Quebec is the largest producer of maple syrup in the world
A dish of korean inspiration! A delicious scallion pancake coloured green with spinach. This is a great way to add an extra portion of vegetables to your meal.
I bet you all remember the scene in the movie Hook, when the lost boys are sitting in front of an invisible buffet. The boys are trying to make Peter understand that he needs to imagine there is food on the table. The moment when that little switch turns in his head, and he sees the feast, is one of my very favourites. A table covered with strange playdoh-like food, varying in colour, texture and shape. I've been wanting to re-create that buffet, to make something bizzare, yet eatable, and delicious.
This oatmeal is an attempt at doing just that, something that is very colourful, bizzare and beautiful. I like that can't identify what everything is right away - what is that green goo? Is it cake batter? Pesto (ew)? I like to challenge people's ideas about food, pasta doesn't need to be beige and neither does your oatmeal.
For those who worry about having spinach in oatmeal, know that you can't taste it in this. Also, why shouldn't you have greens in the morning? We all have these pre-conceived ideas of what morning meals should look like, or what they should include. Of course, I'm not re-inventing breakfasts with this recipe, it's still oatmeal. I like to think that i'm taking it a step further, in terms of what a morning meal can look like.
I'm one step closer to having my peter pan buffet! Now imagine a table full of dishes with this level of colour and texture! I'm in eatable play-doh food heaven.
I don't buy bread anymore, since i've discovered the joys of home-baking! I still like to go to my neighbourhood bakery though, to get ideas and inspiration. My latest bread experiment, is pretzels.
You can find black breads in some japanese bakeries, though it isn't common here in Montreal. If available, I wonder if people would buy them. Unfortunately, black is synonymous with 'burnt' and 'rotten'.
Those who think this way are missing out! Black bread is as good as any other bread, and will please the dark abyss, that is your stomach.
This recipe was adapted from Alton Brown's. I'm still new at baking, I'm learning a lot about it. It's great to have so many resources online to learn from! These pretzels are best eaten on the same day!
I hardly ever bake cakes, this was my first proper cake. My sister's birthday was coming up, and my parents wanted to get her a themed cake. Of what you ask?
Something old. Something new. Something borrowed...
You guessed correctly, you wonderful nerd you! A tardis!
They asked for a quote from their favourite bakery, they do great work but were charging a too much for it. So my parents turned to me, and my cake-baking adventure began!
My sister loves lemon cake, that part is simple. Getting the cake to be tardis blue though, is another matter entirely. That colour is unnatural, those royal blue 'raw blueberry pinterest cakes' are complete bull (they really, really are). I had to use food colouring, it's not ideal but it was necessary to get that tardis blue. I went ahead and bought Wilton's royal blue and violet colouring to mix, to get it be that specific shade. Using royal blue alone would have made it go turquoise.
The cake noob that i am, I searched around and found a very awesome lemon cake recipe by Laura, author of The Green forks. I adapted her recipe, and it turned out perfect. I referenced her cake batter recipe, while the tofu lemon curd filling was inspired by Zena Chews. Couldn't have done it without their recipes, thanks girls.
I didn't want to make an overly sweet cake, so i decided to not add frosting. Opted for a 'powdered sugar-dusted' cake. Most Tardis cakes on the internet are made with fondant, and thusly taste like liquid unicorn. I don't have the tastebuds of a 5 years old, can't deal with that level of sweet. I have no interest in tasting the rainbow.
I wanted to make a minimalistic and simple lemon cake. Then came the image of the tardis drifting through space. That image was simple, evocative. So i cut out a tardis stencil and added powdered sugar! Voila! My sister had a vegan lemon birthday cake! This cake is a safe bet, even for non-vegans. Even my parents, who dislike tofu, really enjoyed it!
Bread pudding was one of my favourite desserts when I was a kid. We would usually have some after the holidays, thanks to my aunt's crust-less sandwiches! She would usually just give the bag of crusts to my mom, which she in turn, used to make bread pudding.
I asked my mom for her personal bread pudding recipe, but she told me that it was best to just watch her do it. There aren't really any specific measurements, she just makes it from memory. That's the case with most of her recipes, most of them have never been written down. That's about to change though, I asked her to make a little booklet for me.
I like the idea of having a book of 'mom food', mom food is the best.
When she makes bread pudding, she makes a basin-full of it. My dad never has trouble going through all of it, he sure loves his desserts!
As much as i'd like to make a bucketload of bread pudding at home, me and Devine would NEVER get through the whole thing. I don't like eating the same thing for a week, so I adapted my mom's bread pudding into a single-serving one. The mason jar is a wide-mouthed 1/2 pint jar.
If ever you have some leftover crusts (even just a few) you can totally make this.
It's a quick and simple dessert, with a taste of home.
Introducing, my basic black bread recipe. This bread is super light and fluffy, it's great great for morning toast or sandwiches.
