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.

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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? 

MTL a Table 2017: Bistro Brasserie Les Soeurs Grises

MTL a Table is upon Montreal again!! It runs from November 2 to 16. The amount of restaurants seems to have increased quite a bit and has expanded the geography spread a little more to restaurants located a little further than the downtown, Old Montreal and Plateau Mont-Royal area which is the popular spots for restaurants. The menus however were quite a challenge to figure out with less that works for us. With that said, we ended up deciding on going to check out Bistro Brasserie Les Soeurs Grises for dinner. Last year, we checked it out for their brunch menu and it was incredibly delicious so we have high hopes for this one. You can check out last year’s post HERE.

Let’s see what their dinner menu looks like!

Bistro Brasserie Les Soeurs Grises
MTL a Table Dinner Menu

Bistro Brasserie Les Soeurs Grises has a really nice ambiance and is located a quieter part of Old Montreal.

Cocktails

Bistro Brasserie Les Soeurs Grises

Bloody Caesar

Bistro Brasserie Les Soeurs Grises

Sangria Blanche

Being a brasserie definitely gives this place at least some guarantees of making a decent drink and for both of these, they were really good. My husband had the Bloody Caesar which he orders whenever he goes out to a restaurant and my typical is white sangria. What is so great about sangria is the fruity taste of it all and how essentially every restaurant can have their own twist. This one is a little stronger with a more obvious taste of the triple sec however, still a very good one.

First Course

Bistro Brasserie Les Soeurs Grises

Smoked Duck Carpaccio, candied orange, spicy mesclun

Bistro Brasserie Les Soeurs Grises

Chickpea and beetroot hummus, basil pesto, roasted pepper, grilled pita bread

Bistro Brasserie Les Soeurs Grises

Smoked red peppers cream, mini grilled cheese au fromage Louis d’Or de Sainte- Elisabeth de Warwick

I’m fairly certain Phoebe will hop on here at some point to check out the post and she will tell you all about the Duck Carpaccio in the comments (along with her choice of the confit duck leg and waffles in the second course). I had the hummus and OMG, was it scrumptious!! The grilled pita was great and it went well with the hummus which was so unique. My husband had the soup and the grilled cheese. The grilled cheese was kind of a tease being so little but he liked it however, him being not a soup person, he did give higher compliments to the roasted pepper cream.

Second Course 

Bistro Brasserie Les Soeurs Grises

Smoked salmon filet, smoked potato salad, dried sausages with cheese, maple virgin sauce

Bistro Brasserie Les Soeurs Grises

Grilled waffle with confit duck leg from Brome Lake, onion jam, salad of the day, maple caramel and homemade beer

Bistro Brasserie Les Soeurs Grises

Poultry, sweetbread pistachio blood sausage, roasted potatoes, crispy onions, balsamic reduction, sauerkraut with wild boar bacon

I had the sausage dish for the second course. Since these foodie adventures, I’ve gained a liking for sweetbread and in this sausage mixture oddly with pieces of pistachio poking out, it was the absolute highlight of the dish. The roasted potatoes were slightly mushy but it tasted really good. My only issue with this one was the sauerkraut however, it isn’t the fault of it and more mine since I have days that I am more in the mood for it and I just wasn’t feeling like it complimented the dish that much. My husband had the salmon and he gave it all a thumbs up. I remember a praise for the roasted potatoes salad.

Third Course

Bistro Brasserie Les Soeurs Grises

Beeramisu and milk jam with fleur de sel

Bistro Brasserie Les Soeurs Grises

Pouding Chomeur with maple syrup from “Les Sucres de Mont-Megantic”

Bistro Brasserie Les Soeurs Grises

Dates stuffed with goat cheese, cranberries and walnuts

Finally, we are at the third course. Most of you know about my lactose intolerance so many times, my dessert option is limited. The only option here was the dates. I’m not a fan of dates and goat cheese (which is the only cheese I can have barring the lactose-free variety). With that said, this dessert option was over the top sweet and made me feel really bad afterwards and I just ate one of the dates. Normally, I have a sweet tooth but the sweetness of the dates actually overpowered the goat cheese making it decent tasting but adding in some extra syrup and not even cranberries to balance the acidity and then the walnuts was just too much for me. However, being too sweet seems to be a big comment on our table even for my friends who took the Pouding Chomeur. However, it seems the star of the desserts goes to the twist on Tiramisu called Beeramisu which my husband said was quite good except it was leaning on the very sweet side at the end.

Overall..I’d say Bistro Brasserie Les Soeurs Grises was pretty good. Sure, the desserts weren’t to our liking but thats just probably because we’re not all immensely in love with extreme sweetness. However, the food was pretty decent and wins for both me and my husband. Definitely someplace we’d consider going out for a date night if we ever have the urge to go downtown (which is almost never unless its festival season).

Recap: Goodfood #6

Don’t worry! No slacking off on the horror marathon. Regular programming resumes later today (or at least it should since I’m writing this one before the next one).

