Montréal Bakeries & Cafés

After two incredible decades in Montréal, I am saying goodbye to this beautiful, diverse and delicious city. Upon your request, I’m listing my favourite food places in a 4-part series; consider them yours to discover. See you in Halifax. xox

I fell in love and got married in Montréal. I graduated from culinary school in Little Italy and worked for three years at Toque!, the top kitchen in the country. I birthed three children and wrote two books here. This place has shaped me in many ways  – and even given me an accent, according to my mother.

In a new life chapter, however, my little family and I are following a dream and moving to Nova Scotia next month (more on that to come). After fielding requests for many years on my favourite eats around town, I am leaving behind my suggestions for places for you to explore.

From tiny pizza joints to elegant establishments – Montreal is a delicious city. I couldn’t fit every place on one list and so it will be a four-part series: Bakeries & Cafés, Casual Eats, Fine Dining and Markets & Shops. Ready? Let’s head out.

[Read more…]

Uncomplicated Dry-Brined Roast Turkey

It’s a rainy, frigid day, and I am more than content to stay in, make another pot of coffee and start planning my Thanksgiving menu.

October has arrived, as has harvest season here in Quebec, and the countdown is officially on for the holiday weekend. Yesterday I ordered my free-range turkey – the one that will feed twenty people on Monday – and I think I’ve decided on which flavours of pie I’ll bake.

I adore this time of year, which is why it was no trouble to fit in a little recipe testing last week in order to bring you this fantastic recipe for dry-brined roast turkey.

[Read more…]

For the Love of Pie: A recipe round-up

I‘ve been on the pie train all summer long, picking up steam as we head into autumn towards the ultimate pie weekend: Thanksgiving.

Fruit pies are my favourite and over the years I’ve realized that if I am not intentional about making them in season, it’s altogether too easy to miss out. And so I baked strawberry-rhuharb in June, blueberry-ginger in July, blackberry-meringue in August and peach-streusel in September.

Now Canadian Thanksgiving is just around the corner and I come to you with pie inspiration for your own gatherings. From stone fruit to sticky pecan, classic apple to pumpkin spice, you’re sure to bookmark a future baking project from this list.

[Read more…]

How to Get Organized for Dinner: Batch Cooking

Of all the months of the year, September and October are when I buckle down and get serious about batch cooking.

Inspired by the bushels of tomatoes and peppers at the market, the sacks of corn and the crates of squash, I can’t help but transform the seasonal ingredients into vats of soup and deep-dish casseroles.  The produce is at its prime, and yet at its lowest price. It makes sense to go big.

Batch cooking is essentially making multiples of a dish that can be frozen and reheated. It can also mean duplicating recipes of anything from bread to condiments, but for this specific post I’m going to focus on dinners.

I can’t tell you how many times batch cooking has saved the day; it’s an absolute necessity for busy families. [Read more…]

How to Get Organized for Dinner: Part 2 – Meal Prep

We’re on a mission to simplify family dinner and today’s post is all about setting yourself up for success by meal prepping.

If you thought a meal plan was the same thing as meal prep, don’t worry, most people confuse the two life hacks, and truthfully, you need one to do the other. Your meal plan outlines meals and helps organize your grocery haul for the week, but your meal prep is the pre-processing of those groceries into ready-to-go elements for dishes throughout the week.

If you are able to put in an hour or two of meal prep after you bring the groceries in, your life will change. You’ll be two steps closer to getting a wholesome meal on the table on a busy weeknight, because you will a) already have decided what to make, and b) have prepared a portion of the meal in advance.

Read on for a clearer explanation about this gift to your future self, as well as a list of some of my favourite meal prep foods and recipes.

[Read more…]