bitter melon curry

bitter melon curry; conifères et feuillus; food blog
The beginning of hardship is like the first taste of bitter food -it seems for a moment unbearable; yet, if there is nothing else to satisfy our hunger, we take another bite and find it possible to go on.  -George Eliot

Bitter melon, otherwise known as bitter gourd or bitter squash is a vegetable that is amazingly good for you. However, it comes with a small caveat. It is also an acquired taste. As you can imagine, there is good reason for the word ‘bitter’ in its name. But there are also plenty of good reasons to make this vegetable a part of your diet. It is a source of many beneficial antioxidants and vitamins and helps combat a number of illnesses.bitter melon curry | conifères & feuillus

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shades of blue – part 2: blueberry almond tartlets

blueberry almond tarts with a whole wheat crust | conifères et feuillus food blog

Everyone grieves in different ways. For some, it could take longer or shorter. I do know it never disappears. An ember still smolders inside me. Most days, I don’t notice it, but, out of the blue, it’ll flare to life. -Maria V. Synder

blueberry almond tartlets | conifères & feuillusOver a decade ago, I lost my first pregnancy, my first baby, and with it, everything else it seemed.  Death is so final, and I guess that is what makes it so hard. However, I think any other sort, I could have learned to accept. But to have to mourn for a child was and still is beyond my capability to handle, to reason, to understand. I cried, I yelled, I died. And I still cry. But such is life, not every flower blooms, not every blossom becomes a fruit and not every child is born. There are no reasons, no explanations. It just is. Continue reading

basil pesto

classic basil pesto recipe; conifères et feuillus

Following the light of the sun, we left the Old World.  -Christopher Columbus

Pesto is a sauce of the Old World. It is also simplicity at its best. Its name comes from the method used to prepare it: by pounding using a mortar and pestle. Okay, so perhaps the use of a mortar and pestle does not exactly conjure up the notion of simplicity when we can use a blender instead. Which ever method you use, 4 ingredients later, you end up with Italy’s most prized sauce.classic basil pesto | conifères et feuillus
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basic vegetable stock

how to make vegetable stock; coniferes et feuillus

So this is where everyone can call me a food snob. But I’m nice, really, I am. (And I finally updated my About page if you want to get to know me better.)

So back to calling me a food snob. I don’t do store-bought stock. Have you read the ingredient list on these things? It’s crazy. It’s even more crazy when you think of how easy it is to make it yourself, not to mention economical. Here is my basic vegetable stock recipe. So easy, so good and so good for you! Continue reading

whole wheat bread rolls

easy whole wheat bread rolls | conifères et feuillus

The first time that I replaced white all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour was for making a pizza crust. That was also the first time that my pizza did not get all eaten up. The kids noticed it right away and did not hold back on telling me that the crust was not yummy.

Luckily, I don’t give up too easily.

From then on, I started to gradually replace part of the AP flour with whole wheat flour for all recipes. Breads, cakes, pie, for everything. I started by replacing a quarter, then a half for a while, et cetera,  until about 6 months after the pizza ordeal, we were finally white flour-free and my picky eaters were just fine with it.

easy whole wheat bread rolls | conifères et feuillus

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the pleasures of summer’s bounty: broccoli soup and roasted broccoli

classic broccoli soup; conifères et feuillus

After about 3 weeks of no rain, the skies turned grey this weekend and the rain came down much to the delight of parched lawns here in Montréal. Unfortunately, this meant not going on a picnic, or a good hike, or bicycling. Fortunatley, weather such as this calls for staying indoors and making soup. Not a brightly coloured autumn soup or hearty winter soup, but a soup that makes good use of summer’s bounty. A broccoli soup! Whereas my husband and our eldest son can’t get enough of it, my two daughters will gladly exchange their soup for a roasted version of broccoli! I won’t argue with that. In the end, broccoli is good food.classic broccoli soup and roasted broccoli| conifères et feuillus

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sage and garlic pork tenderloin with almond sage pesto

sage and garlic pork tenderloin with sage almond pesto; conifères et feuillus

Watching a baby’s senses awaken to the world around him or her is pure joy. It allows adults to see, touch, hear, taste and smell everyday, ordinary things as if for the first time and realize how remarkable they are.

When each of my children were babies (and even into toddlerhood), I would bring them into the garden to connect them to the wonders of nature. I would brush my hand against the various herbs we were growing and let them sniff the scents. Each one enjoyed this little adventure and they never seemed to bore of it. I could tell that they liked what they were smelling cause each time, each one would instinctively reach out to grab the source of the scents and if given the chance, would have most likely gobbled it up! They would wrinkle their noses  and their legs would  make those jerky baby movements of excitement. Sometimes we would get lucky and a butterfly or a bird would join in in the game. So much fun!

Now that they are older, there is no need for this sort of simulation. Instead, John and I like to cook using different herbs in order to introduce them to the abundance of flavours nature provides for us and to show them how easy it is to make delicious, healthy meals.sage and garlic pork tenderloin with almond sage pesto | conifères & feuillus
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