Update Your Readers!

If you haven’t been following the happenings with Google products over the past few months, you may be unaware that Google Reader has gone the way of the dodo bird. Never fear! You can still follow What Smells So Good? on Bloglovin. Hope to see you there!

*Note – I am not switching blogging platforms, you’ll still be able to find my “live” posts right here on What Smells So Good?. RSS feeds from Blogger won’t be going anywhere, you just need to make sure your feed reader clients are active (i.e. Live Bookmarks in FireFox). Thanks to David for the heads up, check out his post for a LOT of useful info.

Too Quick for this #SundaySupper

I can’t believe I have to miss another #SundaySupper this week! Now granted, I would have been in this week’s roundup of “Low & Slow” recipes like a dirty shirt… except for two minor major details: 1) Our slow cooker (provided it even works anymore) is up in the rafters of our garage, away from anyone without an extension ladder, and 2) Because we’ve stashed away our cooker for so long, I don’t even have a recipe using it! Our meals tend to be more “flash-in-the-pan” than “set it and forget it”, so stay tuned for some of those on What Smells So Good?. In the meantime, check out the rest of the homey, slow-cooked selections from the #SundaySupper team below:

#SundaySupper Low & Slow – Hosted by Susan at The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen

Low & Slow Breads & Starters:

Low & Slow Mains:

Low & Slow Sides:

Low & Slow Desserts:

Wine Pairing Recommendations for Low & Slow Food from ENOFYLZ Wine Blog

Don’t forget to join the #SundaySupper chat on Twitter Sunday to discuss cooking low and slow! We’ll tweet throughout the day and share our delicious recipes. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm EST. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag, and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more delicious recipes and food photos.

Happy Holidays

Just wanted to take a minute to thank you all for reading and wish you a wonderful rest of the holiday season! I’ll be back soon with more of the Holiday treats we shared (and my mom’s new favourite stuffing recipe!)

Cookies… Makes Sense to Me!

No recipe tonight (tomorrow… fingers crossed!) but I just had to share this perfectly logical line of reasoning I found on Jen’s latest post on Juanita’s Cocina (Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies…and How Big is TOO Big for a Cookie?):

How big is too big for a cookie?
I’m of the mind that there is no such thing as a cookie that’s too big.
I mean, think about it.
If you can’t finish it at one sitting, you’ll still have more cookie later.
If you can’t fit it in one hand, that means a double-fisted cookie experience.
If your mouth can’t fit around the cookie to take a bite, you can break off custom bite-sized pieces.
More cookie=always a good thing.

I agree! Do you?

Be sure to take a look at Jen’s post for Levain Cookies, or if peanut butter’s more your thing try Carla’s latest: Peanut Butter-Stuffed Chocolate Cookies! Caramel fiends (I’m looking at you, Dad) will appreciate the Alfajores from Family Foodie as well.

What’s your favourite cookie?

Make Your Next Party Count – Cook for the Cure

The fight against cancer is one that is close to my heart – I lost both my grandfathers to the ravages of the disease and watched other friends and relatives battle bravely to defeat it. For many years, Kitchen Aid has been the forerunner of  the Cook for the Cure fundraiser for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation and I am honoured to share this material from them with you. If you’re planning on hosting a potluck event in the near future, consider making it a Cook for the Cure Event – who knows, you may just help save the life of someone you love… or your own.

What are the signs of breast cancer?

  • Usually painless lumps in the breast and/or armpits that do not disappear (even after menstruation).
  • Tenderness or pain in the breasts off-cycle.
  • Dimpling, indentation or flattening of the breast.
  • Unusual discharges from the nipple
  • Nipple changes – itching, dimpling, retraction, rashes, etc

Note: Many breast cancers have no obvious symptoms, or those that mimic non-cancerous conditions like infections or cysts.

A woman’s risk of breast cancer approximately doubles if she has a mother, sister or daughter who has the disease. African-American women are more likely to die of breast cancer, while Asian, Hispanic, and Native Americans have a lower risk of developing and ultimately dying from breast cancer. Although the incidence rates are much higher for women (1 in 8 will be diagnosed in their lifetime), it is NOT a “women-only” disease – 1 in 1,000 men also fall victim to breast cancer.

There is good news though: overall death rates have been decreasing since 1990 thanks to advances in screening, treatment and awareness.

In short? Perform self-exams monthly, get your mammograms, and if you ever have questions about your health, talk to your doctor.

Cook for the Cure presented by KitchenAid is your opportunity to turn entertaining into fundraising! Since 2002, over $ 2.1 million has been raised for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation by KitchenAid Canada from sponsorship of Cook for the Cure and through proceeds from their pink product collection.

