Author: theporkgirl

Win 2 Tickets to the #ABFoodFight Feb 12, 2018 with Taste Alberta

On Monday, Feb 12, 2018 the oven mitts (or as The Spaniard likes to call them – kitchen mittens) are coming off! The Alberta Diabetes Foundation and Taste Alberta are joining forces to show how locally sourced ingredients can be used to create healthy and nutritious dishes. Home economist, writer, comedian, cookbook author and host of My Left Frying Pan youtube cooking show Mairlyn Smith will go head-to-head against local ingredient lover and executive chef of Chartier restaurant Chef Steve Brochu. The event, which includes lunch at the Westin, is sure to have your healthy ingredient packed belly shaking with laughter. I’ve had the pleasure of learning nutrition tips from Mairlyn as I laughed my ass off on two different occasions when she was presenting at Christmas In November at the Jasper Park Lodge. Thanks to Mairlyn I learned the correct lyrics to a song from my childhood: beans beans the musical fruit, the more you eat, the less you toot. Chef Brochu is sure to give Mairlyn a run for her fibre facts. Plus, he …

Recap: Prairie Noodle Shop Taste Alberta Dinner

On Sunday, January 21, Chef Eric Hanson and his culinary team at Prairie Noodle Shop broke away from their ramen mould and plated a noodle-free Taste Alberta family-style meal inspired by flavours, ingredients, and products from across the province. The challenge to the kitchen with every Taste Alberta Prairie on the Plate dinner is to showcase the seven commodities groups within Taste Alberta: Alberta Canola, Egg Farmers of Alberta, Alberta Milk, Alberta Pulse Growers, Alberta Chicken Producers, Alberta Turkey Producers, and Alberta Pork. Well, chef Hanson and his team started off the 2018 Taste Alberta dining series with a bang! The menu represented the many unique voices from the kitchen, with the team sharing a flurry of bites which incorporated each of the commodities groups, and a whole lot more from the bounty of Alberta. Upon arrival, guests were welcomed with a mint raspberry cocktail featuring spirits from two Alberta distilleries:  Strathcona Spirits Gin and Eau Claire Distillery Prickly Pear Equinox. I had a chance to savour my drink along with the first bite of …

Five Reasons to Brunch at Dogwood Cafe at Victoria

It is no secret that I like to brunch at the Dogwood Cafe located in the clubhouse of the Victoria Golf Course. My friend Linda (@lindork) teases me that ‘I love that place’ every time I rave about it – but I think she is just jealous she doesn’t have a neighbour gem like Dogwood so close to her house.  As a resident in Oliver, I absolutely love being able to walk down the hill, or when the weather agrees, get in a quick cross-country ski loop or two on the Victoria Golf Course, before enjoying a relaxing brunch at the Dogwood Cafe. During the winter season, anytime someone asks me for a recommendation for brunch in the downtown area I always list Dogwood Cafe in my top three options. Here are five reasons you should brunch at The Dogwood Cafe. 1.  À la carte Saturdays or buffet brunch on Sunday This winter season, chef Brad Lazarenko decided to switch things up by offering an à la carte brunch from 9am-2pm on Saturdays and Sunday brunch buffet from 10am-2pm. While the Eggs …

Recap: A Taste Alberta Autumn Feast at Canteen

Autumn is a lovely time in Alberta; the leaves are changing and the harvest season presents a bounty from farms and greenhouses across the province. Last week, 124th street’s Canteen hosted the latest in the Taste Alberta – Prairie on the Plate dining series with a $55 four-course autumn feast designed by chef Ryan O’Connor. When we arrived, our table was excited to learn that Canteen had their happy hour prices on for the event which included three Alberta craft beers on for $5: Bench Creek Brewing Cloudbreak Hopfenweizen, Yellowhead Brewing Company Lager, and Alley Kat Brewing Company Buena Vista Brown Ale. Canteen also had three glasses of white and red wine on for $5, but the drink that I found most enticing, as did my table, was the Eau Claire Distillery (from Turner Valley, Alberta) Gin with Porter’s Grapefruit Tonic for $5. For our introductory course, chef Ryan O’Connor explained that Alberta Pulse Growers had donated the pulses for his yellow pea falafel.  Cooked in canola oil and served with a side of herbed creme fraiche, …

Why I love Adult Summer Camp

The leaves are turning, the air is getting cooler, and I know that a blanket of snow across Edmonton is on the horizon. Summer is over, and I realised, I forgot to recap this year’s weekend at Camp Wanna Getawae. Last week I got together with Jon, one of the faithful camp directors and organisers of a local grown-up summer camp held at Camp Yowocas just west of Edmonton. Jon told me the sad news that he and co-organiser Sarah have decided Adult Summer Camp will be taking a hiatus in 2018, and will hopefully make a return in 2019. I can’t imagine the efforts that went into organising 100 grown ups to take part in a weekend of adult-friendly camp fun – but I hear it was akin to the stress and work of planning a wedding. I am so grateful that Adult Summer Camp – 2.0 happened. Personally, I think it was better than the first year, and i’m not just saying that because I was team captain of the WINNING TEAM!!! Going …

