NextGEN Gallery Plugin Not found

Gourmet Ontario Promoting gourmet food, baking, organic, local food, VQA wine, craft beer, fresh farm, wild game, festivals Wed, 11 Jun 2014 15:15:27 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Ancaster Farmer’s Market 2014 Tue, 10 Jun 2014 13:00:51 +0000

Season 6 – Ancaster Farmers Market

Local – Fresh – FUN!

The Ancaster Farmers Market is conveniently located adjacent to the rail trail on a lovely open green space with easy biking and walking access.

Ample parking is available, but we encourage you to bike, walk, or run, and stay for a while – visit our farmers – stay for dinner with farm to table quality food choices.

Special Dates:

  • Freezer Jam class July 9
  • Pickling class September 03
  • Pie contest October 01
  • Pumpkin Carving contest October 15

Ancaster Farmers Market Season

Every Wednesday 3-7pm from June 11 – October 15 2014

Ancaster Farmers Market Location

37 Halson St. (behind St. John’s Anglican Church) Ancaster, ON L9G 2B8

Google Maps Link

Contact Ancaster Farmers Market

Phone: 289.239.7828



Twitter:!/scottBMOFS/ontario-farmers-markets and check up on only the tweets from these fine farmer’s markets.


]]> 0
Mango Salsa Mon, 26 May 2014 16:35:55 +0000

With the warmer weather it is finally time for patio season!! We cleaned up the BBQ, set up patio furniture, and have hosted our first dinner on the deck! I decided to make a fresh fruit salsa for our appetizer this weekend while having some friends over for dinner. This mango salsa was a huge success, combining sweetness of the mango, the right amount of heat from the cayenne, and all balanced with the clean flavours of cucumber and red onions. This will be a new staple for summer barbecues at our house.

Mango Salsa

  • 3 ripe mangoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup cucumber, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup red onion
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 2-3 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste

    Prepare all ingredients and combine in large bowl. We served this with our favourite Tostitos Hint of Lime Tortilla Chips, but I think I will be making this with our Fish Tacos too very soon!

    Mango Salsa

]]> 0
Detour Wines Sun, 02 Feb 2014 20:44:23 +0000

Whether you are simply searching for a descent wine to pair with dinner, or you fancy yourself as having a discriminating wine appreciation pallet, the question of what wine to buy can be daunting. For some people, confusion over choosing the best single varietal wine often leads to frustration.

This is where 13th Street Winery has set out to challenge that thinking with their most recent release called Detour Wines. With the Detour portfolio, the winemaker carefully selected a blend of two varietals: Gamay Noir and Pinot Noir for Detour Red, and Riesling and Chardonnay for Detour White.

13th Street Detour Wines White

13th Street Detour Wines White

Detour White 2012 Highlights

  • 58% Riesling
  • 42% Chardonnay
  • 100% hand harvested, fermented in stainless steel, small amount of Chardonnay rested in French oak for 8 months

13th Street Detour Wines Red

13th Street Detour Wines Red

Detour Red 2012 Highlights

  • 60% Gamay Noir
  • 40% Pinot Noir
  • Mostly tank fermented and aged. Small percentage fermented in larger oak tonneaux and aged for one month in smaller French oak barrels to permit fermentation to take place.

The result of these blends and the winemaker’s process are two well-balanced wines with fruit flavour notes that are pleasing to both the nose and pallet contrasted against a smooth body resulting in a pleasant experience. Both Detour White and Red have an appropriate level of acidity that provides the crispness expected with a balanced finish.  What does this mean for you?  Detour Red and Detour White are wines that will appeal to your guests, whether pairing with a meal, or while enjoying over a good conversation.

13th Street Winery

13th Street Winery

Detour Wines can be found at the LCBO, or direct from the winery for $16.95 for a 750 ml bottle. Specific information about the wine can be found from the 13th Street Winery website.


]]> 0
Southwest Quinoa Casserole Thu, 16 Jan 2014 01:34:09 +0000

New Year’s resolutions usually include healthier eating and we at Gourmet Ontario are no different. We, just as many of you, have pledged to eat healthier, run a little more, and get more sleep. We have tried to implement “Meatless Mondays” here and this is one of our healthier recipes.

