e t a Pal GROWING GOOD GRAPES Find out why this year’s grape season was a smash
Check out Toronto’s 2010 Gourmet Food & Wine Expo
Break the Habit! PLAN HEALTHY BREAKFASTS
Cover photo provided by morgueFile
It’s never too soon to learn how to cook - or so my mother always said. It’s just too bad I never took that advice to heart. Growing up, my house always had a delectable aroma. Whether my mom had just finished cooking an exquisite dinner for the family, or a tray of scrumptious brownies for dessert, I was always there to pig out on as much as I could handle. But as soon as I moved away to attend college, my favourite home-cooked meals turned into nasty, half-cooked and often inedible waste. My fault, of course, for not paying attention. It’s tough living on your own. How young adults just willingly throw themselves into the real world without finally succumbing to their parents’ advice, I’ll never know. But to those who are stuck (check out page 6), just like I was, or to those who are looking for healthy nutrition tips (page 10), entertaining ideas and must-haves (page 20), or even some fantastic sangria recipes (page 18), this issue of Palate has everything you need to get started in the kitchen. Bon appétit!
Kyle Reynolds managing editor
Cait Hoock art director
When I see a plate of food, I see a work of art. It’s all about presentation: a clean, colourful and well-balanced design. Palate delivers just this, and we invite our readers to savour every recipe, photo and story, right down to the last page.
Miranda Roach story editor
Our recipes are fresh like our stories, and Palate is filled with appealing delights for the mind and eyes. But don’t just taste the wine – drink it down and live it up because you never know when your last glass is going to be.
Chantal Da Silva photo editor
Although I may not be able to make something beautiful by reading ingredients, simply with the focus of my lens, my camera is my utensil in the kitchen. A picture is worth more than a thousand smells and flavours. It’s about capturing art.
contents FALL 2010
Letter from the editor An inside look at what’s fresh this season / About Palate and its team
ORGANIC 4 5
Ontario produce Supporting our local farmers Fresh vs. processed Eliminating frozen foods and pop from our diet / Interview with nutrition expert Nick Mawani
Getting started Tips and tools for novice cooks / Two meal ideas with easy to follow recipes Bad breakfast habits Why it’s the most important meal of the day / Three quick breakfast ideas
Glorious grapes Exploring this year’s grape season / What can we expect on shelves?
Pairing wines with food Make your own Benefits of brewing your own winet / A review to follow
SANGRIA SANGRIA Palate shows you four varieties of Sangria
Accessorizing your party Where to shop
FEATURES 10 16 22
Q&A with nutritionist Food and wine expo The Sazerac Tasting New Orlean’s first ever cocktail
Farmers’ Markets Written and photographed By Miranda Roach Grocery stores advertise themselves as “fresh obsessed,” but produce only stays good for so long. Buying from local farmers’ markets ensures fresh, quality foods with less harmful chemical interference. Local farmers believe communities will benefit in the long run if they support local farming. Owner of Linton’s Farm, Valerie Linton, says they have more social gatherings at the farm than actual shopping. “It’s neat to see some third generation customers coming through and that they’ve been supporting us all this time.” Many local farmers markets such as Linton’s special-
ize in a variety of pre-picked produce, including sweet corn, field tomatoes, pumpkins and a variety of fruits and vegetables. They also offer a ‘u-pick’ service for the more adventurous customers. The veggies are picked fresh daily and the market is open seven days a week. Linton and her husband Ron have operated the farm for the past 17 years. The farm has been around since the 1950s, however, it didn’t become a farmers’ market until 12 years ago. “People tend to eat vegetables all summer long and sometimes when they go to the grocery store certain things don’t look as fresh,” says Linton. “I like that customers can have
the fresh stuff we have here.” There are many rules and regulations that Ontario farmers are required to follow for taking care of crops and produce, but many imported fruits and vegetables use more chemicals than the average farmer. The regular farming season is from June until October and many farmers grow wheat, soy and beans to upkeep their business during the winter months. Linton’s also buys fresh chicken and beef to help out fellow Ontario farmers because they all face the same challenges. Farmers make up 1.6 per cent of Ontario’s population, and over 98 per cent of Canadian farms are family owned.