A culinary adventure with Edmonton Food Tours

On Saturday I had the opportunity to be a tourist in my own city by joining the Edmonton Food Tours 104 Street Feast tour led by the fabulous Liane Faulder, food writer for the Edmonton Journal. The Spaniard and I met up with Liane at Kitchen By Brad, a downtown culinary studio open for cooking classes and private events on 105th street, to kick off our tour with brunch served up by Chef Tracy Zizek. We were joined by Jayne of Girl Tweets World, a full-time travel blogger, who was in town to courtesy of Travel Alberta. Chef Zizek treated us to a menu of Ukrainian dishes including handmade perogies, coleslaw, pork meatballs slathered in mushroom gravy, house-made Irvings Farm Alberta Pork sausage, and two kinds of pickled beets. Tracy also demonstrated how they make Nalesniki, a crepe filled with cottage cheese. As a second-generation Canadian with Ukrainian heritage, it was a comfort food menu I have eaten on many occasions. Sadly, since getting diagnosed with Celiac disease seven years ago, I haven’t had Nalesniki, Tracy graciously had a …

Recap: Prairie on the Plate dinner at Northern Chicken

On Tuesday night, Northern Chicken played host to the latest Taste Alberta Prairie on the Plate dinner series.  This time, the event highlighted one of Taste Albert’s commodity partners, Alberta Chicken Producers, to help celebrate that September is National Chicken Month. One could argue that every day at Northern Chicken is a celebration of Alberta Chicken Farmers, but chefs/owners Matt Phillips and Andrew Cowan were happy to close their restaurant for a one-night, set menu designed to celebrate farmers and their hard work and dedication to farming and to Albertan/Canadian consumers. Once the $50, five-course menu was released the event quickly sold out. My table scored the back room, which has a retro basement vibe, along with access to a custom Steam Whistle beer Crokinole board. Even though Andrew had a restaurant full of guests, he found a few minutes to explain the Canadian invited game and school The Spaniard before heading back to the kitchen. Back to the Prairie on the Plate menu. First up, we were served a chicken liver pate on a house …

Bacon Day 2017 at Workshop Eatery

Last weekend, Chef Paul Shufelt and the crew at Workshop Eatery played host to the 8th Annual Bacon Day Dinner. The event is designed to tempt diners to mass consume all things pork, but really it is about raising money for Youth Empowerment and Support Services (YESS). It is also a chance for Paul to cook with his buddies and former colleagues Chef Andrew Cowan and Chef Matt Phillips of Northern Chicken. Thanks to the generosity of many local sponsors including: Nicola and Alan Irvings of Irvings Farm Fresh who donate one of their Berkshire pigs and an assortment of cuts, Alberta Pork, Southgate Audi, and media sponsor CTV Edmonton, every penny from the $90 ticket price went directly to YESS. Along with a silent auction, live auction, a balloon draw, and the ticket prices – $25,000 was raised in support of YESS. More than 150 people came out to support the event, including some anti-meat eaters who protested for a few minutes before moving along. My official date for the evening was the lovely Liane Faulder, …

Weekend in NYC – La Gran Manzana

Over the Labour Day Weekend, The Spaniard and I jetted off (that sounds far more glamorous than the red-eye flight we took from Edmonton to Montreal, and then on to La Guardia), for a weekend in New York City. Both of us had been there once, but for each, it felt like a lifetime ago. While I am normally the one in charge of planning vacations and trip, this was entirely The Spaniard’s choice. You see, he wanted to go to the US Open. Since I force him to watch ice hockey – it is only fair I agree to watch some of his favourite sports as well (like our trip to San Antonio to watch an NBA game). Arriving at La Guardia Friday morning and checking into our AirB&B in Astoria Queens by 11:30 a.m. meant we had almost four full days. Although we were jet lagged from an overnight flight – here are 10 things that kept us busy in the five boroughs: 1. 12 hours of tennis at US Open Months after …

Ocean Wise – From Sabor to the kitchen Table

Confession –  I pay attention to where my meat comes from, but I haven’t been as diligent when ordering or buying seafood. As a blog contributor for Alberta Pork I have become an advocate for always buying local, Alberta raised, western Canadian raised, or Canadian pork (in that order). I’ve actually walked up to strangers in Costco and said “do you know that giant pork loin is American?” I’ve picked up racks of lamb in grocery stores and upon seeing a label from New Zealand – quickly put it down. But just because Alberta is a land-locked meat heavy province, that doesn’t mean that I, or other Albertans, shouldn’t care about making the same choices when buying seafood. A few years ago my family joined a community supported fishery called Skipper Otto that believes in fair-access fishing – but that’s as far as I have gone in my commitment to local and/or sustainable seafood. That is changing, thanks to an invite the Spaniard and I received to Sabor’s Annual Seafood Festival media sneak peek event. This year’s …