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Friday, September 26, 2014

The Week In Yum Sept 20-26 The WIndup Bird Cafe, MacKellar Farms, Almond Breeze, Lobster Mushrooms and What's Coming Up This Week


Last Saturday, I took The Kid to The Windup Bird Cafe for the first of two, free sushi making classes that Sang Kim is offering to bring awareness to about child poverty and food insecurity right here in our own backyard. It was a packed house with kids from the age of 6 up to 15 with the majority hovering around 11 years old  (my kid was the giant 15 year old of the bunch).

What I loved most about this afternoon class was not the facet that he learned to actually make a maki roll, although I am thrilled that he now has an appreciation of just how finicky these things are to make. No, what I loved was the sneaky way Sang uses making sushi as a sort of metaphor to make these kids think about something a little deeper. After each roll is finished, he makes sure that they all eat the roll they just made, even if it was terrible. After everyone has eaten their roll, they go on to the next and at the very end, they all say they are now full and can't eat any more. 

Sang asks them if they have noticed that, now that their bellies are full, they are all calmer and more focused, their rolls have vastly improved and they are all paying more attention to what they are doing? He then tells them that when a child is hungry, that child has trouble focusing on anything other than his/her grumbling tummy. Without fuel, our brains don't function properly, making school work and even just managing our behaviour a difficult task.

He then asks them who makes their breakfasts and lunches? All the hands shoot up to shouts of "my mom or my parents!"

Sang then tells them of his own childhood as one of many children of a poor, struggling single mom who often had trouble putting food on the table and how he, himself, usually went without breakfast and lunch most days. Imagine, he says, how difficult it must be for a child to do well at school on an empty stomach. He reminds them that they are very privileged to have parents who can provide them with tasty, nutritious food and that they must promise to thank their parents the minute they get home from class. There was not an eyeroll to be seen in the house.

Sometimes a sushi roll is not just a sushi roll.

There is one more class on October 4th, if it's not sold out already. Click here for more info

MacKellar Farms Edamame

It was a week of goody deliveries and the first of the bunch was a box of GMO free, all natural edamame from MacKellar Farms, right here in Ontario. I am really thrilled about this find because I have been shying away from buying edamame more and more and had no idea that buying good quality product grown locally was even an option. We ate the freshly picked soybeans boiled and salted and I made a couple of different dishes with the frozen. Needless to say, we are new fans.
recipe for edamame guacamole and ceviche tostadas coming soon
Recipe for Edamame Quinoa Cakes w Spicy Avocado Sauce click here

We finally painted the kitchen! We finally painted the kitchen!

I got something that I can't share yet because it's a surprise but I can tell you that I made smoothies all week with the first box of Almond Breeze that I was given to play with. We already use Almond Breeze all the time but  I usually buy the vanilla so it was good to be forced to try the unsweetened. I was pleasantly surprised to find that nobody complained and I liked controlling the amount of sweetener in the finished product. Be on the lookout for a couple of recipes in the next couple of weeks as I continue to play around.
this almond matcha smoothie is as delicious as it is unattractively grey! Recipe coming soon
I did something else that is a surprise - sooooo many secrets this week- and the next thing I knew, the week was over.


Oh yeah, I finally got my hands on some lobster mushrooms so I made a risotto with them. I threw in some dried morels and instead of using butter for the mantacare finish, I drizzled some porcini sage olive oil with the parmesan and then topped it off with a little pile of buttery, sauteed enoki mushrooms. Holy mother of god, it was delicious. The mushrooms, which are kind of not really mushrooms at all, really give off a lobstery smell and taste faintly of the sea. It's called a lobster mushroom because of it's bright orange colour and rather than being an actual mushroom, it's a parasitic ascomycete fungus that grows on certain species of mushrooms. YUMMY, right?





Shack and I spent Friday shopping to prepare for our BBQ feast on Saturday. As a birthday gift to a good friend, we are making dinner for his birthday party. We bought 20 lbs of ribs, almost 10 lbs of pork shoulder for Shack's pulled pork with mustard mop, I am making a couple pounds of buttermilk coleslaw, baked beans, grilled corn with thyme brown butter, skillet cornbread with maple jalapeno butter and a baked potato bar. It's been a very long time since we have put on a spread like this and it feels good. Hopefully it won't suck or make everyone sick, knock on wood while throwing salt over both shoulders and spitting like my friend, Shirley Meisels taught me. I will tell you all about it next week.

Phew Phew


Coming up:

The Delicious Food Show is quickly approaching but while you wait, why not enter their contest to win the dream kitchen that will be featured during the show? If it's good enough for Tyler Florence and Mario Batali, it's good enough for you, right?

The third year anniversary is also the date of the LAST TUM event ever this Saturday, Sept 27. Why not buy a ticket and go give them the send off they deserve since they truly were pioneers in the current food scene here in the city. Tickets are just $15 bucks and because I can't go, you have to go and eat for me. Get your tickets here 

On Sunday, Soupalicious takes over Wychwood Barns - click here to read up on the who, what, when, where and why of the whole thing. All I need to know is that there will be soup. Lots and lots of soup.

Canada's Baking and Sweets Show is coming up next weekend if dessert is your thang. It's a whole weekend of nothing but sugar, sugar and more sugar with lots of celebrity chefs and demos.



Pin of the week:  This might be happening and I am as excited as The Kid is terrified!

Instagram of the week: gorgeous feed from a Southern Ontario food writer

Facebook share of the week:


Coolest thing I saw all week:




'Green Marilyn' - John Malkovich recreates iconic photos

Tweet of the week: