Appetizer | Meatless

Cranberry Walnut kale salad with goat cheese dressing

By on March 13, 2015

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/

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Desserts and cookies

Rustic chocolate pear tart

By on February 2, 2015

Or shall I call it Poire Belle-Hélène tart?  You see, a Poire Belle Hélène is a pear served with vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup.  Sounds good, eh?  Well, I am offering it to you in a slice!

Chocolate pear tart

That’s the decadent dessert that you want to end your dinner.  This recipe is a small batch. It’s perfect for a romantic dinner for 2 or in our case it was 2 adult sizes and 2 small ones for the kids.  Score!

You need it in your life now!  It has the comforting chocolate, the juicy pears and a flacky chocolate crust, does life get any better than that when you take a bite of it?  Probably not!

Chocolate pear tart

On top of those pears, there is some white chocolate and then some shaved dark chocolate.

Sometimes, in life, this gets rocky and you have some ups and downs and I am part of those people who eat their emotions and need comfort in my plate.  Mostly sweet but I also love savory-feel-better-dishes.

I always talk about me.  Well, I know it’s my blog but I’m wondering.  You, how are you?  Are you in need of my tart?  Since we ate it all (oops sorry), please spend some time in the kitchen, which by the way is therapeutic and enjoy dessert!

Chocolate pear tart Pssst!  Also, save, pin, bookmark this recipe for Valentine’s Day.  You better half will love you more for it!

Rustic chocolate pear tart

Yield: 2 love birds

Serving Size: A small 3 inch tart pan

Ingredients

    For the crust:
  • - 1/4 a cup of soft butter
  • - 3/4 cup of flour
  • - 2 teaspoon of cocoa powder
  • - 30 ml of milk
  • For the filling;
  • - 2 pears, medium sized, in cube
  • - 1/4 of white chocolate chips
  • - Some shaved dark chocolate to taste

Instructions

  1. Mix the butter, the flour and cocoa powder together until it is crumbly. Add the milk at once and mix gently to form a bowl of dough. Don’t over-work it, just enough so all the crumbs are all picked up. Roll it (add a little bit of flour to prevent from sticking but very little) and place onto a pie plate.
  2. Place the pears on top.
  3. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes at 375F.
  4. Put the white chocolate chips in a ramekin with a table spoon of water and melt it in the microwave and drizzle it on your tart.
  5. Allow to cool down and place the shaved chocolate for presentation

Notes

I used my veggie peeler to shave the chocolate!

http://bonappeteat.ca/2015/02/02/rustic-chocolate-pear-tart/

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Desserts and cookies

French Galette des rois

By on January 6, 2015

Because we don’t eat and indulge enough during the holidays, here’s an excuse for you to eat some more today, on January 6.  It’s a French tradition, la Galette des rois, or Kings’ cake, is eaten on Epiphany Day.

Galette des rois

No need to twist your arm to eat it, I promise.  It’s just amazingly good stuff.  A nicely golden puff pastry filled up with a frangipane.   Frangipane is a filling made with almond, it also has butter and sugar.  Admit it, you can’t go wrong.

La galette des rois is the reason you need to push your new year resolution to later.  How can you resist that buttery pie?

Galette des rois

Speaking of which, I am not a big believer in New Year resolutions, why do people feel like a resolution should be taken on a new year, new month or a new week? I know that there is this sense of clean slate but I kinda of think I can be on a Tuesday, 14 of the month, in March? or July? Why not?

Regardless, El Cubano decide to get healthier since he tends to be the picky eater of the house and started exercising.  So to encourage him, while he exercises downstairs, I do cardio upstairs.  The kids love it, they jump for 30 minutes.  Let’s see how long we last!

Galette des rois

Back to this Kings’s cake, I took a few pictures along the preparation.  I don’t do it ofter but I’ll try to do this more.  I do like to see it on other blogs so…

First, some little hands helped me rolling down the dough.  My Princess was too cute!  If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll recognize those little colored fingernails, just like Maman.

