Friday, 26 May 2017

Pacific Coast Salmon on the BBQ

When I was single and dating, I realized that every guy had a “signature dish”. Each one of them was proud to make me taste their “creation”. The majority of the dishes that I tried (honestly I don’t try to be one of the judges from “Chopped”) – were okay! Considering that these poor single men with no culinary background were on their own cooking their way to impress me (or other ladies) was good enough to deserve respect! Most of them found ways to come up with some dishes by using prepared food. For example, one guy I was dating for almost 6 months was making shrimp risotto. You’ll probably think that’s not too shabby. You’re right… until I stood next to him watching his “cooking method” which basically came down to; 1 box of risotto plus frozen shrimp – which frozen was acceptable – and pre-shredded cheese (I can’t stand that kind of cheese… yuck!). The final result was fine as long as I was dismissing most of the ingredients. Of course the important thing was he made an effort to cook something for me.

One day there was a very handsome man named David from British Columbia that approached me and the connections between the two of us were unbelievable! We started dating long distance and eventually met in person in Toronto. From there, I came to visit him here in Vancouver. Like most of the men I dated before him, he had a signature dish as well but this one was quite different from others… it was really good!!!

His Pacific Coast Salmon was seasoned (although a little too salty) and cooked perfectly on the barbecue. He served it with rice and steamed veggies. That was it! I was hooked! What? Who says that women cannot be won by their stomach… lol! After we moved in together, this dish was among our favorites and still is. We had Lynn and June, friends of ours, over for dinner when we were vacationing in Rancho Mirage last month. Guess what was on the menu…? His salmon recipe! Now that we have evolved as a couple, I like to serve this dish with my  Moroccan Couscous Salad and some fresh steamed green beans. Simple and quite fast to prep and make, this is the perfect dish to serve either when hosting or when you want a quick meal.
Bon Appétit!

 

For ingredient amounts and much more, visit http://clubfoody.com/recipe/pacific-coast-salmon-on-the-bbq/


Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Palm Springs Date Shake

We just came back from the Palm Springs area and I’m ready to pack my bags again and return to this gorgeous oasis! As I said many, many times; if I could live there, I would! I’ve been in love with this Southern part of California since I was 16 and I came for my first visit with my father. Back in January 1981, we met down there with my Aunt Rolande and Uncle John along with my cousin Michelle. During our stay in paradise, we went to the Bob Hope tournament. Yes, I did see Bob Hope and even took a picture of him. Other celebrities that were at the tournament were President Ford, Orson Wells and Jack Nicklaus. Great memories and great fun!

Since then I’ve been back to Palm Springs almost a dozen times – definitely not enough – and intend to return each year – dreaming is okay… it keeps you going! Every trip, I make sure to add a new golf course to play and a new restaurant to try. Until this year though, I never really looked deeper into trying something that is a local favorite from the area. This is all Club Foody’s fault – food, food, food!
I found a milkshake! That’s it, you say! Yup, but this milkshake is very, very good!

We went to Indio just outside of Palm Desert and nearby La Quinta to explore Shields Date Gardens where you can apparently find the best Date Shake in Southern California! When you enter, it almost feels like you entered a time capsule that is frozen in time. There’s a bunch of gadgets from the 50’s-60’s and 70’s and on the back wall, you see a long counter just like the ones you see in a diner, with those low chrome stools that spin… that’s where the shakes are made! There are books, toys, candies, sauces, dressings as well as dates – go figure… lol! – for sale. There’s also a small area where people can sit and watch an educational movie on the “Sex Life of a Date” – really? – Yep that’s the title, I didn’t make it up! Further to the back, they have an outdoor area where you can enjoy breakfast and lunch. Is it a tourist trap? ABSOLUTELY! Still, it was fun to discover a new taste sensation…

We thought the date shake was good but not excellent and let me tell you why… we found it too sweet with big chunks of dates in it! So what did we do? We thought – “How can we make it better… well at least more to our liking? I knew we had pitted Medjool Dates in our refrigerator so it was one of the rare things I was looking forward to on our return… creating our version of a Palm Springs Date Shake!

