2011 Ottawa Wine & Food Festival

November 9 – 10, 2011
25th Anniversary
Ottawa Convention Centre

Yes, my culinary and wine aficionados, the 2011 Ottawa Wine & Food Festival is coming back in November. The website does not include much information… but we gathered some information from the exibitor package:

A VIBRANT NEW VENUE,
AN EXCITING NEW FORMAT

25 YEARS IN THE MAKING! The Ottawa Wine & Food Show will this year move to the spectacular new Ottawa Convention Centre. This exciting new facility replaces the Ottawa Congress Centre which was home to the Show for twenty-two years. Now with twice the space, this state of-the-art building in the heart of downtown is the perfect venue for the rebirth of the Show as the Ottawa Wine & Food Festival. This 5-day celebration will take the wine and food experience that Ottawa has come to love over the past 25 years to a whole new level. And it will provide exhibitors and sponsors with an expanded format and enriched programming in a spectacular new venue that will comfortably accommodate larger Ottawa audiences that have clearly demonstrated they’re ready for more.

QUICK FACTS ABOUT THE NEW FESTIVAL FORMAT
• The Festival will kick off on a Wednesday and continue through Sunday, with a greatly expanded line up of tasting events and learning opportunities.
• The 3-Day Consumer & Trade Show will remain the cornerstone of the new Festival.
• New Programming will include an expanded Tutored Tastings series, People’s Choice Award , Local Farm tours, Guest Sommeliers and Chefs, and more.

Don’t forget to subcribe for updates.

Gourmet map to the Ottawa Food & Wine Festival

Love and Food…

Mondovino crackers… perfect partner for wine!

I found these crackers for the first time at Max Market in Rochester, NY. Then just today a good friend of mine posted a picture of these crackers because she found them here in Ontario! Yep, Rosie Yumski’s Fine Foods ( 24 Church St. Westport, ON K0G 1X0, Canada) has at least two of the flavours (Black Olive and Spicy Moroccan Seed and Nut). These are culinary creations with wine-smarts built-in! Each of these match perfectly to what ever wine your serving.

Last night we tried them (the Spicy Moroccan Seed and Nut flavour ones) with a bottle of Rubicon Estate CASK Cabernet Sauvignon 2005… what a surprise, the blend of spices from these crackers transformed what was already a most tasteful wine into a unforgettable wine experience!

There are 4 different flavours of these oh so delightful crackers:

Porcini Mushroom Crackers
Get in the mood. A glass of Champagne. Some Porcini Mondovino Crackers. Let the party begin. A cucumber dip, some slices of Parma ham. A luxury supper served on Mondovino crackers. Another glass of Champagne. Life is fun.

Crème Fraiche and Spring Onion Crackers
Feel like Summer. A glass of Rosé wine. Some Crème Fraiche and Spring Onion Crackers. Lazy days. A dip of taramasalata, some slices of smoked salmon. Easy entertaining served on Mondovino crackers. Another glass of Rosé. Life in the pink.

Black Olive Crackers
Cool down. A glass of white wine. Some Black Olive Mondovino crackers. Lunch beckons. Some buffalo mozzarella, a bowl of salsa verde scooped up with Mondovino crackers. Another glass of white wine. Relaxation.

Spicy Moroccan Seed and Nut Crackers
Unwind. A glass of red wine. Some Moroccan Mondovino crackers. Let the evening develop. Bowls of hoummos, cool guacamole and raita – an Eastern feast served on Mondovino crackers. Another glass of red wine. Relax.

About Artisan Biscuits: a long-standing family bakery in the Derbyshire Peak district, a national park (in England).

They started over 70 years ago. In that time, the world has changed dramatically; but, in the bakery, the way they bake biscuits is barely any different. In the last 50 years, they’ve have only had two Head Bakers. In 2009, Terry retired, and Paul, his understudy, took Terry’s place. Paul now sifts, weighs, mixes, and works the dough in the same old-fashioned way. They have been using the same bronze rollers and biscuit-moulding method for decades.

Love Love Food loves Rosie Yumski's Fine Foods

Currently we’ve been …

Strawberry Cake

Here’s a fun recipe to make with frozen strawberries.

Yes, you can trick your guest into thinking is was made with fresh-picked berries! Note: this cake won’t work if the berries are not frozen.

Put your oven at 350F and spray some non-stick spray into a pyrex or glass pan (9″ x 13″).

– 2 eggs (slightly beaten)
– 1 cup of white sugar
– 1/2 cup of vegetable oil
– 1/4 cup of freshly squeezed orange juice (lemon or lime juice will also work.
– 1 3/4 cups of all purpose flour
– 2 teaspoons of baking powder
– 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
– 1 cup of frozen strawberries (you can substitute with blueberries or raspberries (frozen))

Mix eggs, sugar, oil and orange juice. In an other bowl, sift the flour, baking powder. Add these dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Mix well. Add the vanilla and mix. When all of the ingredients are well mixed, fold-in the strawberries.

Pour the mixture into your prepared pan. Place on the centre rack of the oven, and let cook for 45 to 50 minutes. When a tooth pick or cake checker comes out clean it’s ready.

I recommend adding a little bit of whipped cream on top of each piece before serving. This cake tastes better when it’s cool or room temperature, so if your having a dinner party, make it first thing in the morning!

Peace and berry goodness…

Strawberry time

What’s the first thought that comes to your mind, when you think of strawberries?

It is probably of a mouth-watering dessert of strawberries mixed with fresh cream? There’s nothing that says “Hello Summer” quite like eating a juicy vine-ripened strawberry that has been ripened to perfection in the early summer sunshine.

Strawberries serve more than just fulfilling the sweet tooth. It is packed with hordes of health benefits, making a nutritious fruit for mind and body.

 

Selecting and Purchasing Strawberries:

Naturally the best strawberries are the ones you pick yourself from your local strawberry fields or purchase from your local produce stands and/or Farmers’ markets.

In the stores, always choose locally grown strawberries during the harvesting season (they are sweeter and juicier than those that are bred for shipment). Remember, your local strawberry season only lasts 3 to 4 weeks.

When purchasing berries from the grocery store, shop with your nose. Always pick the plumpest and most fragrant berries. They should be firm, bright, and fresh looking with no mold or bruises, and fresh green caps (stems). The caps should be bright green, fresh looking and fully attached. Berries should be dry and clean; usually medium to small berries have better eating quality than large ones

Strawberries do not ripen after they have been harvested, so choose strawberries that have been picked fully ripened. They should have bright red color, natural shine and fresh looking green caps.

Select berries that are in dry; unstained containers (stained containers may indicate over soft berries that are not freshly picked). Mold on berries spreads quickly – Never leave a moldy berry next to a good one.

Storing and preparing strawberries:

Use the berries as soon as possible as strawberries ripen no further once picked.

Before using or storing, sort through the strawberries and separate the soft ones from the firm, fully ripe berries. Discard any mushy or spoiled berries.

Leave the caps (stems) on the strawberries until ready to eat or use in your recipes.

For best flavor, do not wash the strawberries until you are ready to eat or use them. Moisture is the enemy when it comes to storing strawberries.

As strawberries tastes best at room temperature, remove from the refrigerator approximately 1 hour before they are to be used.

Store fresh strawberries in a colander in the refrigerator. This allows the cold air to circulate around them. Do not