Recipes

A Year of School Food

A Year of School Food By Jenny Osburn School’s out and Annapolis Valley cafeterias have closed their doors for summer! Let me tell you, it has been QUITE A YEAR working in school food in the Annapolis Valley. I’ve gotten to know some very kind and hardworking “lunch ladies,” learned how to use the giant steam kettle at my old high school, and helped to feed lots of really excited kids (and staff!) At Berwick School we’ve hosted plenty of interested visitors, many of whom have taken ideas back to their own schools and communities. Starting with inspiration from Valley…
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Recipe: Chicken Shawarma

Recipe: Chicken Shawarma By Jenny Osburn | The Union Street Cafe Cookbook | jennyosburn.com I went back to school last month at Central Kings Rural High! It was time to take the lessons I learned improving school lunch at Berwick’s primary-grade 8 school and apply them to a new challenge. I have to say it was daunting to walk into a new environment after getting so cozy at Berwick, but again the administration and cafeteria staff were incredibly welcoming, friendly, and ready for change. We got straight to work with a fantastic group of students chopping a slew of vegetables…
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Recipe: French Onion Soup Two Ways

Recipe: French Onion Soup Two Ways By Jenny Osburn | The Union Street Cafe Cookbook | jennyosburn.com Hello, delicious 1980s dinner party fare! It had been way too long since I’d tasted French onion soup. I don’t think I have ever even made this for my family, although I’ve cooked cauldrons full of it at the restaurant, where our recipe included a complicated vegetable stock involving mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, and soy. I wanted to make it way way way simpler and still swoony. I first tried making this with homemade chicken stock, since that’s what I had, and it was…
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Recipe: Better Donairs

Recipe: Better Donairs By Jenny Osburn | The Union Street Cafe Cookbook | jennyosburn.com Fellow Nova Scotians and donair lovers around the globe, I give you a donair for the days ahead! For nigh is the time when we turn our attention to the impact our food choices make on health, both ours and the planet’s. But we will not suffer as we smarten up, no, we will find ways to turn our appetite for too much sugar, refined starch, meat, and highly-processed “food” into a desire for deliciousness made by humans, maybe even someone we know. Someone like ourselves….
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Hill’s Grills Book Launch

Hill’s Grills Book Launch Hillary Webb had always dreamed of opening her own cafe: one with original recipes and whose business supported local vendors, all the while creating a sense of community between her team and the customers they served. After years of planning, the end result was a smashing success and the award-winning Hill’s Grills Panini Press & Tea House went on to become a staple in the community of Kentville. After closing the shop to pursue other dreams, Hillary decided to mark another one off of the bucket list: a cookbook to share her love of cooking and…
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Recipe: Butter Chicken Sauce for Everything

Recipe: Butter Chicken Sauce for Everything By Jenny Osburn | The Union Street Cafe Cookbook | jennyosburn.com Maybe it’s just the circles I run in but it feels like there’s never been more talk about food than RIGHT NOW. What with a new Canada food guide, the publication of the Lancet Planetary Health diet, and a national campaign underway to #standup4schoolfood, the buzz around food is everywhere. As someone who reads everything about food that I can find, I’m excited to see government and mainstream health organizations embrace science when it comes to telling us what to eat. By now…
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Update From The Cafeteria

Update From The Cafeteria By Jenny Osburn | The Union Street Cafe Cookbook | jennyosburn.com I’ve been thinking about school food for over a decade, but I got serious about learning everything I could after selling the restaurant in 2015. This past May l felt ready to put my 23 years as a chef and 15 years as a restaurant owner towards making a difference at one of my three kids’ schools. I popped my head into the Berwick School cafeteria and offered to lend a hand. The principal and cafeteria staff there welcomed me in and we got down…
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Why Care About School Food?

Why Care About School Food? By Jenny Osburn | The Union Street Cafe Cookbook | jennyosburn.com A 2003 study showed that Nova Scotian students were 47% more likely to be overweight or obese if they ate lunch at school. Considering that another recent Nova Scotian study showed that nearly half of schools in Nova Scotia served food that did not meet the nutrition policy set out by the province, improving school food is an issue that cannot wait. Sadly, at the same time, 21% of our children in the Annapolis Valley are food insecure and there is no strategy in…
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The Best Turkey (and Unbelievable Brussels Sprouts)

The Best Turkey (and Unbelievable Brussels Sprouts) By Jenny Osburn | The Union Street Cafe Cookbook | jennyosburn.com It took me twenty years to really figure out how to make flavourful, tender, reheat-able turkey. At least once a week we’d cook a turkey at the restaurant for buffet dinners, clubhouse sandwiches, and pasta dishes. Here’s what I’ve learned. You’ll need to start this the day before the feast! The turkey can cook overnight in your oven to save room on the big day. Turkey and Gravy 1 fresh or defrosted turkey (12 to 20 lbs), local and free-range if at…
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Recipe: Pa Amb Tomàquet

Recipe: Pa Amb Tomàquet Jenny Osburn | The Union Street Cafe Cookbook | jennyosburn.com My two-year-old and I wandered into a little coffee bar one morning in Granada a few years ago. It had snowed lightly the night before and the air was chilly and damp. The bar was warm and smelled soothingly of coffee and oranges. I balanced my daughter on a barstool and ordered, cafe con leche for me and freshly squeezed orange juice for her. Next to me, a woman was preparing her breakfast. She poured a thin stream of olive oil over toasted bread that had…
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