Showing posts with label General. Show all posts
Showing posts with label General. Show all posts

18 April 2013

A Long Table Dinner at the 2nd Annual Oyster Festival

Miradoro at Tinhorn Creek

A sure sign of the Spring thaw here in British Columbia's Okanagan Valley is when the doors are unlocked at our local wineries. This week I was fortunate enough to attend an oyster themed long table dinner at Miradoro Restaurant at Tinhorn Creek Winery, along the Golden Mile near Oliver. The catalyst was the opening of the 2nd annual Oyster Festival. The restaurant which opened in 2011, blends Mediterranean-influenced cuisine, farm-to-table concepts and Ocean Wise Seafood with some of the regions top wines from Tinhorn Creek. Miradoro is a winner of Vancouver Magazine’s Best Winery/Vineyard Dining Award with chef Jeff Van Geest at the helm.

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3 August 2012

Capture the Colours for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London

It is not often that I participate in blogging events these days but hey this time around Sandi asked me and it had to do with the 2012 Olympics in London. Are you watching and cheering on your athletes? The premise is that we are to go through our travel photos and pick out 5 photos representing the 5 colours of the Olympic rings red, white, blue, yellow and green, thus representing the colours of every country of the world. I'm in!!!!  

Tulip Fields, Skagit County, Washington
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14 July 2012

Come Join Us at Feast of Fields 2012

Kelowna, BC: FarmFolk CityFolk is pleased to announce the exciting
 details of their 2012 Okanagan Feast of Fields event. On Sunday, August 12, 
Claremont Ranch Organics will host the Okanagan's fourth annual multi-course 
celebration of farming, food and wine in Winfield, BC.  
An estimated 30 teams will present guests with local ingredients, shaped by local chefs and served with local wines, beers or spirits. The event is decribed by FarmFolk CityFolk's Okanagan Events Co-ordonator, Jennifer Vincent as a "four hour, 30-course, gourmet, wandering harvest festival that highlights all that is wonderful about the Okanagan and Similkameen regions."
For the past 3 years the Okanagan has been the home of the Feast of Fields. In it's 4th year in the valley it is a world-class, sumptuous experience. It can be described as a "wandering harvest festival" that creates a marriage between the producers who grow our food and the consumer. Spend a leisurely afternoon wandering through an 80-year-old peach orchard from tent to tent sampling bites and nibbles of the very best the Okanagan-Similkameen has to offer. The event helps to cultivate an increased appreciation for local and organic food production. The variety, abundance and quality of our British Columbia bounty ranks with some of the best agricultural regions in the world.

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15 February 2012

Channelling My Inner Julia Child

Chef Batey
Ever since the film Julie and Julia came out, it seems Julia Child is on everyones radar, foodies and non-foodies alike. The fact that Julia started her passion for food and cooking so late in life makes us "kindred spirits" although, like me, I am sure she had a passion for food from the very beginning, she just didn't know it. She is so inspiring to me because of her outlook on life and her unending joy for her chosen path. I’m happy to say her wonderful recipes and independent spirit are still alive!!!!

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14 February 2012

A Burnt Toast Valentine

Happy Valentines Day 

"Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, 
but by the number of moments that take our breath away."

"Sometimes in life you find a special friend
Someone who changes your life just by being part of it
Someone who makes you laugh till you just can't stop;
Someone who makes you believe there really is good in the world
Someone who convinces you that there really is an 
unlocked door just waiting for you to open it."
This is you!

You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison. Best Blogger Tips

30 December 2011

Ciao 2011

The Chicks Who Wine

The one question posed to me more than any other is, "How do you do it?" Friends are referring to the fact that I work 6 days a week and still blog a couple of times a week, have time to cook up a storm in the More Than Burnt Toast test kitchen and still have a social life. To me the answer is simple. For the same reason that you do. Passion! I love to write about food, talk about food, and ultimately eat food! Even my social life revolves around food.

More Than Burnt Toast began almost 6 years ago as a means to share recipes with my daughter who was heading off to university. I had just returned from a 5 week sojourn in Greece and was overflowing with creative ideas and recipes that I needed to share. This was a life-changing vacation that altered my perception of food and how it should be enjoyed on a daily basis. I have always felt travel helps us to better understand and appreciate other people and their cultures. Nothing is more intimate, or more effective at breaking down cultural barriers, than cooking and sharing meals together. When you have 10 like-minded people from all parts of the world breaking bread at the same table magic happens. For 2012 I am in the planning stages of another 5 week sojourn to Italy. Part of the fun is in the planning.

In the classic movie Zorbas the Greek the main character sums it up the best, "On the coast I felt for the first time what a pleasant thing it could be to have a meal. We started eating and drinking, the conversation became animated. I at last realized that eating was a spiritual function and the meat, bread, and wine were the raw materials from which the soul is made."

