Blueberry Kuchen! – at Home

One of Arashi Daiko’s members shared a Blueberry Kuchen recipe that her mother used to make that was a family favourite. I decided to try baking some also because it seemed appropriate for Mother’s Day🙂 Here’s the recipe (notes in italics are mine):

Blueberry Kuchen
½ cup butter
1 cup white sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 ¼ cup sour cream
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries (I used frozen strawberries, blackberries and blueberries)

Topping:
¼ cup lightly packed brown sugar
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 tbsp chopped almonds (I used slivered almonds)
1 tbsp butter, softened
½ tsp cinnamon (or more, to taste)

Cream thoroughly butter, sugar and vanilla in a large bowl. Add eggs one at a time, beating until light and fluffy. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add flour and sour cream alternately to creamed mixture, ending with flour. Batter will be fairly thick, almost muffin-like. Spread half the batter in a greased 10” springform pan and sprinkle with blueberries (S: if you like it sweeter, you can toss the berries with ¼ cup white sugar beforehand – I never do this, but my mom always did!); top with remaining batter.

Combine topping ingredients and sprinkle over batter. Bake at 350 for 50 -55 minutes until inserted toothpick comes out clean. (Again, I adjusted bake temp to 325 due to my oven)

Delicious warm or cold!

The cake came out wonderfully and I think the batter was moist enough with the sour cream I didn’t really need to add eggs. I’m going to try to omit the eggs (or replace with applesauce) for next time🙂

Happy Mother’s Day everyone!

Blueberry Kuchen

Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies! – Home

I’ve been trying to find the perfect crispy chewy oatmeal cookie recipe and almost came close after using this one but was missing a few ingredients and had  to substitute. I had to omit the honey and didn’t have rice cereal on hand, so I used corn flakes instead. I also used dried cranberries instead of chocolate chips and the cookies still turned out pretty good!

Temperature was set to 325 and I underbaked at 8 minutes instead of 10-12 like the original recipe.

The cookies turned out to be a hit! Though a bit too buttery for my taste. I’m getting close to that cookie I want though! I might try using flax seed, honey/agave nectar, suckanat to make these healthier. I also need to get some old fashioned oats instead of the quick-cooking ones I have lying around. The combination of cereal, honey and bigger oats might get that cookie I want!

Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies

La Maison du Macaron – Montreal

Short post today🙂 I baked some oatmeal cookies recently with a friend and she got me some macarons from La Maison du Macaron. I’ve only really tried the macarons from Pointe G but E says she prefers the former.

Recently, there was a 2 for 1 special apparently across several macaron makers so I got to try three of them: chocolate, chocolate and Irish coffee and chocolate with flakes of coconut. Surprisingly I liked the coconut one despite usually not liking the flavour. They all tasted great even a day after in the fridge and went amazing with tea🙂

From La Maison du Macaron

From La Maison du Macaron

This coming summer I’m going to make it a note to drop by the place myself, diet be damned! hahaha

La Maison du Macaron

4479 de la Roche
Montréal, Quebec
H2J 3J2

514 759-9290

http://www.lamaisondumacaron.com/

Misoya – Montreal

Hey all, long time no see😀
I’ve been eating out a lot less frequently due to an urge to change my diet, and a lighter wallet nowadays hahah. But I still go out occasionally to eat to break the habit🙂

Today, in a sort of belated birthday gesture, a friend and I went to Misoya to celebrate for lunch. I had already tried the place out once before with a friend and liked it enough. I had gone for the Kome Miso broth last time and it ended up being more saliter than I liked by the end of the bowl. Not my cup of tea, but it wasn’t bad by any stretch of the imagination! Flavourful still.

This time around, we went for Shiro Miso broth, which I recommend for people who want to try it out. It has enough flavour and saltiness and doesn’t taste like those pre-made miso soup you get at other restaurants (thank god).

My friends had ordered an order of gyoza to split. They looked good, but I didn’t take in any because the bowl of ramen filled me up a lot last time hahaha. My friend L mentioned that it tasted like pork and Chinese green onions. They looked good!

Pork and green onions

Pork and green onions

The lunch special at Misoya is split between a choice of Kome Miso or Shiro Miso broth, a slice of BBQ pork (made in-house), chopped scallions, bamboo shoots, bean sprouts and fried tofu (in Shiro Miso) or a slice of fried potato (in Kome Miso). Of the two topping choices I preferred the tofu more. You can also add more toppings at an extra charge of $1.00 to $2.00 but I find the meal is filling enough on its own.

