A touching Thanksgiving for the Rome Family with Loblaws

Thanksgiving is just around the corner… in Canada at least as it will take place weekend. For our dear neighbors to the south, I am sure many are already planning their menus and trip arrangements to see family. In my family it is a small and quaint affair as this is the weekend we close the cottage. Which ever way you do celebrate Thanksgiving, the message is the same everywhere….

The love of food ties families together

Thanksgiving is about two things – food and family. Ask anyone what kind of stuffing they like, or how they prefer their mashed potatoes and there is a good chance the will say how their mom, dad or grandparent has been preparing it all their lives. These recipes are as much a part of a family’s history as the memories of the times they’ve enjoyed them.

Through the years, a family’s shared love of the food that is only theirs, ties them together. Just look at what’s on the menu for a family feast and you have a unique view of how different cultures converge to form who that family is today.

This is very much the case for the Rome family. A combination of Croatian, Ukrainian and Italian recipes all have a place at their table. After losing a vital member of their family, Matthew along with his daughter Cheryl work hard to keep the love alive through the food and gatherings of their family.

Chris Karsisiotis, store manager for the Loblaws Burnhamthorpe, was excited to have Matthew and Cheryl in-store. He said they a have a lot of “Matthew”, family members who love food and want to keep memories alive, who come into the store looking for ingredients and suggestions on how to make things taste just like they remember. At Loblaws, we’re proud of the role we play in helping to keep these traditions going.

What an awesome video. Did you need to reach out for a Kleenex like I did? I thought it was truly a touching story and family, and it makes me want to prepare a family recipe book too.

What recipes would be in your family cookbook?

This post was sponsored by Loblaws

The Gift of Presence #givepresence

I have been thinking about the holidays and my lists are done, but I have not started anything in preparation yet. Honestly I am a little overwhelmed by the holidays this year it seems. I really need to take a step back and breath.

And it is as if Lululemon heard my call when I found out about their awesome new campaign: give presence!

We forget that this time of the year is about getting together and spending time with our families. Not just being with them but taking in their presence and giving yours back. Spend time with your neighbors too and why not get involved in your community.

It is a great reminder to put all you phones, laptops and Ipads away. Disconnect from the noise, inhale and just exhale, breathe.

Check out the #givepresence global movement all over the internet and watch this great little video reminding us to reconnect with our loved ones.

This was a sponsored post brought to you by Lululemon.

CEE Foodie Foto Memories for RED TO REMEMBER

RED TO REMEMBER

On December 1 it will be World AIDS Day

The “cooking red to remember” for World Aids Day is an initiative by Angela, of the blog Spinach Tiger, who lost a brother and a cousin to Aids. Read the eloquent post she wrote about her experience.

Here is a little retrospective of recipes from this blog with RED as the main color. Through theses recipes I hope you take a moment to remember those who have died and to comfort those who mourn them.

Strawberry Puff Pastry Pizza

Homemade Lobster Broth

Shrimp Saganaki

Strawberry Avocado Salsa

Fish tortilla with a citrus & vanilla gastrique radish salsa

Barbecue Tomatoes Stuffed with Oka

A Special night: DE LA RUE AUX ÉTOILES

Everyone in Montreal is familiar with the epic Dans la Rue organization, which was Founded by Father Emmett Johns (nicknamed Pops) in 1988. This grassroots, community-based organization works with street kids and at-risk youth aged 12 to 25. The philosophy of of the organization is to help without judgment into action by providing street kids with food, shelter and support through our outreach programs.

The main ‘vehicle’ of this organization the Van and its hotdogs. The Van roams the streets of Montreal, five nights a week from 8 p.m. until the wee hours of the morning providing food, hot drinks and toiletries to youths in need. The Van is often the first line of contact with many street kids. Back in the day when I was more of a rebel I had a few friends that were runaways living on the streets. Following these friend one night I ended up  inside the Van and was handed a hotdog that I refused. I just pretend to be bad but lived well in a house with parents who loved me. I felt guilty taking that hotdog from some else who really needed it. It was a humbling experience I never forgot.

I am so honored to be included in this year’s DE LA RUE AUX ÉTOILES event, an evening of friendly competition amongst some of the city’s current most talked about chefs. This delicious evening for a good cause will take place on September 27th. Each chef is coupled with a local food blogger. I have been matched with chef Benjamin Léonard at Bocata. It’s my first time so not sure what it will involve yet, maybe it will be my chance also to help out in the kitchen with a chef in this year’s theme: the Taco.

