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I’ve had this blog 6 years. Starting out as a web journal I kept to myself playing with from time to time, it became my favourite hobby for a while, then it became part of the reason I decided to open my business. I’ve met so many generous, gorgeous souls thanks to this platform and had so many opportunities presented to me thanks to it. I’ll always look back at Simply Fresh Ottawa as a life changing venture.

However all good things come to an end and it’s time to say goodbye. It’s best not to drag out an ending – I’m afraid I’m already in danger of venturing into the fate of The Drew Carrey show (that went on for soooo many seasons after it should have stopped) when I want to go out like Breaking Bad.

If you miss me, don’t worry, I still plan on blogging – but it will be for Cardamom & Cloves! And you can always pop into the shop on 440 Preston and talk spices and food with me!

Thank you so much for reading and for making the last 6 years amazing! Love you Ottawa.

 

If you are feeling a little down – this is for you.

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Better? Thought so.

 

 

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It’s finally time. This Tuesday, yes, less than a week, Holland’s Cake and Shake will open its doors to the world and waiting Ottawa tummies at 8 am. 228 Armstrong Street (Hintonburg right by the Parkdale Market). How do I know it’s going to be so awesome? Well, I’ve tasted and raved about Pastry Chef Michael Holland’s creations before.

 

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The most recent incident? I was lurking Facebook, as I often am, and came across a friend’s shot of all these amazing looking mini cakes that his wife was bringing to her class for an end of school celebration.** I then immediately started begging for one of the tasty creations. The begging was amplified when I found out the gorgeous vanilla cakes were topped with Fruit loop streusel.
The begging led to pouting and a teeny bit of foot stomping. Somehow, being a brat paid off and Chef Holland performed a random act of kindness with a drive by caking – delivering two of these babies.
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I swear the only reason there is a picture is because I was devouring the other one while taking this
When I first opened the box and saw that there were two – my first reaction was “Who will I share this with?”. Then I took a bite.
Suddenly I was Smeagol and there was no way I was parting with my precious. I stopped short of shoving the whole thing in my mouth at once – but I did polish them off shamefully fast.
I know where I’ll be on Tuesday – see you at the Cake and Shake?
** What kind of friend get’s their class goodies from the hippest bake shop in town BEFORE it opens? The ever awesome Jenn of FoodiePrints! Thanks for letting me Facebook stalk your food guys!

It’s back!! Time for the 4th annual Ottawa Foodie Challenge.

There is nothing like this in the city. An urban foodie photo scavenger hunt that raises money for the Ottawa Food Bank. Imagine you a friend and about 49 other teams racing around the city – deciphering clues, taking pictures of you at various locations then being crowned Ottawa’s top foodie if you finish first with the most amount of clues completed. More than that there are awesome prizes to be won! Not only do you get the title, but the winner team will get a matching pair of knife sets from Wusthof Canada and a cooking class by La Bottega Nicastro. There are also prizes for good sportsmanship, best photo and more!

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It takes place all over downtown so you can bike, walk or bus to most areas!

The event kicks off Sunday June 1 with breakfast provided by LUNCH at Shopify at 126 York Street. It finishes at 5pm at The Albion Rooms at 33 Nicolas downtown.

For more information on this wicked cool event or to register click here to visit the event web page !

Are you Ottawa’s Top Foodie?? I bet you are!

 

**Update** To check out just what I’m talking about in this update scroll down!

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This on the scene photography brought to you by the super duper amazing Foodie Prints – check out their other amazing foodie pictures on their Instagram account among many other places. Like here.

So of course the second I hit publish on this post I found out that there aren’t enough vendors to do the small bites alley! So while I wont be there (as a vendor) you could be (as an eater! I mean… participant!) I’ve got two tickets to give away to our city’s biggest and best cocktail party. All you need to do to enter is comment on this post about which part of Bon Appetit you would enjoy most!

To get you started here is Katy at Sheltered Girl Meets World with her top 5 reasons she is excited for May 6.

