Recap: Goodfood #9

Goodfood is a nice routine for us now. Its actually motivating us to cook more regularly even when we don’t order the box. I do have to say that I’m feeling like our lifestyle is becoming more balanced and healthier.

Last week’s box was a bit of some more experimental choices for us however that is also the charm of this experience.

Squid Ink Pasta Puttanesca with Haddock

Goodfood

Squid Ink Pasta Puttanesca with Haddock

I’ve only had squid ink pasta once before in Hong Kong surprisingly. However, I do like it and this dish is pretty good. Its fairly simple to make plus haddock is one of those fishes that we like to eat but never make enough of since salmon turns out to be our default fish to buy and cook. This is a simple dish and I think perhaps one of the few meals in these boxes that I made very easily and almost on par with the time they said would take on the recipe card.

Fajita Bowl with Refried Beans & Fresh Tomato Salsa

Goodfood

Fajita Bowl

The husband chose this one. Suffice to say that its not my favorite meal by far. It was somewhat of a pain to make as it took a lot of coordinating multiple tasks at the same time. Its not complicated though and the chicken tastes delightful. It does pack a little heat in the spices for both the chicken and the peppers. However, the refried beans did turn out tasting better than I had expected them to which is always a plus.

Black Garlic Ramen with Shiitake Mushrooms & Bok Choy

Goodfood

Black Garlic Ramen

The vegetarian meal of the box is the black garlic ramen. Black garlic is also the highlight ingredient that was highlighted for this box. While I didn’t read a lot into it since its been busy, at first glance, it feels like a soy sauce infused garlic. However, I love to choose the oriental noodle meals here because I’m Chinese and it saves me from having to go to the Chinese supermarket which is almost always full of people whenever I have time to go. Back to the meal, simple to make and put together and packs a lot of lovely flavors and tastes so very good.

Provolone-Stuffed Burgers with Rosemary Oven Fries & Aioli

Goodfood

I know that this was a provolone stuffed burger but I let my husband decide on it and for the fact that I can’t have the stuffed cheese, he just made the patties and added the cheese on top. The aioli sauce is pretty good. I would have liked to know how much lemon juice instead of saying the remainder quarter as all lemons will have different amounts so ours turned out quite sour. The balance was lost although it was easy to  see that if there was less lemon juice, it would have been great. The fries also were really good. I never thought of crisping garlic and rosemary as a topping so it was fun to learn that. My husband is the burger connoisseur and he loved this one a lot.

That’s it for last week’s Goodfood box!
A lot of hidden gems here. Some delivered better than others but overall, efficient and tasty meals.

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Dinner: One Pot Chicken and Sausage Pasta

Efficient meal solutions are my favorite thing to look up. The one that has caught my eye recently are all those one pot meal recipes. Its always felt very weird even if the idea does work. The coincidence of the situation was that we had sausage and chicken that needed to be cooked and a crazy amount of pasta so I decided to find a Pinterest recipe which didn’t actually happen that matched with I wanted but found a similar one so used it as a guideline.

One Pot Chicken and Sausage Pasta

One Pot Chicken and Sausage Pasta

This is the recipe that I used as a guideline to see how it all worked: http://www.number-2-pencil.com/2015/10/15/one-pot-cajun-chicken-and-sausage-alfredo/

Ingredients

4 cloves garlic, minced
4 chicken drumsticks, skin removed and meat separated from bone
4 honey-garlic sausages, cut in pieces
1 zucchini, chopped
dried pasta
chicken broth
salt & pepper
olive oil

  1. Heat olive oil in a large cooking pot over medium heat.
  2. Add chicken, both the bite size pieces and the bones to the pot. Season with salt and pepper. Brown the chicken.
  3. Add in the sausages to the pot and cover the pot so it can cook through.
  4. Add in the garlic and cook 1 to 2 minutes.
  5. Add in chicken broth and dried pasta. The broth has to cover the meat and pasta. Add water if not enough broth.
  6. Stir the ingredients together and bring to a simmer.
  7. When it simmers, lower the heat. Cover and let simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
  8. Make sure pasta is cooked. Remove the pot from heat.

