Introducing: Olive My Love Cookies

So, what has Olive been up to lately? I’ve been really busy cookin’ up a wee business of my own:

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that I will be launching at Three Wishes Shabby Chic & Vintage this Sunday November 9th, 2014 from 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm at 11 Barry Avenue in Streetsville (across from the Streetsville United Church parking lot).

Remember me raving about how dreamy the Three Wishes shop is? Now Christine is launching her own line of handmade lavender products that are absolutely Bloomin’ Lovely!

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Christine uses local Ontario lavender and packages in pretty vintage containers. She has graciously invited our artisan friends to join the official launch of Bloomin’ Lovely Lavender at Three Wishes. And we are inviting you to join us (please RSVP [email protected] or the Facebook event page). Taste brilliant homemade jellies and salsa made by my friend Debbie Crook (the Canning Queen). Admire the beautiful work of my talented friends Pilar Rey de Castro (artist, art teacher, and illustrator) and Eleonora Gattesco Roberts (artist and interior decorator). Kate Mulroney’s Pearl Button custom-made bunting, cushions, and quilts are adorable. Please join us.

I put a whole lotta love into my line of artisanal cookies. I make them by hand in small batches, using a family-favourite recipe. Whenever possible, I use the finest, natural, local ingredients like Stirling Creamery European-Style Churn 84 Butter (artisanally crafted in Stirling, Ontario since 1925).

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My standard flavour is classic Dark Chocolate Chip – the recipe that started the cookie dough rolling. Cut the frozen log into 1/2″ thick slices (or roll the slices into balls) and bake.

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For Christmas, I will also be making Milk Chocolate Chestnut (creamy milk chocolate with a subtle hint of roasted chestnuts) and Dark Chocolate Skor (dark chocolate and sweet Skor toffee bits). Dark Chocolate Skor spreads out a bit during baking so slice only.

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Follow my blog and watch my flavours change with the seasons. I have an ultra-feminine recipe tested for Mother’s Day and a lovely summer flavour that my taste testers rated as “awesome”.  It is so fun using the dough as a canvas to play around with new flavour combinations.

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You can order my cookies freshly baked or as no-frills, frozen slice-n-bake logs to take out of your freezer when you are ready to bake yourself. Serve made-from-scratch goodness without the stress and mess of cooking it yourself, and no one the wiser (I won’t tell!). Stock up on some dough for Christmas or scratch a few gifts off your shopping list. The dough is well-wrapped and can be stored in your freezer for at least a month. The baked cookies can also be frozen, if you wrap them well.

Frozen logs are 6″ long and make one dozen 1/2″ thick cookies (diameter and thickness of baked cookies varies depending on ingredients). I will be selling freshly baked cookies in half dozen bags at the event and taking orders for frozen logs or freshly baked (see packaging options below), to be delivered to you at a later date.

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Have an elderly parent, under-the-weather friend, or someone special that you want to send a little love to? Order an Olive-O-Gram and I will deliver beautifully packaged, freshly baked cookies to their doorstep.

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Packaging options for freshly baked cookies include one dozen or two dozen cookies in a white scalloped-window box tied with a pretty ribbon. Want to make it an extra special gift?

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Choose a cellophane-wrapped, cookie-filled vintage milk glass container. Click here for gorgeous ideas for displaying milk glass in your home – thank you cobistyle! Boxes and milk glass will be tied with a charming ribbon and attached with a label card of your choosing (see below). Milk glass containers vary in shape and size and quantities are very limited. Delivery charges may apply. Local deliveries only.

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I am just starting up my very small-scale business so quantities will be limited. Come on out to Three Wishes on Sunday to have a taste, shop, or place an order to avoid disappointment. It will be a great chance to see Christine’s shop – brimming with vintage treasures – before it closes for the winter, and to meet my talented circle of friends.

Right now I am so busy getting ready for the event but I will post further ordering details on my www.olivetoeat.com site as soon as possible. If you can’t come to the event but want to place an order, please send me an e-mail through my site ([email protected]). Thanks!

