Happy Edition to Monday Moving & Grooving

The last few months as I’ve been recovering and trying to put the dance back in my step, I have begun to play with the underlying theme of happiness and what it means to me … in a good part thanks to Realwheels’ #WheelVoices Happiness Campaign.

On one level the answer to that question is simple for me.  Happiness is dancing!  On another level, as I have not always been able to dance the way I am use to these past few months, and still can’t in totality, I have been dissecting what happiness is beyond that, along with what makes me want to dance.  Certainly the music, but also freedom, love (in it’s many forms), creativity, adventure, hugs and kisses, magical moments (like that with the wild horses in Florida)  … to name a few!

 

Conga at Fighting Chance Production's 80's Prom.

Rob Jones, Lori Yearwood and Nina Kumar strutting up their happiness at Fighting Chance Production’s 80′s Prom!

 

For all those reasons and many more, this song, Happy by Pharrell Williams, made me smile and want to do exactly that … dance!

 

 

Even cooler, check out Pharrell Williams’ #24HoursOfHappy! Total awesomesauce!

Kisses,

Emme  xoxo

 

Kisses and Nuzzles from the Paynes Prairie Wild Horses!

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, I thought I’d share a beautiful moment filled with love, nuzzles and kisses that I enjoyed last week with the wild horses of Florida‘s Paynes Prairie.

 

Wild Horses kissing on Paynes Prairie

The Kiss!

 

So very magical!

 

A long kiss between wild horses on Paynes Prairie.

… still kissing …

 

Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

A wild colt's kiss on Paynes Prairie

A child’s love!

 

Kisses,

Emme   xoxo

PS A big thank you to Ford Canada for the Ford Escape that got me here, and to Roam Mobility for keeping me connected along the way!

Strong Feelings for Doug Paisley

For those of you sexy cats that have been kind enough to have joined me on my journey these past few years, you’ll know that I have a passion for the indie arts scene, especially here at home in Canada.  And that I tend, when a musician touches my soul or makes me smile, to go on streaks of sharing their music.  But most of all I beam with pride and shout it to the world, when I happen to know one of those musicians that touches my soul or makes me smile.  Especially if I love and adore them as people. For a few of you that have been reading here or on Roamancing for awhile, you’ll be familiar with this quirk of mine with musicians such as Ross Neilsen, Chris Blake, and Jesse Roper. Some of you might even remember me writing about a fellow by the name of Doug Paisley.

 

Doug Paisley, Strong Feelings

 

It is Doug Paisley who I want to stand on the rooftops and shout about today! Have known and adored Doug since birth, but as often happens with childhood friends, you lose touch with what has become of each other.  When I finally rediscovered Doug, it was through his music, and I could hardly believe that this talent who sings with the likes of Lesley Feist, was my childhood friend who I always use to get into trouble with.

Then a couple of weeks ago, there was Doug on one of my favourite CBC Radio Shows, the Q with Jian Ghomeshi!  I was giddy with excitement, shouting out my pride to the dog, the cats, and anyone that would listen on my social media feeds!  Here is a clip from the Show:

 

 

Proud to share that Doug’s third album, Strong Feelings, was released this past week!

 

 

Can hardly wait to get my paws on it!  Or for the road trips that I am sure it will join me on, singing along with Doug as I drive!  Purring at the thought!

Kisses,

Emme    xoxo

Simply Delicious Recipes at the Chateau Laurier

Cocktails in kitchen of the Fairmont Chateau Laurier

Cocktails in the Chateau Laurier Kitchen! A great start to an Ottawa evening!

I’ll admit it, I am a bit of a foodie, although I do find the term slightly pretentious. Reality is I like good food, quality ingredients, and quite frankly I’m a good cook.

Most of what I do, however, is quite simple, using quality ingredients and intuitively knowing what will taste good together.  I don’t spend hours over recipes, and often find the tastiest things I create are the simplest things.

As a result I have very little time for seemingly fancy cookbooks with obscure ingredients, and where everything needs to be measured out exactly and be perfectly presented on the plate.  This is simply not enjoyable to me.

So when I was lead down to the kitchen of the Fairmont Chateau Laurier, I was not quite sure what to expect.  I do love a good kitchen party, but what would the chef be like?  Would he be uptight and pretentious about his cooking?  Quite the contrary!  He was a delight, fun to flirt with (for whatever reason men that create tasty morsels tend to illicit my overly flirtatious side), and got it as far as I am concerned with food. Executive Chef Louis Simard‘s attitude towards creating culinary delights, as he informed us, was selecting choice fresh local ingredients (for which the Chateau Laurier is well situated, just steps away from Ottawa‘s Byward Market) and putting them together in simple ways that would tantalize the tastebuds.  And that is exactly what he did with me! Flushing just thinking about it!

 

Fairmont Chateau Laurier Executive Chef Louis Simard

Eying up Executive Chef Louis Simard in anticipation!

 

Here were a few of the ways Executive Chef Louis Simard teased and tantalized:

 

Basil Infused Watermelon Appetizers

Ingredients

  • watermelon
  • fresh basil
  • heirloom tomatoes (ideally yellow ones, to create a colour contrast to the watermelon)
  • espelette pepper
  • olive oil

Preparation

 

Fairmont Chateau Laurier Executive Chef Louis Simard prepares the Basil Infused Watermelon Appetizers

Deneen Perrin watching on as Executive Chef Louis Simard prepares the Basil Infused Watermelon Appetizers.

