Category: Comfort Food

Amore Pasta – New Downtown Location NOW OPEN!

Amore Pasta – New Downtown Location NOW OPEN!

From the makers of Cafe Amore Bistro and the Black Pearl Seafood comes the new and improved downtown location of Amore Pasta.

Family recipes passed down from Italy will tantalize your tastebuds on this budget-friendly, build-your-own menu.  Yes, there is an Amore Pasta on the south side, but that location is just pasta and pales in comparison to the new downtown location.  They are open at 8 am for breakfast – yes, breakfast!

There is a lovely cappuccino bar to serve up some espresso and baked goods in the morning.  If you need something heartier, they have some signature omelettes available as well as the build-your-own versions.  Choose how many eggs you would like, add your choice of veggies, protein and cheese.  You can even choose to have a side of Amore hash (crumbled Italian sausage, cheddar cheese, green onions, mushrooms and peppers).  Can’t decide?  There are five signature Baked Eggs al Forno and omelettes to choose from.

Franchise? No!

The Crudo Family will have none of that!  They would love to have Amore Pasta all over the countryside, but they want to ensure quality over quantity.  They have a central “warehouse” location where the sauces etc. are made lovingly called “Papa Giuseppe’s”.   They are hoping to have more “in-house” made fresh pastas in the future.

Lunch and dinner will knock your socks off!

You can order a beer or wine to go with your dinner creation.  Make sure you try the fried lasagne bites with Papa Joe’s red sauce to start off with, they are very tasty!

This is similar to a Subway concept where you go up and order your food and bring it back to your table to enjoy.  Lunch can be quick, delicious and painless.

The “Return of the Mac” shall be triumphant.  They have 5 signature choices and the macaroni is made fresh daily.  “Pizza Me” is pictured in my slideshow; red onion, mixed peppers, crumbled Italian sausage, cheddar and mozza cheese.  This rib-sticking delight will surely satisfy.

Create Your Own Pasta starts out with the pasta and sauce, you add your choice of veggies, your protein and cheese.  Again, there are five signature pastas to choose from if you can’t decide or are in a hurry.  I couldn’t get enough of the “Sicilian”; made with homemade Strozzapreti, marsala cream sauce, green onions.  All of the flavours blend together beautifully.   It was a delight to eat.

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Where is it?

10235 101 Street, right in the Ice District.  There is a surface Impark parking lot located across the street but that can get pretty pricey during a game night.  There is also parking available in the tower which is much more reasonable.  Open at 8 am for breakfast and closes normally at 9 pm on weekdays.  Open at 11 am and close at 9 pm on weekends.  They will be adjusting hours to the crowd and are wanting to be open for food and drink after the games.

Gluten Free options available.

Since you are building your own meal, you have the option to pick items that are gluten free.  Your food is cooked right in front of you. Ask your server for details.

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Otto Food and Drink

Otto Food and Drink

Anyone that knows me, knows I am not a fan of what Christmas has become…  To me it is not about all of the commercialism and who buys what for whom.  It should be about celebrating with family and friends, spending time with loved ones and enjoying wonderful food and drink together.

Otto was started on that premise.  It was meant to be a gathering place for families and friends where you can enjoy some great Alberta craft beer and some great company.  The food was not the focus, but is still a wonderful part of the celebration that is Otto.

Owner Ed Donszelmann (previously of Culina Mill Creek) is the creative force behind this little neighbourhood Gem tucked away in the Norwood community.  The decor is simple and warm. There is an overhead garage door that can be opened for the summer months. Ed ads to the warmth of the space by being present and making his rounds.  He makes sure each guest is well taken care of.

The liquor menu has a lot to choose from.  The focus is on the beer, but there is a full bar and a wine list available as well.  There is something to quench everyone’s thirst, or to pair with the simply delicious food.

The food… You can clearly see Ed’s Dutch influence on the menu.  Otto’s specialty is Fuge Fine Meats which are now exclusively available only at Otto.  You may have experienced some of Steve’s sausage at one of the local markets. The sausages are flavourful, tender and delicious – even the vegan option!

