full colour, but I would prefer to have a photo for every recipe.
The Fire Driven Life
Vanessa Chamberlin, www.VanessaChamberlin.com
I felt incredible, my energy levels soared, and a new stratum of mental clarity kicked in. In short, I felt on fire... Wouldn’t you like to describe your life as Fire-Driven? When you adopt the Plantfire Lifestyle, and make the courageous changes your body needs, you will find the energy you crave and the self-worth you deserve. Ignite your fire now! Vanessa Chamberlin shows how a plant-based lifestyle, combined with loving choices can completely change your outlook and your energy levels in just a few short weeks.
Editor’s Note: While I can’t imagine my household ever going vegetarian, I like the idea of having one or two meals without meat each week. There is a lot of information in this book that you could read over time. The recipes look (everyone one has a picture) and sound delicious and I hope to try a few soon. My only complaint – I don’t really need to see Vanessa on every page.
Montreal Cooks, A Tasting Menu From the City’s Leading Chefs
Jonathan Cheung and Tays Spencer
Figure 1, www.figure1pub.com
There has never been a more exciting time to eat in Montreal. With the established food scene being joined by an explosion of new, globally minded, locally focused restaurants, Montreal has evolved into a city of unparalleled culinary excellence. Montreal Cooks presents 80 recipes from 40 of Montreal’s most talented and unique chefs. Written with the home cook in mind, this cookbook is designed to make recipes from fan-favorite restaurants achievable for everyone. Montreal Cooks is written by Tays Spencer and Jonathan Cheung, owner of Appetite for Books with a foreword by culinary expert, food writer and television personality, Gail Simmons.
Editor’s Note: We just went to Montreal for the first time this summer and I hated the food. There. I said it. I believe I am the only one who said the food was OK. My best dinner was a salad at a Quebec franchise so I was curious what this cookbook offered. While the description says the book is created with home cooks in mind, I have to disagree. The food presentation scares me off from wanting to make it, nor do I really want to eat it. The Lemon Bars look delicious though. Recipes include Guinea Hen and Sweetbreads Pot PiePancit Bihon (Filipino fried noodles) and an arugula and fig salad.
Eat Istanbul, A Journey to the Heart of Turkish Cuisine
Istanbul is one of the world’s most fascinating cities, and this sumptuously illustrated book is a brilliant taster for all those who have visited or plan to visit this meeting point of East and West. Andy Harris and David Loftus ate their way around Istanbul, meeting the characters behind its intriguing food-artisan bakers, traditional chefs, fishermen and street-food vendors and capturing the vibrant life and bustling streets with stunningly evocative photography. More than 90 inspiring, delicious yet simple recipes-some traditional and other more modern interpretations-combine to form Andy and David’s unique guide.
Idiot’s Guides Cooking Basics
DK Books, dk.com
Designed to help even the most inexperienced novice gain the knowledge to cook nearly anything the right way, this full-colour Idiot’s Guide covers everything from learning how to use a knife to preparing the perfect roast. Step-by-step photos ensure the fundamentals of good cooking re easy to grasp. There are also 50 recipes.
Made in India, Recipes from an Indian Family Kitchen
Flatiron Books, us.macmillan.com/publishers/Flatiron-books
Real Indian food is fresh, simple, and packed with flavor. In Made In India, Meera Sodha introduces you to the food she grew up eating every day. Unlike the fare you get at your local Indian takeout joint, her food is vibrant and surprisingly quick and easy to make. Sodha serves up a feast of more than 130 delicious recipes collected from three generations of her family. On the menu is everything from hot chapatis to street food (chili paneer; beet and feta samosas), fragrant curries (spinach and salmon, or perfect cinnamon lamb curry) to colorful side dishes (pomegranate and mint raita; kachumbar salad), and mouthwatering desserts (mango, lime, and passion fruit jello; pistachio and saffron kulfi). Made In India will change the way you cook, eat, and think about food.
My Fat Dad: A Memoir of Food, Love and Family, with Recipes
Dawn Lerman spent her early childhood in Chicago constantly hungry as her father – responsible for such iconic slogans such as “Fly the Friendly Skies,” “Coke is It,” and “Leggo My Eggo” – pursued endless fad diets from Atkins to Pritikin. At 450 pounds at his heaviest, he insisted Dawn and her mother adopt to his saccharine-laced, freeze-dried food plans to help keep him on track.
“As far back as I can remember, there was an invisible wall that separated me from my dad, a distance that I could never completely penetrate,” Dawn said. “His closest relationship was with the bathroom scale – his first stop every morning and his last stop every evening. The scale controlled his moods, our days, what we were going to eat and basically ruled our family life.”
Dawn’s mother never cooked and she witnessed her mother eat only one real meal a day – a can of tuna over the kitchen sink – while she dashed from audition to audition pursuing an acting career.
