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!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

vij's lamb with fenugreek sauce

Today we celebrated Eid Al Adha, also known as the Festival of Sacrifice. It seemed appropriate to have lamb and a great excuse to try out a recipe I had been eying.

Most people who know of Vikram Vij know that the dish he seems to be most associated with is his lamb popsicles in a fenugreek cream curry. I had been meaning to make it for a while and luckily remembered this recipe the last time I was at the grocery store. I was unable to find a whole rack of lamb but was lucky to find some individual chops.

The recipe seemed easy and even with a couple of sides, dinner came together really quickly. The highlight of the meal was the vibrant yellow fenugreek sauce. It paired perfectly with the lamb chops and even worked with the mashed potatoes and green beans. 

It was a really tasty meal and definitely a special one to celebrate Eid. I'm also very happy to have a jar left of the creamy sauce.

Vikram Vij's Lamb Popsicles in Fenugreek Cream Curry

¼ cup sweet white wine
¾ cup grainy yellow mustard
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
4 lb. French-cut racks of lamb, in chops

Curry Sauce:
4 cup whipping cream
1 Tbsp salt
1 tsp paprika
½ tsp ground cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp dried green fenugreek leaves
¼ cup lemon juice
¼ cup canola oil
3 Tbsp garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp turmeric

Combine wine, mustard, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add lamb and coat well with the marinade. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours.

Finish lamb: Preheat a stove-top cast iron grill or barbeque to high heat. Place lamb on the grill and cook for 2 to 3 minutes per side.

Curry Sauce
In a large bowl, combine cream, salt, paprika, cayenne, fenugreek leaves and lemon juice. Heat 3 to 4 Tbsp of the oil in a medium pot on medium heat and sauté garlic until golden. Stir in turmeric and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the cream mixture and cook on low to medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until it is gently boiling.

To serve: Serve popsicles piping hot off the grill. Place four to five lamb chops on each plate. Pour the cream curry over the meat or ladle it into a small bowl and use it as a dipping sauce for the popsicles.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

oktoberfest in calgary - win tickets!

The end of September - time for Oktoberfest! Oktoberfest is a very popular festival in Munich Germany which runs from the end of September to the first weekend in October. Over 200 years since it's inception, over 5 million people attend the event every year celebrating with beer and music and food.

Can't make it to Munich? No problem! Steam Whistle is bringing an authentic Oktoberfest to Calgary. For the 2nd year, Steam Whistle is hosting its Oktoberfest party complete with oom-pah-pah music, clanking steins of delicious Pilsner and bonafide German food. The party will be held on October 4th at Wurst. You can get tickets in advance or at the door and includes admission to the party, a souvenir ceramic Stein and food! Click here for more information on this fun celebration and get ready to unleash your inner Wunderbar!

Want to win tickets? It's easy! Just leave a comment here, on Facebook or on Twitter and you're entered to win! Deadline to enter is Friday, October 3rd at noon.

Monday, September 29, 2014

pulo lemongrass chicken salad rolls

I was so excited to receive to receive a package of  Pulo Cuisine sauces and marinades to participate in the Pulo Recipe Challenge. Pulo is an authentic collection of sauces and marinades inspired by the 7000 Islands of the Philippines. With three marinades and two cooking sauces, each loaded with amazing flavours, the possibilities on how to use them were endless.

For dinner tonight, Q and I decided to make Lemongrass Chicken Salad Rolls using the Pulo Lemongrass Marinade. The sauce itself is packed with so many complex notes that nothing else needed to be added to marinate the chicken.

The chicken was soaked in the marinade for half an hour, quickly stir fried and then added to rice paper with mint, carrots, spinach and vermicelli noodles. Q loved the process of dipping the rice paper in water until it was pliable and assembling the rolls. My picky little boy loved the flavours of the chicken; I was ecstatic that he was nibbling on the chicken without any prompting - that speaks volumes!

This was a hit with everyone and is definitely something I will be making again and again. I have so many ideas for the other sauces!

Pulo Lemongrass Chicken Salad Rolls

8 chicken thighs, cut into strips
1/2 cup Pulo Lemongrass Marinade

Vermicelli Noodles
Rice Paper

Cut the chicken into strips and cover with Pulo Lemongrass Marinade for at least half an hour. Stir fry until the chicken is thoroughly cooked.

Dip the rice paper into hot water until pliable. Lay on a flat surface and fill with the cooked chicken, mint, carrots, spinach and noodles. Roll and enjoy!


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