Archive | September, 2011

Wellesley Apple Butter and Cheese Festival

28 Sep

Wellesley's famous apple butter.

Every fall the Wellesley Apple Butter and Cheese Festival celebrates the beautiful and bountiful apple harvest.  This is a one day festival held on the last saturday of September in the small town of Wellesley, Ontario, Canada.

Cortland apples, $4 for 4 quarts.

The belle of the ball is the apple butter which is a jam-like condiment that can be eaten with bread, toast or even pork chops. Prices for the apple butter range from $2.50 to $5.00 depending on the jar size. There is also apple fritters, hot or cold apple cider, apple syrup, pumpkin apple butter, caramel apples and fresh picked apples all for sale. A tour of the apple factory, where many of the apple products are made, is also available.

Local Ontario garlic.

Homemade ice cream with chocolate syrup, $4.

Other products for sale include local garlic, pies, homemade ice cream, kettle corn, funnel cake, jumbo roasted turkey legs, freshly squeezed lemonade, pretzels, cheese (but not as much as one would expect considering cheese is part of the festival name) and cured sausages.  For early risers, there is a popular pancake breakfast that starts at 7AM.

Kettle corn, $4 for one bag.

Logs of cured sausage.

Aside from food products, there are also vendors selling quilts, jewelry, candles, hyena tattoos, winter accessories, crafts and more. Horse-drawn carriage and tractor rides are also available.  There is also a small outdoor stage where local musicians perform.

A brimming basket of apples.

I love that this festival is built around apples.  The festival truly highlights the versatility and importance of this ordinary but amazing fruit.

Weelicious

22 Sep

Weelicious is a food blog created by Catherine McCord, a mother of two young children.  Her motto when it comes to cooking is fast, easy,  fresh and delicious recipes.  Her recipes truly stick to this philosophy and she faithfully posts daily. Along with her recipes, she also posts about her garden, handy kitchen/food finds which she often has as giveaways and weekly how-to videos.

A smoothie made with avocados, banana and milk.

I have tried three of her recipes so far. The first was an avocado shake which I was inspired to try because it was so unique.  I liked it as a refreshing change from the typical strawberry, mango, banana, …  flavoured smoothies.

Brown rice cooked with curry and vegetables.

My second creation was Catherine’s indian vegetable rice.  I mostly have my rice plain so the idea of spicing up a pot of rice with curry and vegetables really appealed to me.  It was a hit and I have made it several times since.

Boneless skinless chicken thighs with soy sauce, vinegar and garlic.

The most recent recipe I made was the Adobo chicken which requires the chicken (boneless skinless thighs) be marinated in soy sauce, garlic and vinegar, and then simmered in a pot for about 40 minutes.  Chicken is my preferred meat and I am always looking for chicken recipes. This one did not disappointment.

As Catherine always says on her videos, “for more fast, fresh, easy recipes like this and more, check out weelicious.com!”

 

Baked Potato

14 Sep

A baked potato dressed with butter, salt, pepper and yogurt.

A simple way to make and dress a baked potato is as follows:

  • one large (about 3/4 of a pound) baking potato, washed vigorously
  • greek style yogurt
  • sea salt and pepper
  • unsalted butter

A baking potato that was cleaned with a dish scrubber.

With a fork, pierce the potato a few times everywhere.  Put the potato in a baking dish and place in a 450ºC preheated oven for one hour.  When done, let cool for about ten minutes.

Baked potato cut in half lengthwise with unsalted butter on top.

Slice the potato in half lengthwise. I like to keep my two halves connected in the middle. On each half, place a few shavings of butter and sprinkle a generous amount of salt and pepper.

Fluffed baked potato with salt, pepper and butter.

With a fork, scrap the inside of the potato. Not only does this fluff up the inside of the potato but mixes the butter, salt and pepper.  If desired, add a few more shavings of butter and another light dusting of sea salt.   Place a big dollop of yogurt on top of the fluffed potato and serve immediately.

Chicken Corn Fried Rice

7 Sep

Fried rice with chicken, corn, onion, peas and tomatoes.

  • 1 chicken breast, minced and then coated with a light dusting of cornstarch and a sprinkle of sea salt and pepper
  • 3/4 cup of brown rice (Cook the rice as instructed on the package except replace half the amount of water with a low sodium chicken broth. When the rice is cooked, add in a sprinkle of sea salt and pepper, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and the juice of one lemon.  Mix well, let cool and store in the fridge overnight.  Using day old rice ensures non-soggy fried rice.)
  • one small onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1/3 cup of green peas (frozen or fresh)
  • 1/3 cup of corn (canned or fresh)
  • 1 tomato, roughly chopped (or substitute with one grated carrot)
  • 3 tbsps of honey or agave
  • 3 tbsps of canola oil
  • 4 to 5 tbsps of soy sauce
  • sea salt and pepper to taste
  • sesame oil (optional)

In a hot pan or wok and on high heat, add in the canola oil and then chicken and onions.  Once the chicken is cooked, add in the honey, corn and green peas. Cook until the corn and peas are warmed all the way through. Sprinkle a little sea salt and pepper into the chicken, onions, corn and peas.  Stir well and add in the rice and soy sauce.  Combine well the rice, chicken and vegetables. Ensure the rice is heated through and then add in the tomatoes and a light drizzle of sesame oil. Stir well and remove immediately from the heat. Serve while hot.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 Sep

Oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.

The following recipe makes about 30 cookies:
  • 1/2 cup softened unsalted butter, a little less is fine for those who are more health conscious.
  • 4 tbsps of honey or agave
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1.5 cups of oats
  • a pinch of salt
  • 150 grams of chocolate chips
In a large mixing bowl, combine well the butter, both sugars, honey/agave, egg and vanilla extract. Sieve in the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Mix well and then gradually add in the oats and chocolate chips.  Ensure all the ingredients are well mixed.

Form dough into 2 inch rounds, place on baking sheet at least two inches apart and lightly flatten with the palm of your hand.  Bake in a preheated 375ºC oven for 10 minutes.  Let cookies cool before removing from the baking sheet.

Two oatmeal chocolate chip cookies with chocolate ice cream in between.

For an added treat, use the cookies to make ice cream sandwiches.  In this case, serve while the cookies are still slightly warm.  I really enjoy the hint of warmth against the icy cold ice cream.