Thursday, December 3, 2015

Home for the Holidays

hi everyone! 
i'm back in nova scotia for the entire month of december to celebrate the holidays & to cook up a storm.

i won't be selling at any markets this month, but i'll definitely be checking out the forum, the seaport & halifax crafters as a customer. my food will be available from my kitchen in prospect village & delivery for orders over $80. the first round of food will be ready on december 9th. i will not be delivering on december 15th, christmas eve or christmas day.

please direct all orders to just so i can keep everything organized & figure out my schedule. i'm not sure when i'll be back, or if i'll ever be doing this again, so now is the time to stock up for the cold winter months ahead.

ok, so i've been away for awhile, my freezers are empty, i'm starting from scratch & it's incredibly hard to chose what to make. after much deliberation & consultation with long term customers, i think i've come up with a well rounded december menu... albeit, slightly more ambitious than originally planned.

i won't be able to make all of the meals at once so i've set up a production schedule. round 1 on december 9th, round 2 on december 12th & round 3 on december 19th.

round 1 - available as of december 9th

tourtieres: a mixture of getaway farm beef & pork, festive spices, caramelized onions & grated potatoes in a summer savoury crust. this dish screams the holidays & is perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

$25 for a 9-inch meat pie

turkey & dressing pies: turkey dinner turned on its head. this dish has been a long time best seller & popular with children & adults alike. it's similar to a shepherd's pie but with a lot more pizzazz. the bottom layer is white meat turkey, gravy, peas, carrots & turnips covered with a thick layer of potato-bread dressing with dried cranberries & sage.

small $10  large $20

BLT mac & cheese: all the flavours of the classic sandwich combined with the homeyness of mac & cheese. this version will feature double smoked, brothers bacon, sautéed swiss chard (not lettuce), and oven roasted cherry tomatoes. combined with a roasted garlic béchamel sauce, mozzarella, parmesan & foxhill cheese curds, this is a perfect dish for hibernation.

small $10  large $20

chicken stew: with homemade stock, root veggies, braised chicken & fresh herbs, this is another cold weather favourite. 

$7 for a 500ml container

holiday sweet samplers!!!
these are perhaps my most popular festive item.

it's designed to give you a taste of everything so it's perfect for entertaining. i'm also trying to keep it straightforward so i won't be taking special requests within a box, but there's a grain free (gluten free) box available as well.

this year the box will consist of:

snickers brownies
peppermint brownies
pecan-brown butter blondies
eggnog cheesecake bars
lemon shortbreads
goat milk fudge
pink grapefruit cupcakes
pumpkin spice cupcakes
red velvet cupcakes
chocolate cupcakes

there will be 30 pieces per box & each box will be $35 

round 2 - available as of december 12th

brisket & blue: red wine braised, getaway farm beef brisket, roasted root vegetables, kale & creamy blue cheese gnocchi make this dish another all-time best seller. i think beef brisket is my #1 favourite food so any excuse to cook it up is a-ok by me.

small $11  large $22

peanut ginger beef: this is a gluten free, dairy free, paleo option. again, it's braised getaway farm beef but this version has thai peanut curry flavours with fresh lime, chillies, cilantro & green onions. there's a medley of asian greens including bok choy, nappa cabbage, broccoli & sprouts and sweet potato puree as the side dish.

i'll probably make a few with rice as the side dish as well - let me know your preference when placing orders.

small $11  large $22

bbq sauce: i'll only be making one flavour of bbq sauce & it will be a signature version combining all my favourite elements of the maple bourbon with the chipotle lime. it'll be good, i promise & it's always a great stocking stuffer idea.

small $6  large $9

round 3 - available as of december 19th

chicken parmesan: buttermilk marinated & parmesan crusted chicken breasts smothered in a robust marinara sauce & covered with mozzarella & parmesan cheeses. i'll have a regular version served with garlicky pasta & a paleo version served with sautéed peppers, mushrooms & zucchini.

small $11  large $22
please specify regular or paleo when ordering - thanks!

coq au vin: this is another gluten free option with a paleo version. it's a classic french dish of red wine braised chicken with mushrooms & onions. my version is accompanied by roasted root vegetables, greens & roasted garlic polenta. the paleo version has sweet potato puree instead.

small $10  large $20

seafood chowder: this is christmas eve tradition where i'm from. my version is clam broth based with some dairy but it's not overly thick & cloying. i use leeks, celery, potatoes, mussels, regular haddock & smoked haddock & finish it all off with fresh dill & lemon zest to brighten it up.

