Thursday, 28 December 2017

Golden Sunset

Holiday season or not, when you are hosting a dinner party, you want to make sure your guests have a fantastic time! From start to finish, you planned which appetizer to serve followed with your main course as well as your dessert. You probably chose your wine carefully so it pairs well with the menu. Now you think everything is faultless but there’s one thing that we often tend to forget and it is a nice digestif. This is a beautiful finishing touch to any meal. In my book, it is what defines a “successful” dinner! This is a lovely way to end a perfect evening with our loved ones. Of course let’s not forget that none of your guest should be driving after consuming alcohol…

When David and I started living together, we both enjoyed making many kinds of cocktails… from aperitif, casual drinks to digestif. As a former mixologist, it was fun experimenting with him. Just like cooking, we were also creating a few of our own. One evening though, David really surprised me… He came up with this beautiful after dinner drink that I’m about to share with you… the Golden Sunset!

The combination of these liquors is so harmonious! Not overly sweet, this elegant digestif is perfect to serve after dessert. It can also be enjoyed when serving a cheese tray after the main course instead of an Iced Wine. This digestif is what makes the difference between a good dinner and a great one!
Cheers!

P.S. Please drink responsibly… thank you!

 

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

Tuesday, 26 December 2017

Soft Boiled Eggs

Probably the only time I have breakfast almost every day is when I’m on vacation. When I’m at home, I might have a decent breakfast on the rare occasion but my “every day” breakfast consists mostly of liquid… specifically “coffee”. Please don’t start to lecture me… I know that it is supposed to be the most important meal of the day.

As I mentioned many times, I DO love breakfast food! They’re fun to eat and there’s such a wide variety to choose from. Cereals, bread, pastries, eggs, fruits, smoothies and even seafood & meat, breakfast time is sure to please anyone!

Now back to when I do eat breakfast. When I stay at a hotel and they have either Eggs Benedict or Soft Boiled Eggs on the menu, I’ll definitely order some. Interesting enough, a few years ago (that was before I met my handsome partner), I went on vacation with Mary, a friend of mine, to an “all inclusive” resort in Puerto Vallarta – David and I are going there next week… can’t wait! When her and I went for breakfast, there was so much to choose from but – yes there’s a “but” – my favorite breakfast items were nowhere to be found.

One morning Mary and I decided to venture outside the resort (finally… I can’t stay in one place) and enjoy breakfast somewhere else. Well what a nice surprise when I saw a restaurant downtown that was serving Soft Boiled Eggs! We sat down and both ordered the same thing. While enjoying our eggs, Mary confessed that it was her favorite as well and only orders them when she goes out for breakfast or brunch. I assumed that she was like me, not a breakfast person but what a shock when she explained to me that she had never been able to successfully make them at home!

Soft Boiled Eggs are very “technical” but not difficult! 15 seconds can make a big difference on the end result. Not enough cooking time and your eggs will be way too runny. Too much and you’ll end up with harder yolks making it impossible to dip your piece of toast in. With the Holidays around, this is a great and elegant recipe to make when you have guests staying over. With the right technique, you can enjoy this classy breakfast anytime at home…
Happy Holidays!

 

For ingredient amounts and more info, visit http://clubfoody.com/recipe/soft-boiled-eggs/


Thursday, 21 December 2017

Clams Casino

Who doesn’t remember their first car? I sure do! Mine was a 1981 Dodge Colt that I purchased in 86. This hatchback meant everything to me. It gave me the freedom that my adventurous side was craving. When I put the key in the ignition, I felt like there were no borders, no limitations on how far I could go – what stopped me was my disposable income… Nonetheless I planned many road trips with my friends. Because I was living in Montréal, going down the American East Coast was the right choice although my true dream was to drive along the West Coast which I finally did a little over 20 years later…

That year, with two of my girlfriends, we went to New York City during Canadian Thanksgiving. For an unexperienced driver, it was quite a challenge to drive in the big apple! I think that if it wasn’t the fact the three of us were so cute, we would probably have received more profanity from the taxi drivers. Besides that issue, the trip was a lot of fun. We had a great time exploring the city, shopping a little and going out to great restaurants. This is when we all discovered the classic Clams Casino! It was so good, we all ordered a second one. I don’t remember what else I ate during that trip except this lovely appetizer.

The other times I had the chance to savor this appetizer was when travelling to the US. I don’t recall having Clams Casino here in Canada. Anyhow, I made them a couple of times and for no particular reason, I just forgot about them. Last summer we had our friends Louise and Tim over for dinner and suddenly we started talking about classic food from the 80s that just disappeared from the restaurant menus – and Clams Casino was on the list. I remembered how flavorful they were and decided to remake them again…

In this video, I’ll show you my version of the classic Clams Casino appetizer. As I said, it’s my “version” of it! I’m not too sure if there’s cheese in the classic one but I sure do enjoy mine with some! It is an easy recipe to make and the beauty of it is the bacon mixture can be prepared the day before so when you are ready to serve them, the only thing you have to do is to steam the clams, spoon the mixture on top and broil them… tada! For the next dinner party or soirée you’ll be having, keep this delicious appetizer in mind!
Bon Appétit!

 

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


Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Spicy Gingerbread Cookies

I love the Holidays and I always will. It brings out the little girl in me. The Holidays are so flamboyant and magical! The houses, stores and restaurants are decorated with beautiful colored lights and Christmas trees. It seems there’s something in the air, some electric energy – or perhaps it’s because of all those lights around us… lol!

What is great about this time of the year is I can find more excuses to bake… hey it’s the Holidays, right? I love the aromas of baked food in the oven floating in the house while traditional music is playing in the background. It makes the Holiday experience so enjoyable.

Each year, there are many dishes that I just have to make for the occasion. These dishes represent my childhood and bring lovely memories and the same applies to David as we have similar backgrounds. Of course since we are together, I added a few more items to the menu that really represent us as a couple and one of them, believe it or not, is gingerbread cookies.

I made them once before when I was much younger but this is not something I had when I was a child. There were other sweets baked instead of these cookies which were equally good but now that David and I started our own tradition, each year, I bake these little guys. Last year I started to dress them up a little – they were kind of naked – but by no means is my skill perfected, au contraire! Did someone once say that practice makes perfect? I don’t care if my little guys have one eye bigger than the other. It’s just fun to decorate them with Bing Crosby singing a Christmas carol, me sipping on a nice hot cocoa and the Christmas lights twinkling all around me!
Merry Christmas!

 

For ingredient amounts and more info, visit http://clubfoody.com/recipe/spicy-gingerbread-cookies/


Thursday, 14 December 2017

Dinner Rolls

I like baking desserts but what I really love to make is bread… any kind and shape as long as it’s bread!


