The Taste of Home for the Holidays with Foodland Ontario

Turn simple ingredients into special occasion appetizers with Foodland Ontario‘s holiday collection of quick & easy recipes.

Carrots, mushrooms, apples & sweet potatoes are just a few of the produce they have jazzed up for Holiday parties.

Asian hot sauce, lime juice and ginger transform ground chicken and grated carrots into Thai Carrot and Chicken Balls. These healthy mini meatballs served on a skewer – one of the year’s hottest trends – can be prepared ahead and reheated just before serving.

Mushroom and Goat Cheese Quesadilla Wedges are also perfect for entertaining. The savoury filling of local crimini mushrooms, diced red onion and soft goat cheese is easily made in advance. When guests arrive, spread on whole grain tortillas, pop in the oven for a few minutes then cut into wedges.

They have even transformed a favourite comfort food into Grilled Cheese Smoked Turkey and Apple Party Sandwiches. These scrumptious sandwiches can be cut into quarters so everyone gets a taste.

Last but not least, they’ve whipped cooked sweet potatoes into a super easy and make-ahead Southwest Roasted Sweet Potato Dip, seasoned with lime juice, cumin and chili powder. Serve this delectable low-fat dip with refreshing greenhouse cucumber sticks.

Holiday entertaining is deliciously easy with fresh locally-grown ingredients.

For more information on local Ontario products visits Foodland Ontario.

What’s your favourite recipe for the Holidays?

Delicious Food Show 2011

What are you doing this weekend? How about coming to visit Mushrooms Canada at the Delicious Food Show?

Three and a half days of the best in food, kitchen, cooking & entertaining. Featuring live presentations by the hottest celebrity chefs & lifestyle experts. Indulge, taste, savour and take away at the very first Delicious Food Show.

There is lots to be done while at the show… take in a tasting seminar… watch a celebrity chef… or just sample your way through the hundreds of vendors…. but no matter what you do, delicious food is the focus.

Make sure to stop by Mushrooms Canada’s booth #335, for a mouthwatering sample of Simple Sauteed Mushrooms. While you’re there, enter our T-Fal Dream Kitchen Contest.

I will be tweeting while at the show, so make sure to follow Mushrooms Canada over on Twitter or on Facebook!

So, who’s all going? What are you looking forward to trying? A particular wine or food?

Personally, I can’t wait to see Chef Corbin Tomaszeski & Chef Lynn Crawford grace the Food Network Cooking Stage!

I hope that everyone has a great time, enjoys themselves, and travels responsibly…. Don’t drink and drive! See you at the show!

Behind the Scenes: Soupalicious 2011 in Support of Plant a Row, Grow a Row

On occasion I get to travel out of the office and meet some amazing people at some spectacular events. As a matter of fact, this past Sunday, I did just that!

Mushroom Canada sponsored a great event called Soupalicious, which was hosted by the Compost Council of Canada in support of the Plant a Row, Grow a Row program. Lots of celebrity chef and news-makers graced the stage, but nothing could compare to who I stood next to for the day…

Johnny Bower Mushroom Soup

Johnny Bower.

Yes, on Sunday afternoon I had the pleasure of cooking & serving French Mushroom Soup with Mr. Johnny Bower of the Toronto Maple Leafs. We were joined by over 50 local restaurants who came out to serve some hot soup, for a good cause, on a cold rainy day.

Mushrooms Canada Best Soup Award:
First Place: Johnny Bower, French Mushroom Soup
Second Place: Rosewood Catering, Blue Crab Mushroom Squash Soup
Third Place: Southern Accent, Butternut Shrimp Bisque

Fresh From the Farmer: Murray Good of Whitecrest Mushrooms

In this new Blog Feature we will get to know the family farmers who grow your mushrooms as they tell you the story of their farms, explain the growing process, address common myths, and share their favourite mushroom recipes.