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5 December 2011

Interview with Chef Tom from Presidents Choice

Recently I was contacted by Presidents Choice to interview Chef Tom. This has been an enlightening experience and a joy to learn not only about new Presidents Choice products available this holiday season , but to share tips with you from their kitchens. Meet Chef Tom...

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25 October 2011

Where in the World is More Than Burnt Toast?

The town

A resting place

A bakery

I am joining Sandi over at her blog Whistlestop Cafe for her Travel Tuesdays.

You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison. Best Blogger Tips

3 October 2011

October is National Cookie Month So Let's Celebrate and Win!!!

Have you ever wanted to try something so much that it became an obsession? Last year, just before Christmas, when I heard about Tate's Chocolate Chip Cookies in magazines, newspapers and on television I had to try them. A rich, buttery, crispy chocolate chip cookie is one of my ultimate comfort foods. 

Imagine my excitement when I was once again contacted by Tate's Bake Shop and given the opportunity to share their latest world class award winning cookies with one lucky reader. Even though Tate's celebrates cookies all year long October is Cookie Month so what better to celebrate than to have one lucky winner have 3 bags of Tate's Bake Shop's latest award winning Whole Wheat Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies as well as your very own signed copy of Kathleen King’s cookbook, The Tate’s Bake Shop Cookbook. delivered right to your door.
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23 August 2011

Tasty Afternoon on the Bench

The Venue - Van Westen Winery, Naramata

This past Sunday I was lucky enough to volunteer and attend the 3rd annual Feast of Fields in the agritourism area of Naramata about an hour south of here. Situated along a meandering country road with spectacular views of Okanagan Lake and surrounding mountains the Naramata Bench is one of the most scenic wine regions in North America. As a parking volunteer you could feel the anticipation and I saw a rare glimpse into the making of a word class event as the drama unfolded. Many of the Okanagan Valleys top chefs, vintners, and organic farmers arrived with their goods to create this one-of-a-kind experience. I can only imagine the thought, effort and collaboration it took each of them to get to this point to create a magical feast for over 300 attendees. I witnessed each participant being welcomed and ushered down the hillside. As each tractor load disappeared down the hill with all their goodies and displays I wondered how all of this seeming mayhem would transform in to the magic I have witnessed in previous years with gorgeous displays and beaming participants. Seeing an event from the beginning is very different than arriving once all the hard work has already been accomplished.

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17 August 2011

One Word Wednesdays...Well Maybe Two Words

Flat Bread
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26 May 2011

4 Days, 4 Airports, Time Spent at Eat, Write, Retreat...Priceless

“Do what you love…we all have something to offer…just be”
– Shauna aka Gluten Free Girl

Last Wednesday morning I packed my suitcases, threw them in the back of the car and headed to work like any day during the week. That day is a blur since my mind was on my anticipated trip to Washington DC. An apology to all our patients if I mislabeled your urine samples! A four hour drive to Vancouver, a 4 AM cab ride to the airport, 4 airports, 3 days on the East coast, and I am back home in the Okanagan Valley. My sleep depraved mind has been attempting to make sense of this overwhelming, once in a lifetime opportunity.

 More Than Burnt Toast has been silent for a week now as I wrap my brain around all that I have learned, sift through all the swag, photos, e-mails and detox from an action packed weekend. I apologize if you're one of the 1,000's of e-mails in my Hotmail account I just deleted. There are people to thank for the 3 days I spent at Eat, Write, Retreat. I took away so much valuable information, met many talented people, learned to say endive (ahn-deev), was a "new food trier" and came away richer and energized in more ways than one.It was a non-stop feeding and learning frenzy!!!!

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18 May 2011

Almost Wordless Wednesday...See You When I Return

You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison. Best Blogger Tips

13 May 2011

Seattle Woodfire Oven Dinner

Photo by Lynn Craig, Cookie Baker Lynn

This post was taken down by Blogger due to technical issues, I am so glad that I can repost and bring you our adventures in Seattle...I apologize to anyone who has already commented or read this article previously.

In 2004/2005 Don Hogeland of Sortachef in Seattle built his woodfired oven, firing it up in Spring and ambitiously entertaining throughout the summer. Fast forward to 2011 and he has perfected the oven pizza as well as many other treats cooked by the same method. One day soon you may find Don teaching classes on how to build your own backyard woodfire oven! Selfishly I would love it if Don and his beautiful wife Cathy, The Salad Queen, would teach cooking classes in their home based on their woodfire oven. I would sign up! How often does a person get the opportunity to bake pizza in an outdoor wood oven? Nothing is more intimate, or more effective at creating friendships, than cooking and sharing meals together and a wood fire oven is a sure conversation starter.

