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New Zealand Green Mussels are bigger, meatier and a bit milder than those we glean here on the East Coast. Mussel Fritters were on many restaurant menus of course, but very easy to make at home because most supermarkets and fish markets there sold cooked mussel meat. Fritters of various savoury kinds seemed to be the only distinctive Kiwi recipe I noticed, so of course, I had to make them. Try the delicious recipe on my Recipe Page.
We have patiently waited for the lovely warm days we are now experiencing. This is what we left in New Zealand at the beginning of April. It had been a perfect summer there….clear blue skies and lots of warm, dry air.
One of the best perks, however, was the fresh produce. Everything seemed to be in season at once….berries, rhubarb, plums, apricots, nectarines, tomatoes, apples. Of course, they obviously didn’t all burst forth simultaneously, but the seasons are longer for produce down there. When we left, there was a hint of fall in the morning air, and the apples were in fact still on the trees, hanging in huge numbers just waiting to be harvested.
Now, we can look forward to having our own fresh produce all summer now that our days are warmer and brighter.
I had the opportunity yesterday to taste some amazing olive oil in Vincenzo’s fine food store in Kitchener. Gerry Shikatani was sampling Luque Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Andalucia, Spain. It was peppery, but not as assertive as some and had the longest, smooth finish that seemed to last forever. It would be a wonderful finishing oil for cooked food or salads.
Gerry also let me in on another use for this peppery oil….soothing a sore throat. For more information on its health benefits, check out Gerry’s website http://www.gerryshikatani.com
Tomorrow on CTV Noon News, I will be talking about two very different types of sustainable seafood. Recently, I’ve had the opportunity to taste an organically grown Canadian black caviar that was delicious, fresh and not overly assertive. Called Northern Divine, these large, plump eggs are harvested at Target Marine Hatcheries in British Columbia from farmed sturgeon making them eco-friendly, something we need to look for when buying seafood. Check out the website http://www.northerndivine.com for information about this new and exciting product.
I will also have some inexpensive mussels on hand ready to marinate and serve as appetizers. Turn to my recipe page for the easy recipe and some information about mussels.
Since students will be starting their Christmas vacation this week, I thought an easy recipe might appeal to them so that they could help with last-minute holiday baking. Children are so good in the kitchen, especially if you have them involved with something they might like to eat….like these simple thimble cookies, sometimes called thumbprint or Swedish tea rings.The batter isn’t too big and overwhelming for them, and they will love putting a thimble on one finger and pressing into the dough. Of course, kids are the best for forming little balls of dough…much more patient than adults. Check out my recipe page for this delicious cookie from “Canada’s Favourite Recipes” my most recent book written with my good friend Elizabeth Baird.
Check out the website cooktr.com today. I have the privilege of being their “Author of the Day”.
Today, I’ll be making Salmon Cream Cheese Spread one of the easy recipes in our new (already best-selling) cookbook Canada’s Favourite Recipeswritten with my friend and former Canadian Living food director Elizabeth Baird. I will also entice you with two make-ahead appetizers Sherry Potted Cheese and Sesame Cheese Crisps. Our book has many make-ahead ideas, and these three treats are just right for the upcoming holiday season. You never know when you might be in the mood for a party! Check out my recipe page here for the Salmon Cream Cheese Spread; you will probably have all the ingredients right in you pantry.
Judy Schultz, an Edmonton food writer and novelist has great success with our Rum-Soaked Dark Fruitcake from the new Canada’s Favourite Recipes (written with Elizabeth Baird). Judy declared the cake a success and the book fabulous. Thanks Judy.
This afternoon at 1:00 I’ll be serving Mocha Shortbread Bars and Sesame Cheese Crisps at the Book Express in the Cambridge Centre (our mall on Hespeler Road). I hope to see lots of friends there. Have a look at the recipe for the Sesame Cheese Crisps on my Recipe page to see if you might enjoy a taste of these today!