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Pre-meeting Snack


Lemon or Chocolate?



Banana Cake with Mocha Frosting


It’s from Ready for Dessert by David Lebovitz.

Happy Thanksgiving


Culinary Adventure


As some of you already know, I attended a month-long certificate program at Leiths School of Food and Wine in London. I do consider myself a pretty decent cook in general, but I wanted to learn more about the technical aspects of cooking. I did know how to make breads, but I wanted to know exactly what happens with correct proportions of flour/salt/yeast. My cakes are pretty good in general, but once in a while they don’t work, and I wanted to know why. I supposed I could have learned all of this on my own, but it was great to have them all taught to me in a class environment.

We had full days: 9:30 to 17:00 everyday, with food demonstrations for half the day and practical kitchen work the other half. We cooked everything from omelets to breads to pastas to profiteroles. It was a wonderful experience. I am now considering going back for the culinary diploma program sometime in the future. 6 more months basically. One drawback: We had wash all our dishes by hand!

Back to Soup Weather


Having “Obama Soup” in Oslo.

Osteria Nostrana


Osteria Nostrana. Amazing pizzas & desserts.



London is definitely one of my favorite cities. I remember the first time I went there to visit Chris, I was amazed by the colorfulness of it; the parks, flowers, rows and rows of houses with different color doors, musicals. It was love at first sight really, despite the cold and rain in the middle of July. After we moved to the US, we still kept going to London on our way to/from Istanbul to visit my family. We recently realized we hadn’t been back for a few years so finally when we had a week off, we decided to spend it in London.


We had an amazing time. Chris taught a few classes while we were there; one for teachers, and two public workshops. They all went great and we met some wonderful people. We also hung out with friends and generally just enjoyed the city. We even took a cooking class at Recipease (Jamie Oliver’s cooking school)!

After a week in London, we went to Zurich for Immersion III, and headed back to London for one more night on the way to Vancouver. For that night, I had bought tickets to see Billy Elliot. When we were going through passport control at Heathrow, the officer asked us how long we’re staying and we told him just one night due to our flight schedule and that we thought we would see the musical while we’re there. He said his wife got the DVD for the movie and he could only stand 3.5 minutes of it and that he hated it! He said “if it doesn’t have guts or blood, it’s not for me!” =) Well, I guess there is something for everyone… We had really enjoyed the movie and we absolutely loved the musical!

We are now in Vancouver and we are about to start a palate test. We each bought some secret ingredients today and we’ll taste and try to figure out what they are. Blindfolded of course. We’ll keep you posted on the results.

Montreal by Palate

As it says in the title of this entry, our experience of Montreal has mainly been focused around eating!

Before coming to Montreal, our good friend and chef, Francois, gave a us a list of “must eats” and our entire time here has reloved around our looking for and walking to one great eatery after another….. and tonight was the BEST!

We waited for three days to eat at Restaurant au Pied de Cochon… it started the day of our arrival:

Day 1: We called for a table only to find that it was the one day of the week that they were closed…

Day 2: We walk all day with 536 ave Duluth as our final destination only to find that it is fully booked, next opening… tomorrow night at 7:30 pm… and only at the bar

Day 3: We arrive with high expectations but still hoping for a table instead of two seats at the bar…. as it turns out, the bar faces right onto the open kitchen – an absolutely AMAZING experience for anyone who appreciates watching skilled professional chefs moving at a high rate of speed for hours – unreal!

We sat looking at the menu for awhile…even with an English menu, I had no idea what my options were…. after asking for suggestions… I still had no idea what he said! In the end, I went with the second thing…..that’s always a safe choice, especially when the waiter nods in total agreement with your well informed decision!

When my food arrived… as you can probably guess… I  had no idea what it was in front of me… and my first bite… absolutely AMAZING! It had all my favorite tastes!!!! What was in it – I have no idea!!! Would I have it again? ABSOLUTELY!!!

Ozlem finally had poutine from the homeland…. it was FANTASTIC!

It’s been a great few days… tomorrow… Toronto!

The Best Bread I’ve Ever Made

I’m using a lot of superlatives lately. But really, this one is my best so far.

OK, maybe the lines could have been a little more even and more pleasing to the eye, I admit. It’s still the best looking and best tasting one I’ve made so far.

Here are some step-by-step pictures:

Getting Ready


After Kneading for 10 Minutes

First Rise

Shaped Like a Loaf


Pain Ordinaire

The Inside Looks Good too

Bread & Cheese

Recipe is from here.