The April Tasting Box was packed with our newest and tastiest food discoveries from Canadian makers. Love what you see? There are still a few boxes left. Order your box here!
Made with local, deliciously fresh ingredients and free of preservatives and additives, La Dee Da Gourmet Sauces are are a one-stop-shop for quick, weeknight pastas or for adding extra oomph to your own kitchen creations.
Recently, the company out of Stoney Creek, Ontario decided to shed their skin and revealed a colourful and fun new brand for their popular sauces. We loved it so much we had a few questions to ask them about the rebrand and more.
Yorkville Village, in partnership with BRIKA and FoodiePages, is launching an exciting new event series called UpMarket in Toronto. This summer, UpMarket will bring together a rotating “playlist” of the best local emerging food, fashion and indie lifestyle brands to Yorkville Village every Wednesday from 11am-3pm in June, July and August.
As part of our promotion, we are kicking things off with a one-time Night Market on Tuesday, June 12th from 7-9pm, sponsored by Toronto Life. Vendors who are accepted to the weekly lunch markets are invited to exhibit at this exciting launch party (more details to follow).
We are currently seeking local vendors who embody inspired design and quality craftsmanship – chefs, food and drink makers, creators, designers and emerging local brands. Please review the information below and click the application link to submit your interest before May 4th!
Olive oil has always been celebrated for it’s luscious flavour and many health benefits – it’s a fast-growing product and an essential ingredient for chefs and home cooks everywhere. But you might be surprised to learn that when you’re buying, and paying top dollar, for olive oil you might not even be getting a pure product as stated on the label.
You might have heard the term”fradulant oil” in the news lately. That term describes oil that claims to be made from one thing, like olives, but is actually a blend of olive and other crop oils. As demand grows, so does the amount of fradulant oils made and sold to customers who have no idea they might be buying olive oil diluted with up to 50% sunflower or soybean oils.
How do we combat this issue? By buying our oils from companys who are transparent and trustworthy with their processes and products. At FoodiePages, supporting small business is what we do because we believe in putting our hard earned dollars back into our own Canadian economy while supporting emerging makers from coast to coast. But another wonderful offshot of buying locally is we’re able to visit farms, factories, studios and shops to check out how the food we sell is made.
Selling Olive Oil, or the “elixir of life” as Theo Rallis, a Canadian of Greek heritage living in Windsor, Ont., prefers to call it, is something we want to do right. And when we discover brands like Rallis Olive Oil that are challenging centuries of tradition with their Ice Pressed Olive Oils, we’re all ears (and mouths)!
Rallis Ice-Pressed Olive Oil has been pressed in the completely without heat and is 20-30 times colder than traditional cold-pressed olive oil. How does ice-pressed olive oil compare to cold-pressed olive oil? It’s a critical distinction in terms of maintaining the oil’s nutritive and healing potential. It also allows Rallis to stake claim as one of the world’s only RAW producers of olive oil. The result is a raw, living oil that is both super nutritious and incredibly tasty.
One of the easiest measures of a good quality is an olive oil’s acidity. A premium olive oil will test at 0.3% acidity. Rallis Ice-Pressed Olive Oil produces an acidity of 0.017% – near perfect! Another reason to love this oil? It’s made using a cutting edge farming technique and while the ice-press technology may be new, Rallis still farms without chemicals, sprays or fancy equipment.
Every bottle of Rallis Ice-Pressed Olive Oil contains the essence of early harvest olives. Several significant factors impact the antioxidant value of olive oil: late harvest, mechanical agitation, slow to press, high heat and filtering. Rallis bypasses these common trappings to ensure its olive oil maintains the highest antioxidant and energetic value, and its status as a raw superfood!
Discover Ralllis Olive Oil in our April Chef’s Box curated by entertainment expert Laura Calder.
Our March Tasting Box was a cookie-lover’s dream with shortbread cookies from Oshawa, Ontario’s Eat My Shortbread Company as well as Cookie It Up out of Aurora, Ontario! Here’s the full list of what our Tasting Panel discovered in March.
MARCH TASTING BOX REVEALED
Shortbread Cookies made by Eat My Shortbread
Started 20 years ago in a little century home in Markham, Ontario, this generations old recipe is still served at Trisha’s own family dinners and continues to impress even the most refined shortbread aficionado. Enjoy three flavours: Chocolate Chip, Original and Buttercrunch Toffee.
Pineapple Mango Sauce made by Out of The Box All-Natural Hot Sauces
For years, Dot’s gourmet hot sauces would be the favourite food and appetizer topper amongst her family and friends. Everyone who tried her unique flavours urged her to introduce the product to the world, so she developed four savoury one-of-a-kind flavours. Enjoy the striking flavour combination of real pineapple and mango, with a dash of spice – this tropical blend will top your favourite appetizers and quick bites with its one of a kind sweet heat! Especially good with chicken wings, fish, shrimps and pizza.
Shortbread Chocolate Chip Cookie made by Cookie It Up
This irresistible selection combines buttery shortbread with premium milk chocolate chips and is prepared by hand in Aurora, Ontario. It is nut-free, loaded with wholesome ingredients and does not contain any preservatives.
Hemp Hearts from Manitoba Harvest
Manitoba Harvest’s passion for hemp foods is rooted in their founder Mike Fata’s personal transformation. He used to weigh over 300 pounds and was sick and tired of being sick and tired. When he decided it was time for a change, he overhauled his diet, focusing on protein, good fats, and fibre – all nutrients found in hemp foods! Since hemp foods played such an essential role in Mike’s health transformation, he wanted everyone to be able to try them.
