Tag Archives: cooking

Peppers of all colours

The Bell peppers are really sweet right now. They are sweetest in July/August when they can fully  ripen before harvest. The local red, orange and yellow peppers are the sweetest of all and they also contain the most vitamin C, … Continue reading

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Looking for Cinderella’s pumpkin, is it midnight yet?

I bought a pumpkin at Dan’s Farm that may be what you are looking for. It is a French pumpkin – here is some info from a website that sells the seeds: “The Pumpkin French Cinderella, ‘Cucurbita maxima’, is a … Continue reading

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Hedgehogs…not the chocolate kind

November is getting late in the season for chanterelles, but nature is kind to us on Vancouver Island as the even better  Hydnum Repandum or hedgehog mushroom is now prime in old-growth forests. We found two kinds,  the small orangey … Continue reading

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Chanterelle and onion tart, could be my best chanterelle recipe? tell me!

    Saturday November 6 was probably the last good day to pick chanterelles, as the  heavy rain wants to turn them into mushy fungi. The rain, however, did not stop Michel, Dunnery, Jules (the mushroom sniffing Jack Russel) and … Continue reading

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Golden beets, grown down the street

Carolyn and Paul down my street grow an amazing selection of vegetables,  and they have generously brought me Romaine lettuce, green onions, heirloom tomatoes and a magnificent specimen of golden beet. Maybe it is the sea view, but most likely … Continue reading

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Pine Mushroom scalloped potatoes

October 16th was Pine mushroom day in my family. The weather was perfect Indian summer and there were more than a dozen cars parked at or near my secret mushroom picking spot on Vancouver Island. It did not bode well, … Continue reading

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Fresh California figs and Noix de Grenoble tart

This an Indian summer dessert, as it is best made from fresh very ripe figs. In this instance, I bought a tray of  fresh figs at the Root Cellar in Victoria. The crate indicates that they are  either “black mission”(Halloween … Continue reading

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Pumpkin Gnocchi for Halloween

Anita Whyte and I use to work together in Toronto some years ago promoting French tourism, gastronomy and good life in general. She has not had a chance to move to the West Coast yet, so she is now a … Continue reading

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Grenoble walnut square

I grew up in Grenoble, the walnut capital of the world. In the country side around the city, there are acres and acres of walnut trees, and one can tell easily that they are walnut trees, because their shade is … Continue reading

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Duck pâté with olives

This is a good appetizer to share and it has to be made in advance which is convenient on the day of the party. Pretty much, you should start in the morning by roasting a whole  5 pound duck in … Continue reading

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Languedoc Garlic soup

Gardeners, this is for you. The home-grown garlic is ready to be picked and for this soup, the fresher, the better. My father-twice-in law Hugh  just sent beautiful heads of garlic from his sunny Vancouver garden and I peeled 12 … Continue reading

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Bison Bourguignon

This does not sound right, no bisons in the Bourgogne, that’s for sure! This  bison meat stew though was better than any genuine boeuf bourguignon. I know you are already thinking Julia Child and all the trouble involved with cooking … Continue reading

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Six root vegetable gratin

Thanksgiving dinner is coming up soon and although mashed potatoes are always high on the request list, the root vegetable gratin would be a seasonal dish that would go very well along with a turkey. It requires no work when … Continue reading

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Roasted Zucchini with cheese

Sharon gave me this odd colour zucchini from her  Oak Bay garden explaining that this European seed produced a much tastier vegetable than the local produce, and it did! This one was hand-picked and harvested by Richard on  September 15th. Growing … Continue reading

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10 kg of White Chanterelles

Recipes including Chanterelles: Chanterelle omelet Chanterelle tart Chanterelle quiche . . Chanterelles in butter and parsley What do we do with 10 kg of white chanterelles? First, I air-dry them  spread on trays for a day especially if they were … Continue reading

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Chanterelle mini-tart appetizer

That was a lot of chanterelles we picked and  they have been on my menu every day. Last night was a more unusual appetizer, kind of a tapenade of chanterelles in a small tart shell. This a good use for … Continue reading