For our visit we tried the “Otto Dog” and the vegan “Smoked Apple Sage” sausage.  Monday night is a great time to visit with $6 pints of beer and $6 sausages. The sausage is served naked with a small serving of sauerkraut and a home made pickle. If you want a bun for that bad boy, it’s only an extra $2.  The mustards that you have to choose from are also amazing. If I remember correctly, Red Head Condiments supplies them.

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I don’t normally like many versions of vegan/plant-based “meat”.  It is usually an awful texture and not that tasty. Fuge has managed to make a plant-based sausage that is the same texture you would expect from a normal, every-day meat sausage.  The flavours were nicely balanced, slightly smoky and delicious. I enjoyed a side order of the deep fried cauliflower.

My handsome dinner companion was nice enough to give me a taste of the Otto Dog; Sylvan Star smoked Gouda, caraway and fresh garlic are the standouts in this undeniably rich, flavourful sausage.  They are not joking with that description. Juicy, tender and delicious. He had the garlic herb fries with spicy mayo as his side.

I thought that between two of us we would be able to try a few options, but we tapped out after the single sausage and side.  Not even room for dessert! (I hear good things about dessert too though!)

Otto does focus on local suppliers and ingredients, you can see the loving detail that went into the menu with each item that is shared.  You can taste the difference.

Children are welcome at Otto.  Sundays they have a kids meal for only $5.  You won’t break the bank with a visit to Otto, the prices are very reasonable.

Grab a couple of friends and enjoy some great beer, food and sparkling conversation at Otto.

 

Instagram:

https://www.instagram.com/otto_yeg/

 

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/ottofoodanddrink/

 

Twitter:

https://twitter.com/OTTO_YEG

Swiss 2 Go

Swiss 2 Go

Swiss 2 Go is one of those places in Edmonton that you kind of take for granted.  They have been in Edmonton serving Swiss style sandwiches and desserts since 2012.  I have had the pleasure of attending a couple of events catered by Swiss 2 Go but had never stopped by the storefront.  Their specialty is soup, sandwiches and dessert.

Narcity made photos of their teacup cheesecakes go viral and my dessert loving friend Brenna insisted that we make a girl date of it.

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I wanted to pop in and see what the rest of the menu was like before I invited all my ladies out.

My husband and I stopped by one evening for a sandwich and dessert.  Plenty of free parking available out front. When you walk into the café it is like walking in off the street into a grandmother’s kitchen.  Very cute knick knacks everywhere. It is an environment that feels very comforting. The menus are all handwritten chalkboards and selections rotate regularly.  There is a coffee bar, a selection of teas and always some citrus infused water available.

The sandwiches run around $10 – $12 for the smaller size.  Since we were there primarily to try the cheesecake, we opted for the smaller sized sandwich.  They are big!

The sandwiches are served on a bun that is a combination of brioche and pretzel.  It has a beautifully soft inside and that nice chewy crust with the kosher salt. You could almost put anything on that bun and call it delicious!  The sandwiches are made with such care and attention to detail, presented with a Swiss flag skewer to keep it all together. The fillings are made with quality ingredients and piled high.  I don’t know how anyone could finish one of the larger versions.

The teacup cheesecakes will run you $13.  Pricey? Not for what you get. They were almost too pretty to eat.  Once you get over the artistry and dig in, they are just as delicious as they are beautiful.  Hand made with quality ingredients. No artificial flavours or preservatives. We got to try one of the green tea versions and a fresh fig version.

When I spoke with the lovely Drita about bringing my group of ladies in, she was telling me that they have 150 different varieties of cheesecake.  She is always willing to create something new with the caveat that if it is popular, it goes on the menu! Drita was lovely enough to print me off the list of flavours so that I could let the ladies choose and order ahead.

It was exciting being able to see all of the flavours to choose from, but also a bit overwhelming because it may take me a couple of years to try them all!

We got our favourites picked and ordered in advance.  All of my ladies dressed up and wore their fancy hats.  We arrived – the place was PACKED! (this was Saturday afternoon)

PRO-TIP:  Swiss 2 Go does not take reservations!  We had no idea.

