Grey Cup Grub

It shouldn’t come as a surprise, even though our local Stampeders weren’t able to pull out a win last weekend, that we’re all pretty excited for the Grey Cup around here.  Call us football fans or food fans or… both!

Whether you’re hosting your friends or heading to a party, you wouldn’t want to fumble on the opening kickoff and show up without food, right?  And with everyone else rushing to the frozen snack aisle like a possessed linebacker… *ahem* we mean flocking to the grocery stores last minute to stand in long lines, we’d like to share some of the incredible (and tasty) things you can find right here in one stop.  Ready?  Huddle up, we’ll be your Grey Cup party quarterback.

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Whether your guests have the appetite of an offensive lineman or punter, who doesn’t like a meatball sub?  With Spragg’s Meat Shop carrying some of the best ready-to-go meatballs around, this is an easy throw-’em-in-the-crockpot and slap-’em-in-a-bun (from Yum Bakery of course) meal for the game.

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Looking for something a little on the lighter side for a delicate wide receiver?  Prawns with cocktail sauce is a huge crowd pleaser and Blu Seafood has some incredible treats from the sea.  In addition to the best tasting prawns we’ve had (in our land-locked region), they also have some excellent crab cakes, salmon burgers, and seafood brochettes that are party-ready with very little prep.

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More of a meat-lover, kill-the-running-back, kind of defensive lineman?  Silver Sage Beef prepares a killer burger (slider and full-sized), they do up a damn good chili, and if you prefer beef in your subs, they also have prepped meatballs.  Not a bad selection.

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And what’s a Canadian party without a Caeser? Edgar Farms (part of Innisfail Growers Co-operative) is famous for their asparagus; we wait, not-so-patiently, for it to arrive on the shelves every June and Elna Edgar makes some mean pickles.  What’s better than a spear of pickled asparagus poking out of the signature drink Canadians love so much?  Nothin’.

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We know not everyone who has ever dawned shoulder pads and a helmet is a big ol’ meat lover, so why not offer them a lighter, equally delicious option?  Kin Sushi has a great selection of ready-made combos and they take larger orders for platter.  They also make a killer miso soup to warm everyone up.

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While we’re talking about healthy alternatives to your Grey Cup party, Cherry Pit has an impressive, and tasty, selection of ready-made salads, roasting vegetables, and made-to-order platters that will suit just about anyone’s dietary preferences or restrictions.

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You may be hosting friends and family in your home for the big game, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have some great bar-style snacks at their fingertips.  Going Nuts has a massive selection of nuts of all kinds and flavors that will keep them coming back for more.

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We’re not sure we’ve ever been to a party of any kind that doesn’t have at least one dip as part of the snack/appetizer buffet.  The Stock & Sauce Co. has a vast and varied selection of dips from pâté  to pesto, tapenade to tasty dips, even a chocolate mousse that’s incredible on strawberries, these certainly won’t disappoint your guests.

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If you want a more traditional party spread, nachos or as mainstay as you can get when it comes to sporting events.  Los Chilitos Taqueria makes salsa and chips fresh daily and are quite addictive if we do say so ourselves.

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We’re on a dip roll, we’re not stopping now!  2 Greek Gals has you covered for bruschetta, antipasto, traditional Greek fare like melitzanosalata and tzatziki and some pretty martini-perfect olives for the women that are watching the game with the men.

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Martinis for the women, wings for the men?  Not a bad trade.  Wild Fire Wings has an extensive menu of hot-to-take-home or take-and-bake wings from the common buffalo to the not-so-common dill pickle or garlic & parm.  They use organic Sunworks Farms chicken and they have a buy 3lbs, get 1lb free deal.  Say wha?!  Touchdown!

Meat & Cheese Collage

If you’re hosting a slightly more sophisticated crowd that prefers wine and cheese with their long bombs and 50 yards running plays, Fresh DELIcious offers a selection of import and local cheese and meat that could give any large deli a run for its money.  And they often have Thursday deals, so don’t count them out of your Grey Cup shopping.