I’ll pick a winner on Thursday morning and you can come pick up your ticket in store at Cardamom and Cloves on 440 Preston Street!

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This year’s Bon Appetit Ottawa is going to be bigger and better than ever before. Going into it’s 18th year – this glamorous cocktail party helps over 20 local charities and puts you in a room with over 90 restaurants, caterers, wineries and breweries… and me!! That’s right. In a classic case of me biting off more than I can chew, I have agreed to be part of the new “small bites alley” a spot to showcase smaller restaurants (less than 40 seats) and new food and beverage businesses.

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The idea is that producers in the small bites alley have one bite samples and change through the night so you get to see quite a variety of the amazing food Ottawa is producing. This is all on top of the larger plates and samples offered by the larger local businesses! So who is going to be there? For a complete list click here – but here are just a few of the participating vendors:

– Angry Dragonz : love love love this food truck!
– Hooch Bourbon House: after reviews like this one from FoodiePrints, how could I not be excited?!
– Fifthtown Artisan Cheese: there was a bit of a shock when this awesome cheese maker in PEC closed down for a bit, but with new owners they are back! Can’t wait.
– Top Shelf Preserves: Like awesome things? You are going to love this
– MeNa: yes it is just down the street from me, and I could go anytime, but I can’t wait to see what they come up with for this awesome event.

But seriously – so many, many more amazing people going to be there. One of them should be you!

Here’s the nitty gritty:

Place: EY Centre, 4899 Uplands Drive, Ottawa 
Date:  Tuesday May 6, 2014
Time:  5:30 – 9:00 p.m.

Tickets can be purchased by clicking here: $85 ticket comes with a $50 tax receipt.

 

recipes

This Monday I was on Rogers Daytime – it was a lot of fun! I made this flavourful Island Marinade. I used it on chicken but I can imagine it would be fantastic on pork or cauliflower as well.

It’s the allspice that make this dish ‘island’. It’s a staple of Jamaican cuisine and is found in all the best jerk recipes. This one is mild, but if you wanted to punch it up, just increase the amount of Cayenne power or think about adding a few dashes of your favourite hot sauce. Every bite will remind you of beaches, warm sun and sweet drinks with little umbrellas.

All Spice

Allspice

Island Chicken

Ingredients
2 TBSP Garlic powder
1 TBSP Onion flakes
3/4 tsp Thyme, dry
1/4 cup Soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp Allspice, ground
3/4 tsp Black pepper
1/3 cup Brown sugar, packed
1 Pinch Cayenne
1/2 tsp Ceylon Cinnamon, ground
1/2 tsp Cloves, ground
3 TBSP Canola oil
1/2 cup Red-wine vinegar
4 Chicken breasts

Grind all spices together – add to other ingredients and pour over chicken breasts and marinade for 2-24 hours.

Grill, bake or BBQ Chicken as you normally would until cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees.

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One day it will be warm again… it’s just gotta.

This has been a particularly weird winter. Say what you will… it was cold. Pretty damn cold at times. And while that hasn’t presented me with any additional challenges, it has for Barbara Schaefer and her farm full of the rare breed of pigs known as “Large Black Pig” – ok. Not the most creative name, but they are an endangered breed that Barbara is helping to bring back from the brink by farming them. As the demand for this fantastic pork – and it is fantastic – increases, she hopes more farms will want to raise the pigs and their numbers will return.

This winter has been particularly tough – with the pigs eating twice their normal amount to gain weight to deal with the cold, and the extra bedding to combat this dickish polar vortex. I’ll let Barbara tell you more about it in her own words:

Any amount you can donate will help these cute, smart and delicious animals.

Here is the link right to Barbara’s Indiegogo campaign – a very worthy foodie cause that only takes a couple dollars and a two minutes to make a big difference. Cheers! http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/save-the-large-black-pig/x/5015243

Why do I love Ottawa so much?? Because it is a city with a big heart and an even bigger tummy!!

