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Segovia-Part 2

June4

I should taken notes or asked to take a copy of the menu -what kind of foodie blogger am I?  My head was spinning with the whirlwind of food that started arriving at our table and was soon divided up and devoured.  A couple of these items are referenced on the Segovia website so I know that I have gotten them right but for the details that I am just trying to pull from memory…forgive me please.

This was one of their specials-braised beef tongue served over succulent baby peas.  I was going to pass and let the guys enjoy this one on their own.  Good thing I got brave or I would have missed out on the most amazing dish.

I truly don’t remember what this was but it had a poached egg on top and was smooth, creamy and delectable.

This dish was part bruschetta/part salad and totally delicious.  I recall fresh basil, grilled tomatoes and crispy pancetta.

We had two orders of these…even without the enhancing drizzles, they might have been the best “french fry” I have ever tasted, rivalled only by the papas frites at La Lomita on Isla Mujeres.

We had two orders of these too….we call them croquettes and Sister #2 is a master maker of them, having been taught be her Italian mother-in-law.  The bechamel was rich and substantial and the creamy/salty/crunchy combination so much fun.

Salt and pepper squid with apple saffron aioli-a curious taste twist on calamari, highly successful.

Seared scallops atop of cauliflower puree.  Scallops may be my favourite shellfish especially when they are expertly seared as these were, leaving the inside moist, firm and bursting with flavour.

We thought that we should start winding down with this platter arrived brimming with cured and smoked meats.  Duck, tongue, salami, ham-each taste made unique by the substance, heartiness, spice and length of cure.

This  was the bread grilled and brushed with olive oil that accompanied the platter.  I could have been happy with just the bread and a little sea salt!
Segovia Tapas Bar and Restaurant on Urbanspoon
Kath’s quote: “Man does not live by bread alone”.  -Deut 8:3

Segovia-Part 1

June3

The dining style of grazing has always been part of our life from the little tastes that D & I would treat ourselves to when he was a hospitality student in Toronto,  to the beach picnics that we have had annually to celebrate our wedding anniversary, to the love that my family has of dim sum, cocktail parties and little plates served in front of the TV for the Superbowl and Academy Awards.  We love mini tastes of a variety of well-prepared food.  And so the stage was set when Joel, the server with so much charm, tried to explain to us that dining at Segovia was going to be different and unique.  In reality, we have desperately waited the arrival of a little plates restaurant  since our cherished Lux Sole and Tap and Grill both closed.

My office had been next door as we watched with interest as half brick walls were hammered down and new rooms and kitchen equipment was moved in.  I was so impressed that they maintained the original integrity of the old home and yet added elements of bleached drift wood hanging from the ceiling and very ambient lighting.  So many of my foodie friends beat me to the punch and have been enjoying Segovia since it opened this past winter.  When Daughter #1 and Neice #2 enjoyed a birthday dinner there recently, they declared that it would become my new favourite restaurant.

It was the only place that I wanted to go when we chatted about celebrating my upcoming birthday.  Was it worth the wait?  OMGoodness-yes.  But I guess you’ll have to wait for another time to hear the delicious details and see the photos.  Will it be worth your wait? OMGoodness –yes.


Segovia Tapas Bar and Restaurant on Urbanspoon
Kath’s quote: “Anybody can make you enjoy the first bite of a dish, but only a real chef can make you enjoy the last.”- Francois Minot

Frenchway by Olivier

May31

We made a happy discovery this weekend-we were out of coffee and so headed to a local cafe for a cup.  We’ve noticed that The Frenchway Cafe in our neighbourhood is always bustling and a reader commented here that their breakfasts are exceptionally good.

Typical of our enthusiasm to experience new places, our cup of coffee turned into selections from the bakery counter-bread pudding and a cinnamon bun which were both exceptional.

When we glanced at the menu (for another day) we couldn’t resist and ended up ordering breakfast.  At least we had the restraint to share.  Perfectly cooked eggs, grilled sausage and freshly sauteed potatoes-yum.  Next to us, a European woman ordered a soft cooked egg in an egg cup and across the cozy room we saw the french toast come out of the kitchen,  looking as if they were topped with strawberries.

We met young Alix, blog author of frenchkisscook.com and exceptional Pastry Chef  trained at the Cordon Bleu in Ottawa.

