Ever since I became a mum, Christmas means so much more to me. When the girls were little, it was all about waking up early in the morning to open presents. The look of excitement in their faces to this day is pretty priceless.
Ever since I can remember chocolate has been my favourite. I could never understand the appeal of vanilla ice cream or cake, but chocolate on the other hand, was and still is my all time # 1 craving.
Years ago when I started collecting cookbooks, I was constantly drawn to the desserts chapter. Like a kid opening a Christmas present, I would go straight to anything with chocolate, especially if it was a tart. After years of making all kinds of tarts at pastry school, to this day nothing beats a chocolate one for me.
Popcorn is one of those snacks that has a special place in our pantry. It's hands down our go to snack when we watch shows at night and lately, we have gone through a few bowls while watching Stranger things and Sense8. If you must know, I got through season 2 of Stranger things without being too scared :)
Popcorn is also Gaby's favourite snack to take to school, so we always leave a bit from the night before so she can pack it to go in the morning.
With the holidays almost here, I decided to make a cheesecake topped with our favourite snack. After all, the holidays are the time when there's always a dinner party or a get together to host or to attend.
I'm so happy to I'm so happy to finally write this post and share with you some BIG news. But first, let's start from the beginning.
When I moved to Canada, twenty something years ago, I had no idea how to cook. My recipe repertoire consisted of lasagna and spaghetti. That was pretty much it. Montreal, the city that I called home for almost six years, was where my passion for food began and where my eyes and heart opened to the wonderful world of cooking.
Ever since Gaby started to crawl, her favourite place to be was in our kitchen. She was quite taken by any sort of plastic container, pots, pans and wooden spoons. When she started to walk, I would find her playing with mixing bowls (filled with Cheerios) and measuring spoons. As soon as she turned four, she became my little kitchen helper and every time I would bake or make our Sunday waffles she would don her tiny pink apron, climb on a chair, start to carefully measure flour into her own set of measuring cups, ask me to let her add the vanilla, and stir the batter. To this day, Gaby loves to bake. Especially with chocolate (like mother like daughter) and often I hear her in the kitchen after we've had dinner, getting cake pans and developing her own recipes. So with Halloween around the corner, I invited two of Gaby's closest friends, Rachel and Jules, to spend a Sunday afternoon baking Halloween chocolate cupcakes.
As much as I love summer, there are so many reasons about fall weather that I look forward to. Wearing a beanie all day long, wrapping myself in the I biggest scarf I can find, drinking tons of tea and reading more, but if I had to choose my favourite thing about fall, it would definitely be baking.
Baking and fall just go hand in hand. From pies to muffins and galettes, as soon as the leaves start turning all shades of orange, you can find me whipping something up in my kitchen with some of the local fruit we have around our home. I feel fortunate to live within minutes from some of the best farmer markets and fruit stands I've been to, and on any given weekend I stop by to pick up apples, pears and buttercup squash.
I'll admit it. I'm the biggest chocoholic. I think it started when I was a kid and after my Friday piano lessons, my mom used to take me to this little bakery near by where they had the best chocolate cake I've had in my life. Isn't it something how we can recall memories like these? Those evenings were magic.
Back when I spent a few years at Le Cordon Bleu, one of the things I loved to bake the most was Mille- Feuille - or Napoleons. Cedric, our teacher and pastry chef was a perfectionist and when teaching us how to make puff pastry, guess what he expected? Perfection. That was also the case when it came to macarons, but that's another story.