We finally managed to sweet talk another table into trading so that we could get two tables together which would be enough space to fit our large group.  Mission accomplished.

We enjoyed our mochas and lattes, and caught up on each other’s lives.  We had a delightfully lovely afternoon. The cheesecakes were heavenly. My flavour was honey lavender.  It was garnished with a sprig of dry lavender. So pretty.

Hicks on Six gave Swiss 2 Go a pretty amazing review and he can be a bit of a hard ass.  Budget and epicurean friendly. Go support local and give them a visit!

 

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/Swiss2Go

 

Twitter:

https://twitter.com/swiss2go

 

Instagram:

https://www.instagram.com/swiss2go/

 

Camola Sustainable Foods

Camola Sustainable Foods

Two nerds with Italian heritage tried eating a grasshopper one day and fell in love with the idea that everyone should eat insects.

Silvia and Claudio have teamed up to bring you a line of products that are not only delicious and nutritious, but better for the environment and more easily sustainable.

Silvia and Claudio are Entomologists which basically means that they study insects.  Silvia is the baker of the team. With their Italian roots they have created a “Bugscotti” that is delicious and like no other biscotti, has the added protein of the cricket powder.

What do crickets taste like you ask? Personally I don’t find a discernible taste difference in any of the Camola products.  They will apparently taste like celery in the new soup line coming out soon! The cricket flour doesn’t emulsify like regular flour.  This means the cricket flour needs to be mixed with regular flour to get the same results. Your baking will just have more protein.

I wanted to know how crickets were farmed.  Camola will have their own cricket farm soon, but for now they have an outside source.  The crickets are raised in controlled conditions until they are the right size and then they are humanely harvested by freezing.  They are then baked in an oven and ground into flour.

How do crickets contribute to sustainability? From the website:
To produce 1Kg of cricket flour requires about 4 L of water. In comparison, 1Kg of beef can require up to 48000 L of water! The difference is astonishing! Insects also have a high conversion factor (amount of feed that becomes body mass): for example, 1Kg of crickets only 3-4 kg of feed are required, compared to the 10 kg necessary to farm 1 Kg of beef.

And nutritious!  I already knew that they had a lot of vitamins and other goodness but wasn’t aware of how much until Sylvia let me know.  Again from the website so that I have the facts straight:
In terms of nutrients, they are 66% of protein in weight, rich in iron, potassium, calcium and vitamin B12. One tablespoon of cricket flour (about 10g) provides 100% of the B12 you will need in a day. Crickets have a complete aminoacidic profile, including all the 9 essential amino acids, making them a very healthy protein!

As an additional bonus, crickets are low in cholesterol and other unhealthy fatty acids (which means you can eat more protein without the guilt!). Also, farming insects does not require hormones, steroids or antibiotics, making them a healthy choice for people with specific allergies or that want to avoid food contamination.

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Camola is going to expand into many different kinds of products, they are not just a bakery anymore!  My favourite product so far is the “Bug Bites” which are basically little date balls that have the cricket powder mixed into them.

The Crick Chips and the Bugscotti are also very tasty.  No discernible “off” taste in any of the products that I have tried so far. Try them, you just might like them!

All of the products can be ordered from the website and delivered to your door.  If you visit the farmer’s markets, you will find them Camola selling there as well.

The website has just been re-vamped with all kinds of new information.  The social media accounts have all changed as well.  Find them all here:

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

Stump Kitchen Collaboration

Stump Kitchen Collaboration

When I was messaged by Alexis Hillyard of Stump Kitchen on Twitter proposing a collaboration, I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I agreed.  This is a good thing!

I love people that are able to just let loose and have fun.  Admittedly, that is not always me.  I am very introverted, so making an ass of myself does not come easily.  Alexis is one of these people.  She is awesomely comfortable in her own skin and just an all-around beautiful human being.

Alexis really likes to work with kids, and it shows!  Stump Kitchen is her career, and besides making the Youtube videos, she also does cooking classes with adults and children alike.

Youtube recently went through a whole monetizing shit-storm with all of its makers.  People that were previously monetized channels are having to figure out other ways to get viewers and subscribers.  YouTube completely changed their platform and their algorithms. This is where Patreon comes in.