After all I did a good job when I made this Fish tortilla with a citrus & vanilla gastrique radish salsa 😉

PARTICIPATING RESTAURANTS:
BICE
Pintxo
Ferreira Café
Le Boucan
Bocata
BAXO
Tuck Shop
Taverne Gaspar
Le St-Urbain (dessert station) with Van Houtte Coffee

The evening will also include amazing street entertainment and groove rhythms, while enjoying the most scenic views of Montreal. All profits of this wonderful evening of haute street cuisine will support Dans la rue, an organization helping young people get off the streets.

COME SEE OUR GUEST CHEFS REINVENT THE TACO AND CAST YOUR VOTE FOR THE BEST TACO!

September 27th, 2012, 6pm
Montreal Science Centre – Le Belvédère
Ticket: $125 (receipt of $100), 10 tickets: $1,000 (receipt of $750)
Call 514-526-5222 to buy your tickets.

Guilt Free Chocolate Pudding, Mortimer Winners and Film Marathon Recap

I have the two winning names in hand for the big 75$ cool kitchen gift baskets  winners! The numbers from the eligible entries were picked randomly by the store’s owners daughters: they chose numbers 40 and 60. I hope you enjoy your prizes.

Congratulations Tasty Trix and Rituparna

If you ladies want to celebrate with a great guilt free dessert let me suggest the following recipe: a healthy chocolate pudding. It is so simple, I know the recipe by heart and so do not remember the source except that it was from a vegetarian cookbook. So yes this recipe is vegetarian and dairy free. The base of the pudding is silken tofu. Unless you are an ultra fussy eater you will not even taste the tofu plus the texture will delightful.

Ξ Guilt Free Chocolate Pudding Ξ

  • 1 block of silken tofu (300 gr)
  • 1/4 cocoa powder
  • 1/4 sugar
  • 1 ground cardamom pod (other substitutes 1/4 tsp cinnamon, a pinch of cayenne, etc)

Put all the ingredients in a food processor or blender. Blend until the mixture is smooth. Spoon into 3 dessert dishes and refrigerate at least an hour before serving.  Makes 3 servings.

I’ve tried to skip the blending part once and just mix by hand….not the same and lumpy, do blend it for top results.

 

Each serving is a mere 128 calories, 4 gr of fat, 21 gr of carbs and 7 gr of protein.

And let me tell you I will really need a guilt free dessert after I finish all the leftovers in the fridge, especially the pies, from the CEE Food Film Marathon I hosted the Saturday at my place.

It was declared a success by all that attended and lots of non perishable food was donated plus I raised a bit of money from the raffle too.

The prizes were set

The screen was set

And there were a many guests brewing in the kitchen.

The lights were off for the presentations

The table was set, so much food this is a fraction of what was there

The people were hungry between films – small mob attacking pot-luck table

One more big thank you to my sponsors: My Cookbook AddictionNDG Food Depot and Pierre Black. I can’t wait to host the 2nd one next year. I definitely learned a lot and some thing will change but I definitely see this becoming a yearly event. Will you come next year?

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Got a simple recipe up your sleeve? Enter it and thousands of people could be cooking your recipe from a special cookbook that will be in youth hostel kitchens all over the world. To submit a recipe check out how to enter.

Cheap Ethnic Eatz food film marathon in 12 days

I am getting really pumped and trying to get organized for the upcoming event on Oct 15th, the…

1st annual Cheap Ethnic Eatz food film marathon and pot luck

A day of movies about food…with food, starting at noon and running for 12 hours. This is a private on-invitation only event as it is at a private location. Fingers crossed for a public venue next year!

 

The 2011 Playbill

12 pm – Babette’s Feast
2pm – Ratatouille
4pm – Coffee and Cigarettes
6pm – Tampopo
8pm – Chocolat
10pm – The Cook, his Wife and her Lover

 

 

 

Food and Fundraising:

This is a perfect opportunity to help out a local charity and I chose the NDG Food Depot, a place that strives to eliminate hunger in a manner that ensures dignity, community engagement and the development of human potential since 1986. The NDG Food Depot provides:

  • 700 emergency food baskets EACH WEEK
  • help and resources for immigration, employment and housing assistance
  • the Boomer Cafe, a weekly drop-in is for anyone aged 50-64
  • the Good Food Box, a bi-monthly produce-buying group collective
  • food rescue through the Zero Food Waste Network
  • 2 employability programs, BIL Project and ACTION, in partnership with Emploi Quebec
  • cooking classes, movie nights and skill-sharing workshops
  • a huge Holiday Food Drive (need 500+ volunteers on Dec 3rd 2011)

Guests are asked to bring non perishable items (need ideas?) and there will be a raffle with 3 prizes! 1$ for a ticket, 3$ for 5 and 5$ for 10. Prizes will be raffled off the day of the event.  Tax receipts will be issued for donations of $20 +. All proceeds will be donated to the NDG Food Depot. I want to send out a BIG Thank You to our sponsors! The prizes are:

♥ 2 cookbooks: Good Food to Go , donated by My Cookbook Addiction and Les Carnivores Infidèles, donated by me.

