Archives for January 2013

How to make your own waffle mix

 easy homemade waffle mix on simplebites.net

Written by Danny.

Last month, during my winter vacation, Aimee and the kids came up with the sweetest idea: Daddy’s Day.  It was a day that I could use on my vacation to sleep in, read a book, get extra backrubs and the kids were careful to be extra polite and obedient – all with no strings attached.  Basically, the best day of the year.

It has become somewhat of a necessity in our house (due to the kids’ joy in doing so) to have breakfast in bed on any special occasion. On Daddy’s Day, I got to have waffles, eggs and bacon while still in my jammies.  I shared a bit with the boys (they didn’t ask, but those eyes just begged!) and then read a book in silence while lazily polishing off my delicious breakfast.

easy homemade waffle mix on simplebites.net

Last weekend, we served up waffles to Aimee. Thankfully, she is really smart and had prepared some of this Ready Waffle Mix for us to use. It’s pretty handy to keep around, so I thought I’d share the recipe for your next ‘Daddy (or Mommy) Day’.
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Travel snacks and an easy Chocolate-Oat Cereal Bar recipe

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I‘m looking at suitcase on the floor, overflowing with light and airy garments with flower prints on them, white sandals, and a stack of Danny’s T-shirts. Just above, a window looks out on to our snowbound backyard, frosted white like a slicked sheet cake. Something does not quite compute.

BUT. Our flights are booked and an enormous villa is rented on a quiet beach near a remote fishing town on Mexico’s West Coast. Yes, we’re headed South! My three siblings and I are finally pulling off a tropical getaway that we’ve only been talking about for, oh, five or six years. Together with our families, we’re flying into Mexico from all over North America for a ten-days vacation together, Wimbush-style.

Here’s what we’re leaving behind…

snow collage

I’m so excited to bring my children back to the beach and just let them run. It will all be worth the massive effort required to coordinate such a trip for a family of five. Ugh. Toiletries in Ziplock? Not so much, but packing travel snacks is my specialty.

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How to make Roasted Brown Chicken Stock (and young love in the summer)

dark stock

The first summer we were married, our situation wasn’t exactly ideal for two starry-eyed newlyweds doing life together. I finished late at night at a popular fine dining establishment where I worked the line and Danny rose early to meander through the Plateau to morning class at McGill. One of us was always tired when we greeted each other at the end of a day, and one of us frequently smelled of soup, but I’m not telling who.

Fed up of only seeing my husband from midnight to 6 AM, I petitioned my boss for day position as a prep cook. I may have stammered, blushing, through my reasoning, but he only twinkled his eyes at me and agreed, that just for the summer, I could work days, and he would find someone to cook the fish and the foie in my place at night.

Stepping down the ladder rung of the competitive kitchen hierarchy was not a move that gained me respect among my co-workers, but I always have (and continue to do so) put family first over ambition. There were stares and a few snickers when the new work schedule came out, but I was elated. A ‘normal’ 9-5 job in fine dining is almost unheard of and these new hours suited me to a T.

Eight blocks north of the kitchen, in our tiny apartment on St. Denis street, I went to sleep and woke up in Danny’s arms. We went out for coffee and fresh croissants in the mornings before parting ways, with lingering kisses, at the corner of Duluth and St. Denis.

Making stock was always the first order of the day, for it required long hours of simmering at an unhurried pace. I cranked the ovens to 400 degrees down the entire line and set to roasting bones for duck stock, veal stock, venison stock, and roasted guinea fowl stock, the essence of which I’m sharing today. I attacked a tray of carrots, onions and celery for my mirepoix, those flavoring vegetables essential for every stock, and gathered fresh parsley, bay leaves and peppercorns. By 10 AM, the massive sturdy pots would be set over burners with bones, mirepoix and cold water, and I would assess my prep list, left for me by the cooks the night before, and organize my day. [Read more…]

Black Bean Hummus with Lime and Cumin

black bean green chile hummus

Written by Katie of GoodLife Eats

I am not really into football, so the upcoming Super Bowl doesn’t really appeal to me. Truth told, I don’t even know who is playing. But I do love all the tasty party food that pops up this time of year! I’ll never say “no” to a good spread of party food.

One of my favorite easy, appetizers is hummus. It is healthy so you don’t have to feel guilty about eating it and it tastes great. Plus there are endless variations depending on what beans you use or what flavors you impart to the recipe.

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Sunday dinner: save time with my favorite oven to table cookware

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Danny and I inherited an old lidded bean pot from his mother, the likes of which can be found in most any antique shop across Quebec. No doubt this brown stoneware pot has slow-cooked countless batches of baked beans, and delivered them to the table to be served up in rustic style. It is this oven to table method for feeding the family that I embrace wholeheartedly.

Since Sunday dinner is truly more about bringing family and friends together over a meal instead of trying to impress, there’s no need to dirty your fancy serving dishes for the occasion, should you have any (I don’t!).  I am willing to guess you’d rather go for an afternoon walk in the snow or take a snooze with the cat instead of washing extra dishes.

Oven to table cookware is one practical solution to help save time and effort spent on Sunday dinners. Whether your style is stoneware, enamelware, or vintage Pyrex, there is sure to be a collection of cook- and bake-ware that is pretty enough for the dinner table. Now, you’ll still need a salad bowl and a bread basket, but there’s no reason why the main and side dishes can’t be served up straight from the oven.

Over the years, I’ve put together a respectable collection of oven to table cook- and bake-ware that serves our family well. It’s somewhat of a motley collection, but the pans are very functional, and I can recommend any one them for your kitchen collection.

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