That would pretty much describe April in the Zengarry Kitchen! I've dusted off my flip flops and packed up my toques and mitts at last!
It feels so good to have the sun on my face and my hands back in the dirt of my garden! I bet I"m not the only one planning my garden and preparing my beds. I'll tell you one thing I will NOT be planting again this year... eggplants. I had 4 huge beautiful healthy plants last year and lost every flower with not a fruit in sight. So disappointing! If you have any advice for me, I'd love to hear it. I was really looking forward to Ratatouille fresh from my own garden.
My biggest highlight of April is that I finally made the decision to devote myself full time to my passion. After 18 years with Health Canada, I am trading in my lab coat for an apron. Tomorrow is my last day.. my office is packed, good-bye lunch is scheduled. Sniff.
I had to create a new word to describe my feelings about this: scary-exciting. Scary because I had to tell my mother I was giving up my regular pay check and pension plan. Exciting because now I can focus all of my attention on my Zengarry baby.
But to me, cooking is not so different from Biology. My kitchen is my lab. A pinch of this and a few dabs of that, ferment it for a while, toss it in the Vitamix and see what happens. Sometimes it's a smashing success, sometimes it ends up in the compost heap. But that's ok ... sometimes you have to throw caution to the wind!
Here's the three part breakdown of what April looked like for us.
What we ate...
What we did...
Where we went...
What's coming up in May...
This weekend we are headed to TORONTO for Zengarry samplings at Mount Albert Foodland and Yamchops, Canada's first Vegetarian Butcher Shop. We are thrilled to now be able to offer our products to the GTA! Find out more on our Upcoming Events page.
We now have a distributor in Quebec helping make Zengarry Cashew Cheeses available ALL OVER the province! Keep your eyes peeled in May for new locations popping up soon!
As of next week you will be able to get your favourite Zengarry goodies delivered to your door in Ottawa by Good Food 2 U.
With this cool weather we've been enjoying here, it's hard to believe that May is right around the corner! This is exciting to me for a couple of reasons...
First, I have decided to finally take the leap and leave my job of 17 years at Health Canada! As you can imagine, this was a decision that I've been wrestling with for some time now. As of May 1st I will be a full time 'Cheese-ologist' and Entrepreneur!
And secondly, Cinco de Mayo is a perfect excuse to have a Mexican FIESTA!!!
Mexican food is another one of my passions. I could very easily eat it EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
I have said this before, but I believe guacamole should be a food group.
This particular Fiesta revolves around my latest kitchen creation.... Zengarry Queso Sauce! It is authentically delicious, calls for only 4 ingredients, and takes 5 minutes to pull together. You'll want to put it on EVERYTHING!!
Zengarry Queso Sauce
1 package of Zengarry Smokey Jalapeño Cashew Cheese
1/2 cup of unsweetened almond milk
1/2 cup prepared salsa
Cayenne pepper to taste (REMEMBER.. a little goes a long way! Just a pinch will do!)
In a small sauce pan combine Zengarry Smokey Jalapeño Cashew Cheese and almond milk over medium low heat. Chop the cheese with a spoon and whisk until smooth and creamy. Add salsa and cayenne pepper and warm. Not too much, you don't want it to boil or stick to the pan!
Smother your nachos in it, add some to your chili, put it on your celery sticks, or try one of these mouth watering recipes...
-We received our newly designed, chakra colour coded labels, which we introduced at Expo Manger Santé et Vivre Vert in Montreal. You will now find them in all stores carrying our products!
-We launched a new blog called 'Things Lynda Loves' that showcases some of the places, products and people that are making a difference in the world.
-We launched the French version of our website and put out our first bilingual newsletter. Read it here.
-We reached 1500 followers on Facebook!
-We bought a new (to us) minivan.... we just kept running out of room for all those cheeses!!
-We welcomed two new members onto Team Zengarry! Welcome Annick and Jen!!
Where we went.....
-Then we took a little trip to Wellington to introduce Zengarry's vegan cheeses to the first certified vegan winery in North America... Karlo Estates. A match made in heaven.
-We exhibited at Expo Manger Santé et Vivre Vert at the Palais des congrés in Montreal for the first time ever. Great event, great venue, great people! We were very proud to be a part of the biggest healthy food show in Quebec!
-We headed out to Metcalf last week to make our first Zengarry delivery to the Mecalf Farmer's store. A totally adorable little store brimming with products from local farmers, local food producers and local artisans. We are thrilled to be included among their wares and we definitely recommend making the trip out there.
What's coming up in April...
April 18th and 19th we will be back in Ottawa at the Shaw Centre for the Live the Smart Way Expo. Don't miss this brand new event organized by Ottawa's Gluten-free sweetheart, Kathy Smart and her team.
We will also be taking a field trip to Smart Greens; an Urban farm in the middle of downtown Cornwall, Ontario. This is the latest innovation in farming, in a shipping container!
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