goat cheese pizza

And the sun is out!  Finally!!!  So, patio time now?  Oh well, I wish, but not for us… we still haven’t started painting our deck, so our time being outside and enjoying the sun will be quite short for now, or until that task is done; because at the moment our backyard is a mess… and we just don’t know where to start!

Anyway, I’ve made up this awesome, quick and delicious pizza/naan bread recipe last week and can’t wait to make it again, and again.  It takes a few minutes to make, all the ingredients are easy to find, and everybody loves it.  I didn’t follow any recipe, so you can change the goat cheese for whichever cheese you like most.  For me it’s not an easy task to decide which one to use… as I love all of them!  But goat cheese, on a pizza, it’s just sooo good!!!

Easy Goat Cheese Pizza Recipe

What you need:

-garlic naan bread

-fresh tomatoes

-olive oil

-goat cheese

-fresh pepper

-fresh basil

How to:

Heat the oven to 350.  Place the garlic naan bread (if you don’t have garlic naan, use regular naan and add fresh garlic to the olive oil) on a baking sheet and drizzle olive oil on it.  Slice the tomatoes and place on the naan.  Place chunks of goat cheese on top and sprinkle with freshly cracked pepper. Put in the oven for 15 minutes and then broil for a few minutes.  Keep an eye on it.  You don’t want to forget it in the oven!  Once the cheese starts to golden, take it out.  Dressed the pizza with some fresh basil and voilà!  Cut in pieces and eat it while in the pool or in between sangrias!

Enjoy this pizza this weekend and have fun!  You won’t regret making this.  Cheers!

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chipotle corn on the cob

Who doesn’t like corn?  I mean, aside from Logan, I don’t think I’ve ever met someone that doesn’t like corn on the cob!

I bought corn and I have to say that it was pretty good for not being in season.  I got a new recipe book last week called ‘Summer Table’, in which I found a great corn on the cob recipe for my Mexican week.  I might be clueless, but it required some Chipotle Adobo sauce, which I had never heard of before.  So I looked it up, and it’s actually smoked and dried jalapenos in a sweet tangy purée of tomato.  Sound delish right?  Well it was!

So again, very easy to prepare.  Remove the husk from the corn… I didn’t entirely removed it, I decided to tie it at the other end for prettier pictures!  Then pour the sauce on top of the corn and wrapped it up in foil, leaving the husk on the outside.  Here’s the recipe.

Chipotle Corn on the Cob

What you need:

12 corns

1 can peppers in Adobo sauce (found at my local Food Basics)

1/4 melted butter

2 cloves of garlic minced

1 pinch of cumin

2 TBS tomato paste

2 TBS honey

2 TBS oilive oil

2 TBS sugar

Garnish:

cilantro

mozzarella

hot chili peppers

How to:

Preheat the BBQ at 400.  Remove the husk, leaving it hanging and tie it with twine.  Mix all the ingredients together and pour over the corn.  Wrap four corns with foil, leaving the husk on the outside.  Repeat for all corns.  If you put too many, turning them on the grill will be difficult.  Place the foil packets on the BBQ, placing the husk toward the outside of the BBQ, and close the lid.  Cooking time should be between 20-25 minutes, turning the corns once after 10-12 minutes.  Once they’re ready, remove from foil and let them roast on the grill for a few minutes.  But watch them carefully, if not you’ll end up with popcorn.  Remove from the grill and garnish with mozzarella cheese, cilantro and hot peppers.

The taste is very different than regular boiled corn on the cob, but delicious.  The smokiness from the Adobo plus the grill is amazing.  Perfect for BBQ nights and Cinco de Mayo!

So I’ve discovered a new recipe as well as a new sauce… will definitely try some chicken marinated with this spicy Adobo sauce soon!

I hope you will try some of these Mexican and spicy recipes I’ve share this week.  So far, all three would go great together!  And if you have your own favorite Mexican recipe, please share!

Salud.

 

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who wants some taquitos?