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Brilliant Flavour: Streetsville’s Saucy

Milton, you are in for a real treat! Streetsville’s gem of a restaurant, Saucy, will open a second location in Milton soon. The launch party is scheduled for Sunday November 2, 2014. Saucy has been our favourite local spot for celebration meals since it first opened its doors in Streetsville in November 2000. Why? The chef’s talent for creating brilliant flavour combinations shines through on plate after plate. Here is just a taste:

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Pernod Prawns: My favourite appetizer at Saucy and quite possibly in my universe. Not on the menu anymore but if you ask, the chef will graciously make it for you bang on perfect every time. A beautifully composed plate of plump shrimp in a sublime, creamy Pernod sauce with a hint of anise, accented with soft chunks of tomato and chopped chive. Spooned over a soft but wonderfully chewy, grilled garlic baguette – perfect for mopping up the sauce. Garnished with tender-crisp asparagus, lemon, and fresh pea shoots. It just doesn’t get any better than this.

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Crispy Goat Cheese: A swoon-provoking, generous pillow of warm, panko-crusted, creamy chèvre. Garnished with a dollop of sweet raspberry compote. Crostini and balsamic-dressed mixed baby greens on the side.

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Bruschetta: Juicy, marinated Roma tomatoes on two pieces of creamy garlic toast, topped with plenty of paper-thin, shaved parmesan. Garnished with fresh basil chiffonade. Drizzled with balsamic glaze for a touch of sweetness.

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Roasted Veggie Salad: A colourful medley of roasted butternut squash, asparagus, red onion, zucchini and sweet peppers with baby greens, dressed in a well-balanced vinaigrette. Sprinkled with crumbled feta cheese and drizzled with balsamic glaze.

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Grilled Salmon: Nicely grilled and finished with a velvety sauce of puréed butternut squash, sweet maple, and ginger. Roasted garlic potatoes have a delicious crispiness on the outside. Flavourful seasonal vegetables are perfectly cooked.

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Seafood Pasta: Seared shrimp, PEI mussels, and clams over spaghetinni and spinach, tossed in a dreamy goat cheese and basil rosé sauce. Garnished with fresh pea shoots.

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Cedar Plank Scallops: Billowing scallops seared to absolute perfection, caramelized on the outside, tender on the inside; the focus simply on their buttery, nutty sweetness. Big, clean flavour that try as I might, I just can’t stop thinking about. Garnished with sweet shards of honey Dijon pork shoulder, rosemary mirin vinaigrette, and curly green onion.  My son kept begging for my pork but I didn’t mind because the scallops on their own had swept me away.

Recently renovated dining room decor is simply-stated casual elegance – perfect for a business lunch or a special night out. Better acoustics now with modern lux fabric panels and rich drapery. Wrap around floor-to-ceiling windows with nice view of treed park. Late night casual lounge. Summertime sidewalk patio.

Visit Saucy’s website for locations, hours, and menus.

Website: www.saucyinstreetsville.ca

Facebook: www.facebook.com/SaucyInStreetsville

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SaucyGrill

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Holiday Traditions: Crawford’s Village Bakery

My first memory of Crawford’s Village Bakery is of the sweet fragrance of their still warm pies as we stocked them in the Cheeseboard Café’s cooler when I waitressed there back in the 80s. Alison made frequent trips to Crawford’s to keep up with the demand for their delicious, freshly baked fruit pies, like Strawberry Rhubarb and Cherry. I fondly recall the elderly lady who routinely struggled to get to the Cheeseboard just for a prized piece of Blueberry Pie.

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My favourite memories of Crawford’s are the trips my Mom, sisters, and I used to make there every holiday. At Thanksgiving we’d pick up our order of Pumpkin and Dutch Apple Pie (my favourite!).

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At Christmas we ordered Butter Pecan Pie and our Easter order often included Quiche.

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Mom and I loved to browse the shelves for gourmet goodies to embellish our feast,

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stuff in Christmas stockings, or hand out as charming hostess gifts.

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(Top photo) Suc’ Aromatisé flavoured sugars from France – can’t wait to try the Violet. (Middle photo) Martin Pouret French mustard, Safinter Smoked Spanish Paprika, and Terre Exotique Flower Salad from France. (Bottom photo) Guelph, Ontario’s Kitchen Connaisseur.

Our cookie trays included Aunt Maud’s Christmas Fruitcake. Lucy Maud Montgomery was related to the Crawfords. Elaine and Kelly Crawford published Aunt Maud’s Recipe Book from Lucy’s original recipes, which were passed down through the family. You can buy it at Crawford’s.

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Mom always placed a festively-shaped, handcrafted Chocolate Sucker on each grandchild’s plate.

