Cooking Blog-Up for Chef Apollo’s New Book

A few weeks ago, a group of bloggers got together to cook some recipes out of Chef Apollo’s new book Apollo2. We preped and cooked our respecctive dishes inside the kitchen of his restaurant that he graciously opened up to us. I think he was as excited as we were to be there! Talking with him and his staff about the recipes they themselves created, made for such an amazing and surreal experience.

Prior to the event, we each decided upon a recipe to cook, test and eat! The world of a professional kitchen can be a bit nerve-wracking when you have never set foot in one, but rubbing elbows with the expertise of Chef Apollo and that of his remarkably helpful team certainly smoothed thing over quickly. We were warmly greeted and The best part of it all was sharing this meal with wonderful people sharing the same passion for food, or as Apollo said himself in his book: “la gastronomie est un moyen exceptionnel de partager avec ceux que l’on aime, de les surprendre, de colorer leur assiettes et du coup leur journée.

Chef Apollo’s new book is sorted alphabetically by ingredient, with beautiful photographs set on a bold black background. The recipes are simple and straightforward, with some flavourful surprises. For the Blog-Up I chose to prepare a Cauliflower Tajine. The book is currently only available in French, but I have transcribed the recipe as it is printed here [with my comments or modifications appearing in brackets].

Cauliflower Tajine by Apollo2

  • 2 lb cauliflower florets
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 pinch saffron
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tbsp preserved lemon, diced
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp flour

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook the cauliflower for 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.

In another large pot, add the olive oil, tomatoes, ginger, saffron. Cover with water and cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally until the water has evaporated. Add the lemon juice, the preserved lemon, cayenne pepper and cumin. Combine the four with a small amount of water and combine it to the mixture.

Add the cauliflower, reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring from time to time. [Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to  taste, and finish cooking with a generous drizzle of fragrant olive oil.] Remove from heat when the sauce has thickened and serve immediately.

Prep time: 15 minutes; Cook time: 20-25 minutes. Makes four main dishes or eight sides.

From left to right: À la saveur d’Andrea, Will Travel for Food, Giovanni Apollo, Kitchen Heals Soul, BRUTalimentations, Kristel’s Kitchen (and Sylvain hiding in the back)

Many thanks to BRUTalimentation and Will Travel for Food for taking and sharing the photographs.

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Cute Cooking Tools and a Contest with Mortimer Snodgrass

I love cooking gadgets, can never have too many of them. Some are professional, some not so much and others just because they make me smile.

When I stumbled into Mortimer Snodgrass‘ shop in Old Montreal I was drawn into the big bright space and all the quirky objects that suck you in with curiosity, and perhaps a little child-like wonder. A lot of the fun cooking gadgets they have in store would be great for hosting ideas (or bringing to a dinner party as a gift), and some perfect to get your kids involved in the kitchen… afterall, conscious eating habits are important right from the start!

I had received Russian doll measuring cups as a gift years ago, which i always keep handy (and pretty on my kitchen counter). So I just couldn’t resis picking up the matching containers and measuring spoons. Anything red is irrestible and so was this small handy zester. However, it is this finger spatula that I just cannot wait to use. LIfe has kept me busy and away from my kitchen but I look forward to spending more time getting reacquainted with my kitchen and try all these fun new tools!

Well, this cute little shop on Notre Dame in Montreal’s Old Port is celebrating their 10 year anniversary with a contest, where you can win one of three loot bags! Contest details are written out below. Do you have a favorite quirky gadget you like to use in your kitchen?

Snodversary Contest!!!!

Kind of hard to believe, but it was 10 years ago this month that we rented that tiny little store on Monkland and opened our doors…. Truth be told, we had no idea what we were doing, and we are thrilled to be here, loved by so many, still having fun, 10 years later. Also, the store is so much bigger and prettier now, we are quite thankful for that!

To thank you, our customers, we are launching our Snodversary month with a giveaway. There are 3 prizes for in-store customers and 2 prizes for on-line fans. Here is how we will do this:

In Store: until October 31st, come to the store and with any purchase, we will give you a ballot to fill out.

On-line: you can either follow us on Twitter or on our Facebook page and give us a shout out. It can be anything, how much you love us, retweeting one of our tweets, using our famous #snodversary hash tag or posting something on your wall or ours. If we see our name, we will automatically enter you in our draw, every time.

On November 1st, we will draw the winners at random. Now, wanna know what you are playing for? The two green bags are for the on-line fans, the 3 colorful ones are for the in-store shoppers.

Sweet and Salty Rosemary Pecans

These past few days I have been travelling and I hate being stuck on a plane, train or automobile with limited choices of what to eat. As addicted I am to those highly processed snacks, I avoid them as much as I can. If I can travel with my own homemade food and snacks, then I know I will feel better at the end of it. Travelling also means time away from my kitchen, so I don’t have a new creation of my own to share with you this week.

I always pack some fruit to snack on when travelling, but I  recently came accross a new recipe from 101 Cookbooks that I just couldn’t wait to try. For this particular recipe, Heidi talked about her own recent travels and travel snacks. If you have not yet read her fantastic vegeterian blog, then I highly recommend you do so right away! She has wonderful recipes, pictures, and more to offer.

Her Brown Sugar Rosemary Walnuts recipe is so simple to make, that I mixed it up in a flash and baked them while I finished packing. Luckily I had everything I needed on hand – the advantage of keeping a well stocked pantry.

Well, almost everything… I did not have walnuts but it was an easy switch-in the pecans I had on hand.

I packed up one box for the trip and had enough leftover to make a few small care-packages, perfect treats for Thanksgiving that is right around the corner or even as host/hostess gifts! Wherever you go, whomever you meet, homemade treats are the best way to share the love (with other or even just yourself).

Do you have any favorite travel snacks? share your eating travel tips in the comments here.