What are you looking for?

Friday, December 16, 2016

Whipped Shortbread

With Christmas just one week away, it's time to start preparing.

The recipe for these wonderful, buttery whipped shortbread cookies has been in storage for the past 5 years while we were away.  When I made them last week, I remembered why these are always a hit.  The texture is perfect for shortbread and the use of salted butter creates a wonderful balance.

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).

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Mummy Style Pigs in a Blanket

Inspiration:  A great Halloween project for kids to make - and delicious to eat!

I was recently looking for some fun Halloween cooking projects for kids and I happened to spot these little guys on Pinterest.  What a great lunch or dinner treat if you are hosting a halloween party or for a quick bite just before the kids head out to trick or treat.  The best thing about them is that they are delicious - who does not like Pigs in a Blanket - oh and by the way, the Pillsbury Crescent Roll dough is Vegan!  

Spider Cookies for Halloween

Inspiration:  Halloween and Pinterest!

These are fun and easy to make.  All you need is a really good shortbread cookie recipe (it's also repeated below), some melted dark chocolate,  Aero bubbles and some candy eyes. 

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Kale and Sweet Potato Turkey (or Chicken) Cobbler

Inspiration:  Leftover Thanksgiving turkey

I  am currently obsessed with curd cheese (yes! the one you use in poutine).  I can get it fresh every day in most grocery stores in Quebec and it is delicious.  It is best eaten at room temperature the day it is made because once it is refrigerated it will loose its squeaky texture.  These days, I love using any refrigerated leftovers in cheese based sauces.   If you are a cheese curd amateur (like me),  you will be able notice, albeit subtly, its distinctive flavour in this recipe. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

The Best Kale Fruit Smoothie

Inspiration:  Crux Comptoir Buddha smoothie

I often have this smoothie for lunch when I am working.  It gets its beautiful green colour from the kale but don't be fooled - it is sweet, decadent and delicious.  Top with some hemp hearts and puffed quinoa for a little extra texture and crunch.  I hope you enjoy!

Root Vegetable Soup with Spicy Pancetta Shavings

Inspiration:  Beautiful Fall bounty

I was teaching a class not long ago at Williams Sonoma - Dix30 to demonstrate the amazing Vitamix blender.  Although I do not have a Vitamix yet, I was given one to bring home in order to create and test some recipes.  I have to say, I was truly amazed.  The Vitamix has a great reputation and it is justified.  This is a powerful machine that blends like nothing I have ever seen before and the ease of use is one of the features I liked the most.  Although it is expensive, I feel this is one of those appliances you buy for life - like the Kitchenaid stand mixer - that becomes an integral part of your kitchen space.  An appliance you can count on to be passed on to the next generation when you don't need it anymore. 

Friday, September 16, 2016

Apple Flower Tarts

Inspiration:  It's apple season!  

After spotting these beautiful little pies on Pinterest a few years ago, I have been wanting to try my hand at making them for quite a while.  Turns out, this was a fun project that I imagine kids would love.  The effect is really quite stunning.

The pies are not too sweet and I decided to add a little cinnamon caramel to flavour them.   I used green apples because it is what I had on hand.   You can also use a red apple for colour but just make sure your apples are very hard.  They will need to stand up to being cooked twice as they initially need to be softened to a bendable state to roll and then baked in the oven.

Shower them with some powdered sugar and serve with some rich vanilla ice cream and extra caramel sauce.  Guaranteed oohs and aahs.  Enjoy.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Rustic Fig and Ricotta Galette

Inspiration:  Fresh figs given to me by some of my Italian friends

Don't really have a story for this recipe but I really do love fresh figs.  I thought combining them with a ricotta filling would create a really wonderful, Italian inspired desert.  This combination turned out to be really good and the pie was beautiful.  I will definitely make this again and think it would make a great desert served alongside a beautiful cheese platter. 

Rustic Mushroom Pea Halloumi Galette

Inspiration:  Cottage food

There was a recent wonderful article and recipe selection in the current issue of Fine Cooking magazine (August - September 2016) on sweet and savoury galettes otherwise known as rustic pies.  The pictures were beautiful and I was inspired to create some of my own galettes with ingredients I love to combine together.  

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Mac & Cheese

Inspiration:  Homemade pasta

I have made mac & cheese before but, I have to admit, making your own noodles is quite a chore - fun to do -  but a process nonetheless.   No more!!!  I have met and fell in love with the Phillips Pasta Maker.  This tool in incredible.  It took me 10 minutes to make 300g of fresh rigatoni pasta for this homemade mac and cheese.  Still can't get over it (my husband also stood there in awe, watching).  Oh yes, and it's so quiet!

Monday, September 5, 2016

Spanish Paella (Chicken, Chorizo, Shrimp and Mussels)

Inspiration:  I love the beautiful paellas served in food markets in Europe and have always wanted to make my own.  The making of this paella was a group effort with the guys on the barbecue and the ladies prepping and cooking the seafood in the kitchen.  It turned out amazing and was a true labor of love!  Good friends + good food + love = best memories.

In preparation for a class this weekend, I had to develop and test a recipe for paella.  Given a beautiful authentic cast iron 15 inch paella pan by Williams Sonoma (Dix 30 in Brossard), I began to study and learn what I could about this wonderful Spanish dish.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Chocolate Pop Tarts (Homemade of course)

Inspiration:  Throwback to Saturday mornings when I was a kid.

I recently saw a post on Pinterest for pop tarts and boy did that bring me back to my childhood.  When I was young - I'm gonna say around 8 years old - we were allowed to have chocolate pop tarts on Saturday morning while we watched cartoons.   This was such a treat and I remember vividly the taste and texture of those breakfast delicacies that we waited all week for.   

Thursday, August 25, 2016