Fresh vs Processed By Kyle Reynolds
it’s green it’s good
Photographed by Chantal Da Silva
It’s a tough choice. Do you buy the expensive bananas that are grown organically, and are likely to rot in the next couple of days? Or do you go the more affordable route and buy the bananas that are loaded with preservatives, chemicals and pesticides, but will last until next Thursday? According to Nick Mawani, president and CEO of Go Natural Health & Nutrition Centre in Oshawa, the answer lies in how much “poison” you want to consume. “It’s very important to see exactly what ingredients are put in the processed foods you want to buy,” says Mawani, who has operated his store for the past 10 years. “People need to ensure the food they buy is safe and clear from toxins. Any chemical or preservative may have an effect on the human tissue.” According to Mawani, it’s difficult to provide a safe, clean environment to grow organic crops. The crops must meet Health Canada’s standards in order to be sold in markets, because at times they may contain some form of yeast, which can potentially harm a person’s
health. However, Mawani argues organic foods have far less adverse effects than processed foods. To prevent the development of germs, fungus and pathogens, preservatives are added to processed foods to increase their lifespan. Herbicides and pesticides are used to kill weeds and insects that can severely ravage the food. Pesticides can also affect the neurological growth of children during birth. “I think that logically, it makes sense to eat organically,” says Mawani. “Organic foods may be more expensive, but people who eat processed foods will pay the price in the future, because their health will be at risk.” Mawani says people who eat organically look more healthy and energetic than people who regularly eat processed foods. He suggests people start budgeting themselves so they are able to afford to eat healthily. “It all comes down to priorities. I believe your health comes first, so you should put your money where your mouth is and invest in your health.”
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT
LEARNING HOW TO
K O CO
AWAY FROM HOME Written and photographed By Kyle Reynolds
For some people, cooking can be terrifying. When first starting out, it’s often an intimidating and frustrating experience. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Some might opt for the easy and less time-consuming route by ordering takeout, but over time the bills start to add up. An affordable and rewarding alternative is to teach yourself how to cook. According to Oliver Li, Chef de Cuisine at The Chefs’ House in Toronto, beginner cooks should start with simple and easy-to-follow recipes. “Not everyone will be able to master fillet mignon on the first try,” says Li. “If you start out with something complicated, you’ll end up frustrated and disappointed with the end result.” He suggests starting with simple dishes like pasta, salads and even chicken, until you gain enough confidence to experiment with something more challenging.
PRACTICE IS THE FIRST AND MOST IMPORTANT TOOL
Li suggests young adults attend basic cooking classes or watch cooking shows to become more familiar and comfortable with the art of cooking.
“Every little bit helps,” he says. “The more practice you have, the better you’ll be.” He says essential kitchen tools include measuring cups, mixing bowls, storage containers, knife sets and pots and pans. “You can buy perfectly serviceable utensils and pans from Wal-Mart or thrift stores,” says Li. “Look at the recipes you make the most and start with the tools needed to make those dishes. As your skills and needs grow you can invest in more and better equipment.”
A BEGINNER’S PERSPECTIVE
Peter Bartz, a student who has rented his own apartment in Oshawa for the past few years, says he had a hard time buying and cooking his own meals when he first started out. However, he grew more accustomed to it when he began planning out and experimenting with his meals. “Planning ahead has become a part of my daily routine,” he says. “When I go to the grocery store I plan out five meals in advance and shop for those five meals. Whenever I cook, I cook for two meals so I have leftovers for later. Leftovers are your best friend when you live on your own.”
EASY-TO-FOLLOW RECIPES FOR THE NOVICE I think that some people think they don’t know a lot of recipes, or that they aren’t good at cooking, but it’s as easy as taking things you like and putting them together. And I can’t think of a better combination of food than Shepherd’s pie! -Peter Bartz
SHEPHERD’S PIE I eat a lot of salads because they are really easy to prepare, you can do a lot with them, and they are good for you. When I eat better, I feel better. If you build a healthy foundation while you’re young, you’re going to be healthy in the long run. -Peter Bartz
1 1/2 lbs ground round beef 1 onion, chopped 1 - 2 cups chopped carrots, corn, peas 2 lbs potatoes (3 big ones) 4 tbls butter 1/2 cup beef broth Salt, pepper, other seasonings of choice Cheese, grated
VEGETABLE GARDEN SALAD 1 large tomato, diced 1 red or green pepper, julienned Diced onions 1 cucumber, peeled and sliced 1/3 cup salad dressing of your choice Optional: tuna, rice, beans or chicken, to add protein
BREAKFAST HABITS By Miranda Roach Photographed by Cait Hoock
We’ve all heard the saying that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, yet many people skip it on a regular basis. But there is a reason we always hear the same advice: breakfast really is that important. Regardless of what time you start your day, the first meal you put in your body is considered breakfast. For some it may be a cup of coffee or a doughnut, and for others it could be a full-out buffet. Even though it’s the first meal, breakfast should be something substantial. A large portion isn’t necessary, but quality foods are. According to Audrey Morgan, a nutrition consultant and assistant manager of Health Plus Nutrition in Ajax, the first thing you should gulp down in the morning is a room temperature glass of water with lemon to jump-start your body for the day ahead. “Cold water tends to upset the stomach so warmer water will help hydrate the body,” says Morgan. “Lemon juice in the morning also acts as a bit of a cleanse for the gallbladder.” Eating breakfast is so crucial for our bodies because we go into fasting mode all night while we’re sleeping. Eating proteins first thing in the
morning will help wake up the brain. Conversely, consuming carbohydrates will tend to relax the body instead. “Glucose levels drop overnight and the amino acids in proteins liven the brain, whereas the acids in carbohydrates quiet the system,” says Morgan. There are many benefits to eating a proper breakfast. Not only does it kick-start your system, it also improves your body’s overall ability to function throughout the day – every day. “Someone who doesn’t have breakfast will lack certain brain functions such as being alert,” says Morgan. While eating breakfast is very important, there are still some people who aren’t up to the challenge. However, supplements are available in many health and nutrition stores throughout the region. Morgan recommends a protein shake or something dense with nutrients to sip on throughout the morning. People can even make their own shakes if they find it difficult to eat. There are no positives to avoiding breakfast and the benefits will help you forever. So hop on the breakfast train whenever possible, and if you feel the need to skip, sip your way through the morning instead.
