With the warm weather comes fresh Ontario produce.
Below you'll find three recipes using some of the produce that's currently available, or will be shortly, including peaches, peas and berries.
If you don't have a garden of your own, there are a number of Pick Your Own farms just a short drive from the GTA. Scroll down to find out what you can pick and where.
If there are any kitchen tools or techniques you'd like to read about, please don't hesitate to send me an email!
Chef for All Seasons
Stir-Fry with Ontario Peaches
Peaches may seem an odd choice for a stir-fry, but fresh Ontario peaches pair well with the ginger, garlic and snow peas.
I recommend using as much local produce as you can for this recipe. Fruit and vegetables never taste as good as they do straight from the farm.
for a list of Toronto area farmer's markets.
That's the way the fruit crumbles
Fruit crumbles are a great way to take advantage of all the fruit available in southern Ontario. They take very little time to prepare, are delicious and pair well with a great vanilla ice cream.
A classic crumble topping is 2 parts flour, 1 part sugar and 1 part butter (by weight, not volume!) You can use brown sugar and add oats for a topping with a little more texture. You can use practically any fruit for a crumble
The sweetness of strawberries balances out the tartness of rhubarb in this crumble
Wild blueberries, available later in the summer make this crumble
Tips for Summer Entertaining
With the great weather lasting only a few months, we have to make the best of it by having parties in our outdoor space.
This article from the Globe and Mail has some great tips to help you host. My favourite tip? If it's within your budget, hire a server.
It's well worth the expense and allows you to enjoy your own party so you aren't spending time clearing plates and glasses.
Click here for the article
PYO Farms in Ontario
Very few of us grow our own fruits and vegetables these days, but there are a number of Pick Your Own farms in southern Ontario where you can PYO - from strawberries, raspberries, apples, pumpkins and even sweet corn, depending on the time of year.
If you're making jam, preserving food for the winter or even cooking for a large crowd, it's usually less expensive than a supermarket and of course, fresher. From farm to table!
Click here to find out where to pick your own fruit and vegetables!
Did you know?
Strawberries aren't even in the berry family at all. Strawberries, blackberries and raspberries are members of the rose family.
There are almost 200 seeds on the surface of a strawberry.
The biggest single strawberry on record weighed 8.17 ounces - that's the size of a large apple.
Strawberries are naturally high in fibre, vitamin C and potassium - 8 to 10 strawberries have as much if not more vitamin C than a large orange.
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