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oktoberfest

Beaus beer and Seed to Sausage – does it get any better??? Nope. Photo by the amazing Francois Pomerleau who is always able to capture my… expressiveness. Here I am expressing that I’m confused about something. Probably why it has taken so long for me to eat a cheese and jalapeno stuffed sausage.

A great little documentary, especially for those who have an interest in beer and are business/marketing geeks like me. You can find it on Netflix right now!

 

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Holy Moley! October already… and it’s time for Oktoberfest at that!! What a great weekend of spiced pumpkin ales and German food (or ribs if you are hitting the Sparks Street Oktoberfest) awaits us all. I for one will be grabbing a bus out to Vankleek Hill for Beau’s annual celebration tomorrow. Say hi if you see me! Now on to some culinary word definitions for the week.

Rolled Oats – oats that have the husk removed and have been flattened. Used in making oatmeal.

Rolled Roast – a meat roast with the ribs removed that is rolled and tied in a cylinder.

Gazpacho – a cold, spicy, tomato based Spanish soup.

Earthnut – a peanut.

Deglaze – to remove the bits of sautéed or roasted meat and the juices from the pan by adding liquid like stock or wine. The result is normally used as a sauce.

Cruet – a small glass container with a stopper used for holding a liquid condiment such as oil or vinegar.

Crouton – a small cubed piece of toasted or fried bread that accompanies a soup or salad. It’s literal translation is ‘little crust’.

serbert

 

A look at the Gongfu Bao street food cart by FoodiePrints!

Eating road kill is now legal in Montana… as long as you get a permit.

Apartment 613’s Great Ottawa Beer Guide!

When a news story falls through the cracks – Lewis Black is here!

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I could eat fresh local tomatoes at all meals all day long…

A week or so ago a dear dear friend came to visit me from Australia. Much to my delight and her chagrin I liked noticing all the Aussie-isms she has picked up like her new way of pronouncing tomato and little sayings like “Happy as Larry”, which her Australian boyfriend noted is actually just her saying as no one in Australia says that and no one can figure out who this Larry she keeps referring to is. But we agree it is probably a good thing he is so happy.

I then got lots of practice saying Tomato however I chose at a Tomato themed cooking class in Prince Edward County at the Waring House.

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These smoked tomatoes only took a couple of hours, but holy crap… they were like bites of amazing! Such a deep smoked flavour.

It’s a funny thing. Ever since I declared Prince Edward County as my personal Happiest Place On Earth, I have always been slightly worried that my next trip into the fantastically lovely wine region wouldn’t live up to the hype I have built up in my head. That one day I will have a trip to the county that has me saying “Yeah it was good… it was the county, what do you expect??” I know it could never be bad, but I fear the day that it’s excellence doesn’t excite me.

I shouldn’t have been so silly.

My latest visit blew my socks off!! I really have to stop brining socks to the county.

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Class just about to kick off!

This time I was at The Waring House. A beautiful country inn located just a skip from Barley Days Brewery. In fact, they are the same owner. Which means that the pub is fully stocked! In addition to having a great restaurant, a spa, a pub, a resident artist and rooms that may need some updating (but beds that make a marshmallow feel like rock) they also have a cookery school.

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Which of my beer loving friends have seen this painting before?? Perhaps on a Loyalist Lager label?!? You betcha’!

Our class was all about tomatoes. From smoked tomatoes (which I am desperate to make at home) to tomato salad to a tomato tart tatin – it was a celebration of my favourite fruit/vegetable bastard produce.

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A little trip to the herb garden before class.

Chef Jordan McGuinness introduced our group of students (who all happened to be from Ottawa by sheer luck) to lamb tenders – the tenderloin of the lamb, the Waring House herb garden and the versatility of the tomato. I like to think that I have an above average knowledge of the world of food. But there is always new tricks and ingredients to learn and let’s face it, cooking in a group is really fun and many of us don’t do it often enough.

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The base of the tart tatin… when it was finished you would swear they were plums! Sweet and amazing tomato dessert – who knew?!?

Just another fantastic way to spend time in the County! You can book a room/class package through the Waring House, or just an evening at the cooking school if you already have a favourite B&B. I’m excited to come back and learn more from Chef Jordan – an approachable guy and excellent teacher. I can’t wait to see what the county has to show me next!

I love meeting friends for after work drinks. Who doesn’t really? But in the winter, when the sun is setting at 4pm and it’s colder than you imagine Siberia on a bad day, it can be hard to do much more than stock up at the LCBO and try to coax your friends to come visit you instead of making you go out. ** Crap my secret is out…**

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BBQ Duck Lettuce Wraps featuring lettuce and pickled radish from Acorn Creek. Veggie option available too with smoked tofu in place of the duck

To make up for it I go out more in the summer. Even in sticky, humid, heat waves like the one we are in right now… the right patio and the right combination of drinks and snacks can make that all go away.

