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Archive for September, 2010

We love the zooooooooooo!

I recently I visited the Granby Zoo, located in Montérégie, 1 hour east of Montreal. I had never been to this zoo as I child, so it was my first visit too and I must say that it was quite an enjoyable day!

We started with the farm, and baby was more than happy to finally meet all the animals that I had been talking to him about!

There was a donkey…

an extroverted sheep

chickens, rabbits and sleepy pigs!

We then explored the playground for kids

Observed the elephants…

and the giraffe

and then relaxed next to the pool!

All in all, we had a wonderful day. Obviously the best time to visit is in the summertime but the zoo is open in the Fall. It’s a great place to go if you have young children and there’s a ton of things to do, I didn’t even have time to go on any of the rides or the choo choo train!

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Well the cold weather has finally come to Montreal, and when it’s 10 degrees outside, all I want to do is put on my pj’s and some warm wool socks and bake something that will warm me up.

I found this great recipe a few weeks back and I’ve done it twice already! The cake usually lasts less than 2 days in my house which is a good indication that it’s FANTASTIC! I must say that it’s probably one of the moistest cakes that I’ve ever made and with the chocolate icing to top it off it’s simply delish!

Even baby couldn’t resist this tasty cake!

Ingredients (adapted fom Slice of Feist)

1 & 1/2 Cups Shredded Zucchini

1 Cup All Purpose Flour

1/2 Cup high quality Unsweetened Cocoa Flour

1 Teaspoon Baking Soda

1/4 Teaspoon Baking Powder

1/2 Cup Canola Oil

1 Cup Sugar

2 Eggs

1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

3/4 Cup Dark Chocolate Chips

Chocolate Ganache (a nice french term meaning a mixture of chocolate and cream)
2 tablespoons of butter

chocolate chips

35% cream

In a pan melt the butter. Add the chocolate chips and some cream until the desired texture is reached.

In this version I added walnuts but it made it taste more like a brownie…

Directions

Heat your oven at 350 degrees.

In a mixer, combine your oil, sugar and vanilla. Add in your eggs and shredded zucchini.

In a separate bowl, mix together your flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and baking powder. Slowly add this dry mixture into your wet mixture. Beat until combined. Mix in your chocolate chips.

Scrape your batter into a greased loaf pan, and bake for 50-65 minutes (65 minutes was my magic number!)

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Potato & dill salad, bring on the pickles!

Another heat wave in Montreal and I can’t say that I’ve gathered up the courage or the desire to make any stews yet! Aside from stuffing my face with watermelon and spoonfuls of caramel, I’ve also been enjoying my salads (hence all the salad recipes!)

I created this salad after I enjoyed a plate of cold cuts, pickles and smoked salmon this summer. The plate was presented in a very rustic manner at this posh gastro pub (Dominion Square Tavern) and the pickles reminded me of something I could perhaps encounter while visiting an eastern european family (not that I know any).

The pickles, dill and lemon zest give this simple potato salad enough pizzaz that it will feel like a Merengue duo just danced all over your picnic table! Which probably explains why it’s been such a hit at my dinner table 🙂

Ingredients:

3 cups of small potatoes

1/4 cup of miniature pickles (gherkins)

1/2 cup of dill (diced)

2 green onions

Kosher salt & pepper

vinaigrette

1/2 lemon (juiced)

6 tablespoons of olive oil

2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon of maple syrup (or honey)

Preparation

1-Cut your potatoes in 2 or 4. Boil them in slightly salted water.

2-Dice your dill, green onions and pickles. Zest your lemon.

3-prepare your vinaigrette

4-Once your potatoes are cooked, refrigerate them. (or you could put them in the freezer like me!)

5-Mix everything together!

Note: If you have normal potatoes just dice them to make them smaller.

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