An artist’s materials and family movies gift package – donated by the NDG Food Depot

1 free consultation with Pierre Black, Health and Lifestyle Strategies – donated by Pierre Black

Not in Montreal or cannot attend? Want to make a donation to show you support, just click the button!

 

Will let you know how the event goes and see you next year for the 2nd annual edition!

Major Rant and I have officially lost my mind

Yes those are 2 different statements lol.

First, why I may have officially lost my mind?

Recent events and talks made a project take shape in my head. I just officially announced and invited today 67 of my closest foodie/blogger/movie friends to my large but still 1 bedroom apartment for the 1st annual Cheap Ethnic Eatz food film marathon and pot luck. It will take place in mid October for 12 hours and for sure you will be reading about it, before and after the event.

I am toying with the idea of a small contribution fund raising effort too for some food related Montreal organization and maybe get a few sponsors to donate food or cookbooks/ingredients/items for prizes during the marathon. Would you like to donate something? contact me at worldethnicfood at hotmail dot com.

And yes these are all friends, remember I had a dinner group for 4 years where 500 ish members came and went so I made lots of real friends in there. Look I even have a logo ha ha:

1st annual Cheap Ethnic Eatz food film marathon and pot luck

And now for my Major Rant:

This related to a group on facebook I belong to. I need to BITCH.

So this group was started by a food blogger and is exclusively for food bloggers in Montreal city. Fantastic! Except that like 80% of them work in marketing/media/promotion, etc…aside from their personal blog. So most of them get invited to all the media events and I mean all of them. I call them the elite club. I get plenty of invites and I don’t need to be invited to everything…but they seem to be rubbing it in everyone’s face in a subtle way at times. Most topics there start off with: Who got invited to….But then things took a weird turn this week.

– Chef Gordon Ramsy bought, revamped and opened up a restaurant in Montreal this week called Laurier Gordon Ramsy. I got my reservation with friends coming soon! Anyways in this facebook group someone posted a link to an article in Montreal’s major french newspaper where the journalist wrote about why do we all of a sudden have a few international chefs come here, put their cooking paw in a resto and claim that Montreal has been put now on the International food map. Hello, we are on of the top food cities! This got a huge debate going in the group.

– A few weeks ago some people founded an association for Quebec food bloggers with an actual statement and everything. Like an official association for food bloggers? Ok fine why not, I have a rough estimate that there are about 100 food bloggers in Montreal alone. But again more then half the comity who have their own blog…..work in PR, communications, media, etc. Oh so very objective…NOT.

– And the last straw that broke the camel’s back: a big discussion was started after someone suggested we should establish a comity that would review Montreal food blogs and give them a stamp of approval (perhaps a logo) that WE ARE AUTHENTIC AND HAVE INTEGRITY in our blogs.

W———-T———-F ???????????? Have they all completely lost their freaking minds? We are hobby food bloggers! I may get in trouble for my next statement: most of these bloggers in this group REVIEW food, they don’t post recipes they make AND most of them are francophone….the anglophone bloggers kind of take a back seat. Why? There has to be a psychological angle here somewhere (which I have my opinions on but this is not the place for it…and let me precise I am Francophone first, Anglophone second)

I broke down and really gave my opinion today in that group and wrote the following (translated…of course I wrote it in French there):

I write ​​my blog because I am passionate in my interest for great food. I rarely do restaurant or product critiques now, very occasionally but there is nothing wrong with it either. I mostly cook and I share my recipes. I get the occasional invite to a food media event or launch. I never feel compelled to make a follow-up afterwards, only if I want to. I do not want to know anything about being in a milieu where I could be judged for it. I find the PR houses could open their doors a little wider for those who are invited to events since it is always the same people who are invited…an elite few, no? There are at least 30 (60) other bloggers in Montreal which are never invited. I do not care really what the world media writes on Montreal or our view of food….. it lasts 5 minutes and people forget.

I do not want to bitch so grandiosely, a gift I have sometimes and now I am pumped (sorry nothing personal), but there are a number of members in this group who never speak yet chat with me…right now we are speechless.

If you are one of the few who make your livelihood with your blog … set up your rules of etiquette but under a RECOGNIZED professional order only, I have no problem with that.

But if your blog is a hobby that creates a little mad money…..can we please take ourselves a little less seriously?

Am I exaggerating, am I overly emotional about this or do you see a problem here to? Do you have such issues in your home city with fellow food bloggers?