Montreal en Lumiere 2016

We are about half way through winter and here in Montreal that means one thing: the Montreal en Lumiere festival is just around the corner with loads of fun outdoor activities, shows and culinary treats.

Since we live in winter mode for so many months out of the year here in Montreal, we like to celebrate and even have a winter festival named Montreal en Lumiere. You will find all kinds of fun outdoor activities, many free, and lots of paid shows and food related events. But just an evening walking around the site is fun, just get a couple of snacks from the food stands and enjoy the lights! Just dress well to stay warm. Here is what this year’s Montreal en Lumiere has to offer, from February 18 to March 5 2016.

Montreal en Lumiere 2016

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Chocolate & Tea Pairing

Do yourself a favor and give in to one of the latest trends: Chocolate & Tea Pairing. You will be blown away by the wonderful flavor combinations you may create.

I have been back from my vacation for a week now already and I am having the hardest time ever getting back to real life and routine, including blogging. But worry not I am getting back into the swing of it and I will soon bring you a slew of new posts; from great new recipes, the continuation of my broth series, and of course a post about my South and Central American cruise. In the mean time I would like to share with you my newest experiment of mixing teas and chocolate.

Green and Black’s Organis Chocolate

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Gong Fu Chinese Tea Tasting 2 part

Welcome to part 2 of the special Gongfu tea Chinese Tea Tasting 2 ceremony I hosted for a few friends.

It was the perfect way to enjoy the 5 tea samples I received from Teavivre. Make sure to check Gong Fu Chinese Tea Tasting 2 part 1 to learn more about all the teas we tried and about the Gong Fu tea way!

I thought I would start of this post with a silly shot…perhaps I will regret it lol. But this my readers is what happens when you drink too much good tea and introduce a Tibetan Singing Bowl to the mix. I recently took a Tibetan Singing Bowl workshop and basically ran out to buy one that following week. This is us being silly with the said bowl, left to right top, and then bottom: Sandra, Melanie, Evelyne, Michele and (discreet) Rebecca.

girls

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Gong Fu Chinese Tea Tasting part 1

I had an incredible eye opening experience. And I have to admit I never thought I would say this following a Chinese Tea Tasting, but I was left in awe after trying 5 very high grade tea samples from Teavivre. A high quality tea is so much more refined, pure and crisp. An excellent tea is like enjoying a top vintage wine. I will never be able to look at the boxed stuff or tea chain stores the same way again.

Since this tea tasting was a rather unique opportunity, I decided to host my bastardized version of a Gongfu tea ceremony with the tools I had and a few friends. You can read more about the real traditional Gong Fu ceremony here but I will give you a quick resume here as well.

teavivre tea leaves

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Great book gift ideas

Still looking for a few great gift ideas for the chef or foodie in your life? I have a few excellent suggestions for you today. This is a very varied mix of books touching on recipes, travel, health and treasures to be found in the pantry.

I have been enjoying every moment spent leafing through these books, testing their theories, trying out recipe and planning a few future seasoning purchases. I am including the main description of the books and a “my-2-cents” paragraph for each. Enjoy!

Yunnan_Cookbook

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Slow Cooker Mu Shu for Two

How many old-school appliances do you have in your kitchen that you use still? I have a handheld mixer, my grandmother’s standing mixer, also her potato masher. Although not an antique, I also enjoy my slow cooker, also called a crock pot. It took a while for me to love it though because the recipes I knew were the ones I grew up with and the results were never really modern.

So now I am always on the lookout for good new slow cooker recipes. And I found plenty in the Easy Everyday Slow Cooker Recipes cookbook I received for review. I was surprised to find fun and international recipes to and chose to try out the Mu Shu for Two.

IMG_0868

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Dim Sum Staples: Let’s Make Shumai 燒賣 and Law Bok Gow 蘿蔔糕

Dim Sum is one of the best ways to enjoy brunch with friends. just choose a whole bunch of dishes to share for the table and dig in with chopsticks! Two of my favorite selections are Shumai and Law Bok Gow. Let’s make them at home!

Now let’s make one thing clear: my friends know if you come to eat at my place you are a willing and participating guinea pig! I have been waiting a long time to get a kick in the butt to try my hand at some Chinese Dim Sum recipes. The marriage here was perfect and I prepared Shumai | shāomài | 燒賣 (Pork and Shrimp Dumplings) and Law Bok Gow | Luóbo gāo | 蘿蔔糕 (Daikon Radish Cake). It’s Food ‘n Flix and Creative Cooking Crew time again, all wrapped up into one post! For Food ‘n Flix the chosen film was Kung Fu Panda 1 and/or 2; and for the Creative Cooking Crew challenge was “What’s for Breakfast?”.

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