Galette des rois the making

Galette des rois, the making

I don’t mean to put the fault on my daughter (kinda :)), I meant to make nice decoration, French bakery like but she kept call me and grabing my arm.  Doesn’t matter, this did not alter the taste!

She’s been my little assistant lately and quality controller!

galette des rois the making

Please do join this French tradition!   Normally, in France, a mini charm would be hidden in the filling and the person getting it (without breaking a tooth) would be king or queen for the day.

How wonderful are we, French people? 🙂

 

French Galette des rois

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 8 small pies

Serving Size: 5 inches diameter

Ingredients

  • - 400g of puff pastry
  • - 1 cup of butter
  • - 1/4 of a cup of brown sugar
  • - 1/4 of a cup of white sugar
  • - 1 and 1/4 cup of ground of almond
  • - 2 eggs
  • - 1 egg yolk for the dough.
  • -

Instructions

  1. - Roll down the puff pastries and make 5'' circles (I used a bowl), You should be to make 16 circles for 8 small pies.
  2. - In a pot, melt the butter.
  3. - In a bowl, put the sugars, the ground almond and mix. Pour the melted butter on it and whisk.
  4. - Add the eggs one by one. You now have your frangipane.
  5. - On 8 dough-circle, pour some frangipane, equally on all the dough.
  6. - Cover the 8 pies with the other 8 circles you had left. Using a fork, press the borders to seal the pies.
  7. - Take your egg yolk and with a brush, spread some of all the tops of the pies.
  8. - Place in the oven at 380F for 20 minutes.

Notes

I used a whole box of puff pastry of Tenderflake for this recipe (http://www.tenderflake.ca/en/Products/Tenderflake/Pages/PuffPastry.aspx)

http://bonappeteat.ca/2015/01/06/french-galette-des-rois/

Galette des rois

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Desserts and cookies | Finger food

French Madeleines

By on December 30, 2014

French Madeleines? Say no more.  It’s French so it’s good, right?  Well, I’m might be biased. But I made it so it’s good!  How about that? And I’m French! Hehe, and quite modest, I may add.

French Madeleines

Although I have been living in Canada for 8 years, I still ask my parents to bring me several French products.  The very first years, the list was long and their suitcases heavy, it was anything from food to my favorite product to remove my make up or a deodorant.  Now, the list is way shorter and revolves mostly around food.

Don’t you love having something that comes from home?  I know that there are things I can find here, but it’s just not the same.  When you are an expat, products from your home country are always ”better”, just because.

French Madeleines

As you might have understood, madeleines were a good that used to be personally imported.  Special request for my breakfast.  In France, it’s also sold in a ”finger” shape, oh-my-god, the perfect shape for dunking!  That’s a little pleasure of life that warms up my heart and makes me feel like I am having a coffee in my Dad’s house with him and my not-so-little-anymore brother.  Yeah, because he is like taller than me and quite stronger too.  Still has been somehow, even though he is 13 years younger than me!

French Madeleines

About those madeleines…  Where shall I start from?  The perfect buttery taste that warms up your mouth?  Or the simplicity of the recipe?  Really, have some butter out of the fridge for an hour or so, so it’s easy to work with.

I got this recipe from my mom, she did it at school (she works in a school) and I have to give the credit to Bénédicte for the recipe that I have adapted.  I reduced the butter and the sugar a little.  Also, I choose to flavor it with some vanilla extract.

Easy and quick?  Yes m’dame!  Just a bowl and elbow grease, although you can use your electric hand mixer but don’t be lazy, it’s fast enough that you won’t need it.  Make sure your oven is preheated while your prepare the madeleines mix and there you have it.  Perfect French Madeleines!

