Posts Tagged ‘bread’

  1. Montréal, QC

    May 19, 2017 by Angie

    Our sixth anniversary trip last month was to Montréal, QC. I read and heard it’s best to visit Montréal in May through October. I didn’t really believe the haters. After visiting in April, I would agree with that advice. That being said, we had a great time and there was plenty to do even though a lot of stuff is closed until May 1 or later.

    On the Border in the airport

    Getting the party started in the airport bar. Bon voyage to us.

    We stayed at the Hotel InterContinental Montréal, which is downtown. The ride from the airport was not bad and they charge a flat rate to that part of town. They let us check in early and offered free late checkout at 2:00 pm.

    We immediately went to a vegetarian restaurant called Lola Rosa. They have three locations. They gave us so much food.

    Robbie, wine, and nachos

    Robbie, wine, beer, and nachos

    NACHOS at Lola Rosa

    Nachos!

    lasagna at Lola Rosa

    Lasagna

    Veggie burger at Lola Rosa

    Robbie got an elaborate veggie burger.

    We walked to a wine bar, Pullman. It was very nice inside but Robbie didn’t like his drink and our drinks were expensive. Check out this chandelier made of glasses.

    Pullman chandelier

    Pullman washrooms

    I guessed “F”.

    After that we went to McLean’s Pub to watch hockey thinking everybody would be excited about it but nobody cared at all. No photographic evidence of that stop.

    We took an Uber to a really cool speakeasy, The Coldroom. You have to know what the door looks like because there’s no sign. You ring the bell and somebody comes to let you in. The drinks were great.

    The Coldroom

    Angie's drink at The Coldroom

    We passed by Notre-Dame all lit up on our way back to the hotel.

    Notre Dame at night

    Notre-Dame Basilica at night

    We walked around a little while in the neighborhood near the Notre-Dame Basilica. It was mildly shady and a little more than mildly touristy. The church is really worth seeing, however.

    Notre Dame

    Wow

    The altar at Notre Dame

    The Underground City is not as good as I wanted it to be but better than I expected considering Underground Atlanta is my reference. Our hotel and many (all?) subway stations are connected to it. We used it to get around a little when it was raining and I got delicious bagels from the shop right outside the InterContinental twice (bagel count: 2).

    We had lunch at the Green Panther where I had the falafel sandwich and Robbie got a BBQ tofu sandwich. I neglected to get photos but we totally recommend it.

    I like to see libraries. It was rainy and we ducked into the Grand Bibliotheque, Quebec’s national library and part of BAnQ. It is impressive and seems popular with the locals. Most of the materials are in French but they have some English stuff too.

    BAnQ

    Stories of library stuff!

    The Stranger

    I wish I could read this book in French.

    It was still rainy so we stopped at a locals’ bar, Bistro a JoJo where two Canadians were mean to us! Yes, mean Canadians! One guy said the library is where he would put his wife so he could go to the strip club. A gentleman and a scholar.

    After that we had a round at La Distillerie #1 per my brother’s recommendation. It was before 5:00 on Thursday and still raining so it was pretty quiet. The bartender made Robbie’s favorite Old Fashioned of the whole trip. She gave us free goldfish crackers. We loved this place.

    Le Distillerie

    Le Sainte-Elisabeth is one of the places that really needs to be visited during terrace season. The terrace is huge and in the photos online it’s beautiful. When we went it was closed, the vines were dead, and it was raining and about 50 degrees. I guess we need to go back to Montréal in the summer! No photos of the sad terrace, sorry.

    We visited the absinthe bar in our hotel, Sarah B., twice and ordered the cheese plate both times. It was wonderful enough to warrant coming back, I promise. We also got some really great fries on our second visit. Robbie kept ordering weird drinks I thought tasted awful, but I loved the wine I had the first time and the espresso martini the second time. Even though we went twice I managed to get no photos. You should look at their Yelp photos because it’s for sure the coolest hotel bar I’ve ever seen.

    My favorite meal of the trip was brunch at L’Avenue. I regret not taking photos of our food. We waited outside in the cold for a table so once we were seated it was all business and shoving delicious fruit, a Montréal bagel (bagel count: 3), and a very fancy omelet into my face. I’m against bathroom selfies as a rule, but check out this bathroom. The clock thing is a video. The black lights and the huge mirror were really disorienting.

