What are you looking for?

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Holidays Series - Citrus Salad

This tastes like the sun in a bowl!  This has to be the easiest thing to make but it ALWAYS gets rave reviews - especially from my dad! (Keep in mind it's easy but the prep takes a little time).  

Monday, October 28, 2013

French Canadian Baked Beans

I have been wanting to post this recipe for a long time. I made some baked beans a little while ago at the cottage and the house smelled so amazing that everyone who came in commented on it.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Spicy Black Bean Chili with Cheese, Maple Pain Perdu

Ladling the chili directly on the pain perdu made it a little soggy

This was much better as the bread retained its crisp exterior - brush the edge with oil and sprinkle with chopped herbs

The cooler weather is just around the corner here in Montreal and I have to admit that this is my favourite time of the year.  I'm not talking about the freezing, snowy -20°C temperatures we sometimes get in the middle of winter but  the wonderful - thick sweaters and sleeping with the windows open kind of weather.  It usually lasts all of September and October and it is when I really begin to want to start cooking comfort food.  For me, there is nothing as enjoyable as spending some time hiking in the woods to admire the vibrant colours of the leaves changing on a cool day and coming home to a warm house that smells wonderful.  Add to that a roaring fire, some great music, and I am at my happiest.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Vegan Naan for Sarah

I have been wanting to experiment with Naan bread for a long time.   I really do love the taste and chewy texture and it has become my bread of choice now for everything from sandwiches, pizzas, sausage buns, etc.  When Sarah expressed frustration not too long ago that she could not find vegan Naan (all the store bought ones seem to contain egg), I decided to go ahead and give it a try.  As it turns out, it is very easy.  It has become such a hit that I have made it 4 times in the last two weeks.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Montreal Steak and Cheese with Chipotle Mayo Dressing

This is one of those quick and easy (really delicious) weekday meals that everyone gets excited about when they hear we are having it.  It is basically a flatbread layered with melted cheese, thinly sliced beef seasoned with Montreal steak spice, caramelized onions, sautéed mushrooms, lettuce, tomatoes and a spicy chipotle mayonnaise dressing (that I use for everything).   

Monday, August 26, 2013

Brownie, Hot Fudge Sundae

Sprinkle with a little cayenne or espelette pepper for the adults ;)

We play a game in our family called ''My favourite''.  A category is given and you have to state your favourite item within the category.  For example: favourite desert, favourite junk food, favourite TV show, etc.  We make it up as we go.  This often helps pass the time when we are waiting in a long line up or to board a plane.  It is  fun, insightful and the answers change as our tastes develop and refine throughout the years.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Summer Fruit and Berry Tart

Shortbread crust, almond cream with summer peaches, blueberries and pomegranate!

I have very fond memories of summer vacation travel with my family.  We were campers and it was a wonderful way to discover North America.  We travelled throughout the United States and Canada and we came across some wonderful places.  A lot of time was spent on the road and although it seemed long at times, my parents made sure we stopped regularly to discover small towns and local treasures.  One of the highlights of travelling at this time of year was coming upon a farmer who had set up a road side stand to sell his fresh fruits and vegetables.  The fresh peaches were always a hit and did not last long.  Whenever I see baskets of peaches at the market, it brings back these wonderful memories.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Vegan Chocolate Mousse with Coconut Jelly Cubes and Coconut Chips

I have been working on a lot of vegan recipes lately and I think I will take a little break after this one.  It has been a learning experience for me and I believe that, as a cook, it is important to always keep learning and keep an open mind.  I have enjoyed cooking this way and making my beautiful vegans happy, but I find myself inspired lately by all the wonderful seasonal products available at the market and most of my ideas seem to include cream, eggs, cheese, etc.   I have to say that I am pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to prepare good vegan meals that please everyone, even the meat lovers.  Like any good dish, the key is flavour, texture and balance.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Vegan Moroccan Style Couscous

One of the dishes we discovered and came to love in Paris was Moroccan Couscous.  There is an important North African community in France and when different cultures  share their way of life and food, we all get to benefit from the introduction to different flavours and cooking techniques. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Chocolate Shots - Summer Entertaining

Cayenne, Anise, Lavender and Praline Flavoured Chocolate Shots

This idea was inspired by hot chocolates served in France  - the rich, thick, melted chocolate kind - and something we tried at a wonderful Chocolatier in the distillery district in Toronto not too long ago called Soma.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Vegan Asian Inspired Rolls with Lemongrass Ginger Broth

I am still working on some vegan meals and this one was inspired by a dish I had on the weekend at one of our new favourite restaurants, EVOO, on Notre Dame Street in Montreal.  The menu choices were original and outstanding in flavour and presentation.  Three young friends (Peter, Sophie and Claudie) have come together to start up this restuarant and the attention to detail that has gone into the menu as well as the service and ambiance is incredible.  I had the rabbit stuffed cabbage rolls that were served in a lemongrass broth and it was delicious.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Vegan Samosas

I have been working on a few  recipes for some of my vegan family and friends. The goal is to create something that respects veganism but pleases everyone.  These samosas were an easy choice as a starter or appetizer and they have lots of flavour.  Although the dough is traditionally made with ghee (clarified butter), it was easily replaced with oil and turned out really well.  

