Restaurant Review: Deane House

>> Friday, June 9, 2017


Father’s day is literally just around the corner and I’m trying to decide what to do to celebrate the amazing day. My son is almost one so this is my husband’s second father’s day since he was born before father’s day last year. But officially it’ll be his first time celebrating (since sitting in a hospital without any sleep wouldn’t really be classified as a celebration). It also got me thinking of all the amazing times we’ve had to far this past year with our son, which made me look back on the amazing valentine’s meal that we enjoyed and had baby L along. It was the perfect evening because he was quite the pleasant company while we enjoyed our delicious meal.

Atmosphere: Dining in a beautiful historical setting with a cultural significance in the city. Elegant and romantic – the perfect combination.

Price Range: $20 - $30+


Food & Wine: The set menu that evening looked incredible and I couldn’t wait to start my dining journey. One of the things I enjoy most about a chef’s tasting is the slow progression of every plate which peaks with the main entrée and then finishes with a delectable dessert. We began the meal with an amuse of oysters topped with a tangy mignonette. Being a lover of oysters it was a perfect way to kick off the night.

Our first course was the Smoked Beets with crème fraiche, a mustard vinaigrette, and topped with dill, trout roe and a rye crumb. The dish had a symphony of flavours from the sweetness of the beets to the tangy vinaigrette and the roe to little bits of dill on top. The crème fraiche added the creamy texture that brought the whole dish together. My only complaint was that there wasn’t more of it!


Next was the Sunchoke Veloute with a wonderful herb pistou and hazelnut gremolata. I’m not one to order soups very often on my own but am glad this was part of the menu. The dish had amazing punchy flavours while being incredibly velvety smooth. A nice lead in to the next course which was the 7K Longhorn Beef Carpaccio topped with northern divine caviar, smoked aioli and pickled shallots. Nothing beats a well done carpaccio and this one was it. Well balanced between the tender beef and flavourful accompaniments. Another winner here.

For our mains we had the Seared Rabbit Saddle with pan seared gnocchi, wilted winter greens, lacto fermented carrots and the Haida Wild Black Cod with braised white beans, celeriac puree, pickled seaweed and a dashi broth. Out of the two, I leaned more towards the black cod because the rabbit was a bit gamier than my liking. Even though I really enjoyed the gnocchi and veggies that came with the dish. The black cod itself had a very nice sear and was nicely paired with the white beans and celeriac puree. The addition of the dashi added an extra depth of flavour to the dish.


To end our meal we had the Theo Organic Chocolate Pate served with vanilla ice cream, sponge toffee and salted caramel. This was a decadent dessert with the creamy smooth chocolate pate to the sweet and salty caramel and the crunchy toffee. Not to mention it also came with ice cream, which is always a plus. It definitely satisfied anyone with a sweet tooth!

There were amazing wine pairings for each course but I kept to the 2007 Lan Gran Reserva Tempranillo since I was craving red that evening. It had lovely notes of blackcurrents and chocolate with a full bodied finish. It went very nicely with the carpaccio and chocolate courses.


My Picks: Everything! But if I had to pick…the Sunchoke Veloute or the Black Cod

Overall: Beautiful surroundings and a delicious meal. It was a wonderful evening and I’m glad we were able to share it with our son. I can definitely see myself going back for more chef’s tasting meals or even to try their a la carte menu. It would also be a lovely place to take father’s to celebrate their awesome day. I also recently read that they have a pastry brunch buffet? Sign me up!

Deane House
806 9 Avenue SE
Calgary, AB
(403) 264-0595
Website: deanehouse.com

Deane House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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KIND Snacking Giveaway - Limiting Hidden Sugar Consumption

>> Friday, June 2, 2017


There are so many articles out there now a days about how to eat. You should be eating 3 full meals a day, no - you should be eating 6 small meals, no - you should be eating every 2 hours. It’s all quite exhausting to be honest. Food should be enjoyable and not something that causes more stress. When you eat food made from real ingredients, you know you’re putting in the right fuel for your body. Which then minimizes all that stress.

Being a new mom this becomes especially important. Time definitely becomes something that needs to be well managed. Spending time with my son is a priority but being healthy by exercising and eating well is also very important to me. Lately there’s been a huge of focus about sugar consumption and through just eating desserts or but through passive sugar intake. Just like sodium, sugar is now added to most items in the supermarket to make it taste better. This I’ll never understand, if the correct ingredients are used why do they need to add more sugar in to things?


I was shocked to hear that most people are not aware of how much sugar in is prepackaged foods. Even though there’s the nutrition guide on all packaged foods, most people don’t know how to decipher the information. Out of 992 women polled showed that they were consuming more than the daily recommended 100g of sugar a day and 35% of that was coming from ‘other’ foods that aren’t from natural foods such as fruits and vegetables.*

Its hard to fuel your body correctly when you’re eating something that isn’t what it seems. So I was surprised to learn that KIND snack bars have no added processed sugars. Everything in the bar is truly ‘what you see is what you get’. With amazing flavours such as Almond Mocha & Dark Chocolate, Maple Glazed to Honey Roasted Nuts and Sea Salt there’s one to satisfy every craving.


The bars are perfect for a after workout snack when I need something quick. I had the opportunity to try the different flavours and was pleased that they were all perfectly balanced. Not overly sweet but enough to get the taste buds going all by using natural ingredients. Being someone who loves to eat and eat healthy these bars fit in well with my lifestyle.

So if you’re someone who aren’t sure how you should be eating, listen to your body and be Kind to yourself! Try a KIND bar and know that you’re having something that’s delicious and tasty. To help others on their way we're GIVING AWAY A MONTH OF KIND BARS! Please respond to this post and I will make a draw for the winner!