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Easy moist pound cake with yogurt

This is one that you can just whip up in no time, and that is a good thing because it will disappear just as fast. We used to make them all the time when I was a kid and really … Continue reading

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Chanterelle Omelette

It was quite foggy and it rained a lot yesterday, but it was not a bad day to go mushroom picking on Vancouver Island. My friend Sharon and I covered miles and miles trying to identify new picking grounds without … Continue reading

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Peaches in light syrup

The peaches are best right now at the end of summer and it is tempting to buy a whole case. Of course, that is too much to eat right away for most people. Cooking them in syrup is a nice … Continue reading

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Ratatouille quiche

With all the fall vegetables so plentiful at the farmers market, I made a huge amount of Ratatouille and of course, I had extra I saved for a quiche and a nice lunch. Click on ratatouille for the link to … Continue reading

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Cake au beurre (Fruit Cake)

This is the French version of Fruit cake, they just call it cake and often serve it for the afternoon snack with tea or even at breakfast, how decadent! 1 cup butter 3/4 cup light brown sugar 4 eggs 2+ … Continue reading

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Pain d’épices du goûter

Literally, a spice bread usually served to  French children after school as a snack, either plain or with unsalted butter and sometimes jam as well. I used to love it when I was a kid. It was store bought and … Continue reading

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Brandade de saumon

This would normally have been made with salt cod, but we have overfished, alas, and there is hardly any cod left. I feel that we should not eat anymore for now, and decided to make brandade with another plentiful fish, … Continue reading

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Tomates farcies au saumon frais

This is good for a hot day. The tomatoes are not cooked and are served chilled, unlike tomates farcies with ground beef or bison stuffing. Remove the top of four, ripe but still firm, tomatoes. Remove the pulp and save … Continue reading

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Old Fashioned Apricot Jam

Mamie Odette made apricot jam every year, and this right into her seventies and even maybe eighties. This is the only jam she would make, she thought that it was the only jam worth making at home. I don’t quite … Continue reading

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Cauliflower salad

This is one of my favorite salads, the best way to eat cauliflower in my opinion. This is a French classic family recipe, nothing fancy, just the fact that the cauliflower is cooked. Start by removing all the leaves from … Continue reading

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Tomates farcies, a wonderful alternate to burgers

If there is no BBQ available,  ground beef will do very well in “tomates farcies” or stuffed tomatoes, a perfectly healthy dish for a student budget. You need two small to medium size tomatoes per person. A large one would … Continue reading

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Cucumber soup

I was given two  small home-grown cucumbers by Carling today, the dark green coarse skin garden kind which is so tasty. Perfect for a refreshing chilled soup. I peeled  them, cut them in quarters lengthwise, removed the seeds and put … Continue reading

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Greek Salad

Can you chop vegetables? Then you can make Greek salad in no time. No cooking, no waiting, an easy dinner for a hot summer night. So I don’t get too many things dirty, I start by making the dressing right … Continue reading

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Fresh cream of pea, no cream required

This is a cold soup with a  light green colour, nothing  to compare with traditional Royal Navy style  pea soup, more like a contemporary designer pastel…The taste is also completely different because there are no split peas in it, but … Continue reading

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Chicken in “Gros Sel”

Of course, this dish is for show, pretty amazing when you break the salt crust to deliver a moist chicken with incredible flavour. No such thing as dry chicken breast. It is not a lot of extra work but there … Continue reading

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Pommes Mousseline (aka mashed potatoes)

At a restaurant, people eat “pommes mousseline”, but at home they eat “purée” and here it is mashed potatoes. Of course, one can have great mashed if they add enough cream. But, at home, I prefer this much healthier recipe … Continue reading

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Gateau de semoule better than cream of wheat pudding!