o t s r e e Ch ! t s a f Break You don’t necessarily have to eat breakfast. You can drink it too! A protein shake or a fruit smoothie is ideal for those on the run, and it’s a change from every day breakfast routines. Anything in an eightounce glass is perfect to drink in the morning. A fresh smoothie is filled with nutrients, and is a perfect alternative for non-breakfast eaters.
QUICK AND EASY BREAKFAST IDEAS TO GET YOU GOING
Lemon water & fresh berries
Room temperature water is key for morning risers because cold water can upset the stomach and shock the system. Lemon will help with a bit of cleansing on a daily basis and help wake up the system from fasting the night before. Fresh berries are filled with antioxidants and are lower in simple sugars found in other fruits such as bananas and oranges.
Whole grain toast with peanut butter, an egg and herbal tea.
Proteins are necessary to start each day, and are a great source of energy for the body. Whole grain toast and any nut spread such as peanut or almond makes for a tasty morning meal. Eggs are an excellent source of protein and herbal tea is easy on the body without unnecessary sugars.
Try this one! 1 cup strawberries 1 cup raspberries 1 cup blueberries 1 cup plain yogurt 1/2 cup orange juice Blend and serve!
Photo and recipe By Miranda Roach
Plain yogurt and nut mix
Nuts and seeds are another great protein combo for the morning, especially for those who don’t enjoy butter spreads, and it might be an easier meal for those with gluten problems. Plain yogurt is a simple dairy source and can be mixed with a nut mix or any fresh fruits on hand.
Food How many meals should be eaten in a day? Do you suggest snacking? Yes, I do. I suggest two small meals and two small snacks. What’s important is portion size. Quite often people think, ‘three meals, that’s great, I’m going to be full and happy and only sometimes gain weight.’ So, it has to be the proper portion size and that regulates your energy throughout the day and keeps your blood sugars leveled.
How does someone know the proper portion sizes?
with nutritionist Sylvia Emmorey
Written and photographed By Chantal Da Silva
Sylvia Emmorey graduated from the Canadian School of Natu-
ral Nutrition in Toronto and has been a certified nutritionist for nine years. Emmorey was very sick as a child, but she survived her illness and decided to pursue a career in nutrition. As soon as she started changing her diet she saw the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. Emmorey also had ill parents and friends with cancer, and felt teaching her kids proper knowledge of nutritional food was important. Emmorey wants people to know the impact and difference proper eating habits have on your life and says it’s not as difficult or expensive as people might think.
You can meet with a nutritionist or go through Canada’s Food Guide. It’s online and shows you proper portion sizes. I quite often guide people through that because in our society everything is supersized. Half the plate should be vegetables and or fruit, a quarter should be protein and a quarter your carbohydrates. That’s the basic rule of thumb.
How much fruit/vegetables do you recommend? I’m a person who usually leans more to vegetables just because you do get similar vitamins, though variety is key with fruits and vegetables. For example, not sticking to baby carrots all day long, the darker, deeper, colourful, and intensity of the fruit and vegetable are important. Having a colourful diet is what people should be focusing on.
Food What’s a normal daily fat/ carbohydrate intake? Why is it important?
It’s kind of a hard question because it’s different for every person. If you’re an athlete, young, or more active, you’re going to need different amounts compared to an older person, a child, or someone who is pregnant. The portion sizes you eat at 19 are going to be different than at 50. People are trying to cut carbohydrates and fats out of their diet, but people forget they are necessary. The Omega 3 fats, the fish, the nuts, avocado, things like that, are good for you. As for carbohydrates, the healthy ones, such as whole grains, would be the ones to go to.
