Products

Schneiders Craft Meatery

There are a handful of Canadian brands that are recognized instantly. Roots, Tim Hortons, Canadian Tire are just some part of this elite group. Another notable brand that has been part of the lives of Canadians since 1890, in the fridge and on the dinner tables of Canadian families is Schneiders. For over a century the Schneiders brand has been grounded in quality products crafted without compromise for its premium cuts of meat using the original J.M. Schneider family recipes. 

If you live in Canada and ate a hot dog, a sandwich, or even indulged in a charcuterie board (which is pretty much everyone!), you've definitely had Schneiders before. Now in 2018, the iconic Schneiders brand is undergoing some important changes to reinforce its market leading position for craftsmanship. Using its signature methods like traditional hardwood smoking and original recipe formulations, Schneiders will go through some extensive packaging changes across its product portfolio. 

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To showcase this new era and resetting the entire product lineup of wieners, sausage, bacon, deli, sliced meats, ham, meat snacks, and bologna, Schneiders put on the Craft Meatery in Toronto. They invited local media and food influencers to taste the quality meats inside Toronto's backyard BBQ joint Big Crow with acclaimed Chef Anthony Rose at the helm. 

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Throughout the night Schneiders and Chef Anthony Rose put out a stellar menu drawing upon 128-year old recipes using only premium cuts of meat with extraordinary taste and elevated artisanal flavours. Some of my favourite Schneiders dishes of the night included:

  • Carved Ham with Cheese Grits and Heirloom Tomato Relish
  • Pigs in a Blanket with Honey Mustard and Everything Bagel Spices
  • Spicy Italian Sausage Taquitos with Charred Tomatillo Salsa 
  • Pealmeal Bacon and Zucchini Kehab with Buttermilk Dressing 
  • Grilled Bologna with Roasted Chilli and Fried Garlic 
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All of these Schneiders products you see here recently went through a culinary panel of experts signalling its commitment to making their food better than ever. Fourteen respected Canadian restauranteurs, chefs, and food critics conducted blind taste tastes for over 100 Schneiders products for nearly a year-long period to ensure their full line of meats lived up to the high quality and taste standards that the brand is committed to. None of these products went to the market that was not signed off by this panel, so you can bet that all of the dishes served here in the Craft Meatery was at the highest standards. 

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All of Schneiders' renovated products are already being rolled out and can be found in grocery stores all across Canada. Find Schneiders at various community events throughout this summer and autumn where you may even be able to see their Craft Meatery Food Truck cruising down the streets. 

At Home With The New Vitamix Explorian Series E310 - Chilled Green Pea Soup Recipe

If there's one kitchen appliance that tops the wish list for everyone year after year, most will probably say it's owning a Vitamix. It definitely was for me. The versatility of having a compact machine in your kitchen with a motor and blades powerful enough to make a wide range of recipes such as smoothies, salsas, doughs, frozen desserts, batters, and even hot soups without ever touching a stove top is a dream!

With a new year upon us comes new ideas and innovation from Vitamix. A brand new line of Vitamix blenders were being launched and I was invited to take part in a culinary journey hosted by Vitamix Canada and Chef Craig Wong of Jackpot Chicken in Toronto to see what the new Vitamix Explorian Series E310 was all about! A carefully curated menu was prepared for us where all the key ingredients of each dish was prepared by the new E310 Explorian Series Blender.

From start to finish, check out what we indulged in that night where the Vitamix E310 played an integral role in our dinner.

Flash forward a few weeks after the media launch and my grown-up, kitchen-appliance loving dreams came true! A brand new Vitamix E310 Explorian Series Blender landed on my door step and a flood of recipe possibilities through the simple act of blending came rushing through. What I love about this new series is that it perfectly fits my lifestyle and kitchen space. I don't have a huge kitchen at home, but because the Vitamix E310 is smaller than its predecessor coming in at a 48-ounce (1.4L) container it fits perfectly into my kitchen space without taking too much room on the counter. The smaller container size is also perfect to blend drinks fit for one or two people, nothing goes to waste. The smaller size also comes with a smaller price tag compared to some of the other models with a price point of CAD$400 which is what people have been asking Vitamix to come out with for a very long time. They listened!