The next time you host a get-together, make it a Cook for the Cure party. Invite your guests to make a donation in support of the CBCF. It doesn’t matter if the donation is big or small, as all proceeds will go towards research, education, community care and advocacy, creating a future without breast cancer. As well, KitchenAid Canada will donate $50* to the funds that you raise per party** once your funds have been submitted to the Foundation. It’s that easy!

Planning your party is easy when you follow these steps:

  1. Register your event/ Visit the Cook for the Cure website and register your party.
  2. Invite friends/ Let your friends know that you’re hosting a Cook for the Cure party!
  3. Visit our Pinterest board for party themes, decorations and food.
  4. Pick a theme: A theme sets your gathering apart. Pick something seasonal, or create your own rendition of a favourite standby. Lots of ideas are available online!
  5. Set the tone: Music sets the mood, whether you’re having a close group of friends over, an open-house cocktail hour or an upbeat dance party. Craft the perfect playlist tailored to your (and your guests’) tastes!
  6. Make it personal: Dress up your party with thoughtful details (like individual wine charms, a signature cock/mocktail, or a “grown up loot bag” of inexpensive but useful items (like wooden spoons with handles dipped in pink paint with the party’s date written on, a homemade spice blend or even pink ribbon cookies) to leave a lasting impression, long after your guests have gone home.
  7. And most of all… Have fun! Put on your favourite outfit, take a breath and relax – you’re sure to be party-ready when your guests arrive! 

After the dishes are done, the streamers are packed away and the guests have taken their leave, be sure to post your party pics to the KitchenAid Canada Facebook page for a chance to be featured as the “Host with the Most”. 

Donations should be sent directly to the Foundation at:

Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation
Attn: Cook for the Cure
375 University Avenue, 6th Floor
Toronto, ON
M5G 2J5

Cheques and/or money orders should be made payable to “Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation”. For security reasons, please do not send cash

*A tax receipt will be issued automatically for donations of $20 or more
**Up to $25,000 annually
Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation – Charitable Registration No. 12799 3608 RR0001

Disclaimer: I was asked by Stephanie Barber (Harbinger Communications) to promote this cause, but I received no remuneration of any sort for this post. All information below the Breast Cancer Ribbon image is the property of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation / Cook for the Cure campaign © 2012.

Countdown to Toronto’s Festival Of Beer – What Does Your Favourite Beer Say About You?

Only 18 days until the kickoff of Toronto’s Festival of Beer! Personality tests are based off all sorts of things, from birthdates to moon phases to your favourite ice cream flavour. Why not give your favourite beer brew a whirl? Let me know how close you are to your “diagnosis” – I’m a stout fan and this was spot on!

Discover Your Beer Personality at Toronto’s Festival of Beer – What Your Favourite Beers Say About You!

Media Release | July, 2012 (TORONTO) – You might think that ordering a pint at your local watering hole is a simple task, but this not the case. Not only does your beer selection reflect your taste, the style of beer you prefer tells a great deal about your personality. The minds behind Toronto’s Festival of Beer have put together a list of some of the most popular styles and the traits associated with those who drink it. Read below to find out what your favourite beer says about you!

If you prefer: Ales
Then…You’ve got your pints in a row. You like to experiment, but you always go back to your old standby beers. You generally frequent a few favourite bars, but can be convinced to join your friends at new club from time to time. You’re most comfortable in jeans and a tshirt. You generally drink Cameron’s Cream Ale or Alexander Keith’s IPA.

If you prefer: Lagers
Then…The bartender knows your order off by heart. You don’t know a lot about beer but you know what you like and don’t usually veer from it. You prefer clubs over pubs and are the life of the party. You usually sport the latest style and add a splash of colour to make sure you stand out from the crowd…just a little. You can usually be found drinking Steam Whistle Pilsner or Moosehead Lager.

If you prefer: Fruits
Then…You’re a risk-taker. You’re willing to try the strangest sounding brews without a moment’s hesitation. You can usually be found whatever new clubs are opening. You’re on the cutting edge of fashion and are constantly pushing the envelope. You’ve tried Great Lakes Orange Peel Ale and Früli Strawberry and are always on the lookout for new beers to try.

If you prefer: Stouts
Then…You have your favourites and stick to them. Your local pub is a traditional, English-style pub. You have extensive knowledge of obscure facts and never cease to amaze your friends with trivia. You typically wear khakis and a dark sweater. Your brews of choice are likely Wellington Imperial Stout or St-Ambroise Oatmeal Stout.