How important is water? I recommend eight to 10 glasses per day. One water bottle that most people drink is equivalent to two cups, so you would need four a day. I’m a big supporter of water. It hydrates you, which keeps you thinking clearly, regulates your body temperature and it’s a great detoxifier and cleanser. A lot of times people will think they are hungry when in actual fact they are thirsty, so it does help with weight loss. I don’t recommend the flavoured waters personally, because most of them have artificial flavorings in them and quite a lot of them will put sugar in as well. If you really need flavouring squeeze a bit of lemon.
Any particular foods people should stay away from?
are quite often higher than we actually need. The other main thing to stress is portion size, so if you are looking at the label you may think one product doesn’t seem too bad, but the quantity they are measuring could only be a quarter of the bag.
Pop, doughnuts, Pop-Tarts, chips. There are many alternatives. Unfortunately, there are a lot of granola bars out there that are like a chocolate bars, as far as nutritional values go. But again it’s all about reading the labels and seeing what has the lowest amount of sugars, no artificial sweeteners, and the most fiber. Some nuts and seeds are a good option.
How important is exercise? It’s all about being active. Getting off the couch, not sitting in front of the TV or computer, or driving everywhere. You should park at the far end of the parking lot and take the stairs instead of the elevator. I try and get people to walk for at least 20 minutes a day. Walking after a meal is great for stress. It helps with digestion and increases your energy. Try a variety of activities, but walking is easy, cheap and if it’s raining, you can walk in a mall!
What should people be looking for on labels? The first five ingredients are crucial. You shouldn’t see enriched flours, hydrogenated oils, added sugars, saturated fats, chemicals, colourings, thickeners, artificial sweeteners, or anything you can’t pronounce. Look at the nutritional label, the sodium and sugar values because those
GRAPES By Miranda Roach Photographed by Chantal Da Silva
Although wine can be made from a variety of different fruits, grapes are essential for most. That’s why each growing season is crucial for grape growers and vineyards to help predict the outcome of business and sales for the year ahead. There are 518 growers in Ontario with over 15,000 acres of land. According to Alissa Smith, co-owner of the Ocala Orchards Farm Winery in Port Perry, this year’s growing season has been one of the best compared to recent seasons. This year’s conditions were more than favourable, which made for an excellent season. The warm weather came fast and growers started planting. Ideal growing conditions are a good, early spring followed by a long, hot summer. Although whites are more in demand than reds, Smith says that both red and white grapes had fairly equal batches this year. While the average person sees red and green, these grapes are more complex than they seem. Each colour is crushed down to produce the wide variety of many wines seen on store shelves. Ontario generates
about $436 million in wines and top grape varieties include Vidal, Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, Riesling, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Baco Noir. All types vary in price depending on brand and taste quality. And while they may be small, they don’t come cheap. It costs over $24,000 to produce one acre of grapes, not including land cost. Many vineyards and wineries grow a lot of their produce on site, which makes things difficult and expensive when the bad weather sets in. Poor weather causes stress on the vines and it takes more than one season to recover from the harsh conditions. It takes about a year for wines to hit the stores from the crushing stage to bottling and Smith is hoping that next year’s wines are a prime example of the well-grown grapes. The seasons are unpredictable each year. Not only must we give thanks to our farmers and growers, but we also need to thank the skies for the plentiful reds and whites this year.
Pairing Wine & Food
By Kyle Reynolds Photographed by Chantal Da Silva Pairing wine and food may seem intimidating or impossible to some people, but it’s really not an arcane science. Here are a few simple rules to follow when pairing your favourite foods with wine, courtesy of Michael Donato from Pouring Wine Canada Inc. “Dinner with wine used to be simple,” says Donato. “The rule was always white wine with white meat and red wine with red meat. But now we’re discovering new combinations that actually work quite well.” He says the marriage of food and wine works well because they both enhance each other, making the meal greater than if you had consumed the two separately. “One of the most important elements to harmonize between wine and food is flavour,” says
Donato. “A tangy, tomato-based pasta sauce requires a wine with comparable acidity. Without a balance between the acidity of the dish and the wine, the partner with lower acidity tastes a little too dull.” Acidic wines include Chianti, Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio. These also work well with salty dishes. According to Donato, a sparkling wine or French champagne can refresh and cleanse your palate when eating fish. Bubblies also work well with spicy foods. Hot spice in Asian, Thai, curry and chili pepper dishes can numb the palate. “The hardest wine to pair with food is Cabernet Sauvignon,” says Donato. “Sauvignons can have bitter dark fruit flavours that will make your mouth feel dry, so they’re best to consume with foods with juicy proteins, such as steak.
The protein softens the tannin of the wine, making it taste smooth and fruity.” He says another challenging flavour to balance is sweetness. “Dishes with a touch of sweetness such as glazed ham match well with Riesling and Chenin Blanc, both off-dry, or semisweet wines,” says Donato. “However, rich desserts like chocolate cake require a much sweeter wine, or else the drink will taste thin or bitter. That’s when you crack open the ice-wine.” He says your best source of food and wine matching is your own palate. “Experiment with different combinations to discover what makes a perfect pairing for you. I’m sure you’ll be pleasantly surprised with what you come across.”
“Good wine is a good familiar creature if it be well used.”
Put a cork in it! Exploring the benefits of homemade wine
By Miranda Roach
Photographed by Chantal Da Silva
It takes less than 10 minutes to pick out a bottle of wine you may forget the name of, but you’ll never forget the time you spent making your own. Along with more affordable costs, customized flavours and seeing what goes into your product, making your own wine is a great opportunity for bonding. Whether it’s with family, friends or your sweetheart, it’s a unique experience you can share together. Many people see wine making as a complicated and timely process, yet it’s so simple. The hardest part for customers is deciding which type of wine to make and what flavours to add. The chosen mixture is then combined with concentrate and water, and sealed to ferment in a CO2 climate controlled room for six weeks. Waiting seems like the hardest part. B.Y.O.B. brewery in Oshawa has offered wine and beer making for 60 years. Customers can make their own wine with one of the award-winning kits, ranging from $65 to $155 a batch, which fills 29 – 750 mL bottles. “We truly believe in customer satisfaction here,” says Daryl Radovich, president and general manager of the brewery. “If someone makes a batch of wine they don’t like, they can come in and get their money back or make another batch. You don’t get that opportunity at the liquor stores.” The finale to every great bottle of wine is a seal. B.Y.O.B provides every wine maker with bottling and corking demos to make the process quick, easy and fun. Wine makers bottle, cork and seal their products within 15 to 20 minutes. For a personal touch, customers can create their own labels. Along with numerous pre-made ones, wine makers can also choose a background or design and customize it with their name or occasion of choice. While making wine is great for wine lovers, it’s also good for the not-sofrequent drinkers. “Homemade bottles of wine keep for three to four years,” says Radovich. “It’s a great deal that’ll last them a long time especially if they don’t drink often.”
A huge advantage to making your own wine is the cheapers prices. Wine making companies assure customers they’ll get more bottle for their buck by measuring up on quality to local wine and liquor stores. This is a sample of a bottle breakdown courtesy of B.Y.O.B. brewing.
Merlot B.Y.O.B $2-3
Liquor store $9-25
Pinot Grigio B.Y.O.B $2-3
Liquor store $7 - and up
Cabernet Sauvignon B.Y.O.B $5 - and up
Liquor store $16-17
Yours Truly, The Wine-o Homemade wine expert Cait Hoock talks about her two-year journey of making wine, highlighting three very different consumer hungry choices.
Okay, so some of you may not be too keen on the idea of bottling your own wine, but take it from someone who’s been doing it for two years now – it’s that good. I’ve always been a big fan of the Folonari Valpolicella. It’s an Italian, medium-bodied red wine with floral notes and hints of berries and pomegranate. I thought to myself, if I can replicate this wine for a fraction of the cost, then I’d be set. The end result was slightly off from what I was expecting. I found the homemade Valpolicella to be thin and too sweet. Although most Valpolicella’s are acidic on the palate, this one didn’t leave a clean finish. Nonetheless, it’s still a good wine. I would recommend it to a wine novice who may be looking for sweeter characteristics. Another all-time favourite: Wolf Blass Cabernet Sauvignon. This Australian wine is full-bodied, coloured deep red with smooth hints of black and red fruits, and subtle notes of olive and herbs. My batch proved successful. The first sip warmed my whole body, and the scent of vanilla tones was appealing to the nostrils. It’s nothing like its retail competition – it’s better. It’s smooth and sweet, and my decision to add Hungarian oak added a unique flavour to the palate. Hints of blackcurrant and dark berries are pleasing
as well. This wine is and always will be a staple in my house. It’s a conversation starter, and the reactions I see from people who don’t care for red wine will never cease to amaze me. It simply is fantastic, and I recommend all wine lovers and haters to try it. I’m a red wine lover, but I thought a white wine would be a nice change this past summer. My favourite white wine is Pinot Grigio, no particular label, but its light and crisp texture always leaves an impression on my palate. This is Italy’s most popular white wine, and its flavours consist of pear and melon, as well as tropical and citrus fruits. I was impressed with the quality of my batch. Its acidic body paired well with its smooth, citrus taste. If you’re like me, then you like lots of ice with your white wine. A great summer drink is a spritzer. It’s easy: white wine, soda water, fresh limes and ice. Whether you’ve heard good or bad things about homemade wine, don’t knock it ‘til you try it. However cliché that sounds, it’s true. Experiment and fall in love with wine! And in today’s economy, you can’t beat the price. One thing is for sure; you certainly won’t be visiting the liquor store as often – you’ll just be visiting for the other necessities in life – rye, vodka and rum!