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Three Mushroom Tartine

We spent last weekend in Kingston, Ontario.  The purpose of the trip was threefold - to bring Kat home from university (2nd year done!) - to participate in the KRRA run benefiting the Kingston General Hospital trauma centre and to celebrate my dad's 81st birthday.   

It turned out to be one of those perfect weekends where everything seemed to flow.  The weather was beautiful, we got to spend some great family time together and we ate wonderful meals!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Chocolate Babka

When we lived in France, I learned that every dish you create, prepare and serve must tell a story.  This way, when you offer something to someone, you share with them a little piece of who you are and a little bit of your own life story.   The meals and dishes you choose to create always reflect happy, enjoyable moments and this, in turn, infuses the dish with love.   This is very important to me and is what inspires me when I cook.  I think if you cook this way, it will be hard to create a bad meal.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Romaine Hearts with Grilled Halloumi Cheese (Sherry Maple Dressing)

Hearts of romain sliced in half with tomatoes, toasted walnuts, smoked speck/prosciutto chips and grilled halloumi! - maple sherry vinaigrette -

The presentation for this was inspired by a caesar salad I ordered at La Grange in Morin Heights - one hour North of Montreal.  This was a great new discovery for us and we will be going back often.  It is one of those wonderful places that has good food, great ambiance and nice staff.  They also informed us that, with summer just around the corner, they will be opening a large terrace with an outdoor pizza oven and live music on Friday nights.  We love the Laurentians and this is a definite must!  It is open for lunch and dinner.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Pasta Neck Clam Chowder (New England Style)

One of Mike's favourite soups is New England Clam Chowder and it has been on my list of recipes to make for a long time.   When I checked in with the fish monger at the Atwater market early this week,  he confirmed that he had a fresh batch of Pasta Neck Clams from Maine - so I was ready to give it a try.  

Friday, April 12, 2013

Mushroom, Bacon Quiche with Herbes de Provence Crust

This is another great brunch recipe to try along with the Leek and Pepper Boursin Quiche.  I love mushrooms and bacon and this combination, along with some herbes de provence in the crust, was delicious.   You can make this ahead of time, freeze it and save it for when you don't have much time and need a quick lunch or dinner.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Leek and Pepper Boursin Quiche

We celebrated Easter a few weeks ago with a family brunch buffet.   One of the easiest dishes to make for this type of meal is a quiche.   It's a great way to add eggs to the menu and can be prepared in advance and frozen until ready to use.    The traditional quiche is made with bacon (lardons), onion and gruyère cheese.  This leek and pepper quiche is just a combination of  ingredients I like.  The natural sweetness of the leek balances the spice and salt of the cheese very well.  You can use your imagination to create combinations that suit your palate (sautéed mushroom and bacon is also very good).

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Banana Bread Revisited - Healthy Gluten-Free

Vegan and gluten-free eating seems to be something I hear more and more about in my circle of friends, family and colleagues.  I have experimented on a few occasions with gluten free baking and have to admit that the Butternut Squash Breakfast Cake Recipe is quite good.  However, my first attempt at a gluten free banana bread was OK but a little too sandy in texture (due to the rice flour) to my liking.  So, in an attempt to make it better, I have been studying the best way to bake gluten free without compromising on taste and texture.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Didi's Salad: Pear, Walnuts and Feta ♥

Another idea for an individual serving

My sister Diane (whom we affectionately call Didi or Di)  always makes the best salads.  For a salad to be really good, it has to have a good balance of texture and taste.  The combination of flavours in this one is amazing.  As we were getting ready to prepare a family get-together meal (always the best) on the weekend, we were able to cook together and catch up on family news.  Kitchen moments are, for me, the best.  

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Fennel, Apple, Aged Cheddar and Caramelized Pecan Salad

Added a few orange beet chips for colour - totally optional but really good and easy to make

Spending weekends at the cottage is something we have really come to enjoy.  They say that the best way to make it through a Canadian winter is to get involved in outdoor sports and activities.  With the amount of snow we have gotten  this year, we have been following this advice and I have to admit that so far the winter is flying by.