Happy #CanadaDay and Happy @calgarystampede – 2 #coolthings about where live in #alberta #canada

Canada Day cookies - photo - Karen Anderson

Canada Day cookies – photo – Karen Anderson

Cool thing #31 – The Millarville Races and
Cool thing #32 – The Calgary Stampede
2 more great reasons to Explore Alberta

I love that summer starts with a big bang in Calgary. We get dressed up in red and white for Canada Day…

…and then we rock our maverick culture with an ode to western heritage for the 10 days of The Calgary Stampede. It’s the world’s largest outdoor show and one of the world’s largest music festivals.

This post will be a photo essay of how I usually spend Canada Day – at the Millarville Races – along with some food ideas for your own celebrations and then a quick look at the fun of our beloved Calgary Stampede.

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My @Albertaatnoon food column on #cocktails – just in time for #CanadaDay – Have a great one!

Cocktail Culture - photo - Karen Anderson

Cocktail Culture – photo – Karen Anderson


Here’s my CBC Radio One Alberta at Noon Food Column podcast on Alberta’s cocktail renaissance. Find my piece with host Donna McElligott at the 15:30 mark in the show.
Thanks going out to Christina Mah and Katie Mayer of Hotel Arts Group for inventing the #GnomeComeHome cocktail for our listeners to try. It’s truly delicious. Cheers till next time. Karen

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#Cocktail recipe for my June column for @albertaatnoon

Katie Mayer and Christina Mah in the poolside garden at the Hotel Arts talking about Gnome Come Home's local ingredients - photo - Karen Anderson

Katie Mayer and Christina Mah in the poolside garden at the Hotel Arts talking about Gnome Come Home’s local ingredients – photo – Karen Anderson

Coincidences make for great stories.

One day last week, I went to visit Christina Mah. Mah is the general manager of The Hotel Arts’ “Viet Mod” bistro called Raw Bar by Duncan Lee. She is also the president of the Alberta Chapter of the Canadian Professional Bartender’s Association (CPBA).

I interviewed Mah about cocktail making and asked if she would create a summer cocktail that I could share with you. Her creation is fresh and seasonal. Fresh and seasonal might not be words you think of when it comes to cocktails but they are an emerging cocktail trend that – happily – seems to be here to stay.

In this post I’ll talk about how to make cocktails, give you some recommendations for great places to drink them in Alberta and I’ll also share the story of how we named this drink Gnome Come Home after the Raw Bar’s gnome mascot was coincidentally “kidnapped” the day I arrived to interview Mah.

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The #Cocktail Renaissance – my June Column for @AlbertaatNoon

The origins of the cocktail are believed to have evolved after King William of Orange lowered taxes on distillation in 1688. There was a grain surplus that year in England and before long one in four buildings in London had a still for making gin.

Alcohol at the time was about the safest thing to drink as most of the leading causes of death were caused by drinking water.

By the 1730’s gin had become a problem for many – especially for the poor. For others it was drank in moderation with the addition of fruit juices and known as punch. This mixing of punch bowls in 1730’s England is now believed to be the first mixology bar tending.

This post will look at the history of cocktails and why – after years of focus on wine knowledge and a growing trend for craft brewing – popular culture has turned into a cocktail culture once again.

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Join some Monday baking madness with @duchessbakeshop in Calgary @cookbookcooks at 6:30pm tonight

The organizers of this lovely event tell me that Duchess Bakeshop owner, Giselle Courteau and her team, have baked lots of treats so pop by tonight on your way home from work or take a break from home and come in for some freshly made goodies and freshly shaken cocktails from Calgary’s newest cocktail bar Proof.
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#EatPrayPlay – Would you like to join the cuisine and culture trip I’m hosting to #India November 7 – 23, 2015?

at a Sikh Langar (free food kitchen for all regardless of background) in Delhi - photo - Pauli-Ann Carriere

at a Sikh Langar (free food kitchen for all regardless of background) in Delhi – photo – Pauli-Ann Carriere

This will be the fourth time I’ve lead cuisine and culture journeys to India. It gives me great joy to share this year’s itinerary here.

This year’s trip is all about #EatPrayPlay.

#EAT – because this trip is for food lovers and our shared passion for the mouth-watering cuisines of India.
#PRAY – because India’s religions are so much a part of the vibrant daily life of her people – we make an effort to learn about them and the culture that forms around them.
#PLAY – because, though we’ll see lots of “life in our face”, India will surprise you with the joy and love in most of her people. We make sure to play, have fun, join in festivals and unwind with a restorative form of yoga that anyone can take part in.

Interested?
Let me share some photos and highlights from trips past and plans for this year’s custom tour designed by me and my partners at Indus Travels.
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@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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