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FOOD presentation

FOOD + DRINK FOOD presentation

Updating the Classic Fraisier

fraisier in 3 styles: classic, reinvented and verrine

This French dessert is apparently the first fresh fruit cake. Fraisier is delicious and is a favorite during the first summer months.

A fraisier is basically a genoise sliced in two halves, filled with creme mousseline (creme patissiere combined with butter) and fresh strawberries. The top is made of a pink or green almond paste layer. This is the original version that Elle à Table qualifies avant-garde in 1960.

I am taking this opportunity to talk about how you can take any old recipe, make same adjustment to the recipe to reflect current trend and develop a new food presentation. The idea is to reinvent a classic dish.

The Fraisier, 2008 edition

Last year, La Tartine Gourmande reinvented the Fraisier by topping the genoise and freshly sliced strawberries with a snow-light rhubarb mousse made with mascarpone, rhubarb purée , egg whites and whipped cream. Strawberry goes well with rhubarb. Bea was inspired by the classic layout but her version looks more modern.

Elle à Table went a step further by serving the fraisier as a verrine in the June 2008 issue. They replaced the creme mousseline and genoise with a little bit of mascarpone and a few cookies. I like this simpler recipe. The mint sprigs add even more freshness to the lighter fresh strawberry dessert.

Usual Tips Before You Attempt Your First Fraisier

Making a good genoise cake is more difficult that you think. A genoise is basically a sponge cake brushed with liquor syrup. It is To understand the challenge and get the tricks to succeed, read Genoise Instruction on Eggbeater, a blog by pastry Chef Shuna Fish Lydon.

>>> Sourcing:
Top Row Photo Credits: Jérôme Bilic for Elle à Table, June 2008 issue – rights reserved
Second Row Photo Credits: La Tartine Gourmande – rights reserved

FOOD + DRINK FOOD presentation RECIPES + menus

Alfresco Recipes by Le Bernardin Chef Eric Ripert

tomatoes provencal :: broiled red snapper :: herb roasted chicken :: zucchini appetizer dish :: recipes by eric ripert

The best dinner parties can be the improvised ones. Simply assure your success by keeping on hand a few easy to make menu.

I gathered wonderful recipes from Eric Ripert, the French Chef at Le Bernardin in New York city. Naturally fish is at the center of this menu. On a hot day, I feel fish is the perfect meal.

Eric Ripert started a food blog at the beginning of June 2008 called Avec Eric (that translates to With Eric). The edge of his blog is a series called Get Toasted where Eric prepares gourmet recipes cooked in an over the counter toaster oven.

The instructional videos are quick and fun to watch. Moreover, Eric is not shy to pass along cooking tips. By watching him, you should become a better cook.

Must Try Summer Recipes

These recipes are quick enough to prepare that you can cook them on week days.

If you wish to cook a whole fish on the BBQ, you got to try this new technique. Ripper showed us how to cook black bass on a piece of slate. The fish is juicy. It tastes like the fish is infused with the flavors. It sounds divine. My husband will have to cook it for sure.

If you are familiar with several tasty and easy to prepare recipes, an impromptu dinner will not stress you. Be impulsive! Host an alfresco dinner this weekend with your friends that you have not seen for a while.

>>> Sourcing:
Blog: Avec Eric

FOOD + DRINK FOOD presentation RECIPES + menus

Discover Delightful Drinks on Liqurious

liqurious :: cute summer sake bottle with goldfish

Tired of always serving the same old Cosmopolitan to your friends? You need to get inspired on how to serve drinks or dig cocktail recipes. The latest site by Jean of NOTCOT / Tastespotting is here to help you with fresh ideas.

Done with the same frame than Tastespotting, Liqurious is dedicated to drinks instead of food. I learned about it last Friday but waited until I see some traffic actions on my blog statistics. Now it does.

I submitted my Guitar Hero cool cocktail ideas post over the weekend. A few of my previous cocktails stories where migrated as well.

Cold Sake

I became a fan of cold sake since I ate at Gonpachi during my trip to Los Angeles last winter. Cold sake tastes so much better than warn sake in my opinion.

I dug on Liqurious this Cute Summer Sake Bottle with a Goldfish illustration by Shoutoku Brewery. The bottle would be adorable for a party. Sadly, this seasonal sake product is only available in Japan as far as I know.

Liqurious is a must-stop destination for anyone who likes to throw parties. Check it out!

