Tag Archive | eat local

Thankful Thursday 2021 Week 2/52

Wanna know what a good “resolution” is for 2021?!?! Supporting local and small businesses!

If you’re local and want to have the best sourdough and the best scones I’ve ever tasted check out Sweet little bake shop on Instagram! The double chocolate scones are what chocolate dreams are made of!!! Pure bliss!!

I’m very thankful for the online friendships and support I’ve found in other Mom’s and I love supporting them when we can! The above photos are our order from Sweet little bake shop yesterday and were absolutely delicious!

It’s hard not to be thankful with a paw full of chocolate deliciousness!

Thankful Thursday Week 13/52

It’s been a long week for all of us! I don’t have much to say today but I will share one of the things im thankful for today. I’m thankful for all the logistics staff, farmers, truck drivers, grocery store staff etc working through this terrifying time to maintain our food supply.

Without these integral workers things would be much harder than they already are! So thank you to you and everyone on the front lines. ❤️

Epicure Azteca Tortilla Soup

It’s that time of year again! A new Epicure catalogue has launched with lots of new products and meal solutions. I thought it might be fun to review some of the new products and share my thoughts.

If you aren’t familiar with Epicure it is a local to me Canadian company that aims to inspire clean eating through their line of gluten free, sugar/salt/fat conscious line of spices, mixes, and meal solutions.

In the spirit of full disclosure I should mention that I am an independent Epicure consultant! That in no way means I will withhold my honest opinions on these products. This is not a sponsored post in any way and I have purchased these products at my own cost.

So, on to the soup!

I followed the directions on the package using the water option instead of broth. The ingredients and directions are extremely simple. You boil the water and seasoning, add in tomatoes, boil again. Meanwhile rinse the black beans. Add beans and corn and simmer.

To serve top with Greek yogurt, cheese,avocado, lime juice, and tortilla chips if you wish.

Now in all honesty I found the soup incredibly bland after following the directions on the package. Next time I will definitely use broth over water.

After trying it as prepared according to the package directions I went ahead and added in some salt, taco seasoning, red garlic sensel, and a few other things to give it more of the flavour I was expecting/looking for.

I also added two chopped Roma tomatoes because I like chunks or tomatoes in my taco soup.

I don’t mind at all that I had to add salt to this soup. In fact I think that is a good thing given how many packaged mixes and soups are sodium heavy. I’m not one who adds much salt in my cooking but I will when it’s needed. I will admit I wasn’t expecting to have to add so many extra ingredients/spices to this soup to make it more flavourful. On the other hand it’s easier to add ingredients to your liking then to try to cover up a flavour you don’t like in a package mix.

Once the soup was done and topped with the toppings mentioned above and cilantro I very much enjoyed it but again I don’t think I would of enjoyed it very much had I not tweaked it to my liking.

With that being said would I make this again? Absolutely! I would make it using broth and set out knowing what I want to add. I’m also looking forward to trying this with the addition of veggie ground round (or ground beef for the meat eaters). I would also use this mix in other recipes, I’m thinking a taco casserole.

This product is not at all what I was expecting as a quick meal solution/soup mix but it’s a product I will happily use as an ingredient in my own creations.

Clean Living Buying Club! Veggies, Community, Health! 

I recently got the opportunity to take part in a new veggie buying collective organized by a lovely lady named Maria.  Maria has organized an awesome program so local families can pool their funds and buy organic, locally grown produce at a great price.  

 The veggie buying club is a fantastic  way for local community members to access fresh, healthy, organic produce while supporting local farms and keeping dollars in our own community and nearby communities. 

 I am excited to take part in this as it embraces supporting local farms, and eating healthy! Plus it brings together community members! All great things in my eyes.   

 The club currently offers two boxes, a 5 pound harvest and a 15 pound harvest box. Both boxes contain an assortment of veggies and herbs that will change with the growing seasons!  They also offer a juicing box. 

This weeks farmer and harvest boxes contained kale, chard, carrots, beets, a variety of potatoes, leeks, herbs, garlic and the option of wheatgrass add ons.  

 We have already eaten the white potatoes, carrots, and rainbow chard, All of which have been delicious, fresh and flavourful. 

Maria is in the process of getting more farms and local products involved! Hopefully soon the collective will have one stop access to local eggs, honey, seeds, etc.