Within a week of being back in Canada, I made the shake and we both really loved it! Here it is! A twist on an iconic food favorite with a few added ingredients! I really think that next time I’ve got the blues of not being in Palm Springs (I have that feeling at least a couple of times a month), I will make myself a Palm Springs Date Shake, close my eyes and bring the oasis back… ahhhhhhhh!
Bon appétit!


For ingredient amounts and much more, please visit http://clubfoody.com/recipe/palm-springs-date-shake/

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Powerhouse Cookies

When I was living in Toronto, I was at the gym 6 days a week… Nutrition, exercise and healthy eating were a priority for me. I had a regimen that I stuck to firmly and not only did I feel amazing but I looked great too! I recently started to get back to that kind of lifestyle. It’s hard at first but as soon as you start seeing and feeling results, it seems to get easier.

Now that the warmer weather is here and summer is close by, getting back in shape is a lot more enjoyable than the colder winter months. David and I love outdoor activities. We’re both avid golfers and enjoy cycling a lot. We also like to go for long walks and with all the beautiful parks here in British Columbia, it’s a nice excuse to step out. When we know we’ll be gone for a while, we like to bring a little snack with us. It can be fruits, cut veggies or cookies but not just any kind…

This cookie recipe is so delicious! It’s not overly sweet and the list of healthy ingredients that go into it makes these cookies even more enjoyable. David likes them so much, he even has them for breakfast with his morning coffee. I’m sure they can keep well for a week but we’re not the best people to ask. Every time I make them, they disappear fast – just keep in mind that there’s only two of us here… lol!

Next time you plan an activity and want to bring a snack along, this recipe is perfect but just make sure to bring enough for everyone!
Bon Appétit!

 

For ingredient amounts and much more, visit http://clubfoody.com/recipe/powerhouse-cookies/

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

French Dip with Au Jus

Roast beef and prime rib are so delicious! These are cuts of meat I really appreciate and savor every time I have them. This is also an easy meal to serve when you are hosting a dinner. Last month just before Easter weekend, I posted my Roast Beef with Fresh Herbs an easy flavorful dish to serve for any special occasion!

Now when I buy a roast, I love to get one bigger than I actually need because of the leftovers. The next meal is super easy and super-fast to prepare because all the cooking is already done. I just reheat a few slices of roast beef in the pan with some gravy and serve with a couple side dishes… tada! Although I really like it that way, there’s another dish I really, really love to make out of it… it’s my French Dip with Au Jus for dipping. Oh my!

The combination of ingredients makes this sandwich one of my favorites because it elevates the flavors and believe me, this sandwich is a winner! David knows his French Dip and he thinks mine is the best… pat on the back, thank you!

If you have leftovers from your roast beef then you are in for a treat with this delicious, tasty sandwich along with the homemade Au Jus. Both are simple to put together and you’ll have a meal to enjoy in next to no time. I’m positive next time you are at the grocery store, you will buy a bigger roast just so you have an excuse to make this French Dip with Au Jus recipe… it’s that good!
Bon Appétit!
 

For ingredient amounts and much more, visit http://clubfoody.com/recipe/french-dip-with-au-jus/


 

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Bacon Wedge Salad

Mother’ Day is here in just a few days and unless you live far away from her, the chance to see your mom that day is pretty obvious! Some of you will even cook a nice meal at home and have her over. Others will take her out to a nice restaurant. Whichever you decide on, she’ll be very happy I’m sure.

Of course if you have her over for brunch or dinner, you’ll be making something special or prepare one of her favorite dishes.


A dish that my mother enjoys a lot when we go for brunch/lunch is a salad along with a nice glass of wine. From all the salads on the menu, if she sees a wedge salad, she’s sold! She loves her blue cheese so it’s an obvious choice.

