Cooking with Alison

Posts Tagged ‘recipes’

The National Buffalo Wing Festival (Part 3 – Go for the Entertainment Alone!)

In Random, Reviews on October 16, 2016 at am

The National Buffalo Wing Festival runs every Labour Day weekend in Buffalo, NY. Even if you don’t love chicken wings, go for the entertainment alone. This is part 3 of 3 posts that I’ve shared about my experience at the 2016 festival. (Please see here for more general information about the festival. Also, I tried the food from almost every single vendor reviewed them here (part 1) and here (part 2).)

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Grocery Budget Challenge – How to Shop in Bulk and Actually Save Money

In Grocery Budget Challenge, Mind Your Cents on October 11, 2016 at am

This article is part of the Grocery Budget Challenge series. See the Introduction here.

A great way to save money on groceries is to buy in bulk. Typically, larger quantities sold as a single item have a lower per unit price. For example, a 6 pack of tissue boxes will likely cost less per box than a box of tissues sold separately by the same brand. Similarly, grocery stores will price larger packages of fresh meat at a lower price per weight than smaller packages of the exact same meat. That means that you get a better deal and save money over the long term by buying more in one shot. For this reason, purchasing a tub of yogurt is more economical (and environmentally-friendly) than purchasing individual portion-sized yogurt cups.

However, if you’re not careful, you could easily end up going over budget or wasting money and food. I’ve had to learn this lesson the hard way and multiple times. I didn’t want to give up on shopping in bulk altogether and I certainly wasn’t willing to give up my Costco membership, so I created some rules for myself. (See my No-Buy List here, for some general grocery shopping rules.)

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How to Make a Beef Wellington

In How-To, Red Meat and Eggs on October 1, 2016 at am
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We like our meat really rare, so this was perfect for us. Typically, medium-rare is preferred.

When my mother-in-law brought home foie gras paté from a trip to France, I was over the moon excited to eat it! I knew I had to do it justice, so I saved it for a special occasion and used it to attempt my first beef wellington. Luckily, it was a huge success and my sister- and brother-in-law both claimed that it was way better than the beef wellington they ate at one of Chef Ramsey’s restaurants. I really encourage you to try this at home, because 1. it’ll be just as delicious with affordable pate, 2. it’s very impressive and perfect for special occasions, and 3. it is surprisingly easy to make! Cooking shows led me to believe that only the most highly trained chefs are capable of pulling off beef wellington. Not true at all. Anyone can make this!

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Grocery Budget Challenge – Where to Buy Food to Save Money

In Grocery Budget Challenge, Mind Your Cents on August 31, 2016 at am

This article is part of the Grocery Budget Challenge series. See the Introduction here.

One strategy to saving money on groceries is to be strategic with where you purchase them. Here is what has worked for me.

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Grocery Budget Challenge – Healthier, Money-Saving Swaps

In Grocery Budget Challenge, Mind Your Cents on August 6, 2016 at am

This article is part of the Grocery Budget Challenge series. See the Introduction here.

Saving money on your groceries can be really easy. For example, making a few simple changes to the items in your grocery cart can save you money and improve your health. Here are some of the best swaps that you can make.

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White Wine, Garlic, and Butter Steamed Clams Recipe

In Appetizers, Hors D'oeuvres, Snacks, Fish / Seafood on July 11, 2016 at am

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My parents love seafood, so whenever I cook for a special occasion, I always include a shellfish dish. I love these buttery and garlicky clams for a starter coarse. They’re ridiculously easy to make.

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Introduction to Extra Virgin Olive Oil Tasting

In How-To, Reviews on July 6, 2016 at pm
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Photo courtesy of Flavor Your Life

On July 5, 2016,the Flavour Your Life program, which is funded by the European Union and the Italian government, hosted an extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) tasting event in Toronto. The event was held at Buca Osteria & Enoteca on King Street West, where the food and drinks were incredible, by the way. It’s my new favourite Italian restaurant and I can’t wait to go back! I usually only purchase Greek EVOO, so I was very excited to learn more about Italian EVOO. A HUGE thank you to Gordon from Confessions of a Toronto Foodie who told me about this opportunity.

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Grocery Budget Challenge – The No-Buy List

In Grocery Budget Challenge, Mind Your Cents on June 28, 2016 at am

This article is part of the Grocery Budget Challenge series. See the Introduction here.

A great way to eat better and save money is to avoid buying the items on this no-buy list. I use this list to help resist temptations when I’m in the grocery store, especially when I see great deals on tasty but unhealthy foods. No matter how cheap something is, consider it a complete waste of your money if it’s bad for your health. (Keep your eyes open for my upcoming post, How to Shop in Bulk and Actually Save Money, for the buying rules that I created specifically for bulk shopping.)

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Versatile Ingredients – Introduction and Staples

In Grocery Budget Challenge, How-To, Mind Your Cents, Versatile Ingredients on June 21, 2016 at am

This is the first post in the series, Versatile Ingredients.

I’ve been working on using up old ingredients in my pantry. To do this efficiently, I choose a single ingredient and give myself up to one month to use all of it. In order to make this challenge enjoyable (i.e. not having to eat the same dish every day), I’ve been experimenting with new ways to use familiar ingredients. I’ve learned so much and discovered so many new favourite recipes that I decided to start a new series, Versatile Ingredients. Each post will feature a different ingredient. To start, I’ve shared my versatile grocery staples below. See also, creative uses for avocados here.

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Carrot and Roasted Chickpea Salad with Tahini Dressing

In Sides and Sauces, Soups and Salads on June 14, 2016 at am
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Salad prior to being tossed with dressing.

The timing of my discovery of this recipe was perfect, because I was looking for winter-friendly cold salads, I had all of the ingredients on hand, and it helped me clear out my pantry. I’ve made this for pot lucks, picnics, and packed lunches. I hope you’ll try it for yourself.

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Grocery Budget Challenge – Introduction

In Grocery Budget Challenge, Mind Your Cents on May 31, 2016 at am

The rate of food inflation in Canada is exceeding the general inflation rate and is estimated to increase by up to 4.5% in 2016, according to the 2016 Food Price Report released by The Food Institute of the University of Guelph. Meats, fruits, vegetables, and nuts are likely to be affected the most. Some of the main factors that affect the price of food include: climate, geopolitical risks, currencies and trade, etc. Considering some of these are likely to worsen over the long run, it’s as good a time as any to start maximizing your savings on groceries. With simple changes to the way you shop and cook, you’ll be able to reduce your grocery budget and increase your savings towards the things that matter the most to you.

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Birthday Cake Chocolate Bark Recipe

In Desserts, Other Desserts on May 25, 2016 at am

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This is a fun and easy-to-make alternative (or addition) to birthday cake for casual or last-minute celebrations. It’s convenient for cottage or ski chalet getaways, classroom or office celebrations, dessert tables, etc.

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