The one pot experiment was pretty successful. What makes things that simmer or bake in the oven really great is that you can set a timer and walk away to do something else. In terms of cooking, it still takes the same amount of time if you did it all separately, except here the bulk of time is on preparation and it frees up a little more time as everything cooks are about the same time. I would love to try this with some variety.

Have you tried doing one pot recipes?

Recap: Goodfood #8

These Goodfood boxes have captured us lately and we’re trying really hard to eat healthier, meaning less processed food. The last month was pretty nice and overall, its already feeling much better. Especially with me starting back up the whole workout process. I’ll talk about that in the upcoming Weekly Adventures segment instead. Who knows, maybe we’ll start back up the old segment for workout roundups. We’ll see, right?

Last week’s Goodfood was a lot of interesting experiences to say the least. Let’s check it out!

Japanese 7-Spiced Pork Ramen with Lacinato Kale

7 spiced pork ramen

Its pretty common to start off with the ramen recipes a lot of times because its usually the simplest to put together. Its why I love making them so much. This one was a little crazy since we had to cook the pork chops with the seasoning. Its one of those instructions that I never quite understand the process of and am trying how to pat a meat dry and then season them. My husband says we season it in the pan but that doesn’t make sense since we should season it outside and then put it in the pan. Regardless, the main deal with this one was when I cooked up the pork chops, I think the spices were super spicy because we both started coughing like crazy. I’ve been having allergies and sinus problems so it was a slower reaction for myself. This plate was pretty spicy even without the sambal added in. However, it was also super delicious and my hunch is that the spiciness comes naturally from the ginger cooked with the kale.

Chicken Cacciatore with Seared King Oyster Mushrooms & Mashed Potatoes

chicken cacciatore

I had originally wanted to make changes to the Chicken Cacciatore so that I could have it also. While I did for a part of it, I decided to make the mashed potatoes as is. My plate had the chicken and the mushrooms while my husband had what it was supposed to be like in the picture above. The highlight of this dish was trying out the king oyster mushrooms. I can’t say that I’m particularly in love with it. We’re both much more into portobello mushrooms. However, this one does have a distinctive taste to it, maybe a sweeter taste but a more spongy texture because its cap is so tiny. However, I love how we simmer the chicken in sauce because it makes it super tender and while takes longer, is one of my favorite ways to cook chicken.

Spiced Beef Platter with Hummus, Chopped Salad & Pita

spiced beef platter

My husband was the only one who ate this one however, I did prepare it. This is probably one of the easiest meals to prepare since we got any of these meal boxes. It said 20 minutes to do and was pretty much on point. Its not a lot of chopping. The multitasking potential for this one is so high as you can get the pita in the oven and cook the beef and everything almost side to side. I had a timer for one task and my eye on the pan while plating in the final stages. It was pretty fun to do and didn’t take too much time which is what I love as a break from some of these more elaborate meals.

Individual Vegetarian Pot Pies with Cremini Mushrooms & Broccoli

Vegetarian pot pies

Pot pies without any dairy products? Count me in! These vegetarian pot pies were pretty decent. For myself, I thought it was pretty good. Its a little time consuming because there is a ton of stuff to chop and then cook and then bake. I also didn’t quite understand the idea of only having the crust on the top to cover and the bottom not having it. I guess the concept of pot pies is that the bottom of the pie is in a pot? We had aluminium bottoms which I do appreciate Goodfood team for providing. However, it does remain that there is a blandness to it. My husband thought so because of the lack of spices. I thought it was a nice balance to the week full of crazy flavors. I can see myself doing this recipe again but adding some meat in it since I get the concept of how to make it now.

That’s it for last week’s Goodfood box!
A few new ingredients we tried out and learned a few new recipes that we’d probably try again with our own twist.
My fave does go to the 7-spiced pork ramen. It was perfect for the weather and while it was spicy, it was really satisfying.

