Friday, August 29, 2014

Easy Creamy Celery Soup

I think I could eat soup for every meal.  I love it.  This soup is an easy, healthy soup, that is loaded with vegetables.

Easy Creamy Celery Soup 

1 stick unsalted butter
1 regular sized package of celery, trimmed, and chopped
2 large white potatoes, finely diced
1 yellow onion, finely diced
salt and pepper
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup milk
1/4 cup fresh dill, or about 2 T freeze dried, or 1 T dried

Optional: Top with the celery leaves, sour cream, kosher salt

Heat the butter in a large pot on medium.  Once melted, add the celery, potatoes and onion.  Cook on medium for about 10 minutes until the onion is softened.  Add the chicken broth and milk.  Cook on low until potatoes are tender (about 15 minutes).  Add dill.  Add salt (to taste) and some pepper.  Add a bit more salt.  Puree in a blender.  Put back in pot on low and check seasoning again.  Serve with the optional toppings if desired.

If you are a soup lover like me, give this a try!

What is your favourite kind of soup to make?  
Have you ever had a celery soup?

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Eating at Home

When we came home from vacation, we had to do a big grocery trip.  We mostly bought fruits and vegetables.  For dinner on Sunday evening we had chicken breasts, brussels sprouts, and brown rice with veggies.

On Monday, we had a homemade celery soup (recipe and pics in next post), with a veggie filled, quinoa sideTuesday's dinner was a giant salad with freshly juiced carrots, grapefruit, apple, and red pepper.

After eating in restaurants for a week, it was nice to make some healthy, home-cooked meals.

Do you get tired of eating in restaurants?  
What have you been cooking this week?

Monday, August 25, 2014

Maison Boulud: Ritz Carlton

On vacation, we always love to go out for at least one gourmet dinner; somewhere with a chef's tasting menu.  In Montreal we chose Maison Boulud in the Ritz Carlton hotel.

This restaurant is the most aesthetically appealing restaurant we've ever dined in.  It was simply beautiful.  You can't really see it, but there is a fountain waterfall outside (behind the bridge).

We ordered the five course, fixed price tasting menu, which we thought was reasonable at $90 per person.  Unlike other tasting menus we've had, the dishes for this one were not listed on the menu.  We had absolutely no idea what we would be eating, which made it even more fun!

The chef sent out an extra large amuse bouche, which was assorted tempura.  It wasn't your average tempura; the batter was like nothing we've had before.  A couple of the pieces were soft shelled crab, and some others were zucchini blossoms, avocado, and calamari.

One of our many servers brought out a giant truffle (just to show us) that the chef uses in many dishes.  It smelled incredible I sort of wanted to grab it and make a run for it ...

Kidding.  Maybe.

The first course was a lobster salad.

There was a lot of lobster in this dish, and the flavours were paired perfectly.

The second course was a mushroom pasta, as the chef is Italian and makes incredible noodles.

I would definitely have ordered these first two courses on their own.  They were very impressive.

The third course was seafood, with vegetables and squid ink

We were surprised by how much we liked the squid ink.

The fourth course was a perfectly cooked beef dish.

The fifth course, dessert, was too sweet for me, but Christopher liked it. 

This was a wonderful dining experience, and we'd definitely return to this restaurant if we are back in Montreal (which I have a feeling we will be).  We've been home for about 36 hours, and I'm sad that this vacation is over.

Oh well, time to start getting excited for our next trip!! 

Have you ordered a chef's tasting menu?  
Where at?  What did you think?

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Eating Across Montreal: Part 6

As I mentioned in an earlier post, Montreal is loaded with rotisserie chicken shops, all that smelled amazing as we walked by.  Because they are so popular, we knew we had to try a couple

Imagine perfectly cooked fries, topped with cheese curds, rotisserie chicken, and gravy.

It's as good as it sounds.

Christopher spent some time researching the best rotisserie in Montreal, and he did very well.  We went to Romados, a Portuguese rotisserie chicken house, and were blown away.

We shared a half chicken meal with salad.  It was perfection.

We had veggie sandwiches and some gorgeous lattes at Cafe Imagination.

We tried our first cronut, a beautiful blend of a croissant and a donut.  It was really good.

Breakfast at Prohibition in Monkland was fantastic. 

The service was great, and I loved that coffee was included with every meal (you don't see this very often anymore).  I had the french toast with fried chicken, and Christopher had a salmon bagel.

We lucked out and there was a street festival starting in Monkland, as we were leaving the restaurant. 


We wandered for a bit, and then came back the next day to explore some more and check out one of the many food trucks that lined the street.

We had a mini mac and cheese.

We also got to see a couple of snakes!  I love snakes.

There was a Korean restaurant just down the street from our hotel, so we obviously had to eat there.  It's called Kantapia.  We ordered the beebimbap, pageon, ramen, and galbi.  The server told us, "That's too much food."  We lied to him and told him we were planning on taking leftovers back to the room. 

We ate it all (including the two small sides he brought out).

On our last evening in Montreal, we ate at La Cantina, a very highly rated Italian restaurant.  As soon as we sat down, they brought out a small plate of sausage, and some bread.

I absolutely loved the egg drop soup:

And I thought the spaghetti bolognese was really good.

Christopher thought his veal was alright, but the roasted vegetables were the best part of his meal.

We had Saturday in Montreal, before flying home that evening.  We spent a good part of the afternoon just sitting on a bench in a park, visiting, laughing, and watching the birds and squirrels around us.  It was nice.

On our flight home we were upgraded to WestJet PLUS seats again (and this time it wasn't even because we knew someone)!  Suweeeeeeeet!

We felt pretty lucky.  Our first flight was over four hours, as we actually flew over our province, and into Calgary, before backtracking to come home.  The extra legroom was much appreciated.  We couldn't even reach the wall with our feet!

Overall it was probably the easiest traveling experience we've ever had.  We didn't even have to walk through the airports (our next flights were always at the same gate as the one we came off of).  We had a wonderful time in Montreal, and plan to return some day.  Christopher has really taken an interest in learning French, and has been practicing a lot.  So far, this is our favourite city we've visited in Canada.

See you tomorrow for one last post about Montreal; our fanciest dining experience from this vacation.

How was your weekend?  What did you do?  Anything exciting?