 In the Summer time when it’s hot, there’s not many people who like to bake. To me baking is more something I enjoy doing when it’s cooler outside. The smell of fresh dough while baking in the oven is my ultimate weakness…!

From the visual perspective, the beautiful golden color helps to give that slight push over the hill to remove any willpower left in my body. It doesn’t matter if I’m hungry or not, when fresh baked bread comes out from the oven, I need to eat some right away unless it’s for dinner when having company over… then I admit, it’s simply a torture as I have to restrain myself and wait for the appropriate moment…

With many celebrations ahead, baking homemade bread is something that everyone will really appreciate! There are some bread recipes that can take days before you see the final result and also others that take a few hours to complete. One I enjoy baking is Dinner Rolls because it’s a simple recipe. It doesn’t take days to make and the results are delicious. Of course everyone can always buy them at the supermarket but c’mon… nothing beats the smell and taste of fresh homemade bread.

This extra touch will make your dinner party a success when you serve them to your guests because of the freshness, tenderness and just because you took the time to make them… Enjoy!
Bon Appétit!

 

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


Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Boeuf Bourguignon (Beef Bourguignon)

The influence of French cuisine has always been very predominant in my culture. Although in Québec we have our own traditional recipes, it wasn’t uncommon to eat classic French dishes such as Escargot au beurre à l’ail, Pain au Chocolat, Vichyssoise, Chateaubriand, Coquilles Saint Jacques, terrine, Crêpes Suzette, Rillettes, Navarin d’Agneau, Chocolate Eclairs, Bourride and so on…

One dish my mother made every year that was well received with so much enthusiasm was her Boeuf Bourguignon (Beef Bourguignon). Oh my! The aroma floating in the air from the beautiful cubed beef slowly cooked for hours in a dark rich wine sauce with fresh herbs and spices, made everyones mouth water with anticipation! In our family we loved to serve this scrumptious dish over creamy mashed potatoes with crusty bread…

Every year it seems that David and I entertain more and more. There are soooooo many recipes that I created with or without his input and nonetheless I love to go back to my roots and serve what means the most to me… my family’s own traditions! Growing up in the suburbs of Montréal, I had a pretty good life as a child. The only missing link was that we were so far away from the rest of our family. Both of my parents grew up in the region of Québec city. Back then, the 3 ½ hours of driving seemed like a 5 day trip. For some reason, going to visit family was an adventure. When I was younger, I remember going often but as years went by, we barely went there therefore my brother and I never really connected with our cousins … we were the “outsiders”! Although some of them tried slightly to bind over the years, the “deep” connection won’t ever be there… sad to say!

But let’s not drift away from the initial subject… Boeuf Bourguignon! Oh lala! My mother served this dish on very special occasions and the Holidays were one of them. One time, we went to Québec (okay it was Lévis which is on the South shore of the capital city) to visit the family. My grandmother Juliette (on my mother’s side) was an incredible cook as well as a talented musician and an extremely smart woman. She had us over for dinner and served her Boeuf Bourguignon. I was surprised about the taste as it was slightly different from my mother’s version. When I had a chance to ask my mother why hers is not quite like my grandmothers, she replied that hers needed a little improvement. Was she cocky? Maybe or maybe not … I did the same with her recipe… lol!

If you compare my recipe to my mother’s, many ingredients have been added. Now if you compare mine to my granny, it might be a little closer but at the same time pretty far apart when it comes to ingredients. I believe the recipe hasn’t changed much until three generations ago… thanks to a few stubborn women who thought their way was the better way… mine included!

With a few changes (or maybe more than I think it is), here’s a recipe from my family’s ancestors who brought their culture to the “New World”. Leaving France and crossing the very big pond separating Europe to Canada, my ancestors brought something very important along with them… their traditions! Because of them, I’m sharing a part of “me” with you, somehow bringing my culture and traditions to you during this special time of the year which is the Holidays! From the bottom of my heart, please let me pass on a very precious piece of me… my roots!
Happy Holidays!

 

For ingredient amounts and much more, visit http://clubfoody.com/recipe/boeuf-bourguignon-beef-bourguignon/


Thursday, 7 December 2017

Candied Fruits

During the Holidays, we bake a lot more especially when we are hosting a dinner. Many baked goods can be great to bring to a party or to give as a gift. The list of baked recipes is almost endless and can be hard to choose from…

Since I’ve been living on my own, I always loved having dinner parties at my place and more so during this time of year. Having people around, laughing and telling stories while music is playing in the background with flavorful aromas of cooked food floating through the air, makes the entire evening a beautiful memory to cherish!

Like everyone else, I obviously bake more during the Holidays. There are cookies, cakes, breads, pies everywhere… no wonder I gain weight! It’s all good because it wouldn’t be the same without the baked goods – I’ve heard that Santa has a sweet tooth!

I particularly remember my second Christmas when I was hosting a large group for dinner. I wanted to start ahead of time and make my cookies, pies, breads, fruitcakes and so on. When I went to the supermarket, after adding all the ingredients I needed to my shopping cart, there was one item I couldn’t find… candied fruits! I went to other stores with same scenario… no candied fruits. I started to panic! I was going to make a fruit cake but without the fruits, there’s no “fruitcake”! As soon as I returned home, I called my mother to tell her about the situation. To my astonishment, she told me over the phone how to make them… After all the running around, the frustration along with the stress, I discovered how simply and easy it was to make candied fruits!

This recipe is for all you bakers… It is such a simple method to make them and in my opinion, they taste better than the ones from the store. This is an ingredient that you need to have around especially when there’s a lot of baking involved. Thanks to my mom, I was able to make my fruitcake and learn another recipe. After preserving them and storing them in an airtight container, I can enjoy them for a whole year and there’s no need to go to the supermarket…
Happy Baking and… Bon Appétit!

 

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


Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Tourtière (Meat Pie) -

It doesn’t matter where you are from, we all grew up with recipes from our cultures, our nation and of course from our family circle. This is how traditions are made… with simple little things like favorite foods and recipes!

In case some of you don’t know where I’m from originally, I was born and raised in Montréal. I was in my early 20s when I first moved to Ontario, returned briefly to Québec and then moved back to Ontario again. I’ve been living outside of the province of Québec for most of my life (almost 30 years) and yet, I still carry on my traditions. This is who I am… a French lady from Québec.

All the kids in my neighborhood grew up eating almost the same foods. When the Holidays were around the corner, we were anticipating all the dishes that would be served during those “special occasions”. Besides the traditional turkey dinner, there were other food staples that hit most Québécois family tables during that time of year and ours wasn’t any different!

