Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Scones

I’ve been in business for most of my life. If I worked for someone else for 7 years altogether, that’s probably it! In the late 80s’ I started my first company which was a High-end Fashion Boutique for Ladies, located on St Joseph Boulevard in Gatineau (formerly Hull), Québec. I carried big designer names such as Mondi, Marcella Priani, Le Truc, and so on as well as some very expensive lingerie such as Chantelle, Lejaby, Filodoro, etc. I also designed some clothes with my label on them.

It was quite an experience and I was blessed to have amazing ladies working for me. They worked very hard to make my boutique a successful business. Often, I was doing fashion shows and they were there helping me with them. During this time, I met a woman named Lisette who was the agent and promoter for the late Alys Robi, a popular singer from Québec. She worked as well for me promoting my store through different events. She eventually got me a spot for one of my fashion shows at The Fairmont Chateau Laurier in Ottawa. We did it during day time in the Zoe’s lounge throughout Afternoon Tea, packed with ladies enjoying their three tiered plates and sipping their favorite tea while watching my models walking in between tables showcasing the clothes from my store.

After we wrapped everything, I promised myself that one day I would return there to enjoy this British tradition. Sure enough, a couple of years later just before I officially moved to Toronto, I went there one afternoon with a friend, sat in the lounge and ordered some tea and a three tiered plate filled with sandwiches, scones and other sweet treats. This is when I first experienced these traditional English mid-afternoon tea time food items… scones… those little cakey breads. They weren’t sweet as the British served them along with jam and clotted cream… definitely the real deal! Later on, I had the North American version and they were surprisingly sweet compared to the British ones!

When I was running my event planning biz in Toronto, a lady hired me for her charity funding occasion. She wanted this to take place during the afternoon with something simple, yet elegant. I suggested a traditional afternoon tea served with what I had in Ottawa. She agreed and I went off to search for a caterer as well as a pianist, florist, etc. The event was a success… well almost because many of the guests had a real British afternoon tea experience prior to this event and unfortunately the caterer didn’t deliver the “right” scones.

There is a huge difference between British and North American when it comes to scones. Recently I gave them a try and I was pleased with the results but here was the dilemma – would my scones be a hit with the British or with the North Americans? David loved them and so did my friends… now that was a success to me! I served them with my Strawberry Butter along with petite sandwiches, a few one-bite sweets and a wide variety of tea. My “get-together” event was a success. Now if you will excuse me, I have a tea party to attend…
Bon Appétit!

 

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

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Carnival Corn Dogs

There’s a man-made island called Saint Helen, located between Montréal and Longueil that is well known for its entertainment and amusement park; La Ronde. Initially built for Expo 67 which was the most successful World Fair of the 20th century, La Ronde continues to offer amusement rides, games, entertainment and fast-food till this day. It is open from May to October and is a kid’s dream destination.

I remember going there as a child with my parents. I wanted to jump on all the rides, play all the games with the hopes of going back home with a huge stuffed animal and eating whatever I wanted. There was one food item that I really enjoyed eating at the midway and it was called “pogo”, the Québécois given name for corn dogs. With yellow mustard on it, these battered dogs on a stick were absolutely delicious!

As I became an adult, I recall buying a box of corn dogs from the frozen section of the supermarket. They were okay but had that funny, almost metallic taste that you get when foods are frozen. Although I had cravings for them once in a while, I never bought a frozen box again.

It wasn’t until a few years ago that I decided to take a shot at making corn dogs from scratch. After mixing my batter with ingredients and spices, dipping the skewered hot dogs/sausages in it and then frying them, I was pleasantly surprised with the results. They were even better than I expected and so easy to make! I don’t have to get dizzy going on rides with a bunch of loud kids around and spend a lot of money to win a stuffed animal to enjoy my “pogo” with a good drizzle of yellow mustard on it and now… so can you!
Bon Appétit!

 

For ingredient amounts and much more, visit http://clubfoody.com/recipe/carnival-corn-dogs/

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Tomates à la Provençale (Tomatoes Provençal)

Tomayto… tomahto!

Fruit… vegetable!

These little guys can be quite a controversy but worldwide, we love them! It doesn’t matter how to pronounce them or if you treat them more like a vegetable than a fruit, tomatoes are just succulent! They are incredibly versatile; used in sauces, stews as well as desserts… that’s right, you read correctly – dessert! Tomatoes are fun to cook with!

