Smoky Brazilian Fish and Potato Stew

I have mentioned before that I have a black thumb, no green ones to spare. But I have tried to not let this personal fact stop me from trying to grow plants, flowers or vegetables. When I was about 15 I asked my parents if I could tear up a small section of the backyard to plant a vegetable garden. They gave me a space of about 5 by 15 feet. I planted tomatoes, beans, zucchinis, onions and potatoes. It was not a very successful crop…except for the potatoes. I had so much fun digging one up after the other. I had maybe enough for 3 meals only but it was a success in my green book. And it was still a success when spring came around as I was preparing for a new harvest. As I turned the earth I found more perfectly good potatoes that had spent the winter underground!

A much more successful Canadian potato story then mine is the one of The Little Potato Company which I will tell you about shortly. And after receiving 3 pounds each of two lovely creamer potato varieties, I have quite the Canadian-Brazilian fusion recipe for you as well. One definition of potatoes for me is stews. And I really love fish stews. I decided to play with the traditional Moqueca, a very old Brazilian seafood stew, by adding a Canadian twist to it with a dash of liquid smoke and lovely morsels of Canadian grilled smoked salmon.

Smoky Brazilian Fish and Potato Stew 3 Smoky Brazilian Fish and Potato Stew

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Martin Picard’s Boudin Maison (Blood Sausage)

Do you believe in destiny? Do you ever have a feeling something was meant to be, that there is a reason as to why something is happening in your life? I often do and this is one perfect example. One day I got a message on Facebook by a total stranger, a woman in my city, who insisted on taking me out too lunch so she could pick my brain to give advice on her new food blog journey. I was skeptical but curious so we chatted for a bit. A month later we had a blind foodie date. We had the most awesome 3 hour lunch and I could not help feel I was meant to become friends with this person.

Warning: the faint of heart at the sight of blood…abstain from this post!

blood sausage 49 Martin Picards Boudin Maison (Blood Sausage)

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Great book gift ideas

Still looking for a few great gift ideas for the chef or foodie in your life? I have a few excellent suggestions for you today. This is a very varied mix of books touching on recipes, travel, health and treasures to be found in the pantry.

I have been enjoying every moment spent leafing through these books, testing their theories, trying out recipe and planning a few future seasoning purchases. I am including the main description of the books and a “my-2-cents” paragraph for each. Enjoy!

Yunnan Cookbook 500x500 Great book gift ideas

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The Gift of Presence #givepresence

I have been thinking about the holidays and my lists are done, but I have not started anything in preparation yet. Honestly I am a little overwhelmed by the holidays this year it seems. I really need to take a step back and breath.

And it is as if Lululemon heard my call when I found out about their awesome new campaign: give presence!

We forget that this time of the year is about getting together and spending time with our families. Not just being with them but taking in their presence and giving yours back. Spend time with your neighbors too and why not get involved in your community.

It is a great reminder to put all you phones, laptops and Ipads away. Disconnect from the noise, inhale and just exhale, breathe.

Check out the #givepresence global movement all over the internet and watch this great little video reminding us to reconnect with our loved ones.

This was a sponsored post brought to you by Lululemon.

Maple Hickory Ice Cream with Buttered Pecans

It’s Food ‘n Flix time again! In this monthly group a host picks a movie of their choice that pertains to food. Everyone watches the movie and then makes a recipe which the film inspired. It can be any recipe you want. This month’s pick is hosted by Deb from Kahakai Kitchen and she picked an in theme Thanksgiving movie, Pieces of April.

I can cutting it short to the last minute on this one, it will be a short post, but I was inspired by an item on the foodie neighbor’s menu … with my twist of course … Maple Hickory Ice Cream with Buttered Pecans.

Maple Hickory Ice Cream with Buttered Pecans 1 Maple Hickory Ice Cream with Buttered Pecans

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Coconut Cream Pie

I have been getting weird and intense food cravings lately. I usually hold off on them for a while, see if they pass. But the Coconut Cream Pie craving, a pie worthy of my childhood memories, I could not shake off. I recall a very young Evelyne having this pie on a regular basis at the now-gone local restaurant of the village where our cottage is (yes we still have the cottage…59 years in the family). I also had lots of grill cheeses, jello cups and rice pudding at the 48 Nord restaurant.

It took about 2 months for me to get around to actually making the pie but it was so worth the patience. It was even better than I could imagine. I know this is not a typical holiday dessert but it is definitely a crowd pleaser. So for this month’s Creative Cooking Crew challenge – bringing new ideas for the American Thanksgiving dessert table – I though my Coconut Cream Pie was quite fitting. Enjoy our last challenge of 2014 and we’ll be back with more in the New Year.

Coconut Cream Pie 2 Coconut Cream Pie

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Carrot Potato Mash for Remembrance Day

Today many countries around the world are paying homage to the fallen soldiers who died in the line of duty, a solemn memorial day commemorating the end of World War I. It is called Armistice Day, Veteran’s Day in the USA, and Remembrance day in the Commonwealth of which Canada is part of.

Times of war are often also times of famine, malnourishment, rations and making due with what you have. Easy things to grow were the backbone of most people’s diets: cabbage, potatoes, carrots, onions. A common dish people served was Carrot Potato Mash. Easy, plain, even boring. I challenged myself give it a modern look as a dedication to every soldier who has ever fought for freedom and human rights.

potato carrot mash 03 Carrot Potato Mash for Remembrance Day

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