I am throughly impressed that Maria has give up her own time and energy to bring something so amazing to her community. 

If you’re interested in taking part in the collective or just looking for more information check out The Clean Living Team website. 

Blackberry Lime Tart

So earlier today I posted my recipe for lime curd, well here’s what I did with it!!! I turned it into mini blackberry lime tarts and served them with a scoop of lime zested vanilla ice cream!!

These tarts are a perfect little treat after dinner! You could make one large 9 inch pie with this recipe or 6 four inch tarts.

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Ingredients
1 1/4 Cups Graham cracker crumbs
3 Tablespoons packed brown sugar
4 Tablespoons melted butter
1/8 Teaspoon cinnamon
Cooking spray
1 recipe Lime curd
1/2 cup Blackberries

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Method
Combine crumbs, sugar, cinnamon, melted butter and mix until crumbly.

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Press mixture firmly into sprayed tart pan up the sides and on bottom forming a well. Bake in 325 degree oven for 9 minutes.

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Once baked remove from oven and allow to cool. Fill with lime curd and top with as many blackberries as desired. Refrigerate for 3 hours until firm.

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20150731-230147-82907071.jpg These tarts are just the right size for a shareable treat or indulge and polish it off on your own!

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Basil…So Much Basil & Other Yummy Garden Things

So despite the drought conditions her in BC this summer is proving to be spectacular for our garden! We’ve been enjoying carrots, spinach, lettuce, sage, thyme, cucumbers, peppers, potatoes, beets, onions, radishes, peas, eggplant, zucchini, beans, mint, and basil so far!
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I’m pretty excited our corn is well on it’s way to being ready and I’ve got some little pumpkins and a random giant squash looking good! I’m trying not to eat the green tomatoes but I make no promises!

While everything is doing well the basil is unstoppable! I’ve eaten my fair share raw, in salads, pasta, and bruschetta! Tonight I decided to process some into a paste with garlic and olive oil to freeze for use later when we don’t have all this fresh!

Basically it’s the same process as making pesto minus the nuts and cheese!

Wash and dry your fresh basil leaves and pulse through your food processor with olive oil and fresh garlic! I used one tablespoon of olive oil per packed cup of basil leaves, with two garlic cloves! It smells amazing!! After it was processed I scooped into individual portion cups to freeze! Easy and a great way to avoid wasting your beautiful fresh basil.
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You wind up with considerably less then you started with but these little frozen herb pucks will pack big flavor when you decide to use them! They work great in pesto, pasta sauce, on buttered pasta, omelettes, bruschetta, in scrambled eggs and in homemade salad dressing!!

Peach Blueberry Crumble

One of my favorite parts of Summer is the availability of local fresh fruit! On Saturday Kevin and I headed out to Lepp Farm Market in abottsford and stocked up on amazing local products including local organic blueberries and Okanagan peaches!

I decided to throw together a quick fruit crisp with my purchases. This blueberry peach crisp comes together quickly and easily and rewards you with a relatively healthy treat!

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Ingredients
6 large peaches peeled and sliced
3/4 cup Blueberries
2 tablespoons white sugar
3/4 cup oats
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup flour
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup butter

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Method
Spray baking dish with non stick cooking spray and layer sliced peaches and blueberries in dish. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of sugar and 2 tablespoons of flour. Toss gently with hands to coat.

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In a separate bowl combine oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, flour and cut in butter. Work with hands until mixture resembles course crumbs.

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Sprinkle oat mixture over fruit, covering evenly.

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Bake for 30-35 minutes in a 375 degree oven. Allow to cool slightly on a rack if serving warm.

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I like to serve my crumble with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream for a yummy summer treat!

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Buzz Buzz Buzz

Did you know Honey bees pollinate 80% of the flowering crops we use as food sources?!? That means they are responsible for 1/3 of everything we eat! If the bees die out so does our varied diet. Just some food for thought.

Kevin and I recently visited The Honey Bee Center near our home in Surrey BC.

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As I’ve mentioned many times I like to eat local as often as possible. We’ve visited The Honey Bee Center on a number of occasions but this visit I made sure to snap a few photos to share with you all.

We didn’t take the tour but it looked like a neat thing to do with kids. The tour covers topics like pollination, life cycle, etc. They involve lots of hands on learning and of course you get to see the bees up close! The Bees and Bugs lab looks like something any little learner would love to explore!

