Wednesday, August 3, 2016

French Madeleines At Home

A tray of recently baked madeleines with the closest madeleine flipped over showing the browned shell side.

As you may have come to suspect, I love all types of French desserts. Certainly, macarons are on the top of the list but so are French Madeleines. On one side they have these beautiful fluted lines, and as you bite into them they taste like light fluffy butter cakes. I recall making a batch of these for dessert for friends that came over. After eating one of the madeleines, our friend's 3 year old asked if he could have more "shell cookies". Yup, I guess that is what you could call them! Thankfully, french madeleines happen to be very easy and quick (about 30 minutes to prep and bake) so making more batches of these "shell cookies" for the 3-year old in all of us isn't too hard at all. 
A green ceramic egg tray with three white eggs in it.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Irresistibly Smooth Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

It's officially summer here in Edmonton which means sunny days spent on the patio, visiting friends, and just enjoying all that summer has to offer. One of my go-to appetizer dishes in the summer when friends or over or one that I bring with me to a party is a good old hummus dip. 
When I first moved to Edmonton, there was a hummus dip that I always got from the Strathcona Farmer's Market. It was half regular hummus and half roasted red pepper hummus in the same container. I loved it and used to buy it all the time to have with my pitas, bagels, and pretty much anything I could dip or spread it on. A few weeks ago, I opened the pantry and saw a jar of roasted red peppers sitting there. It dawned on me that although I often make our go-to hummus  (and blogged it), I had yet to make my own roasted red pepper hummus. 
There aren't too many ingredients needed to make roasted red pepper hummus so I quickly gathered what I needed from our pantry. To blend all the ingredients together, I threw all the items into the Vitamix.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Dinner Buffet at the Fairmont Hotel Macdonald

A few weeks ago on June 17, the Fairmont Hotel Macdonald had their kickoff to their Friday night dinner buffets. I have always enjoyed going to the Fairmont for meals. Their Confederation Lounge and patio has a great view of the Edmonton River Valley and serves classic cocktails and casual food. The High Tea at the Harvest Room is one of my recent favourites along with the tour of the Queen suite. Based on the previous experiences I knew that the dinner buffet would have a good selection of food. I was invited to attend and offered a discount of 50% for me and a dinner companion.
Chilled Crab Legs!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Café Linnea: Pop-Up Recap

Salmon Galette with layers of buckwheat crepes, smoked salmon, ricotta, poached eggs, fried capers
Salmon Galette
A few weeks ago, Giselle from Duchess Bake Shop mentioned to me that plans were underway for a pop-up featuring their upcoming brunch bistro restaurant - Café Linnea. As I love brunch, this pop-up certainly piqued my interest! When the tickets for the pop-up were released time slots were quickly filling up and yet I somehow managed to score a ticket for the 6:45pm seating. 

Yup, you read that right I got ONE ticket. For any kind of dining out, I have always had at least a dining partner (usually Dan) to accompany me. I have never done something like this by myself before and that is when it dawned on me that I could potentially be eating alone. Visions of sitting by myself at table for one quickly filled my mind. Even though, Dan tells me that he has eaten many times by himself, it is not something that I find in my comfort zone. Of course, there is nothing wrong with eating by yourself, but I felt that I needed to confirm with the planners that this would be ok. To my pleasant surprise, I found out that I would seated at a table with Giselle of all people! Although I've briefly chatted with Giselle at some events, I've never had a chance to have a conversation over dinner with her, and I never imagined that it would happen this way.

picture of the Cafe Linnea pop-up menu

Café Linnea is a partnership between the Duchess Bake Shop and Chef Kelsey Johnson. The dishes on their pop-up menu hinted that their future menu may be a blend of both Scandinavian and French cooking. This pop-up was a chance for them to try out their dishes and for the waiting staff to do a trial run.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Cranberry Spinach Buckwheat Salad

Not sure about you, but this is the time of the year where I am looking for quick easy ways to make my lunch. Lately, I have been making this combination for my lunches. Just a simple cranberry spinach buckwheat salad.

I actually had never seen buckwheat groats before until my mother in law gave us a bag. At the time, Dan and I were trying (still experimenting) on making buckwheat noodles so she thought this would help. It turns out that the buckwheat groats are super easy to cook (sort of like cooking rice) and once it has cooled down I mixed in olive oil and dried cranberries. 

You can likely do whatever combination of toppings you want in your salad! In this one I decided to add in some sliced tomatoes, halved walnuts and provolone cheese. Colourful and healthy! Then, to keep it super simple the dressing is equal parts balsamic vinegar, olive oil and honey.  

Cranberry Spinach Buckwheat Salad

1. Mix 3/4 cup of cooked buckwheat groats with 1 tsp olive oil and 3 tsps dried cranberries.
2. Slice half a tomato, 20g of garlic smoked turkey, and 10g of sliced provolone cheese. 
3. Place 3/4 cup of spinach leaves into the larger container. Top with walnuts and provolone cheese.
4. Place tomatoes, garlic smoked turkey and the cooked buckwheat groats into the compartments of your salad container.
5. Mix 1 tbsp of balsamic vinegar with 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp honey into the salad dressing container. 

Do you have any favourite go-to salads around this time of the year? Let me know in the comments below or tweet, instagram or facebook me. 
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