If you prefer: Wheats
Then…You like going again the grain. You prefer beers with a distinct flavour, and wheat beers bring what you’re looking for to the table. You prefer edgy, undiscovered bars that have yet to be overrun by the hipster crowd. You dress to suit your mood, and regularly break with convention. You typically drink Mill St. Belgian Wit Beer or Grasshopper Wheat Ale.

If you prefer: Honeys
Then…You enjoy the little things in life. You prefer beers with a hint of sweetness to them. You prefer to spend your time on a patio with a cold brew in hand surrounded by your closest friends. You wear a lot of bright colours which reflect your outlook on life. You can usually be found sipping a pint of Laker Honey or Sleeman’s Honey Brown.

Not sure which beer is for you? Toronto’s Festival of Beer has over 120 different brands from all over the globe available for you to experience. Find your beer personality at the Festival and join thousands of others performing their own soul searching.

Toronto’s Festival of Beer is a celebration of Canada’s rich brewing history, showcasing experts of the brewing craft from around the world. Featuring more than 200 brands, Toronto’s Festival of Beer is Canada’s premier celebration of the golden beverage. The festival takes place July 27-29 at Bandshell Park in Exhibition Place, Toronto.

Tickets for Toronto’s Festival of Beer sell out in advance every year — this year is no exception as July 28th is already sold out. Tickets for the Festival can be purchased online at www.beerfestival.ca. Tickets for each day are $38.50 with the ability to Hoptimize your experience for an extra $10. Hoptimizing your ticket will gain you early access to the Festival and 5 extra sample tokens. This is a 19+ event.

For more information about this year’s Toronto’s Festival of Beer, please visit www.beerfestival.ca

Music and Events at Toronto’s Upcoming Festival of Beer

Even though I cannot drink (and so won’t be sampling any of the over 200 labels on parade), the Festival of Beer in Ontario’s capital has tons of other stuff to do – I cannot wait to go!

First of all, there’s a grilling tent (sponsored by Napoleon) featuring Chef Ted Reader. Not only will he and his “friends” be sharing great grilling tips, but they’ll show you how to keep your grill clean and keep it the perfect summer cooker. Other fabulous local chefs scheduled to appear on the grilling stage are Matty Matheson of Parts & Labour and a guest on Top Chef Canada (Season 2, Ep. 4), Rodney Bowers of Hey Meatball and Food Network’s The Delinquent Gourmet, Rob Rainford of Food Network’s License to Grill, Joe Levesque of the International Centre, Craig Harding of Campagnolo, and Mark Cutrara of Cowbell Restaurant.

Then, of course, they have the Brewmaster’s Dinners. Each of these are at a different restaurant in the city and feature a special menu that evening focusing on the beer being served that event. So far, these Dinners are:

July 10 @ Oyster Boy featuring Propeller Brewery
July 16 @ Wvrst
July 17 @ Barque Smokehouse featuring Brasserie McAuslan Brewery
TBA @ The Monk’s Table

For the non-drinkers or -foodies out there (horrors!) there is an amazing musical line-up at the Bandshell Park as well. With good food, good beer, lots to learn and tunes to enjoy it all by, it’s promising to be quite the event!

More information on the musical line-up, tickets and dates is in the media release below. You can also follow Toronto’s Festival of Beer on Twitter @TOBeerFestival, Like it on Facebook and get tickets (and extra information) at www.beerfestival.ca


MEDIA RELEASE: Toronto’s Festival of Beer Announces World-Class Music Lineup
June 20, 2012

(TORONTO, ONTARIO) – It’s back! Toronto’s Festival of Beer is celebrating its 18th Anniversary and doing it better than ever.  This three-day event, celebrating everything great about beer, will see thousands of eager patrons descend upon Bandshell Park at Exhibition Place to celebrate the malty beverage.

From connoisseurs to thirsty beer drinkers, Toronto’s Festival of Beer offers a world of options. True to form, the Festival will bring an all-new musical line-up, and will host musicians from a wide range of genres. In short, whether it’s in the beer or the music, Toronto’s Festival of Beer is sure to have something for everyone.

Friday will be headlined by Grammy Award-winning artists Salt-N-Pepa, with other musical acts including Kreesha Turner, D-sisive, My Son the Hurricane and Michie Mee

On Saturday, the musical mash-up continues with July Talk setting the stage for headlining act Gentleman Husbands. Hailing from Cobourg, Ont., this young, energetic band says their “spastic and lively sets leave audiences in a daze.”  Other acts include Emerson Street Rhythm Band, Taj Weeks, Brett Caswell and the Marquee Rose.