Goodfood update again. This box is one of those boxes that really caught our eyes as it uses some great ingredients and everyday stuff and just twists on the sauce and stuff. A lot of untreaded territory here so its fun to try out. Most of it worked out really well, except for one that really might not be to our tastes so much.

Chef Garnier’s Sesame-Crusted Chicken with Sweet & Sour Veggies & Matcha Rice

Goodfood

First up was the Sesame-Crusted Chicken. Its pretty cool because I’ve always had an issue with breading things and this recipe let me learn how to figure that part out. This meal turned out quite good. Actually, everything here worked great for the chicken and the veggies. The sweet chili sauce for the veggies was a good balance to the meal. However, the matcha rice wasn’t doing it for us. I already had a suspicion about it since I’m not  a fan of matcha tea in general however, my husband is very picky with the teas that he likes so it was a hit and miss. However, matcha is a powder so it was used for the rice and it was okay. Can’t say that we’ll ever make the rice again but the chicken and veggies are a hit.

Tofu & Shiitake Mushroom Dumplings with Cucumber Salad

Goodfood

Next up is the vegetarian dumplings. This was an all around win for us. We don’t use tofu ever at home although I like it when my  mom makes it. However, I’ve never really figured out how to incorporate it into our meals and my husband isn’t a fan of the texture in general. These dumplings were really cool as it blends the mushrooms and the tofu together for the filling and the sauce is quite easy to make. I let my husband have the cucumber salad which he liked a lot as well. We are slowly trying to eat healthier and possibly seeing the potential having the occasional vegetarian meal and this one is definitely one we’ll keep on our minds especially since I love dumplings so much!

Spiced Pork Chops with Roasted Delicata Squash, Brussel Sprouts & Hazelnut Vinaigrette

Goodfood

Pork chops are a frequent appearance in our house. Mostly because meats are overall quite expensive and pork chops are usually the most cost efficient option. This one was so great. It had brussel sprouts and the vinaigrette was delicious especially since we’ve never used hazelnut to put together a dressing like that. There was a hint of sweetness from the maple syrup (I believe). I’m a fan of squashes in general but my husband is quite picky with them. However, he loved the delicata squash which is the first time I’ve ever made them and they are a win for us both. We loved them so much that I went ahead to the grocery store a few days ago and picked up some more.

Tourtiere-Spiced Meatballs with Mushroom Sauce & Roasted Veggies

Goodfood

Finally, the last choice were tourtiere-spiced meatballs. I’m usually on the fence with the meatballs meals. It always feel odd to use meatballs without spaghetti. Another thing to note here is that I replaced the green beans with brussel sprouts. I guess I could file it under a slight complaint is that when Friday night came around (which is about 5 days since we received the box), the green beans weren’t looking too good. I’m guessing if I waited another day, mold would have happened. Anyways, to be safe, I threw them out and replaced the veggies with what I had on hand. However, the meal was really great. Beef is not my first choice however the meatballs tasted good and the tourtiere flavors are definitely there. The mushroom sauce turned out a little too thick for us however the taste was also on point. The veggies were good also.

Overall…the last week’s box was pretty good. It was a win on all fronts. Sure, the matcha rice didn’t work with us quite so much but everything else was pretty awesome. My fave meal of this box (and its hard to choose) would probably be the pork chops although the dumplings are quite close behind.

Recipe: Maple-Bourbon Wings

It feels like forever since I’ve picked up the cookbook and actually did a recipe! Hopefully, it’ll happen more frequently in the near future. The plans are always there but somehow the time just isn’t.

This past weekend, I decided to try out a recipe from the latest issue of Food Network for October 2017. They have a Fried Maple-Bourbon Wings and frying is so annoying, including the clean-up work afterwards that I decided to use their recipe but modify a little to bake in the oven.

Here’s the recipe and how it turned out.

Maple-Bourbon Wings
(inspired by Fried Maple Bourbon Wings in Food Network October 2017 Issue)

Maple Bourbon Wings

Ingredients

2 lbs Chicken Wings
1 small shallot
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup bourbon
2 tbsp ketchup
1 tsp dijon mustard
2 tsp adobo sauce (from a can of chipotles)
Oil

  1. Preheat oven at 375C.
  2. Mince the shallot in a small bowl. Add in maple syrup and bourbon and oil. Stir together. Then add in ketchup and dijon mustard. Mix well.  Add adobo sauce if you’d like (we didn’t).
  3. In a larger bowl, cover the sauce over the chicken wings. If you have time, its best to cover and let marinate it in the fridge for as long as you can.
  4. In a lined sheet pan, lay out your wings in a single layer. Remember to keep a little distance so it doesn’t stick together. Oil if using aluminum sheet as to not stick. Pour remaining sauce over the wings.
  5. Put in oven for 25 minutes, turning halfway or until cooked through.

