Win Tix to the TIFF Opening Night Gala!

28 Aug

Strawberry Brie Bruschetta

What do California strawberries, the Toronto International Film Festival, hockey, Olivia Newton-John, Margaret Atwood and a bunch of Canadian musicians have in common? They’re all ingredients in Communal Table’s first-ever giveaway!

The California Strawberry Commission has been announced as a new sponsor for the 2010 edition of TIFF, and the organization has asked Communal Table to give away a pair of tickets to the TIFF opening night screening and gala event to help celebrate its involvement. We’re only too happy to help out, since not only do we love the Toronto International Film Festival, but we also love strawberries.

This great prize includes two tickets to the TIFF opening-night gala screening of Score: A Hockey Musical (which stars the aforementioned cast of characters, as well as a slew of other well-known faces) on September 9 at Roy Thomson Hall, as well as  two tickets to the gala party at the Liberty Grand that follows the screening. Lights, red carpets, great entertainment… what more could you want?

Regular readers of Communal Table know that Jenny is famous for innovative and delicious breakfast ideas (which is great, since my idea of making breakfast involves putting milk on cereal), and one of her favorite things to make is an egg white omelette stuffed with brie and strawberry jam. This time of year, you could substitute the jam with sliced fresh strawberries.

Which brings us to the contest. Want to be a part of TIFF’s opening night gala? here’s how to enter:

  1. Leave a comment below this post including your favorite simple recipe involving strawberries. It could be breakfast, baked goods, a sauce, something for dinner… whatever. Share your great recipes with us. It’s as simple as that!
  2. For one bonus entry, become a fan of Communal Table’s Facebook Fan Page.
  3. For a second bonus entry, jump on Twitter and tweet this: I just entered to win TIFF gala tickets from California strawberries and #CommunalTable @neilfaba

*** You must complete step 1 (leave a comment on this post) in order to be eligible for bonus entries from steps 2 and 3.

Now, the fine print: Winner and guest must be 18 years or older. Winner responsible for his or her own transportation to and from Roy Thomson Hall and/or the Liberty Grand.

Communal Table will select a winner at random from all entries received by Friday, September 3, so post those recipes! To help get those creative juices flowing, here’s a recipe from the California Strawberry Commission (pictured above), which also uses strawberries and brie:

Strawberry and Brie Bruschetta
12 slices French bread, cut 2 cm. thick
1/4 (50 ml) cup butter, softened
1/4 (50 mL) cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon (5 mL) ground cinnamon
1 small brie cut into 6 wheels
2 cups (500 mL) of sliced stemmed California strawberries
1/2 cup (25 mL) sliced almonds, toasted

Heat oven to 375ºF (190ºC). Spread 1 side of each bread slice with butter; arrange, butter side up, on large baking sheet. In small bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle approximately 1 teaspoon (5 mL) over each slice of bread. Reserve remaining sugar mixture. Toast bread in oven. Remove from oven. Top each with 1 wedge of cheese; return to oven. Bake until cheese is melted. Meanwhile, in large bowl, combine strawberries and remaining sugar mixture; toss lightly. Spoon strawberry mixture over each toasted slice; sprinkle with almonds. Serve immediately. Makes 2 servings.

31 Responses to “Win Tix to the TIFF Opening Night Gala!”

  1. phoenikia August 28, 2010 at 3:44 pm #

    Strawberry Mango salad with mint and lime
    2 cups strawberries, hulled and sliced
    2 champagne mangoes, peeled and chopped
    Juice of 1 lime
    1 tbsp honey
    10 fresh mint leaves, cut into chiffonade
    Combine strawberries and mango in large bowl. Mix honey, lime juie in small bowl. Pour over fruit. Add mint and stir well. Serve chilled.

  2. vito marinuzzi August 28, 2010 at 4:15 pm #

    This is actually the absolute best way to enjoy strawberries. I’ll challenge any recipe

    Balsamic Strawberries with Whipped Mascarpone Cheese
    1/3 cup balsamic vinegar

    2 teaspoons plus 4 tablespoons sugar

    1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

    1/2 cup chilled mascarpone cheese*

    1/2 cup chilled whipping cream

    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

    3 1-pint baskets (about 24 ounces) strawberries, hulled, halve

    Combine vinegar, 2 teaspoons sugar, and lemon juice in heavy small saucepan. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Boil until syrup is reduced to scant 1/4 cup, about 3 minutes. Transfer to small bowl; cool completely. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

    Combine mascarpone, cream, vanilla, and 2 tablespoons sugar in medium bowl. Whisk until thick soft peaks form. Cover and refrigerate up to 4 hours.

    Combine berries and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar in large bowl; drizzle with balsamic syrup and toss to blend. Let stand 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

    Divide berries and syrup among 6 goblets. Top with mascarpone mixture.