FOOD + DRINK FOOD presentation

Five Chocolate Pudding Recipes from the New York Times and La Tartine Gourmande

milk chocolate banana pudding with wafer crumbs new york times :: chocolate pot de creme at laloux

I adore custards for their smoothness and velvety texture. From what I read this morning, custards produce the best chocolate puddings in the world.

In the United States, many Chefs wrote on their menu Pudding instead of Pot de crème to trigger the emotional connection that people have with puddings. But the best puddings are in reality Pot de Crème, a French recipe. In Quebec, we will call it Pot de crème.

I am showing you again the delicious Chocolate pot-de-crème, caramel and Maldon salt that my husband enjoyed at Laloux last winter.

Custard is a creamy preparation made with eggs and cream or milk, thickened with heat. Some recipes call for a bain-marie (double boiler) while other do it on a skillet. But one thing for sure, always melt your chocolate in a double boiler.

Not your Grand Mother Pudding Recipe

Melissa Clark wrote an article about her quest for the perfect chocolate pudding at home.

Melissa started by saying that she imagined an idyllic US grand mother all her life but now she had to switch her mind to a French Grandma. When she learned the trick about the Pot de crème, she decided to try 4 recipes involving custards in one way or another.

Dark Chocolate Custard

dark chocolate custard by la tartine gourmande

While we are on the subject, I could not resist spotlighting a recipe from Béatrice of La Tartine Gourmande. She is the master of little pots after all. And I was curious to see how a French expatriate living in Boston makes her custard.

One important trick given by Béa with her Dark Chocolate Custard recipe is how to save your custard. If you let it boil, your ruin your custard. But all you need to do are a few simple steps to make your custard smooth and creamy again.

Serving a chocolate custard or pudding with fresh fruits instead of whipped cream makes the dish not only healthier but lighter. With temperature rising, that freshness will be welcome at the dining table.

What do you think?

Any of these 5 recipes would make a delightful dessert for your family and your guests. Which recipe inspires you the most? Do you have a trick of your own?

>>> Sourcing:
Via: You Call That Pudding, Grandma? by Melissa Clark [New York Times] – photo by Francesco Tonelli
Recipe: Giving in to Dark Chocolate Custard – Craquer pour un pot de crème au chocolat noir [La Tartine Gourmande] – photo by Béatrice Peltre
Middle Picture: Pot de crème at Laloux – photo by Kim Vallée

FOOD + DRINK FOOD presentation RECIPES + menus

What’s for Supper?

Mushroom-Crusted Red Snapper by Anthony Sedlak of the Main TV show

Stylish living begins with great food. With our busy life, we, me included, are often exhausted at the end of the work day. So we have problems deciding what to prepare for supper. Following an easy-to-made recipe done with widely available ingredients would simplify our life.

So starting today, I will be posting every afternoon of the week about once a week a one or two main dish suggestions. A tasteful main dish is all you need to cook for a weekday meal. If you like my suggestion, simply print the recipe and grab what you need at the grocery store on your way home. I hope it will stimulate you to try new recipes and live in style every day.

So for April’s Fool Day, a fish dish is in order. Do not be anxious by the food presentation. This dish is simple to make and to plate. In fact, I would put the green beans on the side since you will put them down to eat anyway. The featured main dish recipe is:

Mushroom-Crusted Red Snapper by Anthony Sedlak of The Main TV show.

Let’s start a conversation

To help others, I would like to hear your tips and suggestions. You can answer:

  • Have you ever tried a similar recipe?
  • Can you share a fish recipe that you do for your family?
  • What are you cooking for supper tonight?

Fabulous serving ware by REVOL

crumpled tumblers : breakfast :belle cuisine :  xs food by revol

I discovered a wonderful French porcelain maker today. I am not just showing you their vessel. REVOL targets the hospitality market which explains these amazing food presentations. Wow!

Since 1789 from Saint-Uze in France, the culinary ceramic maker REVOL draws its inspiration from the heart of the Rhone valley, famous for its wines and gourmet cuisine. The vessel they produce response to today’s culinary trends.

European products are often available in a vast array of colors. Les Froisses, translating into Crumpled Tumblers, is available in 14 colors. This 9-piece collection is used for hot beverages, appetizers, tapas, French fries and desserts this stackable tumblers.

Like I said in earlier, Breakfast dinnerware constitutes an under-used category. But maybe te stunning dishing seduced me. Anyway, Breakfast delivers the basic vessel for a stylish morning meal.

A novelty, the Belle Cuisine series delivers a cocktail terrine, a collection of 4 mixing bowls, an individual portion stew pot and more.