Now this trivia will blow your mind… Did you know that there are over 20,000 varieties of tomatoes in the world? It is incredible and apparently the number just keeps growing – as well as botanically… lol! It is a plant that millions of people love to grow.

Summer is here and of course we tend to cook almost everything and anything on the BBQ. David and I have a love affair with it! Our dream is to have a big backyard with a pool and a very large BBQ area for a smoker, charcoal and pizza oven. We just love grilling food!

One side dish I’ve been making for years for its simplicity but also for its amazing freshness is “Tomates à la Provençale” or if you prefer “Tomatoes Provencal” – hey I’m French… of course I’ll say it that way… lol! With a beautiful mix of fresh herbs that I grow on the patio, this recipe pairs so well with any grilled meat. There are a lot of people who cook this in the oven… I prefer it on the barbie! Why starting the oven when it’s barbecue season?

Next time you want a delicious recipe using your garden tomatoes, think about this one. It takes 5 minutes to put the mixture together and after grilling it for another 5, you’ll have a flavorful side dish with your meal. It can’t get any fresher than that!
Bon Appétit!

 

For ingredient amounts and much more, visit http://clubfoody.com/recipe/tomates-a-la-provencale-tomatoes-provencal/

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Cantaloupe Smoothie

We all have our top favorite fruits and vegetables. To this we have our second favorites and then the ones we couldn’t care less about. I’m no different than everyone else although I make a huge effort to eat the ones at the bottom of my list. All fruits and veggies have their own nutritional properties and diversifying our diet is very beneficial for us and our bodies.

Sometimes though, there are certain produce we do like but somehow don’t eat that often. Mine is cantaloupe! I like that fruit but in the past, I could go for years before having some… strange indeed!
To compensate with not eating cantaloupe more often, I’ve decided to create a recipe that would remind me to go and buy it at least a couple of times a year.

For those who don’t know me, I’m not really a breakfast person although I really enjoy the food items. I don’t really have an appetite in the morning and working very long hours on my cooking website, the only thing I desperately want when I wake up is COFFEE! I do drink a lot of it and by the time I’m coffeed-out, it’s almost noon. I guess I still can have breakfast but I simply don’t unless David makes some for me – I know, I’m spoiled and deserve it… lol!

It seems that what I have more often than anything else in the morning is smoothies. It’s quick – I know so is a bowl of cereal – , healthy and makes me cut down a little on my caffeine consumption. So that’s how I came up with the idea to create a healthy recipe with my cantaloupe. Since then, David and I regularly enjoy this fruit and its benefits. If you are like us and want to eat cantaloupe more often, then this recipe will definitely help you do it.
Bon Appétit!


 

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

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Maple Walnut Ice Cream

I’m originally from “La Belle Province” (the beautiful province) which is Québec’s nickname. I lived there until my early 20’s and then from there I moved to Ontario. Québec’s ethnicity sets it apart from the rest of the country. The obvious distinction is the majority of people in that province are French and speak the language. Even the culture is different compared with the other provinces and territories. It has a European flare and a more relaxing “attitude” – une joie de vivre – as we like to say!

Another facet that sets this province apart from the rest of Canada is its foods. Not only does Québec have its traditional dishes such as poutine, tourtière, creton, pouding au chômeur and many more but it is also the largest producer in the world when it comes to maple syrup! Québec is responsible for supplying over 75% worldwide… now that should tell you something.

It’s actually a big deal when the producers collect the sap from the maple trees during spring. It is a gastronomic ritual among us Québécois (Quebecers in English). Starting at the beginning of March and for nearly two months, there are sugar shacks everywhere and people gather together enjoying the harvest. With long wood tables next to each other in a very casual ambiance, the guests enjoy dishes that are cooked with or in maple syrup. Oversized plates are delivered and each person serves themselves just like they would do at home, passing each plate on to the stranger sitting next to them. The traditional meals that can be found on those tables are pea soup, scrambled eggs, pancakes, sausages in syrup, ham, salted lard crisps, creton, baked beans, meat pies, boiled potatoes, coleslaw, sugar pies, pouding au chômeur (poor man’s pudding) along with fresh bread, salt and pepper plus bottles of maple syrup to pour more on if a person wants to – like it’s not sweet enough as it is… lol! Live folk music is played and at any time during the meal – and after – , patrons can get up and dance on that rustic old wood floor.