D and I sat side by side as we did for many meals during our memorable time in Paris together.  And for a moment on a rainy Saturday morning in May, Paris did not seem that far away.
Frenchway on Urbanspoon
Kath’s quote: “I compare a pastrycook who makes good colifichets to a distinguished fashion designer, endowed with perfect taste, who can make charming things with very little material. In the same way, out of almost insignificant scraps of pastry, we have to create pleasing and graceful things that also tempt the appetite.”-Antonin Careme (Marie-Antoine Careme) (1783-1833)

You say perogy, I say pierogi

May17
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Alycia's Borscht

When a Winnipegger has never been to Alycia’s in the North End-it is a kind of sacrilege.  Pierogies are part of my eastern European heritage, so it is silly that I had never been.  The late John Candy was so fond of Alycia’s cooking that he had her pierogies flown to California for him.

Alycia’s pierogies can be served deep fried, pan-fried or boiled and come traditionally filled with cheese and potato or upon special request with cottage cheese or sauerkraut.  The cottage cheese ones that I ordered were sweetened slightly and since I also had kubassa the combination of sweet and salty was just to my liking.

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Potato and Cheese, Steamed


Alycia's on Urbanspoon
Since I was raised on my Polish Grandma and then my Mom’s hand pinched pierogies, I am a pierogi snob.  I don’t go for deep frying or stuffing them with Mexican ingredients.  Don’t mess with my carbs!  I do admit that I have tasted perogy lasagne and Boston’s Pizza’s perogy pizza and was duly impressed.  But that was because the essential ingredients of potato, onion, bacon, cheese and sour cream were all included. P5130178_edited

Perogy lasagne recipe:

Ingredients

5 potatoes, peeled and cubed

1/2 c milk

1/2 c butter, melted

1/2 pound bacon, diced

1 onion, chopped

6 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 (16 oz) package lasagna noodles

2 c shredded Cheddar cheese

salt and pepper to taste

1 (8 ounce) container sour cream

3 T chopped fresh green onions

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place the potatoes in a large pot with water to cover over high heat.  Bring to a boil and cook until the potatoes are tender. Remove from heat, drain, then combine with the milk and 6 tablespoons of butter, mash and set aside.  Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Saute the bacon, onion and garlic in the butter for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the bacon is fully cooked.  Cook the lasagna noodles according to package directions and cool under running water.  Place 1/2 of the mashed potatoes into the bottom of a 9×13 buttered baking dish. Top this with 1/3 of the cheese, followed by a layer of lasagna noodles. Repeat this with the remaining potatoes, another 1/3 of the cheese and a layer of noodles. Then arrange the bacon, onion and garlic over the noodles, then another layer of noodles, and finally top all with the remaining cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees F  for 30 to 45 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve with sour cream and chopped green onions.

Kath’s quote: “Throughout history, the Poles have defended Europe. They would fight, and – between battles – they would eat and drink.”-E. de Pomiand
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Pancakes

May14

Because we are “cottage people” and pancakes are what are often cooked up for the masses of people assembled on our deck, pancakes represent weekends and leisure and the good life.  In fact our little cabin is called “Life Is Good!”

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“Banana Pancakes” was the song that was playing when my son stop the car by the lake, got out on one knee and proposed to his girlfriend. Lester Beach 2007 057

Often for very special occasions like Mother’s Day or one of the kid’s birthday’s, my husband will make these famous pancakes (famous in our house that is).  The recipe has a number of stages and takes a bit of prep but they are so worth it!  They also happen to be lot fat (but that’s besides the point).

2 T butter

¼ c sugar

2 t cinnamon

3 medium apples peeled & slices

Batter :

1/3 c flour

½ t baking powder

2 egg yolks

1/3 c milk

4 egg whites

1/3 c sugar

 In two 9 inch pie plates or one 13 x 9 baking dish, melt butter in 400 degree oven, about 2 minutes.  Combine sugar & cinnamon.  Sprinkle evenly over margarine.  Bake for 2 minutes or until melted.  Arrange apple slices in overlapping circles over top.  Bake for 19 minutes.  Meanwhile in bowl, combine flour & baking powder, blending in egg yolks & milk.  In large bowl, beat egg whites until white & frothy.  Gradually beat in sugar until soft peaks form.  Fold into milk mixture.  Spread evenly over apples.  Bake for 15 -20 minutes or until lightly browned.  Loosen edges with knife, invert onto serving plate.  Makes 6 servings.

Our fav pancakes: The Big Apple from the Original Pancake House and  Buttermilk Pancakes at Smitty’s.  Please comment and let me know yours.

 Kath’s quote: “I’ll make you banana pancakes.  Pretend like its the weekend.” -Jack Johnson

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