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!

Top Ten: Foodie Movies


If I can’t always be cooking in my kitchen, the next best thing is watching a foodie flick where culinary delights are being woven into a storyline, seeing a different culture and cuisine portrayed, and the observing the dynamics around a dinner table.
It was hard to narrow is down to just ten choices as there are so many films out there with moving and memorable food scenes. A few off the top of my head would be My Big Fat Greek Wedding, The Godfather, Monsoon Wedding, Moonstruck, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory…the list goes on. Food in movies is an expression of passion and can convey a subtle sensuality that rivals any average love scene. That scene in Godfather III where Vincent and Mary are making gnocchi is smokin’!

Here is my selection for my top ten favorite food movies in no particular order.

Also included is a suggestion of what to eat when you watch the film…I don’t know about you but I always get hungry during foodie movies.

Top Ten Foodie Movies:

1. Like Water For Chocolate (Mexican hot chocolate with cinnamon)
2. Babette’s Feast (stuffed quail)
3. Big Night (timpani)
4. Mostly Martha (steak)
5. Dinner Rush (pasta)
6. Spanglish (World’s Best Sandwich, recipe below)
7. Eat Drink Man Woman (wonton soup)
8. Addicted to Love (strawberries)
9. Chocolat (truffles)
10. Vatel (wine and cheese)

World’s Best Sandwich
(from the movie, Spanglish, invented by chef Thomas Keller)

3-4 slices of bacon
2 slices of Monterey Jack cheese
2 slices of toasted rustic country loaf (pain de campagne)
1 tbsp of mayo
4 tomato slices
2 leaves of butter lettuce (yes, it’s called butter lettuce)
1 teaspoon butter
1 egg

Preparation:

Cook the bacon until crisp, drain on paper towels.

Place slices of cheese on one side of toasted bread. Place in toaster oven or under broiler to melt.

Spread mayo on other slice of bread top with bacon, sliced tomato, and lettuce.

On non-stick skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Fry egg, turning over briefly when the bottom is set (keep yolk runny).

Slide finished egg on top of lettuce, top with other slice of bread.

Place sandwich on plate and slice in half, letting yolk run down sandwich.

WFD? A Fall Menu

What’s For Dinner?
Well, this was my haul from the market this morning. So many gorgeous fall fruits and vegetables to choose from! Also, a new bakery opened up there, so I am trying out an assortment of their breads. It was easy to get inspired for tonight’s simple menu:

Acorn Squash and Macintosh Apple Soup,
Candied Squash,
Roasted Garlic Crostini’s with Rosemary Ham and Gouda,
7-Spice Deep-Dish Apple Pie



Here’s the SOUP recipe. It’s so fast to make: 1 small acorn squash, or other winter squash
1 apple, peeled and chopped
1 small onion, roughly chopped
1tbsp butter
1tbsp olive oil
chicken or vegetable stock, or filtered water
salt and pepper
½ cup 35% cream
Seed, peel, and thinly slice squash into two inch strips(like in the picture). In a large pot, melt butter and oil together until it bubbles. Add onion and sauté until onion is soft. Add squash and apple and just enough water or stock to cover. Bring to a boil and simmer until squash is tender. Transfer just the soup pulp into a blender, reserving the broth for another use. Puree the soup until smooth and velvety. Return to pot and add cream. Season with salt and pepper and heat gently. Serve. For the candied squash, I just slow-roasted off a chunk in the oven with butter and brown sugar. Then I diced it up and dropped it in the soup for a little texture. I make my own fresh apple pie spice using a blend of cinnamon, green cardamom, cloves, star anice, allspice, long pepper, and nutmeg. All spices are whole and I grind them just before using.
The result is an unforgettably perfumed pie.

This is the lazy-man’s apple pie. Just fold the over-hanging crust back onto the pie for an easy old-fashioned look. Glaze with beaten egg and milk and sprinkle with vanilla sugar. Mmm.

Weddings:Part I

Congratulations Eric and Caroline!
,
Danny and I having a tender moment during the wedding reception.=)


The Bourque immediate family. L toR: Richard, Danny and I, Chris, Michael, Eric and Caroline, Brian and Dorothy, Kevin and Melanie, Michel, and last but not least, Robert.

We welcomed a new member into the Bourque family on Saturday. Danny’s older brother Eric, married the beautiful Caroline and I now have another girl in the family to help balance out all the guys! I was having such a good time at the reception, I forgot to photograph the food, but it was delicious and nicely presented. A brief summary: Best moment: The bridal party and guests spilling out into the steps of the church on Sherbrook Street and hearing the bells pealing and seeing all the smiles and stares from people passing by. Worst moment: Noah twice grabbing a fistful of my carefully coiffed hairdo in the church! Most touching moment: Eric choking back sobs as Caro comes down the aisle. Sketchiest moment: Eric’s 9-year-old cousin catching the garter and wearing it to the brunch the next morning. Aye!=) Too cute!!

Two more weddings to go.