Another fun thing to do when going to a sugar shack is to step outside and wait until one of the people working there comes along with boiling maple syrup and pours it on clean, white snow. On contact, the syrup hardens and the guests quickly roll it on a small popsicle stick. It is called maple syrup taffy or snow candy… take your pick!

There’s another dish that I’m not really sure if it originated in Québec but we sure enjoy the flavor. It is Maple Walnut Ice Cream. With all these traditional dishes cooked with maple syrup, I would presume this cold treat could’ve come from there but I won’t venture to say it affirmatively. On the other hand who cares where it came from because what really matters is how flavorful and delicious this ice cream is! With the crunchy taste from the walnuts, this lovely recipe is exactly what you need this summer. I don’t make “wet walnuts” as many recipes out there suggest because the maple flavor is already quite intense but I definitely roast them in the oven. This little step makes such a huge impact on this recipe. It elevates the taste and aroma of the nuts… definitely a must do.

Do Québécois have a sweet tooth? I guess we do but so does the rest of the world when it comes to maple syrup. This is probably the most popular food item that people who travel to Québec love to bring back home. Now if you’ve never been to Québec, this cold treat will give you a “taste” – of it.
Bon Appétit!

 

For ingredient amounts and much more, visit http://clubfoody.com/recipe/maple-walnut-ice-cream/


Thursday, 6 July 2017

Grilled Fish Tacos

Who wants to cook inside during the summer months? NOT ME! Well it depends… if it’s not too “hot”, it doesn’t bother me BUT if the mercury rises beyond my comfort zone, cooking will definitely be done outside. Of course we all agree that grilling on the barbecue is the way to go.

One of our favorite light food items that we enjoy cooking on the “barbie” is fish. It is quick to prepare, easy to cook and there are so many versatile ways to have it. One of them is in a taco. After prepping all your ingredients, the only thing that has to be done is to grill the fish and the tacos… – a few minutes later… voilà dinner is served!

This Grilled Fish Taco recipe I’m sharing with you today is so delicious. You can use halibut (that’s the one I’m using in the video), mahi mahi, grouper, cod, snapper or flounder but the secret ingredient is the fish rub. With a blend of spices, this rub is the right touch to make your fish shine… well in this case grill is probably more appropriate… lol!

When it’s time to assemble your taco after barbecuing, you can use chopped ingredients such as avocados, red cabbage, chives and so on and there’s a nice fresh creamy dill sauce that can be drizzled on top too. This is the perfect dish to enjoy anytime but more so when you really don’t want to cook anything inside…
Bon Appétit!

 

For ingredient amounts and much more, visit http://clubfoody.com/recipe/grilled-fish-tacos/

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Herbed Garlic Parmesan Croutons

I don’t really like to lecture people but… that’s right there’s a “but”… when it comes to food, I can’t resist mentioning how good it is to have a little salad at least once a day. Eating greens is very important for the function of our metabolism.

I also realize that many people force themselves to eat salads because they find them “boring”. You’ve read it right… boring! I, personally, love eating salads because I have so many versatile recipes therefore every day I can serve salads with delicious variations.

Enough with the salad…

When I go grocery shopping, I rarely buy prepared food items. I prefer to make my own as much as I can. Some would say it takes too much time. My argument is I’d rather spend some time making homemade than losing years of my life. Prepared foods are, in my opinion, poison! The food manufacturers add chemicals to food to preserve them for a longer shelf life. When you take a moment to think about it, what can 30 minutes a day do to improve your health? A lot if you think about simple changes to your lifestyle and eating habits. For example, if you like to watch TV a lot during the evening, remove one program and replace it by making something homemade instead of store-bought. Little changes like this can have a big impact on your life…

Enough with the prepared food items…

Sooo, I like to eat salad and I like to make variations each day to make it delicious and interesting. One item that can enhance a salad besides nuts, dry fruits and of course vegetables and so on is... croutons! I used to buy them at the store but I stopped doing that a long time ago and I’m glad I did. The taste of homemade croutons is far superior to the boxed stuff from the supermarket. Adding fresh ingredients makes the croutons so yummy!