$8 per 500ml serving

& last but not least, pumpkin-chai pies: creamy pumpkin, cardamom, ginger, allspice & a touch of black pepper make these pies extra special.

$15 per 9-inch pie

geez louise, that turned in to a marathon! thanks for reading all the way to the end. please place your orders as soon as possible so i know how much to make. i may be adding some additional items after christmas depending on how quickly everything sells.

i've definitely missed the market & seeing all my regular customers so it'll be nice to be back in the swing of things for the month! i'm trying to have a bit of work life balance too so i probably won't be taking any cake or catering orders on top of all this.

hope to hear from you all soon & happy start to the holiday season!

Friday, May 15, 2015

twas the night before...

well it's the night before my final weekend at the market for the foreseeable future. it feels sort of odd but i'm ready.

i wrote a pretty extensive blog post yesterday outlining all the frozen food i have available but thought i should go over salads & sweets for the weekend.

classic broccoli salad: double smoked bacon, toasted almonds, dried cranberries, sunflower seeds, red onion & red pepper

quinoa: shaved fennel, kalamata olives, pink grapefruit, baby arugula & parsley

vegan potato: green beans, cucumbers, celery, shaved radish, green onions, dill & dijon mustard

i'd like to have zero sweets left by 3pm on sunday so keep your eyes peeled for some flash sales. it's actually the bluenose marathon on sunday. it always interferes with traffic & makes it difficult to get to the market so plan your routes ahead of time & i'm hoping all the marathoners will need some treats after the race!

there are lots & lots of cupcakes:

pink grapefruit
red velvet-raspberry
gluten free chocolate-coconut

there are also lots of the brown butter, pecan blondies topped with salted caramel. these are chewy like a brownie - minus the chocolate & the salted caramel really cuts through the sweetness.

i have spicy chocolate brownies too. these are a rich, gluten free option with chai masala & cayenne pepper for an unexpected twist.

and can't forget the snickers brownie - these have been a staple of my menu since the very beginning!!! they're another gluten free option but are still completely decadent with dulce de leche, chocolate ganache, salted peanuts & creamy peanut butter.

i also have loads of goat milk fudge, hello dollies & oatmeal-cranberry-white chocolate breakfast cookies.

well that about wraps up my menu. hope to see you all over the weekend!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

big changes

this coming weekend will be my last weekend at the market for quite some time.

fear not, my trusty kitchen helper krista will be taking over cupcake, goat milk fudge & salad production for the rest of the summer. krista has been working with me for a couple of years now & has been learning the ins and outs of frostings, batters & salads. she'll be with me this weekend to train & get familiar with all the regulars & then she'll be flying solo next weekend.

here she is:

she's super nice & loves children so she'll be a perfect purveyor of mini cupcakes :)

as of may 17th my frozen food...& snickers brownies...& breakfast cookies...will no longer be available! i've been alerting my regulars to these developments for a few weeks now & they've been stockpiling in a big way. my back up freezers are virtually empty but my freezer at the market is brimming. by the end of the weekend everything MUST GO! there will be a liquidation sale on sunday. i haven't figured out the particulars yet but i'll post it to facebook & twitter on saturday night but i don't think there will be much left by then.

here's what's in the freezer:

brisket & blue
small $10  large $20
i have a paleo version (gluten & dairy free) of this in the small but i can't remember if i have any left in the large.
i also have side dishes of just the blue cheese gnocchi with kale.
small $7

chicken parmesan
small $10  large $20
there's a small paleo version of this one too

peanut-ginger pulled pork
small $10  large $20
this one is just naturally paleo but i also have a few larges with basmati rice instead of sweet potato puree.

mediterranean vegetable ragu
small $9  large $18
this one is vegetarian & gluten free but has lots of cheese.

beef shepherd's pie
small $10  large $20
i have it with sweet potato puree or the regular cheddar-green onion mash

there are lots of options but i only have a few of each so it's best to come early if you have your heart set on anything.

there are still soups too. they're all $7/500ml serving.

carrot, apple, ginger: vegan, gluten free, paleo

curried butternut squash: vegan, gluten free, paleo

classic beef stew

creamy roasted root vegetable: vegetarian, gluten free

thai chicken & rice: gluten free, dairy free

ok i think that about covers it for frozen food.

also, in case you were wondering what's bringing on all the changes...i'm engaged!!!

it's been a great run at the market but it's time to start the next chapter of my life & who knows what's in store, i may be back to the market in the fall depending on my immigration status.

i hope to see lots of regulars this weekend before i fly away on monday morning...hmmmm i should probably start packing....

