St Patrick’s Day under 15 minutes

Hi readers! I missed you… I have been thinking about you a lot!

First, APOLOGIES for disappearing from Bon Appét’Eat. I started preparing a post where I explained my choice and I will be back to share it.

Second, THANK YOU for coming back and visiting my blog!

Just like that I am back… Let’s look natural and squeeze in a little article about St Patrick’s Day. Give you some inspiration with quick and easy ideas to be green on March 17th!

Just like that… after a 6-month blog hiatus, I am throwing 5 recipes already published on my blog. Because you know, these recipes are for you to enjoy and you might need a little reminder because I have not been the blogger of the year.  But I’ll chat to you about that, you deserve an explanation!

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Last minute?  Tell me about it! I don’t particularly go all green on St Pat’s but kids do wear the Irish color on that day. So I guess I could play along virtually and suggest a few recipes!

1. French savory spinach CrêpesMust admit, nothing Irish about that one besides the color for the D-day. Can you blame me? Can you resist a French crêpes? Also, allow to give all the credit to my son who was then 4. He asked me to put Spinach in his batter as it is “good for your health and Popeye loved spinach”. My little superhero is such a foodie!

Spinach French crêpe

2. Avocado dip: Get your little to work and prepare something green. Let them mash those ripe avocados and they will love to eat what they prepared. Of course, grown-ups will love it too! 

avocado dip

3. Zucchini pesto frittersLast minute pot luck? No problem! You can put together some nice vegetarian fritters in no time. The pesto and zucchini marry their greens for great flavors and taste. You can have the leftovers for work or for the kids lunch at camp.
Lightly fried in a pan, it gives you the perfect crunch! EAT SOME!

Zucchini fritters

4. Green smoothieAlso very appropriate to boost your body and fight all the germs around with this extra weird winter. Or end of winter I shall say. Yeah! It is not cold at all, you might be fighting one of those bad cold that have been spreading around.
Although, I don’t need to sneak veggies for my kids, this green smoothie might be the answer for yours.  

Green Smoothie

5. The benefits of cucumber-lime-mint waterThat might not be the season to pick it up in your garden but nonetheless, THIS is the answer to March 18 hangover! Drink lots of it, it is what your body is craving for. 

Cucumber lime mint water

Whatever you do for St Patrick’s Day, have fun, enjoy but most of all be safe! 

8 things to do to feel like it’s summer in Provence

Last day before back to school? Let’s talk about vacations…. I am all emotional that my baby is going to SK so let’s change the conversation, right?

As the summer is wrapping up, I want to enjoy the last bit of sun on my skin, a few more outdoor meals but most of all, keep that warmth in my heart that I brought back from France.

We went to the South, in Provence, for 2 weeks and it was hot, relaxing and full of love. The children enjoyed every little bit of their trip. French vacations for the win!
Summer in Provence 1 – Eat like every day is your last day: To a certain extend… Stay healthy and moderate. BUT do not think that certain things are to be eaten or drunk on special occasion. TODAY is special! We were in France with our family, it was amazing. Needless to say that (cough) our pants shrank under the sun!  But we ENJOYED!

2 – Eat local, fresh and seasonal: Fresh strawberries from the garden for breakfast? YES! Biting in a juicy tomato in the garden? YES! It is tastier and kids snaked on beautiful crops. Enough said.

3 –  Have an apéritif: See #1, today is special, have a nice glass of wine with your loved one, a fresh beer. Stay safe, don’t drive. Cheering to awesome vacations! Santé! Special recommendation: Pineau des Charentes, Pastis. Ma favs.

Summer in Provence

4 – Sit back and relax: Watch the kids playing, feel the breeze and do nothing. Don’t think about chores, bills and work. Gone! Chill, you need it! I know it’s hard to apply, I do try my best though to just unplug.

5 – Break the kid’s routine: It’s okay to put your kids to bed later than usual. Hopefully, they’ll sleep later the next morning. Mine do.  Routine is important but letting things go feels good sometimes.