I've been reading up a lot about bread, there's so many kinds out there. I wanted to understand how the ingredients we add, can change the texture of the bread. Also read about the differences in temperature, to knead or not to knead etc.
Truth is, it depends on the type of bread you want.
I wanted to make a sandwich bread with a light crumb, the kind that bounces back when touched.
The one I made this time has more fat, which in turn makes it softer and fluffier. The fat that you use will also change the texture/taste of the bread. A lot of people wont like the idea of adding 'fat' to a recipe, know that fat isn't synonymous with unhealthy. Too much of it can be bad, but in moderation there really isn't anything to worry about. It also depends on what fat you choose, there are good and bad kinds of fat.
There are many things you can do to help soften your bread, like brushing the outside with a little oil or fat. Do this as soon as you take it out of the oven, it will make the outside less crunchy. You can also substitute nut milk for the water, if you want a richer taste. There are so many different things to think about when baking!
I made this loaf for a brunch I had with friends, we wanted to have fondue with a set I got as a gift during the holidays. We cut the loaf into cubes, and dunked them in! Soft bread is perfect for fondue!
So there you have it! A basic black bread!
Pumpkin seeds can be prepared in many ways, one of the best ones is oven-roasted! It doesn't take a lot of time, and it makes a nice snack or add-on to soups or other meals.
I don't buy raw shelled pumpkin seeds often, because they're expensive. It helps to buy them in bulk, you pay less in the end. I had a gift certificate for a buy-in-bulk store left-over form my birthday (that helped too).
Roasted pumpkin seeds are delicious with almost anything, the sweet of the maple syrup with the spicy taste of the paprika is perfect. Subtle, but very good.
These beautiful heart beet bagels can be made for valentine's day, but imagine how great a thing it would be, to make these for someone you care about on a random day... for no specific reason. We shouldn't wait for special occasions, to cook amazing food for the people we love. Make some pink bagels today, just because!
Bagels are definitely a montreal thing. Walking by Fairmount bagel or St-Viateur, and not purchasing freshly baked goods is next to impossible.
The smell is just amazing.
When i was a teen, i didn't get to go into town often but when i did we would always stop by Fairmount bagel. The place was, and is still open 24 hours a day.
I live close to it now, and yet i never go. I enjoy making my own, they may not be fairmount quality but they are pretty damn good!
Make this for yourself or for someone you care about. Whether it be for v-day... or just because!
I baked a beautiful loaf of black sandwich bread, just to use in this recipe. Doesn't the idea of black french toast sound amazing? With a banana-base, and topped with freshly cut kiwi slices no less!
It was my first time baking black bread in a bread pan; usually I just opt for free-form loaves. But for sandwich and french toast purposes, it would work better if it was in that shape. You can make your own black bread, using my basic black bread recipe - it's very easy to make.
Usually when I make french toast, i'll use a soy milk as a base. I made some recently, using The simple veganista's Banana french toast recipe. I thought the idea was brilliant - i do love bananas in my breakfasts. By the way, she has a great 'orange french toast' recipe on her blog - you should make that too.
Using bananas, makes for a more consistent morning meal. Most french toast recipes add nutmeg and cinnamon, but I prefer to just taste the fruit - Devine isn't a huge nutmeg fan anyway.
Made these on a weekday, tuesday morning french toast is great - fun breakfasts shouldn't only be reserved for weekends.
It's mini loaf craze, love baking with the mini pans I bought. Been making mini everything. This time, i made some anise bread topped with a sweet sauce, loaded with caramelized pear chunks.
My bag of anise seeds has been sitting in my pantry, for way too long, begging to be given a purpose.
I'm sorry I neglected you for so long anise seeds, you're delicious, and you smell so so nice. No hard feelings? We're good you and I right?
This recipe was inspired by a Pineapple and anise seed 'pudding chomeur' recipe on Will travel for food! I ended up making little cake breads, instead of pudding. Making them egg-free worked out nicely too! My cake breads have a less sugar than the pinapple pudding chomeur too.
You guys should pay 'Will travel for food' a visit! It's a Montreal blog too, how cool is that? More montreal cooking friends!
Summers in Montreal, go hand in hand with beer. There is such a wide variety of brews here. My corner store has a TON, most are made locally too. Me and Devine like craft beer a lot, hard to not drink everyday. To help satisfy our evergrowing craving, I decided to try and make hop flavoured ice cream!
Sweet and bitter! SUPER TASTY! Felt like I used just the right amount. This ice cream is definitely for people who love the smell and taste of hops (as well as cold summer dairy-free treats)!
I wasn't sure how to 'infuse' the hops into the ice cream base, we tried making hop tea by infusing it overnight in the fridge, but the taste wasn't strong enough. Felt we would get better results and better flavour, if the hops were heated. The pouch method worked pretty well, the ice cream base was perfect! Full of delicious bitterness! Devine suggested to make a concentrate with the hops first, and then mix it into the base next time. Another experiment! We tried another batch of hop tea a few days after, adding twice as many hops and it ended up tasting too strong. We'll stick to warm infusions for now.