Friday, April 24, 2015

spring is in the air!

it's been a long, hard winter but it looks like spring is finally here! last weekend was the halifax crafters spring market & it seemed that everyone had a little extra bounce in their step & a bit wider grin. it was actually my most successful crafters event thus far - i had great neighbours & it's always a nice change of scenery from the seaport.

here's an aerial view of my little set up:

it was the first time i've had one of my cakes on my table for display - the response was overwhelming!!! i guess all those hours spent piping tiny dots are all worth it.

after an incredibly busy weekend, i had to jump right back in to prep. this week featured a whole whack of beef brisket from getaway farm. my first mission was to replenish my 'brisket & blue.' this is definitely one of the most popular items on my menu.

the beef is braised overnight with red wine, herbs & garlic. then the sauce is cooked down till it's nice & thick. it all gets mixed up with sun dried tomatoes & baby turnips.

the sides are maple roasted carrots with kale & creamy blue cheese gnocchi with roasted garlic.

small $10  large $20

then it was on to a paleo option. i've been toying with the idea of this dish for awhile & this week i finally took the plunge. i'm pretty much obsessed with thai peanut sauce. so, i combined it with another obsession - beef brisket. the results are delicious! there's a lot going on here - ginger, sesame, lime, cilantro, chillies & a bit of garam masala. there are a ton of veggies too: bok choy, roasted broccoli, bean sprouts, red peppers, carrots, mushrooms, green onions & sweet potato puree. it's paleo, gluten free & dairy free.

small $10  large $20

then i made a cake for a little girl with an awesome name.

my sweets for the market are:

goat milk fudge
snickers brownies
salted caramel pecan blondies
almond hello dollies
breakfast cookies
regular cupcakes
gluten free cupcakes with dairy free frosting!

now that spring is in the air, salads are increasingly popular. i made 3 varieties this week.

sweet potato:

broccoli (the original version with bacon & almonds)

old-school macaroni salad (my personal favourite)

also, if you've been on my Facebook page you may have noticed i'm not taking any orders for cakes or caterings for the rest of the spring/summer - i'll be out of town. may 17th is actually the last day my frozen food will be available for the foreseeable future. i'm working out the details now to keep the cupcakes & salads coming for the summer, so stay tuned.

hope that wasn't too much of a shocker but you still have four weekends to stock up :)

see you over the weekend!
saturday 7-3
sunday 9-3

Friday, April 10, 2015

i'm ready!

honestly, it feels like i was just at the market! i can't even believe it's friday again!

 i suppose i did spend the entire week in the kitchen & time has a sneaky way of elapsing without me noticing when i'm in there. at least i was pretty productive.

coq au vin is restocked. this dish has been wildly popular for me over the past 2 months. the chicken is braised in a rich mixture of red wine, herbs & garlic, then it's combined with leeks & loads of mushrooms (shiitakes, king eryngiis & creminis). it's accompanied by roasted parsnips, carrots & kale. the regular version has parmesan polenta and the paleo version has sweet potato puree - both options are gluten free.

small $10  large $20

my menu has been lacking in the vegetarian department lately, so this week i made a batch of roasted mediterranean vegetable ragu. the veggies are red peppers, red onions, zucchini & eggplant. they're in a rich tomato sauce with swiss chard, kalamata olives, feta & goat cheese. the side dish is quinoa dressed lightly with olive oil, garlic & basil. this is another gluten free option!

small $9  large $18

the thai chicken & rice soup has been selling out incredibly fast lately as well, so a new batch was on the docket this week. the stock is made from scratch & simmered with garlic, ginger, cardamom & star anise to build a nice layer of flavour. the veggies are carrots, red peppers, celery, baby bok choy & scallions. i add sesame oil, citrus, cilantro, sriracha & coconut milk to add to the thai flavours. this is another gluten free option!


there are 3 salads this week & they're ALL vegan AND gluten free! in retrospect, i had quite a gluten free week.
broccoli: peanut, ginger, lime, sesame, red cabbage, carrot, red pepper

3-bean: green bean, adzuki, garbanzo, lentil, cucumber, red pepper, dill

potato: radishes, celery, green beans, dill, dijon, parsley

they're all $5/375ml container.

in other news, it seems that spring has finally sprung! the forecast looks somewhat optimistic & the first signs of rhubarb are popping up in my backyard.

it's not much, but it's there.

another sure sign that spring has arrived is the Halifax Crafters Spring Fair which will be taking place next weekend at the olympic centre on hunter & cunard.

the lineup is looking pretty dynamite! mark your calendars now cuz it's going to be a great show.

ok, that's all for now. hope to see you all over the weekend!