Celebrating Food Day Canada 2019 and the bounty of Alberta this August

Alberta Beef from Hotel Arts for Food Day Canada celebrations- photo courtesy of Hotel Arts
Alberta beef – photo courtesy of Hotel Arts

Food Day Canada is one of my favourite days of the year. It’s always held on the Saturday of the August long weekend and it’s a time to celebrate the height of our country’s growing season and the abundance of local produce available.

This Saturday, August 3, I’ll be celebrating Food Day Canada a few fun ways. First, I’ll lead a Canmore Tasting Trail food experience for my company Alberta Food Tours (there’s still a few spots left on that tour but our Savour 17 SW food tour in Calgary is sold out that day) and then I’ll be attending a long table Beef and Barley Food Day Canada Dinner with partners Hotel Arts and Trails End Ranch. Tickets are only $125 per person and there are still a few left.

Here in Alberta, that’s just the beginning of the celebration of local bounty this August. We’ve also got a new festival called Alberta on your Plate, August 9 to 18, to look forward to and our annual Alberta Open Farm Days, August 17 and 18, with 160 farms across the province participating. Check out the links for these last two events and read on for more info about the Food Day Canada Beef and Barley Dinner at Trails End Ranch.

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Secrets of Southern Alberta – An #EatAlbertaFirst Road Trip – Oct 3-6, 2019

old man reservoir - photo by Neil Zeller photography
Old Man Reservoir – photo by Neil Zeller Photography

Join me this October for this once in a lifetime #EatAlbertaFirst road trip

There are as many ways to explore Alberta as there are range and township roads criss-crossing the province. But, how many of us have the time to plan a trip to truly get to know this beautiful place?

We dream of meeting Alberta’s leading edge food artisans and tourism entrepreneurs but don’t know how to make the connections? We search for meals brimming with Alberta’s signature foods and end up settling for roadside fast food. We long to slow down and soak up the beauty of this land but are too busy navigating life to take it all in.

Finally, here’s a trip where you just have to show up and every detail has already been taken care of for you.

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Mess Hall podcast with Avery Cochrane

Mess Hall Podcast with Avery Cochrane

Mess Hall is a weekly podcast by Avery Cochrane on the Alberta Pod Net. Avery features comedians, interesting personalities, other podcasters and foodies. That’s where I come in.

Here’s the podcast conversation we had when he invited me to talk about life as an entrepreneur, my Alberta Food Tours business, and my writing life with projects like Food Artisans of Alberta and A Spicy Touch.

Avery listens intently, has great recall and describes himself as a lifelong learner. It was a treat to be interviewed by him and I hope you enjoy the podcast. Avery’s love of podcasts started by listening to them during his daily commute. Maybe the next time you are stuck in traffic, you’ll tune into the Mess Hall and check out his latest offerings. I guarantee it’ll be fun to see what he’s “cooked up.”

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Poolside dining and the art of summer by Calgary’s Hotel Arts

showing off the new pool at Hotel Arts in Calgary

Cool thing No. 59 on this blog

Summer is short in Calgary. That’s perhaps why, the Hotel Arts’ pool, in the city’s Beltline district south of downtown, has become a mecca for those craving sun and a dip in the water when we do get a hot summer’s day. While the pool has always been fun, it’s now received a chic makeover which includes a cover designed to make it useable fall to spring as well as summer.

While guests get first priority, locals can pay a fee to also enjoy the recently renovated space and everyone is invited to enjoy dining at the new Poolside by Hotel Arts.

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It’s the simple things – like this Salmon Quiche

salmon quiche recipe
Mom’s Salmon Quiche

I’m home in New Brunswick for a family wedding this weekend. That’s a big deal and there’s lots to celebrate as weddings are the best way for family’s to reunite. Still, as great as that is, it’s not the big things that get me excited about being home. It’s always the simple things.

Like this quiche, for example. It’s simple, it’s real and it’s easy. It’s the kind of recipe that my Mom pulls out of an old cookbook or drawer filled with a hundred other recipes on loose bits of paper. She pulls a homemade pie crust lined pan from the freezer because she can! (You can too – just check out the pie-making lessons with my Mom here and here.) And, then she throws the few ingredients together and pops it in the oven while I make a salad. We sit and have a cup of tea and before we know it, time together has flown and we are eating this lovely lunch.

The recipe follows. I hope you make it and eat it with your Mom. If you are lucky enough to still have her, savour every minute with her. I sure do.

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Garden Greens with an Alberta Vinaigrette – from Food Artisans of Alberta

Murietta's Mountain Grill (we get a private room facing the mountains) goat cheese fritters or charcuterie board and wine tasting
Garden Greens with an Alberta Vinaigrette
from Food Artisans of Alberta: Your Trail Guide to the Best of our Locally Crafted Fare
by Karen Anderson and Matilde Sanchez-Turri

So often in Canada, we use imported ingredients for our daily cooking. This recipe takes a different approach. It uses a classic, imported French technique for a vinaigrette and and highlights some of Alberta’s signature ingredients to make our local – over global – flavours shine.

Now that the greens are flourishing in the garden, it seemed the perfect time to share and celebrate both this recipe AND the fact that Food Artisans of Alberta: Your Trail Guide to the Best of Our Locally Crafted Fare just turned one year old.

It’s been a great year with the book receiving the World Gourmand Cookbook Award for best Culinary/Food Travel writing (Canada). It was also recently short-listed for a Taste Canada award for Best Culinary Narrative.

I hope you’ll dig in your garden or farmers’ market for ingredients, dig into this dish and then dig into our book for more recipes and inspiration to explore Alberta, one food artisan at a time. The recipe follows.

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International Day of Yoga 2019 – Free offerings from Isha Foundation and Sadhguru

International Day of Yoga - Isha Free Offerings

June 21 is the day that spring transitions to summer. If spring is about the rebirth brought on by increased light then summer is about the blossoming of all life. We go from green blades of grass effortlessly cutting through the earth to birds singing for the ecstasy of being alive. Everything is oriented to rebirth and growth, to potential and possibility.

How fitting then, that June 21 is also the International Day of Yoga (IDY) because this day is also about the potential for rebirth and blossoming. Only with yoga, the seed of potential is not carried along on the softness of a fragrant breeze, it lies within all human beings. The fruit of its birth and blossoming can be the realization of our universal oneness.

This post is about the guidance a guru can offer on one’s spiritual path, what that transformation looks like in my own life and Isha Foundation’s offerings to help bring humans to their ultimate potential on IDY 2019.

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