 

First Executive Chef Louis Simard prepared the basil infused watermelon by:

  • Placing a large chunk of watermelon (rind removed) into a bag with fresh basil and vacuum sealing it.
  • I’m am not sure how long he vacuum sealed the basil and watermelon, but my understanding is that the vacuum seal accelerates the marination process, so this should not take long, and will give you a fun home experiment in determining the perfect marination time.

* This also works with vodka and watermelon, if you want to pack some tasty boozy snacks for that music festival next summer!

Meanwhile Executive Chef Louis Simard had whisked a pinch of espelette pepper in olive oil and was marinating hearty bite size chucks of heirloom tomatoes in the espelette pepper and olive oil.

Just prior to serving, he:

  • Removed the watermelon from the vacuum sealed bag and cut it into sturdy bite sized chunks;
  • And on top of each chunk, he placed a marinated tomato chunk;
  • Securing the two layers together with a toothpick.

 

Executive Chef Louis Simard's Basil Infused Watermelon Appetizers

Looking forward to tasting one of these!

 

Enjoy!

 

Locally Cured Chorizo & Homemade Ricotta Crostinis

 

Cooking in the Fairmont Chateau Laurier Kitchen

Salivating at the thought of putting these ingredients together!

 

Ingredients

  • fresh slices of ciabattas or crostinis (slices of ciabattas lightly brushed with oil and toasted)
  • ricotta (sadly I don’t have the recipe for the Chateau Laurier’s homemade recipe, but ricotta from the store will do)
  • mango chutney
  • chorizo (definitely recommend finding some locally cured chorizo)
  • radishes
  • pea tendrils

 

Executive Chef Louis Simard in the Fairmont Chateau Laurier Kitchen

… and the prep begins!

 

Preparation

 

Making crostini appetizers in the Fairmont Chateau Laurier Kitchen

Did I mention how much I love mango chutney!?!

 

This simple hors d’oeuvres is all about using choice ingredients.  To put it all together, simply:

  • Place an evenly distributed dollop of ricotta on the crostini;
  • Add a dollop of mango chutney on top of the ricotta;
  • Cover the mango chutney with a slice of chorizo;
  • On top of the chorizo place a radish slice;
  • And finally top the whole thing off with fresh pea tendrils.

 

Crostini Appetizers in the Fairmont Chateau Laurier Kitchen

Yum!

 

Bite in and enjoy!

 

Honey Cured Balderson Cheddar Flamed on a Cedar Plank

 

Honey Cured Balderson's Cheddar

With ingredients like this, how could this turn out as anything less than amazing!

 

Ingredients

  • 3 year aged Balderson cheddar
  • local honey

 

Cheese Torching in the Fairmont Chateau Laurier Kitchen

Far too exciting!

 

Preparation

Fell in love with Executive Chef Louis Simard as I watched him prepare this:

  • Prior to us arriving, he had soaked chunks of the Balderson cheddar for 24 hours in local honey;
  • When we arrived, he placed the honey soaked chunks of cheddar on a cedar plank; and
  • Slowly smoked and caramelized all of the honey soaked cheddar with a culinary blow torch!!!
  • Serving them up on toothpicks, so we could pop the ooey gooey goodness in our mouths!

 

Flaming Cheese in the Fairmont Chateau Laurier Kitchen

I think I’m in love!

 

This was bar none, my favourite, but then who wouldn’t be swooped off their feet by flaming hot cheese soaked in honey!  And I had no idea that Balderson Cheddar came from the Ottawa area.  Drooling just thinking about it! My only regret … that no one let me get my mitts on the blow torch, to take it for a spin.

 

Fairmont Chateau Laurier's Executive Chef Louis Simard and Deneen Perrin

Our two wonderful kitchen party hosts, Executive Chef Louis Simard and Deneen Perrin. Thank you both!

 

Now while these were all the tasty tidbits that Executive Chef Louis Simard demonstrated his culinary prowess with, I did do a bit of culinary sleuthing and heard a few rumours on how the chefs at the Chateau Laurier make their drool worthy maple butter!  It is quite simple from what I understand – an equal part maple syrup to butter, whipped together.  It was served over their scrumptious crepes warm, so I suspect they heat up the maple syrup a bit and then whip in the butter.  Will most definitely have to try my own experiment with this in the kitchen!

 

Kitchen Party at the Fairmont Chateau Laurier

Our Kitchen Party (almost) in it’s entirety! … now how to get invited back for another kitchen party?!?

 

Kisses,

Emme  xoxo

PS. In Full Disclosure: As always, the opinions and thoughts shared here are my own and honest ones. I am bought out by no one. In the spirit of disclosure, it should be noted that on this trip I was a guest of Ottawa Tourism.

Monday Moving & Grooving Jingle Balls Style!

Not a KMart Shopper, but I can’t help it, I’m addicted to this bit of moving & grooving!

 

 

And mmm … mmm … mmm … if you want to pop one of those in my stocking, I’ll happily leave you a treat under the mistletoe!