Archive for the ‘yummy-miam’ Category

Here is a little challenge from A Barcelone, that I saw in this and that blog: Buy the equivalent of 10 Euros ($15.51 CAD at today’s rate) and show us a picture. Let me tell you that if my mother-in-law had a blog, we would all be jealous. How many kilos of fruits can you buy in Brazil for 27.80 Reais? I’m sure you can feed a family of 10 for a month or something 😉

Don’t even mention the taste of the said fruits… *sigh*

So here is what I bought this week-end for $15.66 CAD (close enough):

veggies and fruits
A bunch of asparagus (grown in the region), green beans (from the states), a bunch of green onions, a plant of basil (fresh is always best), a bag of carrots, one potato (for a soup), a sweet red pepper, a bunch of coriander (I wanted some parsley and got confused… They look so much alike, don’t you think?), a lemon (hiding), a cucumber (grown in the region), mushrooms, tomatoes and pears (from Argentina). As you can see not much is grown in Canada… If I do this again in a couple of month, I promise there would be some more fruits (here is the place to eat peaches and cherries) and tastier veggies too.


I love surprises. Gifts for me are great only if meaningful. I give to my friends and family when I feel like it, when I’m inspired. So what I like the most, really, are not the gifts, but the element of surprise.

So it was my friend’s (T) birthday a couple of weeks ago (the same who surprised me) and with H, my other great friend, we conspired to surprise her. First I wanted them all (friends, husbands, baby and child-to-be) to come celebrate at our appartement, but since H has a bigger house she said “why don’t we do it I my place?”. Which made sense.

So I made two quiches:
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Spinach & Feta quiche on the left, ham & mushrooms on the right.

And some hummus:
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Hummus: chick peas spread.

And I brought the balloons (blewn by my darrrling) and the funny tooth picks. 😀
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H took care of the rest: salads, veggies, dip and cake.

H and her hubby had not told T, hubby & child that we were going to be there too. So as they came in, we all yelled “Happy Birthday!” in a “Surprise!” kind of way and all was crazy, merry and fun. 🙂

I discovered this recipe in the Food Network Kitchens Cookbook which has mouthwatering pictures (sometimes when I’m hungry, I look though them and end up being quite “full”!). The exotic touch in the cholent is the mix of spices: paprika, coriander, cumin, ginger and cinnamon. Mmmh.

Also, it’s meant to be prepared with meat, but I’ve tried without and it was equally good (though D does not agree with me on this point!–you are a meat eater or you are not! 😉 ).

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*ts: teaspoon
*Ts: Tablespoon


  • 1 cup dried chickpeas (let soak in water overnight) or from the can.
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium onions (or a big one), chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic (or more), chopped
  • 2 ts sweet paprika
  • 2 ts ground coriander
  • 2 ts ground cumin
  • 2 ts ground ginger
  • 1 cinnamon stick (or 1 ts ground cinnamon)
  • 3 cross-cut pieces of beef shin, about 3 pounds
  • 3 carrots, peeled and thickly slices
  • 1/2 cup red lentils
  • 1/2 cup pearl barley
  • 3/4 cup canned whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 Ts of salt (I always put 2), plus additional seasoning
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Heat olive oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Cook onions until brown and sweet, stir in garlic, paprika, coriander, cumin, ginger, and cinnamon and cook until fragrant (at this point it smells deliiicious!). Add the rest: beef (or other meat of choice, if any), carrots, lentils, and barley. Crush the tomatoes by had as you add thm to the pot along with their juices. Drain the chickpeas; add to the pot along with enough water to cover.

Transfer the pot in the oven and cook uncovered until the meat falls off the bones, the beans are completely soft, and the cholet is stewy. 4 to 5 hours (!) (let say that I let it cook a couple of hours, maybe not 5…).

Very good on a cold day. I keep the extra individual portions in the freezer, and it’s quite good when reheated.

De todo un poco

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