    L'Avenue

    Disorienting bathroom

    There was a break in the rain so we walked around the Mile End neighborhood and then got an Uber towards McGill University and got dropped off near the entrance to the Parc du Mont Royal.

    mural

    Mural of important, dead socialist, Albert Saint-Martin

    Fairmount Bagel

    We didn’t eat the famous bagels at Fairmount Bagel, but I did eat three (bagel count: three!) Montréal bagels during our trip. Robbie was not a fan at all but I think they’re so much better than New York bagels.

    McGill University

    Aside from speaking very poor French, our big adventure was visiting Parc du Mont-Royal and walking up the “mountain” to the lookout area. The park was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted who also designed Central Park. It’s a beautiful park, even in mid-April. You can take stairs to the top where there is a lookout area and a chalet with restrooms (washrooms, if you’re Canadian) and a gift shop.

    Park du Mont Royal

    lookout

    Robbie

    Robbie at the lookout area

    Montreal

    Montréal

    Angie

    Angie squinting in front of the skyline

    thingie

    I like this thing

    Robgeleen are serious

    Robgeleen!

    The saddest missed photo documentation opportunity was at Dieu du Ciel, a brewery/bar not far from the park. Robbie had their American style IPA, Moralité, and was so in love.

    We had a late lunch at Le Cagibi where Robbie had tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich with pesto and I had veggie nachos. For the count: that’s two nachos and three bagels.

    Le Cagibe

    We spent a long time at a swanky bar, the Sparrow. We sat at the bar and chatted with the bartender. The drinks were fantastic and Robbie won’t stop talking about the fries he ordered. They really were good fries.

    Drinks at the Sparrow

    Dispensing

    We struggled to find things that were open and not too packed, but not totally dead either. We went to Bar Kabinet which is a soviet themed bar attached to Bar Datcha where I understand there is sometimes dancing. It was quiet but nice. We had a round at Apt. 200 which was also quiet but very awesome inside with house plants and couches. We walked a lot looking for stuff to do and then walked a long way back to the hotel. We saw the mural and really cool lights below.

    mural

    cool lights

    lights and a mural

    We didn’t want to leave without having crepes. The next morning we went to Spanel Crepes & Gourmets for buckwheat crepes. They were unique and quite different from regular crepes, but so good!

    crepes!

    buckwheat crepe

    We had late lunch/early dinner at BEVO Bar & Pizzeria. Again, no photos. I’m lame. It was so good and our waiter and the rest of the staff were really nice.

    Our longest wait of the trip was for a spot inside another speakeasy, Cloakroom. It was worth the wait. Cloakroom is a bespoke suit shop and barber shop with a hidden bar. That mirror is on a secret door!

    Cloakroom bar

    They go out of their way to make it a classy experience. They only let 25 people in at a time because it’s so small. They gave us a playing card as a kind of pass, took our coats, and brought us to our seats at the bar. We had an assigned bartender who explained their approach. He asked us what we like in a drink and our favorite flavors and then created something just for each of us. The drinks were perfect. We stayed for another round and those were perfect too!

    drinks at Cloakroom

    Personalized drinks at Cloakroom

    On our last day, we had breakfast at the adorable Olive et Gourmando where we had pain au chocolat and cheese toast with tea and a very pretty soy latte.

    pain au chocolat

    Thank you, Montréal, for the wonderful time and happy anniversary, Robbie. <3


  2. goat cheese, arugula, & fig preserves panini

    November 10, 2015 by Angie

    Robbie and I are suckers for grilled cheese sandwiches. I made these “grown-up” grilled cheese sandwiches with French bread, goat cheese, extra sharp cheddar cheese, arugula, and fig preserves. I cooked them on a grill pan in olive oil, where I pressed them with a dish and a heavy bowl. My understanding is that the pressing and grill marks qualify them for panini status. I’m going with panini because I am a resplendent woman deserving of an elegant sandwich.


    pile of arugula on top of cheesy bread goodness

    Serves two as an entree

    Ingredients

    freshly baked French bread – I used just shy of half of a baguette
    about 2 oz goat cheese
    about 3 oz sharp cheddar cheese, cut into thin slices
    4 tsp fig preserves
    3-4 handfuls of arugula, washed
    olive oil

    goat cheese, arugula, & fig preserves panini

    Directions

    1. Heat a grill pan over medium heat. Coat it in thin layer of olive oil.

    2. Cut the French bread to make two hearty chunks then cut those in half horizontally.

    3. Spread the goat cheese on the bottom half of each sandwich.

    4. Spread the fig preserves on the top halves.

    5. Place the both panini bottoms on the grill pan. Top with about 2/3 of the washed arugula. Top that with slices of the sharp cheddar followed by the top halves of the paninis.

