Wednesday, June 28, 2017

A Jaunt in Paris

So, I took a quick little trip to Paris for a long weekend to celebrate my friend Annelies' birthday. She was in Europe from Argentina, and I decided to make the trek across the pond to celebrate with her and our other bestie Manar, who came from London. It was so good for the soul :)

It might seem a bit extravagant, and it was a little, but I found a great price on the flight, which made it affordable. I was so lucky to get upgraded on the way there, as there was a couple that wanted to sit together, so they asked if I minded switching seats. who would mind being upgraded? Now that's love. Sitting with your wife back in economy class and forgoing the little luxuries of your ticketed seat. I'd like to think I would do the same but who knows. It was very nice to have the extra leg room and the food was much better. 

We stayed at a lovely airbnb in the Marais, which was great.

Paris was absolutely beautiful, and the weather was warm and sunny. We walked and walked and ate, and stopped at cafes, and hung around in parks, and did a bit of shopping, and even some wedding dress shopping (no, not for me!) met up with another friend from high school, and caught up with friends from Montreal. We spent time with Annelies' friend and her newborn baby--adorable. 

Sur les Champs Elysees
Here are some photos of food 

Delicious brunch at the Hardware Societe

Croque Monsieur avec frites
Cobb Salad
Delicious Steak
Breakfast at the airbnb
and some other photos

Near Sacre Coeur

Tour Eiffel

Coffee Break

Rooftop Cafe Oz

Cafe Oz
Us at Cafe Oz

Nightime View

Les filles

Macarons from La Duree
to bring home for bae and my parents
Until next time Paris. 

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Egg Muffins

Do you like to eat the same thing everyday for breakfast or switch things up? I guess I am a mix of both. I can go days on end eating oatmeal everyday, especially during winter. In the summer, I like a bit more variety.

I woke up a bit early the other day and decided to make something a bit different for us. The great thing about these egg muffins are that you can throw in whatever ingredients you have on hand. Also, they are great for breakfast on the go.  Here I used broccoli, onion and cheddar but anything would work.

It was funny to see Stefan when he woke up. He saw an empty bowl where the eggs had been, but nothing was on the stove... hmmm. It was sweet and funny to see him try and guess and figure out what I was making. I will definitely make these again.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Teriyaki Pasta Salad

Thanks to Stefan for taking these nice photos. I didn't even have to fold laundry this time-- what what!!

I saw a similar looking salad on Creme de la Crumb and couldn't get it out of my mind. I really wanted to make it for this potluck street party at Stefan's parents' street we were going to on Saturday evening. Sometimes, I get these ideas in my head and it's hard to change my mind. We had 4 bunches of asparagus and had talked about making some grilled asparagus..but then, despite having none of the ingredients for this salad, I decided to go out and buy them and make it. Stefan ended up doing most of it, as I was out at the rehearsal dinner for Kristin and Shawn's wedding. Stay tuned for an update and some photos on that. It was so much fun. What a busy weekend!!

How do you get a chef to follow a recipe? It ain't easy. Stefan was pretty good though, and mostly followed the instructions. I took the opportunity to show him how useful the ipad is for cooking and recipes. Stefan thinks my ipad is useless, as I have been rarely using it since I got my new laptop. He keeps threatening to get rid of it. Nooooo!!!!!

Our key takeaways- use good quality extra virgin olive oil. Not canola oil. It won't be the same.
Also don't mix everything together and then add dressing before serving. Instead put the dressing on the pasta right away so the flavour can develop and the pasta stays MOIST. When you are ready to serve, add spinach and the rest of the ingredients so the leaves don't get soggy.  Finally, always use fresh garlic if you have some instead of garlic powder. That's just a personal preference.

We brought it to the street party and it was a lot of fun. What a neat idea and nice way to get to know your neighbors and enjoy a nice spring evening outdoors.  There were so many delicious salads.

Our table was so beautiful! Notice the lemon and flowers in the water? What a nice touch from Stefan's mom.

Friday, June 09, 2017

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

I am so excited that our seasonal veggie share has started. I always rant and rave about it. I can't help it. I just can't say enough good things about it and highly recommend everyone sign up. We get the bi-weekly share and it's more than enough for two people. I always want to get the weekly share, but it wouldn't be realistic to eat it all in time. Anyway, we received some fresh rhubarb, and decided it would be good to make pie, as I had leftover pie dough in the freezer from the pie workshop at Life of Pie.

Rhubarb has a soft spot in my heart, as it reminds me of making jam with my grandma. Strawberry rhubarb is a classic combination and I decided to make a rhubarb strawberry custard pie, because it sounded good. I modified a recipe from all recipes to make improvements based on the reviews so I can share a new and improved recipe.

I gotta say, I was pretty impressed that I was able to whip this up in no time. I didn't even leave a big mess. Usually by the time I am done cooking I have no energy left to clean, but for some reason I had a burst of energy after work one evening, made the pie, a soup and managed to clean a little bit.

