Browsing all articles tagged with beer

Lemon Rosemary Beer Granita

Lemon Rosemary Beer Granita

When the sun hits, it’s time for something refreshing. I fell in love with granitas a while back. They are stupid easy to make and always impress people. From wine and vodka, to prosecco and beer, there is a whole mix of things you can throw into a granita. Since I am in love with cold beer on a hot summer day, I decided to turn on into a dessert.

The fresh rosemary and lemon zest add a nice brightness to this chilly dessert, tasting somewhat like a boozy iced tea…not to be confused with a Long Island Iced Tea…I think only 18 year olds drink those things, right?

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Boozy Leek and Mushroom Risotto with Candied Radishes and Walnuts

What you’ll need…

5 cups chicken broth

1 cup cream

2 TSP yellow curry powder

1 TSP cayenne pepper

1 slice pancetta (1/4″ thick, finely cubed)

2/3 cup oyster mushrooms (loosely chopped)

1 TBSP unsalted butter

1 yellow onion (finely chopped)

2 garlic cloves (minced)

1 leek (halved, thinly sliced)

1 cup Steam Whistle Pilsner

2 cups arborio rice

1 lemon (zested and juiced)

1 1/2 cups radishes (trimmed, halved)

1/3 cup cane sugar

1/3 cup water

2/3 cup walnut halves

salt and pepper

olive oil

Risotto is one of those never-fail comfort foods. It’s not nearly as finicky as most people think and a little bit of arborio rice can go a long way when it comes time to feed a group of people. On top of all of that, risotto has a reputation for being quite ‘fancy’. So, the next time you’re having friends over for dinner, you can whip up a filling meal for everyone in one big pan. How rad is that? Pretty damn rad, I say! Also, a little beer in your risotto never hurt anyone, right?

Now, make this for dinner tonight!

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Summer Squash and Beer Bisque

What you’ll need…

1 yellow onion (finely chopped)

2 garlic cloves (minced)

1 cup Steam Whistle Pilsner

3 cups zucchini squash (1″ cubed)

1 cup rutabaga (peeled, 1” cubed)

2 1/2 cups chicken broth (or vegetable to stay vegan)

1 TBSP grainy dijon mustard

2 TSP soy sauce

½ cup fresh basil (chiffonaded)

1 lemon (zested and juiced)

salt and pepper

olive oil

sour cream (garnish, optional)

When I think ‘back to school’, I think ‘zucchini’ and ‘beer’. Zucchini squash because there are approximately fourteen million of them available at any grocery store or neighbour’s backyard at this time of year. Beer because, well, university life is usually synonymous with beer.

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Top Chef Canada: Taking The Challenge Home, Week Nine

What an eventful time in Top Chef Canada land this past week. Cooking with vending machine ingredients, ‘roughing it’ in the wilderness and an appearance by Roger Mooking. This was definitely one of my favourite episodes to date. Although, I must say, it broke my heart a bit to see Ryan sent home. He will be missed. After watching all the chefs sweat making, uh, ‘unique’ dishes out of vending machine fare, I thought to myself, ‘Thank god I won’t have to do that this week!’

I spoke too soon… Little did I know, Trevor’s Pork Rind Crusted Chicken Wings with Pretzel Beer Mayo would sweep the polls on As much I had hoped to garnish a plate with squab feet, that dream would have to wait for another day.

Trevor’s idea of coating chicken wings with pork rinds was quite genius, actually, although I was a bit skeptical about the pretzel ‘mayo.’ Seeing as I utilize Twitter for just about every aspect of my life (including my never-ending search for true love), I decided to reach out to Trevor for some advice. Luckily, he came through and told me to add more beer.

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Lunch at Ensemble Tap, Vancouver

I’m moderately embarrassed to say it had been awhile since I’ve been to Vancouver. Almost a year and a half actually. I know…terrible, right? Feel free to slap me in the face the next time you see me. I arrived in Vancouver  last Monday with a list of restaurants as long as I am tall. Which, for the record, is 5’9”, lies somewhere in the grey area between being short and tall.

One place that was close to the top of my list was Ensemble Tap. More affectionally known as eTap, this restaurant is owned by Top Chef Canada’s season one winner Chef Dale Mackay. The two level space has a slick design, boasts an impressive beer menu and a surprisingly reasonably priced menu.