If you're finally in the market to upgrade your smoothie game and want to get a great quality blender, but at a manageable price-point, the Vitamix Explorian Series E310 is then perfect fo r you! Here are some great features of the new Vitamix Explorian Series E310 that you'll love!

Variable Speed Control

Ten variable speeds allows you to refine every texture with culinary precision from the chunkiest salsas to the smoothest purees

Pulse Feature

Layer coarse chops over smooth purees for heartier recipes or thick vegetable soups

High-Performance Motor

The powerful 2HP motor can handle the toughest ingredients to create high-quality blends

Easy Cleaning

With just one drop of dish soap and warm water, the Vitamix E310 can clean itself in 30 to 60 seconds -  no disassembly required.

With all these great features I was able to put it all to the test at home by re-creating the exact same recipe that Chef Craig Wong made for us during the series launch at his restaurant. The "Chilled Green Pea Soup" was among one of the favourite dishes of the night and surprisingly so easy to make with the Vitamix E310 at home. You literally just need to throw in all the ingredients in the Vitamix and let it blend! All the work is done by that powerful motor and spinning blades. Before you know it a vibrant and healthy appetizer is ready to be served for a serving of 4 people. Enjoy!

Chilled Green Pea Soup

Ingredients

5 cups frozen peas
4 cups cold chicken or vegetable stock
1/4 cup mint leaves
1/4 cup baby spinach leaves, blanced, shocked in ice, squeezed of excess moisture
1 tbsp salt
1/2 tbsp ground white pepper
1/2 cup heavy cream

Directions

Add frozen peas & stock into Vitamix
Blend on high for 3 to 5 minutes until mixture is very smooth
Add mint, spinach, salt & white pepper. Blend for another 30 seconds
Add heavy cream and blend for 10 seconds
Strain the soup and refrigerate or serve chilled immediately

At Home With Dr. Oetker's Ristorante Cioccolato Pizza

As a guy who grew up eating frozen pizzas all throughout my life, there is finally one where my sweet tooth can now also be satisfied in a mere fifteen minutes! You just can't beat the convenience of popping in a frozen pizza in your oven and then having an entire meal ready at your fingertips in about the same amount of time it takes to just boil a pot of pasta! The industry of frozen pizzas has been pretty much the same over the decades with the slight variations of the frozen pepperoni, vegetarian, and cheese pizzas. Thanks now to Dr. Oetker, they are about to shake up the entire industry and give us something we've all been yearning for in our dreams, in our chocolate dreams! Adding to their lineup of frozen pizzas, Dr. Oetker is introducing the Ristorante Cioccolato Pizza, an indulgent chocolate dessert pizza that will surely make everyone's chocolate dreams come true! It sure did mine.

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We as a society have been trained to eat pizzas only as a savoury option for lunch or dinner. But why limit ourselves? With something so incredibly delicious and addictive as pizza, there's no rhyme or reason why we can't have it all the time! Marry pizza with chocolate and Dr. Oetker's Ristorante Cioccolato Pizza becomes truly a unique new SKU in the frozen pizza meal category that has never been done before.

It's made with a Ristorante chocolate crust and topped with chocolate sauce, dark chocolate chips, milk chocolate shavings, and white chocolate chunks. With literally no preparation needed, this chocolate pizza is the perfect dessert to add at the end of your home cooked meal that is pain and stress-free to make for all your family and friends.

Just like how an authentic restaurant in Italy would be like, I'm going to be enjoying my Ristorante Cioccolato Pizza after a plate of homemade pasta for dinner. And of course you can't forget that glass of red wine to go with it! A truly refined and sophisticated dining experience all in the comfort of my own home. Exactly how I like it!

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Ristorante Cioccolato Pizzas are now out in store shelves at a grocery store near you! Make sure you stock up on some in your freezer for those lazy yet sophisticated nights you may have when your sweet tooth cravings come calling. You'll thank yourself later one night when you find this pizza at home just waiting to be devoured one decadent chocolate slice at a time.

Disclosure: I was paid by Dr. Oetker to review the product. However opinions are of my own.

Dr. Oetker's Cioccolato's Ristorante - World's First Chocolate Pizzeria!