MY Fat Dad is as much a coming-of-age memoir as it is a recipe collection from Dawn’s upbringing and culinary adventures in Manhattan. Her recipes include some of her grandmother’s favorite traditional Jewish dishes, to healthier interpretations and creations. Some of the recipes found in the book include: Aunt Jeannie’s Apple Strudel, Bubbe’s Sweet Brisket with a Coca-Cola Marinade and Duke University “Fat Farm” Approved Parchment Paper Salmon with Leeks and Lemon Slices.
Her father’s life-long struggle with food, along with her grandmother’s love of cooking fresh foods, led Lerman to become a well-respected nutritionist and NY Times blogger. Today her dad is a healthy 230 pounds and vegan.
Pickled Delicacies: In Vinegar, Oil, and Alcohol
Eva Aufreiter, Bernadette Baumgartner, Birgit Hauer, Christine Mahringer-Eder & Anna Obermayr
Schiffer Publishing, Ltd., www.schifferbooks.com
If you enjoy experimental cooking, take the first steps to becoming a master pickler by diving into this world of pickled delicacies. Experts have compiled 174 recipes with instructions for pickling fruit, vegetables, mushrooms, eggs, fish, cheese and more in numerous types of alcohol, vinegar and oil as well as sweet syrups, savory salts and other seasonings. Clementines in whiskey, pickled radishes, curry pears, goat cheese provençal, and eggplants in syrup are just a handful of delicious concoctions to indulge in or give away as gifts. Detailed ingredients, essential prep work (blanching, steaming and filtering), and storage tips are included with the recipes, which are written to be followed with ease. But do not feel obliged to conform – part of the fun is discovering new techniques and surprising yourself with the results. A glossary with all the pickling vocabulary you’ll ever need introduces you to this colorful culinary niche.
The Seasonal Jewish Kitchen, Seasonal Recipes for the Holidays
Amelia Saltsman takes us far beyond deli meats and kugel to a universally appealing world of diverse flavours ideal for modern meals. Inspired by the farm-to-table movement, her 150 recipes offer a refreshingly different take on traditional and contemporary Jewish cooking. Saltsman traces the thread of Jewish cuisine from its ancient roots to today’s focus on seasonality and sustainability. She draws on her own rich food history to create a warmly personal cookbook filled with soul-satisfying spins on beloved classics and bold, new dishes.
Recipes include Hearty Winter Slaw, Roast Chicken with Tangerines, Green Olives and Silan, Silan and Tahini Ice Cream Sundaes and Meyer Lemon Poppy Seed Tart with Roasted Rhubarb and Strawberries.
Guided by the Jewish calendar, Saltsman divides the book into six micro-seasons that highlight the deep connection of Jewish traditions to the year’s cycles.
The Kaufmann Mercantile Guide How to Split Wood, Shuck an Oyster, and Master Other Simple Pleasures
introduction by Sebastian Kaufmann, edited by Alexandria Redgrave and Jessica Hunley
Princeton Architectural Press
Modern living isn’t easy. It often seems to require some know-how our parents didn’t pass on, or a special tool. Happily, Kaufmann Mercantile has both, and in this comprehensive field guide, they share their expertise on a huge range of topics, from frying an egg, tying a tie or brewing coffee to things the inner utilitarian in all of us aspires to do, like splitting wood, building a fire, growing our own food, or making our own soap. Fifty how-tos are organized into five sections: Kitchen, Outdoors, Home, Garden, and Grooming. Written in clear detail and extensively illustrated, The Kaufmann Mercantile Guide teaches us what we ought to know how to do, as well as what we’d like to.
The Chickpea Flour Cookbook, Healthy Gluten-Free and Grain-Free Recipes to Power Every Meal of the Day
by Camilla V. Saulsbury
Chickpea flour is the total package! It is exceptionally high in protein, fiber and iron. It has the triple benefit of being gluten-free, grain-free and low-glycemic, making chickpea flour the new go-to staple for healthful cooking and baking.
Chickpea flour – also known as garbanzo bean flour, besan and gram flour – is simply dried chickpeas ground into a fine flour ready to be incorporated into any number of savory and sweet recipes.
Saulsbury is the first book dedicated to this tremendously versatile and nutritious pantry staple. Used for centuries in Mediterranean, Indian and Southeast Asian cooking, chickpea flour is no passing fad. Better yet, chickpea flour is affordable – a fraction of the cost of other pricey grain-free flours out there.
The book has more than 80 healthy, easy-to-make recipes to power every meal of the day, including:
• Loaded Southwestern Chickpea Omelet (egg-free)
• Sweet Chile-Garlic Crisps
• Smoky Backyard BBQ Burgers
• Double Chocolate Cake
• Brown-Butter Blondies