Saturday, September 19, 2015

A Giveaway of Organic Goodness

Hey guys.  Just popping in to say hi on this last weekend of summer (!!!!).  How the heck?  Time is a flying, that's for sure.  Things are still bonkers busy in my reality so this post contains no recipes (check my Portfolio Page for current updates of stuff I've been working on, and I'm super eager to write here soon about cookbook stuff!).  I have good news though!  There's a chance for you to win a box full of organic goodness!  I don't do this sort of thing very often - I think the only items I've ever given away are cookbooks written by friends - but when Nature's Path contacted me about giving away a box of awesome stuff to one of you lucky readers to celebrate National Organic Week happening September 19th -27th, I wanted to say yes.  Many of the products in the box are in my pantry already, so it seemed like a natural fit for me to partner with them.  And, who doesn't love a box of delicious food arriving on your doorstep?   

I don't want to get into the whole organic vs. non-organic debate here; I think ultimately we make the best choices we can to feed ourselves and our families.  I always buy organic and fair trade coffee and tea; sugar and chocolate too if it's in the budget.  That being said, I do try to find out where my food comes from, who's growing it and what's in it.  I talk to the farmers who grow my potatoes and carrots (Hi Wally and Gail!); the folks who drive the fruit I love out from B.C.  Heck, I even had tea with a lovely local man who has an orchard of cherries and in turn dries them into a beautiful product.  I love local, always and forever.  I was fortunate to go on a series of farm tours a couple of weeks ago with other chefs and food writers, and after seeing a dairy farm, egg processing plant and a grain farm, I'm confident that the food Saskatchewan farmers are producing to feed not only me, but the rest of the world, is created with the utmost care and attention to safety and nutrition.  If you ever get a chance to tour a working farm, go for it.  You'll be amazed at what you'll learn.  Farmers are just so darn awesome.

For a list of Organic Week events happening near you, check the listings here

Okay!  On to the good stuff!  Should you be the lucky winner, you'll receive:

Nature’s Path & Friends #OrganicWeek Gift Box includes ($100 value):

·         Nature’s Path delicious granolas including Pumpkin Flax Granola and Coconut Chia Granola, as well as tasty and healthful Flax Plus Flakes Cereal .
·         EnviroKidz children’s cereal that moms and kids love, Peanut  Butter Panda Puffs Cereal.
·         Que Pasa Mexican Foods premium organic salsa.
·         Amy’s Kitchen Lentil Vegetable Soup - Full of vegetables, including green beans, tomatoes, and spinach in a flavourful lentil base. This soup is prepared with the same careful attention you use at home and is vegan, gluten free, and dairy free.
·         Camino Simply Dark Hot Chocolate - Created for the dairy conscious, Camino's simply dark hot chocolate is incredibly rich and delicious, and is literally made with dark chocolate as an ingredient for an extra indulgent taste.
·         Crofter’s Organic Jam - Native to North America, Crofter's blueberries are wild harvested in nearby Quebec. These intensely colored lowbush berries are far more petite and flavor-packed than the cultivated highbush variety common to the produce section at your neighborhood grocery.
·         Earthbound Farm OrganicFree product voucher good for any Earthbound Farm product
·         Ethical Bean Coffee - Every cup of Ethical Bean Coffee has been crafted with one simple objective in mind: To make the best Fairtrade certified Organic coffee on the planet. Period. Because as far as we’re concerned, doing something good should be rewarded with something that tastes spectacular.
·         Happy Planet Fresh SoupsFree product voucher redeemable for any Happy Planet Fresh Soup including yummy new single serve organic Portuguese Kale & White Bean.  Happy Planet Fresh Soups draw inspiration from cuisines from around the world and are made in small kettle batches in BC & Ontario. They have tons of delicious organic, dairy free and vegan options to choose from!
·         Manitoba Harvest Organic Hemp Hearts - Organic Hemp Hearts taste great, are easy to use and nutritious too! Packed with 10 grams of protein and 10 grams of omegas per 30 gram serving, they’re great in salads, cereal, yogurt and baking. Organic Hemp Hearts are paleo-friendly, vegan and Non-GMO.
·         PRANA Kilimanjaro Organic Deluxe Chocolate Trail Mix - Delicious vegan chocolate chunks, crunchy nuts and dried fruits to give you a snack that is perfect for all occasions. With chocolate chunks as the #1 ingredient on the list, this mix is guaranteed to satisfy your sweet tooth while also offering a savoury taste with ingredients like walnuts, salted almonds and cashews, Sultana raisins and naturally sweetened cranberries.
·         Pacific Foods Organic Mushroom Broth - Savory mushrooms, garlic and sea salt combine to make a fragrant, rich broth worthy of your favorite soups, risottos, pasta and or any dish of your desire.
·         Silver Hills Bakery - Free product voucher good for any Silver Hills product including new Big Red’s Bread - big in taste and packed with 21 ancient grains and seeds. 

That's some good loot!  I've made the hot chocolate, and it's delicious, especially with the requisite puddle of whipped cream.  For a chance to win, simply leave a comment telling me what you buy organic.  Random winner will be picked September 28.  Sorry, open to Canadian Residents only.  Be sure to leave contact info so I can get in touch with you if you win.  Good luck!!  

Monday, September 7, 2015

A Tale of Two Pancakes, Buckwheat and Corn

"The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper." 
 ~ W.B Yeats

Before I start rambling on about where I've been and what I've been up to, I want to say a gigantic thank you for all of the kind words, messages and emails sent my way after I announced my book news last month (it's been a crazy month!).  I take these to heart and re-read them when I need a burst of encouragement.  It's a ride, this whole cookbook thing.  I've been testing new recipes for it, in addition to freelance recipe writing and my regular food columns.  Oh, and still putting on my chef's whites for my day job.  These hands are seldom idle, but how does that saying go?  Something about making hay while the sun is shining?  Yeah, I'm pretty much doing that.  I'm super fortunate in that I get to take the winter off from professional baking and have my primary focus be the cookbook and my other writing.  I've been padding the bank account like crazy this summer so that I can work from home this winter, and that has me very, very excited.  (If you've ever had to sit in a freezing cold car at 6:00 am, waiting for it to warm up so you can drive to work in -30C, you know what I'm talking about).  Alas, 'tis the way things are and I love every opportunity that presents itself to me.  Life is funny like that... how stuff just fits together and works when it's supposed to.  Timing really is everything. 

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