Southwest Quinoa Casserole

We have tried several recipes with quinoa in them since last fall. The kids loved this one, but we will be posting a few more in the next coming months. We hope one of our recipes inspires you to try it too.

Southwest Quinoa Casserole

  • 1 Tbsp Southwest Spice mix
  • 1 cup cooked Quinoa (2 cups water with bullion cube, 1/3 cup uncooked quinoa, cooked on medium for 20 minutes
  • 1 large sweet potato, shredded
  • 2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1 -1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9×13 glass baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Combine the cooked quinoa, black beans, shredded sweet potato, 3/4 cup cheese, and Southwest spice mix together in a large mixing bowl. Mix together the eggs and salsa together in separate bowl. Add egg mixture to the quinoa mixture. Place into greased baking dish and top with remaining cheese. Bake in oven for 30 minutes uncovered. Serve with chopped cilantro or sour cream, if desired.

]]> 0
2014 Niagara Ice Wine Festival Mon, 06 Jan 2014 20:41:00 +0000

Niagara Icewine Festival 2014

Bundle up and get out to enjoy the 19th annual Niagara Icewine Festival! With three weekends of events and tastings including the Xerox Icewine Gala, outdoor Icewine celebrations in Twenty Valley and Niagara-on-the-Lake, Wine and Cheese Seminars and the ever-popular Discovery Pass program and more! Join us this January as the Niagara Region celebrates winter like nowhere else in North America!

Attend the Icewine Gala on Friday January 10th from 8:00 until 11:00 pm. Enjoy a beautiful evening of Niagara cuisine, live entertainment and Niagara’s internationally acclaimed VQA Icewine and table wines. Tickets for this event can be purchased here.

Enjoy three weekends (January 10, 11, 12, 17, 18, 19, 24, 25 & 26) of Icewine tastings and events. A list of the participating wineries and the food wine pairing they offer can be found on the Program of Events here. Each winery offers a tasting for around $10 each. If you plan on visiting more than few wineries, we would recommend to purchase a Discovery Pass, where for $40 you can sample 8 food/wine pairings at participating wineries.  Also, some wineries are offering activities like skating and winery tours, and other food & wine pairings that not part of the Discovery Pass tasting.  Also, the “Driver’s Discovery Pass” is available for designated drivers where you can enjoy a mocktail and food pairing. Both the types of Discovery Passes can be purchased here.

Twenty Valley’s Winter WineFest will be held Saturday 11am-10pm and Sunday 12pm-7pm at 3836 Main Street in Jordan Village. Tokens are available for purchase at $3.25 tax included. Come and meet Food Network’s Chef Danny Smiles and Chef Chuck Hughes perform daily cooking demos. Free live music will be performed by Hollerado and Treble Charger. Stay into the evening and enjoy the Steam Whistle After Party which is being held in the barrel cellar of the Historic Cave Spring Cellars and features live music, appetizers and beer from Steam Whistle and wine from Cave Spring Cellars. Attend the Icewine Brunch in the Windows Room of On the Twenty Restaurant on Sunday morning and enjoy a three course brunch featuring an Icewine inspired menu created by host and chef, Chuck Hughes. Limited tickets are available.

Join the wineries in Niagara-on-the-Lake for their Icewine Events. Sparkle and Ice is being held on January 17th from 8:00 until 11:00 pm in Niagara-on-the-Lake’s Courthouse. Tickets are available $95 per person and available for purchase at or call 905.468.1950. The Icewine Village will be set up on Queen Street in Niagara-on-the-Lake on January 18th from 11 to 5 and on January 19th from 12 until 5. Stay into the evening of the 18th to experience the Flash & Panache Icewine Cocktail Competition.

Want to know more about Icewines? Attend a tasting with Icewine winemakers. These tastings are being held at various wineries shown below. To book a ticket, call the hosting winery, cost is $25.