I love this salad as well and have it often because I like its simplicity. It’s super-fast to make and I can start to enjoy my dinner within 10 minutes. Unfortunately this year, I won’t be able to make it back to Québec city for Mother’s Day therefore this simple but amazingly flavorful dish is dedicated to my Mom!
Bon Appétit and Happy Mother’s Day!

 

For ingredient amounts and much more, visit http://clubfoody.com/recipe/bacon-wedge-salad/


Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Spicy Sausage Penne all'Arrabbiata

Most of us complain about not having enough time in a day. Quite often I wish a day was 48 hours long as I feel that I’m constantly trying to squeeze as much as I can in a day so I can accomplish more. The downside of it is I am sleep deprived, stressed and often agitated. Although Albert Einstein said that “time” is an illusion, in my world, time is pretty much a harsh reality.

Alright, enough whining…lol! There’s no secret that I love cooking. Although it’s fun, I do appreciate some uncomplicated dishes that are quick to make. Now let’s not confuse quick and easy with less mouthwatering recipes. The two can be easily paired together.

One dish that I enjoy for its simplicity and its amazing flavor is Penne all’Arrabbiata. It’s incredibly fast to prepare! Originally from the south of Italy, the sauce of this dish is made with pepperoncini, garlic and tomatoes – can’t be much simpler than that! Although I really enjoy the traditional one, I’ve decided to bring it up a notch… why not!

In today’s episode, I am sharing with you my Spicy Sausage Penne all’Arrabbiata. I just couldn’t resist adding a smoky flavor to this dish and I did! It’s a slight twist but the results are just delicious! This recipe takes under ½ hour to make and you can enjoy a savory meal without losing quality and flavor. I’m sure time can be an issue and when it happens, take a deep breath and quickly make this flavorful pasta dish!
Bon Appétit!
 

For ingredient amounts and much more, visit http://clubfoody.com/recipe/spicy-sausage-penne-allarrabbiata/


Thursday, 4 May 2017

Tartar Sauce

Until last year, I had to go to my favorite “Fish & Chip” joint to have this meal. Somehow, I never really thought of making them myself. There’s really no reason for it… I just simply didn’t make it at home. When I started this cooking website, I still didn’t have any intention of making my own “Fish & Chips” but the reality of showcasing my recipes gave me enough confidence and a good reason to give it a try. “Wow!” was my reaction when I made it the first time. Obviously since then, I’ve been making this dish whenever I want at home.

Let’s go back to my favorite place where I enjoyed their “Fish & Chips”. Although it was deliciously cooked, there was one thing I never really liked over there and it was their tartar sauce. I was actually quite surprised that they couldn’t make this simple side dish adequately?

My motto is “Why buy it when you can make it at home”, right? As far as I can remember, I’ve being making my own Tartar Sauce. My mother made her own sauce and before that was my grandmother. Their recipes were quite easy; mayo and relish together… voilà! When I was younger, I was making my mother’s sauce but as my taste buds evolved, I started making it slightly more complex than hers to the point that hers and mine are not very close to each other anymore.

There are so many versions of this sauce out there but I have to say, mine is quite yummy! With a few ingredients, you can turn this simple sauce into a great accompaniment for your next “Fish & Chips” or any other dish that needs Tartar Sauce.
Bon Appétit!

 

 

For ingredient amounts and much more, visit http://clubfoody.com/recipe/tartar-sauce/

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Thai Chicken Curry

Blogging is fun and so is creating recipes. Now you mix these two together and the results are exciting! No seriously guys, creating recipes is my passion, the inner “artsy” side of me. The only reward I get from it is to share my dishes with you and hope you’ll enjoy them – and why shouldn’t you? There’s no prize at the end of it besides some of you getting back to me and appreciating one of my creations.

The other day, one of my subscribers from Thailand was quite impressed with my Thai Yellow Curry Paste. Wow! That was awesome! I felt that I accomplished something great and boy did it ever feel good inside! Yeah, yeah I know… my ego was boosted and it made me happy! C’mon… she is from THAILAND and liked it! Of course, I would still have felt great inside if that woman was from Russia – a compliment is always positively welcomed – but who better to judge than someone from Thailand.

