Fall Glory: Japanese Maple

Glowing fall colour of Japanese Maple.

Glowing fall colour of Japanese Maple.

When I named this photo I almost wrote “Japanese Maple in Bloom”, as that’s what the fiery red leaves seem to be: fiery flowers. A Japanese maple in the fall truly appears to be a tree in full bloom. Every garden should have a specimen if you have the room. The bronze coloured leaves are great all season but when the leaves turn red in fall they are spectacular, and the intense red leaf colour tends to last a long time. Sun shining through the leaves is a sight to behold that few other trees can match. We were lucky to have a remarkably warm November this year, when the picture above was taken.

There are a tremendous variety of Japanese Maples, around 700: some are yellow-green, some have interesting bark, and some of the dwarf ones are quite compact, growing only to 8 feet. There are threadleaf, and chunky leaved cultivars. Fall in love with Japanese Maples by checking out this Pinterest page of Japanese Maples. Better Homes and Gardens also has a good slideshow of Japanese Maple varieties here.

The Most Delicious Bread You’ll Ever Taste


Have you harvested your herbs yet? The unseasonably warm weather this fall means that many of our beloved herbs are still flourishing, but they won’t be around for too much longer. At Fiesta Farms, we are always looking for ways to benefit from the bounty of our gardens, and we hate to see any fruit, vegetables or herbs go to waste.

Herb butters, pestos, flavoured vinegars and oils are a  wonderful way to save the summer, and making a few loaves of delicious herb bread is another great way to do just that. Or you can always just pick up some herbs at the store. When we buy fresh herbs from the market for a specific recipe, like a herb butter, it often happens that we end up with an excess of herbs in the fridge. This is a great way to use them up. Continue »

Bourbon: It’s Not Just For Sipping

Honey Bourbon Chicken Wings, photo and recipe by Extraordinary Barbecue.

Honey Bourbon Chicken Wings, photo and recipe by Extraordinary Barbecue.


Most cooks at one time or another cook with alcoholic beverages. Whether it is wine, beer or spirits, cooking with alcoholic beverages adds a depth and sophistication to so many dishes, both sweet and savoury.

Rum is most famously employed in rum babas and the traditional truffle-like rum balls that roll our way every Christmas, we even throw in a few raisins and add rum to ice cream. Scotch whisky is the eponymous main ingredient in Scotch Whisky Cakes, sherry is a must have ingredient for the best trifles and brandy has been glugged generously on fruitcakes and puddings for eons. We brine our poultry, mussels and even bathe our beef tongue in beer, we marinate cuts of beef in red wine and use it to enrich our sauces, and in short, many of us have decided that if we are going to cook, we often look to the liquor cabinet for inspiration. Continue »

These Cookies Can Help Save A Syrian Family

guest post by Erin Phalen




Toronto is about to get its biggest ever bake sale, and you’d have to be crazy not to want in on it, with cookies like smooth Red Velvet, squishy Ginger Molasses and marshmallow-dotted S’mores available for delivery right to your door.

Cookie lovers from all over the GTA can tuck into freshly baked goods—dropped off at their workplace or home—as part of the Bonnie Gordon College of Confectionary Arts’ first-ever virtual bake sale. All proceeds will go toward supporting a family of seven Syrian refugees resettling in Toronto. Continue »

What These Canadian Chefs Did Will Warm Your Heart



Fifty nine restaurants across the country did something amazing on October 21st. They all served packed dining rooms of hungry guests, cooking delicious food and pouring fine wine, working tirelessly through service. Nothing new, that’s de rigeur in the restaurant business. But on the 21st there was a twist, because at the end of the night instead of tallying the receipts and making a deposit at the bank all of those restaurants did something unbelievable. Continue »