Saturday, January 11th, 2 pm at Reif Estate Winery 905.468.9463
Saturday, January 18th, 11 am at Trius Winery at Hillebrand 1.800.582.8412Saturday, January 18th, 2 pm at Stratus Vineyards 905.468.1806
Saturday, January 25th, 11 am at Niagara College Teaching Winery 905.641.2252
Saturday, January 25th, 2 pm at Peller Estates Winery 1.888.673.5537

We hope that you enjoy this years Icewine Festival. Follow Gourmet Ontario on Twitter at @NiagaraVQA, or our corresponding bloggers @GourmetDonna @ScottBMOFS for our comments and updates, and join us on Facebook to share photos and stories of the festival.


***As of this afternoon, this announcement came from Niagara Wine Festivals.***



Due to unforeseen circumstances, the opening of the Mike Weir Winery visitors centre has been delayed and will not be open to the public during the 2014 Niagara Icewine Festival. We apologize for any disruption this may cause to your Discovery Pass route plans and look forward to welcoming you to the winery later this year!

]]> 0
The nut-free nut lover Wed, 04 Dec 2013 15:09:29 +0000


I am about to get personal for this post. It isn’t exactly about food and delicious recipes, but yet it is. This is a story about going nut-free. This is my story.

Growing up, I ate PB&J’s and Fluffer Nutters (peanut butter and marshmallow fluff sandwich) for school lunches. I loved Whatchamacallit’s and Reese’s Peanut Butter cups. After college I was well known for my amazing Pecan pies. I mastered the art of baking them and getting just the right mix of both dark and light Karo syrups. I loved nuts!

Then in 2005 I had an allergic reaction to a lotion- a full, all over body rash. I had never had an allergic reaction to anything before. I went to a doctor and they said they needed me to go to an allergist. They wanted to do the scratch tests on me. To my knowledge, I was not allergic to anything. I was so wrong! I sat in a rolling chair facing the back of the chair with my back exposed to the “scratches”. They tested for me a series of items like dust, tree pollens, grasses, and nuts. Have you ever had a scratch test?! Try sitting in a chair itching like crazy and not being able to scratch! It drives a girl crazy!!

The nurse comes back in the room about 15 minutes later. She says “Wow! Are you itchy?” I said yes I was. She looks at some of the scratches on my back and says I am allergic to dust (ok, who doesn’t sneeze around dust?!), some tree and grass pollens. (again, not a big surprise). Then she tells me I am highly allergic to nuts. Ummm, what? What about all of the peanut butter cups and pecan pies?! No more she says. The tree nuts are the worst, peanuts are ok but given the fact I was not previously allergic to nuts, avoid them too. Oh boy! I was given one Epi-Pen immediately and a prescription for more. She was concerned that I could have an anaphylactic reaction. So now what? How do you “unlearn” your taste for nuts?

Food allergies are not all the same. Many people have asked me if I can just not eat them, it is not that simple. My stomach doesn’t get upset if I eat nuts, I have difficulty breathing. I can have a reaction by being near them, or even near someone who has eaten them.

I have eliminated all nuts from my diet. No more peanut butter, no more pecan pies. It was difficult for me, very difficult. What I didn’t think about what how difficult it is for my friends and family. Two years ago, I was attending a U-8 girls soccer game, watching the girls play with my two pre-teen daughters by my side. About halfway through the game I started to clear my throat. A bit later, the coughing started. Next was the voice changing, violent coughing and wheezing. I was at a soccer game, I didn’t have an Epi-Pen with me, and I was outside. What was making me have this reaction? It turns out a little boy, very near and dear to me, was enjoying a very large bag of almonds which watching his sister play in her soccer game. He was sitting maybe 20 yards from me. My daughters started to panic. “Mommy, your lips are blue.” Mommy, you aren’t breathing right.” Mommy, let me get help!” The coaches wife was sitting close by and heard the girls’ concerns and my coughing. She took one look at me and took me to find some medication. I took tons of Benedryl and other medications to try to open my airways. This event is a blur to me. I did not have to use my Epi-Pen, but I know one day, I will not be so lucky.

Over the last couple of years, I have had to watch the horror in people’s faces as I have a reaction. I have also had to deny my loved ones their love of nuts as well. Going out to eat or even to the grocery store has become an adventure. The kids are heightened to nuts. They find them everywhere and warn me. They even make sure to carefully select their Halloween candy so it does not have nuts in it. If it does, they make sure to throw it away or give it away.