Tourtière was always on the menu… tourt… iere… what? Yes tourtière! What is it, you ask? It’s simply a meat pie packed with flavor. Cooked with different types of meat and added spices, herbs and other ingredients, this dish is such an important staple in Québec during the Holidays! It has been around for 400 years in our French Canadian culture… now that should tell you something about tradition…! If there’s no tourtière on the menu, then something quite important is missing from the dinner table. I personally prefer to have tourtière over turkey and I’m sure I’m not the only one.

Of course from one family to another, everyone adds their own personal touch. I’m sure mine can be slightly different than someone else’s. For an example, my mother and I don’t cook the same tourtière. I add potatoes to mine while she doesn’t. The taste and texture of mine is different but not to the point that our tourtières are far apart.

Just a quick story here… I was telling our friends Nitsa and Les about the Holidays and that I’d love to have them over for dinner. Right away Les asked me if I knew how to make tourtière. I was shocked that he’d even heard about it. I had a smirk on my face when I said – “Of course I know how to make it! ” – and before he continued, I had the feeling that he would ask me to make some for him…! Sure enough, he requested that I make him a few pies. There’s also other friends of ours, Louise and Tim, where the same scenario repeated – Tim loves tourtière and wanted some as well… perhaps there’s a business opportunity here…lol!

Anyway, this just tells you how much people enjoy the taste of it and just like the French Canadians, this is a well anticipated dish that everyone loves! It is a delicious Holiday staple to have on your table during this time of year. It freezes well so it can be enjoyed later on during the year. This is a dish that is served along with turkey and can be relished with gravy or ketchup… seriously! I love mine with a couple dollops of ketchup. So if you want to add a new taste sensation to your festive menu, this is the perfect choice…
Happy Holidays!

 

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

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Tuna Melt

I like to look back and see how much I’ve improved in the kitchen through the years. When I just moved out on my own, I cooked very little. My cooking knowledge was frightening! If it would be possible, I would’ve been able to burn water… silly but not too far from the truth… lol! I knew that I had to start somewhere and then eventually with practice (a lot), I would get better… thanks to my positive outlook…

Back then I was “trying” to come up with a lot of canned sardines as well as canned tuna recipes which were not always a success, trust me on that one! Then one day after mixing a few ingredients together that I found in my empty pantry, I thought I just created an amazing recipe until I realized later on that it was the barebones of what is called a “Tuna Melt”. Nonetheless, that recipe gave me enough courage to continue cooking and eventually create my own recipes.

Here are the reasons why I’m sharing this recipe with you today. It has a great combination of ingredients that makes it delicious and it is a very quick meal to put together.. Also this Tuna Melt can be served as a canapé (it means bite-size hors d’oeuvre in French that it's served during an event or a soirée). All you have to do is to make it fancier by spooning the tuna mixture on miniature pieces of bread of your choice and then garnish it with fresh chives… Voilà! Either as a meal or “amuse-gueule”, this recipe is simply tasty and quick to make… all great reasons to keep it in your recipe binder!
Bon Appétit!

 

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


Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Pomegranate Molasses

I’ve been quite fortunate all my life. I’ve met great people from different backgrounds as well as very well-known people throughout my life… a long list of them! One of them became good friends of mine and it all started when I was studying to become a reporter. One late afternoon I went to a bar-lounge in downtown Montréal and sat at the bar. Not far from me maybe 3 to 4 stools away, was sitting a man in his 30s’. He was loud, funny and quite interesting. When he noticed me, he bought me a drink and then we started talking about a bunch of things with one of the topics being my desire to become a reporter and taking it as my major. He looked at me, and burst out laughing… “What’s so funny?” I asked. “Is it really what you want to do young lady?” he replied. “Of course!” I said. He then said “Because I work at the Gazette!

That night he told me about himself and his friend, who worked at the same place as a sports editor, and about a board game they both invented and were hoping to get a big contract for. After telling me more about it, talking more about nothing and everything, exchanging phone numbers, we left the bar then he kissed the top of my hand and we both took off in different directions. Only years and years later I ran into him through another friend of mine who was a member at a private golf course – The Devil’s Pulpit in Caledon, Ontario.

I remembered sitting at the bar of the Club House with my friend “Big Richard” also known as “Red Dog”, a few stools away from that very loud man. He turned towards us, greeted Richard and suddenly my mouth dropped. It was that man from that bar… it was Chris! At first he didn’t recognized me and didn’t for a while until maybe a month later, he played golf with Richard and told him “Yep I remember her now… she wanted to become a reporter… Did her dream ever come through?”

No my dream never came through although I ended up working for a short period in the newsroom of Radio-Canada before the budget cuts which laid me off. The next time I went back to the Pulpit, Chris and I sat together and he told me how well Scott (the sport editor) and he did with their board game… Trivial Pursuit! He also introduced me shortly afterward to his fiancé Hiam. Unfortunately I don’t remember exactly where she came from but she and I got along very well. She was so sophisticated and well-educated. She spoke many different languages with French being one of them. She was absolutely incredible!

One night Richard and I were invited to their place and on the kitchen island was a jar with a handwritten label of “Pomegranate Molasses”. I asked Hiam what this condiment was for and she said she uses it to enhance the flavor in many of her recipes. After tasting it, I was “hooked”! It was an “OMG” reaction. I couldn’t believe how amazing this molasses was. That night she cooked a lovely meal using this condiment and before I left (Richard was staying there), she gave me the recipe.

Through the years, I was lucky to spend more time with Chris and his lovely fiancé Hiam but sometimes circumstances – or just life – separate people. I got busy with my event planning company until 9-11 and then my life took another turn. Unfortunately I saw them less and less to the point that years went by. Next thing, I met David and moved to the West Coast. The year after I got here, I sadly found out about Chris’ death and although I tried to find Hiam, I couldn’t.

Because of this lady, I’m sharing this fabulous Pomegranate Molasses recipe with you! I’ve been using it in so many dishes and one of them will be posted next year in 2018 – I haven’t decided which month yet but please pencil it in… It is called Moroccan Chicken Thighs with Dates & Pomegranate Molasses. I also use the molasses as a Balsamic Vinegar substitute. I’m also working on creating a dessert with it – I know I shouldn’t spill the beans. After you make this condiment, you’ll be happily surprised by how incredibly versatile it is and how you can use this molasses in many of your favorite recipes.

This recipe means a lot to me. Not only is it a fabulous condiment that EVERYONE should have in their kitchen but it is also a reminder of these two great human beings I was fortunate to have in my life… Chris and Hiam!
Bon Appétit!