With that said, that was still a diversion of the actual recipe. If you want to challenge yourself to the fried one. just drop me an email and I can send it to you. Or leave a comment or whatnot. Regardless, I did keep a part of the original recipe there in terms of ingredients although removing a few things you need to fry it, like flour and such. My substitutes here really came down to using green onions instead of shallots. Normally, we don’t have shallots here unless it comes with a box and in that case, we have already used it. Green onions are not only in our backyard but also frequently not always used up to the max in the meal boxes so we have left over whenever its for garnish or whatnot.

This recipe is pretty good overall. The maple and bourbon mixture is just right. However, you should use shallots and not green onion. We assume that gave it an odd taste that took time to get used to. Ours could benefit with marinating more than 15 minutes or whatever. I usually would take the time to do it or just simmer it in the pan to let the flavors seep into the meat. It was a last minute decision to put this together.

Now to think about what to do with our second batch of chicken wings? Any suggestions?

My Weekly Adventures #52

Its Sunday and we’re halfway through the month. We’ve had a really good Halloween marathon run full of events and movie reviews and even managed to finally get a TV Binge out. The second half of the month will hopefully see those dwindling book reviews (for books I’m working hard on finishing right now) as well as wrapping up the Saw franchise and hopefully seeing a ton more movies. I absolutely have another TV binge coming up and maybe two if my second binge works as planned. Things don’t go always as planned here. The first half of the month crossed over with Thanksgiving in Canada as well as the actual Moon Festival. Its been a fun time especially since the last week, my husband and I have been on vacation, or more accurately a staycation, so we’re just chilling out, doing some fall chores to prepare for the season and having fun. Oh right, and we also happened to celebrate our 2nd wedding anniversary. Anyways, I’m getting ahead of myself.

Moon Festival Dinner

Moon Festival

The last Weekly Adventures ended with a look at the Battle of Ingredients which was Moon Festival themed and then even had dinner with my husband and my mom for the first part of Moon Festival. On the day of, I went over to hang out with my mom for Moon Festival. We made chicken and salmon and we had some lovely moon cakes. It was a ton of fun.

Pumpkinferno at Upper Canada Village

Pumpkinferno

Vacation started half day for myself on the Friday before last. I was supposed to have the full day off but I had to wrap up some loose ends. However, that is okay since I felt much better about going on vacation knowing the majority of the stuff was taken care of. There’s still some stuff to work on when I get back and its a huge deadline. However, vacation is always refreshing. The second day of vacation was the weekend and we had plans to meet up with family and friends to head to Upper Canada Village to see PumpkInferno. I had a post for it last week some time. If you missed it,  you can check it out HERE.

Visit from Friends

There’s no pictures but if you all remember, Butterflymumma used to be one of our fellow bloggers. She’s no longer in the blogosphere but she remains in contact with me. Whenever I head into her area, I’ll call her up and for Thanksgiving weekend, she came to Montreal to visit with her family. We had dinner and hung out a little. It was lots of fun. Its always a nice time to hang out with friends.

Theatre Visit: IT

IT 2017

Its always great to have a change in plans sometimes. We ended up losing track of time on Tuesday and ended up postponing hiking for that day and instead caught the matinee Cheap Tuesdays screening at the local theatres for IT. I’ve wanted to see that one for a while and had thought that I’d give it up due to finances but I’m happy to finally have that sorted it out and it work out and we got to see it. We did also see the preview for Jigsaw so we’re debating to see whether we want to see it by the end of the month and maybe add it to the horror marathon. It all depends. Anyways, you can expect the review for both the 80s IT and this new one soon.

2nd Wedding Anniversary

We’ve decided that hiking is our anniversary event. This year, we went out to Thousand Islands National Park to go for a hike. Its a pretty nice area and I’ll be posting about that very soon. It was a pretty flat path so there was no leaves changing colors to see. However, this year is cotton-themed. We gave pretty generic and useful stuff. My husband was great and he gave me a Teeturtle Cat Mom shirt. Here it is!

Belated Thanksgiving Dinner

We had my in-laws come over last week to celebrate a belated Thanksgiving. I’m not great at making turkey and it was a busy day of chores and catching up with the blog and editing so we ended up picking up the food to make from M&M Meat Shops which is a pretty cool place with some delicious food when in need for a quick meal to put together.

Noctambule at Granby Zoo

#Dinozoo at #Noctambule at #GranbyZoo. #dinosaurs #quebec #granby #zoo #animals #canada

A post shared by Kim (@tranquildreams) on

Granby Zoo is a place we haven’t gone back in a long time. This year, they added a Dinozoo area which is full of animated dinosaurs. Its pretty cool. I actually think its probably more effective at night than in the day.

Cute Kitty Pic

Upcoming:

–> MORE HORROR MARATHON/TV BINGES/FALL ACTIVITIES

That’s it for this Weekly Adventures!
I know it was a little overloaded. Its just because of vacation having more time to do stuff. 
We continue the horror marathon tomorrow!

Whats up with you?