  3. Kathryn Dickson August 28, 2010 at 11:44 pm #

    i’m a huge smoothies and booster juice fan… so this is fitting for me… breakfast or mid afternoon pick me up!

    Strawberry-Banana Smoothies Recipe


    1/2 banana
    1/2 cup fresh or frozen strawberries
    1 cup milk, low fat
    1/4 cup cold water
    Honey to taste


    Peel banana and cut into small pieces. Rinse and cut strawberries into cubes. Place all ingredients in a blender.

    Blend and serve.

  4. Barbara Milner August 29, 2010 at 9:08 am #

    CHAMPAGNE PUNCH WITH STRAWBERRIES – the way God intended us to eat strawberries.

    1 qt. strawberries
    1/2 c. sugar
    Juice of 1 lemon
    500 ml dry white wine
    500 ml chilled champagne

    Rinse strawberries. Drain thoroughly and hull. Place in a punch bowl and add the sugar, lemon juice and white wine. Chill 3 hours. Take a shower, blow-dry your hair, put on your lashes, lipstick and best dress. Add champagne to bowl and serve yourself at once. Serve in champagne flute. Optional – top champagne flute with a tbsp of strawberry gelato. Call a cab, get to the party fashionably late.

  5. Margaret August 29, 2010 at 5:51 pm #

    Strawberry Croissants

    Serves 2

    1/4 cup of cream cheese
    1/4 cup of curd cheese
    1/4 cup of strawberries mashed with a folk
    1/4 cup strawberries sliced
    2 croissants

    Mix together cream cheese with curd cheese and add mashed strawberries.
    Divide between croissants and cover with sliced strawberries


  6. Margaret August 29, 2010 at 5:52 pm #

    I Follow Communal Table on Facebook as Margaret Imecs.

  7. Margaret August 29, 2010 at 5:57 pm #

    I Tweeted as @margaretimecs

  8. Margaret August 29, 2010 at 5:58 pm #

    I Follow @neilaba on Twitter as @margaretimecs.

  9. Marla August 30, 2010 at 8:58 am #

    Classic Strawberry Pie

    Serves 8

    1 package (3.4 ounces) instant vanilla pudding mix
    1 cup skim milk

    9-inch graham cracker pie crust:
    1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
    1/4 cup sugar
    1/3 cup melted margarine or butter

    2 pint baskets California strawberries, stemmed
    Powdered sugar, for dusting

    I also “liked” the facebook page and tweeted!

  10. Adil August 31, 2010 at 11:01 am #

    simple recipe, some strawberrries sliced, a few drops of balsamic vinegar and topped with some icing sugar.

  11. ChantelleJoy August 31, 2010 at 11:39 pm #

    I just like them sprinkled with sugar. Doubt that will win me the tix 😦 oh, well, here’s hoping anyways!

    • Neil Faba August 31, 2010 at 11:53 pm #

      Thanks ChantelleJoy. Just to clarify (and for anyone else thinking about posting a recipe to enter the contest), we’re not judging recipes; we’ll simply choose a winner at random on Friday from all entries. So a recipe of strawberries sprinkled with sugar – very simple, yes, but also delicious – gives you just as much of a chance to win as any other recipe posted in these comments. Good luck!

  12. Kasia September 1, 2010 at 11:00 am #

    The recipe i have is my FAV but also extremely simple:

    Cut up a cup of strawberries and sprinkle with brown sugar, pour un-whipped whip cream (35%) over the strawberries until they’re drowning. Leave for 4 hours (or overnight)… HEAVEN!

  13. Elizabeth September 1, 2010 at 1:30 pm #

    A salad of baby spinach, sliced strawberries, red onions and beer nuts. Balsamic vinegar and olive oil dressing.
    Yes, beer nuts!

  14. JudyL September 1, 2010 at 4:28 pm #

    Summer Strawberry Slushie
    1/2 cup strawberries
    1 cup ice
    1/2 cup water
    1 tbsp maple syrup

    Process in blender until ice turns to slush. Adjust maple syrup to taste. Pour into iced glasses and serve garnished with a whole strawberry

  15. StrawberrySunshine September 1, 2010 at 4:52 pm #

    Double Chocolate Strawberries

    2 dozen small strawberries, washed and hulled and dried
    1 pkg Ghiradelli dark chocolate chips
    1 tsp Grand Marnier liqueur
    1 pkg white chocolate chips
    In a glass bowl, melt white chocolate chips in microwave, being careful not to burn.

