@InnisfailGrower #EdgarFarms cancels #Alberta Asparagus Festival for 2015

Edgar Farms of Innisfail Growers

Edgar Farms of Innisfail Growers

I woke up to find a message from my friend Elna Edgar of Edgar Farms in Innisfail today. She asked if I would share the news that they’ve had to cancel their annual Asparagus Festival which was to be held on May 31, June 7 and 14.

I’m sad for my friends. They’re passionate farmers and they love to share that passion for all they do with visitors to their farm.

I hope you will support them more than ever this year. Read about one of my visits to Innisfail Growers, visit their stall at the Calgary Farmers’ Market, participate in their annual Country Drive or Open Farm Days and let them know we’ll all be waiting to celebrate a bumper crop of asparagus next year.

Sometimes having to wait a bit for something we love helps us all the more to savour it all.
Read on for the full press release.
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#Paris – a #daytrip to #Giverny and another visit to Monet’s true masterpiece


The first time I went to Giverny and inside the high walls of Claude Monet’s home it was May and the garden was all about the irises. They were tall and sparkling with dew in shades of mauve, purple, yellow and white. They took the lead with tulips, lilacs and wisteria as voluptuous back up singers in a “dew-op” garden song.

It’s funny. Irises became synonymous with Giverny for me. My mind grabbed that purple haze of flowers and sealed it away. My recent visit was an epiphany.

April means tulip time at Giverny. The iris were only thinking about their diva-ish debut. The wisteria was wistfully waking, the lilacs were racing the apple blossoms for heightening senses with their scents-ability.

I’ve now started to think I’ll need to go every month of the year to truly understand the beauty of Monet’s intricate masterpiece. Here’s how I came to the joyous occasion of making my second visit.

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#Foraging and the morel of the story – my latest @CityPalate feature article

morel mushrooms - photo - Karen Anderson

morel mushrooms – photo – Karen Anderson

I love the chance to spend time in nature and living in Alberta, Canada gives me great opportunities to do so. I love hiking in The Rocky Mountains, cycling, skiing or sometimes just getting in a raft and floating down the big wide Bow River.

Eventually, all that time in nature makes me hungry though and that’s when it’s good to spend a little of my time in the great outdoors with a cadre of culinary instructors from SAIT Polytechnic’s School of Hospitality and Tourism. Once a year we go on a hike that turns into an episode of Bounty Hunter. The bounty in this case is food and the hunting is part of the gathering we do on their annual foraging day in the foothills of The Rocky Mountains.

You might be a confirmed “urban forager” but in case you’d like to take a walk on the wild side of food read on…
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Food news #Calgary #Canada – famous @BestofBridge brand has new cards up their sleeves

Shuffling the deck for new winning hand of Best of Bridge - LtoR - Mary Halpen, Sue Duncan, Val Robinson, Helen Miles, Joan Wilson, Elizabeth Chorney-Booth and Julie Van Rosendaal - photo - Karen Anderson

Shuffling the deck for new winning hand of Best of Bridge – LtoR – Mary Halpen, Sue Duncan, Val Robinson, Helen Miles, Joan Wilson, Elizabeth Chorney-Booth and Julie Van Rosendaal – photo – Karen Anderson

Publishers Robert Rose held a quiet dinner at Rouge Restaurant in Calgary last night to make the announcement that the iconic Canadian cookbook brand Best of Bridge would be shuffling their deck of authors. Calgary Herald reporter Gwendolyn Richards broke the news in an exclusive interview.

Winners of a contest that asked for favourite recipes and stories about Best of Bridge were invited to the dinner under the guise of celebrating an intimate “retro evening” with the four remaining original authors – Mary Halpen, Val Robinson, Helen Miles and Joan Wilson. I was one of the fortunate winners.

I entered the contest because I am a long-time fan of the success of the eight (now four) Calgary stay-at-home Moms and savvy entrepreneurs.  They were everything I hoped they would be – happy, passionate, completely loyal and fond of each other, funny (just like their famous one-liners) and great businesswomen.

Here’s a bit more about them and the new plans for Best of Bridge with Julie Van Rosendaal, Sue Duncan and Elizabeth Chorney-Booth.

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My @AlbertaatNoon podcast on Classic French Gastronomy and the fun food fad – #MugCakes

Mug Cakes are included in this VIP - Very Important Pots cookbook - photo - Karen Anderson

Mug Cakes are included in this VIP – Very Important Pots cookbook – photo – Karen Anderson

I made eight mini Mug Cakes this morning to take to my friends at CBC Radio One’s Alberta at Noon.

If you’re wondering how I worked Classic French Gastronomy and Mug Cakes into the same segment, you can listen to the podcast here.

If you master the Mug Cake try making this beautiful French menu with recipes from my friends at Succulent Paris.

Today’s CBC column proved that whether you go classic or faddist – you can still savour it all.

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A French Food Fad for 2015 – Mug Cakes

little mug cakes cookbooks were everywhere in Paris - photo - Karen Anderson

little mug cakes cookbooks were everywhere in Paris – photo – Karen Anderson


I don’t think Mug Cakes are new. I’ve found blog posts dating back five years with oodles of recipes for them but they seem to have taken Paris by a chocolate brown cocoa powder storm this year. Everywhere I looked little cookbooks were devoted to them. At Le Grand Epicerie de Paris you could even buy a mug fully loaded with the ingredients for the mere price (I jest) of 13.50 Euros.

This post has a recipe I developed for a deliciously ooey-gooey Chocolat-ey Chocolate Mug Cake. It’s easy and fun and ANYONE can make it. I hope you will. Let me know how it turns out for you.

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The Gastronomic Meal of the French – #recipes from my friends @SucculentParis

My friends at Succulent Paris enjoying the treats I brought them from Alberta - photo - Kim Irving

My friends at Succulent Paris enjoying the treats I brought them from Alberta – photo – Kim Irving


My friends Marion Willard and Aurélie Mahoudeau of Succulent Paris food tours are wonderful cooks who love to share their passion with visitors to their city. This post will highlight a day where I booked them for a private gourmet tour. We met for coffee, shopped on Rue de Levis near their home and then prepared a seasonal multi-course gastronomic meal.

Cooking with Willard and Mahoudeau is a joyous occasion. Sitting down and sharing a meal together even more so. I hope that you’ll see that in the photos I’ll share here and that you’ll try some of the recipes as well. If they all seem a bit too much skip ahead to the next post where I share a ridiculously easy and fun Mug Cake that anyone can make and enjoy. It’s all good.

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Filed under Alberta at Noon, Cooks I know, food tours, Great ingredients, Heritage cooking skills, Recipes, Travel