- Eating local is all the rage now, so much so that it seems events galore – from cooking classes, tours, and sampling fairs – are a weekly affair. Edmonton’s Countryside TASTE! of Summer is such an event, taking place July 13 at the St. Albert Grain Elevator Park. There will be live entertainment, a small market, and Taste of Edmonton-esque food booths. Tickets on sale at Ticketmaster and at the gate.
- Another Edmonton trend that continues is “upscale” packaged dinners. Following in the footsteps of Wild Tangerine and Culina‘s Frozen Dinners, Bacon is now offering take-away dinners Tuesday through Saturday – $14 for a frozen entree, salad and dessert, packed in a biodegradable container.
- I’m quite excited to check out Sip! The Wine and Food Experience at CapitalEx, July 17-26. Over 150 alcoholic beverages will be on hand to sample, but of course, I am mostly looking forward to the food pairings. The menu is here, while the schedule for special guest appearances is here.
- My appointment television for the summer: The Next Food Network Star, showing on Wednesdays at 8pm MT. While I wished our episodes ran on par with the American channel, I can’t complain about the content of the show. In its last incarnation, I think the draw for me was the celebrity judges (Bobby Flay, Giada de Laurentiis, Rachael Ray), but this year, I’m actually more interested in seeing how the contestants fare in the challenges. It’s still too early to pick a favourite though.
- Mack and I have been slowly working our way through the irresistible silver-packaged President’s Choice-branded chips. The first flavour we tried – General Tao Chicken – has actually been our favourite thus far; Szechwan was too mild and Smokin’ Stampede much too spicy. Waiting to be sampled on the kitchen table: Buffalo Wings and Blue Cheese.
- Just before joining the lineup to await the grand opening of the Apple Store on Saturday, Mack and I tried the new Homestyle Hash Brown from Tim Hortons. It’s just about the only thing from a fast food outlet that remotely resembles the pictures I’ve seen in advertisements. Unfortunately, it didn’t taste as good as they described – the seasoning actually made it taste worse than the more plain McDonald’s version.
- Shaken, not stirred: Before the fondue party, Annie and I chowed down on the new Maple Leaf Pasta Shakers. “Fresh” pre-cooked pasta, a light dressing, a package of sundried tomatoes, and vacuum sealed chicken are vigorously shaken together (that was the fun part) for an easy meal. The pasta was a bit scary-looking, as one would expect processed, preserved pasta to be, but appearance aside, it wasn’t bad, both portion and taste-wise.
Mediterranean Chicken Pasta Shaker