The Festival wraps up Sunday on a high note with more great bands such as Hollerado, Detroit Rock City All-stars, Frank Ryan and the day’s headliner — Big Wreck!

Canada’s largest beer festival has more to offer than just terrific musical acts. The Festival will hold a number of exciting events throughout all three days. Be sure to check out the Napoleon Grilling Tent featuring some of the top culinary artists in the Greater Toronto Area and their meat creations — whether cured, smoked or grilled fresh. The Festival will also be teaming up with Niagara College’s Teaching Brewery to offer knowledgeable sessions with brewmasters and experts from around the country.

Tickets for Toronto’s Festival of Beer sell out in advance every year — this year is no exception as July 28th is already sold out. Tickets for the Festival can be purchased online at www.beerfestival.ca. Tickets for each day are $38.50 with the ability to Hoptimize your experience for an extra $10. Hoptimizing your ticket will gain you early access to the Festival and 5 extra sample tokens. This is a 19+ event.

For more information about this year’s Toronto’s Festival of Beer, please visit www.beerfestival.ca
Toronto’s Festival of Beer is a celebration of Canada’s rich brewing history, showcasing experts of the brewing craft from around the world. Featuring more than 200 brands, Toronto’s Festival of Beer is Canada’s premier celebration of the golden beverage. The festival takes place July 27-29 at Bandshell Park in Exhibition Place, Toronto.

Peanut Butter and Honey for Father’s Day Breakfast (A #SundaySupper Post)

Happy Father’s Day, everyone!

When I think of my dad, I think of a few things – his goofy sense of humour, his love for Tinkerbell (which I’ve canonized on my leg in tattoo form), his amazing ability to make box-mix pancakes taste out of this world good, his trailer potatoes “with the spice rack” that he’d foil grill on the Coleman every summer, and his favourite breakfast/snack/anytime food: peanut butter and honey sandwiches. Ideally, he’d opt for sliced bananas on top of the gooey PB and honey combo, and the bread could be white, whole wheat, toasted or not – it was all about the sweet/salty/gooey concoction, not the mere vessel for it’s journey into the mouth.

That said, in my own idealization of the dish (I guess you could call it that, although a recipe for it would be rediculous to write down), I’d pick a nice simple whole wheat slice, Kraft “Light Smooth” peanut butter (I grew up with it and hate the taste of “regular”, and really hate the texture of any “chunky” PB), and either a local buckwheat or a rich Manuka honey. Bananas for me are in general too sweet (I am the kind of person who eats them mostly green with just a trace of yellow), and the texture of them along with the “too-runny” consistency of peanut butter on hot toast weirds me out. Oh, and the open face combo trumps a top “crust”, IMHO.

Sheesh, I thought I wasn’t too picky about my PB & H, but apparently I’m wrong! If you’d like to see more of the incredibly delicious offerings for the Father’s Day #SundaySupper you can take a look at the links below, hop over to my live feed of #SundaySupper tweets or search #SundaySupper on Twitter (PS, I’m on there too!).

Father’s Day Brunch:

Dad’s Favorite Soup, Salads and Bread:

Father’s Day Favorite Main Dishes:

Dad’s Sweet Tooth:

Wine Pairings for Father’s Day ENOFYLZ

Congrats to the Winners of the 9th Annual Ontario Brewing Awards

Media Release:

Ontario Crowns it’s favourite Beers and Brew Masters at the 9th Annual Brewing Awards

Toronto –The results are in for the 9th Annual Ontario Brewing Awards presented by Toronto’s Festival of Beer!

The Gold, Silver and People’s Choice Awards, presented at Beer Academy in Toronto, were given out by Roger Mittag, the “Professor of Beer” on Thursday, May 17th.

The annual award ceremony has become a tradition for beer lovers around the province, giving them a chance to meet the people that make their favourite brews as well as allowing them to test out something entirely new.

The following are this year’s winners for the 9th Annual Ontario Brewing Awards:

North American Light Lager
Gold: Cool Beer Brewing Company – Stonewall Light
Silver: Labatt – Rolling Rock Extra Pale
People’s Choice: Hogsback Brewing Company – Vintage Lager

 
North American Lager
Gold: Labatt – Blue
Silver: Hogsback Brewing Company – Vintage Lager

European Style Lager (Pilsner)
Gold: King Brewery – Pilsner
Silver: Kichesippi Beer Co. – Natural Blonde
People’s Choice:Kichesippi Beer Co. – Natural Blonde

Amber Lager
Gold: Cool Beer Brewing Company – Millennium Buzz
Silver:Great Lakes Brewery – Red Leaf Smooth Red Lager
People’s Choice:Nickel Brook Beers – Märzenbier Bavarian Style Red