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Confit Pork Shoulder Taco with charred pineapple and feta cheese from Clarmell Farms and that fabulous pork I was raving about the other day from Upper Canada Heritage Meat.

Le Café at the NAC easily has one of the best patios in the city. Right on the canal, and so close to all the action down town, all they are missing is a happy hour menu with some affordable tasty treats and drinks. WRONG! They have that now. It’s called 8 for 8 and until September 2, from 4-8pm every Monday – Saturday it can be yours!

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Fish n’ Chips Pogo – the potato in the potato dill batter comes from Savour Ottawa member Acorn Creek

Your choice of 8 cocktails, wines or beers for $8 each.

Or check out one of 8 tapas plates for $8 each!

In the name of being a good food blogger I tried a bit of everything. If pressed, my favourite dish of the night was the Tempura Prawn Po’Boys. But there were a few others that were very close to the top spot. I might need to go back very soon just to be 100% sure.

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Mmmmmm … Po’ Boy. The smoked chili aioli makes this dish. It might be large, but just unhinge that jaw and go to town! Oh… only snakes can do that jaw thing. If you say so…

Another thing I love about this menu, is the use of Savour Ottawa farmer’s ingredients. So now you can eat great, local food on an amazing patio to beat the heat.

Get ready to save up these moments to look back at fondly while you are huddled under blankets with woolly socks drinking mulled wine just because it is warm… and wine. What could be better??

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Veggie Poutine with chips, Le Chopin mushroom herb gravy, caramelized onions and red pepper jam and brie from Les Folies Berger Fromages

I think we’ll all agree that the nice summer weather was late to the party this year. As such, I found myself somewhat recently making soup. Onion soup no less.

I make this soup all the time. So much so, that 10 year old – onion hating me, would be shocked. Dismayed even.

So why, when for once, I was planning to share said soup with visitors did I decided I would try to change it up?? The only word that comes to mind is stupidity. In my quest to somehow make my favourite soup better – I destroyed it.

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You had such promise onions on their way to being caramelized… but then you met me… woopsie.

Onion soup is ridiculously easy to make. In its most basic form you caramelize some onions and add water on top… let it simmer away until magnificent. If you like, you can substitute wine or broth or beer for the water. But BE CAREFUL.

This is where I made my mistake. In place of some of the water I decided to add some beer. In it went, before I tasted it. Like I said… stupid. It was an incredibly bitter beer. Which of course, made an incredibly bitter soup.

I had a couple of hours before the girls arrived for dinner. Enough time to try three techniques to save the soup and therefore the dinner. In the interest of saving you the time of doing an internet search – here are your options when you have an incredibly bitter soup to deal with.

Option 1 – Add a little sugar. This works well if the bitter taste isn’t too overwhelming. A little maple in a parsnip or carrot soup can actually be quite lovely. Add a TBSP of sugar to the pot. Stir and wait 2 minutes. Then give it another taste?? Still bitter – don’t add more sugar! Strangely enough something can be sweet with a bitter after taste… also known as bad.

Option 2 – Remove 1/2 the liquid and replace with new broth or water. This will only help if the bitterness is in the liquid. If it is because you have slightly burnt your meat or vegetables before they went in, or the veggies themselves were just bitter (not uncommon for older root veg) this is not going to help much if at all.

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Looks pretty good… but I assure you it tasted like poison.

Option 3 – Call it. It’s dead. Time to start again. Sometimes, as painful as it is that you have just wasted that time, money and food… not to mention that you perhaps have already cleaned up and it’s time to get dirty again, you just have to do it. In my case this is the road I ended up having to travel. Though there wasn’t enough time… or onions for that matter (and honestly by this point it had gotten warmer and I wasn’t feeling soup so much anyways – aka I dumped you not other way around soup). So my ‘fix’ was to make salad instead.

Of course… had I tasted the beer before it went into the soup… or attempted to remove all the liquid and start again right from the start I wouldn’t have been in this mess. But as I said in the beginning… stupidity was the name of the game.

Today is my day off and it is a lovely one. Full of puppy cuddles and walks, sunshine and this really amazing beer documentary that I had to share with you! I’m sure that my beer loving friends may have already seen it. In fact I seem to remember Shaun and Amanda recommending it to me some time ago… but I think there is something for everyone to love!!

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That’s right Tracey… there were other photos like this out there.

Did you know that beer is responsible for the creation and development of the written word, farming and math?!?! Seriously. Stuff like that blows my mind. And as someone who enjoys a good beer (can’t be wine all the time people… it just can’t. What if the white isn’t cold enough yet? Back up plans save lives), this 45 minute documentary is really entertaining.

As a side note I LOVE the narrator. He sounds like he is doing movie trailer announcement for spoof movies, or 1950’s Grindhouse films. Amazing.

