A Tasting Menu with Bonne Maman

Roasted Pear Salad with Chèvre and Fig Vinaigrette - La Cuisine d'Hélène




We lived on a farm growing up and we often visited my grandmother in the village. While the adults were talking in the kitchen I would sneak upstairs, where my grandmother had a pantry full of different kinds of jams. As a kid, I would just sit there and admire her winter stash of jams, amazed by all the different colours and flavours. 

Since then, every time I open a jar of jam it reminds me of her. My favorite at the moment is the Bonne Maman Fig Jam, I simply can't get enough of it. I don't eat jam on my toasts but I like creating new dishes like this Roasted Pear Salad with Chèvre and Fig Vinaigrette. I've made it countless times and it is always a hit. One year, for Mother's Day, I baked this White Cake with Butter Frosting and Raspberry jam in the middle and everyone was asking for seconds (and some even thirds). 


White Cake with Butter Frosting and Raspberry jam



Not too long ago, I was invited to attend a delicious Bonne Maman Event at the North and Navy restaurant in Ottawa. The young Chef, Adam, leads an energetic team and creates unique dishes made with seafood and seasonal game and vegetables. For the event he prepared creative, mouthwatering dishes using Bonne Maman Jams.

We had the pleasure to taste the following dishes:



Redcurrant Jelly Cicchetti with Ricotta & Radishes


Redcurrant Jelly Cicchetti with Ricotta & Radishes - this appetizer is crunchy and had just the right amount of sweetness with the red currant jelly. 

Chef Adam said that he likes to balance fat with acid, sweet and sour. The jelly provides the sweet element. Pretty simple bite but all fresh and it works really well with the Redcurrant jelly.

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Avocado Toasts Recipe

Avocado Toasts

I could eat Avocado Toasts for breakfast and lunch. I have been very busy lately and this was so quick to make and balanced both in nutrition and flavor. Now that we are having our hot summer days I don't feel like cooking a meal on the stove for lunch. I like to add radishes on my toasts for crunchiness.

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Weekend Links

GLUTEN-FREE LEMON BLACKBERRY YOGURT SQUARES

(Picture The Best of This Life)


My children are coming for Diner tonight and we are going to eat a Lebanese feast. On Saturday I will volunteer at the Shenkman Arts Center and on Sunday I might go to the Doors Open Ottawa. It's a free annual architectural event that celebrates our community's built heritage.

GLUTEN-FREE:
How can anyone resist these Gluten-Free Lemon Blackberry Yogurt Squares from The Best of This Life? I can't wait to try them.

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Homemade Energy Bars - Barres Énergétiques Maison


Homemade Energy Bars


I don't like to buy Energy Bars at the store because they are full of sugar and the list of ingredients is usually long. Also they don't taste that good. I have been making my own Energy Bars for a while now. Most of my recipes involves peanut butter, oats, dark chocolate. In this recipe I decided to add dates. I keep these raw, no-bake bars in a container in the fridge. They don't last long in my house.

(FRANÇAIS PLUS BAS)

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Cheesy Beef Coquillettes with Herbs

Cheesy Beef Coquillettes with Herbs

Sometimes, the opportunities we have as bloggers are amazing. Weeks ago, I received an email asking me if I wanted to participate in Rethink Beef: Global Recipe Swap developing a recipe using ground beef.

You see, this challenge was right up my alley. I love creating new recipes for my family and taking food pictures. I think about food daily, I even wake up in the middle of the night with inspiration for new recipes ideas! You get the idea. So without even thinking, I immediately replied yes!

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Orzo Salad with Herbs

Orzo Salad with Herbs

When the weather gets warmer I am craving salads. I was inspired to make this Orzo Salad with Herbs after eating a similar one at a local food store. It's expensive to buy and you don't get a lot of it. My recipe makes a big batch. My son brings it to school with a side of protein like chicken or hard boiled eggs. For lunch today I served this salad on top of healthy greens: spinach and kale. If you never bought kale you should, it's one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet!

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Chocolate Energy Balls

Chocolate Energy Balls


These energy balls are ready in less than 10 minutes. Prepare a batch on Monday and you will have a snack ready, in the fridge, all week. I like to eat one of these as a pre-workout snack. It's also nice to satisfy your sweet tooth after a meal. In this recipe I have one secret ingredient in them and it's red lentils. You can't see or taste them but they add nutritional value to this treat. I like protein packed snacks. I am using cooked, mashed dates to add sweetness and dark chocolate chips.

Feel free to experiment and replace the chocolate chips with dried fruits and top your energy balls with coconut flakes. 

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Holiday Gift Guide 2016

We still have a week to shop for our family and friends for Christmas.

I am sharing with you my Holiday Gift Guide 2016.


COOKBOOKS:

Lemon Cookbook
Lemon is a cookbook written by Isabelle Lambert from Les Gourmandises d'Isa.  I have been following her blog for years and all of the recipes that I have tried from Isabelle have been a hit in my house. In this cookbook you'll have 100 delicious recipes using this fragrant and essential fruit. You will find recipes for appetizers, main courses, sides dishes as well as desserts and drinks.

Get your copy at Amazon.


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Old-Fashioned Doughnuts Recipe

Old-Fashioned Doughnuts Recipe

On Sunday my three children were home and we had a nice brunch together. We then spent the afternoon making Old-Fashioned Doughnuts. At this time of the year, I crave holiday food. I like to listen to Christmas music and bake. Creating delicious comfort food and having my two hands in dough is so therapeutic for me, and the smell of baked goods reminds me of childhood memories.

Years ago, I would make these doughnuts with my cousin Michel, it was our own tradition. Since he passed away, I miss it and I am so thankful that I can bake and cook with my children now. I hope we continue this tradition for years to come of baking together for the Holidays!

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Green Juice Recipe

Green Juice

I spent the past two weeks traveling. My husband sent me a message from Norway, two Saturdays ago, to tell me to book a ticket for the next day. He was in Stavanger for a business trip and his boss told him that he had to spend one more week working over there. I had less than 36 hrs to plan and pack my suitcase for my trip. I spent seven days in Stavanger. The weather was very nice and warm, the locals told us that it was unusual for this time of year. We even had the chance to walk on Sola beach one night. After my week in Norway, we went to Quebec City for four days. My son had a conference and we decided to drive him and take a vacation. I always liked Old Quebec City, it's so charming. 

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Let's work together to STOP Illegal Tobacco!

Growing up, I remember going to family gatherings and entering houses full of smoke. At the time, everyone around me was a smoker, except my dad. We grew up in a smoke-free house but it was not the case for the rest of my family. Since my dad had 14 brothers and sisters, during the holidays there were a lot of people smoking. My grandpa would sit by the wood stove and light one cigarette after the other. Around the age of fifteen, I smoked my first cigarette, and for a couple of years I became a social smoker. I am glad that I quit smoking for good before my three kids were born. I remember going to the corner store, not being of legal age, and being able to buy a pack of cigarettes. The cashier would never ask us for ID.

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Chicken Curry with Red Peppers and Coconut Milk Recipe

Chicken Curry with Red Peppers and Coconut Milk Recipe

This Chicken Curry with Red Peppers and Coconut Milk is delicious. I like to serve this dish over basmati rice. It does not take long to prepare and much better than take-out. Curry is always better the next day because the spices continue to release flavour overnight. This curry freezes well but make sure that you eat it within three months. We like to bring this meal when we go camping. I freeze the curry in small portions with the rice. After a day of hiking it's always nice not to have to cook and to have a gourmet meal for supper. This recipe is from Ricardo. Most of his recipes have been a keeper for us.

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