October 18th, 2013
Summer turns to fall, and salad turns to soup (at least for our lunch routine).
Just in time for the big chill, Happy Planet has released a line of Canadian-sourced, locally-inspired soups that are heat-and-serve ready. We've tried the Chilliwack Broccoli and cheddar (with florets sourced from Chiliwack, BC) and the Fraser Valley Mushroom and Mascarpone Soup - both tasted fresh, savoury and subtle.
We'll get around to making our own stock one day, we swear. But until then… —Maria Tallarico
October 4th, 2013
Two of Calgary’s top food connoisseurs have new books. Who's hungry?
My Favourite Restaurants: Calgary, Canmore and Beyond (8th Edition): One of Calgary’s most recognized food critics, John Gilchrist, reviews and recommends almost 300 restaurants, food trucks and bakeries in Southern Alberta. This handy little guide will ensure you always know the answer to, “where’s good?” $14.40 at indigo.ca
Alice Eats: A Wonderland Cookbook: This beautiful recipe book by local food writers Julie Van Rosendaal and Pierre Lamielle is a collection of illustrations, recipes and photos, sure to inspire home chefs. Whip up a batch of crumpets or toffee buns for your own tea party. $21.91 at Indigo.ca
September 28th, 2013
If you usually have a rapt audience while you whip up meals and snacks, turn those curious kids into kitchen helpers. Here's how:
Get them comfortable: Anything that has a blade or requires electricity may be a bit advanced for smaller kids, but you can get them comfortable with a mortar and pestle. They can crush spices and nuts, and they’ll love seeing the result of all their hard “work." $62 at Williams-Sonoma.
Let the Making Begin: There’s a reason ham-and-cheese is such a classic – it’s a comfort combination loved by eaters of any age. For a warm, gooey take on this family favourite, use Pillsbury Crescent Rolls and this simple 3-ingredient, 20 minute recipe for Ham and Cheese Crescent Roll-Ups at www.mypillsbury.com
Don’t skip dessert: Keep them motivated with the promise of chocolate (mixed with fruit of course). Chocolate dipped strawberries (if they are out of season, try bananas) don’t have to be fancy - or neat: melt down a bag of chocolate chips with a bit of shortening, wait for it to somewhat cool and let them go to town with fruit and even sprinkles. A word of warning: lay down some parchment paper or your kitchen will look like Willy Wonka’s factory. Martha Stewart does hers with crushed pistachios; the kids can shell and crush the nuts with the mortar and pestle. Find the recipe here.
September 6th, 2013
Skip the city’s busier markets and go on a little country drive to Symons Valley Farmers Market.
Open Friday to Sundays, this little gem is tucked away in the quieter northwest part of the city. While it’s smaller than the other markets, it has all your produce basics as well as baked treats and cheese and meat vendors.
We ordered a Phil and Sebastian non-fat latte before picking up some cinnamon raisin bread from Rustic Sourdough Bakery and hard-to-find currywurst from Old Munich Sausage.
Lucky for us, calories don’t count on weekends. —Sara Samson
Symons Valley Farmers Market, 14555 Symons Valley Road, Calgary, http://www.symonsvalleyranch.com
August 23rd, 2013
We covet their shiny hair and flawless skin (and don't they know it!); herewith, our four favourite food tips from celebrity bloggers.
Jillian Harris a West Coast’s design darling and former Bachelorette, but she also has a great blog offering up style, fashion, home décor and health tips. We like her Greens Complexion Smoothie which she says keeps her skin clear, nails strong and “things” working a little better. www.jillianharris.com
Supermodel Miranda Kerr has been dishing on body, health and wellness tips for Net-A-Porter’s The Body Beautiful series. Our favourite tip is one we can all add to our daily routine — lemon and warm water. Kerr starts every day with warm water and citrus to kick start digestion, boost the immune system and stimulate liver detox. www.net-a-porter.com
Gwyneth Paltrow has been helming Goop for a few years now and we really love this Chocolate Love Smoothie recipe. It’s created by nutritionist Dr. Frank Lipman and is made from raw cacao (yup, chocolate), honey and avocado for a delicious rich smoothie that’s actually good for you. www.goop.com
Lauren Conrad has parlayed reality TV into a real-life empire: she writes about fitness, style, décor (but sadly, no feuds iwth Heidi and Spencer) on her website. One of her health secrets is the endless benefits of apple cider vinegar, which boosts your immune system and metabolism. She also says it keeps you slim by regulating your blood sugar levels, aids in weight loss because it helps control your appetite and keeps your PH levels balanced. Bonus: rinse your hair with it weekly for added shine. www.laurenconrad.com
July 12th, 2013
Even if your summers are all about grilling, some veggie side dishes will round out that meal. Get inspired by these three gorgeous new plant-centric cookbooks.