So how does one cook without nuts? I will over the next few posts tell you how this foodie dines out and cooks at home nut-free. It has been and continues to be an adventure. To read more about food allergies, click here.

]]> 2
Fish Tacos with Curried Mango & Red Peppers with Spicy Mango-Lime Aioli Thu, 21 Nov 2013 14:14:22 +0000

Fish Tacos with Curried Mango & Red Peppers with Spicy Mango-Lime Aioli

Fish Tacos

Tonight on the way to pick up the kids from school, I was thinking about what to cook for dinner. The kids love the usual foods, like chicken fingers or breaded fish filets and french fries. They also love things like tacos. We have seen fish tacos (and enjoyed them at Food Truck events!) and thought the kids would love them too. And they did!


  • 1 package of small flour tortillas
  • 1 box frozen fish bites (we used Jane’s)
  • 1 bag frozen mango chunks (or use 3 fresh mangos), divided
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 large red bell pepper, chopped (or 3 baby bells)
  • 2 Tbsp Curry Powder
  • 2 limes
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise*
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp Siracha sauce (more if you like spicy foods)
  • 2 cups shredded cheese, we used cheddar but a Havarti would be great too
  • 2 cups shredded spinach


  1. Cook fish according to manufacturer’s directions.
  2. Throw 3/4 cup frozen mango chunks into blender and puree. Squeeze in 1-1/2 of limes and 1/2 of lemon into blender. Add mayonnaise*, black pepper, garlic powder and Siracha and blend until smooth. If necessary, toss in a splash of cold water to liquefy aioli. Set aside.**I used mayonnaise for the sake of time tonight, but if you prefer to make a true aioli, you can use two egg yolks, then slowly drizzle in 3/4 cup of oil while blender is running.**
  3. Toss remaining mango chunks,1/2 of lime, curry powder, black pepper in frying pan. Cook on medium heat until mango starts to release juices. Add in onions and peppers, stir until cooked.
  4. Heat flour tortillas on plate in microwave, covered with damp paper towel until warm.
  5. Place warm tortilla on plate. Place shredded cheese on tortilla. Layer cooked fish on top of cheese. Top with curried mango and peppers. Drizzle mango-lime aioli on top.


]]> 1
Crock Pot French Toast Wed, 20 Nov 2013 14:00:36 +0000

Crock Pot French Toast

Crock Pot French Toast

A couple of weeks ago, we were asked to bring a breakfast item to our church to share. Everyone had the idea of bringing in bagels and muffins, but I like a good hot breakfast on weekends. I decided to give french toast in the crock pot a try, and everyone was glad that I did. It was warm, sweet and filling; the perfect fall comfort food. Try it and tell us what you think.

Crock Pot French Toast


  • large loaf of French bread
  • 2-1/2 cups whole milk
  • 7 large eggs
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 5 Tbsp butter, softened
  • 2 cups raisins


1. Spray the liner of your crock pot with nonstick spray.
2. Place oven rack in middle of oven and preheat the oven to 225 degrees.
3. Cut loaf of bread into 1″ cubes. Spread out onto a large cookie sheet. Bake for 1 hour until the bread is crispy and dry.
4. Toss bread cubes into bottom of sprayed crock pot. Toss in raisins.
5. In large bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, cream, sugar, vanilla and cinnamon. Pour over bread cubes. Push bread down into egg mixture.
6. Mix softened butter with the brown sugar. Sprinkle on top of the bread.
7. Place lid on crock pot and cook on low for approximately 4 hours, or until the center is set.
8. Serve with maple syrup.

]]> 0
Harvest Apple Cake with Penuche Icing Thu, 17 Oct 2013 12:00:56 +0000

harvest apple cake with penuche icingAutumn means cooler temperatures, cozy nights and harvest foods. With the abundance of local pick-your-own apple farms nearby, we took the family to our local orchard to fill up a basket of fresh apples. I can’t think of a better way to spend time with my family and celebrate the foods of fall, than to bake. One of our favourite family recipes is the Harvest Apple Cake. It’s moist and delicious! The Penuche icing is a long standing family recipe that pairs perfectly with the apple cake. I hope you enjoy this as much as my family does!