A lot of YouTubers have started using Patreon to make money on their videos.  You can become a patron by donating a few dollars a month and get rewards from the artist in return.  Rewards will vary according to the artist and the amount that you are subscribing with.  This also enables them to get things that they need to produce the art (cameras, video recorders, editing equipment, etc.) Alexis has all of this set up on her Patreon page.

The Stump Kitchen channel is vegan and gluten free.  Being a meatatarian myself, it was an adventure looking for a recipe that we could make together.  I have tried doing the whole vegetarian diet, but my health started to decline as I am unable to digest most raw vegetables.

My latest obsession is the Instant Pot.  It is the cooking gadget that everyone is raving about.  It is a pressure cooker, or a slow cooker depending on what you want to do with it.  It can make meals super quickly and saves a bunch of space in your kitchen. They are also better for the environment because they use less electricity and less water for cleanup. I bought one with Christmas loot and very impatiently waited for it to arrive. Sno-maggeddon stopped parcel delivery for several days in early January.  I researched the hell out of it while I waited for it to arrive, so I already had a reference book and a recipe book compiled for the arrival.

Alexis had also received an Instant Pot for Christmas and had been too afraid to open it and try it. A lot of people are too afraid to open it and try it.  The very first recipe I tried was actually the one that Alexis and I used as well.  “The Butter Chicken Lady” came up with the recipe and published a vegan version as well as one with chicken.

So I packed up my Instant Pot and dragged my butt through an insane blizzard to record my episode with Stump Kitchen: Vegan and Gluten Free Butter Chicken

SUPER EASY INSTANT POT BUTTER CHICKEN

For the rice:

1 cup aged basmati rice, rinsed
1 cup water
1 tablespoon ghee or vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt

For the butter chicken:

1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon minced ginger (minced and jarred is easiest)
1 tablespoon minced garlic (minced and jarred is easiest)
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2-1 teaspoons cayenne pepper (adjust to taste)
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons good-quality garam masala, divided
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs, left whole (We used vegan “mutton” from Orii Vegan Market)
4 ounces butter, cut into cubes (use coconut oil, if dairy free)
4 ounces heavy cream (use full-fat coconut milk, if dairy free)
1/4-1/2 cups chopped cilantro

Directions:

Combine all the ingredients for the rice, place in a 6 or 7-inch heat-safe pan, and set aside.

Place tomatoes, ginger, garlic, chicken, turmeric, cayenne, paprika, salt, 1 teaspoon of the garam masala, and cumin into the inner liner of your Instant Pot.

Mix the sauce a bit, then place the chicken.

You are putting in everything except the butter, cream, cilantro, and 1 remaining teaspoon of garam masala. Mix well.

Place a tall steamer rack/trivet on top of the chicken mixture, and place the uncovered bowl of uncooked rice on the rack.

Press the Manual or Pressure cook button, set the timer to 10 mins, and cook. Once it is done cooking, allow the pot to cool for 10 minutes, undisturbed. Then, release all remaining pressure and open the pot.

Remove and set the cooked rice aside. Remove the chicken and set aside.

Using an immersion blender, blend together the sauce until it is smooth. Let the sauce cool for 5 minutes. Stir in the cut-up butter, cream, cilantro, and garam masala.

Remove half the sauce and freeze or refrigerate for later.

Break up the chicken into bite-size pieces, add it to the sauce.

Serve with rice.


As you can see from the video, it was super easy to make and a lot of fun being in Stump Kitchen.  The recipe is a good one, it is also super tasty.  There is usually enough sauce left over to coat a second batch of rice.

It is super important to rinse the rice, it will turn out crunchy if you miss this step.  If you don’t have a trivet with handles, construct yourself a “sling” made from tinfoil so that you can take the rice pot out easily. My rice pot was purchased from a local Asian market.  It was a stainless spice container with a lid.  It is actually 8 inches in diameter and it will fit the Instant Pot.

I hope that you enjoy the recipe, I look forward to giving you some more recipes, Instant Pot and more!  Please “like” and “subscribe” to Stump Kitchen for more vegan hilarity.