Here I’m sharing my Herbed Garlic Parmesan Croutons recipe and if… only if you decide to walk from the couch to the kitchen during the commercial breaks, you can make this flavorful recipe. The time it takes to make them is short and the results are amazing!
Bon Appétit!

 

For ingredient amounts and much more, visit http://clubfoody.com/recipe/herbed-garlic-parmesan-croutons/

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Homemade Lemonade

The best lemonade I ever had was when I was in Mexico City but first let me start from the beginning.

Back in the late 90s’ during the fall season I was working on a gig, trying to make a deal with Hudsons Bay and a Mexican company located just outside of Mexico City who were making chocolates filled with liqueur. Before I went there, I looked for a place to stay for ladies only – no it wasn’t a YWCA. I had heard about it and also I was informed that the price of a room was pretty cheap. So the first time I went there for my business venture, I booked my room for 10 days, flew from Toronto to Mexico and there I was.

When I checked in, I was happily surprised to meet a few Canadian ladies from the GTA (Greater Toronto Area). They were working in the area and tried to learn Spanish as well. Obviously being an expatriate, we kind of stuck together. When my time was up, I flew back home and by the time I arrived, Hudson Bay buyers were quite interested in that chocolate-liqueur company. I booked the same hostel for ladies and went back but this time I was there for almost a month.

It was a very enriching experience to be there that long. I learned so much about the Mexican culture (still not enough), went to many places where the locals hangout, discovered other food items and learned more Spanish.

One afternoon, one of the ladies from Toronto and I went to a local restaurant for lunch. She was off that day and I didn’t have any meetings set up. The food was incredible but what I remember the most was their lemonade. OMG! It was the best lemonade EVER! They served it in one of those thick plastic tall glasses with a straw. It was so amazingly delicious that I finished it pretty fast and quickly ordered another one. I had to restrain myself from not ordering one more.

Later that day when the other ladies got back to the hostel, I couldn’t stop talking about how incredibly tasty the lemonade was so much that a few of them decided to go the next day to have it. Well they changed their mind quite fast when a few hours later I started getting pretty, pretty sick. I caught a bug that is commonly known as “tourista”. I won’t go into too much detail but let’s put it this way, the Mexican woman who was in charge of the hostel had to call a doctor for me to get intravenous because I was getting so dehydrated… no kidding, it was that bad!

The next day, I realized what caused it – I drank a local lemonade made with local water plus I had ice cubes made with local water… the WATER was what caused my illness! Although I felt quite weak for a few days, I kept thinking how good the lemonade was. I was leaving in a couple of days but if I hadn’t gotten sick, I would’ve probably gone back for more lemonade.

The next summer I made homemade lemonade and although, it’s still not quite there, my lemonade is pretty close to the one I had in Mexico City. I wonder if the difference in taste is caused by the water. The good thing is you’ll be able to enjoy as many glasses as you want. After making this extremely easy recipe, you’ll never buy any from the store… it’s that good!
Cheers!


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

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Smoky Porky Burgers

These days, most people barbecue all year round but summer is THE season for that! Just the smell of a BBQ triggers my appetite – my sense of smell is amazing so is the size of my stomach… lol!

So many times David and I were cycling and I was on a “detox” which means no food and drink strictly my “juice”. Then all of a sudden I get a whiff of the smell of a BBQ and that’s it… my detox was out the door! David always loves to tease me about it – “she’s back on the See Food * Eat Food diet”, he likes to say. Right from the start, it takes so much will power to be on a detox program and I know I can do it but when it comes to BBQ and the smell, I’m just powerless!

There are certain food items that are sinfully delicious! One of them and I’m sure you’ll agree is BACON! A little bit of bacon makes recipes taste a million times better! The smokiness of it brings amazing flavors to any dish. That’s why this recipe was created… so you can blame it on the bacon!

One comfort food I enjoy a lot is burgers! I like the combination of the toasted buns, grilled seasoned meat and some yummy condiments to top everything off! This is what I call “a perfect bite”! Obviously because summer is grilling season, sharing another burger recipe is something I just had to do and that is why I’m showing you how to make my Smoky Porky Burgers!

