Tuesday, December 8, 2009
I have been enjoying a pyramid of apples that I put together on a pink cake stand last week so much that I haven't eaten an apple for a week so as not to ruin it's colourful beauty! Finally this morning I took a photo and then ate an apple. Turned out the apples look prettier than they taste. I'm going to have to make an apple crisp or a pie or find some other delicious way to use them up. But alas, this post is not about apples, it's not about anything really, except the pretty pink things I keep seeing that are making me think about Christmas. Now, Christmas is not usually a holiday that is celebrated by decorating the house in pink, but that may change at my house this year. I bought some beautiful berry-ish pink plant at the florist a while back which is lasting a super long time and I've been admiring it's beauty on my kitchen windowsill behind the sink. It contrasts so nicely with it's pale greenery and cute pink berries to the bone-chilling cold and snow outside. It makes me think of life in this season of dormancy. Pink is the colour of happiness, youth, flushed cheeks, baby pigs, rhubarb crisp and little girls dresses and for me a nice change from the ubiquitous red and green of Christmas. So I'm going to drink a glass of sparkling pink wine and toast to a pink Christmas.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
My long lost friend J and her cute little boy came over for a visit yesterday morning and I wanted to make something yummy and healthy to snack on. I had a bag of hazelnut flour that I had been waiting to use and this seemed the perfect occasion. I was in the mood for something sweet, but not sugary, with interesting textures and a healthy feel. Whole wheat and hazelnut flour, spelt flakes, oats, honey, Medjool dates, organic cocoa and the local, free-range eggs I just got would give any muffin a bit more interest.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
About a week after we got back from France, our next door neighbours were off to Italy, leaving behind Zelda the black lab. Being the dog lover that I am, I offered to look after her for three weeks while they ate their way from Rome to Northern Italy with their three (smallish!) children. Roo and Zelda and I got into a nice routine of fun daily walks, backyard ball games and evening play dates and when the three weeks had passed I was actually a little bit sad to get back to a normal doggy routine. The sadness was eased somewhat by a generous gift from D. and S. that we appreciate so much especially considering that they must have carried it home in their carry-ons along with the three little ones and all their things.
Friday, October 16, 2009
Saturday, October 3, 2009
What is a trip to Paris without a stop at one of the best patisseries? I made sure that during our few days in the city of lights we made a stop at Laduree for macarons and chocolat chaud. I probably would have chosen the Champs Elysees location on my own, but our Parisian friends joined us and recommended Laduree Bonaparte, a little out of our way, but also a little less touristy (although still very busy on a weekday afternoon). They wanted to take us upstairs to the tea room to enjoy our tiny, dreamy and colourful macarons. We weren't really dressed for it, but the friendly staff didn't seem to mind (I guess when you're willing to spend 20 euros on two hot drinks and four mini-macarons they don't care what you're wearing). The room was quiet and painted blue with gold gilding, the tables were dressed in fine white linens with silver cutlery and my beautiful tea (a la fleur d'oranger) came in a gorgeous bone china tea cup. The hot chocolate that JS ordered was so thick you practically needed to eat it with a spoon, it was rich, velvety and not too sweet but even JS, ever the chocolate lover, had a hard time finishing it! It was a difficult task to choose our macaron flavours, although one of those decisions in life that is a pleasure to be faced with, but after much deliberation I chose Cassis-Violette, Caramel au Beurre Sale, Fleur d'Oranger and Pistache. All were delicious, but my hands down favourite was Cassis-Violette, it had a jammy and tart filling that nicely contrasted with the soft, delicate almond cookies.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Last night was the inaugural Farmers' Feast, an event I helped co-ordinate and that we hope will continue to grow each year. The idea was to promote local food made by local chefs and to bring the producers, chefs and consumers together to create relationships and bring people closer to the food they eat.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Mr. Poilane might have rolled over in his grave this morning if he saw me eat his prized bread, arguably the best bread in the world, smeared with peanut butter.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Thursday, September 3, 2009
We're holidaying in the South of France right now, enjoying every minute and every morsel of delicious, crusty bread, creamy cheese and perfect red wine, but I have also been spoiled with all the fresh fruit at this time of year. We've had juicy muscat grapes, tiny green plums, apples, almonds and pears right from the trees, and today, I thought I had died and gone to heaven, fresh, heavy, ripe, sweet figs from the tree to my mouth.
Saturday, August 8, 2009
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
I was at the farmer's market last week and bought some lovely, sweet, baby carrots. When I got them home I noticed these two babies, all curled around each other. They just look so happy that I can't actually bring myself to eat them.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
It feels like winter here right now. Okay, maybe I'm exaggerating, but only mildly. It actually feels like winter in the South of France, which is cold. It's gray and cloudy, very windy, and the temperature is about 12C! I know I spend a lot of time complaining about the weather, but when you live in this city, that's what you do. People talk about the weather constantly, and not in the "I don't know what to talk to you about so let's just talk about the weather" kind of way, but in a detailed and analytical kind of way. We also feel that since we live through such brutally cold and long winters that we deserve hot and sunny summers, but Mother nature doesn't always reward us accordingly.
