The Chocolate Academy Montreal Turns One

It seems like it was just a few weeks ago that I attended the grand opening of the Montreal head quarter of The Chocolate Academy ™. But a year has gone by already and The Chocolate Academy™ has become the ultimate place to learn everything about chocolate.


The The Chocolate Academy ™ offers a whole slew of courses aimed at professionals and hobbyists. Here is a just a small sampling of the 2015-2016 course program.


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A touching Thanksgiving for the Rome Family with Loblaws

Thanksgiving is just around the corner… in Canada at least as it will take place weekend. For our dear neighbors to the south, I am sure many are already planning their menus and trip arrangements to see family. In my family it is a small and quaint affair as this is the weekend we close the cottage. Which ever way you do celebrate Thanksgiving, the message is the same everywhere….

The love of food ties families together

Thanksgiving is about two things – food and family. Ask anyone what kind of stuffing they like, or how they prefer their mashed potatoes and there is a good chance the will say how their mom, dad or grandparent has been preparing it all their lives. These recipes are as much a part of a family’s history as the memories of the times they’ve enjoyed them.

Through the years, a family’s shared love of the food that is only theirs, ties them together. Just look at what’s on the menu for a family feast and you have a unique view of how different cultures converge to form who that family is today.

This is very much the case for the Rome family. A combination of Croatian, Ukrainian and Italian recipes all have a place at their table. After losing a vital member of their family, Matthew along with his daughter Cheryl work hard to keep the love alive through the food and gatherings of their family.

Chris Karsisiotis, store manager for the Loblaws Burnhamthorpe, was excited to have Matthew and Cheryl in-store. He said they a have a lot of “Matthew”, family members who love food and want to keep memories alive, who come into the store looking for ingredients and suggestions on how to make things taste just like they remember. At Loblaws, we’re proud of the role we play in helping to keep these traditions going.

What an awesome video. Did you need to reach out for a Kleenex like I did? I thought it was truly a touching story and family, and it makes me want to prepare a family recipe book too.

What recipes would be in your family cookbook?

This post was sponsored by Loblaws

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Pan Fried Smashed Potatoes

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 Heather from girlichef and the theme was most holiday season oriented – and a favorite of mine: A Christmas Story.

Happy Holidays to all from Cheap Ethnic Eatz

Food inspirations were quite limited, probably as home menus were back in the 1940s. But it is the 2nd month in a row I wanted to make something along the lines of mashed potatoes. Last month I finally opted for an ice cream so I went the potato route this time with Pan Fried Smashed Potatoes.

Pan Fried Smashed Potatoes 2


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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!



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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.

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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


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Burnt Eggplant Salad with Green Tahini Dressing

Are you like me right now, trying to catch my breath, running around getting the last gifts, ingredients, baking and getting everything ready by tomorrow? Deep breath, it will all work out. If you are expected to bring a dish to a pot-luck in the next days and are still at a loss of what to make may I suggest this Burnt Eggplant Salad with Green Tahini Dressing. In the last months I have brought this dish to 2 parties and it was a huge hit both times. And visually it is simply stunning.

burnt eggplant tahini sauce 06

May Peace, Joy, Hope and Happiness be yours during this Holiday Season and throughout the New Year


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