French Madeleines

See, Little Princess had enough of my talking to convince you there are super tasty, she just grabbed it while I was taking a picture.  She is a 2-year-old-opportunist like that! 🙂

What is your little weakness that reminds you of home? Even if home is around the corner.

French Madeleines

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 9 minutes

Serving Size: 18 madeleines

Ingredients

  • - 1 cup of soft butter
  • - 3/4 of a cup of sugar
  • - 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • - 2 eggs, medium size
  • - 1 cup of flour

Instructions

  1. - Preheat the oven at 405F.
  2. - In a bowl, mix the butter and sugar until it looks like a creamy spread. Add the vanilla, mix some more.
  3. - Incorporate one egg and then the other. Mix well.
  4. - Sift the flour and mix until there are no lumps.
  5. - Put one tablespoon of the mixture in each madeleine mold and place in the oven at 405F for 9 minutes or until slightly golden.
http://bonappeteat.ca/2014/12/30/french-madeleines/


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Appetizer | Meat and fish

Carrots and chicken patties

By on December 3, 2014

Carrots and chicken patties

Are do you deal with unexpected events in your life?  We are in our little routine and then we get thrown a curved ball. It’s not always easy to catch it.  I lost my job.  Wow, that was not planned.  Not at all.  One kid in day care, a mortgage and an emergency root canal.

Thankfully, within 10 days,  I found something else where I’m happier.   Let’s see what the future holds.  That was probably a blessing in disguise.  I hope.

After this happened, I just stopped blogging.  Why?  I lost my routine, my comfort, I did not know what to do about it.  Is my time well spend blogging?  Actually, it is.  The kitchen is my creative space, I try, I fail and I succeed.

Carrots and chicken patties

You never know how you will react and act in front a particular situation.   We always think that it happens to your neighbour but… don’t forget, you are somebody’s neighbour.

I bounced back, it’s a bump in the road and I did got a few lessons out of it… I’ll share them with you some day.  I learnt, I grew and got a few wake up calls.

On another note, those beautiful patties where not really meant to be either.  Unplanned but oh so good.  Unplanned is the best sometimes in the kitchen!  A few leftover: chicken, some rice and sad carrots.  Bingo!

Carrots and chicken patties

Of course, you add some cheese, cheese is love.  Ah ah, I sound like a commercial.  Also, I had some fresh parsley and I was really happy about a fresh herb added to it.  The sweet carrots seduced the kids and El Cubano.

I breaded the patties for some crunch and inside stayed moist and soft.  By the way, I baked them.  So much more healthier.  No regret, it was perfect.  It was kids and hubby approved.

The batch will be big enough for some lunch leftover.  Does it get any better than that?

Carrots and chicken patties

 So sorry, I abandonned the blog for so long… I missed it and above all I  missed you.  I guess the longer I was away, the harder it was to get back to it.  Anyway, I am back, although I was never gone.  But I’m still trying to find a balance.  Not easy, it’s new.

How do you cope with situations that change you all routine?

Carrots and chicken patties

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 12-15 patties

Ingredients

  • - 1/2 an onion or 1/2 a cup, minced
  • - 1/4 a cup of orange pepper, diced.
  • - 1 cup of mashed carrots (2 big carrots)
  • - 1 cup of shredded chicken mixed with 1 tablespoon of rosemary
  • - 1 teaspoon of salt
  • - 1 tablespoon of parsley
  • - 1/2 a cup rice, cooked
  • - 1 cup of grated cheddar
  • - 2 to 3 cups of parmesan bread crumbs
  • - Olive oil

Instructions

  1. - In a bowl, mix all the ingredients except the bread crumbs.
  2. - Make a ball the size of a golf ball, flatten it.
  3. - Roll it in the crumbs and place it on a baking sheet.
  4. - Repeat until you have used all the mixture.
  5. - Drizzle some olive oil on each patties
  6. - Bake in the oven for 20 minutes at 380F
http://bonappeteat.ca/2014/12/03/carrots-chicken-patties/

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