Sunday, February 26, 2012

Chez Jose

Walk down Duluth St. in Montreal's Plateau neighborhood and it is hard to miss Chez José with its colourful paintings on the brick outside and the pink mannequin legs on the balcony above.  This was my first time going there for brunch; I usually go there for the same order "chicken churrasco sandwich with a yuniko smoothie, please".  Plus, the coffee is always amazing.  Today, Antoine and I went to hang out with some of our favorite people and enjoy José's crêpes - chocolate & lemon for Antoine and apple cinnamon for me.  Definitely to be redone.

The Best Egg Sandwich You'll Ever Have

Ok, so I must to admit I do a lot of online "poaching" of breakfast ideas.  This one came from Smitten Kitchen (wow, just WOW) via A Cup of Jo (I generally never go a day without missing Joanna Goddard's blog).  Antoine added his own flare to the meal...

Bacon bits, rosemary, thyme, parsley, and yes, a Kraft single
I decided to pair my sandwich with a Jamie Oliver smoothie... (OT friends, remember the 32 steps to eating something you are averse to?  Antoine was able to bring this BANANA and mango smoothie to his mouth, then lick his lips - we are making headway!)

Antoine tried a piece of lemon loaf that I got him last week in Ottawa at Macarons and Madeleines (amazing Ottawa foodie find)...

At the end of the meal, Antoine was feeling rather plump and pleased with himself!

Oh the joys Fatbooth can provide..

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Homemade pleasures

I'm home again this weekend, which means outings with friends and family and skype/phone chats with my family in the UK.  It also means lots of homemade everything.  This morning it was my mum's granola..

...topped with vanilla yogurt, mango and banana...

...followed by date scones with jam from Ottawa's Farmer's Market.

The scone recipe comes from The Rose Bakery, a place on my to-go-to list when I next go to Paris. (That may be a while!).  Recipes below - happy weekend, xo.


2 cups large flake oats
2 cups crushed cereal (I use Natures Path synergy but you can use more oats or rye flakes)
1 cup unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup wheat germ
1 cup whole almonds
1 cup sunflower seeds (I sometimes use 1/2 pumpkin seeds)
8 tablespoons sesame seeds 
2/3 cup cooking oil ( I use sunflower)
2/3 cup liquid honey 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup raisins, dried cranberries etc (can use whatever you have, I don’t measure just put a handful of dried fruit on each pan)
Preheat oven to 300F(150C). Grease two large pans with non- stick spray.
Mix dry ingredients in large bowl.
In glass microwaveable jug measure oil and honey.  Microwave for 1 1/2 minutes. Add vanilla.
Pour onto dry ingredients and mix well.
Cook for about 25 minutes. Remove from oven and add dried fruit. Mix with spatula so that mixture doesn’t stick to pan. When cold, store in sealed container.

Date Scones

These scones need to be served warm, just with lots of butter, and eaten slowly - if that's possible!

Makes 10 scones
250 g (1 2/3 cups) self-raising (self-rising) flour, half white and half wholemeal (wholewheat), plus extra for dusting
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg or mixed spice 
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
60 g (5 tablespoons) unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
2 heaped tablespoons of light brown sugar
250 g (scant 1/2 cup) stoned, chopped dates
150 ml (2/3 cup) milk
1 egg, beaten

Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/Gas Mark 6 and grease a baking tray with butter.

Sift the flours into a bowl with the nutmeg or mixed spice, salt, and baking powder.

Add the butter and sugar and rub in with your fingers until the mixture resembles fresh breadcrumbs, then fold in the dates.

Make a well in the middle of the mixture and pour in the milk.  Use a fork to work it into the dry ingredients.  Finish by hand but without overworking the mixture - just lightly bring everything together to form a softish but firm dough.  It must not be sticky, so start by adding three-quarters of the milk and see how that works.  Add more only if you need it.

On a lightly floured surface, pat or roll the dough into a solid shape about 3 cm (1 1/4 inches) thick.  Cut the dough into rounds or squares and place them on the greased baking tray so that they almost touch them.

Cut the dough into rounds or squares and place them on the greased baking tray so that they almost touch.

Glaze the tops with the egg and bake for about 15 minutes until lightly golden.

The scones will stick together, so take them gently apart when they have cooled a little.

Serve warm.

Sunday, February 12, 2012


Sometimes, what's simplest is best.  Or, sometimes, you just have to go with what's in the fridge.  This morning was a bit of both.  We made Jamie Oliver's scrambled eggs, and added some rosemary, thyme and parsley.  Paired it with a bit 'o toast with my mum's rhubarb and ginger jam (need to go home to get another fix!) and finished it with some of Montréal's best chocolate from Geneviève Grandbois

Antoine, je t'aime.

Seeing as we live in different cities, Antoine and I decided to celebrate Valentine's Day this weekend.  It was another TGISM - Antoine made his famous Crêpes Suzettes (he gets his recipe from La cuisine raisonnée) and in keeping with Antoine's fruit resolution, I made a strawberry coulis (ie. frozen strawberries pureed with sugar and lemon juice).  To complete the love potion, we watched Paris, Je T'aime... bliss.

Sunday, February 05, 2012


Parmesan baked eggs, rhubarb ginger jam & Santropol coffee
 Have you heard of bkfst? Created in part by blogger Diana Moss, it is a breakfast lover's photo gallery haven.  It was also the inspiration for today's brunch - Parmesan Baked Eggs.  Luckily, I live a stone's throw from North America's largest open-air market, Marché Jean-Talon, in Montreal's Petite Italy, everything was bought fresh from the vendors.  The market is also where we bought the ingredients for Jamie Oliver's mega chocolate fudge cake, which Antoine chose to finish his brunch with!

Once a sweet tooth, always a sweet tooth

Le Vieux Vélo

TGISM - Thank God it's Saturday Morning.  This is the new acronym that Antoine has created and I must say I agree with the statement.  After a week where I had more downs that ups, it was nice to sleep in and grab brunch around the corner at Le Vieux Vélo.  Being an economics major, Antoine is quite sensible about value for money "rapport qualité prix" as he puts it.  Luckily, in this case, Le Vieux Vélo is up to par with its variations of Bénédictines (classic for me and La Florentine for Antoine) and other home-style offerings at a good price. Yes, it was a two-meal day for us, separated by a cross-country ski in Oka National Park!