    6. Place a dish upside down over the paninis. Put something heavy on top of that to press everything down. I used a glass bowl.

    7. Once the bottom half has grill marks and the cheese is starting to melt, flip the paninis over and replace the dish/bowl pressing setup.

    8. After that side is cooked and the cheese is melted, plate the paninis and top them with the rest of the arugula.

    couple of paninis


  3. California Wine Country

    January 18, 2015 by Angie

    I’m finally blogging the second half of our California trip. These photos are from Sonoma, Napa, and Santa Rosa.

    We were very impressed with our hotel, Inn at Sonoma, near the Sonoma square. We were a short walking distance to everything in town. Our room was beautiful with our own balcony. The complimentary wine and cheese hour and breakfasts were very good. We would definitely stay there again.

    Inn at Sonoma

    Our room at Inn at Sonoma.

    balcony at Inn at Sonoma

     Our private balcony.

    Rooftop hot tub at Inn at Sonoma

    Awesome rooftop jacuzzi.

    free wine and cheese hour

    Robbie enjoying a Sonoma red at the complimentary, nightly wine and cheese tasting.

    Hop Monk

    After checking in and enjoying the wine and cheese hour at Inn at Sonoma, we walked across the street to HopMonk for drinks. I had an awesome champagne drink. Robbie had a HopMonk IPA and did not like it at all. Sorry, HopMonk. I thought the outside seating area was really pretty.

    On our first full day in California Wine Country, we enjoyed the yummy and complimentary breakfast at our hotel, picked up a soy latte at Peet’s across the street, and drove to our first winery, Lancaster Estate in Healdsburg. The grounds are beautiful. We saw our first hummingbird ever while waiting outside for our guided tour to begin!

    Robbie at Lancaster Estate Winery

    Cheers to the hummingbird.

    Angie at Lancaster Estate Winery

    Angie and the grounds.

    Lancaster Estate Winery

    The vineyard.

    Home at Lancaster Estate Winery

    The estate. I wouldn’t mind living there.

    We got to tour two wine caves while were in California. The Lancaster Estate wine cave is so fancy, like the Bat Cave but with more wine.

    Inside the cave

    A tasting area inside the cave. This room reminds me of the Authority’s underground complex in True Blood.

    barrels in the cave

    barrels

    Many, many barrels of wine inside the cave.

    logo closeup

    A closeup of barrel. These are made specially for Lancaster Estate.

    egg

    This is a giant cement egg they use in the wine-making process.

    inside of a barrel

    Here is a look at what is going on inside the barrel as the wine is being made.

    cool lights

    Our tour guide and the very impressive design details inside the cave. A little A Game of Thrones-y.

    wine and cheese tasting in the cave

     This is where we sat for our wine and cheese tasting with another couple and our tour guide.

    Robgeleen drinking wine in a cave

    Robgeleen IN A CAVE.

    Because we love pinot noir so much, our tour guide at Lancaster Estate recommended that we stop by the Roth Estate Winery just down the road to try their award-winning pinot noir.

    Roth Estate Winery

    Roth Estate grounds.

    Best favorite Pinot Noir at Roth

    THE pinot noir.

    It was so good! We bought a bottle to drink back at home. This was a much more laid-back experience. The tasting room is pretty but relaxed with board games for people to play while they enjoy their wine. We each had a glass of the pinot noir then headed on to Napa County.

    Our friend said her favorite winery from her visit to Wine Country was Sequoia Grove in Napa so we drove out to see it. The grounds are so beautiful but different from the other vineyards we visited. This one has tons of Sequoia trees so it has more of a forest feeling to it. I agree with our friend – you don’t want to miss this one. The wine is very good, the staff are all nice and knowledgeable, and I loved being back in a redwood forest.

