Congratulations to Brenda Anne Riley-Crawford of Mississauga who won dinner for two!
Thanks to everybody who entered!
This month, we're launching a new feature - Kitchen Essentials - a monthly guide to the essential tools every kitchen needs. This month: the importance of a good knife sharpener.
St. Patrick's Day is in just a couple of weeks, and although the Irish are not known for their food, we've included a recipe for some Irish Soda Bread and some fun facts.
Chef for All Seasons
A Knife Sharpener
A good set of knives is a must-have for any kitchen and in upcoming issues I'll be talking more about the types of knives.
But regardless of what sort of knives you have, every chef needs a good knife sharpener.
There is a difference between tuning up a sharp knife and sharpening a dull knife.
A manual knife sharpener is adequate if you're sharpening new knives, but I do recommend one of the newer models of electric sharpeners. Many of them have spring-loaded guides, making them less tricky than the older models.
Toronto Wine and Cheese Show: March 18-20
The Toronto Wine and Cheese show comes to the International Centre from March 18 to 20.
It's a massive show with a number of exhibitors offering all sorts of samples as well as a stage where there will be demonstrations.
Presentations include wine and cheese pairing, slow cooking from Crush Wine Bar and Beer School.
Most of the events use locally-sourced ingredients, wine and beer.
Irish Soda Bread
In case you need something to absorb that green beer, here's a traditional Irish recipe for a soda bread that needs no time to rise.
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup bread flour
2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons rolled oats
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/4 cups buttermilk
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Lightly grease two baking sheets.
In a large bowl, stir together whole wheat flour, white flour, rolled oats, baking soda and salt.
2. Gently mix in the buttermilk until a soft dough is formed.
Knead very lightly. Divide dough into 2 pieces; form into rounded flat loaves. Mark each loaf with an 'X' and place on prepared baking sheets.
3. Bake in preheated oven until golden brown, about 30 to 45 minutes.
Recipe courtesy allrecipes.com
Some St. Patrick's Day Fun Facts:
Canada's oldest St. Patrick's Day Parade is in Montreal - they've held one every year since 1824.
On March 17th, Chicago dyes its river green using 40 pounds of vegetable dye.
Nine different cities in Japan have a St. Patrick's Day parade.
The population of Butte, Montana, doubles on St. Patrick's Day.
March 17th is one of the leading days for consumption of alcohol in the United States.
Cooking Classes and Interactive Parties
Is there a particular technique you've always wanted to master, or perhaps just want to expand your repertoire?
Chef For All Seasons offers cooking classes and interactive parties that can be hosted in your home!
Cooks Illustrated - a superb guide for all things food. Learn recipes, techniques, and product knowledge. You'll become a gourmet chef before you know it!
Epicurious.com- Recipes, menus, articles, cooking guides and more.
Mercola.com - The world's #1 Natural Health Newsletter covering wellness, nutrition, and various blog topics to keep you healthy and living longer.
Foodland Ontario - Want to support Ontario's farmers, but don't know what's available? Here's an easy to read seasonal guide:
Culinarium.ca- Toronto-based gourmet food shop, which showcases Ontario food and offers a range of natural, organic, sustainable food.
Cumbraes.ca- Toronto-based butchery offering traditionally raised meat from the finest local farms, specialty foods, and prepared foods.
What do you get for the people who have everything? How about a gourmet meal prepared in their own kitchen?From an intimate dinner for two to larger parties, a gift certificate from Chef For All Seasons is sure to please. Click here