Category Cheese Makers & Cheese Markets

Splendour in the Grass: Mill Street Cheese Market

Mill_Street Cheese_Market

Bring an empty picnic basket to Georgetown’s Mill Street Cheese Market and load up with a moveable feast of well-crafted, artisanal cheese and other goodies.

Picnic from Mill Street Cheese Market

We chose a delicious Scottish Claret Cheddar (surprisingly creamy with fruity red wine notes), a luxurious Grand Crème Delin triple cream from France, and a decadent St. Agur (our true-blue friend that never fails to please). Store-made baguette crisps are the perfect foil. Melt-in-your-mouth, spicy Mennonite summer sausage and pickled hot-n-sweet cherry peppers balance the richness of the cheeses. And to refresh, the French version of lemonade, a sparking limonade by Rième. On your way, pick up some seasonal fruit from a local farm market (Alisons’ Farm Market or Georgetown Farmers’ Market).

Find your favourite secluded spot – perhaps in a vintage orchard or at the edge of a babbling creek. Spread out and then lose yourself in midsummer’s magic: gentle breezes, chirping crickets, happy butterflies, perhaps a glimpse of a timid deer. Summer celebrated in one afternoon, a lifetime of love in one moment.


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Stocking Up For Christmas: Cheese Boutique

One stop at Cheese Boutique and all stocked up with gourmet treats for the holidays!


Christmas is the perfect time to indulge in fine cheese. So easy for entertaining, so luxurious. I asked the experts at Cheese Boutique to describe three cheeses they might like to serve on their own cheeseboard this Christmas.



Brebiou: a sheep’s milk cheese from the Basque region of France. Very ripe due to its 4 months of wet aging. Quite mild with a nice finish.


Glengarry Celtic Blue

Glengarry Celtic Blue: a soft, creamy cow’s milk blue with a mild, buttery flavour. Produced in Glengarry, Ontario by award-winning Glengarry Fine Cheese.


Majestic Henry

Majestic Henry: A pasteurized cow’s milk cheese, aged in barley and Samuel Adams Boston Lager. Developed by Cheese Boutique co-owner Afrim Pristine in conglomeration with Samuel Adams. Made in Quebec exclusively for Cheese Boutique. Aged 6 months in-house. Named after Afrim Pristine’s dog (the rind resembles his coat).

Go for the glorious cheeses and come back with so much more. Cheese Boutique is brimming with gourmet goodies from around the world. Cole’s Great British Christmas Pudding from England, Kirriemuir Gingerbread with Candied Orange from Scotland, JCQ Almond Filled Pastry Ring from Holland, and DiGennaro Marrons Glacés from Italy are just some of the special Christmas treats.

Cheese Boutique has the widest variety of marzipan I have ever seen. There are marzipan chocolates, fruits and ladybugs…


Marzipan ladybugs and fruit.

and adorable, little marzipan pigs.


Traditional marzipan pigs.

I am smitten with these beautiful marzipan squares from luxury Belgian chocolatier Neuhaus. It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!


Beautiful Neuhaus marzipan squares.

You’ll find great gourmet stocking stuffers, hostess gifts, and special delicacies to make your Christmas extraordinary.

Merry Christmas!

Cheese Boutique
45 Ripley Avenue
Toronto, ON
M6S 3P2
Telephone:  416-762-6292
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Georgetown Farmers’ Market: Olive It!

I adore Georgetown Farmers’ Market. It is a vibrant, bustling farmers’ market that runs right down the middle of scenic Main Street in historic downtown Georgetown, Ontario.


The market offers plenty of fresh, seasonal produce from some of my favourite local farmers, such as Allison’s Farm Market (who are literally located just down the road). I love everything from Allison’s; I am crazy about their corn, which they expect will be ready mid-July.


Andrews’ Scenic Acres, another one of my favourites, brings in their delicious produce from their farm in Halton Hills. The air around this booth was perfumed with the sweet fragrance of these juicy strawberries. Mmm, I could be happy with a baguette, a wedge of St. Andre’s cheese, a basket of cherries, and a shady spot to share at a river’s edge.


There is lots of really good baking, including butter tarts from Andrews’ Scenic Acres and fruit strudel from The Strudel Lady.


Even the Glen Oven Tea Room gets into the spirit and spills out onto the sidewalk with their scones, cookies, and artisanal bread. A friend told me their Whole Wheat Muesli – a breakfast bread with raisins, cranberries, walnuts, and sunflower seeds – is “sooo delicious”. My son loves their Hearty Seed bread so much, he polished off a loaf in one day (we do feed him regularly, I promise).


