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Taste of Barrhead 2014

Taste of Barrhead 2014

When I was hired on at the Co-op my boss asked that I participate in some of the food base events in and around town. Of course I am a very willing participant. Any chance I get to prepare food for the masses I am on top of the world!

Representing Canada at The Taste of Barrhead


For the Taste of Barrhead we are to pick a country we want to represent. Naturally I immediately wanted to do Canada. Not for the butter tarts or maple flavors we automatically think of when we think of Canadian fare. My Canadian food of choice is Lentils! If you are a regular reader here you know I am crazy about lentils. I cook with them every week and through my source at TGP found a source to have them supplied in my section in the store.

I talk lentils to any customers who will listen. But talking is one thing, serving them amazing dishes prepared with them is another. As they say, the proof is in the pudding! Once you taste a dish that you can’t forget that is all that it takes to become a fan. Once you learn how healthy they are you become an super fan!

For this years event I made 2 of my favorite lentil recipes. Lentil Chili and Oatmeal Lentil Chocolate Chip Cookies. Both were a huge success. At one point I had one woman come back an buy 3 dozen cookies!  I need to remember to take large take out containers for next year.

Lentil Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Lentil Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup of brown sugar

3/4 cup of butter

1 egg

1 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla

3/4 cup of green lentil puree

1 1/2 cups of flour

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon of baking soda

2 cups of quick cooking oats

1 1/2 cups of chocolate chips

1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon


Preheat oven for 375 degrees F.

In a bowl mix together the sugar and butter. Add the egg just until blended. Add vanilla and lentil puree mixing well. Sift the flour, salt and soda together. Add it one third at a time to the butter sugar mixture. Mix on low until just blended. Now add the oats and chocolate chips and cinnamon, stir until combined.

Scoop out one generous tablespoon of dough for each cookie onto parchment lines cookie sheets.  Flatten slightly with a fork.

Bake for 12 – 15 minutes until the bottoms are lightly browned. Do not over bake.

I have made this recipe before adding peanut butter but because of allergy reasons I left it out this time. I wanted everyone who attended the opportunity to try them.

If you are in Barrhead I will be featuring Lentils at The Festive Celebration tasting event at the Co-op in Barrhead starting the afternoon of the 20th of November running from 3 to 7 pm.  Stop in a try some fantastic dishes and lets talk Lentils!

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Sugared Cranberry Bites

Sugared Cranberry Bites

We recently did an entertaining tasting event at work. Being a produce manager my selection to choose from is quite extensive. There are so many things I could have featured. At a meeting before the event someone had mentioned cranberry sauce. That started the gears in my mind turning. I thought it was a fantastic idea.

So many people automatically reach for the canned cranberry sauce on the shelves they have no idea how easy and flavorful homemade cranberry sauce can be.

The result were show stopping and fabulous! We had people coming back four and 5 times.

Sugared Cranberry Bites from Nutmeg Disrupted

By the end of the evening we sampled out over 400 bites and had received rave reviews from everyone.

Because of the volume of samples we presented costs and time available for prep were kept in mind. If I were to make these at an event I hosted in my home I would have chosen phyllo cups as the vehicle for the bites.

This is a three step appetizer so planning ahead is essential.

Sugared cranberries on Nutmeg Disrupted

Sugared Cranberries

2 cups fresh cranberries

1 cup of maple syrup or honey

1/2 cup of water
1 cup granulated sugar

Rinse cranberries and place in a large bowl. Heat syrup or honey and water in a small sauce pan just until warm. Pour the syrup over cranberries when warm. You do not want the syrup too hot as you do not want the cranberries to pop. Allow to cool. Cover and let the berries soak in the refrigerator overnight.
Drain cranberries in a colander. Place sugar in a large bowl or baking dish. Add cranberries in small batches and roll around until lightly coated in sugar. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet until dry, 1 to 2 hours. When dry the berries have a nice crunchy candy coating.

Cranberry Sauce
1 bag of cranberries – fresh or frozen
1 cup of mango melon juice
1 cup of sugar
1/4 cup of honey

Place all the ingredients in a small pan. Cook  on low – medium heat, stirring occasionally.

As they heat up, the cranberries will pop open. You know the sauce is done when 90 % the berries have split open.

Pour into a bowl to cool.

Surgered Cranberry bites on Nutmeg Disupted

 Sugared Cranberry Bites
crackers or phyllo cups

soft spreadable cream cheese
cranberry sauce
sugared cranberries
fresh mint for garnish

Spread the crackers with the cream cheese, add a teaspoon of cranberry sauce, and 4 or 5 sugared cranberries. Garnish with fresh mint sprigs.



















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Lake Fever Festival of Trees Barrhead 2013

Lake Fever Festival of Trees Barrhead 2013

I made a huge move at the end of summer.