Laying in bed this morning trying to Jedi mind trick myself into getting up, I heard the coolest thing. Apparently Iron Maiden has just released their own beer! Called Trooper – after one of their songs. It is a British cask and bottle ale from Robinsons Brewery. For more info check here. Iron Maiden happens to be one of my best friends favourite bands… so I’m pretty sure I know what she is getting for her birthday. Or Christmas depending on how long it takes for us to get it in at the LCBO.

But they aren’t the only classic rockers who are getting their own brew. AC/DC is combining German beer and Australian hard rock.

Make up loving KISS has a German beer as well called Destroyer.

And out of Michigan, Kid Rock has his American Bad Ass Beer.

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I think it’s pretty cool. Not that we need every rock band lining up to have their own beer. But if the market has room for just one more rock/beer combination I would like to see what David Bowie would come up with. The name alone would be worth purchase.

What about you? What rock/beer combination would you like to see?

 

I’m calling it a mini review because I gave into my crap food side once again and had just eaten two IKEA hot dogs when I arrived at Big Rig. I know, I know… but seriously 2 hot dogs and a drink for $2!?!? What? Anyway…

That only left room in me for beer! But I did get a sneak peak at what others were eating.

Don’t let the name fool you… the sign is actually regular size. Kinda big, I guess.

Big Rig is located on 2750 Iris street – as you imagined near IKEA. It reminds me of a cross between Mill Street and Clocktower Brew Pub. The style and almost ‘borderline chain restaurant’ feel of Mill Street but the beers put me in mind of Clocktower.

I, of course, had to try a sampling of the beers! I checked out Big Rig’s Gold, Red, Brown and Stout. I gotta say – the stout wasn’t my bag (even though I’m a big fan of dark beers)… just a little too bitter and coffee like for my taste. The Gold was refreshing and awesome and the Red was my favourite. The brown was tasty, a bit nutty but also a bit bitter. Good, but not what I was craving that day.

The Red and the Gold were in a ‘DRINK ME!!’ competition

The food was your basic up scale pub fare. Prices were on point – hitting between $11 and $23 for the mains. I did find that the upgrade price of $2.50 for onion rings over french fries was a bit much – especially since my friend who took this option got about 1/2 the amount of rings vs. fries. But that’s just a personal pet peeve of mine.

I can say for sure that I’ll be back for a pint next time I’m in the area – maybe I’ll even go there first so that I’m not full of cheap hot dogs!

4 out of 5 stars

Well the results are in… and though it was decided that all the beers were truly delicious and worthy of all kinds of praise. There was one clear winner.

Hold on to your socks.

The winner is – Broadhead’s Long Shot White! A truly tasty and amazing local beer. I suggest you go get yourself a pint and celebrate! As described by the brewers, “Broadhead’s Long Shot White is a fresh, fruit-flavoured wheat ale that’s brewed to be hazy and brazen. A spirited, sweet and slightly spicy beer that perfectly mingles coriander with orange overtones, kicking back with a Long Shot is a welcome, flavourful friend.”

Cross another one off the Bucket List!

 

There has been quite the chatter about this opening lately, and with good reason! Brother’s Beer Bistro (366 Dalhousie Street), is for the beer lover in you. Not only do they have a wide variety of beers – including Dieu Du Ciel’s Rosee D’Hibiscus, Spearhead’s Hawaiian Pale Ale, Wellington County’s Dark Ale among local, seasonal and many other selections – but beer is in everything they do!

All food is made with beer including their Brother’s Beer Burger, Steak Frites (which has a beer brined steak), pierogies, fried chicken and the list goes on.

Each of their dishes offers a suggested beer pairing. Charred BC Octopus?? Try Muskoka’s Mad Tom I.P.A.

They even make cocktails with beer! The Brother’s Summer Punch features gin, basil, hopped grapefruit, OJ, and Rosee D’Hibiscus.

If you are looking for a new place to discover some amazing beers while having a tasty meal, you need to check out Brother’s Beer Bistro! I can’t wait to go back for a full meal.

I Say Random Things On Twitter…

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Instagram Photo Oddness...

Ah crap... Just a smidge too long under the broiler. Summoning up my inner Julia Child for the umpteen time today. .
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#turkey #sesoning #pastry #quiche #wfd #wfl #brunch #juliachild #wwjcd #whatwouldjuliachilddo Turkey Sesoning spiced savoury pie pastry!

Half is being frozen for chicken pot pie later in the week and half is being turned into a smoked cheddar, ham quiche. Knowing me...it will look "rustic". ;) #spice #spiceshop #fresh #organic #handblended #ottawaeats #brunch #wfl #wfd #dayinthekitchen This is an accurate representation of my day. The cherry on an invigorating and simultaneously exhausting week. 
Equal parts good and bad, high and low, home and work. #momboss needs a #coffee lol

Past Foodie Adventures…