So for my second day of awesome Mexican recipe, I’ve tried a new one.   And I will definitely make it again and again.  Great to make in advance for some lunches; or you can cut it up and serve it as appetizers; or even serve for diner with some lime and cilantro rice.  Beware: lots of spiciness!  I used some jalapeno in a jar… and I thought they’d be less spicy, but boy oh boy, was I wrong!

Here the recipe for the awesome Creamy Jalapeno Taquitos!

What you need:

4 boneless chicken breast

8oz cream cheese

2 TBS of pickled jalapeno chopped

pinch of cumin

1 TBS garlic salt

salt and pepper

12 tortillas

tex-mex cheese

sour cream

How to:

Preheat oven at 400.  Place chicken, cream cheese, jalapeno, cumin, garlic salt, salt and pepper in a baking dish.  Mix well and bake for 20 minutes.  Remove from oven, mix well again and replace for another 20 minutes.  Meanwhile, grate the cheese and set aside.  Remove the chicken and let cool for 5 minutes.  Shred the chicken mixture.  Prepare a cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Take a tortilla, place some cheese in the middle and add a few spoonful of the chicken mixture.  Roll the tortilla tightly and place on the parchment paper.  Repeat for all the tortillas.  Heat up (at 400) in the oven until golden.  Serve with some cream cheese, fresh jalapenos, lime wedge and cilantro.

I’ve stored the leftover taquitos in a Ziploc bag, ready to be heated up for lunch.  Once again, these are spicy, so beware.  If you’re not a fan, cut out half of the jalapenos or leave them out entirely.  But these are so good with the full 2 tbs of chopped pickled jalapeno!!!

Enjoy!

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pineapple salsa fit for a fiesta

 

Finally, May is here. That means I’m getting ready for Cinco de Mayo!  I love, love, love Mexican food, and finally (and hopefully), the boys do too!

It took a while but we now have Taco Tuesdays at our house.  And this next Friday we’re hosting a little Cinco de Mayo get-together where I’ll be cooking some of my favorite Mexican recipes.  So this week, my blog will be all about delicious, flavorful and spicy food!

At the top of my list: GUACAMOLE! This was the first recipe posted on my blog, which you can find here.  Always a crowed pleaser, so you should double the recipe if you ever try it for a small group of people. Try it, you’ll know what I mean!  Awesome with nachos, but also great with chicken, tacos, fajitas, toast and more!

So this week’s first recipe is a Pineapple Salsa.  It tastes so ‘fresh’, it will make you think of summer.  And I bet you’ll want to eat it all summer long as well.  Great with nachos, baked tortillas, or on top of some grilled chicken.  Great for pool parties, diners or just for a snack.  It’s really healthy, well, until you add the chips!!!

This recipe calls for an entire pineapple; you may think it’s a lot, but once you’ll start to eat it, you’ll wonder why you didn’t used two!

Pineapple Salsa

What you need:

1 pineapple, cut into small cubes

1\4 cup of fresh cilantro

1 jalapeno

1 small red onion

2 tbs. lime juice

1 small tomato

salt and pepper

How to:

Really easy.  Cut everything into small cubes.  Place in a bowl.  Add the chopped cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper.  Mix well.  Place in the fridge for about an hour before serving.  You can keep it in the fridge for at least 4-5 days in an airtight container.  Serve with nacho chips, or on top of anything really!

This week’s recipes are really spicy.  I will be using a lot of jalapenos, but if you’re not a fan of the heat, use less jalapeno or just leave them out of the recipe. My kids are not fans of the spiciness, maybe because I’ve had a bit too much of Frank’s Hot Sauce while pregnant (but I was craving for it), who knows!  So all these recipes can be kids friendly without the peppers/jalapenos.

So, if you are into Mexican food like myself, you should really try this recipe.  It’ll make you feel like you’re in Mexico enjoying the beautiful Mexican sun, while here in Ottawa it’s freezing and pouring rain outside all day long.

Oh, and don’t forget to let me know what you think of this awesome pineapple salsa me amigo.

Salud!

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my kind of fest

Short and savory post!

Yesterday evening, with the most beautiful weather, we decided at the last minute to go to my new best festival EVER: PoutineFest!  Oh yeah, you read that right… a festival dedicated to my favorite food, POUTINE!