I landed a fabulous job in a new town and embraced the adventure.

But no matter where my life takes me there are two constants.

Gingerbread and raising money for charity.

And this year did not disappoint.

Nutmeg Disrupted at The Festival

One thing I have learnt in my short time here.

Barrhead does it up right.

From the Taste of Barrhead to the Pumpkin Walk (which we’ll talk about soon)  to the Festival of Trees. This little town supports the local events

Nutmeg Disrupted at The Festival of Trees in Barrhead 2013

You don’t have to be in a big city to see amazing people step up and raise big dollars for charity. It can happen anywhere.

One of the many trees at The Festival of Trees in Barrhead kitchen tree

One of the many trees at The festival of Trees in Barrhead

Details from one of the trees at The festival of Trees in Barrhead

I am so very proud to say that my 2013 gingerbread house sold for $600.00 at the Festival. All the money my house raised was donated to FCSS!

Nutmeg Disrupted at The Festival of Trees in Barrhead

Love that. And it makes every hour I put into it worth it when I can make such a significant contribution to an event like that.

This years build was clean and simple. With around 120 hours work it is one of my easier houses. If you’ve been following me for a while you’ll recognize my style.

A look at the front of the Lake fever Cabin at the Festival of Trees in Barrhead


Looking do0wn ont he Lake Fever Cabin

The Lake Fever Cabin at the Festival Of Trees in Barrhead

If you ever have the chance please do check out your local Festival of Trees. Not only is it a great way to get into the Christmas spirit it is a wonderful contribution to local charities in your area.

Be sure to stop by the Food Bloggers of Canada for a step by step Gingerbread house tutorial I wrote! It breaks down the steps so you can create a one of a kind gingerbread house of your own!



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A Taste of Barrhead

A Taste of Barrhead



I had the pleasure of attending the second Taste of Barrhead this afternoon.

Hosted by the Barrhead & District Chamber of Commerce, it was an opportunity for local businesses, churches and community groups to gather and present foods from the various countries around the world.

From the moment I pulled up to the school I was excited, the parking lot was overflowing, a very good sign indeed.

The gymnasium was a flurry of activity with live entertainment to line ups at every booth, I knew it was going to be a fantastic afternoon enjoying flavors from around the globe.

And they did not disappoint.

My first stop was at the booth from France! Hosted by The Barrhead Co-op. They had some amazing sweets, from sucre a la crème, cream filled pastries and sugar tarts. Simone did an amazing job and I know everyone enjoyed her sweets. So much so that the tarts were already sold out by the time I arrived.

The France Booth at the Taste of Barrhead

Not sure what direction to head I toured the entire venue deciding what to sample. I stopped at the Italian Ice booth next for what I thought would be a bit of a palate cleanser. Having a hard time deciding between the flavors I went with a combination of Lemon and mango ices. They were perfect after the sweetness of the sucre a la crème.

Mango and lemon Italian Ice at The Taste of Barrhead

As I wandered with my Italian Ice I noticed the Filipino booth in the corner had a very large crowd. That had to be my next stop. I ordered the Rice Vermicelli and one of the skewers of BBQ pork. Because you can’t go wrong with meat on a stick. And I was correct. The  lightly grilled pork was tender and sweet and was fantastic with the vermicelli. After I finished that, I went back for a second skewer of the BBQ pork. I should had gotten a third but was trying to save room so reluctantly walked away.

Rice Vermicelli and BBQ pork at The Taste of Barrhead

Portage College was in attendance doing a sausage making demonstration. They made it look very easy and within minutes had a very nice coil of sausage. I took a pamphlet with information about the classes they offer. I would have loved to attend something like that when I was first learning the ropes in the culinary world. They offer some real world courses that everyone should take, not only those who are interested in becoming restaurant chefs but for anyone who loves food and would love some good skills.

Sauage making demo by Portage College at The Taste of Barrhead

I had my eye on the booth offering butter chicken and headed there next. It was a nice sized portion and had good flavor. Though not as spicy as what I am used to it was really good and mild enough that the younger foodies in the crowd would enjoy.

Butter Chicken at The Taste of Barrhead

At this point I was full. I know for next year to NOT have breakfast before heading down. To wrap up my afternoon I headed back for one final Italian ice. The blue of the Blueberry was calling to me and I had to give it a try.

Blueberry Italian Ice at The Taste of Barrhead

By the size of the crowd and tables selling out of food I would say they had a very good turn out and will be able to claim the event a huge success! There was so much more I did not get to sample. I know for next year to come hungry and perhaps attend with a friend so one can sample twice as much.

The Norway booth at The Taste of Barrhead

And a final shout out goes to the Norway booth for best dressed! They really added a fantastic feel to the event.

The Taste of Barrhead


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