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Pumpkin

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Posted on 2011.01.21 at 13:08
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Corn

Jumping ship

Posted on 2010.02.04 at 12:12
Hello everyone!

With this new style of blogging I've decided to jump ship to a better platform and continue my blogging adventure from there. You can now find Simply Fresh at:

http://simplyfreshottawa.wordpress.com/

Bookmark me and visit often.

Thanks for reading! Jodi

cheese

The Importance of Cheese Sauce

Posted on 2010.02.02 at 09:46
Tags:
Growing up my brother was always a VERY picky eater, but one truth always held true – though he would not eat green vegetables on his own he would begrudgingly eat them if they had cheese sauce.

When I was young this meant either microwaving Kraft Cheese Whiz or following directions on a packet. Both of which are full of preservatives, sodium and a list of ingredients you can’t pronounce longer than your arm. Seriously – what is whiz?

Luckily I have a great recipe for a rich, creamy cheese sauce that is quick and simple to make, but contains real ingredients and is low in sodium.

Mozzarella Cheese Sauce
¼ cup skim milk
1.5 TBSP butter
2 TBSP all purpose flour
3 TBSP parmesan cheese
2/3 cup grated mozzarella cheese

Heat milk and butter until boiling in a sauce pan, add flour and whisk until smooth. Add cheeses and stir until melted and thickened. Serve over veggies.

This works with any kind of cheese – the more unusual the more gourmet it sounds. Gorgonzola Cheese Sauce, Brie Cheese Sauce … I’ll stop – it’s making me hungry.

Lucky for me, these days I’m raising a little girl who is less picky than I am, (and I think I’m pretty good!) I still make the sauce because adding cheese is a great way to add dairy and extra protein to a meal. It also has the added bonus of sometimes getting her to ask for second helpings. No matter how good broccoli is, no kid asks for seconds of it on its own!

A few weeks ago through the magic of twitter I contacted Beau's Beer and asked to feature them in a few of the recipes I was working on. To my delight they agreed!

For those who do not know, Beau's Beer (http://www.beaus.ca) is an all natural brewing company that operates out of Vankleek Hill Ontario - about one hour from Ottawa. It is really delicious and comes in a unique bottle that helps to keep it tasting it's best. You can find Beaus at various LCBO's in Ottawa and a variety of great Ottawa Restaurants.

The following I wrote using Beau's Lugtread Lagered Ale.

Asian Cabbage & Veal Slowcooker Stew with Beau's Beer Sauce
Serves 2

2 red skinned potatoes washed and chopped into 2 inch cubes
2 carrots washed, peeled and chopped into 2 inch pieces
1 sweet potato washed and cut into 3 inch chunks
1 onion peeled and cut into quarters
1/4 of a cabbage chopped into large pieces
1 small head of Asian cabbage chopped in to large pieces
1 TBSP olive oil
2 cloves minced garlic
1 lb of stewing veal
2 cups beef broth
1 cup Beau's Lugtread Lagered Ale
1 TBSP rosemary
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 TBSP Cornstarch
2 TBSP Water

Place first 6 ingredients in the bottom of a slow cooker.

In a hot skillet heat olive oil. Add garlic and veal and cook until meat becomes slightly browned on the outside (2-3 minutes a side). Add skillet contents to slow cooker.

Add broth, Beau's beer, rosemary and a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Add cover and cook on low for 7 to 8 hours.

Once finished turn slow cooker to keep warm. Ladle out 2-3 cups of the liquid from the slow cooker into a small pot. Turn on heat to medium high until it comes to a boil - reduce heat to keep at a simmer. In a separate cup mix cornstarch and water (this is really important, if you mix the cornstarch into hot liquid it will form nasty lumpy balls in your sauce). Add cornstarch mixture to the pot and stir until it thickens.

Serve veggies and meat with a good coating of the Beau's Beer Sauce.

** Sorry for the lack of pictures - my camera is out of commission at the moment!

Egg

Eggs Suppliers in Ottawa

Posted on 2010.01.26 at 10:28
Tags:
I thought I would use this post to promote one of the great egg suppliers in the Ottawa area. Bekings Poultry Farm sells eggs all around the city (I pick them up at Herb and Spice on Bank Street or Aubrey's Butcher Shop in the market), and I cannot say enough good things about them.

Not only are the eggs wonderful quality - they come from a farm approximately 70km from downtown Ottawa. And we all know what a fan I am of local eating.

But that's not the main reason I go out of my way to buy these eggs. Bekings eggs are produced from Free Roam hens. On Bekings Poultry Farm their hens have access to nests and roaming areas with open spaces for scratching and dust bathing. Basically letting chickens live like chickens.

Compare that to how most chickens live in a factory farm. 6-8 Chickens sit in a cage 24/7. They lay eggs which fall to a small belt under them to be taken away. They will never leave this cage. Often times they have their beaks mutilated so that they are unable to peck the other chickens which are constantly touching them as the cages are so small. Their feet become deformed and after a couple of years they no longer have the ability to stand up even if they were given the space to. Their feathers fall out from stress and constantly living in over crowded situations. These chickens become sick easily and are fed a constant stream of antibiotics which makes it way into the eggs you are consuming.

This is what you are purchasing when you buy standard eggs for $1.99:



Many people think the answer to stopping this kind of mistreatment is to stop eating eggs all together. I disagree. Every dollar you spend on a product is like a vote - producers will go where the money is, so support products that are produced in an appropriate way.

We have become so far removed from our food that we no longer know how it is made, or where it comes from. Its not hard to realize that farming practices like this are wrong and unfortunately common place.

You know deep down that an extra $1.50 for a dozen eggs is not going to break the bank, but think of the difference it can make in the lives of these hens. While I'm not stating that these chickens get to run free (despite the name free run), it is still light years better than living in cramped cages.

Remember where your food comes from and have some compassion for the animals that are producing it.



http://www.bekingseggs.com/


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