I met a couple of friends at Ensemble Tap for lunch early last week. Just to put it into perspective for frequent travelers to Vancouver; it is a just a hop, skip and a jump away from the Japadog cart on Burrard Street.

A gift from the kitchen came out to our table prior to ordering; their sausage trio platter with spicy mustard and pretzels. Of the three, The chorizo sausage on the plate was the table favourite. My friend, Annie, went for the Asian Pork Buns, my other friend, Nathan, went with the onion veloute (cheese and onion soup) and some chicken fingers (he’s a classy guy). I wanted something lighter for lunch, so decided on the beet and fennel salad with grilled chicken.

The salad was simple. The sweet beets and licorie-y fennel are also a solid match and the sherry vinaigrette melded everything together. My friend described his soup as ‘liquid cheese’ which, really now, is never a bad thing.

Annie’s pork buns were filled with seared albacore tuna and topped with house made kimchi. They looked delicious. Definitely what I’m going to order there the next time I’m in Vancouver.

Once we finished our meal, Dale popped by to say hello. After watching him on Top Chef Canada and following him on twitter for the past while, it was nice to finally meet him in-person. I also convinced him to make a guest appearance in my Food Network blog that week. Whatta guy!

Housemade sausage platter with pretzel

Onion veloute

Asian-style steamed buns


Ensemble Tap on Urbanspoon


A Brewmaster’s Dinner at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, B.C.

Aside from winter ski trips, I can’t think of another time I’ve had to take a gondola, certainly not to just to have supper. The Eagle’s Eye restaurant is situated on the very top of Kicking Horse Mountain Resort in British Columbia. Right outside of Golden, BC (about two and half hours from Calgary), this resort establishment’s tagline is ‘Canada’s most elevated dining experience’, which is most definitely true. It is the highest altitude restaurant in Canada — so high, in fact, that even when I was there for dinner, on Canada Day, it was snowing.

I came to Kicking Horse to attend the first of a trio of events in the resort’s Summer Dinner Concert Series. Entitled the Brewmaster’s Dinner, this particular night featured beer pairings with its five courses, as well as performances by a great local musician. The resort had partnered with Calgary’s Big Rock Brewery for this particular event. Each dish, along with the beer pairing, would be presented by executive chef, Sylvain Bourget and a representative of Big Rock’s. I’m a beer man through and through, so, needless to say, I was definitely looking forward to this experience.

The first course was a pan-seared pickerel served atop wild boar bacon rösti with a smoked green tomato jam. Wow, say that ten times fast. Wait, actually don’t, it will just make you hungry. The tomato jam was especially nice, and anything involving wild boar bacon is generally a key to my heart. This dish was paired with Big Rock’s Grasshopper Wheat Ale, an appropriately summer brew to juxtapose with the snow outside the restaurant.

The next dish that was brought to our table was a cute little cup of snap pea soup accompanied by an equally cute (dare I say adorable?) tomato crisp. This soup was definitely one of the main highlights of the dinner for me. It was so fresh tasting, like drinking the essence of summer. Almost in an ‘Ursula stealing Ariel’s voice in The Little Mermaid’ kind of a way, but not as creepy. A new beer to the Big Rock family, their take on an India Pale Ale, paired perfectly with the soup.

As a palate-cleansing third course, we were served a sweet corn and Warthog Ale sorbet garnished with a green baby corn. It certainly cleansed my palate, but I don’t think I’ll be heading to my local ice cream shop in search of this sorbet combo anytime soon. Nonetheless, it did its job. Palate cleansed. Next.

Ah, the main… Side note: the best/worst thing about writing up great dining experiences is remembering what everything tasted like. ‘Best’ because of the fond food memories, and ‘worst’ because it makes you hungry! This plate consisted of barley risotto and a very tender Alberta beef tenderloin in a chanterelle cream sauce. I did everything short of my lick my plate with this one. My only wish was that there was a bit more chanterelle cream, but that’s kind of like wanting more bacon; you don’t really need it. Paired up with this course was the Big Rock Traditional Ale. Definitely their ‘ol’ faithful’, it stood up to the red meat and richness of the dish.

You can read the rest of this piece on the Food Network Canada site!


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