If you’re in the Ottawa region this weekend, and like poutine, then you have to visit Sparks Street.  Right in the heart of Ottawa, food trucks are lined up, waiting for you, and serving all sorts of poutine.  Brian picked me up after work and we drove downtown with the boys.  As soon as we arrived, we could smell all of that fried food!  I’m a cheap date, you know, since I don’t drink, but if you want to make me happy, buy me a poutine!

With so many choices to choose from, it was hard to decide which one to try.  Plus the boys were getting hungry, so we went for a food truck with a short line.  It turned out to be a really good decision, as it was delicious.

I had deep-fried-curds poutine… I wouldn’t say it was ‘good’, I’d describe it better as saying it was ‘life changing’!  OMG.  Brian had an onion ring poutine, which looked really good as well, but WTF… ketchup on a poutine?  Sometimes I just don’t understand him… oh well.

So we got our poutine from the Golden Fries truck.  The boys had some fries, Pogos and donuts.  Well, I might have had a few donuts as well!

Next time, I want to go with lots of people who can order all kinds of poutine and share.  Here’s some of the type of poutine you can find on Sparks Street this weekend:

-Cinco de Mayo Poutine

-Lobster Poutine

-Pad Thai Poutine

-Pulled Pork Poutine

-Bacon Cheeseburger Poutine

-Deep Fried Cauliflower Poutine

-mini donuts and more!

So if you have a bit of free time this weekend, it’s quick and fun.  Spring as arrived and finally we can spend some time outside; so why not spending it downtown Ottawa eating a poutine while sitting on the sidewalk (yeah, there’s not many option when it comes to sitting and enjoying your poutine… so we picked an open spot on the sidewalk and ate there).  Go have fun and eat an amazing poutine!  If you do, let me know which one you had and if it was worth it!

Have a great weekend!

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easter, we’re ready for you

I am so ready for the extra-long weekend that Easter brings!  We always have a jam-packed weekend, and this year if no different.  Shopping on Good Friday with Jojo, followed by a no-meat-family-dinner at Lulu’s with fish, omelets and poutine!  On Saturday we’re celebrating Easter at my Mom’s with a nice Prime Rib, and Sunday is our annual Chicken N’ Rib feast at Brian’s mom.

The boys are ready to have a few days off, and so am I.  They’re anxious for the Egg Hunt on Saturday and all the chocolate they’re about to eat this weekend (and so am I!)

So here’s a few pictures of a few dessert options for this weekend.  Easy, fun and delicious!  My boys love to bake with me, and they love all the icing colors and sprinkle; cupcake decorating is one of their favorite things to do in the kitchen!  Must be because they get to eat so much sugar while doing it!

As much as I love chocolate, I try to mix it up when it comes to the Easter Basket; and the boys already get so much chocolate from others at Easter.  I always get them summer stuff, like Crocs or shoes, pj’s, books or movies, and of course one candy.  I also try to make one for my husband, so I guess this year he knows what he’s having: Beau’s beer, t-shirt and chocolate!  Maybe I should post here what I want in my basket?!!

So, what’s your favorite Easter tradition?  And your favorite Easter treat?

Remember to have fun this weekend, to spend time with your family, and to drive safe.  Happy Easter everyone!

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keep calm and eat maple taffy

They’re a tiny little gap I enjoy every year between winter and spring; and it’s called Sugar Shack time!  So every year, since as far as I can remember, I went to the Sugar Shack, always on a Saturday night, and always with family and friends, to enjoy some of the finest maple syrup you can find!

I know most of you go yearly, but I’m pretty sure that some of mylemondroplife followers have no clue what I’m talking about!  So, at the end of winter, the maple trees release some maple sap.  You collect and boil it.  It then thicker and becomes something marvelous: Maple Syrup!  It’s basically Buddy the Elf’s dream come true from the Christmas movie ‘Elf’!

