I want to talk today about a spin-off series of the character from our own childhood, Mister Rogers. I discovered Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood on PBS Kids during the holiday season. Targeting preschoolers from 2 to 4 years old, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood is an adorable TV series that teaches toddlers how to deal with their feelings. My son loves it! So do I! Continue Reading
US Fans of in Food Network will be glad to know about this new free iPhone and iPad app. There are roughly 3,000 U.S. restaurants, food trucks and hot spots that you can search by chef, TV show, city, type of food from Food Network On The Road app.
The app can help you decide where to eat next in your home town or to plan a road trip. As you would expect from that type of app, there is a badge system, a la Foursquare.
At first glimpse, Food Network have decided to tap into their huge content database to bring added value to its audience. You can download the app at the Apple store.
Have you tried Food Network On The Road, yet? Will you download the app? Does it appeal to you?
I want to share the news that I am one of the bloggers for the new blog of Canal-Vie. Their blog is called “Le blogue d’inspiration“. Other bloggers include Les Airoldi (Jean Airoldi and his wife Valerie), Manon Leblanc and Mme Carrée.
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?
For the April 2010 episode of On Est Ensemble where we had the former professional soccer player Nick de Santis as the star guest, I introduced a portable espresso machine.
I selected the outdoor set by Handpresso because it contains the very essence of the nomadic espresso: the portable espresso machine called Handpresso Wild working with E.S.E. pods, 4 unbreakable cups, a 300 ml thermos-flask in stainless steel to have hot water always close to hand, and 2 small napkins. All that store neatly inside a small carrying case. Imagine the bright smile on the face of your dad if you show up with this kit on Father’s Day.
A Funny Moment of Web TV
But when you are recording live, things do not always as good as planned. It happened to me on my last design segment for On Est Ensemble.
The researcher for On Est Ensemble tried the Handpresso Wild before the show with success. In fact, he told me that it was easy to use. Therefore, I did not expect a miss in front of the camera. We thought that if I simply watched the tutorial video and had a look at the machine before the show, I will be alright. But making a delicious espresso with a machine that you never used before while recording a live Web TV show is not as easy as it seems. Many factors influence the quality of the coffee you produce with a manual machine. But it is also what allows the quality of a barista to shine.
My demonstration assured me of one thing. I recommend to give the Handpresso Wild only to an active person who does not mind a little exercise. To pump the machine to 16 bar requires more stamina than I imagined. Just watch the video of my design segment. There is no need to understand French to see what I mean. If you speak French, I am sure that you will laugh.
What is the right technique?
When it is done right, the coffee drops more quickly than on my design segment. This is the principle behind the espresso. Since the show, I learned what were my mistakes in handling the Handpresso Wild. So I suggest that you:
- Go a little bit over the 16 bar mark. This way, you will make sure that you have enough pressure when you hit the press button
- Use very hot water. Ours was not hot enough
- Watch the .How to Use the Handpresso Video
If your coffee is dropping slowly like mine, you did something wrong. Start again. Like anything else in life, practice makes better. You can buy the Handpresso Wild machine separately. A portable espresso machine is very appealing if you live in a small space or do not wish to allocate space on your counter for the big machine.
+ Handpresso Wild ESE Pods or Dome (Ground Coffee) Version $145 CAD
+ Handpresso Outdoor Set $245 CAD – link to place an order online in Canada
+ In the States: Handpresso Wild Outdoor Picnic Set on sale at $179 USD, reg. $219 at Amazon.com
+ See the entire show at On Est Ensemble
Since last month, I am the host of a home deco segment on a French-speaking Web TV show called On Est Ensemble that is hosted by Philippe Régnoux. It is a fun experience and the team I am working with is awesome. It is a talk show co-produced by the Communauté Sépharade Unifiée du Québec and KAYAK Media.
On Est Ensemble is produced every month. The March episode is now online. My segment starts at 21:31 minutes. Elie shares a recipe after my segment. If you understand French, you will not want to miss his recipe. It is absolutely delicious. I will translate soon his latest recipe.
Women’s Fashion Shop
I also wish to thank Billie Boutique for lending me the beautiful clothes I am wearing. I selected a Tara Jarmon skirt to go with an adorable green top (maybe by Marlene Birger). The dressing rooms at Billie Boutique are stylishly girlie.
I wish to share with you something great that happened to me. I now host a design segment on a french-speaking monthly Web TV show called On Est Ensemble (we are together). The group of people I work with is awesome. Since Monday night, the show is available online. If you wish to have a glance at my performance, it starts at 18:43 minutes.
Just after me, it is the recipe segment. The salad that Elie Benchetrit did was so delicious. I will translate it soon and share it with you.
If I was living in New York City, Long Island and the Tri-State Region, I would be an angry customer of Cablevision right now. I would not have access to my favorite TV channels since January 1st, 2010. The Canadian version of these networks are what I watched the most on TV.
