The weather was much tolerable today and we were able to walk around old Montreal.
We had a nice brunch at Le Gros Jambon.
The guys went to do some last minute clothes shopping for the party and the girl hit the spa for mani-pedi. My nail technician was a nice Armenian lady. We both speak Russian and had a nice chat about life. She finished off my manicure with a top coat containing18K real gold speckles. She didn’t charge extra for it and told me it’s for good luck.
It took us over 9 hours to get to Montreal. There is so much snow everywhere.
We only had enough time to check into our hotel, quickly change and go to a friend’s house party. We joked that it was a pre-pre-party as all of us danced Salsa, Bachata, Zouk & Kizomba non-stop until 4am.
We had high hopes of exploring Montreal but it’s -19C and none of us is dressed for the weather. We were brave enough to venture outside to grab a meal and spent our afternoon in the hot tub back at the hotel.
Road trip with friends to SalsaGlam, the ultimate New Year’s celebration! It’s snowing non-stop, hope we won’t be sitting in traffic.
I have a lot of Jewish friends. One of the best things about Friday night dinner at their houses is the opportunity to enjoy the freshly baked special bread, Challah. I was invited for a potluck dinner and decided to make this delicious bread.
It would have been easier to visit a neighbourhood bakery but I own a breadmaker which helps me to have the old-fashioned goodness of homemade breads with half the effort.
Challah is wonderful in sandwiches with roast beef or corned beef and you make make a scrumptious French Toast the following day if you have any leftovers.
Homemade Challah Bread (Breadmakers Recipe)
- ¾ cup water
- 1 egg, beaten
- 3 tbsp canola oil
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 ½ cup white flour
- 1 ¼ tsp yeast
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tbsp water
- Measure first 7 ingredients in the order listed into a baking pan in your breadmaker.
- When cycle is complete, remove dough from the machine to a lightly floured surface.
- Divide dough into 3 equal portions and roll by hand into long smooth strips.
- Braid the 3 dough strips and place it on lightly greased baking sheet.
- Cover and let rise for 30 minutes or until double in volume.
- Beat egg yolk with 1 tbsp of water and brush over challah.
- Bake at 350F for 30-35 minutes.
The cake is really fabulous.The thing about this cake that you can experiment by adding new dried or candied fruit or a different type of nuts. I am not much of a baker but this cake is extremely easy to make and it’s always delicious.
I’ve seen similar cakes in the internet with the name “Lady’s Caprice” , “Three Meetings”, “Cleopatra.” Whatever the name, the cake is soooo tasty. A real fairy tale 🙂
- 1/2 cup flour x 3
- 1/2 cup sugar x 3
- 1 tsp baking powder x 3
- 1 egg – x 3
- 1/2 cup sour cream or Greek yoghurt x 3
- 3-4 drops of brandy x 3
- 1/2 cup poppy seeds
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup crushed walnuts
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup condensed milk
Preheat oven to 400F. Grease 8.5 inch round springform pan. Bake each layer for 20 minutes. Allow to cool.
- 1st layer – mix all the ingredients and stir in poppy seeds.
- 2nd layer – mix all the ingredients and stir in raisins.
- 3rd layer – mix all the ingredients and stir in walnuts.
Beat softened butter with condensed milk, set aside.
Place the walnut layer on a cake plate. Evenly spread 1/3 of the filling over. Top with the poppy seed layer and repeat. Finally, top with the raisin layer and cover the top and the sides with the remaining filling.
I “decorated” the top with a mixture of crushed walnuts and cocoa powder. Keep it in the fridge overnight.
I saw some ripe golden quinces at my local Asian store. Their fragrant aroma persuaded me to buy them 🙂
The raw quince is not enjoyable to eat. The fruit is hard, sharp-tasting and somewhat bitter; it has to be cooked. Try baking it, I promise you won’t be disappointed! Baked quince has a velvety texture that tastes like a cross between an apple and a pear. Oh, and the smell… just like a bowl of ripe tropical fruit.
Baked Quince with Cinnamon
- 1 cup water
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 4 quinces
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- ¼ cup raw organic sugar
- Preheat the oven to 375 F
- Add the water, lemon juice, sugar and cinnamon sticks into a large baking dish
- Peeled the quinces, cut them into quarters, and remove the core.
- Cover the dish with foil and bake for 1 hour, until fork-tender.
We had these baked quinces with my Flat Belly Diet pancakes (click here for a recipe) and Greek yoghurt. Don’t let the syrup that is left in the baking pan go to waste 🙂
You can also serve them on their own, hot or cold; whipped cream is optional.
The Owl and the Pussy Cat dined ” which they ate with a runcible spoon.” You won’t need a runcible spoon this time 🙂