Dinner: L’Atelier du Joel Robuchon (Casino du Montreal)

L’Atelier du Joel Robuchon is a fine dining restaurant located in Casino de Montreal specialized in intricate French cuisine. As I mentioned in the Weekly Adventures before, my friend treated me to a meal there. Finding the way to the Casino is going to be the easy part, however, remember to look for the indications on the floor to get to the restaurant. Its a little up of going up and then taking an elevator down to its own little corner in the Casino.

l'atelier du joel robuchon

 Cocktail- Coco Hennessyto (I think that’s the name)

l'atelier du joel robuchon

I think thats how you spell it. This beautiful cocktail had some avocado puree popsicle topped above it along with some coconut milk and other fun ingredients. It is a fabulous and delicious twist on the mojito.

Bread starter

l'atelier du joel robuchon l'atelier du joel robuchon

As far as fancy restos go, this place gave you a platter of bread choices. My friend specifically had two cheese breads and they thoughtfully put it on a separate plate to not contaminate the other selections. In the big platter, there are mini baguettes, croissant-like buns, some ham stuffed bread and a spelt bread. I tried the mini baguette and the spelt bread.

Before we continue, I want to share what we took. I ambitously went for the “Experience” Tasting Menu. My friend took the “Seasonal” Tasting Menu which had two extra plates. I would later realize that eating bread was not recommended with the amount of food and the length of time it took to finish this meal. The length was 4 hours. Talk about an experience, right?

Do note that I will use the dishes listed in their menu and when I remember to list the changes they made for my lactose intolerance. Let me tell you, I gave the kitchen a run for their money judging from watching at the seat how they convened at the table. French restaurant and no dairy products except for butter is not exactly easy. As for my friend’s choice, I’ll see if I can share his instagram post for it.

To begin…

Velvety Jerusalem Artichoke Cream with Toasted Hazelnuts 
Replaced with…this (because I can’t remember what it is)

l'atelier du joel robuchon

However, I do remember it being incredibly delicious! The flavors and the everything was so perfect. Now if someone from the L’Atelier du Joel Robuchon lands here and sees this, how about you tell me what this is? (Fat chance of that happening, but hey, its a shot, right?)

Le Crabes des Neiges
Snow crab with finely juliened sweet and sour turnip with clover and rosemary honey

l'atelier du joel robuchon

Possibly one of my faves of the evening went to these little snow crab layers of goodness. It was a mystery how to keep it together to eat but I made my best effort and its just so awesome.

Le Foie Gras de Canard
Duck foie gras royale, tasty apple and raisin variation fine Le Carminee jelly

l'atelier du joel robuchon

Of the most loveliest presentations for this mean, however, I have to confess that I’m not a huge fan of foie gras so I do partially blame the heaviness of this piece regardless of having the toasted slices or the currants to accompany. It was delicious if it was about half of this size. But foie gras is a very personal preference sort of food so if you like it, this probably is a decent amount.

La Chataigne
Fine chestnut veloute with smoked bacon over a delicate celeriac cream
replaced by this Artichoke dish cooked three ways with cayenne pepper

l'atelier du joel robuchon

To be honest, I have never eaten any foamed stuff before tonight. We’re more the diner and bistro sort of people. We love a nice meal here and there but nothing like these fine dining haute cuisine sort of things. However, as an entry point, this artichoke was fantastic, given that I haven’t eaten artichoke either before. There was a fried variety that was great, and the puree bit on the bottom was nice and I believe the foam is also the third way to make it. Its garnished with cayenne pepper and some sriracha mayo or something like that. It had a definite spicy hot punch.

Le Blanc de Fletan
Halibut filet with anise-flavored shellfish broth

l'atelier du joel robuchon

About this dish, I had to walk around a little before eating. The fish was delicious and it had this lovely fennel seafood bits around it including mussels and shrimps. It was made so very good. We rarely cook halibut but the broth and the whole thing was paired so well in terms of flavors. The seafood broth was absolutely on point.

