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ISO Niagara Fruit and Produce on Friday (markets?)

Are you driving from London to Hamilton to Buffalo?
If so, you can travel part of the way from Hamilton to Buffalo along old Highway 8 instead of the QEW, and there are lots of fruit and veg stands along the way.
Hamilton Farmers Market will have some vendors who are farmers, and some who buy from wholesalers. If in doubt, just ask.

Honey Crisp Apples

Myers Apple Farm in Copetown has a picking schedule on their webiste:!picking-...

Honey Crisps will be ready Sept 16.

cocoa butter

My local health food store & food co-op in Hamilton sells Giddyyoyo Cacao butter; (The difference between cocoa & cacao seems to be roasted vs. raw - from what I've seen on the internet, there's a difference between cacao & cocoa powders, but the butters are much more similar)


Link to local retailer:

You can also order directly from their online store.

New! Redstone Winery & Restaurant in Beamsville!

There was a post about Redstone Winery Restaurant on the NOTL board a few weeks ago, and we finally had the opportunity to try lunch there this week. The winery is a "little sister" to Tawse, and the same attention to detail, commitment to quality, and level of craftsmanship is apparent at Redstone - in the wines, in the space, in the service and the food.

The indoor space is beautiful - light and spacious with a smaller room that would be ideal for a private tasting or dinner. We chose to sit outside on the patio. It was lovely to sit in the sun with the vineyard beside us and watch the swallows swooping as we sipped and ate.

The menu isn't posted on the website as it changes continuously according to what's in season. I wish I'd taken a photo of it to post here to give an example! We shared pork cracklings as an appetizer - which were sweet and salty, light and rich at the same time. They went nicely with the pale viognier our server recommended. I had battered pickerel and chips - the pickerel was done perfectly - soft and flaking a little, still moist and tender; my husband loved his lobster nicoise - before it disappeared I saw a lovely combination of pink lobster, quail eggs, green beans, new potato... Our server recommended a Tawse Chardonnay to go with the fish, which was lovely; my husband was enjoying an Oast draft beer with his lunch.

For dessert we shared ricotta cheesecake and dark chocolate & raspberry tart. The cheesecake was delicious and much lighter tasting than we expected; the tart was wonderful - not cloyingly sweet, so the chocolate and raspberries played nicely off one another.

Lunch for two, including one appetizer, two drinks each, two desserts & two coffees came to approximately $140 before tip. There is also a lunch prix fixe menu that is $40 pp.

We are grateful for this new addition to wine country dining, and look forward to future visits!

Chowfind? Fiddes wholesale produce - Hamilton

Thanks for the reminder! I live in the west end and Fiddes just isn't on my "radar" - I'll have to check it out!

New Hamilton find - Saltlick Smoke House

Saltlick Smoke House opened a few weeks ago at 282 James St. North. They're still waiting for their liquor license, but that doesn't seem to be deterring people from visiting, as the restaurant was full shortly after 5 last night, and had a steady flow of take-out orders while we were there.

We went for lunch last week, and for dinner last night, and will definitely be returning.

The place is small - about 28 seats - with blackboard-type menus that change with the ingredients on hand.

Lunch offers up a variety of 7-8 sandwiches. They're served with choice of side for $10. The sides were brisket mac & cheese, pulled pork baked beans and slaw. All of the sides were delicious - the slaw is not creamy, but a vinaigrette, so a great complement to the rich fattiness of the pork belly bahn mi my husband had (which he says is now his new favourite sandwich!) I had the brisket sandwich with baked beans, which was also delicious. Both sandwiches were on fresh, crusty rolls, and the servings were generous.

The dinner service is a little unusual - they do sharing platters. For $18/person, the table chooses 3 "mains" and 2 sides. Last night we had side ribs, BBQ chicken legs and pork belly tacos. Also available: brisket, beef ribs, chicken skin tacos, flat iron steak & pulled pork. Our food was delicious and was the right amount to satisfy us without stuffing us too uncomfortably.
The dinner items seem to change regularly - they're pretty good about posting on their facebook page, so check that out for photos.

I'm grateful for this new gem in the area, and will be back often!

Brux House Hamilton - sister to Quatrefoil

I've been to Brux House twice now - once for dinner, once for lunch and the food and service have been consistently good. I'm looking forward to going back for more of the delicious schnitzel!

Minced garlic and ginger paste

I haven't thought to do frozen - thanks for the suggestion!

Apr 11, 2015
hungryjoanne in Home Cooking

Minced garlic and ginger paste

Those jars just don't compare to the real deal, do they?!? I also picked them up for convenience, but I think whatever preservative is used also affects the flavour, and I'm sure there's a freshness aspect as well that affects it.
Time to toss the jars and get back to using the fresh, even if that means a few extra minutes, and being more intentional about having fresh on hand.