With the most romantic time of the year, Dr. Oetker is adding to their line of frozen pizzas just in time for Valentine's Day! This new pizza of theirs is called the "Ristorante Cioccolato Pizza," an indulgent chocolate dessert pizza that will surely make all your chocolate dreams come true!

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To support this launch, Dr. Oetker will open the world's very first chocolate pizzeria in Toronto from February 9th to February 14th, 3PM to 9PM at 1056 Queen Street West. Once you take a step inside this chocolate pizzeria will transport you into a real, romantic Italian restaurant. Fitting to its theme, it is literally chocolate EVERYTHING inside. For example you'll find some showstopping pieces such as a low-hanging chocolate chandelier, chocolate pizza oven, chocolate covered walls, chairs, plates, tables, cups, utensils, and even Ristorante's diamond ring made from a chocolate pizza - Di Cioccolato Diamond! And yes the diamond ring is indeed real! You'll even find a security guard carefully manning the station to ensure the diamond ring is safe and sound.

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This pop-up is completely free to the public where you'll be served complimentary slices of Ristorante Cioccolato's chocolate pizza before it becomes available in grocery stores. If free pizza doesn't entice you to come on by, they will also be serving complimentary glasses of prosecco to go with it! Got your attention now right?

To check out their official event page, click here to be directed to their Facebook page and let them know you're going! This is a limited time event for six days only so make sure you don't miss out before it's too late! There is literally two things in the world that people crave the most. Chocolate and pizza. And to combine them together into one is pure genius! You have a home run here Dr. Oetker!

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Disclosure: I was paid by Dr. Oetker to attend and review the product. However opinions are of my own.

Summer Fresh Holiday Entertaining

Can you all believe it!? Christmas is here in just under two weeks and probably like most of us it's going to be one of the busiest two weeks of the year. Juggling with last minute Christmas shopping and holiday gatherings, the lead up to Christmas day can be an exhausting one especially if you plan on hosting a holiday meal with your family and friends. Lets face it, often times you end up spending hours on end in the kitchen pumping out dishes for your guests, but this year I am here to show you that holiday entertaining does not have to be time consuming if you have the right recipes in mind. This year by using Summer Fresh products you will be able to make some delicious holiday appetizers that can all be prepared in under 10 minutes and will satisfy your guests with every bite! 

If you are not familiar with Summer Fresh, catch up by reading my older articles here and here! But to give you all a quick refresher, Summer Fresh is a Canadian success story that has found a way into many of our lives at home through their line of salads, hummus, and dips. Made from clean ingredients with no added preservatives, Summer Fresh makes it easy for you to enjoy mealtimes with your loved ones without spending hours on end in the kitchen.

For this holiday season I've teamed up with Summer Fresh to create two brand new appetizer recipes for you all that are outrageously delicious yet takes only ten minutes to make! If you're in need of a new recipe idea to impress your guests at your upcoming holiday party, take a look below to learn how to make my "Honey Glazed Bruschetta" and my "Hummus and Cucumber Pita Bites." They are both to die for! 

Hummus and Cucumber Pita Bites

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Recipe

1) Toast the pita bread in the oven and cut it into 6 to 8 slices
2) Spread a layer of Summer Fresh Roasted Garlic Hummus on each wedge
3) Cut your cucumber into thin slices and place two of them on top of the hummus on each wedge
4) Sprinkle with paprika
5) Dab a small spoonful of Summer Fresh Artichoke & Asiago Dip
6) Garnish with dill weed

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Honey Glazed Bruschetta

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Recipe

1) Use your favourite cracker/toast as the base
2) Spread a layer of Summer Fresh Traditional Brushchetta on each cracker/toast
3) Crumple a pinch of feta cheese on top
4) Top it off with one ball of Bocconcini
5) Drizzle everything with honey
6) Garnish with a leaf of parsley

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For even more great holiday entertaining tips and inspiration, Summer Fresh has put together some fantastic food pairing ideas and created nine more unique and mouth-watering appetizer recipes for you to try this festive season. Pick up their free Summer Fresh APPYS Entertaining Guide in the refrigerated deli section at your local grocery store. A couple of my favourite recipes from them this year include their "Hummus & Baba Ghanouj Toasted Sweet Potato Rounds" and "Artichoke Asiago Spinach Stuffed Mushroom Caps." 

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