Tag Archives: city palate

Behind the scenes @CityPalate Iron Sommelier Challenge #yycfood #yycwine

The remains of the day...of wine tasting photo - Karen Anderson

The remains of the day…of wine tasting
photo – Karen Anderson

Fine wine delivers a small bouquet of joy.

Especially when that wine is paired with great food. Knowing which wine to pair with what food is the work of sommeliers.

Writing about a sommelier challenge that involved three incredibly talented sommeliers, three wine expert judges, two savoury dishes from one of my favourite chefs in town and 12 incredible wines can only be described as a plum assignment with spicy notes and an incredible finish.

I hope you’ll enjoy this very fun article about City Palate magazine’s annual Iron Sommelier Challenge. I sure enjoyed writing it. It was fun to capture the very playful scene it became and to learn from the experts. If you’d like a sneak peak into what went on in the background of this article please read on…

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Filed under Joy, Restaurants, Savour food, Wine, Writing

@CityPalate #GetThis – great ingredients and cool things for spring

I was born to grocery shop

I was born to grocery shop

Some people are born to shop but I was born to grocery shop. I love it.

I am delighted that I get to write about the great ingredients and cool things I find in local grocery stores, markets and kitchen shops. I do this for my Get This (must have kitchen stuff) column in Calgary’s City Palate magazine.

I’ve been writing Get This since the fall of 2010 and I am inspired by the fun things I find for each and every issue. I respect that my publisher and editor never tell me what to write about. They trust that I will write about things City Palate readers will be interested in. That is what City Palate is about first, last and always…for over 20 years…what readers will find interesting.

Thinking about our readers motivates me every time. Along with the products I love to squeeze in a few recipes and news about local farms and businesses, and great chefs and designers.
In this issue I wrote about the following products which will qualify for this blog’s cool things category:
Cool thing #17 – Ruckles – groovy goat cheese from Salt Spring Island
Cool thing #18 – Spiegelau’s balloon decanter and tumbler set – a darling with great hand feel
Cool thing #19 – Tartufo nero – black truffle oil that I think is asparagus’s taste soul mate
Cool thing #20 – DaVinci orange syrup – agent orange as an asset
Cool thing #21 – Lemonaise – lemon lending flavour potential
Cool thing #22 – Village Brewery Growlers – the most chillin’ beer for summer.

You’ll find the full story in this May/June issue.

I have a fridge, freezer and pantry stuffed to the gills with great ingredients and cool things. I wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s truly a part of what helps me savour it all.

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Filed under Cool things, Farm Tours, Farmers I know, Great ingredients, Recipes, Writing

Savour food – at the source – my work with @CityPalate Foodie Tootle farm tours

Alberta harvest time land and skyscape photo from a moving bus - Karen Anderson

Alberta harvest time land and skyscape
photo from a moving bus – Karen Anderson

I just spent the better part of the last week planning, shopping, cooking, packing up, catering and leading a Foodie Tootle tour to four farms in one day for 43 guests. I’m pooped out but proud of the amazing farmers we visited yesterday and all the goodies my guests were able to gather for their Thanksgiving dinners next weekend.

I’m going to blog a little bit about each of the four farmers we visited this week. Those farms include the following:
Poplar Bluff Organics
Winter’s Turkeys
Highwood Crossing and the
The Saskatoon Farm.

All through this week, I’ll share some of the recipes these farms have inspired along with some of my family’s favourites.

Meanwhile, if you are wondering what a Foodie Tootle is, I hope you will enjoy this piece I wrote for City Palate describing the origin of the Foodie Tootle farm tours, their goals and what that typical experience looks and feels like.

cp_so13_tootles.pdf

Did you read the article? Here’s a sample of one of my Bad Turkey Jokes.
Why did the turkey cross the road? It was the chicken’s day off.

Here’s a better punch line to make up for that.

Apple Jack Frost Nipping at your Nose Punch
4 liters apple cider
1 bottle sparkling wine
2 cups Calvados
2 t. Fee Brothers whiskey barrel-aged bitters
Iced apple ring
Combine all of the above in a punch bowl and serve promptly upon guests arrival for a smooth opening to your holiday party. Make the ice ring by slicing 6 apples thinly, overlap them on the bottom of a ring mold, add just enough water so they’ll freeze in position, freeze, then fill the mold with water and freeze again until needed.

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Filed under Farm Tours, Farmers I know, Recipes, Savour food

Savour life – Cool thing no. 7 – #RightHereyyc – @Calgary video to show you why I love where I live

Thank you to @TourismCalgary @calgaryeconomic @ctcc_calgary for making this video that so beautifully conveys everything I love about Calgary.

I choose to live here. I love the maverick spirit and generous nature of the people. I love my access to the splendour of the natural world. I can be urban but I wouldn’t survive without the hiking and skiing – my time in nature – that keeps me balanced and calm. I love the open minds of the people I do business with. I love the youth and vitality of the city and our multicultural mosaic. I love raising a family here.

