These little berries are definitely getting more and more traction lately and I am loving it. So, what exactly are they? The tart little guys – comparable in taste to a gooseberry – are defined as a ‘superfruit’ being high in a variety of vitamins and antioxidants making an orange seem, well, kind of lame. What’s that orange? Vitamin C is all you’ve got?
The trees these berries grow on can strive in cold weather and poor soil conditions, so you’ll find them all over the Canadian Prairies. The roots of this particular type of tree are also very strong, which made them ideal for creating shelterbelts on farmland across Saskatchewan. Growing up in Saskatoon, I would often see these trees and had I known back then how interesting the berries were, I might have fallen in love with them a little sooner.
I’ve decided to take part in a monthly series with an array of food bloggers across Canada called The Canadian Food Experience Project, led by the lovely Valerie Lugonja of A Canadian Foodie. The whole idea behind this monthly series is to highlight the fantastic things that make our country’s culinary scene what it is. Something to be proud of.
How can three months go by so quickly? It feels like only yesterday I was eagerly awaiting the season three premiere of Top Chef Canada, as excited as a schoolgirl at a Justin Bieber concert. This week is the application deadline for season four (shameless plug: last chance to apply. Do it here!) and tonight, we’ll watch the final three cook off for the big cash prize and a well-deserved title of Canada’s Top Chef. Watching the contestants widdle down from sixteen to three, week by week, I can honestly say that all three of these remaining fellows deserve their spot in the finale.
As I’m sure you can assume, I was beyond excited when I found out that the finale would be filmed in Calgary. I mean, seriously, give me local food trucks coupled with some Top Chef action, paired with the hilarity that is Jann Arden, and I’m a pretty happy camper.
And then there were four. Who wasn’t sad to see Nicole leave Top Chef Canada this past week? I sure was. Not only was she the last-standing female competitor on the show, but she was also the last Calgarian! Am I heartbroken? You bet. Am I – and the rest of Calgary – proud of her? You’re damn straight! At this point, it’s hard to decide who to root for; the remaining gentlemen are all great chefs, so it will be interesting to see how the final two episodes play out.
This past episode’s guest judge, Jody Claman was polarizing, to say the least. Since I was still spending some time eating my way through Vancouver last week, I was able to attend one of Matt Stowe’s viewing parties at The Cactus Club. Seeing as I am Calgarian, I was still in ‘Team Nicole’ mode at the time (I gave Matt some advanced warning that my friend and I would be wearing ‘Team Nicole’ t-shirts during his event). He was very good-natured about it, although we did get a few odd looks from some of the Vancouver attendees, which was fair, seeing as we were on his turf!
Sometimes, I just want to eat something hot and filling that takes 10 minutes or less to cook. When I don’t want to resort to something like Kraft Dinner, I always opt for udon noodles. There’s always guaranteed to be some sort of vegetable kicking around in the fridge that I can sautee up with a mix of sauces and spices to make a quick bachelor-style meal for one.
While my stomach was rumbling this past Friday, I threw together this tasty plate of noodles in no time. The sauce here is the real winner, feel free to toss in whatever vegetables you’d like into this. Chicken or shrimp would definitely be a perfect match too!
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?
Typically, I take a break from soups when spring rolls around. That being said, we have had some pretty sub-par weather here in Calgary, so soup is still hitting the spot even though May is just around the corner. But once it warms up, I’m kicking soup to the curb!
This third season of Top Chef Canada has been wicked so far and last week’s episode was the most fantastic one yet. From Shereen’s food auction with Chris’ $36 kale and mushrooms (yikes!), to Lisa Ray’s genuine surprise party and guest judge Andrea Nicholson, it was the best hour a guy could ask for on a Monday night.
- The Canadian Food Experience Project: Seabuckthorn Berry and Shallot Vinaigrette
- Top Chef Canada: Taking The Challenge Home, Week Twelve
- Top Chef Canada: Taking The Challenge Home, Week 11 (and a contest!)
- Sweet And Spicy Udon Noodles
- Top Chef Canada: Taking The Challenge Home, Week 10
- Appetizers & Co.
- Ask Dan
- Calgary & Area
- Monday Night Supper Club
- Season 2
- Season 3
- Something Sweet
- Top Chef Canada: Taking The Challenge Home
- United States