Georgetown Farmers’ Market is the only market west of Toronto where I can find Toronto-based Saha International Cuisine products (though they are available at a few stores in the region). Made following traditional recipes, Saha’s sauces and marinades are all-natural, additive-free, preservative-free, gluten-free, trans fat-free, and cholesterol free.


Mixed with a bit of yogurt their Shish Taouk marinade yields succulent, flavourful chicken (I use boneless, skinless chicken thighs). Thai Red Curry is a warm, fragrant base for a delicious chicken stir fry; simmer with some coconut milk for a little taste of heaven – Thai style.


Here’s another reason why I love Georgetown Farmers’ Market. There is a great little butcher shop, McMaster’s Meats & Deli, right beside the market on Main Street. Old fashioned butcher, friendly service, great range of fresh meats, deli meats (they cook their own preservative-free beef, turkey, pork, and ham), and gourmet products. Their Stuffed Chicken Breasts are wonderful.

McMasters Georgetown

And midway through the market, just a couple of steps down a side street, is the fabulous Mill Street Cheese Market. Read why I love this pretty little fromagerie here. Be sure to stroll in on market day for samples of their wonderful products. Pick up some cheese and bread to go along with those cherries and you’ve got the makings of a great picnic.


Georgetown Farmers’ Market

Every Saturday, from 8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., June 7th to October 18th, 2014.

Located on Main Street South between Church Street and James Street, in historic downtown Georgetown (Halton Hills). Please note: the East lane is empty because the Fire Department requires a Fire Lane for access to buildings and quick response routes. DO NOT BLOCK the lane for any reason or amount of time. You can be ticketed.

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Easy Breezy Summer Apps: Fresh Nibbles to Download to Your Dock or Deck

Here are some quick ideas for easy breezy assembly-only appetizers to download to your dock or deck this summer.  Gather some fresh and seasonal ingredients, make a few simple slices, and then assemble into beautiful and delicious appetizers that will leave you with more time to spend with your happy guests. Who wants to be in the kitchen when you can be down on the dock?

Spanish Twist: Peaches with Serrano Ham, Creamy Blue, & Honey

Wow your guests with a little Spanish flare: Spanish-style serrano ham, creamy blue cheese, and honey compliment juicy peaches, beautifully. Spanish food is hot in Toronto right now. Bring a little Barcelona to your own backyard.

Peaches with Serrano Ham, Creamy Blue, & Honey


Peaches – pick out some fragrant, ripe Ontario-grown beauties.

Mild, creamy blue cheesemy favourite is Devil’s Rock Creamy Blue Cheese. The sharpness of this milder blue is softened by the creamy, rich texture of the cheese.

Serrano ham – Spanish-style dry-cured ham (similar to prosciutto). I use the Campesino brand.

Honey – use your best honey. Try some wonderful, locally produced wildflower honey such as Gibbs. Gibbs bees live the good life, on a former Christmas tree farm (in Canfield, Ontario), surrounded by mixed pines, wildflowers, clover, pastures, and hay fields.


  1. Let the blue cheese come to room temperature to be easier to spread. The serrano ham should also be served at room temperature. Cut the ham into strips narrower than the width of the peach (so both ends of the peach will show through when you wrap it around) and long enough to wrap around the slice at least 1 ½ times.
  2. Just before serving, slice the peaches into wedges. Smear a touch of blue cheese on each slice. Wrap with serrano ham. Drizzle with plenty of good honey. Serve immediately.


Balsamic-Drizzled Strawberries Stuffed with Prosciutto & Arugula

My friend attended an evening at a friend’s cottage on Prince Edward Island and came back with this delicious and different approach to the old standby of melon and prosciutto. The arugula adds a slight peppery punch that pairs well with the sweet tartness of the strawberries and balsamic glaze. The prosciutto brings in a touch of salt, leaving a wonderfully balanced combination of flavours in your mouth.

  Balsamic Drizzled Strawberries Stuffed with Prosciutto & Arugula


Strawberries – locally grown and sweet. Strawberries in August? Well yes, if you buy local berries grown on ever-bearing plants that produce wonderful fruit right up until frost.

Prosciutto – buy the best you can find. I use Longo’s Prosciutto di Parma (ask for it at their deli counter).

Arugula – try to find baby arugula. Longo’s Organic Baby Arugula is tiny and perfect.

Balsamic glazeI use De Nigris Balsamic Glaze. Don’t bother making your own. This glaze is priced right, keeps well, and best of all, comes in a squeezable bottle so you can add some drama to your drizzle.



