Monthly Archives

May 2010


Three Canadian Shows on the Cooking Channel Lineup

three canadian cooks and chefs now air in usa on cooking channel

three canadian cooks and chefs now air in usa on cooking channel

In case you did not hear, the Food Network  (the US one) has replaced the Fine Living channel by the Cooking Channel. And Memorial Day 2010 marks the day Cooking Channel goes on air. Since I live in Canada, this news doesn’t change anything for me except that I am proud to report that three great Canadian cooking shows will be aired in the United States.

You may recognize David Rocco and Laura Calder. I watched all the episodes of David Rocco’s Dolce Vita and French Food at Home more than once. And I spoke about them a few times on my blog. Therefore, I encourage you to watch their shows since I think they are awesome. The recipes of David and Laura represent the time of food I enjoy to enjoy at home.

Montreal restaurateur Chuck Hughes does a great job on his show. I watched several episodes with pleasures but for some unknown reasons, I connected less with him. But I have the impression that the energy and the style of cooking of Chuck’s Day Off should appeal to the American public. And Chuck’s Day Off is the type of cooking show that you can watch with your husband or boyfriend.

To learn more about these Canadian hosts, read what I said about:
+ David Rocco and His Laid-back Entertaining Philosophy – See all my posts about David Rocco
+ Salmon en Croute by Laura Calder – See all my posts about Laura Calder

If you get the new Cooking Channel, what do you think about their lineup?


Nomad: Ultralight Camper

nomad ultralight camper design by etienne danserau :: sidim 2010

nomad ultralight camper design by etienne danserau :: sidim 2010

A section of SIDIM was dedicated to student’s projects. It may be because I would love to use his small model as a doll house, but Nomad, a camper made of fabric and aluminum, grabbed my attention. The ultralight structure requires less energy than a regular camper. Etienne Danserau, who studied at University of Montreal, imagined this concept.


French Toast Kebabs on the BBQ

french toast kebabs by sunset magazine

french toast kebabs by sunset magazine

Sunset made a twist on the classic French toasts by grilling them on the BBQ on skewers. You need a crust side on each cube. The ideal bread to make the French toast kebabs are a one-day old French baguette. Sunset recommends to grill, covered, at medium heat until lightly browned, which should take 3 to 4 minutes. Turn the kebabs once while they cook. Serve with maple syrup, fruit jams and vanilla yogurt.

+ Grilled French Toast recipe on Sunset – photo by Thomas J. Story; food styling by Randy Mon
+ My French Toast recipe


Winner of Dear Peppers and Pollywogs Giveaway

So so sorry for being so late! While I was on vacation in Japan, Lisa Kothari of Dear Peppers and Pollywogs, who was a guest blogger, ran a giveaway here. Sadly, I forgot to draw the winner. Since it is better late than later, I am ready to announce the happy winner of a copy of Dear Peppers and Pollywogs…: What Parents Want to Know About Planning Their Kids’ Parties in which she answered non obvious questions that many parents will face.

The happy winner is Kim of Since we both followed each others on Twitter, I will ask Kim to send me her shipping address by DM. Congratulations! And enjoy the book.


Cônes by Porcelaines Bousquet at SIDIM

porcelain serving cones by porcelaines bousquet

porcelain cones with 2 styles of wooden stands by porcelaines bousquet

My next discovery at SIDIM 2010 is handy for the stylish hostess. Serving food in paper cones is a popular trend these days. The cones are not just for serving French fries, you can use them to serve nuts, popcorns, fresh vegetables or fruits, and ice cream. Still, they are not many reusable cone options available on the consumer market. This is about to change with Cônes by Porcelaines Bousquet.

porcelain serving cones by porcelaines bousquet

For serving the food, Porcelaines Bousquet proposes two wood options for communal service and one option fitted for plating. The overall look feels chic without being formal.

How Do You Store Those in your Kitchen?

stack cones for storage with the hold stand by porcelaines bousquet

Hard-paste porcelain is the type that you pass on from one generation to the next. It is quite resist. Her biggest challenge was not perfecting the form. It was how do people will store them at home. For each cone that she produced, she needs a stand to hold the cone while it cools down.When that happens, the join will shrink by up to 15%. Then, she threw away the stand. One day, the solution hit her. Why not use the stand to stack the cones? Brilliant! When you buy 4 Cônes, you get a storage stand.

Perfect Hostess and Wedding Gifts

The price of a Cône is $40 CAD. The shopstick-style wood support is sold at $20. If you buy these, you will be sure that no one bought the same wedding gift than you. Plus, I am sure that the bride and groom will use your gift. You can place your order by phone; they deliver in the United States and across Canada. Or browse the list of Canadian retailers to locate one near you. Louise Bousquest launched her hard-paste porcelain business in 2002. She operates her workshop-boutique in a small town located 45 minutes from Montreal.

+ Cône by Porcelaines Bousquet $40 CAD
+ Locate a Canadian retailer near you


Poitras, 13 rue de l’univers Living Collection

servingware table linens by 13 de rue de l'univers by jean-claude poitras

servingware table linens by 13 de rue de l\'univers by jean-claude poitras

The first stand I visited at the SIDIM 2010 show was Poitras, 13 rue de l’univers. Jean-Claude Poitras presented at SIDIM his brand new collection of table linens, tableware, throws and home accessories. I love what I saw. And judging from the reactions of women visiting his booth, I do not think that I am alone.