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We often picked up little treats for ourselves to enjoy later like German Chocolate Brownies. In those days, we’d linger over a homemade lunch that Crawford’s used to serve in the adjoining room.

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(Photo) German Chocolate Squares, Butter Tart Squares, and Date Squares.

I still adore going to Crawford’s for pies and gourmet goodies, cherishing the traditions that Mom and I started. Crawford’s was founded in 1967 by Bob and Elaine Crawford who still run it today, with the help of their daughter, Kelly, and friendly staff.

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(Top photo) Some of the happy bakery staff: Angela, Katie, and Jennifer. (Middle photo) Andrea, the talented jam and jelly maker. (Bottom photo) Corry, one of the lovely chocolate ladies.

Throughout all of these years, the quality of Crawford’s products has remained consistently excellent. We have never been disappointed.

The classic fruit pies (Blueberry, Cherry, Dutch Apple, Strawberry Rhubarb, Rhubarb, Rhubarb Cream Cheese, and Butter Pecan) are usually regularly available throughout the year. Summer seasonal pies (available on certain weekends) include such delights as Luscious Lime, Lemon Chiffon, Double Lemon, Lemon Sour Cream, and Blueberry Lemon Crumble.

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Luscious Lime Pie

Apple is available all year until summer’s celebration of Peach. Raisin Pie is available by special order. Butterscotch Pie is baked about six times a year, usually around a holiday or long weekend. Pumpkin and Crimsonberry are available weekly except during the summer.

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Crimsonberry Pie

Lemon Meringue is available on weekends only from fall to spring. Mince and Mincekin pies (pumpkin with a bottom layer of mince) are the joys of Thanksgiving and Christmas. Crawford’s usually features lighter pies at Easter to celebrate spring. Stay tuned to Crawford’s Facebook page for pie schedule announcements. All pies are lovingly made from scratch with a perfect crust and delectable fillings. Crawford’s pies remain the gold standard for pies in our region and are worth every calorie!

The shelves are brimming with artisanal treats and fine imported products like olives, oils, vinegars, pastas, and sauces.

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Local products include The Garlic Box, Credit Valley Gold Honey, and Temple’s Sugar Bush Maple Syrup.

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And of course, Crawford’s homemade Jams, Jellies, and Sauces. Oh, I think I’ll make my Dad’s day and pick him up a jar of Crawford’s Chili Sauce and a Meat Pie.

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I bought my son an old-fashioned Chocolate Cake from Crawford’s for his birthday this year and it was really good. Crawford’s handmade and dipped Chocolate Truffles are far too tempting to resist!

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Leave enough time to hunt for a vintage treasure to buy amongst the antiques that have replaced the little café. Check out the Lucy Maud Montgomery Museum in the same space.

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Businesses like this, run by families like the Crawfords, are an absolute pleasure to write about. Thank you to the Crawford family for years of continued excellent service.

Call ahead to reserve your favourite pie or to place a chocolate order.

Open 7 days a week:
Monday to Saturday from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm and Sundays from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.
Open Thanksgiving Day, Easter Day, Christmas Eve, and New Year’s Eve.
 
Crawford’s Village Bakery & Distinctive Foods
2809 Bovaird Drive West
Brampton, ON (Norval)
 
Telephone: 905-451-0347
Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/Crawfords-Village-Bakery
 
 

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Celebration Tips: Desserts by Michelle & Soft Touch Video

Oh, does Olive have a couple of great tips for you to make your next milestone celebration extra special without breaking the budget! My father didn’t want a fuss over his birthday, so we gathered family around him and ordered Chinese take outs. But how can you pay tribute to 85 years of a life well-lived without doing something extraordinary?

Tip #1: Streetsville’s Desserts by Michelle, a personalized catering and dessert service for the GTA West area, is a great source for well-priced, delicious cakes. With over 20 varieties of cakes, tortes, tarts, and individual desserts to choose from, you will find something to suit every occasion.

My friends have been raving about Michelle’s wonderful desserts for years. The Éclairs, they tell me, are amazing, and so is the Pavlova – crunchy and sweet with gorgeous berries all over it. Madeleine cookies are a staple.  Another favourite is the English Toffee Cake. Michelle wowed the guests at a friend’s birthday party when she served chocolate spoons with bacon as an hors d’oeuvre; they were really good! Click here to check out Michelle’s website and photo gallery.

