Category Orangeville, Collingwood, Barrie

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.

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Barrie’s Hip, Fresh Family Resto: The Farmhouse

Barrie’s The Farmhouse puts a fresh, hip spin on family dining with a focus on farm-to-table, locally sourced food. Here’s a quick glimpse of a great night we enjoyed while dining there with family this fall.

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Good variety of starters to choose from, like freshly-shucked PEI oysters or french onion soup brimming with cheese.

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French onion soup and freshly shucked PEI oysters.

Entrées come with two sides from a choice of eleven, including: roast garlic mash, baked potato with three cheese bacon butter, mac’n’cheese, daily soup, daily grain, three types of salads, and baked beans.

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Roasted chicken with garden herb pesto, farmhouse greens salad, and baked beans.

Side salads, like romaine salad with house-smoked bacon and parmesan vinaigrette, are served in charming mason jars.

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Romaine salad with parmesan vinaigrette.

Feltis Farm fries are served in mini deep fryer baskets.

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Flaxseed-crusted seared tuna with Feltis Farm fries and daily salad.

The side daily vegetable that night was a delicious combo of pretty beets and fresh kale sautéed in thyme butter. The daily salad had beets in it too. A healthy dose of fresh vegetables – olive it!

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Crispy trout with maple lemon butter, daily salad, and daily vegetable.

The crispy trout with maple lemon butter was so darn good: crisp exterior with a touch of sweetness; rich and moist inside. Others at our table enjoyed the garlic rosemary braised lamb shank, the farmhouse signature roast beef with thyme peppercorn goodness, and the flaxseed-crusted seared tuna with wasabi mayo.

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Flaxseed-crusted seared tuna with wasabi mayo and daily salad.

Lots of other creative, farm-to-table-fresh dishes on the menu, including weekend breakfast. Located in a historical building with outdoor patios overlooking the waterfront. A great reason to hop off the 400 on your way up north.

The Farmhouse
268 Bradford Street
Barrie, ON, L4N 3B8
 
Telephone: 705-737-0522
 
Twitter: https://twitter.com/farmhousebarrie
 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Farmhouse/162551217235154?fref=ts

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The Hills of Headwater’s Hidden Gem: Hockley Valley Resort

My BFF washed away my winter blues recently when she treated me to an afternoon at Hockley Valley Resort, a hidden gem tucked in the scenic Hills of Headwaters near Orangeville, Ontario. The kids skied to their hearts’ delight while she taught me how to knit. The best part of the afternoon was the unexpected pleasures we enjoyed while lunching in Babbo – the wine and cheese tasting lounge in this elegant resort’s lobby.

Babbo’s décor is chic modern: an under-lit white stone bar draws your eye to the floor-to-ceiling glass doors of the impressive wine cellar, pretty lighting accents like jewelry, and an atrium of windows facing the hill brings in natural light. Come off the hill into a relaxed atmosphere, thanks to the friendly staff.

The wine list features wines from around the world, focussing on Niagara and Prince Edward County. It won the 2010 VQA Restaurant Award of Excellence. Babbo’s wine list is about to become even more local: Executive Chef John Paul Adamo (president and owner of Hockley Valley Resort) has planted a vineyard on top of the hill and expects to add first wines to the list soon.

The resort boasts a two-acre fruit and vegetable garden, which supplies ninety percent of the seasonal produce served at Hockley. Preserves and quality ingredients from the best local farmers and suppliers contribute to a farm-to-table experience.

Chef Renato Ciani treated us to tastings from the resort’s open concept restaurant, cabin, which serves a full farm-to-table lunch and dinner menu (changing weekly) and is named after the first building built on the property in 1865. House-made focaccia is flavourful and chewy, strewn with caramelized onions, and served with a luxurious mascarpone butter seasoned with sea salt and chives.

Hockley_Focaccia

The handmade tortellini is stuffed with ricotta, parmesan and a mascarpone, cauliflower purée that oozes out into the butter sauce; salty house-cured speck and peppery arugula contrast beautifully in this memorable, #lickyourplate dish.

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Babbo offers a small lunch menu, including cheese and house-made charcuterie. A medley of Cerignola, Barese, Kalamata, and Colossal Green olives are marinated overnight with bay leaves, chili, and garlic and rewarmed with rosemary and citrus zest. White bean hummus is dusted with smoked paprika. Crostini is handcrafted by local 100-Acre Bakery.

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The dough for the house-made Catalan flatbread – coca, Spanish-style pizza – is faintly sweetened with honey and milk, rolled out thin and crisp, and topped with a peperonata of roasted peppers and onions, house-made chorizo sausage, fresh arugula, sweet Saba balsamic reduction, and grated Manchego Reserva cheese. A lovely balance of flavours and textures.

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The cabin burger is pure beef flavour of 100% pure house-ground Ontario artisan chuck, salt, and pepper (no fillers, antibiotics, or hormones). It’s topped with smoked and braised short ribs, cured tomato marmellata, oven-roasted tomato, coleslaw, house-made pickles, on a 100-Acre brioche bun. Served with Chef Renato’s house-made ketchup (containing at least nineteen ingredients) and house-cut fries. If you’ve been staving off a burger craving, give into this one.

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Even the ski cafeteria is inspired by Executive Chef John Paul Adamo’s vision. The Dirty Turco is two house-made artisan burgers topped with house-smoked pulled pork, vintage cheddar, caramelized onion, Walnut Hill bacon, guacamole, and house-made barbeque sauce. Poutine offerings include house-cut Yukon Gold fries with vintage cheddar, Walnut Hill bacon, and house-made gravy or with house-smoked pulled pork, scallions, sour cream, and house-made barbeque sauce. That’s a long way from the ski cafeterias of my youth.

Hockley Valley Resort is a year-round full-service hotel, ski, golf, and special event destination. It’s close enough to the GTA West to scoot up for a special meal but once there you’ll want to stay longer and enjoy all that the resort and the region have to offer, in any season. I haven’t stayed overnight but am dreaming of a romantic get-away with my husband. Honey, are you listening? Honey?

Hockley Valley Resort
793522 3rd Line EHS
Mono, ON L9W 5X7
 
Telephone: 519-942-0754
Toll Free: 1-866-HOCKLEY (462-5539)
Twitter: https://twitter.com/HockleyVResort
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HockleyValleyResort
Website: www.hockley.com
Directions: http://www.hockley.com/Contact#directions
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