Holiday Gift Guide 2015: Part 1 - {and a GIVEAWAY}

In less than a month we will be celebrating Christmas, in my house, and we will visit my family in Québec. I am always looking for gift ideas during the holiday season. You should start shopping now.

Here's my Holiday Gift Guide 2015: Part 1.

I love gift baskets and Costco always have a great variety. As a chocoholic I especially like this Lindt Planter Gift Basket, it retails for $39.99.

Linkt Planter Gift Basket


Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeño Poppers

I'm glad that the month of November is almost over. I like the month of December because we decorate the house for the holidays and we host parties. Talking about parties, it's the Grey Cup game this week-end. It's always nice to have a good selection of hors d'oeuvres. You could make my delicious nachos or this chili. They are always a hit!


Hummus with Pomegranate Molasses - {and a GIVEAWAY}

Hummus with Pomegranate Molasses

Making hummus at home is quick, healthy, a good source of protein and inexpensive. You can make it for under $1.25 if you make a basic recipe. Not bad at all. One recipe will last you, two or more days. You might be wondering if it's worth the effort. Since it took me less than 10 minutes to make, my foodie palate says yes to homemade hummus!

Some days I make a basic recipe and other days I like to add a twist to my traditional recipe. This Hummus with Pomegranate molasses is far from any hummus you'll find at the grocery store. Since I like muhammara, a hot pepper dip, I decided to mix ingredients from my hummus recipe and my muhammara recipe to make this hummus. My vegan friends will be happy because, I have to admit, it's delicious and addictive.


Get Involved : STOP Illegal Tobacco

Last Friday, watching the news gave me goose bumps. Like many of you I'm very sad about what happened to innocent people in Paris. As parents we want to raise our children in a safe environment and we want what's best for them. One of the questions that some of you may ask yourself is: how can I get involved to stop violence? You might not be able to answer this question, but you could take small steps to educate your children to deal with conflicts in controlling their anger without using violence.

That got me thinking of what are the three things that I would like to see changed in 2016:


Cottage Cheese and Apple Butter Breakfast - {and a GIVEAWAY}

This is a picture I snapped with my iPhone last week. It's one of my favorite breakfast foods now, and it's so healthy. Two weeks ago I made a delicious Apple Butter using Pure Infused Maple Syrup Vanilla, Cinnamon & Star Anise. The recipe is so quick to make and this maple syrup makes it more than delicious. I don't remember ever finding apple butter at the grocery store. Some people like to eat their apple butter on buttered toasts but I could simply eat the whole jar with a spoon!


What's Cooking? - Nachos


When we are hosting I like to make a list of appetizers that I will be serving.  Whether it's Thanksgiving, the Super Bowl, New Year's or any other party, a big plate of nachos is always a hit. I have never met one person that did not like nachos with melted cheese on top, and I just can't resist them. They are super easy to prepare and you can top them with green peppers, green onions and jalapeños. If you like your nachos hot, leave the seeds of the Jalapeño for the topping. It will give your nachos that extra kick. 


Pumpkin Muffins with Chocolate Chips - {and a GIVEAWAY}

Pumpkin Muffins with Chocolate Chips

Can you smell coffee? I can! Every morning, when I wake up half awake, the first thing I do is make a fresh pot of coffee. I just love the aroma! I can't talk to anyone until I have my first sip of coffee, and the fresher the better. I grind my coffee beans every morning and I like my coffee dark, no sugar, no milk. We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and I am always hungry in the morning. Some days I'll have toast and peanut butter, other days I eat a bowl of overnight oats with bananas, but I also sometimes indulge in homemade muffins. It's a quick grab-and-go breakfast that the whole family can enjoy. These muffins are so moist and they have just the right amount of spice to complement the pumpkin flavor. I added dark chocolate chips and when the muffins are still warm they melt in your mouth. You might have to grab more than one before you leave the house.


Make it Better with Bertolli!

Note: The following giveaway is open to Canadians only.

There are a few brands in my pantry that I consider “iconic”. At the top of that list: Bertolli Olive Oil.
Renowned as the world’s leading brand of olive oil, the Bertolli tradition began in 1865 in Italy in the small town of Lucca. There, Francesco and Caterina Bertolli opened a trading shop underneath the family home, where they sold olive oil.
Thank you, Francesco and Caterina, for bringing deliciousness into the homes all around the world for more than 150 years. From full-bodied to mild and sweet, the Bertolli range has an olive oil for all my cooking needs. 


What's Cooking? - Chili

Chili Con Carne

Halloween is coming soon and I bought treats for the goblins. My kids are too old to go trick or treat, but I like to open the door for the children in my neighbourhood. Last year we had over one hundred kids that knocked on our door. The door bell was ringing non stop for three hours. It's always fun to look at all of the costumes. Some kids are very creative.


Spanish Tapas Feast - Eat Well Culinary Workshop Series

When you are invited to spend the night with Chef Rene Rodriguez, from Navarra Restaurant, for a Spanish Tapas Feast, you can't refuse the invitation. His delicious creations were prepared with canola oil. I could not wait to attend the event, hosted by the Canola Eat Well and made sure I only had a light lunch during the day. The evening could not be a success without Branding and Buzzing, who greeted us warmly when we arrived.

Eat Well Culinary Workshop

Not only was the food amazing but we had a live demonstration by Chef Rodriguez, winner of Top Chef Canada, on how to make Patatas Bravas while sipping our Estralla Damn drink. Chef Rodriguez said that he likes to use Pristine Gourmet's cold-pressed canola oil as a finishing ingredient in his dishes. Guests attending had the opportunity to Learn. Create. Make. and Take during this part one of a 6-part series of Canola Oil inspired FARM TO FOOD experience. I  always find it exciting to watch a Chef make food in front of me.


Chocolate-Stuffed French Toast

Chocolate French Toast

I have been driving back and forth from Ottawa to Longueuil these past weeks. My cousin passed away from a heart attack, at 54, and he left me everything in his apartment. Since he owned a lot of stuff I had to sort and sell everything or donate to friends and family. Every morning before driving 2 1/2 hours to his place I would grab a quick breakfast and sometimes would eat on the road. We came back at midnight, last night, from Québec and I decided to make something else than toast this morning.


Tim Hortons Gift Card Giveaway

We had a nice family gathering Saturday night. My three children came for Thanksgiving Dinner with their friends. We started the meal with a nice squash and apple potage, then we had turkey, garlic mashed potatoes, maple syrup and butter squash, glazed carrots and fennel and pear salad. For dessert my daughter made a yummy cream cheese pumpkin cake. It was so good.

We like to drink something warm with dessert like tea or coffee. Since I always have nice comments from my readers on social network and my blog I am excited to give one Tim Hortons gift card, valued at $25, to one of my readers.