Apr 11, 2015
hungryjoanne in Home Cooking

Restaurants near copps coliseum

There are a few great restaurants on James St. North, which are a 10-15 minute walk from Copps. The neighbourhood is in transition, so there are still a few dodgy-looking places along the strip, but an increasing number of gems hidden within.
One of our favourites is "Work" at 337 James St. N. The decor is definitely not fancy, but don't let it put you off. Blackboard menu that changes frequently, a good selection of items that are ideal for sharing. Our favourites there are the confit chicken wings and vegetable tempura.
I have heard good things about "Jack & Lois" at 301 James St. N., but haven't been there myself.
There's a new barbecue place at 282 James. N. - Saltlick Smoke House, but I'm not sure they have appetizers.

Earth to Table on Locke, mentioned by happycamper, is a favourite also, but it isn't that close to Copps - definitely not walking distance, and in my opinion, isn't so much a drinks & appetizer place.

Hope you find something that works for you!

Other uses for Salsa Verde?

Thanks for your replies!!!
I'm not a seafood fan, but I love the idea of cooking chicken thighs in the salsa for tacos, as another layer of flavour for soups, and for salad dressing. I think I'll also try it as a pizza or flatbread topping, and I like the idea of drizzling it on a spring vegetable risotto!
Thanks, everyone!!!

Mar 05, 2015
hungryjoanne in Home Cooking

Other uses for Salsa Verde?

I made porchetta sandwiches the other day, and salsa verde to go with them. I have tons of it left over and am trying to think of other ways to use it. Main ingredients are: parsley, olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, coriander, fennel, garlic.
I'm thinking this might be a nice dressing for a bean salad...
Any other ideas?

Mar 04, 2015
hungryjoanne in Home Cooking

Cupcake delivery - Hamilton

Hi - you would probably get more suggestions if you start a new thread. Hamilton is quite far from North York, so people who respond to the Hamilton query might not be familiar with what's available in North York. Good luck with the surprise for your boyfriend!

Flavorless chicken breasts

Do you season the meat after searing and before baking? That wasn't clear to me - if so, that might be where you're going wrong.
You could try a rub before searing & baking - pile on a little more flavour, and "seal" it in with the searing. A quick search for "rub" on any recipe site will give you lots of ideas for flavour profiles.
Good luck!

Feb 19, 2015
hungryjoanne in Home Cooking

Where to get Chinese Chives in Hamilton, ON?

You could also check out Nations in Jackson Square - they carry some "ethnic" produce. Also B&T Supermarket (I think that's the name) on Canon at Park St. Good luck!

The New Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone vs How to Cook Everything Vegetarian

I have the original "Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone", not the updated version, so I can't speak to specifics about it.

Of the two cookbooks, How to Cook Everything Vegetarian has seen much more action in my kitchen. I love that Mark Bittman provides lots of basic recipes along with lots of suggestions for variations, and so his book has become really dependable for me - I know I can crack it open and find something that will work with the ingredients I have on hand, and that the method won't be too complicated.

The recipes I have tried from Deborah Madison's book have been excellent as well, but they have felt a little less accessible to me when I'm wanting to put together a quick weeknight meal. I probably would go to that book were I preparing a special vegetarian feast.

Good luck with making your choice, and I look forward to hearing what others think about the updated Deborah Madison book!

Fund Us To Feed You! (Rapscallion & Two Black Sheep)

I know some posters on this board have enjoyed meals at Rapscallion - they're crowdfunding to support some new ventures. If you like their food, here's an opportunity to support what they're doing - kind of paying for a meal ahead of time!

Beamsville area

We've been to Good Earth a few times and have really enjoyed it. The menu isn't huge, but it is creative and offers something for most tastes - lighter, vegetarian fare, seafood, meat. If the weather cooperates, book a table outside. The patio is quite lovely, on a garden beside the vineyards.

If you're in the area on a weekend and would like a great snack, Hidden Bench winery offers a charcuterie board on weekends, and have a small outdoor patio on which to enjoy a glass of wine and a nibble. And they have wonderful wines!

Angel's gate winery also offers "sharing platters" for lunch on their patio - I haven't been for several years, so I can't speak to them, but we have enjoyed them in the past.

Have fun planning your anniversary!

New recipe, trying tonight, doesn't sound correct?

I say the chicken should be cooked before filling the ravioli if the blanch time is so short. Is it ground chicken? Could be browned and onions added at last minute.
Enjoy your dinner!

Aug 25, 2014
hungryjoanne in Home Cooking

Casual lunch spot on route between YYZ and Niagara Falls

The Good Earth Winery is just a few minutes off of the QEW in Beamsville, and would be a great spot to begin to undo hours in airplanes, airports & cars. The outdoor seating is lovely; the menu isn't huge, but is well-executed and offers something for most tastes.

I also love Memphis Fire BBQ!