Stefan took the photo above. I made a deal with him- photography in exchange for laundry folding and he jumped on it. #comparativeadvantage #specializationoflabour #econ #nerd #notthatgreatatfoldinglaundry #domesticlife

Stefan said the pie was excellent. I liked it too, and will definitely make again. It will be sooner rather than later as we got more rhubarb yesterday. mmmm Enjoy!

Thursday, June 08, 2017


Have you gone to Origin Trade in the market?

If not, drop everything and head on over. It's a cute coffee shop/bar lounge that serves delicious food in a cozy atmosphere.  I was there recently for a private event to learn more about Mealshare, an organization that works to end youth younger.

Origin has some sweet specials. I will definitely heading back there soon!

Mealshare has already donated over 1.3 million meals to youth in need through their charity partners. Lets help them give more. Mealshare has a buy 1 give 1 approach. If you buy a Mealshare menu item at one of the partner restaurants, the restaurant donates to mealshare, who in turn gives the money to organizations such as Boys and Girls Club and Operation Come Home, and they provide meals to youth.

A snapshot of a few that work hard to make this all happen-
including Mariam from Mealshare (second from the left)
Delicious Food from origin Trade

Mealshare has some new partners and the list of restaurants is really impressive. In Ottawa, the participating restaurants are:

  • The Red Lion
  • The Shore Club
  • Social
  • Petit Bill's Bistro
  • The Albion Rooms
  • CRAFT Ottawa
  • Clocktower Brew Pub
  • Perspectives
  • 10Fourteen
  • Art Is In Bakery
  • Black Cat Bistro
  • Coconut Lagoon
  • Industria
  • Pure Kitchen
  • Feast + Revel
  • Origin Trade
  • Beckta
  • Restaurant 18
  • Wellington Gastropub
  • La Roma 
  • Trattoria Caffe Italia
  • Sutherland Restaurant Bar & Cafe
  • Red Apron
  • Pascale's Ice Cream
  • Pressed 

  • Head on out for a nice lunch or dinner at one of these delicious restaurants and order a mealshare item.There is no additional cost to you, and it will mean a lot to the recipient. As someone who gets hangry when I haven't eaten for a few hours, I can't stress enough the importance of proper nutrition. Lets give our youth the best chance of success. Thank you to Mealshare and its partners for making this happen and for giving us a way to give!

    Thursday, April 20, 2017

    One Skillet Steak and Veg

    When S moved in, he brought with him a cast iron skillet- yes!! It's awesome. I came across some recipes in Bon Apetit for one-skillet meals with cast iron skillet, and decided to try this one- mainly because I love Steak. Also it is listed as "healthy-ish" and that appeals to me.   Asparagus was on sale at Farm Boy and I stole the peas from my parents. This recipe came together super quickly , thanks to S being a great sous-chef and helping with the mis-en-place/ chopping- all while he also made a delicious soup for us to have for the week. Where did I find this guy?  In the mornings I don't like too many cooks in the kitchen, but at night it's really nice, and sometimes, like this, it goes off without a hitch. The most important was that we had dinner ready in time to watch the Sens win! Go Sens Go!

    The original recipe can be found here. I modified slightly mainly just used a different cut of steak and a different vinegar, and regular onion instead of shallots, and a bit less garlic than the original recipe.

    Wednesday, February 15, 2017

    Salted Caramel Apple Pie

    Since I had so much dough left from the pie course, I decided to make a pie for dinner with friends. Anto offered to help me and came up with a few recipes. We settled on this one and followed it for the most part except that I used my own dough. I won't re-write the recipe as the original one is great and has a great step by step with photos and a video. I was surprised how easy it was to make the caramel. Unfortunately I didn't have salted butter so, after a quick google search,  I just added 1/4 tsp of salt to my unsalted butter.

    Anyway here are the photos!

    It got all eaten up pretty quickly. I'd definitely make this again.

    The best part..I had leftover caramel sauce, and then came across a booklet I had from Food network with 50 recipes with caramel sauce..I tell you, sometimes the stars just line up!! stay tuned..

    Tuesday, February 14, 2017

    Pie Workshop at Life of Pie

    Pastry Hands On

    I came across this "Pastry hands on" workshop by chance and jumped at the opportunity to do it. i immediately asked my friend J as she and Pat always get quiches and pics from life of pie. unfortunately she was fighting a bad cold and wasn't able to attend :(.. but luckily Antonella stepped in and we had a great time! 

    dream mixer

    making the dough

    my quiche dough

    mini tarts

    they had fruit inside

    learning from the best

    filling the tarts with fruit mixture and topping

    Anto making it look easy

    ready to go in the oven

    finished quiche

    finished tarts

    This hands on course was great. the class was small enough that you really got to learn. We each went home with 6-10 tarts, a quiche and enough dough to make about 6 more pies. wow!! I won't give away all the pie lady's secrets and recipes, but i recommend this course if it's offered again. Apparently they will also have a course on making scones..mmm..yum!!


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