Murray Good of Whitecrest Mushrooms, Putnam, Ontario

Murray was raised on a farm in Plattsville, Ont. He worked for Alpine Plant Foods and was the main mixologist of liquid fertilizer for twenty years. Although he loved his job at Alpine, Murray knew that farming was in his blood. Seven years ago he decided to take chance and ask Hank Hermans if he could buy his Mushroom Farm. He loved the concept that Mushrooms were one of the most natural foods to grow. Murray and Chantelle have owned Whitecrest Mushroom Farm for 7 years now. They grow Crimini and Portabellas, and have started a little retail store on their farm. They have also produced their own line of mushroom products, called Good Family Foods.

1. What is your name & farm name?
Murray Good, and my farm name is Whitecrest Mushrooms.

2. Where are you located?
Putnam, Ontario. About 15 minutes outside of London.

3. Tell us about your farm.
Welcome to Whitecrest Mushrooms. We are standing in front of the new building that is being constructed. Our old building was struck by lightning last June 5th, and it was totally taken down to the ground.

We are going to be producing mushrooms again here in our new facility in the middle of August. The mushrooms that we produce are the brown agaricus, or what everybody has come to know as portabella or criminis.

We will be producing roughly around 1.5 million to 2 million pounds of mushrooms per year.

4. Tell about Food Safety.
The main focus at Whitecrest with the new production and the new plant is food safety. We adhere to SQF Certification as far as food safety, traceability, and food security.

The biggest thing we stress to our workers is that they understand the philosophy of food safety and why food safety is so important on a farm.

Food safety is the number one thing we have to be concerned about here as far as production goes.

5. Mushroom growing room.
Here we are standing in front of one of our typical mushroom growing rooms. As you can see, the aluminum bed, the aluminum walls, everything has to be clean, that’s the priority from our food safety point of view.

From these rooms we will be growing our portabella mushrooms. They are produced in these rooms 365 days a year.

6. Locally grown, and fresh year round!
With production of 365 days a year we can guarantee freshness, which in turns creates great flavour, and a great quality product that can be consumed year round.

7. Mushrooms Go PINK, what’s that about?
This year mushroom producers across Canada will be participating in a breast cancer awareness program using the PINK tills. When you see them in your local store that will be in September.
We will be raising funds for breast cancer awareness and research.

We were very proud of last year’s donation of over $60,000. This year, in 2011, we are planning to do much better than that. We hope to increase the awareness of breast cancer and research for Canadian Women.

8. Evan and Aidan, what’s your favourite way to eat mushrooms?
Aidan: My favourite way to eat mushrooms is on pizza.
Evan: My favourite way to eat mushrooms is in spaghetti.

9. What’s your favourite mushroom recipe?
Chantelle Good’s Mushroom Hot Dip
Mix onions, garlic, mushroom with a few spices, cream cheese, Monterey jack and jalapeño cheese. Heat that up for 30 minutes or so, and serve with pita chips or nice crusty bread. Yeah, it’s delicious!

You can also see Murray Good talking with Maribel Linfield of Grand River Living about mushroom growing here.

To see more “Fresh From the Farmer” Videos visit our YouTube Channel.

Hamilton Food & Drink Fest 2011

Mushrooms Canada is out & about again this weekend. This time we are heading to Hamilton to cook up a storm at the 6th Annual Hamilton Food & Drink Fest!

Come experience an exciting variety of local and international wines, specialty beers, and culinary sensations created by some of the Hamilton’s most popular restaurants, breweries, & wineries.

Make sure to stop by Mushrooms Canada’s booth for a mouthwatering sample of Simple Sauteed Mushrooms. While you’re there, enter our draw to win a T-Fal Hot Spot Frying Pan, pick up some delicious recipes, and ask us a few questions!

I will be tweeting while at the show, so make sure to follow Mushrooms Canada over on Twitter or on Facebook!

Now don’t leave empty handed, we have a little coupon for you, $3.00 Off the price of admission at the door. Simply CLICK HERE, print it off and bring it with you; you will receive your discount at the door.

I hope that everyone has a great time, enjoys themselves, and travels responsibly…. Don’t drink and drive! See you at the show!