I am also hoping to work again with Stump Kitchen in the future!

Like and follow on FACEBOOK

Follow on INSTAGRAM

Be a Patron on PATREON

Please take a moment and rate the recipe if you have tried it!

Native Delights

Native Delights

Here is a little sharing about me…

I am at least ¼ Cree on my father’s side.  My family always told us not to tell anyone about our Aboriginal roots because we would be looked at differently.  I never met my Kookum and that fact makes me sad. I was too young when she passed to know any different.

My father was adopted by his Aunt.  This is the lady that I grew up to call Grandmother.  She was a wonderful lady that raised my Dad and his brother as her own.  She had a huge heart and did a lot of charity work throughout her lifetime.  I really looked up to her. Out of respect, I waited until I was an adult and she had passed to do any kind of searching on my family history.  The first search I did came to a dead end because my Dad’s adoption records were sealed, even though I could identify myself as his daughter.

It struck me really hard as a kid in elementary school.  My brother looks very Aboriginal, looks very much like my father. I got the German looks from my Mom’s side; blonde hair and blue eyes.  Chief Dan George was coming to our school to do a presentation and a healing circle. All the Aboriginal children were allowed to attend and take time off of their regular classes to go.  I asked my teacher but was denied because I “wasn’t aboriginal”. My brother got to enjoy meeting a man that I had looked up to my whole life. I never did get to meet him before he passed a short time later.

That struggle continued for me my whole life.  Wanting to learn, wanting to belong but never fitting in.

Fast forward to meeting Ian and discovering Native Delights

It wasn’t just a restaurant and it is not just a kiosk.  It is an experience.

Ian was born in Treaty 8 territory.  When all the other kids wanted to grow up and play hockey or become doctors or scientists, Ian wanted to cook.  It spoke to him. He did go out and work in the oil patch like just about every Albertan does at some point in their life.  His dream was always to cook, to open that restaurant and he never swayed from that path. Ian overcame a lot of adversity to be where he is today, and I have nothing but love and respect for him and his family.  They are amazing human beings.

When I first experienced one of his bannock burgers, I was hooked from the delicious tastes and textures that hit me.  I am also one of those people that quietly observes (introverted) and you can see the people enjoying themselves and friends going up to talk to Ian.  It was good energy all around.

When Ian got to open a brick and mortar restaurant, I was thrilled!  Now there was flavoured bannock and locally made medicinal teas, stew and more.  I liked how there was no liquor on the menu and it wasn’t even something that Ian was considering.  The atmosphere here was one of family. When you stepped into the restaurant for dinner, many of the people there knew each other.  It was relaxing to be able to enjoy a meal with my family in a space filled with such positive energy.

The restaurant closed its doors a couple of years ago.  I miss it. Native Delights went back on the road with the trailers to different events.  I enjoyed the bannock when I could.

2017 brought back the Native Delights kiosk and “Pânsâwân”.  “Pânsâwân” is traditional dry meat. (Elder Approved!) Thin strips of Buffalo meat that are smoke to dry them.  No salt, no added preservatives. If you like a nice smoky flavour without all the crap that is in commercial jerky, then you really need to get yourself some Pânsâwân.  It is available at both kiosks. The smaller size is $20 and there is a lot of jerky for your money, and much healthier for you!

The kiosk in the Super Flea Market in Edmonton has a separate store area with the Pânsâwân, some products from local makers and Mother Earth Essentials.  I do need to give praise to Mother Earth Essentials. I first discovered their products on a trip to Ft McMurray. The hotel I was staying in uses their shampoo and conditioner in the rooms.  I looked them up and found out that they were Edmonton based and immediately went and bought items for home. Her products are AMAZING. I can see why Ian supports her. Give the store a visit.  The Peppermint and Sage line makes your scalp feel so good.

2018 brought the first franchise for Ian and family.  The Super Flea Market location is now owned by the lovely Melissa, who will be sure to uphold the same quality as Ian would himself.  I attended the grand opening of the kiosk on February 24th.  They know how to put on a party!  It all opens with a prayer… There was free bannock and stew, face painting for the kids, singers and drummers and so much more.  I was sad that I couldn’t stay longer. The place was super busy and the energy was amazing! The drummers overflowed my heart with pride and brought tears to my eyes.