I know, I know the name is quite enticing especially if you watch what you eat. But let’s get real here. This is one of those dishes you want to indulge in… and why not? It’s summer, it’s nice outside and there’s nothing stopping you from enjoying a tasty burger such as this Smoky Porky Burger!

Next time you want to fire up the Barbie and enjoy a super flavorful burger, don’t look any further and give this recipe a try… it’s sinfully delicious!!!
Bon Appétit!

 

For ingredient amounts and much more, visit http://clubfoody.com/recipe/smoky-porky-burgers/

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Summer Creamy Coleslaw

Everyone has their favorite season and mine is definitely summer although I really enjoy autumn with its beautiful colors and fresh, cool air. There are so many reasons why summer is my favorite of all; nice hot weather, my open-toed sandals (yes I realize I’ve mentioned them quite a few times… hey I love them!), outdoor activities such as golfing, cycling, swimming, hiking and so on, plus the food! Everything seems to taste better. The freshness of produce and the availability make me want to eat more of it. Although I serve salad with almost every meal throughout the year because it’s healthy – I have a healthy conscious – I really enjoy having it more during the summer months.

There is one particular vegetable that I was never really fond of and it’s cabbage. Growing up, everyone in my family loved it except for me; something to do with the taste, smell and texture. Ironically, I fell in love with David who is German. Should I continue? Yes, that’s right! Germans and their cabbage… it’s like French with their cheese! Fair enough! LOL!!!

Last year I posted my or should I say “His” German Red Cabbage recipe. It is an amazing recipe and this is when I went out of my way to give cabbage another chance to prove me wrong. Guess who won? Since then, I’ve been eating cabbage. I still have a slight problem when cabbage is cooking because of the smell but the taste though is perfectly fine with me – keep in mind that our tastes do change with time… or is it because of my feelings toward my partner???

Now it was my turn to do something with cabbage. I came up with this Summer Creamy Coleslaw recipe and here are the reasons for it… First, I love David and second, I wanted to create a recipe that I wouldn’t ever imagine that one day I would enjoy! Back then I was working for this American Food Website as a Food/Recipe Analyst and I submitted this recipe to them. They posted it and I actually bragged about it to my family members and friends. I know, it’s childish but I was so proud of me. C’mon… Frankie creating a recipe with cabbage… impossible!

Anything is possible… well that’s what I’ve heard, don’t quote me on it! I love the combination of the dressing with the freshness of the ingredients. If this doesn’t scream out loud summer than I don’t know what does! It is bright, colorful, sweet & savory with a nice fresh crisp bite to it. This coleslaw salad is perfect with any meal and unless there’s a picky little brat like me (when I was young) around, everyone will love it!
Bon Appétit!

 

For ingredient amounts and much more, visit http://clubfoody.com/recipe/summer-creamy-coleslaw/

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Coconut Waffles

How’s your morning? I’m sure it can be quite crazy, trying to get everybody up in the morning let alone getting the kids ready for school; feed them quickly, make their lunch and then off to school.

I wake up very early each day and once in a blue moon I sleep in but that doesn’t happen too often. Although I’m up and about mostly working on this site and anything related to it, I’m not really a breakfast person. I have to have my coffee… black please… but once in a while I do eat breakfast. It’s not because I don’t like it… I LOVE breakfast food, but I think it’s more the fact that I drink so much coffee that by the time I should sit and enjoy my breakfast, I’m not hungry anymore. That’s probably why there are not so many recipes posted in the breakfast section on Club Foody website. Now when I do have breakfast, it has to be gooooood!

David loves his waffles and don’t get me wrong, I enjoy them as well. One morning though I thought I should put a twist into this popular breakfast item and… voilà! This recipe has the nice delicate taste of coconut in it and I wanted that way. I didn’t want it to be too overpowering but still enjoy the flavors. It didn’t stop me from going over the top and pour some coconut syrup on my waffles that I purchased when we were in Kauai, Hawaii.

Now that summer is here, there’s more time to enjoy breakfast with family members so here’s the perfect recipe to serve them. If and only if you end up with leftovers – I highly doubt it – they freeze very well. Lay them on a single layer on a baking sheet and transfer to the freezer. When frozen, place them in a re-sealable plastic bag and back to the freezer until needed. When you’re ready to enjoy them again, reheat your waffles in your toaster… is that’s easy!
Bon Appétit!

 

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