And while we’re challenging you not to leave any market stone unturned… we think you should try to slip in these vegan spare ribs from Hearts Choices.  Lighter than a full meat platter, and just as tasty, we think most people would be hard pressed to point out the vegan option in your party spread.

So there you have it!  A dozen quick and easy, one-stop shopping pick ups right here at the market and a drink garnish too!  So whaddya say?  Skip the long grocery lines and visit our vendors for a Grey Cup party that’s unlike all the rest.

Not-So-Sloppy Joes

Kids Cooking

Last week, as we were restocking our Take-One-Leave-One  Cookbook Library (located at the North East entrance), we stumbled on a book that was a mainstay in many households.  From the mid-80’s, it was the go-to book for many a mom looking for quick and nutritious meals that their kids would not only eat, but could also help cook.  We’re big fans of getting kids in the kitchen around here; teach them how to love food when they’re young and they’ll have a lifetime of rich memories and full tummies.  And maybe we were just being nostalgic, but we thought we’d rock a family-friendly, get-’em-in-the-kitchen (read: SUPER easy) meal this week.

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Market Sourced Ingredients

1lb of extra lean ground beef from Silver Sage Beef

1 shallot from Cherry Pit

4-6 hamburger buns from Yum Bakery

2 Beck Farms carrots from Innisfail Growers

1 stalk of celery from Cherry Pit

ketchup and mustard (what family doesn’t have these in the fridge?!)

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As our “Very Slightly Messy Manual” instructs our little chef, have your assistant (read: mom, dad, aunt… any responsible adult that can wield a sharp knife safely) finely chop the carrots, celery, and shallots.  Add to a hot pan with a little olive oil and saute for a few minutes.

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Add ground beef to the pan with the vegetables and break apart, cooking until brown.  Season with salt and pepper.

Add a good squirt of ketchup (or 1/4 cup if you’re teaching measuring skills) and one tablespoon of hot mustard.

At this point, if you’re hoping to extend the recipe to feed a larger family (or just want some leftovers for an easy lunch the day after), you can add a can of brown beans to this recipe.  Is it vital to making these Sloppy Joes yummy?  Nope.  But it is an easy and affordable way to stretch this dinner if we’re trying to tighten our purse strings.

Spoon beef onto your hamburger buns and “serve with milk”.  Another good recommendation from the manual.  It isn’t every day that you find a solid (and highly entertaining) cookbook for kids; let your tots have a shot at this simple, yummy, and budget-friendly recipe.

2013-11-14 08.18.23And if you want to serve these Not-So-Sloppy Joes with the Oven French Fries from the Kids Cooking book (as pictured), all you need is a couple of potatoes and a little olive oil.  Start by asking your assistant to help with cutting the potatoes.  We used a mandolin (which is WAY to sharp for little fingers) to cut these shoestring thin, but cutting them into wedges is awfully yummy too.  Preheat your oven to 450 degrees while mom is slicing the potatoes.  Toss the potato wedges in a bowl with a little olive oil and a dash of salt.  Place them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 20 minutes if thin-cut, or about 45 for thick wedges.  Move them around halfway through to prevent them from burning on one side.  And voila!  French Fries with your Joes.

Marbled No-Can Pumpkin Gingersnap Tart

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Thanksgiving may be our favorite holiday here at the market; it’s the ultimate food holiday and it brings people together over steamy stuffing, a beautiful bird, and the perfect pumpkin pie.  We have some pretty incredible products on offer in the days leading up to the holiday weekend, from free-run and organic turkey’s to mini pumpkin mousse desserts and a Pie Bake Off in support of the Calgary Interfaith Food Bank just to name a few.  And because we’re always trying to offer our incredible guests something new and delicious, we have an incredible recipe to share with you.  Inspired by Smitten Kitchen, we have a easier-than-pie-dough no-can pumpkin tart that is better than the average, run-of-the-mill pumpkin pie, but tasty enough that even pumpkin pie purists will love it.  With freshly roasted pumpkin purée, rather than the canned pumpkin, this tart is fresh, vibrant, and yummy to boot.