    Line 2 cookie sheets with waxed paper. Spoon melted white chocolate on to waxed paper with teaspoon, creating 24 (or more) discs. Use the back of spoon to create nice flat cirles about the size of a loonie. Place a strawberry in each disc.
    Melt chocolate chips glass bowl in microwave until glossy, being careful not to burn. Remove from microwave and stire in Grand Marnier.
    Using a clean spoon, drizzle the strawberries with the dark chocolate, first drizzlein in one direction and then in the other, to create a cross hatch pattern. Let chocolate cool in fridge, and then remove the chocolate covered berries from waxed paper and serve on 2 -tiered cake plate.

  16. TRIXIE Tiff September 1, 2010 at 5:04 pm #

    Strawberry Chantilly

    1 quart strawberries, washed, hulled and sliced
    granulated sugar to taste
    few drops fresh lemon juice
    1 carton whipping cream
    1 tsp vanilla
    powdered confectioners sugar to taste
    OPTIONAL: few drops red food colouring
    While mint leaves for garnish
    Macerate sliced strawberries in granulated sugar and fresh lemon juice for 15 minutes.
    In refrigerated bowl with cold beaters, whip cream with sugar to taste and vanilla (and a few drops red food colouring if desired) until soft peaks hold. Fold in sliced strawberries with a spatula.
    Spoon into martini glasses or flat champagne glasses, garnish with whole mint leaves and refrigerate until ready to serve

  17. Stephen September 1, 2010 at 8:49 pm #

    Strawberries and whipped cream!

  18. Nicole September 1, 2010 at 10:10 pm #

    Strawberry Milkshake

    One of my favourite ways to enjoy strawberries!

    2 cups Whole Milk
    2 cups Frozen Strawberries
    2 Tablespoons Sugar (or More If Desired, Depending On The Sweetness Of Your Strawberries)
    2 Scoops Of Strawberry Or Vanilla Ice Cream

    Throw all the ingredients into a blender. Blend until smooth and enjoy!

    Thanks for the great contest!

  19. Nicole September 1, 2010 at 10:14 pm #

    I tweeted here:


  20. richard September 2, 2010 at 12:12 am #

    Yummy No Bake Strawberry Cheesecake (serves 6)

    ready made graham cracker crust
    16 oz pkg cream cheese
    1 cup powdered sugar
    1 pkg dream whip
    1/2 cup cold milk
    1 tsp vanilla

    prepare dream whip with 1/2 cup of milk
    blend in softened cream cheese, sugar and vanilla
    pour into crust. refrigerate at least 4 hours
    garnish with fresh strawberries

  21. Natalie C September 2, 2010 at 1:21 am #

    Boozy Strawberries

    Wash Strawberries in vodka. Drain. Whip up 1 cup whipping cream with 1 teaspoon Triple Sec and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Spoon loads of whipping cream on strawberries! Enjoy! (Don’t drive after this dessert!)

    Thanks for the great contest!!!

  22. Natalie C September 2, 2010 at 1:25 am #

    I am a fan of Communal Table on Facebook!

    Natalie C

  23. Natalie C September 2, 2010 at 1:27 am #

    Tweeted! @Luet02


  24. Noemi September 2, 2010 at 1:06 pm #

    Strawberry and Pink Peppercorn Pavlova with Basil Syrup

    Basil syrup:
    1/3 cup (packed) fresh basil leaves
    1/2 cup light corn syrup

    4 large egg whites, room temperature
    1 cup sugar, divided
    1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
    1/2 teaspoon white wine vinegar
    1 tablespoon pink peppercorns, lightly crushed

    Strawberry coulis:
    1 (1-pint) basket strawberries, hulled
    2 tablespoons sugar

    Vanilla cream:
    3/4 cup chilled whipping cream
    1 tablespoon sugar
    1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
    1 (1-pint) basket strawberries, hulled, quartered
    Fresh basil leaves (for garnish)

    For basil syrup:
    Blanch 1/3 cup basil leaves in small saucepan of boiling water 30 seconds. Drain, then transfer basil to bowl of ice water to cool. Drain; squeeze out excess water from basil. Puree basil with corn syrup in blender. Cover and chill at least 2 hours or overnight to allow flavors to develop. Bring basil syrup to room temperature, then strain through sieve into small bowl.

    For meringues:
    Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 275°. Firmly trace six 21/2-inch circles on parchment paper, then invert onto baking sheet. Using electric mixer, beat egg whites in large bowl to soft peaks. Gradually add 3/4 cup sugar, beating to medium-firm peaks. Mix remaining 1/4 cup sugar and cornstarch in small bowl. Gradually beat sugar-cornstarch mixture into meringue; continue beating until very stiff. Beat in white wine vinegar. Fold in peppercorns. Divide meringue between circles; spread to fill completely. Bake until outside is dry, about 25 minutes. Turn oven off and open door just slightly. Let meringues cool in oven until completely dry, about 1 hour. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cool completely. Store in airtight container at room temperature.