Ramen2

Shiro Miso broth with a slice of BBQ pork, bean sprouts, scallions and bamboo shoots

Shiro Miso broth with a slice of BBQ pork, bean sprouts, scallions and bamboo shoots

I enjoyed my bowl of ramen more this time around, and would recommend giving this place at least a shot. It tastes better than most of the ramen I’ve had in Montreal so far but I think the price point deters me a bit (and my heart lol).

Not pictured was the tofu salad starter you get as part of the lunch special. You usually have the choice between a daikon salad and tofu salad but they had somehow run out? This didn’t make a lot of sense for me because we had arrived at lunch time (noon) and they were already missing their salad?

Contrary to some reviews I’ve read about the place, my friends and I liked the ambience. It was clean but the only comment I had is don’t sit at the benches on the side; it’s pretty uncomfortable after a while because your legs don’t touch the ground and you can’t exactly cross your legs because your legs are too close to the underside of the table.

Service was decent, but we never got any water refills which would’ve been good since the broth was salty haha. For three bowls of ramen and a side of 6 gyoza, the bill came up to $39, tips excluded.

A few things that keep me from enjoying this place more is because I’m not actually a huge fan of miso broth ramen hahaha but at least Misoya convinced me otherwise.

Misoya

 

2065A Bishop
Montreal, Quebec
H3G 2E8
(514) 373-4888

https://www.facebook.com/ramenmisoyamontreal?fref=ts

 

Taverne Gaspar – Montreal

As Happening Gourmand nears its end, I decided to drop by Taverne Gaspar with S and E for a hopefully better tasting experience than last time. Located facing the harbor water in the Old Port, the entrance to the restaurant is located inside a lobby of an Inn. It wasn’t too crowded tonight and I liked the low-lit pub feel (without the boisterous crowd).

This time around I did some research on the menu and we all ended up choosing the onion soup and lamb shank. I had been craving lamb for a while since I can’t seem to cook it properly yet and so was S hahaha. We were served some cold bread and butter (alas, one day I will enjoy a restaurant with hot bread) before our dishes arrived.

Onion soup garnished with bone marrow

Onion soup garnished with bone marrow

The onion soup was warm and tasty. The cheese was really good though E and S commented that the broth itself tasted a bit sour as opposed to salty. I was okay with it though I didn’t really enjoy the soggy bread in the soup. It was a good choice since we were cold from outside!

Rosemary braised lamb shank with string beans, carrots, sliced potatoes in a braising jus

Rosemary braised lamb shank with string beans, carrots, sliced potatoes in a braising jus

The lamb shanks arrived hot and I dove in. Mine in particular was the dryer/leaner of the plates and was definitely more gamier. I wasn’t a huge fan of the combination of gamey taste and dry texture but the meat pretty much slid off the bone. The jus was actually pretty tasty and helped with the flavour of the lamb meat. E’s was the most tender and least gamey so she got lucky. She almost cleaned her plate of jus with bread haha

For dessert, E and I chose the pouding chomeur and S chose the chocolate lava cake.

Dark chocolate lava cake with pistachio cream

Dark chocolate lava cake with pistachio cream

Pouding Chomeur (or "Hobo Pudding" as E put it) topped with Caramel Ice Cream

Pouding Chomeur (or “Hobo Pudding” as E put it) topped with Caramel Ice Cream

S isn’t a fan of chocolate but he didn’t seem to have a strong opinion about his dessert. We tasted it and I’m not a fan of lava cakes in general. It was a warm, cakey consistency which I don’ t really like. Didn’t even notice there was supposed to be pistachio cream!

The pudding was sweet and oh-so-bad for you hahah. I’ve had it before and believe it or not I felt the cold caramel ice cream helped make the sweet syrupy-ness of it. E also called it “Unemployment Pudding”  or “Hobo Pudding” because of the name. After reading up on it apparently it was a cake served during the Great Depression by female factory workers in Quebec.

The meal went well and we had fun chatting. Service was average; we didn’t need help when they came to check on us, and when we needed some they weren’t around? hahah not particularly bad though.

Overall a decent meal at a decent price. But I think my opinion for Happening Gourmand will change next year. There just isn’t much inspiring on the restaurant menus and I feel the quality just keeps declining. Old Port sort of already has a reputation for being a tourist trap and this event hasn’t really helped me find some “hidden gems” in the area. Nothing outstanding so far about my experiences:/

If you are interested in trying out a restaurant, give Taverne Gaspar a shot though I read that their regular prices aren’t worth it.

Taverne Gaspar

89 Rue de la Commune Est
Montreal, QC H2Y 1J1
(514) 392-1649

www.tavernegaspar.com/

Suite 701 – Montreal

As part of Happening Gourmande, I reserved a table with friends at Suite 701 located a block outside Place d’armes metro in the Old Port area.