Friday, July 10, 2009
In response to my post about goats, I thought I should think of a good recipe using goat cheese. I have no shortage of goat cheese recipe ideas, but I especially love it when it's warmed in some way. This quiche is a delicious combination of creamy goat cheese, eggy custard, and gorgeous green herbs from my garden that just seem to get slipped in to everything I make lately. Please use this as a guideline and add whatever herbs you like and more or less cheese to your taste. Quiche is such a simple thing to make, I never measure, if you add 4 eggs instead of 3 or yogurt instead of milk or parsley instead of sage, it will still taste delicious!
Monday, June 22, 2009
For some time I have had the somewhat odd dream of wanting to be a goat farmer. I would have an old house in the countryside (this you have probably heard me talk about already) and a whole bunch of really funny goats with lots of character. Early each morning I would wander over to the goats, bleary eyed and tired, and then the goats would do such funny things that I would perk up and have a great day milking them and making fresh cheeses covered with home grown herbs, vegetable ash and sea salt. I do realize that this is my dream sequence and probably not at all the life of a real goat farmer, but a girl's gotta dream!
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
My life has gone from rather uneventful to a gong show in a matter of a month! It all started on a particularly quiet day. I had a break in the afternoon and was looking at a website that I had bookmarked, www.slowfood.com. I decided to contact Slow Food to see if we had a convivium in Manitoba, which we didn't. Then, a few emails were shot around and before I knew it I was co-founding a Slow Food Convivium here. Our first meeting was a huge success, over 35 people showed up to something we were planning to have in my living room. Luckily we had about 20 that rsvp'd and I decided at that point to move to a larger location. This city is really like a huge small town, word travels fast, and before we knew it my co-founder, N, and I were attending meetings for other food-related organizations, planning events for this summer and running a community garden that required a lot of weeding this past long weekend. I think I am more tired coming out of the long weekend than I was going in.
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Sometimes it is important to slow down and take your time. Lately that is what I have been doing. I can't say I feel like I am getting much accomplished, but that will come with time I suppose. I have started a writing course, which I am very excited about. Also on my list of new things to do I am going to be starting up a Slow Food Convivium. Slow Food is an organization which promotes sustainable agriculture, fair pay for food growers and producers, culinary traditions around the world and much more related to good, clean and fair food. Slow Food was created to counteract the fast food phenomenon.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Tuesday, March 10th. 12:24 p.m. Current temperature -23C. Seriously.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
I have loved chai lattes ever since the mega coffee chains that you see on every street corner made them mainstream. Having said that, the syrupy sweet, not too spicy lukewarm chai lattes that you find in those types of shops could use some improvement.
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
This morning, after opening presents in bed, lovely dresses and a top and a jacket from my French family, I turned on the radio. The CBC morning show host was interviewing a guy from Gimli who has extended his carrot harvest into the long, cold Manitoba winter! All he does is cover his carrots with thick foam before the ground freezes and it actually insulates them enough that they don't freeze! He can only harvest about 2 or 3 times in the winter because every time he opens the sealed up foam the ground gets a little colder until eventually it does freeze. This story is so unbelievable to Manitobans, who woke up to -31 (not including the wind chill!) this morning. This kind of out of the box thinking could actually be used farther north where the produce is prohibitively expensive due to shipping costs and the growing season is extremely short.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Every February when I was in elementary school we celebrated the Festival du Voyageur. I don't remember much about it except that we wore long embroidered sashes around our waists, made candy from pouring maple syrup onto clean (never yellow) snow and we ate delicious soupe aux pois. Most of the other kids thought the pea soup was gross, it was mushy and khaki green coloured, but I loved it! That was back in the days where I ate little bits of meat in things without too much disgust. Since then I really haven't had pea soup much at all because of the ham in it. So today I decided to make my own version, meat-free.
On Friday we had a nice visit with J and I had wanted to make something to go with tea for an afternoon visit. Naturally, scones came to mind. I wanted to make them a bit different, just for a change, so into one batch I put golden raisins, dried apricots and fresh orange zest, and the other batch got sharp aged cheddar and cracked black pepper. After tasting the two I couldn't decide which I preferred they were both pretty yummy! We served them with some of our summer preserves, grape, rhubarb vanilla and spiced apple cider jelly from my Mom's friend (which I intend to make this year, it is so good!).
Friday, January 9, 2009
This post is a bit overdue, but I wanted to give you my crepe recipe.