Le Cochon Gaspor
Roasted pork rib, tenderloin glazed with jus over herb risotto

l'atelier du joel robuchon

The replacement here is that risotto is usually made with cheese however, they made this risotto with olive oil. Unfortunately, I only took two bits of the tenderloin before I felt like I was going to get sick from overeating even after walking around and standing about. I’ll talk about the experience at the end which I think contributed a lot to why ordering for meals like this one is different from ordering a la carte.

Back to the meal, this dish was very good. The pork was done so awesome. It was tender and juicy and the sauce was fantastic. I would have wanted to finish this one if I wasn’t so full. My friend did help me finish it and he loved it a lot.

The Dessert

l'atelier du joel robuchon

The original was a chocolate creameux with crumbled biscuits and cocoa sorbet which was replaced by something of a coconut delight. The sauce around it was really good. Then the whole feeling of cracking open the sugar coat around the coconut mousse or some sort of so satisfying. I usually find coconut has this tendency to be overpowering in its sweetness but in this case, it liked it a lot. This dessert felt like an experience in the whole eating journey.

l'atelier du joel robuchon

Finally, as the bill was being paid, they brought us some little tidbits of sweetness. My plate had a fruit jelly and a nougat.

For my friend’s seasonal tasting menu, here’s his instagram post on it.

OVERALL…

L’Atelier du Joel Robuchon was a pretty great experience. The food was impeccable from both the presentation and the flavors. It was very unique. The service was fantastic. They tried their absolutely best to accommodate to what I wanted. The tasting menu was a hard task to put together and they did a fine job. Kudos to our waitress and the kitchen for that. The cocktail was also incredibly original and I actually wanted to figure out how to make one at home. The experience of it all was nothing short of pure awesomeness. The atmosphere and the decor were beautiful and yet still had somewhat of a casual vibe.

However, if I were to go again, I wouldn’t order from the tasting menu. While I do enjoy my food and like to take my time, having a meal that lasts from 7:30pm to 11:30pm is not my idea of absolute fun even if my friend and I are long time friends and we always have stuff to talk about. Its more the idea of sitting around eating or waiting for food. With that said, because I had so much time for my body to digest every course, I felt my fullness much faster, resulting in how I just couldn’t eat anymore by the time the last course came around. Looking back at the pictures, it was a truly gastronomical experience which also means the portions are small. If they came swifter, I would have been able to eat through the whole thing (I believe, since I’ve never tried). With that said, if I were to go again, which I hope to take my husband for a nice night out one time, I’d go for the a la carte menu so both the kitchen and myself will not have any headaches over the lactose intolerance.

L’Atelier du Joel Robuchon is a great experience and if you are a foodie into the fine gastronomical cuisine, this is somewhere you should try for sure if and when you are in Montreal provided you don’t have children under 18 as its in Casino de Montreal.

MTL a Table 2017: Bistro Le Ste-Cath

I talked about it in the last Weekly Adventures however we ended up going to a second restaurant for MTL a Table. This time, we landed on Bistro Le Ste-Cath which is in the Hochelaga-Maisonneuve area, which is a little off of downtown. A few reasons for this choice: the menu looked good and the location was decent (since there was a hockey game that night and it would be a mess to get in and out).

Bistro Le Ste-Cath

None of us had been to Bistro Le Ste-Cath before. Its a very artsy spot and there was a live show set to begin at 8pm. During the meal, there was an artist doing a painting on their stage. It was pretty cool to look at. The seating is a little tight but its also quite casual. The area had a decent parking spots if its not too late.

Drinks

bistro le ste-cath

Bloody Caesar

bistro le ste-cath

Sangria Rose

To start, my husband got his staple of Bloody Caesar. This one was pretty strong as in the spices were all there. As for the rest of us, we shared a pitcher of Sangria Rose. Bistro Le Ste-Cath has a pretty extensive variety of sangrias. Taking into consideration allergies and preferences, we went with a simpler Sangria Rose which only had a few ingredients. It was pretty good.