Most of all…don’t be surprised…I love the food here. Here are the multiple people and factors that I give credit to for making Calgary the best place to eat in Canada. Of course, I’d love to hear if you agree or disagree or have things to add of your own. Sharing ideas always helps us savour our lives…#RightHere in #yyc #Calgary.

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Filed under Cool things, Savour food, Savour life, Wine

Savour Food – Alberta Christmas Gift Ideas for Food Lovers

I have such a fun job. I own my own company called Calgary Food Tours and I’m a food and travel writer.  I get to explore the food of my city, province, country and the world each year and  I always meet the most incredible food artisans, chefs and small business owners.  I can’t help but fall in love with the food products I taste and sample each year because so many of them are outstanding (Let’s say I’ve also become quite good at selecting where I go and what I taste to start with).  I love to share the good news about these finds and so each year I write about them for City Palate Magazine in Calgary and today, I got to present some of my favourites on CBC Radio One’s Alberta at Noon in hopes of helping my fellow Albertans prepare for the Christmas holidays.

Christmas means a lot to me because it is a wonderful opportunity to savour our food and savour our lives and loved ones.  These are definately a few of my favourite things..

cue Julie Andrews

Here’s a link to the CBC podcast of my discussion with lovely host and dear friend Donna McElligott Alberta @ Noon podcast with Karen’s Alberta-made gifts for Food Lovers

and here’s my list of gift ideas and suggestions for you in case you don’t have time to listen.

Karen Anderson’s 2012 Alberta Food Lover’s Gift Giving Guide

  1. Alberta Whisky Cake – moist, fragrant, delicious whisky cakes delivered to your door
  2. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sammys-Pies/130209043721202  or call 403-931-3572 for (vegetarian) mince meat tarts made with love
  3. Field Stone Fruit Wines – yes, they’ll deliver 10 fantastic fruit wines right to your door and all the fruit is grown on their property in Strathmore, Alberta
  4. Spice Sanctuary – book a cooking retreat in Canmore
  5. Silk Road Spice Merchants – a full on-line store with beautiful gift sets
  6. Maple Leaf Spices – I love their “Nice & Easy” pouches with a recipe and all the spices you need to make it – great for travel
  7. The Salt Cellar – elegant salts from around the world blended by a world class chef
  8. On Our Table – buy a gorgeous Alberta designed cutting board or kitchen accessory for timeless kitchen beauty
  9. Stoked Oats- for the athlete on your list
  10. Food on your Shirt – fun t-shirts for the fashionable food lover
  11. Make Cheese – Kits for home cheese making – for kits and caboodles of cheese making fun
  12. The Eat Canada app – for the techie who travels and eat, the new Cross-Canada guide to great downtown restaurants

My cookbook shortlist – all Alberta Authors of course!

12. The Soup Sister’s Cookbook– the cookbook to make everyone feel good

13. Winner of Best Food Literature (Canada) at the 2012 Gourmand World Cookbook Awards FOODSHED: AN EDIBLE ALBERTA ALPHABET by Dee Hobsbawn-Smith (Touchwood, 2012)

14. Uncorked! The Definitive Guide to Alberta’s Best Wines under $25 by Shelley Boettcher (Whitecap, 2012)

15. Food and the City: Urban Agriculture and the New Food Revolution. Jennifer Cockrall-King (Prometheus, 2012)

16. Taste Canada Food Writing Awards SINGLE-SUBJECT COOKBOOKS: Spilling the Beans. Julie Van Rosendaal and Sue Duncan. (Whitecap Books, 2012)

Finally, if you are tired of the same old turkey, same old family jokes and same old punch lines, here’s a new punch line to add a little sparkle to your family’s holiday gathering.

From my home to yours please accept my wishes for peace and prosperity and may you always savour your food and savour your life.  Cheers, Karen

Karen’s Cracker Jack Apple Punch

1 – 1.89L      bottle soft apple cider (I love the organic one made by Blush Lane)

1 ½ c             Calvados – apple brandy

1 bottle        sparkling wine

10 dashes     Fee Brothers Whiskey Barrel Aged or Angostura bitters

Dash            grated nutmeg and a few cinnamon sticks for decoration

1                 iced ring of apple slices – water and one green and one red apple.

Combine all of the above in a punch bowl.

Note: Make the apple ice ring ahead by cutting a green and red apple in slices and laying them in a circle in the bottom of a Bundt cake pan.  Add enough water so they stay in place but don’t float.  Freeze them in place and then add more water to make a nice sized ring. Pour hot water over the outside of the pan and release the ring into the punch bowl when it is time for your guests to arrive.

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Filed under Alberta at Noon, Recipes, Savour food