Getting intimate with food & drink Kyle Reynolds visits the 2010 Gourmet Food and Wine Expo
Photographed by Chantal Da Silva I’ve always been a big fan of wine. It makes me giddy. And food? Oh man, I eat five meals a day! So you can imagine how delighted I was when I stepped foot in my first gourmet food and wine expo in Toronto. It was a day I won’t soon forget. Rows upon rows of Cabernet Franc, Shiraz, Merlot, and every other wine you can imagine surrounded the gigantic hall, where thousands of guests sampled as much as they could handle. (And as much as they could afford. Sample tickets were quite expensive, at $20 per sheet of 20 tickets). My eyes also couldn’t help but wander towards the seemingly endless array of food stands, each with their own uniquely delicious recipes. And of course, I couldn’t forget the cheese! Who knew there were so many different kinds of it?
Brie, Boursin, Camembert, Gouda – it all sounded and looked so fancy, and I wanted it all in and around my mouth! But first, I wanted to figure out the proper way to choose which wines to sample. “I would advise an amateur wine-drinker to simply go out and see what’s out there,” says Bruno Moos of Alvento Winery in Vineland, Ontario. “If you see a wine that catches your eye, give it a taste! Try carefully reading the labels at the liquor store. Wine comes in a variety of types and prices, but don’t be afraid to spend the extra penny and try something new.” Moos specializes in making red wine. One of his best sellers is his Cabernet Sauvignon. He says wine and food expos provide people with the ability to try out new and different options. “You either like the wine or
you don’t, then you move on,” he said. “Some wines, like mine, tend to be more involving and are meant to be consumed with meals. Others might only be good by themselves. But if it’s a good wine, you’ll remember the taste. And you’ll want more.” Mike Todd from Coffin Ridge Boutique Winery in Sydenham, Ont., says he doesn’t follow any rules when he drinks his wine. “The best thing about drinking wine is drinking it,” he says. “It doesn’t need to be rocket science and it’s not meant to be intimidating. There is no right or wrong answer. All you need to do is experiment and develop your palate, and go from there.” Two attendees of the event, Renae and Oliver, were ecstatic to take part in their first gourmet food and wine expo. “This whole concept is really
interesting,” says Renae. “I’ve never done anything like this before, but I’m really enjoying it.” She says she never knew how crucial it was to pair some wines with a certain type of food. “Wine and cheese is probably the most amazing combination I’ve discovered since peanut butter and jelly,” said Oliver. A particularly intriguing concept I came across was the combination of beer and cheese. The idea seemed outrageous at first, but after a small sample at a Rickard’s Dark stand, I was completely won over. “First you eat the cheese, then you follow it with a sip of one of our three lagers,” said Caitlin Orth, a representative for Rickard’s. The samples were rimmed with a slice of orange to add an additional kick.
“Our beer is smooth as it is, but the cheese softens your throat and the beer just rolls right down. It’s definitely worth a taste.” Samplers had a choice of either Champfleury (a soft, creamy cheese with a pronounced bouquet and an irresistible fruity flavour), Vaudreuil (a mild soft cheese which brings out the caramelized flavours in the beer), or Oka (a cheese with a distinct aroma and subtle flavours of hazlenut and butter). I was only able to sample one small glass, but I was tempted to snag an entire tray. The gourmet food and wine expo offers many rewards to those who attend. It’s a chance to broaden your knowledge about the wine and food industries, and a chance to taste things from every background and culture. Definitely worth the experience!
OH, Sangria! Nothing says party like a fresh jug of sangria. This tasty drink originated in Spain, and is usually made with red wine, fruit juices, soda water, fresh fruit and sometimes brandy. Traditionally a red wine punch, it can also be made with white wine. There are many different ways to make sangria, but here are some of our favourites at Palate.
Cait’s Berry Grapefruit Sangria Splash
Kyle’s Summer Strawberry Sangria Delight
For this recipe, it’s important to let it sit for a few hours before serving so all the natural sugars from the fruit come to life. The dominant flavour is red wine, and even with the added sugar and fruit, it’s not as sweet as it looks.
This is the wine lover’s answer to strawberry daiquiris. Taking advantage of one of summer’s favourite fruits and mixing it with a traditional Rosé, this sangria recipe is sure to be a hit anytime, anywhere, no matter the season!