Summer in Provence

6 – Sit together at the table: it is a family moment that French are serious about!  Eat together, talk and share about your day, your friends.  I’m very particular about that one, we do have picnic dinner in front of the television once in a while, but it is rare.

7 – Drive around, get lost and admire:  Although I spent 22 years in Provence, I surprise myself taking so many pictures of places I would hang out on a daily basis when I was a student.  We are so blind.  Take a minute and enjoy that beautiful sunset in your neighbourhood. Nature’s beauty is all around.

Provence

8 – KISS and French KISS! Of course, kiss your loved ones, French kiss your better half. “La bise” (a kiss on each cheek to say bonjour) is a cultural feature I brought with me.

Each time I leave my family, it’s hard… and sad.  I wish my babies would see their French Mamie and Papy more often.  I am so proud of those kiddos that keep talking about France on a daily basis without me mentioning it.  They also have 2 uncles and an aunt that they created souvenir with.

LOVE is powerful, love is stronger than the kilometers that separate us.

Interview of a 4-year old

This year, my participation for Food Revolution Day will not be a recipe but an amazing interview I did of my mini-superhero!  Everyday, he amazes me with his comments about food, remarks about what he observes and questions about our bodies.  He is so curious and we love it!

A few notes about this video:
– We are so proud that he understood the concept of indulging once in a while but being healthy is a priority!
– I am the one asking the questions and it was as natural as possible since I communicate with him ONLY in French!
– I did NOT tell him to say something in particular, we just chatted for 15 minutes in front of the camera!
– I did questioned him in a way to get him to repeat some sentences he has said in the past.

A few ideas that he says a lot but did not express:
– He loves to cook/help with his parents in the kitchen
– His younger sister is following his footsteps!

Finally…
– Introducing any food as soon as they started solid food  has been a key in the developement of their palate!  I am so proud that they eat EVERYTHING!

The recipe is referring for the Kale salad is this one! He loved it!
Cranberries-Walnuts kale salad with goat cheese dressing

As for the real food and the pizza, the kids loves when we make it and they customize theirs. The recipe is here.

Mini Caprese pizza

 

Thank you for watching the video and TEACH YOUR KIDS, GET THEM INVOLVED and do not find bad excuses, yes you can be HEALTHY in your busy mom life!

Last year, I wrote a few articles for Food Revolution 2014:
Grow your food
 Get them involve: Meat balls with the mini-chef
 Healthy dinner on week days, yes! Pecan-crusted chicken
 Healthy snack: Creamy avocado dip
 Fruity Smoothie and Healthy rasberry muffins

 

Chestnut cake

Chestnut cake or Ardéchois is An amazing recipe that will surprise your guests.  It is easy and will hit the spot at craving-o-clock, what do you think?

I say YES!  I take my coffee black to go with it.

I have been making this recipe for about at least 20  years.  And I am sharing it just now.  I know, I am sorry, you’ll be even more mad at me after you tried it.  Mélanie, why are you giving it just now?  I am sorry.

Oh, I started baking young… Just in case you started crushing numbers to guess my age.

Chestnut cake

This cake is offering moisture, sweetness but not too much, just from the spread.  There is also that buttery nutty taste….

Guys, just try it.   I am torturing myself describing it and I don’t have any to bite into.  Tor-ture. Sight.

If you are not big on chestnut spread, no worries.   Give it a try regardless, chances are you will like it.  Hubby, El Cubano, did.  And other persons have too.  I love chestnut spread, they used to sell it in a tube, like a toothpaste tube but smaller.  I would eat it just like that. J. might remember our recess breaks and my snacks?  This and condensed milk.  Hi Sugar-rush!

Chestnut spread

This recipe makes me nostagic of those years, those people I  baked it for.  The taste brings me back in my parent’s kitchen in France.  I sound very sentimental but living far from your family  does that to you.  Thankfully, I found a marvellous hubby, El Cubano, and our mini-superman and mini-princess are perfect.