Every year we usually try at least one restaurant but I stopped going recently since I felt a lot of the menus just had steak/burgers and creme brulee/mousse as desserts. I was somewhat intrigued by Suite 701‘s menu so we decided to try it out.

The cold snap was still in full blast so I frosted my way over to the trendy resto/lounge. High ceilings, low-lit with accents of white and purple in the restaurant, you can tell that this was more of a loungey scene.

The wine list/alcohol menu was fairly extensive, a bit on the higher price of things (minimum price for cocktails was $12) and according to my friends, sorta watered-down/not a lot of alcohol content. I was intrigued by the Poire Royale cocktail (a Grey Gooze pear vodka cocktail) but at $18 I was not willing to risk being disappointed.

Capitane d'armes cocktail

Capitane d’armes cocktail – not a lot of alcohol!

Most of the table started with the Bison Carpaccio with apple chutney and homemade chips, while I and a friend tried the Smoked Bacon Parmentier and vegetarian poutine respectively. I didn’t know that mine was a soup so I was sort of disappointed and most of the table agreed that the Carpaccio was a bit too salty (I didn’t mind it though). The homemade chips were tiny though and looked like shavings on top.

Bison Carpaccio - The yellow things on top are either the Padano shavings or homemade chips.

Bison Carpaccio – The yellow things on top are either the Padano shavings or homemade chips.

Garnished with spinach and  cheddar

Garnished with spinach and cheddar

The soup was warm and tasty, though I was hoping it was going to be more substantial. Oh well, should’ve asked. My friend enjoyed his vegetarian poutine but he was too far to snap a photo🙂

S had ordered the beef medallion with Swiss chard, shiitake, dried fruits, mashed parsnips and porto sauce and sausage, while I went with the beer-marinated chicken supreme, potato pancake and garlic flower, sauteed beets and truffle jus.

Beef medallion, Swiss chard, shiitake, dried fruits, mashed parsnip, porto sauce and sausage

Beef medallion, Swiss chard, shiitake, dried fruits, mashed parsnip, porto sauce and sausage

Beer marinated chicken supreme, potato pancake with garlic flower, sautéed beets, truffle jus

Beer marinated chicken supreme, potato pancake with garlic flower, sautéed beets, truffle jus

The medallion was more on the rarer side which was great because when we had ordered, the waitress had said they could only make the medallions medium (why?). S seemed to enjoy it enough but the portion left him hungry.

My dish was a bit more disappointing. The chicken was tender but there wasn’t a lot of flavour in the meat itself. The sauce helped that. The potato pancake was soggy and a ltitle gross, my friend agreed, and had too strong a lemon taste to it (think dish soap). I thought it was supposed to be garlicky? Maybe I understood wrong. It was a very mediocre dish. I’m glad I chose this though since I originally wanted to try the cream of fish stew but I definitely would’ve been hungry after seeing my friend’s portions.

Dinner wrapped up with some chocolate mousse with bits of I think red velvet cake in it. Not bad, but not too original I think.

Chocolate Mousse with bits of cake inside it

Chocolate Mousse with bits of cake inside it

 

Last year I had lamb and financier cake and it was much better than this year’s meal. We left sorta hungry after and the bill came up to $70 for the two of us with one cocktail. I guess it’s not bad but you’d expect to leave full at least. If it wasn’t for the company I don’t think the meal would’ve been pleasant. Service was alright, a bit understaffed probably though. It’s definitely more of a lounge than a resto and I can’t recommend going here besides for drinks for work or something. Or meeting people/young professionals?

Suite 701

701, Côte de la Place d’Armes
Montreal, QC H2Y 2X6

Tel: 514.904.1201

http://www.suite701.com/en/

Waffles!

Made a bunch of waffles the other day🙂 S had passed me his waffle iron a long time ago and I’ve been using it alot recently since I can freeze waffles. Pan-fried some turkey coldcuts, scrambled some eggs and had a boatload of honeydew melon (not pictured) xD I was also fortunate to start using a can of maple syrup a friend’s father-in-law made and it was amazing! Nothing beats homegrown maple syrup :3

ALL WEEK LONG

ALL WEEK LONG

Waffles (makes about 10)

2 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

2 tbsps brown sugar

1/4 tsp cinnamon

2 eggs, yolks and whites separated

1/3 cup butter

2 cups milk

Whip the 2 egg whites until they form soft peaks.

In another bowl, mix the 2 egg yolks, butter and milk. In a different bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, sugar and cinnamon.

Now, pour the egg yolk mixture into the dry ingredient bowl. After the ingredients are well incorporated (do not over-mix), fold in the egg whites.

Toss it on that waffle iron!

 

I’ll be using the maple syrup again for a recipe soon this weekend so look forward to it!

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