 

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

Monday, 27 November 2017

Roast Beef with Fresh Herbs

This coming weekend, many countries around the world will have Easter as a public holiday. Many places will be closed on “Good Friday” as well as on Easter Monday. I’m not sure how other nations enjoy this particular holiday but I’m sure all those will have a couple things in common: a long weekend to rest and an occasion to get together with family and friends.

If you are hosting dinner over this weekend, you might want to make something easy, delicious and doesn’t require that much attention… after all you want to spend time with your guests. The best answer that checks all the boxes is a roast!

When it comes to this particular cut of beef, there are many options to choose from. The prime rib with bone-in, also known as rib roast, is the best cut you can get. It has nice marbling and some fat. The next best one is a top sirloin roast which the cut is from the butt and is absolutely tender. Both of them are quite pricey but definitely worth every penny. You can also go with cheaper cuts but if you are hosting a dinner, spend the extra money and get a nice tender one!

Prepping a roast is definitely not complicated. To make it tastier, you’ve got the right recipe right here! With fresh herbs, this roast will turn out to be not only juicy but also flavorful. To me Easter is pretty much a holiday that welcomes spring and summer and by adding fresh herbs to this recipe it’s a good teaser for all the freshness ahead of us.
Bon Appétit!

 

For ingredient amounts and much more, visit http://clubfoody.com/recipe/roast-beef-with-fresh-herbs/


Thursday, 23 November 2017

Carrot Soup with Mashed Potatoes

After vacationing for 5 weeks in the Palm Springs area, getting back to cold, damp, grey, rainy weather is no fun! It took almost a week for us to get adjusted because we dropped about 30º Celsius in temperature… One recipe that I’ve made a lot upon our return was soup. It is a great way to warm up your body. It is something I like to have around especially during the coldest months of the year!

With Thanksgiving and the Holidays around the corner, people tend to entertain more at home therefore getting stuck with lots of leftovers. One of the things we have often is mashed potatoes. Of course they can be reheated but a great thing about leftovers is they can also be re-used in other recipes…

Now back to soups!

I have made my Carrot Soup recipe for decades now and it was only last year that I made a big change to the recipe… I added some of my Mixed Mashed Potato leftovers to it. Although I always thought the soup tasted amazingly good, the added ingredient made it even better!

Before I switched to using leftovers, I used to add raw russet potatoes cut into small cubes to the soup mixture and then proceed with the recipe. Starch is a big component as it helps thicken the soup. Now by using mashed, it makes things go faster and even more flavorful…

For some of you who are not familiar with my Mixed Mashed Potato recipe, I use 2 kinds of potatoes. If you want to find out more about it, click on this link – Mixed Mashed Potatoes. Let’s keep in mind that I’ve incorporated my Mixed Mashed Potato recipe here therefore if you are using another mashed potato recipe, your soup will definitely taste different than mine!

You can try it with my mashed recipe or stick to yours but whichever one you use, this is a great Carrot Soup recipe to have around. Another ingredient I like to add is heavy cream… just a little… not too much! Using a spoon, I gently stir it in the soup. It’s visually cute and adds that subtle “touch” to it. I usually place a small bouquet of parsley on top but I didn’t feel like going to the supermarket… it’s too cold!!!
Bon Appétit!

 

For ingredient amounts and much more, visit http://clubfoody.com/recipe/carrot-soup-with-mashed-potatoes/


Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Mexican Cornbread

I love the Holidays! It’s a special time to get friends and family together under the same roof to enjoy a beautiful meal while sharing stories and laughter.

When I moved in with David, I not only left my friends from Toronto behind but also had a bigger distance to travel between my family and I which are from all over the province of Québec. At first I kind of felt lonely but through the years I’ve been here, David and I started our own tradition with new friends… creating “our” new extended family! These wonderful human beings that bring so much joy into our lives are the reasons for celebrating these events!

Of course I love to serve them the traditional turkey dinner but I also enjoy bringing new flavors to the table by slightly changing the menu. Each year there’s always something new and different from the “traditional dinner” as it makes dinner for my guests more interesting. Honestly who loves monotony? I sure don’t and none of our people do… Life is too short for boring food…lol!

Last year I added a totally new food item to the table and oh boy, it was gone so fast! Everyone loved it, even the ones who are not too crazy about “spicy” food – although it’s not really spicy at all…! Now that I have your curiosity hooked, let me reveal the recipe… it’s my Mexican Cornbread!

That’s right… cornbread but not just any cornbread… This amazingly simple recipe is far from ordinary! It is super yummy with a slight zip to it – I’m not kidding… it’s not “hot” at all but it has some personality to it if you know what I mean. It is easy to make – most of my recipes are like that – and it is a delicious change from regular dinner rolls. Hey! There is nothing WRONG with dinner rolls… as a matter of fact I’m sharing my Dinner Roll recipe with you next month. It’s just a fun change for your meal and surprisingly, it goes amazingly well with turkey… no joke!

Next time you want to bring some yumminess to your dinner party, this is totally a recipe to consider. David and I also love to serve it with a large bowl of warm soup… – you know those nights when no one feels like cooking but you still want something good to eat , especially when it’s yucky outside… yep those are the ones! Anyway, this is a recipe you don’t want to miss… add it to your “must have” list and watch everyone’s reactions when you put this cornbread on the table…
Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Holidays!

 

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

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Pumpkin Pie

Although my parents were amazing home cooks, there were certain food items that they never used in their cooking. Once in a while, one of them felt adventurous and prepared a new dish with ingredients they knew.

So where do I get my desire to constantly try new ingredients and make new recipes? That I really don’t know… I never had a big interest in cooking or baking as a child besides licking the spoon when my mother was making dessert. The only reason I can find is my curiosity about other cultures and desire to find out more about them…

One food item we didn’t have when I was growing up was pumpkin and it’s only later in life that I had my first taste of it. It was a pumpkin pie and I didn’t like it. Is it because the person who made it didn’t do it properly? I’m not sure but I never wanted to try it again until my girlfriend Joanne from Toronto invited me over to join her and her family for Thanksgiving.

Jo is a fabulous cook and everything I’ve tasted of hers in the past was just amazing! Of course on her dessert menu besides other goodies was a pumpkin pie. I was reluctant to try a slice but after her scrumptious meal, I thought I should give it a try… I’m glad I did! It was simply beautiful with a nice smooth texture and the right amount of spices in the background. I devoured my slice like there was no tomorrow while Joanne was watching me with a grin on her face. That night, when it was time to leave, she gave me a couple slices to take home. The next morning they were gone…

My Pumpkin Pie recipe is based on hers of course. I made a few changes to put my personal touch on it but it’s still Jo’s recipe! It became David and my favorite and almost every Thanksgiving and Christmas, I bake this recipe. Very easy to make, this incredibly tasty pie should definitely be served at your next festive dinner. I’m not a “pumpkin pie connoisseur” by no means but I know when something is excellent… and this one is!
Happy Thanksgiving!

