Wednesday, June 29, 2011

On Buying Canadian

Canada day is in a couple of days, and I received this email (below) from a friend that I thought I'd share. We've all reads lots about buying local food; I've written about it myself. But to take that one step further and buy Canadian products when possible really only requires a little more effort- just read the label. We can all do that I think. Happy Canada Day fellow Canadians!

A couple of Made In Canada resources I found:

*July is Canadian Products Month at Beauty Geeks
*One man's challenge to eat, watch, use only Canadian products for a year: One Year One Canadian  

And now the email that inspired this post:

A physics teacher in high school, once told the students: that while one grasshopper on the railroad tracks wouldn't slow a train very much, a billion of them would. With that thought in mind, read the following, obviously written by a good Canadian:

Shopping in Lowe's the other day for some reason and just for the fun of it I was looking at the hose attachments. They were all made in China . The next day I was in Home Hardware and just for the fun of it I checked the hose attachments there. They were made in Canada! Start looking........
In our current economic situation, every little thing we buy or do affects someone else – even their job.

A quote from a grandson likes Hershey's candy. I noticed, though, that it is marked made in Mexico now. I do not buy it any more. My favourite toothpaste, Colgate, is made in Mexico now. I have switched to Crest. You have to read the labels on everything.

This past weekend I was at Wal-Mart. I needed 60W light bulbs. I was in the light bulb aisle, and right next to the GE brand I normally buy was an off-brand labelled, "Everyday Value". I picked up both types of bulbs and compared the stats - they were the same except for the price. The GE bulbs were more money than the Everyday Value brand but the thing that surprised me the most was the fact that GE was made in MEXICO and the Everyday Value brand was made in – get ready for this - Canada at a company in Ontario. Their Equate products are also made in Canada, and are very good.

Just to add my own experience on buying Made In Canada, I was looking for canned mushrooms that were made in Canada and could never find any, so I would buy fresh. But a miracle happened, when in our Foodland store I found Ravine mushrooms - made in Canada with a little red maple leaf on can. A
little more money but when I opened the can I looked at mushrooms that look like real mushrooms, not a mushroom that looks like it was cleaned in bleach. So throw out the myth that you cannot find products you use every day that are made right here.
My challenge to you is to start reading the labels when you shop for everyday things and see what you can find that is made in Canada. The job you save may be your own or your neighbour's! (Your children & grandchildren, also)

If you accept this challenge, pass it on to so we can all start buying Canadian, one light bulb at a time! Stop buying from overseas companies! (We should have awakened two decades ago.) Let's get with the program. Help our fellow Canadians keep their jobs and create more jobs here in Canada.

If President Obama insists on a 'Made in America ' policy, which is commendable of him, to support
American workers, we should do likewise. BUY CANADIAN! Read the labels. Support Canadian jobs.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Summer Party

Tyler and I had our dads over for a barbeque on Father's Day and this is what we made. Everything turned out great! This is such an easy menu for a summer BBQ. Everything can be done before hand so the only thing to do is throw the meat on the grill. And get your drink on.


Any kind of salad would work here. Just cut everything into bite sized pieces and stack on a toothpick. I got the tray and appetizer spoons for Christmas and I love them, but shot glasses would work just as well. Also feel free to come up with a more elegant name for this recipe.

Greek Salad on a Stick: cucumber, red onion, olive, feta. Dressing = olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, dried oregano, garlic, salt, pepper

Caprese Salad on a Stick:  halved cherry tomatoes, bocconcini cheese, fresh basil. Dressing = olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper


  • 1/4 to 1/2 lb flank steak per person
  • small tortillas
  • juice and zest 2 limes
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 4 tbsp oil
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
  • hot sauce
  • sour cream
  • pickled hot pepper rings
  • salsa

Mix marinade in a large Ziploc bag. Marinade steak 3 hours, turning and massaging meat a few times during this time.

Grill over high direct heat 4 minutes per side for medium rare. Remove onto a platter, cover with foil, and let meat rest for at least 10 minutes. While meat is resting, wrap tortillas in foil, about 10 per package to ensure they will all get heated through. Place on grill on indirect heat until ready to serve.

  • 3 ears corn
  • cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • juice and zest of 2 limes
  • 1/2 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 tbsp chopped cilantro or Italian parsley
  • salt and pepper to season
Grill corn over direct heat until softened and charred in spots, about 15 minutes. Remove from grill and set aside to cool a bit. Cut corn off cobs, mix with remaining ingredients. Refrigerate until serving.


For each serving, cut a slice of cake in half. Place one half on a plate, spread with some lemon curd, top with strawberries, other half of cake, and whipped cream.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Panini Bar

Click on the photo to enlarge and actually be able to read the writing
Taco bar, baked potato bar, pizza bar, etc, all great if you have people coming over last minute or just want something easy to make for a crowd. But how about panini bar! You just have to prep the ingredients and then everybody gets to put whatever they want on their sandwich*. If you don't have a panini press you can do them in a pan on the stove instead and call it "gourmet grilled cheese".

Full disclosure: I did this in February and just got around to writing about it now. Sorry.

*My dad used to do this with pasta too- give everybody a list of ingredients, then they check off what they want and you toss everything together in a pan for a custom pasta dish.

One Year Ago: Bran Flax Muffins

Monday, June 13, 2011

Quick Tip: Tex-Mex Shredded Cheese

We were having nachos for dinner on Friday night and I was tempted by this Southwest Shredded Cheese at the store. However, it was almost $7. Plus tax! I figured I could do it at home for cheaper and I was right.

Shake shredded cheese in a bag, or container with a lid, with chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, and a little cayenne if you want some heat. If you have chipotle chili power that would be even better.

I'm glad there are no more tortilla chips left or else I would be eating nachos for lunch and snacks too.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Dog Biscuits

It's my dog Sydney's (of blue socks fame) 5th birthday today. She now is only half as crazy as the day we got her, but that's still pretty crazy. We went for a long walk this morning, and since it's raining I decided to make these cookies I saw in Canadian Living. They have mint and parsley in them which hopefully helps with the dog breath situation. However, they also have bacon fat and peanut butter so how good can her breath be after eating one, really?

I swapped butter for bacon fat as I had some from our breakfast this morning, and left the salt and sugar out of the original recipe. I don't think dogs need to have that stuff, and there is already some salt and sugar in the peanut butter. Plus I've seen her eat her own poop, so I don't think she has such a discerning palette that she needs that stuff to gobble these down. So, happy birthday Bearcat!

One Year Ago: Aloha Pork Kebabs

Dog's Breath Biscuits from Canadian Living