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Montreal Food Tour – Day 1

8 Sep

My boyfriend and I visited my cousin in Montreal for a weekend. We spent some time taking in a few sights, and doing a lot of eating!

buns at Patisserie HarmonieWhen a city’s Chinatown has not one, but four gates, you know they mean business. We kicked off our day with a stop at Patisserie Harmonie in Chinatown to satisfy my craving for Chinese snacks. The BBQ pork buns with their shiny tops were full of pork. Other soft buns were laced with goodies like sweet potato or red bean paste, the latter being French  inspired with its croissant shape. There are more traditional treats too, like egg tarts (both the regular variety and the Portugese version), red bean-filled “pineapple” buns, and moon cakes. This is clearly a popular bakery – we returned the next day to overhear one of the staff say that it wasn’t as busy due to the holiday weekend, but there were still a constant flow of people to the store. Meanwhile, there are at least two other bakeries a stone’s throw from Harmonie, and those did not appear to be nearly as crowded.Patisserie Harmonie

Info: Patisserie Harmonie, 85 Rue De La Gauchetiere Ouest, Montreal, QC, Canada

Harmonie on Urbanspoon

We walked through Vieux Montreal, with its narrow sidewalks and elegant stone buildings. It was like being transported to Europe. We had a light lunch at the rooftop terrace of the boutique hotel, Hotel Nelligan (106 Rue Saint Paul Ouest, Montreal, QC).  Continue reading

Summer Sangria

12 Jul

Impress friends with a fresh fruit sangria that looks great in a pitcher and in your glass. Stay cool by making a sangria that costs less than half of what you’d pay at a restaurant.

sangria

Ingredients

  • 1 bottle red wine (a cheap Spanish rioja will do)
  • 1 orange
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 lime
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1 can gingerale (nothing beats Canada Dry)
  • 2 oz. brandy

Directions

  1. Slice orange, lemon, and lime. Squeeze juice into pitcher. Toss in the rest of the fruit if desired.
  2. Add all other ingredients, stir well, and chill.

June Whiskey Tasting

29 Jun

whiskey

Disclaimer: I don’t enjoy straight whiskey. However, my guy does, and he has a much better ability to discern the different flavours in whiskey than I can. I’ve found that the better a whiskey is, the more it burns my throat. Because we were bored at home on a Friday night, we decided to do a whiskey tasting. Separately, we rated each whiskey on a scale of 1 through 5, before checking the price of each bottle. And now, so you can sip vicariously through us, the results are below. You’ll see that we have wildly different comments on the smell and taste of each. I sipped mine over rocks, while he had his neat. Whiskies are listed in the order that we tasted them. Continue reading

Wine and Valrhona Chocolate Pairings

24 Feb

About a week ago, I volunteered as a food host at a wine and chocolate tasting event at a public television station . It’s not every day you get to see 3 kg bags of Valrhona chocolate feves (small oval chocolate coins). This is high-grade chocolate used by many chefs and chocolatiers!

Valrhona chocolate

Every last drop of wine was finished during the event, and there was none left for the volunteers to try. We did however, get to munch on all the chocolate we could handle! And I did get to see how each chocolate was paired –
now you can re-create your own chocolate and wine night!

Pair sweeter chocolate with sweeter wines, like port and moscato. Pair darker, more bitter chocolate with bolder wine, like cabernet sauvignon.

Pairing #1
Chocolate: Ivoire feves, 35% cacao
Wine: 90+ Cellars Lot 49 Sparkling Rosé, Veneto, Italy, NV
90+ Cellars is a Boston-based negociant label. Its primary market is the Northeast U.S. Most of their wines are in the $12 – $20 range.

Pairing #2
Chocolate: Jivara feves, 40% cacao
Wine: Offley Port, Portugal
The Jivara is incredibly creamy and smooth. It will win over even the most die-hard dark chocolate fans.

Pairing #3
Chocolate: Manjari feves, 64% cacao
Wine: 90+ Cellars Lot 23 Old Vine Malbec, Mendoza, Argentina, 2010

Pairing #4
Chocolate: Guanaja feves, 70% cacao
Wine: 90+ Cellars Lot 53 Cabernet Sauvignon, Mendoza, Argentina, 2011
The darker chocolate feves have a delicate crunch when you bite into them.

Pairing #5
Chocolate: Carmelia Milk Chocolate feves, 36% cacao
Wine: Mionetto Il Moscato
The Carmelia have a delicate, smooth, caramel flavour throughout, and are the perfect sweet finish to a chocolate flight.

Valrhona chocolate feves and other chocolate goodies

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