 

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


Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Enchilada Sauce

When I started cooking as a young lady, I didn’t have any basic sauces in my repertoire but I did have many packet sauces that you just have to add water to. Please don’t crucify me… I just didn’t know how to make any. Although my mother shared a few recipes with me, for some strange reason I couldn’t ever make a good homemade sauce. The first sauce recipe she gave me was a Béchamel, then a Hollandaise sauce followed with a homemade mayonnaise. Eventually I mastered these three recipes… with time…

Back in 1988 when I went to Puerto Vallarta with my boyfriend Carlo (he proposed to me down there…), I tried dishes I never ever had before. There was one I couldn’t get enough of and it was the Enchilada with its lovely sauce. Yummy corn tortillas stuffed with meat and topped with a spicy tomato sauce. It was only later on in my life when I went back to Mexico City that I finally got a real taste of the sauce and its ingredients.

In an earlier blog ( Homemade Lemonade) I mentioned about doing business in Mexico and therefore staying there for an extended time. Although it wasn’t a YWCA, I stayed in a lady’s hostel for weeks and the “madre” of that establishment was in charge of looking after us. She is the one who taught me this video recipe… enchilada sauce! When I came back home, I made that sauce quite often because it was so easy and yet so tasty!

It is a very quick sauce recipe to make and the results are incredibly delicious! Although most will use it in the classic enchilada, this sauce can also be added to casseroles, mac & cheese, lasagna, soups, burritos and so on. This is the kind of sauce you can try as a beginner and you won’t feel overwhelmed by the technique. After you give this sauce a try, you will definitely not go back to any store-bought ones… it is exceptionally flavorful!
Bon Appétit!

 

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


Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Berry Fusion Smoothie

Summer is long gone but if you are like me, you probably bought some fresh produce during their peak and froze them…

Each year I go crazy and buy more produce than I should just in case we don’t have enough until next summer which of course, we have more than enough. One item that we have a lot of in our chest freezer is berries. There are so many recipes we can incorporate them in; from sweet to savory. I have berry recipes for spicy sauces, marinades, desserts and jams but the easiest ones are when they go in beverages…

David and I are not really breakfast people although we should be… Maybe a couple times a week we’ll have something in the morning but with our busy schedules, it has to be quick because we are always on the “go”. The perfect breakfast we can bring along with us is a smoothie. With a tasty combination of fruits, my Berry Fusion Smoothie is a great recipe to have around when there’s so little time to enjoy breakfast in the morning. Simple, fast and nutritious, this smoothie will start your day “berry” well! lol
Bon Appétit!

 

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


Tuesday, 7 November 2017

CLUB FOODY COMMUNITY on GOOGLE+



Are you a "Foody"? Do you like to try new recipes or do you want to share your amazing culinary creations? Don't hesitate to join a great community where members encourage each other and reshare their recipes...

 

It's a fun place to be and you'll discover new gastronomic dishes from around the globe and open your palate to a delicious new world packed with flavor!

 

SO COME JOIN CLUB FOODY - GREAT FOOD TO FIT YOUR MOOD!


https://plus.google.com/communities/102141559748504683707?sqinv=b1VZcm95T295eUU5Z0k1bnJTckxNWVVOS0F5dUZn



Eggs Benedict
Gỏi cuốn
Cheddar Biscuits
Fish & Chips
Blood Orange Martini
Bounty Chocolate Bites


Veal Piccata





 



 



Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Veal Piccata

I remember my first date with someone I didn’t know from school or through friends. He was a handsome guy I met at a night club that bought me a couple of drinks, danced and laughed with. At the end of the night, he wanted to take me out for dinner and asked me out on a date. I accepted and we exchanged phone numbers. A few days later, I met him in a very upscale Italian restaurant in downtown Montréal. This 30 something year old man looked pretty sharp in his suit and let’s face it, I was nervous!

It was the first time I was on a “fancy date” with a “man”. He was so well-mannered and even asked me to choose the wine which I politely declined, so he did – c’mon I was only 19… I was drinking Black Tower back then… yuck! After the sommelier poured us a lovely Barolo, we said cheers, clinked our glasses, tasted this awesome wine and I knew that this man could show me some new culinary sensations therefore I asked him to surprise me with the menu. That was the night that I ate my first Veal Piccata… oh my! With a side of pasta with tomato sauce, the meal was so scrumptious! For years to come, this is what I was ordering each time I saw it on a menu…

A few years ago after I moved in with David, we went out for dinner and there it was on the menu… my Veal Piccata! Without any hesitations, I ordered it but it was such a disappointment! It was anything but Veal Piccata – the sauce barely had enough lemon in it, the veal wasn’t pounded enough and didn’t have that specific taste you get from veal… it tasted more like beef to me. Most things happen for a good reason and that sad culinary experience led me to give it a try at home.

Right from my first attempt, mine was far superior to the one from the restaurant and let’s be honest… much cheaper! From there, I’ve kept making this dish at home, getting it the exact way I want it. It is quite simple to make and the results are just amazing! This is a meal you can serve for any special occasion… it’s that gooood!
Bon Appétit!

P.S. If you’re curious about what happened to him and I, here it is… nothing! We had a great time, went out on a couple more dates together and both realized that we didn’t have the same views on life at that time. He wanted to get married and have kids while I just started my adult life. If I was a few years older, perhaps things could have been different. Oh well, c’est la vie!

 

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



 

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Bounty Chocolate Bites

Once in a while I have that urge for something sweet, especially chocolate… c’mon I’m sure I’m not the only one. There’s always dark chocolate in the pantry for those urgent cravings. Other times though these cravings get sophisticated and from simple chocolate pieces they turn into bars. Who doesn’t like a nice sweet chocolate bar every now and then? It’s always a great treat to enjoy anytime.

With Halloween around the corner, this is the perfect excuse to try to make homemade chocolate bars. Last year I shared with you my Grandma’s Crunchie Bars recipe and this year I have another one for you… my Bounty Chocolate Bites! They taste virtually identical to the ones from the store. The difference is I use dark chocolate instead of milk but you can choose the kind you enjoy most plus there’s no added preservatives.