This was another favorite of Mémé Marie-Louise always pushing for healthy desserts.  This meets her criteria with lots of iron, low fat, and a delicious taste. Frankly, you could do worse than eat this for breakfast! Soak 3/4 cup golden … Continue reading

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Cream Spinach

Another favorite at Chez Solange Restaurant in London in the seventies where I started as a waitress with a French accent. It is often served with a roasted ham with tomates provençales on the side for a colorful plate. Interesting … Continue reading

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Chilled Watercress Soup

This is very refreshing on a  hot summer lunch, like today. We have not really had many yet here in Victoria, BC. this year. Start by  rubbing a split garlic clove at the bottom of a small pot, then turn … Continue reading

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Gratin de Poireaux

This is a nice filling  dish and my vegetarian guest tonight seem to love it, I had no left-overs. Pick your leeks well, only young leeks that do not have a woody core in the centre. The centre should be … Continue reading

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Strawberry delight

The local strawberries are ready for picking almost everywhere in Canada. There are so many good things to make with them, but if you want to really enjoy the amazing strawberry flavour, here is what my grand-mother used to do … Continue reading

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Beurre Blanc sauce on Spring Salmon Steak

Tonight was Father’s Day dinner and we had wild Pacific Spring salmon, also called Chinook or King salmon. It was served with a sauce au beurre blanc, fresh peas, and Ravioles de Romans. Ravioles are a small herb ravioli from … Continue reading

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Cole slaw

Nice name for a cabbage salad…. which is exactly how it is made. Cut the green cabbage into quarters, remove the white hard core, shred with a knife, a mandoline or a food processor. Make a dressing in the serving … Continue reading

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Creamy Hummus with zing!

Summer time is here and the need for healthy snacks to take sailing or to parties. My version of hummus is easy, all the ingredients are readily available, completely healthy. It is very low-fat, and check that zing! Chop three … Continue reading

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Les Frites

When my brother  finished his degree at the Lausanne Hotel school, he had to report for compulsory military service in France for one year. Like all new recruits, he had to do “les classes” or new recruit break-in for three … Continue reading

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Roasted Butternut squash

We seem to have had a cold snap with fierce winds here in Victoria and felt like a  lamb roast dinner to warm up. One of the vegetables was a roasted butternut squash. I used to make this the traditional … Continue reading

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Chocolate tea biscuit brick

This is another recipe from my childhood. Biscuits Brun had a gigantic tea biscuit factory on the outskirts of town. The Brun family  built it in 1883 primarily to make biscuits for the military. The first war made them a … Continue reading

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Morel cream sauce on Roast Chicken

In Ontario, we used to go Morel picking in the Ganaraska Forest and come back with baskets full of the delicious spring fungi. My luck has not been good here in BC, I have not found my own spots  and … Continue reading

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Stuffed orange peppers

This is an easy thing to make, it looks amazing, the ” but” being that it takes time to make. Mostly time to cook though, not a lot of work, so a pretty good menu choice. Most people will eat … Continue reading

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Baby white turnips

They are irresistible right now, so fresh and sweet.  Vantreight Farm grows them in Sanichton, just north of Victoria on Vancouver island and I keep buying more at the” Root Cellar” produce stand. I have had them as a side … Continue reading

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Macédoine de légumes or Russian Salad

The question is : have you eaten your seven vegetables today? The answer is likely negative unless you had Macédoine de légumes for lunch. Let me explain, the name comes from Macedonia, the country formed by a bunch of smaller … Continue reading

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Onion Quiche (really tarte à l’oignon)

I got help today. When my husband makes apple pie, there is always enough pastry left for a small quiche for lunch the next day. The dish is only 8 inches in diameter and the amounts given below for the … Continue reading

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Canada duck with cherry jus

The simple way to make  duck is to roast it in the oven exactly like the roast chicken from May 27th, except longer, much longer… and even then my last duck was not tender. So unless you are cooking magrets … Continue reading

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Fanny Bay Oyster shot

Last night for a small dinner party at home, I thought I should have an appetizer other than a cheese tray (kills your appetite) or cold cuts (I had made the country pâté*  for first course), so I chose something … Continue reading

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