Archives for February 2016

Elegant but Easy: Pistachio and Raspberry Financiers

I’m delighted to introduce my friend Marie from Food Nouveau! Today she’s bringing us a delightful recipe to bake with the kids. Make these simple financiers over spring break or bookmark the versatile recipe for your Easter weekend. I think I’ll be making a batch for my Downton Abbey closing party next Sunday….

I love to bake, and usually, the more ambitious the project, the more I love carrying it off. But I love surprises too, such as when you discover that one of your favourite treats from the bakery is actually really easy to make at home.

I first tasted financiers as part of a mignardises plate at the end of a tasting meal at one of Quebec City’s finest restaurants. Mignardises are tiny treats that are usually served after the main dessert, and they are meant to leave you with a sweet note—and maybe make you swallow the hefty check that follows more easily.

They can be fine chocolates, candies, macarons, or small cakes, such as madeleines and financiers. I loved the moist, nutty taste and crispy, sweet edges of financiers, and following that first encounter, I indulged whenever I spotted them in a bakery display.

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Hot Spiced Mulled Wine

Temperatures in Montreal are shockingly low today (-29C!) and I’m here with a suggestion on how to stay warm this Valentine’s Day – with a thermos of hot spiced mulled wine.

My first trip to London happened to be at Christmastime, when Fortnum & Mason displayed plum puddings on pedestals in their windows and Oxford Street was trimmed in holiday lights. I wandered around Borough Market, stopping to get a meat pie and an enormous cup of mulled wine. There were many firsts on my maiden UK trip, but that hot, sweet wine was the first thing I recreated at home.

It took a few tries, but I eventually came up with this recipe that is delicately spiced and not too sweet. The key is cooking a spiced syrup, then adding and gently heating the wine. You never want to boil the whole batch, or you will burn off the alcohol.

On weekend, we take two thermoses out to the sledding hill or the skating rink: hot spiced cocoa for the kids and mulled wine for the adults. Even on the coldest of days the robust drink warms us from the inside out.

Hot Spiced Mulled Wine || Simple Bites

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Mexican Molletes (avocado, bean & cheese melts)

I wish I could spin a story about feasting on molletes during our trip to Mexico with the kids, but even though we ate like kings on the local fare, I can’t recall ever coming across the traditional dish of beans and cheese melted on bolillos.

I suppose molletes (pronounced: mo-YEH-tehs, alright?) are more of a comfort food in Northern Mexico, and we were in the state of Nayarit at the time. Nope, I didn’t grow up eating them either, unlike bolillos, instead, I discovered the idea on a wonderful little corner of the web written by Lisa of Homesick Texan.

Open-faced sandwiches? Piled high with refried beans and salsa, then topped with cheese and broiled? Everything about them sounded delicious – and I knew my burrito-loving children would likely echo my sentiments.

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