I’m sure you’ve had a Bounty Bar before but if not, it’s a delicious combination of coconut and chocolate. The only “trick” that I’ll give you is to use a mold for your “treats”…
Happy Halloween!

 

For ingredient amounts and much more, visit http://clubfoody.com/recipe/bounty-chocolate-bites/


Thursday, 19 October 2017

Slow Cooker BBQ Sloppy Joes

Here I am sitting in front of my computer and thinking how long it will take me to write my blog because I have to be somewhere else soon. Yep “time” can be an issue in our modern society. Everything… well almost everything is on a timetable and has to be planned; we get up at a specific time just so we won’t be late for work. We have to pick up the kids at a certain time so they don’t miss their scheduled lessons/sports. When we get home, there’s little time left to cook, clean and do other chores around the house. Later on when we finally take the time to relax and watch our favorite program on TV, even that is set on a rigid agenda. I can go on and on about it but I don’t have enough time to do it…

Last month, David and I moved to our new place. We were fortunate to have 4 weeks to do so. Although it wasn’t a race to move out and move in, our time was still limited. We did eat out quite a few times but we were missing our home cooked meals. One recipe I haven’t made for a long time was my Slow Cooker BBQ Sloppy Joes and it was the perfect solution for our lack of time…

After finding it buried in one of those boxes and dusting it off – I don’t understand why I don’t use it more often – the slow cooker was ready to be used. With very little preparation, everything was in it, the timer was on and we went on with our moving. After a long day of cleaning, fixing, hanging, planning, etc., a nice meal was waiting for us.

If you don’t have enough time at the end of the day to cook a nice meal, here’s the perfect recipe for you. Now if you’ll excuse me, I really have to run…
Bon Appétit!

 

For ingredient amounts and much more, visit http://clubfoody.com/recipe/slow-cooker-bbq-sloppy-joes/


Saturday, 14 October 2017

Powdered Sugar - Make it, Don't Buy it! - Tips & Tricks #13

 

Buying powdered sugar at the grocery store can be quite expensive. Here's a simple trick to make your own at home...


FOOTNOTE: Here are a couple of recipes you may want to use powdered sugar in;
To know all the tricks to make the Perfect Meringue every time, click on this link… Perfect Meringue

Watch this video...




Blue Cheese Dressing

Thanks to my parents and their background, I grew up eating all kinds of cheeses. We French people are the ones who eat the most cheese in the world… it’s a love affair! I’ve always had a few different kinds of cheeses in my cheese drawer in the refrigerator; from soft to hard. I also have a couple in my freezer which I will explain later.

Since David and I have been together, he cannot believe how much cheese he has eaten. When we met, I told him about the nickname given to me by my friend Richard which is Minnie Mouse. Now with that name tag that should’ve told him a lot about my cheese consumption… lol!

Is cheese good or bad for us? I’m definitely the wrong person to ask but apparently cheese is good for us because it is high in calcium. On the other hand, the high saturated fat increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure and type-2 diabetes without including lactose intolerance and milk allergies. Having said that, would I stop eating cheese… of course not! I’m in love with cheese although I tried a few times to break off with it – we always get back together!

I love almost any kind of cheese and the blue ones are no exception! From mild to strong, I find their flavors so deep and decadent in different recipes, it makes the dish so luscious! There’s a condiment I like to make for different purposes and it is my Blue Cheese Dressing. I use it as a dressing (try my Bacon Wedge Salad recipe) as well as a dip for my chicken wings or veggies.

As I mentioned in my intro, I store a couple kinds of cheese in my freezer. Why you ask?. When a recipe calls for grated cheese or chopping it into small pieces, frozen soft cheeses are easier to handle and less messy. Grating or chopping is a breeze by using this simple little trick.

This Blue Cheese Dressing recipe is so quick and easy to make, it is almost a sin to not make it at home! The freshness of the ingredients will enhance your dish and trust me, after trying this recipe, you won’t go back to store-bought again!
Bon Appétit!

 

For ingredient amounts and much more, visit http://clubfoody.com/recipe/blue-cheese-dressing/


Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Turkey (or Chicken) Pot Pie

Another Thanksgiving that went relatively well! I wasn’t overly stressed, nothing got burned, all the dishes got ready at the same time and everyone had a great time. When my last guest left, I was tired but happy… it was another successful night at our place!

Each year I buy a big turkey so we can have a lot of leftovers. I’m sure many of you don’t want that – just a couple of dinners and that’s it! The reason why I want leftovers is to make more recipes with them. Everything is already cooked so reusing the ingredients for other dishes makes the task easier and faster. In a way, I’m like most of you – after reheating the leftovers for a couple of nights, I’m ready to have something else. There’s a recipe I have to make each time “the big bird” is on the menu and it’s my Turkey Pot Pie!

Turkey Pot Pie is a simple dish with so many flavors. The “I don’t want to eat turkey again for dinner” turns into a “yum… can I have more, please”! This delicious recipe has great fresh ingredients such as vegetables, spices and herbs cooked in a beautiful creamy sauce. This is one of those recipes that elevates turkey leftovers to a whole new level. It can also be frozen to enjoy later.

I really love this recipe and have no problem looking forward to leftovers just so I can enjoy this yummy dish again! Don’t be afraid of that humongous pile of turkey meat… there’s a flavorful solution to use it all up!
Bon Appétit!

 

For ingredient amounts and much more, visit http://clubfoody.com/recipe/turkey-or-chicken-pot-pie/

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Crab Artichoke Pepper Dip

When I was living in Toronto, there was one thing a few of my girlfriends and I loved to do. It was to go out for “tapas” and a couple cocktails/wine for Happy Hour on Wednesdays around the entertainment district and downtown core. Besides being very social, what I really liked about these little plates was to sample a few all at the same time. Of course, we tried not to order the same things so we could have a wider range to try. That was fun!

Most appetizers are fun to share and calm your hunger until the main course. It also sets the tone for dinner. Every time I have a dinner party at my place, I can’t imagine not serving an appetizer to my guests. It’s somehow brakes the ice, brings people closer and opens conversation more easily. Although we don’t need these reasons, once in a while David and I like to share one during mid-afternoon with a chilled glass of Chardonnay or Pinot Gris.

Whatever the reasons are for serving an appetizer, the quicker and easier the better… after all you want to focus on the main course more than on your appy, right? On the other hand, you still want to serve something tasty and yummy. I’ve got the perfect recipe for you. From start to finish, this chip dip is ready to enjoy either with tortilla chips, bread or crackers. The flavors are very Californian; crab, artichokes and roasted red pepper!

Next time you’re hesitant about what to serve your guests for an appy, don’t search any further and serve this delicious simple dish. You’ll see how fast it disappears.
Bon Appétit!