Now, those pumpkins are the ones I share my nostalgic recipes and create new ones.  They love it and ask for more.  It is the best reward after spending time in my apron!

Chestnut spread cake

About the Chestnust spread: I might not have seen it in every single supermarket but it is quite common in the aisle of jams and chocolate spread.  Or, you can go to France to pick some up and do your Ardéchois.

Chestnut cake

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 1 cake of 8 x 8

Ingredients

  • - 2 large eggs
  • - 1/2 a cup of butter
  • - 1 cup of chestnut spread
  • - 20 cl of milk
  • - 1 cup of flour
  • - 1 teaspoon of baking powder

Instructions

  1. - In a bowl, put the wet ingredients: eggs, butter previously melted, the chestnut spread and milk. Mix well.
  2. - Add progressively the flour and the baking powder, mix until smooth.
  3. - Pour the mixture in an oven dish,previously buttered if necessary.
  4. - Bake in the oven at 385F for 30-35 minutes or when the tip of your knife comes out dry when you pick your cake.
http://bonappeteat.ca/2015/03/30/chestnut-cake/

Cranberry Walnut kale salad with goat cheese dressing

Hello nice weather and positive temperatures!  Everybody seems so merry and smiley lately and it might be thanks to Mother Nature.  It’s not summer yet but after so many -25C or -30C in Toronto, let me tell you that +2 is worth jumping all over!

Gorgeous blue sky, snow melting, does it put you in a spring/summer mood?  Of course it does!  I love it and now I can say Bye to soups and Hello colorful salads!

Cranberries-Walnuts kale salad with goat cheese dressing

 Last year, I tried kale and I really fell for it!  Since it’s a chewy salad, I chop it off really small.  I use to pound it with the meat tenderizer but I skip that task and it’s just fine.  I add some nuts for crunchy-crunchy, some cranberries for some sweet taste.

Aaaaand… Wait for it (**drum roll**), I make that super simple, quick and easy goat cheese dressing.  Kale dressed in white and creamy love.  I mean, you have to try it to believe it! So simple and yet so crazy amazingly good!

True story: (Don’t tell El Cubano I told you) He likes his green salad dry, so without dressing.  Not his thing.   Well, as he wishes.  The other day, he said he was ready to try some kale (you know he’s not big on veggies and all… we talked about that). And TA-DA!  He loves this recipe with the dressing!  It’s that good.

Cranberries-Walnuts kale salad with goat cheese dressing

My little super-hero who is 4 loved it too!  He wanted some for his lunch but I didn’t have any left over without the nuts but good to know!  Isn’t he amazing eating kale and spinach?  That’s my boy!

On another note…

Lately, I have been having a hard time balancing life and blogging, as you can see.  It’s not always easy and blogging is a lot of work.  I needed to relax and not think about it for some time.  So little by little, I’ll be back.  Also, the sun is here more often.  I just don’t know how to take pictures without natural light.  I tried and I have horrible pictures….

Anyway, hope you are still reading and you’ll be back soon!

Kale salad goat cheese dressing

 

Cranberries kale salad with goat cheese dressing

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Keeps well in the fridge for 2 days, even after adding the dressing.

Ingredients

  • - 2 cups -packed- of chopped kale
  • - 1/2 cup of dry cranberries
  • - 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts
  • Dressing:
  • - 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • - 2 tablespoons of goat chees
  • - Salt to taste
  • - Pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. - Rince your kale. Dry. On a chopping board, chop the kale. Set aside in a bowl.
  2. - Add the dry cranberries and walnuts.
  3. - For the dressing, pour the olive oil in a ramekins, add the goat cheese and stir until smooth.
  4. - Add salt and pepper to taste
  5. - Pour on your salad and toss.
http://bonappeteat.ca/2015/03/13/cranberry-walnut-kale-salad-with-goat-cheese-dressing/