This is the latest venture of Jean-Claude Poitras, a prolific designer from Quebec who started his career in the 1970’s as a fashion designer. After dressing women and men, he switched his interest to dressing our home in different ways. As I spoke to him, Poitras pointed out that home design can endure the passage of time and stay fresh. He gave me as an example the first plate he designed, in 1998, if I recalled well. He still enjoy eating in it after all these years.

glassware by poitras 13 rue de l\'univers

With his 13 rue de l’univers collection, Jean-Claude Poitras infused a cheerful element to each piece and yet the ensemble carries such a classic elegance. It’s form a whole but every piece has its own character.

server spoon by poitras 13 rue de l\'univers

The serving spoon that stays on the rim of the bowl is such a clever. I want one. A collection of candles in modern glass containers complete his home collection. He opted for casual chic table linens that are superb. These definitely feel timeless.

summer throws by poitras, 13 rue de l\'univers

The same beautiful colors and textiles that you put on your table are available in throws. My favorite ones are the chevron. If you are invited for a weekend at a cottage, make sure to bring one as a hostess gift. They will love it for cold nights, when they sit next to the fire pit.

The information is not all on his Web site but it should be there shortly. For now, selected retailers in Montreal carry the line. I hope that it will cross our borders. I do not recall the exact price but I know it is accessible. You can find his tableware collection at Les Touilleurs in Outremont, À table tout le monde on St-Paul Street West, Léo Victor (who is also at SIDIM) and Nautique International (located at the marina of the Old-Port).

+ Poitras, 13 rue de l’univers
+ SIDIM 2010 – up to May 29th, 2010

FAMILY KIDS products

Quick Links: Three Kid Products with a Personality

lunch bags for kids by fluf

lunch bags for kids by fluf

+ Nathalie and Terra are two moms from Toronto have founded Fluf in 2005. Amongst their design products are these cute flat-pack lunch bags for kids. They hired illustrators to create drawings that kids and moms will love. $17.95 CAD. Via Babygadget

8 petal pinwheels by twirly whirlies

+ The refined 8 petal pinwheels designed by Twirly Whirlies could be the stars of your party. They cost between $2.70 to $3.50 each. Via Li’l Magoolie

french houses wallpaper by studio nommo

+ It might be because I am still on my French country tableware mood but I like the French Houses wallpaper designed by illustrator Verity Kizek for Studio nommo. I feel that it is girlie without being too pink. A blue version is also available. 65,00 € /m2.  Via Ohdeedoh


Archimede’s Scale by Acquacalda

archimede scale by Acquacalda

archimede scale by Acquacalda

Science has never been as easy to use in your kitchen. I will dispense you from the physics behind it is, but what you need to know is that you determine the weight of what is inside the bowl by immersing the bowl into water. I am not sure if I will like to do that every day but I think it looks pretty cool. Plus, I imagine that many guys out there who would love to have Archimede’s Scale in their kitchen.

This was presented at the 2010 Milan’s Design Week. I found no information on if, when or where you can buy the Archimede’s Scale. Therefore, I am still on the hunt for the perfect Father’s Day gift ideas.

+ Archimede’s Scale by Acquacalda
+ via Cool Hunting


A Few Summer Entertaining Ideas

gift packets by simply seleta

homemade raspberry basil ice pops by la famiglia

I stopped doing quick links post and instead, I put more links on my Facebook page or share links on Twitter. I will continue to do it but I think that I should highlight some of the top stories on my editorial page (i.e. my blog). Let’s see how it goes before I declare the revival of that column. For now, I wish to share three design ideas that you could use this summer for entertaining.

+ Since the thermometer raises today to a new high, it seems like a good idea to make your own ice pops. Monica of La Famiglia was inspired by the artisanal pops in NY and LA when she decided to make her own Raspberry-Basil Ice Pops. I want some!

gift packets by simply seleta

+ Selena of Simply Selena assembled those gift packets for Teacher Appreciation week. They are awesome. It would be easy to repurpose her concept by changing a few items to convert it either into a way to serve beverage and utensils at a picnic or to become a country picnic favor that your guests could savor on their way back home. The possibilities are endless. Via Party Perfect

make your own martini bar station designed sunday suppers

+ It may be too warm today for having the classic martini but when you see something that good, you need to pass the information along. Sunday Suppers designed a stylish make your own Martini bar station for a rustic Italian event. As always, they shared the best places in New York city to reproduce their signature look. You can apply the same principle to serve a more summery drink like a margarita or a Tom Collins.


Cardigans in the City

cardigans are everywhere

cardigans are everywhere

Two things are a constant on my wardrobe: the A-line skirt and the cardigan. This year, I am lucky since they are both in vogue. I love them because they are comfy, elegant and practical. I often throw a cardigan inside my purse; ready to use when I need it.

I brought two cardigans on my trip to Japan and although I had sweaters with me, I wore my cardigans most of the time. Cardigans are lighter on your wallet than a jacket. My favorite cardigans this year come from Banana Republic, and a linen open cardigan by Naf Naf that my mother in law bought me in France.

I was inspired to share my passion for cardigans – my husband often comments than I can never go without them – after I watched Bill Cunningham’s On the Street video on the New York Times. Bill shared tips on how to wear your cardigans for spring and summer 2010. He made a nice connection with the wild irises, lilacs, buttercups, forget-me-nots and peonies that bloom in May. I love it!

+ On the Street: To Button or Not on the New York Times
+ Pima cotton/cashmere classic cardigan $79.50 USD at Banana Republic