 

For ingredient amounts and much more, visit http://clubfoody.com/recipe/crab-artichoke-pepper-dip/

Squash à la Canadienne

It’s another year and here’s another Canadian Thanksgiving and celebrations will take place this weekend with family and friends. Turkey is on the menu for most of us and all the goodies that come with it; mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, stuffing, Brussel sprouts and much more. One item that always figures on my Thanksgiving menu is squash! It is incredibly tasty and easy to make.

There are so many varieties to choose from when it comes to squash. Just to name a few, there’s butternut, zucchini, pumpkin, spaghetti and the one I like to use for my side dish on Thanksgiving dinner is acorn also known as pepper squash or Des Moines squash.

From the botanic standpoint, squash is technically a fruit but we like to treat it as a vegetable. Fruit or vegetable, this produce is very good. Its nutritional values have a pretty long list of health benefits such as vitamin A, C, E, B6 as well as minerals such as magnesium, manganese, potassium, calcium, iron and copper. Squash has important anti-inflammatory and antioxidant components and is a great immune system booster. Integrate squash more often into your diet by using them in salads, substitution for pasta, dessert and side dishes like this recipe in today’s video.

My Squash à la Canadienne is very easy to make and you can prep this side dish the day before or early in the morning. You can add some finely chopped bell peppers in it but David and I prefer it simple. This is a side dish that everyone will enjoy so be prepared to make a lot because it disappears fast!


 Bon Appétit & Happy Thanksgiving!

 

For ingredient amounts and much more, visit http://clubfoody.com/recipe/squash-a-la-canadienne/

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Quiche Lorraine

We do entertain a lot! As we move slightly further away from our friends, not only will we be having dinner parties as usual at our place but also breakfast/brunch as well for them the day after – no one drives from our parties if you know what I mean… drinking and driving is not cool!

As Canadian Thanksgiving is quickly approaching, I’m sure you might end up having people staying over during that Holiday. Whatever the reason or the occasion, you will want to serve them something delicious but at the same time, quick and easy. Having said that, what about a dish you can actually serve for any meal with just slight adjustments to the accompaniments. What? Alright let me explain myself a little bit better…

There are few recipes out there that you can serve for either breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner. Of course I’ve had bacon and eggs for dinner many times but besides a few selected menu items, there isn’t a wide selection to choose from but yet, there is one that most people adore and it is Quiche!

To me this dish is so perfect for many reasons when it comes to serving this in the morning or for brunch. Served with roasted potatoes, toast/croissants along with jam, this food item can be quite impressive! Another plus to Quiche is you can prepare it the night before and just pop it in the oven the next morning… and you’ll be ready to satisfy a bunch of hungry breakfast guests.

When it comes to lunch or dinner, what is stopping you from serving this dish? With a little salad on the side, this is such a beautiful light meal to savor. David and I have this often and it is a healthy meal to enjoy whenever you like. There’s no specific rule in the culinary world that should stop you from having this delicious meal! Always keep in mind that you can always prepare your Quiche ahead of time and enjoy it later… now that is what I call convenient and versatile.
Bon Appétit!

 

For ingredient amounts and more info, visit http://clubfoody.com/recipe/quiche-lorraine/

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Chicken Française

I’ve slowed down a little bit lately but years ago I used to go out to restaurants at least twice a week. That was my thing and probably still is… What I like is the whole experience which is to dress up, sit in a nice restaurant, have a nice waiter or waitress to serve me, try something new and then go home without doing any dishes… now that’s an awesome night out to me!

With a few of my girlfriends from Toronto – six to be more precise – we all dressed up to the nines with our stilettos and our designer purses, jumped in a limo and went out to a very nice Italian restaurant located on Yonge Street. We had amazing food, great bottles of wine and just a fabulous time all together! There was a dish I tried that night that I never had before and the reason why I picked that one was because of the name… Chicken Française! Being the only French one in the group, I thought it would be the right dish to choose. I was surprised with the results but more so to have that in an Italian restaurant although it was one of the most upscale places in the city!

I never thought about duplicating it from that night until I had a dinner party over at my place years later. It was good but not really an outstanding outcome! Of course none of my guests made any derogatory comments about it but deep inside I knew it was just good… not excellent!

When David and I moved in together, I gave it another shot… Still, it wasn’t a “wow” factor! I’m not sure if it was from my stubbornness or I just wanted to prove to myself I could do it right but I made it again and again until I finally got it!

Although we all have an ego and love to receive compliments, I won’t accept all the rewards myself… David was the reason why this recipe turned from “it’s good enough” to “oh my God, that’s awesome!”. The problem I had with this recipe was adding too much chicken broth and not having enough “oomph”! Also, my spices were not proportional to the other ingredients. To make a long story short, the success of this recipe is due to my lovely partner! If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be able to share it with you today. Sometimes you need someone from the outside to see what it really needs on the inside… make sense?

This is a great recipe to have any night of the week and even on special occasions! It is crispy and absolutely delicious with a beautiful combination of mushrooms and lemon in a creamy sauce. Served with a side of pasta, this is quite an interesting recipe to enjoy! Next time you want to make a different chicken dish for your family and friends, this is the one to try…
Bon Appétit!

 

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

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Minestrone Soup

The end of the summer is here! Perhaps you are the kind of person that starts feeling nostalgic about seeing the warm weather going away or perhaps you are the other kind who is happy to finally enjoy the cooler temperatures. Which camp am I in? Both… ! I hate seeing summer leaving us but on the other hand, I’m happy to see the fall season coming with its beautiful colors and the crisp air.

During the hot summer months, I feel lazy when it’s time to cook unless I do it very early in the morning or if we BBQ that day. With the cooler temperatures on our door step, I suddenly have immense energy to cook because I see all the fresh fall product at my grocery store and my local farmers market shelves… love it!

One recipe I make every year is my Minestrone Soup. It’s not because it’s my recipe (yes it is… don’t kid yourself Frankie) but boy when my friends and family have it, they go “nuts” about it… ! It is packed with super yummy ingredients and you can enjoy it all year round because it’s freezable. There’s a little prep involved but isn’t it worth it to feed your family amazing healthy food for months to come?
Bon Appétit!

 

For ingredient amounts and more info, visit http://clubfoody.com/recipe/minestrone-soup/

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Jalapeño Cheese Bagels

My first taste of a bagel was when I was going to the University of Québec in Montréal back in the 80s’. I discovered a cute little eatery nearby making sandwiches. That place was tiny with just a couple of tables. It was more a take-out joint than anything else. It was very busy from morning to mid-afternoon because their sandwiches were original. Now let’s not forget that I’m talking over 30 years ago. Back then a sandwich was 2 slices of white bread… I know, very boring! People just started to elevate that typical lunch item to a higher level with tortillas and croissants.

