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.
Cocktail inspiration – photo – Karen Anderson
Still in style – the Cocktail – photo – Karen Anderson
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.
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.
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.
the table is set for a season of long table dinners – photo – Karen Anderson
The Guinness World Record for the longest of long table dinners is 1.286 kilometres.
The record was set in August of 2014 in Finland where the long table dinner was measured with three decimal precision to eek out Spain’s record of 1.258 kilometres. This record has toppled more than once in the last few years proving that long table dinners are “a thing”. But are they truly a new phenomenon or are they an exaggeration of an age old tradition?
This post will look at this trend in dining and the list of long tables setting up for an exciting season of outdoor dining in Alberta this year. Check out a holiday menu inspired by this phenomenon here.
Farewell to winter salad – photo – Karen Anderson
Voila – a star (anise) stew – photo – Karen Anderson
Waldorf Astoria Cake Revival – photo – Karen Anderson
CBC Radio One’s Alberta at Noon host Donna McElligott and I had a lot of fun reminiscing about Corner Grocers today. Catch the podcast and let me know if you have access to a great up and coming corner grocer or small general store in your area. I’d love to hear about it.
I’ve always felt I was born to GROCERY shop. It’s my favourite thing to do. I’m just a little picky about where I do it. That’s the key to making it fun. Check out my visit to three fun Corner Grocers and the recipes they inspired when you get the chance.