  1. Slice the top off the strawberries to remove the hull and leave a clean cut.
  2. Cut a small piece of prosciutto (big enough that you can fold it over once or twice and fit it nicely inside the strawberry); place the prosciutto on the cut side of one strawberry half.
  3. Place a small leaf of arugula (folded if necessary but you want a little green sticking out) on top of the prosciutto.
  4. Place the other strawberry half on top; secure both halves with a toothpick. Place on a serving platter and drizzle a generous amount of balsamic glaze over top in an artful but haphazard pattern. Serve immediately.


Tomato Bocconcini Basil Skewers

When local tomatoes are in season, you can’t beat this colourful summer classic of juicy tomatoes, soft mini buffalo mozzarella cheese balls, the lovely licorice note of fragrant basil, a generous drizzle of balsamic glaze, and a sprinkling of crunchy sea salt.

Tomato Bocconcini Basil Skewers


Cherry tomatoes – choose the ripest, most colourful, locally grown cherry tomatoes you can find. And for heaven’s sake, please don’t store them in your fridge.

Fresh basil leaves – hope you are lucky enough to have some growing in your garden!

Mini buffalo mozzarella cheese ballstop quality is crucial here. Bella Casara Mini Buffalo Mozzarella Soft Cheese is made from 100% buffalo milk. It’s locally produced in Vaughan, Ontario by family-run Quality Cheese Inc.

Balsamic glazeI use De Nigris Balsamic Glaze. Don’t bother making your own. This glaze is priced right, keeps well, and best of all, comes in a squeezable bottle so you can add some drama to your drizzle.

Good quality sea salt

Mini skewers


  1. Cut the fresh basil leaves in long, wide strips (along the length of the leaf); wrap one strip around each cheese ball and skewer.
  2. Anchor a cherry tomato at the bottom of the skewer.
  3. Sprinkle with sea salt and drizzle with plenty of balsamic glaze. Serve immediately.


The Details:

Devil’s Rock Creamy Blue Cheese:
Available for order online from the producer, Thornloe Cheese.
Or locally from: Longo’s, Loblaws, Starsky Fine Foods, Sobeys, and Cheese Boutique. Call fist to ensure availability.
Devil's Rock Creamy Blue Cheese
Campesino Serrano Ham: available at Longo’s.
Serrano Ham
Gibbs Honey: Operated by 4th generation beekeeper Russell Gibbs. Hives in Canfield, Ontario.
Available at Centro Farmers’ Market every Sunday (between 9:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m.) from July until it sells out.
Or order directly from Gibbs’ website by filling out the contact form (but hurry before it sells out):
  Gibbs Honey
De Nigris Balsamic Glaze: Sweeter and thicker balsamic reduction in handy squirt bottle. Available at Longo’s.
Bella Casara Mini Buffalo Mozzarella Soft Cheese: produced in Vaughan, Ontario by family-run Quality Cheese Inc.
Available at: Longo’s, Whole Foods, Loblaws. Call ahead to ensure availability.
Bella Casara & De Nigris
Reusable bamboo skewers: (in photo of Tomato Bocconcini Basil Skewers) courtesy of
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Memories of May

I can still hear the screen door slam behind me as I run into the loving embrace of my apron-adorned Grandmother where she stands, heart wide open, in her happy kitchen. She left us long ago but her twinkling smile still sparkles in my heart.

I can see her, clear as day, coming in from the backyard with an apron full of ripe cherries she just picked from her cherry tree. I can taste the tartness of the plump, ruby coloured, juicy jewels that she loaded in her cherry pie.

I will always remember the life lessons she taught me, like “two wrongs don’t make a right” or:

Love is like a magic penny.
Hold it tight and you won’t have any.
Lend it, spend it and you’ll have so many,
they’ll roll all over the floor.

Or to share what you have whenever you can. During hard times homeless people knew that if they knocked on her door, they could always count on my Grandmother to share whatever food she had.

Her name was Miriam but they called her May for short, having been born on the 31st of May. Today would have been her birthday. In honour of May’s birthday, I am enjoying a mid-morning snack of a handful of luscious black cherries that are the perfect foil for a small, sinful smear of buttery St. André (a soft ripened cheese crafted in Normandy, France). Olive black cherries with St. André cheese. It’s dessert without the guilt. I will wash it down with a spot of tea in this pretty and very special tea cup that was passed down to me. It was May’s birthday tea cup. Look, it has lilies of the valley and the word “May” printed on it. Isn’t it lovely?

St. Andrés Black Cherries

It’s as lovely as May. Love you Grandma…and I saved the tea bag.


St. André cheese: Ile de France (available at Longo’s)

Teapot: Available from cobistyle.

Bouquet of lily-of-the-valley: Thanks to my husband. He surprises me every spring with a hand-picked bouquet. He says I look like May.

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