Saturday, February 25, 2017

... and Another Phase of Renovation Has Been Completed!

This year, we have focused our attention on the ground floor, namely the (my) office, dining room and the entrance hallway (which included the staircase and the hallway on the second floor). The staircase was the most time consuming as it required restoration of the original wood and carvings, as well as original baseboards. Here is the end result:

Entrance and the Staircase

Dining Room:

Monday, January 16, 2017

Easy Ciabatta Recipe

Oh, the smell of fresh bread! It is simply irresistible! Today, I will share with you a very quick and easy Ciabatta recipe I have tried (and perfected) over the weekend...
  • Warm Water (100-110F) - 2 cups
  • Sugar - 3 tbsp (or slightly less, if the bread is too sweet)
  • Salt - 2 tsp (or more, if you prefer the bread more savory)
  • Olive Oil - 2 tbsp
  • Flour - 4 cups
  • Dry Yeast - 1 3/8 tsp
1. Place all the ingredients (in order) listed above in a mixer (or bread machine) and let it knead for approximately 5 minutes. If using an automated bread machine, simply select "dough" option and skip to step 3.
2. Let the dough stand for approximately one (1) hour in a warm place, covered with a wet towel. Resist the urge to lift the towel, as it will dry (and chill) the air.
3. Divide the dough into two halves and shape it as desired. Slightly dust with flour and let it stand for additional 15-20 minutes in a warm, draft-free place.
4. Preheat the oven to 425F, and bake the bread on a middle rack for 25-30 minutes. During the first 5-10 minutes, moist the top of the bread (with a water bottle or simply sprinkle with your hand) to let it rise to its full potential and to have the delicious golden crust.
Enjoy the freshly baked bread responsibly!

Monday, December 07, 2015

Renovation is going strong...

It is a second year we are renovating our house. So far, we have completely remodeled the kitchen (including excavating the ground beneath it, rebuilding foundation and the floors) and a washroom on the ground floor. Here are a "make over" of our kitchen:

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Roasted Eggplant Pate

This is a delicious and easy-to-make spread, made by my beautiful and gorgeous wife. It resembles some of the Baba Ganoush recipes without cumin and parsley leaves often found in the ingredients.


2 Chinese (or regular purple) eggplants
2 garlic cloves
Olive oil (3-4 table spoons)
Lemon juice  (3-4 table spoons)
Tahini (1-2 table spoons)
Salt and paper


First, score the skin of the eggplant  (without piercing the flesh) and bake until soft (roughly an hour and a half). When cool to handle, cut them in half and scoop out the flesh into a bow. Then, using immersion blender, blend with the rest of the ingredients. As an alternative, it is possible to mash the flesh of the eggplants thoroughly, then "beat in" the rest of the ingredients using a fork.

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Grilled Portobello Mushroom and Halloumi Cheese

Sometimes, you really want something fried... or grilled... or something really messy. This one will hit the spot!


Ciabatta Bread
Portobello Mushrooms
Halloumi Cheese
Spring Greens Mix

Onion, Honey and Mustard Sauce (or simply Honey Mustard will do)
Roasted Garlic & Chili Aioli Dipping Sauce
Frank's Hot Sauce
BBQ Sauce


Marinate portobello mushrooms and thickly cut halloumi cheese in honey mustard dressing, mixed with a bit of Frank's Hot Sauce and BBQ sauce. Then grill the mushrooms (on both sides) and when done, halloumi cheese. We want it grilled, not melted...

In the meanwhile warm ciabatta bread, cut in half and spread mayonnaise on one side and roasted garlic and chili aioli sauce on the other side. When the mushrooms are ready and the cheese is on the grill, put everything on the bread, top it up with the grilled halloumi cheese and... Bon App├ętit!

All the ingredients, except portobello mushrooms and halloumni cheese can be easily substituted. For example, instead of ciabatta bread it is possible to use gluten free bread, or instead of mayonnaise it is possible to use humus and tahini sauce.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Recipe: Fettuccine Marinara

This recipe is inspired by Gena's Zucchini Marinara and adopted to use the ingredients available in the cupboard or grown in the backyard. As with previously published recipe (Buddha Bowl), it is extremely easy to make (literally takes a few minutes) and tastes great.

Ingredients (2 servings)

1 Zucchini
1 large red or yellow bell pepper
1 large Heirloom tomatoes
Sundried tomatoes
Fresh thyme, oregano, rosemary and basil
Olive oil


Take two plates and using potato peeler skin zucchini (minus the skin) into long stripes (kind of like Fettuccine). When it is done, blend the rest of the ingredients until nice and smooth. Pour the sauce over "Fettuccine" and enjoy it.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Recipe: Buddha Bowl

Buddha Bowl
This is a truly quick and easy vegan recipe which is unbelievably tasty and nutritions. Why is it called Buddha Bowl? I have no idea as it is my own adaptation of Happy Buddha Bowl served by Kindfood in Burlington, ON so hence the name.

Ingredients (2 servings)

I had a really easy time with this recipe as everything was found either in the fridge or in the cupboard:
  • Organic brown and wild rice - 1 cup
  • Sweet potato - 1 medium potato
  • Diced red onion - 1/4 medium red onion
  • Diced tomato - 1 large heirloom tomato (yum! yum!)
  • Sliced avocado - 1/2 avocado
  • Fresh cilantro, rosemary and basil
  • Olive Oil
  • Soy Sauce
  • Raw Almonds
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Italian herbs


I am a happy owner of a rice cooker so it was taken care of. While the rice is being cooked, peel and slice sweet potato, put on a baking paper, sprinkle with olive oil, fresh rosemary and Italian herbs, and bake for about 20 minutes on 200C (~400F).

In the meanwhile, dice and slice red onion, tomato, cilantro and basil.

When the rice is ready, top it up with the diced veggies, baked sweet potato and sliced avocado. Then sprinkle with soy sauce, olive oil, sunflower seeds and almonds.

Hmm... that is it.