750 mL Cabernet Sauvignon 200 mL grapefruit Perrier 1 package raspberries 1 package blackberries 1 orange, cut in triangles 1/2 cup white sugar Ice
750 mL Rosé wine 1/2 cup white sugar 1 1/2 cups strawberry lemonade 1 cup strawberries, sliced 1 lemon, sliced 2 cups ginger ale Ice
Entertaining Chantalâ€™s Peachy Portuguese Sangria Mix Growing up in a Portuguese home introduced me to many different cuisines. This recipe has been passed down through generations, and it also originated in Portugal. The flavourful combination of wine and fruit makes this drink a delicious treat. 750 mL full body red wine 2 cans orange Crush. 2 cans ginger ale or 7Up. 1 orange, sliced 1 lemon, sliced 1/2 cup sugar 2 oucnes Peach Schnapps Ice
Mirandaâ€™s Sweet Sparkling Sangria Hit This is cava sangria, which gives it that crystal clear look. The mint leaves are subtle and are more for appearance than flavour. With a combination of citrus fruits and sweet liqueur, this fizzy, yet refreshing light taste is perfect for any cocktail hour. 2 750-mL bottles sparkling white wine 4 cups diced assorted fresh fruit 2 small oranges, thinly sliced 1/2 cup brandy 1/2 cup peach liqueur 1/2 cup white grape juice 4 small fresh mint sprigs Ice
What makes a good host?
Entertaining tips Written and photographed By Miranda Roach
Organization – This is one of the most important traits needed in every aspect of life, yet alone a simple dinner party. Before you do anything, make a list of things like the theme, the number of guests and what you’d like to serve. Take note of any guests with food allergies and look at your space before inviting the whole neighbourhood.
Presentation – People like things that look pretty and nice. You don’t want to fill your dining room table with gigantic hydrangeas, or people will see more flower than food. Make things simple and elegant by sizing everything appropriately. Mix colours that work well together and don’t forget to pick up the stray socks around your place.
Attitude – An angry host makes even angrier guests. Be confident that you won’t just host a party, you’ll host THE party. Anyone can do it with the right materials. Everything will come together on its own once all of the little things are done.
Quality – Warning: flimsy paper plates are a no-no for heavy foods, so buy serving utensils according to your menu for the night. Make sure that things like serving spoons and bowls are durable. No one says, “Pass the lasagna with the broken spatula in it, please,” so save yourself the agony and the embarrassment.
What do I buy? Where do I shop? Whether you’re hosting a dinner, party or cocktail hour, presentation is everything and the atmosphere in which you’re holding it is key. Having the right arrangement helps everything come together for the perfect night. While cutlery arrangements and centerpieces are very important, the setting of any event matters even more. It’s all about the mood and making people feel comfortable to eat, drink and do their thing. If a guest is feeling tense and on edge, you definitely don’t want them picking up that brand new steak knife on the table. The more relaxed your guests are will put you at ease for the rest of the night. Every host needs to have the basic necessities to pull off an excellent night. The basics cover items such as serving platters,
Want to find fabulous for less? Winners has a variety of affordable brand name and designer accessories. You can get the latest styles and current trends to throw a great event. New items arrive every day.
trays, glasses, tableware and napkins. You also need the right tools to prepare the eats for the evening. If you don’t have them already, make sure to pick up additional things such as bowls, mixers and serving spoons. Depending on the event you’re hosting, these kitchen essentials may vary. Little knick-knacks such as bottle openers, corkscrews and coasters are also very helpful and show that you’re extra prepared. And you can’t forget one of the most important pieces that make everything come together: the food! If you’re inviting lots of people over don’t have a sit down dinner. (Unless you’re hosting at a high school cafeteria). There isn’t enough room for that, and without warning, your guests will become irritated and impatient.
Lifestyle for less – a motto made easy and true. Benix specializes in cooking, home entertainment and gift giving for all occasions. You can find the perfect intimate pieces and utensils at an affordable price.
Choosing what kinds of food to serve at your party is equally important. If the invitation says cocktail hour, make sure you stick to finger foods and easy pickings. Something like stuffed chicken breasts is not a good idea and takes more than two bites to finish. Make it easy for yourself by taking all of these things into consideration to make sure you’ve hit all checkpoints on the list. Don’t be afraid to show guests that you’re a host on a mission – a mission for best night of the year - especially if you want them to come back. Even if things don’t go as planned, they’ll never forget you’re amazing abilities to host an eventful night. Affordable and quality places to shop for accessories are Winners, Benix & Co.,Kitchen Stuff Plus and HomeSense.
Similar to Benix, Kitchen Stuff Plus also specializes in cooking and home entertainment. However, it also caters to decorating and living spaces. If you want to extend the mood from your table to the entire pad, this is where to go.
Quality and luxurious, but also inexpensive. If you’re looking for something unique, here’s where you’ll find it. HomeSense has brand name and designer home décor, furnishings and unique accessories from all over the world.
