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Salt and Pepper squid with Apple Saffron Aioli

I visited Winnipeg this summer because my hubby wanted me to meet his grandmother. I didn’t really know what to expect from the city as I had never been. In the taxi ride on our way to my mother in law, I spotted a great looking restaurant that captured my attention, Segovia tapas bar & restaurant. Being a huge fan of tapas and Spain, I noted the name and promised myself to go and eat there. About ten minutes later, the taxi finally pulled up to our destination.

Luck had it that my mother in law lives in Osborne village, a colorful and creative area in Winnipeg. The following day, she encouraged us to walk around and visit the boutiques and cafe’s. As I strolled down Stradbrooke Avenue, I was astonished to stumble upon Segovia as it was right next to my mother in law’s condo (hmmm that taxi driver sure did fool us!). Being 10 in the morning, we obviously couldn’t go in (even though the menu was VERY appealing), but as soon as the clock turned 12 boy did we charge! Moments of pure delight followed.

Asparagus with soft poached egg, serrano ham, idiazabal cheese cream sauce

I must say that Segovia has been my best discovery in regards to restaurants in 2010. I still crave most of the dishes that I ate that day. It’s remarkable that such a young chef can be so talented, but I tell you, it is indeed possible! Adam Donnelly is a chef to be reckoned with! And with his loved one, Carolina Konrad, they have managed to offer wonderful, well-balanced dishes at reasonable prices in a beautiful decor. They even spent 6 weeks in Spain to seek inspiration for the restaurant. On their website you can read “For Segovia’s menu, Adam gracefully melds Spanish recipes and techniques with local ingredients and modern ideas to create an inspiring menu of delicious small dishes meant to be shared amongst friends and family.” I couldn’t have said it better myself!

Hanger Steak with beets, valdeon cheese and horseradish salsa verde

Seared Scallops with Cauliflower Puree and Pedro Xiemenez Caramel

I still crave the seared scallops dish, and even attempted to do it at home (with a great level of success I must say!) The desserts are wonderful as well, Machengo cheesecake, Cinnamon Churros, Dark chocolate torte… The restaurant also offers a very nice selection of wines ans Sherry’s.

Coming from a foodie that has pretty high standards in regards to restaurants, I promise you that Segovia will provide you with a great culinary experience. My mouth and my brain were pretty much in awe the whole time. I even went back the following day!

Dishes are priced between 4$-28$ (average about 10$ per dish), and I suggest 2-3 tapas per person, shared with your friends and family of course!

 

Segovia

484 Stradbrooke Avenue, Winnipeg

204-477-6500

Note: all photos were taken by Carolina Conrad, thank you!


Pumpkin…cake!

Well it’s Thanksgiving today in Canada and even though many people think that us frenchies (I’m from Montreal which makes me French Canadian) don’t celebrate this wonderful and delicious holiday, well we do! And to prove it here is a great recipe that I found last week on the Martha Stewart website and it has been tried, tested and approved ny none other than MOI! Oh yes, by my friends and family too of course!

This cake reminded me of the pumpkin pie my mother use to make when I was little. Oddly, I don’t really like pumpking pie so why I was so attracted by this cake recipe is a mystery to me. I guess that I was in the Thanksgiving spirit?

The cake is very dense and doesn’t really taste like pumpkin at all. Even my friend who hates the vegetable in the cake combo, went for a second piece. Martha suggested a vanilla frosting. It was okay but a bit sweet, if I were to do it again I think that I would try some type of glaze (orange perhaps?) instead.

But the icing made it rustic looking which was nice. I didn’t put any nutmeg or allspice as I don’t like those spices very much.And I reduced the amount of sugar as well (which was a good thing because the icing is very sweet). If you want to make the cake look more festive you could always add some orange food coloring in it!

Ingredients – Serves 8 to 10

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup of sugar

2 large eggs

1 cup homemade pumpkin puree or canned

1/2 cup warm milk

Directions

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-by-2-inch round cake pan. Coat with butter.

In a large bowl, sift together flour, cinnamon, salt, baking powder, and baking soda; set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat sugar and butter together until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, and beat until combined. Add pumpkin puree and milk; beat until combined. Add reserved flour mixture; beat on low speed until just combined.

Pour batter into prepared pan, and bake until a cake tester inserted into the middle comes out clean, about 50-55 minutes. Transfer the cake to a wire rack to cool. Let cake rest 20 minutes.

Unmold cake. Using an offset spatula, spread icing over top of cake, and decorate with walnut halves.

Vanilla Frosting

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup sifted confectioner’s sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3 tablespoons milk

Directions

In a bowl, mix butter, sugar, vanilla, and milk; stir until smooth. Layer over cake once the cake has cooled.

Apple and Dijon lamb stew

Oh the time to pick apples has arrived and what better thing to do than actually make meals with them! I love making stews in the Fall, it always warms me up and they feel like a big hug after a long day at work. The best thing about stews is that they’re easy to do and if you make a big batch, you’ll have great left overs and amazing lunches (your colleagues will be jealous!) for the following days. And your kids and hubby will be more than happy that you have more quality time to spend with them and less time to give in front of the stove!

Ingredients

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1 kg of lamb cubes

1 onion (diced)

2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard

1 bouquet garni (or 1/4 cup of fresh parsley, 1 thyme branch, 2 bay leaves)

salt & pepper

1 tablespoon of all purpose flour

5 cups of beef broth (or lamb if you can find some)

2 cups of apple juice (the homemade looking kind…)

Apple garnish

2 tablespoons of butter

3 apples (peeled & sliced)

Preparation

In a large casserole, add the oil and cook the onions for 2-3 minutes. Add the lamb cubes and sear the meat on every side until it is evenly browned. It takes a few minutes but it’s worth it, the caramelized flavours are the secret! Add the flour, the broth and the apple juice. Then mix in the Dijon mustard and the bouquet garni.

Bring the pot to a simmer. Cook on medium heat for 1h45 minutes or until the meat is tender. Add broth or apple juice if needed while cooking.

For the garnish, once your meat is cooked, put the butter in a pan and caramelise your apples. Don’t cook them too long as you want the a bit on the crunchy side!

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!

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!)

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.

Well, even though it’s almost the end of August already (sighhhhhhh), I’m still enjoying my summer salads and not quite ready to dive into beef stews and chicken roasts just yet. Here is a great salad that I had the pleasure to taste in a nice trendy hang out in Montreal called Laïka. People usually go to this venue for drinks but the food is decent and the prices are reasonable.

The combination of the apples, the endives and the mint make this salad fresh and tasty. perfect for a BBQ dish, served on its own our next to a tasty piece of white meat fish like Tilapia.

Ingredients

3 endives sliced thinly

1 1/2 apples sliced thinly

25 fresh mint leaves

7 fresh basil leaves

juice of 1/2 a lemon

Vinaigrette

4 tablespoons of olive oil

2 tablespoons of rice vinegar

1 tablespoon of maple syrup (or honey)

salt and pepper

Preparation

Mix all the ingredients together!

Note: You could do the vinaigrette first and add it to the salad.

Add the lemon juice to the apples quickly so they don’t become brown.