Every year, just before Christmas, I make a few tourtières. One for us, another for my mom, one for my best friend, another one for my mother-in-law, and a little one for my aunt Aline. Over the tradition, it has become a ritual for me.
In the morning, I go to my favorite butcher Chez Vito, where I have a quick coffee and a little chat with Tino, while Dany, Luca or Mr.Vito himself, prepares the perfect mix of ground pork, veal and lamb. Back home, I sear the meat with white onions and a perfect mix of spices and fresh herbs, which are, along with the quality of the meat, the key to a great tourtière. My tourtière spice blend always includes a little clove, nutmeg, cinnamon and a chosen herb that will give it a unique character. This year, since we have to go through the end of the world—once again—I picked sage.
What I love about sage is its lovely peppery taste but also the fact that it is a great energizer. Sage stimulates the surrenal glands that tend to be a little run down at this time of year and it is also a brain and memory stimulant...which is always good!
To accompany a tourtière, there is nothing better than homemade ketchup! But if you are running out of time, let me suggest a great alternative from Ace Bakery, the Niagara Chutney, made of peaches, apple, pears, raisins, onions, garlic, ginger, brown sugar, vinegar, spices and mustard seeds. I love this company, not only because they are form here, but also because they always create delicious products that are healthy and natural, without any chemical junk. This being said, if you would like to have my family’s special ketchup recipe, I would be happy to share it with you, just send me a note in the commentary box.
From my family to yours, I wish you an amazing Holiday Season!!!
p.s. and just in case it is really the end of the world this time…Thank you for reading my blog, I love you all!
This is the perfect dessert recipe when you are short on time and want to do something special that’s absolutely delicious!
Traditionally, clafouti is made with cherries but you can use any fruit you like. My favourite is to use pears, which are perfectly in season at the moment, and to give it a holiday touch, I added some fresh cranberries. Yummy!
Step1: Preheat the oven at 400F.
Butter a 10” tart dish (or any pie plate you have) and dust with a little flour. Cut a pear lengthwise in even slices and place them at the bottom of the dish.
Step 2: Beat together, ¼ cup of milk, ¼ cup of heavy cream, ¼ cup of maple syrup, two eggs, a pinch of salt and 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract. Pour batter over the pear slices.
Step 3: Sprinkle over about ¼ cup of fresh cranberries and bake in the oven for about 25 minutes, or until golden and set. Let it cool off at least 15 minutes before cutting.
If you are gluten-intolerant, you can still enjoy great tasting food by being creative and experimenting! Here are five things every gluten-intolerant person should know and a delicious gluten-free brownie recipe:
Double your protein intake: Your body will need more protein to rebuild itself, so make sure you eat enough proteins.
It is best to eat 6 small meals a day, rather than 3 large meals.
Make sure you keep hydrated.
There is a new gluten free grain on the market. It is from Canada and it is often referred to as ‘the rice of the Prairies’ but the real name is Lavena Nuda.
And most important: read the labels, even if it says ‘gluten free’ on the package doesn’t mean it is good for you. Unfortunately, a lot of these products contain a long list of unhealthy ingredients.
Gluten-free Chocolate Brownies
1 cup (225g) of dark 70% chocolate
1/2 cup of butter or coconut oil*
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
3/4 cup of sucanat (natural cane sugar)
3 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup of ground almonds
2/3 cup of chopped walnuts
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Melt the chocolate and butter (or coconut oil) together at low eat, in a double broiler, if you have.
Take it off the heat and mix in the vanilla and the natural sugar. Let it cool before adding the beaten eggs and the ground almonds.
Mix well and stir in the walnuts.
Turn into a pre-greased 8x8 baking tin and bake for 25-30 minutes.
Makes 16 squares
* Coconut oil contains loric acid wich is an immune booster… you can find it at health food stores.
* If you have egg allergy, replace it in a recipe with 1 tablespoon of ground flax seeds mixed with 2 tablespoons of water (that’s equivalent to 1 egg).