Sunday, December 26, 2010

A Taste of Christmas...

Just a few glimpses of some of the yummy creations we've been enjoying over the Christmas holidays...























Hope you are all having a great holiday season with lots of great food and drink!

~Heather

Monday, December 20, 2010

Stovetop Popcorn



"You don't have a microwave?" is a question I often find myself answering. Above reheating leftovers, a microwave has become quite commonplace for making popcorn. However, the old-school stovetop way of making popcorn still works, and I'm not talking about Jiffy Pop.

This method is so simple I laughed at myself when the thought of posting about it entered my mind, but here goes! Whether you're snacking on it or stringing it on dental floss for your Christmas tree, stovetop popcorn is awesome!

Step One: Fill a pot with oil, just enough to coat the bottom surface of the pot. I always use olive oil, but you can use any type of oil you like.



Step Two: Cover the oil with popcorn kernels.



Step Three: Turn the element on to medium-high (6 or 7 on the dial), and hold the top down until you start to hear popping. If you don't hold it down, it could fly off!



Step Four: When the popping party really gets going, lift the top a little bit, to let some air escape. This will prevent burning.

Step Five: Just before the popping slows down, remove the pot from the heat and you're ready to serve! If you keep the pot on the heat until the popping ceases, the kernels on the bottom will burn. Nobody likes burnt popcorn smell! It really permeates a space...



Step Six: Dress your popcorn!! I drizzle more olive oil and throw some sea salt on, but you can also use Parmesan cheese, thyme, curry powder, chilies or even sweet toppers such as cinnamon and brown sugar, or even peanut butter!



Alas, my dirty little snacking secret is out. I enjoyed mine while watching extremely cheesy Christmas movies.



Happy Holidays, everyone!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Michael Pollan Wants Your Food Rules!

Happy Sunday night everyone! Recently I got a very exciting email in my inbox, from the one and only Michael Pollan. (Sigh!) Don't get too excited, now, it's just because I'm on his mailing list. And if you haven't yet discovered the food-nerd appeal of Michael Pollan, just do a little YouTube search or read some of his books and I'm sure you'll also fall in love.



Having declared my schoolgirl literary crush, I'll get to the meat of the matter. Michael needs our help! He is compiling some additional food rules for an expanded, illustrated edition of his book, Food Rules, and he wants to hear from you! To quote from the email:

"Last year I published Food Rules, a short book offering 64 rules for eating well. Many of the rules were submitted by readers, and since publication I have received a number of excellent new ones. The premise of Food Rules is that culture has much to teach us about how to choose, prepare and eat food and that this wisdom is worth collecting and preserving before it disappears." ~ Michael Pollan

Some sample rules to get you thinking:

  • "Eat your colours"

  • "It's not food if it comes to you through the window of your car."

  • "Eat food cooked by humans, not corporations."

  • ...and of course he started with his first "rule" -- "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants," a powerful statement that I try to keep in mind with every meal.



    So, why not pick up a copy of his book, and if you have any new food rules to share, simply email Michael at pollan[dot]foodrules[at]gmail.com.
    Your ideas may end up in the book!

    Monday, December 6, 2010

    Sunday Dinner: Coconut Chicken and Rice



    What did you have for dinner last night? Sunday night is a great one for cooking, and I've decided to start sharing some Sunday dinner recipes with you!

    I have never claimed to be an amazing cook, but I try my best to combine my food knowledge and experimental cooking style to create tasty dishes. So, without further ado, please enjoy my recipe for Coconut Chicken and Rice, served with spinach and cilantro salad and a crisp white wine. This recipe is for two, but you can also bring the leftovers to work the next day, and you'll definitely have a good amount of rice left over!



    Ingredients:

    • 2 Chicken Breasts
      (I used Free From PC Chicken, which claims to be free of hormones and antibiotics)
    • 1 heaping teaspoon Coconut Oil
    • Salt and Pepper
    • 1 cup Jasmine Rice
    • 1 can Coconut Milk
    • 1 cup Water
    • Baby Spinach
    • Red and Yellow Peppers
    • Cucumber
    • Tomato
    • Cilantro
    • Raw Pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
    • Olive Oil and White Wine Vinegar Dressing
    • Megalomaniac Homegrown Riesling

    Directions:

    Season the chicken with salt and pepper and sear it on both sides in a pan with coconut oil until it's golden brown. Finish it in the oven, or continue frying it in a pan, it's up to you.

    Heat the coconut milk and water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add rice and reduce to a simmer. Cook until fluffy. Mine turned out a bit mushy, but hey -- it happens!

    Top with a garnish of cilantro and serve with a spinach salad, also topped with cilantro. There can never be enough cilantro!!! But seriously though, the cilantro adds a bit of brightness in an otherwise one-note dish that screams coconut. Obviously you can put your favourite ingredients in the salad, no need to follow my rules!



    Comforting, creamy and coconutty, this chicken dish goes really well with a crisp white wine like Megalomaniac Homegrown Riesling.

    Saturday, December 4, 2010

    Local Artisan Food Fair -- Sunday December 12th


    Photo via @LocavoreArtisanFood

    Hey, Ottawa people: what are you doing next Sunday? If you're not busy, you should really check out the 1st ever Local Artisan Food Fair!

    You can check out all of the details on their website, but in a nutshell, the event celebrates local, artisan food from 21 food producers from the Ottawa area. It takes place at Crichton Cultural Community Centre from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m., and not only does it highlight local food, but the event organizers are also doing their part to give back, partnering with the Ottawa Good Food Box.

    I can't think of a better holiday gift for the food lover in your life than some delicious treats from local food producers! Remember, we're voting with our dollars, so buy local!

    See you there!