Dark Lager
Gold: Cameron’s Brewing Co. – Cameron’s Dark 266
Silver: King Brewery – Dark Lager
People’s Choice: Mill Street Brewery – Rauchbier

Bock
Gold: Amsterdam Brewery – Spring Bock
Silver: Cameron’s Brewing Co. – Cameron’s Deviator Doppelbock
People’s Choice: Amsterdam Brewery – Spring Bock

   
Honey/Maple Beers
Gold: F&M Brewery – Stone Hammer Maple Red Ale
Silver: Railway City Brewing Company – Honey Elixir
People’s Choice: F&M Brewery – Stone Hammer Maple Red Ale

German Style Wheat Beer
Gold: Denison’s Brewing Company – Weissbier
Silver: Magnotta Brewery – True North Wonder Weisse
People’s Choice: Denison’s Brewing Company – Weissbier

Belgian Style Wheat Beer
Gold: Amsterdam Brewery – Oranje Weiss
Silver: Mill Street Brewery – Belgian Style Wit
People’s Choice: Amsterdam Brewery – Oranje Weiss

Cream Ale
Gold: Muskoka Brewery – Cream Ale
Silver: Grand River Brewing – 1913 Traditional
People’s Choice: Muskoka Brewery – Cream Ale

British Pale Ale
Gold: Black Oak Brewing Company – Pale Ale
Silver: Grand River Brewing – Plowman’s Ale
People’s Choice: Grand River Brewing – Plowman’s Ale

North American Pale Ale
Gold: Nickel Brook Beers – Naughty Neighbour Pale Ale                  
Silver: Great Lakes Brewery – Crazy Canuck Pale Ale
People’s Choice: Black Creek Historic Brewery – Pale Ale

British IPA
Gold: Grand River Brewing – Curmudgeon IPA
Silver: Mill Street Brewery – India Pale Ale
People’s Choice: Mill Street Brewery – India Pale Ale

North American IPA
Gold: Cameron’s Brewing Co. – Cameron’s Rye Pale Ale
Silver: Muskoka Brewery – Mad Tom IPA
People’s Choice: Cameron’s Brewing Co. – Cameron’s Rye Pale Ale

Amber Ale
Gold: Amsterdam Brewery – Big Wheel Deluxe Amber
Silver: The Clocktower Brew Pub – Clocktower Red
People’s Choice: Amsterdam Brewery – Big Wheel Deluxe Amber

Dark Ale
Gold: Muskoka Brewery – Dark Ale
Silver: Black Oak Brewing Company – Nut Brown Ale
People’s Choice: Black Oak Brewing Company – Nut Brown Ale

Porter
Gold: Mill Street Brewery – Coffee Porter
Silver: Black Oak Brewing Company – Nutcracker Porter
People’s Choice: Mill Street Brewery – Coffee Porter

Stout
Gold: F&M Brewery – Stone Hammer Oatmeal Coffee Stout
Silver: Railway City Brewing Company – Black Coal Stout
People’s Choice: F&M Brewery – Stone Hammer Oatmeal Coffee Stout

Imperial Stout
Gold: Wellington Brewery – Wellington Imperial Russian Stout
Silver: Nickel Brook Beers -Bolshevik Bastard Imperial Stout
People’s Choice: Wellington Brewery – Wellington Imperial Russian Stout

Fruit Beer
Gold: Amsterdam Brewery – Framboise
Silver: The Clocktower Brew Pub – Raspberry Wheat
People’s Choice: Amsterdam Brewery – Framboise

Flavoured Beer
Gold: Grand River Brewing – Highballer Pumpkin Ale
Silver: Sawdust City Brewing Co. – Skinny Dipping Stout
People’s Choice: Cameron’s Brewing Co. – American Whiskey Barrel

Strong Beer
Gold: Niagara College Teaching Brewery – Rudolph’s Red Nose Ale
Silver: Mill Street Brewery -Ambre de la Chaudière
People’s Choice: Niagara College Teaching Brewery – Rudolph’s Red Nose Ale

Newcomer of the Year: HogsBack Brewing Company

Beer of the Year: Mill Street Brewery – Coffee Porter

Things Learned by Drying Fruit

Take it slow.
It helps to have support.
A little elbow grease never hurt anyone.
It is possible to work together.
You might feel like you’re falling through the cracks…
…but something will always catch you.
Some things just weren’t meant to be. Persevere and you will be rewarded.
Things will get messy sometimes…
But in the end, you’re responsible for your own messes.