Don and his wife Cathy are masters in the kitchen from making their own fennel and chicken sausage for a meat lovers pizza to a specially prepared Spelt pizza dough for a friend attending the dinner who has allergies to wheat. Visit his site for his infamous pizza recipes and many fascinating travel stories and recipes.

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20 December 2010

A Christmas Thought

Each comment on this blog stands for someone who has crossed my path sometime. And while you may not be aware of any special link, just meeting you has changed my path, a lot more than you could imagine! Whether I have known you for many years or a few hours, in some way you have been a part of shaping things I do here on More Than Burnt Toast. Now that Christmas has come, I realize anew, the best gift life can offer is meeting people like you.

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18 December 2010

They'll Think You Hired a Caterer but it's Presidents Choice

Even if I don't prepare the menu on the BIG day that doesn't mean that I don't do my share of holiday entertaining. The holidays are here and as much as I love being in my domain Presidents Choice wants to get you out of the kitchen and into the party so you can enjoy your time with friends and family this holiday season. They have literally hundreds of ways to help you entertain, including everything from hors d'oeuvres to delicious desserts to ring in the festivities in style.

First and foremost I would like to thank Laura of Hill and Knowlton who pulled off this journey with Presidents Choice from beautifully gift-wrapped gifts for each day of the week, to packages delivered in dry ice, to luxurious chocolates. The logistics of sending these products all over Canada is a logistics nightmare handled with patience and professionalism. I am sure there were a few fingers and toes crossed when shipping the frozen goods!!! November 16th started the ball rolling. I was lucky enough to receive 3 shipments of gift wrapped goodies from Presidents Choice from chocolate covered jellies to chicken wings, from butter tart mixes to a gorgeous fresh wreath to grace my door. It was what I like to call the beginning of the holiday season 2010!!!

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7 December 2010

Win, Win, Win...A Taste of New York from Tate's Bake Shop and Their Signature Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Have you ever wanted to try something so much that it became an obsession? When I heard about Tate's Chocolate Chip Cookies in magazines, newspapers and on television I had to try them. A rich, buttery, crispy chocolate chip cookie is one of my ultimate comfort foods.  Imagine my excitement when I was contacted by Tate's Bake Shop and given the opportunity to share these world class award winning treats with one lucky reader.

You can win a taste of New York by receiving a selection of baked cookies from Tate's Bake Shop as well as your very own copy of their new cookbook to bake your own renditions at home. Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa herself, has written the foreword for Kathleens cookbook. I can't wait to try more recipes from this baking-packed cookbook!

Just follow the instructions below. The givaway is open until midnight Sunday, December 12th so get your comments in to receive your package just in time for the holidays!!

I will announce the winner on the Monday.

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18 November 2010

Getting in the Holiday Spirit with President's Choice

After a long and gruelling day at work I arrived home to a message on the answering machine. "Please pick up a package between the hours of 8 - 6", the canned voice chimed in. Nothing perks me up better than the anticipation of a Christmas bundle. A package for little 'ole me! Well let me tell you Christmas has come early here at the More Than Burnt Toast household!! It was something I have been eagerly anticipating from the Presidents Choice Brand of companies and Hill and Knowlton. And they did not disappoint me. What a fun idea!!!!

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11 November 2010

We All Caught the Buzz.....The Second Annual Foodbuzz Festival

Being one of the lucky bloggers who attended last years Foodbuzz Festival I have struggled not to compare this years festival with that spectacular event. In my books who can top a much anticipated "Outstanding in the Field" dinner with long tables snaking through a warehouse with course after course of sensual taste pleasures. But if we are living in the moment, and not in the past, the whole experience at Foodbuzz 2010 was definitely one for the memory books and exceeded all my expectations, despite comparisons, in more ways than one.

 Here it is Thursday already and I am only just now sitting back and savouring every moment of this adventure through attendee write ups, amazing videos, taste flash backs, new friendships forged and old renewed. This past weekend 350 food bloggers descended on controversially the best foodie town in the United States...San Fransisco.  With world-class wineries, artisanal cheese makers and small farms just a short drive away, San Francisco is awash in culinary riches. The quality and quantity of the restaurants and food carts here make San Francisco an unparalleled food city. The quality of the food did not stop on the streets of San Francisco but rose to the occasion for the biggest foodie "Lovefest" San Francisco has ever seen!!!! A big thanks to Foodbuzz who worked till they were "dog tired" to create an event that captured the heart and soul of the food industry and the blogging world in one elliptical event.

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9 November 2010

We're Back

...from the Foodbuzz Festival in San Francisco...more to come

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