Sunday, June 30, 2013

Lights, Camera in Action

Colorful lights plating tricks on moving water are always captivating. They have an effect on me I can't get enough of. Capturing its magic on camera is always a challenge and rewarding at the same time!

Happy Sunday everyone!

Shared with : Weekly Top Shot

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Cactus Flowers

I am so amazed how a prickly, thorny cactus can produce a delicate and gorgeous flowers.


A long time ago I read something to this effect ....  

"don't we all hide our most sensitive and delicate qualities under a prickly exterior?"


Shared with: Rurality Blog Hop

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Herb Rosted Mushrooms

I love all kinds of mushrooms and lately, I have been using them in many of my dishes. Just recently, I made this very simple yet delicious recipe that is excellent as an appetizer or a side dish for steak, roast chicken or steamed fish. 

Hubby and I usually enjoyed this for weekend lunch at the backyard garden served with hot coriander naan bread   {the best for swiping the mushroom.herb sauce!} and chilled Pinot Grigio.

Herb Roasted Mushrooms

10 pieces of medium size white mushrooms {cut in half}
10 pieces of medium size cremini  mushrooms {cut in half}
4 cloves of garlic {crushed}
1 tbsp of chopped basil
1 tbsp of chopped parsley
1 tbsp of chopped oregano
3 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp cold butter {cut into pieces}
salt and pepper
Fresh juice of 1/2 lemon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
In a shallow baking dish, toss mushrooms and garlic.
Drizzle olive oil and mix
Add salt and pepper {according to your taste}
Put pieces of cold butter on top mushrooms
Roast on the middle rack for  20 minutes {stir at least twice)
When mushrooms are tender, remove from oven.
Add herbs and lemon juice.
Mix well and serve!

Friday, June 21, 2013

First Day of Summer

Longer daylight, warm breeze, lazy afternoon by the lake, al fresco dining, chilled white wine, colored toe nails, tank tops, backyard BBQ, roses in bloom, long road trips ....

Finally summer is here!

Monday, June 17, 2013

{The weekend before last} @ The Brooklin Spring Fair

Colorful tents and stuffed toys, painted faces and screaming kids, ice cream and greasy foods, rides and games ....

there's just something about country fairs that made me come back again and again!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Father's Day

To my dear Papa,

I miss you so much. Not a single day passes without me thinking of you. Thank you for being the greatest father to us. I wish I can give you a big hug like I always do. But I know Jesus is doing it for me!

I love you Papa... always!

Your Ann

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Lilac Sugar

The subtle and sweet fragrance of the lilac flowers in our garden can't be ignored. Too bad the delicate blooms will only last for a week or so .... maybe, just maybe I can make it last by making lilac sugar.

It is as simple as adding dry and clean lilac petals in granulated sugar. Mix and put in jar. Let it stand for a few days and soon enough I will have lilac sugar for baking sugar cookies!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Father's Day "Big Breakfast"

Thinking of preparing something special for brunch to celebrate Father's day this coming Sunday? Here's a hearty, all-in-one meal for daddies to enjoy.


Father's Day Big Breakfast

2 pieces Italian sausage
1 small onion, finely chopped
2  garlic cloves, crushed
2 tbs olive oil
1 small potato,  peeled, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 green or red bell pepper, thinly sliced
5 pieces cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 tbs ketchup
leaves from 1 sprig of oregano
freshly ground pepper
1 bagel
2 eggs
Split open the sausage,  place the meat in a bowl and discard casings
Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until the onion starts to soften. Add the garlic and crumbled sausage meat. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the sausage is lightly browned.
Add potato cubes and  cook for another 2 minutes.
Add bell pepper and mushroom and cook for 1 minute
Seasoned with ketchup, oregano leaves and freshly ground pepper
Remove from heat and set aside

Preheat the broiler with the rack in the middle position
Place a bagel in the middle of a medium-sized cast iron {or ceramic baking dish}
Transfer the cooked sausage meat  into the cast iron, surrounding the bagel
Crack eggs on top of the bagel and meat.
Broil until the egg whites are set, about 1- 2 minutes.
Garnish with oregano leaves.

Have a great Father's Day weekend!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Blooms in our Garden

Lately, in our garden ....


The flowers bloom after a gentle shower ....

Monday, June 10, 2013

Bites and Nibbles @ Europea

A trip to Montreal simply means indulging in one of my guilty pleasures - Je mange du foie gras!

During my last vist, my friends and I tried the Europea Restaurant at Rue dela Montagne. From the elegant atmosphere of the restaurant to the inventive presentations of delicious amuse bouces, it was indeed an excellent culinary experience. 

The restautant host was so gracious answering all my questions regarding the food preparation and ingredients. He even invited me to peek into the kitchen with my camera ... even that was a sight to behold ... it was more of watching a maestro in a studio than a chef in the kitchen!


My taste buds was already in "gustatory ecstasy" from Chef Jerome Ferrer's samplers when our waiter informed us that the piece de resistance - the foie gras is ready to be served. A white plate with smokey hot stone in the middle covered in tall glass came in. The maple bark stewed pan-seared foie gras was served on top of the stone with ice wine, cloudberry and cinnamon reduction. It was really delicious.

For dessert, the chef offered us mint mallows, petite apricot cake, macaron and something unexpected ... cotton candy!

Europea is not just fine dinning. This is a place where art meets culinary excellence.

C'est magnifique!

1227 Rue de la Montagne

Europea on Urbanspoon

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