    For strawberry coulis:
    Puree berries and sugar in blender until smooth.

    For vanilla cream:
    Place cream and sugar in medium bowl. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean. Using electric mixer, beat cream to soft peaks.

    Place small blobs of vanilla cream in center of each of 6 plates. Spoon circle of strawberry coulis around vanilla cream. Top each with 1 meringue. Spoon generous amount of vanilla cream atop meringues. Top with quartered strawberries and fresh basil leaves. Drizzle basil syrup over and serve.

  25. richard September 2, 2010 at 7:35 pm #

    Try this recipe for strawberry jam:
    * 2 pounds fresh strawberries, hulled
    * 4 cups white sugar
    * 1/4 cup lemon juice

    1. In a wide bowl, crush strawberries in batches until you have 4 cups of mashed berries. In a heavy bottomed saucepan, mix together strawberries, sugar and lemon juice. Stir over low heat until sugar is dissolved. Increase heat to high, and bring to a full roiling boil. Boil, stirring often, until mixture reaches 220 degrees F. Transfer to hot sterile jars, leaving 1/4 to 1/2 inch space at top; and seal. Process in a water bath. If the jam is going to be eaten right away, don’t bother with processing, and just refrigerate.

  26. Paula Bonacci September 2, 2010 at 8:27 pm #

    I love to cut up strawberries, banana and some blueberries in bowl, top with yogurt and granola. Instant breakfast in a bowl.

  27. Alan September 2, 2010 at 11:02 pm #

    My favorite recipe is Strawberry Shortcake.

    Double Strawberry Sauce:
    24 ounces ripe strawberries (2 pints) — hulled & sliced (reserve 6 or so whole berries — for garnish)
    1/2 cup strawberry jam

    8 ounces cream cheese or mascarpone — softened
    1/3 cup confectioner’s sugar — plus 2 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
    6 tablespoons Grand Marnier — or orange juice
    2 cups heavy whipping cream

    1 angel food cake (6″ to 8″ round)

    1. For Double Strawberry Sauce: Puree 1 1/4 cups of the sliced strawberries with the strawberry jam. Refrigerate till serving time.
    2. Beat together the cheese, 1/3 cup confectioner’s sugar, 1 tbsp. liqueur until well blended and smooth.
    3. In a separate bowl, beat cream, remaining 2 tbsp sugar and 2 tbsp liqueur until soft peaks form. Fold 1/2 cup of this into the cheese mixture.
    4. With a serrated knife, cut cake in thirds horizontally. Drizzle each layer with 1 tbsp of the remaining liqueur.
    5. Spread bottom layer with one third of the cheese filling; cover with one third of the sliced strawberries. Top with middle cake layer. Spread with half of the remaining filling and sliced strawberries. Add remaining cake layer; top with remaining filling and sliced berries.
    6. Frost cake with remaining whipped cream. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours before serving.
    7. Cut cake with a serrated knife. Serve each slice with sauce.

  28. Gavin September 2, 2010 at 11:51 pm #

    Definitely the strawberry jam that my mother has made for as long as I can remember:


    6 6cups cups(1.5 L) (1.5 L) crushed hulled strawberrystrawberries, (12 cups/3 L whole)
    1 1pkg pkglight fruit pectin crystals
    4-1/2 4-1/2cups cups(1.125 L) (1.125 L) granulated sugar


    Pour strawberries into large Dutch oven.

    Combine pectin crystals with 1/4 cup (50 mL) of the sugar; stir into pan. Bring to full rolling boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Stir in remaining sugar; return to full rolling boil. Boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly.

    Remove from heat. Stir for 5 minutes to prevent fruit from floating, skimming off foam.

    Using sterilized metal funnel and 1/2-cup (125 mL) measure, pour into hot sterilized 1-cup (250 mL) canning jars, leaving 1/4-inch (5 mm) headspace. If necessary, wipe rims. Cover with hot lids; screw on bands fingertip tight. Process in boiling water canner for 5 minutes. Remove jars and let cool, undisturbed, for 24 hours. Check for seal, ensuring that lids curve downward. (If not, refrigerate and use within 3 weeks.) Store in cool, dry, dark place for up to 1 year.

    • Gavin September 2, 2010 at 11:52 pm #

      Sorry, copy/paste screwed up those ingredients. They should read:

      6 cups (1.5 L) crushed hulled strawberries, (12 cups/3 L whole)
      1 pkg fruit pectin crystals
      4-1/2 cups (1.125 L) granulated sugar


  1. And The Winner Is… « Communal Table - September 3, 2010

    […] to everyone who entered by commenting with recipes, liking our Facebook Page, and tweeting about the contest. This was Communal Table’s first […]

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