    Outside Sequoia Grove

    A seating area outside.

    Robbie inside Sequoia Grove

    Robbie inside talking with the very helpful staff.

    Angie hugging a redwood tree at Sequoia Groves

    I love these trees so much I had to hug one.

    fountain at Sequoia Grove

    It doesn’t get much more scenic than this.

    grapes on the vine

     A closeup of their grapes on the vine.

    After Sequoia Grove, we drove back to our hotel and walked over to the Red Grape for more wine and delicious pizza. Regrettably, I didn’t get a photo of the pizza but here is Robbie in their lovely outdoor area.

    Robbie at The Red Grape

    Robbie at The Red Grape.

    On our last day before heading back to San Francisco we woke up crazy early again. The hotel wasn’t serving breakfast yet and we had been starving for a couple of hours already so we walked over to the Basque Boulangerie Cafe. We got a giant baguette, a soy latte for me (a trend?), and a green tea for Robbie. The bread was so fresh and good that we started eating it as we walked back to our hotel.

    mmm, bread

     Mouth full of bread.

    We had reservations for an early tram wine tour and tasting at Benziger Family Winery so we checked out of our awesome hotel and started our drive out to Glen Ellen. This winery is biodynamic, meaning they use only natural farming methods. We learned a lot from the tour. It was interesting to learn about the process and how they manage everything without chemicals. They have the second cave we visited, which was cool, but not nearly as fancy as the Lancaster Estate cave. The grounds are breathtakingly beautiful. Gotta admit though, neither of us cared much for their wines.

    Benziger grounds

    Woah.

    tour guide

    Our tour guide pouring a tasting for us at the top of the hill in the vineyard.

    Benziger vineyard

     The vineyard.

    Benziger cave

     Barrels inside the cave.

    Robgeleen kiss in a vineyard

    Robgeleen selfie with the pretty vineyard.

    After our tour, we drove out to Russian River Brewing, a.k.a. Robbie’s heaven on Earth, in Santa Rosa. Santa Rosa is a precious little city. Anybody want to give us jobs there?

    Robbie & Pliny sitting in a tree

     The big moment! Robbie drinking the best IPA in the world, Pliny the Elder, on tap at Russian River Brewing. He’s so happy!

    really good pizza

    Their pizza was fantastic. Some of the best pizza we’ve had, and we’ve had a lot of pizza. I wish we could go to Russian River Brewing all the time  🙁

    We then drove back over the Golden Gate Bridge (which is pretty scary really – there’s nothing in between your lane and the lane going the opposite direction) for our last night in San Francisco and the last night of our trip.

    It was a successful trip. We saw redwoods and the Golden Gate Bridge, ate lots of delicious food, drank lots of delicious wine, had Pliny the Elder on tap – all goals accomplished! If only California were a lot closer…

    See the blog post on the San Francisco part of our trip here.


  4. herb-roasted cauliflower and bread crumbs

    June 19, 2014 by Angie

    I tried a second new-to-me recipe from Appetite for Reduction this week. I made herb-roasted cauliflower with bread crumbs as our side tonight. Both of the things I made, (Robbie’s favorite) blackened tofu and the cauliflower side, are from Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s fantastic cookbook. I’ve said it before and I’ll probably say it again: you really should get this book because it’s great. If you’re not going to take my advice though, you’re in luck because the recipe is online at the Humane Society of America’s site.

    herb-roasted cauliflower & bread crumbs with blackened tofu

    Robbie loves blackened tofu

    Both halves of Robgeleen endorse this recipe. It’s a very tasty excuse for eating a bunch of cauliflower. Preparation and cleanup were easy as well so it’s definitely a keeper.

    herb-roasted cauliflower & bread crumbs out of the oven

    Herb-roasted cauliflower and bread crumbs right out of the oven


  5. Maria’s French onion soup

    June 14, 2014 by Angie

    I’ve been on a quest for really fantastic homemade vegetarian French onion soup. This slow cooker version I made a few weeks ago was pretty great but I thought I could do better. My friend’s mom, Maria, makes an amazingly delicious soup that I have been fortunate enough to eat. Here is my slightly altered rendition of Maria’s recipe. Let’s just say: Mission Accomplished.