*Poll results provided by KIND snack bars

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Calgary's Pig & Pinot Festival on Jun 15!

>> Tuesday, May 23, 2017


Just the other day I was chatting with some of my friends about Calgary’s bustling food scene and how I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to have seen those changes and share my stories throughout the years. I was telling them about how I still remember one of the first events I attended when I was just starting to explore the culinary world which was the Pig and Pinot Festival!

I’m so glad to see that the festival has been such a success year over year and now is in it’s 7th year of supporting CalgaryMeals on Wheels. Hosted by City Palate the festival allows guests to sample multiple succulent pork dishes made with Spragg’s Meat free range pork paired with different pinot wines from 12 chef teams and sommeliers representing Calgary’s wonderful restaurants. You really get an appreciation for how wine brings out different flavours of each dish and there are few things in this world that beats a good wine and food pairing!

The event also hosts a silent auction and this year the items will be highlighting Canada’s 150th! Along with that one of the chef teams will be awarded the coveted “Divine Swine” trophy. I’m excited to see what they will be cooking up and pouring for the event this year.


I still remember what a great experience it was for me that first time (and every time since) because my girlfriend and I were supposed to meet up for dinner but at the last minute decided to attend the event instead and ended up having a wonderful girl’s night!

If you’re interested, the event will be held on Thursday June 15 this year from 7-10pm at Hotel Arts. Links to the tickets and additional info can be found here!  

*Photos from City Palate

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White Chocolate Toasted Coconut Popcorn Recipe

>> Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Spring is definitely in the air. The bulbs are starting to come out on our trees and soon the flowers will going to be making their appearance. Now that Easter has passed everybody's probably itching to get their garden started and planning for summer. But wait! What do you do with all that extra Easter chocolate? Well if you have a bunch of white chocolate lying around. I've got the recipe for you. 

White Chocolate Toasted Coconut Popcorn! It would work with milk chocolate too but I find that white chocolate is a bit lighter  which seems to fit this weather a bit better. Here is my recipe and I hope you enjoy whether it be at the park or in your backyard soaking up the warm sun. Hope you can put your Easter chocolate to use!



White Chocolate Toasted Coconut Popcorn Recipe

Ingredients:

1 cup Popcorn Kernels or already popped options like SkinnyPop Popcorn
1/2 cup White chocolate chips
1/2 cup Unsweetened coconut flakes




Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Prep a flat sheet pan and spread the coconut flakes evenly on the baking sheet.

Leave in for roughly 10 mins or until the coconut flakes start to turn brown. 

Meanwhile, pour popcorn kernels in popcorn popper as per machine instructions or if using SkinnyPop Popcorn you can skip this step!

Microwave the white chocolate chips until melted approximately 30 seconds.

Slowly drizzle the melted chocolate over the popcorn until evenly distributed.

Mix in the toasted coconut flakes all over the popcorn so that it adheres to the melted white chocolate.

And that’s it! A simple but tasty recipe for all to enjoy!



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Truffled Mushroom Risotto

>> Thursday, April 6, 2017


A guilty pleasure of mine is watching cooking competitions, but not just any cooking competition. I watch Top Chef, Masterchef and all that, but I quite enjoy watching the original Australian version of My Kitchen Rules. I’m not sure why, probably because their catch phrases make me giggle. My husband and I always joke about how we would act and react if we were on the show. Since there always seems to be something going wrong in the kitchen.

Although we’d probably never go on a cooking show, it’s still fun to cook together at home and we often do. Trying different recipes and going outside the box to make dishes to see how we can handle cooking different cuisines. One dish that often seems to cause issues is a risotto dish. I can see why since people all like their risotto a little different, more or less runny, al dente, etc. Plus it would be hard to get it right for a large group of people if you’re not serving it straight out of the pan. Once risotto cools a bit it automatically turns gluggy.


So the other day I was craving risotto after watching an episode of MKR and decided to whip some up, expecially since I recently was sent a lovely bottle of truffle extract. What better way to use up some truffles that in a lovely Mushroom Risotto. Here is my recipe below, I thought it was lovely right off the stove top…but not sure how it’d handle being served to a group or a team of judges. Luckily for me I’m not going to be needing to worry about that, just about how great it tastes when I gobble it up!

Truffled Mushroom Risotto Recipe


Ingredients:

1 medium onion, chopped
A handful of cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 cup Arborio rice
1/2 cup white wine
1-2 tbsp Bitarome truffle extract*
2-3 cups chicken stock
1 tbsp butter
salt and pepper


Preparation:

In a medium skillet, warm up 1 tbsp of oil over medium heat and stir in the onions.

Let the onions cooks until translucent, approximately 8-10 mins.

Stir in the mushrooms and let them cook down for another 3 mins.

Spread the mixture to the side of the skillet and add in the rice. Cook for roughly 2 mins. This allows the rice to slightly crisp on the outside and create that al dente texture.

Pour in the white wine to deglaze the pan and stir until the wine evaporates.

Add in the truffle extract as well and also cook out the alcohol in the extract.

Scoop in 1/2 cup of the broth and slowly stir the rice so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot.

Keep adding stock once the rice starts to absorb the liquid. Add a bit at a time to allow the flavour to develop in the risotto. Don’t add too much at a time to prevent the rice from being overcooked. Adding about 1/2 cup of liquid a time allows you to control the consistency of the risotto.

Once the consistency of the risotto is what you’d like or try some (best way to cook!), remove from the stove and finish with the butter. Stir in the butter and let it melt. If you choose to use cheese as well you can shave some over top or mix it in.

Flavour with salt and pepper to taste and serve with your favorite protein or on its own. You can also top with additional truffle oil to really bring out the truffle flavour!


*Bitarome truffle extract provided by Qualifirst

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