Case in point this amazing fundraiser called Food for Thought! It pairs real chefs with students from the Grade 10 Culinary Arts program at Longfields-Davidson Heights Secondary School. Each Chef designs a course for the evening along with a matching non-alcoholic beverage.  The Grade 10 students will be the main cooks for the evening, helping the Chefs in advance preparation of their course and plating the course on the night of the event.  The Grade 11 students will serve the meal to the guests.

This gives the kids a chance to work with real chefs and gain some experience preparing food for paying customers! It’s also a chance to raise funds to support the Parkdale Food Centre and an organization called Mary’s Meals which helps provide school lunches to children in Malawi.

Who are the participating Chefs?? I’m sure you will recognize more than a couple names:

Stev George, Olivea Restaurant, Kingston
Marc Doiron, town Restaurant, Ottawa
Christopher Lord, Union:Local 613, Ottawa
Katie Brown, Beckta Dining and Wine, Ottawa
Jonathan Korecki, Sidedoor Contemporary Kitchen, Ottawa

Here are the nitty gritty details:

Location: Longfields-Davidson Heights Secondary School (149 Berrigan Dr.)
Date:  Thursday January 30, 2014
Time:  6:00pm start
Price:  $55.00 per ticket
Attendance: 120 tickets available

Contact: Jane Lovsin (613-843-7722 ext. 2005)
You will need to provide your credit card number to reserve your ticket.

If you are attending and would like to write a guest post! I’d love to hear from you!! simplyfresh[at]live[dot]ca

 

There was a time when I first started this blog that I had dreamed about being on food Television – rubbing elbows with Michael Smith, trading tips and recipes with Jamie Oliver. Oooohhhh… that would be sweet.

Unfortunately, reality settled in the way it tends to do. I remembered that I’m very uncomfortable in front of large groups and slightly terrified on camera and didn’t think that would be a pleasant feeling day after day. So away went that dream along with my goal to become a veterinarian (poor sick animals and ewww blood that and I’m garbage at science).

But that shouldn’t stop you!! Did you know that there is a new food and lifestyle specialty channel right here in Ottawa called GustoTV? It’s true!  Bell TV (Channel #619), Bell Fibe (Channel #1619) and Eastlink (Channel #743) – check it out… or take a look now at www.gustotv.com.

What’s more  – they have just put out a casting call and it might be you they are looking for! Take a read below and if you give it a shot let me know, I want to cheer you on!!

TELEVISION SERIES

Gusto TV, Canada’s new food and lifestyle channel is now casting!

 

Gusto TV is thrilled to announce a National Casting Call for two new original television series the multiplatform network will produce in-house. Whether you make a mean stuffed quail, pad thai, or layer cake; whether you are a professional, a guru of cultural cuisine or the master of family recipes – if you think that you have what it takes to spread the love or know someone that does, here’s your chance to be a star of the kitchen.

“The first show will celebrate global cuisine – whether your specialty is curry, kung pao, kebabs, crepes or cannelloni, you might be our perfect fit,” says Chris Knight, Gusto TV President & Chief Executive Officer. “We’re keeping the theme of the second show up our sleeves for now but trust us, you’ll love it.”

Gusto TV wants to hear from you if:

·         You’re a foodie

·         You know how to cook. Really, really cook

·         You have a BIG, fun personality

You don’t have to be a professional to be Gusto’s new foodie face (although pros are certainly welcome). Maybe you make the magic happen in your own home. Maybe you work behind the scenes in a sweaty restaurant kitchen. The new network is inviting culinary hopefuls to submit a three minute video – don’t worry about the production, lighting or editing – to the online Gusto TV Casting Call site.

Where to apply: gustotv.com/castingcall/

Christmas is almost here!!! Can you believe only 6 more sleeps!?! Need some recipe ideas or DIY foodie gift ideas?? C’est Bon Cooking and Constantly Cooking have you covered. What can I offer??? Well…

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I  have a picture of Jamie Oliver in a Christmas Sweater! That’s pretty good too.