XS food responded to the mini-portion craze. REVOL offers more than 30 miniature creations designed for mises en bouche, little mouthfuls and delicacies, and condiments.

Learn more: REVOL

ENTERTAINING FOOD + DRINK FOOD presentation PARTY ideas + decor RECIPES + menus

Stylish Super Bowl Menu

superbowl 2008 stylish menu

To stand from the crowd this Sunday, serve an upscale version of the football meal.

As I told you yesterday with my coverage of Design Hole’s book club dinner, you will have more fun if you select a menu that you can prepare in advance. This is crucial if you are a football fan.

Taste of the NFL is an amazing source for helping you to prepare your party. They asked chefs around the country to come up with new recipes for the big game. Each chef was inspired by their home team.

Here are my personal favorites:

I read in the Globe and Mail an interesting article by Rebecca Field Jager on the subject. I encourage reading it for more tips on how to host a stylish Super Bowl party.

Via: Spruce up your Super Bowl menu


More Innovative Serving Ware by Sagaform


If you like to hosting parties, you know that amazing serving ware look impressive. In fact, for the time challenged entertainers, the best method for quickly set an impressive table is to equip themselves with remarkable serving dishes, plates and utensils.

Swedish brand Sagaform appeals to the stylish modern entertainers. Their design products have definite style, function well and are affordable. I look at their latest collection. Here are the products that caught my attention. Unfortunately you would not able to get them for the 2008 Super Bowl party, since these are new products.

What is coming soon?

The three in one service utensil is sure to turn heads. Its three-arm star form supports a spreading knife, a service fork and a serving spoon. Very practical, you can buy a set of 4 to 8. This way, you always have the right utensil ready to use. This design is a space saver. I feel that once you tried those threes in ones, they will become essential for your picnics and barbecue events.

The picture of the latest Bamboo collection is so well styled. Use it as an inspiration on how to serve antipastos. When you are having many friends over, antipastos are the stress-free way to entertain. Since you can drink wine and beer with dry meats, antipastos are truly a crowd pleaser snack.

Learn more: Sagaform

ENTERTAINING EVERYDAY entertaining FOOD + DRINK FOOD presentation RECIPES + menus

Revisiting the Sandwich Box

sandwich box

Sandwiches are the ideal food for many occasions. To raise the bar, why not serving them in a more fashionable way?

One definite way to grab your guests’ attention is to reproduce at home how they serve your sandwich at Sandwich Box in Toronto.

Ever since my last trip to Toronto, I am dreaming of Sandwich Box. I could not eat there at that time because I just ate lunch minutes before. So I had to skip.

An upscale sandwich

The concept behind Sandwich Box is to serve gourmet sandwiches at a fast food price. But before I spot the freshness and the excellent quality of their ingredients, what strikes the designer in me was the way the sandwiches are served?

Again you see that attention to details goes a long way. A white, logo free rectangular carton box hosts your sandwich and apparently, a small mesclun salad. The more elegant clear plastic cutlery and an extra-thick paper napkin complete your place setting.

Setting up a buffet table

I would pre-make the gourmet sandwiches, place a piece of parchment paper (or wax paper) and layout inside the box two sandwich pieces so we can see the toppings. Neatly arrange the boxes in row and columns. You can label the boxes, if you want to be more ornamental. You can do the same for a picnic.

Install a self-serve salad bar next to the sandwich table. Prepare between one and three salads, depending on the number of guests. Vegetable platters are always popular, especially with sandwiches. Insert the veggies into individual paper cones. Shooters can be used as private dipping sauce.

If you want, you can serve a soup before, on a self-serve manner. Either way, your guests should be impressed with all these details.

The menu at Sandwich Box

The pre-made sandwich menu is the tip of the iceberg at Sandwich Box. They carry 14 kinds of bakery breads (zoom on the picture to list the list), 7 spreads, 7 meats, 7 vegetables and 7 cheeses. Since a custom made sandwich is composed of 1 type of bread, 1 spread and 3 toppings, Sandwich Box proposes to you exactly 130,340 possibilities.

Prices vary between $3.50 for a simple egg salad to $6.25 for a grilled vegetables, pesto and Asiago cheese sandwich up to $7.35 for a made to order sandwich. Next month, I am going twice in Toronto. So hopefully I can tell you if the taste matches the look.