Pumpkin Tart 1

Market-Sourced Ingredients


2 large molasses ginger cookies from Yum Bakery

16 graham crackers

1/4 cup salted butter, melted

Cheesecake Batter

125g of cream cheese, well softened from Blush Lane Organics

3 Tablespoons (40 grams) granulated sugar

1 large egg yolk

Pumpkin Batter

1 good-sized pie pumpkin from Souto Farms

1 large egg

1 large egg white

1 1/4 cups pumpkin purée

1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar

1/4 cup (50 grams) brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon table salt

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon from Silk Road Spice Merchant

few fresh gratings of nutmeg from Silk Road Spice Merchant

250g crème fraîche from Blush Lane Organics


Pumpkin Tart Collage

Roast Pumpkin
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Slice pumpkin in half and remove the seeds and guts. Cut pumpkin into large slivers, rub with olive oil and sprinkle with cinnamon.  Roast for approximately 30-45 minutes, or until the pumpkin flesh is soft to the touch.  Let cool completely and blitz the flesh in a processor to make the pumpkin purée.

Make crust
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Finely grind the molasses ginger cookies and graham crackers in a food processor (you’ll likely need to do the graham and ginger cookies separately). Add the melted butter, and process until the cookie- crumb mixture is moistened. Press the mixture firmly into the bottom and up the sides of a 9- inch- diameter tart pan with removable bottom. Place pan on rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Make Cheesecake Batter
Mix together the ingredients in a small bowl until smooth.

Make Pumpkin Batter
Beat the egg and the egg white lightly in a mixer with sugars, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Gradually whisk in the pumpkin and then the crème fraîche.

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Assemble Tart
Pour the pumpkin batter into gingersnap-graham crust. Carefully dollop the cheesecake batter over pumpkin batter, then marble the two together decoratively with a knife. Try not to pierce the bottom crust as you do. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce temperature to 350 degrees and bake for another 40 minutes, or until the puffed up centre doesn’t jiggle freely.

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To Serve
Cool the tart completely on a rack. Serve when cool or refrigerate until Thanksgiving dinner when it can be served to prying eyes and full tummies; they’ll make room for this tart, it’s just that good.  Theoretically, the leftovers will keep for several days, but the crumb crust will soften on the bottom as times goes by.

Grilled Apple, Bacon, & Cheddar Sandwich

It’s that time of year… the sun is rising a little later to crisp, cool temperatures, the kids are moaning to stay in bed a little longer, and your blissful sunny summer vacation is starting to feel just a little too far away already.  But with the warm days of summer slipping through or chilly fingers, beautiful gourds, greenhouse-treasures, and apples! are gracing our shelves.  There’s something really comforting about cozying up in a sweater with one of your favorite meals; ours is a grilled cheese.  Yes, you may say it’s just a sandwich…. but it doesn’t have to be.  With seasonal tart apples, smoky bacon, and oozy sharp cheddar, this isn’t just a sandwich… it’s a warm hug on a cold day, a nostalgic mainstay, a damn good quick dinner.  And if you don’t like apples or bacon (you might be a little crazy), but you can throw just about anything between two slices of fresh bread and make a hearty, kid-friendly, speedy dinner for those nights when you’re running out the door to soccer practice or piano lessons or just need a little piece of cheesy heaven.