I got to congratulate Ian briefly as he was very busy and also got to meet Melissa.

The menu at the Super Flea kiosk is a little different.  They took over a kiosk that had been there for years churning out breakfast, pub type foods and ice cream. They decided to keep all of these flea market favourites and add the Native Delights menu to it as well.  From what I can see, it works for this space!

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The Bison Bannock Burger is my favourite and the Indian Taco is a close second.  If you follow the Facebook Page, they are very good about getting the daily specials out there for the Athletic Club kiosk.  If you haven’t experienced bannock yet, this is a great place to get started. Their bannock is pretty damn good.

If you see Native Delights out and about on the streets of Edmonton this summer, be sure to stop and grab a burger.  A great local business that supports other great local businesses.

Thank you Ian for all that you do for the Aboriginal community here in Alberta.  Âyihây!

Website:
http://admin5005.wixsite.com/nativedelights

Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/nativedelightsfnc

Twitter:
https://twitter.com/NativeDelights

Instagram:
https://www.instagram.com/nativedelights/

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The Northern Chicken Ultra Hot Sandwich Challenge

The Northern Chicken Ultra Hot Sandwich Challenge

Northern Chicken.  A favourite in both my family and my workplace.  Soul food brought to a whole new level by Chefs Matt Phillips and Andrew Cowan.  The food amazing, but they also have a great selection of craft beers, local spirits and whisky for you to enjoy.  Not only do they make my tastebuds sing, but they are also wonderful human beings that generously support a lot of local community initiatives.

When I saw the “Ultra Hot Sandwich Challenge” come up on my Facebook feed, it was too late to get my husband in. The sandwiches are limited and labour intensive.  I really wanted to see for myself though, so asked if I could tag along and watch the action.

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B’s Diner 15th Annual Christmas Dinner for the Less Fortunate

B’s Diner 15th Annual Christmas Dinner for the Less Fortunate

YEGfoodie was proud to stand behind Brenda Der for her 15th annual “Christmas Party for the Less Fortunate”.

Brenda Der used to be the force of nature behind B’s Diner.  If you were down on your luck and needed a hot meal, all you needed to do was walk into B’s Diner and Brenda would make sure that you were taken care of.  Even though the Diner closed the doors almost two years ago, Brenda still continues to help the less fortunate here in Edmonton.

Brenda lost her son Jeremy in a drowning accident while they were out on a family trip about 7 years ago.  The big Christmas Dinner is done in memory of Jeremy.  It is a very important part of Brenda’s year. This is my third year with Brenda, my second working alongside her as her Volunteer Coordinator.

What does it take to put on a dinner that feeds between 400 and 600 people?  A lot of work!

The initial stages of planning are finding sponsors to get the food for the dinner and the hampers that go out to the families.  Oh I forgot to mention – this isn’t “just” a dinner.   Brenda will generally do at least 50 Christmas hampers for families in need around the city.  She also puts meals together for seniors and veterans.  That is a whole lot of food!

This year we were fortunate enough to have the Forester’s Foundation as our corporate sponsor for the dinner portion of the event.  Many thanks to Jeremiah Renner for putting all of that in motion.  They have to submit a proposal to get the funding and then they go through all of the organizing and work to pick up all of the food items that are needed for the dinner.  Thank you Jeremiah and all of your Forester’s!!

We don’t just provide our guests with a hot meal.  We want for them to be able to relax and enjoy a  holiday environment.  Musicians are a must!  We source talent that is willing to donate their time to this worthy cause.  This year we were lucky enough to have Chantel Hilton back for a second year, and now she is part of the family; we are keeping her and never giving her back. If you have not heard of Chantel, she is a celebrity impersonator.  Her favorite character is Marylin Monroe.  We caught her performance on camera here.

What a stone cold doll!  She worked through our technical difficulties (no bluetooth for the sound system – fancy new Iphone!)

