The (third) Most Wonderful Time of the Year: Streetsville United Church Harvest of Crafts Sale

Why do I love the Streetsville United Church Harvest of Crafts Sale so much? It’s the most wonderful time of the year, third to Christmas and the Bread & Honey Festival of course! After everyone’s out-of-town summer vacations and busy falls, it is so nice to gather the village of Streetsville under one roof and reconnect. The spirit of community weaves around the Streetsville United Church Women and their wonderful cooking, baking, and crafting and the villagers who attend, and binds us all together. It’s the old-fashioned Streetsville I have always known and loved.

What a great time to get some Christmas shopping done. I always find something unique and well-priced at every show, like handcrafted felt Christmas ornaments. Last year, I bought these Christmas pudding caps for the holiday table (to stick a chocolate in and put at each place setting). Aren’t they adorable?

I always make my first stop the baking table and stock my freezer with homemade shortbread and bars to pull out at Christmas.

There is usually some really fun Hallowe’en baking too but do be sure to get there first thing.

Read more about why I love the Harvest of Crafts Sale here. It is a lot of work for the church ladies and I am grateful they continue to pull it off year after year. It always falls on the last Saturday of October.

Here are this year’s details:
Date: Saturday Oct 29, 2016.
Time: 9:30 am to 3:00 pm
Events: cafe, bake sale, craft sale, outside vendors with a large variety of crafts, face painting, book sale, Attic Treasures.

Streetsville United Church is located at 274 Queen Street South in Streetsville (Mississauga), Ontario. Click here for map.

Read More

Olive Collingwood Farmers Market

What a lovely morning Olive had on Saturday, visiting Collingwood Farmers’ Market with my Dad, sister, and her adorable grandchildren.

This vibrant market is brimming with fresh local produce,

flowers, and well-crafted, small batch, gourmet foods.

The organic produce from Mansfield Heritage Farm is gorgeous! We will be enjoying radishes and purslane salads all week.

I didn’t know that purslane is one of the most nutritious greens and because it is a succulent, it keeps well in your fridge. I haven’t tried it yet but I’ve heard it is delicious: a bit crunchy with notes of lemon.

Look at the flavourful, superfood combinations in these heart-healthy salads, from My Little Chickpea Gourmet. If you can’t make it to Collingwood, My Little Chickpea products (hummus, falafels, salads, and dressings made with fresh, nutrient-dense ingredients) are available in many fine stores across Ontario (click here to find one).

I swear they ate the whole thing themselves without any sacrifices like “Oh honey, it might be really hot. Let me try if first so you don’t burn yourself”. Cabin Bistro, you sure make good corn dogs.

Who doesn’t love dipping a chunk of freshly baked, artisanal bread into a steaming bowl of homemade soup on a crisp fall day? What a great menu from SoupHerb Soup. Darn, I wish I had brought my cooler.

Ooh, la la! My hubby’s favourite childhood treat, freshly baked pain au chocolat: buttery, flaky pastry hand-rolled around a big chunk of fine dark chocolate. You can find French-trained Executive Chef Patrick Bourachot’s delicious hand-rolled croissants (including butter and almond) at the market and a wide variety of his gourmet frozen foods on his website: Chef Patrick’s Gourmet Foods.

But the star of the market has to be Oliver. Be sure to visit his old-fashioned lemonade stand for a pucker-up-perfect glass of lemonade. This charming entrepreneur is raising money for The Hospital for Sick Children. Thank you, Oliver; you are a Sick Kids hero!

Summer may be over but our farmers’ markets are still going strong. Not for long though, most finish up in early October.

Read More

Staycation: Summer in the City

Olive loves traveling around the GTA west, unearthing fine global flavours, and sharing her finds with you. Being the #snaphappy girl that she is, Olive loves the instantaneous power of instagram. But those of you who aren’t on instagram are missing out, so here’s a snapshot of her finds from this past week.

As much as she cherishes the time she is lucky enough to spend with family in Muskoka and Montreal, a staycation in the city is pretty nice too.  These boots are made for walking, so that’s just what Olive did this week…from one end of the GTA west to the other.

Georgetown Farmers’ Market with one of my besties on Saturday morning. Read why I love Georgetown Farmers’ Market here:

Thiessen Farms #georgetownfarmersmarket #olivetoeat #unearthingglobalflavours #gtawest #iloveartichokes

A photo posted by Olive (@olive_to_eat) on

And then Jerkfest in Etobicoke with our families Saturday night. What a great night that was!


A video posted by Olive (@olive_to_eat) on

And a celebration lunch at Jamie’s Italian at Square One with my husband and son. How do you celebrate summer?

Guess where I am? #Sauga #jamielove

A photo posted by Olive (@olive_to_eat) on

Read More

Sharing the Love: Saucy in Streetsville’s Small Plates

How did date night with hubby turn into such a bountiful feast? #hungerpains #hubbylove #saucylove. Saucy, you make the best appetizers! It’s hard to choose from the many delicious options, so we ordered a few (a lot) to share and called it dinner. Thank goodness I did most of the talking while hubby did most of the eating. Each bite was worth every calorie.