Harvest Apple Cake Recipe


  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups peeled and chopped apples


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13″ pan. Combine oil, sugar, and eggs. Stir in flour and baking soda. Add vanilla, pecans, and apples. Spread in prepared pan and bake for 45-50 minutes. Cool for 2 hours before frosting.

Penuche Icing Recipe


  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 1 ½ cups icing sugar


Melt butter, add brown sugar and boil over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in milk, heat to boil. Remove from heat and cool to lukewarm. Stir in icing sugar gradually.

]]> 0
Niagara Wine Festival Fri, 20 Sep 2013 12:30:19 +0000

NiagaraWineFestEventThis is one of our favourite Niagara area wine events, very near and dear to our hearts. We make sure to attend every year and this year is no exception. If you are looking for something to do this weekend, consider this event. This is a fantastic event for a date or girl’s day out.

Here you will find all of the participating wineries and their pairings. You can purchase the Niagara Wine Festival Discovery Pass for $40 at any of the wineries or The All Access Lounge Experience for $50 here.
We hope to see you there.

Join the Niagara Grape & Wine Festival for its 62nd Annual Niagara Wine Festival taking place September 14th through 29th, 2013.

The Festival wine route programming will launch a week earlier as we invite cycling enthusiasts from across North America to take part in the GranFondo Niagara September 13-15th. Whether you are part of the GranFondo Niagara or simply want to enjoy the Niagara Wine Route for three weekends during harvest, the Niagara Wine Festival Discovery Pass is your ticket to eight incredible wine and culinary experiences at participating wineries.

On weekend two and three the harvest celebration continues in Downtown St. Catharines where historic Montebello Park presents six days of incredible live entertainment, culinary and wine seminars, parades and VQA wines and favourite local restaurants. Starting with the annual RBC Business Awards and Opening Night ceremonies; including a New Award for the Winery with Heart, recognizing a Niagara winery’s philanthropic efforts. The awards will be followed by the kick off concert with favourite 80’s retro bands The Spoons and Blue Peter.

Get Fresh Greenlane

For two weekends, the WestJet Centre Stage along with Sun Media and Astral Radio, will host a roster full of incredible Canadian talent. From beginning to end popular local bands and Tribute bands take the stage including: The Caverners, Elton Rohn, Desire U2 Tribute and Hotel California. And on Parade Day weekend, breakout band Crystalyne will get the party started and Tragically Hip Tribute band; The Wheat Kings will close things off on Sunday.
In historic Montebello Park, the Fallsview Casino Resort hosts The Wine and Culinary Food Experience presenting over 100 VQA wines available for tasting along with local culinary favourites. And due to popular demand, a showcase of premium wines will be featured by

the glass from your favourite wineries as well as in the All Access Lounge.

Get Fresh 13th

On Saturdays; “Educate Your Senses” Culinary and Wine Seminars presented by the Canadian Food and Wine Institute and CCOVI at Brock University and hosted by Best Selling author and wine industry personality, Dr. Linda Bramble, will engage local chefs and winemakers, as well as the Dairy Farmers of Canada, in lively demonstrations, discussions and tastings.
And New to Sunday programming will be the East Vs West; Winemakers Showdown luncheon; where graduate winemakers from both CCOVI and the Niagara College Teaching Winery will team up with Canadian Food and Wine Institute Chefs and Dairy Farmers of Canada to compete for the best wine and foods pairing during this four course culinary showcase. Canadian TV and Radio personality, Terry David Mulligan will moderate the first Sunday’s showdown.
And the CIBC Grande Parade takes place on Saturday September 28th and will present “Honouring Our Heroes, Then and Now”.

As we continue to commemorate the Bicentennial of the War of 1812 and bridge history with the present day heroes. This toast to the past and our Bi-nationalism will include marching bands, dance troops, floats and amazing performers. Don’t forget your non perishable food items for the annual Community Care Food Drive.

]]> 0