Tasting and making my very own first ever American-made cocktail Written and photographed By Cait Hoock
The fact that someone actually knew what rye was, was a miracle in itself. It all started when my boyfriend, Adam, and I were mid-flight on our way to New Orleans. We both asked for a rye and ginger – typical cocktail, or so we thought. The flight attendant replied, “Rye, you mean like rye bread?” Stunned, Adam and I looked at each other and laughed. The flight attendant didn’t. Apparently, Americans call it whiskey or bourbon. Makes sense, since a bottle of Jack Daniels does have the word whiskey printed in big bold letters on the front, and is one of the better known types of bourbon. It’s the little things you learn in life that make you smile. So it became an ongoing joke the rest of our trip. Whether we were at the bar, or eating dinner at Emeril Lagasse’s, we made sure we ordered a rye, not a whiskey. The reactions and answers we got were priceless. We met some great people; people from Alabama, New York and Florida, and somehow our conversations would always gear towards the question, “Hey, do you know what rye is?” We decided to take it easy our last night, and we thought staying at the hotel would make for a pleasant morning. It just so happened that the bartender, John, was the only person who knew what rye was. The rest of the night wasn’t so
quiet, and the morning wasn’t so cheery. John told us about the Sazerac, the first ever American-made cocktail. It actually originated in New Orleans in the 1800s. - 1 sugar cube - 1 ½ ounces Sazerac rye - ¼ ounce Herbsaint - 3 dashes Peychaud bitters - Garnish with lemon peel
I was expecting a dirty cocktail, like a Rusty Nail. I cringed as I anticipated the first sip. It was actually delicious – so smooth and so sweet. Tasting it was one thing. I never thought John would invite Adam and I behind the bar to make one. Now, you must follow a specific technique to get it just right. In a shaker, combine the sugar cube, Sazerac rye and Peychaud bitters with ice. It’s important to stir, not shake. In a rock glass, pour in the Herbsaint and swirl it to coat the sides of the glass, then dump out any excess. Rim the glass with lemon and pour the shaker contents in the glass, minus the ice. Add the lemon peel for garnish. It was quite an amazing experience – one I will certainly never forget. Now I know many of your mouths may be watering and you may be thinking of taking a trip to the LCBO. It kills me to say this, but you can’t. You’ll have to travel across the border for these ingredients!
Cait’s pick - Spicy sausage & pepper fry
Definitely nothing fancy, but this dish screams and smells of nostalgia. Growing up, my mom thought it was weird how much love I had for this meal. Every now and then she’d ask what I want for dinner and I’d reply, “I want the sausage, potato and pepper meal.” Now I know the recipe calls for a dollop of sour cream, but to me a dollop means about two generous tablespoons. I really just can’t get enough of the stuff. This dish is all about comfort and warm flavours. 8 cups boiling water 4 medium-sized potatoes 5 cloves fresh garlic 5 tbls olive oil Half Chourico (Portuguese sausage), sliced 4 collard leaves, cut into thin strips Pinch salt
Chantal’s pick - Caldo verde Your doctor will always tell you, “If it’s green, it’s good for you.” With my pick, I can whole-heartedly agree. Caldo Verde is a typical Portuguese soup that was first introduced to me as a child. Not only is it mouth watering, it’s exceedingly healthy! Growing up in a Portuguese home, I was always surrounded by various cuisines. However, it was the delicious smell, texture and flavour that made Caldo Verde my absolute favourite dish. Don’t believe me? Just one spoonful and you won’t turn back.
Kyle’s pick - Famous BLT Sandwiches can be as exotic and full of flavour as you want them to be, but there’s nothing that satisfies my taste buds more than a classic BLT. The combination of fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, mozzarella cheese, lettuce, onions, and a few slices of succulent bacon all in between two slices of toasted bread is the perfect way to top off a busy day. Throw in a side of tomato cucumber salad and it’s a meal made from heaven.
4 cups wide egg noodles ¾ cups carrots ¾ cups broccoli 1 cup cooked chicken breast (chopped) 3 cups Alfredo sauce Salt and pepper (optional)
1 package spicy Italian sausages 20 small red potatoes, chopped in half ½ red and green pepper, sliced 1 tsp oregano 1 jalapeno (optional) Dollop sour cream Salt and pepper
2 slices whole wheat bread 2 slices tomato 4 slices cucumber 3 strips bacon (cooked in oven to keep flat) Lettuce Chopped onions Mayonnaise 1 slice mozza cheese
Miranda’s pick - Chicken alfredo I’m sure there are many variations of Alfredo dishes, but this is my favourite. I got this recipe from my mother and I will use it forever. It’s a delicious pasta dish with generous portions of proteins and vegetables. I’ll never forget the first time I saw her making it. I thought, how could vegetables possibly taste good in pasta? The aroma was incredible and little did I know, it would become one of my favourite dishes to dig into. Garlic bread and Caesar salad are also tasty sides to add.