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We also try to make sure that we have warm clothing available for our guests to take if they need it.  In previous years we have had photographers to take photos and the photo printers on site to make sure that the guests had prints that they could give for gifts to family and friends.  We would love to bring this back again next year but we will need to find a corporate sponsor for the printers/ink/paper/SD cards.

It takes a lot of people to volunteer as well to make all of this possible. We can’t thank our volunteers enough!  We are thankful for every single one of you that took the time out of their busy holiday season to give back to the community.  It takes close to 100 people to put this kind of event on.

This is not the only event that this lovely lady does during the year either.  The church that provides the space for the big Christmas dinner also does community dinners for the less fortunate on a regular basis.  Brenda participates in those a few times a year as well.

Are you a musician, good in the kitchen, good with people, a photographer,  just want to give back to the community?  Come out to one of the events and lend a helping hand!  Join our Facebook Group.

This year we fed 438 people.  50 Christmas meal trays went out to families (not enough donations were received for hampers this year).  Several veterans meals and seniors meals also went out for Christmas dinner.  We were able to help a lot of people to just pause and relax.

Cheers to Brenda and all of the hard work she puts in throughout the year.  We love you Brenda!

Chutneys Fast Casual Indian Grill

Chutneys Fast Casual Indian Grill

When I first walked into this place, my brain was screaming “franchised”.  It looks a lot like any fast food place that you would come across in your neighbourhood.

The very minimalist, cafeteria type of atmosphere is cheered up by the choice of music.  I’m no expert, but it sounded like the catchy beats of Bollywood.  The place is super clean and the staff are friendly and accommodating.  Free parking available out front.  It is located very south–east, in a new shopping district.  Currently it is the only location in Alberta.  They are planning another in BC that will be opening shortly.

“Fast Casual Indian Food” is how Chutneys is marketed to the public.  It is a unique concept that has not been done anywhere else.  So, yes, it could be considered fast food because it can be prepared quickly, but it does not have the same connotations to your health.  This is all freshly prepared and healthy food.

If you are expecting to be eating your traditional butter chicken or palak paneer, you will need to look elsewhere.  This is a concept where you create your own experience.  It is reminiscent of traditional Indian street food. The ingredients are laid out and you put the flavours together according to your taste.

To start off, you pick the style:  Burroti, bowl or platter.  Burroti is great for the hand-held, “on the go” experience.  The bowl is the more medium sized meal.  The platter is where you can get a little bit of everything.

The roti for your Burrotii are pressed fresh for you, right before your eyes.  It gives you a couple of minutes to try and decide what to put inside of it.  You pick a protein, then you pick your rice, sauce, veggies go on top of that and lastly your choice of chutney.  There are several different combinations available – the only limit is your imagination.

The bowl is sort of the same idea without the wrap.  This can be made gluten-free or vegan.  Again; protein, sauce, veggies, chutney.  They have a poster near the ordering counter that has some pre-made choices if you can’t make a decision like me!

The platter is the big boy of Chutney’s.  I didn’t have an appetite to match, but one of the customers that was there while I was enjoying my dinner tried it.  You can fill that bad boy up and you won’t leave hungry!

The mango lassi is the crowning jewel.  It is freshly made as well with yogurt, milk, crushed mango and honey.  No sugar, no sweeteners.  It was lovely.

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So after a meal of flavourful, healthy food, I left satisfied, but without a heavy stomach.  My Burroti was awesome as was my husband’s bowl.

If you have room, they also have a healthy dessert option called “Laddoo Bites” which are packed full of energy; honey, oats, coconut, peanut butter and a little bit of chocolate.   Great as a pre-workout snack too!

Super reasonably priced for such healthy food options!  The Burroti or bowl are both just under $10.  You can’t go wrong with a deal like that.

Next time you are craving fast food, consider a healthier option and try out Chutneys Indian Grill!

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Get Your Knosh On!

Get Your Knosh On!

Knosh Catering is a family run business, headed by a gentleman that is generous, creative and talented. Knosh prides itself on supporting local producers.  The majority of the ingredients used are provided by some of Edmonton’s best local farmers and independent producers. They specialize in British and European cuisine.  Cream Tea,  Afternoon Tea and High Teas are their specialty.