I also have a pretty interesting tick I picked up while doing some reading and research on salt. I’d like to make a sarcastic remark here about it being super interesting… but it actually was. Hate when a joke is ruined by the truth. Dang.

Anyway, here goes. If you want to chill wine fast, add ice to a bucket and pout 1/4 cup of salt on the ice. It will lower the melting point of the ice creating more of an ice bath that will surround your wine bottle. Just put in your bottle of wine that needs chilling and it will be ready in about 6 minutes time!

Salt, what can’t you do??

Here is hoping you all have a relaxing and joyous holiday and that you get to spend it with the ones you love the most in the world. Cheers!

Two weekends ago Ottawa held it’s first ever Ottawa Underground Food Market thanks to Privé Food Thought. For more info on the group click here.

My awesome friend Sondra was able to attend and here is a guest post from her all about that very awesome night!

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It`s All About the Food Baby: A Night at The Ottawa Underground Food Market
Sondra Rogers

The various smells and sounds hit me as my friend and I made our way up the escalator. Trendy looking men and women from their late 20’s and up, were coming and going, excitedly chatting away, sipping on glasses of wine and happily noshing on plates of food. My mouth began to water. I think this is going to be a good thing, I thought to myself.

On Saturday, November 30th, my friend Christina and I decided to check out Ottawa’s first Underground Food Market, which was held at The Ottawa Convention Centre, and organized by Privé Food Thought. Based on the idea of bringing local chefs and street vendors together to share and show off their culinary skills, it offers an affordable and fun way for people to sample combination of foods never tried before and a way to get various, small, local businesses known.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when walking into the main area, but once there, I felt like a kid in a candy store or better yet, an adult at Sugar Mountain. A dj was spinning some electronic beats in one corner, crowds of people were either lined up everywhere, waiting to get a taste of something, sitting down or walking around with plates on hand, looking at other local vendors selling jewellery and art. I was so overwhelmed at first, where do I go? Which food to try? Churros! There are churros here! Oooh look at that? What’s does he have? Let me tell you, my friend and I quickly learned at this event, it’s not rude to stare outright at what people are eating, and there’s a strange sense of being overjoyed when someone asks you what that delicious concoction you have on your plate. No paranoid, self-consciousness here!

Pupusa by Flickr user roboppy

After agonizing for what seemed forever, we decided to plant ourselves in one of the longest lines of the night. Most people had no idea what they were lining up for, just that it was food and it looked good. It was the Pupusa line. Pupusas are a Latin American or more specific food originated in El Salvador, a thick corn tortilla that looks like flatbread, filled with either cheese and refried beans or pork and served with cabbage slaw, kind of like sauerkraut, and salsa. Made by Liyana Hospitality, it was one of the hits of the night. A couple of times they had to stop serving as they sold out of the pork pupusas, and only had one outlet to work with as the demand for it was growing. About 30 minutes in, we finally took our first bite of pupusa de queso (cheese and beans). Pure heaven. Plus we were starving; waiting in line gets you hungry. That was pretty much how we spent the night, moving from vendor to vendor, waiting in line and trying out the yummy samples. We ended up going to about four. Rare beef sandwich, with fried oysters and topped off with sauce bourguignonne, Korean wontons, “fake” jerk chicken sandwich made by Lovefoods (Another hit, I had 5 different people in a row ask me what it was and where I got it) and finally dessert, pure deliciousness of hot mini doughnuts sprinkled with whatever you choose, vanilla ice cream jammed between them, topped off with a cherry on top and appropriately named Hot Cream Holes.

Overall, a great and fairly inexpensive night, most items ranged in price from about $2.00 to $10.00. Aside from the incredibly long lineups and not enough chairs or tables to sit at (there’s only so much time you can spend walking around eating, until your feet start hurting) I would say that The Ottawa Food Market was quite a success. I’m already looking forward to Ottawa Privé’s next event, Sip n’Slurp, Ottawa’s Noodle Fest. Yup, my mouth is watering already, can`t wait! For more info, check out, http://privefoodthought.ca/ and https://www.facebook.com/Privefoodthought

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…