Learn more: Sandwich Box

FOOD + DRINK FOOD presentation

Pink and chocolate inspirations | 3 blogs and a mood board 2008.01.08 edition

oh joy! : garden rooms : yanko designThe unified element for my weekly blog spotlight is simply brilliant design. As a bonus, you can recycle the color scheme. Even if there is a lot of pink, the result does not feel too girly.

After the holiday break, there were a lot of posts to choose from. Considering that must produce a unified board, I feel that Oh Joy!, Garden Rooms and Yanko Design published the most interesting posts from a stylish living and entertaining point of view. Enjoy!

1 | Oh Joy!

You can resist these verrine desserts from Spanish baker Bubo, they are simply amazing. It is certainly not me a dessert lover like me. Hey honey, when do we visit Barcelona?

From left to right, these delicacies are:

  • Rhubarb glass: a strawberry cream, a cheese mousse, a rhubarb compote and strawberry gelatin topped with a tiny strawberry french macaron
  • Hawaii glass: a bittersweet chocolate cream, a lime gel, a macadamia nut streusel and a praline mousse
  • Litchi glass: a light litchi cream and brilliance of strawberry and raspberry a la vanilla

I second Oh Joy! taste and declare them the tiniest perfections.

2 | Garden Rooms

On her Fresh Flowers post, Robyn of Garden Rooms showcased simple modern flower arrangements from Vogue Living. The latest trend seems to immerge your flowers completely inside the clear glass vase. Take note, it is so easy to reproduce. Soft pinks, oranges and yellows make a stunning combination.

3 | Yanko Design

I spot on Yanko Design this unique concept for a takeout drink tray. Designed by Sonyun Kang, the idea behind Bundle Box is that you easily carry two drinks and napkins with one hand. Better yet, this drink carrier takes less storage space that the standard tray currently used by the food industry.

I was unable to find more on the materials used. If we can roll on the Bundle Box when not in use, I could see myself carrying one on my day purse. The ultimate green solution is a reusable solution. Nonetheless, I feel that Bundle Box answers a need on the market. Definitely a clever design!

Learn more: Bubo

FOOD + DRINK FOOD presentation

Dinner at Laloux with Jennifer of Design Hole

laloux_restaurant_dessertsI got the pleasures to meet Jennifer of Design Hole while she came in Montreal to celebrate her birthday with her husband.

We read each other blogs and we communicate through Facebook. It was fun meeting face to face. A lot of fabulous restaurants are closed on Sunday. Since she and her husband are foodies, I suggest that we eat at Laloux, a French Bistro in Montreal.

The first course

We all enjoyed a delicious meal. Everything was plated. We like it so much that we forgot to take pictures until the desserts. For the appetizers, our table selected:

  • Scallop Carpaccio, lime and avocado vinaigrette, fennel, radish and mujjol caviar
  • Smoked squash soup, maquerel, oven dried tomato, glazed onions, marinated mushrooms
  • Tomato broth soup with fresh basilic.

The main course

For the main dishes, it looked like a girl menu versus a boy menu. Jennifer and I opted for the delicious Roasted monkfish, white beans, chorizo, crunchy fennel and green olives. I would like to prepare my own version of this recipe when I am having friends over.

Our husband were happily seduced by the Beef short rib from Eumatimie farm served on top of aligot potatoes, roots vegetables stew and horseradish milk foam. Both dishes satisfied us.

The dessert course

Take notes on how the Chocolate pot-de-crème, caramel and Maldon salt is served in a Mason jar. This is something you can do for any types of verrines.

Jennifer had the Pear sorbet, Araguani chocolate cream, chocolate crunch and caramelized pear purée with single malt whisky. The presentation was artistic. Honestly, visually it was not what you expect when you read the description.

I wanted to try something new. So I picked the Litchee granité, white chocolate and yogurt cream, grapefruit, Campari and hibiscus. It was divine with a green tea.

In conclusion

I was a while since I ate at Laloux restaurant before last Sunday. Since everyone was happy with their meal, you can put it on your list for the next time you visit Montreal.

Appetizers average at $9 CAD (from $5 to $19 for foie gras), the main courses cost about $25 and all desserts are at $8.

You can read Jennifer’s husband review of Hotel Gault where they stayed on his blog Hotel Hallways. Arthur gave an excellence award to Hotel Gault. You can see a picture of Jennifer, who did not want to be photographed and the huge snowfall that we got on Monday. Jennifer is also having Montreal design review on her blog.

Learn more: Laloux restaurant
Via: Weekend in Montreal Part 1: The Hotel Gault by Design Hole