A Wedding Cocktail

Kevin and Melanie…October 14, 2006

Last weekend we helped my husband’s brother, Kevin, and the beautiful Melanie celebrate the wonderful event of their wedding. At a golf resort near Mont Tremblant, we rented a chalet and joined the rest of their immediate family in a beautiful setting for the two day celebration. It was a weekend of great food, fine wine, and happiness from beginning to end. To me it felt like we ate the whole time, which I had absolutely no problem with! If this wasn’t a food blog, I would detail the event, but you’ll have to ask me later for the juicies! I won’t go into detail over every meal, but just highlight the first cocktail, which I catered. Melanie called it a “meet ‘n greet” as it was the first time both sides of the family would be all together. Everyone arrived at the resort around six PM and by 7:30, with Noah ensconced away in his bed upstairs, I was puttering happily away in the kitchen. Melanie comes from a family of good cooks and they contributed lots of yummies, too. My menu was simple: 12 canapés and a few desserts. I wanted to create no-fuss, easy-to-understand food that had an emphasis on vegetables. The bride ( and a few family members) doesn’t eat red meat, so I decided on mostly veggie canapés, with a few chicken, shrimp and smoked salmon thrown in to mix it up. And because I couldn’t resist, I did melon and proscuitto also. Here is the menu:
Vegetarian Sushi; Cantaloup and Canadian Proscuitto
Sesame Asparagus Spring Rolls
Proscuitto and Melon, Sesame Asparagus Spring Rolls, Shrimp with Fennel, Endive with Smoked Salmon and Dill Cream Cheese
Grilled Chicken with Maple-ChardonnayVinegar Reduction
Trio of Pastry: Spinach and Feta Spanikopita(phyllo); Roasted Tomato Hearts (puff pastry); Tarragon Chicken Salad Puffs(choux pastry)
Raspberry, Strawberry and Fig Tartelettes with Orange Scented Mascarpone
Palmiers, Gingersnaps and Baklava (Mahrousé)
Kahlua and Dark Chocolate Truffles

Not photographed was:
Basil and Tomato Bruschetta on Crostini
Herb marinated baby Bocconcini with Crackers
Pictured at top of blog:
Crudité and Dill Dip

8 Girls, a Birthday and Toqué!

My little sister turned 21 last week. It’s amazing how she’s catching up to me! We celebrated with friends at the infamous Restaurant Toqué! where I once worked for three years, as most of you know. I hadn’t been back to eat in two years and was pleasantly suprised by my warm reception, but not so pleased with the food. Sure it was still good, but, it lacked the ‘wow’ factor that I remembered. We arrived at 10 PM for dessert and drinks, which was no suprise for the staff, as they know well my love of sweets! Unfortunately, the amazing pastry chefs of yesteryear are long gone and what we get now is just some ho-hum desserts. (miss you Liz, Dana and Hans)
Of course, we still had a blast as only a bunch of girls can. Above is Miranda looking lovely on her birthday.

Bourbon vanilla creme brulé with orange and almond tuile
Rhubarb jelly and poached rhubarb with whipped cream, basil syrup, and strawberry sorbet
Molten Manjari cake with red wine reduction, raspberries

Caramel Apples

Dessert of the Month: Caramel Apples

We made these the same afternoon we went apple picking and I think this is my new favorite dessert this year. Oh, so good. We were sitting around munching on them and everyone was chattering and carrying on, but not I. I was silently eating, enjoying every bite and suprised that I was getting into it so much. Maybe it was PMS and I was craving sugar, or maybe I was reverting back to some childhood memory, but my mother never allowed us to have sugar so it couldn’t have been that-they were just that good.
I’m no Willie Wonka and didn’t make the caramel, but they turned out just fine with store-bought candies. Such a simple thing, and yet so yummy! The apples were amazing and the caramel still soft. To make: 1 bag individually wrapped caramels 1-3 Tablespoons butter Apples Popsicle sticks Prepare apples by wedging a popsicle stick or a fork into the center to create a handle. Unwrap the bag of caramels and microwave them on low with a little bit of butter until runny. Mix well and dip apples in. Allow to harden and enjoy!

Happiness is… a Chinese wedding

Some people say that the Italians blow all the stops when it comes to a wedding, but having been to both, I have to say that a Chinese wedding takes the cake. (pardon the weak pun)
Danny and I helped good friends, Angela and Tim, celebrate their wedding last Saturday and the food was very memorable. This was by far the largest wedding I have been to (400 guests), and probably served the most food also! We were offered steaming platters of Imperial rolls, dumplings and shrimp wontons upon arrival. Following that was a 12 course meal-the menu is shown below. It was very traditional food, and it was fun to see what Chinses party food is like! Pictured above is a roasted sucking pig. Absolutely gorgeous.

My favorite course: Lobster with Ginger and Shallots
The happy couple. Congratulations Tim and Ange!
Our menu. About 5 hours of eating! And a good time was had by all.

Comfort me with apples

“Comfort me with apples:for I am sick of love.” Song of Solomon 2:5

Danny and I have a tradition of visiting the orchard where we were married at least once a year and this time a group of us convened there for an annual apple picking outing. A few people hung back at the house because of the cool, grey weather, but the rest of us bundled up and tromped out into the glistening orchard. We were well rewarded with cold, crisp apples that dripped with afternoon rain.

I think the nippy air made everyone’s pulse quicken a bit and brought out a slightly mischievous spirit, because it wasn’t long before the windfalls whistled around the ears, wet branches shook down people’s necks and rotten apples smeared via an innocent handshake.Richard and Konrad even had a full-on tussle in the wet grass.
It was a magical time as we climbed ladders for those hard to reach apples, took pictures, and let our laughter ring out among the trees.

The apples were sensational and if you’ve never tasted a ripe apple straight off of the tree, you’ve never had a real apple! It’s a complete dessert in itself. Absolutly delicious.
Even Noah was smitten, using his razor sharp teeth to puncture holes in the skin and then suck out the sweet juices. He looked so adorable with his rosy cheeks and nose and juice running down his chin.
We were picking Macintosh and a few Golden Delicious. Watch this blog for some more apple recipes coming your way!