From there, she obviously was curious about what dish I created to go along with my yellow curry paste and this is what today’s recipe is all about… Thai Chicken Curry! I love the mixed flavors of sweet, spicy and savory together. It’s so aromatic and at the same time comforting. Although Thailand is on my “places to visit” list, having this dish brings this colorful, energetic culture into my kitchen!

Of course, now that I’ve told you about my Thai subscriber, I wonder how she will react about this recipe. I’m not scared at all because when I tasted this dish, it was an “OMG” moment! It was exactly how I wanted this recipe to turn out. Being in many Thai restaurants before, I knew what flavors I was looking for and they were right here on my plate. I guess my biggest concern was more with the paste because I wasn’t too sure how to come out with enough spices but also tasting flavorful. I never find just “spicy” interesting… it has to have some flavor to it. When I just taste “hot” and nothing else, to me, it’s a one note dish… boooooring!

Don’t be afraid about the paste when you make it. It has some major zip to it! When adding all the ingredients of this Thai Chicken Curry together in the saucepan, it mellows out quite a bit and the results are amazing! This recipe is fast and easy to make plus you can proudly say that you can make Thai recipes from scratch at home… now that’s cool – and spicy -!
Bon Appétit!

 

 

 

For ingredient amounts and much more, visit http://clubfoody.com/recipe/thai-chicken-curry/

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

North African Merguez

In this modern world where people can work remotely from anywhere on the globe and therefore move to a place of their choice, there are major pluses as well as minuses. When moving from one area to another, the experience is fascinating but there are frustrations that come along with it. Yes it is always fun to discover new places, meet other people, learn another culture, add an additional language to your repertoire and discover new dishes. This is the thrill of moving away and you don’t have to move far away to experience changes.

Just moving out of Québec to Ontario was a big adaptation on many levels… well back there it was. Clubs in the 80s’ were closing at 1am instead of 3am in Québec. Drinking age was 19 versus 18 (I moved when I was 23 so I was okay). Everything was mostly closed on Sunday in downtown Toronto whereas in Montréal it was another crazy day to go out. People were dressing very conservatively in comparison to the ones from Montréal which back then the city held the reputation of being North America’s Fashion Destination next to New York City. With only 5 hours of driving between Toronto and Montréal, I couldn’t understand why there were so many food items from Québec we couldn’t find in Ontario.

Nine years ago, I fell in love and moved with David here in British Columbia. I didn’t move from Canada to Asia although sometimes it feels like this here in Vancouver… lol! Almost the same thing happened then when I moved in Ontario back in the late 80s’. I won’t pinpoint all the differences except food again – of course, this is a cooking website… lol! When I just moved in Ontario when visiting family and friends in Québec, I always had a cooler in the car so I bought food items, filled the cooler and brought them back home to Toronto. Now it is quite difficult to do that considering that I would have to drive 4 days non-stop going through the Rockies (this is if the weather is nice) just to have my fav food items. So the solution was to make my own!

There’s one food item that is incredibly delicious and till this day, I still don’t understand why butchers don’t carry it. It is Merguez sausage! I used to buy it often when living in Montréal. This sausage has so many earthy flavors and the spiciness in it is perfect! After inquiring at over a dozen butcher shops around and getting that puzzled look on their faces when asking for it, I’ve decided it was time for me to try making merguez sausage. This North African sausage is not for the faint of heart… it is spicy! If you like spice in your food and are not afraid to try something new then you definitely need to add this to your “must try” list.
Bon Appétit!

 

For ingredient amounts and much more, visit
 
 


Thursday, 20 April 2017

Chicken Cordon Bleu

I always like going out to restaurants and I love the whole experience of it. From dressing up to sitting down at the restaurant table, ordering, relaxing and enjoying flavorful meals cooked by amazing chefs plus sharing a nice bottle of wine along with great company and conversation, to me this is a lovely way to spend an evening! I’m very social and this is something I really enjoy in my life.

