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Archive for September 2012

Alfredo Friday | Little Mushroom Catering

Friday, September 28, 2012

Hi Everyone!  To kick things off with *Alfredo Friday* I'm featuring my favourite caterer, Stephanie Tanner, who owns Little Mushroom Catering!  Not only have I had the utmost pleasure of capturing all of the yummy food she's created, but we've been close friends throughout the creation of her business and I feel so proud of her and all of her amazing accomplishments over the past few years (ahem, I do believe someone catered for Ms. K.D Lang last night....;)).

One of the great things about Little Mushroom is that Stephanie purchases her ingredients from local farms and markets.  It's not every day you get a super-busy caterer who takes the time to, not only make sure she's supporting local, but is also making sure her Clients are being fed fresh, naturally grown produce and meats.

To give you an even better sense of who she is, as well as her food-philosophy, I've come up with a few short and sweet questions for Stephanie to answer:

1. Name/Business Name:
My name is Stephanie Tanner of Little Mushroom Catering

2. Who do you love catering for?

I love catering for the KW Symphony, local artists and companies who support the arts, like WalterFedy and Communitech. 

3. Favourite Farm/Market.
My favourite Farm is Herrles Market for produce in the summer. I shop year-round at Oakridge Acres outside of Ayr for hormone-free locally raised meats including boar sausage from Perth Pork. I also love my local fish monger, T&J Seafood on Elm Street. Amazing family-run family-oriented service and great quality at all of these places.

4. Favourite meal to make for your kids.
My favourite meal for my kids is Broccoli Cheddar Soup. It's healthy, includes three of the food groups and they love it everytime! 

5. Best food-related experience ever.
My best food-related experience might be the first time I cooked scallops. I don't personally eat a lot of seafood other than fish and had a request for scallops for an event I was catering. The first time I practiced making them, I fed them to my landlords and they said they were the best scallops they had ever tasted. When I made them for my catering they all turned out absolutely wonderful and there were many compliments to the chef from the guests!

6. Name one mistake people make when purchasing food (ie: not buying local, buying the wrong wine for their meal, etc etc).
People often think that creating food for special dietary concerns means you have to purchase everything at high-end health food stores. For the most part, if you are buying fresh foods from people you get to know and trust, your dietary concerns become less of a restriction as you realize the other more cost-effective food solutions that are readily available.

7. Who is your dream Client?
I have served some famous Canadians over the years, including David Suzuki, Steven Page and recently KD Lang, but my dream clients are those who truly appreciate the food and how it is made and grown, no matter what their station in life. My dream client is anyone who loves food for the simplicity of flavours that complement each other without the flounce of extraneous garnish or exotic ingredients.

8. And finally, which food(s) do you think photographs beautifully? 
I love the way my fresh vegetables photograph. In particular, one of my favourite food shots is of my cucumber, tomato, basil & bocconcini mini salad skewers with balsamic. It's sleek, sexy and looks absolutely mouth-watering.

Steph, thank you so much again for being my very first *Alfredo Friday* feature!!  I'll take pictures of 
sexy salad skewers for you any day!! 

Little Mushroom Catering
Twitter: @CateringFungi

one dough wednesdays | Simple Garlic Bread | Kitchener Food Photograher

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

OK, how many different types of bread do you think I can make while using the same bread-base recipe :)). Tonight's garlic bread was excellent with dinner (stuffed pasta shells and red sauce!).  It was especially nice with a little extra butter and I know it would have been fabulous with melted cheese on top.

Below you'll find the recipe for my base bread dough, as well as the measurements for the additional ingredients for this specific garlic loaf.  It's taken me about a year to have somewhat perfected this recipe and hopefully you'll get it on the first go!

Basic Bread Dough

2.5 tsp bread machine yeast (I do not make my bread in a bread machine, but really like using this specific yeast for making bread in general).
1/8 cup of white sugar (for the yeast to eat :)
1 and 1/3 cups of hot water

4 cups of bread flour
2 tsp salt

1 egg white

1. Measure yeast and pour into mixer (I have a Kitchenaid with a dough hook and these work SO well for me).  Pour white sugar over top the yeast.  Pour in hot water, and allow yeast, sugar and water to sit.
2. Allow yeast to activate for about 8-10 minutes (you will see it rise to the surface of the water).
3. Pour in flour and salt and mix very well, adding a little extra water if dough is dry, and a little extra flour if the dough is too wet.
4. Once a ball of dough has been formed, place in a greased bowl and cover for about 30 minutes (your dough should rise and double in size).
5. After 30 minutes, punch down the dough and shape into a loaf.  Place on a sheet of parchment paper and allow to rise again (for about 15-20 minutes).
6. Separate egg white and brush on top of loaf.  Bake in oven for about 18 minutes.

Extra Ingredients for Garlic Loaf:
While adding flour and salt, also add 2 tsp basil and one whole head of garlic, minced (about 8 cloves).

Monday Salads | Kitchener Food Photographer

Monday, September 24, 2012

If there's one thing healthier for you, it's simplified salads!  The original idea for chopped salads comes from my lovely neighbour Sarah, who chops every ingredient so they're perfect, bite-sized pieces of veggie goodness :)). There are 3 simple rules to adhere to when creating a Monday salad: 1. Choose fresh, locally-grown lettuces and vegetables, 2. Chop EVERYTHING, and 3. Create your salad on Monday and store in a ziplock or parchment bag (everything should keep until Friday).

My salad today is made of:  One head of Swiss Chard, a couple of handfuls of broccoli, half a red pepper, one large-ish green onion and one whole zucchini (instead of chopping the zucchini, shred it!).

A simple olive oil and balsamic vinegar mix is the perfect dressing (and add small blocks of cheddar cheese if you're craving something heavier).

I hope you enjoy the photos!  Remember to keep your salads as simple as can be - pre-making them on Monday helps me stay focused and get my veggies in for every lunch and dinner up to Friday!

High five!!