First Course

Mussels of the islands with fries

Bistro le Ste-Cath

East-Hereford Rainbow Trout Tartare

Bistro le Ste Cath

Bas-du-Fleuve Minestrone Soup

Bistro le Ste-Cath

I chose the mussels with fries for the first course. It was pretty good. The broth they used was delicious and the fries were top-notch perfection. It had a sprinkle of pepper and the way they made it was awesome. My husband had the minestrone and judging from his reaction, I  can’t say that he liked it a ton.

Second Course

3 Cheeses Salad and Mac and Cheese with Vacherin de Mont-Laurier

Bistro le Ste-Cath

Brome Lake duck vol-au-vent served with fennel, dill and orange salad

Bistro le ste-cath

Breaded Rainbow Bobines trout served with sauteed vegatables

Bistro le Ste-Cath

Next up was the main meal. I took the breaded rainbow bobines. This was really nice. The sweet potato fries being the disappointment of the dish because it didn’t really have any taste and the texture was all pretty meh. However, the fish was nice. It was breaded with corn flakes which is pretty nice because for those who don’t know, corn flakes breading is the replacement for panko for those who are lactose-intolerant. I usually just leave it and suffer a little of the consequences if I am super desperate but this one had delicious sauce and was made very well. The husband had the duck vol au vent and he said that he enjoyed it.

Third Course

Monteregie Creme Brulee

Bistro le ste-cath

Chocolate Trio with Strawberry and Basil from Quebec

bistro le ste-cath

Fruit Salad

bistro le ste-cath

The fruit salad is obviously mine’s since I can’t eat the original two on the menu. However, this berry salad was very fresh which is always a plus.

Overall, Bistro le Ste-Cath was alright. The seating is a little tight which makes it more suitable for like shows and drinking probably. The food was good. The presentation was nice and the taste was decent. To be honest, Bistro le Ste-Cath seems like a pretty hip spot. It had a lot of cool art happening as we ate as well as along its walls. It has live shows. You can tell that this spot has a lot of frequent and repeat customers because at times, there was a lot of groups that seemed to already know each other and seemed like a reunion, which can feel quite nice to see in general. Plus, surprisingly, this little spot actually had a quick alternative for my dessert issue. Its always nice to see restaurants willing to try to accommodate to our myriad of needs from having a toddler around and allergens and offering decent service for it.

Recap: Goodfood #7

Last week, we took had another Goodfood box. Its been quite nice to have these coming in although it makes for some late night cooking sessions since I mostly take these for lunch and my husband has it for dinner. Our working schedules being in the way of actually sitting down and having these meals together. However, it does help cut down especially since I’m slowly getting a little faster. Some meals like one of these actually came rather close to the time they said it would take which made me feel quite good about myself. This box was one that we took quite a few chances on so let’s see how it turned out.

Kicking us off, we start with…

Chef Garnier’s Thai Shrimp Curry with Bell Pepper, Tomatoes & Couscous

goodfood

Chef Garnier’s Thai Shrimp Curry

This box’s highlight menu is Chef Garnier’s recipe for Thai Shrimp Curry. I have to say that this one was a delight. It had a bit of heat but I was okay with it also. The sauce was delicious and we put the couscous as the bed and it meshed so well to give this nice consistency and texture to the whole meal. We’ve made a few curries from these boxes (not always Goodfood) and this one is hands down my favorite. I’d make it again (or order it again if it showed up on the choices). An absolute great start to the week.

Chicken Piccata with Fresh Gemelli Pasta & Garlic Chives

goodfood

Chicken Piccata with Fresh Gemelli Pasta

If there was a meal that highlighted this box, it would be this one. Chicken Piccata and fresh gemelli pasta. I already like gemelli pasta to start with and I love chicken and the sauce here is fantastic. The cooking process got a little dangerous for me because the oil splashed up and grazed my cheek which was painful but the husband took over and got it all under control. It was so delicious and honestly, if I knew where to get capers, I’m down to make this one again. Well, maybe prep it and have the husband do the actual cooking.