So two weeks ago we met up with my family at one of our favorite Sugar Shack and tried to eat as much as possible. Such an easy task!  Before we ate, we enjoyed a nice horse wagon ride in a maple tree forest.  The boys learned all about the syrup and they counted way too many cans.  I love wagon rides, I wish they would last longer.

This year, we got to meet my cousin’s so adorable brand new daughter Evely and had time to chat up with some relatives we hadn’t seen in a while!  We also ate copious amount of ‘bajoues’, or pork jowls!  These are definitely Brian’s favorite.  I always end up bringing some in my purse for him to eat later.  On top of that, there’s also omelet, ham, bacon, potatoes, sausages, and various pickled jars.  It doesn’t seem sooo special when you say it like that, but the difference it that at the Sugar Shack you don’t just eat all that food; you eat all that food with maple syrup poured on top of it and all over your plate!

I have a tip for you.  The Sugar Shack has so many deserts, but you should always go for the pancake AND sugar pie.  Combined them together and you’ll have the best desert ever!!!  All you need to do is scrap off some of the sugar filling from the pie and spread it on the pancakes!  To die for!

The boys had been great up until it was time to taste the maple taffy.  Then it was all downhill from there, with them doing things they would have never even thought of doing with a normal level of sugar!  So we decided to go burn off some of that energy at grandma’s!

Usually, during the March break, I do maple taffy at home.  We all love it.  The boys love to watch the sugar boiling and becoming syrup; and then we spread it on snow and enjoy.  There’s always a fight for who gets the first piece, but it’s not too long before everybody’s full of sugar and happy anyway!

Hope you’ll get a chance to visit a Sugar Shack this year.  And if you do, don’t forget what I told you about the desert!  You’ll think of me and want to thank me as soon as you take that first bite of that pancake!

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easter edible art

I would have loved this activity as a child.  I saw the ad online two weeks ago and within minutes I had recruited my cousins for an afternoon of fun with our kids.  Two words and they we’re hooked; Chocolats Favoris!

Two amazing things put together: Easter and Chocolats Favoris… marketing GENIUS.  Either online or in store, you can pick out everything you need for this great Easter activity.

Véro picked out the chocolate for everyone in advance, but it would be even more fun to bring your kids to the store and let them pick out their favorite one, and of course, have an ice cream cone while you’re there!  The prices were very reasonable, with an average of 12$-15$ per child.  An outing, a craft and delicious chocolates!  A win for everyone.  Once you have chosen your favorite mold, you pick out a chocolate color palette and voilà, you’re ready to go!

I would recommend a disposable tablecloth, which we didn’t use!  We ended up scrapping off chocolate off my table for ever!

We melted the color palettes in escargot dishes, best idea, because in a plate I would think that the colors would run together…  Within 5 minutes, the 5 kids were busy painting.  We thought it would last two minutes, but surprisingly, they were entertained for over 25 minutes.  They loved it!

I loved that each kids had their own chocolate palette and did whatever they wanted with it.  They were mixing the colors as they felt; you can really see their personality in their work!  Some were really expressive while painting!

It dries really quickly, so you can pile-up paint on paint on paint without ending up with the same color all over your chocolate.  But of course, by the end, there was chocolate paint everywhere.  Liam loved it so much he was licking the table while Jacob and Logan were eating the paintbrushes!  All resisted eating their work of art.  This activity was even more successful than expected.

I’m probably going to do this again before Easter, since it was such a great creative activity (but next time I’m getting one for myself for sure!).  My favorite masterpiece was Logan’s!  It almost looked like a piece of art I would buy.  Finally, the artsy side of my boys is coming out!

I’m pretty sure these will fly of the shelves of Chocolats Favoris stores.  So grab one and run!  All these pretty colors sure made me ready for Spring; so be ready to be flooded with Easter and Spring posts in the next little while.  Cause although I just spent an amazing March break at the cottage with Brian and the boys, tubing and snowshoeing with cold nights and fireplace, I can say that I’m pretty much done with winter for this year and ready for Spring… and so will you once you do this fun family activity!

 

 

 

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pasta carbonara

ALERT pasta lovers, this Spaghetti Carbonara recipe will change your life!  OMG… new recipe that I found this week that you have to make and eat, like, right now!!!

