Tag Archives: food

Culinary backstreets: Eating our way around the markets of Istanbul

Midye dolmaThere are many great things about Turkey but one of the biggest highlights is the food. Turkish cuisine is fresh and full of vegetables, spices, perfectly cooked meat and excellent fish. It can be tasty and quite healthy (though people with a sweet tooth and/or an appetite for all things greasy will find many things to their liking).

Every street of Istanbul is lined with dozens of eateries of all kinds,. Knowing this, we worried that we wouldn’t go to the right places during our short time in the city. Not wanting to miss out on any of the good stuff, we decided to book a food tour with Istanbul Eats/ Culinary Backstreets. Best idea ever!

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Challenging food: how to use Swiss chard in recipes

Swiss chard is one pretty vegetable, with bright green leaves and stalks that grow in various shades of white, red, pink, orange or yellow.

Colorful stalk Swiss Chard_Lea_A Storytelling Home

Prior to setting sight on one of these multicolored bouquets, I’d never felt compelled to try to cook Swiss Chard because they had never been easily available to me.

Colorful Stalks Swiss Chard_Lea_A Storytelling Home

When we got some at the small market where I work, I immediately bought one bunch and decided to challenge myself in finding a way to use it in a recipe.

Here are two delicious and nutritious recipes that came out of it:

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Untapped Cities: Montreal Bagels

Montreal bagel fairmount

In my latest article for Untapped Cities, I waxed poetic about the one and only Montreal bagel. I was walking on thin ice, writing about bagels on a blog that is based in New York. So far, the debate on Facebook has fallen in the Big apple’s favor, but only because the Untapped readers hailing from the 5 boroughs vastly outnumber those from my town. Obviously, they have never tasted a proper warm Montreal bagel in all it’s sweet and gooey yet crispy glory.
If you’d like to read it and weigh in, follow this link.

Pictures of beautiful food: Blood oranges + recipe Fennel and blood orange salad

These gorgeous (and delicious) blood oranges don’t seem to know if they want to be red or orange.

(See below for the blood orange and fennel recipe. Voir plus bas pour la recette de salade au fenouil et orange sanguine)

Blood oranges

Black and white blood oranges

Blood oranges in blue bowl

When I finally mustered the will to cut these pretty things, I made the following recipe with them:

Fennel blood orange walnut salad


Fennel, blood orange and walnut salad

Ingredients for the salad: (serves 2)

1/2 bulb of fennel, cut into julienne slices

Handful of walnuts

100g Mesclun salad

2 blood oranges, each slice cut in half

1 Ryvita sesame rye cracker, broken into small bits

Ingredients for the dressing:

2 tablespoons Olive Oil (choose your favorite but lighter tasting is better in this case)

1 tablespoon Honey Dijon mustard

1/2 tablespoon Sherry vinegar

Salt and pepper

How to serve it:

You can mix all the elements together in no particular order, or you can dip the cracker bits in the dressing for a few minutes, then put them and the remaining sauce into the salad.

Salade de fenouil, orange sanguine et noix de grenoble:

Ingrédients pour la salade (pour 2 personnes)

/2 bulbe de fenouil, coupé en juliennes

Une poignée de noix de grenobles

100g de salade Mesclun

2 oranges sanguines, chaque tranche coupée en 2

1 craquelin au sésame et seigle Ryvita, cassé en morceaux de petite taille
Ingrédients pour la vinaigrette:

2 cuillères à table d’Huile d’olive (choississez votre préférée, mais une huile plus douce complémentera mieux le goût des oranges sanguines)

1 cuillère à table Moutarde de Dijon

1/2 cuillère à table Vinaigre de Xéres

Sel et poivre

Comment la préparer:

Vous pouvez mélanger les éléments sans ordre particulier, ou vous pouvez tremper les morceaux de craquelin dans la vinaigrette pendant quelques minutes, puis les mettre avec le restant de la sauce avec la salade.


Sweet sundays: Spice cake french toast recipe

A few weeks ago I wrote about how much I love Sundays.

Staying in bed until 8h30 AM, chilling with my cats and my boyfriend, then preparing a hearty breakfast. That’s my idea of heaven.

Today I was prepared to make crepes. However, we had some leftover spice cake and that inspired me to try something new: Spice cake french toast.


This recipe is easy and does not require tremendous cooking skills. If you can manage to do so, set the spice cake out the night before so it will dry (make sure to slice it). If not, follow the instructions as it can be done without the drying process.

You will need:
+ 1 350g spice cake (can be found at most large surface grocery stores)
+ 2 eggs
+ 1/2 cup of milk
+ 1 or 2 drops of vanilla extract

optional: 1 teaspoon sugar (for those with major sweet tooth’s, careful though because most spice cakes are already very sweet).

Spice cake sliced


+ 1 frying pan
+ 1 wooden spoon
+ 1 bowl or tupperware type container (for the egg mix)
+ 1 spatula

Spice cake french toast recipe


+ Cut the spice cake into 1 inch thick slices
+ IF and ONLY if you haven’t set the slices out the night before, toast them or grill them on a plaque until they are dry. (Time will depend on your toaster or oven so keep an eye on them)
+ Mix the eggs, milk and vanilla extract (plus sugar if you want some) in a bowl.
+ Heat the frying pan at medium temperature. Don’t forget to add a drop of oil or a small dollop of butter to prevent sticking if your pan is old or if the non-sticking surface is not efficient anymore.
+ Drop each slice of spice cake, one at a time, into the batter. Leave it in for approx. 30 seconds.
+ Put the slices on the frying pan and cook, turning them over often, until the sides are brown and a bit crispy.

Suggested sauces to drizzle onto the spice cake french toast: Maple butter, maple syrup, Dulce de leche, Speculoos paste.

Enjoy! My boyfriend sure did! 🙂
Yummy face