Stuart Parry is completely self taught.  The passion that he puts into his cooking and baking is evident in anything he puts on your plate.  His customers are family and are treated as such when they have a meal with him.  I have been following Stuart and family since the food truck days.  The sandwiches and traditional English breakfasts are just as tasty as the Trifle and Victorian Sponge Cake!

Knosh Catering now calls the Crestwood Curling Club home; Stuart and family run the concession.  They still cater for weddings and events.  It’s nothing fancy,  unless of course, you are attending a Knosh Tea Party.  I was lucky enough to get an invite to the most recent event.  The tickets always sell out.

When you see the concession area transformed into Grandma’s dining room, you can’t help but marvel at it’s beauty.  The tables are covered in matching linens with the tea trays and teacups all ready to be filled for the guests.  Stuart and his family are busy in the kitchen filling the tea trays for the guests that have already been seated.

Once you are comfortable, you have your tea brought out to you with your own tea set on a silver platter.  Your tea tray is also brought to your table filled with tea sandwiches, savouries and Stuart’s famous scones; one of each for everyone at the table.  The scones by themselves are delightful, but Stuart puts it over the top with in house made clotted cream and strawberry preserves.

If that wasn’t enough, there is also an entire table loaded with traditional cakes, tarts and biscuits!  You will never leave Knosh hungry.

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I LOVE dressing up for tea, but it is not mandatory.  There is no dress code at Knosh.  If you want to dress fancy, or if you want to dress down.  Everyone is welcome.

After I was completely sated with such a delicious tea, I got the chance to chat a bit with Stuart and congratulate him on his new granddaughter.  Proud Grandpa!

RR: What inspires you to cook and bake?  What is your muse?

SP: All of my most treasured memories as a child are centred around
food.  I have always cooked for Family and Friends.  I am self taught
by trial and error.  My wife Karen says that I am most happiest in the
kitchen and even on  worst days I still have a smile on my face when
baking.  When people come to Crestwood they are treated like family, I
am always pulling people into the kitchen at Crestwood to eat this,
sample that.  Crestwood curling Club has become an extension of my
family, so for me Family and Friends inspire me to cook and I love
nothing more that see people eat and smile.

RR:  What can we expect from Knosh in the near future?

SP: I truly have found a home at Crestwood Curling Club. Knosh has
been made to feel welcome and we have been given a great opportunity
to be able to expand while at the club.  We still offer catering
services in the non-curling months, but we are also are now able to offer
traditional afternoon teas, fish and chips nights and full English
breakfast and brunch on Saturdays.  The Crestwood Curling Club is open
to the public to come any time, so I encourage people to come check
out the club and grab a bit to eat.  The upstairs lounge area is
totally family friendly, children are welcome and they have a great
selection of local craft beers on tap.  We also are providing fresh
baked scones and pies to Mandolin book store.  Knosh is a family owned
and operated business.

RR: Can I please get a brief background on how you started cooking and how
Knosh came to be?

SP:  I have always loved to cooked, feeding people is one of my biggest
joys.  I started professional by fluke.  I had just been laid off from
my Nursing attendant position with The Good Samaritan and a friend
recommended me for a job at a catering company.  I got the job there
and worked there for 10 years, I learned so much it was great but
decided to take some time off to be with family.  That did not last
long as I saw an ad for a food truck for sale, something I had been
thinking about for a while.  So I bought the truck and Knosh Catering
was born.  I have not looked back.  Loved every day working on the
truck and meeting some amazing people that I still keep in contact
with.  The Food Truck owners are a tight knit family that help and
support each other.  After four seasons I decided to sell the truck
and was invited to move into Crestwood Curling Club which has given us
the ability to expand our menu and offer special events such as
Afternoon Tea and Fish and chip nights.

Traditional British food is hard to find in Edmonton.  I hear rumours that the traditional British fish and chip nights featuring “Effing Seafood” cod, mushy peas and the works, will be taking place the third week in October.  The afternoon teas will continue as well after September. Keep your eyes on the Facebook page for the event listings.