Easy, fast and sooo delicious.

I’ve never craved for that type of dish before… I love pastas, like, I could eat pasta all the time, but I’m not really into creamy white sauce with my pasta… never really made or ordered something like that before.  But God was I missing on something.  Simply to die for.  I feel like I’m overselling it… but can’t see how you’d be disappointed!

The boys ate a big plate and then asked for more ‘Spaghetti à la crème’.  It was a winner for myself and the entire family.  This recipe will now be in our meal rotation.

I based my recipe on a Jamie Oliver online recipe.  He uses pancetta, I used bacon and added cream.

So easy, you can do all the prep while the pasta is cooking.  Within less than 15 minutes you have an amazing week night meal.

What you need:

3 egg yolks

5 slices of bacon

1 box of spaghetti

1 garlic clove

1/2 cup of 35% cream

salt and pepper

How to:

In a large pot, cook spaghetti in salted water until al dente.

Meanwhile, in a large pan, cook the bacon slices until crispy, once cooked, remove the slices and cut in small pieces.  Leave the bacon grease in the pan and crush the garlic and let it flavor the bacon fat.  You should have about 2 Tbs of fat, if more, remove from pan.

In a bowl, mix the egg yolks, Parmesan cheese, pepper and cream.

Once the pasta is ready, keep 1/2 cup of cooking water and drain the pasta.  Quickly place the pasta in the pan, adding the cooking water, bacon and the egg mix.  Mix well and serve immediately.  Serve with more Parmesan cheese and freshly cracked pepper.

I served this dish with a light arugula salad with a lemon and olive oil.

This is now a favorite of mine.  Hope it becomes one of yours too!

Enjoy!

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st-patty’s roots and recipe

Since the day I met him, Brian has been telling me -and reminding me over and over every chance he gets- that he’s Irish… so every time he does I make fun of him saying he’s not anymore Irish than I am, and every time he goes on a rant about how his grandpa Woodbury’s family came from Ireland, and on, and on…

I’d say that the only Irish thing about my husband is that he loves beer and own an old Ireland t-shirt that he wears once a year!  So every year I play along comes March 17th and I let him believe he’s Irish as much as he wants.  This year, for St-Patty’s day, I’m making him some AMAZING onion soup with some beer from his favorite brewery, Beau’s.  (I’ve already tried it before, so that’s why I know it’s going to be amazing!).  Most of you from the Ottawa region should know Beau’s by now, but for some that live further, Beau’s is a local all-natural brewery that seems to be making almost everything right, including, or especially, craft beer!

So I made this soup in the fall and it was a huge hit.  This time I’m trying it with the Strong Patrick, their special St-Patty’s Day brew!

Here’s the recipe, I just changed the kind of beer I used.  You may use your favorite and I’m pretty sure it will taste great.  The key for me is not really which beer I use but the amount of cheese on top!

What you need:

3 tablespoon of butter

6 cups of thinly sliced yellow onions

1 tablespoon of sugar

1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar

2 cloves of garlic, minced

3 tablespoon of flour

2 cups of Beau’s Strong Patrick

5 cups of chicken stock

thyme, to taste

salt a pepper

slice bread

cheese, lots of cheese (I used Swiss and Mozzarella)

How to:

Melt the butter and add the onions on high.

Cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add sugar, vinegar, thyme, salt and pepper.  Then add the flour, mix well, for 2-3 minutes.

Add the beer and simmer for 5 minutes.

Add the broth and let simmer for 30 minutes.

Prepare bowls, bread and cheese.

Fill up the bowls, add the toasted bread and cheese.

Broil for a few minutes.

You got to love onion soup this time of year!

So this year, whether your Irish or not-so-Irish, I’d say that for St-Patty’s day you make this soup and you enjoy it while pretending to be!  And then you enjoy a Strong Patrick while wearing your Ireland t-shirt that’s now a little bit too tight for you.  I guess I’ll know now if my so-called Irish husband reads my blog!

Sláinte, and bon appétit!

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