Saturday, November 30, 2013

First Snow Fall {on the streeet where we live}

There's something enchanting about the first snow fall of the season. You wake in the morning and there's a white blanket of snow on the grounds sparkling like dust of diamonds. Truly one of my Creator's master pieces!


Shared with : Rurality Blog Hop

Bites and Nibbles @ MUST Kitchen and Bar

Lately (well, since I started  cutting down on my caloric intake), the foodie side of me gravitates toward restaurants that serve small plates or tapas. While in Ottawa two weeks ago, I found MUST Kitchen and Wine Bar that serves this kind of small treats .

I arrived at the quaint restaurant shortly after 5 PM on a weekday so I had the whole place to myself for at least an hour to take pictures and admire the ambiance - exposed stone walls, dark wood beams and panel, off white comfy cushions, pickled vegetables and jams in mason jars - this is my kind of place!


There are a lot of interesting items from their small plate menu, in the end I settled for Truffle Brulee and Crostini's paired with a glass of Pinot Grigio. Both choices were excellent but if I a have the opportunity to be back here, I will have the crostini's  again. The seared duck breast was tender soaking up the flavours  of orange curry demi and jalapeno jelly. They are called "small plates" for a reason - but the flavors and presentation of the food here (at least the ones I tried) truly satisfy.


 MUST Kitchen & Wine Bar
41 William St. Ottawa, ON
(Byward Market)

Must Kitchen & Wine Bar on Urbanspoon


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Roasted Squash, Green Beans & Grapes with Basil Flower and Garlic Vinaigrette


One of the things I like about living in Canada is the distinct four seasons. And as season changes, so are the food on the table. Gone are the plump tomatoes  and sweet Ontario peaches but instead we have plenty of root vegetables and squash to feast on.
My herb garden is also saying goodbye (at least for the winter season) so I harvested what's left  on the branches before they turned black because of frost. During spring and summer, I pinch the basil flowers  as soon as I see them to allow more leaves to grow. But come fall time, I let the flowers grow because I like to the subtle taste of it in my salad dressing recipes.

Here's a favorite fall salad here at home that I adapted and tweeked from Vegetarian Times. The subtle flavor of  basil flowers and garlic on red wine vinegar complemented the sweet squash and grapes. Perfect dish on its own or a nice side dish to grilled chicken or fish.

Roasted Squash, Green Beans & Grapes with Basil Flower and Garlic Vinaigrette
6 oz. green beans, trimmed
1 butternut squash with 4-inch neck
1 large white or red onion, peeled and quartered lengthwise
6 Tbs. olive oil, divided
1 cup red seedless grapes
1 ½ Tbs. red wine vinegar
2 Tbs. finely chopped basil flowers (stems and greens included; substitute with regular basil leaves if  you can't find basil flowers)
1  tsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 tsp. finely grated garlic
½ tsp. sugar
 Preheat oven to 425°F. Coat large rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.

Blanch green beans in boiling, salted water for 2 minutes. Drain, and rinse under cold water. Set aside.

Cut 6 1/2-inch-thick wheels from neck of squash. (Reserve remaining squash for another use.) Peel and halve squash wheels. Toss squash and onions in a bowl with 2 Tbs. oil; season with salt and pepper, if desired. Place squash and onions cut side up on baking sheet. Transfer green beans to same bowl, and toss to coat with oil that remains in bowl. Place green beans and grapes on baking sheet, separated slightly from squash and onions. Roast for 8 minutes, or until green beans are crisp-tender and grapes are warmed through. Remove green beans and grapes to foil sheet. Roast squash and onions 15 to 20 minutes more, or until browned.

Whisk together remaining 4 Tbs. oil, vinegar, basil flowers, rosemary,  garlic, sugar in bowl. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.

Divide squash, shallots, green beans, and grapes among serving plates, and drizzle with dressing.

Bon appetit!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Where in the World : Ottawa Canada

Two weeks ago on a fine fall Sunday, hubby and I drove to Canada's capital city, Ottawa. We've been here a number of times but we tend to go back every now and then as the look  and feel of the city change with the season. After a quick Moroccan lunch at ByWard market, we spent the afternoon at Major's Hill Park. 

Every spring, this park is home to hundreds of thousands of colorful tulips. But this time of the year, the air breezing  off the Ottawa river is cool. Orange and yellow leaves embellish the Gothic buildings surrounding the park.

At one point, I have to remind myself that I wan not walking on the grounds of Hogwarts .... nonetheless, it felt like I was!


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Sky as Nature's Canvass

One of the perks of leaving the house at dawn for a road trip is capturing the play colors from dawn to twilight to sunrise .... the sky transforms into nature's canvass!


Sharing with Rurality Blog Hop

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Our Support is their Hope ... No Calm After the Storm

The destruction of lives, properties and livelihood is beyond human comprehension .....

My kababayans (compatriots) are struggling to cope .....

They have nothing left but faith in God and hope that help from fellowmen is on the way ....


Anyone wishing to help can donate online at or at a local Red Cross office. You can also donate by calling 1-800-418-1111. 

"The Filipino spirit is stronger than any typhoon!"
 Sama-sama tayong babangon bayan ko (My Motherland, together we will rise)!

Photo credits : CNN,NBC,CBC
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...