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Friday, November 25, 2016

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Mousse

Inspiration:  The amazing Pecan Pumpkin Butter at Williams Sonoma





I have been working at Williams Sonoma in Brossard now for about 5 months.  It is a wonderful and magical food place that fills me with joy every time I walk into it.  I have been teaching cooking classes on the weekend.  Saturdays are for the kids and Sunday is for adult classes.    The best part of the whole experience is the people I get to meet and talk food with (I am learning as much as they are) and the taste testing of all the wonderful prepared WS food staples.  Plus, I get to test all the equipment - Oh joy! 

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Foie Gras Ravioli with Sweet Onion Cream

















This was one of those fabulous appetizers that you order and when you put it in your mouth, you have to close your eyes to get the full effect of the combination of tastes and textures!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Chewy Soft Pretzels and Stretchy Cheese Sauce

Inspiration:  This year's Octoberfest and baseball season.





When I am looking to create a recipe I usually go through the same process:  If it is something new that I have never made before, I will study different recipes on the internet.  I also study the why's of how something works and one of my favourite sites to get information is Serious Eats (seriously, this is an exceptionally good site).  I will then use my intuition and experience and try to create something that is tailored to my own likes and preferences and that hopefully will work.  Sometimes, if I'm lucky, I can get a recipe right the very first time but often, it is a trial and error process that requires a lot of fine tuning and taste testing.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Beer and Cheddar Soup

Inspiration:  Octoberfest!




Guaranteed hit if you are a beer lover.  I'm not but I really think the flavours of this soup are interesting in a really good way.   Had this add Bristro Vallier a while ago and have been wanting to recreate it ever since.  With the colder weather just around the corner, I feel this would be a great comforting starter for a weekend meal.  Choose you favourite local beer - one that's not too bitter and enjoy! 

Cream of Mushroom, Duxelle with Foie Gras Shavings



I had this wonderful soup as an entrée recently when we had the chance to return to Paris (aka happiness) for a few days. The combination of the flavours was really good and I thought that the way it was presented was interesting. The soup was very light and foamy with texture coming from the duxelle (finely chopped mushrooms and shallots) and sautéed whole mushrooms.  The addition of some foie gras added creaminess and a touch of decadence to the dish.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Fresh Cod with Ice Wine Sauce



When we first moved to  France, I decided to participate in a televised cooking competition.  I really didn't know what to expect but thought it might be a fun experience.  Nobody knew me there so if it didn't work out, if I failed miserably or embarrassed myself, how bad could it be?   I was very naive and I can honestly say now that it was one of the most challenging things I have ever done and completely life changing.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Butternut Squash Risotto with Pancetta, Brown Butter and Crisp Sage Leaves

Inspiration:  Easy Halloween inspired dinner for entertaining (it's orange and delicious)!









This is a great go-to meal around Halloween for us.  I love the orange colour and the flavours are delicious.  I used prepared butternut squash purée from Williams-Sonoma that is already flavoured with subtle Fall spices and the result was delicious. You can also make your own butternut purée by cutting the squash in half, drizzling with a little olive oil and roasting in the oven until it is very tender.  When it's ready, just scoop out the seeds and flesh and you are ready to go.

I added a few little cubes of roasted squash as a garnish for extra colour and texture because I had it on hand  (this is totally optional).

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