    a bowl of French onion soup

    Makes 4-5 servings

    Ingredients

    1-2 tbs olive oil
    5 medium to large sweet onions, cut in thin rounds
    64 oz of vegetarian beef stock made by dissolving 3 tbs Vegetarian Better than Bouillon No Beef Base in 2 quarts of boiling water
    1/4 cup cooking sherry
    3/4-1 tsp thyme, to taste
    salt and pepper, to taste
    1 loaf of French bread
    1 oz of shredded Swiss cheese per serving (or Daiya shreds to make it vegan)

    Instructions

    1. Caramelize the onions. I used the slow cooker to do this so that I didn’t have to babysit. I put about a tablespoon of olive oil in the slow cooker, added the sliced onions, put the lid on, and cooked on low for about six and a half hours. My slow cooker cooks hot so other crocks may require eight hours of cooking. Stir every few hours, if you’re home.

    2. Boil two quarts of water in a large stock pot. Stir in 3 tbs of Vegetarian Better than Bouillon No Beef Base.

    3. Once the bouillon is dissolved, turn the burner down to low. Add the sherry, thyme, salt, and pepper. Transfer the caramelized onions to the stock pot. Let the soup simmer while you do the next steps.

    French onion soup

    Simmering French onion soup

    4. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Shred your cheese if you haven’t already.

    French bread in bowls

    Two servings of French onion soup coming right up!

    5. Cut slices of French bread about 3/4 inch thick. Place one or two pieces in the bottom of an oven-safe bowl for each serving.

    6. After the soup has simmered for 10-15 minutes, add seasoning to taste. Ladle the soup into each bowl and top with the shredded cheese. Move the bowls to the oven (on a baking sheet to avoid a mess) and bake until the cheese is bubbly and melted.

    just out of the oven

     Just out of the oven

    7. Pour some wine to drink with your ridiculously good French onion soup.

    yummy

    OMG French onion soup


  6. slow cooker French onion soup

    May 15, 2014 by Angie

    I love French onion soup but it’s usually made with beef (or chicken or both) stock. I have had excellent vegetarian French onion soup in the past, however, so I know it’s possible. The most heavenly soup of all time was eaten by us at Le Potager du Marais, a vegetarian restaurant in Paris, on our honeymoon.

    Le Potager du Marais

     At Le Potager du Marais. Mmm, I want to live in Paris and eat this everyday.

    The slow cooker version I made today is really good but I am open to trying different recipes and techniques in my quest to make the perfect French onion soup.

    slow cooker French onion soup

    Tonight’s dinner: slow cooker French onion soup

    Slightly adapted from Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker by Robin Robertson

    Ingredients

    about 2 tbsp olive oil
    4 medium yellow onions, sliced thinly
    5 cups of vegetable broth
    1/3 cup of red wine (I used Finca Copete Malbec/Tempranillo blend.)

    Finca Copete
    1 tsp vegan Worcestershire sauce
    1/2 tsp thyme
    a healthy sprinkle of garlic powder
    a healthy sprinkle of dried parsley
    1 bay leaf
    salt and pepper to taste
    a fresh loaf of French bread (Thank you, Publix Bakery!)
    shredded Gruyere or (vegan) cheese of your choice

    Directions

    1. Pour some olive oil in the bottom of your slow cooker and turn it to low while you thinly slice four or five onions. Add the onions to the slow cooker. Cook them for about eight hours, stirring occasionally if you’re home and have that luxury.

    2. When the eight hours have passed, the onions will be caramelized and delicious-smelling. Add the vegetable broth, red wine, vegan Worcestershire sauce, thyme, garlic powder, parsley, bay leaf, and some salt and pepper. Continue to cook on low for about 45 minutes.

    3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Shred some Gruyere and cut enough 3/4 inch slices of bread to cover the tops of the soup for the number of servings you’re preparing. We each fit two in our bowls but could have done three if we were feeling ambitious/gluttonous.

    4. I baked the bread slices for a few minutes alone then took them out, placed the shredded Gruyere on top, and put them back in until the cheese was melted.