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Market Sourced Ingredients

2 slices whole wheat bread from Yum Bakery

4 slices thick-cut bacon, cooked crisp from Spragg’s Meat Shop

4 slices Farm House Cheddar (we chose 8 years for it’s deliciously strong flavor) from Sylvan Star Cheese

1/2 Honeycrisp apple, cored, sliced thin from Souto Farms

*Brassica Whole Grain mustard from Blu Seafood


*This can be substituted nicely with the Stonewall Kitchen Roasted Garlic Onion Jam from La Cucina

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Preheat a seasoned grill pan or griddle over low to medium heat.  Assemble this sandwich just as you would a traditional grilled cheese sandwich: spread 1 slice of bread with some whole grain mustard, then top with cheddar (you can go as little or a lot as you like; we covered most parts of the bread with thin slices of cheese), the bacon, the apple slices, finishing with another mustard-slathered slice of bread.  We chose to use the Honeycrisp apple instead of say, Granny Smith, because it’s the perfect balance of tart and sweet that compliments the rich, sharp aged cheddar.  Unlike Granny Smith that are really quite sour, these may just be the perfect apple.

Butter the outsides of the bread generously and transfer to the pan. Grill about 3 minutes per side until golden. Remove to a cutting board and cut the sandwich in half on the diagonal to serve.  And if it’s a particularly crisp evening and you’re yearning for a hot bowl of soup to dip your ooey-gooey salty, sweet sandwich in, check out The Stock & Sauce Co. for a wide array of hearty, healthy soups.

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Golden Spatula Competition

With only one week to our 2nd Annual Sundown Chowdown, we’re excitedly preparing for another fun night of market being open extra late serving up an appetizing mix of live entertainment, fresh eats, and 10 fantastic food trucks. With so much to sample, there’s a little taste of summer for everyone.

One of the highlights of the Sundown Chowdown is that we host 8 of Calgary’s greatest food critics and writers on site to try the delicious dishes offered by our vendors and the food trucks.  The Golden Spatula Awards are given to our vendors, celebrating tried and true favorites and new, creative dishes prepared specially for the judges.  This year was delicious, as always, and available for you to try too!

The categories and some of the competitors for you perusal:

Best Meat:

Margarita’s: “Cabbage Rolls”

Ana’s Kitchen: “Emapandas with AJI”

Shef’s Fiery Kitchen: “Stuffed Tomatoes with Spicy Ground Beef”

WINNER: Big D’s Smokehouse: “Beef Brisket Sandwich”

Spatula Collage 1

Best Non-Meat: 

Margarita’s: “Blintzes”

WINNER: Hearts Choices: “Vegan Thai Yellow Curry”

Hearts Choices: “Vegan Larb Salad”

2 Greek Gals: “Veggie Pastitsio

Best Gut-Buster:

WINNER: Sandwiched: “Gruush”

Shef’s Fiery: “Butter Chicken Poutine” *not available as a regular menu item

Big D’s Smokehouse: “Pulled Pork Poutine”

Spatula Collage 2

Best Sweet: 

Crazy Pasta: “Amaretto Tiramisu”

Yum Bakery: “Princess Cake”

WINNER: Eclair de Lune: “Passiflora”

Eclair de Lune: “Opera Cake”

2 Greek Gals: “Galaktaboriko”

Jelly Modern Doughnuts: “Eton Mess”

Spatula Collage 4Spatula Collage 3

Most Creative:

Crazy Pasta: “The Mix”

WINNER: Sandwiched: “Nacho Libre”

Ana’s Kitchen: “White Angel Tapas”

Looks good eh?  Get your hands on these incredible treats Thursday – Sunday 9am-5pm!

If you’re planning on joining us for the Sundown Chowdown on Friday, September 6th, we’ll be offering a FREE Shuttle!  Buses will run between Heritage Station (at the passenger pick-up/drop-off) and the Calgary Farmers’ Market from 5-9PM (approximately every 20 minutes). Thank you to our friends at West Island College for providing the shuttles for the evening!

Also new this year: we have will have an outdoor Family Entertainment Area with crafts, music, face painting, balloon artists and more! We will also be hosting the Food Bloggers Bake Sale.

Watch BT Sept 3rd- 6th for a look at the 10 food trucks who will be joining us this year.