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I ordered a Black Forest Cake, my Dad’s favourite. Over the years, we have served him a variety of Black Forest cakes from other suppliers – all of which were, in my humble opinion, quite ho hum. Michelle’s version was absolutely lovely. Luxurious but light and fresh, using real ingredients; not overly sweet. Dark chocolate cake – so moist it was almost fudgy – was layered with a tasty red cherry filling and plenty of freshly whipped real cream. It was garnished with dark chocolate and the most divinely juicy, fresh, local dark cherries.

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Oops, got a bit of dripping candle wax in the photo and had to hurry while holding the hungry troops at bay.

It was the best Black Forest Cake I have ever tasted this side of the Black Forest (I did eat one in Germany once). Everyone loved it. It was delivered right to our door in a white box tied with a pretty orange ribbon. For a very reasonable price, we each enjoyed a generous piece and had plenty of leftovers. Michelle is my go-to-girl for celebration cakes (especially Black Forest!) from this point on.

What do you give the person who has everything? Consider a beautiful DVD slideshow featuring photos and video of life’s most memorable moments. Let your pictures and video tell his, her, or their unique story and it will last forever. And here comes Tip #2: Mississauga’s Mike Cederberg, owner and founder of Soft Touch Video, does a fabulous job of converting your photos, film, and video memories to DVD to preserve them, while bringing them to life in a moving and professional presentation – and his prices are fantastic!

Mike has created two DVDs for our family and a number for friends and all turned out great. They are the perfect way to mark a milestone celebration (birthday, anniversary, Bar Mitzvah, graduation), journal a special vacation, or create a lasting memorial tribute of a loved one.

I asked our family to record personal messages for my Dad on video (what he means to us, how he inspired us, or a favourite memory of time spent together, etc.). Mike compiled them, interspersed video with family photos, added creative visual effects and music, and burned a DVD copy for each of us. We played the DVD at the party. The surprise messages from family residing across the continent and overseas who we don’t get to see often were particularly moving. It touched us all and left my Dad, though emotional, beaming from ear to ear. I am so glad we did this for my Dad.

Be sure to click on this link and watch the beautiful slideshow Mike did as a loving tribute to his Mom. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vNOFQx5ZRlc

And here is a link to the slideshow Mike created of a trip he and his wife, Mona, took in 1989. http://vimeo.com/47627333

So, keep these two tips tucked away for the next time your family celebrates a milestone.

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Work Week Treat: Pane E Vino Ristorante

Looking for a great spot for a quick but healthy bite during a busy work week? Tucked in the commercial district of Mississauga’s Brunel Road is a hidden gem: Pane E Vino Ristorante. Slip away from the office into a cool Italian vibe: a clean and bright cafe that serves made-from-scratch, delicious Italian-inspired food. It is a favourite work week spot and office caterer for my friend, Jackie, and her public health nurse colleagues (these nutrition savvy girls know how to eat well). Thanks for the great tip Jackie!

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Pane E Vino Ristorante serves wholesome food that they make fresh daily using all natural ingredients.  Order at the counter. The chalkboard menu includes over ten different gourmet paninis on your choice of Ace Bakery artisan bread, organic soups, and plenty of nutritious salads with optional protein add-ons. Or create your own custom panini.

I ordered the Grilled Turkey Gourmet Panini:  Grilled turkey, roasted sweet peppers, grilled zucchini, and artichoke spread served on artisan bread. I customized it by adding jalapeno peppers and switching the Havarti for chèvre. I forgot to order the lime avocado spread that Jackie loves but savoured the artichoke spread. Delicious, feel good, real food.

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My colleague enjoyed a flavourful custom panini of salty prosciutto, creamy chèvre, peppery baby arugula, and thinly sliced tomato on multigrain bread.

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We couldn’t resist sharing a Chicken Caesar Salad: grilled chicken, buttery Prosciutto di Parma, crisp romaine hearts, house-made garlic croutons, shaved parmesan, and roasted garlic, dressed in classic, homemade Caesar vinaigrette that was wonderfully creamy and garlicky. We both chimed “Mamma mia, this is good.”

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Eat in Pane E Vino’s spacious, licensed cafe or visit their website for a click- and- order on-line catering menu. 

Pane E Vino Ristorante
151 Brunel RD Mississauga
Ontario. L4Z 2H6
 
Telephone: (905) 502.5656
Website: http://pane-vino.ca/index2.html
 
Open:
Monday to Friday 9:00 am to 3:00pm
 

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