Best Zucchini bread and/or muffin recipe

Hi Joanne - I used my usual organic 4% BF yogurt - it's pretty runny - not thick like Greek, so you'd probably be fine with buttermilk.
I'm embarrassed to say I don't know what fage is!

Aug 03, 2014
hungryjoanne in Home Cooking

Best Zucchini bread and/or muffin recipe

I came across this last week and tried it - loved it! Rosemary is the surprise ingedient, and I was surprised I couldn't actually taste it!
I substituted brown sugar for white, because I was out of the regular; and substituted 1 cup of whole wheat for the white flour. The recipe calls for pecans, but you can leave them out if nuts are a concern for you.
Makes 2 loaves, and freezes well.

Aug 03, 2014
hungryjoanne in Home Cooking

To Tobermory via Hwy 6 or Hwy 10? Food wise, any advice?

I haven't been to it, but I've been at a wedding they catered and was very impressed, and enjoyed their food truck fare at the Harvest Picnic for the last two years - this year I'll make a point of getting to the restaurant!

The Flying Chestnut Kitchen
199 Pellisier St
Eugenia, ON N0C 1E0

(good reviews on urbanspoon; just north of Flesherton off of Hwy 10)

Best Ontario Food Cities--Beyond Toronto?

I don't think I would call it rivalry - it's more like the kid brother or sister trying to prove themselves. The Hamilton economy used to be largely based on steel production, so there is a reputation of being a little rough around the edges. We are smaller than Toronto, and don't have as many diverse neighbourhoods or amazing restaurants. We are worried about being judged based on first impressions; those of us who live here or spend time here know that Hamilton is so much more than what it appears as you drive past on the highway, and we're thrilled when someone wants to get to know the city a little better.

(By the way - I can't speak for all Hamiltonians, but I love Toronto!!!)

Brooklynsabra - you were mentioning needing to find more tween-friendly activities. In Toronto there is a new Ripley's aquarium at the foot of the CN tower that has gotten very good reviews. Taking the ferry over to one of the islands is also fun, and there are great walks to be had there.

In Hamilton, there is Bayfront park, with a multi-use trail that connects the downtown core to the west end. There is a pretty good network of cycling trails, and for a walk in the woods, there are some wonderful conservation areas with great hiking trails.

Have fun planning your trip!

Best Ontario Food Cities--Beyond Toronto?

I second the recommendation for Hamilton - some great gems here. And a vibrant arts scene along James Street, as well as the restaurants ChefVagabond recommended. The second Friday of each month is "art crawl" - galleries & shops open late, food trucks and restaurants abound - a fun time to wander around.

Depending on when your road trip is, there are lots of pick-you-own fruit places and fruit stands on the "old highway" #8 between Niagara and Hamilton.

In Niagara-On-The-Lake, Southbrook winery has its' own flock of sheep who prune & fertilize the vineyard - they're kind of fun to visit.

There are some fun touristy things to do with kids in Niagara Falls & Niagara on the Lake - New Maid of the Mist boats take you to the base of the falls, and the whirlpool jet boat tours from NOTL are more fast-paced fun.

Memphis Fire BBQ is a favourite of ours along Highway 8 in Winona on our way home from wine country.

Help - critters are eating my zucchini blossoms!

Thank-you both for your replies. I think I will try the pepper spray and see how that works before I resort to getting out the chicken wire.

The garden is small, fenced on 3 sides, and less than 20 feet from our back door - so these critters are urban & bold! This is also our first summer since our cat died; he was very vigilant about keeping an eye on "his" property, and we're wondering if his absence might also be a factor.

I saw this morning that 1 small zucchini has begun to grow - fingers crossed!!!

Jul 01, 2014
hungryjoanne in Gardening

Help - critters are eating my zucchini blossoms!

I planted one zucchini plant this year, to avoid the problem of too much zucchini, and now I'm getting worried I won't get any!
Every couple of days, some critter eats the blossoms right off the stems. Could be squirrels, raccoons or a skunk. (I live in southern Ontario)
Anyone else have this problem? Any advice?

Jun 30, 2014
hungryjoanne in Gardening

Coloured Bread?

I'm not in Vancouver, but I know my local bakery does coloured bread from time to time by special order. Check with your local bakery and ask.

Rhubarb Pie advice - seasoning & baking from frozen

Thanks, Greygarious - I like the idea of orange zest with rhubarb.
And I was wondering about the water content in the rhubarb and how that would affect the crust.
I'll have to experiment a little, I think.

Jun 15, 2014
hungryjoanne in Home Cooking

Rhubarb Pie advice - seasoning & baking from frozen

Oh, yes - I forgot that google knows everything!!! ;)

Thanks to everyone for the spice advice, too! Always love to have new ideas.

Jun 15, 2014
hungryjoanne in Home Cooking