    5. Remove the bay leaf. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with cheesy bread slices and some extra shredded Gruyere. Add salt and pepper to taste.

    a bowl of soup


  7. Outback Steakhouse copycat bread attempt

    November 16, 2013 by Angie

    Ever since the success of the Red Lobster cheddar bay biscuit copycat recipe I’ve been wanting to try to make the delicious bread they bring out before your meal at Outback Steakhouse. Apparently the bread is called honeywheat bushman bread. There are several copycat recipes out there but this one by Chef Pablo sounded the least insane so I tried it.

    Outback Bread Attempt

    It was good but doesn’t taste much like the Outback Steakhouse bread at all. It has a strong molasses flavor which I don’t remember from the original. It’s a little sweet for my taste so I probably won’t make it again. If I’m going to eat a sweet bread I prefer to eat a quick bread like banana or pumpkin. I may try a different copycat recipe though because I really do love that bread with the whipped butter and I don’t see myself going to Outback Steakhouse uhhh probably ever again.

    Trailer Park Thanksgiving with Outback Bread Attempt

    We had this bread as part of what I’m calling our Trailer Park Thanksgiving. The bread was the only thing I made from scratch. The mashed potatoes are Publix brand from the box which I realize is pretty disgraceful but they actually weren’t bad. For our “turkey”, we tried the gardein savory stuffed turk’y with gravy we found in the frozen section at Whole Foods. It was good but not amazing. I give the gravy two thumbs up though.


  8. curried chickpea mash

    October 16, 2013 by Angie

    This is a tasty and relatively quick meal from {never}homemaker. I wanted to serve it with garlic naan, another recipe I got from them, but I was pressed for time. Robbie ate his with toast and I had these low carb crackers. I followed the recipe except for the fresh ginger. I used a little ground ginger instead. It was good but I will cut the cloves substantially next time and add more salt.

    curried chickpea mash


  9. chana masala & garlic naan

    August 16, 2013 by Angie

    Our buddy Lorena came over for an Indian, vegan dinner on Wednesday night. I made, for the first time, chana masala using the Smitten Kitchen recipe and garlic naan using {never}homemaker’s 5 minute naan recipe. They tasted great with some pinot noir!

    chana masala & garlic naan

    Both went pretty well for new recipes and got thumbs up from everyone. I omitted a couple things from the chana masala because I didn’t have them and couldn’t get them. Those things were: the hot green chili pepper, cumin seeds, amchoor powder, and lemon (I did have a lemon but I forgot to add it). I followed the naan recipe exactly but needed to add about triple the amount of flour to get a dough-like consistency. Once I achieved dough status, it was smooth sailing. I cooked them in a pan sprayed with olive oil. Robbie microwaved a bowl of Smart Balance for me and added some fresh minced garlic into it. I brushed that onto the naan to make garlic naan, which, in our opinion, is the only kind of naan the world needs.

    garlic naan

    Two of the four garlic naan cut in half.

    Indian, vegan dinner party

    Indian, vegan dinner party spread!


  10. pumpkin crumb cake with cashew streusel

    October 16, 2012 by Angie

    Week 41 of Reddit’s 52 Weeks of Baking Challenge is pumpkin. I made a fall favorite from Veganomicon. It’s pumpkin crumb cake with cashew streusel and I love it very much. I made this last fall as well and I’ve been craving it ever since. I’m so glad it’s pumpkin season again!

    A kind Internet person has typed out the recipe for you here but I really do encourage everyone to buy the cookbook because there’s a lot more greatness where this came from. The original calls for chopped pecans but I switched it to cashews because I’m not allergic to those. I used a smaller loaf pan than recommended so I got five muffins out of this recipe as well but had to bake a little longer.

    First step is making the cashew (or pecan) streusel.

    Step two is get all of the cake ingredients out and ready.

    I mixed the wet ingredients by hand.

    Then carefully mixed in the dry ingredients and poured most of the batter into the loaf pan.

    And finally I spread an even layer of cashew streusel on top and baked at 350 for about 50 minutes.

    Delicious!

    Here’s a closeup of the star of the post: the sweet, nutty, streuselly goodness.

    This is a five star recipe in my opinion. Several of our friends have tried it and really love it. It might be my favorite recipe from 52 Weeks of Baking.