Monday, August 29, 2011

Vacation eats - Maritimes (part two)

The next day rain clouds rolled in and we realized how lucky we'd been to have the gorgeous weather we had at the lake. The remaining few days of our trip were pretty soggy. We stopped in Moncton for an arts and craft fair where we indulged in a bit of kettle corn and a brief visit with another of the family. We then continued on to Parlee Beach in Shediac where we'd been invited for a BBQ dinner by yet another family member. Mmm... ocean breezes and barbecued meat and potato salad... so good! We went for a walk down to the water and got soaked on the way back when it started raining. But it was a summer rain and somehow I didn't mind getting wet... I changed into the hoodie I'd brought along and was quite content to curl up with a mug of coffee while the others chatted. The smell of the ocean always has a strong effect on me, especially when paired with grey, drizzly weather. I find it incredibly comforting.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Vacation eats - Maritimes (part one)

So, finally have a chance to sit down and dish about vacation and the good stuff we had to eat. (Get comfy, this will be a long one ;) We decided we would be heading east into the Maritime provinces to visit some of B's family there. So we shipped the cats off to their grandmother's for the week, packed the car and hit the road.

It's roughly a 10 hour drive from Montreal to the St John/Moncton area of New Brunswick, and I had chosen the route that took us through the northern bit of the States (Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine) for no particular reason than to see what there was to see. What was there? Trees. And a lot of road construction :P But we did take a short break on the side of the road and were treated to this scene:

Somewhere in Maine

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Review: Camellia Sinensis Tea House

Today we finally visited the Camellia Sinensis tea house just off St Denis in Montreal. I'd been hearing about it for a while now and it was one of those things we kept saying we'd do, but we never thought of it at the right time. But today we had plenty of time and happened to be in the area, so we popped in for a spot of tea.

When you first walk in from the street, it's like walking into another world. A quiet, softly lit, fragrant world. It was an overcast late summer sort of humid and rainy day, so walking into the dim shop was surprisingly nice. I imagine it would be a wonderful thing to walk into on a cold winter day as well. There was a window seat, a few cozy looking booths in the back, a bar in the middle, and a number of small tables scattered in between.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Things I love: Sugar scrubs

Not everything in your pantry has to be used in food, you know... some of it can go on your face! (and elbows, and heels...)

I've tried a number of homemade scrubs and exfoliants over the past few years. Living in a climate like Montreal's, my sensitive skin has to deal with heat and humidity in the summer and sub-zero temps and a severe lack of humidity in the winter. Even with spring and fall in there to cushion the blow, it can mean some serious season whiplash for your skin.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Fig Galette, 'rustic' to say the least

Making this galette was quite simple, and while it won't win any awards for beauty, it came out quite tasty.

The figs were extremely ripe and very easy to prepare. For those of you who have never had a fresh fig, please do yourself a favor and try one! They are in season now, in late summer... while you may be able to find them at the grocery store (I've never been terribly impressed by the ones we have on offer here), I would strongly recommend you find a farmer's market or a specialized fruit shop that can help guide you in picking out a ripe one to try. They are indescribably good... soft and sweet and fleeting in late summer. You'll never look at a fig newton the same again ;)

Now, onto the recipe...

Still here!

Sorry for the radio silence... we've been away on vacation! Took two weeks together for the first time, and I must say it was quite nice! We had time to take our week-long road trip to the Maritimes (a vacation food post will follow shortly) and still have a few days before and after to do what needed doing, or to do nothing at all. What a concept, eh?

We made sure to get ourselves to the Jean-Talon market during our time off as summer is drawing to a close and the market is bursting at the seams with summer produce. B bought himself not one but two flats of figs... and while he has put an heroic dent in the contents, they are slowly over-ripening in the fridge.

So, to use up what was left, I was going to make some preserves or cookies or something, until I found this recipe: Fig Galette. I will share a secret with you... I've always wanted to make one of those 'rustic' style galettes, but have never had the excuse to do so. I happen to have all the ingredients on hand (not that impressive when you realize it's only 4 ingredients, but still! ;) so I am going to go make it while B handles dinner! I will take pictures and report back here with the results :)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Learn from my mistakes! *finger wag*

We're planning a trip to visit the mothership soon so I'm making a batch of the infamous Key Lime Cloud Squares to take, this time made with condensed milk ;) So I made sure to get all the ingredients, planned in advance to make sure I had time to let the cream cheese soften and let the jell-o set and all that good stuff. Only... I forgot one thing...

I've said it before and I'll say it again.... Read through your recipe before you start cooking!!! I don't usually buy Cool Whip because, though it's super tasty, I'm unsettled by the fact it is basically whipped oil and corn syrup with a bit of dairy thrown in as an after thought. If I'm going to have whipped cream, I prefer the real stuff, or go the dairy-free route for B's sake. So in this case, I skipped the Cool Whip called for in the ingredients because, after skimming the recipe, I thought it only went on as a topping.

I was wrong.