We’re all too familiar with the panic that arises as the doorbell rings and you realize you’ve got unexpected company and little to nothing prepared for them. First, take a deep breath. Second, read through some of Laura’s best tips for welcoming impromptu guests with ease and grace. From thoughts on simple meals to cocktails on a whim, she’ll save your hide with these tips and tricks!
…ON THE PERFECT WELCOME COCKTAIL – Gin and Tonic with a capful of Campari. It’s pretty and pink with a hint of bitterness. A summer favourite around here.
…ON STOCKING YOUR BAR – I’m more of a wine person, myself, so my short answer is “bubbles!” Otherwise, scotch, gin, vodka and vermouth are ultra basics, plus a few mixers like ginger ale, soda water, tonic, and bitters. Luckily I cook a lot, so there’s always a supply of citrus and herbs if we want to get creative. Sometimes I just throw a strip of orange peel or a few raspberries into sparkling wine for an effortless twist.
…ON QUICK MEAL IDEAS – A chicken sauté, such as Tarragon Chicken, with green beans or asparagus feels like proper home cooking and it takes no time to put together. You can serve a lemon drizzle loaf afterwards, which is also a snap. I can my own tomatoes every summer so I can always crack open a jar and make a quick sauce, maybe with some tuna added and a little cream. A well made omelette with a salad is very elegant. A roasted slab of salmon with cucumber salad or roast chicken with a simple slaw is another easy route. There are so many options, and sometimes it’s having to come up with something on the spot using whatever’s around that sparks the most inspired ideas.
…ON FANCY-ING UP SOME HUMBLE POPCORN – A few drops of Tabasco in the oil at the start is an idea. Good butter is all it needs (my husband makes it from organic cream) and salt, but I have read about adding nutritional yeast to give a cheese-free cheesy flavour. I’m dying to try that.
…ON CONFIDENCE – “All that matters is ambiance and you,” is what a friend once said to me. It’s not the food, it’s not how grand your living space is, it’s all about how you make people feel.
Laura Calder curates our April CHEF’S BOX filled with small batch ingredients, recipes and tips for impromptu entertaining.
We’ve become a society that thrives in a go-go-go environment, so when we hear about makers and creators who take the time to slooow down and prioritize time spent around the table with loved ones, we have the same questions as you do – how do you manage to do it all?!
Our March CHEF’S BOX curator Aimee Wimbush Bourque is a celebrated cookbook author, blogger, urban homesteader, former chef, wife and full time mother to 3 kids… talk about doing it ALL! She believes in the importance of bringing the whole family together around the table on a daily basis and created a career that allowed her to make it a reality for her husband and kids.
On Aimee’s blog Simple Bites, she helps families and individuals that want to get back around the table prepare unprocessed, nourishing meals and learn to foster a desire to eat seasonally and locally. She offers a wealth of comprehensive recipes, simple preserving tutorials, and honest tips for cooking with or without kids. We sat down with Aimee to ask her a few questions based around our March theme of Cozy Family Brunches and how she keeps morning moving smoothly (we’ll take any advice!).
1. Why do you feel it’s so important for families to share breakfast together?
My kids were born with the ability to roll out of bed and inhale a stack of pancakes, so hearty breakfasts have always been our thing. I believe that starting the day with a good breakfast is one of the main contributors to maintaining a balanced diet and long-term health. I love that together time in the morning when everyone is still a little sleepy. If needed, I can dish out the pep talks or gentle encouragement for the big day ahead.
2. What does your morning routine with the family look like on week days vs weekends?
Most weekday mornings we can all be found in the kitchen: my husband is stationed at the espresso machine (most important job ever!) and the boys are helping with school lunches. I’m flipping French Toast or serving up bowls of Maple Cinnamon Oatmeal. My daughter takes care of pouring juice and doling out multivitamins. It takes a village, right?
Weekends are a little slower, with everyone making their way downstairs at different times. By 9 or 10 I’m serving up something special such as Spinach Crepes or Maple Roasted Pears with Granola. This is also when I encourage the kids to get involved in cooking, baking and serving others.
3. What are some of your favourite tips for making family breakfasts run smoothly?
I keep a well-stocked pantry of breakfast ingredients: oats, granola, maple syrup or sugar, whole grain flours and, of course, plenty of coffee! I always have a plan the night before (and sometimes even a weekly menu plan) so that processed foods, like cold cereal, are not a fallback. I’m also a huge fan of batch cooking, so I often have a pan of baked oatmeal or batch of muffins in the freezer for mornings when I am scrambling.
4. When someone else is doing the cooking, what is your most common brunch craving/request?
Oh good question! If I could have anything, it would be my sister’s Huevos Rancheros; she lives in New Mexico and has access to all those incredible Southwest ingredients. But most common? My husband’s perfectly pulled Americano and a toasted Montreal bagel with cream cheese. Simple. Perfect.d
5. If your kids/husband could each pick a favourite meal you make for breakfast/brunch, what would they be?
My kids beg for my spinach crepes any time they get the chance. Hand’s down it is their most requested ‘special’ breakfast, along with plenty of maple syrup of course. They have dubbed them ‘Hulk Crepes’ – and I am thrilled that their favourite food happens to included three cups of spinach!
6. What is your go-to speedy week day breakfast?
Definitely my homemade Instant Oatmeal. We keep a jar of it on the counter next to the electric kettle and a hot, nutritious breakfast is just a minute away. To keep it interesting, I keep an assortment of fun toppings in jars on a breakfast tray – coconut chips, dried cherries, almond butter, maple sugar, chia seeds… We heap those onto our oats and breakfast is served!