I equate peonies with love because they’re the first blooms of summer. – Isaac Mizrahi
Finally, my peonies have bloomed! Years ago, we didn’t plant them in the most ideal location, and so, each year, ours are always late to shoot up soon after the last bit of snow has gone and likewise, late to bloom. This year, I was slightly more anxious waiting for them to bloom as I wanted to practice my photography skills (or lack of) with them. They are far too lovely to pass up such an opportunity. Since the only appropriate food I had conveniently available were these cardamom cookies, there is no uncertainty about which recipe this post will feature. Don’t get me wrong though, these are not just any ordinary cookies; they are made with whole wheat flour, contain no eggs and are flavoured with cardamom. I almost always have a jar of these in my pantry.
°Blogging is still a new thing for me. So is photography. If there is a right way and a wrong way to be a food blogger, then I am certain that I err on the side of the wrong way. This is how a photo shoot normally pans out in our home: John
(my husband, I know, I really should update my About page) and I make dinner and we are just about ready to eat when I will realize “Hmm… this looks good, let me take a few photos.” I send the kids off to do whatever they were doing and quickly gather a few ideas and props and ask John to help out. After a short while, one kid yells out “Mom, are you done? I’m hungry!” This is followed by a more endearing “Mommy, I hungry” from my not-quite-a-toddler-anymore. At this point, my husband gives me that look. (After over a decade of marriage, we communicate quite well with our eyes.) That look asks me “Can we just eat now? While the food is still warm?” This is followed by my pleading eyes that say “Please, a few more clicks? I know I can get this right.” And I continue to fumble some more with my camera. By the time we sit down to eat, the food has gone cold and we need to reheat everything in the microwave. I’ve got to figure out a better way of doing this!
I hope you enjoyed this little peak into my blogging adventure. Here are the photos of one such episode which feature a simple and delicious meal idea: grilled balsamic vegetables, oven roasted potatoes and grilled pork with chimichurri sauce. The notable ingredient here is the chimichurri sauce which is used both as the marinade for the pork as well as a dipping sauce for the grilled pork and the roasted potatoes.
After enduring a long winter, as soon as the weather warms up in Montréal, layers of clothing come off and all attention turns to the outdoors. Terasses open up, bicycles and convertibles hit the streets, parks become bursting with laughter, and no one wants to be stuck indoors toiling away in a hot kitchen. Every Montréaler has his or her favourite grill recipe. Here are a few of my family’s favourite.
I love the simplicity and flavors of this meal. It brings together Greek and Moroccan cuisines and best of all, everything except the rice can be prepared outdoors using a grill.
They have arrived. More specifically, they arrived last week. They being the first harvest of Québec strawberries. After a long winter of eating jet-lagged, unseemly large strawberries from California and Mexico, these homegrown ones are met with great anticipation and welcome. By far, they are the sweetest strawberries that I have ever eaten. The first week was spent gorging on just plain strawberries right out of the carton; the only prerequisite being that they are first washed of course. This week, my thoughts have turned to finding a new strawberry recipe to try.
The smell of moist earth and lilacs hung in the air like wisps of the past and hints of the future. – Margaret Millar
This year, summer begins with the solstice on June 20th. Although, technically, the season of spring is as long as the other three seasons, here in Montréal, it never seems that way. Winter always drags on way past the first day of spring like an unwanted house guest that keeps extending his stay and Victoria day (or Fête de la Reine as it is called in Québec) weekend unofficially marks the start of summer well in advance of the summer solstice. In between are the fleeting days of spring when the lightly coloured buds on tree branches that were just shyly making their debut burst into an opulent mass of green and everyone forgets the stubborn hold the wintry days had on us just several weeks ago. There is something quite bittersweet about these evanescent days, like a romance that has to end before it can take off, the one that you think of now and then and can’t help but smile and wonder what if? During this short spring, gardens throughout the city come to life with tulips and daffodils, crab apples and lilacs in full bloom. Of all of these, lilacs are my favourite.
A promise is a cloud, fulfillment is rain. -Arabian proverb
With these words, I begin a labour of love dedicated to my three loves, my three outstanding children whom I am so proud to call my own. conifères & feuillus is where I will record, as promised to them, all of our family recipes for them to use one day and make memories around the table of their own. In the meantime, I shall share them with the world. So let’s begin.