My favorite lunch item at the eatery was a bagel with cream cheese and lox… oh my! From there I started buying bagels and eating them for breakfast as well. One day I came across one of the oldest bagel bakeries located on Fairmount which is still open after over 60 years. If you ever go visit Montréal, I highly suggest stopping by the bakery… you won’t regret it! Anyway, the moral of all this is I’ve been eating bagels in many flavors and loving them all!

A few years ago, David and I went on another West Coast road trip and in the middle of nowhere, we decided to stop at a small café for breakfast. To our surprise, on their black board menu hanging on the wall behind the counter, there was “jalapeño cheddar bagels” served with cream cheese. Curious and hungry all at the same time, we ordered one each. They were good but “oh boy” were they spicy! We don’t mind spicy and hot but first thing in the morning it was a little too much! There was our first and last experience of jalapeño cheddar bagel until 3 years ago…

Living so close to the Canadian/American border, we shop quite often in the states. One morning while shopping in Bellingham, Washington, we saw those jalapeño cheddar bagels again and decided to give them a second chance to redeem themselves. Nope, they failed once again by being way too “hot”. We both agreed to just forget about them…

By accident, last year we bought a jar of pickled jalapeños while there was already another unopened one in the pantry plus half of another jar in the fridge. Yes I know they’re pickled but when they sit too long, they start turning brown… not really an appetizing color! This is when the light bulbs went off and I decided to try making homemade jalapeño bagels. My first attempt was bang-on! They were not overly spicy and still had some kick to them! According to the kitchen approval supervisor, David loved them!

I love making bagels anywhere from plain to sweet and… spicy! If you want, you can omit the jalapeño peppers and just keep the cheese but why would you? This is what the recipe is all about… Next time you want to use up your pickled jalapeños (they are less “warm” than the fresh ones… that’s the reason why I use them for this recipe), try this and put a little spice in your life!
Bon Appétit!

 

For ingredient amounts and much more, visit http://clubfoody.com/recipe/jalapeno-cheese-bagels/

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Mediterranean Eggplant Casserole

There’s a quote that says “curiosity killed the cat”… I’d say that the cat died from a vibrant life!

I’m a curious person. I’m curious about almost everything. I’m curious about where people are from, their culture, interests and so on. I’m curious about learning new things everyday… When I go to bed and learned something new that day then it was a good day! I’m also extremely curious about food – I’m sure you already figured that out… lol – and especially the ones I never tried before. My ultimate dinner date is to go to a place where I have no clue about their food (sadly the list is getting smaller and smaller) and try dishes for the first time. Now to me that’s fun!

There was a “fruit” that I never had when I grew up and it is eggplant also called aubergine in French. If you wonder why I put the word “fruit” in brackets  it’s because eggplants are the same as tomatoes. They are botanically a fruit but we treat them as a vegetable – botany class 101… lol!

My first encounter with this “fruity-veggie” was in my early 20s’. I had Moussaka a few times at Greek restaurants but it never really turned my crank if you know what I mean… Years ago, I thought that if I tried to cook with eggplants I might like it but somehow never really developed a taste for it or perhaps never really created the right recipe for it. Sadly eggplants weren’t my thing until one day… When living in Toronto, I went to a Persian restaurant and by curiosity I tried one of their dishes called Baba Ganoush. My reaction was “Oh My!” and that was it! I had to try to cook with eggplants again!

Although in today’s episode I won’t feature my Baba Ganoush recipe, I actually have another one that uses eggplants and I have to say… mmmmm, it’s very yummy! The combination of nutty flavor with cheeses, spices, meat, cream and more, makes this recipe the Ultimate Comfort Food!

Yes it takes a while to make and it has a few steps to it but there’s a moment in life when spending extra time is so worth it! This is the case for this recipe. I don’t mind starting the process around 4ish in the afternoon to enjoy this scrumptious meal around 6ish! If the time is well planned while the eggplants are sitting for 30 minutes, you start cooking the beef mixture then drain it in the colander. You go back to the eggplants, pat them dry, prep them and put them in the oven while continuing with the beef mixture back to the skillet, prepping the panko & cheese mixture. After removing the eggplant slices from the heat, you start the cream sauce and while it’s cooking, you start to assemble. I would say than less than 1 1/2 hours and you have your casserole done! Deep breath…

Awesome recipe, amazing flavors and by the time you sit at the dining table, each bite will make you want more… that’s guaranteed! I’m glad that my “curiosity” drew me back to try a dish with eggplants again… I’m a happy kitten!
Bon Appétit!

 

For ingredient amounts and much more, visit
 
 

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Crab Louie Salad

Since I moved here to Vancouver, I’ve been travelling a lot with David. We’ve gone on many road trips together along the Pacific coast and enjoyed the spectacular scenery! One of my favorite spots is driving along the Oregon coast… Oh my! It is almost supernatural with its big rocks standing in the water and a slight haze surrounding them. We took extraordinary photos from sunrises to sunsets and each has a mystical flare to the picture.

After the Oregon coast, another place I think is so gorgeous is San Francisco. The first time I was there is when my father and I went to visit family. It was and still is so beautiful! I love the energy of that city. There are so many places to see, so many stores to shop at as well as so many restaurants and cafés to visit. If one day I can have my main residence somewhere in the states it will be between Bellingham, Seattle or San Francisco! Of course my second residence would definitely be located in the amazing Palm Springs area. Yeah I know I’m dreaming… perhaps that’s what keeps me going…!

The cool thing David and I love to do is to experiment with new dishes – he’s finally more adventurous in that department… yippee! and even more so when we travel. There is a dish that we never had before and we were quite impressed with it. It is a Crab Louie Salad! I’m not sure if we tried it the first time in Oregon or California but it sure had an impact on us. As soon as we came back from our trip (can’t remember which one it was), I made my own version of a Thousand Island dressing and assembled the ingredients for the salad. Throughout the years, I added ingredients by replacing others to the point that now we love it just the way it is.

My version of a Crab Louie Salad is a good base as a start and you can easily change some of my ingredients with your favorite ones. I love to combine crab and prawns together but you can either keep one of them or for a vegan/vegetarian version omit both of the seafoods. I personally don’t serve this type of salad as an appetizer but more as my main course. It is packed with yumminess and when you eat this salad, trust me you feel goooood! Next time you want to have just a salad for dinner, don’t look any further… this is the one!
Bon Appétit!

 

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