• Fall Rolled Up: Apple-Cranberry Fruit Leather

    This post was sponsored by the Ontario Apple Growers (OAG). What does that mean? I was paid to develop this recipe for apple-cranberry fruit leather. OAG set up and accompanied me on visit to Art Moyer’s apple orchard but the story I’ve told below is my own, without input or editing by OAG.

    I have a rule that I won’t eat apples until peach season is over.

    It’s not a hard and fast one. I knew I’d waver when my mom arrived at my door in early September with a handful of Ginger Golds. And I knew I wouldn’t regret it.

    Niagara doesn’t grow a lot of apples. We’re small potatoes compared to Georgian Bay, home to the most acres of apple orchards in Ontario. But we’re still mighty. Those Ginger Golds told me so.

    So did a visit to Art Moyer’s Grimsby apple orchard last week, a swath atop the Niagara Escarpment that his family has farmed since 1947. Continue reading

    Labels , , , , , , , , ,
    Category On the Farm, Recipes


  • Peach Tree
  • The pull of fresh taffy at The Kitchen

    Chef Jenn Wilkinson of The Kitchen in Ridgeway.

    My column, Eating Niagara, runs every second Wednesday in the St. Catharines Standard, Niagara Falls Review and Welland Tribune.

    Jack Brewster sees untapped potential in his daughter, Chef Jenn Wilkinson.

    Were it up to him, he’d enter Wilkinson in an arm-wrestling competition. I hope he keeps me posted if that ever happens because my money’s on Wilkinson going arm to arm with just about anyone.

    After watching the chef pull taffy at The Kitchen, her newly opened bakery and food shop in Ridgeway, I feel confident the odds are in her favour, and therefore mine.

    Picture a cattle rustler swinging and throwing a lasso to net a steer. Now picture them doing it with a rope made of sugar and water weighing several pounds — one that gets longer and fluffier the more it’s thrown.

    I’m sure you can understand why Wilkinson is a bookie’s arm-wrestling dream.

    “From the time I could walk and talk, I was learning to make taffy,” she said.

    Read the rest of the story

    Labels , , , , , , , , , ,
    Category Backyard Tourism, Food Finds


  • Peach Tree
  • Strip Mall Gems: De La Terre Kitchen

    Steve Bonin of De La Terre Kitchen

    Strip Mall Gems is a series of Eating Niagara, my column that runs in the St. Catharines Standard, Niagara Falls Review and Welland Tribune.

    It had all the makings of a Hollywood-scripted epiphany.

    Steve Bonin was mopping the floor at De La Terre Kitchen when the sun shone through the front windows of the Grimsby bakery and sandwich shop, and the proverbial light went off.

    Bonin, then a staffer, told himself he could work there forever.

    Soon after, he became a partner in the operation, running the kitchen of the De La Terre sourdough bakery empire, and feeding people sammies that are worth the drive to Niagara’s most northwestern corner.

    “I love this place. I love everything about,” Bonin said while taking a load off on a recent Thursday morning before the lunchtime rush. “The ideals are perfect, the location is perfect, Grimsby is perfect. The people here really love good food.”

    The downside? “Parking can get sketchy” at this inconspicuous strip mall at the corner of Main Street and Bartlett Avenue. And understandably so.

    Read the rest of the story

    Labels , , , , , , , ,
    Category Food Finds


  • Peach Tree
  • Blogging for a cause: Meet Charlene Theodore

    Publish, get huge hits, land a cookbook deal.

    It’s the recipe for success for many food bloggers. And why not? That sounds pretty sweet. But there other places food blogging can take a person.

    I heard the stories of a few who broke the book deal mould when I was at the International Food Bloggers Conference in Sacramento in July. The conference (if you’re a food blogger, go!) included a session called From Blog to Business.

    I didn’t read the fine print beforehand, so I figured it would be about turning food websites into big money makers through sponsored posts, advertising and book deals. It was better than that. It was a panel of three Sacramento food bloggers sharing their story of how food writing launched them into spinoffs that bettered their community. Blogging for a Cause would have been a more accurate name for this inspiring session.

    Continue reading

    Labels , , , , , , ,
    Category Beyond Niagara