October 1, 2014


The past couple of weeks since I have been back home, I've been baking up a storm. Lately I've been eager to brush up on my baking skills and learn a few classic French recipes. But with all this baking I have a ton of left over treats, main one being Chantilly cream. Chantilly cream is delicious and sweet, and can be put on pretty much any dessert possible.  It pairs well with tarts, cakes, meringues, the list is endless, but one unexpected pairing is with coffee. There is something so perfect about the bitter flavour of coffee and the sweetness of the cream together. If you haven't tasted it yet, you really have to.

Café Viennois

prep time: 5 minutes
makes: one cup

1 cup or mug of coffee or long double espresso
4 tbsp chantilly cream (see recipe below)

1. Prepare the coffee or long double espresso and pour into your favourite cup or mug.

2.  With a spoon or piping bag fitted with a 14mm star tip, pipe the chantilly cream into a  
 rosette on top of the coffee. Serve and enjoy!

Chantilly Cream

prep time: 10 minutes
makes: 2 1/2 cups

1 cup heavy (double) cream | whipping cream
2 1/2 tbsp confectioner's (icing) sugar

1. Begin by placing your large mixing bowl in the freezer to chill for 5 minutes.

2. Once chilled, remove the bowl from freezer and cream from fridge (cream must be
    very cold to whip)

3. Pour the cream into chilled bowl and begin whisking with an electric mixer or whisk by hand. Once   
    the cream is thick, add the icing sugar and continue whisking until cream is firm.

4. Keep refrigerated until ready to use.

September 30, 2014


I have finally finished our living room! After many, many months of living in our house I am finally completely finished a room. Yes, we have furnished pretty much every room (except the office), but to me there is such a big difference between furnishing a room and styling a room. So now I can say my living room is furnished and styled (big smiley face!). It feels so good to sit on my sofa and look around the room and feel like it's done. Of course I will happily move pieces around and change up the pillows and throws, and switch around the art, but apart from minor change ups I can rest easy.

We have a decent sized wall between the entrance to our hall and dining room, that is one of the main focal points in the living room. For a while now I was leaving it blank because I knew what I wanted to do, but couldn't find the pieces I needed to complete it. After about five months of searching high and low I found the perfect console table to tie everything together. With the table in position I added our antique ladder to one side and a plant on the other. I then added a few books, knick knacks, candles and frames to make the look more pulled together and personal. The final and my favourite piece is the beach photo that James' good friend and old roommate Nathan Cyprys gave to us as a wedding present. He knew we loved it when we say it on his website, and it means so much to us that we knew it needed to be featured on a main wall in our home. We just got it back from the framers a couple of weeks ago and James hung it up as soon as he got home. I love it! It takes me right back to summer and days at the beach, especially now that winter is on its way. 

So now that that's done I guess it is on to the next incomplete room, see you soon master bedroom! 

Thank you so much again Nathan for your beautiful photo.

September 29, 2014


You know that feeling you get when you fall in love your first bite of something and you can't wait for the second? With each bite it gets better and better, one by one you indulge yourself more and more into a sugar high, at which point you realize you have eaten every last bite. Yeah well that's what happened to me the first time I tasted Tuiles aux Amandes. 

I remember when we first moved to France, James and I would venture into our local boulangerie every week (day) and always try a new French pastry we had never had before. We tried anything and everything, and because of this an extra ten pounds suddenly made its way onto my body. It was totally worth it! On one of our trips down the street to gorge ourselves, the baker put out these little curved cookie treats. James let out a squeal and said (in a heavy French accent) "Sacré bleu! Tuiles! You have to try these!" So we bought the lot and sprinted home to sit on the couch and proceed to finish them all. Once again, it was totally worth it! So this is how my love affair with tuiles began and why I wanted to share with you how to makes these little darlings at home.

The word tuile means tile in English and is named for their resemblance to French roof tiles, which I think is so cute. There are several variations of tuile but the kind I see most frequently here, are ones with almonds. 

I love to make them when I am craving a light indulgence and am trying to cut back on the traditional sugary French treats. They are a light, crispy edged and soft centered buttery almond cookies, and pair perfectly with tea or coffee. 

