Carolyne Kauser-AbbottProvencal RecipesSeasonal MenusTaste

Fall Dinner Party For Friends Provence Meets Alberta

Friends for Dinner

This summer in Paris, dogs, kids and adults cooled-off by splashing around in the Trocadero fountain – Fontaine de Varsovie – during la canicule (heatwave). On June 26th, a record-setting 46 °C baked the town of Vérargues, in l’Hérault. After a hot summer in Provence, much of Europe, and many parts of North America it’s time to start thinking about Provencal-inspired recipes for colder weather.

We turned to Karen Anderson, a food journalist, author and the founder of Alberta Food Tours for this year’s fall dinner party menu. Please scroll to the bottom of this article for Karen’s full bio.

Fall Dinner Party Friends

Provencal Meets Alberta at Home

Marinated Mushroom and Roast Pumpkin Salad


French-style Vinaigrette from Alberta

The menu starts with this pretty salad. The ingredients include some of the wonderful flavours of fall pumpkin (or squash of your choice) and wild mushrooms. Karen tossed the salad with her vinaigrette for the final touch.

Mushroom Roast Pumpkin Salad @MirabeauWine

Braised Bison Stew with “Silk Road Spices” (click for recipe)

This main course is braised either in a slow cooker or using a Provencal earthenware casserole such as a daubiere. If you don’t have access to bison, beef works just as well.

boeuf bourgignon

Image credit: David Scott Allen @ Cocoa and Lavender

Individual Apple Tarts (click for recipe)

Whether you are a dessert person or not, it’s hard to resist a homemade apple tart. These little tarts (tartlets) are easy to make and a perfect finish to any meal.

Dinner Party Apple Tarts

For Pinterest Fans:

Fall Dinner Party Friends Pinterest

Alberta Food Tours

Karen Anderson is a Canadian food journalist. Her work has been featured on CBC Radio, PBS-TV, and Apple Magazine, City Palate, Avenue and WestJet magazines. A Spicy Touch – Family Favourites from Noorbanu Nimji’s Kitchen a cookbook she co-authored with her Indian cooking mentor won a Taste Canada award. She is also a World Gourmand award winner for her book Food Artisans of Alberta

Anderson’s passion for the kitchen was influenced by a family of cooks. She shared, “One grandfather owned a fish market, and the other was a farmer.” In 2006, Anderson launched Calgary Food Tours, providing a selection of walking tours for food lovers in the city.

After achieving a Master’s Degree in Adult Health Nursing, Anderson went on to teach Athabasca University’s Nurse Practitioner program. During that time, Anderson says that the whole food = good health equation crystallized for her. “I couldn’t help but notice that the further that we as a society got from whole foods and knowing how to cook, the sicker they were getting.”

Winding down her teaching career allowed Anderson to ramp up her local food focus. She started writing about food and travel while committing countless hours as a board member at Slow Food Calgary. Anderson ran Feast of Fields for five years. This event paired harvest food with Calgary’s top chefs.

The idea for Calgary Food Tours came from a walking tour that Karen Anderson joined in Boston. She decided that a similar concept might work in Calgary and create a lasting impact on both consumers and producers. Fast-forward to 2019, and Alberta Food Tours employees 20 people and runs tours throughout Alberta including Calgary, Banff, Canmore and in Edmonton.

Get Social!

Follow Anderson’s personal and travel adventures at Savour it All on Instagram and Twitter.

Follow Alberta Food Tours on Facebook.


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Carolyne Kauser-Abbott

With her camera and laptop close at hand, Carolyne has traded in her business suits for the world of freelance writing and blogging. Her first airplane ride at six months of age was her introduction to the exciting world of travel.

While in Provence, Carolyne can be found hiking with friends, riding the hills around the Alpilles or tackling Mont Ventoux. Her attachment to the region resonates in Perfectly Provence this digital magazine that she launched in 2014. This website is an opportunity to explore the best of the Mediterranean lifestyle (food & wine, places to stay, expat stories, books on the region, travel tips, real estate tips and more), through our contributors' articles.

Carolyne writes a food and travel blog Ginger and Nutmeg. Carolyne’s freelance articles can be found in Global Living Magazine, Avenue Magazine and City Palate (Published Travel Articles).

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