The cable operator failed to negotiate acceptable rates for programming distribution rights. I read on CNNMoney.com that Food Network and HGTV combined receive less than 25 cents per subscriber. It is way too low. I understand that they want an increase.
You can demand that Food Network and HGTV be put back on the air of Cablevision by calling 866-695-BEST. It is worth a try!
I love scrambled eggs. It is simple and fast to make but strangely most people did not learn how to properly cook scrambled eggs. And the fast-food industry did not help on that matter.
Therefore, I share my secrets for making the perfect scrambled eggs. First of all, scrambled eggs do not have any cream or milk. I learned that as a child. Second, you season the eggs after they are cooked. I feel that it is true even for fried eggs. Third and this is probably a departure from what you learn: you separate the egg white from the yolk. The reason is that you must not overcook the yolk to produce scrambled eggs with an airy, moist texture. Believe me, it is heavenly delicious when done that way.
I learned the third rule by watching French Food at Home with Laura Calder. Doing scrambled eggs this way is simpler than the traditional bain-marie technique that is so popular in French cuisine. Whether you use Laura Calder’s recipe or the bain-marie technique, one fact stays the same: scrambled eggs must be cooked at low temperature. For taste, I always add finely cut chives to my scrambled eggs.
Best Scrambled Eggs Recipe
Ingredients for 2 persons:
- 5 eggs – separate the white from the yolk in 2 bowls
- 1 tablespoon of butter, cut in 2 part – I use salted butter but Laura uses unsalted butter
- Freshly grounded sea salt and pepper
- Finely cut chives, to taste
- 2 small bowls and a fork
- medium to large non-stick frying pan – eggs are the only reason I own a non-stick frying pan
- wooden spoon
If you prepare the recipe for a larger group, know that I count 2 eggs per person, plus one extra egg per 2 to 3 persons. I do not adjust for butter, unless I see a need at step 5. I basically followed how Laura Calder did her recipe on the French Food at Home episode. It can be resumed in 5 steps:
- Melt half the butter at low-temperature on the frying pan.
- Lightly whisk the white egg with a fork 10 to 12 times.
- Pour the egg white in the pan and constantly stir with a wooden spoon. Constantly scrap up what sticks to the sides and bottom. I like to draw big 8’s when I stir.
- When the egg white starts to look like a blizzard (a light one), add the yolks and continue to stir until the yolks are partially cooked.
- Remove from heat, season, add chives and the second part of butter. Serve immediately.
If you host a brunch or have guests sleeping order, try out this scrambled eggs recipe. Your guests will thank you.
Every month, you can get a glimpse at the next issue of Living etc. I say next issue because in Canada, or at least in Montreal, we are always one month behind. I spotted cool ideas for when you entertain.
First, I look forward for the eye-catching tapas prepared by Donna Hay for the October 2009 edition. In case, you cannot wait, the recipe for the Smoked trout and garlic potato croquettes is available on the Flip through Living etc feature. Then, it is the turn of an idea to bring more style to your living room.
Interior designers on TV and magazines are not always right
Designers always try to hide the big flat TV. It always made me laugh when it is from a design show on TV. I saw many ways over the years but none was as striking as this modern wood panel. The effect is gorgeous but the TV is way to high.
Gavin Sykes at Bang & Olufsen explained how to avoid two common mistakes when buying a TV. First, the rule is to measure the distance between where you will sit and where you wish to place the TV. Divide this distance by 4 and you will get the perfect TV size. Furthermore, avoid placing the TV over the fireplace, like you see here. The most comfortable height for a TV is when the center of the screen is slightly below eye level. The reason is that we all drop our head when we relax.
+ Living etc October 2009 preview
The October 2009 issue of Canadian House and Home let us see a glimpse of David Rocco’s house in Toronto. The decor translates a rustic, comfortable feeling. It seems that Nina and him listened to my advice on how to create a welcoming front door.
What I found most interesting is how David described his laid-back entertaining philosophy. He believes that you do not have to stress about entertaining. It’s true the host and the guests need to be flexible to have fun. He typical cooks the main course while his guests gathered in the kitchen. They mingled with appetizers and a glass of wine. That resembles many of my dinner parties.
For the cold weather that is coming our way, nothing beats a hearty soup recipe like a Tuscan Ribollita (meaning leftover soup). Besides the typical vegetables that form a soup base, prosciutto rinds, potatoes, cabbages, borlotti beans, tomato purée and bread give flavor and consistency to the soup. You can make this soup thick as you like. David likes to eat this soup with a fork at slightly warmer than room temperature. Naturally, do not forget a good drizzle of your premium extra-virgin olive oil.
As I mentioned before, the fourth season of David Rocco’s Dolce Vita premieres September 14th, 2009.