The hops used in this recipe are an American variety called "Colombus". We got them from La choppe a Barrock on Villeneuve et Coloniale every time we make homebrews we pick up the ingredients there! You can buy a wide variety of hop buds there, you can even get the pellet kind.
It was my second time using the ice cream maker, I got it from the 'Free stuff Montreal' group on facebook. It looks like a little red pail, super cute. The woman I got it from even had the manual! You can make ice cream without a machine, although having one helps with the 'churning' process. It saves a lot of time and effort. If i hadn't gotten that ice cream maker for free, i dont think id have one but since it's here might as well use it!
This recipe wouldn't have happened without the instructions from The Kitchn. Their vegan ice cream tutorial was super helpful. They have a ton of images on their site too, so if you're more of a 'visual' cook you should check it out!
If you too, are having too many beers these days, try and cook with hops instead. Same taste, different format!
Even if I don't live in Tokyo anymore, I try and keep up with what's happening over there. I still follow the news, and try to translate some simple texts to see how many kanji i've forgotten. My favourite kanji, is the one for bone '骨' (pronounced 'ho-ne'). I also love the kanji combination for jellyfish or '水母' (pronounced 'ku-ra-ge'), which beautifully translates to 'water mother'. These two words come together to create this expression '水母の' or 'jellyfish bones'. It is used when talking about something that you would not expect to exist, like bones in a jellyfish. I could go on, but seeing as how this has nothing to with food, here goes. The recipe i'm sharing with you today is japanese inspired, and is also currently part of a craze over there. I made some onigirazu, a sort of hybrid, japanese rice ball sandwich.
The word onigiri (or nigiru) means to press into shape using your hands, while "razu" means the opposite. Free form onigiri! This is perfect for people who have a hard time making rice balls, as is the case for me. Onigirazu has the same great taste, without the fear of imperfection. All the shame is hidden away under a blanket of nori, and fillings.
The concept of this rice sandwich, is perfect when you don't have the right type of rice available for onigiri. You can use just about any type, i tested it out with some Minute Rice and it worked perfectly. I was given some coupons to try out their products, i'm all for experimentation so i picked up a box of whole grain brown Minute Rice. It was my fist time trying it, I generally purchase rice in bulk. Bulk is cheaper, and has a lot less packaging. After cooking with it though, i do see the appeal. The rice is 'parboiled', which means that you wont have to wait very long for your meal to be ready. Your rice will be cooked in 1/4 of the time it takes for traditional brown rice. As you all know sticky rice takes a long time to cook, I don't mind having to wait after my rice, but I know that not everyone has that luxury. It's a good thing that this option exists, it means it's even easier to cook great meals, rapidly at home.
The rice was seasoned with miso for added flavour, and was filled with carrot kinpira. Kinpira means "sauteed" (sually with a mixture of mirin soy sauce and chili peppers.) It's a sweet, and spicy dish that is often served in bentos. I knew I wanted this as a filling for my onigirazu, to satisfy my sudden craving for japanese food. This would have been amazing with gobo, but finding the root here in Montreal is no easy task.
You should try and make your own version of onigirazu at home! As i said, it's no-fail and with some parboiled rice it can ready in under 20 minutes (you can also parboil your own rice). I may not live near a 24h kombini, with readily available onigiri anymore, but i know i can make some at home easily, and quickly.
Halloween is coming up, this blog has a lot of recipes that are perfect for it. Here is a short list of my favorite ones: Black yaki gyoza Basic black bread and Black pasta. Those recipes aren't holiday-specific, but these cute pumpkin cookies sure are! They're super soft, and easy to prepare.
Been a while since I've baked cookies. It being pumpkin season, the choice was obvious - pumpkin cookies it is.
These are perfect if you don't like sweet deserts, coconut sugar has a subtle and more complex taste. Coconut sugar will make your cookies a darker shade of orange, almost brown. I think it fits nicely with the toned-down color of the pumpkin seeds. If you want a bold orange color, use white cane sugar instead.
After Japan opened itself to the world, Japanese cooks began to adapt western dishes in their own style. For instance in the west, people use ketchup as a condiment, but the Japanese use it as a base for tomato sauces. Spaghetti naporitan was created just after World War II, after Shigetada (the head chef at the Hotel New Grand in Yokohama) saw occupying soldiers eating it. Nowadays, you can find spaghetti seasoned with soy sauce, and served with seaweed.
While living in Tokyo, we spent many evenings at Saizeriya, a cheap Japanese food chain of family-style italian restaurants. I had my very first yoshoku-style (western style) pasta there.
This is a relatively simple recipe, and uses all of my favorite japanese condiments! If you've never had yoshoku pasta, i envy you. A world of creativity awaits!