Browsing Tag



Food Truck Lunch: Takoyaki Montreal and La Mangeoire

takoyaki montreal

takoyaki montreal

Since the Souk at Juste pour Rire is filled with gourmet food trucks, containers and fishing cabins, I decided to make the best of it by having lunch there. Today, I stopped by two food stands.

mushroom or octopus japanese balls

I started my meal with a trio of Japanese balls. My husband ordered the octopus balls while I opted for the mushroom balls. I enjoyed them both. The balls are covered with Japanese crepes topped with mayonnaise, sauce and bento flakes. Delicious!

la mangeoire cocotte sandwich

Then, I ate a sandwich from another newcomer to the food truck Montreal scene: La Mangeoire. Their menu has 4 sandwiches made on order. I ate Cocotte, which is a grilled chicken sandwich with tomato confit and a kale pesto. That was a hit with a glass of iced green tea with lemongrass.

Until July 28th, I plan to try more places for lunch. The souk at Juste pour Rire is located in front of the Complexe Desjardins on Sainte-Catherine Street ouest between Place Des Arts main entrance and Saint-Urbain Street.


Book Exchange Party by Reid Girls Handmade

book exchange party invite table decor

book exchange party invite table decor

If you’re the kind of person who has a hard time parting with books, you’ll love this idea spotted at Reid Girls Handmade: a book exchange party!

Naturally, all of the party elements are inspired by books – from the invites to the decor and even the favours. Guests received this charming invitation designed to look like library book card. Each guest brought a wrapped book and filled out a bookplate (which was included with the invitation) to write a note to the new owner of their book. Old book pages were used to create a garland and food labels featured quotes from famous novels and authors.

book exchange party table decor

Speaking of food, what does one serve at a book exchange party? Exactly the type of food that makes you want to curl up under a blanket with a good book: homemade soup and grilled cheese sandwiches!

book exchange party decor food soup sandwich

As a party favour, guests received handmade book journals and bookmarks made from pretty paper and scrapbooking materials, stuffed inside an appropriately named “book bag”.

book exchange party favour favor decor

Not only is this a party idea that works at any time of the year, it’s a great option for a “girlfriends” get together, an easy way to clean off your bookshelves and gain a new read all at the same time.

And if you are into books, you may wish to revisit the Book Club Party by Guest Blogger Jennifer Mitchell of Design Hole.

+ Book Exchange Party Instructions and Printables from Reid Girls Handmade
+ Photos: Reid Girls Handmade


Dinosaur Sandwich Cutter

dinosaur sandwich cutter for a kid lunch or party

dinosaur sandwich cutter for a kid lunch or party

This is an adorable kitchen gadget to bring fun to a kid lunch. It is fast and easy to make dinosaur sandwiches for a kid’s lunch or to serve at a kids birthday party. The mold will produce two sandwich pieces when you use standard sandwich bread. A sandwich cutter, like this, reduces waste compared to most cookie cutters.

You can use it to easily design a superb bento box lunch such as Biggie demonstrated at Lunch in a Box. At a party, it means no fights with young kids that do not eat the crust. If you are hosting a tea party for a baby or a bridal shower, you may prefer the heart sandwich cutter.

+ DynoBytes Dinosaur Sandwich Crust Cutter $2.99 USD
+ Dino Cutter £1.99


Three Recipes for a Picnic | Quick Links

healthy gluten-free sandwich with fresh garden vegetables - photo by cannelle et vanille

These recipes will please the eye before pleasing the mouth. Their fresh taste is perfect for a hot summer day while the food presentation is something that you handle for a picnic.

Arugula, Fennel, Grapefruit and Crab salad - photo by all the best

+ Christina Juarez, a friend of All the Best, made this superb Arugula, Fennel, Grapefruit and Crab salad. Photo: All the Best

healthy gluten-free sandwich with fresh garden vegetables - photo by cannelle et vanille

+ Seasonal vegetables nicely created a healthy sandwich when you use home made gluten-free sandwich bread. The bread recipe is from Whole Living. Photo: Cannelle et Vanille

Apricot and Almond Tart recipe by tartelette

+ Finish your meal with an Abricot and Almond tart. Photo: Tartelette


Surprise Bread with Swedish Bread

surprise bread made with round swedish bread

surprise bread made with round swedish bread

Many parties call for serving sandwiches. Then, the question becomes how can you do it in style. A popular plating technique in casual parties in France is the Surprise bread. You can even buy Surprise breads in many stores in France, especially during the Holidays. You can serve a Surprise bread if you are invite your friends to take the apéro at your place (that is, you invite them for a drink), at a picnic or a casual party.

If you use the round Swedish bread, a cooked unrisen dough bread, making your own is quick and easy. The Swedish bread (called “pain polaire” in France) is characterized by its moistness and slightly sweet taste.

What is a Surprise Bread?

Imagine a tower that stands 4 to 5 sandwich tall and cut in 6 to 8 pieces. The thrill is that you take the piece of sandwich on top, without knowing what is inside. The Swedish bread is ideal for that since it is thin, it is easy to grab without being messy. And it does not dry out as ordinary bread would.

Select complementary recipes for the fillings.  Since the tower cannot be too high, keep the fillings fairly thin for each sandwich.

Step by step instructions:

  1. Prepare 4 or 5 sandwiches as usual; each one has a different filling.
  2. On a serving platter, put the sandwiches one over the other. Try to create a striking color palette when it is assembled.
  3. Once, you assembled the column, you cut the bread in 6 or 8 pieces

Typically fillings included cheese cream and salmon, hummus, guacamole, pesto and prosciutto, brie or goat cheese with sun-dried tomatoes, ham and cheese or egg mimosa and chives. For a family event, you can create a second tower with an assortment of children’s favorite recipes.

Make it Stylish

I spoke this afternoon with Sophie Rayes at Gastronomia to know more about the surprise bread. You do not have to stop there. You can decorate further the surprise bread. For example, create a cylinder to wrap all or part of the surprise bread. You could add ribbons or affix decorative elements for a baby shower, a tea party or a big family picnic.

In Montreal, you can buy round Swedish bread at the warehouse store of Gastronomia. For the rest of my Canadian readers, Gastronomia sells online and ships across Canada. To get the free shipping, you could stock on frozen appetizers and get a pack of Gratin Dauphinois.

+ Swedish breads at Gastronomia $3.35 CAD for a bag of 5 units
+ photos: Pain surprise recipe at Pain Concept

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