French Onion Soup

A few weeks ago we decided to make French Onion Soup.  So Carlo pulled out this book from his collection:

2014-02-08 18.35.46


It is called The Balthazar Cookbook.”  Balthazar is a French brasserie in New York City run by Keith McNally, Riad Nasr and Lee Hanson.  Therefore it must have the perfect onion soup recipe.

First we caramelized the onions:

2014-01-26 19.11.01

Then added thyme, bay leaf, garlic, stock and wine.

2014-01-26 19.16.35


A long time ago Carlo bought this little soup dishes.  We never use them, except for French Onion soup.  So, into the bottom goes stale or dried bread, then ladle the soup in and top with cheese.  We used Havarti, not Gruyere.

2014-01-26 19.48.43

I could eat this everyday.


Eggplant Parmigiana

A few years ago my husband and I visited his family in the south of Italy.  It was in August and it was crazy hot.  This was our view most days.IMG_0841

While we were there, Carlo’s Aunt cooked up a storm for us.  The stand out meal was Eggplant Parmigiana.  I had never had it before and it was intense.  It would be faster to describe what wasn’t in the dish.  I was grateful for her generosity, but a hot, heavy meal was not what I was craving in that heat.  

Ever since, I have been dying to recreate it in the cold Canadian winter when a warm plate of goodness is perfect.

I always thought it was called Eggplant Parmesan because of the cheese that’s in it, but Carlo pointed out that it is more likely because of its origin in the region of Parma.  It does have the cheese as well, but it’s named for the region too.  What came first?


Our version of the dish has fried eggplant (duh), homemade meatballs, ham and hardbolied eggs all layered with homemade tomato sauce, breadcrumbs, mozzerella and parmesan cheese.

It was sooo good.  We made an extra one to freeze and I can’t wait to dig it out and eat it up too!

2014-01-19 19.50.30

Salad in a jar

A while back, my sister told me about salad in a jar.  I thought it sounded strange, so I looked it up.  It was all over Pinterest.  And then I forgot about it.  Last week, in an effort to eat more veggies I thought I’d finally try my hand at it.

2014-01-13 13.30.29 

Taking salad to work can be a pain because it needs to be fresh to taste good and my salad dressing always spills in my bag.  Also, I am not great at packing my lunch every morning.  Anything to make it easier is a good thing.  I loved it!  It was easy to prepare a few salads in advance and tasted great for lunch.  The key for me is using a grain at the bottom to absorb the dressing and putting the greens on the top.  When you pour it into a bowl, it’s perfect!

2014-01-13 13.32.57

I see a lot more salads in my future.  And any reason to use mason jars is a plus for me!

Mini Staycation

Carlo and I did not get much time off together over the holidays, so last weekend we had a mini staycation.  We both took a few days off work and 4 days off together.  I had grand plans of getting things done and going places, but in the end we mostly stayed close to home.

2014-01-09 15.56.10

We did make it out to the new Ripley’s Aquarium at th base of the CN Tower.  The price tag is pretty steep at $30, but neither of us had been to an aquarium in a long time, so we took the plunge 🙂

IMG_2128 2014-01-09 15.28.11

Going on a weekday was great as there weren’t too many people and we could wander through at our own pace.  The central sight is the “Dangerous Lagoon” with the underwater viewing tunnel and it was my favourite part.  It has sharks!  It even had a moving sidewalk so that you could look around and not worry about bumping into people and waiting your turn to get to the front.

IMG_2121 IMG_2124

Carlo also made us Danish donuts, or aebleskiver.  We received a donut pan from Carlo’s mother ages ago but had’t managed to put it to good use.  My mother-in-law is Danish so these delicious little donuts were a staple in Carlo’s house growing up and are still a favourite.  As a true Canadian, I smother them with real Maple Syrup!

2014-01-10 09.05.48 IMG_2138 

There was also a lot of TV watching and napping, it was lovely.

Last Saturday, I also had the opportunity to attend a rehearsal of the play Night by Human Cargo .  Two years ago I was the Assistant Stage Manager on this production as it travelled to Calgary to appear in the Magnetic North Theatre Festival.  It’s about to embark on a new tour to Canada’s north and then the west coast.  It was fun to see everyone involved again and get a chance to see it as I was always backstage.  Safe travels everyone!