Top left clockwise:

Braised Beef Poutine: chunks of gooey Quebec cheese curds and tender braised beef in a rich jus over Yukon frites

Pernod Prawns: so decadent and my all time fave. I have raved about before here

Caesar Salad: fresh garlic dressing over crisp romaine. Garnished with big chunks of warm bacon, crunchy croutons, and shaved parmesan

Mussels: poached in a garlic, white wine, and tomato broth and served with grilled bread to mop it all up

Spiducci: skewers of tiny cubes of succulent lamb marinated in Indian tandoori spices and grilled to perfection. Served with mint coriander sauce.

Saucy in Streetsville111 Queen St. S
Streetsville, ON
L5M 1K7



Read More

Postcard from Montreal: Restaurant Damas

Need ideas for a trip to Montreal this summer? Feasting at Van Horne Avenue’s Damas is like a magical night in a sultan’s tent. You’ll be charmed by this Syrian restaurant’s opulent but modern décor, attentive staff, and lively ambiance but it’s the food that will blow your mind. Damas serves the best middle eastern food that we have ever tasted – and that’s coming from my husband’s family (who have Syrian roots and have eaten middle eastern across the globe).

You come to Damas to eat, so come hungry. Order the tasting menu, a traditional Syrian mezze of small plates; Damas makes it an outstanding gastronomical experience. The chef will surprise you with his choice of course after course of little works of art: refined, traditional recipes with creative touches that will leave you swooning.  Here are a few instagram photos of the tasting menu we enjoyed recently with our brother and sister-in-law. Sorry the photos don’t do the food justice – I was too busy enjoying the food and conversation to focus.

Cold mezzes started with fattouch salad, finely chopped so that every bite was a medley of flavour: romaine lettuce, radish, tomato, cucumber, sweet pepper, and mint, topped with grilled pita and crimson pomegranate seeds, in traditional lemon vinaigrette spiked with Aleppo pepper and sumac. Isn’t beet mutabbal (a puree of roasted beets and nutty tahina paste) so pretty? Mouhammara is seductive dip of roasted sweet red peppers, nuts, tomato, lemon, pomegranate molasses, and Aleppo pepper. I have a recipe for mouhammara on my blog but I wish I knew how Damas makes theirs divine. The hummus is silky smooth and dead-on delicious, the best hummus I have ever tasted. With house-baked pita, served warm and puffy. I should note that this photo shows the portions I put on my plate and not how the chef plated them.

Oh my god…the best hummus, fattouche, and muhamarra I have ever tasted. And the kibbeh nayeh phenomenal.

A photo posted by Olive (@olive_to_eat) on

The Arabs have an even better version of steak tartar, called kibbé nayyé: finely minced, top-quality raw beef with bulgur and seven spices. Damas stuffs theirs with mouhammara, mint, and pine nuts, and garnishes with shaved onions and house-made chili puree. A real delicacy.

Kibbeh nayeh… phenomenal

A photo posted by Olive (@olive_to_eat) on

But we are just getting started. Next in line are succulent proteins grilled over an open charcoal fire.

#youcametodamasyouareheretoeat #syriancuisine #montreal #chargrilled #tastingmenu

A video posted by Olive (@olive_to_eat) on

I’ve never been a fan of octopus but Damas chargrills it and serves it with a chickpea salad. My son will be happy to know I now love octopus.

Grilled octopus salad with cilantro puree

A photo posted by Olive (@olive_to_eat) on

Chargrilled sea bass on a pool of tarator (a sauce made from ground sesame paste, garlic, lemon, and cumin) is already my favourite fish meal but Damas blows it out of the water. Tarator sauce is easy to make at home and pairs especially well with grilled fish but also chicken or beef. I have a recipe for it on my blog (my husband’s family calls it tahina).

The totally unexpected fillet mignon of veal was fabulous: deglazed with lemon, garlic, and Aleppo pepper. Served with confit tomatoes and tiny cubes of crisp potatoes.

Filet mignon of veal. Fabulous

A photo posted by Olive (@olive_to_eat) on

Lamb chops were dusted with seven spices and chargrilled to sheer perfection, as soft as butter. Served on a drizzle of baba ghannouj (smoky, grilled eggplant mashed with ground sesame paste, lemon, and garlic).

Dessert is not included in the tasting menu but don’t miss the orange blossom baklava ice cream: rich vanilla ice cream perfumed with orange blossom water and spiked with chunks of sticky sweet baklava….heavenly.  And the fresh mint tea is so fresh and minty.

Mint tea how it is mint to be

A photo posted by Olive (@olive_to_eat) on

Gorgeous glass lanterns are strung across the ceilings. Click the link to the Damas website to see photos of their beautiful interior.

Beautiful ambiance

A photo posted by Olive (@olive_to_eat) on

There is an outdoor terrace, two rooms, and a bar beside the charcoal grill (which is entertaining in cooler weather but a bit too toasty in the summer). Make reservations well in advance; this place has earned its popularity. The tasting menu is available for entire table only. It’s expensive but so worth it. Make Damas your special night out.

Restaurant Damas
1201 Ave. Van Horne
Montreal, QC   H2V 1K4

Telephone: 514-439-5435




Read More