Back in the 80s’, on average I would say that I was going out for dinner 4 nights a week. I was definitely a “Restaurantaholic”! – if this word doesn’t exist, I just created one… lol! I always love trying new dishes from the menu, new wines while wearing a new outfit – did I ever mention that I love shopping? The same scenario in the 90s’ with me and restaurants but much lesser since the turn of the century and definitely less since I’m on the West Coast unless we’re travelling.

One dish that appeared in a lot of restaurants was Chicken Cordon Bleu. For some strange reason, restauranteurs removed it from their menus and I don’t remember seeing it since the late 90s’. A few years ago I got a flashback from that dish and decided to replicate it at home. My first attempt was pretty good but I wanted more flavor so I thought outside the box by adding a few new ingredients and with humbleness (… lol!), I have to admit, this is the best Chicken Cordon Bleu I ever had!

If you like classic dishes and want to impress your guests with a flavorful and well-presented dish, this one is absolutely perfect! I like to serve this recipe along with my Moroccan Couscous – click here for the link: Moroccan Couscous Salad– and some veggies. You can prep your roulades ahead of time (1-2 hours), tightly wrap them and when you’re ready to cook, bread them, sear them and transfer them to the oven… voilà! If you’ve never tried this dish, I highly suggest you do… you’ll be amazed how incredibly tasty it is!
Bon Appétit!

 

For ingredient amounts and much more, visit
 
 

Monday, 17 April 2017

Tiramisu

I can proudly say that I’m a person who likes almost everything. I don’t have a narrow mind and I’m willing to try food, ingredients, etc. that I’ve never had before. Some people without trying it, will lift their nose and refuse to taste it – can’t understand them… sorry! At least try it and if you don’t like it THEN you can make a legitimate comment about it.

Although as mentioned I like pretty much everything, there are certain dishes, food that I’m not crazy about. That doesn’t’ stop me from giving them another try until perhaps I might eventually like it. Well here’s a perfect example… Between David and I, I am the most adventurous one although he came a long way since we’ve met and now, we both try “new stuff” together. Though there is one dish that I never really enjoyed and it is David’s fav! It’s Tiramisu! WHAT? Yes… I’ve never been a big fan of that classic Italian dessert even though I like all the ingredients in the recipe. It reminds me of “baby food”. You know that big round cookie that moms pour hot milk over to make it soft for babies without teeth (or barely any). This is what the texture reminds me of and for some reason, it was not enjoyable in my mouth.

One of the rules of thumb for a healthy relationship is to not be too self-centered, selfish and compromise once in a while. So having said that, one day I decided to make David’s favorite dessert – I’ve been procrastinating to make it for years but it was the decent thing to do… I have to say, the guy is patient… lol! Each time David ordered it, he always wanted me to have a taste and as a good sport, that’s exactly what I was doing “A” taste, not more just one taste! I knew which ingredients I would need to make it so opening up my memory box located somewhere in my brain, I put ingredients together and adding my favorite liqueurs in it which were Tia Maria and Marsala Wine. A little confession to make – I was drinking Tia Maria in my coffee while making it and truly hoping this dessert will turn out okay. It is hard to have confidence about something you’re making when you don’t like it…

Well, well, well what a surprise this Tiramisu was! Not only was it amazingly delicious BUT I LIKE IT! Okay, I like it more – I’m still working on the “baby-cookie-mushy-texture” issue, it’s a work in progress! Is it because I used Tia Maria or because I made it and somehow the “ego” department of my person decides it was more acceptable? Who knows! The important thing was that David really loved it and since then, I’ve been making it more often.

The moral of this recipe is don’t lift your nose to something you never had before until you try it and if after that, you still don’t really like it, keep trying, your taste buds might surprise you!
Bon Appétit!

 

For ingredient amounts and much more, visit http://clubfoody.com/recipe/tiramisu/