Tuiles aux Amandes

prep time: 20 minutes
cooking time: 5 minutes
makes: approximately 50 tuiles

2/3 cup | 80 g cake flour
2 cups + 1 tbsp | 250 g confectioners' (icing) sugar
1 egg + 5 egg whites 
1 tsp vanilla extract
7 tbsp | 100 g butter
+ 1 1/2 tbsp butter for baking sheet
2 3/4 cups | 250 g sliced (flaked) blanched almonds

Equipment: Tuile mould or rolling pin

1. Sift together the flour and confectioner' sugar into a large bowl.
    Using a wooden spoon, gradually incorporate the egg, egg whites and vanilla extract.
    In a small saucepan (or in the microwave), melt the butter and add to the mixture.
    Using a rubber spatula, carefully fold in the sliced almonds. 
    Don't over mix, as it will break the almonds.

2. Preheat oven to 350°F | 180°C | gas mark 4.
    Using a spoon dipped in cold water, scoop out batter and drop onto a buttered baking sheet with    
    your index finger. Ensure you do not make the tuiles too big or spaced too closely, they will spread      
    slightly during baking.
    With a fork dipped in cold water, flatten and spread each tuiles by lightly pressing down and creating   
    rounds of equal thickness.

3. To shape the tuiles you can use a special tuiles mould, but for those of you like me who don't have 
    one, you can use a rolling pin or any round shaped object (i.e. wine bottle). Just ensure the rolling pin 
    is lightly oiled and place on a dish towel to keep from rolling.
    Place baking sheet in oven and bake for about 5 minutes. Watch carefully, as soon as the edges are   
    golden brown, remove from oven.

4. Quickly remove each hot tuiles with a metal spatula, place in mould or drape over rolling pin and 
    press down lightly to shape. Continue to do this with each one and as soon as it sets, transfer to a 
    cooling rack. Handle with care, the baked tuiles are very fragile. If the tuiles harden on the baking 
    sheet before being shaped, pop them back in the oven for a quick minute to soften again.

5. Allow to cool completely and store in an airtight container.

Bon appétit!

I will be posting a new French pastry recipe every week now, so if you fancy any recipe in particular please send a comment my way. 

(Recipe from the decadent LADURÉE Sucré cookbook)

September 27, 2014


It looks like summer is sticking around in the South for the time being. I know it won't last long considering it's October next week (AH!), so I wanted to spend my day soaking up the sun and swimming in the sea. These simple days are really what I love most about Cannes. 

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

September 26, 2014


This past month in Toronto was a bit of an unexpected one. Planning on staying only ten days, I had to extend for three more weeks after the French Consulate told me my visa would take longer than expected to process. As much as I love coming back to Toronto to visit with friends and family, and explore my favourite spots, staying an extra three weeks was a bit of a let down. I'm going to sound like a suck, but spending a month away from my new husband was really difficult and I missed him like crazy. I managed to put my lonely heart aside for most of my stay and actually had a ton of fun in my old city. Since I won't be returning for another year I really enjoyed the extra unexpected time I got, to rekindle my love for Toronto.

Now I am back in Cannes and back to reality. I am so happy to be home, to cuddle James, to take walks with Pee wee, sleep in my cozy bed, and to eat bread and cheese again.

Here are the last of my snapshots from my time in Toronto. Bon weekend!

September 3, 2014


Happy Wednesday! I wanted to write a quick post to give an update about the status with my visa, and the challenges that come with living in a foreign country.
Living in France has many perks, I really love it, but sometimes they are overshadowed by the burden of being an immigrant. For the past two years James and I have had our ups and downs with the French government, and trying to apply for a working visa. After waiting six months for a response to my application, much to our horror I was kicked out of the country in May. I then flew back to Toronto asap and returned to France a week later, as a tourist. This was the worst timing ever, as it was only one month before our wedding. Crunch time! So for the past three months I was staying in France, and just came back to Toronto now to apply for a spousal visa.
I went to the French consulate in Toronto last Thursday to apply and was told it can take up to two weeks to process my application. I changed my return flight home to September 21 and was prepared to wait. Based on our experience with the French government, you never know how long the process can take and you don't know what the results will be. So after my appointment I was very nervous and stressed.
Then much to our excitement yesterday, I received an email from the consulate saying my application was approved!!!
This was the biggest relief ever. To be able to live and work in France and continue our life there is such a weight off  my shoulders. Now I can enjoy the rest of my time in Toronto, and can't wait to return (legally) to my husband and new home country.
Merci beaucoup France!

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