Black Bean Burrito with Mango, Cucumber and Roasted Pepper Salsa

goodfood

Black Bean Burrito

I’m really sorry that this doesn’t look like much. The way to do it would be to take pictures of the salsa, the cooked ingredients before stuffing it up because it turned out to be quite a bit so I ate it pretty deconstructed. The rice was very good for the burrito however, the salsa is great on the side. Having it on the inside had this weird taste. It was fresh and I like mangoes so it didn’t bother me too much but I’d have had a bowl of mangoes on the side and added in the cucumbers and roasted peppers to the rice and black bean blend. It was a nice thought though and it was pretty alright.

Beef Lomo Saltado over Roasted Potatoes with Soy Sauce & Spicy Jalapeno

goodfood

Beef Lomo Saltado

As you can see, the potatoes were a tad overcooked. Not sure why. But my best guess is either the cook time was a little too much (which it obviously was) and that the potatoes were not sliced thick enough. My husband ate both of these ones because I can’t have jalapeno and beef isn’t my favorite type of meat. He only ended up using half of the jalapeno pepper. It seemed decent.

Overall, this box was pretty good. We like two of the meals a lot. The burrito was pretty decent as well. I wouldn’t eat it as a complete burrito but as deconstructed, it was still pretty tasty. The preparation times were all very decent and nothing too crazy. I like the fact that Goodfood uses the oven more with its recent recipes. Ovens are great for multitasking and its something I implement a lot in my everyday cooking as well. If not, its just boiling everything in salted water when I want to eat healthier. Still enjoying these boxes quite a bit.

My Weekly Adventures #54

My Weekly Adventures

November is finally upon us! Christmas is a little over a month away. Daylight Saving Time has kicked in but its always nice to get that extra hour. Montreal had their first little snowfall. Our roof is finally done and over with. Eco logs are ordered and shipping to us soon, luckily we have some leftover from last year. Its all shaping up to some fun times. That is a great thing after all the craziness in October. It also seems that not doing NaNoWriMo was a good call although doing it for the last few years now makes this year feel weird and oddly empty from having that creative outlet.

Anyways, I’ve rambled enough. Its felt busy but apparently not really….

MTL a Table 2017 (aka Battle of Ingredients substitute)

 

Battle of Ingredients takes a break in November as we change our gatherings to dinner outings for MTL a Table 2017. The original plan was for one restaurant which I covered HERE. This past weekend, we went to a second one all thanks to incredibly generous friends. Another great night that I will share later this week.

We are now planning our Christmas December gathering for Battle of ingredients. What do you eat as tradition for the holidays?

Haute Cuisine at Casino de Montreal

My friend’s half marathon season ended with his last race in Oka. Like previous years, he treats me to dinner to thank me for helping out. I am incredibly grateful for this running theme of generous friends. I help people because they are good friends of mine but its nice to feel appreciated as well. He took me to a fine dining French cuisine in the Casino of Montreal called L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon. Its so incredible that I have to write a post for it so that is coming up.

Wrapping Up and New Segments

Last time I talked about a surge of things sitting in backlog watched and needing to be reviewed and even talked about the immense about of movie reviews and TV binges. All still remains true. I still have a few screeners both short films and full features to review. One has been needing to get released but I can’t seem to word it correctly that I’m happy with. TV Binges are a little better but still wanting to get the Gilmore Girls seasons done. The goal this month is catch up.

In the spectrum of what I’ve done this past two weeks, I have decided the general rundown for the holidays marathon with a featured franchise, alt christmas movies and probably holiday movies (Hallmark and others depending on Netflix availability). Also, I have started a new segment for Sundays called Sunday Lists which are essentially lists of faves or best to worst. If theres something you would like me to rank, just comment below or shoot me an email. These lists will be updated whenever there is something to new to add.

Cute Kitty Pic

Upcoming:

  • Restaurant recaps
  • Movies and shorts reviews
  • Book reviews

That’s it for this Weekly Adventures! 🙂
What have you been up to?