Farm Friday ~ Where Country Schools City

One of  the RGE Rd team prepares the salad course. Photo courtesy of Prairie Garden Farms
One of the RGE Rd team prepares the salad course. Photo courtesy of Prairie Gardens & Adventure Farms

“As local food loving voyeurs, we’re here at the Irvings’ farm along with 70 others for Alberta Open Farm Days. Each August, dozens of Alberta agriculturalists open their doors so we townies can check out the origins of our food.

Increasingly, outdoor farm meals like this are on offer. Restauranteurs, farmers and agricultural marketing types are latching on to this trend like a newborn calf to cow. As Canadians continue to ask questions about the provenance of their food, the popularity of farm meals en plein air grow. From Pemberton, B.C’s Araxi Long Table Dinner to Kleefeld, Manitoba’s Grazing in the Field, chefs and farmers are uniting over summer to organise unique, delectable and at times, utterly educational dinners.  Some of the folks behind this cross-Canada dining inclination shared their anecdotes and advice on the growing movement.” – March/April edition of Small Farm Canada

Read more

How did you get that f*#king awesome job Eagranie Yuh?

Eagranie2(EagranieYuh)Have you ever met one of those people who knows where to grab the best sandwich, show you the prettiest hotel lobbies and can rub elbows in the dingiest bar or the snootiest art party? Layer on top of this panache, an unrelenting love for chocolate, a fantastic fashion sense and a silky vocabulary that can describe even the most illusive of flavors.
Sounds like a difficult set of descriptions to package into one person or personality right? Wrong. This is Eagranie Yuh: blogger, organic chemist, international chocolate award judge, pastry chef and author. Through her food writing on The Well Tempered Chocolatier, as a senior editor at Edible Vancouver & Wine Country and as a judge and organizer of the 2013 Canadian International Chocolate Awards, Eagranie’s love of chocolate shines through.
It’s no surprise that in 2014 Yuh published a book that acts as guide for adventures in chocolate tasting and eating. The Chocolate Tasting Kit published by Chronicle Books, is one of the most curious of food-based volumes on my shelf. The kit comes with a tasting guide, cue cards, note paper and the cutest little envelope for keeping your favourite wrappers in. It’s also one of the most practical items in my cookbook repertoire.
Though I’ve known Yuh socially for years, I’ve only just learned of her professional chocolately exploits in the last couple of years. So who is this person who dedicates so much of her time educating and spreading cocoa-inspired wisdom? Read about her and her f*#king awesome job after the jump.

Read more

7 Easy Festive Nibbles + a VerMints giveaway

RSZfestivefoodspread

This time of year I find there are two kinds of people I meet: those who are just starting their festivus-for-the-rest-of-us party circuit or or those who are winding down their winter fun. Because of geography and the my bi-provincial existence, I sit squarely in the former category. We’ve been catching up with friends, attending Sagittarius birthday dinners or Christmasy work functions here in Edmonton. Next week we’ll be eating, laughing and kitchen dancing with more family back in British Columbia.

Throughout all of this I’ve realized just how important it is to keep things simple when it comes to preparing festive foods. Whether you are going to a potluck, hosting a pre-Christmas dinner with the in-laws or just chilling with your family or friends, it makes sense to stay on the easy train, rather than the mega-intricate (and stressful). So grab a glass of your fave festive nog, sit down, peruse and choose a recipe (or seven) from my mini round up below.

Read more

Life of the Party: 6 Wintery Canadian Cocktails to Warm You Up

The Navidad Negroni

Holiday party season is in full swing. Sequins are everywhere, lunch invites are rolling in as work productivity is rolling downhill.

If you’re anything like me, you prefer to host a Christmas shindig at home versus booking out a venue. Just because your holiday house party happens at home doesn’t mean the fun factor has to be any less than a 12 out of 10. Hallmarks of a noteworthy holiday party include: strong, wintery cocktails, sparkly decor, snappy dress, a toe-tapping playlist, a dance floor (mandatory; see also: kitchen or living room), plentiful, tasty nosh and fantastic folks to laugh the night away with.

While I can’t help you with the entire list above save for sparkles, dance moves and laughter (if I’m invited, that is) – I can help with the wintery cocktails part.

To help you host a party for the history books or at least for The Facebook, I’ve curated a little list of cold weather, Canadian cocktails near and far to help lubricate the conversation and possibly kick start the dance floor at your festive soiree. I approached some of Canada’s best barkeeps for their wintery cocktails – you know, the ones guaranteed to warm your cockles, while dazzling guests with alluring flavours and textures. Click the jump below to nab drink recipes from Baie Saint Paul Quebec to Vancouver, British Columbia and points in between.  Read more