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Our visit was more based on need! I was out of honey and Kevin wanted to ask about local honey and bee pollen as an allergy fighting method. The staff, as always were friendly and helpful. We tasted some new to us products and learned in fact consuming local honey and bee pollen is thought to ward off seasonal allergies. We figured we would give it a go and bought both the local wildflower honey and the bee pollen. I was skeptical at first but after only a week of consuming the bee pollen my eyes have stopped itching! Good enough for me! I’m sold on the idea! Plus the other health benefits of honey are nothing to sneeze at.

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Aside from the wildflower honey and bee pollen we had the opportunity to sample many other flavors. I enjoyed them all but stuck to my favorite, creamed clover honey and Kevin got some cinnamon honey. If you’ve never heard of the health benefits of combining cinnamon and honey you’ve got some research to do!! I swear by cinnamon and honey to ward of colds and throat infections. Back on topic! The store offers all sorts of honey, honey related products, as well as cute gift items. I’m a sucker for the honey in the little bear bottle!!

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While we were there we checked out The Tea Hive Cafe which I was instantly drawn to because of its pond!

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It is a peaceful setting to enjoy a cup of tea and chat with a friend or just enjoy the quiet calm sounds of the waterfall. Quiet, calm is something I’m really learning to enjoy recently in my life.

The Tea room offers all sorts of yummy treats for purchase, like fresh baked scones. As well they offer a variety of loose leaf teas. Yum!

I am always impressed by the helpfulness of the staff at the Honeybee Center, and by the variety of products they offer. If you are local or traveling to the area be sure to check out this neat little interactive bee kingdom! And don’t forget to high five the honey bear out front!

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Hope everyone’s Monday was productive and stress free! I promise to post some recipes soon! I’ve been busy the last few weekends with cupcake orders and catering an event but things are back to normal now!

Krause Berry Farms

Krause Berry Farms has to be one of my favorite places to visit locally. Every summer we go to pick plump red strawberries fresh from the fields and enjoy the tastes, sounds, and sights of this beautiful family owned farm! Yesterday my husband and I were lucky enough to be invited to the friends and family event they held to show case their brand new Estate winery.

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Our visit started out with an amazing helicopter flight over Langley. Sky Helicopters took us on an amazing fight, I’d never been in a helicopter before and I have to admit it was amazing. Our pilot Matt was great, He had a fun sense of humor and made me feel very comfortable. It was a neat way to see the farmlands at Krause, the views of Langley and the Fraser river were spectacular!

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Sky Helicopters will apparently be offering flights out of Krause berry farm some weekends this summer for a low cost. I suggest you check it out if you get the chance. It truly is a spectacular experience.

Once we were back on the ground we headed inside to start our sampling! First we were greeted with fresh baked apple pie, homemade donuts with strawberry or blueberry frosting, tea, coffee, and juice!

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Krause is a sweet tooth haven. They make and serve an amazing assortment of sweet treats, from fudge, pies and cookies to fresh berry milkshakes. They also sell fresh baked buns and breads as well as an assortment of jams, sauces, cheese, eggs and of course in season berries! They have a huge market on premises with all sorts of amazing offerings and gift items.

If sweets aren’t your thing you can also order many lunch items including, soup and corn pizza on the Porch and enjoy a farm fresh lunch on a real working farm.

After our donuts were down we headed over to the winery for the real reason we were there! Fruit wine!!! I am a huge advocate of eating locally and eating healthy… I guess now is a good time for me to admit my love if local wines as well.

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The new winery is amazing. It is absolutely gorgeous. They have gone with a western theme and nothing was over looked in the design. If you visit be sure to look up because the ceiling is very pretty.

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The wine we tasted is all made on site from their own or locally sourced fruit. The apple wine was my favorite, but the raspberry, blueberry, and sparkling wines all tasted delicious as well. We came home with a bottle of Raspberry wine and of course a bottle of the Apple. I will be back for the sparkling wine once it’s available for sale.

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Once our tasting was completed I chatted with Alf, the owner of the farm briefly and then retreated to the beautiful patio to nibble on some snacks and of course sip another glass of wine.

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The farm is absolutely beautiful. The fruit when in season is so much fun to venture into the fields and pick yourself. It is the perfect place to take kids, complete with play area. Lots to see and do for sure. The new winery just offers that much more to an already great place.

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