Monday, October 27, 2014

roasted pumpkin seeds

We love Halloween around here! It's a fun time of the month and it's a day we all look forward to. We spent some time on the weekend carving our pumpkin. Q was reluctant to get his hands dirty but once we started pulling out the pumpkin guts, he had fun. The best part of pumpkin carving is of course the seeds! Roasted and salted, they are perfect for munching on.

There are so many variations on how people roast the seeds. This is how we do them at our house.

Once you pull out the seeds from the pumpkin, rinse them so that you get all the pumpkin off. I usually do this in a colander.

Once washed, place the seeds between paper towels, getting them as dry as you can.

Put the seeds on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 20 to 30 minutes. Take them seeds out when they get a little toasty and brown. Salt and enjoy!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

glad fresh food challenge

Earlier this month, our family participated in GLAD's Fresh Food Challenge. The folks at GLAD sent us a few things to get us started like freezer bags, clingwrap and zipper bags.

It was astonishing to find out the statistics about food waste in Canada:
  • The typical Canadian household spends $5,572 per year on grocery food items, including $465 per year on fresh fruit and vegetables
  • On average, 13% of all food is thrown out, resulting in $725 worth of food items ending up in the garbage. This is the equivalent of two months' worth of groceries.
  • The average Canadian wastes over $175 per year on produce spoilage.
To keep us on track to avoid throwing out food, it was important to keep track of leftovers. If things could be frozen, they were placed into freezer bags, labelled and put in the freezer. For example, when I made Shepard's Pie, I had made too much meat.  The extra meat was bagged and frozen right away and is ready and waiting for another quick dinner.

Cookies were packed in the freezer bags, keeping them fresh for school lunches. Items like meat and lamb were wrapped in press and seal and then placed in freezer bags. This kept them from getting freezer burn and less likely to be tossed out.

These little tips can be used all the time to ensure food stays fresh and there is less waste:

Disclaimer - GLAD sent me products to help with the challenge as well as compensation. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

the great canadian beef cookout (#ExperienceCDNbeef)

One of my favourite events that I attended this summer was one involving Canada Beef, Karisma Hotels in Mexico and Jackson Family Wines. It was a fabulous event in the garden of Rouge Restaurant learning about this partnership, highlighting Canadian beef in Mexico and enhancing beef and wine pairing knowledge.

Launched in January 2014, Karisma Hotels & Resorts’ inaugural Canadian Beef Culinary Series, by Karisma, invites guests to relish the taste of Canada’s top culinary talent and best cuts of prime beef while enjoying a Gourmet Inclusive® vacation in Riviera Maya, Mexico that is as delicious as it is unforgettable. 

We were spoiled with delicious creations by the talented chefs Michael Allemeier and Paul Rogalski.

The dishes were stunning to look at and even better in my belly. Here's a look at what we tried:

Beef Tataki with Vegetable Yuzu Salad

Oxtail broth, Roasted Garlic and Bone Marrow Pearls  

Top Sirloin with Watermelon, Feta and Lime

Smoked Brisket Sticky Buns

Manhattan Strip with tortilla Fried Avocado

Beef Cheek Arancini, Blue Cheese Cream  

The evening included a seminar by Jackson Family Wines and how different wines paired with different beef.

The best part of the night was a giveaway - a week's stay at Karisma Hotels in the Mayan Riviera, enjoying their gourmet inclusive experience. I was ecstatic when I won!! We are so looking forward to a relaxing getaway and delicious food. Less than two months away and the countdown has begun!

Friday, October 10, 2014

thanksgiving desserts

Happy Friday! The long weekend is here and it's time to celebrate the Canadian Thanksgiving! No turkey feast is complete without the dessert. No matter how much turkey or stuffing one has had, there is always room for dessert. According to Q, dessert goes into a separate compartment. Below are some great recipes to round out your meal.

Hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Monday, October 6, 2014

win! rocky mountain wine and food festival in calgary

It's that time of year again! The Rocky Mountain Wine & Food Festival Calgary is back for two days of indulgence on October 17 and 18, offering a little something for everyone. The Festival will feature a wide array of world-class wine, premium spirits, import and micro-brewed beer, and an assortment of local culinary creations in a fun, social, and relaxed atmosphere. 

Here are the details for this fun event. See below on how you can win tickets to check it out!


Stampede Park BMO Centre, Halls D & E
Dates & Times
Friday, October 17 5-10pm
Saturday, October 18 12-4pm
Saturday, October 18 6-10pm


Tickets are day specific and only valid for one session. An entrance ticket brings you into the Grand Tasting Hall where you can purchase Festival sampling coupons (with cash only), allowing you to customize what you try and how much you spend.

Want to win tickets and check out this event? I have two tickets to the tasting session on Saturday, October 18 afternoon which runs from 12 – 4 p.m. Just leave a comment below, send me a tweet (@fareenjj) or leave me a note on Facebook (FoodMammaCOM) - do you go for the wine or the food? A winner will be chosen at random on Thursday, October 9th at 6pm.  Good luck!


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