Browsing: Food & Travel

Paris Musings

May12

Can you think back and remember with vivid detail, a perfect day? 

On October 1, 2009 we spent the final day of our 25th wedding anniversary trip to Europe, in Paris.  The morning was filled with the exquisite art of the Impressionist painters at the Musee d’Orsay.  The Musee was walking distance from our hotel and our first stop was at one of the many Brasseries on various corners where we savoured our croissants and cappuccinos.  In Paris, couples don’t sit across from each other but side to side with their faces to the street.  The perfect way to keep warm and watch the world go by at the same time.

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The afternoon was spent strolling the Champs d’Elysee.  We began at the Louvre which was across the Seine from our hotel and ended at the Arc de Triomphe.  In between we found a famous  tea house called Laduree (to think that we almost stopped at Movenpick!).

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This exquisite restaurant has been run by the same family since 1862.  All the paper products and china cups and tea pots were soft pastels of pink, lavender, periwinkle blue and mint green. 

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We ordered the house specialty of macarons.  They were unlike anything we had ever sampled.  There was a cake layer, a cream layer and then they were covered with a candied meringue.  We sampled pistachio, coffee, chocolate and caramel.  We also shared a divine cake layered with a pistachio creme and raspberries.

Kath’s quote:“If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for all of Paris is a movable feast.” – Ernest Hemingway

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Daughter #1

May11

Pictures downloaded August 9 05 016

I was reflecting that most of my posts seem to revolve around daughter #2 recently.  This is true in that she was away for the past winter and I missed her fiercely.  In addition, she is our last baby at home and so she is present for more meals than our other kids. It was just Mother’s Day so indulge me- I am about to go on and on about Daughter #1!

Her favourite foods are my recipes (of course) but because she lives close to Osborne and Corydon,  she indulges in many offerings from the area.  She loves Tomato Pie and baked eggs and prawn curry at Stella’s on Osborne. 

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She is well-travelled, is crazy about New York City and when she was in Quebec City studying French at Laval, she loved the salmon pizza (Pizza au Saumon Fumé) at Le Grand Cafe and an Italian restaurant with a beautiful patio with a man singing and playing the accordian.

Recently she fell head over heels for Segovia.  When she was over for dinner on Sunday she described every item that they ate as well as beverages and decor details.  She has agreed to be a guest blogger so stay tuned.  Have you beat me to visit Segovia too?

Daughter #1 is witty and funny, sensitive and reflective, intelligent, well -read, a skilled writer and gorgeous inside and out!  She is exquisite and she’s my first born baby girl.
 
Kath’s quote:  “The French approach to food is characteristic; they bring to their consideration of the table the same appreciation, respect, intelligence and lively interest that they have for the other arts, for painting, for literature, and for the theatre. –Alice B. Toklas
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Dreams Really Do Come True

April27

My husband has a distinct memory from his childhood and that is of the rotisserie turning on the barbecue every Sunday afternoon.  Of course in those days it was over live briquettes which we still use up at the cottage for beach barbecues. My husband and I are not major consumers.  We had been married five years before we purchased a gas lawn mower or a brand new vacuum.  Well, we’ve just marked our 25th last fall and my husband has finally gotten his rotisserie!

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Last Sunday we invited the kids over for backyard cocktails and supper on the deck. Now that we only have one living with us at home, we try to assemble for at least one meal together every week.  P4250065

My husband put a couple of chickens on the spit and then grilled portobello mushrooms.  I sauteed spinach in bacon, onion and almonds and then tossed new baby potatoes in sour cream and fresh dill.  P4250058_edited

We also enjoyed a crisp Chenin Blanc that Daughter #3 brought back from Stellenbosch, South Africa.

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Kath’s quote: “Wine is sunlight, held together by water.”-Galileo Galilei (1564-1642)
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Shrimp Ceviche

April26

The first time I ever tasted Ceviche (raw fish “cooked” in line juice) I was with Sister #3 at a restaurant called El Rico Maya in Cozumel in the late 1980s!  When the three sisters first travelled to Mexico together in 2005, we tricked Sister #2 into trying Ceviche Mixto by telling her that the cylindrical fish (octopus) were scallops.  She bravely had a taste.

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Tonight we are all assembling to celebrate the birthday of a dear friend who also happens to be our son’s Father-in-law.  The theme is Mexican and since it is spring, all of the ingredients are plentiful and well priced on the prairies.

This is the recipe that I have adapted over the years-modifying it to partially cook the shrimp before I take it to a party where it sits out all evening.

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1 lb. medium shelled shrimp (optional: before shelling, steam until shell JUST start to turn pink, then remove from heat and rinse in very cold water)

freshly squeezed juice from 2 large limes

salt and pepper to taste

1 small white onion, chopped

3 roma tomatoes, finely chopped

1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, loosely chopped

1/2 t chili flakes

1 T ev olive oil (optional)

In a glass bowl, toss together shrimp and lime juice.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (This is particularly NB if using unsteamed shrimp as this is time is required for the shrimp to “cook”).  When shrimp are opaque, add all of the other ingredients and toss.

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Here’s a photo of the dish being prepared by my man-servant-jk.  I took this of the Chef at Tibouran on Isla Mujeres when we requested an order to go for “happy hour” on our hotel balcony.

Kath’s quote: “Life is like an onion: You peel it off one layer at a time, and sometimes you weep.”-Carl Sandburgheart-of-leaf

South African Melktert (Milk Tart)

April22

Trying to take immediate advantage of daughter #2’s recent experience with South African cooking.  This is the first recipe that came to her mind.

View of Muizenberg from Simon's Town

View of Muizenberg from Simon's Town

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups milk
  • 3 egg white
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon sugar

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Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Coat a 9 inch deep dish pie plate with vegetable oil cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the butter and sugar until smooth. Add the egg yolks and beat until light and fluffy. Sift in the cake flour, baking powder and salt, and stir until well blended. Mix in the vanilla and milk. In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites to stiff peaks using an electric mixer. Fold into the batter. Pour into the prepared pie plate, and sprinkle cinnamon sugar over the top.
  3. Bake for 25 minutes in the preheated oven, then reduce the temperature to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Continue to bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the center is set when you gently jiggle the pie. Serve hot or cold.

Kath’s quote: “The secret of staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age.”-Lucille Ball
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