Old Port Christmas Market 老港聖誕市集

Last year I had the pleasure of going to Nuit Blanche at the Old Port Market on December 27th (click here to see my post about it from 2 sisters et 1 cat). The market stayed open until about 23h while the rest of the city was mostly asleep. It was certainly a fun experience, but going there during the regular hours at this time of the year is also just as festive. If anything, you can even see more vendors and more products!

The Christmas Market at the Old Port runs from November 21 to December 31 this year. The truth is I've been wanting to do another post about The Old Port Market for a long time! Especially now that we're living even closer to it; we go there just about every week. (We actually only moved a few minutes closer to the market, but it's a great excuse.) The strange thing is, even though I go there all the time, I can spend the whole day there and still discover new things at every visit, and I always come home with my hands (and sometimes my belly) very full!! Since I covered some of the vendors last year, this time I'll feature some of the ones that I didn't get to see and write about, and that I personally like very much. I hope it'll inspire you to come to Le Marché de Noël to taste and see these wonderful Quebec local products!


Coconut Pumpkin Granola 椰香南瓜Granola

When I first went to the supermarkets here, I was surprised to find all these American cereal/granola boxes on the shelves (since I thought bread and jam was more of the traditional breakfast in Quebec)! It didn't matter if it was in the regular supermarkets or in health food stores, I was able to find all those familiar brands and packages that I used to see in NY. That tells me how many people rely on box cereals/granola for their breakfast!


Goodbye, My Baby Angel... 再會了,我的寶貝小天使...

December 2nd started out with a horrible morning for us, and it was by far the worst and the saddest day in my life. We awoke to find our cat, Soji, having a seizure and salivating on the floor. We rushed to bring her to the hospital, but by the time we arrived, she was nearly gone and we had to let her go. It all happened very quickly--too quickly. It was unexpected and yet, expected. We are devastated, all we can think about is her. I knew I would have to write this as part of my healing process.


Roasted Cinnamon Orange Pumpkin Seeds 橘香肉桂烤南瓜籽

There are so many different methods for how you can roast pumpkin seeds. I have done it several different ways myself and would like to share with you my favorite way of doing it. I know that it's a bit of work to separate the seeds and the stringy guts, and then have to wash, dry, and roast, but the taste makes it really worth it! 



Pumpkin Puree 南瓜泥

When we think of autumn, we naturally think of pumpkin, autumn's mascot. Not only is it seasonal, but the color, the smell, and the taste somehow give us the comfort and warmth of the season. It's a must! Therefore, I thought I'd do a post on one of the most basic uses of pumpkins: pumpkin puree. You can make a big batch of it, freeze it, can it, and use it for your soup, sauce, or baking all winter long!


No Fuss Roasted Tomato Sauce 簡易義大利烤蕃茄醬汁

Just had the Daylight savings time change over the past weekend and the days are getting shorter and shorter, colder and colder now. It's only early November, but I have been wearing my winter coats for nearly a month (while everyone else still has their thin fall jackets on)!

I also noticed that the farmer's market now has fewer vegetable stands. Besides apples, potatoes and a few other vegetables, one thing I still see a lot of is tomatoes (see photos below). The end of the summer and fall season are the best time to buy fresh tomatoes and to make your own homemade tomato sauce. The result tastes better and is healthier than using canned tomatoes or buying canned sauce. The cost of fresh tomatoes here from the farmers' market is really affordable compared to what I used to pay at NY farmer's markets. You can get about 7 lbs. of tomatoes for only $6 (Canadian dollars)! It would be hard not to take advantage of such a good deal!!


Simple Home Canning 自製罐頭

Canning is one of the ways you can preserve food for the winter. I do that a lot here since the winter is so long, and I like seeing some of my favorite summer/fall vegetables and fruits sitting on top of my pantry shelves throughout the winter. To me, the best reason to can my own food is that it's a healthier choice and I know what I put in there. Especially nowadays when there are so many food recalls, you just never know what the real ingredients in the can or jars you buy from supermarket shelves. Also, it's a fun food project and it enables you to share your canned-love with friends and family. 



Autumn in Cap Tourmente

I love the color of autumn. Late September to mid October is a big tourist season in Quebec. People come here from all over the world to see the maple leaves fall and the colors fade from red to orange, orange to yellow. There are other attractions, however, besides the autumn leaves. One place we were told we had to see was Montmagny, a well known town for watching migrating snow geese in early October and late April.



Rösti (Potato Pancake 瑞士風馬鈴薯絲煎餅)

*This post first appeared in my prior blog, 2 Sisters et 1 Cat, I'm working on moving more posts to My chouchoux.
This is essentially a Swiss potato pancake; it's crispy on the outside and very similar to hash browns, and a little bit like Jewish latkas, as well. It makes a nice presentation and is still fairly easy to manage.  

I've tried different recipes and made it different ways before, but the way my friend Michel made it (see related post, Chez Michel, 1)--and how I like it--is to first cook the potatoes 75% done before shredding them. I know it adds one more step to the process, but the result is crispier! Also, if you have a cast iron pan, this would also certainly help the crispiness factor. If not, it can still turn out very well with a stainless steel pan. Enjoy the recipe and I wouldn't be surprised if you want to make this for your next Sunday brunch as well (...maybe with some poached eggs)!


Pan Seared Cheddar-Sweet Potatoes 煎燒巧達奶酪地瓜

A lot of our friends do not think we snack as much as they do (they know I'm a health nut and we're also on the skinny side), but the truth is we munch out just like everyone else. Especially in the afternoon if we had an early lunch, we would have to have a small meal again in the mid to late afternoon...not to mention that our house is always "equipped" with plenty of munchies. (>ω<)


Roasted Beets and Peach Salad 烤甜菜根與桃子沙拉

Earlier last month month, I had the chance to go to a downtown neighborhood event called Cuisinez St-Roch. Pretty much all the food business owners on St Joseph Street in the St-Roch neighborhood (from restaurants to market places) were out selling their food at this big event. Besides tasting all the yummy food from the neighborhood restaurants, I was happy to see that there was one vendor who was selling local fresh fruits and vegetables (see pictures 2-5 below). 


Homemade Peach Balsamic Vinaigrette 桃子巴沙米可沙拉醬

In Quebec, autumn really kicks in fast! With the clouds, the wind, and the temperature around 10-20C, it really feels like summer is slipping away. With the weather getting cooler and cooler, of course I get a bit sad to see all the colourful summer fruits disappearing slowly in the market. I'm always thinking of ways to make those fruits and vegetables stay with us a little longer.

I've been getting very good peaches this year, which is pretty surprising considering that their season is ending soon. I thought I'd take a little advantage of that this year, and that's where the inspiration for this recipe came from.


Balsamic Roasted Beets/巴沙米可醋烤甜菜根

This is my first post in this blog! I will be taking a slightly different approach here than in my former blog (2 Sisters et 1 Cat) to bring you more of the basics. When I say basics, I mean things like how to prepare and cook basic ingredients. These are techniques that we all should be familiar with; you'll be seeing them in recipes of mine and others. You can even use them as inspiration to create your own dishes! 



Vanilla-Peach Cupcakes/桃子香草杯子蛋糕

*This post first appeared in 2 sisters et 1 cat

I apologize for not posting for such a long time. A lot has been happening in my life lately and it seems to continue to be that way. I'm not complaining. It has been a great summer, and I've done a lot of what I wanted and needed to do, but I just haven't been able to write and come up with many words. One thing that keeps me going is that I'm still able to function in the kitchen!