Vegetarian Everyday by David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl
You'll have major life envy after reading this Stockholm-based couple's award-winning blog Green Kitchen Stories, and their new book is no exception. We got rave reviews on our first try making the frozen strawberry cheesecake with sunflower-date crust, and we're converts to cauliflower crust pizza, too. Next up? The oat and coconut milk-based blackberry chocolate milkshake. $21.96 at Amazon.
The French Market Cookbook by Clotilde Dusoulier
Though not vegetarian herself, famed Chocolate and Zucchini food blogger Dusoulier (whose Edible Adventures in Paris we have ready and waiting for our next visit) is evangelical about fresh seasonal produce, and her cookbook puts a Parisian spin on dishes that let the vegetables take the spotlight. On the top of our to-make list: the simple and summery eggplant and black olive caviar, which will do double duty brightening up basic sandwiches and accompanying the cheese board at our next soirée. $17.49 at Indigo.
Plum: Gratifying Vegan Dishes by Makini Howell
Though we've yet to dine at Seattle's finest vegan establishment, we're itching to make our way out west to sample the dishes and cooking philosophy that inspired this pretty book. Intended to show followers and newbies the broad variety of vegan cuisine, the recipes move from basic (basil soy ricotta, a new way to prep roasted garlic) to fancy, such as tempeh in a vermouth sauce. On our radar come fig season: savoury gluten-free crepes with fresh figs, ricotta, arugula and balsamic dressing. $19.76 at Indigo.
June 28th, 2013
We are always on the hunt for the perfect summertime picnic food.
It has got to be packable, delicious and easy to eat (read: no forks or knives, preferably). The newly opened Peppino Gourmet Food in Bridgeland is a game-changer for those blanket-side meals. Pop a Hot Italian Meatball ($7.75), bocconcini salad ($4.50) and bruschetta with baguette slices ($15) into this rattan basket for two from Pottery Barn ($115) and the local park will feel like an Italian piazza.
Well, a girl can dream. —Kait Kucy
717 2nd Avenue NE, Calgary, www.peppinogourmet.com
June 21st, 2013
We like to be prepared for anything – especially an impromptu wine and cheese meal.
Whether it’s a chic red-and-white-checkered-tablecloth (indoor) picnic or a casual afternoon snack, we’ll be the envy of all when we whip out our new Victorinox Cheese Tool ($55) complete with lockable serrated blade, slotted soft cheese blade, corkscrew, key ring, toothpick and tweezers.
Talk about a must-have….—Christine Laroche
May 10th, 2013
Our never-ending quest for the best benny in town led us straight to Blondes Diner.
Top Chef Canada hopeful, Chris Shaften opened the not-so greasy spoon in March with a menu of ‘fancy diner goodness,' like the Mushroom Eggs Benny with kale and buttermilk dressing salad. Stopping by later in the day? Order up The One and Only Gluten-free Mac & Cheese topped with local Gouda, Edam and cheddar.
It's classic Canadian done right. —Kait Kucy
Blondes Diner, 2005b 4th St. SW, Calgary, 403-474-3867, www.blondesdiner.com
May 3rd, 2013
Just East of the Stampede grounds, Crossroads Market has revitalized with over 25 fresh and delicious local vendors.
Healthy Funky Foods caught our eye with their incredible menu of 100 per cent raw vegan and gluten-free meals, snacks and recipes. We sampled their version of a Nanaimo Bar and left wanting more. They also have great options for a dinner party like the Pesto Stuffed Mushrooms ($16/dozen) which taste deceivingly un-vegan. Yum.
More meat-free goodness can be found at Happy Kitchen Express courtesy of the Queen of Happy Cuisine herself, Saronn Pov who is serving up the most amazing salad rolls you might ever have. Jampacked with 18 veggies, these ultra healthy rolls are dipped in a flavourful citrus sauce for a little extra kick.
Our idea of summer involves a lot of lemonade. Luckily, Pearson’s Berry Farm carries all of our favourite flavours in concentrate just ready to be topped up with water and ice. You can’t go wrong with the Black Currant lemonade – serve with gin and you’ll be in heaven! —Kait Kucy
Crossroads Market, 1235 26th Ave SE, 403-291-5208